Both the Conservative Party and Liberal Democrats are under fire for their distribution of fake and misleading election material with little over a week gone of the 2019 general election campaign.
In a contest that is widely expected to be one of the dirtiest ever fought in Britain, the Lib Dems were the first seen to be producing misleading material as graphs produced on election leaflets were exposed as indicating that the party had a far larger chance of winning local seats that they do in reality.
The graphs were widely mocked on Twitter, with even Labour’s Clive Lewis getting in on the action.
Full Fact, the UK’s independent factchecking charity, condemned the graphs as misleading.
The Lib Dems didn’t stop at dodgy graphs, however, also managing to add dodgy quotes to their repertoire.
The party went possibly one stage further as they completely invented a poll result from YouGov.
Despite being caught red handed, the Lib Dems have attempted to portray leader Jo Swinson as a victim of “disinformation” by both Labour and the right.
It is, after all, hard to signal your virtue when you don’t actually have any.
The Best For Britain campaign has also been accused of distributing fake news on behalf of the Lib Dems. While officially claiming to be offering advice for tactical voting to ensure the election of Remain candidates, the group seem to be instead promoting voting for Lib Dems at the expense of Labour in marginal seats.
The Best for Britain CEO is Naomi Smith, who is both a former Liberal Democrat PPC and friends with former leader Nick Clegg.
The Lib Dems are still clearly amateurs when it comes to fake news however, with the most shocking deception coming from the Conservative Party.
Labour MP Sir Keir Starmer was a guest on ITV’s Good Morning Britain and was asked a question surrounding the Labour Party’s position on Brexit. Starmer answered the question well and that was seemingly that.
In 2019, in the world of social media and video on demand, the Tories somehow thought it wise to release an edited version of the video that had been doctored to make it appear as if Starmer was unable to speak after being asked the Brexit question.
So bad was the propaganda that even Piers Morgan described the edit as “misleading and unfair.”
The sentiment was echoed by Full Fact who called the video “irresponsible.”
The Tories were unrepentant on the matter and failed to apologise. Indeed, they went on to release a second edited video later in the day.
The attempt at deception was amateurish, but the intention was never to convince. The Conservatives were only interested in shares, conversation and drawing attraction to their own position.
The attitude reveals the true position of both the Tories and Lib Dems, with neither party interested in a fair fight or speaking truthfully to the British public. Truth has been superseded by self-promotion and increasing numbers of fanatics seemingly have no interest in whether something is true and correct, only that it fits and advances their own agenda.