Truth the First Casualty

Deliverance Day minus 30 and any hope that at least one of the main Parties might tell voters the truth has evaporated. At times of war the first casualty is truth. The security of the nation is paramount and for strategic reasons the enemy must not know the plans or weaknesses of its adversary. Deliberately misleading information is broadcast and losses are minimised. It has always been the case. During a democratic election the same excuses cannot be used. There is no justification and the only purpose is for narrow party advantage. Usually it is the incumbent government party who feel to the need to resort to these tactics in order to hide their mismanagement and broken promises. Of course the opposition parties who aspire to government are equally capable of not telling the truth about their plans for fear of alienating voters. Manifesto promises are broken with impunity if control of the government is achieved.

New Labour has developed the art of spin to a pinnacle and in the process has deluded itself so that the boundary lines between misleading, misrepresenting and downright lies has been blurred. Ministers have lied to the House of Commons and Parliamentary Committees, as well as independent Enquiries without qualm. When found out, Labour ministers brazen it out and ignore the convention that they should apologies and honourably resign. Gordon Brown campaigned for the position of Prime Minister on a platform of reform with honesty at the heart of government, and the elimination of spin. Being charitable, it might be possible to accept that he was genuine. Campbell and Mandelson were dispatched. As PM these promises did not materialize as events overtook him. Expediency became the priority and more and more of his utterances were later shown to be false. He could have acknowledged these errors and claim that he had been misinformed. He did not and adhered to the old rule of command – ‘never apologies, it is a sign of weakness’.

The rot goes to the very top of government. With the return of Mandelson and now Campbell the dishonesty has reached new heights. Last month GB misled the Chilcott Enquiry over defence spending and even when he knew that he had given the wrong information he refused to back down and repeated the lie to the House of Commons. Later in March he released misleading figures about immigration. This manipulation of official statistics was challenged for misuse by the UK Statistics Authority. The publication of the five Labour election pledges was followed by GB’s claim that they had been fully costed. In truth the pledges are so vague that it is impossible to cost them. There are many other examples of his government misleading the public to the extent that they constitute lies.

With this sort of behaviour at the top of government it is little wonder that ex-ministers tout their services as lobbyists able to direct government decisions and policy. With these examples the lower ranks condone their own behaviour of exploiting the expenses system to the limit, even to the extent of criminality. It happened under Conservative governments, but has been perfected under New Labour. There is little hope that standards will improve in the next Parliament. The Conservatives have been using distorted statistics relating to early release of criminals and crime levels. They are also saying one thing in private while pursuing a different public position as they appeal to diverse sectors of the voting public. It is understandable that the voters are in general disenchanted with politicians and public confidence is at its lowest.

In September 2005 Resurgence was conceived with a declaration of intent establishing a political organisation of excellent behaviour and conduct, formed on the basis of decency, dignity, honesty, integrity and respect, following the example of Thomas More. The organisation was founded on the principles of Peace, Truth, Justice and Freedom. Our aims are defined by the Right to Life, the Common Good and Social Justice.

Resurgence is a group of people for ‘Solidarity and Conscience for Life’. Back in 2005 we did not realise that the attack on our freedom to exercise personal conscience would be so extreme. In November 2007 we adopted our Party Programme. Our campaign slogan then and still is; hope for the future – change for the better. No other political party does it better.

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