Tories “authoritarian-style disinformation campaign” worse than expected
Does it all feel like the wheels on the disinformation, propaganda campaign bus are falling off? The Tories are being accused of cheating, lying, fixing and propagandising this election – but as you’ll see, it goes deeper with state censorship, media control and then even down to suspicions that the election itself might be rigged.
The governing party paid Google to promote the website labourmanifesto.co.uk towards the top of its results for people searching for the opposition plan.
It is the latest underhand tactic to have been employed by the Tories, who were earlier this week accused of running an authoritarian-style disinformation campaign to confuse voters about opposition plans.
The party was branded “dystopian” by senior EU politicians after it set up a fake fact-checking service that was actually broadcasting messages from the Tory press office to unsuspecting voters.
Other than having the domain name “labourmanifesto.co.uk”, the new website features a picture of Jeremy Corbyn at the top and the headline “Labour’s 2019 manifesto”.
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The sudden rebranding of CCHQ’s Twitter feed as a fact-checking service, at the start of the debate between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn, was no simple one-off stunt. It was merely the first step-change in a Conservative election campaign designed around organised lying.
One Labour candidate has found memes circulating in Conservative-supporting social media networks containing a gross caricature of a migrant, captioned “they’re like sperm, only one in 1,000 works”. In essence, “shitposting” culture on the British right is strong, dynamic, and continuously boosted by shares and new content from the US far right. Expect a deluge of outright false information.
Politics.co.uk – “Tory disinformation campaign intensifies – and there’s quite a bad smell coming off the Tory election machine”.
A bit Like China
Peter Oborne has said that the prime minister’s falsehoods are mostly left unchallenged by the mainstream media and if it goes on, the integrity of British politics faces collapse. Oborne is behind the curve here. British politics is already in a state of collapse. It’s not just the lying – it’s the industrial-scale abuse of technology through the world’s biggest social engineer – social media, that’s leading the charge. Leaving that aside as it is a subject that requires deeper examination on its own, Britain’s Prime Minister is acting more like an authoritarian each day, supported by a propaganda machine back at Conservative Campaign Headquarters, known as CCHQ.
For instance, Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited Wales on Monday wrote the political editor of Wales Online. “Media were informed on Sunday he would be visiting Wales to launch a Welsh manifesto. We were then told that after a speech, there would instead be a question and answer session which can be recorded – but by broadcasters only.”
There it is again, no impromptu interviews, pre-authorised questions only, no filming without permission from the state. And sharing what amounts to controlled media output is hardly open, honest or transparent, especially when election campaigning is in high gear.
It was only days after becoming Prime Minister a few months ago that Johnson visited somewhere else in Wales – a farm this time, but again, interview terms were dictated. While Johnson toured the farm and inspected the poultry, the awaiting national, regional and local press were kept cooped up in an outbuilding. Journalists were then corralled into a huddle and although could ask questions were not allowed to be filming, photographing or at one point, even recorded on dictaphones. Some journalists gave up and left.
The same happened in Northern Ireland, on a tour day after Wales.
The Conservatives banned the Daily Mirror newspaper from getting on its election bus along with other journalists because it is not a right-wing newspaper and banned Chanel4 News at the last G7 because it’s political editor was critical of Boris Johnson
Press-Gazette reported that the BBC dropped a clip of Conservative Party leadership candidate Boris Johnson saying the French were being “turds” about Brexit after the Foreign Office demanded that it be removed from a documentary.
Just imagine what the news will look like if the Tories get into power with a significant majority, not to mention that elections may not be fair in future.
Defending Democracy has just put out a notice that the Boris Johnson government has failed to ask the OSCE to observe the 2019 General election, of which the United Kingdom is supposed to be a member of.
Is the United Kingdom’s 2019 general election rigged as well?