Sunday 21 September 2008

Labour lies and the lying liars who tell them

Labour's top blogger (by 382 points) Kezia Dugdale recently posted about a BBC Question Time where she claimed that Alan Duncan had sought to mislead the general public.

Seemed a bit strange to me, because the quote attributed to Alistair Darling didn't read like his usual manner, so I had a wee look into it.

Here's some quotes from Kezia's blog:
Harriet Harman: “Yes you did, and I was sitting next to Alistair Darling in the House of Commons when this advice was being given by the Tories and Alistair Darling was saying “It beggar’s belief that at this time you could be arguing for taking away regulation of mortgage institutions, and if you’ve changed your view on that and you're going to support the government with regulation then I welcome that ….
Harriet Harman: "I’ve got a nice little quote here, “We see no need to continue to regulate the provision of mortgage finance (this is August 2007) as it is the lending institutions rather than the client who are taking the risk…” and George Osbourne said “This was very important to cut government regulation – “we see sensible supervision as protection and we need to increase it.” You were arguing a year ago for less regulation!
You might get the impression from these quotes that there was an exchange between Alistair Darling and George Osborne in the House of Commons in August 2007 on mortgage regulation. I did, so I went looking for it

Into the bound volumes
Then I searched the index for volume 463 which covers August 2007.

Neither George Osborne nor Alistair Darling spoke in the House of Commons during August 2007.
Not satisfied with that, I googled for the quote in its entirety - nothing. I searched for Alistair Darling and "beggars belief" (in google it's - darling "beggars belief" - 27 results and I have to admit that I thought Alistair Darling beggared belief a lot more than that, but not one of these results had the Chancellor talking about mortgages.

I tried using "mortgage institutions" instead of "beggars belief" - the only thing that came up was a Treasury Committee Budget Report.

The second quote, the apparently killer one, is just as much fun - Labour MP Rob Marris used it in a debate claiming it was a quote from a newspaper report about a paper from a Tory policy working group. Further searching appears to trace that quote back to the policy proposal penned by John Redwood - so not policy then.

Quite clearly, Harriet Harman invented the first part and misrepresented the second part. Who sought to mislead the public?

Assuming that Kezia reported accurately, Harriet Harman lied.


Anonymous said...

Quote is from Page 59 document "Freeing Britian to Compete: Equipping the UK for Globalisation - Submission to the Shadow Cabinet" by Economic Competitiveness Policy Group - John Redwood and Simon Wolfson chairmen August 2007.

Kezia Dugdale said...

A Nat defending a Tory. I thought it was supposed to be the other way around??

Seriously though, if you watch it on iplayer it's clear that Harriet's talking about a private chat on the benches with Alistair Darling... The George Osbourne quote stands true as well. You conveniently miss that in your analysis.

Calum Cashley said...

Kezia, the title of your post was "Mistruther, Mistruther, pants on fire" and I found it rather ironic that the actual liar in the exchange was the woman you were holding up as a paragon of virtue.

Harriet Harman lied to gain some small political victory over Alan Duncan - an indication that she did not have any political argument to use in the debate.

As I said in a previous exchange about Iain Gray's lies in his first speech as group leader, compounding the lie by seeking to defend it is the wrong thing to do - as Wendy Alexander found out.

Harriet Harman lied for a small political victory and she sucked you in as well. You should be angry about that and tell her so, not try to pretend she didn't lie.