Sky shames Kuenssberg on #Labourmanifesto #GE17 (video)

As the SKWAWKBOX reported this morning, Radio 4’s John Humphrys did an outstanding job (audio) of forcing Tory Philip Hammond into his own ‘car crash’ moment over his attempts to rubbish Labour’s fully-costed manifesto – and his complete inaccuracy over the cost of the ‘HS2’ rail line.

Humphrys identified the Tories’ deliberate misrepresentation of Labour’s spending commitments, but Laura Kuenssberg of BBC News sadly failed spectacularly – in fact, she did little more than to parrot, almost literally, the nonsensical Tory attack line:


lk parrot.jpg
Hat-tip to Evolve Politics’ Matt Turner for the great spot!

Sky News, on the other hand, did actual journalist-work and stuck a knife through the heart of the Tories’ lies, as this video clip shows:

In case you can’t watch the video, here’s a potted summary:

  • the Tories made a huge mis-step by holding a press conference to talk about Labour’s manifesto, drawing even more attention to its popularity with voters
  • the Tories’ attack document claiming a £58bn ‘black hole’ in Labour’s plans is false
  • they put themselves in the firing line just as it came out that they’re making us all poorer with their policies
  • they gave everyone the opportunity to call out Hammond on his rift with Theresa May, which has even involved Hammond swearing during calls with the PM

Ironic that a commercial broadcaster is doing its journalistic job and calling out the Tories for their lies and incompetence when the supposedly-impartial state broadcaster merely acted (again) as a propaganda mouthpiece for the Conservative party.

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  1. I think we should be very careful with any false dawns. Any hint that the likes of Sky, the BBC or the press are secretly wanting to provide true impartiality in their coverage.

    Commercial outfits have a bottom line, which involves pulling in cash and lots of it. So they’ll never alienate the majority of their readers or fee-paying subscribers and risk loss of custom.

    The GE is still distant enough for them to affect ‘positive’ coverage of Labour and ‘negative’ coverage of Tories. If the past is anything to go by, they’ll have something in reserve to clobber the ‘party of anti-capitalism’, Labour with over the head as the big day draws near.

    In 2015 on the eve of the General Election, The Independent (lol) newspaper (printed version) surprisingly came out backing the Tories. Then after the election it was back to slagging them off in the hope they could turn around dire sales figures that had been plummeting for the last 15 years. Ultimately it didn’t pay off and it’s no longer printed.

  2. Having read the manifesto I’m struggling to find what’s inaccurate in Ms Kuenssberg’s headline.

    Labour are planning to spend more on for example the NHS, planning to pay for the increased spending by taxing the top 5% and companies more and planning to borrow more for eg the National Transformation Fund.

      1. For accuracy I’m reading the actual manifesto, rather than the Chancellor’s take on it.

        Specifically what’s misleading?

        Tax will be increased for certain groups and companies, and that tax will be spent – so increases in tax and spending are 100% accurate reporting. see http://www.labour.org.uk/page/-/PDFs/ONLINE%209660_17%20HMT%20Manifesto%20pamphlet%20.pdf

        Whilst the increased borrowing is not quantified in the manifesto, the fact of it is implicit, for example in the renationalisations and creation of the transformation fund – so increase in borrowing again seems 100% accurate reporting.

    1. At 09:39, Graham Hindson said:

      Having read the manifesto I’m struggling to find what’s inaccurate in Ms Kuenssberg’s headline.

      At 10:57, Graham Hindson said:

      Specifically what’s misleading?

      All of it – all 4 specific parts:
      • “Labour manifesto vision:” – The vision is undoubtedly politics for the many, not the few. Anyone who reads the Labour Party Manifesto can clearly see that this theme runs throughout the entire manifesto; anything to the contrary is already deviating from the truth.
      • “More spending,” – This has the negative connotation of cost, waste, or recklessness when actually we’re talking about public spending – on vital public services!
      • “more tax,” – For who?! Me?!! – No, this again needs to be qualified with ‘for those who can quite comfortably afford it’! People earning less than 80000£/yr can dismiss this part of the headline outright.
      • “more borrowing”Than what?!! Couldn’t possibly be the Tories, which, in the past 7 years ALONE, have increased the public debt more than EVERY Labour government in British history COMBINED!!! Which is actually just 2 Labour Governments – all the others actually reduced the debt, referenced to GDP.
          Admittedly it’s a case of can’t see the wood for the trees! 😁 And all in just the headline!! 😆

      1. The manifesto and the link above are quite clear that tax will rise for certain groups and companies to pay for more spending, and the nationalisations which the current, and next Conservative government wouldn’t do will have to paid for out of more borrowing.

        There’s a limit to what a headline can contain, but the detail of the manifesto is well covered on the BBC website.

        As an aside corporation tax isn’t a “victimless crime”. Shareholder dividends will have to fall, and many large shareholders are pension funds which must put further strain on them.

  3. So where’s that left-hand (Tory) screenshot actually from, then?

    I can’t find it anywhere – but I’m *sure* you’ve fact-checked this. It would be incredibly irresponsible to just share something like this without doing so, after all…

    1. Tsk, guaranteed that as soon as I say I “can’t find it anywhere” I up and find it right away.

      It’s from the Swindon Conservatives page. April 2014.

      It’s had to be photoshopped to exclude the word ‘Swindon’, and a picture of Ed Miliband and Ed Balls.

      And we have to believe that Laura K is “parroting” a Conservative slogan from three years ago.

      But it’s the BBC who do ‘fake news’, yeah?

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