The Tory PR machine, from CCHQ to its individual mouthpieces, are putting it about that the Labour Party is rowing back on its manifesto commitment to ‘wipe’ student debts:
‘Promise broken’. The only slight problem with this claim is that Labour’s manifesto contained no such promise.
It did contain a commitment to end tuition fees immediately, including for students starting their studies in September this year. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, when the manifesto policy was announced, said:
The Conservatives have held students back for too long, saddling them with debt that blights the start of their working lives. Labour will lift this cloud of debt and make education free for all as part of our plan for a richer Britain for the many not the few.
We will scrap tuition fees and ensure universities have the resources they need to continue to provide a world-class education. Students will benefit from having more money in their pockets, and we will all benefit from the engineers, doctors, teachers and scientists that our universities produce.
Lots there about scrapping tuition fees and the benefits to everyone of doing so. Nothing about ‘wiping student debt’.
Labour did say it would like to cancel outstanding student debts – as recently as last week:
but it was never a commitment and never a manifesto promise. It’s an ambition – something Labour will do when and if it can find the right way to do it.
Which is exactly what Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell told Andrew Marr.
The Tories appear to have realised that their plan to create a ‘Tory Momentum’ was a bust – you have to have something to inspire young people with, not just invade their Facebook page.
So they’ve fallen back on their usual plan – if you can’t beat it, lie about it.
As the saying goes, a lie goes around the world while the truth is pulling its socks on. The Tory lie on tuition fees has been shared over two thousand times – so the truth needs to go far wider to counteract it.
Conservative HQ was contacted this morning for a comment on the party’s use of fake news but has so far failed to provide a response.
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