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What can we do to stop politicians lying to us in future campaigns?

(96 Posts)
OneArt Sat 02-Jul-16 06:07:27

I understand that politicians make false promises, stretch the truth, cherry pick the information they present, and so on. That's par for the course.

But it now seems to be widely acknowledged that the Leave campaigners lied. As in, they made numerous statements which were factually incorrect and which they must have known to be so.

Even more shocking, it has been claimed that they deliberately spread rumours attacking the integrity of people who disagreed with them. See the video below.

We can't have a democracy in which our votes are based on lies.

I feel much more passionately about this than the actual outcome of the referendum! Can anyone tell me what I can do to stop this happening again in future campaigns? I've already written to my MP.

SaltyMyDear Sat 02-Jul-16 06:14:43

Interesting stuff being said about this in another thread.

Normal adds aren't allowed to lie. Lidl (or Aldis?) add has just been pulled because it was misleading. I remember a loreal add being pulled as well.

So people would expect political 'adds' to not lie. It's what they're used to.

But trading standards don't apply to political adds. So they're allowed to lie when no other type of add is.

Very disturbing.

OneArt Sat 02-Jul-16 06:16:01

Which thread please, Salty?

SaltyMyDear Sat 02-Jul-16 06:23:08

larrygrylls Sat 02-Jul-16 06:26:07

The way to deal with lying is to challenge it with facts and data. If you prove someone has deliberately lied in politics, that is probably the end of his campaign. It is the role of the media to explore claims and ask forensic questions of politicians.

I don't think either side were very honest, though. It was an ugly campaign.

OneArt Sat 02-Jul-16 06:39:13

So Larry, do you know why that didn't happen? Do you know why the media didn't manage to highlight incorrect statements? Or would you say they did, but the public didn't manage to pick on it?

Sorry if that's a stupid question! I'm just trying to understand.

OneArt Sat 02-Jul-16 06:40:39

Thanks for the link, Salty, I'll have a look.

Asprilla11 Sat 02-Jul-16 06:41:42

Cut out their tongues shock

IAmTheWhoreOfBabylon Sat 02-Jul-16 06:46:49

Challenging with facts and figures is all very well but at the mercy of the media
We have a right wing press who favour certain views
JC, imo, will never succeed because he is either ignored or made to look a fool by most if the media

IAmTheWhoreOfBabylon Sat 02-Jul-16 06:49:45

And then there is all the crap on social media that people believe

P1nkP0ppy Sat 02-Jul-16 06:50:14

Politicians have always lied.

Figmentofmyimagination Sat 02-Jul-16 06:56:12

The advert about the NHS on primetime TV was the most outrageous set of lies. I cannot understand why the advertising standards authority has no jurisdiction over political bodies.

At the very least in future, in elections and referendum campaigns (if we ever dare to have another!) there needs to be a neutral body - like the OBR - to fact check the material in any piece of written or visual propaganda backed by a campaigning body and costing more than say £50 - before it is allowed to be released to the general public, including online.

And absolutely there must be full transparency as to who is paying for each item over a certain limit - eg 'brexit the movie' or the disgraceful TV ad.

And there need to be proper sanctions eg sizeable cash fines - for breaking the rules.

Anybody remember the transparency of lobbying act 2014? This was supposed to tackle exactly this sort of issue, but instead, and unsurprisingly as a Cameron measure, it ended up shutting down the voices of trade unions, charities and other voluntary bodies. Well done.

Mistigri Sat 02-Jul-16 06:58:05

I think there does need to be a change in the remit of the ASA to cover political advertising, at the very least.

And an end to this ridiculous policy of false balance in the media, where the opinions of know-nothings are presented as equivalent to those of people with experience and expertise.

I live abroad and I despair of the quality of debate in British television. Even during prime time, French TV will happily put on experts to discuss difficult technical subjects, without feeling the need to dumb down the debate or to have some ignorant politician providing "balance". This is very much an anglophone problem, the root cause of which can be summed up in one word: Murdoch.

ApocalypseSlough Sat 02-Jul-16 06:58:39

There was lots of interesting information on a thread earlier this week about the very strict rules there are in Ireland, especially around a referendum. Can anyone link?

OneArt Sat 02-Jul-16 07:06:25

If anyone is interested, I've just found a link to a petition in the thread Salty mentioned:

mathanxiety Sat 02-Jul-16 07:09:14

Ireland has a Referendum Commission whose job it is to set forth for the benefit of the public the arguments for and against the proposed amendment.

Ireland has a written constitution and has had a lot of referenda in the past few decades. More are envisaged.
The Referendum Commission's booklet about the Same Sex Marriage Referendum (which was passed) is an example of how it functions.

A basic problem with Britain is the way the media is very much a part of the political fray.

VikingVolva Sat 02-Jul-16 07:15:04

I do not see how spin is going to be removed from politics.

I am also confused that, since the coming of the Internet, when there is so much information latterly at people's fingertips, that spin has become more entrenched, when finding out facts on the aspects that interest you should be easier.

But as neither side was muzzled, and both were free to campaign (including challenging claims they believe to be false before, not after the vote - or did no 'Remain' voters actually see that bus when there was still time to rubbish it before polling?) then I do not think anything should be done.

It was an ugly campaign, and post-vote it has continued ugly. But

mathanxiety Sat 02-Jul-16 07:17:07
A much more detailed summary of the situation before the referendum, the proposed changes, and their effects in different areas.

larrygrylls Sat 02-Jul-16 07:23:52

I think it is very hard to find accurate figures. It is a complex subject. On the other hand I think we are used to political campaign promises being broken since 'straight kind of a guy' Blair decided to allow tobacco advertising in f1 in return for £1mio.

It is funny that people are talking about the campaign when, for years, the European institutions have had huge budgets to 'educate' us about the benefits of Europe (as well as our own politicians). I think it speaks to a certain smugness that they just have not bothered and just assumed we should accept their powers. Imo, it is this hauteur and de haut en bas attitude which had led to a lot of resentment.

Even now we have unelected European officials telling us how we can or cannot negotiate an exit, rather than leaving heads of state and national parliaments to try to secure the best terms for all.

mathanxiety Sat 02-Jul-16 07:27:39

It's the Tower of Babel effect, Viking.
More 'info' minus crucial critical reading and reasoning skills + a dominant political discourse that panders to the worst instincts of the electorate = victory for Leave.

larrygrylls Sat 02-Jul-16 07:30:27

Except the dominant political discourse was to remain...

Figmentofmyimagination Sat 02-Jul-16 07:30:28

I wrote to the Today Programme on the Monday after the referendum to ask for the What the Papers Say slot to be removed from the programme.

This slot is not "news". Instead, it is just another opportunity for the right wing media to get their nasty messages across.

In today's online world, there are many opportunities for them to get their voice across, without colonising the flagship news programme of the BBC. The Andrew Marr show is the same. This dissecting of paper headlines at the start of each programme - effectively "agenda setting" - belongs to the 20th C. It makes a farce of the supposed commitment to balance and neutrality.

If newspapers actually make news, through investigative journalism, it should be reported - as actual news - in the normal way.

And mathanxiety I agree about the ridiculous need to seek out an "opposing voice". I don't think I will ever forget waking up last Friday morning to hear Farage being interviewed uncritically, as if he was a credible statesman - announcing how this was to be our Independence Day. Perhaps they hoped that his imbecility would simply shine through. Its a bit late for that.

Figmentofmyimagination Sat 02-Jul-16 07:32:25

Postal voting - another massive problem - 20% of votes had already been cast by post (mostly older voters and so statistically predisposed to Leave) before many of the significant steps of the campaign.

larrygrylls Sat 02-Jul-16 07:34:02

The Bbc, probably the most powerful media in the country, has an Islington left wing bias....fairly unashamedly.

HapShawl Sat 02-Jul-16 07:39:36

No the dominant political discourse for many years was to blame immigration and the EU for whatever govt of the time's failures. This has come home to roost

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