Three days ago I received a post on my Facebook news feed which was entitled 'Top Ten Tory Lies of 2013 and had been shared by a Labour supporter. I subsequently placed it on my timeline and added this comment - "I received this photo on my news feed yesterday. It is a shoddy piece of work by Labour supporters, not referencing any sources to justify either what it says are Tory claims or its supposed refutation of those claims. You're just supposed to take it all on trust. Well, while I'm no apologist for the Tories, I do think there are mistakes in this list and I was wondering if anyone who supports its claims would be interested in defending them with actual referenced facts. Perhaps we could then have a reasoned discussion / debate". Since the post was just an image, I can't copy and paste the text it contains. I can't be bothered to type them all, so here's just the first five items, first the supposed claims and then the supposed refutations:
1 David Cameron: Royal Mail was making a loss when privatised
2 Grant Shapps: The Tories have cut the national debt
3 Esther McVey: Unemployment has fallen 400,000 since May 2010
4 David Cameron: House building is up a third under the Tories
5 Iain Duncan Smith: Child Poverty rose under Labour
1 Royal Mail doubled its profits to £403 million in the last full year of trading before being privatised
2 National Debt has climbed by £427,000,000,000+ under the Tories
3 Unemployment was up 23k at the time the claim was made (since down 00.08m)
4 House Completions have fallen to 89 year lows in most recent data
5 Child Poverty fell 50% under Labour. It's up 300,000 under IDS
I said on Facebook that the list didn't reference any sources. The reply I received there was that "the sources on the 1st list are clearly named". But by "reference" I don't just mean a name, I mean something which would allow me to perform a meaningful check. David Cameron, Grant Shapps etc. have said a lot of things over the years.
Googling "David Cameron: Royal Mail was making a loss when privatised" (without the quotation marks) didn't bring up anything relevant in the first page. All I can really say about the privatisation is that it is something which has been in the pipeline for well over a decade, and I'm pretty sure the coalition just completed steps which were started under New Labour. Whether it was a necessary step may be open to question, but it went remarkably well as privatisations go.
For "Tories have reduced national debt (Grant Shapps)" I've been searching for a while now without finding anything which would substantiate the Labour claim. I did find something from Grant Shapps about cutting the DEFICIT, though. The deficit, which reached insane proportions under Labour, is the amount by which our spending as a nation exceeds our income. It has to be cut all the way to zero and beyond before the debt starts going down. It looks like the author of point two doesn't even know the difference between deficit and debt, which might explain why both skyrocketed under Labour.
And so on, down the list. Is there anyone out there willing and able to defend just one of the points on the list with actual, verifiable facts?
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