Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Lies by omission and distortion

Great news for The Dark Place, according to Paul Uppal MP, the secretive millionaire:

As the Minister may be aware, the number of private sector jobs in the west midlands decreased under the last Labour Government. Will he welcome the news, as I do, that Jaguar Land Rover is increasing investment in the engine plant in Wolverhampton by £150 million, creating an additional 700 high-skilled jobs?
Once we strip away the tired old rhetoric of 'the last Labour Government', we appear to have some facts about JLR's expansion plans. 

But not so fast, Paul.  

For a start, the plant is the product of heavy subsidies from taxpayers' funds, council and central government – and all under the auspices of the 'last Labour government', which essentially bribed Tata Motors to come to the city. Interventionism in action: not the kind of think Paul approves of, unless it's tax cuts for commercial landlords. 

But aside from this, there's one whopping lie by omission here. Dodgy Paul rather misdirects us with his talk of 'private sector jobs' under the 'last Labour government'. Apart from the fact that a subsidised factory rather blurs the line between private and public sector employment, Paul rather naughtily avoids the current government's record. What's this?

Unemployment rises in West Midlands despite UK-wide fall
The West Midlands was the only English region to see unemployment rise in the last quarter as more than 5,000 people were added to the jobless list.The total number of people out of work in the region stood at 233,000 during the three months from June to August, which represents a rate of 8.6 per cent.
Unemployment fell or remained the same in every other English region – but increased in Scotland and Northern Ireland – as UK-wide joblessness fell by 50,000 in the same period to 2.53 million, the lowest since the spring, giving a rate of 7.9 per cent.
So the policies Paul has loyally voted through have actually made things worse in his own back yard, whereas the policies of the 'last Labour government' have actually helped! But never mind the wider West Midlands: what about Paul's own city? Surely the 'tough choices' he's voted for have helped here? Let's ask the local, rabidly Conservative newspaper.

Wolverhampton bucks national trend as city's unemployment rises 
Jobless queues in Wolverhampton are getting longer, new figures revealed today – bucking the national trend of unemployment falling for the first time in almost a year.
But we shouldn't take the word of the Express and Swastika on this. Let's turn to Paul's neighbouring constituency, Wolverhampton South-East. Its MP Pat McFadden asked the UK Statistics Authority for the figures for May 2010 (the end of the 'last Labour Government' and January 2013.

Number of people(1) claiming jobseeker's allowance in Wolverhampton South East constituency
All people
Aged 18 to 24
May 2010
January 2013

Ouch. So much for 'tough choices' starting to work – and I doubt Uppal's constituency is any better. 

So in fact what Paul's trying to avoid saying is that the only bright spot in this benighted city's future is a Labour policy decision continued by a Labour city council, while the Conservative policy he voted for has actually made the city's inhabitants poorer. 

And if you think this is all historical, have a look at today's manufacturing figures. Here are the adjectives being used to describe it: 'awful', 'appalling', 'dreadful', 'poor', 'miserable'…

Slow hand-clap for Mr Uppal, both for his politics and his dishonesty.  

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