IT will come as news to many of us that the Tories have a plan of action, given that they often act as if they’re making it up as they go along. When you see that plan of action though, that may start to make a little more sense.
The English town of Wellingborough in Northamptonshire made headlines today after its Conservative newsletter was found to declare that “there are lessons that we can learn from [Donald] Trump”.
The newsletter contains advice for its members, including how they should “weaponise fake news” and learn that: “If you make enough dubious claims, fast enough, honest speakers are overwhelmed.”
The letter seems to be essentially instructing Tories to mislead the public. It states: “A lie can go round the world before the truth can get its boots on.”
It tells members to “say the first thing that comes into your head” when having to deal with a truthful and honest criticism, adding: “It’ll probably be nonsense, but it knocks your opponent out of his stride and takes away his headline.
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“You then have a few seconds (possibly minutes) to reword it, say that you mis-spoke, were mis-heard, or whatever.”
The author fails to address what happens if both sides take this childish tactic to heart.
They also say that “politicians are so scared of offending or making untrue statements that they resort to saying almost nothing” in their speeches. Instead, it suggests, Tories should “take risks” – these risks presumably being offending people and making untrue statements.
The newsletter also takes two bizarre swipes at Jodie Whittaker’s portrayal of a female Dr Who. They say the BBC changed the time-traveling character not “because the dramatic narrative demanded it [but] because the woke-ish producers and directors demanded it”.
That those “woke-ish producers and directors” create the dramatic narrative (and that Dr Who isn’t real) seems lost on the Tory author of the letter.
Either way, a female Dr Who proves, they claim, that “many people are sick to death of woke-ism”.
The BBC is a key target it seems, as it gets another mention after the what-we-should-learn-from-Trump section.
The newsletter’s morally questionable Tory author writes that “slowly, but surely, the public are noticing the BBC’s bias. The latest survey has the BBC rated as the most biased broadcaster in the UK.”
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This is true, but given that the BBC is led by a man who ran to be a Conservative councillor and was a local Tory party deputy chairman for years it begs the question: what more can these Conservatives possibly want?
The letter hasn’t gone unnoticed in England, with Labour’s Angela Rayner writing to the Conservative top brass to “demand an urgent investigation and ask whether it is official Tory Party policy to “weaponise fake news”.
UK Labour leader Keir Starmer even brought it up at PMQs. Starmer said: “I for one often wonder where the Prime Minister gets his advice from, well now I know.”
(Ignore the fact that Starmer has apparently never heard of Dominic Cummings.) He went on: “I’ve here the official newsletter of the Wellingborough Conservative Party. It’s not on everyone’s Christmas reading list, but it is a fascinating read … is the Prime Minister the inspiration of the newsletter, or the author?”
Johnson’s answer was all the off-the-top-of-the-head bluster the newsletter recommends, covering as it did schools, Covid, Brexit, police, nurses, and Mariah Carey.
The whole insane newsletter can be found here.