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Analysis

Dishonest video shows Johnson’s old tactics alive and well

by Sam Ashworth-Hayes | 06.11.2019

The official launch of Boris Johnson’s campaign isn’t until 7.30pm tonight, but the dishonest Tory spin machine is already at full throttle. The party has doctored a video of Keir Starmer on Good Morning Britain seemingly unable to explain Labour’s Brexit policy.

The presenter Piers Morgan asks Labour’s Brexit spokesperson why the EU would “give you a good deal if they know you’re going to actively campaign against it”. Starmer blinks, licks his lips, and stares blankly at the camera. Then the video ends. 

Except that’s not what happened. Starmer answered immediately and fluently, rattling off information on the parameters for a possible Brexit deal. 

The video is a shabby trick. Even Conservative MP Johnny Mercer was upset after sharing it, saying the video had “inexplicably been doctored at the end”.

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The rest of his party is sadly brazenly doubling down. When Morgan criticised it, the Consrvative Party press office replied with another disingenuous version of the video where it cut out Starmer’s response and froze the frame – continuing the misleading impression that he hadn’t answered the question.

James Cleverly also went out to defend it. The party chair told Good Morning Britain the party had edited the video “because we needed to shorten” it.  On BBC Breakfast, he changed tack and called it “light-hearted and satirical”. Perhaps sensibly, he didn’t appear on Sky News, getting empty-chaired by presenter Kay Burley as she reeled off a list of Tory campaign blunders.

We’ve seen this dishonest behaviour from campaigns Johnson has fronted before. Remember the lies of the 2016 referendum? He got away with it then. We mustn’t let him do so again.

Edited by Hugo Dixon

Categories: Brexit, UK Politics

9 Responses to “Dishonest video shows Johnson’s old tactics alive and well”

  • Fraud, cheating and lies, it seems, is all the Tory Party knows. Very fitting that it was Theresa May who coined the term “Nasty Party” to describe what is a disreputable and discredited political party.

  • Torys know only lying and cheating, when they electioneer, the referendum, and Boris Johnson part in vote leave proves without a shadow of doubt he is a congenital liar

  • The depressing fact us that lying and distortions of the truth appear to be the accepted norms in society these days. Lying is certainly accepted behaviour associated with rhe Tories, particukarly Johnson and Farage of course. Lying would not ha e been tolerated a few years ago. What has brought us to this ?

  • Martin Moore’s book, ‘Democracy Hacked’ explains the effect of the digital age on politics and electioneering. So sophisticated, they can target the specific people they know are vulnerable to any lies, deceit etc. (And it can happen from any political viewpoint). The refusal to publish the Russian dossier is very concerning. Johnson and Cummings know that there is something in it that could do them damage. How much Russian interference was there in the Referendum? There is something fishy about the whole thing and we need to know ahead of the GE.
    Johnson lies but then avoids scrutiny. Are they going to put a protective ring around him if he goes on the streets or will it all be stage managed as with May? Corbyn is actually much more at home campaigning than in the HofC and he relates to people much better than the Eton public schoolboy.
    Another thing that bugs me is that the Tories are being allowed to get away with telling us all how they are now going to spend billions on the NHS, Schools and everything else that moves. But this is never put into the context of the fact that they have destroyed the country over the last ten years by the ideology of austerity. The Tories have trashed everything and the electorate needs reminding again and again. Please God we get rid of these nasty Tories and Brexit, so we can all start living again.
    All of us who are remainers must follow the advice we get about tactical voting. For me that means voting Lib Dem. I’ll be holding my nose but I live in a leave constituency and it is the only chance of getting anywhere near the ERG Tory who now holds the seat.

  • Take the blinkers off you lot!!

    The Tories are pretty bad but nowhere near on the scale as the current Labour party, Lib Dems etc. How about all those Labour MPs who got back into parliament by deceit in 2017 running on a Brexit ticket. How about Dom Grieve and Phillip Hammond claiming nobody voted for no -deal even though there is plenty of video evidence of them stating that a vote to leave would inevitably lead to no-deal. How about Jeremy Corbyn who was undoubtedly a brexiteer who has suddenly become a remainer.
    Funny enough I think Nigel Farage is probably the most honest out of the lot of them.

  • Exaggeration, distortion, gaffs, inaccuracies, fibs, lies….we’ve got used to this in the swamp of today’s gutter politics. Not just from politicians themselves, but from the gutter press whose editorial policies prop up and magnify the message of the liars and cheats.
    BUT I have never seen such blatant and obvious manipulation of the media as this latest scam by the Conservatives. If I thought they understood the concept of shame them I would implore them to come clean and apologise. Not likely….please can we get this viral….even Trump wouldn’t be crass enough to lower himself to these depths. Someone…or some group was responsible for this going out……it’s a form of libel, and definitely actionable.

    A few days ago Juncker publicly accused Johnson of lying about the E.U. prior to the Referendum……..I notice Johnson hasn’t disputed this…..again, another actionable slander were the allegations untrue.

  • Peter,

    Dominic Grieve and Philip Hammond were Tories until about 5 minutes ago, not Labour.

    And nobody ever said no deal would be inevitable so I don’t see how there could be video footage of it.

  • I think that Johnson’s great problem with telling the truth, is actually a sad reflection on the British media. He, as a very prominent political journalist, is really continuing now as PM with what he’s done for years as a journalist.
    Political opinion writers at the Daily Mail and especially Daily Express, to name but 2 of the most obvious examples, have been doing similar and worse for decades.

    As a journalist its easier to get away with inaccuracies, especially if your readership is tuned into the same prejudices. Working in any public office job, never mind PM, means paying attention to and getting details accurate.
    His talents would have made him more suited to work as a stand-up comedian or elsewhere in the entertainment industry.

  • The point here is that you EU zealots suggest that all the remain MPs are pure and honest when in truth they are even more dishonest than leave MPs. I cannot stand their smug superiority when they indulge in lies, exaggeration and smear.