If I were to write for the Daily Mail I’d call it DISGUSTING or DISGRACEFUL or REUGHEEAHGHHH.
As I’m a blogger I’m not going to do that – except by proxy – as I’d much rather point out why it is wrong.
First of all I think its fairly obvious that a picture of a blood stained machete is totally inappropriate and does not reflect well on the candidate.
Secondly comparing public service cuts with a violent and bloody death is at the very least distasteful.
Most importantly, the 44% statistic is complete nonsense.
This statistic comes from a speech given by Chris Grayling in the run up to the election and is wholly misleading.
This has already been covered by Unity here but in light of this poster I think it is worth going over old ground.
The 44% increase refers to the increase in violent crime between 1997 and 2008. Unity discovered that Grayling obtained these figures from the House of Commons Library in this report, published in October 2008.
What is important is not the 44% figure which Grayling cites and which has reached this leaflet. What matters is that in April 1998 the Home Office changed the way the Police recorded and reported crimes.
Putting these new rules in place led to a 118% increase in the amount of violent crime recorded in the official police recorded crime statistics compared to the previous year, a year in which police recorded crime statistics were compiled to standards set out by the previous Tory government.
This means that arguing that “Violent Crime [is] up 44% under Labour” is entirely dishonest.
Worse still for the Tories, is that the Tories already knew this 44% figure was inaccurate because the House of Commons Library published a briefing explaining how to compare crime figures over the period discussed at the request of the Tory party.
Even worse still for the Tories, the British Crime Survey utterly refutes their argument that violent crime has shot up under Labour, as the below graph from The Economist illustrates.
As MTPT points out political parties are exempt from much advertising law. For the people who put together this leaflet its is a good job too, because in one picture and eight words they’ve packed in more misinformation than I’ve ever seen before.