Globe, United Kingdom

Democracy without lies

The results of the last elections in the United Kingdom brought the shock of a large Conservative majority, won at the expense of the Labour party. Many think –and some media analysts agree– that a campaign of lies and smears prevented the people from voting freely. A protest against this unfair strategy is set to take place, beginning in April.

  

Nicolas Romero García

 

In December 2020, the Conservative party dealt an historic blow to Parliament, winning 43% of seats in the House of Commons.

However, it seems that this victory was not won fairly, and today many people are questioning the untrue statements and campaigns of falsehoods made against the opposition.

People for Democracy (PFD) is in agreement, and has shown its disapproval for the strategy used by the Tories to win this landslide. PFD, a political organisation, has clearly stated that: “the fact of the matter is the current UK Conservative Government has been voted in on a campaign of lies – and we firmly believe the outcome would be different if the public weren’t lied to”.

According to First Draft, just before the elections, the number of adverts promoting the Conservative party increased considerably, with a total of 6,719 ads in the first four days of December. Of these, 90% were labelled as misleading.

For its part, Full Fact has cited examples of announcements made by the Conservative government for things that were never carried out; for example, the recent upgrading of six hospitals, which was announced as the construction of 40 hospitals and the promise of creating more than 50,000 jobs for nurses.

In this case, Facebook has no regulations prohibiting false or misleading announcements from any politician or political organisation.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook co-founder, will not change any publicity regulations and stated that: “at the end of the day, I just think that in a democracy, people should be able to see for themselves what politicians are saying”.

Meanwhile, according to the BBC: “Ads in the UK are regulated by the Advertising Standards Authority. Its rules prohibit misleading information and require advertisers to have “documentary evidence” to support their claims. But political advertising is regulated outside of the ASA. And the electoral law that applies “doesn’t require claims in political campaigns to be truthful or factually accurate,” according to the House of Commons library.”

In light of all the above, and in search of the truth, PFD is organising an event “People for Democracy-Occuppy the Parliament Square” for the month of April.

PFD has expressed the need to unite, stating that: “We must join together and occupy Parliament Square to show the UK government, and to show the world, that we won’t take this lying any longer.”

Moreover, “by occupying Parliament Square from April 3rd onwards, for as long as we can, we will be giving a clear message that we are not alright with the lies the government and the media have tricked the public with”.

It is clear that, in the landscape of elections, lies and the media, a new movement has begun in response to the results of the aforementioned elections.

PFD’s aim is that a complete investigation is carried out and possible prosecution brought against the Conservative party for its false and misleading claims in these elections.

Place and date: Friday 3rd April, 17:00. Parliament Square, London, SW1P 3BD, United Kingdom. For more information, click here.

(Translated by Rebecca Ndhlovu – Email: rebeccandhlovu@hotmail.co.uk)Photos: Pixabay

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