UK Politics

Bell Pottinger comes out for lying

Bell Pottinger, the group describing itself as “the most successful company in the public affairs industry” and who offer among its  broad range of services “political monitoring, intelligence gathering and communications audits” which it claims to do “by upholding the highest standards of integrity” has published the most disgraceful commentary on the Phil Woolas affair on its corporate blog.

In essence, Peter Bingle, Chairman, Bell Pottinger Public Affairs  is in favour of lying.  Here’s what he says:

One of the great things about being a candidate in an election is that you can say all sorts of horrible things about your opponents. Scare stories. Innuendos. Even outright porkies. At the end of most campaigns, after the returning officer has declared the results and the candidates have said a few words, there are normally handshakes and a few beers down at the pub. That is how it should be.

In other words, he’s happy to see elections turning into something akin to reality TV programmes instead of the serious business of asking citizens to choose the best candidate to represent them on matters of important public concern.

He does not say “this is what they have become and we just have to accept it. “That is how it should be,” he declares. Really?

What utter disdain for the public. One expects to see nutters on CiF warbling on along these lines, but for a public face of a leading Public Affairs firm which supposedly values its “integrity” to stand up for “outright porkies” as a means of dishonestly winning the confidence of the electorate and manipulating public feelings is an utter disgrace. And so is Peter Bingle.

Saying that its okay for candidates to tell lies and make stuff up is a subversion of democracy.

What makes matters worse is that Phil Woolas did not just tell a little lie. He told one of the most insidious sorts of lie any politician could: using minorities to ‘scare’ people is the basest of all political lies. Telling lies to make white people fear Muslims is shameful in itself, but it is also indulging in the worst kind of communalist politics – the sort one has come to expect from supporters of Lutfur Rahman No self-respecting politician should, and no political party can accept this behaviour from its members.

Phil Woolas is a self-serving hypocrite. When he was the minister in charge of immigration in the previous government, he did little to address the real threats of real jihadis. Yet, for political advantage, he was prepared to conjure up imaginary ones where none existed without regard for the safety and welfare of the community affected by his false claims.

Gene adds: Bell Pottinger conveniently provides a list of clients who are prepared to employ a public affairs company with such a cavalier attitude toward the truth.