By Tim Hardy
I am no fan of Liam Byrne or his party but a debate based on lies and false premises is no debate at all.
His words in that notorious note were clear: “I’m afraid there is no money.”
Yet the words briefed to the press from the office of David Laws were “I’m afraid there is no money left.”
The dishonest addition of the word “left”, of course, dramatically changes the meaning of the statement.
“There is no money” because we had to bail out a chronically under-regulated financial system that imploded.
“There is no money left” is a fiction to prop up a coalition claim that the last Labour government spent too much which they then use to justify savage cuts for the most vulnerable.
By the time the letter was shown to the press, years later, the lie had been ingrained. Which is why days before the election the coalition lie is still being repeated by journalists who should know better and politicians who do not care for the truth.