Who can you trust?

One of the strange aspects of the current General Election campaign has been the almost total lack of analysis about the local impact of key government policies.

Those who were most vocal about BREXIT, climate change, the NHS and poverty have struggled to put their case into a local context.

 The once powerful and independent print media in York have lamely given candidates a few hundred words to put across – what turned out to be – largely anodyne “policies”.

Gone is the local forensic analysis of candidate’s qualities. Local political differences go largely unreported. In depth factual analysis is limited.

The Press is reduced to commenting on the number of leaflets being delivered by candidates, a fake issue created by politicians too lazy to deliver their own messages.

The print media decline is largely, of course, down to a decline in the resources available to local newspapers. The Yorkshire Post is an exception, but it covers a large and diverse area.

Many have switched to unregulated social media channels for information. Even there we recently saw one party try to pass itself of as a (entirely bugus) “fact checker” while others bombard the internet with fake news. Extremists have subtlety sought to take over local organisations to use them as a front for their views.

Anti BREXI groups have been infilrated as have so called “independent” tactical voting web sites.

Part of the problem may relate to the timing of the election. Mid-winter is not an ideal time to go canvassing.

But the candidates must also take some of the blame.

 In York Central several appear to be auditioning for a part in the next Harry Potter film.

The one featuring a “cloak of invisibility”.

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