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I find it hard to get worked up about this. Governments of all colours do this when in power. Indeed, the leaflet I received from my local (Conservative) council with my Council Tax bill could be described as "Tory propaganda at the local taxpayers' expense".

There isn't much choice here. If government leaflets stick to the facts and don't attempt to interpret them, most people wouldn't read them or understand them. If they give ALL the facts they would be huge and even fewer people would read or understand them. In many cases the parties don't even agree on what constitutes "the facts".

We can't really expect government leaflets to oppose government policy. It is therefore inevitable that government leaflets will interpret the facts in a way that is favourable to the government of the day (and equally inevitable that the opposition will complain about it).

I'm sure that in 5 years time Labour blogs will be complaining about "Tory propaganda at taxpayers' expense".

When did the term 'Social Protection' come in then?

Suprised that you've only ust caught onto this Ed. We used to have these handed out during Economics lessons at school, along will all manner of treasury leaflets promoting various initiatives.

We also used to have fantasy budgets, where the best budget was the one which was closest to the one issued by the Chancellor (As opposed to a well balanced and forward thinking one!). Somewhat unsuprisingly my radical "social protection" cuts made sure that I never even came close to winning.

Andrew, I think that is what you use if you meet a girl in a nightclub.

I fear there's a lot of truth in what you write Peter but we must surely be vigilant against further politicisation of the civil service and of taxpayer-funded literature. If we dismiss it all as inevitable there'll be even more propaganda and it'll be even more brazen.

I can remember Kenneth Clarke's budgets being promoted with similar material.

Editor, I am afraid I'm with Peter on this one. If you want a shock-horror hold-the-presses headline then try something like "Special Advisor Caught Following Civil Service Rules" or "DPM Promotes Secretary On Merit".

Both main parties have done it - the only difference is that when we sent out 'good news' leaflets it's because it (usually) happened to be accurate! But that doesn't mean we can take any moral high ground.

Peter is right - if a Con government puts out a leaflet saying that the sky is blue then Labour will attack us for it. If you had typed your comment 6 months into this Labour Govt then I would have applauded your good sense - today I just shrug, feel old and wonder what the next thing to make me grumpy will be.

"I find it hard to get worked up about this"

I agree.

The only people who read this rubbish are media hacks anyway, and even they dont read it very well. (which is just as well as most of it is smoke and mirrors)

Andrew Woodman @ 13:32 -

"When did the term 'Social Protection' come in then?"

About 1990, apparently:


"The Mutual Information System on Social Protection (MISSOC) was established in 1990 to promote a continuous exchange of information on social protection among the EU Member States. MISSOC has become the central information source on social protection legislation in all Member States of the European Union and countries of the European Economic Area."

The one thing that I am quite prepared to get worked up about is the fact that Debt Interest (£30bn) is almost as high as our spending on Defence (£32bn). What's the betting that interest payments will soon outstrip this spending very soon, as Brown runs the economy into the ground?

Also, for how long will the Government be able to spend £34bn more than it receives? Something will have to give, surely, and i'm guessing it won't be a reduction in "Social Protection" spending, whatever that is.

Should they be piled up at the DOCTOR's??
Oh I suppose the Doctors are all nulab apparatchiks!!! (sarcastic sneer).

i did economics a level a few years ago and our whole class was handed one of these out then - that was 2005 - it is given out every year to schools. your right, it is labour propoganda (my economics teacher was a trade unionist).

I do like the category £84 billion as Other - always the most interesting budget position in accounts.....but £84 billion !!!!!

Talking of Labour propaganda, how about how they are nicking BNP policy's. Just look at Margeret Hodge's latest statement.

A couple of weeks before this year's budget, there was still a pile of last year's budget booklets at my local practice.

This is party political promotion, not government 'information' about the economy as it currently is. A legal challenge would be excellent.

This needs challenging. A number of incumbent MPs are totally abusing their expenses to send thousands of unsolicited letters out to electors by first class mail. Some do this very regularly and the content is barely disguised political propaganda. No doubt this abuse is going to get worse with the extra money under Communications expenses. We do need to challenge it,


Thank you Dave and Matt - I'm glad I'm not the only one unhappy at this!

Doctors' moral has been destroyed by nulab. I don't know a happy doctor at the moment - and the recent debarcle about the recruitment programme just shows the contempt that the Government has for doctors. I don't think there are many nulab sympathisers left out there, and it is a bit unfair to suggest so.
I suspect the leaflets were just sent through and the receptionist duly put them out without really thinking/ reading them (just seeing it as a public services leaflet). I doubt the doctors in the surgery would not have had time to even be aware they were there, let alone what the content was. Perhaps Tim should have challenged it at the time.

Discrase in labours own colours. it looks like something you would get on their website. all the good in the economy is due to the conservative goverment before Labour. and the people of Britain.

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