The Ubiquity of Lying

“..the fashion of lying has almost fallen into disrepute”


(Oscar Wilde)


Wilde lived at a time when the political classes did not do “Today” or “Newsnight”. They hid away and pronounced from on high. There was no justification, no obfuscation, no flicking the mirrors and no spin doctors. Indeed he wrote:

They never rise beyond the level of misrepresentation, and actually condescend to prove, to discuss, to argue. How different from the temper of the true liar, with his frank, fearless statements, his superb irresponsibility, his healthy, natural disdain of proof of any kind.


I believe politicians have moved on since then, for, in the glare of instant media, they do indeed lie and lie with “superb irresponsibility, his healthy, natural disdain of proof of any kind.”

We are referred to, by Spin Doctors, as “the reality based community”. They have what they call a “narrative truth”, which is what they want you to believe, not what the reality is.

It is almost impossible for me to exaggerate my disdain for the lies that led us to the war in Iraq and yet, the “narrative” is a daily diet of untruth. “Disdain of proof” is particularly apparent with Gordon Brown. He quotes figures that slew reality, he buries the bad news and refuses to face the simplest of contradictions in his own “narrative”.

Honesty, I believe, is a sword that can conquer many of the evils we face. Honesty may have prevented the deaths of children in care. Honesty may have prevented war in Iraq and honesty may have mitigated our present financial troubles.

Lies are shit.

2 comments:

MARA MACSEOININ said...

Such is also the province and the pitfall of today's journalism: the reporting of 'facts' (very Gradgrind) rather than actual truths... on the basis of 'facts' NuLab were able to assemble a convincing imperative for war against Iraq, which was faithfully reproduced by mainstream newspapers. Her royal awfulness, Polly Toynbee, incessantly twists the 'facts' to justify her arguments.
And, to make it worse, the British taxpayer is apparently subsidising an EU unelected quango which seeks to redefine the First World War in 'cross-relational' rather than nationalistic terms; as if war can ever be anything but nationalistic; the erasing of history and falsifying of national motivations in order to create a more 'inclusivist' Europe. Help.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Thank you for leaving a comment.

I liked your Hard Times analogy. As I recall, "facts" caused Mr Gradgrind a lot of heartache.