Tuesday, 26 November 2019

An honest liar?

It’s been something of a mystery to me trying to understand how someone so patently dishonest, so willing to lie and then double-down on the same lies when challenged, as the current Prime Minister can nevertheless be so far ahead in the polls and apparently set for a win.  Part of it, of course, is the fact that his main opponent is seen in such a bad light after the comprehensive demolition job done on him over years by the Tories and their allies in the press.  That’s not enough though. 
I find myself wondering whether, in some curious way and at a subconscious level, the nature of his lying doesn’t end up making him look honest.  What I mean by that is that ‘everybody knows’ that ‘politicians lie’, but their lies aren’t always obvious.  Weasel words, dodgy selection of statistics, evasive responses to questions, spin – these are all techniques used which lead people to suspect a lie is being told, even if one can never be entirely certain.  With Johnson, however, there is never any doubt.  If his mouth is open, then he’s lying.  Blatantly, obviously, demonstrably lying.  Making up ‘facts’ on the fly, rewriting the past, simply repeating the lie even more emphatically when challenged.  Could it be that the very obvious nature of his complete disregard for the truth makes him appear, in the end, more honest than the rest, generating a feeling that ‘at least we know he’s lying’?


dafis said...

hardly the attributes that create confidence in Johnson or anyone else of a similar disposition. Whether the lies are transparent or deeply devious doesn't really matter it's the propensity to lie that defines the liar and speaks volumes about the risks associated.

Labour's big weakness is that hardly anyone other than the seriously deluded believes that their manifesto's largesse can be funded just by a tax hike on those earning 80k plus. Add on the prospective taxes on investments, capital gains etc and Joe & Jane Public can see his +her pensions and meagre savings going into yet another phase of underperformance. Only the seriously rich can afford the level of sophisticated investment advice that contrives to "shelter" their value and "mitigates" the effects of tax and other policies. Those words are in inverted commas because this is typical invetment-advisor speak, a kind of gobbledegook created in response to earlier governments' attempts to police investment and savings behaviour. It only works on the little people who don't have that much anyway while the stinking rich ( often friendly with senior Labour types)carry on with their loot tucked away in the aforementioned "shelters". It was Mandelson who declared that Labour were "quite relaxed" about wealth, and there remains an undercurrent in the present Labour regime.

Find us a sincere one and let's write a big article about him/her

John Dixon said...

"Labour's big weakness is that hardly anyone other than the seriously deluded believes that their manifesto's largesse can be funded just by a tax hike on those earning 80k plus"

I'm not convinced that that identifies the real weakness in Labour's pitch. For sure the tax rises they've identified hitting the 5% won't pay for their program, but I don't think that they've said they will, and nor do they need to. That isn't the way tax works - they don't need to tax to pay for their promises. The bigger flaw is that they don't seem to have worked out whether the capacity exists within the economy to support their program without causing inflation, and without that, their tax proposals are more about redistribution - a different argument entirely. But the biggest question of all is whether their program is realistically capable of being delivered. Whilst I agree with much of it, the legislative requirement is enormous, and even if they win they will be diverted from their priorities by Brexit for at least six months and possibly as much as ten years. It looks like the program of a party which doesn't expect to have to implement it to me.