Monday, 11 November 2019

Small truths can hide big lies

In a speech last week which was widely described as ‘rambling’ and ‘incoherent’, the PM managed to give the impression that he either doesn’t know what’s in his own deal, or else that he’s simply lying to mislead people.  Rambling and incoherent seem fair enough descriptions to anyone who’s seen him perform recently.  It turns out that the man whose erudition and great oratorical skills were going to turn around the fortunes of his party either doesn’t possess those skills or else is, for some reason, unable to deploy them when they’re needed.  He simply doesn’t do what those party members who voted for him thought that it said on the tin.  Who’d have thought it (other than, of course, those people who were actually paying attention to what’s happening, which by definition excludes the membership of his party)?
Not understanding his own deal or lying about it are also highly credible accusations against a man known for his lack of attention to detail and his propensity to dissemble, but I wonder if the accusations are missing the point.  It could be simply that the small truth obscures the bigger lie – he knows that his deal requires checks, and he’s telling the truth about not implementing such checks, and the bigger lie is what he told the EU.  He simply has no intention whatsoever of honouring the obligations to which he has agreed in his discussions with the EU (which is not to say that he won’t expect them to honour theirs – this is the essence of cakeism).  The EU’s problem is that they thought – silly them – that the PM of the UK could be relied upon to be honourable, not realising that the habit of referring to all MPs in the House of Commons as ‘Honourable’ members was just for show in his case.

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