Tuesday 5 October 2021

Truth is Lies


It takes a special kind of intellectual dishonesty to twist the same basic facts to support two more or less opposing arguments at the same time. Step forward, Boris Johnson. On Sunday, the shortage of permanent UK-based HGV drivers was because the employers weren’t paying enough, and the conditions were poor, especially for women. This morning, it seems that the reason only 127 EU nationals have applied for the same job is nothing to do with the pay or conditions, it is solely because there is a global shortage of drivers (obviously foreigners would otherwise be queuing up to come to the UK for a temporary contract under even worse terms).

He’s not alone, though. He’s managed to surround himself with others equally capable of flexible interpretations of words, collectively, even if not always individually. On Monday, the Foreign Secretary managed to tell us that “other countries have huge trust in Britain and want to work with us”, ignoring the fact that her colleague, Lord Frost, told the same audience that unless the EU produces an ‘acceptable’ alternative to the agreement which he negotiated and signed within ten days, he will be ready to tear up the agreement unilaterally. Truss also managed to talk about building “a network of liberty around the world”; today, another of her colleagues is announcing that having stopped freedom of movement for UK citizens to the rest of Europe, she’s going to impose restrictions on freedom of movement within the UK.

Orwell thought that his fictional doublespeak was a warning; Johnson and his gang seem to see it more as an instruction manual. War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength, as Orwell put it, to which we could add Trust is Distrust, and Shortage is Plenty. In the novel, when Winston Smith completely accepted the party’s word for everything even he came to love Big Brother. It seems to be working dangerously well in real life as well.

1 comment:

dafis said...

Nothing Orwellian about Boris though some of his sidekicks are drifting quickly into that "space". Boris is just a serial liar, the habit so embedded in his behaviour that he can't be bothered with anything like consistency or plausibility. It just rolls out of his gob, much like an underdeveloped adolescent might lie his way through life. How this deviant got to where he is today is one of the challenging questions of our times. There again look at what he was up against. The entire field of 200 + potential leaders all display traits of dishonesty, duplicity, and general dislike for differentiating between truth and downright lying. That latest emerging star, Nadine Doorless, couldn't see, or ignored, the irony of citing the BBC as a haven of nepotism when she had been forking out c.39k of tax payer funds employing her own daughter!

So much for the "wealth" of talent leading the UK through these challenging times.