Protempore

UK politicians actually walking into television studios with straight faces and lying to the public

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We live in an age of 24-hour rolling news bulletins and as such, it is very easy to become completely inured to poisonous comments, horrific events, violence and the seemingly endless flurry of lies perpetuated by our politicians.

It’s not that we don’t care, it’s just that our lives have become so completely swamped by cartloads of misery and suffering that we choose to ignore the worst of what’s happening because we can’t do anything about it, and we also fail to see all of the good things that are happening because we tune out altogether.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed that we now live in a country where UK Government Ministers appear on televisions screens and on radio and blatantly lie to the public because they know that most of us will either not hear what they’re saying or we’ve given up on politics and politicians because they don’t care, and again, what we can do about it?

One of the most pernicious examples of this occurred recently when our burst couch of a Prime Minister compared the citizens of Ukraine fighting against a tyrannical regime hellbent on ethnic cleansing, with the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. I need to quote him directly to show you how his acolytes then went on tours of television studios to say that the Prime Minister didn’t say what he actually said. What Johnson actually said was:

“I know that it’s the instinct of the people of this country, like the people of Ukraine, to choose freedom, every time. I can give you a couple of famous recent examples. When the British people voted for Brexit in such large, large numbers, I don’t believe it was because they were remotely hostile to foreigners. It’s because they wanted to be free to do things differently and for this country to be able to run itself.”

Forget the fact that Ukraine, before the murderous assault unleashed by Putin, wanted to ultimately join the EU, the burst couch’s comments could not have been more crass, untimely and downright dangerous. But when asked to comment on his ludicrous outburst, UK Government ministers took to the airwaves to lie, not obfuscate, or divert attention, but actually lie about what the clown had said.

When asked about the comments, Rishi Sunak, the man whose billionaire wife has business interests in Moscow, defended the burst couch and said that the Prime Minister clearly didn’t think that the two things were analogous. So why did he say it then? Sunak followed with some more shite and walked off. Sajid Javid did the same saying that “normal people” would not have thought that Johnson was making such a comparison. So why did he say it then? Javid, in his turn, then uttered some more shite and walked off.

This is an incredible turn of events, and you may think that it’s a storm in a teacup. But really? UK politicians actually walking into television studios with straight faces and lying to the public. When exactly did this become just a normal part of our political discourse?

Well, I guess it was probably during the EU referendum campaign when politicians of every hue were roaming the country warning of mass immigration from the EU and promising £350 million a week for the NHS. These people have now become serial liars, seemingly reasoning it’s the best policy, and the truth is simply a quickly receding shadow.

Remind you of anywhere else where this happens? That’s right, in Vladimir Putin’s Russia where politicians are appearing on television to tell the citizens that the country is not at war but is on “military manoeuvres” to rid the Ukraine of fascists.

The Russians have been doing this for decades and when anyone dares to question them or protest at their deliberate attempts to supress the truth, they are either jailed, disappeared or poisoned to death for their trouble.

The trick is not to become inured to the lies and simply shrug your shoulders and say, well they would say that wouldn’t they? We all need to keep our eyes wide open and consistently demand the truth from our politicians.

If we don’t, democracy’s in danger and we’re all wide-eyed enough to see where that leads. ■

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Ministers took to the airwaves to lie, not obfuscate, or divert attention, but actually lie about what Johnson had said

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