Where truth becomes subjective and we’re all treated like idiots when really only half of us are

There are fibs and there are lies and anyone who says they haven’t done both at some point in their lifetime is, well… a liar.

Then there’s politics – a whole other level where lies are told to entire populations even though it’s accepted that at least half of the people who are being lied to will know it.

Even when confronted with their dishonesty by a journalist, a politician will take a few sips of water and completely bluff it out to the point of insisting that the sky is green if necessary.

Because in politics, the truth suddenly becomes subjective. There’s no black and white, it’s all grey area. With the possible exception of some marriages it’s the only place where this applies.

The great Andrew Marr’s demolition of Michael Gove – a former journo himself so he really should know better – over the abject failure of the Government’s track and trace system on his show last week may have had the morbid appeal of watching a crash test dummy hitting a wall at 70mph, but it was a prime example of how politics is about being creative with the truth.

The trick is to turn something that is simple into something complicated by playing with interpretation and assuming that people are either too stupid to understand or just can’t be bothered to try and make sense of the distraction tactics of the explanation.

My money is on the second one.

Obviously the best examples of all out lying are election manifestos, which I have long said should be made legally binding because at present they’re a waste of paper and printer ink.

Then there is the U S of A, land of the free unless you’re a five year old in a cage on the Mexican border and where as we all know, everything is bigger, presidents can miraculously recover from COVID-19 in less than a week and character assassination is all part of the dirty game.

I saw a piece on TV this week that said with the US presidential election just days away, social media is being flooded with fake news and completely unfounded accusations aimed at undecided voters in the key state of Florida, which claim that Democrat candidate Joe Biden is, amongst other scurrilous accusations, a paedophile – the aim being to place that seed of doubt into people’s minds so that if it doesn’t prompt them to vote for Trump it may at least put them off voting at all.

No one is squeaky clean, but regardless of someone’s political persuasion there’s just no way something like that should be acceptable.

And knowing we’re being lied to and just accepting it as a part of life is as bad as the lie itself.

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A key part of democracy is the right to protest, but in the present pandemic certain rules have to be adhered to and describing restrictions designed for our safety as “tyranny” is just beyond me. Surely their time would be better spent in protesting against the Government’s shameful decision to leave the financing of free children’s meals during school holidays to local councils.

But as we all know, governments don’t do shame.

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I received an interesting email on Saturday evening which threatened to destroy my reputation unless I pay $1100 in bitcoin within five days.

If I had a reputation to be destroyed I might have worried for at least a couple of seconds, but fortunately I don’t and as I’m suffering from insomnia anyway, I’m hardly going to lose sleep over it.

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The clocks went back at the weekend.

I set mine to 2005.

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And finally… I was never interested in Philip Schofield’s sexual turmoil, but I’m so, so bored with it now.

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Edward Case

Columnist