The Big Lie of 2019

There are lies, damned lies and statistics, we are told but there is another kind of lie – the Big Lie – one which attracts credence by repetition and one which has caused humanity to undertake some of its most devastating follies.

The Big Lie doing the rounds in 1914 was “Dolce et decorum est pro patria mori” – which Wilfred Owen called “the old lie”. It took the deaths of millions to disprove the lie over the next for years and the deaths of tens of millions more twenty or so years later to show that things were far more complicated than simply discounting the old lie.

But politicians seeking power have never avoided the Big Lie. It is far too an important weapon in their amoury to leave behind. The Big Lie seeks to instill fear in the minds of the people, usually fear of the unknown or unfamiliar. The Big Lie gains traction by repetition until it has been repeated so often that most accept it to be true. It works best in times which are eventful, uncertain and when the political balance of what has gone before is rapidly changing into chaos.

The Big Lie is used as a justification for all sorts of behaviour which in quieter times would never be tolerated. When the Big Lie gains hold it is unchallenged. When a Big Lie is unchallenged it becomes impossible to debate issues rationally.

The Big Lie of 2019 is that Brexit without a deal would be a disaster. Now it may be one, or it may well be the best thing that the UK has had for a long time. It is impossible to describe the Big Lie of 2019 as a truth because no one really knows.

Big Lies give justification in the minds of those who promulgate them into acting in ways that are not democratic and so it has been with the Big Lie of 2019. Parliament has passed laws to prevent a no deal Brexit on the strength that the Big Lie of 2019 is the absolute truth and thus provides the justification of going against the wishes of the majority of the people of the United Kingdom.

When power is up for grabs the Big Lie comes into its own.

I find it terribly sad and frightening that the Big Lie of 2019 is now treated by journalists who should know better as a statement unworthy of challenge.

EU Referendum: Things to Know 1

If you believe some, if the UK left the EU the UK would be a crime ridden economically depressed nation with millions more unemployed. In fact we have the those well known charitable and public spirited organisations such as  BAE,  Centrica, EasyJet, BP Vodaphone, Virgin Money, Goldman Sachs and Heathrow Airport telling us that this is the case.

Large multinational companies are, of course, not politicians but they are able to wield great power with few of the duties that fall on those who wield power. One thing is certain, if these corporations advise you to vote in one way then the way they advise will swell their coffers and increase their power and influence.


Selecting Leaders

One of the most unedifying sights in politics is the spectacle of a political party choosing a new leader. In the USA the Republicans are looking for a Presidential candidate and we see the entertaining farce of Donald Trump in the frame; in the UK the Labour Party is choosing a new leader and we see the candidates earnestly promising that which they cannot deliver. It is hard to discover policy in all this mess. What is common in both cases is that the would be leaders are good at making promises to solve problems that they cannot possibly keep because they do not understand the problems that they are seeking to solve. Continue reading

Who Noticed Earth Day?

It was Earth Day yesterday, although you would not have known this in the United Kingdom where politicians are much more concerned about being elected to office than they are in protecting our planet and the environment in which we live.  Continue reading

Misleading Words and Phrases

Words are important; if you tell a woman she has a good figure, she will take the compliment; if you tell the same woman that she has a good body , she will usually be slightly uncomfortable that there is a sexual innuendo in your compliment. Politicians are masters of abusing words as George Orwell showed in 1984. In his novel the Ministry of Love was about hate, and the Ministry of Peace was about war. The Ministry of Plenty tried to manage the shortages of food and basic materials and the Ministry of Truth conduct vicious untruthful propaganda. Continue reading

Let the Devil Take the Hindmost

“One for all and all for one” should be the motto of the European Union. The point of any union of sovereign states is that they should all help and protect each other. However the real motto of the EU is more “they all run away and cry ‘let the Devil take the hindmost'”. Continue reading

We are all hard working families

Spring is supposed to be a time of new birth and a time of hope. Hope is not very much in evidence as the United Kingdom kicks off the game for a new general election. Most of the parties try to appeal to populism without being specific about their policies. They all try to appeal to hard working families. We are all, it seems, hard working families even those who are slothful and do not by choice choose to work.  Continue reading

Sticking in the Mud

Governments swim in the mud. It is not successful. They do not get far, but do get muddy. They tell us there is no choice but to swim in the mud; they are fearful of clean water and enjoy the sensation of familiar mud in which they could stick. Continue reading

Locked in By Fear

Fear is a political tool. It is used by politicians as a means of trying to control us. We are told to hang on desperately to the hand of nurse for fear of finding something worse because there are plenty of lions out there, waiting for an opportunity to eat us up. Chris made the point when commenting on a recent post. He wrote Continue reading

Sport is Politics

Some say that we should keep politics out of sport, and keep politics out of all events of a public nature, except political meetings. Protests against apartheid should according to this dicta not have been made on the cricket or rugby field, the black power salute should not have been made at the Olympic Games and  most recently five US NFL players should not have made the “hands up don’t shoot” gesture at a game in St Louis. I disagree.  Continue reading