Lies – the new normal

One of the most troubling aspects of public discourse in Britain these days is how lying has become absolutely normalised. There was a point when people tried to sneak in a lie or two (disguised in the spin) – but hoped not to be found out. Now, people lie brazenly, openly – with no fear whatsoever of being called out. The media simply passes on the lies without comment. It really is a very strange reality. Just to get a flavour here are two examples:

Yesterday during a Euro 2020 football match an International footballer was suddenly taken seriously ill on the field of play. He collapsed and medics started to administer CPR. The BBC, who was broadcasting the match, kept the cameras rolling. I can understand in a way. The BBC is in the same game as commercial TV stations. Everything depends on ratings, and there is nothing like an International footballer dying on pitch to spark ratings. In fact the player is currently in hospital; but as they broadcast the pictures of him receiving CPR no one knew that he wouldn’t die. That is why any decent editor/producer would have cut the camera away. But ratings are ratings. Money is money. I understand. But what I find troubling is the blatant lie the BBC has told to explain their actions away. This is it:

We apologise to anyone who was upset by the images broadcast. In-stadium coverage is controlled by Uefa as the host broadcaster, and as soon as the match was suspended, we took our coverage off air as quickly as possible. [1]

On the one hand it is a ‘clever’ lie and on the other hand it is an obvious lie. It is true that “as soon as the match was suspended, we took our coverage off air as quickly as possible” and it is no doubt true that the BBC’s coverage is from a feed supplied or controlled by UEFA. And so with these two truths they hope to cover the lie. Of course the simple fact is that they were completely free to cut to the studio at any time. As well as the lie we can notice the attempt to be on the side of the victim. The BBC is a victim of UEFA…. There are a lot of people in politics and in large Public Sector organisations (and privatised monopolies) whose entire careers are centred around constructing these kinds of lies. Heaven help their souls. But the reason they can do it is because the media never challenges the lies.

Here is another example, from the Telegraph. The shameless Brexit actors in No. 10 who are trying to change what they agreed on Northern Ireland (that is the Prime Minister and his advisers – many no doubt hired for their ability to lie) are trying to create a story to embarrass President Macron of France. Probably they are trying to shame him into giving way and allowing them to rewrite the Northern Ireland protocol. This is the story – duly produced by the Telegraph:

A UK government source said of the meeting: “The Prime Minister said to Mr Macron ‘How would you like it if the French courts stopped you moving Toulouse sausages to Paris?’ “He replied that it was not a good comparison because Paris and Toulouse are both part of the same country. “The PM replied: ‘Northern Ireland and Britain are part of the same country as well’. He was pretty struck by it as quite revealing as to how they see the issue.” [2]

First of all; the Prime Minister’s ‘argument’ “How would you like it if you couldn’t move sausages from Toulouse to Paris” is fake. They agreed to precisely these terms. But it is the lie which is interesting. Macron replied that it is not a good comparison because Toulouse and Paris are part of the same country. The lie machine inside No. 10 swung into action. (Quite possibly this was a pre-planned ambush). This is “revealing” as to how Marcon understands the issue; they opine. The Telegraph duly explains that it shows that the French see N. Ireland and Britain as a separate country. In fact Macron almost certainly used the French word pays which while it translates as country has a meaning more tied to the land. It can also mean ‘district’ or even countryside. Macron probably simply meant to highlight that the comparison is not valid because there is no land continuity between Britain and N. Ireland as there is between Toulouse and Paris – a fair point.

This looks like a completely shameless attempt to embarrass Macron on completely false grounds. A fake. A stunt. This is the level at which the UK currently conducts international affairs. A total embarrassment. And, again, this is only possible because lying is the norm. They lied when they signed the Northern Ireland protocol. They lie about a conversation with the French President. Lies lies, lies. And the media either never questions the lying or, as in this case, plays along.

In current public discourse in the UK there is simply no distinction between truth and lies.

Notes

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/football/2021/jun/12/denmark-v-finland-match-suspended-after-christian-eriksen-collapses
  2. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2021/06/12/boris-johnson-infuriated-emmanuel-macron-suggested-northern/

Author: justinwyllie

EFL Teacher and Photographer