Thursday, September 1, 2016

Liar Politicians, Electoral Reform Society calls for a 'Truth Commission' to oversee future referendums as politicians and vested interests can’t be trusted to tell the truth to the public, does that mean that politicians will have to find a new way of lying, are we to get State Censorship by the ruling class via a proxy?

Dear All

Over the years many kinds of government commissions have been founded after events, but it is with some amusement that I found that the Electoral Reform Society wants to establish a ‘Truth Commission’.

So, what is a ‘Truth Commission’?

Basically the idea is to stop politicians and others who make claims in referendums being allowed to get away with lying and no one to step in and correct them.

Is it a good idea?

Well telling the truth is always a good idea as far as I am aware, especially when you are in public office.

So what about liar politicians who spend their time fibbing and effectively being corrupt, well it seems that they will either have to change or invent a new form of lying to get round any proposed rules.

The two referendums held in Scotland had a similar theme, some people would say anything to win, even to the extent of outright deception, an example remember the SNP promoted lie that it’s ‘Scotland’s pound just as much as England’s’?

Well, the truth of that is that concept only applies if Scotland is part of the United Kingdom.

Politics is in the gutter, it has been for over a decade, not only do some of the self-declared ‘elite’ think they don’t need to listen to us, they also don’t think twice about punishing and being institutional cruel to the most vulnerable and poorest in society.

So what happens if this idea gain traction, the watchdog could intervene and correct inaccurate and misleading assertions, the opposition then up their game by saying that the guilty are liars and not to be trusted, then they ended up swopping sides, rather like ping pong.

If the Electoral Reform Society thinks that it has real power to do something, I would suspect that they are sadly mistaken, issuing a correction much like a newspaper would do if they got something wrong is in the main pretty much meaningless.

Will the Electoral Reform Society all claims before a leaflet is published?

I personally doubt that scenario, they would be accused of intervening in the right to a free and fair political process, and that is its own can of worms to stay away from.

So really we are talking about them being effectively re-active instead of pro-active. The watchdog also wants a review of the role of broadcasters like the BBC during referendums, a key gripe of the Nationalists was the BBC was bias in its coverage. The fact of this is that when claims are made, a broadcaster like the BBC acts as a proxy to follow the evidence and ask the questions.

Could the BBC be effective gagged?

Seems like a danger to me, how would a system work, before any programme, questions vetted by the watchdog?

Would there be approved questioners?

Would a member of the public need vetted prior to asking their question on live TV?

Would they be required to disclose what role if any they had in a referendum?

Does this infringe right to their privacy?

Would live TV debates have to be pre-recorded?

It seems that there many questions to ask the watchdog, as to the idea also to make discussions less combative, that wouldn’t fly either, politics is about rivals fighting it out, it isn’t a game, it’s all or nothing.

The truth about the Great British public is this, they need political education not to tell them how to think or act, they need education to understand the system, the policies and the people who operate in it. It seems for far too long they have been casual in how they vote with really understanding the issues and being conned by the use of gimmicks by either side.

The lie of land of milk and honey by the SNP was a particularly stupid claim, the reality as we know it now is that Scotland would be broke, crippled by debt, services and budgets cut and the poorest yet again would be suffering even more than they do now.

Liars are common in politics because they have no vision, cannot think of the long term and are too interest in what the next poll might say if it goes against them, so they jump from soundbute to soundbite hoping not to be caught out and to get over a series of short term problems.

The charity also said that 16 and 17-year olds should get the vote, following what it calls the “huge success” of the Scottish referendum, very trendy, in Scotland at that age the SNP think they need a State Guardian but they are capable of deciding the future of a country.

This is a bit of a paradox, the move to lowering the voting age wasn’t I would suggest a ‘success’, it was a political tactic to get young people with no life experience, and in the main no understanding of the issues to vote for something they clearly had no learning curve but was signalled to them in an emotion way to attempt to get them to suspend logic.

The ERS say that the “glaring democratic deficiencies” of the EU referendum contest must never be allowed to happen again.

I would suspect that the democratic deficiencies would centre around Boris and his off the cuff £350 million pounds a week could be spent on the NHS.

In truth that was a stupid thing to say, the £350 million is the amount sent to the EU before we get discounts and grants we have to apply for back.

Politicians think the public are stupid which is why there has been a backlash in Scotland, people know what they don’t want, but at the present moment they aren’t sure what they do what politically and who they wish to back to deliver that for them.

Katie Ghose, the chief executive of the ERS said:

“This report shows without a shadow of a doubt just how dire the EU referendum debate really was. There were glaring democratic deficiencies in the run-up to the vote, with the public feeling totally ill-informed. Both sides were viewed as highly negative by voters, while the top-down, personality-based nature of the debate failed to address major policies and issues, leaving the public in the dark."

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said:

"The positive case for remaining in the EU did not get a day out and the lies of the Leave campaign won the day. The ERS are right to be concerned over the dangerous precedent this sets for future elections. People need to have confidence that they will go to the polls on the basis of facts, not fictional claims over non-existent investment in the NHS."

I would say that Broadcasters like the BBC do need to hold politicians to account, people need to stop lying but unless there is a penalty for lying for those doing it, it will be business as usual.

Except some people will be going out of business via the ballot box for lying once too often.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University


David Stewart said...

The laughable thing about this, is that according to an ERS representative on a radio interview I heard this morning, Indyref was a model of how it should be done!

James Morris said...

First, the Official Secrets Act demands all signees to lie through their teeth for the rest of their lives.
Second, the Bank of England, and therefore, the Pound Sterling, is a nationalised entity and, therefore,
The property of the Scots citizen as well as the other nations who make up our Union of nations.