I'm not sure I need to add much to this:
Just suppose the BBC cut off politicians every time they told blatant lies. Most of the Cabinet, and the Prime Minister, would never be seen again.
— Richard Murphy (@RichardJMurphy) November 6, 2020
Except that is to say I am utterly bored of UK interviewers not challenging blatant lies from ministers, in particular.
Much of the US broadcast media cut off Trump for lying yesterday. They were right to do so. But we should now consider how all politicians should be held to account for their lies. Democracy depends on this happening.
And Johnson is consummate at it. As Rory Stewart wrote in the Times Literary Supplement yesterday:
Johnson is after all the most accomplished liar in public life – perhaps the best liar ever to serve as prime minister. Some of this may have been a natural talent – but a lifetime of practice and study has allowed him to uncover new possibilities which go well beyond all the classifications of dishonesty attempted by classical theorists like St Augustine. He has mastered the use of error, omission, exaggeration, diminution, equivocation and flat denial. He has perfected casuistry, circumlocution, false equivalence and false analogy. He is equally adept at the ironic jest, the fib and the grand lie; the weasel word and the half-truth; the hyperbolic lie, the obvious lie, and the bullshit lie – which may inadvertently be true. And because he has been so famous for this skill for so long, he can use his reputation to ascend to new levels of playful paradox.
And yes, I am arguing that he should not get a platform for such lies. Then we might get honest politicians again. The cancer of political lying has to stop. And then, of course, every liar could have a platform again - so long as they told the truth. I am not opposed to opinion I disagree with being offered. Far from it: I will always demand that this be allowed. But lies destroy trust. And they have to end.