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The Rise Of Political Lying

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Being economical with the truth has become almost a jokey euphemism for the political lie - a cosy insider's phrase for the disingenuousness that is now accepted as part and parcel of political life. But as we face the 3rd term of a government that has elevated this kind of economics almost to an art form, is it now time to question the creeping invasion of falsehood? What Being economical with the truth has become almost a jokey euphemism for the political lie - a cosy insider's phrase for the disingenuousness that is now accepted as part and parcel of political life. But as we face the 3rd term of a government that has elevated this kind of economics almost to an art form, is it now time to question the creeping invasion of falsehood? What does the rise of the political lie say about our society? At what point, if we have not reached it already, will we cease to believe a word politicians say? Tracing the history of political falsehood back to its earliest days but focusing specifically on the exponential rise of the phenomenon during the Major and Blair governments, Peter Oborne demonstrates that the truth has become an increasingly slippery concept in recent years. From woolly pronouncements that are designed merely to obfusacte to outright and blatant lies whose intention is to deceive, the political lie is never far from the surface.


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Being economical with the truth has become almost a jokey euphemism for the political lie - a cosy insider's phrase for the disingenuousness that is now accepted as part and parcel of political life. But as we face the 3rd term of a government that has elevated this kind of economics almost to an art form, is it now time to question the creeping invasion of falsehood? What Being economical with the truth has become almost a jokey euphemism for the political lie - a cosy insider's phrase for the disingenuousness that is now accepted as part and parcel of political life. But as we face the 3rd term of a government that has elevated this kind of economics almost to an art form, is it now time to question the creeping invasion of falsehood? What does the rise of the political lie say about our society? At what point, if we have not reached it already, will we cease to believe a word politicians say? Tracing the history of political falsehood back to its earliest days but focusing specifically on the exponential rise of the phenomenon during the Major and Blair governments, Peter Oborne demonstrates that the truth has become an increasingly slippery concept in recent years. From woolly pronouncements that are designed merely to obfusacte to outright and blatant lies whose intention is to deceive, the political lie is never far from the surface.

30 review for The Rise Of Political Lying

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nick

    Brilliant denunciation of the political class and the systematic destruction of truth in our public debate. Chilling.

  2. 4 out of 5

    BeesReads

    This book was written in 2005 by political journalist Peter Oborne as the British 'New Labour' government was drawing to the end of its second term and about to win its 3rd term. Political lying has taken place throughout the centuries. In the UK, it started to crank up with the Conservative governments of the 1980s and from the mid-90s, was elevated to an art form under the Blairite 'New labour' government. Now, of course, some 13 years after the book was written, political lying by government This book was written in 2005 by political journalist Peter Oborne as the British 'New Labour' government was drawing to the end of its second term and about to win its 3rd term. Political lying has taken place throughout the centuries. In the UK, it started to crank up with the Conservative governments of the 1980s and from the mid-90s, was elevated to an art form under the Blairite 'New labour' government. Now, of course, some 13 years after the book was written, political lying by government ministers and members of parliament (on all sides) to each other and to the public is both commonplace and accepted as part and parcel of the political life. Oborne was editor of the Spectator (a British journal on the right) at the time of writing this book. The book is not a heavy read and gives many checked and referenced examples. If the book were to be updated, I wonder how Oborne might consider the impact of social media and ready access to alternative, unofficial news sources? In my opinion, while I do believe political lying has escalated in the past 40 years, I do wonder if the impact of social media and alternative news media has enabled us to discover the lies much more easily rather than having to wait 30 years for official papers to be released (and when they are released much is often redacted). How much has lying increased, and how much was there all along without the means to find "them" out? Despite all the issues around "fake news" and social media, the book convinces me even more that it is essential that political attempts to curb the access to alternative media by the public must be resisted and people encouraged, instead, to weigh up many sources and find the nuggets of truth within.

  3. 4 out of 5

    severyn

    Oborne is so enormously precise in his dissection of political lying that I cannot help but be drawn to it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Wilkins

    Very insightful, even if Oborne does contradict himself at times. It is depressing though how little has changed since he wrote this around the early days of the New Labour government.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    A good collection of modern political lying, focusing very much on the "new Labour" government that was still in power when it was published. It has a couple of foibles: Oborne seems convinced that Blair's Labour were the first government in modern times to lie systematically. This seems naive (irrespective of the author's political sympathies, which I guess are conservative since he was a Spectator journalist at the time). He drags in a bit of history and a bit of philosophy, appositely enough, A good collection of modern political lying, focusing very much on the "new Labour" government that was still in power when it was published. It has a couple of foibles: Oborne seems convinced that Blair's Labour were the first government in modern times to lie systematically. This seems naive (irrespective of the author's political sympathies, which I guess are conservative since he was a Spectator journalist at the time). He drags in a bit of history and a bit of philosophy, appositely enough, but doesn't have anything hugely insightful to say there: he reckons it may well have been ok ("legitimate" is his curious choice of word) for medieval Italians back in the days of Machiavelli to lie like billy-o whenever convenient, but that it definitely isn't now. A reasonable position, maybe, but he doesn't really argue for it. Basically he says times were tough back then. And what, they're not now? Anyway, pointless to quibble; as I say, a handy sourcebook for one recent bunch of liars; also some interesting, if, sketchily argued, claims about the harm lying does to social and political life. And pretty readable.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    Read long ago. V good

  7. 4 out of 5

    Atra Bou

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sheikh Tajamul

  9. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Mayer

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mr. Ronald

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sam Hunt

  12. 4 out of 5

    Diane Galburt

  13. 4 out of 5

    Barry

  14. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Laight

  15. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Martin

  16. 4 out of 5

    Redcatfish4

  17. 4 out of 5

    Edward

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jason

  19. 5 out of 5

    sam cerw

  20. 4 out of 5

    Frances

  21. 5 out of 5

    Stuart Taylor

  22. 5 out of 5

    Brad

  23. 5 out of 5

    Robharries

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

  25. 5 out of 5

    Neil Kernohan

  26. 5 out of 5

    John

  27. 4 out of 5

    John Hansen

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rob

  29. 4 out of 5

    Hich

  30. 4 out of 5

    James Cary

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