Although, if I’m to tell the truth, and I do try to, I don’t think our present day devils would be shamed by it at all. They’re so immersed in their own fantasy world that they wouldn’t recognise the truth if it jumped up in front of them, stark bollock naked, and bit them. They’re a new breed and it’s a breed with unlimited greed and boundless ambition but without a shred of conscience. Think Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Stalin, all convinced they were gods and could ride rough-shod over the rest of us and do as they pleased, and, in our present terrible time, the benighted Trump and the kings and queens of Brexit, like Farage, Gove and Johnson and their ilk. That lot can lie through their teeth to con us to vote the way they want us to, and when the conned majority have voted their way and they’re caught out in their lies, they can pretend it was all a joke and get away with it, because no one is allowed to say that an MP is a liar. Even when he (or she) is lying through his/her teeth. And that’s an extremely dangerous state of affairs because it means that the rich and powerful can never be held to account.
But of course it isn’t just lying politicians. The culture of falsity spreads all through our society. Advertisers tell us gaudy stories about the efficacy and value of the products they’re pushing and we all know and accept it, worse, the media con us with propaganda every day of our lives and most of us accept what they’re saying and writing because it’s done so skilfully that we don’t question it. An article I found in our local freebie yesterday is a horrid example.
Under the headline ‘Experts visit Blake’s home’, the journalist told us that ‘officers at Historic England had visited Blake’s cottage in Felpham and had decided not to put it on their at risk register.’ Well isn’t that comforting. Now we don’t have to worry about the place and we can all get on with our lives and forget all about it. The article goes on with several more soothing and anodyne statements. English Heritage are going to continue to monitor the building’s condition and are advising the Blake Cottage Trust and Arun District Council in working towards a secure future for the cottage. There you are, you see. Sorted. Nothing at all to worry about. Except of course that the cottage is still in EXACTLY the same state as it was in when I visited it and reported about it on my blog with pictures. ‘If Blake’s Cottage had a voice it would cry HELP!’ The rafters are still rotten and broken, the thatch is still falling through the ceiling, there are still damp patches on the walls. Just go and look at the pictures. NOTHING HAS CHANGED. The triumvirate who compose the Blake Cottage Trust, who are supposed to hold the cottage ‘in Trust for the Nation’ have ‘owned’ it since September 2015, or in other words for nearly three years and NO REPAIRS HAVE BEEN CARRIED OUT at all. Nor will they be, no matter how much advice they are given by the kindly Expert from English Heritage. And nothing will be done because THEY HAVEN’T GOT ANY MONEY and haven’t got the remotest idea about how to raise any. NOTHING HAS CHANGED.
I hope there are still people in Felpham who are still concerned about our Blake’s Cottage and, if there are, that they will get in touch with me. But I think most people who read that article will be conned into a false sense of security. That is how half-truths work. I’ve been depressed about it ever since I read it.
However to cheer us up a little, I can also report that a very courageous journalist, called Carole Cadwalladr, who works for the Sunday Observer and recently blew the gaff on Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, which took a lot of courage because the trolls and harpies who can’t bear to hear the truth have been viciously after her ever since, has been awarded the Orwell Prize for Journalism. Respec’ Carole! I wish there were more journalists like you. The mealy-mouthed ones who only say what their bosses tell them to say are a pain in the bum and do a lot of damage.
And on a final cheering note and to celebrate the fact that there are still courageous truth tellers in the world I’m ending with a poem that pokes fun at the liars.
Liars are Lovely.
A liar is a comfortable man. He’s right.
Easy to look at, in a well-placed light,
Where his stage make-up isn’t obvious,
His charm is sweet but rarely nauseous
His false teeth gleam, the toupee joins don’t peel,
The padded shoulders almost pass for real,
A twisted spine is hidden by his suit.
Truth’s such an ugly brute.
A liar’s a companion you won’t fear.
He tells you only what you want to hear
Good for a laugh to gloss the time of day.
Or a slick tale to chase your blues away
Where passion is not raw but sentimental.
Riot and rape, and all things elemental.
May tear the other harder world apart
He’ll keep such horrors from your placid heart;
Nothing he says or does will make you rue it;
He’ll talk of sex but never really do it;
And if you’re fifty make you feel fifteen.
The truth’s so bloody mean.
A liar is a politician, made
To keep all truthful thinkers in the shade.
He’ll mesmerize you till you’re sure you could
Give him your vote for all consumer good
You’ve ever dreamed that you could want or need.
Especially when he smiles into your greed.
He’ll chloroform your conscience as you buy.
Leave megadeath to his remedial lie.
To arm is noble; death is a release;
Carnage is colourful. And war is peace.
And if the bombs should chance to fall on you,
He’ll smile sincerely, “Nothing he could do.”
Knowing that in his artful world, most politics
Are muffled by mellifluous statistics
Where truth is dull, deadly and repetitious,
And readily avoided by the ambitious.
What people need is just their daily lie,
The lie sensational, dull truth put by.
The truth’s so uninspiring; makes you bored.
Leave truth to artists. They can be ignored.