A much rarer phenomenon

I’ve taken my title today from an article in The Guardian by Aditya Chakrabortty. It seems so apposite to what so many of us are thinking that I want to share it with you. A lot of us have been campaigning – quietly because no one on the right will allow us to raise our voices – to express our concern that nearly half the electorate have been rendered powerless by the remorseless drive towards a Brexit we certainly never wanted or voted for. I suspect that if we were to be allowed a second referendum the remainers would be more than half of the electorate. For lots of people are now waking up to the fact that they were conned into voting ‘out’ by some very heavy, very expensive and insistent LIES.

But first let’s consider this ‘rarer phenomenon’.

‘Between these two extremes lies a much rarer phenomenon, which blights Britain today. We are right in the middle of an infrastructure breakdown – we just haven’t named it yet. You’ll know what I mean when we list the component parts. More than 760 youth clubs have shut since 2012. A pub closes every 12 hours. Nearly 130 libraries were scrapped last year, and those that survive in England have lopped of 230,000 opening hours.

Each is a news story. Each stings a different group : the books trade, the real-ale aficionados, the trade unions. But knit them together and a far darker picture emerges. Britain is being stripped of its social infrastructure: the institutions that make up it’s daily life, the buildings and spaces that host friends and gently push strangers together. Public parks are disappearing. Playgrounds are being sold off. High Streets are turning to desert. These trends are national, but their greatest force is felt in the poorest towns and suburbs, the most remote parts of the countryside, where there isn’t the footfall to lure in businesses or household wealth to save the local boozer.’

And it is all being done deliberately. I’ve been using the hashtag #keeptheplebsintheirplace ever since this all began and now and at last BBC News has reported that the Head of News at Channel 4 an admirable lady called Dorothy Byrne: “gave a keynote speech at the Edinburgh TV Festival on Wednesday, in which she called Prime Minister Boris Johnson a “coward” for not granting news interviews.  She also said he was “a known liar”.

Byrne told the BBC: “If someone has deliberately spoken an untruth and we have evidence, we have to consider saying that what is said is a lie.” Shock horror and three rousing cheers!!!

In her MacTaggart Lecture, she said: “What we all need to decide: what do we do when a known liar becomes our Prime Minister? I’ve talked to journalists from several television organisations about this issue. They said they would be loath to use that word ‘liar’.

“Remember when Andrew Marr told [former defence secretary] Penny Mordaunt her claim that the UK couldn’t stop Turkey from joining the EU was ‘strange’?

“It was strange, but it was also untrue – a lie. Is it time for us to start using the L-word? I believe that we need to start calling politicians out as liars when they lie. If we continue to be so polite, how will our viewers know that politicians are lying?”

She added that it “isn’t necessarily obvious” to the audience when politicians are untruthful in interviews.

“They are not journalists, they don’t have all day to research stories,” she said on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Thursday. “Journalists have a purpose. We go away and study and research whether what politicians say is true and then we ask them informed questions and make them accountable.”

How very necessary this is. I can hear remainers up and down the country cheering.

We have been lied to long enough, our infrastructure has been damaged to breaking point, we loathe lies and despise liars. It really is high time they were all publicly called out. The Augean stables need a thorough cleansing. Roll on that river!


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