Is honesty too much to ask from politicians and ourselves?

Imagine if we had never been taught the concept of lying.

Imagine if we never knew that by inventing a convenient truth, we could make our way through life with the same speed and haste. That we could reach the same goals, get through each day just as easily.

I know a man who has made a career out of lying. Rather than explain his way out of each situation, he reaches for the lie first, rather than an honest explanation. I know when he is lying to me because his lips move. I know too that his day and his life would be much much easier if he just came out, told the truth, and not have to spend his time making sure that the lie he told eight lies back has to be repeated verbatim if he is to maintain his persona.

And he’s not even a politician.

My mind goes to this today because of the week we have just had, where we were treated to a search for a truth, but in the end were left with a bucketful of obfuscation. Everybody wants the truth, it seems, but nobody wants to be truly honest. If we knew that our politicians were truly honest, that they never told a lie in their life, we might not choose them to represent us, because, we know that in the great game of sleeveen-ness, we want our sleeveen to out-sleeveen the other sleeveens.

Is honesty too much to ask from our politicians when perhaps it is too much to ask of ourselves? In a world where one does not want to be caught out, the option of a convenient lie just to get ya over the hump in the day has often been the path taken by us all.

This week, we were nearly thrown into a general election which would have come at a most inconvenient time, because of the desire to keep an inconvenient truth under wraps.

If we are to read exactly what happened this week, it is that we have been lied to by someone who should represent us; that we have been lied by those who should protect us; that organs of state can cosy up to each other to turn on those who feed them.

I do not like being lied to. We are all vulnerable in this life. We should expect that if in the rare event of an aggressive strategy being adopted towards any of us by an organ of the State, those we elect should do all they can to stop this, to protect us.

This did not happen. And one hopes that the revelations of this week will make it more difficult for this to happen again.

Truth is like a surgery. It hurts, but cures. A lie is like a pain killer as it gives instant relief but has side effects for ever.

Maybe we all should remember that the greatest advantage of telling the truth is that you don’t have to remember what you said.


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