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January 24, 2011

Comments

BenSix

I'd disagree on one point: truth was hardly valued before Saint Lynton arose to favour. I'd recommend Mark Curtis's "Web of Deceit" as an investigation into just how deeply rooted lies have been in British foreign policy. (And speculate that "Yes Minister" must have had its origins somewhere.)

Abdullah

What BenSix said. It's also the fatal flaw behind 'The Rise of Political Lying.'

Phil

I don't think the point is that politicians never lied before Blair - obviously that would be a ridiculous claim. The specific disservice Blair did to the truth was to proclaim - and trade on - his own honesty and sincerity, while in fact being as big a hypocrite as any other politician; what David Runciman calls second-order hypocrisy. Sir Humphrey devalued telling the truth; Blair devalued the *idea* of telling the truth.

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