What to say when people say….what a politician said

Yes, this time I think we finally got the honest one

Here are some suggested answers to someone who mentions something a politician said, including, say, an explanation of what is happening in the economy and what the politicians are doing about it. This also covers the ‘news’ (i.e. repetitions of government press statements) as put out by organisations such as the BBC:

1. Take out your phone, on which you will have earlier recorded the buzzing of an injured wasp. Play this sound to the person and say ‘I find this to have more significance than what you just said.’

2. Did you learn to trust politicians’ explanations of their actions from Tony Blair? If someone in a position of power would lie to start a war that killed several hundred thousand people and made millions homeless, do you think another might lie about, say, their reasons for cutting government budgets?

3. What is it that makes you trust that your ‘leaders’ have your best interests at heart then? Who taught you this, have they lost their job and/or home yet, and have they ever studied any, y’know, history? If you don’t believe they have your best interests at heart, why do you repeat what they say in public as though it has meaning?

4. Really, I’m interested to know why you think you ‘need’ people in these ‘leadership’ positions and why you choose to respect them against a vast weight of evidence that suggests they steal from you, line their own pockets and habitually lie to you – not about minor things but about really major things – like whether they help torture people (the British government do, it turns out).

5. Look, it is not politicians’ faults that they lie about everything they are doing. They are the mouthpieces for a fundamentally dishonest and abusive economic system that is making you poorer right now and they don’t have any choice but to lie. You do have a choice whether you believe it. I find your choice…odd.

6. Say one of your own thoughts. It will be better.

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One Response to What to say when people say….what a politician said

  1. Tim says:

    Something I was listening too the other day pointed out that the affects of many economic interventions from governments over the last century are still the topic of lots of debate. Even things that were done in the 1930s – often, even after decades of study by many many people, it is not really possible even now to know what the effects exactly were. So any politician making a specific claim to the efficacy or likely outcome from any significant economic policy is very likely to be wrong. Acutally, I doubt if them lying makes much difference… I suspect that most of the affects of what they do will be unpredictable and unintended in anycase. Which doesn’t mean to say that the little things (like cutting taxes for their rich friends) don’t matter. Its just the large, long term consequences of their actions are much harder to pin down.

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