Honesty is the best policy

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Tony Blair famously employed spin as a way of persuading the electorate to support his agenda.

So in the run-up to the Iraq War, Blair successfully spun the intelligence to make it appear that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction which could be deployed within 45 minutes.

It was not an actual lie, but it was nothing like the truth either.

David Cameron is nowhere near as sophisticated. He simply tells you what he thinks you want to hear.

Before the last election, for example, when asked by David Dimbleby on Question Time if he had plans to cut tax-credits, he said, quite clearly and distinctly, that tax credits would not fall. We now know that this wasn’t true.

More recently, in his conference speech, he said that Jeremy Corbyn “thinks the death of Osama bin Laden was a tragedy.”

In fact the “tragedy” that Corbyn was describing was the lack of a trial, not his death.

“This was an assassination attempt, and is yet another tragedy, upon a tragedy, upon a tragedy,” he said, adding that “the World Trade Centre was a tragedy, the attack on Afghanistan was a tragedy, the war in Iraq was a tragedy.”

Those were his exact words. How many of you would disagree?

This is the difference between the two men. One of them reflexively evades the truth, the other, just as reflexively, speaks his mind.

Sometimes, indeed, Corbyn is honest in a way that is not necessarily to his benefit.

When asked if he would “push the button” and use Britain’s nuclear deterrent, he said no; a fact that was spun by his enemies into making it appear that he was soft on defence.

But this is insane. No one but a mad person would unleash nuclear weapons in advance of an attack, but using them after, aside from being too late, would also show that they were never a deterrent in the first place.

Maybe the question should be, who would you rather lead our country: a person who stands on his principles and always tells the truth, sometimes even to his own detriment, or someone who will say anything to get himself elected?

 ***********************

The Whitstable Gazette.
The editor welcomes letters on any topical subject, but reserves the right to edit them. Letters must include your name and address even when emailed and a daytime telephone number.
Send letters to:
The Editor, 5-8 Boorman Way, Estuary View Business Park, Whitstable, Kent CT5 3SE,
fax 01227 762415
email kentishgazette@thekmgroup.co.uk

Published by christopherjamesstone

CJ Stone is an author, columnist and feature writer. He has written six books: Fierce Dancing: Adventures in the Underground (Faber & Faber 1996); The Last of the Hippies (Faber & Faber 1999); Housing Benefit Hill & Other Places (AK Press 2001); The Trials of Arthur (with Arthur Pendragon: Thorsons/Element 2003); The Trials of Arthur Revised Edition (with Arthur Pendragon: The Big Hand 2010); & The Empire of Things (Gonzo multimedia 2013). He is currently working on his seventh. From 1993 till 1998 he was a regular columnist with the Guardian Weekend in the UK. His column Housing Benefit Hill was a runaway hit, observing life on a run down housing estate in a small town in England, while his travel column CJ Stone's Britain took a wry look at the state of Britain in the 90s. From 2003-2008, he ran a column for Prediction magazine. Other columns include a fortnightly column for The Whitstable Times and columns for Mixmag & the Big Issue. Currently he writes a fortnightly column for The Whitstable Gazette and makes regular contributions to the Guardian on-line, the London Review of Books and Kindred Spirit magazine.

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