Why Governments Lie

Recently, I posted a short article explaining that the essence of the so-called “fake news” phenomenon lies not so much in the relaying of outright falsehoods, but in the selection, ordering and presentation of information in such a way as to lend a wrong impression. In passing, we noted also that the majority of “disinformation” is fostered not by private individuals posting on their Twitter or Facebook accounts, but by the government itself. In this present article, we will attempt to get to the bottom of why it is that the state is committed to disseminating so many officially believed falsehoods. As we shall see, the basic reasons are, at bottom, very simple, and are only tangentially related to the fact that governments are staffed by shameless amoralists.

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Platinum Platitudes

The Fuss over the Jubilee

Britain has spent the long weekend partying in honour of Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, the only occasion on which such a milestone has been reached. Ordinarily, our cultural leftist establishment and mainstream media tend to regard Britain’s history, traditions and patriotism as either an embarrassment or an active target for denigration. Her Majesty, however, seems to be spared much of this vitriol; instead, we cling onto her as a vestige of pride in an era struggling to find little else to celebrate.

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Let them Eat Bugs

If memories of school dinners make your stomach turn, you may wish to be grateful that you no longer languish in what passes for the UK’s full time education system. Primary school children could soon be offered a course of insects as part of their daytime meals “in order to help the environment”.

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Windfall Tax Woes

In response to large profits posted by BP and Shell, the UK government is considering a so-called “windfall” tax on oil and gas companies. The aim of this measure is to redistribute, to consumers, the proceeds from those profits so as to ease the burden of the spiralling retail cost of fuel and heating.

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Fake News and Fake Facts

Getting to the Heart of “Misinformation”

The war on so-called “misinformation” has been ramped up lately with the (mercifully short-lived) introduction of what has been dubbed the Biden Administration’s “Ministry of Truth”. Across the pond, the UK’s Online Safety Bill – which would require social media firms to police “legal but harmful content” – recently received its second reading in the House of Commons, while the EU’s Digital Service’s Act is also threatening to break out of its chrysalis. The big irony, of course, is that the state itself is the biggest purveyor of falsehoods. The only reason it needs to curb the free dissemination of ideas is not to crush lies but to crush inconvenient truths.

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