Steve Bullock+ Your Authors @GuitarMoog New Album out (link below), guitars and FX in @TheVanityDrones, Ambient at Bedtime livestreams Wed+Fri @23:30CET/22:30UK on YouTube, writes about politics. Mar. 27, 2020 2 min read + Your Authors

Lots of replies/RTs to this saying "quell surprise" or similar.

Naively perhaps though, I still am surprised, or at the very least shocked. 1/

Not that this bunch would lie, or even lie about something important, of course. Many senior ministers in this government have a history of looking right down the camera at the public and knowingly lying to them.

No, what (still) shocks me about this is that they would lie about this, in this way, right now.

Why lie about this, and why tell this specific lie about it?

Sure, they've been caught out with a decision that they thought would be red meat to their brexity supporters, and demonstrate the virility of 'independent' Britain.

"See, we don't need them. We're Britain."

Or they may have assumed it would go unnoticed, or that, despite the best efforts of some to explain the Withdrawal Agreement, people would assume that because UK wasn't in the EU any more it was a moot point.

It may even have been a cock-up, and someone didn't make the decision in time to participate.

But faced with the unexpected backlash against the decision, why tell such a poor lie that smacks of incompetence and can easily be shown to be untrue?

As @DmitryOpines and others have pointed out, there might have been a good procurement reason. If there wasn't, and you're happy to lie to get out of this, why not make one up?

Or just make up any better lie. Say you weren't convinced the EU mechanism would be up and running quickly enough, or that you thought you could do a faster procurement process yourself, etc., etc.

Or just tell something close to the truth. We didn't think it was important then. We were wrong, but we're catching up and we'll be involved in the next round.

You can omit that you misjudged it as a great political wheeze and still get away with it.

The shocking thing then is that it was done so shoddily and casually about such as serious thing and in such an unprecedentedly serious time.

This time requires that people suspend and even, in the case of medical and other essential staff, risk their lives on the say so of the government. It requires a serious level of trust to be put in them. Without people doing that, we're all in trouble.

Most understand that in times of crisis and war, governments tell official lies for justifiable reasons. This was not that. It was petty politics in a time of high human stakes.

But it shows that the usual rules - tell any lie you like, assume everyone's forgotten about it by tomorrow, move on - that worked so well politically for this government over Brexit still apply.

And they can't. They mustn't. There must be trust. They must build trust, and it they can't they need to get people of whatever party in who can.

It's desperately unfair on the population to leave them wondering if what the Govt says is true or correct.

It has to stop. And a sign has to be given that it's stopped. Immediately. We all need it to. It's damaging in normal times, but it's catastrophic now. It's life or death.

You can follow @GuitarMoog.


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