L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

30 June 2009 Blog Home : June 2009 : Permalink

Liar Balls and Quote of the Day

The Spectator's Fraser Nelson would seem to be deliberatelly courting letters, if not actions for libel, from Messrs Sue Grabbit & Runne with regards to Comrade E Balls our glorious minster for Eduhkayshun sorry Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families. Firstly he states that Comrade Balls is lying, then he repeats the claim in a second post where he details the Comrade's attempts to browbeat him into taking the first post down.

However before we get to that I feel I should nominate a quote of the date which comes from the comments to the Liar Balls post:

If only Brown and Balls were as economical with the country's finances as they are with the truth.

Paul Huxley, June 30th, 2009 10:48am

I mean really it says it all doesn't it?

Stll to go back to Comrade Liar Liar Balls on Fire, it seems to me that if he isn't consciously lying then he ought to be consulting M'Learned Friends and getting them to send letters to Mr Nelson and his employer/publisher (or their ISP) requesting that the statements be removed. If he needs help mastering the techniques then the Brothers Barclay can probably give a few tips.

Unfortunately I suspect he's up that famous creek (sans paddle) because I'm pretty sure that any jury in England would consider the evidence and find for the defendant. He probably knows this and is also only too well aware that losing such a trial would pretty much end his political ambitions (as if they aren't already given a "best before" date of June 2010). So. instead, Comrade B is going to face ever increasing questions from journalists and bloggers, as well as snide comments from others of the commentariat, about the nature of "truth" and whether he's been taking lessons from a certain WJ Clinton in post modernist philosophy and the parsing of sentences (grammatical as opposed to custodial that is).

This commenting has already started with the Economist's Bagehot (apparently joining the BBC in refusing to Brown-nose anymore):

I agree that the government's selective use of figures, fondness for comparing like with unlike, switching between cash and real-terms numbers for spending etc are dodgy and dishonourable. That is bad enough. But are the ministers lying? It seems to me that one potential reason to think they are not is their own self-perception. Just as medieval peasants in France could not imagine a universe without god—such an idea was not within their range of thinkable thoughts—it is possible that Mr Brown and others simply cannot countenance the scale of the hole they have helped to dig, and in particular find it hard to accept that, in the unlikely event they win the election, they will have to impose the sort of public-spending cuts they have spent their entire political careers berating. (I am trying to be charitable.) Alternatively, there may be a plan for big tax rises, as yet unannounced, that will help to substantiate their claims on spending. That would be a form of deception too, but a different one.

If the best your erstwhile defenders can say is that you aren't technically lying because you're deluded and disconnected from the real world then you might want to quit now because hanging on for nearly a year is going to make things much much worse.