Governments are not know for being truthful, but it would seem sensible to tell lies that have a reasonable probability of being believed – and I do not agree that the “biggest lies are the most likely to be believed” (at least if by ‘biggest’ we mean thing that are most obviously false).
However, the British government seems to have adopted a policy of telling obvious lies. In the last few days alone we had (for example) the claim that “violent crime has fallen by 23%”. This was duly reported by the Independent newspaper (a newspaper that hates the current government, but hates truth even more – and so was glad to support the claim). This was brought out in support of the government policy of allowing “24 hour drinking”, I am not much interested in the policy (other than like so much ‘deregulation’ it has turned out to mean a lot more form filling and other such), but the claim of vast drop in violent crime was obvious nonsense.
If the government had said “contrary to people’s believe that violent crime is rising, it is actually saying much the same” that might well still have been telling lies (as violent crime is, most likely, on the up) but they would have been more likely to be believed.
But to say a “23% drop in violent crime”? They might as well have said a 123%.
Then there was the recent launch of a new navy destroyer – “The most powerful ship built since World War II”… actually it is an extremely expensive (£1 billion pound) grossly under-armed ship (part of the government’s ‘buy European’ policy – a policy exposed by Christopher Booker and Richard North). But why say “most powerful ship built since World War II” – an obvious lie even to people who nothing of Booker or North?
Lastly we had yet more claims of super educated school children “the best ever” – almost needless to say the Universities (hardly strongholds of free market people) reported today that the students they are getting are as ignorant as sin.
What is the reason for all these wild lies?