Disingenuous. A word used by politicians when they are lying. Of course, they aren’t ‘really’ lying. They are twisting definitions and facts to fit their rhetoric. They will knowingly argue that black is white by arguing that certain words and facts underpin their case, while deliberately – sorry, unintentionally – ignoring or hiding the truth.
I wonder how many people on LinkedIn find that political method annoying? Lots of you? Most of you?
How about the ones who have been ‘nominated’ for an Award – having applied to win it? How about organisations that are ‘recommended’ or ‘endorsed’ by authoritative sounding bodies, when in fact they are truly neither and have paid for an advert. ‘Well, if the august body accepts our money for an ad, surely that is an endorsement? After all, they won’t accept money from just anybody.’ (Oh, and yes, it has an exclusivity clause so no-one else can be ‘endorsed’.)
How about the ‘I am delighted to be given this (poison chalice) as it is an opportunity to (delete as applicable)?’
A few years ago, some Police Federation reps were hauled over the coals for being ‘disingenuous’ about what a politician had just said to them in a meeting. In front of the Home Affairs Select Committee they apologised for the misunderstanding.
Personally, I think I’d have pointed out to the MPs on said committee that we’d learned about lily-guilding by watching them. But of course, politicians can be disingenuous. The rest of us are liars.
We all lie. Mainly to ourselves about food, drink, fags and exercise. Personally, I try my best not to. I pride myself on telling the truth even if it doesn’t serve me to do so. I recently underwent exactly that experience. I’m probably far from perfect but I do my best. I consider it a matter of personal integrity. (Which, unfortunately, wasn’t matched by the lauded principle of ‘forgiveness’. But that wasn’t the motive, anyway.)
Which is why, when I read some of the exaggerations and hyperbole on LinkedIn, I grieve for the days when people just told the truth. I mourn the day when our betters started receiving advice on how to avoid questions, how to twist truths to suit them, how to pee on our boots while bemoaning the weather.
But I mourn, most of all, the day when ‘we’ – or some of ‘us’ – decided that if it’s okay for them to do it, it’s okay for us to do it, too.
Research has suggested that for every lie we tell, we need to tell seven more to cover for it. Imagine that – when a politician tells one lie, there are seven more close behind that we may never even hear.
And that great ‘independent and free press’ that prides itself on holding politicians to account? They do exactly the same, every day, with their half-truth headlines designed to attract your attention, and their half-arsed apologies when they’re caught out.
Okay, I surrender. Instead of pretending your telling the truth, just lie. Just talk bull, lie to me, exaggerate and just stay dishonest. As Captain Jack Sparrow put it, “I’m dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It’s the honest ones you want to watch out for, because you can never predict when they’re going to do something incredibly… stupid.”
Or you can try Gary King’s Truth Challenge.
I dare you.