After Johnson and Gove’s Brexit lies and, following with interest, and some horror, Donald Trump’s presidential bid, I've come to a better understanding of the method of campaigning that has been labelled “Post-Truth Politics”.
- First you invent a lie which a significant number of people are likely to believe.
- Next you repeat it frequently to your followers.
- If you are eventually challenged that you have lied, you change the subject or brush it off with an insult (Trump) or a bit of good natured humour (Johnson), or you pour scorn on the expert who is trying to correct you (Gove).
- Then you continue to repeat the lie.
- By the time it’s become absolutely clear that you have lied, you have established a new post-truth factoid which your followers now firmly believe.
- Meanwhile you invent another lie and keep the process moving on.
If you are fortunate, this extremely cynical approach to campaigning will result in personal rewards such as the post of Foreign Secretary for Johnson (why Teresa?) or even more worrying President of the USA!!
In the UK, the post-truth age has its roots in the “Spin” that became a normal and even an essential part of Tony Blair’s period in office. Post-truth politics is taking to extremes the selective portrayal of facts and the burying of bad news commonly practised by the Spin Doctors in Blair’s government.
It’s no wonder that many younger people don’t trust politicians and don’t feel that they are represented by anyone.