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TOPICS AND ARTICLES

"Inadvertently Misleading"

In English courts, where the welfare of other individuals may be at stake, ordinary British citizens, be they the accused, or merely witnesses, are required to swear, under oath, that they will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth - under pain of penalties such as suffering fines or going to prison.


Yet our elected MP’s, in parliament, can lie or otherwise deceive their fellow politicians, and the people they are supposed to represent, with impunity. Though they must apologise afterwards (if caught out) for “inadvertently misleading” their colleagues, or Parliamentary committees. The very worst that can happen to them, if anything, is that they will lose their job. And that’s it!


The same system applies with the false promises that they may make in Parliament, or to the general public, especially immediately before elections. Yet there is no punishment for lies and deceit, and when caught out, the liars are still referred to, by their colleagues, as My Honourable Friend, or The Right Honourable, meaning very honourable.


Why can they not be required to take the oath that ordinary decent people are required to take before they are subjected to questioning in court? This ‘swearing-in’ could take place each time our politicians enter the House of Commons, or stand before parliamentary committees. I am quite sure that our so-called representatives would make an all-out effort to become truly honourable when they realised they could be punished for lying, at least while speaking ‘from the benches’, answering questions, or promising to carry out some particular action.


Surveys have shown that most British citizens, overall, do not trust their national politicians (MPs). So come on people, let’s pressurise our so-called “representatives” into introducing a new law governing their behaviour, by imposing severe penalties on them for lies and deceit. Let’s make honest men and women out of them – even if it’s only for a few hours a week, for a few weeks a year.


What was long ago one small step for Man (in court) could be one giant leap for Politicians (in Parliament). Nothing so grand as Moon Walking - just simply facing and speaking the truth, or keeping their solemn promises made to their constituents before elections, or in Parliament, or as public announcements. Easy - for an honest man or woman. Less so – for politicians. 


Bill Dawson

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‘The NameShifters’ or (Burma don’t exist no more)

Who are these people - the anonymous NameShifters? The shadowy ones who put new words into the mouths of news readers and foreign event commentators? I’m referring to the names of foreign countries and towns, the names we Brits are familiar with, the names we have used and grown up with over many generations.


For example, not so long ago, a BBC news reader starting talking about an event in a place called My an Mar, so it sounded. A place I’d never heard of, a place I’d never learned about in geography lessons at school. A place I’d never seen marked on any map I’d ever come across. The reader babbled on about some event that had occurred there, and I was struggling to get a clue as to where this new land could be. Then I heard him refer to its capital city - a town called Rangoon - and I realised he was talking about Burma. He kept saying My an Mar, but nobody had told me of the change, and upon later questioning my friends and colleagues, I discovered that none of them had been informed either. I could not discover any announcement that had been made by the BBC to alert their listeners (the people who pay their wages) to the change.


So why this change by the shadowy NameShifters? And why has no-one been informed that a name, which had served good purpose during at least the last two centuries, been switched over to a new, strange one, without so much as a by-your-leave, as they say? Then I realised one possible reason: the school exams were becoming too easy, so the educators had conspired to lay a few traps for the pupils.


Or it could have been a case of, “We are the Intellectuals, we have the right to decide such matters. We do not need to explain ourselves to the peasants. And they’ll find out soon enough, or maybe not so soon for some (ha ha!) that we’ve changed Bombay to Mumbai. So we can stand back and watch the fun as their tiny little minds try to figure out how to deal with Mumbai duck and Mumbai mix, and how to get used to calling the Indian film industry Mollywood instead of Bollywood - once they’ve eventually worked out, of course, that Mumbai is where Bombay used to be. Isn’t this fun, Yah?”


Then I discovered that another new land had been discovered by the Intellectuals of the BBC - a mysterious one called, by the news reader (again with no announcement), the ‘coat deev waar’. I racked my tiny little peasant brain for some time - and at last hit the jackpot: she had abandoned English temporarily, and was talking in French. The super-intellectual BBC NameShifters were referring to the West African land of the Ivory Coast (in Peasant-speak), but now to be referred to in French as the Cote d’Ivoire (which may have to be changed anyway very soon as the exporting of ivory has been banned).


Now, as I am merely a member of the uneducated, lower, and sometimes-working classes, I apologise in advance for all the blunders and glaring errors I will have without doubt made in struggling to write this small contribution. 


I have to confess that I have only achieved the writing of this peasant masterpiece with the aid of two courses of ECT (Electric Shock Treatment) and six plastic bottles of NHS mind-numbing drugs, of the sort that the BBC High Intellectuals used to have at breakfast every morning to enable them to conspire in their dirty tricks campaign to sabotage Brexit, or so I am informed by an Insider (who was more than willing to give me his name for publication, but he couldn’t remember it at the time). 


Bill Dawson

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