It’s a Funny Old World

Alternative facts, fake news and ‘so-called judges’ are terms that have entered into the crazy new order of Western politics. The truth has become the first casualty of populism.

Comparisons have been made with arch propagandists from the totalitarian school of hoodwinking the people. But this is a new breed determined to sweep away the career politicians with their slight bending of the truth. Truth has no currency with the populists unless it fits their agenda.

Fantasy politics is taking off in the USA. The executive can dispute facts, disseminate untruths, vilify refugees and attack the judiciary, and its supporters seem to think that’s what it was elected to do. If they continue to imprison journalists for reporting on protests, they will be the envy of despots worldwide.

Meanwhile Putin is displaying the same kind of executive despotism. The latest lunacy is a move to decriminalise acts of domestic violence. If no bones are broken, perpetrators may avoid a prison sentence. Those who inflict cuts and bruises will be punished by fines instead.

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Fact or Fiction

Storytelling is a time-honoured activity. The tales that are spun for young and old spark our imagination and transport us to other worlds by inviting us into the creative mind of the narrator. We suspend our disbelief and anything becomes possible in a land of fantasy.

However, the current trend for fake news and political spin has taken storytelling off course into the murky world of lying to the public.

Trump’s new Press Secretary, Sean Spicer is quoted as saying “Sometimes we can disagree with the facts.” Well of course he can, but why would he? Facts can be unpalatable or inconvenient, but disagreeing with them doesn’t make them less true.