The Why? Curve

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Lies, Damn Lies and Politicians

Season 1, Ep. 6


Who are the least trusted people in society? Journalists? Car-sellers? Bankers?


Nope. Politicians are top of the list. And you only have to look at the headlines to see why: Partygate here, Donald Trump’s false election fraud claims in the US, the claims of WMD before the Iraq war in 2003, and of course the original “gate” – Watergate. But surely politicians have ALWAYS lied? Isn’t it just what happens when you have to persuade people to vote for you? Or have Trump and Johnson taken us into a new era of almost instinctive dishonesty? Is there grave danger in assuming our leaders are lying to us? Does it undermine democracy? Phil and Roger hear from barrister Julian Burnside how a big lie about migrants won an Australian election in 2002, from former US Congressman John Leboutillier on how dishonesty has poisoned political discourse in America, and from Professor Alan Renwick of UCL’s Constitution Unit on the risks to the UK’s democracy from the death of trust

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