Do our MPs lie? Yes, copiously and consistently | David McKie | Comment is free | The Guardian

David McKie in the Guardian pointed out that John Profumo had to resign for lying to the House of Commons. 

John Profumo - who had to resign for lying to the House of Commons. Is lying to the electorate less serious?
John Profumo – who had to resign for lying to the House of Commons. Is lying to the electorate less serious?

“There are not so many claims to a place in the highest echelons of political lying, where the case becomes a lasting scandal and breaks the politician who lied. The most famous case was that of John Profumo, who paid the supreme penalty not directly for his association with Christine Keeler but for lying to the house when he denied their connection.”

He then went on to say…

“So do people in public life lie? Yes, copiously and consistently. And is Carmichael’s offence so high on the sliding scale that he deserves eviction? It certainly could be said that his lie was designed to shield him from the consequences of a breach of legitimate electoral processes.

The 1983 Representation of the People Act rates it an offence to make false statements about a candidate. In 2010, the Labour MP Phil Woolas was condemned by the election court for doing that, and had to leave politics.

The parallel here is not exact, since Woolas impugned his constituency opponent, whereas Carmichael condoned an enterprise designed to damage a whole political party. Yet if election candidates who impugned a whole political party – as happened with Carmichael – were required to stand down, there’d be hardly any left standing at the end of an election campaign.

Sadly, bringing politics into disrepute, which is blamed for the irresistible rise of political disillusionment – and of which the belief that politicians are habitually lying is a basic ingredient – goes unpunished in too many ways to single out this case from the rest.”

via Do our MPs lie? Yes, copiously and consistently | David McKie | Comment is free | The Guardian.

Image credit: {{Information |Description=John Profumo, the Secretary of State for War, at the War Office of Great Britain |Source=[http://www.daylife.com/photo/00375Mz1YN0SR Daylife.com] |Date=29 July 1960 |Author=Jimmy Sime/Cental Press |Permission= |other_versions= }

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