2007 - 2021

The Beautiful Truth


Here’s Tony, thumbs in pockets, collar open, addressing the troops. The black denims are on, the look is casual. It’s not clear if the jacket is suede or corduroy.

The ‘post-factual’ world we’re often told is the outcome of deranged bloggers and Alex Jones types foaming at the mouth about chemtrails and imaginary conspiracies, shouting ‘False Flag’ every time something interrupts their Stream of Consciousness Dressed as Analysis. This (almost exclusively male past time) is certainly an issue, but it’s not the issue its presented as.

The more prosaic answer is that our politicians lied and lied and lied and our media failed and failed and failed until no-one could tell who was lying and who was failing any more. They blended into a seamless realm of snake-oil salesmen and placid press.

The revelations today that Tony Blair was not “straight with the nation” about his decisions in the run up to the Iraq War, may not have come as a giant shock to many of you.

And, to be clear: “He wasn’t as straight as he should have been”, is establishment-speak for, “Tony Blair is a big fat liar and a war criminal” – just so we get that straight.

But I liked the bit where Sir John Chilcot said the evidence Mr Blair gave the inquiry was “emotionally truthful” but he relied on beliefs rather than facts.

It’s a nuanced gilding of the lilly. It’s a delicate way of avoiding the obvious. It’s very British, very expensive and very insidious.

It may have sounded familiar to any of you experience the deluge of lies of Better Together or the tsunami of disinformation that has led us to this perilous Brexit farce (‘Goodbye Honda! Goodbye Toyota!’).

As the BBC’s Robbie Gibb  and James Landale slug it out to land the lucrative number as Theresa May’s comms man, and the revolving door between Conservative Central Office and Broadcasting House spins faster than you can say “Eddie Barnes”, things are looking grim for seekers of ‘the truth’.

When in, what, a decades time, when we get a report on the Grenfell Tower disaster, much like the Chilcot Report, will it ‘get to the truth of the matter’?

Keunsberg’s spin on Chilcot’s spin on Blair’s spin is the propeller of a post-factual world, not mad bloggers but Sirs and Prime Ministers and political editors and journalists on the make.

There is no such thing as the ’emotional truth’, just, the truth.

The post-factual world isn’t a mystery, it’s not about the internet. I tell you that, thumbs in jean pockets, my collar open.

Comments (9)

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  1. Dougie Blackwood says:

    I suspect the writer was a bit emotional but the piece is spot on.

    There is a unionist columnist in the Herald today; she speaks to a similar story; the establishment were set to scream recession when the Scottish GDP figures were due out. She speaks of the bursting of prepared stories about how wee, poor and stupid Scotland is a basket case. In the end when the figures came out with a significant improvement the best, Jackie Bird and the BBC Scotland could do was to produce a longer term graph to show Scotland lagging rather than praise this result that was 4 times better than the rUK.

    There is no longer any truth, only spin.

    1. David Allan says:

      Yesterdays Spin is today’s ” Fake News ”

      And of course this GDP result is achieved in the absence of “Full Fiscal Autonomy” or control of any”Economic levers”.

      The Scottish branch of the British Broadcasting Corpse will never remind their Scottish viewers of such finer detail.

      Surprisingly neither are the SNP.

      In truth though as far as I am concerned we Scots have been in an economic recession since long before any such statistical records began . Isn’t that why we want our Independence to enable a different path to be taken to hasten our ability to influence positive meaningful change . Economic performance statistics are not what our population wants to see or hear we want Jobs, Investment news , Scottish success stories etc etc.

      e.g. How is DALZELL Steel works progressing ?

      Am I alone in asking why are the SNP no longer promoting the positive language of 2014. The Independence campaign can’t just restart whenever a second referendum comes along. Public opinion will not be influenced by silence and inaction on the part of SNP Politicians whom I accuse of being comfortable in their adopted role as idle bystanders.

      The Party of Independence has lost it’s focus.

      1. David McCann says:

        I would refer you to Keith Brown MSP for Clackmannanshire & Dunblane complete demolishion of Tory spokesman Dean Lochhart on Scotland Tonight. Check out http://player.stv.tv/episode/3ifa/scotland-tonight/ 2mins 50 seconds in.
        Scotland Tonight – Wed 05 Jul, 10.30 pm
        The Scottish economy defies the experts to outstrip UK growth.

      2. David McCann says:

        I would refer you to Keith Brown’s complete demolishion of Tory spokesman Dean Lochhart on Scotland Tonight.
        Check out http://player.stv.tv/episode/3ifa/scotland-tonight/ 2mins 50 seconds in.
        Scotland Tonight – Wed 05 Jul, 10.30 pm
        The Scottish economy defies the experts to outstrip UK growth.

  2. J Galt says:

    Ok so where does the Truth end and the Fantasy begin?

    Is anybody who thinks the Fantasy/Truth ratio is a bit higher than the author to be sneered at?

  3. bringiton says:

    The prospects of Blair being held to account are about the same as the Royal family being deported for being decendents of foreigners.
    Also noticed the omission of the word England when the new section of the Forth Clyde canal was opened this week.
    The Queen is only Elizabeth the Second of England,not in Scotland where we never had the first one.

    1. Angus MacRuary says:

      In 1953 several post boxes bearing the marking E II R blew themselves up in protest. It is entirely possible that any nameplate/plaque on the FC Canal may decide to melt itself for similar reasons.

      1. Dougie Blackwood says:

        I’m old enough to remember the boxes. I read Andy Wightman’s piece on Holyrood House. The royals and their apologists are worth the watching.

  4. Jo says:

    Superb piece.

    While Chilcot eventually, sort of, got to the point during his interview with Kuennsberg it was deeply worrying watching how hard he fought to make excuses for Blair.

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