03:43 pm - Tuesday 18 September 2018

A political lie – Does it have colours

By Amalawi - Wed Apr 03, 3:31 pm

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Political lies

Political lies

In government , like in political parties, different people tell different lies for different purposes on a day-to-day basis. In our part of the world where assertiveness is in short supply, lies have become part of the everyday communication in government offices, political rallies and workplaces. Call it yellow, blue or orange , red– a lie is a lie. Like all governments, political parties and community leaders need to set the pace of telling the truth. There is a thin line between lies and deception and between deception and propaganda.

With technological advancement, it has become increasingly difficult to keep people in the dark. Information, no matter how bad, finds its way out one way or the other. An email that you think you are sending to someone in private could end up in someone else’s mailbox by mistake. Being human, it is easy to be absent-minded and send a text message about someone, to the very person who is the subject of your discussion.

Some white lies will make parties win elections, some will enrich some politicians and some will simply ease a hectic situation and others buy us time. Stretching the truth is a natural component of human instinct because it’s the easy way out. As long as we are not hurting others or breaking the law, these innocent lies can make life more pleasant. They can absorb potential friction between our varying personalities and vacillating moods as we nudge into one another on the quest through our daily routine. Most of these white lies only stretch an interpretation of what the truth actually is. Given our rigid optimism to each lead a tailored ideal life, white lies simply cushion us from ourselves.

When I was growing up our parents told my siblings and I that babies were bought from hospital and for many years we believed them. We also had several taboos that stopped us from mischief and helped shape our values and when you critically analyse most of them – they were basically lies. One taboo that I still laugh out aloud at was that you do not talk while plucking a chicken otherwise the feathers will grow back. We are told that the government has banned convoys and certain types of cars as they are only reserved for the president. A quick read through the law book and even the constitution reveals nothing. We are being lied to everday.

A lot of lies are told by the police and the government – laws are being invented everyday and no one is questioning them.
In a workshop for executive assistants that I was conducting some years ago, one participant shared with us that her boss made her lie by telling her that he was not available to attend to clients when he was busy and so she would tell customers that he was out of town. After a healthy debate other participants told her that she did not have to tell lies when her boss failed to see customers. He said he was not available and expected her to use tact and diplomacy in dealing with the customers.

Just remember that an unfulfilled promise, if not corrected or deferred, can turn into a lie. And if you are a believer, remember that God does not like liars.

The eighth commandment states; “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” (Exodus 20:16) and Leviticus 19:11 states: “Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to ano

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