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Being "economical with the truth" has become almost a jokey euphemism for the political lie - a cosy insider's phrase for the disingenuousness that is now accepted as part and parcel of political life. But as we face the third term of a government that has elevated this kind of economics almost to an art form, is it now time to question the creeping invasion of falsehood? What does the rise of the political lie say about our society? At what point, if we have not reached it already, will we cease to believe a word politicians say? Tracing the history of political falsehood back to its earliest days but focusing specifically on the exponential rise of the phenomenon during the Major and Blair governments, Peter Oborne demonstrates that the truth has become an increasingly slippery concept in recent years. From woolly pronouncements that are designed merely to obfuscate to outright and blatant lies whose intention is to deceive, the political lie is never far from the surface. And its prevalence has led to a catastrophic decline in trust, at a time when people are more politicised than ever.
Rigorous, riveting, and profoundly shocking, this is a devastating book about one of the single biggest issues facing us today.
Peter Oborne is Political Editor of the SPECTATOR, and a regular commentator on politics for television and radio. He is the author of an acclaimed biography of Alastair Campbell and, more recently, BASIL D'OLIVEIRA, which won the 2004 William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award. .