That Paul Nuttall lied is surely the least surprising thing about this. More perplexing is the fact that he thought he could get away with it. Or, rather, that it never seemed to occur to him that anybody would question his claim to have lost close personal friends in the Hillsborough disaster.
What makes this so baffling is the evident inability to learn from experience. Let’s face it, this is hardly the first instance of a politician being caught in a lie. It’s almost a daily occurrence. And yet they continue to do it. This is intriguing behaviour. What is going on in the minds of these people? What makes them think that they can lie with impunity? What makes them suppose that the kind of scrutiny which catches others will not affect them?
Is this kind of behaviour particularly associated with politicians? If so, is a propensity for casual lying a prerequisite for a career in politics? Or is it that those with a greater than average capacity for dumb dishonesty are specially attracted to a career in politics?
Is it possible that being a politician makes liars of otherwise honest individuals? Or is it just that, being a public figure makes it more likely that they will be found out?
For me, it’s not the lie itself that rankles. Although exploiting a human tragedy such as Hillsborough is particularly despicable. What concerns me more is the profound stupidity involved in such clumsy deceptions. These are people who aspire to be political leaders. If they must be liars, I’d prefer that they were at least clever liars.
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