The Blog

Would you lie to me?

Chris Huhne. Another fallen angel from the Houses of Parliament. One of the first quotes that came to my attention was from an appearance back in July 2011 on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme where he stated: "If cabinet ministers resigned every time wild allegations were made about them, you would find it difficult to get enough people around the cabinet table." If we replace 'wild' with 'rightful' i think we've probably got ourselves a winner there.

The art of covering up something deemed to damage the public opinion of an individual is a tricky business. The very notion of a cover up suggests you will have to create a layer of lies to divert the attention to someone else or simply deny you had anything to do with the situation. Most of the general public can get away with a lie here and there, one slightly larger fib might slip though the net with negative consequences but the number of people we will directly effect when we lie in comparison to an individual in the public arena is likely to be significantly less. This doesn't necessarily mean our lie equates to less of a crime than that of a public figure but it does mean that their lie carries more responsibility to it.

Did someone say super injunction? It sounds made up and when you read the definition it sounds even more ridiculous: 'an injunction which prohibits the reporting of its own existence'. Like a fairy tale then, but one you can't read to anyone. Luckily for politicians, they invented them. We all recall the flurry of super injunctions in 2011, an RBS CEO, pretty much every footballer in the premier league and of course numerous political figures. The super injunction must have at first seemed like a gift from the gods of convenience for those in the media who couldn't bear to share their indiscretions with the masses, but a nasty realisation followed suit.

We won't easily forget Andrew Marr's attempt at a super injunction only to be morally nudged by Ian Hislop into submission. Post reveal, Marr said "Am I embarrassed by it? Yes. Am I uneasy about it? Yes..." But he goes on, "'I still believe there was, under those circumstances, no legitimate public interest in it.' For someone i would consider to have an above average level of intelligence he really missed the point.

Sadly for the accused, social media doesn't have the same filter or regulation as the print press and in short it has screwed a number of them over quite grandly. We saw the law firm handling Giggs injunction try to stop Twitter users sharing his faux pas by threatening to reveal their identities. Embarrassing the general public on a social media platform. Excellent plan, really.

The super injunction is like the deluxe version of cover up, it equates to plonking a giant flashing pink elephant in the centre of Trafalgar Square and then informing everyone present they are to ask no questions about said enormous mammal, tell no one they saw it and definitely don't tell anyone you asked about why the elephant was there in the first place. It is a giant legal plaster that only just covers the edges of a gaping wound that reads 'LIAR'.

In comparison to some of the above Huhne's lie was a pretty pathetic one, lets face it. It's the circumstances surrounding his lie that make it more sinister and once again reiterate the culture of cover ups in both the political and celebrity realm. What strikes me is the lack of logic when considering the amount of effort that goes into the cover up of the lie vs. just telling everyone you made a mistake. I bet crumbly old Chris is sitting at home wishing he had just admitted he was in a bit of a rush to get back from the airport, put his foot down and yes went over the limit. Its not like we are all walking around thinking that politicians are these perfect beings, in fact most of us don't have the time of day for anything they say, ever.

The reasoning behind all the deceit is essentially to maintain a facade that they are not like the general public, they don't drink too much, they don't drive too fast and they are honest, upstanding citizens. Oh wait. Honesty, that's a fairly vital characteristic in someone you want to put your trust in to aid in the running of your country isn't it? So in covering up a misdemeanor, be it points on their driving license, adultery or a plain old parking ticket they only achieve to highlight a far worse trait, dishonesty.