Thursday, 22 December 2016

Post-truth team of the year

Post-truth luminaries
Podium finish for this figure of fun
"That was the year that was, it's over let it go," sang Millicent Martin in the days when satire was in its infancy and post-truth was still half a lifetime away.

2016 has shattered many hopes and created a sense of despair about the deceptions that have been heaped on the British public. I was reminded this morning when Minister for Culture, Karen Bradley, was avoiding questions from John Humphries and making false claims about the roll out of super fast broadband. The media inquisitors are just as adept at employing post-truth accusations as the politicians and corporate elite are at reciting post-truth idioms to evade them.

It made me reflect on the major culprits who have made post-truth such an construct of choice for our politicians, media types and corporate elite. There are so many contenders in what has been a bumper year for the post-truth artists formerly known as liars. Here is my post-truth team of 2016.

1. Nigel Farage, always a strong contender for his ability to stay calm when delivering unreasonable, unsubstantiated hateful remarks. He tops the list for his appalling sleight on Jo Cox's husband - "he would know more about extremists than me" after the Berlin massacre earlier this week.
2. Liam Fox for not knowing the price or the value of anything.
3. (Sir) Philip Green for his avarice, arrogance and brashness as he screwed up UK retail businesses and then blamed...
4. Dominic Chappell, a serial bankrupt, for behaving as we expect hedge funders to behave by bankrupting BHS and its pension fund, causing devastation for thousands of loyal low paid staff.
5. Boris Johnson for being the self obsessed purveyor of fiction as fact and all round bad egg
6. David Cameron for calling a referendum and then claiming that the deal he had negotiated with EU leaders had addressed the concerns of the British public.
7. Owen Smith for bullying his way to being the challenger for the Labour leadership and promising Jeremy Corbyn that we could both be heroes if I could be leader and you the party president.
8. Derek MacKay, the Scottish Finance minister for failing to deliver a progressive first Scottish budget and instead simply pissing on councils and blaming the treasury.
9. Laura Kuensberg for trivialising and failing to provide an objective analysis of political news, something that the BBC used to do so well
10. Jose Morinho for extreme egoism in claiming he is the top coach whilst destroying Man Utd and Chelsea as attractive and winning teams for which I thank him.
11. Dido Harding for spinning the mistruth about talktalk and failing to inform customers of hacked accounts whilst blaming BT for everything.

Mrs May was a non contender having failed to say much, answer any questions or do anything yet.

The overseas prize was a tight affair with Donald Trump, President Rodrigo Duerte, and President Jacob Zuma pushing Rupert Murdoch hard. But Murdoch wins it for the 35th consecutive year. His end of the year sprint to purchase Sky after its price had dropped 31% post Brexit was hacking immoral. When he last tried to buy out Sky in 2011 he had been found as 'not fit to lead a major international company' and his son James of 'showing a wilful ignorance of the extent of phone hacking ' by the Culture and Media Commons Select Committee. I suspect that Trump may take the crown next year assuming he survives the travails of being President.

The lifelong achievement award goes without saying to Katie Hopkins.

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