Pity British voters

“A serial liar. A campaign of online disinformation. The risk of foreign meddling. Sound familiar?”

An article in the New York Times – Britain’s Dirty Election, by Peter Geoghegan and Mary Fitzgerald – lays out the “barrage of distortion, dissembling and disinformation without precedent in the country’s history” that British voters have been subjected to, saying: “Britain is now host to the virus of lies, deception and digital skulduggery.” The effect of recent shenanigans is not merely to counter and drown out opponents arguments but to undermine trust in politics itself, and probably also in democracy. We are following the road of Trumpian politics.

“As one voter said recently, she was voting for Boris Johnson precisely because he is a proven liar. It shows, she said, “he’s human.”

It’s not only political parties who are indulging in these tactics, but the print and broadcast media too have been accused of being less than impartial. And on social media there’s an endless stream of digital ads, with parties spending large and unaccountable amounts on spreading fake news and misinformation.

Nor is the situation helped by the Prime Minister avoiding scrutiny at every turn as he blusters instead of answering questions, absents himself from TV debates and refuses to publish a report into Russian interference in UK politics.

In the most crucial general election in a generation the electorate is fed up to the back teeth with Brexit and politics, and just wants an end to it all. This is why ‘Get Brexit done’ has chimed so well with many of the public, especially in England. The slogan may well see the Tories returned to power, but at what cost to the rest of us?

The article can be read here.

The image of Boris VIII is by Borders artist Terry Howson. Terry’s creative activity is a joy to engage with. Find out more about her work at Visual Arts Scotland and on Terry’s Facebook page.

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