Fringe Box



The Dragon Says: Truth Matters

Published on: 7 Jun, 2022
Updated on: 10 Jun, 2022

Last night a Conservative MP said if we don’t care when Parliament is misled we are on a slippery slope that ends up in Putin’s Russia. He is right.

But we don’t have to look as far as Doublespeak Russia. In 1985 a civil servant, Clive Ponting, was arrested when he sent papers to an MP showing that our parliament had not been given a completely accurate account of the movements of the Belgrano, an Argentinian cruiser, prior to its sinking in the Falklands War.

Ponting was not concerned that the warship had been sunk but about the principle that Parliament should not be misled. Later, despite a clear direction from a trial judge, the jury agreed and found Ponting not guilty.

Truth matters everywhere but especially in Parliament, the fulcrum of our democracy, where key decisions are made that control the way we live. They must be based on truth. And where politicians are found to have ignored or played fast and loose with this principle they must face sanction.

So our MP Angela Richardson was right to support the ‘no confidence’ vote in Boris Johnson, who does not seem able to fully accept the extent of his responsibility over “Partygate” or how important the principle is.

Saying, “Well, chortle, chortle, Boris has always been a bit economical with the reality” simply does not wash. He’s the prime minister.

“Getting things done” seems more important to him than the truth. But without truth how can we know if the right things are being done and in the right way?

And to those who ask why is this being covered in The Guildford Dragon NEWS, it is because the same principles apply at every level of government and public life. Here in Guildford, as well as Westminster.

There have been instances where it appeared the borough council or public was being misled. Perhaps the most obvious was the presentation of a letter in support of Wisley Garden Village. Ostensibly written by Surrey County Council, it was discovered to have in fact been drafted by agents of developers and passed to SCC by GBC.

See: The Dragon Says: Wisley Garden Village Bid Investigation – Where is the Accountability?

But no one was sanctioned. GBC has shown time and again that it has little appetite or ability to root out unprincipled behaviour. The council could not even admit its clear culpability in the shamefully botched Monika Juneja investigation.

See: The Dragon Says – Monika Juneja – The Remaining Question

But that is all in the past.

However, still current is the fact that our housing number is being decided using population forecasts known to be out of date. Why? Because of the government’s craven desire to promote its “build, build, build” policy, regardless of the damaging impact on our borough and the environment.

Knowingly using false data is just another form of dishonesty.

We must never let the fear of political embarrassment allow cover up. We must not let ends justify means and not let our desire to “get things done” allow us to permit a blurred version of the truth or simple lies.

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Responses to The Dragon Says: Truth Matters

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    June 7, 2022 at 12:51 pm

    Even the police are in this disgusting mess. Criminal offences are downgraded to civil matters, and more recently a home invasion where 16 statutes both civil and criminal were broken and yet Surrey Police said no crime had been committed.

    We need backbone and we need balanced application of statutes and principles.

    “This just a little lie, just a little crime” can soon become “just a little bigger lie and just a little bigger crime”… Now we have Section 68 aggravated trespass decriminalised by police.

    We need a serious reset of moral responsibilities.

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