The headline on an article in the New York Times a few years ago asserted: “All Politicians Lie. Some Lie More Than Others.”
The article was written by a political fact-checker who – not surprisingly – found Donald J. Trump’s record on truth and accuracy was “astonishingly poor”.
At that time – when Trump was campaigning to become the Republican presidential candidate – her team had checked more than 70 Trump statements and rated fully 75% of them as Mostly False, False or “Pants on Fire” (the last category covered claims that were both inaccurate and ridiculous).
Trump has told many more lies since then. According to the tally published in The Washington Post in November last year, he had told 6,420 lies in his presidency. In the seven weeks leading up to the mid-term elections, his rate increased to 30 per day.
The question we are raising at Point of Order today is whether political lying should be a crime and, if so, what the penalty should be. Why not a stretch in prison?
Our thinking has been triggered by Boris Johnson, Britain’s rumpled former foreign secretary, being called to answer for the lie at the heart of his Brexit campaign. Continue reading “Judge’s ruling in Boris case raises the idea of jailing all politicians who lie – but would this quickly fill our prisons?”