Thursday, 8 October 2009

A nation of liees

Yesterday, I met a friend of mine who's spent much of the last few years sitting at a desk in Central Asia being lied to (he has in his gift something a lot of people want: US$). He thinks there's a gap in the English language. We have a word for liar but not one for the person being lied to. So how about the counterpart of liar being 'liee'?

So, liee. But just as in the case of 'liar', I think the word describes someone who partakes in the activity more than just the once. The liee is probably someone who has a penchant to be lied to, even a need. The habitual liee has to hear happy talk and doesn't really care if it's true or not. I think we've all come across people like this.

Rather remarkably, our new word comes in useful immediately. And - guess what? - it's politics that provides an application. Nige is concerned that Osborne's truth telling about the misery to be unleashed by the Tories will land them in hot water: 'Nobody ever won an election by promising hard times, and surely they never will'.

Well, that will make the next election an interesting test. Are we a nation of liees? Do we have some sort of need to have sunshine permanently blown up our collective bottom? If the Tories don't win for this reason, there will be no point in railing against Beelzebub Brown and his host of bullshitting bluebottles. We'll have shown we deserve them. We'll be a nation of liees.

7 comments:

Brit said...

In defence of the liees, it is an important part of the incoming government's job to cheer us up a bit. Thus Obama.

Of course they can't actually do anything - the world is now far too complex for individual politicians to do much about the economy except what everyone else does and hope for the best. But it's unforgivable to promise gloom and make us feel actively miserable and pessimistic about the things over which we have no control. Prophecies of doom or hope might also be to some extent self-fulfilling.

Nige said...

Liees - I lieeke it...

Gaw said...

Brit: It's the job of TV etc to cheer us up. Politicians are unfunny and disheartening regardless of what they attempt.

I think you'll find the bond market doesn't buy into your proposition that politicians can't do anything. The only reason we haven't already disappeared down the crapper is that there's some belief out there that the Tories will knock the deficit into shape.

It's going to be rubbish for the foreseeable future. I find it refreshing to be told so (even if I did already know it). I'd rather be pessimistic and pleasantly surprised than misled, disappointed and taken for a fool.

Anyway, I'm going to try not to think of this whole subject from now on. Today I'm focusing on chocolate cake, steak and kidney pie and comforting hat-wear. I'm finding these a more reliable source of encouragement.

Gaw said...

Nige: Glad you think lieekewise.

worm said...

Genuine question - What are services? stuff like the army, the nhs, social workers?

Gaw said...

'Services' are what we 'invest' in. As opposed to all the useless stuff that governments used to merely 'spend' money on. New Labour did do an excellent job in recasting the language of state spending.

worm said...

the only state run things I encounter are roads and the rare sighting of the bin man every now and again, so cuts wont affect me - CUT THINGS I SAY! Im not really sure what they are, but cut them anyway!!
Im going to enjoy cuts as best I can