Since time immemorial, people in power have been getting away with telling lies. Some are white lies and some are, to quote a famous soap opera character from the 80’s, “big fat horrible black ones”, the sort that you will get you in real trouble if you get caught out. Our political class has more and more come to lie to us, and that has consequences.
Lies in the public discourse should be easily uncovered and refuted. Or so you would think. Take Rishi Sunak for example; he has been trying to wage culture wars in an effort to stay in Downing Street, and his government has recently taken to talking about the things they want to abolish, in order that the average citizen of this country be more “free.”
But two huge examples – the decision to “ban” the “requirement” for each household to have seven different coloured bins, and the scrapping of a plan for a “meat tax” – have come back to bite him on the backside.
Because neither of these things existed in the first place and his government knows it. He is promising to ban non-existent rules and reject laws which neither exist nor are being proposed to exist. It’s all theatre, political sleight-of-hand.
And because the political media is awake all the time now, in light of the COVID inquiry and the shambles which has seen us go through four Prime Ministers in a space of time that would make one of those tinpot dictatorships blanche, they caught those lies immediately and every time a cabinet minister went on TV, they were pummelled with demands that these promises be explained in light of the fact that they were the equivalent of someone trying to flog beanstalk beans.
When the journalistic class is doing its job things like this are nearly impossible to slip past them. Oh, there are some right-wing rags out there who will pretend this stuff is real, but they mostly operate out of Narnia anyway; much of the public sees this nonsense for what it is. That’s why this Tory Party is in for an electoral tanking, although Labour isn’t exactly progressive looking.
Our sports media is a joke.
Lies like this would get by them easily. We know that because bigger lies than this go unchallenged by these folk. The Survival and Victim Lies are just two examples of it, and nobody should be permitting those and yet they’re part of the discourse and we can’t shift them. That’s Scottish football for you.
But the smaller lies are equally infuriating, and the media’s failure to get on top of them is virtually incomprehensible. Ibrox got away with one of them last year in spite of every Celtic site drawing the media’s attention to the facts.
That lie is being repeated by their club right now, with the objective to spin their coming financial results as a “second year of profit.”
Except, of course, there was no “first year of profits” as we all know full well. They posted a loss last year. A loss of just under £1 million.
That’s actually good by their standards, and they could simply have announced that and people would have been impressed. The media could have written stories about them moving in the right direction and those stories would have been true except for a few caveats which they wouldn’t have explored.
But Ibrox gave them the “operating profit” number and they reported it without questioning what the term meant. The £5 million plus operating profit came before taxes, interest and a bunch of other stuff.
Once that stuff was added to the equation, they made a loss. The consolidated balance sheet has it there in black and white.
They did not make a profit in their last financial statement.
The media is repeating a lie. Ibrox is lying to its own fans and to the hacks and all of them are swallowing it.
Ibrox is good at this stuff. Those accounts probably hide an awful lot which you’d need a proper deep dive into them to find.
But of course, they don’t have to issue accounts in as much detail as we do, because we’re stock market listed and they aren’t, so for all we know there are all sorts of income brought forward or deferred in there just to get to those numbers.
What we do know is that the headline figure reported to the media last year is accurate only up to a point and the contention that they actually avoided a loss isn’t accurate at all, and yet the hacks, with this information freely available to them, are repeating it.
Something else jumped out at me; the claim that paying off two managerial teams hasn’t impacted on their bottom line; well, of course it hasn’t.
These people must think we’re stupid. The media has certainly acted as if it is, but let me clue them in; those accounts only run until the end of June this year; The Mooch wasn’t sacked until October.
So, of course, there will be damn all in those accounts about his dismissal. That won’t factor into the figures until the 2023-24 numbers come out, and yet they’ve managed to sell that as a positive to their supporters and the press is running with it.
They are getting ready to pull another con-job, and the press is already salivating over the prospect of lapping it up. And their fans …?
Well of course they are. This news was delivered to their “fan forum” and there was not a word of criticism raised against it.
That lot will swallow everything, especially if the media provides the spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down, and they do that unfailingly.