Last night, three East Anglian Quakers sat round the kitchen table of their Area Meeting Clerk. We were stuffing envelopes – an activity which will be replicated in many kitchens and committee rooms over the next five weeks.
Today, (27 May 2015) Conservative Campaign Headquarters sent out an email to supporters. It began, "Do you think the last Labour government spent too much?" and continued, "The Labour government that literally left a note saying 'There's no money left'." The problem is, this is not true.
Being a person who respects truth is about a great deal more than avoiding the telling of lies. It may mean acknowledging and regretting you have told a partial truth or that you have avoided taking responsibility for an error of judgement.
Whoever we decide to vote for in May, we need an election campaign fought on the basis of truth, not spin. In the past, charities would have spoken out if a politician tried to give a false picture of reality, but many now feel gagged by the Lobbying Act passed last year. Happily, one charity exists solely to check facts, but it needs our help to meet the challenge of the election campaign.
A question for every one of us: how particular are you about truth and accuracy if a statement gives you an advantage or feeds your confirmation bias? Over the next 98 days, we are going to see and hear a lot of information which will either do this, or will make us fume and curse its falsity.
Misrepresentation by government departments is an abuse of community, says Jill Segger. She suggests that the behaviour of the DWP not only contravenes the Cabinet Office guidance on goverment communications, but violates the commandment against bearing false witness.
The sixth and final presentation in the "Making representations: religious faith and the habits of language" Gifford Lecture series was delivered by Dr Rowan Williams at the University of Edinburgh on Thursday 14 November 2013.
Propaganda could be described as persuasion without morals. It has been a tool of power for centuries and in our own time, its use in inculcating a state of belief which is not in proportion to evidence, is most clearly seen in politicians' choice and use of slogans.
As Michael Gove joins Iain Duncan Smith and David Cameron in misusing and misrepresenting facts for his own purposes, Jill Segger argues that politicans have taken another step towards destruction of the trust which is essential if our common democratic life is to thrive.