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It’s all lies, I tell you (extract)

Updated on February 21, 2012
There are many different types of liars in the world.
There are many different types of liars in the world.

I find lies interesting, irritating and revealing. They are interesting because it is amazing to me what sorts of things people will lie about. They are irritating because incorrect information can cause a lot of grief and pain. And they are revealing because the sorts of lies people tell, reveal much about their inner personality and their agenda in life.

What follows is a selection of lies of differing sorts from my upcoming book, It’s all lies, I tell you.

Extract from Chapter 1 - Nationa-lies (Tito from Aotearoa)

The NZ Nuclear Free Bill under National, will be gone by lunchtime (Promised to a U.S. delegation by Don Brash when he was Leader of the Opposition in 2003)

This would have to be one of the more memorable utterances of Don (Juan) Brash, although he has subsequently claimed he can’t remember making it. Mind you much of Don’s time in the leadership chair was surreal and in the light of other revelations regarding activities in his private life of a more basic nature, this is not surprising. It must have been hard for him to remember what he had said to whom while at the same time trying to keep the Labour party, his own caucus, the voters and his wife all in the dark at the same time.

Brash was trying to cosy up to the U.S. administration, and given the alleged involvement of the Exclusive Brethren in some of his jolly japes at the previous election, he might have been hoping the U.S. government could do a better job of winning him the election than the Brethren. After all the U.S. government has a lot of experience in winning elections in foreign countries. If they could get people like General Suharto, Augusto Pinochet, Ayatollah Khomeini and Saddam Hussein into the power seat, they must be able to help a nice polite banker like Don. However if Don had thought on; he might have reflected upon the fate some of the aforementioned met after they disappointed their sponsors.

The irony of Don’s slip by lip is that he wasn’t in a position to deliver the goodies, considering even his own caucus was nervous about saying anything out loud about allowing nuclear ships in. In the event it was Don who was ‘gone by lunchtime’ and I can’t help wondering whether it was some of his caucus colleagues that spilt the beans over his dodgy dalliances with the fairer sex. It would have been far less embarrassing for them to have Don caught with his pants down than have him damage the party any more with his unscripted flights of fancy.

Extract from Chapter 2 - Immorta-lies (They’ve been around for years)

All men are created equal (originally attributed to Thomas Jefferson and included in the opening line of the 1776 United States Declaration of Independence.)

But some sources maintain Jefferson actually lifted the catchy phrase from an Italian immigrant called Philip (or Filippo Mazzei) who was, among other things, an arms dealer who married his own third cousin and whose daughter married the nephew of Jefferson’s predecessor, the second president of the United States, John Adams. So not only is Jefferson’s homily inaccurate; it’s also plagiarised from a dodgy dago arms dealer who belonged to a disturbingly close family. I guess Mazzei came up with notion because of the uncanny similarities among members of his own family!

But this particular lie should have alerted the truth police from the day it was first uttered. First of all it is manifestly untrue. We can all think of obvious examples in our own workplace or neighbourhood of people who are living evidence of this. For instance nobody can ever tell me that someone such as Albert Einstein and the guy who won a Darwin award in 2009 for putting an exploding stick of dynamite between his legs to lessen the explosion are created equal. Einstein was quoted as saying Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. I doubt if Mr No-Nuts could have thought of that – even if he did go on to demonstrate the underlying truth of Einstein’s quote.

Extract from Chapter 3 - Capita-lies (Financial falsehoods)

Money is the root of all evil (commonly attributed to Timothy of the Bible.)

Timothy was responsible for two books in the Bible and was ‘mentored’ by the Apostle Paul. In fact mentored might not adequately describe their relationship. They spent a great deal of time together and I don’t know how it was in those days, but let’s just say that these days you are unlikely to be circumcised as an adult by your best friend! In the light of Timmy and Paulie's relationship, I would be wary of believing very much he had to say.

But the actual lie is total – if you don’t believe me, then perhaps you can tell me how evil can exist in the absence of money or its pursuit. Jack the Ripper didn’t kill for financial gain and neither did Myra Hindley and Ian Brady.

However whatever else he might have been Timothy did not give rise to this great lie. The credit for that belongs to some unknown nitwit who misquoted him many years ago. What Timothy actually said was a more accurate assessment of the psychology and psychopathy surrounding money. According to the King James Version of the Bible, he wrote For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows (1 Timothy 6:10)

However Timothy is not entirely off the hook here, because his quote is not entirely true either and could almost be included in Margina-lies. After all there is nothing wrong with the love of money, providing that love is not all-consuming.

Extract from Chapter 4 - Margina-lies (the most dangerous sort because they are partly true)

Convenience foods

This is a description for ‘food’ that contains more artificial chemicals, colours and preservatives than real food. The ratio is probably something like 80 per cent crap, 10 per cent goodness and 10 per cent goodness knows. There are two reasons I see the so-called convenience foods as a lie. In the first place they are usually nowhere near as convenient as they are claimed. More often than not you can cook the equivalent dish using real ingredients in very little more time. Secondly these foods contain so little goodness that your health suffers with the result you visit your doctor more than you would like, and where’s the convenience in that? Add to this the packaging these ‘meals’ come in which is able to withstand all those conditions your insurance company refuses to insure your house against. It probably takes longer to open the packet on some of these imposter foods than it would to harvest, prepare and cook the real equivalent.

But this lie has to be categorised as marginal because in some cases it can save a couple of nano-seconds and if your time is that tight, and your life that sad, then there just might be a small time advantage, medical issues aside. But what really makes this a marginal lie is that these foods are correctly named. Your nearest convenience is where they should go. With the limited amount of edible ingredients they contain most of your meal will end up there anyway, so why not just save yourself a lot of grief and cut out the middle man?


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