"The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret" - (Terry Pratchett, The Truth)
The Queen of Nighttime Karaoke Performances has struck the Times in timely fashion on this inter-festive Thursday. Between booking a hotel in Paris for the Nuit de St Silvestre and leaving for a lightning half day trip to Trier I have to find some time for the commentary that has become a pleasant obligation. I do not have the time to do the usual full-text commentary due to the aforementioned chores and trips but I will not let this weekly (pleasant) appointment flitter by.
To begin with - the subject. Untruths and Libel. In what seems to be the first part of a promising and gripping series TGIL has decided to tackle head on the malicious spinning that both parties in our lovely Republic tend to use in their day-to-day work. In other words, Lorna is irked that the MLPN still to this day adopt practices of misinformation based on untruths that are knowingly uttered in the hope that the denial of such untruths will come so late in the day that aforesaid untruth will have passed its sell by date. (Apologies for the Bocca style sentence).
A little parenthesis is required here simply to state that the subject of Lorna's quest does exist and does form part of our irritating and pesky political forum. The practice of slander, unfounded accusation and mud-slinging was made notorious by a certain Harvard Doctor with his infamous statements of "Konvinzjoni Morali". A Moral Conviction that was meant to convey the feeling that the speaker did not need any facts to prove his allegations but that his pure moral conviction would suffice to make us all believe he was right. It was also a neat trick in an attempt to defy the hains of the law since you could always say "I said that I am convinced but it does not mean that I am right"... which would not work... but nice try.
Of course the Dame of the Socialist Grammaticals applies her objective stamp to the whole business and using her refined statistical skills that have been demonstrated elsewhere (the famous Thank God I am Lorna article) she concludes that the PN are the greater criminals in this mud slinging game. Why? I will start by quoting the poetess herself:
"Untruths also come in doses and the readers might be amazed at what a large range of shades exists between a truth and an untruth. This shows that life is not just a mathematical game and some truths may be more true than others while some untruths may vary from genuine mistakes to intentional, pre-meditated and timely fabrications."
As for shady truths, having given us this brilliant expose of the different shades of truth and mathematical dogma, Lorna proceeds to give us a statistical analysis that smacks of an intentional pre-meditated and timely fabrication all in one. Here is the analysis from the royal pen:
"The first point to note is that the party in government - the PN - has had 10 cases filed against it. It has also lost 10. The MLP has had 17 cases filed against it and lost 13. This means the PN has won none of the cases filed against it whereas the MLP won four."
Incredible isn't it? MLP has won libel cases. PN has not. Therefore PN is naughty and MLP is not. In the words of the virgin Mary... Come again? Is it possible that 10/10 is worse than 13/13? Forgetting the cases where MLP has won..... there are still 13 libel cases which the MLP lost. 13 where it was accused of libel and found guilty. In which case it is the party which was found to be perpetrating an untruth. The PN was found guilty in all ten cases where a libel was filed against its instruments of truth and unbias in the Dar Centrali. Last time I counted ten is less than 13 Lorna. 10 is all the fingers on your hands (f you are lucky enough not to be a blind butcher - a Pratchett (c) joke). 13 is all the fingers on your hands plus another three borrowed from the toesies on the end of your footies (keep your socks on this is hypothetical).
There is then the litte matter of her calculation that MLP have been fined less than PN for libel. A fact which can scarcely be corroborated by the figures (which is why Madame Bohemian Rhapsody fails to make any sort of simple division calculation - divide the fines by the number of successful libels). Then there are the non-numeric assertions that turn laughing gas into a superfluous discovery and threaten to throw thousands of comedians onto the dole....
"It-Torca, the General Workers' Union's weekly, is the only newspaper not to have had any libel cases filed against it by a politician since 1992. This seems to imply that it is the newspaper which gives the most accurate information and which has the most well-founded arguments."
There you go. It-Torca... serving unbiased information since 1992.
Unfortunately I am in a rush since I have a train to catch. Thankfully this article comes in installments. So I will be around next time in the New Year when Lorna will continue to thrill and enthuse. I take this opportunity to wish TGIL a Happy New Year and to tell her that her singing talents were greatly appreciated.
"Every effort was made to be as accurate as possible although space restrictions do not allow me to go into detail."
A lie can run round the world before the truth has got its boots on.
- -- (Terry Pratchett, The Truth)