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Entry 699, on 2008-02-16 at 20:54:28 (Rating 4, Politics)
When it comes to deciding what's happening in the political scene of a country its always difficult to separate fact from fiction. To succeed in the modern era political organisations must manage the information they distribute effectively. I wouldn't actually say they need to lie... well actually I would. You might have noted in previous blog entries I have used the phrase "professional liar" to describe the people who manage the propaganda for an organisation and sometimes call themselves public relations consultants.
Here's the definitions. Professional: engaged in a specified activity as one's main paid occupation rather than as a pastime. Liar: a person who tells lies. Lie: an intentionally false statement. I must admit that lie is too strong a word in many cases because they are more skillful than that. Equivocate might be a better one. Equivocate: use ambiguous language so as to conceal the truth or avoid committing oneself. That sounds more realistic, but professional equivocator just doesn't sound as good!
Anyway, getting back to the topic. It was revealed by the opposition here in New Zealand recently that there are a huge number of PR professionals in government departments. The number mentioned was 450 which is quite high for a small country. The ironic part of the announcement though was that it was prepared by the opposition party's PR professional!
Its not only government where this happens of course, I see the same thing coming from private companies and large corporations as well. Luckily there is better access to real information now than in the past because of alternative Internet news sites and blogs. And yes, I freely admit they need to be treated with suspicion as well but at least they offer an alternative view.
I don't have a very positive view of PR people I'm afraid. Actually I have a poor view of all forms of modern management and all its trappings. I would be very happy if every manager and other business professional instantly disappeared into some alternative Universe because they seem to perform no useful function at all.
I particularly object to paying taxes so that I can be lied to (or equivocated to) by these people. And I don't think the situation can be justified any more in the private sector because part of the cost of products and services I pay for goes into paying for these lies there too.
Unfortunately the whole ethos of modern management is to make things worse. If an organisation becomes unpopular because its seen as producing too much spin the normal reaction is to control the problem by producing even more. Eventually people either get taken in by the new lies or just give up and ignore them.
Yes democracy is a great thing. We make decisions based on spin created by professional liars about subjects we know very little about. No wonder the world is such a mess!
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