You know the one, right?
The tale concerns a shepherd boy who repeatedly tricks nearby villagers into thinking a wolf is attacking his flock. When a wolf actually does appear, the villagers do not trust the boy’s cries for help, and the flock is destroyed. The moral at the end of the Greek version of the story states that it “shows that this is how liars are rewarded: even if they tell the truth, no one believes them”
It comes to mind as there’s an outside chance that, just for once, our government isn’t lying to us about the chemical attack in Syria. Yes, I recognise that Hague blamed Assad’s mob as soon as the story emerged, as he had done over previous stories of chemical attacks, such as those UN inspector Carla del Ponte stated she believed were perpetrated by the rebels. But maybe it was Assad’s side this time? We’ll just have to wait and see, because the fact that the British government is telling us that it was Assad, is not enough of a reason to believe it. Indeed, it’s a very good reason to positively disbelieve it. As Dubya said “fool me once …”, and the British government has form.
It would be one thing if, after a reasonable period of time, they were open about these things, but we’re still waiting for the Official Secrets Act to release papers from the First World War! This excessive secrecy is not for the benefit of the public. By shrouding vital historical events in darkness, not only is the principle of democracy undermined, but the process of learning from mistakes never takes place, at least not publicly. It also protects wrong-doers from ever facing justice. As such, it takes away one of the most compelling reasons for acting in a lawful and moral manner; fear of punishment. How different would Blair and his crew of reprobates have acted if the politicians and Foreign Office mandarins complicit in the Biafran genocide had been prosecuted? And how different the present crop of rogues pushing to attack Syria, as they did Libya, would weigh these matters of life and death? And finally I wonder; am I the only one who draws pleasure from the mental image of William Hague dressed as a shepherd boy being torn apart by ravening wolves?