That old story about the boy who cried wolf

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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?

  4 comments for “That old story about the boy who cried wolf

  1. Paul Marks
    Aug 29, 2013 at 6:58 am

    “There is a outside chance that the government, just for once, is not lying to us about the use of chemical weapons by Assad in Syria”.

    This reminds of why I could not support the anti Iraq war movement. I opposed intervention in Iraq (and I oppose intervention in Syria) yet the “anti war” movement just came out with a tidal wave of nonsense (“blood for oil” and so on) which made it impossible to support them.

    Mr Carey – do not make the same mistake with Syria, For a good start stop reading people (such as Robert Fisk) who work for KGB newspapers.

    For the record such organisations as French English language news and Doctors-Without-Borders are quite clear about what happened in Syria.

    I repeat that I am opposed to intervention in Syria (people who support the wife of Cass Sunstein – Samantha “Responsibility to Protect” Powers – should ask themselves how long it would be before such George Soros backed United Nations “international law” doctrines would be applied to other countries…..), but the tone and content of such articles as this one may make it impossible to actively cooperate with a campaign against intervention.

    • Aug 29, 2013 at 10:15 am

      “For a good start stop reading people (such as Robert Fisk) who work for KGB newspapers.”

      I’ll read whoever I choose to read, and judge them as I find them. I made no reference to George Soros, Cass Sunstein or international law. As for Robert Fisk, the reference I made to his book was to illustrate the multiplicity of factions in the Lebanese Civil War. Whatever errors he has made, and whatever lies he has told, this is correct. If my post has set off your Red-Under-The-Bed Detector, then perhaps the settings are too sensitive.

  2. Aug 29, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Hate to be a pest but this redesign is a dreadful mess. Awful on OSX using Google Chrome.

    • Aug 29, 2013 at 2:15 pm

      I’ve contacted Patrick by email.

      UPDATE: the resolution was a browser page refresh. Probably a cached stylesheet that did it.

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