Our politicians have declared the fact extinct. You can say what you want, disparage the experts and claim to be an anti-establishment billionaire. It doesn’t matter. They know we’re living in a post-truth world.
Politicians lie because in the short term, it’s effective. In the same way that fun beats data, the well-told political lie trumps the fact-checked rebuttal. Politicians also have a single objective: winning the vote. Once in power they know they’ll be judged on what they do, not what they said to get there.
The erosion of trust is dangerous for business
Political lies work but they’re also corrosive. Survey after survey shows politicians are among the least trusted people in society. If you can’t trust your leaders, who can you trust? Even charities are finding trust is at an all-time low.
This is dangerous territory for businesses. IPSOS Mori’s survey at the start of this year found that only 35% of British adults expected business leaders to tell the truth. The Edelman Trust Barometer shows that while trust in business is at a post-crisis high, that’s only true for the better off. Among people earning more than £100,000 a year, trust in business stands at 67%. Among people earning less than £15,000, that falls to just 35% – a trust gap of 32 percentage points.