Politicians confused by own lies

by PAUL COLLITS – GEORGE Orwell, sadly much quoted in these times (because everything he warned about has pretty much come true), called it “doublethink”. 

A simple definition is as follows – “the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct”. 

Mutually contradictory beliefs cannot both be true. It doesn’t work that way. Contradictory explanations of a phenomenon are just that. Contradictory.

If you change “correct” to “ideologically acceptable”, you get one of the defining characteristics of today’s polity.

Worse, you have an explanation for much of the electorate’s very limited analytical capacity and, ergo, just how the political class (“uniparty” or the PGGW brigade, progressive, green, globalist, woke) gets away with delivering so much irrational policy that nobody wants.


Because, if you think about it, low information voting is one of the big three system problems facing modern Western nations. The other two are executive overreach and the PGGW referred to above.

What we used to call cognitive dissonance, pre-Orwell, is a little embarrassing for an individual. Who wants to be called an idiot or a hypocrite, after all?

But what if a whole electorate suffers from doublethink? Or, if not the entire electorate, then the ideologues who occupy the commanding heights of every debate?

Some examples will help make the point.

First, you have COVCID doublethink related to the “safe and effective” vaccines.

Just as with the Pfizer seat belt meme, where the poor blood-spattered bloke who was hurtled through his car’s windscreen and says to the interviewer, “at least I was wearing my Pfizer seat belt”, most of the vaccinated population think, well, I know now it doesn’t stop you getting it, but I would have been far sicker or dead without it.

Such a response isn’t just delusional. The prevalence of this thinking prevents the proper scrutiny of the COVID response – Nuremberg Two, if you will. The elusive COVID reckoning.

It means the injustices meted out to the unjabbed, the harms done to the vaccine-injured, the unnecessary deaths of those prevented from accessing sound treatments go unpunished, this side of the grave.

It means that the Brad Hazzards and the Daniel Andrews and the Brett Suttons get away with it. The doublethink of the vaccinated prevents them from admitting they were conned. I got COVID but the vaccines worked!

Second, there is the non-environmentalist greenie who believes without demur that it is acceptable to build windfarms (using conventional fossil fuel energy, of course) that just happen to kill millions of birds.

It is a long time since greens were actually conservationists, of course. But their refusal to recognise the harm – no, the absolute devastation – that “bat chomping eco-crucifixes” do numbs the senses and allows them to be built, and thought of by many as doing good. Contributing to solving the “climate emergency”.

Third, there is China and the Communist Party regime of Xi Jinping. We allow them to own much of our country, including vital infrastructure and agricultural land, while simultaneously accepting that their regime is abominable to its own people and, more than likely, will one day invade Taiwan and then look longingly to the South China Sea and beyond.


The dozens of former politicians on both side of politics who beat a path to the consultancy riches of Beijing must have suffered at least a little from the China doublethinks – as we might term political cognitive dissonance – without, apparently, feeling too uneasy.

Our biggest trading partner is a thuggocracy. Do we care?

No, some time back it became politically acceptable, indeed, compulsory, to talk up China’s essential goodness so that we could justify to ourselves selling them most of what we used to own ourselves, and educating their people in order that they could then take over the world. We don’t even have to mention the Wuhan Institute of Virology and its astonishing deeds.

Not unrelated, fourth, we stop developing coal mines and so deny our people cheap, reliable energy, but encourage our few remaining coal producers to continue exporting our coal to China so they can have cheap energy and simultaneously spew greenhouse gases into the same atmosphere that sits over us. If you are worried about that sort of thing.

“Climate change” offers a whole raft of opportunities for doublethink. Climate “experts” tell us it is very wet because of La Nina but they also tell us that “extreme” weather of any kind is evidence of a climate “emergency”.

These things cannot both be true. It doesn’t work that way. Contradictory explanations of a phenomenon are just that. Contradictory.

Fifth, we have the Voice (appropriately capitalised). We just must have it. Emoting tells us so.

But the Voice will do only one of the two things it is claimed to do, which most of its adherents should readily admit.


It will either change our nation radically, or, if not, it will do nothing to help the twenty per cent of Aborigines identified by Gary Johns in his magisterial book, The Burden of Culture, that actually need help.

The proponents of the Voice claim that, like Pfizer products, it will be “safe and effective”. Sorry, it cannot be both. The whole argument for the Voice is sustained by doublethink.

Another element of system failure in the modern polis is the endless attempt by the political class to prioritise non-problems while ignoring real issues.

Solving non-problems – even telling ourselves that they are problems to be solved, and even capable of solution – is itself a form of cognitive dissonance, writ huge.

You might want to call it a fatal conceit, following Hayek, or ideologically driven prioritisation, or simply the old-fashioned politicians’ desire to be seen to be doing something.

But the list of wasted policy efforts in pursuit of chimeric goals is so long as to suggest it isn’t a coincidence, but reflects a deeper change in the way policymakers. Climate change. The republic. The Voice (again). More women in politics. Controlling, let alone halting, a virus.


My guess is that many, many politicians know full well that their efforts in all these areas are unnecessary and prone to non-fulfilment.

In other words, they simultaneously believe that what they are doing is worthwhile and impossible. If they are honest and analytical, that is.

Politicians have always been prone to prevarication. Lying. Half-truths. Distractions.

You might say that fibbing is a core part of the politician’s skill set. And the ideologue’s, too.

What is different now is that these days the political class collectively lies to itself. It allows itself the convenience of believing two things at once about so many things.

Compartmentalising in the pursuit of power. It is always the people who lose.PC

Paul Collits

MAIN PHOTOGRAPH:  NSW Treasurer Matt Kean. (courtesy Illawarra Mercury)

1 thought on “Politicians confused by own lies

  1. I happen to disagree with your idea that “many many politicians know full well that their efforts in all these areas are unnecessary and prone to non-fulfilment”.

    Maybe a few, but my thought is that many many politicians are now so conditioned by their education (remembering that the Australian education system has been increasingly infiltrated by bullshit for at least a couple of generations), and the general b- – -s in too many sections of society, without enough savage push back by commonsense fair dinkum Australians, that they just don’t conceive, cannot conceive, the actual concept of double think etc..


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