Another means by which NuLab has governed, was to redefine our understanding of the word ‘truth’. It is quite common for one generation to think that the truth is one thing, and for another generation to think it’s another. Truth is, according to this approach all about perception, which changes over time.
From this philosophical start point it is not difficult to take one more step, and say that if you can accelerate a change in perception, you can change the truth. Previous to Blair and NuLab the truth was believed to be unchanging, and only perception of the truth was thought to be able to be changed.
For a politician being able to alter truth is most convenient, as they can alter their position without being tied down by any strong ‘this is the truth’ principles.
It was true, for example, according to the government, last week that our Army’s presence was essential to the future of Iraq. Dannatt comes out and says that this is not the case. Peoples’ perceptions were changed.
Yet Blair has no difficulty is stating that he agrees with what Dannatt is saying.
Changing position to match peoples’ perceptions at any one time is also known as ‘moving to the centre ground’.
Before occupying it, NuLab usually first modified it by moving peoples’ perceptions. The only unusual thing in the Dannatt sitaution, is that someone else, Dannatt did the truth-moving for them. The rest is typical. One minute the war’s essential. The next, it isn’t. All with no great debate, little external loss of face and certainly no internal shame.
The key to it all is the ability not to hold to any principle, and not to feel any shame. If you can do that, then you too could be as great a politican as Tony Blair.