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Ross: No lies in Britain, but it’s OK to ‘feed the base’ in America

Boris Johnson in May 2019. He is in the running for leader of the Conservative party following the announcement of Prime Minister Theresa May's resignation. (Summers/Getty Images)

In London a judge has issued summons against the man who could be Britain’s next prime minister. Boris Johnson, member of parliament, former mayor of London, stands accused of lying to the public during the 2016 Brexit campaign.

His lie was in how he repeatedly claimed, in public, that Britain was being forced to pay 350 million pounds per week for membership in the European Union. Whereas the true amount is 250 million pounds. That’s the lie. We’re not talking about lying under oath. This is just plain old regular lying. Or what we in America call “campaigning.”

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And that’s not all. I asked Darren Adam about this. He hosts a talk show in London. What is the potential penalty if Johnson is convicted of lying?

“It’s life in prison,” Adam laughed. “Ha! That is not going to happen.”

Adam was very happy to talk to me about this, because under British law he can’t talk about it on his own show!

“We can’t talk about this story in the UK because it’s now a live court case,” he said.

So there it is. No wonder the UK is no longer a superpower.

Here in the United States, if a politician lies it’s called “feeding the base.” If it wasn’t legal, the base would starve.

Our free market taught us long ago that there’s no market for facts. Especially when they’re boring. Otherwise, reporters would be rich, and Mark Zuckerburg would have founded FactBook.

Listen to Dave Ross weekday mornings from 5-9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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