Lies Are Not Free Speech

What is a lie but a calculated deception? Stating a thing as truth in order to deceive, evade or mislead. A lie is a malfeasance, a weapon of words chosen to harm others and advantage to liar. A believed lie robs the believer, the deceived, of their freedom. A believed lie disadvantages the beleiver.

Yet I have heard people say that it is their right of free speech to be able to not speak all the facts, a lie of ommission. Others, sometimes caught out in "broken political promises," say it is their right to chase the votes won with "simplified arguments." The intent was to mislead? It's a lie! Nothing else. People can't handle the truth? The lie to justify lying. The lie told for personal advantage. An advantage gained at the expense of the advantage to the greater good. Stealing a vote with a half truth is stealing the rights of those without the power sought.

Official secrets are lies. Trade secrets are lies. Withholding facts for any sort of gain for one individual or group over another are lies. Lies harm those without sufficient facts by keeping them down. Lies are a violence against those not in a position to defend themselves.

Lies are not free speech because they deny the hearer(s) a fair assessment of the situation. To hear the truth is a fundamental human right because informed choice is a fundamental human right and choice cannot be considered informed if the information sought before making that choice contained lies. Or half truths.

Humans lie, deception can be a survival trait, if unlawfully held captive, one might lie to effect escape, but a lie for personal gain is theft, just as fraud is theft by deception. The law already recognises this, lie to a judge and jury to evade implication and that is called perjury, it is considered an assault on the validity and dignity of the court and the penalties are high. Lying to gain tactical advantage in a political campaign is undemocratic, just as lying to gain advantage in the workplace is fraudulent.

Truth is essential to decision making. Withheld data is the preverbial want of a horseshoe nail that costs a kingdom. If your local member lies to the electorate to win a few votes, they are perverting the course of democracy. They pervert the course of Parliament. They pervert justice and the law. When you see a lie in this light, the effect of political lies can never be unseen. being uncovered and losing the next election does not restore any balance, the damage gets done in the interim.

To this end, I say that speaking a provable untruth in an election campaign is not free speech it is an act of fraud and equally as criminal as stealing. Speaking an untruth to an intimate partner is an assault. Misleading Parliament and the people of the Commonwealth of Australia should be a criminal offence, punishable by steep fines or even jail time. Parliamentary Privilege be fucked.

There can be no half truths, no state secrets, no business-in-confidence agreements in governance. Empty political promises, core or non-core, are lies until carried out as legislation, and have an implementation due date by the calling of the next election. Anything else is neither democracy, nor fair and free debate.

Free speech can only be held to be free for all only if truth is considered paramount and lies are consigned to the dustbin of the history of undue privilege, and punished by law.

That is all.


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