I feel compelled to return almost immediately to the subject of the willingness of people in public life, companies, governments and civil servants, politicians and all sorts of others who come into the public view to lie through their teeth at the drop of a hat.

The latest offender is Post Office Limited which is desperately trying to evade its public service obligations by closing down, with the connivance of a know-nothing, do-nothing government that cares not a fig for the mostly rural folk who will be affected by this.

They have written to their staff to tell them that they have established their own private branch of the Gestapo which is to go round sub-post offices to check that sub-postmasters are spinning the right spin concerning the closure programme. As if this were not sinister enough, the letter goes on to threaten that if the sub-postmaster is deemed not to have lied to his or her customers in the appropriate and approved manner their compensation package would be at risk.

The Sub-postmasters were, rightly, offended by this piece of Orwellian nastiness, blew the gaffe and demanded an apology from Post Office Limited for this bit of blackmail.

Having been trashed Post Office Limited reached immediately for the lie:

“We are sending sub-postmasters clarification and an apology for the unintended impression given by the letter.”

The italics are mine. Unintended? What a lot of tommyrot.

What their original letter said was this:

“During the Programme, representatives of the Post Office Limited will visit branches at random, on an anonymous basis, in order to ensure these ‘key messages’ [about the closure programme]are being delivered in an accurate and professional manner,” ……”Subject to state aid clearance, any compensation package offered to you if your branch is selected for closure shall be subject to you having complied, and continuing to comply, with this obligation up to the date of closure.”

You may think that it could not be clearer than that: “Spin the Spin or Lose Your Compensation” and the suggestion that they did not intend this meaning is simply ludicrous and offensive.

No one will, of course, lose their job as a result of this piece of terrorism. No, after a suitable period they will doubtless get a big fat bonus and a promotion. And they will live to lie again.

Should we be surprised? No. Michael Howard famously ambushed Alistair Campbell, the most interesting propaganda minister since April 1945, on Newsnight by calling him a liar to his face, an allegation which plainly took him aback but which left him stammering in its wake. It is at Mr. Campbell’s door that one may lay blame for this culture. He so debauched the truth in his time at No. 10 that he created a climate in which all PR types grew up trying to ape his skills (if that is the right word for proclivities of this kind) thinking that was the way to go.

Campbell’s Motto – why that is simple:

I am become death, the destroyer of truth