What About Politicians, Grandpa?

politicians found out

Why Grandpa?

Sometimes a conversation with a young person challenges.

‘Grandpa, why do poller … pally … shuns’


‘Yeah, them. Why do they call each other liars all the time?’

‘Because they think they’re the only people who are right.’

‘Can they all be right?’

‘Maybe some bits, but not completely.’

‘So they lie quite a lot of the time.’


‘I get in trouble when I lie.’

‘Of course you do.’

‘Mum and Dad get mad if they find me out.’

‘Do you lie sometimes?’

He smiles and nods. I smile back. ‘Mum calls it fibbing.’

‘Why do you fib?’

‘Jack (big brother) blames me and I don’t want to get into trouble.’

‘Even if you’re guilty?’

He giggles and blushes. ‘Especially when I’m guilty.’

I laugh and give him a serious look. ‘You obviously trust me wee man.’

‘You don’t tell on me.’ He gazes into my eyes. ‘You tell me the truth, don’t you?’

‘As best I can.’

‘Dad says polly …


He nods … ‘say porkies … that’s lying isn’t it.’

‘Yes, lying.’

‘Why do politicians lie?’

‘Because they think it’s okay.’ He frowns. ‘They sometimes call it Spin.’

‘Like a top?’

‘I think it’s more like yarn. Remember when you saw them spinning yarn in school.’

‘That was neat.’

It’s the same sort of idea. Like me telling you a yarn.’

‘Like the giant spider story?’

‘Your mum gave me a hard time for that one.’

‘It was scary … are porylicians scary?

‘Sometimes. Usually they’re nice people on the surface.’

‘Nice people who act like they know everything, but they don’t.’

‘You’ve got it.’

‘And they lie and make things up.’


‘Why don’t they find out things and tell the truth, like we do in projects at school?’

‘That’s not how their world works.’

‘Mum would sort them out.’

‘Yup, most mums would.’

‘Why don’t they do projects like me and my class?’

‘Maybe they don’t know how … and anyway, they don’t have to.’

‘So that’s why Dad says they don’t live in the real world.’

‘Sounds like.’

‘So it’s like they know how to spin. They know how to make yarn. But they don’t know how to make cloth.’

‘Spot on. You’ve taught me something today, wee man.’ I hug him, he hugs me back. We laugh.

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