Skip to main content
School of Politics and International Relations

Is it acceptable for government to be dishonest at a time like this?


In the midst of a global pandemic for which there is no cure or vaccine, it's vital that messages about the difficult behavioural changes we are making are delivered in a clear and consistent fashion. This article asks whether the government should admit where it may have got something wrong, or whether this make us less inclined to continue following instructions. Can we handle the truth or will this create more confusion? Tim Bale, Professor of Politics at Queen Mary University of London, expresses some sympathy for the way the government is handling the crisis, but also highlights a false dichotomy when choosing between dishonesty and effectiveness, and, honesty and confusion. Professor Bale says, "in the current crisis, I think there is a third possibility, which is by making the government more honest, it might end up being more effective."

Find out more



Back to top