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Trust in leaders declines amid doubts over Brexit cash claims.

figure By GERRY LOUGHRAN I would not put it all down to Brexit, but the move to quit Europe must have a large part to play in the distrust with which Britons now view their elected politicians.A damning report has revealed that just 19 per cent of the public, that is less than one in five people, trust our MPs to tell the truth.

As a group, they come 23rd out of 24 professions surveyed by the polling group Ipsos Mori.The three most trusted professionals, in order, are nurses, doctors and teachers, trusted by 96 per cent, 92 per cent and 89 per cent of people respectively.

Bottom of the heap are advertising executives, with journalists not far above them in 21st place and trusted by only 26 per cent of the populace.The behaviour of MPs both for and against Britain's decision to leave the European Union angered many constituents.

They decried the figures which politicians bandied about as mostly uncheckable and often palpably unrealistic.One group of activists has hired lawyers in an attempt to prosecute leading Brexit proponent Boris Johnson for his repeated claim, painted on the side of the Leave campaign bus, that Britain pays the EU some pound350 million a week.

PUBLIC STATISTICSBritain's official statistics organisation warned previously that the figure was "a misuse of public statistics," and private prosecutor Martin Ball said, "The motivation for this prosecution is to bring a beginning to the end of lying in politics." Others to come out badly from the survey are the police (just 76 per cent of the public felt they could trust the men in uniform), and, catastrophically, priests.

Back in 1983, the priesthood was the most trusted profession in the country, but the new survey puts it in 11th place, trusted by only 62 per cent of the public. Commentators concluded that the loss of trust could be explained at least in part by the number of sexual abuse cases by clerics that came to light in recent years.

A long-standing joke among Brits is that estate agents seeking to sell houses are the biggest fibbers in the country. Not so.

They were five places from the bottom, one better than media people.Comedian Konstantin Kisin was invited to perform at a charity affair put on by London University's School of Oriental and African Studies.

But first he was asked to sign a "behavioural agreement" form. This required that he should not say anything that might be deemed to deal in "racism, sexism, classism, ageism, ableism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-religion or anti-atheism.

" Kisin, who often tells jokes about his native Russia, refused. He said, "The American comedian George Carlin once said that the duty of a comedian is to find out where the line is and cross it.

I could not agree more."It was something I first noticed watching football on television.

The coach would say something to his assistants on the sidelines, but he would cover his mouth when doing so. The reason, I discovered later, was to prevent television cameras from scrutinising the movement of his lips and so get some sort of scoop from his unguarded comments.

RACIALLY ABUSEDLip-reading has gone on from there. When the black English footballer, Raheem Stirling, complained that he was racially abused by Chelsea fans, a company which specialises in forensic lip-reading, 121 Captions, was called in to study the fans' faces and decide precisely who said what.

The practice has even reached politics. Prime Minister Theresa May was seen arguing with the EU president, Jean-Claude Juncker, at a summit in Brussels, in camera view but out of earshot.

Mrs May seemed agitated, but what exactly had she said? Bring in the lip-readers and they translated her lip movements into: "What did you call me? You called me nebulous."Nothing explosive about that, particularly, but why do I feel George Orwell's Big Brother world is coming ever closer?A survey comparing what we eat now with what we ate in the 1960s put spaghetti and pizza at the top of today's favourites.

But parents said a third of the meals they give their children are the ones they themselves favoured back when they were kids. Top of this list are fish fingers, shepherd's pie and the Sunday roast of beef or lamb with mashed potatoes and Yorkshire pudding.

Two men were marooned on a desert island. One was deeply anxious, constantly scanning the horizon for hopes of rescue.

The other relaxed in the sun. Finally the worried man said to the sunbather, "Don't you realise, we are miles from anywhere, we could be here for the rest of our lives.

" "Nah," said the lazy man. "I earn pound100,000 a year and I give a tenth of that to my church.

I guarantee my parish priest will find me wherever I am."
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Publication:Daily Nation, Kenya (Nairobi, Kenya)
Date:Dec 22, 2018
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