Seasoned politicians know that any lie or nonsense they pronounce which is vigorously defended and supported by the information systems at their disposal

Aside from the fact that politicians from all walks of life have since time immemorial been trying to garner the benevolence of religious orders, or at the very least to avoid incurring their wrath, the fact remains that for politicians they represent the very apogee of power, the example of unchallenged and unchallengeable dominion of the few over the many.

Politicians therefore ought to take heed of the few fundamental lessons imparted by religious orders.

The first of these is not to engage in self-criticism, to always wear a mantle of infallibility and to make sure you are never criticised by friendly media.

Seasoned politicians know that any lie or nonsense they pronounce which is vigorously defended and supported by the information systems at their disposal, will always attract a hard core of supporters, even in the face of contrary evidence: they have no fear of offending any one's intelligence, since intelligence is a ... _OMISSIS_ ... particularly among zealots.

Of course, savvy politicians are also aware of the limits of their own sphere of influence, outside of which it would be unwise to challenge the electorate for fear of being left with only the zealots for company and losing touch with the masses with their reluctance to follow extreme or excessively unreasonable injunctions.

Save for the rare cases where they have been caught red handed or blatantly unmasked, politicians must never admit to being wrong to avoid having to cling to false hopes and deny the facts, because people prefer a politician who is decisive but false to one who is hesitant but truthful.

The second lesson is to always preach properly, regardless of how you trawl for votes. People are attracted to the language of hypocrisy, formal and false: this language reassures them much more than the uncomfortable language of truth. For centuries people have been indoctrinated and often fo... _OMISSIS_ those who preach the love of God (and who often have a lot less love for thy neighbour in their souls): what counts is respect for appearances. Therefore for politicians, the message and the polished way in which it is delivered weigh far more than the facts. The paucity of actual results and all that takes place behind the scenes - corruption, lobbying and personal interests -, must always be denied with absolute conviction, at whatever cost, by systematic and blatant lying. And this is sufficient: inasmuch as it may seem incredible, people take their politicians at face value. On the other hand, any admission or sincerity would be a fatal let down for the electorate and would be equivalent to political suicide.

The third lesson is taken from the sacred vestments. Politicians must not refuse the symbols and the excesses of power, they cannot get close to the people, enjoy the same standard of living as the people. The status symbol of politicians... _OMISSIS_ ...stage of public funds and of dubious business deals that surround them are together the very essence of their fascination. The rituals of office, state flights, privileges, engaging repartee, unjust stipends are part of the politicians sacred vestments. Politicians have to have an escort, even if it serves no purpose, politicians must always travel with sirens wailing, even if they are going to a brothel. People must hate and fear them, they must be shocked by politicians. Otherwise they will no longer lap up every word they say. Otherwise they will be considered one of their own, a harmless and boring pal. But in his eyes he will no longer be a politician, someone that wields the baton of authority.

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