There is no excuse for perjury – never, never, never. There is truth, and the truth demands respect.

There is no excuse for perjury – never, never, never. There is truth, and the truth demands respect.
Kenneth Starr

Gordon Brown and Rupert Murdoch both believe they told the truth at Leveson.  Unfortunately, their evidence is contradictory.  One of them lied?  Which one?

Perjury is a serious offence.  Will one of them be done for perjury?  Holding my breath?


Matthew Norman (Independent) : The brooding, tortured soul of Gordon Brown

Quentin Letts (Daily Mail): His lip curled like one of Ali Baba’s slippers

9 thoughts on “There is no excuse for perjury – never, never, never. There is truth, and the truth demands respect.

  1. Both believe they told the truth; but this is not the same as telling lies. Telling lies means that you set out to deceive, but having an alternative concept of reality means that you believe what you said is true, even if it objectively isn’t. If you believe what you say to be true, how can it be perjury when there is no intent to deceive?

  2. Neither will be “done” because it’s he said versus he said. There is no paper trail, no objective evidence, no “absolute” truth. It’s the old problem of the reliability of witnesses, what they know, what they think they know, what they have repressed or forgotten. Life is more complex than the legalistic “binary” truth/lies concept.

  3. Korhomme, whilst generally agreeing with your points, I’m don’t believe there is a “legalistic binary” in this case:
    The Perjury Act states that if a person “wilfully makes a statement… which he knows to be false or does not believe to be true, he shall be guilty of perjury”
    The word to note is ‘wilfully’ i.e. “made deliberately and not inadvertently or by mistake” (R v Millward)

    As such, this is a point of self-understanding, a mental fault element: The person in question must know that what they are saying is untrue. Factual inaccuracy under oath is thus not punishable in itself.

    Whether perjury has been committed at the Leveson Inquiry is a separate but pertinent question, particularly as the facts recalled by certain parties do not differ on mere trivialities, but are wholly contradictory.

  4. It’s not easy to comprehend how one or other of Murdoch and Brown was not lying about “the” telephone call.

    Either Brown said he was declaring war on News International or he didn’t.

    Murdoch said he did, Brown said he didn’t.

    The chance of Murdoch believing it happened when it didn’t or Brown forgetting it did when it did is so remote as to be in the land of the fairies.

    And how is a judge, even a really clever and fair judge like Leveson LJ, meant to decide such an issue when neither witness has been challenged?

    By the way, the answer is that Brown lied.

  5. Let us hope that leveson LJ will uphold the law of the land, equally against a common man, an MP, or even a former PM who commits perjury before him.
    Otherwise our judiciary will be tainted by another white washing inquiry.

  6. Elementary logic would suggest that it is Murdoch, not Brown who is lying. Murdoch has made allegations which can never be disproved (impossible to prove a negative). Brown’s denials could easily be disproved, if Murdoch were able to produce a recording of either alleged phone conversation.

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