“The Lake District is the venue for the ‘World’s Biggest Liar’ competition. Politicians can’t enter, because it’s only open to amateurs”
~John Penrose MP
It’s fascinating to be in the presence of professional politicians and watch at first hand how they practice the black arts. The occasion was a tourism meeting with Jeremy Hunt, who is the Minister for “Culture, Media, Olympics and Sport” and his deputy, John Penrose, who is the Tourism Minister. Their task was to explain to us what the Olympics will do for the Lake District. I’m in no doubt at all what the Olympics will do, which is to keep our best customers away for the five weeks of the event. The customers who will be kept away are those from Japan, China and Taiwan who come to Britain for the holiday of a lifetime and won’t be able to visit because London, which is an essential part of the trip, will be too expensive and too congested for ordinary tourists while the Olympics are on. When I expressed that opinion on radio and TV several months ago, eyebrows were raised, but my views were confirmed yesterday by the European Tour Operator’s Association who said that 90% of inbound tours would be cancelled, leading to a loss of trade of £3.5 billion.
But politicians don’t let cast iron facts get in the way of their spin and the Ministers marched right on with their spiel about how good this sporting event will be for us. Perhaps they were, after all, in training for the “World’s Biggest Liar” competition.
The video shows Johnny Graham, last year’s winner.