How do you measure the quality of lying? Let me count the ways:

  1. by the quality of the lyer, i.e. it's worse when employees of a public authority, who are doing their job based on a professional oath, are lying
  2. by the quality of the truth, i.e. if it's peanuts or a big deal, such as meetings about the surveillance of 'serious offenders' who pose supposedly a threat to the community
  3. by the purpose of the lie, i.e. what is achieved if the Police says they have no minutes? Maurice's case can be struck out. What if they disclose the minutes? Maurice might win his case and the Defendant might have to offer to settle out of court...
  4. by the embarrassment imagined in the mind of the lyer or their lawyers, i.e. who is going to pay for the lawyers' time: the taxpayer or Maurice who would presumably be bankrupted in the process...
  5. by the fear of bad PR and the resulting bad image: who risks more: the Police or their lawyers?

How does one ask

  • for common sense or 'proportionality' in terms of law
  • for empathy with a man in pain
  • for sense and sensibility in terms of David and Goliath?