We are all liars, a letter from VW

Dear VW, Audi or Porsche owner,

Ok!  So there is no excuse for lying, or is there? Everywhere we turn, we are lied too. Politicians spin untruths, healthy snacks are found to be laden with bad sugars and manufacturers use falsified results to bolster share prices and performance. Danepak encourage us with sizzling pans of delicious bacon and now we find,  its detrimental to our health!

Who is really to blame? I think all of us are predisposed to lying. There has even been the odd athlete, competing in events whose sex could be a questionable.

It’s natural to lie…right

If every single one of us was to look back across our lives, we would soon realise that from birth to maturity we are taught to lie, and lied too constantly by those charged with being our role models.

This web of deceit starts not long after birth, at this lovable stage, we merrily plod along happily shaking the rattle, gurgling and happy to lie and sit in our own filth. At this vulnerable point, those we depend upon for survival start the lies!

We are constantly told that a spoon is a train or plane flying across our vision to deliver nutrition to us. Secondly our parents tell us this coloured sludge being forced into our mouths is lovely, yet their faces contort when trying the food for themselves. It’s a cover up of epic proportions.

We reach the age of toddling, and a start to get a basic understanding of the world around us, now the lies start to escalate and become more elaborate in the planning and delivery.  We now think that if we are naughty, gypsies will sneak in and carry us off in the night. Has anyone thought how sinister that actually is?

Add to that the notion that every year a magical rabbit with super powers, hops to our houses to deposit chocolate eggs. (With all that magic you think it could be put to better use like feeding the starving)  We are raised to celebrate and be thankful for these chocolate treats, only to be chastised in later years for eating the very thing forced upon us each Easter and often paying extortive dental fees.

The lies keep growing.

Moving along, and every December (you think he would a chose a warmer time of year) some rotund chap visits every house on earth in one night!  Climbs down a chimney (even if you don’t have one) and delivers free stuff.


This monumental cover up is not just facilitated by our parents, but everyone in society.  You can’t go anywhere without people dressed up, lying to kids, telling them they are in fact Santa or one of his many helpers. We are told reindeer can fly and one even has a light for a nose!  TV adverts from brands we are supposed to trust, tell you its real and show images of what is going to happen when this portly chap decides to stop by.

The worst part of all of this…and I mean the worst part is this. Apparently he is watching us all the time, noting what we do and judging us based on our behaviour. I am sure a percentage of our population, never get over these intrusive and voyeuristic ways, and I myself only shower with the light off.

It’s not my Fault

So as we develop in those richly formative years, the lies roll on and on and we grow into little people whose understanding of the world is skewed by a web of lies. Our whole childhoods are filled with illusions and untruths, so how can we be expected to understand the principles of honesty? When ingrained in our psyche are lies like these…

  • You’re lying. There is a black spot on your tongue – A lie that has been scientifically dis-proven
  • You’re too close, you will get Square eyes – Never seen anyone with these
  • Mummy and Daddy were just wrestling – Nothing more to say except…Yuk
  • Of course you were planned – Statistical analysis disagrees as does my Grandfather.

So when as adults we slip up a just a little, shouldn’t the blame be put firmly on our parents, family, friends and society? Should we not be looking to shift the burden of guilt from ourselves as we in fact are just victims in a wider conspiracy?

It is for these reasons that I believed that cheating our customers through falsifying the performance and emissions of over 8 million cars was acceptable. But really folks is it so bad? Isn’t telling your kids Santa Claus is real worse? Who is really the monster?

Can we get over it now?

Yours Sincerely

Martin Winterkorn – CEO Volkswagen