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“Tony Abbott has never apologised for the lies he told the Australian people”

I have always been among the first to be critical of Bill Shorten, but when he deserves more favourable recognition I want to be among the first to offer it. And he certainly deserves recognition for his speech on Matters of Public Importance in Parliament on June 25 when he unleashed probably the best attack on Tony Abbott since Julia Gillard’s famous ‘misogyny speech‘. But it was not just the grunt shown by Shorten; it was probably the best summary of Tony Abbott’s style of lying and deception ever captured.

You can watch the speech on The AIMN’s Facebook page but to my knowledge it is not yet available on YouTube (yes, I’ve searched). So far only 40,000 people have seen the video—which is clearly not enough. This needs to be ‘out there’.

If you’re not on Facebook and can’t share the video I’ve copied the transcript. Please, let’s help get this ‘out there’ too . . .

Mr SHORTEN (Maribyrnong—Leader of the Opposition) (15:12):

Another question time and again no answers—another day like every day under the Abbott government. New Liberal lies—new Liberal lows. Every day we see the quality of the parliament and the debasement of the government of Australia continue downwards. There will be six weeks away from this place when we will all have the opportunity to be amongst the Australian people. But we know what the Liberals will be up to. We know that those opposite will continue their trademark politics of fear and smear. We know that the bar is never too low for those who sit opposite. Look at their form in Victoria. Never in my wildest imagination did I imagine that the Liberal Party of Australia or any of its divisions would stoop so low, crawl so low, as to be raising money on the back of national security fear. Frankly, the Prime Minister gave an unsatisfactory answer. He said that of course one would go down to ASIO for briefings—probably true; of course that may be true—but he could never explain why he needed a TV camera in tow. When the opposition legitimately questioned him on these matters, he said it was an attack on ASIO. This man is addicted to wrapping the flag of patriotism around him and then saying no-one has the right to ever question the judgements of this government on that basis.

We know that every dirty trick will be played by this government, by this Prime Minister, in the next 12 months. They will keep going on the low road of character assassination. They will stick with the same bullying, the same base politics of division and suspicion. The last day of this sitting fortnight has been typical of every day under this government. This government and Mr Abbott will say anything to get your vote. They will say anything; they will do anything; they will promise everything. But his words mean nothing. His promises mean nothing. Let me tell the government and Mr Abbott about this. If he wants to lecture us about lying, if he wants to keep on talking about keeping promises, if he wants to make the next election about trust, he should have a go—give it a try. Bring it on.

Today Mr Abbott postured in question time, in the style which only he thinks befits a Prime Minister of this country, with his faux indignation and finger wagging, about an interview I did with Neil Mitchell two years ago. As I have said more than a couple of times, I made a mistake and I regret it. I did, though, what Tony Abbott is incapable doing. I have apologised. Tony Abbott has never apologised for the lies he told the Australian people. He has never apologised for the fraud he perpetrated on millions of hardworking people who trusted him with their vote. He never apologised for saying, on the eve of the election, right down the barrel of a camera—probably capable of tricking even polygraph—’no cuts to health, no cuts to education, no cuts or changes to the pension, no cuts to the ABC or SBS’. That is five broken promises in 10 seconds—one lie every two seconds.

The problem is that Mr Abbott’s lies have real consequences for all Australians. His lies are hurting people every day— $30 billion cut from schools and $50 billion cut from hospitals. Once and for all, will the government finally acknowledge the authorship of their own budget papers which demonstrate the change in their spending profiles and the cuts behind them? This Prime Minister thinks that Australians are as silly as some of the people who backed him in his parliamentary party. The truth is in black and white, green and blue. He has hurt 300,000 pensioners in this last sitting week—people on modest incomes. He talks about some people who get $30 a fortnight being better off. But he presses the ‘delete’ button at that point. He never mentions 330,000 pensioners who are having their pensions cut. He said before the election, ‘no cuts to pensions’. But 330,000 people are going to have their pensions cut. He says that because it does not happen until a certain date it is not really a broken promise. This man has too many excuses and not enough truth in his election promises. He has frozen the superannuation of 8.4 million Australians. He said that there are no adverse consequences that they would administer on superannuation, but he has frozen superannuation for 3.5 million low-paid Australians. He has taken away their tax support for the superannuation contributions they make. But it goes further than that. The Prime Minister for Indigenous matters has cut half a billion dollars from Aboriginal services. The Prime Minister for women has cut $270 million from community services, including counselling for the victims of family violence. And we know this is just the beginning. This is a most miraculous government. They get their public servants, paid by taxpayers, working for months to talk to other senior officers all around the country.

They prepare a federation green paper, and then they say, ‘It’s just a sensible discussion’. Prime Minister, there is nothing sensible about an option which says you will take every dollar out of public hospital funding. Prime Minister, there is nothing sensible about cutting the 15-hour minimum per week guarantee to four-year-olds. There is nothing sensible about means testing public schools and the parents who use public schools.

The Prime Minister has form on this. Before the last election he said there would be no cuts to health. In fact, he continued to say it all around the streets of Brisbane, before the Griffith by-election, when he said of his GP tax on the sick and the vulnerable: ‘nothing has been proposed and nothing has been considered.’ Nothing has been considered, nothing has been proposed and nothing is planned. Mr Abbott’s pattern is the same: all things to all people before an election; afterwards, ‘Please don’t bother me. I’m about to break my promises.’ I know what the next six weeks will be like with the government members. They will get out there and they will whip up fear. They will whip up smear. They will make it such that Australians feel more worried about their future than they even should be. Indeed, this is a government who is obsessed with the opposition. They do not want to stand up for Australia and fight for a vision of the future. The Prime Minister is never any happier than when he is attacking us. But he is never more unhappy than when he actually has to run the government in the interests of the Australian people. They are fixated on the past. They are spending $80 million of taxpayer money trying to denigrate the reputation of the union movement. They are trying to turn baseless allegations into a headline.

On this subject, let me say to the most appalling Acting Minister for Employment that this Commonwealth has ever had the misfortune to have serve in that position. He has said more than once in recent weeks of my time in the AWU representing working people, ‘He was there for the good times in Beaconsfield’. He has implied that somehow Beaconsfield was a good time. Well, Christopher Pyne, I was at Beaconsfield. A man died and two men were trapped for 14 days not knowing whether they would be rescued. For the first five days their families did not know if they were alive and, for the next nine days, ordinary men dug through hard rock to rescue them. It was a remarkable effort by hundreds of people. Their families went to hell and back. And Christopher Pyne is so out of touch that he says they were the ‘good times’? How dare you, Christopher Pyne. You are not fit to tie the shoelaces of those people in that rescue.

I say to the Prime Minister and to the government: we will never apologise for standing up and giving service to working people. Every day you talk about Labor, every day you talk about me, every day you look back to yesterday, is another day that confirms you have nothing to say about the future. You have nothing to say about Australians, their concerns, their priorities and, indeed, the future of this country. Labor is better than that. It lasted a day. We saw the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection getting back into the gutter with his interjections and mindless contributions. Yesterday we were his best friends because they needed Labor to do the right thing for the nation. But these people have short memories, as I predicted yesterday. But we are different. We will support budget measures that we think are in the best interests of the nation. We will not be mindlessly negative, as this Prime Minister made his trademark of opposition. We are interested in the Australia of the future and setting up Australia for the future. That means making sure that there are jobs and skills for the workforce of the future and our young people of today. We want great schools and yes, we want great coding in our schools. We want proper funding for our hospitals—not these rubbishy federation green papers which you propose, with your madcap options. And we want universal Medicare. Australians are sick of you trying to wreck the Medicare system. We want accessible and affordable universities, not $100,000 degrees. We will fight youth unemployment and we will back TAFE all the way—training and apprenticeships. We believe in a fair pension and we believe in strong superannuation.

In the next six weeks we will outline our positive agenda. You can play your cheap political games all you like. You can take the low road, you can do your very worst. But we will see you off. We will not only endure; we will most certainly prevail.

Update:

Thanks to one of our readers, the video is available in the comments below.

 


33 comments

  1. Momo

    Can we please have a video of this? The public should hear it.

  2. Roswell

    I’ll add it when it becomes available on YouTube.

  3. stephentardrew

    Things may yet change.

    I live in hope.

  4. Blinkyewok

    Ask the Guardian to publish Bill’s speach

  5. Judes

    PLEASE Guardian .. Print this speech in full… Better still, make it a feature article. Australia NEEDS to read this…
    WAKE UP Australia. The Emperor Abbott has NO clothes!!!!

  6. Lizzie

    Wow – this is what we’ve been waiting for! I haven’t seen any news clips of this. If it wasn’t for AIM, I wouldn’t have even known it had taken place.

  7. Terry2

    “whose side are you on ?”………. to the ABC

    “Heads must roll” …………….Again the ABC

    “They’re coming to get us”…………..DAESH/ISIS

    The emperor with no clothes becomes the boy who cried wolf.

    Is there anything in all of the new security terrorism legislation that makes ‘inciting fear and hatred’ a crime’ ?

  8. brickbob

    The transcript and video of Bill’s speech will not be seen by many voters,the MSM will make sure of it i hate to say,it will be seen by a few on U Tube then airbrushed out of exsistence. The corporations, the Govt,and the law enforcement agencies have joined forces and are now running the country.
    I went to a shopping Plaza in Brisbane yesterday,and outside a well known electrical appliance centre there were these huge cutouts of Joe Hockey with wads of cash in both hands. These people never give up and never will, not until they have brain washed the majority of the population into obedient non thinking bots.””””””””

  9. flohri1754

    It would be good to have such speeches continue to be made, and not just by Bill Shorten ….

  10. Kaye Lee

    “In the next six weeks we will outline our positive agenda.”

    Gawd I hope so. And may I make a suggestion…..stop starting every sentence with Tony Abbott. It gives him a credence he doesn’t deserve. Let’s just hear policy.

    The Liberal Party have already made their ad about “Don’t trust Bill”. After Thomson and Slipper, and then Gillard, Rudd and Shorten all in front of Royal Commissions for dubious reason (as opposed to John Howard who never had to answer for the AWB scandal), coupled with pictures of Credlin with a dirt file and the dirt files paid for and compiled by Senator James McGrath, we know the way they play. Remember the headless chook ad?

    Ignore them. Forget them. Let their paltry nastiness speak for itself.

    Give us something to rally around. We are crying out for it.

  11. mmc1949

    Yes, a good speech. But at the end of the day, unless there is a remarkable turnaround in the next six weeks, all Labor has on offer is Liberal-lite. No thank you!

  12. eli nes

    What a surprise!!!! Little billy makes a telling speech on the floor of parliament to 100 people. Presumably, he will go on the ABC for another couple of thousand. But will we see him on the morning shows with a scripted list of the rabbutt’s economic lies? No! no! no! He cannot risk it. Will we see Tanya or Wong or Albo???? Why not????
    It is so obvious that the commercial stations are gagging for negative stories.
    Be they true, nearly true, somewhat true or ‘children overboard’ temporarily rumoured to be true.
    Labor should be quietly attacking the liar, and his weak links hockey, robb, pyne, andrews and the women on the morning shows, in the windows of every labor office and at every branch meeting.

  13. corvus boreus

    Suggestion for upcoming Labor strategy.
    Let Labor speak of their ‘positive agenda’ (although, personally, I would prefer ‘positive policies with clear goals’).
    Let Abbott speak against Abbott.

    “Lefty lynch mobs…evil death cult…coming to get us…frankly, heads should roll”.

  14. kerri

    Abbott just uttered another whopper live from Singapore!
    “I am not in the practice of telling other countries what to do.”
    WHAT?

  15. kerri

    Bloody ABC 24 just reported Zaki Mallah was “CONVICTED OF TERRORISM OFFENCES”
    I hope he gets a good lawyer!
    Now Malcolm Turnbull thinks he is above the law!!!

  16. Roswell

    “I am not in the practice of telling other countries what to do.”

    I almost choked.

  17. Andreas Bimba

    In terms of competence, honesty and education/social welfare policy, the ALP is way better than the Conservatives. In regard to asylum seeker policy, excessive state security, erosion of free speech and Internet privacy/freedom they are effectively the same.

    Shorten talks of a more generous education and social welfare policy while the current government deficit and debt is now expanding rapidly and the mining boom goes boom, under the Conservatives.

    The weakest link in the current ALP policy platform is to continue to follow the same total free trade/globalisation/neo-liberal economic agenda of the Conservatives that is off shoring our economy primarily to China, the rest of East Asia and Germany. The nations employment base and taxpayer base is being rapidly shrunk while the demands on government have never been higher.

    The promise of greater market access to overseas markets is a mirage as our mineral, energy and bulk agriculture exports already had adequate market access and talk of being integrated into the Japanese, Korean or Chinese economies is unlikely to yield anything of significance. The net result is millions of jobs being lost as the last remnants of our manufacturing and associated service industries disappear and the promised new jobs fail to materialise.

    Greater national self sufficiency through moderate trade protection of highly automated manufacturers while still exporting the mineral, energy and agricultural commodities as now makes much more sense.

    As the world’s increasingly reckless financial, debt and investment bubbles are ever more likely to end in world recession or depression, Australia is better off being more self sufficient in our own life boat rather than being more integrated into a global economic Titanic.

    US socially liberal Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is rapidly gaining ground in the 2016 US Presidential campaign and he is promising to deliver a more balanced, anti globalisation and anti neo-liberal economic agenda for the US. Is the tide turning against neo-liberalism?

  18. kerri

    Roswell I wish I could share your enthusiasm for Bill’s second decent speech!
    Two great, mobilising, galvanising speeches in 2&1/2 years does not a Prime Minister make!
    How many pieces of unfair, nasty, poorly thought out and apparently unread pieces of legislation has Bill willingly signed on to?
    How many times has Bill acted as the Deputy PM for the LNP by throwing away policies at the heart of the Australian Labor Party?
    I am totally p’d off with Bill and his yes man attitude!
    He likes Abbott. He really does! I wish I had a dollar for every photo of Bill sharing a joke with Tony?
    Smiling lovingly at the man who is driving this country down the drain.
    Does he not realise that Abbott’s visceral hatred of Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd was what won him the position he so clearly does not deserve?
    If the public opinion is that the LNP are unfair, draconian, out of touch and a bunch of liars, what the hell is Bill doing willingly supporting them.
    If Abbott is the best friend the Labor Party has then Bill is practically Press Secretary for the Abbott Government.
    People have compared Bill’s face to that of a sad puppy.
    It’s his tummy I worry about!
    And all the Abbott scratch and tickle marks on it!

  19. John Kelly

    Thank you, Roswell. There are ‘stand alone’ quotes in this speech which could form the basis of some great future articles that promote Shorten, rather than wasting time denigrating Abbott.

  20. Roswell

    Indeed, John. There were so many good ‘stand alone’ quotes that I had trouble selecting one as a catchy title.

  21. Harquebus

    It’s okay to lie as long as one apologizes afterwards. Got it!

  22. Bighead1883

    Thanks for the hot link Kaye Lee it makes the world go faster so it can be tweeted as well

  23. Bighead1883

    People need to understand hard and fast that if the ALP right defeat once and for all the ALP left then the door is wide open for the majors to vote together to end the preferential voting system.
    This is the reality facing Australia as corporatism grabs a much larger and firmer hold of our lives
    Our assets and services are falling to them at the rate of knots as does our Sovereignty
    Say what you will,spew all you want,throw vitriol at Labor,but if the Labor left fail then that is it “GAME OVER”for ALL minor parties

    Scenario-bill entered to end preferential voting[don`t worry they`ve got one ready]
    Passed in bipartisan vote HoR
    Goes to Semate-passed in bipartisan vote
    Time span-less than 3 months
    A DD election has everyone there Senate and House [No not half the Senate,whole]
    Greens lucky to get 2 Senators Australia wide and No HoR seat
    Do your own sums those clever enough

    Last chance coming up now as Labor Left has control of the National Conference for the first time since the 80`s
    You can see what the right faction are up to with Joel Fitzgibbon`s push to have boats turn around as Labor policy
    I`m not saying Labor would handle the people like LNP does but Australia has to change the attitude of the majority who feel things are being done right as per asylum seekers

  24. warriorwomyn2

    Why would he apologise ….he is not a good a person he is a C U Next Tweek

  25. ColinSC

    Unlikely this will be printed in any of the Murdocracy, as it does not further their agenda. I only hope it becomes required reading for the normal folk of Australia.

  26. Pingback: The sound of nodding heads – Written by KAYE LEE | winstonclose

  27. stephentardrew

    Totally agree John. Maybe we could push a positive agenda and help influence Labor. Criticising them continually, which I am guilty of, will only build resistance and empower the right. So many complex psychological imperatives vying against each other.

  28. kerri

    Stephentardrew in teaching psychology you are told to praise the good iignore the bad. With Bill at the helm we are doing a lot of ignoring!

  29. Roswell

    Thanks. I’ll add it to the post.

  30. Colin

    Then why the eff does he keep giving Abbot a green light on his shitty tyrannical laws?
    Bill shorten is 99% as much of an asshole.

  31. Bighead1883

    Probably to annoy the living shit out of the sanctimonious Greens supporters like you who embrace di Natale`s decision to reduce Rudd`s increases to pensioner

  32. corvus boreus

    Colin,
    So there you have your answer.
    Apparently Shorten is gleefully acquiescing to the erosion of basic privacies, liberties and civil rights purely in order to piss you off because he assumes all who oppose such are ‘sanctimonious Greens supporters’.
    Labor represent!

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