A few years ago, I read a book called “Spy The Lie”. It was written by a professional interrogator who made various suggestions about how you could tell when somebody was lying. I can’t remember it all, but I do remember that he made the point that there was no one definitive sign, but there were things that, taken together, were a pretty sure sign. For example, in the case of a politician, the fact that their lips are moving is not enough. They have to be making sounds into words. And if you add the fact that they belong to the Liberal Party, you have enough to presume that it’s a lie.
Anyway, in spite of this, I’m personally satisfied with Senator Cash’s explanation. While she told Parliament five times that neither she nor anyone in her office tipped off the media, I’m quite happy for her to say that she didn’t mislead Parliament. She herself was misled. And that’s the point. Once she discovered that she was misled, she corrected the record. And it probably had nothing to do with the fact that Doug Cameron asked if someone from her staff tipped the media off at 3-30, which seems pretty specific and like he actually had the sort of information that was from someone who’d actually noted the time that they were tipped off and let Cameron know so he could ask the question for a fifth time.
If you repeat a lie, you’re not misleading anyone, because you yourself were misled. It’s sort of like repeating gossip. You don’t need to check whether it’s true or not. The fact that somebody told you means that you should be able to repeat it with impunity and just say sorry if you’re wrong.
Speaking of Barnaby Joyce, I wonder how the High Court will rule tomorrow. I know that a lot of conspiracy theorists believe that they’ll let him off because everything’s corrupt and everyone’s in everyone’s pocket, but I’ve been told that it’s not like that… If I’m wrong, then I didn’t mislead you because someone else told me that.
I need to pause and remember why I started this…
Oh that’s right, I was going to describe an imaginary experience because I’m really a fiction writer… Mm, I wonder if Malcolm needs a speech writer.
Scene: A courtroom. The clerk is reading the charges.
Clerk: You are charged with perjury. How do you plead, guilty or not guilty?
Defendant: Not guilty… Look I know that I filled in misleading information on a Centrelink form but somebody misled me.
Judge: So you’re denying signing the form with the incorrect information?
Defendant: No, I did that. But only because I’d been given the wrong information by someone else.
Judge: Oh, I see. Well, case dismissed.
Yeah, that’s pretty much fiction. Strange that it works like that in Canberra. I guess that’s why it was named as one of the top places in the world to visit. There aren’t many places like that in the world. You know, the sort of place where fantasy rules. I mean, who needs Disneyland when you’ve got Canberra?