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Day to Day Politics: When you’re caught lying, it’s better to fess up.

Saturday 7 April

1 The Treasurer Scott Morrison said that the figures on the cost of the Government’s tax reduction for business were not released because of Bill Shorten’s Budget in Reply Speech. “I wasn’t going to do his homework for him” he said. The Prime Minister said on Television that Treasury had not done the figures. The Treasury Secretary John Fraser on Friday told a Senate’s Estimate hearing that the cost of the Government’s Budget centrepiece would be $48.2 billion. Apparently the Treasurer told him to release the costings during a phone call at 6pm Thursday. The PM told a lie and he knew it.

So we are expected to believe that they were prepared to take an absolute flogging in the media because they wanted Shorten to do some homework. Well he certainly did.

The Government tried to wriggle its way out of its dilemma by say that historically 10 year figures are not used. This argument fell apart for three reasons. Firstly, Tony Abbott included 10 years’ worth of cuts to Labor’s 10 years of projected spending on schools and hospitals in 2014. Secondly, the government had just released the 10-year cigarette excise costings. Thirdly, the Prime Minister had said that he was going to legislate for 10 years of company tax cuts in a few months’ time. Now surely if he planned to do so he would know the cost.

There is only one conclusion to draw. The Prime Minister, the one who came to office promising a new era of honesty and transparency, was telling lies. The Treasurer, a Christian man who wears his religion on his sleeve was also complicit in the deception.

The last word goes to Lenore Taylor:

“The truth is, Labor is likely to properly fund its election promises because it knows they will have to be published and submitted for scrutiny under the charter of budget honesty.

And the Treasury is very likely to have properly costed the government’s tax cuts – with the government only refusing to release the numbers in the interests of a good pre-election black hole skirmish.

But it has been too tricky by half. Its black hole attack has boomeranged back”.

An observation.

“Debate is not of necessity about winning or taking down ones opponent. It is an exchange of facts ideas and principles. Or in its purest form it simply the art of persuasion”.

2 The issue of truth featured largely in the last election. We the voters were often left to decide who was and who wasn’t telling the truth. Or who was telling more or less of it. So what is a lie? The election was different in so much as we saw the emergence of various ‘Truth Finder’ sites and both sides of the political spectrum were found out telling porkies, or at least using different shades of hue.

Remember these from Abbott:

“This will be a no surprises, no excuses government, because you are sick of nasty surprises and lame excuses from people who you have trusted with your future”.

He also promised a “unity ticket” with Labor on Gonski funding.

“You can vote Liberal or Labor and you’ll get exactly the same amount of funding for your school”.

“There will be no change to school funding under the government I lead”.

An observation.

“Do you shape the truth for the sake of good impression? On the other hand, do you tell the truth even if it may tear down the view people may have of you? Alternatively, do you simply use the contrivance of omission and create another lie .I can only conclude that there is always pain in truth but there is no harm in it”.

shorten

3 Bill Shorten’s Budget Reply speech was admirable. Have people underestimated him? I have long been saying that he hasn’t the charisma of Turnbull but he showed he has an easy manner and can switch onto assertive, when he needs to.

”Never before has a Government with so few ideas borrowed so many policies from an opposition”

”Advocating Climate Change action is hard and running a scare campaign against it is easy. You should know that Mr Turnbull you’ve done both”

I have also said that he is a policy buff. I think that is shown by the fact that he is leading whereas Turnbull is following. It is also becoming increasingly apparent that Turnbull is uncomfortable with detailed explanation. His waffling is becoming aggravating, to say the least.

Having now set up a counter point, or demarcation between the parties, Shorten should take on the high moral ground with even more action against growing inequality in all its nefarious guises, casting off its ‘old’ socialist tag and present policy in common good versus elitist terms.

He needs to convince people of the need for a truly collective representative democracy that involves the people and encourages us to be creative, imaginative and exciting. In a future world dependent on innovation it will be ideas that determines government, and not the pursuit of power for power’s sake.

His narrative must convince the lost voters who have left the ALP to return. Shorten has to turn Labor ideology on its head, shake it and re-examine it. Then reintroduce it as an enlightened ideology-opposite to the Tea Party politics that conservatism has descended into.

He must turn his attention to the young, and have the courage to ask of them that they should go beyond personal desire and aspiration and accomplish not the trivial, but greatness. That they should not allow the morality they have inherited from good folk to be corrupted by the immorality of right-wing political indoctrination. He has made a good start.

My thought for the day.

“You cannot possibly believe in democracy if at the same time you think you’re party is the only one that should ever win”.

PS: A conservative is someone who believes that nothing should be done for the first time.

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22 comments

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  1. michael lacey

    Fully agree John I just hope the bewildered herd in the electorate are taking notice!

  2. Wam

    Morrison was 4 when tricky dicky did the dirty in 72. He defeated McGovern by some 520 to 17 electoral votes but he was so desperate to win he ‘watergated’.
    Is malsco worried?
    Is the deliberate and calculated withholding of costings a watergate moment?
    Are malsco less liars than abbhock?

    The lack of feelings of these pollies is shown by the PNG abortion, hiding of treasury figures and bribes to allow the rich to jump cues like the famous.
    It is clear that malsco do not want us to see the disaster of the rabbott’s economic management so SHOW these nasties the door, billy.

  3. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Excellent John. Capture the voters’ minds and hearts for the common good!

  4. Steve Laing

    And he needs to smile a bit more. Look like a winner. Sounds stupid, but some voters simply like to pick a winner. His speech was well crafted and he is looking increasingly confident. All good.

  5. helvityni

    I was impressed with Bill’s speech, he is getting more confident and he has plenty of good comrades on his side.

    As for ‘charisma’, I would not use that word to describe Mal.

    And for the ‘outer’, looking good, or prime- ministerial, who would you choose to lead you, Helen Clarke or Julie Bishop.

  6. Jaquix

    Thanks for that link Kaye, interesting reading the Promise Tracker. The Friends of the ABC Facebook page has been flooded with outrage about Fact Check looking shaky, according to Michelle Guthrie. Whether she takes any notice remains to be seen. Labor could easily add this as a promise “ensure the continuation of ABC Fact Check in the interests of transparency etc” . 80% of Australians trust the ABC so this could be a good political move that wont cost them anything. After all, they claim to promote transparency, Fact Check is one small powerful tool.

  7. lawrencewinder

    It’s difficult not to sound bigoted when noting all the “Xtians” on the front bench of this ruling rabble. Liars all, fiscally profligate and bringing shame on this country with their treatment of refugees, the future is bleak if they are returned to finish us all off with their IPA agenda.

  8. Klaus Petrat

    Hi John, I am not sure what I am missing. Turnbull is one of the worst communicators I have ever seen. Rarely doesn’t he stumble in an interview. He either doesn’t know the answer to a question because his arrogance suggested to him that he is the master of the show. This leads to negligence in knowing the facts before he goes into an interview.
    Bill on the other hand, is a straight shooter. He is capable of saying that he doesn’t know the answer to a question. Completely different to that incompetent duo Turnbull/Morrison. Incompetent and arrogant. They take Australians for mugs.
    Bill is an astute operator.
    And answer that to me? What charisma are we talking about Malcolm? His extraordinary arrogance? His expensive suits? His wealth? The bloka can’t get 2 coherent sentences together.
    I take Bill, who does his homework, who appears genuine, who is hard working (that other mob clearly doens’t work and makes policy on the run as required and discards it as fats if it causes backlash).
    Bill any time.

  9. David

    Jquix…very good point you make re Labor “ensure the continuation of ABC Fact Check in the interests of transparency etc”. I have forwarded your suggestion on to their excellent Communications Shadow Jason Clare for consideration. I’m sure from my Twitter a/c others will spread it as well.
    Thanks

  10. Jack Russell

    When it comes to having a seat in government a person’s history IS important. Bill Shorten has a known history of negotiating with all sides and successfully achieving the best outcomes possible for everyone involved. He actually IS a champion for a fair go.

    Given the choices for the upcoming election, why on earth would anyone in their right mind vote for anyone else!

    The Lieberals are the worst enemy of the people this country has ever had and they need to be excised from our political landscape – permanently.

    Vote 1 for the ALP . . . then everyone else you think will support them in the big job of undoing the damage that’s been inflicted on us in the last 3 years.

  11. silkworm

    Talcum still hasn’t called an election for July 2, and what’s the bet he won’t? He’s lost his mojo and has been looking more forlorn in his interviews. Why hasn’t the media called him on the election date?

  12. Marcus

    I agree Silkworm. Leaked internal polls show that the Libs will lose Eden-Menaro, amongst at least half a dozen other seats, & the aggregate polls (intriguingly lacking the usual fortnightly Newspoll), shows Labor ahead on a roughly 4% swing from the last election. So don’t be surprised if we get to Tuesday morning & find Malcayman still hasn’t visited the governor general.

  13. win jeavons

    has anyone done the costing for ripping out the current fraudband to replace it with the real thing? It won’t be pretty .

  14. Bruce Moffatt

    Perhaps it’s no accident that you use the terms Democratic and Socialist in your article. Hopefully they will merge in more minds than mine. When I was a member of the ALP our State Branch rules book had, in it’s front cover, words to the effect that the ALP branch was an Democratic Socialist organisaion. I well remember pointing that fact out during policy arguments. I also remember being told how ‘they were going to have that mistake rectified.’ I have no idea what it says now, but by its actions of the last two decades the label is not apt. In my view it’s time to recalibrate the ALP back to being a party of the people, a clear left-of-centre Democratic Socialist choice for those who care for more for the state of the populace than the state of the bank balances of just the elite.

  15. Michael Taylor

    I noticed a Turnbull and Mirabella poster up today on the side of the road. As the election hasn’t been called yet, isn’t this illegal?

  16. Jack Russell

    “Pretty” is irrelevant.

    There’s any amount of money that can be conjured out of nothingness by a sovereign currency-issuing government like ours for necessary nation-building infrastructure projects, including the proper decent living wages for all the empoyees needed to build them, particularly in a depressed economy that needs fiscal stimulation as desperately as ours does at the moment.

    A first-class NBN network can be rolled out, from scratch, and commencing from multiple points in every state, with all the labour required . . . and should be.

    The the cost is irrelevant when compared to the current (and deliberate) horrendous unemployment we are experiencing . . . and the unimaginable benefits it will provide for everyone when it’s completed.

    Any competent government knows this and, if it doesn’t do exactly that, then you have all the evidence you need to correctly judge that government to be incompetent and politically motivated.

    The current neo-conservative LNP fraud squad we have now are the worst of the worst in every possible way – as individuals, as politicians, and collectively as a government.

  17. Graeme Henchel

    Michael I wouldn’t be surprised if it was labor supporters who would put up a poster of Turnbull and Mirabbella. Think of the posters. Turnbull and Dutton, Turnbull and Bernardi, Turnbull and Abetz, Turnbull and just about anyone in the liberal party. This disaster must end.

  18. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Doesn’t matter if Malcolm Muck wimps out of not calling the election for 2 July.

    If he prolongs the inevitable, he’ll still be a 1st term loser, a laughing stock and the losing leader of the most embarrassing Australian Government ever to be demolished.

    The longer he prolongs the inevitable, any damage created by their continued ineptitude will be brought to their collective and respective individual accounts.

    Go wisely, arseholes coz it be on your heads, if you don’t…

  19. Florence nee Fedup

    Biggest mistake this PM has ever done is gong for DD on dubious grounds. I suspect he knows it.

  20. flohri1754

    Love it …. “A conservative is someone who believes that nothing should be done for the first time.” Congratulations on that one …..

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