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Day to Day Politics: “Christopher Pyning”

Monday 24 October 2016

There was something really very disturbing about Christopher Pyne’s interview on ABC Insiders yesterday. I meditated on it for some time and I couldn’t pinpoint just what it was.

I hasten to add that I don’t like it when I watch the telly and the cringe factor hits me when I know that a minister is telling lies without any compunction to conscience.

We all know that Christopher feigns indignation better than any other politician but this was a bit different. ”What me”…”no”…”never’…”how dare you.”

Feigning indignation, laughing things off, making fun of situations even being self-depreciating are things that we have just laughed off as Pyne being Pyne.

We know that Christopher’s demeanour is crass and unpleasant. His self-righteous indignation is prissy, shallow, superficial, and school boyish adolescent, loutish and imbecilic and he has an uncouth acerbic tongue.

But this time there was a touch of exasperation, of frustration, like his guard had been lowered. His delivery was ‘Trumpish’ like. As though he was living in a world where he believed that self-righteousness was owned undeniably by the right of politics and should never be examined.

In the face of questions of undeniable truth his answers were intellectually dishonest as opposed to being just lies. His blatantly obnoxious denials were despicable, almost sinister in so much as he saw himself and his party as being above truth itself, and he honestly didn’t think he needed to pretend like he normally does. He believed it himself. It was spooky.

We are the custodians of truth. We alone shall decide what truth is and what it is you should believe. The norms of right and wrong, of truth and natural honesty where no longer essential in politics.

“How far we have fallen?” I thought to myself.

When it was pointed out to him that facts were facts and his own leader had called a former Prime Minister a liar he went into a world of his own making.

It was rather like when evangelical Christians describe themselves as being ‘’in the world but not of it’’

”A storm in a teacup”, ”not all”, ”that’s all”, ”no big deal”. Blame Labor. Generate illusions. Tell them how good we are. Complain.

”Nothing existed other than what he chose to believe”.

How anyone could deny the events of which he was being questioned with such cavalier indifference was dumbfounding.

When confronted with the fact, repeat, fact, that the National Audit Office had found that the Government’s advertising on University fees was misleading and deceptive, he said they were wrong. Yes, that’s right, the National Audit Office was telling lies.

And he did so with a magician’s skill that was almost surreal. No slight of hand but slight of mouth.

But why is it so? Why does he have to distort the truth with such monotonous regularity and mischievous intent?

Truth in politics matters. It is not a trivial matter in a democracy. Our whole system is based on the assumption that truth prevails over all else and that it is the people who judge its veracity. Without truth the people cannot give informed accent to office and democracy fails. There are ethical obligations of integrity and coherence upon which society depends.

At this time in our history we are experiencing a toxic tide of political mistrust. No politician, well other than Abbott has contributed more to it than Christopher Pyne.

My thought for the day:

”The rise of the right has brought with it a new political language. One that has not yet been classified because it defies any normal understanding”.


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  1. Kaye Lee

    Christopher Pyne is member for whatever it takes

    Those close to Pyne describe him as obsessed. Yet others say “there is absolutely no balance in his life at all” and, while he is married to wife Carolyn and has four children, his real marriage is to politics.

    “He is completely obsessed with it, he never stops day or night,” says one federal Liberal, who wished to remain anonymous. “When the last batch of senators was elected, for example, he flew around the country to meet with all of them individually. He travels the whole country seducing people. When faced with a conservative, he boasts about how he’s really a conservative. When he’s faced with a moderate, he says how terrible conservatives are. He will say and do anything to get what he wants.

    “He exhibits the very best of what you want to see in MPs, but also the very worst of everything that gives MPs a bad name. Pyne epitomises the politics of politics, the very best and the very worst of it.”

    Pyne is known among colleagues as “the politician who developed the art of the double-double-cross”.

    “He is an extraordinary individual,” one federal Liberal figure says. “He is just so driven it scares the living daylights out of people. He also is so well connected with the media, it scares people.”

  2. pierre wilkinson

    he is in fact a grub, if grub rhymes with punt, that is

  3. kerrilmail

    For the life of me I still cannot understand the voters of Sturt?
    Pyne acts as though he has never progressed from the playground because he hasn’t.
    His love of politics is most definitely the love of the game not the love of serving his country.
    From petty word games like the whole c**t/grub nonsense and poking his tongue out at Anna Burke when she ejected him to his participation in framing Peter Slipper it has always been about the game and point scoring.

  4. J. Peacey

    This is where I see problems with the right “their belief” allows them to believe in things that don’t exist. Its what they are brought up with. It is day to day life living a lie.

  5. Barry Thompson.

    When Barrie Cassidy said that mornings guest was Pyne, I said to my wife, this will be a pointless interview because whatever the topic, Pyne will lie brazenly and turn everything into a positive for the LNP.

    This man (using the term loosely) has no shame and is the classic example of what is wrong with politics in Australia.
    He has no conception of honour.

    He turns my stomach, reminding me of a head prefect I once knew.

  6. Kronomex

    Pyne is a certifiable nut case, pure and simple.

  7. Clean livin

    Tip. As much as I like Insiders, as soon as I saw Pyne, I turned the TV off Not much value there!

  8. Arthur Tarry

    I wonder whether anybody takes seriously anything Pyne says ? It’s all drivel – can anybody remember a profound statement or point of view that he has made? It’s all simply drivel and just politically expedient. A question: how can such a person climb to where he has climbed in his political party?

  9. babyjewels10

    Intellectually dishonest. Yep.


    I’m with Clean Livin comments. I normally put off anyone who phones me when Insiders is on, however when I saw Pyne and then my sister phoned I put off Pyne. This man is one of the “uninsultables” i.e people who have such an ego that when they open their mouths only their opinions count. I have experienced several “Pyne” people in my life and I put it down to being really very insecure because when you take off all that wrapping what is left is a very hollow no one. Pyne is just an idiot and quite obviously the people in his electorate have either been asleep all these years, or no one with any talent has been put up to counter attack him, or they are just void of any imagination when voting for their representative. Pyne is a person who in reality only represents himself. He knows that he will never be a Prime Minister and because of our last and present lame duck, totally without imagination, lack of conviction, lack of talent PM’s he, by his actions only perpetuate the whole distasteful saga. The stupidity and waste of money attacking unions which is only designed to drive down wages and conditions to leave us with a country like the US where there are more vacant homes than homeless where bus terminals each night are used to shelter the homeless. If this is the case we are in a spiral to the bottom. The stupidity is that it’s people of lower income to middle income that keep the dollars circulating and when that stops BANG!

  11. Zathras

    It’s hard to believe that Pyne is considered a Liberal “Power Broker” but then again, it’s how he got into his current position.
    At least Howard saw Pyne’s shortcomings and kept him out of his Cabinet.

    I’m still holding out hope that his complicity in the Slipper/Ashby affair is yet to be publicly exposed.

  12. helvityni

    I persisted and watched The Grub, Cassidy did his best, but when wanting to discuss Pyne’s lies and evasions, he did not get much support from his guests… Savva, who usually has plenty to say, had nothing to add…Not surprised.

    After that horrid experience, no more Pyne, Dutton, Cash, Brandis viewing for me… My list of Untouchables is growing daily.

    Kaye quotes someone who said:” He travels the whole country seducing people.” SEDUCING ???

  13. Ricardo29

    Pyne is deluded and delusional. Nobody watching insiders would have believed a word he said. His ability to spout utter bullshit as if he believes it is stupendous. I hate listening to him but it gives me a certain perverse satisfaction to be able to laugh at him. Sadly there must be people who believe him because he keeps getting re-elected though I can’t for the life if me see how or why.

  14. helvityni

    We all have plenty to say about Trump, whilst at the same time we have more than one home-grown trump to worry about….

  15. Ella

    Mr. Lord, thank you. I think you have put into words what many of us think.
    My husband and I asked ourselves during the interview with Barry ” what parallel parallel universe does this man live in?”, a universe where language is Orwellian . A universe which matches the vested interests that support the LNP…ie what ever it takes regardless of morality , truth and justice. and even more importantly social responsibility.
    As many before me have said , he reminds me of a spoilt brat with a silver spoon in his mouth.
    Truth,morality, justice , social responsibility are not in their frame of reference.
    Shame on them all !

  16. lawrencewinder

    Is it getting worse or are we only waking up to how corrupt and evil this ruling rabble is?
    I believe it’s the former; and as they drag the country further into the mire economically and shred the last vestiges decency from every public service their stridency will only increase as they seek to camouflage the hideousness of their polity.

  17. Paolo Soprani

    I find the WHOLE show quite disturbing these days. It always appears to me as if the actual show Insiders is failing to grasp just how absolutely dreadful our current government is. The ‘guest commentators’ always look like rabbits caught in a spotlight.
    And why on earth would any level headed person want to interview Christopher Pyne anyway, other than to graphically illustrate just how dreadful the government is?

  18. Kaye Lee

    Christopher Pyne was born in 1967
    Educated at St Ignatius College and Adelaide University
    President of the University Liberal Club 1987-88
    President of the South Australian Young Liberals 1988-90
    Research Assistant for Senator Amanda Vanstone
    Preselected for 1989 state election but lost
    Started practising as a solicitor very briefly in 1991.
    Preselected in 1991 for Federal seat of Sturt which he won in 1993, age 25.

  19. helvityni

    Totally agree,Paolo, the guests just look at each other as if looking for support, and some let an occasional nervous laughter…

    Is ABC so worried about their funding that they put up these non-shows.

    I suppose we’ll soon have repeats of old Insiders, and Q&A’s on our Sunday mornings…

  20. Terry2

    It is just a waste of time interviewing people like Pyne because they will just trot out weasel words and unblinkingly tell us that black is white.

    I’m just hearing Greg Hunt lying and avoiding questions on the Adler shotgun saga – on ABC RN.

    At the sake of repetition, I have to say again, there was a deal with Leyonhjelm, it was initiated by the Keenan and Dutton and signed of by Abbott’s office and then they sent an email to Leyonhjelm which they are now trying to either deny altogether or blame it on a junior staffer : this is what the ‘junior staffer’ had to say in the email :

    “Government will amend the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 to insert a sunset clause of 12 months into the recently amended provisions which ban the importation of lever action shot guns with a magazine capacity of more than five rounds.

    “The effect of the sunset clause would be that 12 months after this amendment comes into effect the ban will automatically cease to be in place.”

    In return, Senator Leyonhjelm will vote against the Labor amendments to the Migration Amendment (Strengthening Biometric Integrity) Bill 2015,“

    We cannot let these lies go without comment : Hunt has just avoided the question and tried to throw it back on Labor.

  21. helvityni

    Kaye Lee, long ‘payneful’ years. The Liberals want to keep their ‘well-performing’ ones forever, some of the long-serving get promoted to the top job, like Abbott…

  22. Kaye Lee

    Speaking of Leyonhjelm….

    An elderly female reader, Elizabeth Donelan, took exception to the following comments from the Senator, defending Donald Trump’s admission of sexual assault, where he said of the Republican presidential candidate: “He is a man of his times, perhaps. So perhaps you could cut him a little bit of slack.”

    She wrote to Senator Leyonhjelm, saying she has, “NEVER heard men commenting upon women in such a despicable way as Trump has in the recently released quotes. You appear to me to be a similar age to Trump and should NEVER condone this attitude or these words.”

    The reply from his email address? “Go away and stop proving you are a bimbo. You are not fit to use a computer.”

    When I approached his media adviser Gavin Atkins, seeking confirmation that the email was from him personally, I received the following reply: “You can quote a spokesperson from Senator Leyonhjelm’s office as follows: ‘We are greatly concerned by this email. Usually he just tells constituents who make things up to f— off. We are worried he may be mellowing’.”

  23. wam

    beauty, Lord!
    The pyne nut is an example the liberal(labor, diludbransims and nationals?) trilogy of the private school, church and politician’s research assistant(vanstone)
    Perhaps, Eleanor, Barnaby, Felix and Aurelia sums him up?
    As for insiders, I agree there was something missing. His lies were slightly off key, delivered in a tired tone and a nose twitch that came close to a trump sniff.
    His ‘defence sharing’ could be his political last chance and I think he will be lucky if the woman he lives with in canberra(mutual cash collecting) lets him win.
    It could be close to the time to quote palmer:
    ‘bye bye christopher bye bye!’

  24. Steve Laing -

    Politics is increasingly becoming a tv reality show. The reason that Pyne gets re-elected is purely on face recognition – and the fact that his seat is highly pork-barrelled (and the voters know it). At least Laura Tingle gave his Insiders performance the respect it deserved i.e. none. I believe the terms is Chutzpah. You do have to admire his audacity – if only in that it ensures you recognise what a lame force our traditional political journalists have become, namely lapdogs for the LNP. Savva is so pro-Turnbull (and thus anti Abbott) it is hilarious.

    But for Pyne, as the joke went when we were kids – I’d like to make him a farmer – a good hard kick between his legs and give him a couple of acres…

  25. FreeThinker

    Thanks John. Agree with you totally.
    Christopher Pyne, outdid even himself on his cavalier manipulation of the truth on ‘ Insiders’ on Sunday.
    He was at his nauseating best.
    The man is a disgrace !

  26. yarbie

    Christopher Pyne, the thing about Christopher Pyne…..what you have to remember about Christopher Pyne is……Christopher Pyne is a Prat!!!

  27. Florence nee Fedup

    One only has to listen to Porter, Trudge and the master Morrison this morning to realise there has been apparent shift with this government’s outbursts.

    They actually believe the rubbish they are spruiking. What’s more seem genuinely surprise that people don’t agree with them, take as what they say as set in stone, gospel truth.

  28. Florence nee Fedup

    Yes they speak a different language where words have different meanings. There has been research proving this. One has to look at their meanings when attempting to understand what they are saying. Black can indeed be black with them.,

  29. Miriam English

    My gaydar rings really loudly whenever Pyne is on the screen.

    I enjoy the company of most gay men, but Pyne reminds me very strongly of one or two gay men I’ve met who hide in the closet, hating themselves and identifying with other homophobes. They end up with no center and become driven, angry, hollow people who say or do anything to get what they want.

    Kinda sad really.

    Christopher, come out of the closet and become a genuine person.

  30. Miriam English

    The Senate is conducting an inquiry into the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership). Needless to say, the LNP want it, but they don’t have the numbers. Labor looks dangerously close to voting with the LNP and betraying us. Please make a submission to the Senate (it only takes a couple of minutes) to prevent control of our laws and government being given over to overseas giant corporations.

    Australian government should operate for the benefit of Australians, not multinational corporations. Tell the senate not to betray Australia and to vote against the corporate swindle that is the TPP.

  31. Keitha Granville

    I too watched his “performance” yesterday. Usually my husband knows to hit the mute button when CP appears as we are in danger of me throwing something incredibly heavy at the TV.
    In parliament at 25 ??? No wonder he is such a twat.
    And if he isn’t batting for the other team, the Pope is not a Catholic.

    Seriously, those of us who are intelligent educated Australians need to keep on writing letters to the Editors in our cities, and emails galore to our Senators of whatever persuasion letting them know IT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH. We have just had the unedifying spectacle of Ms Hanson criticising the Tasmanian Governor. A fiercely intelligent wonderful woman, being criticised by someone who is about as unintelligent as you can get.
    The country is barking mad.

  32. Terry2

    The one – and probably only thing – I agree with Donald Trump on is his “policy” to drain the swamp of Washington politics – by limiting congressional (parliamentary) terms to two, four year consecutive terms for all politicians.

    Think of the people we would be able to farewell if we had the same constitutional limits here : I would, as a taxpayer, happily contribute to a farewell party for Chrissy Pyne, not to mention Peter Dutton and Oh ! Michaelia Cash……….the list goes on……….Barnaby you’re next.

  33. Florence nee Fedup

    Agree. Parliamentary terms should be limited to two in the senate, Three at most lower house. being a MP shouldn’t be seen as lifelong career choice. No PM has much to offer after their first term. Two at the most should be allowed. Works for US President.

    MP would see the job in a different light. Would know they only have short time to perform, deliver.

    Both Menzies and Howard hung around to long. Their parliamentary party becoming dysfunctional in the meantime. They left a party defunct of ability that takes many terms to rebuild.

  34. Steve Laing -

    There may be some benefit in having politicians who are actually GOOD at what they are doing in longer, but otherwise I agree that their time should be limited. It shouldn’t even be possible for “career politicians” to exist – they are very much part of the problem. But if you are to shorten lifespan, we also need to extend the length of the terms OR the number of sitting days AND have each party present a suite of policies they expect to enact prior to an election. This slapdash attitude that exists in this country is extraordinary, and the Coalition get away with it every time. No policies, just slogans is all they have. And the MSM just accept it. In the UK the major parties produce manifestos which detail what they plan to enact. Not that many of the electorate read them, but it is a valid mechanism to call the bastards out when they have pull new, undiscussed ideas out the bag as Abbott did. Otherwise it lets the Coalition to just focus on winning, from whence they just wing it, as is so blatantly obvious in the way they govern. They just make it up as they go along.

  35. my say

    The thing that really annoyed me the most was Cassidy just let him sit there spewing his lies,Without doubt this is the worst government to govern for all Australians
    Their whole aim is to seek and destroy ,

  36. guest

    My last memory of Pyne as he left the Education portfolio was: “I fixed it”. I assumed it was his take on the mess he had made – and it sure was not “fixed”. It summarized for me his political career.

    Now he is in a military portfolio along with two other military portfolios – we see where Coalition priorities lie – and he has something to do with finance even though not much will be done on submarines until 2030. Three equal military ministers? Pyne will have an opinion on that.

    What has he actually achieved in his time as politician apart from representing some people in Sturt?

    Surely there could be compiled a list of achievements – if there are any – and a list of disasters.

    Pyne looks to me very like a ventriloquist’s doll with that confident, wooden smile – and you know the whole act is a deception. And Pyne himself seems to play on that perception: that what you think you hear is not really happening.

  37. diannaart

    Succinct writing, John Lord.

    I agree with the stream of comments, also. Particularly by Kaye Lee’s list of facts (things that aren’t lies) – Piiiiiiiiiiine has been a polly since he was 25? Not exactly living in the real world – never been there. Never had to worry about rent or wherehis next meal would come from – I and others know only too well what poverty really means.

    I agree with Steve Laing, we need to clean up these career parasitespoliticians.

  38. Terry2

    Steve, those actually doing a good job would still only have two [perhaps three] consecutive terms and would then have to take a three year unpaid sabbatical. If they were really any good their electorates would then be able to vote them back in.

    It would be worth a try but it would take a revolution………..!!

  39. jimhaz

    It seems to me that they have a team of professional sledgers who take turn playing the game. Pyne had been on rest break until recently.

    Either that or they’ve only been trained in the Bad Cop act, not the Good cop one.

  40. nexusxyz

    His singular obsession with politics makes him utterly unsuited and pointless. Wrote to the little dick once and the reply was both rude and ignorant.

  41. Graeme Finn

    Standard sociopathic tendencies. Kiss up and kick down. The ends justify the means.

  42. Mhoira White

    Typical response from Pyne when questioned about anything that the Liberals stuff up is “Big Deal” & he just brushes it off.

  43. Geoffrey England

    Pyne, the arse sucking toe rag will have his day of reckoning…the good folk in South Australia will realize that Pyne is an asinine cunnus with a big dollop of lying prick thrown in for good measure. Someone will find this asswipe in a DARK ALLEY ONE DAY AND JUSTICE WILL BE SERVED.

  44. Alan Baird

    Wam! Pyne-nut! Wonderful! Why didn’t I think of that? No answers thank you. Perfectly sums up the subject but. In addition, Pierre, the answer rhymes with “front”, which Pyne-nut has in spades, even if he has a “punt” with the truth. He also has a terrible embarrassment- awareness deficit, clearly unable to discern he’s presently raving. Mad that is. The “prefect” allusions are also apposite. He STILL sounds as though he hanging around the corridors… of a high school that is.

  45. Trevr

    Pyne knocked on the door of my sisters place in Magill SA a few elections ago. Invited he came in, then ran( i kid you not) out the door down the street, all because he couldnt answer some questions about green issues. Gutless, useless, prick, prat, oxygen thief. These are the ones I can print. Should have kicked him hard on his way out the door!

  46. James Cook

    I can’t watch Pyne [or Morriscum]. Now I’m sorry I read this article as it has spoilt my morning. He makes me think of something I once read: “You don’t touch shit, even with gloves on. The gloves get shittier, the shit don’t get glovier”:

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