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John Lord’s Election Diary No. 3: My language really doesn’t tell you what I think of these bastards

Monday 15 April 2019

The week opened with an unexpected Newspoll on Monday giving way to the view that Murdoch will be publishing a weekly poll from now on.

The poll, now that the election has been announced, gives a more accurate view of who people intend to vote for.

52% intend voting for Labor and 48% for the Coalition. Back to this later.

The lies being told by this government now that the election date has been announced are worse than the ones normally couched in innumerable shades of grey.

Morrison, Joyce, Dutton, Hunt, Taylor and others are so repetitive, so blatant so desperate that they could only come from men despairing of losing something. In this case, power.

The lies haven’t just started. They have only been using times past as practice. Climate change seems to awaken a latent conservative desire to be more absurd.

It necessitates an unrelenting urge to just make things up.

These are frightened, scared politicians on the cusp of defeat so worried about it that they will not hesitate to place lies before facts, as was the case with Taylor.

I am in this instance referencing an interview with Environment Minister, Angus Taylor and Barrie Cassidy.

Despite Cassidy shooting him down with irrefutable facts that our emissions were going up each year, he continued to over talk him with figures so obviously wrong that you would feel ashamed if your own son or daughter were quoting them.

But of course he isn’t the only one. The Prime Minister continues to say that we will reach our Paris targets in a canter. He does so in the knowledge that it is untrue. His own department tells him so but he so desperately wants everyone to believe him that he is prepared to toss his faith out the window and tell lies for God.

2 Normally a Prime Minister of standing, of reputation would not utter a sentence that implied that under his opposites governance the country would go into recession. Only a very desperate person would stoop so low. Morrison is one such person.

Last week we had the spectacle of Morrison calling Opposition Deputy Leader Tanya Plibersek a racist because she was quoted as saying that Australians could not “rely on an Indian mining company to bring jobs to central and North Queensland”.

On top of that in an article for Crickey (firewall) Bernard Keane had this to say:

The Coalition (spectacularly) missing the point on tax?

Documents purporting to be Treasury costings were circulated to media outlets to demonstrate that Labor would increase taxes by $390 billion over a decade compared to the government.

It was yet another lie cooked up by Freydenberg and Morrison.

Tuesday 16 April 2018

Then on Monday, Health Minister Greg Hunt claimed there’s a $6 billion black hole in Labor’s centrepiece promise to get rid of out of pocket costs for cancer care.

Hunt is a sublime truth twister who does it with a calmness that is frightening.

But as Paul Karp reported in The Guardian, the figures did not come from any official costing of Labor’s policy, but a costing “for lifting the Medicare rebate for all cancer-related items to the level of the AMA’s recommended fee (to eliminate out-of-pocket costs). The price tag is $6.8bn.”

Greg Jericho, also in The Guardian, surmises that:

… the lies seem more brazen now. I suspect the Donald Trump effect has now fully taken hold – it is not so much that there are more lies, it is that politicians care less about being called out for lying.

4 How important is truth in politics? As a writer who happens to love the way words can be constructed to shape a thought, send a message, express love, anger, or convey an action I am lost without them.

Without them something vanishes from our discourse. Without words, the ability to communicate the seemingly endless aspects of human emotion is taken from us.

Words, of course, are at their best when they are accompanied by a factual truth of what they want to convey.

5 The government’s words and actions over the past 6 years bring into question the very essence of the word “truth.” Or they have at least devalued it to the point of obsolescence.

Like Trump, they don’t care about their lying and don’t care that people object to it. They just lie about the lie.

If more people had the capacity to think for themselves and question what they are being told perhaps we would have more genuineness in politics.

If more journalists had the intestinal fortitude to question and syphon out the truth of what politicians are telling them we may get a better body politic and a more honest democracy.

On Tuesday I was watching Freydenberg being interviewed on News24. Most questions he just refused to answer. The interviewer took it that his response was normal and left it at that.

“Finding the truth and reporting it is more important than creating a narrative where controversy matters more” (John Lord).

6 Lying, misinformation, lying by omission, subliminally implied suggestions, straightforward propaganda, deliberate scare campaigning and any form of untruthful communication has become the norm in the way politicians and the media converse with the public. So normal and long applied has this form of conversation become that we are now unquestioning of it.

7 Tony Abbott has made himself available should the government lose the election.

Tony Abbott if nothing else is a very colourful character. He is aggressive both physically and in the use of language. His negativity is legendary and he has little consideration for any ideas other than his own and says NO to his opponent’s policies regardless of their worthiness.

He is by evidence and his own admission a liar of some regularity. Added to that he has a political gutter mentality and little respect for the institution of parliament and its conventions. Like most conservative politicians from the Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison governments he shows an incapacity to feel or display compassion.

“Lying is wrong but lying to defend a lie is appalling immoral” (John Lord).

Now back to where I started with the polling. William Bowe, polling analyst from The Poll Bludger sums it all up this way:

Betting odds continue to point towards a sweeping Labor victory, even as intelligence from both sides of politics suggests a much tighter contest.

Speaking on RN Breakfast on Friday, Ben Oquist of progressive think tank the Australia Institute voiced the beltway consensus that “the bookies have got this one wrong at the moment – they’re forecasting a much bigger Labor victory than anybody seems to be predicting”. Betting markets at first appeared to respond, if not to Oquist specifically, then to the view coming through in media reports that both major parties were expecting a tight contest. Labrokes was offering $5 on a Coalition on Thursday, but by Sunday this was in to $3.50. Then came Newspoll, showing Labor maintaining its lead, and the Coalition blew back out to $4.50.

The individual seat markets have been more consistent, pointing to a Labor landslide of even greater dimensions than the one currently projected by BludgerTrack.

My thought for the day

Telling the truth should not be delayed simply because we are not sure how people might react to it.

Previous Election Diary editions:

No. 1

No. 2

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  1. New England Cocky

    The polls are a complete fraud because they show insignificant variation whenever there are the consequences of a major event that may cause the Nasty Loathsome COALition misgovernment grief. Such stability over such a long period (51 lost polls) is very irregular.

    Himmler commented, “Tell a lie enough times and the people will believe it is true”. Perhaps I could amend your adage to make it suitable for the COALition: ““Lying is wrong but lying to defend a lie is apparently immortal” (apologies to John Lord).

    Keep the faith John, our future is ahead of us.

    Is that the same Angus Taylor mentioned in this article?


  2. Keith

    Comparisons between OECD nations in relation to GDP are hardly flattering for the LNP.
    Post secondary school education is a mess.
    NBN is a disappointment.
    NDIS is in a mess.
    The LNP have no climate policy. Overseas Australia is seen as a pariah state.
    Promises from the LNP have been found to be worthless.
    Abbott has stated he would like to become leader again in the event of a leadership spill.
    Net debt has doubled since 2013; yet, it is Labor’s fault !!
    LNP tax cuts are presented on the never/never. They rely on the LNP being re-elected and no major changes Internationally.
    Under the LNP it seems that Australia is blindly following Trump down the snake hole.

  3. Diane Larsen

    Thank you John for another truth filled critique of the current tossers in government, I truly fear for this country if Labor is not elected this term but am continually astonished at the number of people I talk to who should know better but unfortunately seemed brain washed by the nightly news grabs and rediculous headlines of the grubby murdock papers until we can change the way opinion is fostered as news in this country we are fighting an uphill battle to inform voters of the truth.

  4. Kronomex

    The LNP is averaging one major fuck up and problem every day of the election calendar so far. And the lies spewing from…rats, I forgot that, “Bill Shorten lies all the time.” and Saint Scummo and his Apostles of Arseholiness and Arrogance only tell the truth…silly me. Five days in and I’m already wanting to avoid the main sleaze media for all the crap that appears.

    Labor so far is sensibly avoiding going into the gutter, let alone the underground sewer, that Scummo and LNP is swimming in.

    So all the screaming is coming from the 1 – 10% club and of course the LNP –

    What a surprise.

  5. Florence Howarth

    Yesterday Shorten was asked if he was considering new taxes on Super. He answered no. Labor has announced changes to super but no new tax as far as I know.

    We then had Morrison ranting that Shorten had lied. Shorten should have mentioned his own policy. Morrison is great at twisting what is said to attack Labor.

    Shorten told the truth. Morrison twisted the question asked. Shorten was asked about a new tax, not super policy.

  6. Alcibiades

    NEC is spot on,
    The polls are under-representing the voter intent, as have explained in previous posts. Newspoll, now 52 losses in a row, and despite the accompanying hyperbole, there is ‘No Change’ in voter intent, if anything likely a concealed ~0.5% drop for the Coalition. The egregious, outrageous blatant & repeated lies ? The MSM has normalised it, deemed it unremarkable, banal. Our Corporate MSM gives it a free pass. Partisan hacks & supine lackies.

    The ~1,980 days now of ‘Kill Bill’ has logically been factored in, long been taken into account by voters & their intentions years ago, hohum, now oblivious to it. ALP only needs ~0.7% swing to assume majority. LNP needs to win 6-7 seats whilst losing none. A 3.0%+ swing to the Coalition against poll trend for the entire term ?

    The coalition are narrow casting, targeting their disaffected base trying to sandbag, Cannot run on a record that does not exist, even Andrew Bolt acknowledges this. Morrison has so far only campaigned in Liberal marginal seats, same for ALP … LNPis not campaigning to win the needed 6-7 seats to hold government, but to limit the losses. And McQueen, Cash & McGrath are the best they can put forward to face the media ?

    Posted detailed analysis of merged polls/bookies odds 5 days ago(13th) in your Diary No.2, most likely result was was they would probably lose 21+ seats, PollBludgers analysis yesterday was along the same lines, with only a one seat difference.

    The NSW electorate of Eden-Monaro ? ALP 1.05 v LNP 8.00 odds. An electorate that has been the predictor of who forms government since ’72, with only one exception.

    For weeks prior to the budget odds were ALP 1.14 v LNP 4.50. Post budget week, ‘No Change’. Post election announcement ALP 1.18 v LNP 4.50. Post the Sunday Newspoll, ‘No Change’, yet subsequent now stable for four days on ALP 1.18 v LNP 4.75. A widening. There has been no discernable tightening in voter intention. Historically unprecedented. Objectively, voters appear to have turned a ‘tin ear’ & ‘Nelson’s eye’ to it all and made up their minds long ago, brickbats awaiting.

    Tuesday’s Fairfax front pages were lit up with less than objective stories about GetUp! members ‘shaking up the election‘.

    Yet, did report on a motivated 7,600 volunteers for the election so far & 64,956 individuals donating in the last year. In the last seven days alone 11,609 donors chipped in more than half-a-million dollars to take on the ‘hard right’, stop Adani and more. And for more than 1,000 people, this was their first ever donation to GetUp! Things that make ya go, hmmm ?

    Um, clearly Dutton does not & will not take orders from Morrison, as for the rest of the Liberals in a party where Scomo only has 12 actual supporters. More votes lost around Oz as a consequence ?

    Peter Dutton says he doesn’t regret his role in Malcolm Turnbull’s downfall

    Dutton openly unapologetic, Morrison desperately dodges the issue. In other news :

    Liberals Quell Leadership Quarrells by Placing Abbott Into Simulation Where He is Still PM


  7. whatever

    Our ABC has become the photocopy machine for the LNP Campaign .

  8. Terence Mills

    Self delusion plays a role in all this too. Peter Dutton has said of the coupe he mounted against Malcolm Turnbull :

    Peter Dutton says he has no regrets about rolling Malcolm Turnbull last year, declaring the strike against him was justified because Coalition was on track to lose the federal election, “which I thought would be a disaster for my electorate and for the country as well.”

    Yet Mr Dutton evidently considered that he was a better prospect as our leader and could have won this election.

  9. Jaquix

    Re the last Newspoll 52-48. Kevin Bonham of Pollbludger calculated that in fact the figures were 52.9 – 47.1 This makes a big difference, because if honest rounding up/down applied it would be 53-47.
    In a more perfect world, pollsters would publish the exact fractions of their conclusions, so we can do our own rounding up or down!
    Nevertheless, still a way to go, and hard to tell with so much mainstream media favouring the Coalition and Morrisons shenanigans.
    But look at the marginal seats. That is where the election will be won or lost. A “landslide” is great,and gives a good buffer for the next election, but a win is a win.

  10. Alcibiades

    Oh yes, there will almost certainly be a rerun of Section 44 of the Constitution challenges once the poll booths close on 18 May. Both re ineligibility re dual-citizenship, or the ‘right to’, as well as Commonwealth pecuniary interests & conflicts, maybe even a bankruptcy ?

    Dutton will likely be challenged re his Commonwealth subsidised child care centres interests, Josh Frydenbergs citizenship status(?), Angus Taylor’s share holdings & ahem business interests ? So far the Libs have already had to dump two low profile candidates & disendorse another, two for dual citizenship, one for pecuniary interests. Tardy.

    The difference will be Parliament(not formed) cannot block the challenges, nor is there an extended delay. Challenges can be made within 40 days of the declared election result, & are promptly assessed in a Hearing by the Court of Disputed Returns(normally a single High Court Judge). If in doubt, referred to & again dealt with promptly by the Full Bench of the High Court in order to finalise the formal election result, post haste.

    PS The Coalition boasts about economic management. Where’s the evidence? – Greg Jericho, The Graund

  11. Henry Rodrigues

    This election is Labor against Murdoch. The coalition bastards are just proxies who toe the Murdoch line. Nothing will give me as much pleasure than to see Murdoch lose and have him slink out of Australia along with the rest of his disgusting family, back to New York or wherever they bloody well hang out. We should confiscate their passports, after all they prefer to live in Trump’s America more than Australia.

  12. Kaye Lee

    According to the Australian Electoral Commission, voter turnout at the 2016 federal election was the lowest recorded since compulsory voting was introduced in 1925.

    Somehow, I think this time will be different.

  13. Keitha Granville

    Let’s hope so Kaye, I am counting on the young to make the right decisions about the direction this country is heading. They seem to have a few more brain cells than the generation that voted this mob of lying profiteers.

    I want to hear someone in a position of power say they will legislate to make telling lies to the public an offense.

  14. Alcibiades

    AEC Enrollments :
    2013 election, overall participation rate of 92%.
    2016 election, overall participation rate of 95%.
    As at 31 March 2019, overall participation rate 96.5%.

    Post enrollments closing tomorrow night ?

    The participation rate of 18-24 year olds had risen from around 50% in 2013 to over 70% in 2016.

    Post the Marriage Equality ‘Survey’ enrollments & Climate Change ‘front & centre’ ? 85%+ ?

    Another issue to consider is it is expected up to 40%+ of voters will determinedly cast their vote early, starting Monday 29 April 2019, at early voting centres to avoid the hassle & queues, their minds made up. Unless something dramatic happens, an event, prior to that date or closer to polling day, then they will be voting based on the current sustained polling trend of at least ~3%+ swing 2PP (under-represented?). Even if the contest tightened in the final week or last three days, that early voting bloc, would be very hard for the coalition to recover from, regardless.

  15. Kaye Lee

    Turnout at both the 2016 House of Representatives (HoR) elections (91.0 per cent) and Senate elections (91.9%) was the lowest recorded since the introduction of compulsory voting ahead of the 1925 federal election.

    While HoR turnout decreased in 2016, effective participation rates (formal votes as a proportion of total potential electors) increased, reflecting higher formality.

    Lower levels of turnout are most likely to be influenced by age, Indigeneity, socio-economic status, and Federal Direct Enrolment and Update (FDEU) processes, as well as electors’ confidence in the electoral system or politics in general.

    At the last federal election, Melbourne resident Akuol Garang was one of thousands of Australians who did not show up to the polling booth.

    “Last [federal] election, I didn’t vote because I felt like nobody wanted me to be part of this country, so why should I even exercise my right to do that in the first place?” she said

    Peter Dutton might object to being called a racist but his words have consequences. I really hope people take the opportunity to turf the toxic thug. Dutton has serious issues – he seems unable to understand how the crap he spews affects our society – not to mention the empathy bypass for his captives on Manus and Nauru. He soooooo wants to be the tough cop on the beat, the top dog able to grant favours so people, him mostly, think that he is important. He is an odious blight on the political landscape who must be removed.

  16. Diane

    How I wish more interviewers would call out the blatant lies. When there was the discussion about whether Morrison had taken into a party meeting the plan to play on people’s fear of Muslims in 2011, at one point he looked straight down the camera and flat-out denied it had ever happened. Then a few days later he was trying to spin it with a different angle, no mention to him that the two positions couldn’t both be true!

    The ‘delivered surplus’ lie is another one that makes me scream – our local LNP candidate even puts it in his literature, and even worse, when ABC interviewed two men about their voting intentions, even the one planning NOT to vote LNP said “I know this government have got us back in surplus, but…”

    And don’t get me started on “Retiree Tax” – I really feel for all the non-social media active old folk that hear this fed to them on a daily basis, and without knowing the full ins and outs, think that’s going to hit them, even if they are retirees on an aged pension with barely enough to pay their power bills.

    Then there’s the repeated use of the phrase “Labor’s Mediscare campaign” about the last election implying that the LNP weren’t actually planning to cut Medicare, when it was proven they were.. I’ve heard even usually non-biased radio presenters (there’s not many!) use that… it’s really not good for my blood pressure!

    When lies are said and repeated so often, the truth just gets kicked into the gutter to die.

  17. Alcibiades

    In Electric Vehicle news … Bond, James Bond … or even Johny English … can now go 100% Electric/Green in style, whilst saving Her Majesties austerity Government bigly in annual fuel/maintenance costs too :

    Aston Martin revealed the production version of its first electric car, the Rapide E, which can recharge to 80 percent in less than 15 minutes, while California startup electric-carmaker Karma rolled out its updated Revero GT with an EV engine from BMW, and a new Pininfarina GT Coupe along with Lotus are the latest brands to launch with a new electric hypercars in Shanghai.Tesla announced a new, used battery, recycling facility at its Nevada Gigafactory. Nah, nothing to see in the twin auto shows in New York & Shanghai this week. 🙂

    Toyota & Hyundai, having a complete 100% EV lineup by 2025 ? Clearly outliers on the fringes …

    In 2019 Audi E-tron ads take aim at EV myths. Scomo, Cash, have a gander at this :

    VW Group, Audi is about to launch its first 100% Electric model & is taking direct aim at many of the mythical concerns that potential buyers have about EVs. With a series of 15 new ads for the Audi E-tron All Wheel Drive(AWD) SUV this month, ahead of its arrival in May.

    With a slightly dazed young professional watching a neighbor open their garage to a new Audi E-tron AWD SUV plugged in, conveniently having been re-charged at home, the narrator intones: ‘Electric, it’s not for you‘ (Youtube 1m 11s)

    As the neighbor runs the car through its paces over perhaps a year, rapid-fire, on camera, the narrator runs through all the negative mythical stereotypes about electric vehicles:

    It’s not for you because, it doesn’t have enough range.
    It’s not for you because, it can’t go offroad with AWD, or even tow.
    It’s not for you because, it will never survive winter.
    It’s not for you because, EVs just can’t keep up.
    And good luck finding a charging station.
    Oh, by the way, you no longer get the privilege of hanging around at petrol service stations.

  18. Alcibiades

    High Court ruling closes Federal donation loophole – Blow to LNP fundraising hopes with High Court ruling Qld Developer laws are valid – Politics Live, the Graund.

    The high court has ruled that Queensland’s laws banning developer donations, are valid. That translates to a loss for the LNP – and massively cuts into its fundraising pool.

    The LNP had tried arguing that the laws were unconstitutional, on the grounds that it breached implied freedom of political communication. The LNP also hoped it would strike up a victory because federal laws allow developer donations.

    Paul Karp (@Paul_Karp)

    High Court rules Queensland developer donation ban is valid and the federal laws overriding state donation laws are INVALID. LNP/Gary Spence lose. #auspol #auslaw #ausvotes
    April 17, 2019

    Gee, that’s a real shame …

  19. ChristopherJ

    Henry. Correct and I hope that Labor has some sort of strategy to save what is left of journalism in Australia once they regain power. We just cannot afford to have so much of the media landscape owned by corporations, especially foreign ones who almost certainly don’t have the interests of the country, let alone its citizens, firmly in the way they report the news.
    Time for Labor to show it has a pair and start working for Australia instead of each other and their donor class.
    Time to put the media back in Australian hands and force Murdoch and his ilk to divest their holdings

  20. Terence Mills

    The IPA and Newscorp are feeling energised with the IPA calling on all coalition candidates to endorse a conservative manifesto that includes selling the ABC, slashing the company tax rate and pulling out of the Paris agreement on climate change.

    This follows the Liberal Party’s federal council which voted last year in favour of privatising the ABC, in a show of force by the party’s conservative wing.

    With the favourable treatment that Newscorp are delivering to the coalition and the relentless criticism of public broadcasting on Murdoch TV (SKY after dark) you could well be kissing auntie goodbye if this mob get back into office.

    Scary times !

  21. Henry Rodrigues

    Christopher J……Terrance Mills……Murdoch is the greatest threat to a free, egalitarian, non sectarian, fair go society we all desire and strive for. He and his family never tire of meddling and corrupting the media and the body politic, a plague on everything good in a society. But we will never give in just as he will never stop meddling.
    Unlike all coalition and Labor leaders since Howard, Bill Shorten set the tone when he spurned Murdoch’s ‘invitation’ to visit him in New York to grovel before him. The crinkled scrote is still smarting from that.

  22. ChristopherJ

    Thank you, Henry and Tel.

    Thank you too, John, the Liberal and National MPs and Senators are some of the worse human beings I have ever seen in government in my life time. The very fact that they are there reflects a wide range of factors including the msm, but it also reflects apathy, rusted on voters and compulsory voting.

    The most recent LNP ministry has featured some of the most nasty fuckers I have ever seen elevated to public office. You couldn’t compare this lot to the rat cunning of days past. This lot lie like its the right way to comport one’s self in modern day society. No one watches let alone prosecutes the corruption and they all live happily ever after on pensions some of us could only dream about earning, like for real work, for fuck’s sake.

    They cunts pontificate about the poor and talk about a fair go. None of them would have a fucking clue what it’s like to live on the margins of society, to be battling every week to survive…. just sickening to watch them demonize those that can’t make it in this cut and thrust dog eat dog Australia

    How about that language, John? Time to stop pussying around, man, but keep up the good work

  23. Henry Rodrigues

    Kudos Christopher, on telling it like it is.

  24. Wayne Turner

    As often the case it’s Labor vs MSM & The Coalition. (2007 federal election a recent exception.).

    With all of the MSM repeating the Coalitions LIES without question,while attacking Labor and Shorten.

    The BIASED & UNDEMOCRATIC MSM yet again trying to get these LYING CORRUPT FRAUDS back in government,no surprise when the Coalition and the MSM have so much in common.

    This federal election will be an intelligence test of the Australian people – Labor wins and many have got their brain in working order. SADLY if the Coalition get back in,then the Australian public FAILS yet again. I am still very fearful of the latter,because their are so many gullible ignorant morons in the public conned by the MSM.

  25. Keith

    Morrison questions Opposition Leader Bill Shorten about the costs of his climate policy in relation to emissions. Morrison needs to be asked the cost of doing nothing in relation to climate change. Dr Karl Kruszelnicki has been down to Antarctica speaking with scientists, he was interviewed recently on RN’s Science Show. He stated that costs would creep up each year until the budget of all countries combined would add up to the GNP of the whole world. The costs accruing from the flooding of all coastal cities around Earth through sea level rise. Thwaites and Totten glaciers are not in a good state.

    Australia has had an extremely horrid period with long term drought; with the added burden of the drying up of the Darling River, huge rainfall events and bushfires in Tasmania in summer 2019. The state of the Great Barrier Reef is not great. So how often can Australia sustain such huge costs of the well being of communities, and the monetary costs from extreme events?

  26. Kronomex

    The best thing I saw in one of Rupert’s Tasmanian rags today was a photo of Scummo, wearing a damned baseball cap, trying to lawn bowl and someone had written in biro in the middle of the pickie, “A fatman trying to be Trump.”

  27. wam

    truth is what one believes to be true. Anyone who considers what they believe to be true and what someone else believes is a lie has no idea of life or debate.
    The object of politics is to win government or, if winning is impossible, to garnish cash and perhaps, in the process, some influence.
    Perhaps telling the truth can be delated till it is no longer true?.
    Good to see the diludbransimkims didn’t rate a mention.

  28. Patagonian

    I hope the IPA plans to sell the ABC are broadcast far and wide. There are many, many Liberal voters who do NOT support the sale of the ABC.

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