Monday 15 April 2019
1 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
3 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:
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