With the frenetic pace of reporting nowadays, yesterday’s news is quickly forgotten. The sheer volume of information overwhelms us with the result that the government can quickly move attention away from anything they do not want scrutinised.
When Reza Barati was murdered on Manus Island by the staff we employed to care for the asylum seekers we had incarcerated there, Scott Morrison told us that it was the refugees’ fault for leaving the centre and going on a violent rampage. That was proven false.
Reza was killed inside the centre and the subsequent review commissioned by the government found that Reza was “a very gentle man” who was not involved in the unrest. Two Australian guards allegedly involved in the murder were immediately brought home and have never faced charges.
When Scott Morrison’s ridiculous allegation that Save the Children staff on Nauru were encouraging children to self-harm was proven false, he refused to apologise despite the government having to pay compensation to the staff he wrongly accused and removed.
When there was a shooting incident on Manus, Peter Dutton said it occurred after local people witnessed asylum seekers leading a five-year-old boy towards the centre suggesting they were luring him away to sexually assault him. This was, once again, completely wrong.
The shooting came from drunken sailors in an argument over a soccer field. A couple of weeks earlier, asylum seekers had given a ten year old child food after he asked for some. The incidents were entirely unrelated and misrepresented by Dutton.
Barnaby Joyce would have us believe that the woman he got pregnant was not his partner when he secured jobs for her in other MPs’ offices. The spike in the number of non-sitting nights he spent in Canberra were ‘work-related’ according to Barnaby. In response to multiple allegations of sexual harassment from other women, Barnaby basically said ‘prove it’.
Michaelia Cash still contends that her referral to the ROC of a ten year old donation by the AWU was not political and that she had nothing to do with tipping off the media about AFP raids. Uh huh…
And then we have Angus Taylor, the man who congratulates himself on facebook forgetting to change accounts first. Angus is racking up a lot of very questionable dealings where the truth seems to get lost in his bluster.
There was his involvement in an $80 million water buyback scheme/scam, his meetings with the Environment Minister to ‘raise concerns from farmers in his electorate’ about endangered grasslands (producing a letter that was written months after the meeting), and now his unbelievable attack on Clover Moore using a fraudulent document.
The death taxes campaign at the last election was the government at its manipulative, dishonest worst.
In some cases, such as Craig Kelly, the disinformation is due to stupidity but that didn’t stop the PM from interceding to make sure this dill was preselected against the wishes of the local Liberals and awarding him, of all people, the job of chairing the environment committee. Kelly is so full of crap that he has been banned from appearing on the ABC but he is given open slather on Sky After Dark to spin his bullshit.
Time and again, government MPs get away with telling blatant untruths with no adverse consequences – for them at least.
The consequence for the rest of us is the undermining of trust in the institutions that govern our country and a tawdry decline into a political world where winning is all that counts and transparency and accountability are to be avoided at any cost.
When there is no penalty for lying, we get leaders like Donald Trump and his Billy Bunter groupie, ScoMo, who think having their photo taken with thumbs up saying “how good are we” substitutes for competence, honesty and integrity.
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