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They lie to each other so why on earth would we trust them to tell us the truth?

The thing that struck me most about Julie Bishop’s latest homage to herself was the revelation that 17 of her colleagues lied to her.

No-one goes into a leadership spill not having canvassed the numbers.  Obviously, some of them are not very good at it – whoever thought Peter Dutton was a good idea needs help – but Bishop was very specific – she thought she had 28 votes wrapped up which should have been enough to see her through to the second-round ballot in the three-way contest.

As we all know, that support evaporated when the secret ballot actually took place with Julie only securing 11 votes.  Her colleagues had lied to her.  Whilst it may not be quite on the scale of how bad Hilary Clinton must have felt losing to Donald Trump, Julie was humiliated.  She lost to a man who none of the electorate wanted, as polling showed, and who the bookmakers considered a very long shot as betting odds demonstrated.

Whether she would have been a good leader or not is debatable but not the point.  She has chosen to leave after being betrayed by her own people.

Bishop should not have been surprised because lying has become second nature to the Coalition.

Whether it is Angus Taylor telling us emissions have come down, or Peter Dutton telling us people will be kicked off hospital and public housing lists if sick refugees access urgent medical attention, or Josh Frydenberg telling us that tax concessions are mainly utilised by poor people, or Barnaby Joyce every time he opens his mouth about anything, the lies just keep on coming.

For a democracy to function successfully, there must be checks and balances on power.  Government decisions must be transparent and accountable.  The electorate must be told the truth so they can make informed decisions about alternative approaches to address the challenges facing the nation.

Increasingly, the Coalition have removed our right to know and the protection for those who would inform us.  They have deliberately sought out non-government agencies to produce reports that say what they want them to (the Minerals Council and the Properties Council are hardly independent advisors) yet refused to release genuine reports which might reveal what is actually going on.

How many times have we heard “it’s a report to government, not by government” as an excuse not to release reports they have paid for with public money?  But even the reports by government are suppressed when it suits them.  The Auditor-General has been silenced regarding defence contracts.  The Agriculture Minister is sitting on the State of the Forests Report.  NBNco demanded police raids when the truth was revealed about their lack of progress and cost blowouts.

Media have been threatened on a number of fronts.  Have you noticed how articles always come with the caveat now that “The X news site is not suggesting any wrongdoing by any of the corrupt people we have just written about”.  Certain topics will land journalists in gaol and whistleblowers who go to the media will be persecuted and prosecuted.

The ABC has been under continual attack and now, in a misguided attempt to appease those who accuse them of bias, give voice to a disappointing array of crackpots and allow politicians’ lies to slide by rather than offending them and being completely cut off.

Isaac Asimov once said “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’”

We are now in the territory of an election being fought on my lies are better than your truth.

PS Special mention should go to Matthias Cormann whose appalling judgement and despicable disloyalty should disqualify him from being trusted by both his colleagues and the electorate.

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41 comments

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  1. Jack Cade

    A simple rule – with this government at least – is to believe the diametric opposite of what they say.
    And if the eyes are the mirror of the soul, just look at Peter Dutton’s eyes and thank heaven you were not one of the suspects who earned him the nickname ‘Thumper’ in the Qld police. I don’t think they had Bambi’s mate in mind…

  2. Kaye Lee

    Funny you should say that Jack…I was recently thinking the same thing about both Dutton and Cormann. Look at their eyes, They are dead. There is no sincerity because they know they are just spinning a bullshit script but they don’t care. There is not even any nervousness about their lies – they are so used to it they think it is ok.

  3. New England Cocky

    A political skeptic may reasonably conclude; “Liarbral Party by name, liars by practice”.

    “We are now in the territory of an election being fought on my lies are better than your truth.” Agreed!!

    It’s time ….. again!!

  4. Yvonne Robertson

    It looks to me as though it began with Morrison and will end with Morrison – I remember the shock of ‘we’re not going to talk about boat arrivals or discuss anything to do with asylum seekers because thats an ON WATER MATTER’.
    “They can’t do that” I said to myself, but it turns out they could and they did for almost six years. New players, same appalling lies and rubbery figures. Personally I figure it’s because they never thought they’d win with Abbott and they never had a plan. Consequently they shifted to a default of making it up given its what got them elected.

    We could spend the entire week talking about the lies we’ve been told over the last 5+ years especially those of the self confessed liar Abbott who at least had the good graces to admit that if it wasn’t written down, it couldn’t be relied upon. However, if you want to see the unravel, the reporting on Morrison’s babbling this morning in The Guardian gives you a bit of an idea of how it’s going to end. Not pretty. Straight jacket material. Can’t tap dance fast enough.

    You know how they say that people who are telling lies, blink a lot more? It’s the exact opposite with Cormann who doesn’t blink at all when spinning BS. He can keep that up for minutes on end, it’s quite frightening if you focus on it. Only when he begins to slow blink again, do you know there is probably a grain of truth or two to what he’s now saying.

  5. Kaye Lee

    Accompanied by “I do not agree with the premise of your question” or “I won’t be providing a running commentary on (whatever)” which have joined “commercial in confidence” and “national security” as deflections from answering a question.

  6. Henry Rodrigues

    My father used to say, if a person cannot look you in the eye when they talk to you, they are not to be trusted. Eyes are indeed the mirrors of the soul, but in the case of the coalition, when you have no soul………
    Poor Julie Bishop ???? There’s nothing in her beliefs or philosophy that one can sympathise with, she’s just as craven dishonest and devious as the rest of her colleagues. It’s a wonder she lasted this long, of course the spoils of being an MP, indulging in all the lurks and perks, accepting gifts from chinese business women, basking in Glorious Foundations, prancing about in donated high fashion frocks and sequined high heels. Good riddance to useless rubbish !!!!!!!!

  7. Peter F

    I do not have much sympathy for asbestos Julie

  8. eefteeuu

    Bishop said she would beat Labor if she had run in the coming election.

    I know how she feels, I would have won last weeks Lotto if I had put an entry in.

  9. Jack Cade

    Peter F.
    Bishop said her comments re the asbestosis sufferers (‘why don’t we wait until they die’ Or words to that effect) were instructions from her clients.
    Anybody who knows ANYTHING about lawyers knows that the ideas are always raised by counsel who then asks for instructions. In other words, it was all her own work.
    Credit should be given to all the local branches of the Liberal Party; they managed to pre-select a bunch of the most appalling people imaginable and got them elected to parliament.

  10. Lambert Simnel

    To treat things are other than what they are is dangerous, like looking for the stairs down wearing a blindfold or having a tetanus shot for a deep cut after rolling in dung.

    To such as these have the Australian People, in their infinite wisdom, handed over the affairs of a whole country.

  11. Kronomex

    BWAHAHAHAHA…cough, choke, gasp…HAHAHAHA…

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/mar/04/scott-morrison-my-team-is-strong-and-stable-despite-five-ministers-quitting

    I’m guessing from the look on his face that the daily suppository of wisdom he inserts is starting to wear off and the petulantus arrogantius hormone is beginning to assert itself. Either that or Dunceolini (hiding out of shot) is massaging his rectum to remind Scummo that he is always lurking nearby.

  12. helvityni

    Asbestos induced dying for old miners, vanilla sex acts with children, asylum seekers seen as liars and murderers….

    It’s all in the day’s work for this lot of Liberals.

  13. Peter F

    I have said elsewhere many times: this is the party which picked numbers out of a hat to send young men to their deaths in Vietnam because they could not convince the people of Australia that their war was justifiable to get enough volunteers. 30 years later we found out that the whole involvement was a political move by the coalition. This came upon the release of Cabinet papers.

  14. MöbiusEcko

    Kronomex, out of all the delusionary crap that constantly comes out of Morrison, that bit to the press has to be right up there with the most delusionary crap of all time.

    And, get this bit of projection when talking about Labor:

    “That seems to be the only thing that drives them. Getting hold of power, to wield it.

    “Whether it is against small and family businesses with their higher taxes – who is next with Labor, that is the thing, they just want to get into power, to wield power, on behalf of, talking about mates, their union mates, and particularly their militant union mates like John Setka, these guys have become very arrogant.”

  15. guest

    “People are no longer simply sceptical about the benefits of neoliberalism; they are scathing of the institutions that lied to their faces about shared sacrifice in the name of efficiency and productivity…Tax cuts for big business have not led to higher wages. Privatisation and outsourcing have not led to better-quality community services in regional Australia. There have been decades of dodgy economic modelling and promises that weren’t met.”

    Richard Denniss, Quarterly Essay #70. “DEAD RIGHT: how neoliberalism ate itself and what happens next”. (p 61)

  16. Kaye Lee

    Finally the State of the Forests Report (SOFR) has been released. I am slowly working my way through it but you just have to love this gem…..

    SOFR 2013 reported a total forest area of 125 million hectares as at 2011, compared to the 134 million hectares of forest reported in SOFR 2018 as at 2016.
    • Most of this difference in the understanding of Australia’s forest extent derives from use of more accurate state, territory and national datasets and recent high-resolution imagery, not from actual on-ground changes in forest area.
    • The change in reported forest area was greatest in the Northern Territory, where areas of woodland forest not reported as forest in SOFR 2013 have been identified, mapped, and reported as forest in SOFR 2018.

    http://www.agriculture.gov.au/abares/forestsaustralia/Documents/SOFR_2018/Web%20accessible%20PDFs/SOFR_2018_Executive%20summary_web2.pdf

    So we didn’t actually plant more trees to claim the LULUCF carbon sink emissions reductions….we just said oh we have more than we thought in the first place. How that counts as emissions reduction is beyond me.

  17. guest

    ABARES? Is that the mob associated with Brian Fisher with their inflated modelling on a Labor future? The same Brian Fisher criticised by Professor John Quiggin in the AFR 17/12/1996 for spurious numbers?

    Fisher claims it will cost more under Labor to abate carbon emissions, but says nothing about the cost of cooking the planet under the Coalition. The Murdoch media mentions Fisher daily at present.

    So they have discovered forests we did not know we had. Were they planted by the Green Army, do you think?

  18. Jack Cade

    Peter F.
    Re the Vietnam draft. The PM at the time was the first notable draft dodger. Menzies was a big wig in the University militia – a brigadier, no less. Chocolate soldiers. When WW1 kicked off,Menzies resigned. Refused to volunteer (his mummy didn’t want him to get hurt). Didn’t stop him being a warmonger, first class.
    Gutless duckers are big time warmongers. Menzies, Dumbya Bush, limp wrist Howard, heel spurs Trump (‘I woulda been a great general’).

  19. New England Cocky

    @Peter F: Robert “Pig Iron Bob” Menzies resigned his Australian Army commission on the first day of WWI. I have seen his Army Service Record and held it in my hand while serving during the Vietnam debacle. He felt he had missed out on essential war experience, so felt obliged to send my generation of young fit Australians to Vietnam to assuage his conscience.

    The Liarbrals invited Australia into the Vietnam debacle and originally the Yanks did not want Australian military.

    Now tell the poor bastard Australian soldiers who returned from Vietnam suffering from PTSD, Agent Orange poisoning, war wounds and loss of mates, why they were sacrificed on the altar of US imperialism, and how Australian involvement in Vietnam benefitted our country.

  20. Kaye Lee

    ABARES is part of the Department of Agriculture. It stands for Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences. Fisher did used to work there but he doesn’t now. That two page analysis from him that is getting quoted now is not their work. Media Watch ripped it apart too.

    “It’s really quite difficult to critique, given the lack of detail. There are clearly some assumptions that make very little sense to me … and many others seem completely unjustified. It’s very disappointing and discouraging to see such prominent coverage given to what amounts to two pages of ‘analysis’ … without a second or third opinion, or fact checking (especially, given it was clearly known to the journalist that the analysis was not peer-reviewed, and they were preliminary results).”

    https://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/episodes/solar/10846360

  21. Jack Cade

    New England Cocky
    Menzies appears to have badgered the Viets and Yanks to allow him to send Aussie boys to their deaths.
    The Yanks lost over 58000 dead in Vietnam, almost all only 20 years old. I don’t know how many Vietnamese died, soldiers or civilians.

  22. Florence Howarth

    I wonder if anyone in this government trusts anyone? Do they talk to one another?

  23. Kronomex

    Möbius,

    Scummo isn’t just delusional, he’s paranoid. I almost the feeling that he’s on the edge of a nervous breakdown or even a psychotic break.

  24. John Lord

    “It is better to be comforted with the truth than be controlled by lies”

  25. Terence Mills

    The Free Trade Agreement signed today between Indonesia and Australia has been kept very low-key for, I’m guessing, political reasons, probably in Indonesia as Scomo would have loved to have been on the Jakarta stage signing this agreement.

    Ironically, the Indonesian automobile manufacturing industry is going to be one of the big winners selling vehicles into Australia tariff free : why not, they already export cars throughout Asia and we just happen to be a country that doesn’t have its own vehicle manufacturing industry – probably the single most significant achievement of the Howard/Abbott era was the degradation of our domestic car industry.

    Indonesia is the second-largest car manufacturing nation in Southeast Asia and the ASEAN region
    (after Thailand). So we can we expect our new generation of motor vehicles to come from Indonesia where they already assemble Toyota, Nissan, General Motors, and Mitsubishi range.

    We had the opportunity of getting in on the ground-floor of electric car production and innovation but the coalition weren’t interested in attracting these industries.

    Poor fellow my country !

  26. Kaye Lee

    I am still gobsmacked that 17 of Julie’s closest friends and colleagues lied to her. None of them had the courage or the decency to tell her the truth. I would be really angry if that happened to me. By all means vote for whomever you please but don’t lie to me. I’m afraid my parting speech would have been somewhat different to Julie’s.

    “I have decided to not recontest the next election because I can no longer trust my colleagues. Good luck without me.”

  27. Alcibiades

    Kaye Lee

    Bravo.

    Lying liars lie. The other profound mistake many of these these venal hypocrites make is they apparently actually come to believe their own wholly manufactured dissonant political propaganda. Astounding doltards.

  28. Diannaart

    All politicians, from all shades of the political spectrum lie at some point in their career because all humans lie.

    BUT

    Any political party without vision, policies or even care for their electorate have to lie. They’ve got nuthin’ else and cannot/will not free themselves from the liar’s web. They’ve infected themselves with their own unrelenting duplicitousness.

    At least Labor has some policies, as do the Greens and there are Independents with very clear visions, such as Kerryn Phelps.

    It’s up to the electorate to put these obsessive/compulsive liars out of their misery and vote them out – in a landslide.

  29. Kaye Lee

    Kronomex,

    It astonishes me that Frydenberg is trying to push the line that tax concessions are mainly used by the poor. If he stepped out of Kooyong and Morrison’s Canberra bubble for a sec he would realise that the vast majority of the population have no idea what excess franking credit refunds are, have no capacity to take advantage of negative gearing and don’t own any capital to be taxed on should they profit from its sale. My father, a teacher for all his life, used to joke that he aspired to having a tax problem.

  30. Matters Not

    So Shorten is going to further tax the banks to pay for X, Y and Z – the detail matters not re the point to be made. For a start, banks in Australia pay a significant amount of tax. In fact, the top three taxpayers in Australia are banks. And that’s how it should be. Big profits should result in big taxes. But banks aren’t the only big companies that make big profits. Indeed some of the biggest profit makers aren’t in the financial services sector and that’s probably why they fly beneath the political radar. Or at least below Shorten’s political radar.

    Why doesn’t Shorten get creative and develop something like a turnover tax that targets those large – very profitable companies – who send their profits overseas? And also pay no tax in Australia.

    Or is the low hanging fruit (the banks) just too tempting to resist for an incoming Labor government? Perhaps – not an encouraging sign. Seems like a lack of ambition – or imagination.

  31. Kaye Lee

    MN,

    LABOR’S MULTINATIONAL TAX CRACK DOWN – SAVING THE BUDGET $4.8 BILLION

    Tighten debt-deduction loopholes used by multinational companies, improving the Budget by $3 billion over the medium term.
    Capping deductions for managing tax affairs at $3,000.
    Close a debt deduction loophole to ensure consistent treatment in related party financing arrangements.
    Automatically deny deductions from companies for travel to and from tax havens.
    Increase penalties for individuals and entities promoting tax evasion and avoidance.
    Crack down on citizenship shopping by requiring all individual Australian taxpayers to notify and declare to the Australian Taxation Office if they have residency or citizenship of any other jurisdiction and the name of that jurisdiction.
    Introduce public reporting of country-by-country reports, ensuring the release of high-level tax information about where and how much tax was paid by large corporations (over $1 billion in global revenue).
    Provide protection for whistleblowers who report on entities evading tax to the Australian Taxation Office and, where whistleblowers’ information results in more tax being paid, allow them to collect a share of the tax penalty (a reward of up to $250,000).
    Introduce a publicly accessible registry of the beneficial ownership of Australian listed companies and trusts, allowing the public to find out who really owns our firms.
    Introduce mandatory shareholder reporting of tax haven exposure, requiring companies to disclose to shareholders as a ‘Material Tax Risk’ if the company is doing business in a tax haven.
    Appoint a community sector representative to the Board of Taxation to ensure community sector voices are heard in tax design and review processes.
    Introduce public reporting of Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) data and require the annual public release of international cash flow data.
    Require all firms tendering for Australian Government contracts worth more than $200,000 to state their country of domicile for tax purposes.
    Develop guidelines for tax haven investment by superannuation funds.
    Require that the Australian Taxation Office’s annual report provide information on the number and size of tax settlements.
    Restore Labor’s $100 million threshold for public reporting of tax data for private companies, which was raised to $200 million by the Liberals and Greens in a move which exempted two-thirds of private firms from tax transparency.

  32. Jack Cade

    If our government taxed churches, they probably wouldn’t need to tax ordinary people. Churches are parasiticsal corporate entities feeding off ignorance and supesrstition, Peopled by hypocrites who know full well that they peddle bullshit.
    When one of its ace fakes, Mother Teresa, told an archbishop that God had never spoken to her, he said it was because Hof trusted her…. he didn’t need to talk to her. What a crock of ordure!!
    If you are naive enough to accept that she was saintly, read Christopher Hitchens’ writings about her. Wouldn’t give patients painkillers because agony
    glorified them, or some such evil, sanctimonious shit.

  33. Matters Not

    Yes KL, I’m aware of what they assert. I’m also aware that this issue of multi-national tax avoidance is beginning to resonate with the LNP as well – as is evidenced by their publicly funded ‘information’ campaigns

    The claim that they would improve the Budget by $3 billion over the medium term provides a veritable feast for stand-up comedians. Please – there’s also the undefined medium term (hilarious). Then there’s the dollar amount. Again – please. The number one tax dodger owes at least that amount all by their lonesome. And never mind the reast.

    But that’s beside the point I am making which is about who to target – and why. Shorten et al are masking what is a very real problem. Why not come clean? Why not wake the sleepers? Admit impotence perhaps?

    Has Labor provided any timelines? Then there’s Automatically deny deductions from companies for travel to and from tax havens For FFS. That’s comedy gold.

    Seems like it’s a grab bag of ideas which will cause much amusement in serious financial circles. But perhaps they deserve brownie points for trying? But not from me. Why not wake the Sleeper? And show leadership?

  34. Kronomex

    Jack,

    Good luck with taxing churches, terrific idea that it is and I’ve had the same thought for years. At a rough guess, 90% of politicians are scared witless of upsetting religious organisations and those of the same bent because, gasp, they might lose votes. One of the first “religions” I would remove the tax free status of is scientology closely followed by the roman catholic corporation…oops, church. Even though the article is American the gist of it is that it’s just a racket –

    http://www.paperadvantage.org/CatholicEncyclopedia.html

  35. Kaye Lee

    Oh sorry, I thought you were suggesting they were only targeting banks.

    Press releases (and opposition parties) do not give legislative detail so I can’t answer your questions. I agree the amounts quoted seem miniscule compared to what we are told is lost through tax avoidance by big corporations.

    As for a turnover tax, I can’t speak for multinationals but for me, it would put me out of business. Our turnover is over a million and so are our bills. I earn less than my employees.

    A small tax on financial transactions is another possibility to explore.

    http://www.tai.org.au/sites/default/files/P134%20Australia%27s%20Tobin%20Tax%20arguments%20and%20evidence_0.pdf

  36. Matters Not

    KL, I did say something like a turnover tax. Not easy I know. But why not come clean? Why not make the voters aware of the problems we face internationally? Trust them and take them on a journey? Also – why not empower the voters – so, for example, they can make their own choices to punish companies like Energy Australia who pay no tax in Auatralia?

    Seems to me we will be soon electing a government which sees the ultimate prize as winning the election – the end in itself and not as a means to anything much – apart from a re-election somewhere down the track.

    Been there – done that. And a repeat is not an attractive proposition. Perhaps I should stress that the re-election of an LNP government doesn’t enter the mental equation.

  37. Kaye Lee

    Jack,

    I agree the churches’ profitable businesses should be taxed. The whole charitable status needs to be looked at if the IPA can be considered a charity. I read today that the AAT had to make a ruling against an appeal by the Waubra Foundation claiming charitable status on public health grounds. They are the group who say wind turbines make you sick.

  38. Kaye Lee

    MN,

    I understand your cynicism but I can only hope that a Labor government will be more transparent and will be more open to advice from experts and there are plenty of them ready to help. The Australia Institute and The Grattan Institute have done a lot of good research as have the various climate change bodies. The current lot must go so the election is the focus. What follows is up to us to get vocal about – but let’s get there first and give them a chance to listen and show us what they can do. If it is more of the same then the party duopoly will die.

  39. Zathras

    Bishop (who some Canberra journalists have always regarded as “stupid”) finally realised that her role in the leadershio challenge was to vacate the Deputy Leader position and split the Leadership vote at the first round, allowing the real candidates to identify and fight over her meagre showing.

    In the end and despite her glitzy media profile she had no legislative achievements to boast about and was a failure in each of her Ministerial roles, ending up out of the way and out of the country in the relatively safe Foreign Ministry. It’s usually where nervous Prime Ministers stash their potential rivals but in her case it was probably for her own good politically.

    In opposition she was “the Minister for demanding apologies to the Australian people” and probably didn’t want to reprise that role so took the cashed-up way out instead.

    She may have been considered some sort of media celebrity but was never destined to be much more politically. I expect her to resurface on “Dancing With the Stars” one day.

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