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This Election, Try Telling the Truth

Having a good memory for past federal elections and the tactics employed, going back as far as 1958, I cannot recall a time when dishonesty and outright lies played such a pivotal role in the strategy of the Liberal Party.

With the possible exception of the “children overboard” scandal in 2001, their deceit is palpable. ‘Children overboard’ lies at the heart of it, because that’s where it began. A lie that gathered momentum, despite evidence to the contrary, which then compounded itself exponentially with the aid of a compliant media, until it became unstoppable.

Since that shameful episode, flagrant lies have not just become the norm for the Liberals, they have become more and more sophisticated in their delivery.

From babies overboard to interest rates always being lower under Coalition governments, from Abbott’s, no cuts to the ABC, to his equally dishonest lies about the Carbon Tax, the Coalition have always had the media on their side, prophesying doom and gloom of one kind or another under a Labor government.

Today, in 2019, nothing has changed. From their budget costings to electric cars to tax projections to border protection to energy savings and climate change, they reveal themselves as a party that lies its way to power.

The reopening of Christmas Island was a stand-out attempt to create an atmosphere of panic. It was laughable, but it showed us all how desperate they are.

But of all their deceptions and outright lies, nothing surpasses the perception that they are the better economic managers. The very notion is false and absurd and flies in the face of all the evidence.

A classic case is the “debt and deficit disaster.” How have all the deficits of the last 12 years impacted on the Australian economy? Were they really the Armageddon so crudely and politically promoted by the government?

Has employment improved? Are people better off today than they were in 2013? Did they really “create” a million jobs over the past five years? No, they didn’t. Those jobs came as a natural consequence of population increase. It has always been thus.

As we stare down to May 18 and the election we have to have, albeit six months early, perhaps we should take a moment to reflect on the monumental dishonesty of the Liberal party and their lapdogs, the Nationals, on the economy.

After all, it is their vanguard, their flagship, the issue they boast about so profusely. We need to go no further than Josh Frydenberg’s budget, handed down last week.

Point one, the budget is not back in the black and is unlikely to be. This is actually a good thing, something Frydenberg would not understand, even if it were explained to him in words of one syllable.

He simply doesn’t understand that budget surpluses restrict economic activity. They are not money in the bank.

Point two, the economy is not stronger today than it was in 2013. Compared with our trading partners, our competitors and the general cost of living, we are weaker.

Point three, we have not reduced our gross debt. The reality is, we have doubled it, not that it matters anyway. Our gross debt represents the selling of government and treasury bonds all of which are issued in Australian dollars.

As we are also the issuer of Australian dollars, we could extinguish that debt today by issuing the equivalent amount, crediting the bondholder’s accounts at the Reserve Bank and it wouldn’t raise a ripple in a bathtub.

The bondholders would simply clamour to buy more bonds.

Point four, they are not a lower taxing government. The Morrison Government is taxing our economy at a higher rate in 2019 (23.3%) than was the case in 2013 under Labor (21.3%).

Point five, since 2013, wages, relative to costs have declined, national savings have declined, growth in the value of exports has declined, public services have declined, evidenced by the reductions in staff numbers in the Taxation Dept and Centrelink.

Overall, our economic ranking has fallen from number one in 2013, to number twenty-one in 2019, on the IAREM rankings.

There is something positive, however, that we can say about this government’s public relations performance. The Liberal party are good at sweeping the bad stuff under the carpet. They are good at lying, they are good at pointing the other way and saying, “look over there.”

This election, we need to, not look over there, we need to ask every question and question every answer. Their capacity to conceal truths, propagate lies and deceive the electorate is extraordinary. But it is only able to happen because of poor journalism and a media juggernaut that allows it to happen.

And that is a direct assault on our democracy. The Liberal party don’t embrace democracy, the use it to stay in power. In reality, they despise it.

For these and a multitude of other reasons, they don’t deserve to be in government.

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25 comments

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  1. Merrie Carling

    I agree that the media is complicit in not revealing the ongoing lying of the LNP. Murdoch especially is complicit as it suits his ends to support a LNP government. The media is much more critical of Labor and their policies than it is of the LNP. Scott Morrison has had little media criticism of his outrageous remarks about the “criminals pedophiles rapists and murderers” of the Islamic religion when trying to stoke up resentment and anger toward refugees on Manus and Nauru who might be transferred to Australia because of extreme illness. There was little criticism of his hypocrisy when he made his comments after the tragic terrorist act in New Zealand. The media also skimmed over Barnaby Joyce’s role in the destruction of the Murray Darling Basin due to his ineptitude. The only media organisation which addresses these lies is the ABC and they are pilloried by the government and have their funding cut to render them toothless. The LNP want to be rulers for life without any opposition. They see people on welfare as not worthy and people with wealth as worthy. They are cruel towards those less able to manage their lives and make it as difficult as possible to access help and support. I loathe this government.

  2. Alcibiades

    The COALition are better economic managers ? Ha!

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DqlHUzHVYAMl4zT.jpg:small (Image)

    Unfortunately :

    Foreign owned & local monopoly corporations = IPA
    Murdochs Limited News & SLy News = IPA
    IPA = Liberals & Notionals
    Rest of the corporate MSM = bought & paid for Media Mercenaries, of the IPA.

    They did the same crap under LeatherJacketMan Turnbull, with Morrison shouting all the way in 2016. Managed barely to retain 1 seat, lost 14.

    Now it’s even more negative, completely over the top, lies & only lies, and just Morrison fronting … um, something about the same thing again & again yet, expecting a different result ?

  3. Henry Rodrigues

    Merrie Carling……………

    This nasty government depends on the support and misinformation and obfuscation provided by Murdoch and his dirty minions, Ch 7 and Kerry Stokes, the fools on Sky , and now Ch 9 with that gutless failed treasurer Peter Costello as its inspiration, who now casts his malignant influence on the once Independent Always SMH so that it too toes the coalition line. Then there are the so-called notable media identities who pretend to be impartial but are anything but, even the Guardian has one such journalist in the form of Katharine Murphy.

  4. whatever

    Rich brats who think Government is their very own cubby-house.

  5. Bronte ALLAN

    The truth, this COALition cannot handle the truth! Not ONE of any of the incompetent bloody rabble could tell ANY “truths”, even if their life depended on it! Sadly though, far too many voters here in Australia actually believe everything this bloody COALition sprouts, & they vote accordingly. I just hope that there are more than enough “normal” voters to ensure that Labor gets in, & with a majority too! God help Australia IF this rabble gets re-elected, & I am not religious! Great article John!

  6. Florence Howarth

    The lies today are no longer subtle but brazen. They don’t care if caught, they keep on repeating the lie. All are easy to catch out, generally in minutes. Most don’t make sense.

    Are we the public idiots or are they.

  7. Ross in Gippsland

    Let’s face it, if a coalition politician told you the sky was blue you would want three written submissions from the Bureau of Meteorology, two Stat Dec’s and a packet of Tim Tams before even considering the proposition to be true.
    That said the one and only good thing about living in a pretty safe Nats seat is the letter box remains relatively free of those glossy electioneering pamphlets throughout the campaign.
    The ones that make it past the ”no junk mail” signage are consigned to the big green bin unwanted and unopened.

  8. Kronomex

    Scummo’s “truth campaign” didn’t even make it halfway through the first day and he still expects us to believe he’s as honest as honest can be. SNORT!

  9. Paul Davis

    It has been reported that three Liberal ladies preselected for seats in Victoria may have major dual citizenship issues, those named are Vaishali Ghosh in Wills, Helen Jackson in Cooper and Kate Oski in Lalor.
    However Josh said this is a Labor smear as Liberal people don’t make these sorts of errors.

  10. Alcibiades

    Paul Davis,
    Two have been forced to withdraw their candidacy (One an IPA drone), the third having refused to do so will be dis-endorsed(Not a good look). Expect more of the same to follow, the Libs only vet candidates ‘properly’ after nomination, and Lib preselections are still in progress.

    Three Liberal candidates dumped from party two days into the campaign – SMH

  11. Paul Davis

    Melissa Parkes gone ……. NO ONE is allowed to say anything that in any way shape or form could be seen as kind or caring or sensible towards Palestinians or a two state solution in Israel-Palestine. Every Australian politician must swear obedience to Zion and the divine right of Yahweh’s peace loving army to remove every trace of those vile Canaanite cockroaches from the Promised Land.

  12. paul walter

    Paul Davis,

    Just saw it at FB SMH.

    Apparently to do with remarks about us being the one place apart from the USA not yet come to a recognition of Palestine.

    Surely Labor itself would not have so cowardly gutless as to drive Melissa Parke out?

    One of the few real Labor people left, the person they got rid of for that rightist failure, Joe Bullock?”

    whoops wrong, that was Louise Pratt, never mind.

    As long as Labor is controlled by the ultraconservative right-faction, it will never gain government because people know it is not “real” Labor and won’t trust to take the REAL “hard decisions” (not grovelling neo lib or foreign affairs suck-upping)

    I so have to vomit after the spinelessness on so many fronts re politics the last few days.

  13. Kaye Lee

    NEC,

    That link is incredible. I am amazed it isn’t headline news. Add to it, Angus Taylor gave the Liberals $155,000 in five separate tranches in 2012-13.

  14. Judith

    The reason I will keep clear of as much election coverage as I can is because I can’t tolerate the lies. Does anyone really believe the LNP will deliver a surplus if reelected? Does anyone believe, after their creative accounting on climate change emissions and their “meeting targets at a canter”, that they now have a grasp on reality? I fear that too many will forget and say “I do” and we will have to endure another 3 years. I fear for my grandchildren.

  15. paul walter

    Kaye Lee,
    Not as incredible as the ALP yellow streak concerning Parke.

  16. Kaye Lee

    paul,

    That is also a worry. But Angus Taylor getting $80 million from Barnaby Joyce is even moreso IMO.

  17. Kaye Lee

    Alcabiades,

    Really?

    Very interesting.

    Even we here get threatened with lawsuits when we write about water buyback shenanigans. This is getting way out of hand.

    I am passing on the information to someone who may be able to follow-up.

  18. Alcibiades

    Really. The link you read, that NEC provided is the ‘archive’ of scrubbed data, a redundant archive of the twitter account proactively/periodically created for such an eventuality, thence recovered & retained by the Wayback Machine(Internet archive).
    The authors actual twitter account and its history/posts have been removed by twitter. A coupla other capable long term twitter authors have suffered the same fate at twitters capricious mercy, having posted info adverse to the current cabal in government within the last fortnight also. A disturbing trend re active partisan censorship …

  19. Kaye Lee

    We do not have the resources to fight legal battles. When we have been threatened, we have removed stories because there is always another one to write. But the truth gets out there.

  20. Terence Mills

    The Parliamentary Budget Office was set up in 2012 by Peter Costello to “inform the parliament by providing independent and non-partisan analysis of the budget cycle, fiscal policy and the financial implications of proposals”.

    The need for this body, as I understand it, was to allow political parties to have policies costed independently because to have Treasury do the work would compromise the Dept. of Treasury as they can only act at the behest of the government of the day.

    The Liberals fed information to Treasury and asked for them to cost it. It just so happens that the information was loosely based on Labor policies. Treasury reported back to their masters and Morrison used that information (we haven’t seen it) to slam Labor policies.

    When asked by Chris Bowen why they were costing Labor’s policies Secretary for Treasury Gaetjens replied with confirmation the department prepared the cost estimates, but he made it clear these were based on instructions from the government, without being told they were Labor policies.

    “We were not asked to cost another party’s policies and would not do so if the request was made specifically to ‘cost Party X’s policy’,” Mr Gaetjens wrote to Mr Bowen.

    “In providing specific costings to the government at its request, Treasury advised they were all costed on a standalone basis but with interactions between the individual proposals not taken into account. For this reason we did not provide a total.”

    Labor have had their policies independently costed by the Parliamentary Budget Office which is the correct and appropriate thing to do ; that’s why the agency is there.

    The Liberals have corrupted the very system they set up to avoid this sort of thing happening !

  21. helvityni

    Truth telling, a much too big ask, John Kelly…..

    To tell the truth, you have to know it…it’s not about making it up as you go along…..

  22. totaram

    helvitinyi: Wrong! You can make it up as you go along and claim it is the truth. And then you repeat it and repeat it, and lo, and behold!
    It becomes the truth! And people have been doing it for millennia. It works.

    Sorry, but that is also the truth.

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