People lie for a number of reasons: sometimes it is accidental that through the person’s own ignorance, statements are made which gives the appearance of being deliberate; the aim being to deceive. However, and of course, all is forgiven because it is abundantly clear to the reader/listener that the “lie” was purely accidental and its consequences unintended.
People also lie as a defence mechanism, that via that person’s emotional and mental immaturity they are incapable of providing an honest answer, but must resort to a simplistic lie. Ego also comes into play with the person incapable of accepting responsibility for the fact that they have made a mistake.
Revenge is also a motivator for lying.
However, with the exception of revenge, such behaviour can fall within the confines of what is considered normal. It is not a pattern of behaviour but something which occurs in response to exceptional circumstances. The abnormal is when lies are told by a person with a personality disorder, and an example is morbid narcissistic complex disorder whose traits include:
A sense of entitlement – an unrealistic, unmerited or inappropriate expectation of favorable treatment or conditions. Good examples in Tony Abbott’s case being; “I was robbed of becoming Prime Minister”. “It’s all the Independents’ fault”. “I want another election, and I want it now!” Ad nauseum.
Blaming – the practice of identifying a person or people responsible for creating a problem, rather than identifying ways of dealing with the problem. I have never known of Tony Abbott to do other than blame the person, using even formal occasions as an opportunity to attack others.
Impulsiveness – the tendency to act or speak based on current feelings rather than logical reasoning. This is known in some circles as Abbott “brain farts”.
Lack of conscience – individuals who suffer from Personality Disorders are often preoccupied with their own agendas, sometimes to the exclusion of the needs and concerns of others. This is sometimes interpreted by others as a lack of moral conscience. Turning to Tony Abbott, does he even recognise the hypocrisy of his alleged rorting of the travel allowance scheme, yet all the while expecting low paid child care workers to return money already paid to them?
Pathological Lying – persistent deception by an individual to serve their own interests and needs with little or no regard to the needs and concerns of others. A pathological liar is a person who habitually lies to serve their own needs.
Consider that in 2010 Tony Abbott said, “The statements that need to be taken absolutely as gospel truth are those carefully prepared, scripted remarks”. This was quite an extraordinary admission from Tony Abbott who was promptly dubbed “Phoney Tony”.
It is not the exaggerations which although not entirely acceptable, come under the general heading of “what else do you expect from a politician”, but rather the instances where Mr Abbott seems completely oblivious to the fact that he is telling an untruth.
Examples of Tony Abbott’s failure to be able to address the truth are numerous and no doubt inspired by any of the motivators provided above. Here are but a few of the much publicised instances which come to mind:
The Indonesian government consistently told both Tony Abbott and Julie Bishop that should the Coalition be elected and if they persisted with their Turn Back The Boats policy, that they, the Indonesian government would find this unacceptable. Abbott went to the election promising the authenticity of his statements and with the blatant lie that he had the full support of the Indonesia government.
In August 2012 Laurie Oakes wrote:
Abbott’s own truthfulness came under the microscope, however, after a blundering performance in an interview on ABC TV’s 7.30 program on Wednesday evening.
Earlier that day he had claimed BHP’s decision to put the Olympic Dam mining project in South Australia on hold was partly due to the Federal Government’s carbon and mining taxes.
That was porkie number one. BHP CEO Marius Kloppers had blamed such factors as the eurozone financial crisis, the slowdown of growth in China and weakness in commodity markets.
When Abbott stuck to his claim despite what Kloppers had said, interviewer Leigh Sales asked: “Have you actually read BHP’s statements?”
Abbott replied: “No.” The next day he claimed he had read the BHP announcement after all – soon after it was made.
He attributed the damaging answer in the 7.30 interview to a misunderstanding of what Sales had asked him. But her meaning could hardly have been clearer.
Just in case there was any doubt, she had gone on to say in her next question: “You haven’t read their statements today but you’re commenting about what they’ve announced.”
The conclusion is inescapable that, in trying to explain away a dreadful gaffe, Abbott resorted to another falsehood.
Tony Abbott lies about the impact of the Carbon Price on a new car:
During a doorstop interview in Geelong on April 11, 2013, Tony Abbott claimed:
First and foremost we are not going to hit the motor industry with a carbon tax and the carbon tax is adding $400 to the cost of every car manufactured in Australia.
Where was the evidence that the carbon tax added $400 to the cost of the car? And if the carbon tax was such a killer, why is he not blaming it as one of the reasons behind Holden’s closure?
Tony Abbott lies on Radio about not doing deals:
On February 20, 2013, Tony Abbott was interviewed by Neil Mitchell in the studio of 3AW.
Neil Mitchell: Will you talk to the Greens about cooperating with you?
Tony Abbott: Look, I think that’s been part of Julia Gillard’s problem. She embraced the Greens. This turned out to be a fatal embrace and I don’t do these sorts of deals with people. I mean, I wasn’t prepared to give the independents, I wasn’t prepared to give the Greens what they wanted. Julia Gillard was and I think her government, from the beginning, has been fatally compromised.
Neil Mitchell: So no deals to get into power?
Tony Abbott: I don’t do deals, Neil.
Neil Mitchell: You tried to.
Wednesday, 11th December 2013:
Holden did not make a bid to replace Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s “C1” car and the existing eight-year-old fleet of nine armour-plate caprices for the government, The Daily Telegraph reported. According to the report, it was only Audi and Mercedes and two other car companies with submitted bids.
Holden angered by media reports it did not submit bid to supply ‘blast-proof’ vehicles for Australian government VIPs.
The revelation appears to contradict reported Abbott government sources as saying Holden had not even submitted a bid in the tender because the car maker simply ”was not interested”.
These extraordinary events give every indication the government pursued a vendetta against Holden
Holden viewed that claim – which appeared in a News Corporation newspaper on Wednesday, just hours before the car maker announced its withdrawal – as part of a deliberate negative backgrounding campaign by Coalition ministers designed to make the company look uncommitted to Australia.
Tony Abbott will continue to say anything and do anything regardless of whether he believes his statements to be true or not. Why in this instance did Tony Abbott simply not tell the truth, that BMW were given the tender as the Holden model was not up to the standard expected, and for security reasons? As reported by news.com:
The only options of a semi-local built car was believed to be a newer version of the retrofitted Holden Caprice offered by British Aerospace at a cost of $800,000 each, or a “ground up” model based on a Holden chassis, which cost $1.2 million for just one vehicle.
However, neither option is believed to have been able to meet international standards for protection against attacks.
The Federal Government is now expected to sign a contract to buy cheaper, off-the shelf BMW High Security 7-series vehicles, at a cost of $525,000 each, which meet higher international standards of protection against ballistic and gas attacks – and which can be serviced in Australia.
When lying becomes a compulsion (and a pointless exercise) one must consider that the person should not be in any position of authority or where they might do harm to others. A compulsive liar is defined as someone who lies out of habit who will bend the truth about everything large and small. For the compulsive liar, telling the truth feels awkward and uncomfortable while lying sits well, giving the person a sense of empowerment and confidence. Often when confronted with the absolute necessity to tell the truth, the person will enter into a state of panic, perhaps unable to speak, or physically fleeing.
Does this perhaps offer us an insight into Tony Abbott’s problem with the truth?