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Truth doesn’t have the same importance it once did

Lies are so commonplace now that people just discount them or factor them into whatever context they read into various methods of communication. Many believe them.

It is a shame that I and many other writers for The AIMN find it necessary to write on the subject but we do and will probably do so until some semblance of normality returns to the body politic.

Such was my upbringing that using the ‘F’ word in front of elders was taboo. Using it in front of women was outlawed.

Using the ‘C’ word was totality forbidden. Even by men, but both are as common now as red, green and amber lights at intersections.

Like lying and good manners, it doesn’t seem to matter anymore.

The Rod Laver Tennis Centre now dominates an area of land where the Melbourne Olympic pool once stood. To its east massive Elm trees occupied the adjacent land.

It was under these huge trees that fierce political debates once took place.

Rather like Hyde Park in London. It was there that as a teenage boy I spent many a Sunday afternoon. Politics has been for most of my life something that had within its existence the means of making things so obviously wrong or unequal, better.

Other than what one might do in bed I can think of little that politics doesn’t invade in society in one way or another.

The circumstances of my growing up defined my future. I was exposed to injustice, inequality, unfairness and prejudice at an early age. Lying always seemed to underscore it all.

We may have been poor but we were taught values like truth, manners and honesty.

In my growing I became wise enough to understand that in a democracy the party I didn’t support had as much right to power as the one I do.

I am of the Left because social inequality is anathema to me.

There was, however, a time when I had a guarded tolerance for things Liberal and got on with life. But somewhere along the way things went horribly wrong.

Like rust finding its way, hate and untruth insinuated its way into the Australian politics.

It is now a cesspool of lying and ideological corruption where politicians use it as a legitimate political weapon. They just, in Trumpish fashion, brush aside their lies, and tell another one or repeat the same one.

At a time when the world is screaming out for collective answers to complex problems our government isn’t listening because it’s so busy telling lies.

Probably because I don’t understand the “why” of it is the reason I have developed a particular loathing for all this lying – this self-righteous attempt to corrupt the business of government.

Time and time again history would record the failure of lies yet the temptation is ever present. It seems to have worked for Donald, so why not give it a go.

Children learn from the age of four how lying works and one might argue that men who lie in copiousness have never grown up.

Having said that, I’m not naive enough to think that it is curable; lying has and probably will always exist.

However, Trump has taken political language into a new dimension. One where the craft of nefarious persuasion and communication has reached into a bucket of his sewerage and take from it the stench of his own bullshit.

Lying in American politics is now a legitimate and acceptable part of the cut and thrust of it. Because lying is a choice it would be unfair to suggest we have inherited it from America, but it is a fair assumption.

Lying in Australian politics has also reached unprecedented levels. The Prime minister and his Cabinet have taken lying to such depths that it is not disingenuous to suggest that this government under Morrison no longer has a moral compass nor any understanding of truth.

If this means I am saying that our Prime Minister is a pathological liar then so be it. I’m not it the habit of calling anyone a liar without proof (I do so with a heavy heart) but we are dealing with truth here.

It’s not so much that he is a serial offender, he is.

That he professes a practising belief in the Christian faith at the same time is both insulting and hypocritical.

He makes truth the victim. You can shape truth by telling lies in a way that embellishes crap and you can use the contrivance of omission to create yet another lie but when they are exposed they have little value.

However, the ability to admit you are wrong when found out is an absolute prerequisite to discernment and knowledge.

Admitting a lie requires a truthfulness foreign to conservatives. If a political party is not transparent in supplying all the information the public has a democratic right to be aware of, it destroys the very democracy that enables it to exist.

And if humility is the basis by which intellectual advancement is made then it is only on the basis of truth that we make any human progress.

Telling the truth should not be delayed simply because we are not sure how people might react to it. It is far better to be comforted by truth than to be controlled by lies.

Is it plausible? Does what I am being told have the ring of truth about it? We make judgements based on our life’s experience.

Unless your personal bias clouds the ’Pub test’ … your inner conscience dictates your judgement. But in itself your emotion can never be a substitute for facts.

My thought for the day

Faith is the residue of what is not understood but can never be a replacement for fact.

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13 comments

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  1. corvusboreus

    Ps, thanks boobby.

  2. Ken

    The problem with lies is because they are lies it’s hard to remember them and this will eventually trip up ScottyFromMarketing.

  3. New England Cocky

    Uhm ….. Nazi Minister for Propaganda Heinrich Himmler was of the opinion that you tell the biggest lies consistently and the general public will believe them. This is a strategy that Rupert Murdoch has long used in his media empire and Trumpery is preaching at each of his pre-election rallies.

    The so-called media “Fourth Estate” has become part of the corporate propaganda machine, employing small minded political extremists espousing old fashioned hate messages to relate well with that too large section of the unthinking general population.

    Shades of 1930s Europe are falling upon us and those outcomes were most unfortunate.

  4. Owen

    They are so good at keeping a straight face when lying now that they believe they can lie their way through the pearly gates of heaven..Won’t they be surprised!!

  5. Awashwithcolour

    The lying nasty party have destroyed the fabric of our society with their compulsive lying, cheating in elections, destroying our social fabric, creating a meaner and nastier country by demonising everyone but the rich. Its not the country l grew up in and it certainly wont change while ever we have politicians who say and do the most dispicable things to remain in power. The Murdoch lPA has had more than enough influence and time to enact their agendas through the lnp. His media has lied about just about everything, from climate change, to the economy, racism, demonisation of “others”, turning us into them and us.
    I find it reprehensible that our liar in chief the happy clapper morrison seems oblivious to his own lying and yet portrays himself as a “Christian “.

  6. Terence Mills

    When the happy clapper sees the leader of the Western World, a man to whom religion is a stranger, being blessed by evangelicals he knows that he can get away with just about anything.

  7. Keitha Granville

    What is the answer? How do we change it? Labor seems intent on following the LNP down the current path – seems that they think if it works for them maybe it’s the way to go. So we have to choose between the outright lies and the muddled fuddled ones. Richard Marles is in my opinion a serious detriment to Labor.

    Until there is a fact check rule of law, politicians are learning that lies are their way out of difficult questions.

  8. Andrew Smith

    Agree with article and comments while one could observe that it’s a culmination of individualism and PR infecting not just commercial advertising or sponsorship but politics and society as well, ‘neo-narcissism’ (Adam Curtis’s doco ‘Century of the Self’ presents well).

    Viewing through the prism of Socrates i.e. ethos or authority and reputation of the speaker; pathos or emotional buttons pushed; and logos or evidence; with latter being avoided at all costs.

    We see the PM et al. in politics and media jumping at any opportunity to promote safety or security, and being seen as emotional with victims of something, but total avoidance of facts, analysis and policy; unless attacking Labor, minorities etc. whom are supposed to offer facts or analysis on e.g. climate policy ‘costs’.

    MPs etc. are not entirely to blame when their target audiences and society seem to avoid anything serious in preference to observing authority and obsessing about their own feelings, emotions and prosperity (or not), just like America with Trump, UK with Brexit etc.

  9. wam

    Thanks for the early warning, lord. I have taken my medicine early and warned the neighbours that the cacophany is nothing to be alarmed at.
    Then you start talking about lies and your days? What a crock!
    My dad had hypocrisy down to a ‘T’. Swore his head off at work and the pub, barmaids didn’t count, but never at home or when ladies were present.
    He was one of millions who were fucked when women went to work.

    I remember your days when there were no ‘blacks’ on the streets of melbourne ‘and today you say .’ I was exposed to injustice, inequality, unfairness and prejudice at an early age. Lying always seemed to underscore it all.
    We may have been poor but we were taught values like truth, manners and honesty.’ yep sounds like truth to me?

    The crow has it right on why we have the liar in the PM’s office but he thoinks he is loiying by repeating my truth.
    Complex eh lord?,
    Too complex for those who love pauline,smirko and jonesy who speak the truth to millions and the lie to few.
    ps love the reference to slimy brandt, corvus good to see you remember how juliar came about perhaps slimy is too gentle for the leader who

  10. whatever

    I don’t know if it qualifies as “lying”, but there is great reluctance to point out the effects of prolonged anabolic steroid abuse in a recent tragic case in Brisbane.

  11. whatever

    Our ABC is flirting with Anti-Semitism in the way they follow the FoxNews line on candidate Bloomberg.

    Every time his name is mentioned we are reminded that he is “rich”, a “billionaire” and so-on. Dog-whistling about “financial elites” such as George Soros is a favourite sport of the U.S. Right.

  12. wam

    scary whatever I rarely stop on the run throw and fall over game but in the off season there are games BS, before supplements and the difference in size is amazing, The fall out could be awful.
    ps look back at the west coast grand final in worsefield’s drug era and see the difference drugs made years ago.

    whatever if you suggest a jew is a crook is that anti sremitism or if you suggest the jewish bible is a crock of shit is that antisemitism?I amcerif jewish women and hamas women were to meet they would solve the israeli-palestinian conflict and find peace..

  13. Arnd

    Following the US philosopher Harry G. Frankfurt, I think it is of utmost importance to draw a distinction between “lying” and “bullshit”: the liar, at least, is aware of the truth and, in that s/he wants to conceal it, cares about it. Whereas the bullshitter couldn’t care less about what is, might, or is not true. All s/he cares about is whether the listener is persuaded (or sufficiently confused, discombobulated and disoriented) and whether what is being commuicated advances his/her agenda.

    It is an altogether mercenary relationship with information.

    In this sense, I also have to disagree with Ken (2nd comment): it is unlikely that Scotty from marketing will be tripped up by his lies. For that to happen, people need to care and keep track of what he said … – and they can’t and don’t.

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