I suppose it’s impossible to know everything, but I know that Australians should make a more meaningful attempt to know something about their everyday politics. About what’s going on in the world, particularly their homeland.
I don’t mean that scornfully, but they should consider that If they did, they would make a larger contribution to their country’s future than they do now. A considered, informed vote must carry greater weight than an ill-informed one.
This is why the importance of the words that follow are revealed and shared among those interested in the truth.
1 Last week, the Federal Government said it would instruct the Commonwealth-owned Snowy Hydro company to build a $600 million gas-fired power plant in the NSW Hunter Valley.
The 660-megawatt plant will operate just two per cent of the time and employ just ten full-time workers.
The major problem seems to be that there is no money for the project in the budget, and it doesn’t seem to matter that there is no expert in the field that agrees with the decision.
2 No move in the latest Newspoll. 51/49 to Labor when just 44% said it was a reasonable budget.
The Poll Bludger reports that James Massola of The Age/SMH believes “Liberal MPs think an early election is increasingly likely after Josh Frydenberg’s well-received third federal budget,” although “much will depend on Australia’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout.” A balls up in anyone’s language.
3 It seemed reasonable when Labor asked Morrison to update the House about the progress of a report he had commissioned into why he wasn’t told of the allegation of rape to Brittany Higgins.
Did you believe him? Well, Phil Gaetjens, when he appeared before Senate Estimates, looked like a Collingwood supporter after a series of bad losses.
No comment. He couldn’t say who, how or when he interviewed people, nor were any notes taken. His demeanour suggested that he was above all the nonsense and couldn’t be bothered.
4 And as expected, the spin department enquiry by the Liberal Party into allegations that:
“… members of the Prime Minister’s media team briefed journalists against the partner of former staffer Brittany Higgins did not find that the briefings had taken place, saying the evidence fell short.”
His report, in effect, was just another slap on the face for women.
5 On the same case, the employment of the man alleged to have raped Brittany Higgins was not terminated for ten days after he packed up his desk despite the Prime Minister’s claims that he was “sacked, quite swiftly” over a security breach. Did he lie, or didn’t he know? Sorry but it just doesn’t stack up.
In addition, the AFP revealed a further 19 allegations relating to federal MPs and political staffers as PM’s top bureaucrat was refusing to answer questions.
And you wonder why public confidence in the transparency of Government is further diminished.
6 Likewise, is Dutton lying about when he first knew about the rape of Brittany Higgins? The AFP says Dutton’s Defence Department was notified a month before he said he knew.
Fair dinkum, when you tell a lie, you deny others the right to the truth.
7 Prime Minister Scott Morrison refuses to answer legitimate questions in Parliament. It has been going on for some time. He handballs questions directed at him to his Ministers. Questions he should answer himself.
Suddenly, Speaker Tony Smith has had enough of his office being treated as an irrelevance.
So, on Wednesday of last week during Question Time in the House of Representatives, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese asked Prime Minister Scott Morrison a direct question concerning constructing a purpose-built Quarantine Facility.
Instead of answering the question, Morrison – clearly rattled – launched himself into an angry outburst, saying that Labor was more interested in fighting the Tories than the virus.
Albanese rose on a ‘Point of Order’, but Speaker Tony Smith beat him to the punch. Directly telling Morrison to answer the question as it had been a direct one.
The Speaker then continued speaking from his chair, telling Morrison to answer the question.
Without looking at the Speaker, an irritated Scott Morrison said he was happy to answer the question. With a look that would chest an Abbott shirt front, the Speaker rebuked Morrison for his disregard of the Speakers direction.
Nevertheless, Scott Morrison ignored Speaker Tony Smith and continued by not answering the question and making his own political point.
This confrontation unmistakably demonstrates Scott Morrison’s utter contempt for the Australian Parliament and the Speaker’s position.
Moreover, Scott Morrison puts beyond doubt that he hates being held to account. Even by the Speaker of the House of Representatives with a name like Smith.
Tony Smith thought it necessary to pull Scott Morrison up and make him answer Albanese’s question.
With his usual ignorance, Morrison turns his back to the Speaker and answers the question; all be it in devious fashion.
Older Australians like me would describe our PM as a Mug Lair (all bleach and trousers) who thinks he is God’s gift to Australian politics. Or even the world.
Smith is, without doubt, the best Speaker in my memory. His rebukes on Wednesday helped the Government appear more mature the following day. Now all they need do is start telling the truth about vaccination and quarantine.
If you want to know, his methodology here is some of Dennis Atkins: On Morrison’s four favourite ways to bend the truth. (This makes the release of Crikey‘s A Dossier of Lies and Falsehoods – covering 16 documented lies and 11 falsehoods from Prime Minister Scott Morrison, all backed with referenced source – surprising lonely because it is overdue):
Crikey draws an important distinction between lies, which are used to intentionally mislead, and falsehoods, which were untrue or turned out to be so.
It’s a generous interpretation for a politician who has made avoiding the truth, letting falsehoods slip and bending reality part of his standard operating procedure.
Writing in The New Daily, I argued late last year that Mr Morrison can lie easily because he has the ability to convince himself his untruths are factual.
You can demonstrate he is lying, but he believes he’s telling the truth – if he says it’s not raining, grab an umbrella.
It’s a frustrating and infuriating state of affairs but, to quote another famous political purveyor of porkies, Donald Trump, it is what it is.
Crikey’s Bernard Keane goes to the heart of why this matters, claiming Mr Morrison lies openly and frequently.
“(He does so) about matters large and small – Australia’s carbon emissions, or an inquiry in relation to a sexual assault within the ministerial wing in Parliament House, or simply whether he spoke to someone who refused to shake his hand, Keane says.
Most of his lies are about himself, or his government, and what it has done, or failed to do; often he has lied about things he himself has said or done, as if he wasn’t present when a woman refused to shake his hand and he turned his back on her, or he didn’t carefully explain to Parliament that the secretary of Prime Minister and Cabinet had given him no update about his report in relation to Brittany Higgins.”
There are many ways Mr Morrison deploys his falsehoods, but the most common come under four threads.
Most blatantly is that bald-faced denial of reality when he simply says something didn’t happen or doesn’t exist. It’s rolled out with firm conviction making a challenge appear impudent.
Next Mr Morrison quickly changes the subject after a swift, hardly perceptible, denial. A quick “no, but if you look over here” moves the discussion along and is then smothered in a word salad.
Third, is the “I’m too busy” for that tactic, as seen in the false denial he ever called Sam Dastyari “Shanghai Sam” when he deflected by saying, “I’ve got to say my focus was on the bushfires.”
Last, Mr Morrison loads his response with numbers and assertions regardless of whether they are related or even relevant.”
So, it does matter that voters are well-informed. That people do understand the meaning of those issues that will affect their everyday lives, just as it matters when our politicians lie, especially if they’re in leadership positions.
Issues of truth arise so frequently with the Morrison Government that it’s hard to keep up with them.
What matters most is that we attempt to reveal the truth and correct mainstream media when they print so much right-wing bias.
My thought for the day
Lying is wrong at any time, but lying to defend a lie is appallingly immoral.
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