When the PM normalises lying

26 Nov

 government lying to you

 “It is an absolute principle of democracy that governments should not and must not say one thing before an election and do the opposite afterwards. Nothing could be more calculated to bring our democracy into disrepute and alienate the citizenry of Australia from their government than if governments were to establish by precedent that they could say one thing before an election and do the opposite afterwards.”  Tony Abbott, August 22, 2011 

Every time Abbott lies to the citizens of this country we become increasingly disaffected, and not only from our Prime Minister, but from the institution he represents. Abbott has normalised the discourse of lies. He has taken the dishonesty of politicians to a whole new level. We barely expect anything else from him, and from his fellow politicians. Under the leadership of our mendacious Prime Minister, we have increasingly abandoned hope of fairness, straightforwardness, belief and trust. Our Prime Minister doesn’t think we are worthy of the truth.

One of the many unpleasant effects of being lied to is that the liar insults and patronises me by creating a false reality that I have to inhabit, until I discover I’m the victim of deception.The liar denies me the right to know the truth, a serious offence against me, because truth is something no one has the right to deny me.

Whether it’s on a personal or a political level, lying to me signifies the liar doesn’t consider me as entitled to the truth as is he or she. This infantilises me, is disrespectful to me, and denies me the knowledge I need to make informed decisions about my life. There’s little more insulting than being lied to, kept in the dark with lies of omission, and intentionally misled because the liar doesn’t consider you capable of handling the truth, or is acting entirely in their own self-interest because you knowing the truth will in some way threaten them.

The Prime Minister of our country, Tony Abbott, has never made any secret of his ambivalent relationship with truth. There is his notorious assertion that nothing he says is “gospel” truth unless it’s written down.

There’s his prescriptive declaration that “It is better to seek forgiveness than ask permission.” While this isn’t necessarily an endorsement of lying, it is a ruthless and callous prescription for relationship with one’s fellow humans. It recommends that one do that which one desires and if it backfires apologise, but it isn’t necessary under the terms of Abbott’s prescriptive to negotiate with or communicate intention to others, prior to taking an action. This has a similar effect to lying, in that it assumes an inferiority of some kind on the part of another that doesn’t require Abbott to enter into an equal, respectful relationship in which another’s opinions and wishes count for the same as his own.

We have a liar for a leader. When the lies start at the top, there’s little hope truth will ever see the light of day. Abbott is leading us into an abyss of normalised deception that will damage every one of us, because when dedicated liars are in power, the country will inevitably lose its way. If you don’t think this country is losing its way, you’re dreaming.

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15 Responses to “When the PM normalises lying”

  1. Lucas James November 26, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

    Reblogged this on SemiArticulate and commented:
    Couldn’t put it better myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Megpie71 November 26, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

    I don’t think we’re losing our way. I think we lost it back during the Howard years. We lost it when we re-elected a government which admitted to lying to us in order to get elected (which is what Howard’s “core” and “non-core” promises nonsense was about). We lost our way when we stopped asking our politicians to pay even a passing tribute to honesty and fairness in the fuss about the “Children Overboard” affair. We lost our way when we let ourselves be led into the byways of shallow bigotry, insularity, and petty mean-spirited selfishness when we first started believing the lies about people seeking asylum and people of Indigenous descent being out to take white Australia for everything they had back when John Howard was still Prime Minister. Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, and yes, Tony Abbott only followed where Howard had shown we were willing to be led.

    Tony Abbott’s policies and politics can be summed up as “John Howard turned up to 11”. He takes everything the Howard government did, and one-ups it – and it’s a mark of how pathetic he and the people he’s surrounded himself with are as a political force that they think this is somehow new, exciting and original.

    Like

    • samjandwich November 26, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

      Yes I completely agree- this modus operandi emerged during the Howard era and has been pervasive and self-perpetuating ever since. I distinctly remember the moment Australia lost it’s soul was when Howards advertisements came out proclaiming that “we decide who comes into this country and the circumstances in which they come”… and the distinct lack of protest over these tactics.

      erk… at work… to be continued…

      Like

      • samjandwich November 26, 2014 at 7:51 pm #

        …yes as I was saying, it surprises me that the concept of bad faith isn’t brought up more often. Howard and Abbott and their subordinates, not to mention a few of their opponents as well, do more than just lie. Rather they deliberately mince words – never mind the fact that in doing so they are trampling over and debasing an endless number of the ethical, moral and intellectual principles which are responsible for the integrity of our society – because they know that technically, they can, and that they can score a few cheap and fleeting points as a result… even though (surely??) they know that it is indefensible on so many levels, and manifestly undermines the foundations of civilisation, when they do so.

        Pyne’s petition on the ABC office in SA, and the contention that stopping the boats is all about saving lives at sea, are perhaps the worst examples. But it’s more or less conventional these days for Australian politicians to employ bad faith – much to our detriment as the debacle that was the G20 highlighted. The quality of our political discourse has slipped well-below world class.

        Further it’s a quagmire that we’re not going to emerge from until we have another inspirational leader, such as we haven’t seen for a generation.

        Jennifer – so sorry about your dog. A creature with soul to be sure.

        Like

        • Jennifer Wilson November 27, 2014 at 6:15 am #

          Not to mention Barnaby Joyce rewriting Hansard to remove some daft blunder.

          Like

  3. doug quixote November 26, 2014 at 10:09 pm #

    Welcome back Jennifer!

    I’ll make a reference to this one on Ellis’ blog. A few of them may have thought you’d gone AWOL for good. I’ll chase ’em back.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson November 27, 2014 at 6:11 am #

      Well that worked a treat, DQ, lots of visits from the Ellis blog. Are you in marketing? 🙂

      Like

      • doug quixote November 27, 2014 at 8:00 am #

        The product sells itself, Jennifer. Build it and they will come!

        The sane are all heartily sick of Abbott and his crap.

        Like

  4. Anonymous November 27, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

    Well…absolutely RUSHED here Dahlings, on reading the Quixiotic one’s comment at Ellis.

    Just thininkg of Jennifer only last night, how good this site was, if I has offended her too often, how was she going, now set free, with the gift of studies compatible with her and her powerful mind and good heart.

    Will not read or comment on piece now, have quacks appointment, next on my comprehensive check list for things to do before Xmass.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson November 27, 2014 at 12:22 pm #

      How good of you to think of me so well! Glad you are back, though I have no idea who you are!

      Like

      • paul walter November 27, 2014 at 3:39 pm #

        Hmmm…I am the twin brother of Paul Walter. We even have the same name. Makes a good sockie, doesnt he?

        Like

        • paul walter November 27, 2014 at 3:43 pm #

          Ás for the rest, the other commenters have summed it up. I wont add further, the thought of the Abbott government makes me ill at the’moment, on so many different levels.

          Like

        • Jennifer Wilson November 27, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

          Ha, you came through as anonymous! So good to see you again.

          Like

  5. another Paul November 27, 2014 at 6:13 pm #

    Marvelous post Jennifer, really says it all. I found you via AIMN

    Liked by 1 person

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