Lying politicians? Oh noes!!!!!

You must remember this, a kiss is still a kiss, a lie is just a lie! The fundamental things apply as time goes by!… Um… Winking smile

awb_2006-evidence

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Both from the good old days via Bilegrip.

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And now of course we have, to take a mild case:

JuliarGillard

And from the linked page on that one:

The worst by a country mile Prime Minister that Australia has ever endured our incumbent Juliar Gillard and the second worst in Australia’s history ex PM and ex Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd are engaged in an ego trip as to who should be the present Prime Minister of Australia.

Meanwhile Australia slips deeper into Labor’s massive debt program, the WW Fund, the IPCC, and the UN’s unelected authority are all intent on imposing on Australia their conditions on how we should deal with our Countries problems from the fake Climate Change agenda to our illegal immigrant problem. Meanwhile  the defacto PM Bob Brown has instructed us  all in a speech that there is no better time than the present  for Australia to become the first Nation to give up our  freedom and Sovereignty  and to put ourselves  under the control of the United Nations World Government dreamtime agenda…

And so on.

Yesterday Julia Gillard, dubbed Juliar by Alan Jones and friends, hit back with, to quote Loon Pond, The smack-down heard around the world … Sure made for lively television, but unfortunately I rather agree with Peter Hartcher.

She chose to defend her numbers. She chose power over principle. It was the wrong choice. It was an unprincipled decision and turned out not to be pragmatic either. The Prime Minister gained nothing and lost a great deal…

As I noted on Facebook last night: “Yes, Julia. I shared your anger. But that sleaze you borrowed from Tony Abbott as Speaker had to go.”

Now a bit more borrowing, beginning with an excellent post that could serve as a prelude to all the rest and is worth coming back to: Asking the impossible: online civility and identity politics.

… Occasionally when something happens in my friend’s life to make him aware of the Labor government’s carbon price, which is to change into a carbon market in the not-too-distant future – given that the Coalition does not gain office and abort the legislation in turn – my friend undergoes an odd personality shift and then out pop those crude words, ‘Ju-liar’. We saw them on one memorable occasion during a protest outside Parliament, and it’s been hard for people to forget them. Another painted sign that the protesters held up for the media on the day carried the words, ‘Ditch the witch’. Opposition leader Tony Abbott attended the rally, mingling with the crowd and sharing his views on the government’s intentions (this was before the legislation had passed through Parliament).

I tried to discuss the reasons for Julia Gillard’s about-face on the carbon tax in a comment I left for my friend. It didn’t turn out well. His other friends on social media chimed in with their views and the scene rapidly took on an unpleasant tone. It’s pretty easy to understand, of course, the rancour. I mean, there was a popular ballot in 2010 and the result of the plebiscite was a hung Parliament. Because of the way Australians voted the balance of power is held by the Greens along with a number of independent MPs. Abbott has criticised the resulting Parliament and he has been joined by certain elements of the nation’s media, notably News Ltd vehicles such as The Australian. But the ballot was quite legitimate, and reflected the wishes of the electorate on the appointed day. Noone can therefore blame Gillard for acceding to a priority of the Greens. Gillard has managed to keep the Parliament functioning effectively by working with her partners, even if she did not choose them, with the result that there have been a large number of new laws passed despite the objections of the Opposition. But it was of little use my explaining the new reality that took hold in 2010 following the popular ballot. My friend gave it as his opinion that, as leader of the Labor Party, Gillard was obliged to hold firm to her earlier public pronouncement, from before the election, that she would not introduce a carbon tax. In his view, that single public utterance is more important, in the balance of things, than the political reality that confronted Gillard following the election. No compromise. Which is a lot like the position taken by Abbott in his role as Opposition leader…

With that in mind, is Julia Gillard such a big nasty liar? I think not, unless you really have been sucked in by people like Alan Jones – climate change clown.

What is surprising about these insensitive remarks is not that Jones made them, but the importance attached to the remarks. It is truly bizarre that Alan Jones wields such influence and importance in NSW considering his track record of getting simple facts wrong. 

On climate change, Jones is full of hyperbole who feels little compulsion to cross-reference his statements against the bulk of research published in scientific journals. He stated to an anti-carbon tax gathering outside Victorian Parliament that, “the notion of global warming is a hoax” and “witchcraft”.

In 2011, Jones claimed "human beings produce 0.001 per cent of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere" and therefore human induced global warming was a beat-up. Spurred by complaints, the Australian Communications and Media Authority followed up on whether these claims were supported by any evidence. According to ACMA, the licensee of 2GB, “conceded that it was a claim researched by Mr Jones himself and they weren’t able to adduce any evidence supporting that claim."…

carbonn tax rally

As Julia Gillard said yesterday:

I was offended when the Leader of the Opposition stood next to a sign that described me as a man’s bitch. I was offended by those things. Misogyny, sexism, every day from this Leader of the Opposition. Every day in every way, across the time the Leader of the Opposition has sat in that chair and I’ve sat in this chair, that is all we have heard from him…

Well, even I might unpick that and quarrel with some, but the image above was a bad look at the time and very much still is. Also, was she really a liar? I say no, or no more than many another politician. See I believe you Juliar by Dominic Knight.

… the current Eyjafjallajokull-level fury does seem something of an overreaction when anyone with even a passing familiarity with Australian politicians knows that their election promises are as flexible as News International’s code of conduct. Gillard is not some Ricky Gervais figure who invented the idea of lying in a mediocre movie. John Howard developed the risible concept of the non-core promise after his first election victory, and Tony Abbott tried to argue on the 7.30 Report last year that only his written commitments should be treated as binding – a standard which, as it happens, would excuse Gillard entirely. When ignoring election promises has been a proud bipartisan tradition, neither side of politics has any right to feign umbrage…

And is she the worst Prime Minister ever?  Well she is not the best, but neither is she the worst. As I wrote a few days back:

I just watched the Community Cabinet Q and A from Launceston, Tasmania, on ABC News 24 and am hoping a transcript comes in due course as it was a reminder that Julia Gillard can be far more impressive than we give her credit for in the present climate. It also was a reminder that aside from all the bullshit of the news cycle things really are being worked on. And at around 7.35 was a statement from the floor of the most amazing decency on the recent Alan Jones circus. 100 plus points to the man who made that remark. Hope, as I say, to get chapter and verse by tomorrow. It and he were just beautiful.

See also Judging Australia’s worst prime minister by Norman Abjorensen.

Gillard’s prime ministership has to be seen in the context of minority government, a situation that none of her immediate predecessors faced. Any knee-jerk judgment of Gillard needs to take this into account if only for the fact that the dynamics of minority government require a precarious juggling act to keep them working. Because she lacks a majority in the House of Representatives, she needs to be more pragmatic and make more compromises than would otherwise be the case. Other leaders have merely had to negotiate with a hostile senate, which pales in comparison (And it will be interesting to see how Tony Abbott as prime minister will deal with the Greens who will inevitably hold the balance of power in the upper house).

Our leaders are not perfect. A check list of flaws would look something like this… McMahon: distrusted, lacked gravitas; Whitlam: questionable judgment; Fraser: imperious and overbearing; Hawke: vain; Keating: unable to sell his ideas; Howard: pandering; and Rudd: timid.

It is too early to make even a preliminary judgment on Gillard, but I would argue that the peculiar circumstances make the comparison a difficult one.

Donald Horne argued half a century ago that Australia was "a lucky country run by second-rate people who share its luck". It is hard to disagree.

And then try these two on for size.

First Jim Belshaw, who can’t be accused of carrying a torch for the Labor side of politics – or any side, for that matter: Will PM Gillard win the next election? And possibly why.

Second Why Julia Gillard will win the 2013 election from The Political Sword.

One could go on, but person against person, the comparison between Government ministers and their shadow counterparts shows up the stark difference between competence and industry on the Government side, and indolence and incompetence among most of the shadows.

A well-informed electorate will have no difficulty choosing between the Government and its alternative. The task for the PM and her Government is to make this contrast starkly apparent in the face of a largely hostile media, to restore a strong connection with the people, and reestablish trust.

In my view, when it comes to the crunch, when it comes to the choice between the Government’s achievements on the one hand, and the vague, unbelievable promises and shonky costings of an incompetent alternative government, the choice will be easy. The ‘liar’ image that has afflicted Julia Gillard will pale into insignificance as the public becomes aware of the monstrous lies perpetrated almost daily by the alternative, Tony Abbott. Even the most sycophantic sector of the media will be unable to disguise his disingenuousness and the hollowness of what he has to offer. The exposure of Abbott is already happening.

That was written in April, Jim’s at the beginning of this month. Recent events have made governing harder for the government, but Julia Gillard showing some steel, on the other hand, even with my doubts about the whole thing, must have done her some good. See Julia ‘badass’ Gillard.

The most enthusiastic praise came from US women’s site Jezebel, which described Ms Gillard as "one badass mother—-er".

"In an impassioned 15-minute smackdown in front of the House of Representatives, the country’s first female leader gave a scathing speech calling out opposition leader Tony Abbott’s extremely misogynistic comments, actions, views on abortion and single women, all while pointing in his face."….

Update: A must read

Legal Eagle Alan Jones, feminism and Australian politics really is a must read on this and the Alan Jones issue. Katy is a lawyer and an academic at the University of Melbourne.

I started drafting this post days ago, but I have been resisting writing on the Jones issue. Part of my reason for not continuing with the post was that I don’t think much of Jones, and I felt that to talk about him is to is to give him credence. To be honest, as a Melbourner, I never really knew much about Jones until the Cronulla riots. And what I heard then didn’t impress me. It’s not that Jones is right-wing. I have friends who are right-wing and friends who are left-wing, and obviously enough, I blog with persons of a variety of political stripes. I don’t mind whether or not a person disagrees with me politically as long as they treat me civilly and with respect. What I dislike about Jones is this: he is an uncivil demagogue who plays on the fears of ordinary people. So I do not feel particularly sympathetic towards him. Jones should be able to accept the same hand that he deals others on a frequent basis. His complaint that he is being bullied seems more than a little hypocritical given that his radio schtick involves unpleasant and bullying comments about others….

The immediate plot has thickened even further yesterday when the Opposition sought to oust the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Peter Slipper from his position. Slipper is a former LNP Member of Parliament who accepted the minority Labor government’s offer to sit as Speaker so that the Labor Party’s position was less precarious. Slipper is now being sued by a former staffer for sexual harassment, and, as part of that trial, a variety of lewd text messages allegedly sent from Slipper to Ashby concerning women’s genitalia and other matters were tendered in court yesterday…

Two more updates

Jim Belshaw cautions – as I would – against excess in using terms like “misogyny”.  He cites several articles I have also reflected on, but I really don’t want to post on this topic again! I am amused by this:

It’s been interesting looking at the responses to this whole affair. My daughter, for example, does not share her father’s view:  

Agrippina ‏@ClareAgrippina: @JimBelshaw Can’t say I agree dad, I really think it was long overdue for someone to call Abbott out on his hypocrisy when it comes to women.

Aren’t we a modern family, tweeting to each other?!

Marcellous expresses close to my own gut reaction to Peter Slipper in his post Weird shit. Perhaps the fact I am now into The Cities of The Plain volume of Marcel Proust has something to do with my reaction…. Marcel is absolutely right also on an unbelievably stupid piece by Paul Sheehan on Gillard’s speech.

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2 thoughts on “Lying politicians? Oh noes!!!!!

  1. We should not forget that Slipper was preselected 9 times, was it? It defies belief that his side of politics ‘didn’t know’ about his attitudes to women or anything else.

    Abbott is a protege of Santamaria and Pell. He loves his wife and daughters and that’s really, really lovely.

    In secondary schools I used to say that one could infer a lot about the impending adult at age 15.

    Abbott’s SRC demeanour was post-15 but said a lot about the man.

    Turnbull got the flick by 1 vote.

    If Abbott gets up we won’t take long to work out the worst PM in our history. He’ll set benchmarks.

  2. I hoped that it would entertain, Neil., especially since you know CB. I have been thinking about that speech. In practical terms, I think that it has probably reduced her chances of winning the next election, while increasing Malcolm T’s chances of being the next PM. I will try to explain why in a post so that those who know the electoral entrails better than me can test my views.

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