Flat White

What’s new about politicians calling their opponents liars?

5 November 2021

12:00 PM

5 November 2021

12:00 PM

From Glasgow to Ultimo there is a most convenient confluence of resentment, even hatred. Feeling the heat at home and abroad is Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison.

Humans like to be liked. In politics, it’s especially helpful around election time. Being disliked makes the day job harder and has been known to interrupt normal sleep patterns.

In the cut and thrust of parliamentary debate, members of parliament have for centuries accused each other of telling porkies. It’s not new. Fashioning this statement or that to suit the circumstance is a device well known to those in public office and frequently those outside it.  

All of us chisel unwanted information from the edifice of knowledge we wish others to know. Embellishment is also a handy device to make something appear better (or worse) than it actually is. These tactics may be adopted when distraction is called for.

What is special however is when a European President has the impertinence to label the Prime Minister of another country a liar. The use of the term suggests all is not well in the relationship.

French President, Emanuel Macron, when asked if he thought he had been lied to by Scott Morrison over the scuttled submarine deal, replied “I don’t think, I know.”

In diplomatic terms this its equivalent to being caught defecating in the street. The animosity between Macron and Morrison is doubtless playing well to French voters — Macron, as well as Morrison, faces the electorate next year — and may well be a diversion from other unpalatable domestic political intrigues.   

Now weeks into the fallout from the revelation that Australia wishes to ‘go nuclear’ with its subs thus dumping the French contract, Morrison is still fending off unwanted attention from sources familiar and unfamiliar.

Macron’s emissary in Canberra, Jean-Pierre Thebault, used a happily timed appearance at the National Press Club on Wednesday to declare that France had been ‘deceived’, that the deceit was “intentional” and that it all amounted to being “stabbed in the back,” by the Aussies. Not a happy camper it seems.

The dangerous and unpredictable business of stabbing can be a two-way game — so let’s take a look at who is wielding knives around in Morrison’s direction.

You guessed it. It’s the now unmistakable coalition of Leigh Sales, Laura Tingle and Malcolm Turnbull working as a determined team.

It turns out these people are great haters too — at least on a scale on par with Emanuel, Jean-Pierre and submarine builders in France.

We have come to expect ‘Leigh’s glee’ when the government, especially the Prime Minister, are under pressure — but on Wednesday night she couldn’t get the smirk off her face when discussing the imbroglio with sidekick Laura. Like two school children, Leigh and Laura tutt-tutted around the issue with Leigh saying at one point “Why didn’t the French Ambassador say what he really thinks?”   She’s hilarious, isn’t she.

Those still able to stomach the imbecilic rubbish from ABC current affairs television have come to expect this anti-Australian, anti-democratic junk from front liners. But aided, as they are, by dear dear Malcolm, extra potency has been added to their quest to secure the demise of the Coalition.

However unprofessional the high paid help at the ABC may be, nothing comes remotely close to the shameful, ruthless, unremitting animus and detestation by Turnbull of the man who replaced him as prime minister, Scott Morrison.

The malevolence, spite, malignancy of Turnbull’s venom is something to witness.  This man’s hostility to Morrison is spilling over to a hatred of Australia.  Make no mistake. Turnbull has no qualms whatsoever in trashing brand Australia in the quest to diminish and trash his successor in The Lodge.

Who inside and outside of politics in this country — or anywhere else for that matter — honestly believes Turnbull is as pure as the driven snow. He isn’t and those who know him will confirm this to be true.

Turnbull is the master of seeking to enhance his own reputation while simultaneously trashing someone else’s.

This is un-Australian and is seen by all for what it is. Disgraceful.

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