I was with some friends on Friday. We had difficulty on agreeing what the proposed superannuation changes were, who they affected and by how much. Consolation came via the view that Chalmers appeared not to understand them either. The Prime Minister, of course, was caught lying. I don’t make the charge lightly. Politicians often renege on a promise. Regrettable, but not lying unless the politician knew beforehand that the promise would not be fulfilled.
For example, I don’t think Julia Gillard lied about not introducing a carbon tax. She simply changed her mind once returned to office. However, when she said afterwards that she had always indicated that a carbon price might be levied, she lied. She had promised a citizens’ assembly to determine what should be done. She knew that and lied about it. A terrible thing, lying. It’s the lingua franca of evil.
Tony Abbott reneged on a number of promises. I blame Joe Hockey, maybe unfairly. It took no time at all for broken promises to shift public opinion and bring Abbott down. It was a reckless betrayal of voters, and Abbott must bear the ultimate blame. All the same, I don’t believe he ever lied.
Albanese had said that no changes would be made to superannuation before the election. Yet he twisted this around, pretending he had said no “major” changes. I am sorry, this is lying with intention to deceive and shows a weakness of character. Man up. Say that you’ve changed your mind and policy. Don’t pretend otherwise and try to worm out of it.
To put it kindly, Gillard went on to skirt the truth about other things, which I covered in a Quadrant blog at the time. Lying begets lying? Or, is that some people are just prone to lying? Are they chronic and habitual liars, as Sir Wilfrid Robarts (Charles Laughton) witheringly puts it to Frau Helm (Marlene Dietrich) in Witness for the Prosecution. Albanese bears watching.