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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

When the PM normalises lying - The AIM Network

When the PM normalises lying - The AIM Network

When the PM normalises lying

“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

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

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

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

First published on Jennifer’s blog No Place for Sheep

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