Tony Abbott a liar? Surely not

Liberal backbencher Sharman Stone has turned the 'liar' word against Tony Abbott – and let's be honest, it's not before time.

Sharman Stone, Liberal member for the seat of Murray that takes in the home of SPC Ardmona’s cannery operations, pretty much called a spade a spade yesterday.

She said her leader, Tony Abbott, and several of his colleagues had been “lying” in a number of claims they’d made about employment arrangements at SPC Ardmona. 

The word 'lie' carries special power. The reality is that for most people 'inaccurate', 'gross exaggeration', 'obscuring the truth', when done knowingly, amount to the same thing as a lie – they feel deceived.

What’s funny is that everyone has acted with such shocked surprise. Abbott and his colleagues have been busy lying their way all the way into office. 

You ‘dishonest warmist propagandist’ I hear you say.

Well, if it’s not lying what is the definition of the following?

– Claiming the carbon tax was going to be a “wrecking ball through the economy” when inflation and unemployment were, by standards of the last three decades, incredibly benign.

– The carbon price had led to power price rises of as much as 70 and 80 per cent and accused the Labor government of lying in its use of Treasury modelling estimates of the carbon price impact. Now in government, the Coalition use precisely the same numbers used by Labor to promise a 9 per cent decline in power prices.

– Abbott said the cost of a new house will go down by $5000 as a result of abolishing the carbon tax but is it true that it even went up by close to $5000?

– Happily quoted claims by industry groups about a wide array of price rises suggesting the cost of living would skyrocket. Now these same companies have said, because of competitive pressures, they have been unable to pass on the costs of carbon in their prices. Inflation figures show price rises have been extremely low, with the exception of electricity.

– The cost of a building an Australian car was supposed to go up by $400, something the coalition continues to repeat. Toyota says it went up by $115 as a result of the carbon price.

– Say you “fully support” the Australian Renewable Energy Agency before the election and then gut its budget after you’re elected.

– Claim that you’ll abolish the carbon price but replace it with something environmentally better, only to then delay the effective implementation of the emissions abatement auction scheme by around a year after the carbon tax is gone.

– Barnaby Joyce’s claim a lamb roast would go up by $100 – and he said it in all seriousness. Now he says it was just hyperbole.

Claim the shelving of Olympic Dam mine was due to the carbon and mining tax.

– State that the regional city of Whyalla would be wiped off the map, but then the steel mills actually end up with more money and free permits than the actual cost of the carbon tax.

– Claim a mass sacking of several thousand workers at Fairfax media was attributable to the carbon tax.

I could go on and on and on.

I’m sure on a range of these points the Coalition could say they simply relied on the information and claims of others. Pull the other one. If they took all the claims of vested interests and lobbyists as truth they must be some of the most gullible people on the planet.

Now, the reality is that Abbott and his Coalition colleagues aren’t exactly Robinsoe Crusoe on twisting, stretching and downright ignorance and denial of the truth. Labor is already showing signs, particularly in the case of the Holden closure, of how principle can be conveniently be forgotten once in opposition where you just have to point the finger rather than come up with durable and meaningful solutions.

Still, Abbott claims that the election that put him into government was a “referendum on the carbon tax”.

Based on the standards set by Abbott, the last government was “illegitimate”, “built on a lie” and should have “died of shame” because they put a fixed price on carbon permits for the first three years of the carbon trading scheme which Julia Gillard had said she felt was the right thing to do prior to the election.

On that basis, how is Abbott's government any more legitimate given the self-evident inaccuracy of the claims they made in their case to get elected in the “referendum on a carbon tax”?

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