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Paying & educating to dispel lies

The mining industry lies about the real neutrality of mining tax reforms, cigarette advertisers lie about the ineffectiveness of plain packaging of cigarettes (if this is ineffective why should the industry worry?) and the gambling industry are screaming like stuck pigs as they accumulate  profits from the gambling of those whose lives are destroyed by it – 40% of revenues coming from ‘problem gamblers’ with damaged lives and devastated families.  Australian ferrous metal producers exaggerate (be exact=lie) about carbon tax impacts on their domestic production and on imports of a carbon tax – simply a pure lie – the industry may have problems from labour and other costs but these problems do not stem from an uncompensated carbon tax.  These are simply all self-interested lies by self-interested liars who reside in the most hallowed sections of Australian society. These lies challenge science, as well as challenging the factual understanding of the world about us and human decency.  It seems to me impossible to simply legislate against these lies and modern politicians don’t seem to have the requisite skills or media perseverence  to win the public debates launched by these liars – where are the statesmen like Whitlam or Hawke?  Indeed some, like Tony Abbott, exploit these lies for their own advantage and even build a superstructure of their own self-interested lies on top of these  private sector lies.  Indeed they are also liars because they knowingly use a scare campaign based on claims they know to be lies to seek to win power rather than confronting their opponents with critical truths.   People such as Abbott therefore value power over principle and are consequently quite worthless public figures. Some like Barnaby Joyce and Bob Katter are fools as much as liars – its hard to pin down the source of their idiocy.

Publicly-funded campaigns clearly need to be staged and adequately funded to present the truth and to rebut the lies.  There is also a case in the schools – and elsewhere – for teaching courses  that advance belief in reason and rationality rather than belief in self-evidently destructive self-interest.  Generalised campaigns are required to defend Australia’s citizenry against the marketing philosophies of highly-paid liars. How can the costs of funding such initiatives be recouped from the liars?  How can we become a moral society where the truth is not defined by expediency and the standards of advertising agencies but instead moves toward resolution as the product of honest debate? From standard public tax revenue sources – we are better off with an informed rather than ignorant citizenry.  The alternative is an impulsive switch towards favouring less democratic and more elitist political structures that substitute informed views for lies and political expediency. In this latter event bad choices will inevitably be made and our society will head downhill. Despite economic prosperity Australia has begun that drift.

7 comments to Paying & educating to dispel lies

  • ILC

    Unfortunately, the general population are too ignorant and gullible to look any further into the issue and are content with what their general news sources (Herald Sun supplemented with ACA, and commercial network advertising would lead them to believe.

    Nice point on Katter and Joyce too.

  • ken n

    More important it seems to me is for us to stop attributing evil to those we disagree with in politics. If the other side is evil, a change of government must be a catastrophic event. In fact our system of government depends on a change of government being a change of emphasis, of priorities, and not a switch from light to dark.
    The 1950s were a bleak period in politics because the right would accuse many on the left of being communist, pretty close to being traitors and so not a legitimate government.
    These days it seems to be coming mostly from the left – though some of the conspiracy theories of the right are as bad.
    Politics in this country is not really a battle between black and white, good and evil.
    If we could just say “I think you are wrong for these reasons…” rather than “you are a liar and evil and therefore not deserving of any attention…”, I reckon we’d all be better off.
    And if our society does head downhill, I believe it will be because politics had become a battle between good and evil, not a debate between different ways of looking at things.
    But perhaps in my old age I am becoming too naively optimistic..

  • ILC

    Unfortunately, the different ways of looking at things can be separated into two categories, the right way and the wrong way. And often the (other) right are wrong.

  • observa

    What and we weren’t lied to by Gillard and her Govt? They’re still telling fibs about carbon taxing- that it will make a difference to temp, that we’ll all be better off with the compo, they’ll make the big bad polluters pay, etc. Then we have Gillard who won’t deny she was one member of Rudd’s Cabinet that opposed his carbon taxing regime and now it’s all about the shoring up deficit.

    Then we have- “Publicly-funded campaigns clearly need to be staged and adequately funded to present the truth and to rebut the lies.”
    What you mean telling it like it was with Climategate, Glaciergate, etc. Or giving them all a proper lesson in statistics- http://www.informath.org/media/a42.htm if McShane and Wyner are a bit of a struggle.

    As the man said- Truth! You want truth? You can’t handle the truth!

    Truth is messy.

  • observa

    And just how do you reckon they could revamp those priceless spaghetti and meatballs campaigns to get their carbon tax message across Harry?

  • observa

    I’m stil vacillating about Gillard Harry and her sudden crash through or crash on ‘putting a price on carbon’ after her lies. OTOH she badly needs more taxes for her ‘we are all fiscal conservatives now’ rubbish and OTO she’s just been baiting the Greens in the hope they’ll wander off and vote with the Libs again if she hands out a heap of necessary compo to the ‘big bad polluters'(by necessity LaTrobe powerr producers and the like). Heads she gets more loot in the coffers or tails she tried her noble best but you know how it is with those scumbag Greens and Tony folks?

  • hc

    Agreed Observa Gillard definitely made a mistake in relation to the carbon tax – it was a short-term incentive-driven porkie that has come back to haunt her.

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