In one of the best pieces of comedic timing I think I have ever seen, the mirth-inducing former Liberal minister and self-styled opinionista, Amanda Vanstone has written a piece urging her readers to ‘watch out for the next big lie’. This was in reference to the Labor ‘Mediscare’ campaign at the 2016 federal election. This was based on the supposed lie that the Coalition government wanted to ‘privatise Medicare’ which, according to Vanstone, almost got the Labor Party into government. Vanstone states that it was a “deliberate deception perpetrated on the Australian public for the purposes of gaining power”. She also states that no Labor members “have shown any embarrassment since….and I feel oddly sorry for them because they will never be able to wipe that slate clean”. This comes from a member of the Howard ministry and shows an extraordinary lack of awareness of all the lies perpetrated on the Australian people by that government2.
This lack of awareness is symptomatic of Vanstone’s wacky diatribes, on a couple of which I have made comment before3,4. Re-reading these in the light of recent events demonstrates how wide of the mark Vanstone invariably is. Vanstone warns us to look out for the next big lie as we approach the next federal election. However, she makes the mistake of assuming that the lies will be coming from the Labor Party. This perfectly timed article of hers comes at the same time as the ludicrous ‘more boats will come’ scare campaign of the Morrison government which was in response to the passing of the Medevac Bill. The shrill nature of the Morrison scare campaign indicates that it is simply a bad-tempered dummy-spit in response to it being the first time a government has lost a legislative vote in the House of Representatives since the early 1940s.
Vanstone also brings up the Labor response to the Global Financial Crisis and indicates that it was a mess. This is clearly drivel, as it was the Labor response to this crisis which was seen to be one of the best designed on the planet and Australia was one of the few countries to avoid recession5. Vanstone then brings up assorted topics about which she tells more lies. In one of the most egregious of these lies, Vanstone states that “in tough economic times the so-called rich might have to sell shares or lose their beach house. Boo hoo. Less economically-lucky [sic] people lose their job and maybe their house.”1 Maybe the less economically lucky could have their penalty rates reduced, their hours reduced, or not have pay increases, or have their wages stolen, so that the owners of the relevant businesses won’t have to sell their beach houses. This is a disgraceful lie and it boggles the mind to understand how Vanstone could even consider writing such equine ordure.
One thing which Vanstone does not mention is climate change. This after a year which was one of the warmest on record for the planet, as well as for Australia, and the month of January in which Australia was by far the hottest place on the planet6. The fact that Vanstone could not even mention the climate, nor the idiotic plan by the government to subsidise the construction or maintenance of coal-fired power stations shows how out of touch with reality she really is. This piece by Vanstone simply fills me with disgust.
One thing that could be mentioned is that Amanda Vanstone is regarded as being on the left of the Liberal Party. A fascinating thought.
It is indeed! Fascinating and disturbing at the same time.
This got my vote for letter of the year a while back and it’s worth repeating. Pretty much sums up Vanstone’s writing to a tee while injecting some pointed and well-deserved irony. I’ve copied it from CT Letters 12/4/16 .
Amanda Vanstone’s op-ed piece about who should build our new submarines (“Home-built subs are a must”, Times2, April 11, p4) was in many ways typical of her work: sprawling, ill-defined and full of opportunistic digressions.
Put simply, her argument was that the Japanese can’t be trusted to adapt their domestic submarine technology to Australian requirements or to pass on their knowhow.
Whatever the validity of these views, she chose to adorn them with the suggestion that the Japanese designers would need to overcome their mindset to build things small, to accommodate our larger submariners. The Japanese have for decades built cars big enough to fit Australians, even Vanstone.
Paul Feldman, Macquarie
It is a good one.
Another steaming pile of number 2s from Vanstone …
A woman has to know her limitations.
Listening to folks at the supermarket café is clearly the way to go.