Morrison lying about lying

By November 10, 2021Australian Politics, Environment

As I have said here before, I used to think Tony Abbott was the worst liar I hd ever seen in federal parliament1, 2, but he pales into insignificance compared to the appalling liar that is Scott Morrison3, 4. The recent backflip with regard to electric vehicles has once again exposed this despicable lying so clearly that nobody but his most ardent apologists (and there are a few even outside the Murdoch zoo) will be able to excuse it.

In the 2019 election campaign, the Labor Party’s ‘Cleaner Transport Future’ policy was going to aim for half of all new cars to be electric vehicles (EVs, not hybrids) by 2030, and to lift car emission standards in a bid to cut pollution. It also would require half of all federal government fleet purchases to be fully electric by 2025 and for all Commonwealth-owned or leased office buildings to have charging capacity ‘where appropriate’. At the time, the transport sector was equal second, along with stationary energy, behind the electricity generation sector in its amount of emissions. As they said at the time: “Cleaner cars and transport aren’t just good for the environment – they are cheaper to run. … But Australia lags behind our competitor countries, whether it’s in electric vehicle take-up, or vehicle fuel efficiency, … We’re at risk of being left behind.” At the time, EV market share in Australia was 0.2%, behind that in Norway (49%), Iceland (19%), Sweden (8.2%), and California (7.8%)5.

Prior to this announcement from the Labor Party, in January 2018, Liberal Josh Frydenberg listed a few technological advances which have appeared in the last few years and stated that “there is another area of exciting technological disruption with real economic and environmental benefits that is yet to really take off here at home”. And that was electric vehicles. He added: “Capitalising on a declining cost curve, new investments in recharging infrastructure and significant improvements in battery capacity, the industry has now real momentum in Europe, Asia and North America, which will inevitably be replicated here.”6

In October 2018, Energy Minister Angus Taylor spruiked the benefits of an ultra-rapid charging network along the major driving routes from Brisbane to Adelaide and around Sydney and Melbourne, and in Western Australia. The government was kicking the tin to the tune of $6 million to Chargefox Pty Ltd to develop 21 ultra-rapid charging stations powered by (I kid you not) renewable energy. This network is expected to have no more than 200 kilometres between stations, and the charging stations will provide a top-up charge adding another 400 kilometres range within 15 minutes (this comes from an Angus Taylor media release since removed)7.

So, what did the coalition do, when the Labor Party had the temerity to develop a policy to increase the uptake of electric vehicles? They lied as they always do. The coalition backflipped on their previous spruiking of electric vehicles and in Angus Taylor’s case, attempted to hide their previous efforts. Their bizarre responses included the following:

Angus Taylor posted a meme (pinched from One Notion senator Malcolm Roberts) on Twitter showing an electric car plugged into a petrol generator on the back of a truck with the caption ‘Camping with Bill Shorten’8.

Taylor also posted a video from the television car show Top Gear, about the limitations of battery life and driving range of electric vehicles. That Top Gear video was shown several years ago as having been faked8.

Prime Minister Morrison was recorded in a doorstop as stating an electric vehicle “won’t tow your trailer. It’s not going to tow your boat. It’s not going to get you out to your favourite camping spot with your family”9, 10. This was a lie; electric vehicles are more powerful than most internal combustion-engine vehicles.

Morrison also said: “[Then opposition leader] Bill Shorten wants to end the weekend when it comes to his policy on electric vehicles where you’ve got Australians who love being out there in their four-wheel drives11.…He wants to say ‘see you later to the SUV'”12, 13. This is also a lie. Again he is apparently unaware of the fact that, in 2017, a souped up Tesla SUV beat a $US530,000 Lamborghini Aventador SV, one of the fastest sports cars on the planet, in a standard quarter mile drag race. It likely also set a speed record for an SUV14.

Morrison continued his drivel on his favourite radio station, 2GB, where he knows he can get away with his constant lying: “What about all these charging stations, how much is that going to cost? I mean if you have an electric car and you live in an apartment, are you going to run the extension cord down from your fourth-floor window?”15

Morrison went on with “What Australians have always expressed a preference for is the vehicles that have a bit of grunt and a bit of power, because they like to enjoy the great recreational opportunities that are out there.” As with that above; this also was a lie16.

To Shorten, Morrison sarcastically said “apparently it takes only 6 to 8 minutes to charge an electric car. I got some news for you Bill, they don’t want to drive round in those little ones your kids have. That might take six minutes, I don’t know. He’s really good on detail, Bill.” This was also a lie. At that time, you could get a top up charge from a fast charger to give you another 200km range from an EV within 8 minutes. These fast chargers were being installed a year before Morrison uttered these words17.

The mind-numbingly silly Senator Michaelia Cash momentarily stepped out from behind her whiteboard to add to this idiocy in saying: “50 per cent of these apprentices will be driving an electric vehicle under Bill Shorten … we are going to stand by our tradies and we are going to save their utes…. Out and about in Central Coast NSW talking with tradies this morning – Labor need to explain to Australia’s tradies why they want to ban their favourite utes and force them to pay more.”18 Standing behind her when she uttered this lie was the vacant Morrison, looking like he was in a gurning competition19.

In a monumental backflip with pike, Morrison has now announced a ‘new’ EV policy. In this, the government says it will spend $250m – including $178m of new funding to build charging stations for heavy commercial vehicles, passenger cars and households. The strategy says this investment will “deploy charging infrastructure in over 400 businesses, 50,000 households and 1,000 public charging stations”. How it will do this is not explained. It also encourages governments and large corporations to buy EVs for their vehicle fleets. It states the Department of Finance is trialling EVs among the parliamentary Comcar vehicles and that hybrid vehicles already make up 28% of this fleet. In this plan there will be no phase-out timeline for petrol cars or targets for the take-up of zero emissions vehicles, and there will be no incentives to make it more attractive for people to buy EVs, nor would there be any regulations that limit carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles. There are also no specified targets or timelines for government fleets20.

This Morrison policy is a policy in name only. The CEO of the Electric Vehicle Council, Behyad Jafari, said the government’s strategy addressed only “roughly 5% of the electric vehicle issue”. He said it ruled out the two “most important and efficient measures” to encourage EV uptake – fuel efficiency standards that would require cars to become cleaner over time, and rebates. He added that EVs were a “monumental opportunity” for Australia that could cut emissions while “creating an innovative industry in manufacturing, technology and services. …It’s disappointing that, against the overwhelming advice of the industry and experts, the government continues to peddle its false line that doing nothing increases choice. … For a strategy that has taken years to write, this leaves much to be desired.”21

In an unusual development, some in the media are actually choosing to remember what was said by the coalition during the 2019 election campaign rather than the usual practice from so many of them, where they pretend such lies were never uttered and that this ‘policy’ was developed de novo.

At a press conference in Victoria on November 9, Morrison was asked by an unnamed journalist: “Prime Minister, in 2019, you attacked Labour’s EV policy, saying it would be the end of the weekend. Looking back, was that silly, short-sighted or just a lie?”  Morrison replied with his usual interminable word salad, but of course, did not answer the question22.

At the same press conference another (or the same) unnamed journalist asked: “How can you honestly spruik electric vehicles when you campaigned against them in the last election?” Morrison replied with another long word salad which in part said: “But I didn’t. That is just a Labor lie. I was against Bill Shorten’s mandate policy, trying to tell people what to do with their lives, what cars they were supposed to drive and where they could drive. ….”22  This is another lie, and coming from a religious nutter, is supremely hypocritical. There was no mandate from Labor as to what cars people could buy or where they could drive.

Again, an unnamed journalist asked: “Prime Minister, you can’t honestly say you weren’t attacking electric vehicles and it was just Bill Shorten’s policy.” Morrison, surprisingly, answered the question. However, it was not with a word salad, but a short lie: “No, I can, because that’s true.” The journalist replied by quoting his 2GB statement at him: “In 2019, on 2GB, you said, ‘what about all these charging stations, how much is that going to cost? I mean, if you have an electric car and you live in an apartment, are you going to run the extension cord down from your fourth-floor window?’. Yet now today you’re focusing on infrastructure, so you have to admit it’s a fairly big conversion you’ve made.” Morrison replied with yet another lie, by saying “What we’re seeing here is a massive change in the technology over the last few years.”22. The technology of electric vehicles has not changed dramatically over the last two and a half years17. The cars can still be trickle-charged from a 240 Volt AC power point at home overnight as they have been since 2009; and they can still be charged from fast chargers just as they were when these were first installed in 201623.

This non-policy demonstrates, in spades, Morrison’s pathological lying. In this instance, Morrison is even lying about his previous lies. And he lies overtly, and constantly. When people in politics lie constantly, it is up to the media to call them to account, and in so many instances in the last eight years, many in the media have either repeated the lie or allowed the politicians to get away with the lie. Both of these amount to the same thing. Those in the media not calling out the lies are indulging in the same sort of complicity as those who repeat the lies. 

Valery Alekseyevich Legasov was an inorganic chemist and a member of the Academy of Sciences of the Soviet Union. He was installed as the head of the commission investigating the Chernobyl disaster. Perhaps there is no better way to express what happens with constant lying, than by the saying attributed to Legasov: “When the truth offends, we lie and lie until we can no longer remember it [the truth] is even there. But it is still there. Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later, that debt is paid.”24

It is Australians who will have to pay the debt to the truth that Morrison has incurred, and it will be very costly.




  • Mark Dougall says:

    If we could fix global warming by lying then Scott Morrison would have done it on his own. The appalling thing about his truth bypass approach is that there are so many Australians who seemingly accept his bullshit. In a way this is the worry about the world we live in. Trump lied constantly, Morrison does, so do most of his ministers, so do many in the media, so do fossil fuel companies, so do many business people, so did the tobacco industry, so did the asbestos industry, so do a lot of religious people, and leaders, it is just the normal way of doing things for these people. It is not their lying that so disgusts me, it is the stupidity of the fuckwits who believe it.

    • admin says:

      Many people are gullible. You just have to look at the vegetables who believe the QAnon horseshit; those who fell for the Nigerian scam; those who believe Elvis is still alive; those who believe the Murdoch media. All are of a kind; they lack the ability to think critically. It is amazing how easy it is to con people. You keep a straight face and appear earnest and you can convince people of almost anything. If people are disengaged from politics, seeing an earnest liar like Morrison replete with his word salads will make them believe what he says is true. Morrison has realised, as Trump did, that you can fool enough of the disengaged by simply lying and looking earnest. We have been very badly let down by the media. They have been fannying about, afraid to use the ‘lie’ word. Even some of the fact-checkers are reluctant to use the term. That is what disgusts me. One should always aim to call a spade a fucking shovel.

  • Glenn says:

    He said that he is against a politician that dictates how people spend their lives. He is a hypocrite, saying that he endorses the Cashless Welfare Card that is purely designed to do 1 thing: to punish pensioners like myself. The company that runs Indue dictates what they can buy and where they can buy it (last time I checked, eBay was not one of them). For every transaction they make with this card, their money is funneled through to one of the former Liberal presidents. There are stories out there where people who are victims of this CWC were humiliated.

    When he announced his EV policy in Melbourne, the media followed him around like puppy dogs and we saw him getting a haircut and making gnocchi at a restaurant. Meanwhile, they cannot give Albanese even one second of airtime.

    I agree with Mark on what he said. The 7:30 Report interviewed a “quiet Australian” who believes that Shorten’s EV policy was “la-land-land stuff”. These people are an example of what is wrong with this country.

    • admin says:

      Precisely! I have never seen such hypocrisy in government. The indue card is so popular to those in the Liberal Party not so much because it tells people how to spend their money, but because it is a source of regular income for the Liberal Party.

  • Warren says:

    I was having a sip of my coffee when I heard Morrison’s answer to a question about lying in public life. Unfortunately George the cat got sprayed. Liar, liar pants on fire might be use in the run up to the next election?

    • admin says:

      Morrison is the epitome of the malignant narcissist. In this he is a carbon copy of Trump. As Sean Kelly says in his book (I’ll have to get a copy), Morrison has no acknowledgement of the past or future; everything he says is just for the moment he is in. There is no recollection of what he said or what has gone before, and no vision for where this nation could go.

  • Russell says:

    I reckon there are six words in our language that sum up this PM – a man who is bent upon totally ruining the body politic (and along with it most of civil society) in this god(ess)-forsaken country. The five words are: NAUSEATING, MALICIOUS TRASH ON TWO LEGS. As for the pathetically slow and sleepy Labor Party, I think honestly that they both expect and hope the LNP will win next time there’s an election. How else can we explain their lacklustre, weak-kneed performance when Morrison is giving them ample ammunition every single day, to shoot him down??

    • admin says:

      The Labor Party have been made gun-shy by the activities of the Murdoch media and some of the other cretins in the media. Everyone with a modicum of intelligence knows that their franking credit refund policy was not a tax, but many gullible halfwits thought it was indeed a ‘retiree tax’ because Morrison and his associated liars said it was; and that lie was repeated by people like Samantha Maiden and Fran Kelly. See here:

      While I wish we had a functioning democracy, we do not. The most important thing at the next election is for the coalition to lose and to lose big. In addition to having their PR firm, the Murdoch media, working for them, they are also trying to disenfranchise some voters. These bastards should be in gaol for treason.

  • Russell says:

    There I go, not counting my words and not editing myself before I send! ! SIX words, not five about Morrison.

  • Warren says:

    I would like to report that George the Cat has fully recovered from the coffee spray. Although perhaps the caffeine obtained by grooming sent him more nutters than normal. Perhaps Arthur could experiment on Barney The Big Beagle.

    I was listening to Leonard Cohen song ‘Everybody Knows”. Much of this song sadly applies to Oz and indeed the world.:

    “The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
    That’s how it goes
    Everybody knows
    Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
    Everybody knows that the captain lied

    • admin says:

      Yep. Midnight Oil got it right too, in ‘Read About It’:
      “The rich get richer,
      The poor get the picture”

      Things will have to change or there will be blood in the streets.

  • Warren says:

    Arthur. No doubt Barney is a better human than Barnaby J. Live long and prosper. May your Gods go with you.

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