Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison claims he’s been nothing but completely honest since entering public life, as both his predecessor in the top job and the French president accuse him of lying.
Scientists estimate that an average person lies 1.65 times per day, but the Australian PM is apparently no average person – on Friday, he claimed that, as a politician, he dealt in the truth and nothing but the truth.
When asked by the host of Melbourne’s 3AW radio if he had ever told a lie while in public life, Morrison replied, “I don’t believe I have, no. No.”
The issue is a hot topic because the prime minister’s honesty is currently being questioned both at home and abroad.
In early November, French President Emmanuel Macron accused Morrison of deceiving him about Canberra’s plans to ditch a $90 billion submarine deal with Paris in favor of entering the AUKUS pact with the US and the UK. Macron quickly responded to a question about whether he believed the Australian PM had lied. “I don’t think, I know.”
Just a few days later, Malcolm Turnbull, the former prime minister of Australia, who served under Morrison as treasurer from 2015 to 2018, claimed the mantle “had a reputation for telling lies.”
Responding to these accusations in the radio interview, Morrison said he wasn’t taking such things personally.
“Look, I mean, it’s politics. People take sledges at me all the time … I’ve learned in public life over a long period of time to not have a thin skin, to not get bitter, to stay focused on the job.”
“If you haven’t got the thick skin to deal with that, then you’re in the wrong job,”He concluded.
Again, he defended the AUKUS Pact which will allow Canberra to obtain nuclear-powered submarines. “I’m making the decisions to protect Australia’s defense interests. I wasn’t intimidated by the fact it might upset some people.”
“Deceiving people is bad wherever you do it, but when you do it at an international level, it has much graver ramifications,”Turnbull spoke highly of Morrison. Here’s an example “ramifications” could be the European Union’s decision to postpone talks on the crucial free trade deal with Canberra over the way it mistreated France.
Australians are also unhappy about Morrison’s U-turn on the adoption of the electric car. In his 2019 election campaign, Morrison had criticised the technology and claimed that such an electric car was unjustified. “won’t tow your trailer. It’s not going to tow your boat. It’s not going to get you out to your favorite camping spot with your family,”But, he announced this week that AUS$178million ($129.6million) would be allocated by his government to help support the transition to electric cars. Since then, the PM has defended himself and claimed that he never supported electric cars. His political enemies were twisting his words.
Doubts about Morrison’s integrity may cost the Liberal Party dear in the federal elections, scheduled to take place in May 2022. A poll by the Australian edition of The Guardian this week revealed the PM’s voter approval rating had fallen from 65% in February to 48% – the lowest in 18 months.
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