Grattan Slums For Tanner’s Crumbs

2 May

Here at Barnaby Is Right we have documented numerous lies and deceptions perpetrated by former Finance Minister (and now Barnaby-envier), Lindsay Tanner.

Now he’s back, spruiking his new book.  And no great surprise that The Age’s political editor Michelle Grattan gives this self-confessed snake-oil peddler some free advertising.  Nor is it a great surprise that she fails to do the right thing – (ie) tear Tanner a new one – over his admissions as to how he and the rest of the Labor ‘gang of four’ blatantly set out to mislead and deceive the public over the nation’s finances:

As the budget approaches, his insights into the conjuring that goes on are valuable. He became adept at “the dark arts“, he confesses, “using some of what are now the standard tricks employed to maximise political appearances”.

These included switching between different forms of accounting, choosing different indicators of spending “according to which . . . suited the argument better”, classifying annual spending as capital, and making commitments beyond the years of the budget period.

When you hear, for example, on budget night what the government is doing on mental health, remember Tanner’s salutary warning: “It sounds impressive when the responsible minister announces that health spending is to increase by $1 billion dollars over the next four years, and it sounds even better when we’re told that it will be at record levels. But there’s a fair chance that we’re being misled by such claims…

“The lesson is simple: whenever a politician cites spending figures to show what a fine job he or she is doing, examine the fine print very carefully.” Indeed.

Does Tanner really think that we’ll give him any credit now, for trying to make money from exposing the kind of deceitful accounting “tricks” that he himself conspired in?

Does Grattan really think that it’s good enough for the political editor of a leading broadsheet to simply brush over as mere “conjuring” these blatant admissions of Government ministers engaging in deliberate misleading and deceptive conduct?

Worse, one even senses an overtone of gratitude from Grattan for Tanner’s “valuable” “insights”.

Her obsequious sycophancy concludes:

One thing is certain, however: politics misses him. The Labor ministry is the weaker for his departure.

No wonder the political illuminati in this country are so disconnected from (and often reviled by) normal, “average” Australians, (ie) all those outside of the commentariat’s own incestuous little circles.

The morality of Grattan and her ilk is almost as “flexible” as that of the politicians (and former politicians) under whose tables they slum, awaiting their daily crumbs.

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