Tag Archives: unspeak

An Entertaining Tutorial In Spotting Politicians’ Bullshit

25 Jan

Now it seems to me, dear reader, that there are two ways in which to approach the issue of politicians’ ceaseless lying.

Like your humble blogger, you can simply adopt a sound base position: That everything a politician says is almost certainly a lie-by-omission, half-truth, distortion, obfuscation, misdirection, or indeed, a bald-faced lie:

“I have certain rules I live by. My first rule: I don’t believe anything the government tells me .. NOTHING .. ZERO.”

– George Carlin

Or, you can enjoy learning HOW they are deceiving you, by listening very closely, with a very sceptical ear, to every word they say.

Here’s the late, legendary George Carlin explaining the latter method:

When “Outspoken” Is A Perjorative For “Truth-Teller”

12 Aug

Outspoken former RBA board member Warwick McKibbon (emphasis added):

Ditch the delusion that stimulus saved us from GFC

The sell-off in global sharemarkets reflects the realisation that debt problems in advanced economies are serious, but it reflects more than this. For some time the fiscal fragility in the global economy has looked like a slow-motion train wreck

Australia is now likely to be hit with a second global shock. This is different from the GFC in a critical respect. It is a concern over excessive government debt so the response in Australia should not entail a new fiscal package …

Bad fiscal design always has an unexpected cost. Why is a flood tax being introduced just as the economy slows? The forecast that this would help dampen the boom is now likely to be wrong. There clearly should be an urgent review of the mismatch between spending commitments in the pipeline and highly uncertain revenue. This is essential to better understand future fiscal vulnerability.

The delusion that what saved the Australian economy from the GFC was entirely fiscal policy needs to be jettisoned.

Outspoken chairman of the Future Fund – the government fund containing public servants’ super, that Barnaby has warned will be raided to pay down debt – says that the global sovereign debt crisis could take 20 years or more to “play out” (emphasis added):

The chairman of the $75 billion Future Fund has warned the debt crisis engulfing Europe and the United States could take at least 20 years to resolve, causing ongoing market volatility.

David Murray warned the post-global financial crisis environment would continue to be characterised by a series of market shocks, with investor uncertainty heightened by concerns over the ability of political systems to contain any emerging meltdown.

And he sounded the alarm on the level of government and private sector debt in Australia, saying they both needed to be reduced, given the capacity of Australia to be caught up in a new global financial rout.

“The global financial crisis was caused by excessive debt which had built up in the world at both the government level and in the private sector in developed countries,” Mr Murray told ABC radio.

“The sorting out of that problem is something that could take up to 20 years. As that post crisis environment unfolds we will see continuing events such as we’ve seen in the past couple of weeks.”

“Outspoken” is another of those words wielded as a weapon.

In modern, politically-correct Unspeak, it is the latest putdown label for “truth-teller”.

When someone speaks the truth, contrary to the “mainstream wisdom” – especially someone like Warwick McKibbin or David Murray holding a public position, who cannot be “politely” attacked more viciously – then they/their viewpoint is labelled as “outspoken”.

The unspoken implication of labelling someone as outspoken … is that we should not speak out.

That we should all be good, silent, obedient slaves.

Fruitlooping Swan: Every Word A Lie

27 Jul

Recently I commented to a Twitter follower that, after my 3-weeks-of-work-in-1 spent on researching the government’s National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting department’s entire Register of “polluters” (results here), I now consider every single word that this government utters to be a lie.  By default.

And here comes Wayne Swan talking lying about the economy, confirming that I was right.

From the Australian (emphasis added):

Treasurer Wayne Swan has played down an inflation surge as he defended the government’s productivity agenda, saying its benefits would not be realised overnight.

Mr Swan said a summer of natural disasters and higher fruit prices were responsible for a stronger than expected increase in Australia’s consumer price index, which he accepted was making life harder for struggling families.

“These events are one-off events and they have a one-off impact on the CPI,” he said.

The Treasurer said a 27 per cent increase in fruit prices had contributed 0.4 per cent to the total 0.9 per cent inflation rate.


Not “fruit” prices.

“Food” prices.

From the Australian Bureau of Statistics, whence cometh said CPI figures fraudulently misquoth by the completely despicable truth-avoidance expert, Treasurer Swan (emphasis added):


Mar Qtr 2011 to Jun Qtr 2011
Jun Qtr 2010 to Jun Qtr 2011
Weighted average of eight capital cities
% change
% change

Alcohol and tobacco
Clothing and footwear
Household contents and services
Financial and insurance services
All groups
All groups excluding Housing and Financial and insurance services

Contribution to quarterly change – June Quarter 2011


* The most significant price rises this quarter were for fruit (+26.9%), automotive fuel (+4.0%), hospital and medical services (+3.4%), furniture (+6.0%), deposit and loan facilities (+2.1%) and rents (+1.1%).

FOOD prices increased by 1.4% in the quarter (table, in red).

FOOD price increases contributed almost half (0.4%) of the 0.9% increase in the CPI.

“Fruit” alone did NOT contribute 0.4% of the 0.9% increase in the CPI.

Not unless the entire nation bought fruit and only fruit to eat during the March to June quarter.

Wayne Swan lied.


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