Last Sunday morning (21 April 2013) I switched on to the Insiders program on the ABC. Not usually a sensible choice as it sends my blood pressure through the roof. I watch both TV and – with my notebook on my knee – I watch the #insider tweets flash past. Silly of me, I know! Much better things I could and should be doing.
Anyway, during the Insider’s program they played a clip of our PM responding to a schoolgirl’s question regarding “fashion”. The PM’s brief response to the question concluded:
“I spend a lot of time having to worry about what I wear so that no-one comments on it.”
As I looked down at my notebook up popped this tweet:
#insiders @JuliaGillard doesn’t worry about she wears? Another lie!
Even a cursory look shows that this tweeted “observation” from Missie (whoever she may be) to be as far from the reality of what the PM said as it is possible to get. Spending a lot of time worrying somehow gets turned by Missie into doesn’t worry. Amazing. And then, for good measure, Missie tosses in an insult: Another lie! Just whose lie would that be, Missie? So ready to throw insults that you don’t seem to care at all about the truthfulness of what you tweet?
Sad, isn’t it, when prejudices and deeply ingrained biases can so badly affect a person’s capacity for objectivity that they can apparently “hear” the exact opposite of what has been said. Hopefully Missie’s lie was not deliberate but it was probably shaped by a blind (and selectively deaf?) Liberal Party allegiance that is evident from some of her other tweets. Many of her role models – those currently leading that particular party – do set an extremely poor example for their acolytes. It is possibly not wholly Missie’s fault that she is so confused and ends up tweeting outright lies. She probably “heard” what she has been conditioned to hear.
So I apologise to Missie if she thinks I am picking on her when there are so many other of her fellow Liberal supporters busy tweeting away ad nauseum false and misleading claims about the PM, about Labor, the economy, asylum seekers, the NBN, Climate Change, Gonski, NDIS, …
I could just as easily have picked someone else’s lie as an example (but this lie of Missie’s is such a classic). Truth for some seems to have become an unnecessary inconvenience.
It is too much to hope for, but I think it would be nice if one day Missie and her confederates came to realise that other statements by the PM that they have been ever so eager to claim as “lies” in reality are no such thing. It would be good if they could acknowledge that the Labor Government has not been the disaster for Australia that they so vigorously allege and has even delivered a great deal for the benefit of our community. It would be tremendous if they could even accept that, under our Australian democracy, sometimes other parties than their own are fully entitled to get a turn at government.
Of course that would mean that they would have to actually listen to all the words as spoken, check the real facts, understand their meaning, the context and the circumstances. Plus genuinely accept our constitution. And have an open mind. And not bear false tweets about topics of which they have clearly no understanding. As I said, that’s all far too much to hope for.