Tuesday, 9 February 2010
Matters of Public Importance
In rising to speak on this matter of public importance, this very important issue that goes to the core of our basic democracy, I want to begin with a quote:
Trust is the key currency of politics, and unless you can be trusted to honour that to which you’ve committed to do, then, I’ve got to say, you’re not going to obtain the enduring respect of the Australian people.
That was from Kevin Rudd a couple of years ago. It is even more important than just enduring trust. We are looking here at the integrity of the whole government. Who is head of the government? The Prime Minister, Mr Rudd. We do need to look at this issue of integrity and trust because it is the Prime Minister himself who has raised the issue.
There are two particular instances that stand out that go to the issue of personal integrity. I will get groans from a couple of members on the other side but they know it is true. One of them was the attempt to fake a dawn service at Long Tan. His office denied it because they were under pressure. This is what the Prime Minister does when he is under pressure: he finds it extremely difficult to take responsibility and own up to the truth. The other instance that comes to mind is the lie refuted in the media by the owners of a particular property. He used that occasion to portray his family as downtrodden, at the expense of decent employers.
Both of these issues go to the heart of integrity. In the latter case, it was the Prime Minister’s own image and reputation at the expense of a decent employer. In the first example, Anzac Day was being treated as a media opportunity for himself at the expense of a sacred memorial service. When he got caught out, he lied. It is as simple as that: he just lied. Both incidents were for selfish political gain at the expense of honesty, integrity and the reputations of other people. This is the same man who refuses to do a press conference on a Sunday—