The lie, the damned lie - funny how speakers in tongues often speak with a furry forked tongue - is in this story, Coalition 'never had a policy of towing boats back', says Scott Morrison.
What to make of this then?
Which inter alia includes this at the end of the story:
Asked whether the tow-back policy had been through shadow cabinet, shadow treasurer Joe Hockey told reporters in Brisbane: "It is our position to go ahead with that."
So either Joe Hockey was totally clueless back when quoted by AAP 28th March 2013, here, or he was a total liar, pants on bloody fire. Or News and AAP got it totally wrong.
How about we wheel in the Fairfaxians, here:
Inter alia in that story:
One senior Australian official said it was obvious it would be impossible to tow back boats and have a constructive relationship with Jakarta. ''It would take the relationship off a cliff,'' the official said.
The refusal of the crew of a boat to return to Indonesia when ordered on Wednesday had the opposition saying again yesterday it would tow back boats where safe to do so, whereas the government's policy had been shown to be impotent.
Mr Abbott said a Coalition government would back the navy using whatever ''steps that are necessary to get that boat turned around''.
Clearly the Fairfaxians were eating mushrooms, or on crack ...
In fact you can spend hour upon pleasant hour romping through the "turn back the boats" headlines that littered the rags during 2012 and 2013 as the hairy chested tub-thumping Abbott went about his Dr. No impersonation.
Now the pond doesn't mind that he's "softened his rhetoric" and changed his mind - that was on the cards all the time.
No, it's the shameless lies about the shamelessness and stupid policies that's the problem here, and Scott "speaking in forked tongues" Morrison is more shameless than most.
But look, let's not worry about the crack-sucking journos, let's go to the horse's mouth:
Within a week of taking office, I would go to Indonesia to renew our cooperation against people smuggling. I would, of course, politely explain to the Indonesian government that we take as dim a view of Indonesian boats disgorging illegal arrivals in Australia as they take of Australians importing drugs into Bali.
Within a week of taking office, I would give new orders to the navy that, where it is safe to do so, under the usual chain-of-command procedures, based on the advice of commanders-on-the-spot, Indonesian flagged, Indonesian crewed and Indonesian home-ported vessels without lawful reason to be headed to Australia would be turned around and escorted back to Indonesian waters. (address to IPA, here)
Turned around and escorted back isn't quite the same as towed, though with a broken engine, towing might be the only way to turn around and escort back ...
Still, there's wriggle room, so here's where the words were put straight to Abbott and he accepted them with equanimity:
CHRIS UHLMANN: Your policy on this, on tow-back, says that it requires a commitment from the return country not to return asylum seekers to a place from which they claim to be fleeing persecution. Do you have that kind of commitment from Indonesia?
Drum roll please, standing by for the Abbott denial that there's absolutely no policy on tow-backs:
TONY ABBOTT: Well, that's the commitment that we expected under the Howard Government and there is no evidence that the Indonesian Government did refoule (sic) people in the past. We have no reason to think they wouldn't be prepared to enter into the same kind of understandings again.
CHRIS UHLMANN: And yet the head of the Indonesian people smuggling taskforce said recently that tow-backs were inhumane and dangerous.
TONY ABBOTT: And we managed to get a good arrangement with Indonesia in the past, and there's no reason, particularly under President Yudhoyono, why we couldn't have a good arrangement in the future. (7.30, with actual talking and smirking pictures)
Yes, you could, if you like spend endless hours of fun going through the various sayings of the horse's mouth, and the horse's arse for that matter, and no matter how you spin the resulting horseshit, it still comes out the same way ...
You have of course a choice. Tony Abbott is a clueless idiot who didn't know what he was saying, or he's a liar, liar pants on fire ...
Already the hagiographers are busy spinning webs of deceit, and wouldn't you know one of them is the Bolter:
Prime Minister Tony Abbott never promised or threatened to “tow back” boats to Indonesia, a dangerous manouvre which, if done without Indonesian permission , would also breach Indonesian sovereignity. (sic, so and fuckwittedly spelled thus) (How the ABC frames Tony Abbott)
It is of course completely preposterous and utterly stupid, because these days a little idle Googling will catch the lie in a nano-second.
Why do they bother?
It seems the utter shamelessness has got up the nose of hapless Peter van Onselen, who this very day decided he couldn't stand the fraud and scribbled Jakarta-friendly Abbott is chutzpah on steroids for the reptiles at the lizard Oz (no link, you might get led into the world of lizard Oz "lite").
He started it off this way:
Tony Abbott's visit to Indonesia has largely been hailed as a success. That can only be true if honour in politics no longer matters, because the aspects of the visit which have been praised saw our new Prime Minister backflip on his entire raison d'etre from opposition.
Julia Gillard's carbon tax about-face after the 2010 election may have been politically stupid, but the "new" Abbott we saw in Indonesia was chutzpah on steriods.
He lamented the unnecessarily inflated rhetoric surrounding the issue of boat arrivals, blaming all sides for escalating statements. But it was Abbott, personally, who quite deliberately ramped up rhetoric in opposition: presumably to score cheap political points as well as to minimise the chances of Labor "solutions" to boat arrivals actually working.
Honour in politics? He's joking, isn't he?
Never mind, the woeful lickspittle fellow-travelling van Onselen suddenly seems to have discovered a sense of outrage which remained dormant for years.
Van Onselen spends the rest of his piece bemoaning Abbott's inflated rhetoric on the deeply flawed policies of turn-backs and buy-backs, and the code of secrecy surrounding the new operations, and Abbott saying one thing to the Indonesians and another to the domestic audience, even proposing that this speaking with forked tongues might see the nation being profoundly misled by its leaders, as if Abbott had never misled the nation during his time in opposition.
How feeble it is for van Onselen to note that Abbott has changed his tune on a number of matters, and for a conclusion he delivers a sound spanking with a wet lettuce:
...none of this dampens what adjusting into the role of PM has meant for Abbott. It highlights the single-minded approach he took from opposition: acting as a deliberate wrecker of government policy in the pursuit of power.
Australians should be glad that opposition leader Abbott has been put out to pasture and Prime Minister Abbott is acting like a leader (aside from curtailing oversight and scrutiny). But if we want our political discourse to rise above what it became in the past three years, at the next election he must be held to account for what he promised before he became PM. He said he would stop the boats, pay back the debt and scrap the carbon tax. These are easy enough key performance indicators by which to hold him to account.
To borrow Abbott-style inflammatory rhetoric: if he fails in these three tasks, our 28th Prime Minister deserves to be skinned alive at the next election.
The time, of course, to have called Abbott to account was when he was spreading his inflammatory rhetoric around the land, and how dismally van Onselen failed at the job, lining up with the other reptiles to welcome an Abbott victory.
Now here you go.
Explain this header for the Bolter.
It would seem that the reptiles at the lizard Oz simply didn't have a clue, or they were peddling lies ... why else would they see a glimmer of hope in the notion that Jakarta might be open to tow-backs on the 16th July 2013?
Yep, you read it first on the pond. The Bolter trashes the lizards.
Perhaps we should have used the header How The Australian frames Tony Abbott ...