Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is having a trying week when it comes to his relationship with the truth. It seems every day there is a new “gotcha” moment which plays out as follows:
Morrison makes a statement. Morrison is immediately contradicted; whether by his own hand, or by the hand of others exposing the inaccuracies in his statement.
During question time yesterday, this scene unfolded: On November 23, Stephen Jones, Member for Whitlam, asked Prime Minister Scott Morrison about the PM’s usage of a derogatory term to describe a fellow politician. The term Jones was referring to, “Shanghai Sam”, had apparently been applied to former Senator Sam Dastyari.
Jones asked: “My question is to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister claimed he’d never used the phrase ‘Shanghai Sam’ in relation to former senator Sam Dastyari. Given he used that exact phrase 17 times on 11 occasions, why did the Prime Minister claim he had never used the term when that simply wasn’t true?”
Since the soft rumblings of a preemptive election campaign trail emerged over the last month, Scott Morrison has been accused of lying many times. In early November, Emmanuel Macron accused Morrison of being a liar.
Just this week, the whole “Scomo goes to Hawaii while Australia burns” furore was reignited by Morrison himself, as he and Anthony Albanese tussled over whether Albanese was given notice that Morrison had left the country for a family holiday, and whether Albanese knew that his leave was to Hawaii.