Great Moments in Political Epistemology

On the nature of truth and honesty:

I know politicians are gonna be judged on everything they say, but sometimes, in the heat of discussion, you go a little bit further than you would if it was an absolutely calm, considered, prepared, scripted remark, which is one of the reasons why the statements that need to be taken absolutely as gospel truth is those carefully prepared scripted remarks.

Tony Abbott – May 2010

We worked hard. We tried to get the balance right, we tried to get the economics right, we obviously tried to get the politics right, we tried to spread the burdens around, we certainly were determined to keep the core commitments we made. And we have, in full.

John Howard – August 1996
(my italics)

An honest man is not a man who is honest; an honest man is a man who is dishonest but is quite honest about it. A man who hides his dishonesty, now he’d be a dishonest man. But disarming honesty about previous dishonesty is apparently OK. Of course the dishonesty in the first instance is annulled by the subsequent honesty and any reference back to it would be the act of a dishonest political point scorer.

Fred Dagg/John Clarke – 1979

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