[Published 7 Feb at Pearls and Irritations, though with the irritation that ‘lies’ was replaced by ‘untruths’.]
Australian politics is a culture of lies. Australia’s governments are facades erected to obscure the nefarious activities of those who really wield power.
So the pathetic little Turnbull Cabinet is upset because some of its secrets are outed through incompetence. The filing cabinet papers so far reveal some hypocrisy and lies of Government Ministers past and present.
If you want to see some rather more consequential challenges to government secrecy go and see the movie The Post, which is about how in 1971 Daniel Ellsberg and the Washington Post revealed the history of US interference in Vietnam through the 1950s and 60s. The so-called Pentagon Papers revealed that successive US administrations had systematically lied to Congress and the public about their activities and goals in Vietnam.
For decades the US knew it could not win. It continued mainly to try to save face. In the end it suffered the humiliating defeat it feared. Tens of thousands of US young men, hundreds of Australians and many more Vietnamese died for that vain folly.