July 02, 2004 | Graham

www.johnhowardlies.com – follow-up

Maybe they like the attention, or perhaps they are plain obstinate, or maybe even just being boof-headed, but the “team” behind www.johnhowardlies.com have struck back at my post with this letter to Crikey!.

It’s not surprising, given his Liberal Party credentials, that Graham Young would seek to defend (this morning’s sealed) the Prime Minister and excuse his lies as being “human” and “in public office”.
What a shocking concession. Graham misses the point entirely.
First, the entire reason for cataloguing the mistruths, lies and misrepresentation is that is not, and should not be, acceptable behaviour and even less acceptable for those in public office to lie. We are more than sick of the decline in the political discourse where misrepresentations, distortions and straight out lying is now all too familiar. Honesty has given way to “spin” which now appears to have made way for actual untruths and lies. The current Government have offended so much that it now is being passed off as almost expected and acceptable behaviour. Well we don’t think it is.
Second, Graham is a more than a little hypocritical to use Crikey, a site that regularly uses anonymous sources and has built its strong news breaking reputation through its anonymous (for how long?? – Ed) National Political Editor, Hillary Bray, to condemn our anonymous status simply as a means of promoting his own site and views.
We want the focus of the public debate to be on honesty and trust in public life. That is the issue. Who we are is not relevant. Afterall, the site simply catalogues in one place the statements of the Prime Minister and his Ministers.
The traditions of Westminster and Ministerial responsibility have all but disappeared. That we are standing up and saying enough is enough is important and the issue. Who we are is not.

To which I have responded:

We may not know the identity of the “team” at John Howard lies, but based on their response to my article we are beginning to know some things about them.
They are selectively honest. In my article I never once “defend” or “excuse” John Howard for any lies he may have made as they claim.
They are also hypocritical. Apparently it is significant to the worth of what I say that I have “Liberal Party credentials” but their own credentials have no bearing on the worth of what they say and can therefore be hidden.
Self-righteousness is another characteristic that comes to mind. According to them “the entire reason for cataloguing the mistruths, lies and misrepresentation is that is not, and should not be, acceptable behaviour and even less acceptable for those in public office to lie.” So, should we assume that this is just the first site, to be followed soon by www.marklathamlies.com, www.andrewbartlettlies.com and www.bobbrownlies.com? Or is such outrage selective?
They are the ones who miss the mark in their criticism of my “use” of Crikey to “promot[e]” my “own site and views”. Of course I send press releases out, just as others do. I assume the person who had me on a bulk email list and spammed me with the John Howard Lies URL did so as part of the “team’s” efforts to promote their own site – I don’t criticise them for that.
I have no control over what media outlets carry references to my site, but even if I did, I would have no problems allowing Crikey to publish just because Hillary Bray is anonymous. We know that Stephen Mayne stands behind whatever is published on his site and that he is prepared to lay his body and wallet on the line to defend it. Either that or retract and apologise. Crikey! is not anonymous!
What we don’t know is who stands behind www.johnhowardlies.com. If the “team” is serious about their dedication to “honesty and trust in public life”, then they will give us that detail. Otherwise we will be justified in viewing their efforts as being little more than the production of a hate site. If they had themselves been upfront and honest there wouldn’t have been a story.

Posted by Graham at 12:31 pm | Comments (2) |
Filed under: Uncategorized


  1. I too was wondering who posted the howardlies site
    but whoever did it i congratulate them
    i needed a clear cut fact/lie site because spin cant intrude and smudge those lies
    which john winston throws out daily
    crikey its a wonder he doesnt need a dali prop to keep his nose up
    cheers trish

    Comment by trish mann — July 5, 2004 @ 4:02 pm

  2. The Howard lies site owner is not, we assume, in “public life”
    The lies of Howard have life and death consequences.
    If Bartlett or Brown have lied about people they villified, if they are suspected of imprisoning innocents or drowning people, or of illegally sending people to kill and be killed on the basis of lies, or if they have covered up the torture and abuse of soldiers and civilians, maybe they too could have their own lies site.
    Lynne Murphy

    Comment by Lynne Murphy — July 5, 2004 @ 4:44 pm

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