Now we’ve all broken promises before, after all we are human.  Humans are indeed fallible creatures and circumstances do change. So sometimes promises do get broken and when they happen in those types of circumstances they are generally not held against you.

People still take you at your word. Which is good, after all we are all human, and if we didn’t treat such piddly disappointments as such we probably wouldn’t have any friends left.

But what about when you break a promise that is iron clad, as they say?  What if your promise is critical to everything else that you say, a promise that is fundamental to your public credibility?

What if you have locked it in and assured people that depend on you, and your word, that failure to deliver this promise is not an option.  Hmmm… that sounds like it might be a little stickier to extricate oneself from.

What about if you break a promise that you say you have already delivered upon?

Hang on.  Back up a bit, what did you just say?  Did you just break a promise that you have already told people that you have already delivered upon?  Who the hell does that you ask?

Well Wayne Swan does, of course.  Well, not just Wayne.  Ten Labor MP’s, all in marginal electorates around Australia, all sent their constituents promotional pamphlets prior to the MYEFO statement mid year in 2012 trumpeting that Labor had already brought the budget to surplus on time, as promised.

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Hang on.  Again. This sounds prety messed up, in a temporal shift type of way.  I used to like the TV show LOST, and there were a lot of time travelling, temporal shift type activities in that but I am really having trouble wrapping my head around this. This is actually harder to fathom than the first 10 minute of Back to the Future III!

Didn’t the Labor Party promise to deliver the surplus in the 2012/13 Financial Year?  Doesn’t the 2012/13 Financial Year end in June 2013? Just how did they actually deliver that surplus, on time as promised, BEFORE that time period expired in June 2012?  I call shenanigans.

No, let’s go further than that.  I would call that a lie.  They lied.  Flat out, I reckon.  But that’s not all that unusual now here in Australia, is it?

But alas, who am I but a lowly tax-paying moron.

Let’s ask someone much smarter than me, someone so smart that they are a full time academic! Academic’s are very smart people, or so we are constantly told.  Let’s see what he has to say about this bending of not only the truth, but also the of the space time continuum.

Professor of Law Graeme Orr  from the Queensland University described the surplus promise on Mr Swan’s flyer as “a prediction of a promise in advance“.

What does that actually mean?  I went to University too, but I’m sorry but that doesn’t make any sense to me whatsoever.  I must of missed Bulltish 101 – An introduction to lying.  

A promise is already made in advance.

But let’s go back to the Professor to check out if he can shed any further light on the situation.

“My mind boggles how we can get a factual content out of that,” Professor Orr said.  He wasn’t talking about his nonsensical explanation of why Wayne wasn’t a liar.  He was actually bagging anyone who thought that saying that you had already done what you were promising to do in the future was lying. This bloke was fair dinkum too and kept a very straight face.

Professor Orr then went on to say that parliamentarians from the major parties and the Australian Electoral Commission were wary over who would administer any truth in political advertising regime.

I’ll give you a tip professor, WE THE PEOPLE administer truth in political advertising.

Our report will be handed in on September 14th.

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