How can anyone take the 25th Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, seriously?
He is a liar. And a chronic one at that.
As Press Gallery legend Alan Ramsey so neatly put it in 2004, "Howard was a serial liar when it suited his political interests."
Well, Howard is lying again. This time on same sex marriage.
Yes, I could've written Howard is: disingenuous, duplicitous, deceptive, misleading or, if I wanted to be really charitable, misinformed.
But none of these euphemisms are appropriate considering the gravity of his most recent lie and the untold hurt and damage it might well inflict on the children of not only LGBTIQ couples, but also of all children in the nearly one million single parent Australian households [2016 Australian Census] and the millions of adults who were raised by a single parent.
What did he say?
"On the substance of the matter, I am a No voter and the principal argument for that relates to children and there is CLEAR EVIDENCE (my emphasis) that you have better outcomes overall for children who have a biological mother and father. I recognise that there are homosexual couples who are caring and conscientious parents who do a good job and there are plenty of neglectful heterosexual parents. But the CLEAR EVIDENCE is that you have outcomes that are superior for children in the longer term if they have a mother and a father." [The Australian, September 9, 2017]
First, the postal survey concerns itself with one question only: "Should the law be changed to allow same sex couples to marry - yes or no" and so any discussion by Howard about "outcomes" for children, any children, is irrelevant and designed to confuse the public and complicate what should be a very simple response to a very simple question.
Second, Howard twice claims there is CLEAR EVIDENCE that you have "better outcomes" overall for children, yet cites none.
Why? Because it is an outright lie. There is NO CLEAR EVIDENCE.
There is NO EVIDENCE at all, clear or otherwise.
There is only his opinion based on his prejudice and ignorance.
This is consistent for Howard who is an "agnostic" on climate science EVIDENCE, preferring to rely on his "instinct" which he believes outweighs the five detailed reports from the Inter Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) citing thousands of climate scientists over 25 years.
In an article published in The Sydney Morning Herald, August 14, 2017, titled "No evidence: Medical groups rubbish 'red herring' claims about same sex parents" it said:
"The Australian Medical Association (AMA) and the Australian Psychological Society (APS) told Fairfax Media there was NO SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE (my emphasis) that children of gay and lesbian parents had poorer outcomes than those with heterosexual parents."
It quoted AMA President Dr Michael Gannon who said, "The issue before the Australian people, before the Australian Parliament, is not about same-sex parenting. That's not even the discussion that is being debated" and that Dr Gannon stood by the AMA's statement that there was "NO PUTATIVE, PEER REVIEWED EVIDENCE (my emphasis) to suggest that children raised in same-sex parented families suffer poorer health or psychosocial outcomes as a direct result of the sexual orientation of their parents or carers."
The article went on to state, "The Australian Psychological Society, the peak body for psychologists, conducted a literature review in 2007 and concluded that outcomes for children of homosexual parents were 'on par' with those in heterosexual families."
The article quoted Dr Damien Riggs, Associate Professor of Social Science at Flinders University and APS fellow who said, "There are no noticeable differences between children of heterosexual parents and children of homosexual parents, other than discrimination. What we need to do is combat discrimination so then there are no differences at all."
The article also cited research of a 2010 meta analysis of 33 studies of two-parent families published in the US Journal of Marriage and Family, which supported Dr Riggs' conclusion.
Further, an article published in The Huffington Post on August 7, 2014, titled "Children Of Gay Parents Are Happier and Healthier Than Their Peers, New Study Finds" will make Howard shudder, as it wrote:
"Children raised by same-sex couples have better health and well-being in comparison to their peers, according to a groundbreaking new study which is being billed as the largest of its kind.
Conducted by Australia's University of Melbourne, the new research aimed to 'describe the physical, mental and social well-being' of children with gay and lesbian parents, and "the impact that stigma has on them." On average, children raised by same-sex couples scored six percent higher than the general population when it came to general health and family cohesion.
Meanwhile, in other categories -- such as behavior, mental health and self-esteem -- those children reportedly scored the same as those raised by heterosexual parents."
'It appears that same-sex parent families get along well and this has a positive impact on health,' Dr. Simon Crouch from the Jack Brockhoff Child Health and Wellbeing Program, Centre for Health Equity at the University of Melbourne, told CNBC of the results.
Crouch believes that an emphasis on skills, as opposed to traditional gender roles, accounted for the survey's results.
'So what this means is that people take on roles that are suited to their skill sets rather than falling into those gender stereotypes,' he is quoted as saying. 'What this leads to is a more harmonious family unit and therefore feeding on to better health and wellbeing.'
You can read more about the new research here.
The study comprised input from 500 children and 315 parents who are in same-sex relationships, and seemed mostly in line with previous research. Earlier this year, a Williams Institute report found that children of lesbians reported having higher self-esteem and lower conduct problems than those of heterosexual couples.
A 2012 study, 'Adolescents with Lesbian Mothers Describe Their Own Lives,' found that teens with two moms maintained solid high school GPAs while having strong family bonds with their mothers, according to CBS Las Vegas."
So there we have it, Howard's CLEAR EVIDENCE of "better outcomes" does not exist.
Just like Saddam Hussein's Weapons of Mass Destruction did not exist and on whose pretext Howard took Australia to war in 2003 and from which the world still suffers the consequences.
Howard's CLEAR EVIDENCE is nothing more than his opinion based on his prejudice and ignorance.
However, Howard has form, and lots of it.
Remember his citing of FIELD EVIDENCE in the 2004 Federal Election that "interest rates will always be lower under a Coalition Government than a Labor Government" despite no reputable economist supporting his baseless claim?
The Prime Minister was asked about a survey of 14 independent economists who reject his view.In November 2007, during the 2007 Federal Election campaign, those interest rates 'chickens came home to roost':
REPORTER: What do you know about interest rates that those economists don't?
JOHN HOWARD: Well I know that interest rates under Labor were massively higher than what they are now, and I know that if Labor's record in the past is repeated, which I believe it will in the future, they'll run budget deficits. That will put upward pressure on interest rates. And in the end what matters is the strength of an argument, not the number of people who may have a particular point of view. [ABC PM Program October 5, 2004]
"The Reserve Bank has made history, weighing into the politically-charged federal election campaign by raising interest rates to their highest in a decade."
"Mr Howard today said he was 'sorry' for today's interest rate rise after the The Reserve Bank of Australia raised the official cash rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 6.75 per cent. Mortgage rates are expected to follow within days." [Sydney Morning Herald, November 7, 2007]
Howard subsequently lost the 2007 election and, in doing so, suffered the humiliation of losing his seat. The ultimate rejection for a prime minister. A point that Howard sycophants and genuflectors conveniently forget.
Oh yes, Howard has form, and lots of it.
Returning to Alan Ramsey's article "Let's have the honest truth, once and for all" published in the Sydney Morning Herald, August 18, 2004 :
"Howard was a serial liar when it suited his political interests."
"Howard lied about the GST before the 1996 campaign. He lied about these lies during the 1998 campaign. He lied about the reasons he took Australia into the Iraq travesty, now such a part of this election. Now we are told by someone at the centre of events that he lied about the children overboard affair."
"The central truth is, however grave the charge, that John Howard's prime ministership has been a lie from the outset." (bolding is my emphasis)
Howard is lying, yet again.
How can anyone take anything he says seriously?