By now most people would be aware that federal Liberal Party and Opposition Leader Tones the Terrible Abbott has freely stated that he doesn't always tell the truth when speaking with the meeja:
"Mr Abbott has told The 7.30 Report he sometimes says things in the heat of the moment that are not absolutely correct, but the public can fully rely on his carefully scripted and considered remarks."
What is fascinating about this admission is that journalists rarely look at whether this is a vice that goes further back beyond 2007.
Happily Wikileaks appears to supply the hint of an answer in its 2007 US diplomatic cable releases:
"2. (SBU) The Indonesian press reported on June 7 that Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari had announced that Indonesia and Australia plan to jointly develop an AI vaccine. According to Supari, the two countries will detail the cooperation in a forthcoming bilateral agreement. Supari reportedly made the announcement on June 6 before meeting Australian Minister of Health TONY ABBOTT on the sidelines of the June 6-8 APEC Health Ministers meeting. However, when questioned about the article, staff at both the Australian Embassy and NIHRD indicated surprise at the announcement. Australian Embassy contacts expressed some skepticism about the report given other inaccurate press stories about an alleged promise by Abbott to supply Indonesia with antivirals and vaccines. Dr. Endang Sedyaningsih, the NIHRD's Director of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Research Development, noted that Triono is with the Supari in Australia and may well have discussed a joint vaccine development deal. She added that Indonesia is open to agreements with multiple companies."
Yep, it looks like Tones as John Howard's health minister was privately telling representatives of foreign governments what they wanted to hear at the time (without bothering to inform his own department or his Prime Minister) and then denying all when found out.
If he was so ill-disciplined as a federal health minister and then as an opposition leader, would he be any better as a prime minister?
Would Australia with Tony Abbott at the helm become a nation and government that was considered untrustworthy by the community of nations?