Tony Abbott's tendency to utter whatever comes into his head certainly isn't doing him any harm. In one week, he's racked up three howlers on a carbon price. They've all received critical media coverage. But you get the impression the public doesn't particularly care.

The noteworthy feature of the current "debate" over the employment and cost-of-living impacts of a carbon price is that we appear to have reached a standard in public discourse where the truth, or consistency, aren't preferred positions any more; that something happens to be true or logically coherent or consistent isn't especially relevant, certainly not more so than whether it sounds clear, has "cut-through", reinforces people's expectations rather than runs counter to them, and most of all suits a preferred narrative.