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A wolf in sheep’s clothing

As the dust settles from Tuesday night’s wrecking ball budget, I have been thinking about how this happened. How is it possible that Australia was conned into voting for Abbott and his fellow Liberal and National psychopaths? There’s a fairly obvious answer to this, and two clear culprits. First of all, Abbott and his LNP colleagues lied to the electorate about what their real plans for Australia were. And second, the mainstream media let the people of Australia down by refusing to pre-warn them about Abbott’s real plans.

Abbott knows as well as I do that the Liberals would never win an election if they were truthful with voters. So they lied. Lying has become natural to them, because without lies they have no chance of power. But let’s make something very clear right now. Anyone who didn’t see this budget coming, wasn’t looking. When I say they weren’t looking, I mean they were either too uninformed to understand who Abbott really was, they were looking right at Abbott and wouldn’t admit to what they were really seeing, or they were looking elsewhere and ignoring what was right in front of them. And when I say anyone, I mean all Australian voters. But much of the responsibility for keeping these voters informed falls on the journalists who were responsible for this important democratic function. And there’s absolutely no doubt that Australian journalists did this important job atrociously.

When you take into account that the mainstream political press in this country have been obsessing for the last six years over the Labor Party, it’s quite easy to see why journalists either wilfully refused to scrutinise Abbott, or why they were wearing their Labor-bashing blinkers and whacking so hard with their Labor-bashing sticks, they had little energy for any Abbott coverage. And by coverage, I don’t mean following Abbott’s safety-vest-banana-stacking-three-word-slogan circus blindly around the country. I mean truthful, objective analysis. Not a big ask, but apparently too big an ask for Australian journalists. If even half the time that journalists spent covering Labor leadership tensions over the last six years were instead devoted to even a cursory analysis of Abbott’s values and ideology, the lies from the Abbott government would have been obvious well before it was too late for the voting public to defend themselves from the sucker-punch budget we’ve just had rammed down our throats by Foghorn Leghorn Hockey.

Another favourite topic that mainstream journalists obsessed over was Labor’s narrative. Did Labor have one or not? If they did have one, was it the right one? If it was the right one, why were Rudd and Gillard having such trouble communicating their narrative? And on, and on, and on, and on this analysis went. But, I have the same question as some of the commenters on Andrew Elder’s post about the Guardian’s Katharine Murphy’s failure to properly inform her readers about Abbott. Why do journalists never write about Liberal narrative?

I’ve got a really simple explanation for this; it’s because the Liberal narrative is a wolf dressed up as a lamb, in an entirely unconvincing costume that leaves the wolf looking exactly like a wolf to anyone who has their eyes open and is looking straight at the wolf. Yet, when this wolf tells people it’s a lamb, journalists tell everyone the wolf is a lamb. And voters vote for this lamb, and even think this lamb is a better than the Labor alternative. But as we all found for ourselves on Tuesday night, the wolf is a wolf! And all the journalists are now acting surprised, as if they had never seen this wolf before. But I would suggest that either these journalists are lying or stupid. And either way their inability to expose the wolf makes them unqualified to be journalists.

The new trick for many of these journalists, having discovered that Australians have seen the wolf for themselves, and are now rightly quite afraid that this wolf is running the country, is to say ‘Labor is a wolf too. You can’t trust any of them. They’re all as bad as each other’. You get this same attitude from some lefties who, for reasons only apparent to themselves, have decided to perpetuate this myth of Labor and Liberal being just as bad as each other. This myth works like a charm for the Liberals because it allows them to get away with being a wolf when they need to be. I often wonder if these lefties are aware of the damage they’re doing to their own cause. And I ask them to think about why, if Labor and Liberal are apparently just the same as each other, the Abbott budget has ripped the heart out of Labor’s Australia, and left it bleeding and unable to breathe in the gutter on the side of the road? It doesn’t look like they’re just the same at all now does it?

So back to this wolf. Since Australian journalists are unwilling to discuss the Liberal narrative, and are obviously incapable of understanding Labor’s narrative, which is right in front of their eyes in the same way as the wolf in sheep’s clothing is, I thought it might be helpful to explain the values of both parties really clearly, here in digital ink for them to find whenever they need them to accompany a discussion of complex policy debates and budget analysis (so in other words, never).

Labor’s values

We are all in this together. Where this means a community where everyone works towards the health and security of the whole community. The collective wealth of the economy serves this community. Not the other way around.

Liberal’s values

We are all in this together. Where this means a free-market economy where a person’s wealth determines their status, and in turn their status determines their privilege and their privilege determines their access to health and security. If someone can’t access health and security, this is their own fault and it’s not the free-market economy’s role to help them. So in fact, we’re not all in anything together. We’re all on our own.

These values can be found in the true narratives of both parties, intertwined in every policy they produce, and every statement they make. To find them, you don’t have to look very hard. In fact, you don’t have to look for them at all. All you have to do is open your eyes. Australian voters have had our eyes opened for us. But I just hope that those who feel most let down, the ones who are suffering in silence now because they were the dopes who voted for Abbott, I hope they save some of their resentment for the mainstream media for so blatantly letting them down by feeding them to the wolves.

[twitter-follow screen_name=’Vic_Rollison’ show_count=’yes’]

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  1. Phillip A Mayer

    I think Labor let us all down too, with the in-fighting and unseating of an elected Prime Minister; Gillard and Shorten have a lot to answer for, and must take their share of responsibility for where we currently are! The mainstream media’s obvious agenda was disgusting, but the sheeple of Australia hold the bulk of the responsibility; what a bunch of ill-informed idiots to vote in such social and environmental vandals!

  2. sandrasearle

    Labor didn’t let us all down Phillip, they were never able to get any clean air to get their messages out. People have asked over these past months since the election. ‘why are we not hearing from Shorten?’
    Well, its because he was smart enough to know what was happening, still no clean air from the MSM.
    Anyway, it has proved a good, smart move because it has given everyone but blind freddy the opportunity to witness the true nature of the true Abbott & just how incompetent his front bench ministers really are.
    The fact that the MSM are trying to play catchup and a lot of them are still trying to justify their previous opinions means that they are still trying to play both sides against the middle IMHO.

  3. ian saffin

    Most journos are not impartial. They either work for Murdoch media or are worried they may need a job there one day.

  4. halsaul

    That sums up the problem Ian Saffin. We are paying a high price for their lack of professionalism and a little cowardice I think.

  5. Fed up

    Not sure one can have impartial journos. Not sure that is necessary. What we need to know, is where they are coming from, and the ability to put up arguments to support what they are writing.

    We only need them to be truthful and stick to facts. Often there is two sides many stories.,\We all have our own agendas.

  6. corvus boreus

    Bill Shorten and the ALP should back the Greens’ call for a federal ICAC to restore some faith and confidence in a very tarnished image. Whilst not as openly embracing of the philosophy of of croney capitalism and corporate corruption as the LNP, Labor is at the moment looking rather tarnished,and a blanket refusal to countenance an open and accountable investigation into the nefarious dealings that alarm and disgust decent voters doesn’t help.

  7. DanDark

    Yes I find it hard to believe now that Mike Carlton is so surprised
    I sent a letter which I have put up on another post
    We’ll before march in March
    Didn’t see him say anything then
    Nothing from the mainstream media and they knew, they knew all very we’ll
    They are grown adults, with a mind of their own, logical thinking people
    You would think, but no
    Mike is a wolf in sheeps clothing himself

  8. mars08

    …and two clear culprits

    The sneaky LNP and the useless mainstream media. Really?

    What about people like us who know, perfectly well, what an Abbot govt would mean for this country? By god, we must be psychic or something. Prescient even. Surely we are all brilliant judges of character and masters of political intrigue. Almost everyone on this site must be a genius. I mean… we actually saw it coming… something that was unimaginable, secret and entirely unexpected. Yet we saw it coming. Something from the LNP which was utterly without precedent. We somehow formed our ideas our opinions out of think air… and we were right.

    What we are witnessing today is something which was undreamed of, but (how awesome are we?)… we actually managed to think of it. Truly we are prophets among our lesser countrymen. We MUST have powers beyond their understanding.

    Or maybe, maaaybe, perhaps, possibly… our electorate as far too many lazy, frightened, self-absorbed, mean, distracted, spoiled, narrow-minded, disengaged dumb who are easily conned.

  9. Rob Alan

    ‘The new trick for many of these journalists, having discovered that Australians have seen the wolf for themselves, and are now rightly quite afraid that this wolf is running the country, is to say ‘Labor is a wolf too.’

    Is this an admission the debt, barn sale, debt, barn sale, franchise routine is ever so slightly flawed? No kidding.

    Next thing yah know the msm will be howling how neo capitalism has delivered higher oligarchy numbers than any other political system and those oligarchs are no less disposed to despotism as any other systemically supported oligarchy.

  10. Kaye Lee

    I have never really been a particularly political animal before, occasional meetings with politicians in various different capacities, speaking out when I felt I must, but preferring to concentrate my efforts through my work at a community level and helping charitable work here and overseas. Tony Abbott changed all that. There has never been a government with whom I have been totally satisfied, but there has also never before been a government who elicits visceral fear and outraged indignation in me the way this one does. Every day there is a new horror. It isn’t one policy I disagree with, or one action that will have unintended consequences that haven’t been considered, it is every damn word that comes out of their mouths.

    My husband always asks me to be balanced. He said tell me something good from the budget. I came up with a few things I thought positive until I looked at what was being cut to pay for them. Dumping the Disability Commissioner from the HRC to employ the IPA’s Commissioner for Bigots, a Brandis pick who did not go through any application process nor have to fulfil any job criteria to be gifted a $340,000 a year job via a phone call asking did he want to do it, typifies this government’s priorities and the arrogance they feel about being able to implement them.

    Nothing gets me angrier than being lied to and taken for a fool. Nothing makes me madder than a bully. The MSM does come up with some good information (not the Murdoch press, they should be as embarrassed as Greg Hunt). They rarely look back and weave strands together but that is something we can do.

    Keep passing on information and maintain the rage.

  11. Stephen Tardrew

    I think we have looked backwards for long enough the real battle is in front of us and by heavens it is going to be beauty. Labor just needs to be absolutely clear and relentless about it s policies and just attack at every opportunity. Christine Milne was on song this morning so there are good signs. Shortens budget reply hit the right tone. Forget the media it is now dependent upon public opinion and the response to the Budget. A new day a new world we just have to get used to it.

    The responsibility is now Labor’s to develop a coherent and effective action plan. The ploy is not to make Labor self-justify the past but to force the LNP into losing. Vision forward, eyes upward and onward but for heavens sake stop looking backwards.

    The thing is to show the media up for the slack lot they have been. A lot of them are going to have egg on their faces. It all depends how long they can hold off the inevitable truth. This government is completely committed to a class war against the poor an marginalized.

  12. Joe Banks

    Victoria, I agree 100%. My view is that most Australian MSM journalists (and that includes the ABC) are, without question, intelligent by any standard. But at the same time they have a strange lack of perception and common sense. And without perception and common sense they are a danger to us all. Because they can’t see what is right under their noses. But they persist in writing wordy articles that they think will impress their fellow journalists who also lack perception and common sense. So a large section of MSM journalism is spiralling downwards into fictional drivel which only vaguely relates to the truth about current events and politics… In other words, they just can’t see the bleedin obvious.

  13. mars08

    Labor’s values???!!?!?!?? Oh puh-leeease!

    The Labor government increased the pension ago for men to 67 by 2023
    Gillard changed the disability eligibility rules in a bid to force people back to work
    The Labor government quickly entered into an auction of cruelty in an attempt to stop the asylum seeker boats.
    Wayne Swan got into a pissing contest with the LNP opposition and repeatedly pleged to bring the budget into surplus.
    The Labor government didn’t make a sound when it was revealed that US intelligence was collecting information about innocent Australian citizens.

    The best that can be said for 21st Century Labor is that it’s the LEAST DISGUSTING of the two major offerings.

  14. Stephen Tardrew

    Wasn’t a criticism of your post Kaye but of the general mood of being too attached to things we cannot change. However that does not exclude clarifying the facts. Did not see you post till after.

  15. jimhaz

    Abbott’s Bold Personality has turned out to be just Fine Cotton.

    Just like the horse racing fraud, many were in the know before the electoral race.

  16. Zvyozdochka (@Zvyozdochka)

    Not enough people were listening to The Australian Greens.

    The theory that the media in this country determine things has failed serious scrutiny for years. Why? Because they already talk to like-minded believers in their own readership bubbles. Those people aren’t changing their vote.

    It was/is up to the ground campaign of the political parties to identify the swing voters. A lesson The Australian Greens learnt at the WA Senate re-run. Look for those lessons to be put into further, refined practice.

  17. Chris Ogilvie

    Phillip, the sheeple of Australia are mostly non political, that don’t use the Internet as a News source, they’re not lazy or dumb they still use and trust their favourite TV News reader/Talk show panel who unfortunately are busy selling Abbott and smearing Labor daily.

    They use a clever technique, omitting anything that will harm Abbott & Co complimented by letting Abbott & Co spruke his crap completely unchallenged by any MSM journalist.

    Because the public never hear Abbott’s lies disputed, challenged, if any scrutiny is applied its by partisan shock jocks or News Ltd commentators, so public naturally believe that Labor is really bad, budget & economy is stuffed and Climate change is a hoax, as the same MSM have censored Climatologists and their message the same way as Labor’s.

    Can you name a Climatologist? or have you ever seen one on TV? Why not! that fact alone proves media collusion is happening and there is someone very prominent (Rupert) coordinating cross Network TV/Radio political reports are negative towards Labor, positive towards Liberal, also nearly every News bulletin & daily Talk Show will have a “do you love the Monarchy yet” segment

    If those same people were given peer reviewed facts by an ethical non partisan media, Abbott would be facing very serious charges by now. (Ashby/Slipper, Hanson etc.)

    Public need protection from this underlying media collusion, that’s why we all need to fight for media reforms ASAP, the public need to be informed with fact not spin to make important life changing decisions.

  18. Average Bloke

    Kaye Lee,
    I love reading your thoughts and ideas, as with Victoria and others who post on AIMN. I try to keep up politics but NEVER watch TV (apart from QandA) or read newspapers. Busy husband, father of 3 young ‘uns, full-time teacher – I don’t have time to trawl the web for accurate, unbiased news.
    That said, I want to be well-informed. At times I feel daunted by the apparent complexity of politics, and when I read comments on here most people seem incredibly intelligent, so I have never commented before.

    So to get to the point, in your comment you said the MSM should be as embarrassed as Greg Hunt. Why should he be embarrassed?

    Mr Hunt is my elected representative, and lately I have been writing letters to him (format kindly supplied by Julian Burnside regarding asylum seekers). As expected, he has ‘hand-balled’ the letter to Scott Morrison, but I didn’t let that go unanswered – as my representative, I expect him to be well-versed on all issues that affect me, not just those within his role as Minister for the Environment. Furthermore, I want to know his opinions. *HIS* opinions. Not Scott Morrison’s, or Tony Abbott’s. I will keep writing letters. He will not dodge me forever.
    I read with interest your recent post ‘A Letter to Coalition MPs’ and I will be writing another letter to Mr Hunt, picking through your post to include points that are most relevant and pressing to me.

    Thank you for all your work, and the other writers for AIMN. The things I read reinforce what I feel is wrong, and usually the information is presented in a straight-forward, easy to understand way.

  19. Eric Gee

    Annabel Crabb said it best a few years ago:

    “Opposition leaders are like miniature piglets.

    They look so sweet in the shop, don’t they? With their whiffling little pink noses and their eagerness to please; with their intelligent eyes and their loving natures and the sales assistant’s guarantee that they are fastidiously clean and, moreover, will fetch the paper every morning – what’s not to love?

    It is only much later on, well after the election’s won and the warranty’s expired, that you wake up and realise, with a dull sense of unsurprise, that you’ve got a six-foot grunter digging up your backyard.”

  20. Kaye Lee

    Average Bloke,

    Greg Hunt has lied. he has undone basically every environmental protection we have and cut funding to all environmental and climate change programs. he is giving approval power back to the states who have been shown to be corrupt in the approval process. Here are a couple of articles for you to mention to Greg. He actually does know better which is why he should be embarrassed. You might also ask him what he is going to say to the World Conference on Climate Change next year in Paris.

    http://m.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/tony-abbotts-extreme-climate-stance-sets-back-policy-decades-critics-say-20140514-zrcpg.html

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/may/14/coalition-plans-to-devolve-protection-of-water-supplies-to-the-states?CMP=ema_792

  21. Average Bloke

    Thank you. I will actually have a chance to ask him personally in a couple of months, when he visits the school I work at.

  22. DanDark

    Maybe they can bag the bullshit and sell that too
    Cos over say the last 6 years
    We have heard tons and tons and tons
    They have their own BS mine I am sure of it
    Dig it up and sell it off it’s making them a fortune

  23. The Slender Twig

    This is a very sensible view. Good scientists are always taught to understand that no matter how they try that they can never be truly objective. The best way to deal with this is to make plain your biases and interpret your results with an honest view of these in mind. In the sense of the discussion here, I feel journalism is best done in the same way.

  24. The Slender Twig

    As a person whose bread and butter is the study of human behaviour, I find the free-market ideals of The Liberals deeply troubling. Their entire world view is based on a false premise.

    While it is true that humans, like most other animals, are economic rationalists, it is not the economy of money that drives our choices. It is the economy of fitness. The interesting thing about biological fitness is that that cooperation, kindness and altruism are often a very good way of helping one’s self in a biological sense.

    We aren’t the selfish creatures that the IPA and The Liberals think they have us pegged as, and accordingly their efficient market obsession is dangerously misinformed. It frightens me that they can sell it on this false and depressing view of human beings.

    Anyhow, getting on to my views:

    I have a sufficient income that the changes to the budget won’t really hurt me too badly. What the changes do hurt though is my ability to use my tax money to pay for things that I believe in; namely, an egalitarian Australia that has an appreciation of the rights of all people to safety, security, education and health. Unlike the Abbott government I do not believe that selfishness as a first principle will produce a society that we can be proud of.

  25. Onmy Owna

    There really is no need for any analysis. The majority of Australians are greedy, self absorbed morons who find thinking to hard . It was really just as simple as that. And if you think the same fools who voted them in have changed their minds since the budget , I have a bridge in Sydney for sale , offers over 20 million , going cheap !!!

  26. bobrafto

    Oh Dear, I am such person who thinks both parties are as bad as each other and I take the opportunity here to qualify my thoughts.

    As bad as each other refers to corruption and rorts. As for the policies are concerned, I’m for a caring and compassionate society, where everyone is looked after and even the dole bludger trying to live on $300 a week or less, a remarkable feat especially they have to pay rent and maintain a car.. You have to take the good and the bad.

    The LNP does not represent my values.

  27. mars08

    “A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.”
    ~Edward R. Murrow

    The lesson here… wake up and take a look around!!! Stop being mindless sheep!

  28. halsaul

    I can find no fault with what you say. For better or worse I have drawn the same conclusions. I have sympathy for Julia because I suspect she felt, like I felt before the election & now. I thought nobody could possibly vote out the Gillard Gov. – they were giving us NBN, Gonski, NDIS and Abbott was so obviously a sneaky sociopath. I sure over-estimated the common-sense of a lot of fellow Australians.

  29. rangermike1

    Yes Vicky, Abbott dressed up his pre-election promises in a Trogan horse. The MSM as usual, waited to report on this by accepting the notes handed down by the MSM. This infers they are too lazy, or don’t give a damn. It is a shame, yet most Australians seem to be waking up to the fact that they have been lied to.

  30. bobrafto

    The Trickle Down Effect

    This trickle down effect espoused by Thatcher has been in my brain since it became the narrative of politics.

    A few days ago i came to the conclusion that it was part of nature to think like that.

    Allow me to explain.

    About 4 years ago I was living on a large allotment in inner city Brisbane. The area was bushy with towering tall gums and I was amazed at the variety of native wildlife that inhabited the area,

    At one stage I had a turkeys mound right on the back fence and the male had 12 females hanging around. In the evenings the turkeys would roost in one of the gum trees, however, there was a sole turkey on top and all the others had perches on lower branches which I surmised must be a turkey pecking order.

    In the mornings, you knew which turkeys were on the lower branches with the shit on their backs.

    And there you have it the Trickle Down Effect and come to think of it, Thatcher in a way resembles a Turkey.l

  31. DanDark

    Even the smartest people can be conned by cons, sociopaths, psycopaths
    its happening more and more
    they have the tools, they have the means and will do anything to not cause any dissent
    till they get their prize,
    I know I have dealt with someone very much like Tony
    they are in power everywhere, but as I know the signs I knew what he was doing along time ago
    an the consequences left on their victims are huge, they will even destroy themselves to destroy others
    and that’s what Tony is doing, he is Toxic now, along with a lot of others from Libs

  32. DanDark

    LOL yea, they were glad to see she was dead not long ago in UK
    Tone’s hero she is…he is a knuckle head

  33. rick5591rick5591

    Yes, yes , yes. We know all about Abbott and who he represents, we know all about Murdoch and who he represents. The mainstream media didn’t fall down on their jobs . They were never on their job. They are simply the Goebbels like propaganda arm of the New World Order. For Christs sake people, wake up. The Rothchild Global banking cartel through its tentacles of power and control simply orchestrates the elections in so called free countries. They use the CIA and NSA and controlled media to destabilize any government they want to get rid of –as they did Julia Gillards government. As they did the Whitlam government when they went elsewhere to get loans (Khemlani Affair) instead of the Rothchild banking cartel. But there is one weak link in their control agenda and that is knowledge of what they are up to getting out into mass consciousness. They are few and we are many. Their power rests solely on the ignorance and compliance of the masses. Take that away and their power collapses like a house of cards.
    So people do the research, wise up and spread the word –fast.The USA is about to go into financial and economic melt-down, chaos, martial law leading to complete totalitarian control of their populace, complete with concentration camps for the extermination of dissidents. ( see FEMA camps). This is no conspiracy theory , this is a gigantic conspiracy against the people of the world. Put the following names and terms into Google and follow the leads: Rothchild: Rockefeller: Henry Kissinger: 9/11 false flag event: New World Order: Illuminati:the Bilderberg group: The Trilateral commission: .
    Here is a site that is a great intro to the great Conspiracy:
    http://www.pinterest.com/bobbi308/bilderberg~illuminati~trilateral-commission~secret/
    Happy Hunting,
    rick5591.

  34. Susan Edwards

    I labelled Abbott a psychopath well before his descent into PM. He is narcissistic and completely without empathy, the true markers of a psychopath.. All about control. Two good books that explain it all: ‘the Psychopath Test’ and ‘Zero Degrees of Empathy’. Easy to spot them after reading it.

  35. Susan Edwards

    Them not it!!

  36. rednightingale

    Fascinating discussion on Hack on Friday evening… The guest Carla is the perfect example of what those opposing Abbott and Co are up against. If you think this battle is won and that people are ‘waking up’ to the lies listen through (particularly around the 15-25 minute mark). The denial is absolutely staggering.

    http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/media/listen.htm?show=jukebox&xmlUrl=/triplej/media/mod/hck5.xml&mediaType=audio&launchType=play&pluginTarget=undefined&pluginTitle=undefined&pluginColour=undefined

  37. Matters Not

    Been out of the loop for a few days. But I am intrigued by this comment(s).

    As a person whose bread and butter is the study of human behaviour

    Sounds interesting. Then we have:

    it is true that humans, like most other animals, are economic rationalists

    Care to unpack? Frankly, my head is spinning at this point. ‘Economic rationalism’ is a relatively recent ‘concept’ and a ‘contested’ one at that (as to the meanings that might be given and the usefulness of same) are in the realm of ‘meta-theory.

    I just wonder how it can be used to ‘understand’ animal behaviour. Then there’s this:

    it is not the economy of money that drives our choices. It is the economy of fitness

    Please explain!

  38. Arabella Smythe

    Victoria, “pre-warn”? Rave on about Abbott & co, but do you have to mangle the language so offensively? Warn is a nice little word. No need to harness it with an unnecessary prefix. Thanks.

  39. DanDark

    Matters Not
    I did read those comments about 5 times, but still did not get it,
    but after just reading your comments, bloody funny
    I still don’t get it, but I got a laugh:)

  40. Willow88

    Susan Edwards- I agree – ever since I saw the exchange of Abbott refusing to answer the poor journalist and stared him out for minutes. It just screamed ineffectual psychopath to me. Thanks to the references, have you read “Snakes in Suits’ ? Everyone should read this and I told all my friends to read it too just so you can spot them in work and everyday and be pre warned- such an eye opener. These guys have to go..

  41. Willow88

    Sorry Arabella but everyone says it now

  42. DanDark

    Bernie Banter knew it, Willow
    and I am sure he will be happy to see Abbotts demise
    we might have help on the back of an Angels wings
    Bernie if your listening…..

  43. Möbius Ecko

    Five times in the last day.

    That’s how many times discussions I’ve had on social media on this government’s lies have turned into rampant abuse of me.

    It starts out OK and is usually provoked by some piece of misinformation or lie that has been stated, like Labor has left $667b in debt.

    I point out where the bit of information is wrong and source the facts, a couple of times from posts I’ve read here, thank Kaye.

    The replies start fairly civilly denying my sources and calling it lefty propaganda, Lefty as a vilification is always without exception thrown in very early in any response.

    When I point to more facts and exactly where this government has lied and especially if I ask them don’t they have problems with Abbott and Hockey lying, the abuse starts. The more I respond with facts the more vitriolic the abuse becomes, but not a single one addressed the facts.

    And that’s what Australia is dealing with.

    Sadly some of these are people I know who at any other moment are calm and friendly, nice people to associate with. Some of these people will be just as hurt by Hockey’s phoney budget as the rest, but as they are so locked into their ideology they won’t face that, and that conflict has them lashing out in abuse when they are confronted with it.

    Problem is Abbott, along with the right wing media, have created a well of spite and hate with some very nasty things at the bottom and are removing the cap to let them out.

  44. hannahquinn

    This just about sums it up.

  45. rednightingale

    Hack is a ‘current affairs’ type show on the radio at 5:30pm every weeknight with some of the best balanced journalism in the country (from my perspective). They bring both sides of the story to the table and aren’t afraid to grill both sides (pretty equally). You get to hear from a lot of callers too who shine some light on how the general public are feeling (again both sides) but the callers are challenged when they spout something that has no backing.

    Carla was part of the ‘Friday Shake-up’ which happens every Friday where they get in two or three people from ‘the streets’ (generally they are commentators of some kind, so bloggers, journos, politicians, think-tank members, etc) and talk about the issues that have been raised in the other weeknight shows. They do strive to make sure both points of view are present at the discussion and things can get pretty confrontational (particularly just before the election Tom had a Labor cabinet minister and the Liberal shadow minister and actually had to turn their mics off!). Sometimes guests make repeat appearances when they offer good input and are relevant to the week’s discussions but I have a feeling Carla won’t be coming back… The thing I appreciate most about Hack is that I spend a lot of time in my ‘bubble’ of people with similar views and ‘alternative’ (read left leaning) news sources, but Hack shows you the other side of the argument.

    One of the most important things I think those of us on ‘the compassionate side’ of politics can do is to better understand those on ‘the other side’. Because despite what we’d like to believe (the ignorant, idiotic ‘other voter’) everyone, in their way, is a reasonable, intelligent human being. Sometimes they’re a direct product of their upbringing (often very narrow ie Carla, Tony Abbott), sometimes they’re a product of broader society (we all are in a way… take the blinders off and you see some truly enlightening opportunities in this world… something I’ve only just been able to understand recently), and sometimes they’ve been hurt and are simply protecting themselves (abuse of all kinds has been rampant in our society, but it’s not always what you think ie sexual/physical). If you think of the world in terms of good and evil then you’re blinding yourself because ‘good’ and ‘evil’ are terms absolutely quantified by our social constructs at any particular time in history. When you start to consider that maybe there are no ‘evil’ people, no-one who hurts others without a reason for doing so in their own mind, then (and only then) can you begin to understand where they’re coming from and try to help them towards healing themselves.

    And Mobius facts will rarely, if ever, help to achieve that. In fact 😉 the manipulation of ‘fact’ by all sides to suit their agenda has turned a vast majority of people away from factoid-based rational thinking and towards gut-feeling emotional based thinking. Primarily because “if I can’t trust my gut feeling then who am I?” (a scary prospect for most…). So when someone starts attacking you for bringing your perspective to their limited world-view, don’t bring more facts, instead ask them “Why do you feel that way about me?”, “I’m trying to understand why you feel that way?”, “Have you considered that Andrew Bolt could be manipulating you into a certain way of thinking/feeling?”, etc. Take down the wall and stop firing salvos at them and you might find out that their parents lost their home to the insane interest rates of the late 80s (typically directly connected to Labor policies by these people) or that a friend of theirs was assaulted by a ‘homeless person on drugs’ or that they’re a psycopath ;D. Then ask another question to take it one step deeper, and so on. Inevitably you will go your separate ways at the end of the discussion feeling like you’ve gotten no-where in changing their perspective but the difference will be that in making them ask themself the question you posed you’ll have begun to OPEN them up to the possibilities of your arguments. If that happens enough in their lives they’ll start questioning more and more and (hopefully) become a more ‘compassionate’ person.

  46. Matters Not

    Möbius Ecko said:

    Relates to the flawed economic thinking of the neo-conservatives

    Yes it’s a very good article for exposing the flawed assumptions behind much of what passes for ‘economics’ today. It’s easy reading as well. Can support your recommendation even if the reader is not ‘economically’ inclined.

  47. rednightingale

    I’ll ‘third’ the recommendation for Mobius’ linked article.

  48. rednightingale

    Apologies if any offence was caused. It’s always hard to get ideas across in the written form as things tend to get excessively wordy otherwise :). Needless to say my gut response on first listening to Carla’s prattling was that I wanted to drive my car into a wall at high speeds if it would only make her shut up ;). I also had to seriously restrain myself from screaming at the radio “LISTEN TO YOURSELF YOU IGNORAMOUS!!!!”. Luckily my wife was in the car with me so I managed to resist both urges…

    I did contemplate splitting the above comment into two posts as only the first half was specifically a response to you however the two parts tied together too nicely. The second half was more a broad comment I was hoping might be read by the many commenters I read and respect on this site. I too feel the anger and rage and the need to do something, and to do it now. But I also recognise that taking a ‘sledgehammer’ to what amounts to a steel wall of denial achieves little more than to seriously jar the ‘hands’ (brain?) of the wielder. And yet if you can find some small crack in the wall and apply a gentle trickle of the waters of doubt to it, you will eventually bring the wall down. Better still stand before them without any aggression and ask politely and they might (MIGHT) just open the door and let you in (you might not like what you find but it’s a much more effective point to work from then banging away at the impervious door).

    The only reason I suggest this is because I’ve tried it on numerous occasions and seen a small spark in the eyes (or the writing) of those I’ve engaged. And some of them have been rabid climate change denialists, etc. A simple “I just want to understand why you feel that way?” makes a HUGE difference. Inevitably at the end of the discussion their views are essentially the same but I can hear the inquistiveness in their tone to explore the problem more, seek out new sources of information, etc. A very recent example led to a second discussion which started with ‘I’ve been thinking about what you said and can see where you’re coming from…’ which I regarded as a huge win from the previous ‘every scientist who thinks climate change exists is a self-serving extortionist’.

  49. Dan Rowden

    Wow, there’s so much to be said about this article and so little of it is positive. The whining of leftists such as Victoria about the mainstream media and journalists has now attained the status of a virtual mental illness. It’s not just banal, it’s delusional. Just as there is no equivalence, moral or otherwise between the Labor Party and the Coalition, neither is there an equivalence, moral or otherwise, between the Murdoch press and the rest of the mainstream media. I don’t know what some people of the Left expect journalists to be, but it sure as hell doesn’t have much to do with what journalism is. Rather than tear this politically naive missive apart piece by piece I’ll simply make a few general observations:

    # The creeping dynamic in Australia of social commentators masquerading as journalists and pretending their propaganda is in some way journalistic is an inherently bad thing, in my view. It demeans and diminishes what journalism is, especially news based journalism. The solution to that issue is not to advocate that there should be more of it, only slanted to the Left’s worldview – which is what is happening here – but to advocate for less of it in general. Victoria’s railing against the failures of mainstream journalism is utter bullshit. I can only imagine that she does not, in fact, follow any of it or appreciate what and how journalism works.

    # Governments are automatically and necessarily subjected to much greater levels of scrutiny than Oppositions. This is how it must be. Journalists can only sensibly and within the constraints of their profession analyse and scrutinise an Opposition so much. Oppositions invariably and historically and by virtue of the nature of politics have the ability to limit information about themselves and their agenda to what they want the public or the media to know. Governments don’t have that same luxury. It is most assuredly not the role of journalists – despite what people like Victoria bizarrely think – to postulate and speculate and offer as “news” notions of what an Opposition may or may not do; that’s for social commentators, clairvoyants and sundry political blog doyens. Such behaviour is way beyond what professional journalism should be. Besides which, there’s nothing tangible for journalists to examine with respect to what Oppositions are offering, beyond what that Opposition is actually saying. There’s no established policy or bureaucracy trail to follow to gain such insights. Are we suggesting that journalists should just make stuff up? The inability for anyone to scrutinise an Opposition beyond what it is offering is one of the luxuries of Opposition. Thus has it always been – for both sides of politics. Live with it.

    # It is hardly the fault of journalists that Coalition politicians hardly ever leak negative stuff to journalists and that Labor historically leaks like a flipping sieve. If Labor supporters wish some sort of semblance of scrutiny equivalence from the media, they might want to give that fact some serious consideration.

    # The notion that there was no, or insufficient analysis or scrutiny of what the Coalition was offering before the election is, to my mind, either silly or mendacious. Take your pick. In terms of the Coalition’s “big-ticket” items there was an enormous level of analysis, almost all of it – outside of the Murdoch press of course – negative. Certainly the approach taken by the Murdoch press muddied the waters and added a element of doubt in people’s minds, but the truth is the Coalition’s version of the NBN was the subject of truck loads of criticism and derision. Direct Action was pilloried and mocked on a global and not merely local scale. Both policy items were more or less laughing stocks. In the sense of a more general scrutiny of Coalition pre-election policies, have we all already forgotten the wide-spread criticism of them offering what constituted a virtual policy-vacuum? Hell, I nearly wrote an article for AIMN on that precise subject. How do you scrutinise – whether you be a journalist or not – what doesn’t exist? We can’t have it both ways on this point. It’s ludicrous to suggest that journalists have some sort of psychic ability to know things that aren’t there to be known.

    # Despite the impression Victoria, unsurprisingly, wishes to give, the analysis and reporting of the Budget has been pretty decent and there’s has been little hesitation in making those offerings negative in nature. Again, with the exception of the Murdoch press which we know to be the Government’s media unit by proxy.

    # How much do the Australian people need to be told about the values, ideology or narrative of an Opposition that consisted of virtually the same Government they’d only recently had for an entire decade? What does anyone with half a brain think the words “Cut the Waste” are going to mean? I regard any suggestion that we didn’t know who or what we were really voting for to be blithering idiocy. Wolf in sheep’s clothing my hairy white arse.

    # One area I do agree with Victoria on is her suggestion that some people on the Left do damage by pushing the notion of an equivalence between the Labor Party and the Coalition. It is self-evidently untrue in a broad sense. However, that doesn’t mean that criticism of Labor’s general ideological and policy direction over the last decade isn’t valid and appropriate. There may well be no current equivalence between Labor and the other mob, but sometimes Labor gives the impression that it’s on a slow path to the attainment of such. This is highly disturbing for many Labor supporters and that concern cannot be dismissed by any kind of blind collegial hand-waving. I would absolutely have voted Green in the next election had Labor not come out, forcefully, against elements of the Budget such as the changes to Newstart and Youth Allowance, and no jumped-up Labor fanatic is going to tell me I would be engaging in some sort of political betrayal. Some might argue that it’s not the Left that is betraying the Labor Party but the other way round. Mars08 points to a few things that are pertinent in an earlier comment.

    # I also agree with Victoria that part of the problem in Australian politics is that people are often blind to what it right there in front of them. What’s that old saying about horses and making them drink? Well, mainstream media journalists are not horse whisperers any more than are political blog authors.

  50. diannaart

    Many TKS for Link Rednightingale

    Carla – clearly only accesses Murdoch press without questioning anything – she is a small business owner – the budget she is extolling does nada for her. But interesting, she was clearly intelligent but completely lacking in knowledge and not really wanting to find out more and the lives of people more disadvantaged than her.

  51. Stephen Tardrew

    Dan good to see a counter opinion. Between internal wrangling and faction fighting the Labor party gave conservatives a field day. One of the problems seems to be peoples short memories of Howard, Abbott et al and their eventually self-destruction through Work Choices and buying votes. New time new generation. We can only wait to see if journalist in this country will hold the LNP to account. A lot to sort out yet. I have said for a long time that the LNP have completely mismanaged their objectives learning nothing from Work Choices. Big troubles coming for our oligarchic rulers. Really the media is a mine field and some may well suffer some embarrassment for a lack of moral rectitude.

  52. Fed up

    Premiers PC revealing. Yes, many more cuts across the board being revealed. Across all welfare areas to the states. Housing age care education, The list seems endless. This from Cando alone.

    Passing 8 billion dollars of problems to the states.

    We also have cuts to local government.

    I have seen even today, journalist saying this budget is not severe. Sorry, how much worse does it have to get, before they acknowledge, the economy will be hit.

  53. Fed up

    I suspect that Hockey and Co have no idea of what they have done. Impact on state governments’ over the next FOUR years is over 2 billion dollars, that impact on front line services.

    Cando seems to be saying, Abbott does not know what has happened. Does not realise agreements have been ripped up.

    CAndo prepared to give Abbott the benefit of the doiubt.

  54. Fed up

    No wonder Abbott must have sneaked out the back door. He should be out in front, defending his governments actions.

  55. Dan Rowden

    Stephen,

    Really the media is a mine field and some may well suffer some embarrassment for a lack of moral rectitude.

    Indeed. The media is a very complex thing and given it’s populated by human beings, subject to all the vagaries of human nature. But I strongly feel the “Left” has to get over its Gillard-period obsession. That was then; this is now. We need to acknowledge and work with the reality that is the now. And with the usual and predictable exception of the Murdoch press, the situation is pretty good in my estimation.

    As for concerns about the philosophical direction and dynamics of the Labor Party, the concerns that old “progressive” stalwarts like me have are utterly legitimate. Labor’s gargantuan failing on Asylum Seekers is oracular. That issue alone – if they do not address it in such a way as to not lose their progressives or their own form of “bogan” – is their greatest threat to regaining Government. It’s an enormous challenge for them, and, I think, the nation itself in terms of identity and character.

  56. jasonblog

    @Dan Rowden

    Thanks for your excellent comments and providing the links – cheers Jason

  57. Stephen Tardrew

    Dan certainly agree with you comments concerning Labor. I wrote earlier it is time to forget the past and look forwards to the future. To do that Labor must deal with the refugee issue.

  58. The Slender Twig

    Glad to clarify.
    Basically, all animals are economic rationalists. Just don’t get mixed up about what I mean by ‘economy’ here – I’m not talking about money. The dominant economy for biological organisms is fitness; that is, the ultimate goal of living things is to survive and successfully reproduce.
    This means that it doesn’t really matter how recent the concept of a financial economy is, life has been up to the business of trading on the fitness market since the very beginning.
    In evolutionary biology, all behaviour – animal, plant, whatever – is understood in the context of economic rationalism. All decisions or behavioural strategies are ultimately thought to attempt to maximise the biological fitness of the organism in question. That’s evolution in a nutshell.
    When we get on to behaviourally sophisticated creatures like ourselves, I don’t see an exception to this. Nor do most sociobiologists (social scientists tend to take issue though – sorry social scientists, not everything is socially constructed). The first stumbling block most people reach on this concept is cooperation or altruism – helping others involves investing energy in someone else’s fitness instead of one’s own. This means it shouldn’t happen, but clearly it does. Mathematical modelling has demonstrated time and time again, however, that cooperation can have greater payoffs for all involved if maintained, which means that cooperating is actually a very good way of being a selfish economic rationalist in fitness terms. Evolution engineered humans to cooperate, have empathy and do seemingly selfless things – fitness reasons aren’t hard to find for any of these things. Mark Pagel covers all of this well in a book called ‘Wired for Culture’, and another good piece on this is ‘Super Cooperators’ by Martin Nowak.
    So, why do economics – particularly conservative ones – so love and treasure the idea of monetary economic rationalism? It’s because they have missed something in what they perceive to be an empirical approach. Monetary economic rationalism leads to some predictions that are actually pretty close to reality. The mistake they make is assuming that it is our desire to maximise monetary wealth that leads to this.
    Monetary or material wealth has a sometimes positive correlation with fitness. We all know how much easier it is to get the guy or girl with a nice car and big house. In biological terms, monetary means signals an ability to invest care in offspring – it makes one attractive in fitness terms. The actual motivator here, buried down in our subconscious, is fitness. A heck of a lot of evolutionary psychology research has made this pretty plain. The work of Wilson and Daly leaps most immediately to mind.
    When monetary economic rationalism provides a model that doesn’t quite fit reality, it’s because there are decisions going on that maximise fitness in situations where money isn’t helpful. These happen fairly often. Thus, basing a whole governmental and economic system on the money end of things is wonky science.

    I wrote that in an awful hurry – let me know if I haven’t made sense.

  59. Dan Rowden

    Stephen,

    Deal with the asylum seeker issue it must. Totally agree. Labor is leaking votes to the Greens on this matter and leaving lots of other supporters scratching their heads wondering what the hell is happening. Mind you, it’s no easy ask. Given the current state of the politics, it’s something of a political Sophie’s choice for Labor. Speaking only of the politics of it, Labor can’t afford to disenfranchise their bogan demographic whilst appeasing their progressives, and vice versa. I’m not sure what they can do at this stage to not lose a substantial section of one of them. Obviously, I don’t really give a flying f about the bogans, but in a political sense we sort of have to. Labor can’t afford to lose an election on this issue alone and that is, in truth, entirely possible when you consider the state of affairs that currently exist.

    Labor cannot go so far as doing the things that I would like to see happen, such as closing down offshore processing. They would almost certainly lose an election with that kind of thing. But how do we address the almost complete contempt for humanity and the facts of international refugee conventions if we maintain anything like the status quo? I have no simple answer to that but I suspect it will involve a commitment to taking in a far greater number of refugees from UNHCR camps.

    One of the biggest hurdles for us all in this matter is that there are no “transit” countries that can be trusted in terms of dealing with asylum seekers humanely and justly. Gillard’s Malaysian solution was as close as we’ve come to something sensible and workable.

    Whatever happens, Labor must find a workable and relatively politically risk-free solution.

  60. Stephen Tardrew

    Twiggy:

    Great Post: Makes perfect sense. The thing that is still a real problem for evolutionary psychologists is that evolution actually has a degree of flexibility that is not hard and fast. For example it seems strange that magic, mythology and religion would evolve before rational thinking which could save sentient beings a lot of angst. Subjectivity is the monkey in the room vying against subconscious visceral drives. Evolution is not static and with the onset of general artificial intelligence emotional primitive fear drives may well be dampened for a more rational approach to survival.

    The other area that evolutionary psychologist rarely take into account is the complex dynamics of micro-physics and the counterintuitives and paradoxes that not only emerge out of the model but supervene upon phenomenal reality. Recent experiments have only deepened the fundamental mysteries of physics and cosmology. Many physicists note that if anyone thinks they know what is going on here they are kidding themselves. It would not be such a problem if there were a firewall between micro-physics and phenomenal reality however there is not.

    Ergo natural selection is only descriptive of a particular epoch and not an overarching explanatory modality of the Gestalt (functional) whole. Too often certain advocates of theoretical models claim more than they are entitled too. Just look at the problem of block time, relativity theory and Malinowski space as opposed to some type of thermodynamic arrow of time. These are complex and deep issues that are beyond any of our current theoretical understandings.

    My feeling is that evolution unfolds as a complex hierarchy of imperatives constrained by fundamental laws and constants that, when unified at higher levels of unit volume complexity, (for example sentient brains) emergent attributes manifest that are not wholly reducible to fundamental constituent and laws. Universes are dynamic self-organizing and complexifying entities that manifest biological evolution at a certain level of complexity while maintaining the potentiality for further complex dynamics to emerge.

    Take into account the emergence of the mathematical set theoretical infinity, incompleteness, uncertainty and the very likely generation of infinite universe through cosmological inflation and the picture becomes a vast matrix of possibilities remote to our particular limited perception.

    The point is we must be careful no to claim too much too soon.

  61. Stephen Tardrew

    Dan:

    Certainly good old pragmatism must rule the day. It’s an epoch relative problem that we cannot switch off and hope it goes away so strategising is the only viable solution. Great insight I enjoyed that. I know that you, as I, abhor the treatment of refugees however we can only do our best within he constraints of the current sociological mix of personality types. Still here we are bashing away trying to change things which is the way it must be.

  62. bobrafto

    Twiggy

    A really great post and confirms my observation of empirical behaviour.

    I may have posted it above but it goes like this. 12 bush turkeys roosting in a tree, I surmised the strongest was on the top branch and scattered on the lower branches as if in an empirical order or pecking order.

    In the mornings I knew which turkey’s were on the lower branches with the shit on their backs. Most probably a more accurate description of the trickle down effect.

  63. Fed up

    See all the government ministers are out today. Yes, selling roads.

    Does one know, for the first time in history, there were only two government ministers present in the Budget lockup.

    Abbott was in Queensland selling the med/pharma research fond.

    Definitely not addressing the concerns of the public. Concerns that tool thousands to the streets, yesterday, across the nation.

  64. Dan Rowden

    Stephen,

    It’s horrible that we’ve come down to the point where we have to be guided by political pragmatism. The options that such pragmatism grants us all pretty much suck. But the political and cultural reality that places us in that paradigm can’t be ignored. This is why I refer to the issue as Labor’s “Sophie’s Choice”. Do they have to sacrifice asylum seekers for the sake of the nation? The argument that they must appears more compelling each and every day that this Government remains in power. If Abbott and his mob weren’t so bad, it might not be such an issue. The political risk of Labor doing an about-face on its asylum seeker attitude would probably be worth it. But, with this Government being what it is, it’s not so clear.

    One thing, however, for me anyway, is very clear – Labor must be far more vocal in promoting the need for asylum seekers to be treated justly and humanely – at a fundamental level. If they can’t find their voice on that matter of moral principle they clearly have nothing whatever to say.

  65. DanDark

    Selling the roads for the 21st century
    But we won’t be able to afford cars, rego, tyres, petrol
    Sooooo we will driving abbotts roads in horse and carts
    Whilst we talk through 2 cans tied together with a piece of string
    So he can be remembered as the infrastructure prime minister
    And the little people will look happy,
    or else, you will Pay okay, do you hear me, you little subjects of me the King
    I am the, and will be remembered as infrastructure prime minister
    If you die, it’s gods will……

  66. The Slender Twig

    Apt analogy to what we see. I swear this morning I had to wipe some of Hockey’s foul dung from my feathers.

    This is indeed what results if we allow a mentality of social Spencerism (note that I don’t say social Darwinism – these kinds of ideas had nothing to do with him) to construct a vertical society. The money-oriented ‘might is right’ mentality that grows from a conservative free-market economic system that prizes the most narrow definition of selfishness (rather than the biologically informed broad one that includes cooperation and kindness as a kind of self-interest) results in a system that provides maximum wealth to a few while hurting the many. And they have done this by doing what they believe (falsely) is natural. I have known a few quite wealthy people over the years, and they tend to be unhappy and unfulfilled. This is because they have ridden a quest for monetary wealth beyond the point where it has any fitness relevance (a kind of cognitive error, our minds don’t do large numbers well – we falsely think that $2 million dollars provides double the happiness of $1 million – the fitness relationship with money is non-linear, there is a diminishing return). A system that distributes wealth in a way that allows a better correlation with fitness returns, inherently more equitable, can benefit all individuals much more greatly in happiness and satisfaction terms. While money is to some extent a zero-sum game, happiness is not.

  67. DanDark

    Breaking news
    Abott has just come out and said funding will be cut from 1st July
    To states
    Contradicts what he said yesterday on in insiders
    “Years” he said
    They are screwed and they know it

  68. randalstella

    I will not forget. History is odiously chronic unless it is the first sensitivity in fairness.
    I remember the dozen years of the Hilton bombing ‘issue’. It seems the practitioners of the vilest sensation and prejudice can’t even remember it enough to retract their flagrantly untrue accusations – particularly not now. They took pride in the unspeakable misery of their targets, in which they collaborated so eagerly.
    It is all very cute and Newsworthy, and ratings chasing, for the campaigners who kept reinforcing and supplying the slogans against Rudd and Gillard to attack Abbott’s first budget – as if it must be some sort of surprise. They must assume everyone is gormless. That seems to be the basic working brief of their lousy trade.
    I expect journalists to be liars and wilfull ignoramuses – because on major issues they are so often. I can’t afford to assume otherwise. That is my practical point. Know your enemy. Know the enemy of truth and fair account. The point about exceptions is how they bring the rule into clear relief.

    The supposed distinction between populist commentary and mass-Media journalism is not a distinction they make – and it is unrealistic to expect me to supply it for them. It is unfair to their targets.It is unrealistic because so much journalism is stuffed with catch-cries and ‘memes’ that suit reaction by being presented as unarguable fact. That is why I particularly despise the ABC’s role in the propagandising of reactionary and simplistic views; the sloganeering which passes for neutral introduction of News items.
    It is a lack of attention to real detail. It is a lack of education. It is a woeful collapse of self-education;i.e. research and investigation. It is stupidity as if intelligence. It is Alberici; all serious-eyed and coiffed to perfection; fashionable as the next breeze; without an original thought to call home. It is a determination to interrogate complexity for its unrealistic cheek in a culture of the simple factoid:’Gillard’s carbon tax’.
    I am pleased to see some important mention in the above article and posts below it of the moral equivalence used by the Media to normalise Abbott. For example that two-faced little piece by aspirant Hancock employee, Waleed Aly.
    If only Abbott would play the game to some extent,and not show himself as a pathological monster at every turn. I mean, fair’s fair: we got you into Government. Show a little gratitude.

    I invite Victoria Rollinson to reply to some of the views in response to her insightful article. I,for one,will not be attributing mental illness. Nor should anyone concerned for fair debate – on how to get these monsters out of power. It will take the Media to do much of it. I invite proposals on how these presumptuous arseholes can be used. Murdoch’s minions aside, of course.

  69. DanDark

    Well I got news for the King, slender twig
    You can only keep the peasants down and throw them scraps of bread
    Till his reign comes to a very quick, and usually painful end
    He is one, we are many, we are good, he is evil,
    WE will defeat King Tony, and his con men,
    and we will have our beautiful
    Country back once again…

  70. Stephen Tardrew

    Dan:

    Labor needs a phased strategic plan that clearly explains the necessity to change policies on refugees. A well thought out policy document that clearly defines staged goals and objectives and the moral grounds for such action would help. And they must do it before the next election if they are to gain the moral ground. Its not even the moral high ground it is simply not acceptable to treat our fellow humans in this manner – no argument.

  71. Stephen Tardrew

    Twiggy hope you don’t mind the cheekiness.

    Completely agree Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett’s book “The Spirit Level”, and more recent confirmatory research, empirically demonstrates that beyond a certain point monetary gain does not increase happiness. Greed is an adaptive dead end when it leads to destruction of the ecosphere however these narcissistic personalities ride upon their magical and mythical thinking at the expense of the whole of humanity. They are locked into primitive fight/flight autonomic reactivity driven by fear and are never happy that they have enough. However when we view the pleasure pain principle it is easily demonstrated that most people want pleasure, happiness and love and beyond a certain point accumulating material wealth is a waste of time.

    Subjective primal drives are mixed with objective evidentiary facts and subjective magical and mythical thinking not realizing that joy and happiness are internal state not a ameliorated by material accumulation of goods.

    This is the great dilemma of our time seeing that it is what we feel internally that guides our mental health and we ignore it at our cost. The only solution is communitarian promotion of the subjective good through sharing and caring so we can, to some reasonable extent, meet Kant’s version of the imperative – “do unto others.”

  72. Dan Rowden

    Stephen,

    Labor needs a phased strategic plan that clearly explains the necessity to change policies on refugees. A well thought out policy document that clearly defines staged goals and objectives and the moral grounds for such action would help. And they must do it before the next election if they are to gain the moral ground. Its not even the moral high ground it is simply not acceptable to treat our fellow humans in this manner – no argument.

    That’s all certainly true. The impediments to their ability to do that, are, in my view, these:

    # Labor’s virtually non-existent voice on the issue gives the strong impression that a change of heart is not on the horizon. They appear to be paralysed by the politics of the situation. It’s understandable. I know some Labor types love to blame everyone else for everything, but Labor is singularly responsible for the position they find themselves in. Them and no-one else. Labor validated and vindicated the Coalition’s approach. What Howard did and what Abbott continues to do is something that would not shock most of the Australian electorate. The conservatives aren’t exactly big in humanitarian policy areas. But when the Labor Party gets on board and begins to behave like the conservatives they send the clear message that the conservatives had it right all along. Then you have shitheads like Bob Carr making the sort of statement he made about Sri Lankan asylum seekers. Labor has poisoned the well of any future discourse on the matter. Perhaps irretrievably.

    # Progressives do not constitute, by themselves, a sufficient proportion of the electorate to make any turn about in asylum seeker policy politically safe, however much such a thing might please them. At best such a turn around might put a plug in the leak to the Greens. I don’t know what sort of narrative they can build between now and the election, but it will have to begin with a statement of contrition and regret. The hatchet job that Howard/Rudd/Gillard/Rudd has done on people feeling tyranny is so complete I do seriously fear there’s no way to go back.

    # It’s very, very hard to turn around a juggernaut once it has real momentum, and the momentum of “border protection” rhetoric is such a juggernaut. It appeals to far more people than it should – the insularists, the jingoists, the xenophobes, the racists, the religious bigots and the ignorantly afeared. Such people make up far more of the population than I think any of us would like, and worse still, far too much of Labor’s own heartland. I’m not convinced Labor could withstand the political caning they would receive, not just from conservative forces, but from people in the aforementioned demographic if they were to attempt to hold back or derail that rhetorical juggernaut. It may be possible, but it’s going to take a level of political and cultural acumen that Labor has not shown in the last decade or more.

    # The moral exigency of treating innocent persons humanely and fairly has been utterly compromised by the building of the perception that asylum seekers are not innocent persons. Labor’s failings on that front haven’t been entirely egregious, but they’ve been so wishy washy on it it’s been pathetic. Turning that around will require the Australian media to get on board and cease pushing the demonisation theme. That will only happen if the media get a whiff of the smell of Labor electoral success. The catch there, of course, is that this issue has the potential to damage them electorally so a slightly more convivial media isn’t a thing that can happen automatically. And there’s virtually no chance, naturally, of the Murdoch empire being part of that conviviality.

    # Labor must come up with an answer to the as yet unanswered question of how many refugees Australia can manage to accommodate. Yes, people have thrown around figures like 30,000 but they are completely arbitrary and do not deal with the main issue – what to do once that figure is reached. It’s not as if people will stop coming. What policy approach do we take when we’ve reached our limit? The same as we have now? If so, we may as well institute such a policy now and be done with it. If these questions are not resolved fully and cogently, no-one who currently shares the conservative attitude to asylum seekers is going to be moved.

    Anyway, those are only a few issues that I think confront us in what is an extremely complex policy area, made ever more so by the complicity, stupidity and inhumanity of successive Governments.

  73. Stephen Tardrew

    Dan

    Agree with you again Dan. Keep the links coming the more the merrier. For those who have not seen them they are of critical importance. Great work.

  74. mars08

    Stephen Tardrew:

    Labor needs a phased strategic plan that clearly explains the necessity to change policies on refugees….

    Sadly here’s how I think it will play out…

    For the next two years Labor will say barely a word about the asylum seekers. They don’t dare downplay the demonisation or criticise inhumane treatment for fear of spooking the bogot vote in the marginal seats. Close to the election some Labor pollies will make soothing noises to try and secure the more progressive voters… but nothing too warm and fuzzy.

    After the election the Abbott “solution” will remain untouched because there’s NO NEED for the Labor nabobs to play that particular numbers game. AND… Labor would not dare risk being slammed for throwing the doors open again after the LNP successfully stopped the invasion.

    The die is cast. The asylum seekers will continue to be used as pawns for political gain. Neither major party will forgo such low-hanging fruit. No matter how many innocent people suffer.

    Any call for change will have to come from the Australian public. They are the one’s who will have to demand more kindness and empathy for the asylum seekers. And maybe the politicians will respond. Unfortunately, when it comes to the voters that really matter… their bloodlust is far from sated.

  75. mars08

    Maybe a good starting point for “a phased strategic plan” would be so say something (anything!!!) about the latest move to warehouse asylum seekers in Cambodia.

  76. Sir ScotchMistery

    There is a point I would draw from the narrative concerning “Labor’s values” such as they are and that is the over-arching need to be re-elected is the daily bread of every politician.

    There was a time when politics per se, was seen as service to the country. Every country that had electors who really were electing so we aren’t talking North Korea and friends, but every actually operating democracy, those people who stood up and were counted were standing up in service to their country. Without a single exception that comes to mind.

    Add to the mix, these days a media that feeds sheep a daily diet of “this is good for you”, and the often told lie, started by the politician, spread by the media and watered and tended by the commentariat becomes truth. Several tweets on Tuesday night commented, and we read it often, “tell a lie often enough, it becomes the truth”.

    The truth is we as a population, don’t think if we can get away with not doing so.

    Our employment now, once centred on farming and manufacture is now making coffee and answering phones. The job is drudgery and requires no thought. One coffee is the same as the next. One phone call likewise. A nation of builders, creators, farmers and people who fought for other countries are now becoming a country of semi-skilled baristas, call centre “consultants” (until they all move to India with the Telcos), and a few are left growing things and making things.

    1 in 6 jobs used to be in manufacturing. Now, from memory, that is about 1 in 22. We can’t complain, because we buy Toyotas not Holdens and Fords, we allow Great Wall cars in with almost no tariff and our fools as leaders sign the TPP and other outrages against national development.

    The narrative is not about about Labor over Liberal, and should never have been. The narrative is about where we want the country to go. Where we want the country to stand, whether we are a sovereign nation or an extra start on the flag of America. But that narrative is hidden by both sides of politics in the rush to be seen to be all things to all people.

    Anyone now, who believes politicians see getting elected now is their version of “service” is living in cloud cuckoo land, unless you are voting for the Greens or an independent. Politics is not service and hasn’t been for many years. It is a managed attempt at great expense, to be looked up to and adored by a population of mental dwarves.

  77. Stephen Tardrew

    Mars8

    Absolutely it is the height of cruelty and immorality to send these poor folk into a corrupt and impoverished country. Hun Sen’s record for corruption is appalling and their is absolutely no guarantee that these refugees will be treated fairly.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/its-time-to-name-and-shame-cambodias-corrupt-hun-sen-regime/story-e6frg6ux-1226842978727#

    And this is where we are sending refugees. Abbott is the festering sore of corruption for by supporting a corrupt regime he is complicit in corruption. His depths of depravity knows no bounds.

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