The most concerning conundrum post election is the question of why working/vulnerable people voted against their own interests to help return a right-wing government that then goes on to bust them economically and socially … and not just in this country, but with Brexit and Trumpism too, there were strange forces at play to shift opinion away from sane rationality to vociferous anger.
Why is it so?
I believe I can see an answer in the word; “Clustering” … ie; getting hold of groups of vulnerable voters and using certain cultural fears to unite/corral them against what could be seen as a long-time enemy … and then letting the natural suspicions and gossiping innuendo do the hard work of: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” and so bring another group of indecisive voters into the tent.
I would describe “clustering” as that action of where one central identifiable position of authority or person of power, through self-interest, raises opposition to a principle or ideal and because of their/its credible standing in a group or the community, can gather others around itself and using those people then up the ante in opposition to a principle or ideal and create a “cluster” of persons of credibility that acts like a magnet, drawing those undecided to what is seen as the most attractive position of strength. It is the attraction of strength that pulls in the undecided voters to throw their lot in with those they see as best supporting their personal interests as against the wider communities interests … Using this methodology, smaller, more localised groups can be targeted with a Cambridge Analytica-style concentration on most vulnerable seats or even ballot-box areas…with military precision to divide the electorate into smaller, easily managed groups.
Most of us of a certain experience in life have witnessed or even suffered such a phenomenon involving team sports, committees, work meetings etc … it is not nice and worse of all, after time and experience, one can see quite clearly when such a thing is evolving right in front of one’s eyes … Anyone watching ABC Insiders last Sunday (14/02) could see the journos’ there join in a “pile-on” against Daniel Andrews and his decision to lockdown Victoria … and then there was the discussion about low-income, casualised workers (Uber/Food delivery riders etc) getting decent conditions, with the “Newscorp genuflector” at one point giving clue to the future direction of his treasonous group in saying that (words to that effect) “these pizza delivery people are mostly migrants and overseas students whom many people would see as lesser workers” … implying a sense of racist interpretation in the general community … and sadly, going by recent events … he just may be correct … and there we see the possibility of the LNP playing a “cluster card” of one vulnerable working group – Australian local casualised workforce against an imported “457” cheap-labour section of the community … just as Howard played the “lower caste” refugees with his “children overboard” racism against the settled, secured Australian community … never mind that so many of that settled community were multi cultural already … it was the “do we want such disreputable people infecting our lovely country?” debate that won the day.
The last Federal election was also played on such grounds … the franking credits issue touched also the heart-strings of other self funded retirees … so many of whom were working people who benefitted from long term permanent employment, cheaper house prices when they bought and a solid superannuation scheme to allow them to invest or speculate on shares or property to harvest extra income to boost their retirement … indeed, some were heavily reliant on such investments as their aged pension could have been severely cut because of their superannuation amount and income from investment .. this created a cluster of self-interest among retirees that was inflamed by Tim Wilson’s geriatric Big-top circus up and down the East Coast.
Then there was The Greens’ “Adani Convoy”, where either through deliberate incitement or gormless political blundering, Bob Brown’s mob created another “cluster” of mining community members completely dropping Labor off their vote slips to insert the f#cking harridan Hanson on! … in a deluded opinion that they were protecting their long-term interests … again … clustering toward what was seen as a position of strength.
Add to the above a continual division on climate change, carbon sequestration and environmental challenges and you have a well-spring of clusters to manipulate … and with a now totally corrupt to the point of criminality Gov’t, the Sky-Channel is their limit!
There must be some psychological term to describe this clustering effect in groups, but I won’t go looking for it, satisfied as I am that I can see it in action among many bloggers and social media posters … on Twitter for instance, it is not an uncommon thing for groups to cluster to “pile on” singular identities to bludgeon them off the board … we see such moments as the “cancel culture” groups … the anti this or that groups … we saw it in spades against individuals like J.K.Rowling … right or wrong, it became an avalanche of trolling … it can verge on bullying when it becomes a concentrated force.
I personally witnessed it on another social media platform some years back where a moderator, backed by a “rising star” poster on the site combined forces to attack another person and then by “magnetic attraction” others who had no part in the discussion, joined in their cooperative attack to add their infantile opinions as little more than a background shout of noise to what became the collective howling down of any opposition …
This strange yet powerful attraction of the insecure individual to join forces with those they see as a more powerful voice that will give them, vicariously, added importance to an otherwise insignificant mumble of their own, makes for a cluster of individually weak, but collectively strong voting bloc of the undecided voters that in an election won or lost on a one-seat majority is a much sought out number.
Be warned … the next election is already being ‘war-gamed’ on what that slime-bag of newscorp pustulance; Campbell, gave away last Sunday … the playing against each other of Australian worker to immigrant worker/student … making note of the Chinese/Indian ethnicity … then the playing against trade-workers in building to cheap labour-hire imported workers, not to mention that old standby … the “overpaid indigenous community” against the long-suffering suburban white community … particularly in these times of JobKeeper/Seeker … and then of course, we have those others mentioned above …
It may become an adage worthy in replacing the old; “In numbers there is strength” … with; “In clusters, there is an election win.”
Like what we do at The AIMN?
You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.
Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!