First Among Equals: The Voice


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Dutton And How The Media Can Distort Things!

I read today about Peter Dutton’s department spending over $8,000,000 on spin doctors and media relations. My immediate thought was that it can’t be that hard to teach people to say that it’s an operational matter and we can’t comment.

But I guess it’s all about how you say things. I mean a recent poll suggested that 49% of Australians were opposed to any more Muslim immigration.

At least that’s the way it was spun. I don’t remember seeing the questions so for all I know the question may have been:

“Are you in favour of a temporary halt to the immigration of people of the Islamic faith until we can get the redneck racists under control?”

Then again it may have been:

“Would you be in favour of allowing Muslims from Syria and Iraq without any checks to see if they are members of ISIS?”

But that’s always been the problem with the mainstream media. They’d rather create the clickbait headline because, well, who’s going to read an article about how the NBN has announced that it’s just wasted $800 million dollars because they’re not going ahead with that wonderful cost saving measure that the Liberals announced when they were telling us about all the ways they could cut costs – and corners – and deliver us the NBN faster, cheaper and with everything we’d need for those things that the Internet can do for us like send emails and listen to music. I mean, who’s going to read an article like that? Particularly if it’s buried on Page 4. Who’s interested in high speed internet for that matter? Only those youngsters on MyFace or Witter whatever the dang thing’s are called!

Anyway, back to Peter Dutton because he’s certainly been an inspiration. I mean, if a man like him can get that far with so little in the way of personal qualities, he should inspire the rest of us to dream large.

As part of my dreaming large, I’m going to organise to ensure my energy security. Last year there was a storm and the power went out. The year before a car hit a pole down the road and the power went out. Thanks to Mr Doll and the rest of the Coalition muppets I now know that the reason for these blackouts was the solar panels on my roof, and nothing to do with the transmission lines being knocked out.

Now, I know some of you are going to be upset by me refering to the PM as “Mr Doll”. I was going to call him, “Mr Puppet” but that implies that somebody is pulling his strings, whereas the most impressive thing about the current government is that the dummy sitting in the PM’s chair speaks, and we never see any lip movement from the ventriloquist who’s actually doing the talking. Although, we haven’t heard Turnbull say: “Bottle of beer”, which is really hard to say without your lips moving.

Although not as hard to say as, “These people are not illegal” or “Renewable energy is not the work of Satan” or “We could just have a parliamentary vote on marriage equality given that’s what we’re going to do anyway”.

Well, if Mr Charlie McCarthy* says “bottle of beer” in the next week or so, you’ll know that the Liberals are reading my stuff and just trying to impress me.

*Charlie McCarthy was the dummy in Edgar Bergen’s well-known ventriloquist act. The act was most famous for its radio show. While it seems rather ridiculous that a ventriloquist act should be on the radio, that pales into insignificance when you consider that Donald Trump is still in the running to be President!


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  1. Kaye Lee

    “We could just have a parliamentary vote on marriage equality given that’s what we’re going to do anyway”

    That’s a point that should be stressed more. If we have a plebiscite, we will spend hundreds of millions and STILL have a free vote in parliament.

  2. mars08

    @Kaye Lee…. the neat thing about a plebiscite is that the government will have precise numbers on exactly which electorates support ssm. That way, Coalition members in those risky electorates will know how to vote “appropriately” in the free vote.

  3. Kaye Lee

    I am reminded of the scene in Life Of Brian where the crowd cries out “But how shall we be individuals?”

    There was an interesting article today that said Turnbull’s past taught him how to deal, not how to lead.

  4. my say

    Kaye Lee, ,A plebiscite isn’t binding ,why not have a referendum

  5. bobrafto

    I don’t think the LNP even want a plebiscite, it’s a stalling tactic and they’re hoping it will be blocked in the Senate or in the lower house.

  6. Matters Not

    we will spend hundreds of millions

    Perhaps, it’s best understood as a ‘stimulus’ measure, broadly defined. Politically, it will probably ‘stimulate’ any number of nutters who will join up to fight imaginary dragons … take your pick. Socially, it will ‘stimulate’ the divisions that are already there but are currently ‘under the covers’. (Possibly a good thing). Economically, it will ‘stimulate’ the advertising industry (forget the promised $15 million government contribution because that’s neither here nor there. The real spend will be so much greater.)

    As for the ‘marriage industry’, there will be all sorts of ‘stimulation’. (I think I should leave it there.) Too hard to theorise.

  7. stephentardrew

    Jobs and growth? Well after we have finished creaming off the top destroying the vehicle industry, manufacturing and gifting employers with our capitalist version of Work For the Dole business support program; ever rising military expenditure; the real fun stuff like torturing refugees and so on I am sure a little weeny something might be left to share amongst your plebeian selves, of course, after increasing your taxes, giving huge subsidies to industry and letting them pay little or no tax. $8 million is a small price to pay for my unending brilliance oh and, by the way, global warming sucks. See got your moneys worth already. God is great and Jesus loves you well as long as you are not a leaner. God’s great and ethical lifters do all the hard work.

  8. Peter F

    @my say: surely by now you have seen your question answered a thousand times by people who know the difference between a plebiscite and a referendum. If you want a referendum, please explain which section of the constitution you wish to have changed.

  9. Terry2

    The plebiscite :

    So, it seems we have a lazy $175 million that we don’t know what to do with and the government thinks a plebiscite would be a good idea so that we all get to voice our opinion on the LGBQTI community but just so that nobody has their nose out of joint, the government tells us that the results of the plebiscite won’t be binding on the parliament.

    So, really isn’t it just a matter of finding an alternative way of spending the $175 million. For instance, we could eliminate glaucoma from aboriginal communities once and for all: we could put it towards research into bowel or breast cancer : we could air-condition all government schools – the opportunities are endless – or we could just have an opinion poll on gay marriage.

    Come on Australia, let’s not make ourselves an international laughing stock, just get on with it !

  10. flohri1754

    Most interestingly put …. I have heard that a lot of that Dutton PR money is spent on people trolling blogs and facebook, etc., and putting out comments to support Dutton, Turnbull, the government, etc.

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