Easter with interruptions for religious observation has certainly dampened the campaigning of both sides.
However, Saturday certainly saw a revitalised Bill Shorten but it seemed that just as he was getting on top it was Sunday.
So in the absence of a lot to write about I thought I would write a piece on scare campaigning. As is my usual practice I gather all my information and peruse it before beginning.
I always do a search on Google looking for facts to support my argument and for anything that might complement my own thoughts, or indeed, correct them.
In this instance I typed in “scare campaigns of the Liberal Party” and I was not surprised to find that the first three pages were full of links written about Coalition scare campaigns.
In this instance I wanted to show that the Liberal Party are the masters of scare so I also draw from a piece I wrote in 2016. (Albeit rehashed).
Contrary to what people may think, I believe all the scare campaigning is doing it is reinforcing the view that the Coalition is being led by negative leaders, with a destructive Ministry followed by a group of deleterious people all arguing with each other about how extremist they want to be.
The reason they find themselves in the predicament they are in is because they are guilty of the abuse of our democracy and as a result the public has said enough is enough.
We need to know that what you are telling us is the truth. We want you to reform the system so that it is transparent, honourable and reflects the fact that your interest is in us, not you. We want no more of the same old same old. You need not just restore our democracy but improve it. Change has to come.
The past 6 years has been shameful. At this election if you cannot demonstrate that you can do these things then we will come at you with baseball bats. Make that cricket bats.
Those of my vintage will well remember Robert Menzies’ “Reds under your beds.”
We are to be invaded by the red hordes from the north,” he shouted loud and clear in every election campaign he participated in.
I remember as a young boy seeing pictures on posters in trams, in the newspapers, and news shorts at the cinema with pictures depicting the communist hordes thrusting their way towards us. There were others with hundreds of Chinese rolling across Sydney Harbour Bridge in their rickshaws with guns and communist flags.
Both the Trade Unions and Labor were pursued with vigorous anti-communist slurs and scare campaigns for decades.
Tony Abbott in his tenure as both Opposition Leader and Prime Minister, on a daily basis sought to place the public in a perpetual state of shock and awe.
Remember his daily visits to businesses resulting in another deceit about a carbon tax. A Sunday roast was going to cost $100 (screamed Barnaby Joyce) and Whyalla was going to be wiped of the map. He insinuated a crisis around every corner every day. Pathetically so, without fact or reason. Yes, the Carbon Tax was going to wreck the Australian economy.
ISIS is coming to get us. And you personally. His scare campaigns were relentless dirty gutter politics. He stopped at nothing to frighten the shit out of people. It was like being on a permanent war footing.
He promoted fear like a legitimate political weapon and wielded it unapologetically.
He created a budget crisis saying that all hell was going to cut loose.
Lie after contemptible lie was told, terrifying the people into believing that the Australian economy was about to collapse.
Amazingly when they gained office we found no crisis. It was just shrill politics from a demented politician.
They had conducted a scare campaign about budget deficits and government debt, but in government Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey forgot all about it.
Make no mistake; the conservatives have been running scare campaigns for decades. Who will forget Phil Ruddock demonising Asylum Seekers always referring to them as illegals? Never in their scare mongering did they have the dignity to treat these folk as human beings.
Ruddock even told us that refugees were so evil, inhuman and violent that they throw their own children overboard. He went on to say that they were bringing diseases to our country.
Nothing was left out in their putrid zest for demonising these people.
Scott Morrison, the ‘Hillsong Christian’ at one time even went out of his way to encourage his party to be more destructive with their damnation. “Praise the Lord.”
Had Abbott continued in office their smearing of Muslims may well have reached its zenith during the election campaign. It is a scare campaign that in its longevity has shown the right of Australians to be the masters of scare.
John Howard, together with Bush and Blair with the use of blatant lies scared the world into believing that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. The consequences of the scare campaign are well known. In Australia we are constantly reminded by the right about terrorists and of course Muslims. Thanks, John.
More recently Liberal anti everything back-benchers conducted a scare campaign against the ‘Safe Schools’ legislation.
We have been told that Labor’s negative gearing proposal would wreck the property market and during the election that a Labor/Green alliance would be one of chaos.
In 2019 we have had Tim Wilson’s scare about Franking credits.
From borders to bankers the Prime Minister’s adoption of scare campaigns is straight out of the series “Yes, Prime Minister” and with the 2019 Election well underway Scott Morrison has about 5 campaigns under way simultaneously.
None worse than the latest one that the Greens and Labor have signed an agreement to, if they win, introduce an inheritance tax.
Prime Minister Jim Hacker: “Sir Humphrey, do sit down. There is a matter of great importance I wish to discuss with you.”
Sir Humphrey: “Yes Prime Minister, aren’t they all?”
Prime Minister: “What was that?”
Sir Humphrey. “Oh nothing, Sir, I have been thinking about the beginning of our election campaign.”
Prime Minister: “How on earth did you know that was what I wanted to talk to you about?”
Sir Humphrey: “Well I didn’t, Prime Minister but may I suggest a scare campaign to kick off with. Now I know you haven’t been thunderous successes.”
Prime Minister: “What?”
Sir Humphrey: “The party, Sir. I was alluding to the state of the party. Anyway if I may continue.”
Prime Minister: “Yes, yes, let’s get on with it.”
Sir Humphrey: “Well as I was saying, Sir, ideally I was thinking of a scare campaign to begin with. We are historically very good at those. However this one is a little more complicated. You see we have to entice everyone into thinking that we are the best party to manage money, which isn’t true of course, but nevertheless we tell them that just as we have many times before and they will believe it.
At the same time we tell them how well things are going and convince them that if Labor get in there will be a recession. And we do it without you mentioning the R word. Everyone else can but you deny you ever said it.
Remember, we don’t need to tell the truth. We are only trying to convince the ignorant. Scare them, no educate them. The purpose of propaganda is to make you feel good about the wrongs being perpetrated on you.
You see less-informed voters unfortunately outnumber the more politically aware. We therefore, feed them all the bullshit they need. And our menu generally contains a fair portion of untruths
And that should leave room to explain why we dumped Malcolm.”
Prime Minister: “And why did we?”
Sir Humphrey: “Because he can’t handle money.”
Prime Minister: ”But he is a multi-millionaire.”
Sir Humphrey: “Good heavens, man, life is not about what is, but what we perceive it to be.”
Prime Minister: “But, Sir Humphrey.”
Sir Humphrey: “Please don’t interrupt, Prime Minister. That wasn’t what I thought you meant at all. I know when he says something and I take it to mean one thing he has the option of saying that what I thought I heard was not what I heard at all.
You see now you are saying isn’t what I thought he said. It is only a figment of my imagination. That what I think I said was only my interpretation of what he meant. I mean, did he say what he meant or did he mean to say what he meant or was what he meant really just a perception of what he meant.”
Prime Minister: “I think I understand now, Sir Humphrey.”
Sir Humphrey: “Yes, Prime Minister, what does it mean?
Prime Minister: “If you tell enough lies people will eventually believe whatever you tell them.”
Sir Humphrey: “Bravo Prime Minister. That’s how we start our election campaign. We continue on as usual.”
Prime Minister: “Brilliant, Sir Humphrey.”
Sir Humphrey: “Yes, Prime Minister.”
My thought for the day
The Government are service providers and it takes money. A lot of it. Cutting taxes doesn’t build schools, hospitals and aged care services. It’s rather like thinking you can do something about climate change without any money.
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