Victorian MLC Moira Deeming: the pretty face of…

“I can’t wait until I’m legally able to hunt you down.” This curse…

Science & Technology Australia welcomes National Reconstruction Fund

Science & Technology Australia Media Release The nation’s peak body representing 115,000 Australian…

Calculated Exoneration: Command Responsibility and War Crimes in…

Being the scapegoat of tribal lore cast out with the heavy weight…

The Voice: Remember When The Liberals Were Still…

At the moment we're witnessing the Liberal Party at their absurd best.…

Nazis on our streets: don't judge protesters by…

On some level, it is straightforward for a Neo-Nazi protest to be…

Whither Constitutional Change?

Within a very short space of time, we are going to be…

A Hazardous Decision: Supplying Ukraine with Depleted Uranium…

Should they be taking them? Ukraine is desperate for any bit of…

Murdoch's Zero Sum games: divisive propaganda meant to…

The Murdoch media drives resentment with propaganda as constant as drums of…


The Right Wing Horror Story

Before, during and after the implosion of the Abbott government, commentators have blamed this political failure on a ‘lack of narrative’. The media’s narrative of this ‘lack of narrative’ is a story about a good government who has many great ideas, but just can’t sell them to the untrusting, fickle, inattentive electorate. As someone who is studying political narrative, I can assure you these commentators have got it all wrong. The Abbott government, and the right-wing political class including the right-wing media, have a very obvious narrative to those who know what they’re looking for. Their narrative clearly describes their policies. Their narrative has been consistent across many generations of right-wingers. The snake-oil-salesmen in the Liberal Party are coherently telling this story. The problem is not, therefore, a missing narrative. The problem for the government is that voters, in the majority, do not like the story they are trying to sell. Turnbull is now trying to polish the same story, covering it in glitter. But we all know turds can’t be polished, and under eye-catching-glitter they’re still stinky turds.

Perhaps rather than telling us the Abbott government lacked a narrative, journalists could have done a better job of scrutinising the Abbott government narrative. It would have been really helpful if this had happened BEFORE ABBOTT WAS ELECTED. Anyhow, just like one of those brain twister images where you think you’re looking at a black and white twirl, but when you squint you can see a monster staring back at you, once you see the right-wing narrative, you can’t un-see it. Once you know the story, you see it everywhere. It haunts you. The right-wing story is scary. In fact, I would go as far as saying it’s a horror story.

The right wing narrative can fittingly be summed up with the tag line of a BMW advertisement: Life is not a race… said those who lost. In this narrative, the hero are those who in their mind have won the race. The race to get wealthy. The race to inherit wealth. The race for power. The race to afford a BMW. The race to climb the ladder and the race to kick the ladder away so other racers can’t climb up behind. These people live their life by the concept of dog eat dog. They see themselves as heroes for eating a dog before it eats them. No matter how advantaged they are in the race before the starting gun goes off, these right-wingers always see their own success as something they have won through merit. Not luck. Not privilege. Just because they’re born winners. And they are therefore the heroes in their right-wing narrative. But they are also the victims. Because in their scary little minds, and their narrow little worlds, they think they’re being dragged down in their quest to win the race of life by their story’s villain. I think by now you can guess who the villain is. Yep, you’ve guessed it. The weak. The poor. The sick. The uneducated. The vulnerable. The ones who think life isn’t a race because they lost. And of course, left-wingers who want to help these ‘losers’ are also part of the problem. Right-wingers think they’re the victims of these do-gooder-lefties who believe everyone in a community has a responsibility to care for everyone else. So in a nutshell the story is about right-wing heroes defending their victimised selves against the villainous losers and the losers who want to help the losers who don’t realise life is a race and that right-wingers have won the race. Get it?

Now you see the story, you realise how worn out it is. The Abbott/Hockey budget told this story, with the winners nicknamed the ‘lifters’ and of course the losers the ‘leaners’. Abbott and his government colleagues all share the values in this story. Turnbull, a filthy rich merchant banker who believes in the power of a free market to ensure the heroes keep getting richer and aren’t made into victims by villainous governments and their un-free redistribution of wealth to weak losers. Workers organising into unions to demand a fair share of capitalist profit are, in the right-wing narrative, the villains who should just shut up and worship the heroes who gave them a job in the first place. Miranda Devine has told the same story when this weekend she victim-blamed ‘unsuitable women’ for the abuse they suffer since they choose to have relationships with ‘feckless men’. Everything is the fault of the weak. The abused. The ones asking for help. You see the same story in this article describing the behaviour of Conservative politicians in the UK who join clubs of rich young men who burn money in front of homeless people.

The right wing narrative is a scary story about a community I would never choose to live in. I was not brought up to blame the disadvantaged for their predicament. And nor will I bring up my child to think our societies’ problems are the fault of the vulnerable, the disabled, the sick, the mentally ill, the poor and the abused. The rejection of the Abbott government has, I hope, proved that the majority of Australians, like me, reject this story and don’t believe that life is a race. I hope so. But either way, next time someone says the Liberal government is missing a narrative, just remember the narrative is there. It’s just not a very nice story and they know this so they do their best to keep it hidden. Don’t let them get away with it. You know the story. Call it out whenever you see it.


 561 total views,  1 views today


Login here Register here
  1. M-R

    I entirely support your condemnation of the media. They are not, by and large, worth their salaries.

  2. Robert Lane

    Love your article Victoria for this is rather precise and has helped to focus my weary mind. Thank you, regards, roblane

  3. Colin

    An excellent article Victoria, and I am resonant to your political instincts.

    You cite (& incite) some glamorous metaphors to capture the unlovely motivations – of the “right wing unpolished stinking turds” – amongst the Lieberal monsters.

    But, “clever” as these “standup comedian” phrases may be, they will be odorous to the fascist heart, and only briefly titillate the left-wing soldier. They may repel, not appeal; subvert, not convert.

    Surely it is incumbent upon us – who everyday work & delight in fine rhetoric – to be able to seduce even the most intransigent capitalist cold hearts ?

    Keep writing, but like a Matahari aiming to conquer a Mongol army !


  4. jim

    Great post firstly, when I saw the article I thought here, we go more right wing bull crap as most right wing bull in right wing MSM are. But this article are my thoughts to a tee. But, what the right wing don.t know is that 99% of us are against this “winner takes all” crap, we live in a real world not a casino, and they fail to see that “our internet” ( if it remains ours) is our best friend, the best friend of true democracy. So there is hope., only if we remain vigilant.

  5. PC

    May I have your hand in marriage, Victoria? 😀

    Simply excellent article. I’m not going to stop reading it until I know it by heart.

  6. Linda

    Wonderful fabulous article Victoria, thank you, your words fill me with joy and hope. One day soon……. we may be rid of this madness. They most certainly do not represent me, my family and friends. It’s such a pity your comments and the comments from this website don’t make it into the MSM. I guess it doesn’t fit their narrative. Keep up the good work Victoria.

  7. Florence nee Fedup

    The so called strong need to ease their consciences by believing all choose their status in life. The poor, ill and disable choose the way they liver. Poverty is their choice.

    Governments only encourage them when assistance is given.

    To them, the playing field is eve

    The way to lower poverty, is not to go give aid, but make their lives harder, forcing them into work, lifting themselves up.

    Same goes for all aid, whether local, community or global.

    The biggest problem is, they have it wrong. What they fail to understand, the poverty they shun, see as none of their business, will eventually bring them down as well.

    Massive gaps between rich and poor is not good for any economy. Is highly wasteful as far as the country go.

    The poor they say will inherit the earth. Maybe true, but before that, they will rise, take what they rightfully see as theirs.

    I think mass movement of refugees, even if they are economic sare on the move worldwide. No borders will stop them.

    World leaders know this.

  8. Kaye Lee

    A few relevant quotes…..

    “There is more to life than increasing its speed.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

    I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer. ~Jim Carrey

    “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” ~ Winston Churchill

  9. kerri

    Good article Victoria! Yes the right wing do do their best to make sure you get punished because you came last in “the lucky sperm race” to quote Jane Caro.
    The only thing I would, mmm, comment on is the right wing hatred for the uneducated.
    Yes they do hate the uneducated but at the same time they do their best to keep them uneducated. If Education were free, like Gough’s plan or Angela Merkel’s then the poor might become rich and the pie wedges may become thinner. Also the rich who simply inherit and follow the truism of “The first generation make the wealth. The second generation build the wealth. And the third generation lose the wealth” might be overtaken by educated poor people who have no right to do so! Among those who inherit wealth there is little motivation to build it. Paris Hilton anyone? It is also very easy to build make money when you have money. Twiggy and Gina?This is also why the right wing want to keep refugees out! There are few social groups more motivated to suceed than refugees. They work their butts off in ways the “born rich” cannot imagine. Mind you whilst this applies strongly to the right wing politicians and journalists who lick their boots not all wealthy people are of this mindset and many contribute to help others.

  10. Zathras

    Well put Victoria. As well as their desire to reach deeply into the pockets of as many people as they can they also want to abandon the undeserving poor to their inevitable fate and need to maintain a significant distance from them to preserve their status.

    However, the trouble with the Rat Race is that even if you win, you’re still a Rat.

    To extend your “glitter” metaphor, if society is a giant septic tank, the biggest ones tend to find their way to the top.

    Happily there are exceptions and they are the easy ones to spot. The rest are self-serving sociopaths who have their empathy circuits bypassed – probably something in their DNA.

  11. Adrianne Haddow

    Great piece of writing Victoria.
    I am in total agreement with your opinion. The non-narrative carefully conceals the real narrative.

    In the case of the coalition government policies and their attempts to weaken our rights, and muffle our voices, we can see the narrative of the true leaders of the present Australian government, the IPA.
    A limited membership of 54, including the anti heroes Gina and Rupert, writing the narrative for the future of Australia.

    Why don’t the association laws that are bringing down the bikie clubs apply to them?

  12. Itsazoosue

    Excellent article, Victoria. You have captured the right-wing mindset brilliantly.

  13. lunalava

    We live in a culture where the best economic outcome is achieved through rewarding individual (and thus collective) effort.

    Of course there are two ways of winning a race: (1) by running faster or (2) by crippling your opponents.

    The second option (crippling your opponent) can be effective in the short term but is a disaster in the medium to long term (one of the reasons for prohibiting monopolies). Liberals see the world in win-lose terms and ridicule the notion of win-win.

    The poverty of understanding of right-wing liberals mentioned in Victoria’s article will result in our first recession in 23 years (2016-17). Much of the misery caused by the government narrative will fall on the disadvantaged. Yet Liberal governments are still seen as better economic managers. Just be thankful Hockey won’t be at the helm during the recession.

  14. Pappinbarra Fox

    This is the meme: “believe everyone in a community has a responsibility to care for everyone else”
    The thing is those dirty righties just do not accept that there is a “community” – smacks of communism! Ms Thatcher said, infamously “There is no such thing as society.” It is a free for all. Arnie’s twin brother, young Danny De said “Whoever has the most when they die wins!”

    And yet … why do all those “leaning” aid agencies and charities exist? And why are they encouraged? if they do not see “good works” in helping the vulnerable, downtrodden, dispossessed of our community? What was the point of the history wars? Why go out of your way to promote awareness of the back armband view of history by condemning it and thus publicising it?
    Dirty righties? Wingnuts? You got it.

  15. Tim

    Great article. But I suspect that the voting behaviours of Many are not influenced by these sentiments / facts.

    Historically, both here and in other western democracies voters have voted on the basis of affinity most of the time. In some cases where there has been an overwhelming issue that polarises people’s opinions, they vote against their natural affinity.

    This happened at the last federal election. Labor had alienated so many by dumping someone most thought was going to be a great leader. Most people didn’t know what Rudd was actually like to work with and nobody bothered to tell them before the deed was done. They felt gipped.

    Abbott was different. Everybody new the issues with him and most people felt discomfit with his agenda, motivation and methods.

    He didn’t seem to be a team player. He always looked and sounded “out of tune “.

    I think most people now feel that Turnbull is closer to their way of thinking. He’s authentic. We know where he stands. We trust him. Of course we don’t really know these things: they are beliefs that the average person has about Turnbull: beliefs that have been carefully nurtured by Turnbull.

    To believe is to hold onto a notion regardless of empirical evidence or facts.

    Affinity is achieved when a leader aligns their statements and actions with the beliefs of people. Whoever wins the next election, it will have nothing to do with facts. It will be a question of affinity.

    The average Aussie will vote based upon who they think is most closely aligned with their beliefs: the person ( not party ) to whom they feel the closest affinity.

    Talk of “elites” ( from either side ) will not help. No Australian would admit to themselves or others any affinity with an elite.

  16. JohnB

    An interesting article re the cause of the ‘Horror’ at The Conversation.
    Creative Self Destruction
    Corporate governmentality:
    “…Governments fall over themselves to laud corporations as ‘wealth creators’ who must be allowed to get on with the job (political donations help oil the wheels of that machine too), even if the job in question is killing our world….”

  17. Florence nee Fedup

    I can’t think of any corporation, even in this time of automaton makes money without labour.

  18. Andrew

    What a load of stereotypical BS. You actually believe right wing politics is about blaming the poor and disadvantage, wow, you really need to stop being sheep and do some actual research. The lefts policies do so much more to hurt the poor and disadvantaged, but you lot are to blinkered and IQ deranged to work that out, you might start by asking yourself why the poor continually get poorer under left wing govt’s, if there policies are so good for the poor.

  19. Möbius Ecko

    Andrew you would have the data to back that up?

  20. mars08

    Oh what? Wait a second…. we had left-wing govt(s)….? Really? Nooooo….! When did THAT happen? Why weren’t we told?

  21. The AIM Network

    but you lot are to blinkered and IQ deranged to work that out,

    Your spelling suggests you might be in that category too.

  22. Wayne Turner

    Spot on article. The right wingers believe the “just world fallacy”,is NOT a fallacy at all,but in fact reality and real.They see the world in a simple black & white view.Where EVERYTHING that happens is based on “merit”.Except of course hypocritically when bad things happen to them,it’s “someone/s else’s fault” eg: Tony Abbott blaming others for him getting the boot from his own party.NOT himself at all.

    They believe this because they are selfish,arrogant,hypocritical,and delusional.

  23. Paddy Forsayeth

    A very good article. However, the problem is that there is no political mechanism for society to take back from the rich which rightfully belongs to everyone. I heard on the ABC that 10% of the taxpayers contribute 50% of the tax revenue. I don’t know if it is true but the statement does not address the underlying wealth distortion. If the rich were made to pay a bit more (percentage wise) than the average Joe Blow they would bleat that their tax rate was “unfair”. Perhaps, from the taxing point of view. However what is never debated is that whatever tax rate under 90% is applied to them, they still have a large net income compared with the rest of us. If Gina Rhinohide paid 90% income tax she would still take home thousands more than I. (Though as I write she probably has a ‘pitiful’ personal income.) Society must take excessive wealth from excessively rich individuals and it won’t be through fiddling with the tax system. Needless to say the Libs certainly won’t do it and the Labor party wouldn’t dare! As I have pondered this problem over many, many years I get a better understanding of the indignation of the French masses during the Revolution. The europeans took centuries to peel the fingers of the clerics from the levers of power. I wonder how long it might take to prevent the hands of the rich from pillaging the common wealth.

  24. Mary Mary Quite Contrary

    Andrew! Good point on your last phrase re Labor. Though hard right Conservatives want an American style Extremist’s Capitalism world where the private sector dictates. We almost have that here now. Many of the wealthy align themselves with Liberals thinking because this suits them. These people may have worked hard for their money or they either come into the dough. Some just want to keep making more and more. They become addicted to their wealth because of their fear and greed. We do live in a society/community. Most conservative thinking people seem to vote for the Liberals and they come from all walks of life. Though; they seem to lack trust in their fellow man.

  25. Mercurial

    Devine actually accused those ‘unsuitable’ women of consorting with those ‘feckless men’, Victoria, and breeding abusers. Which is even nastier.

  26. ronnie ross

    Victoria, your article is brilliant.
    Is it at all possible to have your permission to share it on my Facebook page?
    Again thank you for an intelligent piece, it describes what is happening in an easy to read form. Bravo!

  27. The AIM Network

    Go for it, ronnie.

    There is a Facebook button (for sharing) below the article.

  28. Rob Morgan

    Really helpful piece explaining the narrative, and the model that underlies it. I’ve found it very difficult to understand the basis of how the so-called ‘adults’ look out on the world – the model that they use to structure their thinking. I suspect that my difficulty has its roots in assuming that all of us, of whatever persuasion, would want the same basic outcomes – a just and healthy society for all.

    Another useful comment popped up this week regarding the Miranda Devine article – around the way that people of this persuasion are able to rationalise that all oucomes are justified consequences. For example, that unemployment benefits create unemployment. A very informative insight that explains much about Hockey’s first budget, and also the ongoing beliefs in this government, as you’ve pointed out.

    The ultimate challenge for me, personally, us to find a compact counter-narrative that’s brief enough to be used in comment responses to try and dislodge some of these harsh and, frankly, cruel attitudes. The ultimate challenge is to try and reach those who use the phrase “do gooders”. They’ll usually mention “the left” as well, but it’s the rationalisation of care and concern as a pathetic weakness that seems to be the root cause of this entire malaise, and sickness of thought.

  29. Almost Fit

    This is a good article. However, I don’t think it explains why so many people with low incomes vote for right wing parties.

  30. whatismore

    Thanks Victoria-you have rightly touched on the media’s role in the “Horror Story”. It would be interesting to read more of the role of the media in Abbott’s ascendency. They now distance themselves from him with the excuse he was a brilliant LOTO. Had his lack of policy (not budgies) been exposed he would have been unelectable. They have moved on now to their new messiah , MT.

  31. Florence nee Fedup

    Almost, The only conclusion in could be when we moved to Willoughby in the late 1950’s. Neighbor’s, father PS Low paid in those days. Front sitting room only one properly furnished. My mother labelled then bread and butter toffs. Would bees if could bees.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here

Return to home page
%d bloggers like this: