Philosophical Conversations Public Opinion Junk for code
parliament house.gif
Think Tanks
Oz Blogs
Economic Blogs
Foreign Policy Blogs
International Blogs
Media Blogs
South Australian Weblogs
Economic Resources
Environment Links
Political Resources
South Australian Links
"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

business as usual « Previous | |Next »
August 7, 2008

At last the Australian's We Heart Costello push seems to be petering out. Content on the topic has dwindled from saturation to Dennis Shanahan prevaricating over the thing with a gesture each way. On one hand, Pete will take the job if it's offered nicely, or he'll challenge anyone who challenges Brendan (read Malcolm), but on the other hand, the only gossip to report is that Pete's no more interested now than he's ever been. Darn. And it was all looking so promising a few days ago.

Graham Young quite rightly points out that it's all a bit late now.

If Costello takes the job now it won't make any difference to the outcome of the next election, which will be won by the Labor party. As the Liberal Party rarely rewards leaders for losing, that will see Costello off for good. So Labor gets two wins - the one they would have had, and added to that Costello is taken out for good.
And if he doesn't become leader they still win, because Nelson will probably do worse than Costello would have.

Paul Keating will probably be as disappointed as Glenn Milne to find it was all a media beat up, given the opportunities it would have provided for colourful comment:

KERRY OBRIEN: The, I noticed at the launch today you called Peter Costello a clod hopper.


So now that that's pretty much out of the way, what will the highly respected heart of the nation do with itself until Brendan gets back? They can hardly spend time and space giving Malcolm Turnbull oxygen.

Back to the same old grindstone it seems, trying to recruit climate change into the culture wars domain and trashing the Enlightenment in the process. Janet enlisted the services of her favourite coloured person for the purpose, as well as Frank Furedi, who's been deploring the moral decline of The West for years now. Cue a column from Furedi explaining how this moral decline makes us all unhappy and it's the fault of education departments everywhere.

It kind of makes you wish there was some substance to the Costello thing. At least that gave them something else to do for a while.

| Posted by Lyn at 2:45 PM | | Comments (21)


Who cares about Costello? He's so yesterday. He can be found on yesterday's papers even though he reckons he' free to sing his own song any old time. His retro song is 'I wanna be your man', done in a crooning style. For The Australian it is a now a situation of sitting and watching as tears go by as the children play in the evening of the day. Poor conservatives.

I guess the book will be boring. Costello ain't going to trash Howard is he?

Costello ain't no riverboat gambler on the River Murray Queen. He don't have gambling in his veins.

Clod Hopper Pete is going to fade away unloved. He never was the little red rooster of the Liberal Party

Poor obsolete Costello,
he's so out of time, poor discarded baby. And he thought that he was the first in line.

who wants yesterdays papers?

Have you seen Costello standing in the shadows all alone mumbling a song about how the Liberal Party adores me. I have. In Melbourne's back lanes. The Liberal Party's current song is that 'We love You' and they hope that he loves them too. Fat chance.

Poor Costello.It's been a political life unkind. And he thought that he was a Dandelion who told no lies and was so wise.

Furedi writes:

In recent years consumerism has acquired negative connotations. Numerous cultural commentators including Clive Hamilton argue that it leads to acquisitiveness and greediness, and that it makes people depressed and unsatisfied. Consumption is frequently represented as a threat to the environment and the argument of the happiness crusade about shifting focus from economic wealth to spiritual wellbeing converges with the prevailing ethos of restraint. The sacralisation of happiness is boosted by the growing tendency to idealise the environment. Finally, the happiness crusade can draw on the cultural resources provided by Western society's obsession with psychology and therapy. In a world where the problems of society are continually recast as that of individual psychological deficits, the goal of happiness acquires a redemptive character.

He doesn't seem to understand that utilitarianism, Australia's public philosophy, has as its goal happiness. The core rule/criterion of the utilitarianism to evaluate good from bad is the greatest happiness of the greatest number.

nope Costello reckons he's the jumping jack flash of the Liberal Party.

the street fighting man of the LIberal Party. That is why they love him so.

trouble is the love of the Liberal Party is like water in the Murray River --it's here, then gone. It pays to have no expectations even though we all need someone to lean/ bleed on, when we are looking for a bit of coke and sympathy.

poor Peter. He's just going to fade away.

But wouldn't he make a great premier of vitoria.

"In recent years consumerism has acquired negative connotations."

He's rejigging Durkeim to fit climate change and self help manuals.

Furedi seem to be rejigging utilitarianism of neo-classical economics as a religion with his talk of "happiness crusade", "sacralisation of happiness" and "redemptive character". Is that Durkheim as well? I thought that he was about religion holding society together.

Furedi writes:

But probably the most important driver of the happiness movement is the powerful mood of moral disorientation that prevails in Western societies. Western culture finds it difficult to give meaning to everyday experience through a language that clarifies what is good and bad or right and wrong. Such a mood of disorientation continually creates a demand for meaning. Layard understands this, which is why he says: "Clearly, I am talking about a movement of moral reform."

Religion has faded and secular Australians have utilitarianism to help them sort out what is right and wrong.The bit about the meaning of what we do is given by happiness.

Furedi continues:

However, it is not so much a moral as a moralising project. The triumph of this movement will not be based on the growth of moral conviction but on the successful application of techniques of behaviour management. Policymakers rely on the institutionalisation of cognitive behavioural therapy, rather than on the clarification of the moral challenges that face us, to make us happy.

Once again the techniques of behaviour management arise out of utilitarianism ---ie Jeremy Bentham.

Durkheim was on about the importance of religion for providing moral guidelines. He worried about normlessness. the stuff about the moral decline of western society is very Durkheim, but he thought that the pursuit of stuff and gadgetry which replaced morality was bad. For Durkheim the pursuit of happiness or a sense of belonging via new and shiny things was pointless and ultimately disappointing.

Furedi's also arguing that we need a strong moral compass, but he's not about to attack consumerism. Same argument, different enemy. If only we'd all quit being relativists and fashion victims we'd rediscover the great moral wellspring that is, what, consumerism? Modernity? It's a circular argument. But if it's either circular or dialectic, and you're a conservative, you have to take circular.

Labor got slapped in the N.T. They will still maybe get up but it is a huge swing.

got slapped? They've been nearly dumped!

Sorry I meant "Bitch slapped" thats far worse than an ordinary slapping.
So the caravan moves on to W.A now. Predictions anybody?