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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

Karl Rove + the Big Miners « Previous | |Next »
July 2, 2010

David Bromwich in his review in the New York Review of Books of Karl Rove's Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight quotes Rove and then comments:

“To be successful,” he [Rove] explains, “an attack must be perceived as both fair and relevant, backed with credible evidence, and launched at the right time.” The half-truth here is “credible evidence.” Rove means evidence that only appears credible, evidence that sprays fast enough and drips far enough to resist removal from the popular mind even when the whole truth comes out later on.

The Big Miners campaign against the Rudd Government's emissions trading scheme and RSPT is an illustration of Karl Rove's point about dirty tricks.

The miners evidence--about the collapse of mining and sovereign risk--- only appeared credible, but it sprayed fast enough and dripped far enough to resist removal from the popular mind even when the whole truth comes out later on. There was no sovereign risk.


No doubt the "credible evidence" in conservative political history will barely mention what is left out---the truth of the matter--as they seek to undermine Gillard's political fix that has cut the ground underneath the Coalition's partisan bloodlust and attack on the RSPT.

There is no concern for fostering democracy or public discourse here by those on the Right defending their own self-interest.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 5:26 PM | | Comments (5)


You forgot to mention News Ltd's partisan attacks on the Rudd Government's 'greenthink’, ‘meddling policymakers’ and political correctness in the name of 'freedom for corporations'. News Ltd are about settling scores and left-liberal-baiting just like Rove as they foster a peculiar brand of English cultural conservatism with its themes about the tyranny of the anti-junk-food crusade’, public smoking bans, and the banning tobacco advertising.

Yes most public discourse is built on half-truths and outright fictions. People are solemnly discussing the latest deal with the mining companies as if it's already in force, when of course we have no idea what legislation will end up passing through the parliament (if any). If the Libs and Greens oppose it in the Senate (for different reasons) it may well go the way of the ETS.

I'm still waiting for a coherent response from the government to the Henry Tax Review. I suspect I'll be waiting a long time.

I agree re your observation that we will be waiting a long time for a coherent response from the government to the Henry Tax Review.

The reformist credentials of the Gillard government are looking shaky already. They've definitely been outsmarted around mental health by the Abbott coalition, even though the money spent on mental health is going to come from cuts elsewhere in the health budget (ie., to e-health and primary care). It does however, represent a restructuring of Australia’s mental health system, away from acute care and late intervention, and towards a focus on youth and early intervention.

The government left itself wide open to the Coalition's attack, as it stalled on the mental health issue, with its vague, but empty promises and recycling programs dating from the Howard era as its own. The word is that, for some strange reason, the government has displayed an increasingly hostile and dismissive attitude in public encounters with mental health advocates. Why, I'm not sure.

It's the same for community based aged care--ie., health care for the elderly in and near their homes wherever possible, with a major investment in community nurse practitioners.

I think Peter S Stock rightly anticipates a more conscious and direct attack on the Greens from all other colours of the political spectrum.
The other posts remind me that there is a sense that Labor has gone tepid with what was once the jewel in its crown, social policy.
The same odd mentality demonstrated in the obsessive pursuit of "class tables", designed to weaken teacher influence could be theatre for the mortgage belt, or genuine Thatcherism by stealth.

I fear that what starts as theatre for the mortgage belt can easily turn into Thatcherism by stealth.