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

Liberals call the shots « Previous | |Next »
February 18, 2011

I'm in Melbourne attending a funeral and family matters, so blogging is light. I reckon Waleed Aly made the right call on both Immigration spokesman Scott Morrison's attack on the Gillard Government flying relatives to the asylum seeker funerals and Cory Bernardi, Abbott's parliamentary secretary, strident attack on Islam-as a totalitarian political and religious ideology whose adherents seek to upend Australian traditions.


Grattan, by contrast, see the surface play of politics. Aly said that Morrison:

was prosecuting a very clear, honed, persistent line of attack. This was simply the logical extreme of what the Coalition has been urging all along: that the government is soft on border protection and addicted to wasteful spending.So when the government spends money on something even remotely compassionate towards asylum seekers, the talking points write themselves. It's a matter of narrative, and the Coalition's narrative is clear and relentless. Every opportunity will be seized, every news story bent into shape until it fits the script.

Spot on. The appeal is to the hard right. The inference Aly draws from this, that Australian politics is overwhelmingly being argued on the Coalition's terms, within the confines of the Coalition's narrative, is also spot on.

I agree with Aly that the Coalition's narrative is succeeding in that the wasteful spending charge has purchase, as have the associated debt and deficit attacks; and that at no point has the Gillard government decided emphatically not to play on the Coalition's terms and to craft an alternative story.

He's dead right.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 7:15 PM | | Comments (15)


Gary... I hope you're not suggesting that Gillard should show some courage... and actually try to LEAD the country????

My goodness, that's crazy talk!

courage +rat cunning

The politics of immigration and border security ---- race and culture---have been all political upside for the Liberal-National Coalition for a decade or more.

The dog-whistle is to the millions of Australians who are against asylum seekers getting any sort of break.The Coalition has been very good at getting the desired political message----anti-Muslim, anti-asylum seeker, anti-immigration and anti-foreign aid---out to their one nation base.

The Coalition's message is that multiculturalism has obviously failed as it has encouraging Islamic separatism that results in no go urban areas. The Muslims refuse to integrate whilst Islam is a totalitarian political and religious ideology.

The Coalition's message gets it's traction from the ignorance and fear of our fellow citizens. The Coalition message is consistent, loud, unambiguous and very simply worded. It's black and white (no pun intended) so it is easy to absorb.

As for the over-hyped asylum seeker "issue"...Labor could at least try to counter this ignorance and wind down the fear... but then it risks weakening it's support in western Sydney and among the fickle bogans. And, clearly, we can't have that!!!

Yep, pretty obvious that the political agenda in this country is fixed by the opposition and not the government.
By the 'opposition'I am referring to the mass media, the lobby groups and the official mouth piece of such the COALition parties.
In that order of importance I would suggest.

Labor made the right call asking Abbott whether he supported discriminatory immigration policies. They switched the topic from asylum seekers and Muslims to the bigger topics of discrimination and immigration, which the Libs can't fight. Right through the dog whistling Howard years the rate of immigration went up and up. The Libs wouldn't want to have to talk about lowering immigration to make all of that go away.

If anyone in the ALP has any brains they'll understand the impact of cute little asylum seeker kids faces on public opinion. A few more minutes footage of nicely dressed, well fed, healthy and obviously loved by their parents kids, and even people like Andrew Bolt would have to leave it alone.

Yes, all that waste of precious paper space by Grattan, merely to eliminate the possibility Bishop as a candidate- and Bishop is the only one of them half sane enough or electable enough for adult consideration (yes not saying much, I know). They need a centrist, the others are discredited all ready, but the thought of a half literate presentable female is beyond their comprehension?
A closet crush on Abbott, btw, Ms Haversham, judging by that column.
The opposition have not the wit or imagination to identify a real issue if they fall over one, so are reduced to adhominem straw-person politics even against a government as mundane as the Gillard one.

Even in well-heeled urban areas people are against migrants/refugees who are pretty picky about what sort of assistance they will accept. There are stories of them sitting tight until they get Ministry of Housing accommodation forcing low income Aussies to remain in the private rental market for more years paying market rents rather than rents capped at a quarter of their income.

Demonising migrants gets state ministry of housing off the hook for failing to provide more social housing. Currently social housing is 8% of housing stock.

Does any thinking private landlord want to house the lowest income tenants who can be realistically expected to default on 6 rent payments per annum? Once in, the rent board won't throw them out.

Would like to see some liberal leadership rather than small minded reactionary balance budget, reduce deficit talk that is guaranteed to plunge our economy into deepest recession.

there is a dumbing down of political debate based around rehearsed lines and moronic slogans. It's all about marketing messages these days. I don't bother to watch the interviews and debates on tv anymore.

politics is largely about marketing-selling a brand to consumers

Its a pity politics has been reduced to marketing a brand to disillusioned swinging voters.

I prefer my politics to be visionary rather than mindless hatred that can too easily descend into disgraceful abuses of human rights

No doubt, some will think I'm being elitist... but I'd rather look at it as being idealist. The following quote is as true here as it is anywhere in the world...

"As democracy is perfected, the office of President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron." ~H.L. Mencken, 1920

Lyn's coment about how the media demonizes the boat people is quite true. If the kiddies on the boats were the focus rather than the men there would be a different mood in the community perhaps.

An Ad agency solution would be...
Right! we need 2 christian missionaries in a boat landing on the beach with 40 muslim children.

Would we get two missionaries for forty Christian white aussie kids, for that matter?
Assuming this missionary position, could we suggest the topic that, "if it's ok for white kids why not others"?
The opposition has played politics just a little bit sick, Poirot thinks, with a latest emphasis of the earlier crudities in suggesting that refugee numbers actually be cut.