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

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September 8, 2011

Here we go again. Another ex-Labor bully boy trashing the federal Labor Government and recycling conservative talking points in the attack. It's Michael Costa in The Australian. In his Trashing the Hawke-Keating legacy where he lays the boot into Keynesian economics from a neo-liberal perspective:

It was Rudd who undermined Labor's economic credentials with his overblown anti-capitalist rhetoric and overcooked policy response to the global financial crisis. So desperate was he to avoid a small technical recession that he unleashed an undisciplined spending spree that, despite its Orwellian marketing, provided little in quality economic infrastructure. Rudd was able to manipulate the short-term quarterly aggregate economic data sufficiently to avoid a technical recession, but this manipulation has left Labor with the political legacy of programs such as Building the Education Revolution, the pink batts installation and the cash for clunkers scheme, which have become synonymous (rightly or wrongly) in the public mind with government incompetence and mismanagement.

He adds that massive spending programs, such as the National Broadband Network, have added to the perception of a clueless administration spending recklessly on frivolous luxuries that are high risk and of no immediate consequence to the real day-to-day concerns of people struggling with cost-of-living pressures and urban congestion.

I'm surprised that Costa makes no mention of "the carbon tax destroying Australia's economy" talking point, but he does add for good measure that Gillard's real NSW disease is her alliance with the Greens.

Costa's home is The Australian, the mouth piece of Australian conservatism, as he works within Murdoch's political beliefs and the ideology of News Ltd, which is conducting a high-volume and unbalanced campaign directed against the Gillard Labor government. There is a vindictive streak running through this--- Costa appears to be settling old scores?-- and this fits in with the way News Ltd routinely acts in a vindictive manner to those it designates as the enemy within. News Ltd profits from its vindictiveness.

As a result of the bully boys in the Coalition, the Murdoch press and the shock jocks there is has been an increase in the level of venom and aggression in the public discourse to the point of toxicity.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:35 AM | | Comments (4)


Conservatives may well respond, with some justification, that the vilification of Gillard is no worse than that directed at John Howard. The difference is that the contempt many of us felt and expressed towards Howard had a moral foundation, arising mainly from his willingness to use the Australian military to help wage aggressive wars and kill or immiserate millions of people. In other words the venom reflected disgust with his handling of matters of life, death and the basic human rights of actual human beings.

Criticism of Gillard on the other hand is about her competence in public administration. It seems to me bizarre that disagreements about economic management, which border on the trivial in the grand scheme of human affairs, should give rise to the same level of vicious hatred and contempt as a prime minister who sends the army to invade foreign countries and happily locks people up without trial in order to get his head patted by the American Enterprise Institute. Nevertheless I am sure that most pundits would see both issues as nothing more than 'politics' and would not be prepared to acknowledge a category difference, or even understand why others see a distinction.

Paul Kelly in The Australian has the solution for the Gillard Government's woes.

The first is to break the alliance with the Greens. Its a proven disaster and repudiates Labor's history as a great party (whatever that means).

Second it needs to reduce union links and union influence on policy for the the longer it delays the more Labor will sink.

Oh I forgot--he's calling for a new leader of the ALP as well. The new leader will make the changes above.

Paul Kelly has become a partisan shrill in his old age. His advice for the ALP is --become a right wing party. Now why would people vote for the "Liberals-Lite" when they can just vote Liberal?

Oh? Ah... um... Paul? I hope this doesn't shock you... but the ALP is already a right-wing party!

Pete Townshend had it worked out quite some time ago....

There's nothing in the streets
Looks any different to me
And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye
And the party on the left
Is now the party on the right
And the beards have all grown longer overnight

And BECAUSE the ALP has veered so far to the right, the Liberals have been forced to embrace the rabid loonies of the FAR right.