I have been greatly bemused by the instance from the Gillard cheer squad that Gillard’s misfortunes are all down to the hostile media in the thrall of both Rupert Murdoch and Gina Reinhardt they insist that even the ABC has become an instrument of the evil right wing conspiracy to oust their heroin(e) from the lodge. Gillard’s low standing is , they insist all because nothing she does is reported clearly and honestly without the efforts of the evil media overlords. Its desperate ranting the most of it and full to the brim with denial of the simple fact that we are being governed by the worst administration on living memory. It is a party that has lost every shred of its dignity and I just can’t help but think that Gillard is working from precisely the same script as the one that was so diligently used by the unlamented Anna Bligh.
Like Bligh we have had the economic incompetence (who can forget Labor’s billion dollar stuff up of the Nurses pay system? ) and the undignified attempts to smear an ascendant opposition leader. None of which resulted any rise in the standing of the incumbent, if anything media stunts like Gillard’s “misogyny speech” only spoke positively to the most devoted of her acolytes the rest of the nation just went “ho-hum” and wrote it off as more undignified whining. The very final act of desperation form Bligh, in interlay begging the voters not to give Campbell Newman too much power worked so well for Labor that in opposition they have been reduced to a mere eight seas in the Queensland parliament and total irrelevance to the political process here.
Federally that is the prospect that Labor faces as well, to be frank I thought until recently that federal Labor might just fare better that Bligh at the next election but now I think otherwise. They seem likely to loose most of not all of their seats up here in Queensland, Rudd may be the exception because he has done a rather effective job of self promotion, Swan on the other hand is widely derided for his incompetence and I don’t think that he can survive the swing to ride the roundabout of opposition, why would eh want to anyway? If he were to hold his seat I don’t think it would be long before he found an excuse to retire from politics even though the seat would likely be lost in a subsequent by election.
Then we have the joys of western Sydney that Gillard has been partaking of during the last week, boy what a great success that has been for Labor Julia Gillard and her minders have managed to get just about every thing arse about as Mungo MacCallum points out:
It is hard to believe with hindsight, but Julia Gillard’s safari to the western suburbs of Sydney was not really such a bad idea.
After all, this is – or at least has been since time immemorial – Labor territory, and in the present circumstances it needs a bit of tender loving care. It may be too late; the patient may be beyond recovery. But Gillard had to make the effort.
And if it was always going to look more like campaigning than governing, to quote her own rather artificial distinction, well, so what? Given that Tony Abbott has done nothing but campaign for the past 40 months, she can hardly be blamed for playing a bit of catch-up.
The mistake was to confuse campaigning with slapstick. Almost the only good thing that came out of last week’s fiasco was that it made the perfect scenario for a textbook on how to lose friends and influence people – to vote against you. It must have taken real dedication to cram so many errors, gaffes and downright embarrassments into a single expedition.
Even the normally sympathetic Fairfax press this morning ran a piece by Alan Stokes that can only be described as the cold hard light of reality reminding the Age faithful that Life under an Abbott government will not be the sum of all of the Latte sippers fears as the left’s denailists have repeatedly insisted:
Amid all the scaremongering, it’s easy to forget this: Labor and the Liberals tussle mostly over the middle ground. Most government decisions emerge from consensus or compromise between two fairly similar world views. Cynics might even say modern politics is all about power and not world views anyway.
Still, the measure of a caring nation is how it treats its most vulnerable. So we cannot ignore the dangers of changing to Abbott. But we can be realistic. The awkward reality for middle Australia is usually that what’s lost on the political roundabout is gained on the swing.
Australia now also effectively will have a press licensing system. Any media outlet not signed up to a government-endorsed media regulator will lose journalistic privileges such as exemptions from privacy laws.
This will force media groups that are not presently members of bodies such as the press council to join, and is a powerful threat to existing members that they must not leave. It will be virtually impossible to run a media outlet in Australia without being under the supervision of government-appointed bureaucrats.
The last time that media outlets were subject to press licensing in the English-speaking world was 1693. What was too tyrannical for the English in the time of William and Mary is apparently acceptable in 21st-century Australia.
I can’t for the life of me imagine that Conroy’s scheme will be anything other than a distraction rather in the mould to the Gay marriage push of recent memory. In one sense its clever politics to push this issue because its bound to raise the passions of the devoted to Gillard crew and help cement that siege/victim mentality about the “MSM” however for the general public it will be even more evidence of a government a drift in a sea of its self made troubles. The requirement for the endorsement of the Greens and Independents means that Labor can float this grand scheme, have it shot down by Oakshott, Wilkie or Windsor and still claim that they have “tried their best” to the faithful while not having to deliver on what is a rather bad idea. For those of us who are fans of the game its a totally transparent play and even if by some confluence of political(bad) luck Labor does mange to get this up it has no chance of surviving a change of government. So its futility is very clear indeed.
None of this will add to the dignity of the Labor party and without some dignity no amount of stunts and political manoeuvring will save the Federal Labor Party from a rout of Queensland or West Australian proportions. Will Gillard realise the futility of her position and seek the good grace that she has squandered with the likes of her misogyny speech, or will we see an ever changing parade of more desperate nonsense like Conroy’s announcement yesterday? Going on the Labor record I expect the latter.
- Life under Abbott: don’t panic (theage.com.au)
- PM attacks ‘vicious and personal’ (smh.com.au)
- ALP ‘faces massacre under Julia Gillard’ (bigpondnews.com)
- Labor leadership – it’s not just about September 14 (crikey.com.au)
- PM has to go, urges Rudd camp (smh.com.au)
- PM announces election (smh.com.au)
- Attacks on PM ‘vicious and personal’ (theage.com.au)
- Public heckle Gillard in parliament (dailytelegraph.com.au)