Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Love Machine

DIGNIFIED, resolute, blameless in every regard, beset by traitors, cursed by John Howard’s toxic legacy yet implacable in her commitment to truth and principle, our Prime Minister sails serenely through the pages of this weekend’s Fairfax press:

Julia Gillard has been accused of betrayal for her inability to deliver to Andrew Wilkie the promised mandatory precommitment technology on all poker machines, yet her actions are the direct result of her having been betrayed by a man who once was one of her closest advisers.
– Anne Summers, “Dice Loaded In Clubs Battle

The [footage] also captured a Prime Minister keeping her cool in the middle of sharply deteriorating circumstances, working her way through the options, mapping the entrances and exits; no hysterics, taking the inventory. (We all here? Good. Let's do this vaguely unpalatable thing then.)

If the demo showed a darker side of politics, that Gillard looked out for Abbott was a reminder of the shared values of our democracy. As they got to The Lodge, Abbott observed Parliament would be pretty tame by comparison to what they had just been through. ''All credit to the Prime Minister and her security team for getting us out…. 

Howard's greatest successes was to sell his brand of nationalism to the young, but it was not the act of a statesman since it left us with a national day that annually calls up our deepest and most abiding division. It was inevitable that sooner or later, whether by accident or design, an event like that which occurred in Canberra on Thursday was going to happen. A situation now exists which extremists on both sides can work to their advantage. 

Let us not pretend for a second that the Craig Thomson affair would be as compelling to Tony Abbott and the media if it did not involve allegations about prostitution. 

''No one's angrier than me about what happened on Australia Day,'' [Gillard] said
–Misha Schubert and Amanda Dunn, “No One Is Angrier Than Me

When an image of Julia Gillard’s fearful face, wedged beside her bodyguard, flashed around the globe, indigenous issues were at the centre of Australian politics again. Almost always, indigenous politics must touch the Canberra powerful somehow to get a hold

Gillard conducted herself with calmness, courage, humour and decency, as witnessed by her concern for the safety of her chief political foe. It was an unscripted - and unwarranted - opportunity for Gillard to show her mettle and she came through with flying colours.
– Sun-Herald editorial, “Shielding Gillard As Battlelines Are Drawn

Gillard will use an address on Wednesday as the real start to her 2012 political calendar, telling the country Labor will deliver low interest rates, low inflation and low unemployment. According to a report in The Sun-Herald today, voters will be treated to a more dignified Prime Minister, a big-picture visionary who will leave the trench warfare to her lieutenants.
– Sun-Herald editorial, “Shielding Gillard As Battlelines Are Drawn

The negative sentiments against Gillard seem more visceral and personal than with Bligh. And, unlike Bligh, Gillard has had to battle a good deal of hostility virtually from the start of her leadership.

Just when you think he can get no lower, down he goes again. Tony Abbott's boast that he would turn back the refugee boats is rank populism, a despicable play for the talkback rednecks. 

Enough cheerleading? Keep a firm grip on breakfast because here comes the
pièce de résistance. No need to read any further than the headline atop Sun-Herald analyst Stephanie Peatling’s apologia:

How I’ll Slay Abbott.*

(*Originally posted as "Beat Abbott" due to Bunyip slackness, the coffee not being ready, the Rufous Bird wanting to know why the stove is greasy and why there is no Windex. And also because Young Master Bunyip ran out of fags and took the last nicotine lozenge because he was too slack to go to the shops. Now corrected, and many thanks to commeneter AR for noticing the mistake.)


  1. Bunyip, regarding Pealting's nonsense, I think you've got the Sunny mixed up with the Silly.

  2. Well said as usual Prof but I think a great many Australians are waking up to the "love" media and their deliberate interference in the Australian political process. Now that even the tent embassy activists have voiced how they have been set up by the Prime Ministers office people generally will become much more skeptical. Gillard has a serious credibility problem and it's getting worse every week. With Slipper and Wilkie about to come back into the mix it's going to be a torrid few months.
    No amount of high grade spin and downright manipulation by John Mcternan can stop the wall of trouble coming down on her now.She is quite manifestly by now a truth fabricator even to her most ardent supporters in the ABC, Fairfax and nowadays SKy.
    It's not over for Labor but she has only months to go as PM.
    What chance Jonathon Holmes doing his job when ever he gets back exposing the worst media manipulation in years or Tony Jones bringing it up on Q and A? None
    Don't get rid of the ABC when Abbott gets in just change it by getting rid of the tall poppies and put your own in to run Media Watch starting with say Gerard Henderson , Q and A with Tim Blair. A show for Janet Albrechtson the new Insiders etc.
    Keep up the good work

  3. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.January 29, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    Her 'look at moi' moments are always to stress one point: it's all Mr. Abbott's fault. This set up was intended to be the same and the script hasn't changed. Keep doing your Gingrich on the luvvie medjia Bunyip, hit 'em without mercy. It's take no prisoners time for anyone with a brain, a commitment to journalistic standards and a public voice.

  4. I haven't commented before, content with being an enthusiastic lurker. But one with a dilemma. I've tried to reduce my Silly exposure as much as possible, but have kept a few days, because the Oz has no state news and the Tele (except the Sunday), is almost unreadable - except for the large advertisements. I've also wanted to reward the tiny moderate faction - the ones who got hold of the front page on Friday, even if the collective, as represented by Moir, polluted the interior.

    However today's Sun-Herald is the proverbial "straw". I will put up with missing out on the Tuesday, "Good Living" pages and invite Fairfax to "stick their......"

  5. The headline is "How I'll Slay Abbott", not "How I'll Beat Abbott"...

  6. I was going to mention Peatling's piece, but you had it covered. However, note this:
    Julia Gillard will stake her government's future on its economic credentials this week as she tries to put the debacle over her office's involvement in the Australia Day protest behind her.
    Amazing - only two days later the press is ready to help "put it behind her", unlike any event that is attributable to the conservatives. And they also run with "no big deal compared to the violent protests of yesteryear."
    They'll no doubt help as well during the "look at our economic credentials" phase by never mentioning the 200+ billions of debt we now have, compared to the healthy 20+ billion surplus we used to have.
    Just to remind yourself how vast even one billion is, check this entry at Catallaxy.

  7. This gut churning stuff reads like job résumés. Do they all think they're a chance to get Hodges' old job ?

  8. The ruling teenage feelgood government and their media sycophants base their strategy on two main beliefs: 1. Tony Abbott is an unelectable, cartoon-character conservative. 2. Ordinary voters are too stupid and politically illiterate to really know what they want. When the ALP and the Greens are annihilated whenever we are next allowed to vote, they should (but don't have the intelligence to) reflect on their own elitist stupidity, which will usher in at least four terms of conservative government.

  9. Ar: Thanks for the correction. It must be obvious I would never make a quality journalist, not being able to transcibe properly 'n all.

    Now fixed.