Monday, February 25, 2013

News to me

Labor waltzed into Government at the end of 2007 - because little Johnny had overstayed his welcome.

The nation welcomed the change - which was widely viewed as the beginnings of a moderate, progressive and social democratic - Labor government.  It was a refreshing change after 11 long years of conservative class-war, fear and war-mongering and other nonsense.  Kevin and the people seemed to get on famously.  I suspect they still do.

But Kevin and his colleagues didn't get on quite so-well, which is why Labor's "faceless men" boned him and replaced him with Julia in 2010.  That worked OK for about a day and a half and has been seen as a big mistake ever since.  Most of us still don't know why it happened and no-one "in the know" seems interested enough to enlighten us.

All of which is why Labor is headed for the knackers yard on September 14th.  Now I know that none of this is news.

But this is - or at least it is news to me.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has recently addressed the National Conference of the Australian Workers’ Union in Brisbane - and here is some of what she had to say.

I come here to this union’s gathering as a Labor leader.
I’m not the leader of a party called the progressive party.
I’m not the leader of a party called the moderate party.
I’m not the leader of a party even called the socialist democratic party.
I’m a leader of the party called the Labor Party deliberately because that is what we come from.
That is what we believe in and that is who we are.

As I said - news to me and I suspect news to a lot of other Australians.

By my reckoning those six sentences have probably alienated more than a quarter of what was once known as the Labor base.  It's not every day that you will find a political leader who will go out of their way to tell many of their supporters to piss off that they are no longer welcome.  It just boggles the mind.

Where are the Democrats and the Greens when you need them?

PS - Another take here.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Trivial Pursuit

I personally find the *whole* national conversation around our polity to be incredibly lightweight and full of bullshit.

We already know that our "world class media" trivialise and distort everything - their main job is to get us to focus on celebrity and sport and if that doesn't work then they amplify the most god awful crap that goes on in and around our polity.  I mean, how does pap like QandA add value to the national conversation?

The politicians themselves are all about obfuscation and diversion and illusion.  They pretend to be dealing with the big issues but they never mention them  or ask our opinion at voting time.  All the real issues are decided in secret behind closed doors -  because they don't trust us to have an adult conversation about them - or because we might insist on doing something that is in the national interest instead of the interest of some corrupt political party.

Just about all voter interaction with politicians involves trivia.  Meanwhile having successfully diverted our attention, they are up to their ears in this nonsense.

And I don't think that anyone should imagine that it is just one side of politics that is corrupt.  Just because one side is being exposed this week doesn't mean that the other is squeaky clean

We have a unique opportunity this year to fix it once and for all.  It's simple really - all it requires is a little bit of thought followed by some action.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Apparent wind

Apparent wind is the wind "experienced" by people when they are situated on a moving object.  It's calculation is complicated and error prone - details here.

In a similar manner apparent popularity of a political party is that "experienced" by people in close proximity to a marketing bubble.  It's calculation is also complicated and error prone.

And the apparent popularity of a political party - is readily manipulated by those folks who are self interested in capturing eyeballs or inserting their hands into your wallet.

Which is why this is the best source for political analysis.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The marketeers are winning

Australians are very susceptible to marketing.  If something has flashing lights, is shiny and new and makes a lot of noise - then we will usually lust after it.  Particularly if it costs too much and the bloke down the road has one.

I only know this by looking at the vast numbers of new vehicles on the road and the proliferation of McMansions out there in suburbia.

Oh and the apparent popularity of the Liberal Party.

Just about the only thing going for the Liberals is their marketing message.  Their chief marketeer gets on the idiot box every day and tells us all what a broken government we have and how his government will be so much better ;-)

No facts of course - just marketing and BS and a leg up from our complicit media.  And it works a treat.

Yesterday the Liberals environment marketeer got a free pass on ABC 24.  I am pretty sure that not one actual fact managed to escape his lips - as the pretty talking head who was supposed to be moderating - looked on and nodded and nodded and nodded with approval.  FFS.

And on Twitter and elsewhere there is a raging debate about the economic credentials of our government and the opposition.  Andrew Leigh outlines the facts here.

But none of that matters a zloty because the rusted-on conservatives just *know* that our government is no good with money.

When the conservative marketeers say "Labor is high taxing" - that is what the rusted-ons believe - no matter what the facts show.

And if the *facts* are pointed out to them - then they avoid referencing them at all.

If forced to read or listen to those *facts* - then they denounce them as fraudulent or otherwise unreliable.

Because this little game has nothing to do with *truth* or *facts* - it is all about a "batshit crazy" belief that has been created by the marketeers.

Which is why I have a bridge to sell you.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Here's the deal

OK Australian politicians and your media acolytes - here's the deal.

If you lot run a clean campaign and tell the truth to the Australian people - ensuring that the best team wins on September 14th - then we the people will accept the result and recognise the legitimacy of the next government.

But if you keep up with the lies and deceit and manipulation that has been characteristic of the past three years then you should expect a different outcome.

Now I can't speak for everyone - but there are many Australians who are very disappointed with your behaviour and attempts at manipulation of the "Low Information Voter" - particularly around the following issues;

* Asylum seekers are not illegals and they are entitled to our protection.  We don't want you to spend billions incarcerating them overseas.

* Climate Change is real and a market based "emissions trading scheme" is the best way to deal with it.  That debate is done.

* Households are not governments - and your personal debt and currency use is not the same as that of a currency issuer.  Get used to it.

* Australia is a low taxing nation - relative to our peers - and you can't disguise that fact.

* Australia's economic performance has been pretty good relative to the rest of the world - for at least the past 5 years.  Acknowledge it.

* Most Australians are not racist, bigoted or pig ignorant - and we resent you depicting us as such with your approach to politics.

So at the very least you can expect some "civil disobedience" if you persist.  Who knows where that could lead.

It is all in your hands Ms Gillard and Mr Abbott.  Don't say you weren't warned.