Thursday, August 23, 2012

Gillard's noise problem

Like a long marriage clearly destined for disaster, the primeministership of Julia Gillard has entered it's final year.

And perhaps I sound very presumptuous by stating it's her final year, and perhaps I'm wrong, but it's the glimmer of hope I have, and it's the only thing that let's me pay this woman any cerebral attention.

The prospect of Tony Abbott as Prime Minister, on the other hand, is truly daunting, and will probably wind back a lot of social progress in the country as we're hurled back to a plastic-fantastic conservative utopia. 

Unlike a lot of Australians and, quote 'misogynist nut jobs on the Internet', I actually don't mind Gillard as Prime Minister - Rudd, while being very steadfast and studious, had a problem connecting with the electorate.

The message was lost, and it was hoped at the time that Gillard would be more fairdinkum and able to communicate Labor's message across more clearly in a way the electorate could grasp.

Wishful thinking, and it was good only for a time.

It's hard to even fault Julia Gillard. Journalists and the Liberals cite over and over again that there would be no carbon tax under the government she leads, but the fact of the matter is, she doesn't 'lead' any government.

Especially a minority government, where you have to negotiate with all the other misogynist nut jobs that occupy your presence of person.

Tony Abbott himself probably would have been forced to do some sort of carbon pricing; the Howard government, the era he cites repeatedly, supported a carbon trading scheme, while Abbott's Liberal Party purges any progressive thought.

But all of that doesn't matter - because Gillard has a noise problem.

No matter the amount of good policy Labor helps to bring to light, such as the banning of branding on cigarette packets, the media inevitably turns its head straight back to the latest scandal plaguing Labor.

And if there's no scandal, the media will run the leadership question - which is a moot point, given that Labor has next to zero prospects of installing a new leader before the next election in about a year or so.

The cigarette packaging issue for instance garnered a few days of attention last week, but this week we've gone straight back to scandal, namely the accusation that Ms Gillard had a part in shady dealings at the law firm she worked at in the early 90s, Slater & Gordon.

The story doing the rounds is that there was embezzlement of union funds during an affair with former Victorian AWU boss, Bruce Wilson.

True or not isn't the question, and it's an issue I wouldn't pursue in a blog posting, it all comes back to a concerted character assassination upon Ms Gillard and her primeministership.

The likes of Larry Pickering, a conman cartoonist, add to a political climate with little or no manners or decorum left in a race to he bottom to somehow uproot Gillard from office.

What is the alternative they want? An Abbott government?

Listening to Joe Hockey talk economics for example is a lot like being at the circus - monkeys are swinging from the trapeze, elephants are reading Shakespeare, and there's no logic or fact, with things like the Global Financial Crisis being completely ignored.

The ideas of both major parties leaves little for the mind to differentiate any difference between them, except the fact that Labor doesn't have Ringmaster Hockey.

Being a blog that's supposed to be critical of the left, I suppose you would expect I would be more critical of Labor - that's hard to do, given that Labor actually now is basically Liberal Lite, having adopted a Howard-era Pacific Solution-like refugee policy.

In fact, a big factor at play in Labor winning the Kevin '07 election was that they moved themselves closer and closer to the right.

The differences between the big parties is few and far between - I surmise that this is why the personality of its leaders has become such a mud-slinging match, and the political debate in the media has become so personal.

For instance, gay marriage - it's a popular issue that the Greens use to grab youth political capital from Labor.

Despite Gillard being unmarried and an atheist, she still stands by the strict Catholic boys' school-type reasoning that marriage is between a man and a woman, and we don't have a hope of knowing her true opinion.

The only thing 'left' left about Gillard is union support, themselves a bunch of bonehead headbangers like Paul Howes, left wanting for relevancy.

And surprise surprise, the latest Gillard scandal involves the alleged embezzlement of union funds.

All that remains is personal attacks - Gillard is a woman open to be ridiculed by all and sundry in the media, and Abbott is the antithesis of that woman, who has little respect for women, and especially doesn't like being told by a female Speaker in the House on how to behave during Question Time.

Almost every soundbite on the telly news now is Gillard defending her leadership, or defending her position, or defending the government, or defending its policy, or defending the defence.

With all the noise, you couldn't be blamed for wearing earmuffs and paying it no attention.

I've written previously how Australians don't pay enough attention to politics, but you truly cannot blame them.

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