Most of you will remember the iconic show Hey, Hey It’s Saturday. The powers that be at Chanel Nine tried to exhume it a few years back. Anyhow it used to have a popular segment called “Wot Cheeses Me Orf!”. It’s so sad that this expression has been lost to the vernacular but I digress. This post is about something that has been “cheesing me orf” like a round of King Island bree left out in the sun. That is the woeful state of political discourse in this country. I think by and large our political discussion has always been pretty bad but these days its a race to the bottom with the spin cycle and social media. Complex issues get reduced to sound bites and slogans are repeated ad nauseum. I wouldn’t be surprised if I was caught muttering “Stop the boats. Stop the boats and move Australia forward” in my sleep.
As you are painfully aware 2013 is an election year and we the Australian public may as well have “Treat Me Like A Moron” permanently stamped upon our foreheads. We’d better batten down our collective intelligence as its about to take a hammering. I consider myself to be a swinging voter ( but I don’t mean in the get naked with a bunch of strangers sense). I believe that many of the traditional distinctions between Liberal and Labor are losing relevance and I would like to make an informed and balanced decision based on the issues at hand. Sadly its almost impossible to find impartial commentary in our media landscape. The Murdoch press clearly have an anti labor agenda. The tabloid rag employs hacks like Miranda Devine, Andrew Bolt and Piers Ackerman specifically to inflame rather than add anything constructive. They are the print equivalent of shock jocks. The broadsheet The Australian is just as bad except it uses bigger words and throws in some international content which is not celebrity or sports related. Fairfax by contrast, are rusted on Labor and the ABC (as much as I love Aunty) can not shake off its leftist leanings.
Social media should be a brave new frontier where the “voice of the people” filters upwards. Instead I find crap like this coming through my Facebook feed.
Ms Gillard is attacked over her personal life and religious beliefs. Déjà vu anyone? Commenting the partners of the respective leaders is just low. Unless they are drug runners or international espionage agents how is the partner’s career relevant? For what seems like the millionth time, the vexing problem of asylum seekers is brought down to the glib slogan “Stop the boats”.
Once more we hear shrill screaming about the budget deficit. Its never been as simple as Liberal = Surplus, Labor = Deficit and Deficit = the end of the world as we know it. I find the implication quite frankly insulting. Australia’s budget deficit is one of the lowest in the western world. It’s 28% of our GDP this compares with 226% for Japan, 184% for Greece and 109% for the USA. I’m also sick of the moronic tagline “Julia will wreck the economy”. The last time I looked around the economy was far from wrecked, relatively speaking. *
This post is not meant to be a defense of the ALP. I too am disillusioned by the policy back flipping and their chronic inability to level with the public. I’m concerned about the carbon and mining taxes and not convinced about the NBN. However I want to hear educated rational arguments about these issues rather than inflammatory crud like this beauty from The Julia Gillard Must Resign Facebook Page.
Like every other woman in Australia I am finding it hard to warm to Mr Abbott*. Nevertheless the vitriol directed at him in cyber space is staggeringly ugly. A cursory glance at Facebook yields the following pages.
- Can This Sanitary Napkin Get More Fans Than Tony Abbott? - and these people complain about gutter politics?
- Friends Don’t Let Friends Vote For Tony Abbott - I let my friends vote for who they damn well chose. Don’t infuriate your friends with your one eyed partisan views is more to the point.
- Everytime You Vote For Tony Abbot God Kills a Kitten – OK that’s kinda funny.
and the extremely succinct.
- Tony Abbott is a F*%wit
The content of the latter can pretty much be summed up with this erudite argument. (Which I admit to sniggering at – but it’s still unhelpful).
I guess its a wonderful thing that we live in a democracy where we can freely compare our leaders to a pig’s hind quarters or a reclining bovinae in Julia Gillard’s case. It’s truly marvelous that we can say what we like and express our opinions. However unless yours is well considered, logical and based on facts, I don’t want to hear it.
Let’s not make 2013 another year of living moronically. Let’s lift the quality of the debate and demand more from our politicians.
* I don’t wish to be insensitive to anyone who is doing it tough at the moment. A number of factors have led to jobs being lost and yes the cost of living is high. Still I would rather be unemployed in Australia than Europe or the USA right now.
* Yes TA has said some dreadful things and I’m not defending them. I question the need to fire equally vile insults back at him. Screaming that he is “a silly racist, sexist, xenophobic, misogynistic, homophobic and bigoted little man called Tony Abbott or Mr Rabbit” is not “moving Australia forward”.