2013 – The Year of Living Moronically

36 Comments

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.

TA

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.

julia must resign-smaller

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).

Spot the difference.

Spot the difference.

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.

Love

Mumabulous

* 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”.

36 thoughts on “2013 – The Year of Living Moronically

  1. I agree with what you have to say. I am no fan of Tony Abbott nor Julia Gillard. My politics lean toward the left, but prefer policies that consider everyone as much as possible. Everything is complex and should not be viewed as a ‘them or us’, ‘bad or good’ or ‘with us or against us’ mentality. It would be great to raise the level of intelligence in politics and within ourselves. Thanks for posting something that not many people say and should.

  2. It is really hard to listen to any actual political dialogue that isn’t infused with personal insults from all parties and sides. I hate that and think these are supposed to educated up standing citizens that are running our country.

    Great post – Thanks for linking up with #TUST

    Annaleis – Blogs and PR Team Member

  3. GREAT post. Thanks Mumabulous!

  4. I openly admit that I am very ignorant and uninterested in politics in general but I think this is part of the reason why, all the name calling etc just turns me off and gives me a headache, so I wander off to have a cup of tea and a cakie and ignore it. Great post.

  5. I disagree with you. Our sisters sat by the guillotine and heaped abuse on the aristos being led to their just reward. We’ve got the abuse ready — abuse no worse than he has heaped on women. All we need is the chopper.

  6. The simple lack of ability to rationally debate without insult – in all areas of our lives – is a rare gift that is being lost through our growing inability to speak…only type. I thoroughly enjoyed your post.

  7. I too am depressed by.the dumbing down of policy debate. I am not a swinging voter but do share your worry.about this.

  8. I think your list of comparisons between the two leaders says it all. One is an honest, community minded, spiritual and intelligent person who believes in upholding the value of family and children and the other one, well….what what is there to say!

  9. I am not a fan of either.. I think we need two new leaders.. and actually have a proper vote.

  10. As my Facebook profile says: Politics … ugggh. It’s a bit like real estate agents – I’ve yet to come across a decent one!

  11. I am glad you wrote this. Yes, it’s insulting on a daily basis. I don’t know how we can make them see that. My students (who are a lot younger than they are) could show them a thing or two about rational intelligent debate.

  12. I think I love you : )

    Fantastic Post!

  13. As someone who has worked, and works in the media (not the newsroom anymore now though) I completely agree. Great post. The only news I watch is SBS, ABC World News sometimes, the rest are fluff and crap. We are wise to do our own research into politicians, the spin is relentless. The stories I could tell you…. Visiting from Blogs and PR (and also cos you rock!! Emily 🙂

  14. I don’t listen to the news because I am SO SICK of hearing these lib phrases! Well said. Well said. I vote greens and hope for the best.

  15. Doing a virtual standing applause on the bus right now!

  16. Great post and quite amusing in parts! It’s a circus and by election day I will be well and truly sick of hearing them go on.

  17. It would be so nice to see some substantial, issue-related debate for a change. I’m no fan of Mr Abbott, but the name calling – whether by other pollies or the public – only increases the likelihood of a personality-driven rather than policy-driven election. It’s all so tedious!

  18. Great post! I tune out completely because of the name-calling pettiness. If there would be some actual debate over issues rather than personal attacks I might muster some energy to care, but until then, it’s just as Lara says – nothing but tedium. It doesn’t bode well for Australia’s reputation for political apathy. It’s SBS and ABC for me! 🙂

  19. I’ve been in Australia five years and I’m still getting my head round the politics. I did have a cuppa with Kevin Rudd the other day though, he seemed like a really nice chap.

  20. Exactly! And for this reason, I choose to be apolitical. If both sides of the playground would just cut the crap for a bit, maybe there would be more interest and involvement. It cheeses me off too and, btw, so did the lame attempts to resurrect Hey Hey. x

  21. Great Post. Every time there is an election I remark to my partner that it’s so hard to make an informed decision as both parties seem to be ‘opposite of what they are doing’. Although QLD is a perfect example at the moment of better the devil you know. With some of the anti women comments that Tony Abott has come out with lately, I really worry for our country if he is elected. While it isn’t the leader who makes the decisions, it’s the puppeters who are supporting him, who obviously are of the same opinion that we have to worry about.

  22. Interesting. I must admit to not knowing a whole lot about Australian politics having only been here for 6 months, but I can say that it seems that the problems are very similar to the UK. I used to work for the government in the UK and had first hand knowledge and experience of the UK’s asylum policies, there are always more complex issues at play. The Uk media is exactly the same depending on which rag you read, the tabloids are terrible for mud slinging rubbish, that does nothing to inform the people and sadly there are a lot of moronic people who read one stupid ill-informed piece that is supposed to be journalism and vote on the basis of that without making any attempt to do their own research and make a proper informed decision.
    Absolutely agree though, in my short time here, you guys seem to be in a better economic position than the UK at the moment. It is a terrible state of affairs there- I am glad to be out of it.

  23. Oh dear, the state of politics in our country is in shambles, isn’t it? No one seems to be able to get it right. And if we throw in the asylum seekers debate, even the Greens are being wimps.
    I wish everyone would just stop the finger pointing and get down to fixing our economic situation, our unemployment rate, our schools and our hospitals.
    Really…what will it take ???

  24. Very interesting commentary on the behaviour of our pollies in Aus. Unfortunately when we have leaders such as this setting that sort of example, we can’t expect others in the community to act any better. Some have asked why our teens, or young adults have little respect, perhaps we can look towards our leaders who put forward such an outrageous and appalling example. Then of course we have our shock jocks… but that is another story…

    Unfortunately we have no real political debate in this country, we have leaders who use expletives in order to argue policy. I have been endlessly disgusted by the outrageous comments that have been made, particularly by Mr Abbott. Regardless of what type of politics you are interested in, abuse is never a way to argue policy, or debate points. In fact, abuse in argument, either indicates that you have no argument, or that you are immature, arrogant and aggressive.

    I personally would like to see a policy of no tolerance for parliamentarians. Abusive language, or bad behaviour, should see them immediately ejected from parliament. IMO

    I could go on and on, but that would result in a 3000 word essay on the issues in Australian politics.

    Also if you are after an example of a very well behaved, very well mannered polly, look at Bob Brown. Whether you like his policies or not, his behaviour was exemplary.

    Good post, keep it up, we need more of it in the community. Only with this sort of discourse can we change the attitude of parliamentarians.

    Greg.

    • Thanks Greg for your thoughtful comment. I can tell this issue is very important to you. I agree with you about Bob Brown. Whilst his stance is too extreme for my liking, I greatly admire his integrity and conviction.

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