How to wrangle a new paradigm

Today’s guest poster is Bernice, who is crabby one day, furious the next, and has been a Friend of HaT for many years. Crossposted from Bernice Balconey’s Baloney

Or how to defer to the new numbers men.

Wayne Swan and Julia Gillard greet Bob Katter with Tony Windsor and others looking on Not only is Swan’s curtsy most affectingly achieved, but Katter’s demure tilt of his head as well as his clasping of his attache case is beautifully choreographed. What could this possibly mean about who will form government?

Sarcasm aside, the concerns and criticisms about the performance of both the mainstream media and the major political parties during this campaign (though I think we’re being much too nice not applying that retrospectively) are being played out in glorious techicolour as all players scramble to gain maximum advantage.

I’m particularly intrigued by the growing hysteria echoing out of Murdoch’s media outlets. Dealing with independents who aren’t pavlovian in their response to the media’s narratives must come as something of a shock.

So far we’ve seen yesterday:

Oh I could go on, I know they will, but it’s what is missing that is interesting. Nothing directly alludes to Abbott’s dummy spit re the request for costings, other than it proving he is a Strong Leader. Nothing at all about Wilkie, which if I were him would make me a little nervous. I suspect they’re doing some serious digging and Wilkie has provided quite enough copy in the past to keep the News Dislimited hacks in diatribes for months to come. Nor is there much mention of Adam Brandt, not even a suggestion that he is really the lovechild of a dolphin called Keith.

But the current thrust seems to be to call into question the legitimacy of the Independents either as the servants of their electorate or via ridicule at their country cousins antics. Perhaps all major parties and the mainstream media should remember the soliloquy of Dad from the 1932 film of On Our Selection. Shame the family name is Rudd though.



Categories: media, parties and factions

Tags: , ,

5 replies

  1. Guy Rundle has a great piece up at Crikey about the panicked reaction from the usuals suspects pundits: http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/08/26/rundle-were-entering-a-new-dimension-here-people/

    The 2010 election result has offered that rarest and most blessed of things, a rupture and a discontinuity in the process. It’s one that makes it impossible to sell the line that the parliamentary electoral system we are ruled by has some deep-seated pole of wisdom that somehow expresses rather than imposes a political form. What the result is making clear to people is the inherent arbitrariness of the system, its closed nature, and the way in which that is obscured when a party is elected with an unchallengeable majority.
    The difficulty for the business as usual crowd, is that they spend so much time celebrating the virtues of the single member electorate system, that when it throws up a number of actual single members, they can’t damn it out of hand.
    And when such members begin to suggest that the process by which they were chosen could be reflexively acted on by both MPs and the public, the business-as-usual crowd panic about stability. Weird, isn’t it? Post-election Iraq has been without a government for several months, with no working coalition in sight, and this is an example of democracy at work. Australia has a few days or weeks with no majority party but a process of rational and open negotiation, and it’s a disaster.

  2. While we’re considering political reform, can we outlaw polls, focus groups and any opinion pieces in the Telegraph? (Yes, I’m joking. Mostly.)
    I can’t help feeling that politics and the media have become a self-sustaining feedback loop, neither of which have any connection to the outside world any more. The media create the opinions, conduct the polls and then report the opinions they created in the first place. The political system responds to the polls, the media reports that and then judges the pollies on their responses. The pollies then respond to the media responses and the media reports that too.
    Is anyone running the country? Oh yeah, that’s right, thank Maud we have a public service, or the country would have disappeared into a media/politics vortex ten years ago.

    • Ariane, the MSM is seeming more and more like an echo chamber, totally agreed. By the wannabe-elites, for the wannabe-elites, benefiting the actual elites.

  3. Have stopped listening to the dreadful media coverage of this interesting situation. Instead of using the opportunity to educate people about our political system the media is using personality and panic to try to worry the public into even more mistrust and uncertainty.

  4. Swan just looks like he’s doing that thing where you’re sitting and you half stand up to shake hands before sitting back down. I don’t think it’s a curtsy.

%d bloggers like this: