Yesterday the new Palmer United Party senators didn’t vote with the government after all on Abbott’s repeal of Labor’s carbon pricing system, and this morning the Murdoch Media is full of grotesque caricatures of Clive Palmer focussing on his fat (wow, whodathunkit?) while trumpeting FUD about “chaos” in parliament because one vote on one bill in the Senate has not gone the government’s way.
That spinaround didn’t take long, did it?
I’m hugely wary of Palmer’s solipsistic and exploitative view of politics myself, but schadenfreude is absolutely the word du jour for my emotions regarding what he wrought against Abbott yesterday. Palmer’s pursuit of populism has worked in the national interest for this brief moment. But do any of us have any confidence that he won’t jump tracks for his own benefit in a heartbeat if Abbott offers him the right deal?
My favourite #auspol image macro for the last few days: “I am the leader of the charm offensive. Are you not charmed?”
— Dept. of Australia (@DeptOfAustralia) July 6, 2014
Hint to spin teams – if you’re mounting a charm offensive, the last thing you should do is announce that this is what you’re doing! Because then the people you want to charm realise that you’re insincere sooner rather than later, which is exactly what you don’t want. It reminds me of when the Labor spin team announced that it was time to bring out The Real Julia instead of just doing it, which meant that the tactic was fatally undermined before it even started. Strikes me as yet another manifestation of the political elite’s obsession with the 24/7 news cycle instead of dealing with fundamentals that building up electoral support over time.
As usual for media circus threads, please share your bouquets and brickbats for particular items in the mass media, or highlight cogent analysis or pointed twitterstorms etc in new media. Discuss any current sociopolitical issue (the theme of each edition is merely for discussion-starter purposes – all current news items are on topic!).