Tags: liberal politicians

Because of a deliberate campaign by the right-wing senator Eric Abetz, the ABC has gone out of its way to boost the Liberal voting and conservative element in the studio audience for the political discussion program Q & A.

ABC managing director Mark Scott told a Senate estimates hearing yesterday that, of the 2500 people who had attended the program this year, 34.4 per cent said they supported the Coalition, while 33.9 per cent voted Labor. Green voters comprised 12.8 per cent of audiences, while 2.4 per cent supported other parties and 16.6 per cent declined to reveal their voting intention…

…To restore the balance, Q & A producers leaned on Liberal politicians, firms such as Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers and organisations including the Australian Christian Lobby, the Australian Union of Jewish Students, the Australian Family Association and the Australian Retailers Association in their hunt for conservatives.

The Howard government has gone but their miserable culture wars live on. The ABC has to bow to the whims of wingnuts like Abetz or, presumably, stand accused of commie radical advocacy. There is a huge double standard at play here.

If that tactic had been employed by the ABC to boost input from people Mr Abetz didn’t approve of, it would have been called “stacking”. If efforts had been made to boost input from marginalised or less powerful groups in society, it would have been called “affirmative action”, and you know how well that goes down with the Abetzes and Albrechtsons. Oh, well, consistency, you know, the hobgoblin of little minds, etcetera.

12.8 percent Greens in the audience is called “over-representation”. When a single Liberal senator pressures the ABC to use affirmative action and stacking to increase the rightwing content of the audience, it’s called “balance”. Anyway, that explains why there are so many inane questions from young apparatchiks-in-the-making in this program’s audience.
Crossposted at Larvatus Prodeo. Edited to correct typo “12.8 Greens” to “12.8 percent Greens

2 Sep 2007, Comments Off on Hey, it’s Maribyrnong, let’s send a nong there

Hey, it’s Maribyrnong, let’s send a nong there

Author: Helen

This is the boy man the Liberals considered good enough for the likes of us, the inhabitants of the inner Western suburbs of Melbourne.

You know you haven’t got a hope in hell of winning a seat in an electorate full of inner-city Green voting types and working people who are still union members and who are quite incensed about such things as Workchoices and public transport; so, what do you do? I’ll tell you; you use… well, whoever you’ve got. It doesn’t speak volumes for the talent pool in the Liberals, young or otherwise.

Hamish Jones has, as you probably know, been in the news because he was dooced (sacked) when he referred to a State government MP as a “bitch” on his personal blog.

The story of his doocing has been more than adequately covered by LP and Defamer (who includes a link to the cached, but now abandoned, blog.) At the beginning of the discussion, it was about the unfairness of being sacked for swearing. As the comments moved on, it was apparent that most people. like me, don’t think that was the case. Politicians are some of the swear-iest people on the planet. Think of Jeff foot-in-mouth Kennett and the and the famous car phone conversation, twenty years ago. Swearing is practically a job requirement for both Labor and Liberal politicians.

An online reputation isn’t made or broken by a sentence, however unpleasant. It’s built up as accretions of information over weeks, months and years. You might think the picture above was unfair: an unrepresentative out-take from a moment of silliness. If you look at Jones’ online presence, though, the silliness is a feature, not a bug. After his doocing, he was quoted as saying “women shouldn’t be politicians” (as one LP commenter said, the shortest ever political suicide note). Then there’s his presence on various websites where we get to assess his level of maturity and ability to communicate. I was planning to go into more detail on these, but since this post got delayed and my annoyance with him has leveled off, I won’t do it, because he’s really too small a target. I’ll just point out, though, that if you want to go into public life you need to have a realistic knowledge of your own strengths, weaknesses and abilities. Maintaining a website offering paid advice on writing PR releases will just result in mockery if it’s badly spelled with bad grammar, and you are, yourself, a PR trainwreck.

Hamish Jones’ writings all added up to the fact that he was immature, undercooked, none too bright, and a complete non-starter to participate in any meaningful political career. And the reason I’m writing about it is because I’m pissed off: I’m pissed off because I’m a constituent of Maribyrnong, the division for which young Hamish was standing.

You have to show the voters some shred of respect before you can get anywhere, so don’t send a boy to do a man’s job. Or a woman’s.

23 Mar 2005, Comments (0)

Bring lawyers, guns and sonny

Author: Helen

What’s the difference between a Labor candidate holding a machine gun


and a Liberal Senator holding a machine gun?


Well, the first photo was taken when Ivan Molloy was a callow youth, for which we cut him some slack, is that right Tony? Oh, maybe not.

The other was taken quite recently when Ross Lightfoot, pumped and battle-scarred from jostling female senators, and really old enough to know better, thought he’d do a similar bit of macho posturing.

But Ross’s gang’s in Government, and Molloy’s isn’t, so I guess that’s all right, then.

While we’re mentioning Tony… I felt exactly the same as one of Jess at Ausculture’s comments: I saw Tony Abbott on the television just now and I almost felt compassion for him. I feel dirtyÖ But even in the collapse of his Adoption not Abortion Good News Story, I heard elisions and distortions slipping off the Tony tongue. I don’t think there is really any way of profiting from this one any more, unless it’s to elicit sympathy. But it appears Liberal politicians can’t help themselves:

I have gone through 27 years of life convinced that I was Daniel’s dad, but it appears that is not the case,” he said.
“And I’m sorry that poor old Daniel has been dragged through the public spotlight as a result of a connection to me which it now appears was never the case.”

MMmmmmbut, he was not “convinced” for 27 years that he was Daniel’s dad. He was correct in saying “For 27 years I thought I had a son out there” but he wasn’t informed of Daniel O’Connor’s identity until 24 December, 2004. And I’m not the only person with the strong impression that he played his role in dragging Daniel through the public spotlight – as a touchy-feely good news story that helped improve his media image, while at the same time providing a hook to hang his anti-abortion activism on.

Speaking of which…

Abbott’s been making much of his “callowness” back in the day when young Daniel was conceived. Even the revelation of his non-parent status didn’t faze him, because, you see, they were all young and callow. They all rooted like rattlesnakes because they were… teenagers. Couldn’t help it!

Right!! So…..

So I hope that sometime in the future, in the course of his continued association with the abortion debate and “family values” politics, he doesn’t make the mistake of copying the disastrous US idea of winding back education on safe sex and contraception in favour of abstinence “education”.

Because he’s just really blown his own cover and that of his own generation, like, totally.

(What about the lawyers? well, I never did manage to work that one in, but I daresay Ross Lightfoot’s got one.)

9 Feb 2005, Comments (0)


Author: Helen

Cornelia Rau is the Australian government’s worst nightmare. Blonde, pretty, in her older photos she could have stepped out of an episode of Neighbours.

She’s the girl next door. And the girl next door was sucked into the black hole of Australia’s detention centres, where the psychiatric deterioration of prisoners is kept – as far as possible – from the public.

HREOC and refugee advocates have been trying to bring the problem of mental health in Australian detention centres for years now. The stories coming out of Baxter and other centres have been horrible. So what’s new?

Post-Tampa, one of the most successful excercises by the Howard government and mainstream media was to portray asylum seekers in the camps as the Other. Slowly, they became a sub-category of human, not as deserving of basic human rights as you or me. Perhaps even non-human. Using the word “illegals” to describe them (none of them are on a criminal charge) has contributed to this, as John Quiggin and Jack Robertson discuss.

Psychotic behaviour caused or exacerbated by detention, such as anorexia or lip sewing, were gleefuly talked up by Liberal politicians, DIMIA officials and tabloid journalists, as proof of asylum seekers’ subhuman unfitness for life here. This was echoed in talkback and grubby MSN chat sites.

But Cornelia Rau didn’t fit that mould. She was the girl next door in Ramsay Street. And suddenly, it’s possible for the majority to see what happens when the girl next door is trapped in the surreal nightmare that is a privatised Australian detention facility.

Someone like Us.