October 13, 2004

EVERYBODY'S HAPPY!

happyjohn.jpg

This happiness isn't universal, for some reason. Janet Albrechtsen reviews a miserable media collective, betrayed by democracy:

Over at Chateau Fairfax - the safest Labor seat in the country - journalist Mike Seccombe's dummy spit went like this. John Howard is "heavy on fear, light on vision. Then, having frightened the apathetic into voting for him, he uses his special skill for putting them back to sleep for another three years." Lights out, Mike. On Monday, fellow Sydney Morning Herald journalist Alan Ramsey bellowed about the voters' "gullibility", their "ignorance", their "greedy self-interest", how the "comfortable idiocy of the manipulated minority" had voted for "mediocrity" and "a toad of a human being". Give it up, Alan. Artist George Morant said he was embarrassed to be Australian. If Howard was re-elected Prime Minister, he'd pack up his brushes and his bags for New Zealand's South Island. Au revoir, George.

Several commenters at Chris Sheilís Sadville have made similar promises. Sheil is working through his depression by trying to decipher what went wrong with Laborís campaign; the main problem, as I see it, is that Labor didnít adopt Chrisís visionary advertising idea:

Think of those kids drawing boards, where you just lift the plastic and everything disappears.

Scene opens with a selection of what's already written all over the dark looking board, juxtaposed with old Howard's face, looking out the corner of his eyes - non-core, never-ever gst, Peter Reith on the phone with dogs and goons, no apology, wretched asylum seekers, no Kyoto, children overboard (not), war, collapsing infrastructure, Hollingsworth scandal, Kirribili House, Telstra in hock, soaring international debt, soaring casualisation, soaring taxation levels, banks and global drug companies gorging themselves, little Aussie children dying like dogs in the street etc etc etc ... and the camera shows the 8 dark years being gradually erased, as the plastic sheet is lifted at the forthcoming election, and underneath what is gradually revealed is a picture of the young Mark Latham, not looking out of the corner of his eyes, but reading to children, shaking hands with workers, laughing with teachers and nurses, all set in a fresh, young, green, bright, co-operative morning in Australia ...

Yep. That wouldíve worked. For more election-related carping, check out Texís collection of immediate reactions to Howardís victory.

Posted by Tim Blair at October 13, 2004 02:40 PM
Comments

Chris Sheils' post made me kind of misty eyed. This one made my eyes pop "little Aussie children dying like dogs in the street "

Oh puhlease, come on Chris, just a little bit hysterical don't you think?

Posted by: nic at October 13, 2004 at 02:46 PM

I enjoyed the ravings very much. I fully expect to see the same thing here after our election. I remember after the Republicans won Congress in 1994, the left was apoplectic. Things like "the people had a tantrum" were commonly heard in the media, and I think that was when the phrase "angry white males" gained popularity.

Posted by: Big Dog at October 13, 2004 at 02:57 PM

More evidence that CS was, in fact, educated in Pyongyang.

Posted by: murph at October 13, 2004 at 03:00 PM

Albrechtsen's piece is fantastic. It gave me a great start to the day. Chris Shiel and "Back Passages" are just as sensational as they are unintentional.

Lay off those tablets Chris.

Posted by: Fool to Himself & Burden to Others at October 13, 2004 at 03:04 PM

Amazing - every paper in the country back Howard, and Tim blows on about the great left wing media.

I spent the day at the beach yesterday and not one of the people with us who voted Liberal watched the debate, knew anything about Howard's own record as Treasury or what the full implications of Howard controlling the senate could amount to.

Most people in Australia are simply not interested in politics and 9 times out of 10 will vote for the party in power no matter how bad they are. It took all of Keating's arrogance to finally get the country to kick out Labor.

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Give it a year or so and Howard will be 10 points behind, hated by half the fools who voted for him, and desperately trying to get out of Canberra before Mick Kelty sends for him.

But what's the point of trying to debate you Tim. All you want to hear is your little fan club telling you how funny you are. So I say goodbe at this point. But remember, at least I have a family and kids to go home to. What does Tim have at home - just a computer and a bunch of red necks in cyberspace wanting to kiss his arse.

Posted by: Liberal Joe at October 13, 2004 at 03:06 PM

I browsed BackPages for a while, until the urge to puke became too intense. And a couple other blogs as well. There was a bunch of really depressed folks who still managed to be condescending fools at the same time. The scope of the idiocy was simply astonishing.

I expect as much....no, WORSE, on 3 November should Bush (please Dear God) win.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at October 13, 2004 at 03:09 PM

The best aspect of all the wailing from the leftiods is that they just don't get the big picture.

Their moral vanity just won't allow them to accept that their socialist utopia just doesn't wash with the punters and until they move closer to the centre, the punters won't wear them and they'll never get near the treasury benches.

Plus, how many voters are you going to win back by banging on about how stupid people are for electing the government.

Finally, I hate to disappoint the whiners that inhabit the luvvies of the left but the vast majority of people don't give a fuck about Iraq, refugees and reconciliation. Most of my mates would be natural ALP supporters, blue collar and tradesmem but they agree with the governments position on all three.

The ALP are more concerned with wooing the Paddington socialists than winning government which is fine by me.

Posted by: Nuffy at October 13, 2004 at 03:12 PM

"All you want to hear is your little fan club telling you how funny you are".

Don't be like that, Joe. If it's any consolation, I think you're funny too. Terribly funny.

Posted by: cuckoo at October 13, 2004 at 03:17 PM

Poor LJ

He sounds like he is a Latham lover. Poor Luvvies are having a very bad week.

They also assume that Howard will be silly enough to abuse the senate power, he will not make that mistake.

LJ is a typical luvvie, they seem to think that they are so much smarter than everyone else, funnily enough though, they just can't seem to win an election.

LJ, fuck off you little girlie man.

Posted by: Nuffy at October 13, 2004 at 03:18 PM


"little Aussie children dying like dogs in the street "

To an extent Chris Sheil is right here.

You don't often see dogs die in the street in Australia, if one is hurt someone nearby will usually take it to a vet.

So score one for Chris, certainly an accurate statement on his part. but equally, a stupid one.

Posted by: Harry Tuttle at October 13, 2004 at 03:20 PM

"..but reading to children, shaking hands with workers, laughing with teachers and nurses, all set in a fresh, young, green, bright, co-operative morning in Australia ..."

Like a poster for the Peoples Republic of Australia.
Great Leader Mark leading the masses forward.

Posted by: MOik at October 13, 2004 at 03:49 PM

Liberal Joe, I agree with you. Australia has witnessed a democratic disaster in the last week. How Ricki-Lee could have been voted off Australian Idol is beyond me. Australians should be very ashamed of themselves!

Posted by: Art Vandelay at October 13, 2004 at 03:50 PM

Question - would FXJ be a good investment at the moment? I realise, of course, that they are all a pack of loonies there, but, if the cross-media ownership rules are relaxed, they might be a take-over target.

Posted by: 2dogs at October 13, 2004 at 03:51 PM

Liberal Joe, while you spent yesterday with ignorant Liberal-voting fools, I spent it with earnest university students who all agreed that 9 out of 10 Australians are stupid and the One Nation- and Democrat-free all-powerful Senate will destroy Australia.

We should change places. While you probably won't be any happier, you'll at least be among friends.

Posted by: ilibcc at October 13, 2004 at 03:53 PM

Reading ramsey or adams used to be like having someone fart in your face.
Since Johnny made fools of then,it seems they are taking the breaks off an showering us with C**p.

Posted by: davo at October 13, 2004 at 03:56 PM

Hi ilibcc.

I can thankfully tell you that I'm a uni student (full-time), and that most students nowadays AREN'T like that. But yeah, those small groups do still exist. However, as long as they continue to scare most people away from voting Green and / or Democrat, then I guess they serve a pretty good purpose.

But Rest assured, there's a SILENT MAJORITY on campuses as well :-)

Posted by: Richard at October 13, 2004 at 04:02 PM

Four years ago a whole bunch of our left wing celebrities promised to leave the USA if Bush was elected. Not one left. Even the loudest of them, Mr. Alex Baldwin, didn't go. The only one I know of who left was Johnny Depp. He moved to France but he did so after marrying a French lady -- so he's got a pretty good alibi.

That damn Baldwin did not leave when he could have, I mean for twenty buck he can get a bus ticket that takes him from Los Angeles right to the Mexican border in San Diego. Down there all you have to do is step off the bus and walk fifty feet through the arch and it's Welcome to Mexico.

You know with all the Mexicans coming this way the Federales might have given Baldwin a medal for being the first American to go in their direction.

I doubt if you Australians will have much luck either. Like the guy who threatened to to move the South Island of New Zealand, I bet'ch'a he would not last a month over there. New Zealand is a beautiful country and the Kiwi folks love it. But it would be like Elba with tree ferns.

Posted by: John Kelly at October 13, 2004 at 04:08 PM

Four years ago a whole bunch of our left wing celebrities promised to leave the USA if Bush was elected. Not one left. Even the loudest of them, Mr. Alex Baldwin, didn't go. The only one I know of who left was Johnny Depp. He moved to France but he did so after marrying a French lady -- so he's got a pretty good alibi.

That damn Baldwin did not leave when he could have, I mean for twenty buck he can get a bus ticket that takes him from Los Angeles right to the Mexican border in San Diego. Down there all you have to do is step off the bus and walk fifty feet through the arch and it's Welcome to Mexico.

You know with all the Mexicans coming this way the Federales might have given Baldwin a medal for being the first American to go in their direction.

I doubt if you Australians will have much luck either. Like the guy who threatened to to move the South Island of New Zealand, I bet'ch'a he would not last a month over there. New Zealand is a beautiful country and the Kiwi folks love it. But it would be like Elba with tree ferns.

Posted by: John Kelly at October 13, 2004 at 04:09 PM

I have one criticism of Janet Albrechtsen's article, specifically with regard to artist George Morant. "Au revoir" means "until we see each other again", whereas I think Janet really means "Goodbye. Good Riddance. Fuck Off.".

Posted by: Craig Mc at October 13, 2004 at 04:37 PM

C'mon, Chris' ad is hilarious! It's obvious Mr Shiel is a closeted conservative.

Posted by: Quentin George at October 13, 2004 at 05:16 PM

I hate to inject a sad note but while I rejoice in the CLP win I am depressed at the state of the opposition (ALP).

For a vibrant democracy we need competition just like in business. We desire a monopoly but in the end we need competitors to make us stronger. The ALP do not, at present and apparently for the foreseeable future, represent strong competition.

For a start: Mark Latham is not now and never was a credible alternative to John Howard or Peter Costello. He is a lout. Four years will not make the difference, he has too big a chip on that shoulder.

If the "left" and the "anti-war" crowd want to make a difference whining and marching won't do it. We need them to think long and hard about credible and positive policies. Anti-war is a "hate Bush" program and Medicare Gold and the Forest policy looked tacky and spontaneous. What were they doing for the last 3 years? They have let us all down and need to look at themselves so that they don't do it again.

Posted by: Allan Morton at October 13, 2004 at 05:22 PM

I've been trawling through the archives of this blog, and I came across a very amusing thread here.

Remember it? This is the one where our resident prognosticators Homer P, Darp, Karl, thecommongood and others were declaring Howard's demise based on...wait for it...a few unhappy wankers.

Posted by: Quentin George at October 13, 2004 at 05:25 PM

Oh, and I agree with Allan.

Unfortunately, I can't see who the ALP will turn to apart from Latham.

Posted by: Quentin George at October 13, 2004 at 05:26 PM


Janet A. says:

"Is it just coincidence that come December, when Howard surpasses Bob Hawke's record (1983-91), second only to Robert Menzies (1939-41, 1949-66), Australia's two longest-serving prime ministers will be proud conservatives?"

Make that three longest-serving. Hawke was also a conservative in all but namee.

Posted by: Sue at October 13, 2004 at 05:29 PM

Make that three longest-serving. Hawke was also a conservative in all but namee.

Well, actually, if you count Hawke as a conservative Labor man, then in order

  1. Menzies, Robert Gordon (UAP/Lib) - 18 years, 5 months, 12 days

  2. Howard, John Winston (Lib) - 8 years +

  3. Hawke, Robert James Lee (Labor)- 8 years, 9 months, 9 days

  4. Fraser, John Malcolm (Lib) - 7 years, 4 months

  5. Hughes, William Morris (Labor/Nat)- 7 years, 3 months, 14 days

  6. Lyons, Joseph Aloysius (UAP) - 7 years, 3 months, 2 days

  7. Bruce, Stanley Melbourne (Nat) - 6 years, 8 months, 14 days

  8. Deakin, Alfred (Prot/Lib) - 4 years, 10 months, 10 days
  9. Top eight are all conservatives, with one Labor conservative, then another Labor turned conservative

    Posted by: Quentin George at October 13, 2004 at 05:41 PM

    I sincerely hope that Mark disappears to write more useless books on the economy that no one will buy.
    But if we have to endure his, 'thinking up good ideas'thinking up good ideas'
    keeping the government accountable-keeping the government accountable-zif
    could someone give him some speech training to elimiate the whine and upward inflection at the end of each statement,AND for goodness sake Mark stopping repeating each statement- we get the message in one --GOT IT GOT IT

    Posted by: Rose at October 13, 2004 at 05:46 PM

    Quentin, conversely to Hawke, Fraser was merely a nominal conservative. What's more, he had control of the Senate and did absolutely nothing. Then one of Ministers defected and started the Democrats ... what was it about the 70s? The music? The flares? The haircuts? The drugs?

    (And to Richard, that's good to know - time for the majority to be less silent!)

    Posted by: ilibcc at October 13, 2004 at 05:57 PM

    I think Allan is correct on this. We do need the ALP to become again what it once as, one of the great Australian political institutions, and a credible alternative government.

    Personally, I think they have to become something like the old DLP was, after hiving off their left lunatic fringe to the Brownhatters ... errr... the Greens.

    The system needs a powerful and credible opposition, it was designed that way. Slatts has some good ideas on this point.

    The left in general needs to look veru closely at Chris Hitchens, and stop the brain-dead crud they have been going on with. The electorate is not stupid, racist, homophobe, redneck, or anything else. They just do not agree with the smug, smarmy and FAKE pseudo-superiority exuded by people like Liberal Joe above. The very last thing a closed mind like his will do is look at the real reasons why the electorate rejected his ideas so resoundingly. They were bad ideas, badly presented by deeply flawed people who believe in their own invincible superiority to everyone else, and reliant upon a completely bankrupt political ideology which had long, long ago lost its moral bearings to the point where modern leftism supports totalitarian dictators!

    And the electorate said - bugger off.

    But Liberal Joe and his ilk (the Pilgers, Fisks, Adams, Ramsays and Kingstons of this world) find it so much more comfortable to make up myths explaining why they were rejected. They are not interested in the reality of the situation one iota. Comfortable lies serve them better - and consign them and their evil delusions to the ash heap of history.

    No loss.

    But give us a left which believes in and acts on the betterment of the ordinary bloke by allowing him to work as hard as he can and to keep what he earns, and which is implacably, REMORSELESSLY opposed to totalitarianism, and they can bounce back in to play. This would be good. DLP, anyone?

    MarkL
    Canberra

    Posted by: MarkL at October 13, 2004 at 05:59 PM

    what was it about the 70s? The music? The flares? The haircuts? The drugs?

    Must have been something like that. I mean, bloody 'ell, McMahon, Whitlam, Fraser...yeeehaw!

    Posted by: Quentin George at October 13, 2004 at 06:15 PM

    Actually I think Joe Lyons was also an ex-Labor man, finance minister in Scullin's one term Depression-era government, to be precise.

    Posted by: Quentin George at October 13, 2004 at 06:16 PM

    Sadville seems to have died or something. It will be missed.

    Posted by: Pixy Misa at October 13, 2004 at 06:32 PM

    Is Sheil a deep cover whiteanting conservative among the student Left?

    Like the Barry Humphries attack, (he who dispensed as much sarcasm to condescending Poms as he did to Moonee Ponds, without them ever getting it), perhaps the Left interprets ridicule as praise.

    Nothing you can write about the Left is as humourous as its own scribbling.

    Dead kids running out our ears here Chrissy.

    Posted by: TT at October 13, 2004 at 06:45 PM

    One of the strangest things about the election aftermath is that while those on the right (like Albrechtsen and the Currency Lad) write very telling explanations for Labor's train wreck, from the left we hear about the stupid, greedy voters and cs hallucinates advertising that emphasises everything that the electorate doesn't care about.

    If this is representative of the quality of thinking on the left, the ALP is in deep trouble next time around.

    (Actually, Sheil's ad is the funniest thing I've read in ages. Reminds me of the joke-reels advertising agencies put together for their Xmas parties.)

    Posted by: James at October 13, 2004 at 06:51 PM

    "We do need the ALP to become again what it once as, one of the great Australian political institutions, and a credible alternative government."

    As it stands, the only way that'll happen is if Blair loses, and we can persuade him to come to the colonies.

    Posted by: Sheriff at October 13, 2004 at 07:18 PM

    Quick, someone tell Helen Clark the collective IQ of her nation is at risk of halving.

    Posted by: Bad Templar at October 13, 2004 at 07:24 PM

    Thanks tim. I thought it was pretty funny too (unlike the Bullie's cover - scary man - more children dying in the street after that one!).

    Posted by: cs at October 13, 2004 at 07:28 PM

    liberal joe! what a wanker. I suppose he could be one of the doctor's wives without the champagne.
    If you weren't so intent on gazing at your navel you would know that people do understand what politicans offer and can sort it out for themselves. They don't need any help from you or your mob of loonies. And save us the power corrupts...blah blah blah stuff.

    Posted by: hube at October 13, 2004 at 07:47 PM

    CS's visionary crap reminded me of something i read in a book once.. now .. what was it ...

    Oh yeah ! The Telescreen in '1984' !

    Although i don't know how latham would have gone with the mandatory morning exercises :)

    Posted by: Will S at October 13, 2004 at 08:00 PM

    little Aussie children dying like dogs in the street

    Whoa! How do dogs die? I'm not sure about this comparison. Since they round up all dogs and kill them these days anyway, you never see a dog in the street. Indeed an unaccompanied dog walking on the sidewalk is cause for calls to the police.

    The comparison would have to run the other way. Dogs dying like children in the streets. There's one you can take home.

    Posted by: Ron Hardin at October 13, 2004 at 08:12 PM

    just ignore chris. he's been this way since like.. forever!!

    Posted by: chris sheils gay half brother at October 13, 2004 at 08:16 PM

    Did anyone else notice the similarities between "Alison's" comments in Tims "pretensions smashed" thread from the 11th, where she whines about "poor winners" in relation the election,

    and Emma Tom's "Bad Winners" opinion piece in the Australian today where she whines about "Bad winners" in relation to the election?

    Posted by: JB at October 13, 2004 at 08:51 PM

    Gawd,

    Reading some of Tex's posts makes me wonder whether we call them the left because something seems to have "left" their minds. Reminds me being chided for calling someone stupid - which I countered by pointing out that if there were no stupid people, one could not have either intelligent ones, since one group depends on the existence of the other.

    No further comments were added to the topic. Stupid does and Stupid is, or whatever Forrest Gump was alleged to have said.

    Posted by: Louis Hissink at October 13, 2004 at 09:19 PM
    a picture of the young Mark Latham, not looking out of the corner of his eyes, but reading to children, shaking hands with workers, laughing with teachers and nurses, all set in a fresh, young, green, bright, co-operative morning in Australia ...

    ...and curing lepers, and helping the blind to see, and magically healing the broken arms of taxi drivers. But will we see Him rising from the dead?

    Unfortunately, I can't see who the ALP will turn to apart from Latham.

    What about their star recruit, Peter Garrett? [snigger]

    Posted by: Clem Snide at October 13, 2004 at 10:27 PM

    "...On the night he was betrayed, Latham took the taxi driver arm's and broke it. This is my legacy! The biff of the new and everlasting covenant..."

    Posted by: Quentin George at October 13, 2004 at 10:44 PM

    This reminds me of the media's reaction to the 1994 "Republican Revolution." In those pre Internet days, old media was much more in control. They spent about 2 weeks basically scolding the American people for returning GOP majorities in the House and Senate.

    Posted by: Anthony at October 13, 2004 at 11:07 PM

    In the fair dinkum department, what exactly has Garrett brought to the ALP, if it is Green votes then its a fuck up because they already get them.

    I suspect that one P Garratt will not handle the rough and tumble of the parliament, hes too used to being loved and feted over, once Abbott and Costello sink their teeth into him, i suspect he will return to the Southern Highlands and a life of advocacy without responsibility.

    Posted by: Nuffy at October 13, 2004 at 11:17 PM

    P Garrett was the man behind the ALP forests policy.

    He is a great asset...

    ...To the Coalition...

    Posted by: Quentin George at October 14, 2004 at 07:14 AM