Pre-draft Update: I wrote all this before the latest twist came. For foreign readers: gawk, supposedly in March at an Opposition fundraiser, a menu listed an insulting Julia Gillard Kentuky Fried Quail (and worse). It turns out the menu was not even used, it was an inhouse mockup. No one at the Liberal fundraiser saw it, let alone approved it. The reason I wrote at all about it was that it should never have wasted so much airtime. Like Parliament, like blogs. It is almost as if trolls are running our national debate. UPDATE #2: Worse. The resturanteur who wrote the insult turns out to be a Labor man.
How easily people are diverted.
The parody of our “national” conversation is literally reduced to a bad joke. The desperate Julia Gillard is milking a spot of tasteless humor made by a Liberal supporter, wringing all the political mileage she can get out of it. It is everywhere in the news today. A waste of bandwidth. She says a comment that Tony Abbott didn’t make, and doesn’t approve of, tell us something about the culture of the conservatives. “Join the dots” she snidely implies.
Yes, I say, let’s join-the-dots Julia, let’s talk about “character” and “culture”. But instead of bad jokes in poor taste, let’s talk about something that matters. How about premeditated promises made to the whole nation? Like: There will be no carbon tax; there will be a surplus; we will stop the boats — how many votes did those promises garner?
So a Liberal fan made a momentary lapse — Gillard made the surplus commitment 165 times. These were premeditated, official failures said calmly and with intent. The bad joke cost the nation nothing. The election deceit — countless billions. It may also have cost thousands of jobs and, worst of all, a thousand lives lost at sea.
The Liberals involved [or not, as per the update] have apologized. Gillard has not. She blamed the hung parliament, the Greens, the global economy, anyone but herself.
Gillard thinks Mal Brough should be disendorsed for allowing demeaning humor at an event. If that’s the case, the whole Labor Party ought be disendorsed for lies and deception about matters which every Labor MP has personally profited from. If Gillard had said there will be a carbon tax, and promised to gift Australia with massive debt and deficit after deficit, 400 voters in Corangamite might have made a different choice. And the lurks and perks of ministerial awards and power would have been awarded to other people.
This is how a grown up conversation would go: ALP exposes bad joke, Libs apologize, nation moves on.
The insult on the menu had no legal or economic consequences. Everyone agrees it should not have been made. As long as the national conversation is discussing the meaning or merits of a single line at a dinner-for-20 we are not discussing the lies, deception and incompetence of things that matter. As long as the minor incident is major news, the cheats and liars win: real policy is not being discussed. This could only happen with the active connivance of the MSM.
The Coalition are crazy if they don’t take up the opportunity: “Yes” let’s talk issues of character and culture. Let’s talk about how much respect the Labor Party has for workers and their taxes. Forcing millions of people to toil in order to pay off useless windmills, buy outlandishly expensive electricity in a futile efforts to stop the storms and hold back the tides? The price of bad governance is that thousands of workers may be wallowing in soul destroying unemployment, when better management and a lower tax burden would mean entrepreneurs in Australia could afford to give them jobs. Millions of people are spending time away from loved ones to earn money to pay tax for pointless schemes. The Labor Party treats their taxes with contempt, even using them for advertising to promote their own careers (a practice that is hardly confined to one side of politics). Taxes are being dished up for “independent” commissions, and “independent” researchers which are nothing more than third party adverts for big-contemptuous-government.
UPDATE: Post edited. I said Gillard was making Deputy Opposition leader Julie Bishop invisible when she says: “I invite you to imagine it. A prime minister – a man in a blue tie – who goes on holidays to be replaced by a man in a blue tie. ” In a Liberal Party context, Julie Bishop is the next in line to replace Abbott (and she doesn’t wear a blue tie, right) . But commenter Keith reminded me, of course, that the most likely outcome (should the Coalition win) is that Warren Truss would be the second in charge. Bishop is third in line. But (who knows) perhaps Truss doesn’t wear blue ties, does anyone care? Gillard thinks it matters. – Jo