Home > Australian politics, Media > Why does the Government (apparently) suck?

Why does the Government (apparently) suck?

As you would expect, the opinionistas and keyboard commandos are out in force after the latest opinion poll showed a big jump for the Opposition.  From everything you read in the media you would expect it to be game over for the Government right now…in fact Abbott should just rock up to the Lodge ASAP and start moving in.

Of course, the fact that it is only one poll of 1400 people, with a huge change from the previous one doesn’t come into consideration…why disrupt the narrative with inconvenient facts?  In fact I nearly spat my breakfast out this morning when I saw the news-ticker headline “Abbot to be next PM”.

But let’s have a closer look at why everyone (??) seems to think that our current Government is:

  1. all spin, no action
  2. breaking promises left, right and centre
  3. shifty and do-nothing
  4. wasting our hard earned money on dodgy programs
  5. blah blah blah….

I could go on, but all you need to do is pick up the Australian to see the rest of the talking points.

When was the last time you can recall a positive story on something the government has done?  Too hard?  OK when was the last time you read/heard a story analysing one of the few Opposition promises? (I’m talking actually promises to do something not promises to stop a current Government program)  Still too hard?  OK when was the last time you heard something slamming the Government?  Was that about 10 seconds ago?

The fact is that the vast majority of the media in this country has been rabidly attacking anything this government has done, and has been particularly scathing on the Prime Minister himself…not on anything he’s done but on him personally.  You tend to hear very little about Government actions and policies…unless of course it’s being savaged by the brain-dead idiots from the Opposition  or their attack dogs in the media.

Almost all press releases by the Government detailing the things they have done have had some sort of hatchet job done on them by the media, meaning that the average person doesn’t get any clear understanding of what has been done.  Can you picture this being done during the Howard years?  Of course not, because they rolled out an advertising campaign to accompany every single piece of legislation they passed, hence the $2 billion advertising bill the racked up.

Now one of Rudd’s key promises was to curb the massive Government advertising bill, which by and large he has done…prior to the Health ads what was the last government campaign you can remember?

Of course this has now turned into a massive rod for their own backs, because they now have no effective way to communicate clearly with the public.  Every press release is now filtered through the right-wing media prism, casting every possible bad interpretation onto everything.  Now of course they have the mining companies to battle against as well with their blatantly dishonest ads (mining did not save us from the GFC for starters).

Is it any wonder they have to bite the bullet and start to advertise?  The biggest problem they have now is to do so concisely and cleanly.  They are truly spoiled for options in the forthcoming election campaign, with the hideous lack of talent in the Opposition ranks being a tremendously easy target, but they need to be smart about things.  If they cast the mining companies in the right light they should easily turn things back around.  I would suggest ads with a bit of humour to them, as the public will react strongest to that.

Of course there’s still things like Utegate, “climate change is crap”, self-confessed lies, buying BHP shares…the list is endless.  They just need to pick the right things and hammer them hard, but in the right way.

It’s still a long time until the election and I reckon it will turn around for the Government yet, but they really need to be smarter about getting the message out and bypassing the usual suckholes in the media.

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