Home > Australian politics, Media > Retail politics: last refuge of the incompetent

Retail politics: last refuge of the incompetent

You hear quite a bit about “retail politics” these days, usually in reference to how popular a given politician is and how they’ve “got their finger on the pulse”.

But I think it’s gone well beyond that now…well into the realms of fantasy and make-believe and it’s something that Abbott appears to have based his entire public persona on.

With the current poll-driven media and media-driven polling performing a nice little circle jerk of insularity and self-reinforcement, Abbott has latched on to this as his tool of choice and the media have done everything in their power to help him as much as they can.

The traditional retail politics meme of public meet-and-greets and I’m-one-of-the-common-people town halls has degenerated into photo ops in high visibility vests and gutting fish while spruiking the last three word slogan or “stop the …” idiocy.

Abbott doesn’t even pretend to listen to the “punters” any more…it’s all about him telling them about the latest hot button issue as propagated via the MSM/polling headlines.  And to rub even more salt into the wounds, it’s all about what he will destroy and opposed to what he will create…he will repeal the carbon tax, he will rip up the NBN; no word on what he will do for the good of the nation…it’s all about what he will do and say to get into Government.  He is the ultimate short-term visionary, only saying what he needs to say to get into power with no thought for what will happen beyond that point.  All you need to do to confirm this is have a cursory look at what he says he will scrap and what he says he will implement…currently he needs to find $70bn to do all this.  and he has the nerve to say the current government is wasting money.

So with the media’s active assistance in giving him wall-to-wall coverage of his stunt related idiocy or with their passive assistance in not scrutinising him as befits an alternative leader, Abbott is spiralling downwards in ever increasing circles because the polling indicates to him that his tactics are working, leading to even more idiocy being displayed, leading to an increasing dumbing down of politics in this country.  Of course, with offsiders like Hockey and Joyce you can’t help but emanate stupid, but to actively court it is another thing.

And the coup-de-grace?  His ham-fisted efforts at the Clubs Australia thing last night where he “predicted” he will repeal the pokie legislation in government.  He’s so pissweak that he can’t even promise it but can only “predict” it.  Good look on a potential Prime Minister…someone who’s too gutless to make a promise 2 years out from an election.  We really need those leaders who are too wishy-washy to make a committment to something.

Mind you, I’m sure it will get next to no coverage todays anyway.

  1. Catching up
    October 26, 2011 at 6:48 PM

    Predict, the new slogan. He has done himself well, only one word this time.

    I will make an prediction.

    I predict that Mr. Abbott will be found wanting when predicitng the future.

    He will be seen as a poor fortunate teller.

    • October 27, 2011 at 9:02 AM

      I agree CU…I reckon “predict” is Abbott’s version of the non-core promise…

  2. jane
    October 27, 2011 at 10:33 PM

    I predict that he won’t even have a policy two minutes before the next election.

  3. Kevin
    October 28, 2011 at 7:18 AM

    I predict that that Jane is correct. He will sail into office with only a bare minimum of scrutiny, little or no policy detail and a big stinking bag of bile for everyone to enjoy.

    The meme’s of the NBN, pink bats and the BER wastage are so ingrained in the main
    stream that the mere mention of them brings the automatic assumption that they were Bad Things.

    I predict that with the imminent demise of most state Labor governments, people will get a glimpse of what a big happy family life under Mr rabbit will be like.

    • October 31, 2011 at 8:45 AM

      I dunno Kevin…I’m yet to be convinced that he can maintain the rage right up to the election. Even now we can see the shrillness amping up and it looks like the media might be turning a bit because he isn’t providing full entertainment value any more.

      I think it won’t be long before the penny finally drops that he is a one trick pony, and once more people start getting the NBN and when the world doesn’t end as soon as the carbon tax is introduced, those might be the nails in the coffin.

  4. reb
    November 2, 2011 at 11:55 AM

    Thankfully there is a new web site specifically set up to capture all those staged photo shots of “Tony Abbott Looking at Things”


  5. reb
    November 2, 2011 at 5:26 PM

    Massive – a word to the wise, don’t believe everything you read at cafe whispers regarding the departure of Miglo…. Just sayin’…

    • November 3, 2011 at 8:57 AM

      reb, I’ve lurked and occassionally posted at CW for quite a while now and know exactly what the behaviour of TomMbot and his cronies is like,

      I understand that each blog has it’s own tone and characters and that’s a good thing, but when you try to impose your character on a blog with a different tone then friction will occur. It looks to me like TomMbot has tried his standard tactics of derail, talking points and ad-hom in the Cafe, been pulled up short on it as he never does at GT, then had a massive tanty about it.

      Maybe we should just all accept that each blog has it’s own personality and deal with it. If your blog accepts the rough and tumble then more power to it but respect the tenor of others’ blogs.

      Luckily mine doesn’t have a personality so all welcome here 🙂

      • Tom R
        November 3, 2011 at 9:13 AM

        Exactly MS. yomm wants every blog to behave the same way GT does. This just isn’t the case. Not everyone appreciates the sort of ‘rigourous debate’ that can occur there. You know, the sort where you put forward opinions supported by facts, only to have them ignored, have to repeat yourself, have to explain simple English language, and then for those ‘debating’ to ignore it and pretend it was all about what they want to talk about.

        If you are warned, repeatedly, not to derail threads, and persist, then a banning is entirely in order.

        To then go and cry about it and act like a victim? And he wonders why I associate him with RWDB’s. They all possess the same gene in that respect.

  6. November 2, 2011 at 10:09 PM

    Massive, don’t listen to his bullshit. It’s all true. You more than anyone knows what sort of shit people at GT spruke.

    • November 3, 2011 at 9:03 AM

      I do understand what they are like and I’ve contributed my fair share of shit.
      Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you can’t help but get drawn into an argument over there.
      The problem is that it’s really hard to have a debate with people who don’t accept the logic of your argument, resort to talking points and long discredited memes as their “evidence”, and eventually ad-hom.
      It’s descending into a right-wing circle-jerk of stunning proportions with the noisiest drowning out the rest with the occassional snipe thrown in.
      I tend to only snipe there these days, when something particularly egregious gets uttered and the internal pressure builds up and I need to vent…when the stupid burns too much.

  7. armchair opinionator
    November 3, 2011 at 10:11 AM

    Hi Massive and all, just seeing what everyone is up to!

    The problem is that it’s really hard to have a debate with people who don’t accept the logic of your argument, resort to talking points and long discredited memes as their “evidence”, and eventually ad-hom.

    The latest that I’ve heard and it really did surprise me (because I think it must have a basis in legal opinion) is that “it’s not a lie if you really believe it”

    That kind of illogic just amazes and astounds me!

    I need to vent…when the stupid burns too much.

    yes, I understand that and I blame Bolt/opinion media for disguising opinion as fact. There oughta be a law, or at the very least a big banner telling the public that it is an opinion piece and therefore not factual. It needs to be said/displayed each and every time as obviously many people are too lazy or too stupid to tell the difference.

    • Catching up
      November 3, 2011 at 2:35 PM

      “to have a debate with people who don’t accept the logic of your argument, resort to talking points ‘

      It is not so much that they refuse to accept the logic, it is that they do not believe there is any other logic than theirs.

      They do not at any time set out to prove what is wrong with ones logic.

      They attack anyone, personally and sometime brutal, that do not agree with them.

      When you refuse to apologize with what you have said and adopt their version.

      The will not give argument to why one is wrong. They twist what is said. What is worse, hey change the facts of what one says, and accuse them of saying things they did not.

      What they do on their own sites, is their own business. It is not allowable or fair to set out to malign

  8. Tom R
    November 3, 2011 at 10:34 AM

    or at the very least a big banner telling the public that it is an opinion piece

    I AGREE!! (addendum, this is a personal opinion, not a fact) 😉

  9. armchair opinionator
    November 3, 2011 at 10:41 AM

    Just watching Dougie Cameron on ABC24 saying the Muddoch press (scots accent) is an absolute disgrace, a blight on democracy and the inquiry needs to be widened. I didn’t catch what question Doug was replying to though.

  10. November 3, 2011 at 11:04 AM

    Just for the record — as a GT “regular” … I am getting a little pissed off at being lumped in as a shit stirrer when its really only two and one in the background …

    … your actually doing what you are accusing ToM, Ratarse and reb of doing …

    … most of us at GT are bystanders in this crap …

    Just sayin’ …

    • armchair opinionator
      November 3, 2011 at 11:11 AM

      me tb?

      I’m trying to have a pleasant conversation and am not badmouthing anyone except maybe the right wing media.

    • November 3, 2011 at 11:50 AM

      I don’t class you as one of the nuffies in any way at all TB.
      You may have some differences of opinion with me but at least you will attempt to have a lucid discussion.
      Besides…you’re a Queenslander too!!

    • jane
      November 3, 2011 at 12:08 PM

      TB, we’re not accusing you of the type of behaviour ToM persists with. I have never known you to try to derail threads or a blog. Robust debate, yes.

      However, over the last several months both reb and ToM have engaged in trolling both at CW and TPS and when they have been challenged, have resorted to tantrums that would make a 2 year old proud. However, they have concentrated their efforts at CW.

      ToM in particular has targetted female bloggers with abuse, ridicule and threats when they take the argument up to him. Once his bluff is called, he runs away whining and snivelling to reb, who then leaps to his defence.

      ToM used to be fun to debate, but over the last couple of years seems to have swallowed Liberal Party and Murdochracy talking points and bullshit whole, which is fine until he tries to force it on people who refuse to be brainwashed into accepting that Ltd News is anything but a corrupt vehicle for neo-con ideology.

      And for ToM’s information, Migs has the right to ban unacceptable people from his own blog. Let ToM build his own blog where he controls who may comment although I doubt he would be capable of that because he wouldn’t be able to get reb to fight his battles for him.

      • AntonyG
        November 3, 2011 at 3:15 PM

        Jane, good call. This isn’t just a one of, this has been going on for months.

  11. November 3, 2011 at 11:33 AM

    No, KL, not you – I feel much as you do, I think … but its been said/inferred here and at CW that all GT posters are the same … I beg to differ …

  12. armchair opinionator
    November 3, 2011 at 11:36 AM

    Another thing that I have a problem with and maybe it comes down to Australia being a small pond, but i was surprised to learn that Olivia ?Wirth, the spokesperson for qantas was Joe Hockey’s former media advisor.

    Why isn’t that information available every time she appears on the telly? It is very relevant.

    This from newsltd too:

    A criticism of Labor pollies enjoying the qantas club.i don’t get it, because of the industrial dispute, suddenly labor pollies shouldn’t be enjoying the qantas club, nothing at all said about HM Opposition and other politicians/indies who i assume all enjoy the same taxpayer funded perks.

    • November 3, 2011 at 11:51 AM

      Yeah it’s funny how nothing more is being made of Olivia’s LNP ties is it?
      Conspiracy of silence possibly?

      • armchair opinionator
        November 3, 2011 at 12:04 PM

        Conspiracy of silence possibly?

        That’s what I mean by Abbott’s mob continually getting a free pass from a biased media, or the journos are simply incapable of performing at a professional level.

      • Tom R
        November 3, 2011 at 1:07 PM
  13. armchair opinionator
    November 3, 2011 at 12:00 PM

    all GT posters are the same … I beg to differ …

    sorry TB, massive’s reply function is confusing me. Who were you talking to?

    I agree we are not all the same, I don’t have the time or the inclination to busybody and noseypark into what others are saying/doing. I also have a fondness and sense of shared loyalty/camaraderie from our history at Tim’s blog, there can never be animosity or ill feeling on my behalf because of that, only goodwill. Anyway, the more opinion and variety of it, the better I think. Shame it needs to get so personal and nasty.

  14. jane
    November 3, 2011 at 12:24 PM

    If Wirth’s past LNP credentials were known, people would draw certain conclusions and we can’t have that, now can we? It could well cause those with a suspicious nature to suspect that the grounding rumours which Sloppy vows were circulating far and wide in the corridors of Parliament House for weeks, may well have been confined to just one office.

    It’s interesting to compare the cone of silence re Wirth and Lachlan Harris, Rudd’s former press officer. The msm always either preface any report with his former employment or include it in the first sentence of the first par. We’re left in no doubt where his loyalties might lie.
    But apparently Ms Wirth’s former employment couldn’t possibly affect her judgement or loyalties and let’s face it, it would only confuse the punters if they knew. Let’s just concentrate on the Murdoch version of “facts”.

  15. Tom of Melbourne
    November 3, 2011 at 12:24 PM

    Interesting here – Jane
    The commentary that I’ve targeted or bullied females is crap. It is cowardly.
    I’ve asked a few people to quote a comment that provides justification, no one has.
    I have exactly the same types of exchanges with people like Tom R and MS. I don’t have similar exchanges with Kittylitter for example.
    By all means criticise my form and style of blogging, and opinions and knowledge and preconceptions all you wish, but cut this type nonsense.
    Or prove it.

    • jane
      November 4, 2011 at 10:36 PM

      ToM, there you go again. Spare us your crap. You and reb have both spent the last few months attempting to derail CW and had a few pathetic attempts to do the same at TPS. Your only contribution has been to regurgitate Liars Party talking points and Ltd News crapaganda, no matter the topic.

      When you get told to slink your hook it’s sooky sooky lala to reb.

      Then there are your sustained spiteful personal attacks on CU, Sue and Min and the last ditch accusations of homophobia directed at people you are well aware have friends and close family members who are gay.

      I have no intention of publishing your comments here, but I’m sure those who are curious are capable of doing the research at CW or TPS..

  16. Catching up
    November 3, 2011 at 2:38 PM

    “Just for the record — as a GT “regular” … I am getting a little pissed off at being lumped in as a shit stirrer when its really only two and one in the background … ”

    Would not this be better posted at GT. It has been pointed out that there are only a couple of offneders. Most others on the site are decent.

  17. November 3, 2011 at 2:44 PM

    “Would not this be better posted at GT”

    Not when its being discussed across blogs … why tell GT posters what they already know???

    • November 3, 2011 at 2:49 PM

      Not when its being discussed across blogs … why tell GT posters what they already know???

      Especially when they’ll ask you for proof or links, say that it’s just you precious leftoids going on about it, or deny they said it, and besides it was totally out of context.

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