A hopeless Government? Ask the Opposition

Late last year I wrote a rather long piece The curse of adversarial politics which was an update of an article I wrote for Possum Box in July, at the beginning of my blogging efforts.  This morning, as I accessed the Liberal Party website to update a regular service on The Political Sword – Opposition Watch, I was reminded that nothing has changed since then, politics is as adversarial as ever, in fact of late negativity has intensified, so much so that it was argued that it was the major reason for Malcolm Turnbull’s unpopularity in Why is Malcolm Turnbull so unpopular.  You will recall my trilateral label: Turnbull’s Terrible Trifecta: Negativity-Arrogance-Disingenuousness.

If you suspect I may be overstating the case, take a look at the following items that appeared on the Liberal Party Website today and yesterday.  In the interests of brevity, I’ve deleted the dates and details of the person authoring the post, leaving just the linked title and the summary.  If you’re interested to learn about any item in more detail, click on the link and it will take you to the page on the Liberal website where the date, author and full text is to be found.  The list is displayed though more to illustrate the style of Liberal media statements, many of which end up in newspapers and on news bulletins.  Is it any wonder the negativity continues and spreads? [more]

Rudd's cruel tease for first home buyers   Kevin Rudd must immediately provide certainty to first home buyers and announce whether the First Home Owner Grant boost will be extended beyond June 30.
Another broken promise on health by the Rudd government   
The Prime Minister took another step back from his election promise to ‘fix’ hospitals by mid-2009, with media reports today the Government is planning to slash access to the health insurance rebate.
Rudd's clean coal commitment faces its biggest test   
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd must step in to save Australia’s only commercial clean coal demonstration plant from being closed down, or have his Government’s claims to be a supporter of clean coal technology exposed as a sham.
Lost: 786 aged care beds Found: aged care crisis  
Evidence from the Department of Health and Ageing has revealed that the Rudd government is losing aged care beds at a rate of 1 every 14 hours and has been doing so since December 2007.
Turnbull interview with David Koch (Sunrise) - Australian economy, the Coalition’s plan for economic recovery 
I don’t think the question of whether we are technically in a recession today or not is the real issue. The real issue is what are we doing to get out of it? Where are the policies? Now Mr Rudd has had his cash splashes, two cash splashes. He said they’d create jobs. Have they created jobs? No. He said they would provide economic growth. Did they create any economic growth? No. We’re going backwards, and we’re continuing to go backwards.
Rudd catering upgraded, troops go hungry 
Kevin Rudd’s priorities for Defence catering should be with troops serving overseas, rather than the VIP jet.
Garrett in hot water over higher solar costs 
Australians face the prospect of paying thousands of dollars more to ‘go solar’ under new Rudd Government plans.
Labor's policy sinks 
This latest illegal boat arrival off the coast of Western Australia demonstrates that Labor’s changed asylum policy has left our borders porous and vulnerable.
14th boat and still no action from Rudd 
Another boat, the fourteenth since the Rudd Government softened its border protection policies and the fifth to arrive in just over a fortnight, has been intercepted by Australian Authorities.
Opposition seeks full audit of Labor's failed broadband tender 
The Federal Opposition is urging the Auditor General to conduct a full audit of the Rudd Government’s failed National Broadband Network tender process which saw millions-of-dollars of taxpayers’ money wasted.
Labor's policy sinks 
This latest illegal boat arrival off the coast of Western Australia demonstrates that Labor’s changed asylum policy has left our borders porous and vulnerable.
Roxon failing on health 
Revelations that only 10 per cent of the nation’s four-year-olds have taken the “Healthy Kids Check” showed the Rudd Government was failing in health.
Prices to soar under Labor's broadband plan - concept economics  Industry predictions that consumers will have to pay more than $200 a month to use Labor's proposed National Broadband Network have now been supported by analysis conducted by a highly-regarded economist.

Not one item escapes the tag of negativity.  It is acknowledged that any Opposition has the task of keeping the Govenment of the day accountable, but is there nothing positive that can be said about the Rudd Government's efforts?  Is it always failing, utterly hopeless?  Where are the positive suggestions coming from the Opposition?

Notwithstanding comments from many journalists that it is the Opposition’s negativity that is costing it in the polls, and that specifically Turnbull’s almost continual negativity is eroding his satisfaction rating and increasing his dissatisfaction rating so that he’s now nine percentage points in negative territory, the negativity continues unabated.

Who is advising the Opposition?  Are the minders really advocating such unremitting negativity?  If so, should the Coalition engage different minders who might begin to replace that image with one more positive?

Can any Government be as hopeless are the Opposition paints it?  How could it be so hopeless and still enjoy such high popularity?  Is the electorate blind, deluded or simply not competent to judge the work of the Government almost half way through its term?  Does the Opposition still believe that a large majority of voters are sleepwalking, and one day will awaken?  Why can’t the Opposition see its negativity is not changing public opinion?  Is Turnbull’s supreme confidence in his own judgement the problem?  Is he or his party capable of change? 

What do you say?

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Bushfire Bill

24/04/2009The endless negativism implies that the country is wrecked and cannot ever be saved until Rudd is out of power and (presumably) some Liberal statesman holds the reins. IT is a message of utter hopelessness, of nothing to look forward to, of a wonderful nation ruined irreversibly. Geez, no wonder no-one wants the Libs back. Apart from the negativity, it's the giant of an ego that these prongos have that rankles. All they have is the assertion that things will be better, no proof at all, except the "success" of the Howard government, which (I seem to recall) was resoundingly voted out of office, along with its leader, just under two years ago. They really do need a dose of the humbles, methinks.

Ad astra reply

25/04/2009Ebenezer, monica Negativism and incompetence is a lethal combination. As you say, by continually carping on the so-called failures of the Rudd Government, the Opposition is saying to the electorate that it has made a fatal mistake. But able to judge for themselves, the majority of the people simply don’t believe them. So the opinion polls go on going down. Austin 3:16, Turnbull is too arrogant for me-tooism. In fact he does the reverse; if Rudd does something Turnbull believes he has suggested, he says he’s ‘glad Mr Rudd has adopted his idea’. BB, I think a lot of the negativity arises from the effrontery they feel from the electorate’s rejection of them, when after all, they are the ones ‘born to rule’. If a ‘dose of the humbles’ was offered, I fear they would choke on it and spit it out in case it dented their self-confidence. Dave55, I too looked at your links and was surprised to see that negativity so pervaded even a site that was seeking ideas. There’s nothing wrong with soliciting ideas, but to contaminate that request with such negativity is counterproductive. How much better it would have been to leave out the negative stuff, throw out a few ideas of their own for comment, and ask the readers for theirs. Their minders seem to have no idea of how to approach the thinking electorate, which is what their request is targeting. It augers sadly for their future. By the way, on this site the <a href= tags are unnecessary. Just drop in the URL as below: http://www.educationforaustralia.com.au/Home/Default.aspx http://www.jobsforaustralia.com/Home/Default.aspx

Rx

26/04/2009The Opposition are afraid that if they support something the government does, some time down the track when they have turn-bulled to criticising it, the government will pull them up and say, "Hang on, a few months ago you supported that idea." So, rather than lay traps for themselves, they oppose everything and agree with nothing. It's safer that way, if you don't mind being petty and mostly pointless. Do you remember when Howard admonished his loyalists to "rage against Opposition"? The way they've been feeling since the election, towards Labor, being in Opposition, and the public for putting them there, pride-wounded hostility is about the most we can expect to see from the exiled Born-to-Rule.

BH

26/04/2009My 20-23 yr old grandkids say they don't listen to Malcolm Turnbull because he is always complaining - they are not even interested in politics but they hear the tone and intent. I haven't heard too many oldies complaining about the hand out they got either so Malcolm & his mates have alienated quite a few. Andrew Robb on Insiders was absolutely flummoxed this morning in trying to explain the asylum seeker problem - they're FIRST inclinations are, as you say AA, oppose, criticise and deningrate. Then they are left with nowhere to go. BB I reckon they are 'pongos' - they are certainly on the nose.

Ad astra reply

26/04/2009Just Me, I checked on [i]Google[/i] for Paul Daley and on the second page found that he is “a Canberra-based writer and an award-winning political journalist.” If you want to read what little there is on him click http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2456715.htm His piece today in the [i]SMH[/i] illustrates the arrogance of some journalists - grossly self-opinionated, often disingenuous, and ignorant to boot. He takes a pot shot at everyone in range – I wonder what the targets of his gratuitous comments think of him? Today I read a write up in [i]The Weekend Australian Magazine[/i] about Russell Crowe’s latest movie, [i]State of Play[/i], where he plays a Washington newspaper journalist, but only on the understanding that he would not play ‘a journalist as a hero’ He despises print journalism and has this to say about it: [quote]“I have a habit of reading newspapers, but if you sit down and read one from cover to cover, you’ll just get frustrated with the sh-thouse grammar, incorrectly labelled articles where the headline is distracting from the real points, a series of lines that infer things that are not backed up by facts, quotes from people who have not yet been contextualised. Maybe it’s to do with a vicious and uncaring subediting process.”[/quote] That just about says it all. [i]State of Play[/i] should be good viewing. Rx, The Opposition is scared of being wedged, as indeed the Government is. At the moment both are avoiding being wedged about boat people. As BH says, Andrew Robb tied himself in knots on [i]Insiders[/i] this morning trying not to state a Coalition position. Does Fairfax have any blog sites? News Limited certainly does, but like you I have had many polite posts rejected, I suspect because of the opinions expressed. BH, I think Turnbull’s continual carping negativity accounts for a lot of the poor polling he and the Coalition are experiencing. It’s dead easy to detect, even by those not all that interested in politics. On [i]Insiders[/i] this morning, Robb was, as is usual, awful – heaping negative comments on the Government [i]ad nauseam[/i]. But Andrew Bolt was worse still. He is an angry man determined to prove his every assertion and prediction is correct, and that the Government, and for that matter any who support it, are stupid. He heaped scorn on everything the Government is doing, so much so that his co-panellists Lenore Taylor and Malcolm Farr had to contradict him many times, and at the end, when asked for predictions, Farr took the opportunity to dress him down – I’ve never seen such a thing before. My take on Bolt is that because he runs the most vicious anti-Government blog, he has attracted the attention of [i]‘Pure Poison’[/i], a [i]Crikey[/i] blog-site that has attacked him repeatedly for his disingenuousness, something which angers him and makes him feel he’s being got at. He even expressed this sentiment on [i]Insiders[/i]. So maybe, just maybe, if enough people challenge his selective use of information, his half-truths, his sheer arrogance, he’ll quieten down, but more likely I guess he’ll express views more paranoid than ever about people ‘getting at him’.

Bushfire Bill

26/04/2009AA, I was only half0listening to Insiders from my office when the program ended. How did Farr castigate Bolt? Can you give some details. (Tried to download it, but they only have the segments, not the whole show).

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26/04/2009BB, I can’t recall what Malcolm Farr said in detail, but what I do remember is that he said we’d heard today a lot from Bolt about himself, including a meant-to-be-humorous reference to his wife not trusting him to pay a credit card account; Farr also pointed to Bolt’s rather paranoid utterances, although Farr did not use the word paranoid. It was quite a spray, the likes of which I’ve not seen on Insiders. I’ve never seen one panellist comment on another in the ‘predictions’ segment right at the end. During the programme Bolt repeated the claim on his blog that the Government had enticed asylum seekers to Australia and some had been killed. In his blog he accused Rudd of being cruel in this regard, more so than John Howard who was trying harder to keep asylum seekers away. He also severely condemned Rudd for his ‘cash splash’ which he insisted anyone responsible for a household budget could see was foolhardy, he condemned the debt that he said would be $300 billion (he did confuse debt and deficit) and that amounted to, as I remember it, $10,000 for every man, woman and child to repay, and that repayment cold take 20 years. I can’t recall all he said, but today he really did rant, and evoked fairly terse rebuttals from Lenore Taylor and Malcolm Farr throughout the program, many more than usual. Even Piers Akerman didn’t evoke such a response last time he was on! Hopefully the full transcript, including the end, will be up by tomorrow.

tweetiepie

26/04/2009Is State of Play a remake of the BBC production?

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26/04/2009tweetiepie, You're right. The article says that [i]State of Play[/i] is [quote]"based on Paul Abbott's superb BBC mini-series of the same name that ran in 2003. It's broadly the same plot..."[/quote]

Ad astra reply

27/04/2009BB, This morning there is still no transcript of [i]Insiders[/i] and we may not get the wrap up where the panellists give their predictions. But there is a segment for which video is available that displays Bolt’s feeling that his co-panellists are getting at him, which indeed they are. The title for that segment is [i]Panel discuss bleak picture depicted by IMF[/i] http://www.abc.net.au/insiders/content/2009/s2552789.htm You would need to select you preferred video player.
How many oranges do I have if I have 3 oranges and take ONE away?