The folly of putting a politician on a pedestal

From stratospheric, even unrealistic heights, Kevin Rudd’s popularity has rather suddenly become much less, according to opinion polls.  Why is this so?  There is any number of journalists who are willing, even eager to offer their opinions, attributing it to this or that – the conventional wisdom, which may be yet another manifestation of groupthink, identifies the deferment of the ETS as the most significant reason.  The temptation is to look for a simplistic direct cause-effect relationship, but life is never, never so simple.

This piece suggests that the problem boils down to the pedestal.  A natural human trait is to seek to elevate some of our number to positions of authority and trust.  We seek leaders who will guide us to the promised-land.  So we place them on a pedestal and hope they will fulfil our dreams and their promise of vision, leadership, courage and strength.  But unless they are mythical god-like creatures from a parallel universe, they can never live up to our dreams and their promises – life is too complicated, variables so numerous, fate so unpredictable, circumstances so changeable.  So why do we put some, but certainly not all politicians on a pedestal?  We know that we are likely to be disappointed, yet we do it over and again.

Just about every poll that asks people to rate groups of citizens on a scale of respectability lists politicians near the bottom, down there with journalists and car salesmen.  So why put any politician on a pedestal; why not stay in touch with reality and accept that doing so will lead to disappointment?  Because it seems to be an inner human yearning to elevate just a few above the masses, to admire them and follow their lead.  So we go on doing so with a tiny handful of politicians despite our poor opinion of them as a group.

This piece maintains that many in the electorate, not just Labor-leaning folk, placed Kevin Rudd on a pedestal and many are now disappointed that he has not lived up to all of their expectations of him.  Who is to blame – we do like blaming don’t we?

Many would say Kevin Rudd himself is to blame.  The Abbott Party and many in the MSM insist he set expectations that were too high – he would do something about petrol and grocery prices, he would ‘fix’ the hospital system to ‘stop the blame game’ and most of all would take ‘decisive action’ about global warming, ‘the greatest moral, economic and environmental challenge of our time’.  Thus the slogan ‘Rudd has over-promised and under-delivered’.  So why did he do what he did, especially pre-election, but also since then?

Politicians are salesmen – they need to sell their credentials, their vision, their ambition for the nation to a sceptical electorate that already has its political leaders, already has a party in power.  Those seeking power have to convince the voters they can do better than the incumbents.  So we shouldn’t be surprised when they make promises without qualification.  How would the public react to: “I will fix the hospital system and stop the blame game, but that will require fighting vested interests and negotiating with the states, and that might be messy and even inconclusive – there may have to be compromises; I may not get all I want.”?  Honest you say, but how many voters would buy such a qualified promise?  Not many swinging voters I suggest.  So politicians are almost forced to make unqualified claims about what they can and will do.  Just take a look at the Abbott Party’s first election ad. 

It’s no good blaming politicians and crying for this elusive thing called ‘honesty’ in political campaigning when the political system under which we work makes this virtually impossible.  There is no virtue in now crying about Rudd, or for that matter any other politician, overpromising – that is the nature of politics and campaigning – just watch for a barrage over the next few months.  It is just too cute for journalists to simulate anger and disappointment about Rudd’s overpromising, just as they did about Howard’s, and every leader before him.  All political leaders overpromise and under-deliver.  We live in a political system of our own creation – we had better get used to it or take some drastic action as a community to change it so that we swap our current batch of politicians for ‘honest’, straight-shooting, say-it-the-way-it-is pollies that we can love and admire, always knowing that what they promise is what they will deliver, 100% guaranteed.  We might as well summon up the fairies at the end of the garden.

So we the citizens have to accept some of the responsibility for promises not fulfilled, because many placed Kevin Rudd on a pedestal, albeit with encouragement from him, and now are somewhat disappointed. Not about all the promises made, as many have been kept, but about some of them that certain people, especially Labour-leaning folk, have held sacred, notably those related to global warming.

Recall the clamour for a Rudd ‘narrative’, both before the election, and more stridently after.  So intense was the insistence of journalists that Rudd must have a narrative, something they asserted he lacked, that I wrote a piece back in September 2008, In search of the political Holy Grail – the Rudd Government narrative.  As that piece asserted, Rudd had already obliged with a narrative that included promises about a variety of matters that he addressed in his campaigning and after election.  The journalists, from Paul Kelly downwards, took ages to recognize that narrative for what it was.  They no longer call for a narrative from Rudd; instead they castigate him for not keeping the promises encapsulated in his slow-to-be-recognized narrative.  Ironically, as the 2010 budget approaches, one the Government chooses to describe as ‘no frills’, even ‘boring’, journalists chide it for taking that low-key, low-promise approach.

As Howard tired and ran short of new ideas, as his Government became languid, the people yearned for an exciting fresh new leader to inspire them.  Kevin Rudd obliged, met the people’s expectations for a new vision, a new start, and new set of aspirations, new promises.  Maybe he should have been more circumspect, but would we have elected a hesitant, cautious leader unwilling to commit to change, to fixing problems that affected the lives of the people, one whose rhetoric was qualified by the difficulties inherent in keeping promises?  You know the answer.

Another thing – the cult of personality.  In his article The politics of delusion in The Drum, Josh Fear, writing about the UK election, says:  “Absurdly, one journalist asked 'Is Nick Clegg Britain's Barack Obama?'. This reflected the common view that it was not the issues that are important in this election, but the individuals involved and the incentives they act upon.  But the very fact that an Obama reference was raised is testament to the longing that many people have for a more inspirational form of politics, in which it is possible to be swept away by force of argument and personality, rather than persuaded by economic self-interest or (more commonly) fear of the other options on offer.”

We need to ask ourselves whether the cult of personality is operating here.  In my opinion it did when so many put Rudd on a pedestal.  We put him there as an appealing authentic personality, but of course many now deride his personality.

So to all who bemoan broken promises, especially fervent Labor supporters, I would say - take some responsibility yourself for placing Kevin Rudd on such a high pedestal, for embracing expectations unrealistic for any politician working in our adversarial system of politics that so constrains good governance.  Like parents disappointed that our kids that we put on a pedestal as uncommonly brilliant turned out not to be so, we need to ‘get real’.

And as Grog points out in his fine piece last week on Grogs’ Gamut: Memo to Kev – what’s the story Kev and the Government should be proud of their achievements and shout them from the rooftops.  Those who share Grog’s view that this Government had accomplished a lot should do the same.  Take Kev off the pedestal where he never should have been placed, accept that despite his foibles which journos like to accentuate, he is a genuine and very smart guy who is busting a gut to improve this nation for you and me, and has made commendable progress in the short time he has had in Government.

Join the counterinsurgency that the Fifth Estate is mounting against the spiteful guerrilla war the Fourth Estate is waging against Rudd and his Government, the effects of which are now being reflected in the polls.

Will you?

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lyn

10/05/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [b]Rudd’s Loss is Not Abbott’s Gain, by Reb, Gutter Trash But Mr Rudd still leads Opposition Leader Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister 53 to 38 with Abbott’s approval rating barely “budging’ at all.[/b] http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/05/10/rudds-loss-is-not-abbotts-gain-part-2/ Nielsen – The Revenge of Malboro Man, by Possum Comitatus, Pollytics, Crikey Abbott’s metrics on approval and preferred PM haven’t really moved (see the charts below), suggesting it was something the Rudd government did rather than anything Tony Abbott has done. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/05/10/nielsen-the-revenge-of-malboro-man/ Neilsen 50-50, by William Bowe, Poll Bludger Worringly for the government, more respondents oppose (47 per cent) than support (44 per cent) the new resource tax. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/ And another one: Nielsen says 50 50 by Peter Brent, Mumble Rudd’s approval has plummeted.. http://mumble.com.au/ More poll pain for Rudd, ABC NEWS But Mr Rudd leads Opposition Leader Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister 53 to 38. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/10/2894419.htm Support for PM drops to record low: poll Business Spectator However, Mr Abbott refused to offer any detail on the timetable for the release of his own policies, saying people already had a pretty good idea of where the coalition stood on the big issues. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Support-for-PM-drops-to-record-low-poll-5ARW3?OpenDocument&src=hp5 Jittery times for Rudd as bitter winter sets in early , by Tony Wright, National Times The only satisfaction that Rudd and his government can take from this poll is that Abbott's opposition hasn't gained any momentum, and that Rudd remains preferred prime minister by 15 points (albeit suffering a fall of 10 points). http://www.nationaltimes.com.au/opinion/politics/jittery-times-for-rudd-as-bitter-winter-sets-in-early-20100509-ulrr.html How a toxic elixir destroyed the prism of trust , by Peter Hartcher, National Times He has fallen so far so fast that he is now more unpopular than Tony Abbott. http://www.nationaltimes.com.au/opinion/politics/how-a-toxic-elixir-destroyed-the-prism-of-trust-20100509-ulqj.html#poll Abbott's credibility gap , BY George Megalogenis, The Australian. Against John Howard, Labor was competitive for long stretches but would come up short on election day http://www.theaustralian.com.au/politics/abbotts-credibility-gap/story-e6frgczf-1225837515619 Street fighter John Singleton tipped to run Tony Abbott's election campaign ,by Simon Canning ,Business the Australian Alan Jones and Ray Hadley are the top-rating talkback hosts in Australia. All of them have been tearing strips off the Rudd government as it backflipped on policy initiatives. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/street-fighter-john-singleton-tipped-to-run-tony-abbotts-election-campaign/story-e6frg996-1225864246863 Government held hostage by the OPPOSITION, Alex Schlotzer Tony Abbott’s style as opposition leader is to oppose absolutely everything; knowing that Senator Fielding will follow the coalition’s position. http://alexschlotzer.wordpress.com/2010/05/09/government-held-hostage-by-the-opposition/ Rudd's new mining tax means lower corporate tax, by Dick Nichols, Green left The hysteria campaign of the mining industry is already running into trouble among other sectors of big business. The superannuation industry has called for bipartisan support for the government’s tax plan, which will be a bonanza for the finance sector. http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/44020 Tony Abbott: “It was hotter When Jesus was alive”, By Reb, Gutter Trash Mr Abbott is now under pressure to justify his claim that it was “considerably warmer when Jesus was alive” however I wouldn’t hold your breath for any intelligent response. http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/05/10/tony-abbott-it-was-hotter-when-jesus-was-alive/ NBN Study puts TELSTRA in a vice, by James Riley, iTWire The bill is listed for debate in the Senate for next Wednesday. The Coalition has already said it will oppose the bill. With the Greens and Nick Xenophon likely to vote with the Government, all eyes again fall to Steve Fielding, who may cast the deciding vote. http://www.itwire.com/it-policy-news/regulation/38888-nbn-study-puts-telstra-in-a-vice Peter van Onselen, and what if the world were free off NEWS CORP TOMORROW? BY Dorothy Parker, [b]LOON POND[/b] if Chairman Rupert paid me to read News Corp publications and watch News Corp shows - it really should be part of the deal http://loonpond.blogspot.com/2010/05/peter-van-onselen-and-what-if-world.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+LoonPond+%28loon+pond%29

HS

10/05/2010Ad Astra, A noble 'Call to Arms'! Of course, there are many of us in the '5th Estate' who are 'straining every sinew' to get the message out to counteract the flat-out distortions emanating from the MSM, and the Opposition. However, and this is where the problem lies, our voice is still that of the mouse, up against the elephant. Yes, we all know of the Children's tale about 'The Mouse that Roared', but, sadly, that is just an apocryphal tonic in order to inspire the intestinal fortitude which is needed to attempt such a fight. It is not a reflection of reality. The reality is that the elephant just has to keep stomping in a closed room, and eventually he will crush the mouse. In this way at the moment, the electorate's perceptions wrt the Rudd government are being moulded in the Boardrooms of the MSM companies, the ABC, and the Mining companies, via their expensive PR flacks. It's an Everest allright, to climb over the top of the entrenched interests that are lined up against a government that dearly wants reforms which will benefit the little guys in our society, but where those self-same little guys are being co-opted by the economic elites to turn against the governmnent, as their livelihoods are so dependant upon them these days, and so they take the bait very easily and turn against a government that's attempting to fight for them. It's put the government into a cleft stick, when it comes to formulating a message to tell, let alone getting it successfully out. How do you counter-attack the propaganda, when one hand is tied behind your back, as you say, AA? Nevertheless, I won't be laying down my arms until the fat lady has sung the end of the story. What alternative have we got?

HS

10/05/2010lyn, Shouldn't that be, 'with Abbott's approval ratings barely budgieing at all' ? :)

lyn

10/05/2010Hi Hillbilly Sounds more appropriate (ratings barely [quote][b]budgieing[/b][/quote] at all' ?

Ebenezer

10/05/2010Rudd only has himself to blame. When you back down on several issues and then shelve the biggest moral issue of our time, after only 2 months ago declaring you will do whatever it takes to get it through, you are asking to get punished. Any further promises after that become very hollow. We all know once your approval ratings fall it is very hard to restore faith in the punters. The only saving grace for Rudd and Labor at the moment is the fact that Abbott is so unelectable, but I remember saying that about Howard in 96. So lets hope Rudd and Co can lift their game and get re-elected. Eb.

lyn

10/05/2010Hi Ad Just in. Hope the Advert. does breach the Advertising Standards Board [b][/b][b]Asylum deaths inquiry needed: Greens,The West Australian[/b] His ad is utterly disgusting. It is factually wrong and all it does is perpetrate fear among the Australian community, Senator Hanson-Young called on the Advertising Standards Board and Australian Communications and Media Authority to review the adds, [b]suggesting they could breach racial vilification laws.[/b] http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/breaking/7199793/asylum-deaths-inquiry-needed-greens/

lyn

10/05/2010Hi Ad Here is another goodie just in: Here come the towelheads, by Bernard Kean, Crikey [u][b]Check out those red – that’d be the colour of danger – arrows. Not just loitering around the coastline ready to be picked up,[/b][/u] but snaking their way deep into the very heart of our great nation. . http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/05/10/here-come-the-towelheads-abbott-hits-his-stride/

bilgedigger

10/05/2010The current hysteria swirling around the Prime Minister also has many links to Scapegoating Theory in my view. Fears and frustrations built up by any number of events, and we have seen plenty of those in recent times, can culminate in an individual being selected "out of the herd" so to speak and pointed to as the cause of all the discomforts and unease being felt. If the individual is "expelled" in some way the current tension subsides and the rest of the group settle back onto the couch feeling temporarily relieved of the sense of dissatisfaction they feel. The use of a scapegoat is a way of distracting attention from the real causes of society's dissatisfactions. In the case of Kevin Rudd it is useful to consider from where the pointing fingers emanate and I think we can easily come up with the parade of finger-pointers nominated on this site in recent times. The Liberal Party want to point the finger away from the huge internal problems confronting them. The media and their powerful backers, including the Liberal Party, don't want a society that might be fully able make comparisons and to clearly see what goes on and much prefer the kind of situation where it is easy to ride roughshod over the majority in order to continue their pursuit of money and power for themselves. I take issue with you, Ad Astra, where you question whether Kevin Rudd "should have been more circumspect" even though you go on to reiterate what we would seek in a leader. I'm not sure that it would have been possible to take any other course than he has taken. We all need to keep in mind the type of Government that preceded the current Government. I don't believe that the current Government is composed of anything else than a group of people who on the whole have the interests of Australia first and foremost in their minds. Perhaps this may sound idealistic but I believe that this is the kind of leadership shown by Kevin Rudd that his parliamentary colleagues have supported him, regardless of what the media try to infer with their references to anonymous sources and the like. The insidious nature of scapegoating is that eventually people start to question their own allegiences and rationale. I fully support your concluding statement and again urge all of us to take concrete actions in writing, emailing and telephoning as many and as varied contacts as is possible to let our voices be heard.

Ethistan

10/05/2010I wonder what the effect would be if we all mounted a campaign to write to our local members and complain about the creeping bias we see on the ABC and the partisan ways people like Tony Jones repeat and rehash opposition talking points. Complaining to the ABC just gets responses like "We are balanced, go away". With some of the people on the board (Albrechtson, Windshuttle, etc), I don't see them stepping up to ensure that government policies are given a proper scrutiny. The squeaky wheel gets the grease as they say, and the Opposition is nothing if not squeaky. Maybe *we* need to give the government the courage to be brave by letting it know those things we approve of rather than be an approving but a separate group that essentially just talks to itself. If all it hears is the biased media and polling companies like Newspoll who have an interest in seeing them lose, you can understand why they might feel disheartened or need to take steps to accommodate the squeaky whiners...

taiwantoday.co.cc

10/05/2010Pingback from taiwantoday.co.cc The Political Sword | The folly of putting a politician on a pedestal | Breaking News 24/7

You must be kidding

10/05/2010Oh my gosh, how the rhetoric has changed in such a very short time with a few poor polls. Folks snap out of it, Rudd will win the October election but he won't see another. This idea that the ABC is biased, you folks have got to be joking. You blame Chris Uhlman for his bias but haven't you seen the news that his wife is a Labor candidate for the ACT at the next election. Are you serious that ABC talk radio is right wing? Are you serious that Tony Jones is right wing and that Kerry O'Brien a former Labor Party staffer is right wing? You can't be serious. Just relax ... these folks are now forced to see Rudd for what he has been all along ... and to quote Monty Python ... HE IS NOT THE MESSIAH, HE'S ONLY A NAUGHTY LITTLE BOY. Perhaps this blog from Shanners might help you with the fifth estate campaign. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/anonymous-blogs-allow-rumour-to-derail-campaigns/story-e6frg996-1225864250416 Relax folks, it's a long way to go and if you are stressed by all of it now what will it be like when the polls get serious during and election campaign. The nervous nellies amongst you should just wipe your palms and have some strength. But I must admit I do like the squirming.

Ad astra

10/05/2010HS Supporters of Kevin Rudd and Labor have a battle ahead. I see Essential Research has come in also at 50/50, but when you read the answers to questions Rudd comes out better than Tony Abbott on almost every count, and on most polls he is well ahead of Abbott in PPM. It's a strange combination of rating him higher than Abbott on most parameters yet marking him down on popularity and the party too. bilgediggger I agree with much of what you say; the scapegoating theory is plausible. Perhaps I should have said "Some say he should have been more circumspect..." If the clock could be rewound, what should Rudd have done to achieve a better outcome? Once the MSM decided to pillory him, no matter what he did it was never enough, never right. Ethistan Let's all do what we can to stop the media onslaught, acknowledging it's a David and Goliath battle.

HS

10/05/2010lyn, It's about time 'The Greens' started turning their sights onto the Opposition. The way they've been carrying on recently you'd think they were part of the Coalition. What they need to realise is that you can too effectively eviscerate Labor governments, and if you succeed in demoralising an ideological confrere in the eyes of the electorate, you both end up losing, even if your vote improves.

HS

10/05/2010biledigger, I can probably hazard a pretty safe guess as to who one of the dissatisfied Labor backbenchers leaking against the PM is...stand up and take a bow, Belinda Neal, de-selected ALP candidate for the Central Coast, NSW, seat of Robertson. She is a mean and spiteful individual, and I wouldn't put it past her to dump on her party to the media, especially now that it has been reported that she is considering a run as an Independant at the poll. Labor's better off without her, but it doesn't help to have her as an enemy.

HS

10/05/2010Ebenezer, The PM hasn't 'shelved the biggest moral challenge of our time', you're just regurgitating conservative talking points there, he has bowed to the reality that Tony Abbott will never allow the Coalition to let it through the Senate, and, no matter what is crafted with The Greens, Steve Fielding will always vote with the Coalition on Climate Change legislation. If he no longer takes the time, after the election, to turn to this issue, especially if The Greens gain the Balance of Power, then I will accuse him of moral turpitude.

You must be kidding

10/05/2010Just a thought HillBilly The Greens are in opposition. There are three opposition parties and two independents. The Government if the want to get legislation through need the support of the Greens and the two independents to overcome the Coalition of the Liberal and National Parties. The Greens are not about giving their competitors in opposition political air time. The Greens had the Coalition in their sights for many years as did the Democrats, the reason? The Coalition was in government. Thus now the government has changed the Greens are maintaining their usual operation. Unless of course you consider them a "ginger" group associated with the Labor Party ... surely not. I mean they have proven in WA that they are very close to the Liberal Party but a bit too close for the leadership of the Greens it seems from all the carry on ... a bit like Evans and Kernot when Labor was last in Government. Suffice to say the Greens are doing what they are paid to do and that is consider and comment then vote on Government policy.

Snoozer289

10/05/2010Ad Astra, I may not be able to articulate as well as many of your well informed contributors, but: I disagree that we have put Kevin Rudd on a Pedestal, I think what Kevin Rudd has done has gone beyond the MSM and communicated directly with the community through his cabinet meetings etc and this has P--off the MSM, to think that a Head of State and his government would talk directly with the community and not through them. As a result the media have gone feral, wanting to show us that it is their right to talk to the community and how dare somebody not include them, this can be seen in the recent commentaries on the resources TAX, if the media were genuine they would be supporting the governments agruement. I do not agree that the government is not selling the message, it is the media that is smothering their message and presenting the negative argument. The MSM have lost control. It is not surprising that the PM's personal approval has fallen so much over recent weeks, as the campaign by the MSM has been so personal and vendictive over the last month, which I believe is very disturbing. As a final point, I would like to say don't loss faith, kevin Rudd is a very good PM, and when he talks directly to the community people do listen. The recent health debate is an example of this. He just needs to find a way to by pass the MSM. Remember before the last election the MSM were just as feral against Kevin Rudd. The community may have a sense of dissolution at the moment due to the MSM, but when it comes to placing that tick in the ballot box, I believe commonsense will prevail.

lyn

10/05/2010Hi Ad Thankyou for another wonderful, brilliant, enjoyable piece. [quote][b]Take Kev off the pedestal where he never should have been placed[/b][/quote] In 2007 , I remember, it was very late in the campaign, the Murdoch papers declared they were going to support Kevin Rudd. The Media created "the Honeymoon" so they can then, knock Kevin Rudd down. It is fair to say the media created the pedestal so they can, then knock Kevin rudd down again, grab a headline. David Spears on this afternoon's, Sky Agenda is like the "Cow Jumped over the Moon", there have been numerous times, Spears will hadly mention the polls, especially when they are good results for Kevin Rudd, not today, "over the moon". jubilant, hee, hee glee. On the panel Bruce Hawker and Graham Morris ( former Howard advisor). Morris said: [b]Kevin Rudd has gone from being: GOD JESUS [quote]BACK TO[/quote MORTAL[/b] Graham Morris says, Tony Abbott in his budget reply, should pick holes in the Budget, but there is no need for the Coalition to have any alternate. [quote]Kevin Rudd and Labor can't live up to the picture they have painted[/quote] err who painted. Bruce Hawker says he suspects, The Government, wants to wait until Tony Abbott displays his full colours.

lyn

10/05/2010Hi Ad This is Essential for everybody: Essential Report – Joining the 50/50 club, by Possum Comitatus Pollytics This makes the most recent polls coming in as 51, 50, 50, 50 for the Coalition from Newspoll, Morgan Phone Poll, Nielsen and Essential Report respectively. Spot the trend! http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/05/10/essential-report-joining-the-5050-club/

Colen

10/05/2010Hello, This is no different to when Howard was in power. The MSm went after him. So who do you think wants to be in charge of the message. The MSm is trying to prove a point, we can help you if you work with and through us, if you don't we can destroy you. You are all getting very excited and agitated over a story. It does not matter who is in power Politicians get in over their heads. They all need a kick in the guts to get them to face reality and come back down to earth. Rudd was on cloud nine, he had lost contact with his base and it has come back to haunt him. He was not elected to court the Kings and Queens of the Entertainment, Political, Literary world but to do a job running a country. He ran before he could walk and now has to learn to crawl back into favour with those who elected him. He needs to listen and take advice. He is not in a position that he can control everything and needs to delegate, have some faith in his minister and their beaurocrats.

lyn

10/05/2010Hi Colen I am not closely aquainted with Kevin Rudd, therfore unable to know, if he has been on Cloud Nine. I would suspect Cloud Nine is not a very good place to be, because there is long hours of hard work, hence 24/7, remember the complaints, Kevin Rudd works his staff too hard. But then we get Kevin Rudd is a do nothing Prime Minister, Mr Blah Blah. I don't know if Kevin Rudd is in contol, all the time, the Media tells me: he is a control freak. The Media tells me all the personal stuff, about the Air Hostess, The Hairdryer, The Swearing, The Strip Club, The Life Story. Do you think Tony Abbott needs a kick in the GUTS, because I sure as hell do.

Ad astra reply

10/05/2010YMBK 

The Greens certainly act as if they are in opposition. They seem to have slain the ETS and have nothing to show for it. Snoozer
 I agree - we must not lose faith. There are several months before the election, during which many initiatives will be announced that the electorate might find attractive, which they will want to compare with what the Abbott Party presents. If Abbott runs true to form his policies will be those that reflect his view of the world, which many clearly find less than attractive, as evidenced by his own mediocre ratings in the polls. Lyn We're all waiting for Abbott to show his true and ugly colors.

Augustus

10/05/2010Lyn I have been thinking the same thing, who is actually pedestalising Kevin Rudd? From the Urban Dictionary and I am drawing on a long bow here but also trying to understand what it is that I am seeing as a voter and not someone who understands the politics. [quote]When a man takes a woman that he wants and makes her his, then proceeds to hold her in such high and un-realistic esteem that he can no longer have a normal or real relationship with her. Putting her on a pedestal. Men commonly pedestalise their wives to try and boost their egos, show off and re-live their mother son relationships[/quote] Replace man with the MSM and woman with Kevin Rudd, mother son relationship with MSM Politician. So along these lines if you then replace Tony Abbott with the other woman then you have well, I put you on the pedestal therefore you have to love me or I am going to pedestalise the other woman, and as a consequence you have the situation where the MSM don't actually know who to support reality or fantasy. Abbott only has oxygen because the MSM choose so, they are in love with the unobtainable alternative and it has clouded their judgement, my mother is a rusted on Liberal always has been but cannot stand the concept of Tony Abbott as Prime Minister for fear of what he will do to this country. From all appearances Kevin Rudd has failed to put his message across he appears totally inept, but is he really? or is that he is only being made to look that way in order to fulfill the fantasy that has been created around Tony Abbott. Please forgive me if this doesn't make sense but I am confused about what it is that I am seeing.

lyn

10/05/2010HI AD AND EVERYBODY [b]HERE IS OUR EVER FAITHFULL GROG, NEVER TO LET US DOWN. fABULOUS, THANKYOU GROG[/b] [b]The Hordes Cometh! (and so too do he facts) by Grog, GROG'S GAMUT [/b] The advert talked about “real action” (a phrase that I wager has been through about 30 focus groups) on the economy, health and most importantly asylum seekers (those evil, illegal bastards). http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/2010/05/hordes-cometh-and-so-too-do-facts.html

lyn

10/05/2010Hi Augustus The MSM love Abbott, they love the danger, the near miss on the Pacific Highway, Lost in the Wilderness on a Quad bike, eating Witchetty grubs, Iron Man Triathlon, endurance Bike rides, Speedo's, Rough Neck, Street Fighter, Surf Life Saver, Fire fighter, Champion Boxer, Mad Monk, Extreme Views, Outspoken Gutter Talk. They love it, makes headlines to sell their papers, pleases their boss, they don't care about how the Government is governing the country, they don't care about the facts, they don't care about our wellbeing, or our feelings. No wonder your depressed Augustus, but don't be, Abbott will bring himself undone [b]it's in his DNA[/b].

Augustus

10/05/2010Ad Astra you raise a good point of discussion about placing politicians on a pedestal should we really be doing that, after all they are employed by us the people to manage the country and not to win a popularity contest [quote]the cult of personality[/quote] I would like to thank you for bringing an important point to our attention and something that needs to be addressed. I always thought that the current government was actually doing that, just managing the country, but it seems that according to the MSM I am wrong and stupid for thinking so, oh well! poor silly me.

Augustus

10/05/2010Lyn its a bit mad isn't it GI Joe for PM!, do I really think he will gain enough traction to acually pull off an election shit I hope not, but he is working the lowest common denominators and lots of them possibly even more effectively than Howard did, this man appears to have no real scuples and he is being so actively supported, Lee Atwater would be proud. What is happening to our country?

Bilko

10/05/2010Yesterday I forwarded Grogs column Memo to Kev to both the ACT labor HOR members and our Senate representive. To date I have had zero response not even an auto response from them. I live in hope. may7 the force be with us

Augustus

10/05/2010Bilko I read Grog's piece yesterday, is it real that Rudd has failed us or is he being smothered with white noise to appear so, these are my questions I really don't know.

lyn

10/05/2010Hi Augustus It is a bit scary I know, Abbott is a real and present danger. Consulation prize is polls are bad for Kevin Rudd, but votes are not going to the Coalition. I think all the polls are rigged, Fairfax and Murdoch, they are a great big conspiracy,to create more headlines, sell more papers. The public are being sabotaged by the Main Stream Media, not long for the paywall to go up, [b]wonder if the poll results will be free reading.[/b] Don't watch Q and A Sophie Mirabella, is trying to give everyone a nightmare.

Augustus

10/05/2010Lyn, Ah yes! Sophie isn't she just a gem, doesn't News Limited have a share in newspoll?.

Ad astra reply

10/05/2010Augustus If this is your first visit, welcome to [i]TPS[/i]. Please come again. Responding to your two posts, the point you made about men ‘pedestalising’ their spouses is an interesting example of what my piece was attempting to say. I agree with you that the Government has done much of what it set out to do, and frankly the numerous commentators who say they can’t understand what Kevin Rudd is saying astonish me. I have listened to him from way back when he was shadow Foreign Affairs spokesman and have always admired his articulateness. Why others can’t understand him is a mystery. Where did they learn the English language? Is the problem with the receiver rather than the transmitter? Of course those who attend to everything he says tire of repeated phrases such as ‘working families’, but he does not talk gobbledegook – this has become an urban myth promulgated by a hostile media and echoed by those afflicted by groupthink, of which there are many, only too anxious to jump on the anti-Rudd bandwagon. What I feel the Government media unit needs is a team that can fashion straightforward succinct messages about Government initiatives, but even the most perfect of those would be drowned out by a tide of criticism by the media which is determined to destroy Rudd.

lyn

10/05/2010Hi Augustus Yes here it is: Newspoll was established in 1985 as a joint venture between News Limited and Yann Campbell Hoare Wheeler. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newspoll

Augustus

10/05/2010Ad Astra quite possibly the receivers, I have never had a problem with what it is Kevin Rudd is trying to say, but I am only looking for the facts, I will admit mantra's bore me senseless and wish that he (Rudd) wouldn't do it, maybe the MSM only hear the mantra's as we heard from Howard which was very much mantra driven. The one word I got to hate so much was MANDATE, Abbott did have a point about straight talking politicians but unfortunatly he himself is just as guitly of the mantra as the next. Maybe our message to Kevin Rudd or any politician is [quote]let's keep it real[/quote].

Augustus

10/05/2010Lyn I'll see your http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newspoll and raise you http://www.newscorpse.com/ncWP/?p=1608

janice

11/05/2010Snoozer, I agree with you and believe this media campaign is unprecedented in this country. We DO have a good PM backed up by an excellent team of people with the nation's interest at heart. Ad astra, perhaps Rudd and his team has been too good at governing? After the election in 2007 the Coalition and their supporters had the idea in their heads that the people made a mistake which would soon be corrected when Labor stuffed up. It didn't happen and, to make things worse, the GFC landed upon us and Rudd and his team lost no time in putting in place the stimulus package that, despite the bleatings of gloom and doom from the opposition, worked and saved our economy. Rudd made an impact among world leaders and after a decade of being looked upon as an inconsequential land down under, there appeared a new respect for our country and our PM. The coalition and our media responded with a string of negatives, criticisms and the hateful words and phrases that have been on the increase ever since. Snoozer's post tells me that he/she is only one of many who are confused between what he sees and feels is a good government and what we are told to believe by the media and Abbott. The latest tactic being employed by the anti-forces is to destabilise the leadership of the Labor party. Julia Guillard is being hounded with leadership questions and Abbott and his Dads Army are "predicting" a win for Labor this election but that Rudd will be dumped as leader soon after. The malice and grubby tactics of the media and the Coalition is boundless.

lyn

11/05/2010Hi Augustus WoW!!!Thanks for the link, you are wonderful. [b][quote] suspicious activities and histories of Rupert Murdoch and his News Corporation, [quote]and their relationship to the monopolistic survey group, Nielsen Media Research.[/quote] [/quote][/b] http://www.newscorpse.com/ncWP/?p=1608 I haven't had time to read it properly yet. But how did you find such Treasure???

Sir Ian Crisp

11/05/2010Phew! For a minute or two I thought you were out to lash Kevin Rudd in your latest OPINION piece. Interesting that you are allowed to have an opinion but when others express an opinion it seems to disturb you. Could it be the case that Kevin Rudd is not guilty of overpromising but has been found to be underqualified for the position of PM? I won’t be answering the clarion call to sign up in Rudd’s Army. Mark me AWOL. If however you have a plan to load ALL our politicians onto a barge and tow it out to sea for use as target practice by our navy I’ll tow it out to sea myself.

lyn

11/05/2010Sir Ian Crisp Why don't you tow the Political Journalist's out to sea, starting with the National Press Club. There, that's a strategy you could work on. We will join you in the fun.

Michael

11/05/2010The ray of light in all this is that no-one is buying Abbott, either. Certainly not putting him on a pedestal. Perhaps because he always has himself on pedals?

lyn

11/05/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS [/b] Anonymous blogs allow rumour to derail campaigns ,by Dennis Shanahan, Business The Australian from the website the "news" can migrate into the newspapers, although it doesn't have to do so before causing chaos and destroying the newspaper's credibility. The political and financial consequences can be grave and irretrievable. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/anonymous-blogs-allow-rumour-to-derail-campaigns/story-e6frg996-1225864250416 Who do you think you are kidding Mr Abbott by Possum Comitatus, pollytics Unsurprisingly, there’s not a red arrow to be seen But this isn’t about facts, is it Tone. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/05/10/who-do-you-think-you-are-kidding-mr-abbott/#comments There are no rogue events — just rogue politicians, Crikey In four consecutive polls over the past week — Newspoll, Morgan, Neilsen and Essential  — the government, and especially the Prime Minister, have taken a pummelling. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/05/10/crikey-says-there-are-no-rogue-events-just-rogue-politicians/ Who is he?, by Politically homeless by Andrew Elder In 2010, The Coalition are like dogs chasing a car: full of sound and fury but are they seriously going to jump in the driver's seat and seize the controls? http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/ Federal Election 2010 : Free Buckets Of Fear & Paranoia For All ,by Darryl mason, The Orstrahyun that fake ad is exactly of the style and theme that we are going to be inundated with all the way up to the election. http://theorstrahyun.blogspot.com/2010/05/federal-election-2010-free-buckets-of.html Still not quite the other guy, by Spock, Groupthink But if you’re running out of reasons why he deserves another chance and a second term, remember: he’s not the other guy. Worked for him last time http://www.groupthink.com.au/ I asked the sun and he said the future's looking bright,by annielane, Not Quite Lois The Abbott/Rudd popularity race has long annoyed me because I always wonder – “Surely Tony Abbott has more to do and say as Opposition leader with relation to Liberal policy than to merely discredit another of Rudd’s policies/actions, even it will sell tomorrow’s paper and draw viewers to TV bulletins..” http://notquitelois.blogspot.com/2010/05/i-asked-sun-and-he-said-futures-looking.html

Augustus

11/05/2010lyn I stumbled over it on this site (I think) some time back. I won't say that the current polling is suspicious but with that much power in the hands of one man I remain alert.

Sir Ian Crisp

11/05/2010Interesting point lyn. I can't recall journos handing out binoculars for things like grocery watch, fuel watch, bat watch, end of the world watch etc. On the other hand, a lad who told us about his waif-like early life said he was sent to help. He has fallen short.

lyn

11/05/2010Hi Sir Ian Crisp Grocery watch and Fuel watch were shut down because of the Miserable Liberal's obstruction You say Kevin Rudd's waif like early life, said he was sent to help. Do you remember the GFC well, I do because, we lost well over 200 thousand dollars from our superannuation funds. It's about time we heard about Tony Abbott's life and shortcommings, Oh no! He is getting an easy ride. Probably why the Liberal Party is begging for money, they have spent their war chest funds on bribes, to you know who.

gusface

11/05/2010Lyn Funnily enough SWMBO mentioned how we always see piccies of the Rudds at Church etc- but with Tone it is mostly just tone and his red underpants

lyn

11/05/2010Hi Gusface I would rather see Church photo's, than continue to hurt my eyes, looking at those red underpants (better name Gusface). Tony Abbott has taken plenty of pot shots, at those church photo's, insinuating Kevin Rudd telephones the Media, to be in that spot, at exactly the time he comes out of church. I suppose seeing Kevin rudd is a do nothing Prime Minister, blah blah, he would have plenty of time to orgainise his photo shoots.

Ad astra reply

11/05/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx Do read the Shanahan article at the top of today's list. You'll smile at the irony of dear old Dennis complaining about blogsites where 'fiction becomes fact', which could derail political campaigns. Something neither he or the MSM would ever be guilty of!

gusface

11/05/2010Lyn Why no Mr and Mrs abbott photos? Why no shots of the abbotts at church?

lyn

11/05/2010Hi Gusface I think Margie keeps her distance, I would if I was the wife, my God, how embarrassing coming out of church in red underpants.

gusface

11/05/2010LYN! Tho the image deserves someone doing a photoshop

lyn

11/05/2010Hi Ad I just cannot wipe the smile of my face, after reading Mr Shanahan's article this morning, Unbelievable, isn't it the hypocrisy is enormous. FICTION BECOMES FACT !!!!!!!!!!!!!

lyn

11/05/2010Hi Ad a late link: Searching for some Red Spot Specials in Swan’s Budget, Media Wrap, Crikey here’s all the bargain basement commentary, analysis and speculation from the nation’s commentators ahead of today’s today’s big reveal: http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/05/11/scrounging-through-the-bargain-bin-of-swans-budget/

HS

11/05/2010Dennis Shanahan writes his articles from Planet Janet, so of course he would say that, wouldn't he? :)

HS

11/05/2010gusface, I couldn't find the photoshopped image you desired, so this will have to do: :) http://www.thistler.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/IAMIRONMAN_pollyrofl_dot_com-400x266.jpg

HS

11/05/2010What rank hypocrisy from Shanahan and Dutton. As in, 'I can use these social media tools to tweak the narrative, but it's just not on for others to attempt the same schtick'. Anonymously! In the article linked to today by lyn, Shanas appears to be appealing for us all, in the modern age, to allow him to continue to be the Public Gatekeeper for the country, by using the artificial construct for his argument that, because there is a 'Fake Dennis Shanahan' out there, ALL this anonymous blogging should therefore be stopped forthwith, and we should go back to allowing the professional ciphers in the media to go about this business untainted by these imposters and their opinions. However, what is left unsaid is that Dennis wishes all who comment, anonymously in blogs and on Twitter, to be exposed for the world to see them when they comment. Probably so the media organisation he works for can track them down and shut them down by employing the full weight of the News Corp. Legal team, as they used to do in the good ol' days, in order to silence dissent. Sorry to say this, Dennis, but that horse has well and truly bolted, and it was the forces of good who let it out.

gusface

11/05/2010Well said HS ps I like,Eewwwww ,that photo :)

lyn

11/05/2010Hi Hillbilly like that photo it is going my gallery, along with quite a few others. Thought, I would save them, in case the Government, asks me for them during the campaign.

lyn

11/05/2010Hi Ad So Joe Hockey will have a response to the budget, before Wayne Swan has finished his speech Efficiency plus. Take a look: [quote]Hi team, you will get a video link to our Budget response even before Wayne Swan has finished his speech tonight. It will not be boring! about 5 hours ago via web [/quote]Joe Hockey tweet [quote]Don't forget swannie has just spent $130,000pa of your money on a new speech writer for tonight...don't fall over from the spin!! about 5 hours ago via web[/quote] http://twitter.com/JoeHockey

gusface

11/05/2010Lyn my reply to the $130k claim @JoeHockey Dont you spend that much each year on KFC #myliberal #alot #ofKFC

Ad astra reply

11/05/2010Folks A piece by Bushfire Bill [i]Wake in fright[/i] has just been posted, ahead of tonight's Budget. http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2010/05/11/Wake-in-fright.aspx

bilgedigger

11/05/2010HS - I thought the Shanahan piece was just flagging what the Opposition intend to do in the run up to the election, ie. place anonymous stuff in the few days prior to the day. Peter Dutton also expressing his "concern" seems to confirm this tactic in my eyes. Goodness knows they have had a lot of practice in this sort of thing in the MSM. Lyn - thanks for the link to the Parliamentary Report on Refugees etc. It is an excellent rebuttal for all the garbage that is spewed out on the subject.

lyn

11/05/2010Hi Bilgedigger Pleasure, Bilgedigger see you over at Bushfire Bills piece. cheers

lyn

11/05/2010 Just testing
What does two plus 1 equal?