Psephological prediction time!

In his electoral analysis piece published at On Line Opinion, Mark wrote earlier this month:

But at the same time every move in this year’s political game is compared against the Latham-Howard contest of 2004.

The latest “character issue” to “emerge” (or rather to be stoked by inaccurate and hysterical hyperbole from the government) is the Sunrise saga. And what a tedious one it is too. OMG! Politician engages in media management! But what about his judgement, cry the government?

One pundit or other (I forget which one and I find the whole issue too boring to go hunting again for the link) claimed that this was a revelation akin to Mark Latham’s alleged bucks party video.

Whatevs.

The two reasons Sunrise-gate seem to excite the media are:

(1) It’s about the media and the media love writing about the media;
(2) It fits the dumb-assed script.

I’m sure that voters out there in punter (as opposed to pundit) land will yawn, if they were paying attention in the first place. And invoking the “sacred” nature of Anzac Day begs the question of whether any other politician (or, Goddess forbid, media empire) had ever tried to cynically use its symbolism to score a point or win a ratings point. This is exactly the sort of inwardly focused and tedious insider story that turns people off political reporting. One of the only salient observations after Burke/shares/Santoro/standards gate was that perhaps people wanted to hear about policies and directions for the future, not all this hyped hysteria. But that was, like, so a few weeks ago.

Update: Via blacklight in comments, the latest Newspoll headline numbers are out:

tpp: labor 59 coalition 41 (alp up 2)

preferred PM. Rudd 48 (steady) Howard 36 (down 2)

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Posted in Federal Elections, media, politics
62 comments on “Psephological prediction time!
  1. Chris says:

    I don’t know if he is the pundit you are talking about Kim but the always delightful Piers Ackerman began Sundays instalment of unhinged ranting with the spurious Latham analogy.

  2. Kim says:

    Ah, that must be it, thanks, Chris.

  3. Dany le roux says:

    So far Kev seems to gain popularity whenever the hard men of the right give him crap and mud.It reminds me of Clinton when people found out what he was up to with Monica – his popularity went through the roof, because people thought his Presidenial responsibilities surely earned him the right to unwind. I am hoping that Howard will try to match Kev by doing something scandalous or daring or shifty and come a cropper.

  4. Phil says:

    You would think that had Rudd burned virgins at the stake given the attention, (at dawn of course) of course much of this also has to do with the ‘serious’ press gallery media being affronted at him building a narrative and profile outside their control and in a media form they regard as below them and lightweight.

    I think they found out that Mel and Kochy was just as effective as the press gallery in sending a message and they didn’t like it. Poor babies. Just wait until the a pollie decides to bypass them entirely and go in hard online with a full suite of conversational media tools.

  5. ansteybranchopolous says:

    with Milton the monster and Pike the piker its fairly well considered in punter land that the alp are full of tossers and desperados who use the party as a vehicle for self promotion of varying types – to think Garrett sold his soul for stupid dangerous Pike in the Vic State election

  6. Anthony says:

    “It’s about the media and the media love writing about the media”

    And, of course, the media are then the first to dismiss blogs as being narcissitic and navel gazing.

  7. observa says:

    What’s happened here is the media are detecting a change in Rudd. At first it was Mr Squeaky, open amd frank with the media, unlike his opponents who he had nailed in the AWB as being asleep at the wheel and blaming their minions for not bringing things to their attention. Well suddenly on top of the Burke affair, has come the Anzac Day affair to demonstrate that Rudd quickly takes the blame the staffers approach, I didn’t know, how could I be on top of everything, etc. The same stance he’s accused the Govt of taking improperly. Then suddenly Kevin’s very busy behind the wall of minders again. There is a subtle assessment shift going on as Mr Squeaky begins the slow tarnishing process of incumbency and the scrutiny that goes with it. Does Kevin have a glass jaw, the journos are beginning to ask?

  8. The Devil Drink says:

    You would think that had Rudd burned virgins at the stake … (at dawn of course)

    Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it, Phil.
    Chop them up a bit and keep the mull loose, that’s what works for me.

  9. Kim says:

    subtle assessment shift

    None too, I’d have said.

  10. suz says:

    Does Kevin have a glass jaw, the journos are beginning to ask?

    With the emphasis on the word ‘journos’.

    I saw the 7.30 Report on this on the ABC tonight (no transcript yet), they used Mark Day as the journalistic voice of God. In the end my partner asked me to explain what the story was about, it was so confusing and light on facts. I think very few people are going to buy Hockey suddenly changing his position – it’s clear he’s been leaned on.

    Whenever I hear the word “character” from these people, I want to throw up.

  11. Frank Calabrese says:

    I think very few people are going to buy Hockey suddenly changing his position – it’s clear he’s been leaned on.

    Too Right, how DARE the lib’s appear human on Breakfast Television. And what about Abbot/Gillard on Nein – will that get the chop as well ? I have a sneaking suspicion on what was being planned was some pre-recorded bit on Veitnam followed by Rudd/Hockey doing a Stand up discussion/tribute at the Memorial. Television is all about vision – so of course there would’ve been discussion on what was going to happen – there was NOTHING set in concrete.

    And it’s rather ironic that Kerry Stokes is a member of the Liberal Party 500 Club – talking about having an each-way bet.

  12. observa says:

    There was always a bit of naivety on Rudd’s part that he could continue the chummy Sunrise stint, as a prospective PM. He had to realise as Stokes was concerned, that sooner or later, favoured choice of one media outlet would raise the hackles among the others. All it needed was a really chummy stunt to bring that all to the boil. That’s now been rectified of course, but Rudd and his think tank were asleep a bit here, although it was natural to want some ‘free’ publicity and the warm fireside banter approach with Hockey. The real damage is the media now knows that Kevvy blames his minions too when the going gets tough and we all know the drill there. This is the making of PMs of course and it’s natural for the media to speculate if he’ll crack like Latho did under the early pressure. Is he a true Howard with Hair, that is the question?

  13. nudiefish says:

    I’m not exactly the world’s biggest blockhead, and I have read about a hundred things about the Vietnam sunrise thingie, but I just don’t get it.

    What crime did Rudd actually commit?

    All TV is bullshit. The Sunrise special was always going to be bullshit. Who cares if it was run an hour before dawn or an hour afterwards? WHO BLOODY CARES?

    Why doesn’t Kevie just ignore all the crazy blatherings?

    Maybe it is just me…..

  14. Chris says:

    Does Kevin have a glass jaw, the journos are beginning to ask?

    No they are not. One thing the commentariat do not do is ask. They are beginning to tell, just like they told us that Rudd was Mr Squeaky. I doubt the punters swallowed that, and I can’t see them buying this glass jaw nonsense either.

    The public do not like Rudd because they think he is saint Kevin. They like him because they find him inteligent and respectable, no more than that. The reason his numbers are so good has as mmuch if not more to do with all the issues in his favour as it does his personalities.

  15. Christine Keeler says:

    I’m not exactly the world’s biggest blockhead, and I have read about a hundred things about the Vietnam sunrise thingie, but I just don’t get it.

    Gawd, nudiefish, join the club. This is as big a non-story as prince William and his girlfriend.

  16. observa says:

    “I have read about a hundred things about the Vietnam sunrise thingie, but I just don’t get it.

    What crime did Rudd actually commit? ”

    It wasn’t any big deal untill the critics waded in about a TV spot of convenience demeaning the Dawn service for our fallen and Ruddy, sensing some political fallout(votes) saying he wasn’t considering doing such a thing. That didn’t subsequently square with emails at his office and the similarity of response with the Burke affair was immediately drawn by the gathering wolf pack. Not a huge deal except that Rudd has taken the Govt to task for exactly the same approach to things like the AWB scandal and the like. It’s called the sweet stench of hypocrisy in the morning and now the media are going to be ever alert for it in their nostrils again. They’re full of themselves as the next Woodwards and Bernsteins naturally, which makes them so voracious about these things. Howard’s had 10 years of it remember(and don’t they remember every little detail) and Rudd wants some of what he’s having. Trust me, he’ll get it if he cuts the mustard and makes PM.

  17. observa says:

    Oh and we political junkies on the other side get to point at your bloke and chant liar, liar, your pants are on fire, with much gusto, to which your lot go hrrrmphh!

  18. Phil says:

    Yes, I do believe Hockey has taken one for the team. As I said on my own pissy little blog earlier today.

    So is it just me thinking that IR minister Joe Hockey has taken one for the team, and the media pressure applied by right wing (all) media commentators on Rudd was just a parroting of behind the scenes Govt spin?

    Then up pops comments spinning the right wing glass jaw talking point and making an odd comparison with Sunrise and AWB…..I couldn’t laugh any harder……and Rudd as Latham? Laughed even harder at that one. And saying the journos are beginning to ask? More like someone regurgitating talking points they heard at drinkies…….non attributable of course.

    I’m expecting Kevvies numbers to stay just where they are, though if they do drop within the margin of error I’m sure Dennis Shanahan will be there to paint lipstick on that particular pig….along with helpful commenters.

  19. Christine Keeler says:

    New Newspoll figures just in. Labour’s increased it’s lead. Poor old Johnny just can’t take a trick.

  20. tim g says:

    Here’a novel phrase for me: I agree with observa. Rudd should have given up the Sunrise gig the instant he became leader. It had served its purpose for him by then. From that point on the benefit of having a regular morning media platform was outweighed by the danger of being tainted by association with the inherently dodgy world of TV “infotainment.”

  21. Frank Calabrese says:

    New Newspoll figures just in. Labour’s increased it’s lead. Poor old Johnny just can’t take a trick.

    Any source of the figures ?? Oh and I note Matt Price is being another Howard Cheerleader – what great move for someone who once did a live cross for an FM Radio stunt seling cheap fuel in the 1980s

    Warning 7.5 meg video download.

    http://www.96fm.com.au/audio/96fm_FreeFuel.wmv

  22. blacklight says:

    tpp: labor 59 coalition 41 (alp up 2)

    preferred PM. Rudd 48 (steady) Howard 36 (down 2)

    dear oh dear

  23. adrian says:

    Can’t wait for Shamaman or one of the other News Ltd spinmasters journalists to tell us that Sunrisegate just hasn’t had time to sink in yet.

    Bunch of cretins.

  24. blacklight says:

    Well we are still waiting for burke-gate to bite apparently

    😀 😀

  25. philip travers says:

    Face up to it,the Rudd person is a liar.That is the simple message reflected in all the media mirrors.One lie after another either stated or as over-bloated recourse to being in a job and being quoted in pursuit of other liars really gets down to being the hunter and hunted re lies.The fox on the horse is now the fox on the ground and the media in part,are refusing to be a ready horse again.So if Rudds popularity is holding it is simply because the media have proven what the electorate already knows and they are horseless, but,cracking the whip!

  26. Christine Keeler says:

    A few more weeks and we should expect the Official Government Freak-Out.

    At this rate I think we can each expect $150 in cold hard cash direct to our mailboxes when Cossie brings down the budget.

    Votebuying is such an ugly word.

  27. Bill Posters says:

    Sooner or later, favoured choice of one media outlet would raise the hackles among the others.

    Observa in completely right shock: this is indeed a pissing contest between media outlets.

    I think the impact of Rudd’s alleged dishonesty will be somewhat blunted by this fact, as it’s blatantly obvious everyone’s real targets are each other, with Rudd just a convenient stick with which to lay into all and sundry.

    The whole story has become silly and confusing.

  28. Kim says:

    Sunrisegate just hasn’t had time to sink in yet.

    Permeate I think is the approved term. 🙂

  29. BearCave says:

    The more “gates” confected by “the elite media attitude” of many newspaper editors across Australia, the more it becomes “Dog’s Breakfast Gate”.

    Today’s poll confirms that many of our Canberra-centric, mainsteam media editors are “out of touch “with the hearts and minds of ordinary Australians.

    …From Justin

  30. Katz says:

    Vietnam would have been a great place for a media stunt dawn ANZAC Day service.

    Like Gallipoli, it was the location of the wrong bettle at the wrong time.

    I’m looking forward to the Iraq media stunt ANZAC Day service in years to come.

    [Trivia note. In The Green Berets, a John Wayne Vietnam War movie stinker, the final scene depicted the sun setting, Cowboy Movie Style, over the South China Sea. In other words, for the movie, they turned Vietnam back to front. Looks like Sunrise attempted to do something similar, for artisitc effect, of course.]

  31. Frank Calabrese says:

    Speaking of Shamaham:

    http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/dennisshanahan/index.php/theaustralian/comments/ruddslide/

    Although it is probably too early to draw any final conclusions about the false dawn furore and pasting he’s copped – particularly in Sydney – the Newspoll survey in The Australian suggests he hasn’t lost any ground yet.

    The questions that remain for Rudd are what longer-term impact the Anzac Day false dawn will have on his credibility and judgment, and how damaging will it be for him, as Leader of the Opposition, to lose a regular spot on a top-rating morning television program.

    A Predictable Tune, straight out of the News Ltd Liberal Songbook.

  32. Frank Calabrese says:

    hmm, I’m being moderated, can someone retrieve one of the double posts I made on Shamaham’s comments re Newspoll.

  33. Kim says:

    Yes, very interesting.

    the Coalition’s primary vote fell from 38 per cent before Easter to 35 per cent.

    That’s a panic stations primary – just over 1 in 3 voters.

    In the week leading up to the Newspoll, Mr Rudd has faced serious attacks on his credibility and judgment over his involvement in the proposed televised dawn service.

    Which no one but Shanahan and his mates took any notice of?

    While Mr Rudd’s satisfaction rating was unchanged on 66 per cent, dissatisfaction went from 14 to 16 per cent.

    Gosh, golly!

    What’s all the quotation of Howard’s slurs doing in the story btw?

  34. Christine Keeler says:

    During the past two weeks, Mr Howard has hosted a Council of Australian Governments meeting in Canberra and faced criticism from the Labor premiers over climate change and industrial relations laws.

    During that time, satisfaction with Mr Howard as prime minister fell from 44 to 42 per cent and dissatisfaction was virtually the same at 49 per cent.

    While Mr Rudd’s satisfaction rating was unchanged on 66 per cent, dissatisfaction went from 14 to 16 per cent.

    Can it get any worse for the Kirribilli Weasel? There he is being all leaderly like and nobody pays a whit of notice.

    Meanwhile, Steve Lewis appears to be on some heavy-duty cold tablets. In paragraph after paragraph on the hugely massive portentous Sunrise Force 10, erm, zephyr, he bangs away, much in the manner of a blowfly seeking egress through an indifferently locked window.

    Reading Steve you’d think this must be the biggest scandal since John Howard dumped Workchoices on us without telling anyone:

    But Labor figures worried at how Rudd has bungled the Sunrise affair will take little comfort from the good poll results for their leader because the saga will again raise questions about his judgement, questions that Rudd can ill afford as the election year template falls into place.

    Labor MPs are hoping the Sunrise matter will fade away, that it is an insiders issue that will fail to resonate in the lounge rooms of middle Australia. Perhaps in the short term that is right, but Rudd has to overturn a growing perception that his judgement, when it really matters, is unsound.

    And so he slogs away through the sludge, word after weary word.

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21567213-601,00.html

    Or is he just recycling the Latham talking points from four years ago? Non-story about a non-event.

  35. Frank Calabrese says:

    What’s all the quotation of Howard’s slurs doing in the story btw?

    No doubt to highlight HoWARd’s message on how evil Rudd is. Oh and did you notice the story about Rudd co-hosting “Mornings with Gina Riley Kerri-Anne ? Before the Doomsayers say how crass that is, lest we not forget her getting Cossie to dance the Macerna , or for those with even longer memories, getting Keating to conduct the Midday Orchestra.

  36. Christine Keeler says:

    I would think getting the seal of approval from KAK should have the Lib minders a bit worried, eh Frank?

    At least now he’s over on Nine I reckon the Sunrise yarn will shrivel like dessicated coconut.

  37. Frank Calabrese says:

    Well with Bert being a lifelong ALP Man, and Eddie once being courted by Labor, THe libs would be worried, note Rudd’s former employer Laurie Oakes was singing from the same Lib/News Ltd Song sheet ?

    And BRissendon on “Our ABC” is proving once and for all that the so called “Left Bias is all a load of Canine Merde 🙂

  38. Christine Keeler says:

    Oh fuck. 21 people killed in another US shooting

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20070416/virginia-tech-shooting

  39. Ken Lovell says:

    Rudd has to overturn a growing perception that his judgement, when it really matters, is unsound.

    Yep, he might be OK at stuff like foreign policy and improving federalism but when it comes to the really important things like how to deal with a bunch of windbags and self-appointed tribal elders in the media, he’s hopeless. Obviously his priorities are all wrong, he should leave that crappy policy to stuff to his staff and devote himself 24/7 to being talk-back radio host to the nation, just like the bloke whose job he wants.

  40. Howard will definitely go down this election. (Small brag: Since 1993 I have correctly called every federal election.)

    The people dont necessarily disagree with Howard’s major policies, which, WC aside, are more or less the same as the Rudd’s. cf the Great Convergence. The eery thing about this campaign is the similiarity between the two parties, not just in policy but in leader personality.

    Both parties are converging to a populist ideological centre of moderately statist fiscal equity policy, moderately nationalist cultural identity policy and moderately conservationist environmental sustainability policy. So policy differences are not all that relevant to the contest, WC aside.

    Its not the size of Rudd’s lead in the polls that impresses me. Its the people’s reaction to Howard’s attempts at clawing back political ground, both in policy moves and personality attacks.

    They are just sick of him and his ceaseless politicking. So every time Howard tries to confect some scandal about Rudd it only re-inforces their suspicion that Howard is trying to desperately to hang onto power. If there is one thing Australians dislike it is a person who wont let go of the ball.

  41. Ken Scott says:

    This is not about Kevin Rudd, it’s about John Howard. This is going to be a drover’s dog election. The Liberal party’s flacks realise this and are desperately trying to damage Rudd as part of their strategy. Meanwhile, their ship is sinking.

    The problem is that Howard and Co are beholden to special interests, which are big oil (overseas) and big coal (domestic). They are locked in a desperate lovers’ embrace that is turning to rigor mortis as we speak.

    No amount of character assassination will alter the fact that the punters want clean renewable energy and that Howard is not going to give to them. Neither is Rudd by the way, but the Liberals aren’t going to argue against themselves. That’s what I mean by rigor mortis. The Liberals have no room to maneuvre on this issue. Zilch.

    Howard is ratshit and it is looking likely that he will bail out before the next election because he is a self-serving coward (we know this from the many times he has sought to blame public servants for his costly political mistakes). Centrebet odds have gone from roughly evens to 1.75 for ALP and 2.00 for Coalition in about a month.

    Instructive is also Bennelong. McKew went from 5.90 to 3.25 in a month. Howard has only dropped 15 cents. This indicates that the punters think he will not stay to fight the election. The odds do not indicate the relative chances of McKew and Howard but whether McKew will fight another candidate.

    My guess is that most of the propagandists parroting Murdoch media rubbish on this blog will change their pseudonyms otherwise others will have a field day or days dipping into their archived threads and taunt them mercilessly with what they wrote.

    To sum up. Kevin Rudd is a prick but Howard is a bigger prick and the ALP will win the election: climate change, WorkChoices, teachers’ pay, Iraq civil war – none of these things aren’t going to get any better for Howard. See ya Johnny.

  42. Kim says:

    Character and judgment will be all important when voters give their verdict in the case of Rudd v Howard.

    Labor can win the election, but its popular leader can ill-afford further significant slip-ups as he tries to build trust with an electorate that has remained steadfastly loyal to the Coalition for the past four elections.

    How much do these dopes get paid again?

  43. adrian says:

    You are being too kind, Kim. I think cretin is a better word to describe them.

    Particularly after listening to Virginia Trioli describe Sunrisegate as “the latest outrage” to Malcolm Farr this morning.
    And why are so many of these News Ltd cretins journalists given airtime on our ABC??

  44. Andrew E says:

    Alan Ramsay did an excellent article on how Howard has defaced Gallipoli, which puts the Long Tan kerfuffle in perspective.

  45. Katz says:

    I am informed by ALP insiders who have access to ALP focus group interview results that focus group participants are processing Howard’s and other Liberal leaders’ comments and actions in the following way:

    [Throwing doubt on Rudd’s story of his childhood, the Burke imbroglio, Sunrisegate, etc., etc.] that’s how Howard has always manipulated public opinion in Australia. We now hove doubts about his truthfulness and we don’t like being manipulated in that way by this clever, cunning and ruthless politicians.

    I am informed that the ALP has decided to play up and to draw attention relentlessly to Howard’s status as a “clever politician”. “Of course, we must respect Mr Howard as a clever politician.”

    Whenever voters hear “clever politician” they think, “mean, tricky, cynical, manipulative”.

    In that way the ALP believe they have turned an erstwhile positive for Howard into a negative. And they believe that whenever Howard attempts his once successful tricks he reinforces public opinion of him as “mean, tricky, cynical, manipulative”.

  46. Christine Keeler says:

    F**kin’ A, bubba.

  47. Lang Mack says:

    (Having a good look around in case Miss Keeler is here 🙂 )

    Rudds so called “errors” have actually worked for him, it’s pointed out the ten years of deceit and outright lies that Howard has inflicted on the public, in a way that is so subtle yet effective. Take two people, one who is shifty and mean, can’t be trusted and then the other who seems the opposite , fair minded, well intentioned and well mannered, and trustworthy. Well the first you expect to behave like a grifter so you get used to it, the second makes minor apparent out of character errors, so called, and it points out just what a charlatan the first is. Especially when the charlatan is pointing the finger…..

  48. Enemy Combatant says:

    “If there is one thing Australians dislike it is a person who wont let go of the ball.”

    Yes, Strocchi, especially a selfish little whinger like Captain Rats. But as Kenny Scott points out, Jaunie Rodentita lacks bottle: “(we know this from the many times he has sought to blame public servants for his costly political mistakes). ” Especially when he is about to be gang tackled. His inate shiftiness will intervene to spare him the ignominy of electoral slaughter. Expect a cleverly manufactured hospital pass to The Smirking $weetie who will grasp his precious but meet the same fate as Smeagol, as it were.

    AquaBoy Turnbull can sniff political blood in the water. He’s trained hard, done good. Them extra laps in training have paid off and he’s tapering a treat.

  49. observa says:

    “To sum up. Kevin Rudd is a prick but Howard is a bigger prick and the ALP will win the election”

    No, Howard’s prick has just been measured longer than Rudds and so the polls are now pointing to the inevitable. Govts lose elections rather than Oppositions winning them and when did the electorate ever get it wrong eh?. Rudd is in the right place at the right time and as Jack points out, he’s been able to take the reins when Labor is falling over themselves to look like the Howard Govt.

  50. steve says:

    Obby, you forgot that the Government is falling over themselves to look like an opposition, but they are not even fit to do be an opposition. They are just a leaderless rabble.

  51. Katz on 17 April 2007 at 12:40 pm

    I am informed that the ALP has decided to play up and to draw attention relentlessly to Howard’s status as a “clever politicianâ€?. “Of course, we must respect Mr Howard as a clever politician.â€?

    Whenever voters hear “clever politicianâ€? they think, “mean, tricky, cynical, manipulativeâ€?.

    In that way the ALP believe they have turned an erstwhile positive for Howard into a negative. And they believe that whenever Howard attempts his once successful tricks he reinforces public opinion of him as “mean, tricky, cynical, manipulativeâ€?.

    That sounds about right. I have been getting that same feeling for more than a month. In fact just this afternoon I had another bout of Howard ad nauseum:

    They are just sick of him and his ceaseless politicking. So every time Howard tries to confect some scandal about Rudd it only re-inforces their suspicion that Howard is trying to desperately to hang onto power. If there is one thing Australians dislike it is a person who wont let go of the ball.

    Howard’s political cleverness is creating blow-back among his luke-warm supporters. The way they turn away from him in droves every time he tries to put one over Rudd is a sure sign that they are sick and tired of him.

    He shoulda bailed when he had the chance.

  52. Christine Keeler says:

    Howard’s political cleverness is creating blow-back among his luke-warm supporters. The way they turn away from him in droves every time he tries to put one over Rudd is a sure sign that they are sick and tired of him.

    He shoulda bailed when he had the chance.

    Oh Jack, Jack, Jack, sometimes I just despair at the cynicism. What you don’t realise is that he’s a political genius of a depth unparalleled in human history. Finger on the pulse, unique connection with Australian psyche and all that.

    I know this to be a very great fact because Shanahan, Kelly, Hendo, Sheridan, Ackwit, Boltferbrains, and Pricey have drummed the message into me with their relentless penetrating analyses for just, oh, absolutely yonks.

  53. Christine Keeler on 18 April 2007 at 12:32 am

    sometimes I just despair at the cynicism. What you don’t realise is that he’s a political genius of a depth unparalleled in human history. Finger on the pulse, unique connection with Australian psyche and all that.

    I know this to be a very great fact because Shanahan, Kelly, Hendo, Sheridan, Ackwit, Boltferbrains, and Pricey have drummed the message into me with their relentless penetrating analyses for just, oh, absolutely yonks.

    You have to rate pundits as a long way back in third after punters and polls in the predicting pontificating business.

    But for all the silly, partisan and fawning apologetics cranked out by the aforementioned pundits they did get one thing right: Howard’s retro-conservatism has been in step with a shift in the cultural politics of this nation to the populist Right.

    Keating’s most substantial cultural legacy turned out to be the eponymous musical comedy: a case of life ingratiating art. Howard’s conservative legacy is his mini-me: the ostentatiously Christian, boringly white-bread Kevin Rudd.

  54. Bridie says:

    Slick, but not true, Jack Strocchi.

    A 2007 ABC Radio National survey ranked Keating’s December 1992 Redfern speech (reputedly penned by Bob Ellis) third behind Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech in Washington in 1963 and Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount.

    I remember the jolt I felt when a group of public servants were asked in a training session, mid-1990s, what being Australian meant to us. Everyone said we didn’t understand the question, or rather understood it, but felt nothing, could say nothing positive personally, beyond shallow cliche, about nationality and identity.

    Today I for one would answer differently, and if I had to make a list, Keating’s Redfern speech, what it represented, what it still means and says today, though cancelled out a thousand-fold by current circumstances and reality, lack of majority will and minority political defeat, would be high on the list of what has made me proud of my country of birth.

    It begins, I think, with the act of recognition. Recognition that it was we who did the dispossessing. We took the traditional lands and smashed the traditional way of life. We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. We took the children from their mothers. We practised discrimination and exclusion.

    It was our ignorance and our prejudice. And our failure to imagine these things being done to us. With some noble exceptions, we failed to make the most basic human response and enter into their hearts and minds. We failed to ask – how would I feel if this were done to me?

    http://www.eniar.org/news/keating.html

  55. Christine Keeler says:

    You’re not supposed to mention Keating the name of The Dark Lord, Jack. Haven’t you heard that there is this huge secret army of Evil Minions who relentlessly chip away at the reputation of Howard The Good And The Wise just so he can be reinstalled and enslave us all?

  56. Kim says:

    I’m minion #67890.

  57. Christine Keeler says:

    Pssst: Code of the day is ‘Zhukov’s nickers’. Don’t forget.

  58. BearCave says:

    I sense there is a disconnect between a Canberra-centric media elite
    and the rest of the Australian public, with regards to current
    attitudes towards Kevin Rudd.

    While the media insists it wants to “question” Rudd more often, I
    also challenge the mainstream media to accept that it ought to be
    questioned over it’s very transparent attempts the “control” the exact
    start and finish times of “Kevin Rudd’s honeymoon”.

    It seems that they expect the general public to seek their approval
    for a new PM.

    In particular, I intend to carefully consider the words put to Rudd by
    Laurie Oaks at the National Press Club on Tuesday:

    “Do you really think you can heavy the media? And what are you going
    to do about the glass jaw?”.

    I’m not claiming to “fully understand” the detail of Oaks’ dispute
    with Rudd…at least not yet (not that it necessarily matters whether
    many Australians ever do). But……just who does Laurie Oaks think
    “the media” is in 2007???

    This is why, for the time being, I want to define a section of the
    media as “the media elite”. I not only want to question how important
    the traditional media regiments are, but also how important they
    consider themselves to be.

    Laurie Oaks and his media peers had better start accepting their
    biggest problem is the current opinion polls prove they have less
    control of Rudd’s fortunes than they “feel entitled to”, and until
    they accept their attitude needs changing, they risk producing “a
    dog’s breakfast critical attack” against Kevin Rudd.

    It is unacceptable that this media elite discount the opinions of
    people that make up Labor’s currently strong primary vote, as well as
    a new generation of people creating, not just consuming, media.
    While Laurie Oaks and others also display a simplistic understanding
    of Public Relations with their Canberra-centric “glass jaw” rhetoric,
    they also risk putting half-baked PR effort ahead of “straight up
    journalism, on the rocks”.

    …From Justin

  59. BearCave says:

    Oops, I didn’t it again!

    Broken lines from cut and pasting the above text from another source!!! :O

    As punishment, I will now shave my head like Britney and check into HTML Rehab 🙂

  60. torbroke says:

    Ah yes, the LibLab’s party. We are compulsorily invited. I’ve got a hankering to vote for mass democracy rather than representative, but it doesn’t seem to make it onto the entrance ticket. Still, good lineup, Beds are burning by I’m a millionaire christian, my chinese friends by smoothdancin’ christian, I’ll only let in the rich and 457, by gold tooth flash, and a pack of Who the f? on the senate VIP tent list. Hmmm, can’t wait…

  61. Christine Keeler says:

    This is why, for the time being, I want to define a section of the
    media as “the media eliteâ€?. I not only want to question how important
    the traditional media regiments are, but also how important they
    consider themselves to be.

    I think they’d better characterised as a pack of overpaid tossers who have spent the best part of the last decade simply regurgitating government talking points under the guise of fearless independent analysis.

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