Two infuriatingly asinine comments by established press gallery journalists this morning, highlighting just how poorly served are Australians by the media on which they rely for political information – one by Malcolm Farr, the other by Michelle Grattan.
Grattan on the Melbourne by-election:
Gillard would be likely to cop much of the flak – within the party and in the commentary – if the Greens seize this traditional Labor patch. That would also reinforce the message from the Greens’ Labor critics about how dangerous they are to the ALP.
Great advice there, Michelle. If the Greens win, if progressive voters in a left-wing seat think the Greens are better advocates for consistently progressive policy than the ALP, then the ALP should conclude that it must attack them more (ie: smear them in papers with mad claims like “they’re going to shut down football”, and preference right-wing parties like Fundies First and the Liberals ahead of them) and alienate more left-wing voters.
The message of the Greens taking the seat couldn’t be that voters want the ALP to work more with the Greens, not less, could it?
I love this “heads” the ALP should be nastier to the Greens, “tails” the ALP should be nastier to the Greens thinking. If the ALP wins, I’d bet good money Michelle would argue that it should be taken as a refutation of the Greens and evidence that the ALP should treat them worse. If the ALP loses, well, it’s a refutation of Labor working with the Greens and evidence that the ALP should treat them worse.
No serious assessment of just what those voters might be thinking, and what the ALP might need to do to win them back. It must be infuriating being a Melbourne voter, voting Greens to tell Canberra WE WANT MORE PROGRESSIVE POLICIES (which is precisely the message of a Greens vote) and being wilfully misrepresented, again and again.
And here’s Malcolm Farr, with this mystifying swipe at Sarah Hanson-Young:
Then there was the chutzpah of such Greens as Sarah Hanson Young who last Sunday said the ALP stood for nothing. Being lectured by a senator who has never even been in Opposition, let alone government, was fuel to the heated relations.
“Never even been in Opposition, let alone government”? What the hell does that mean? The Greens have never had 51% of the seats and been a majority government, true, but they have been in a loose governing arrangement with a government that needed their vote to govern, which makes them at least as powerful as a government back-bencher. And what’s Farr’s definition of opposition, even with a capital “O”? Just how many seats that aren’t a majority does a party need to have to qualify? Every party that isn’t the government is an “Opposition”.
That sledge was just weird.
No wonder Australians are increasingly confused about politics, with the media apparently unable to understand, let alone describe, anything but the same old two horse race they’ve always pushed.