I Told You They’re Dumb
I love mentioning the fact the editor of the Sydney Morning Herald editorialised in favour of Tony Abbott’s Coalition on the eve of the last election. In fact, the upper end of Fairfax management seemed fairly determined to see the ALP government get kicked out, so the actual editorial at the time seemed like Fairfax ‘policy’. In that sense they were no better than Rupert Murdoch who was openly campaigning for Tony Abbott. I don’t know which bit is the most galling – that the editorial argued for the Coalition or that they argued that line based on some imagined principle that political stability – no matter what the ideological framework in practice – was a better government than one riven with internal stress.
One month in we find the same editors bleating about the Tony Abbott-led Coalition government. Good god.
Then there is the ultimate excuse: ”It’s a grey area.” That is a surprise to voters who thought this problem had been settled and acceptable standards made clear. When there is doubt, surely taxpayer interest beats the personal one.
The Prime Minister’s advice to MPs on Monday to ”err on the side of caution” comes far too late. The only way to remove surprises and the need for excuses is to have an independent oversight of rewritten expenses rules that are not based on an honour system.
The Herald has put forward the Greens’ national integrity commission proposal of last year as a template to clean up sports and racing; now is the time to revisit its aims to detect and investigate rorts among federal agencies, ministers and MPs.
Remember that the Coalition came to power because voters were sick of Labor governments betraying their trust through corruption, faceless men and broken promises. Abbott even promised to lead ”a government that accepts that it will be judged more by its deeds than by its mere words”.
Does this strike you as a bit much? It strains incredulity that somehow the editor of the Sydney Morning Herald did not exercise the same sort of parsing acumen in dissecting Tony Abbott’s position, and so did not see that an Abbott-led Coalition government would in fact be a worse government than the ALP. If it wasn’t stupid enough that they thought stability was a good enough reason to change, it appears they were too stupid to see that there was no way on God’s earth that Tony Abbott was going to be able to do anything resembling what he promised. It’s taken less than a month for us to find out that no, he didn’t quite mean what he said about towing back boats, and no, the Federal Government won’t be back in surplus any time sooner than the ALP government had projected a return to surplus.
Broken promises anybody? Do I hear a resounding chorus of complaint that used to greet every Gillard announcement? No. Quite simply, the Coalition were promising bullshit right through their run up to the election and clearly the newspapers did not stick it back in their faces, taking them to task. Couldn’t they see that the Tony Abbott-led Coalition was a thought-free zone? An Anti-intellectual’s party? A gathering of tiny minds fixed in aspic?
We knew that out here in voter land; and so would the editor of the SMH had he been reading the news – his own freaking newspaper – but somehow the editor seems to have not read their own bloody newspaper, or somehow managed to draw all the wrong conclusions. This is staggering when you stop to think about it, because I don’t think I can ever remember a time when the editor of the Sydney Morning Herald got it so laughably wrong as they have with their endorsement of Tony Abbott. It’s positively comical that they’re now complaining about the very government they endorsed after only one month!
It truly is pathetic what you read in the papers these days. 🙂