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Last updated on June 6th, 2017 at 02:23 am
Former Latham, Crean, and Beazley speechwriter Dennis Glover – nice CV, pal – addresses media bias:
Open a major newspaper on any day of the week and you will find Labor has few friends in the world of print.
Oh, please … if Mike Seccombe and Alan Ramsey were any friendlier to Latham, they’d be Robert Bosler. Feel the love in this news report of the ALP’s doomed forests policy. And, when the chips are down, the ALP knows it can always rely on old Phillip Adams.
Contrast the assessments Mark Latham gets from the Left with the assessments John Howard gets from the Right. Right-wing commentators almost invariably defend the Coalition and slam Labor. Even former Labor ministers, staffers and national secretaries seem to spend as many of their precious column inches attacking Labor’s present political strategy as they do attacking the conservatives.
Labor has a present political strategy? What is it?
This is perhaps inevitable and even desirable – one of the strong points of the intellectual Left is its independence of spirit, something we’d all be worse off without. It seems, though, that virtually no one will defend the modern Labor Party. In my opinion, as someone with a foot in both the intellectual and political camps, this is a seriously underestimated problem for both.
Beware the self-professed intellectual. Glover next blows a few hundred words on the failure of Leftist columnists to cheer loudly enough for Labor:
The contrast with the Right and its relationship with the Howard Government could not be starker. The Howard Government is far from ideologically consistent. Somewhere in Australia a right-wing intellectual sits bitterly disappointed at Howard’s betrayal of conservative flagship ideas—small government, low taxation, opposition to middle-class welfare—it’s just that she’ll seldom say so.
Why would we feel betrayed? Howard’s policies on tax, government size, and welfare have always been centrist; he promised no conservative paradise.
By holding their fire on Howard for his betrayals (but never his sleights—he never offends his backers), they’ve let him get to the position where now, with a Senate majority, he can implement his real ideological agenda and make it sound like common sense. Perhaps the revolution is only just beginning.
This victory is partly because right-wing commentators have led public opinion. They’ve helped Howard mould the times.
Glover explains the devious means by which this victory has been achieved:
The process has been simple and open. Starting as pseudo-academic articles in Paddy MGuinness’s Quadrant and the IPA Review, ideas travel down the intellectual food chain via broadsheet opinion columns, to the Melbourne Herald-Sun’s Andrew Bolt and Sydney Daily Telegraph’s Piers Akerman and on to Sydney-based radio broadcasters Alan Jones, John Laws and others.
Like a brood of baby crocodiles flushed down a suburban toilet, these ideas have taken a subterranean journey through the sewers and emerged fully formed on main street, to devour the unwary. Listen to the punters from marginal electorates on talkback radio, read the reports of political focus groups, talk to your cab driver; they’re all repeating the opinions, boiled down to a populist essence, of some right-wing intellectual.
Paddy and the IPA will be disappointed; despite their apparent massive influence, we still have high taxes and large government. Glover’s brilliant plan to counter Australian conservatives will entertain US readers:
Liberal America has now started to counter-attack in a way that may promise eventual success. Although it did not get a John Kerry win this time, it will help create the preconditions of victories in the future.
Former Clinton chief of staff, John Podesta, has established a new organisation, the Centre for American Progress, that is neither think tank nor media outlet but an attempt to both create ideas and disseminate them via the popular media.
Other liberals have turned into successful populist commentators, publishing humorously written political books, such as Al Franken’s Lies and the lying liars who tell them, that had a simple aim—getting George W. Bush out of the White House.
Still others have become hosts on new liberal talkback radio networks. Mike Moore (who now sees the errors of his ways in helping undermine Al Gore in 2000) has used Hollywood to reach out to millions through his committed, but populist, documentaries and books. Sick of being part of the problem, American liberals are becoming part of the solution.
Dennis Glover, whose speeches have helped Labor lose four consecutive elections, thinks the monster FrankenMoore will fix everything. Some intellectual.