Monday, March 23, 2015

"We're Being Governed By Idiots"

'Victory Day' front pages like this just look downright ridiculous now:

The Abbott Government disaster/fiasco (take your pick) drags on and on and on. The Australian Financial Review's Laura Tingle in absolutely scathing form:
"we don't seem to quite be able to take in the growing realisation that we actually are being governed by idiots and fools, or that this actually has real-world consequences.

We finish the week with a Prime Minister who has lost his bundle and is making policy and political calls that go beyond reckless in an increasingly panicked and desperate attempt to save himself; a government that has not just utterly lost its way but its authority; and important policy debates left either as smouldering wrecks or unprosecuted.

At issue is not just whether Tony Abbott loses his leadership, or whether the budget bottom line deteriorates even further, but signs that our political system really is in deep trouble – not as a polemic point, but in a very real sense. 


"Idiot" is the word that comes most often in Labor's focus groups when voters are asked about the Prime Minister. And lest you're thinking this is just what Labor would spin isn't it, we had a confirmation this week from focus group polling conducted for Fairfax by one of Australia's most respected focus group pollsters, Visibility's Tony Mitchelmore, with the small caveat being that these voters didn't describe Tony Abbott as an idiot but a fool.
Tony Abbott has already lost Western Sydney. And after Rupert Murdoch's Daily Telegraph and right wing radio ranters worked so hard in 2013 to help win the area for him:
Voters in Western Sydney – selected because they had switched their vote from Labor to Liberal at the 2011 NSW election – described the Prime Minister as "incompetent, an international embarrassment and a fool".

These perceptions are not just a problem for Tony Abbott and his future, but for the broader Coalition, given that the government's conduct in the last couple of weeks can only leave voters with the idea that the idiocy stretches well beyond the Prime Minister's office.
 Worth A Full Read

When Australians Would Pose The Dead For Trophy Shots

Wonder what the kid in the photo below thought years later about being present for the trophy photo shoot of a dead member of the Kelly Gang?

Today, a child being present when terrorists pose corpses for photos is deemed a foul and disgusting outrage, which, of course, it is. But there's something just so casual and everyday about the people in the photo you get the sense this was not uncommon

Background on this extraordinary pic, which turns out to be Australia's First Press Photo
Captured by J.W, Lindt in 1880, the photo shows the dead body of a member of Ned Kelly's infamous gang, strung up on a door outside the jail house in Benalla in regional Victoria.

Joe Byrne died from loss of blood after being shot in the groin during the  siege of Glenrowan pub. Another photographer is pictured mid-shot, while an illustrator walks away from the new technology with his hat on and portfolio tucked under his arm.

The image is part of an exhibition called The Photograph and Australia at the Art Gallery of NSW, open now until June 8