Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Miranda Devine, Chairman Rudd, and blah blah as the new war on alert, alarmed terror begins ...

(Above: the master, showing how it's done).

Oh dear, it's too much. Surging with excitement, the bit between her teeth, the hounds baying for blood, Miranda the Devine offers up, licketty split, an article hot on the heels of her outing yesterday.

If this penny pamphleteering keeps up, the Herald might manage to outrage even more readers, as the slavering, slobbering Devine ravages the heel of Chairman Rudd and humps the leg of the wretched Peter Garrett.

But why all the excitement which has led to the outpouring of Going batty over blah blah, hot on the heels of Like a pink batt out of hell, Garrett absorbs the heat?

Well it seems the Devine is now in political commentator mode, and her conclusion is that Peter Garrett might not end up being scalped, whatever the difficulties involved in the technical definition of such a scalping:

... by question time, it was clear the sting had gone out of the opposition attack on Garrett. The former rock star batted back questions on the insulation scheme with a mind-numbing recitation of talking points. The Prime Minister had already given Garrett his seal of approval: ''I stand by the minister, as I did last week, as I'll do next week.''

Well it never takes much to numb the mind. Listening to Garrett speak or reading a Miranda the Devine column will do it every time.

But there was something exquisite about the way the day's events unfolded, and how the Devine might then deal with them.

Showing that he'd learnt well from his master - not Yoda, but Chairman Howard - Rudd hopped in front of the cameras to release a white paper on domestic terrorism, and sound like an elevated statesman of the first water.

It was a shameless performance, utterly at one with the way Howard used to intone about the dangers of domestic terrorism, and frighten the electorate with tales of boogeymen under the bed.

It didn't take long for the sceptics to turn out, as you can see here on Lateline, under the header Anti-terrorism report called into doubt.

But the truly delicious aspect of Chairman Rudd's astute John Howard impersonation is the dilemma it presents to the likes of Devine:

Cynics might think the Prime Minister was trying to divert attention from his beleaguered Environment Minister by calling a press conference on terrorism yesterday morning, just as the opposition was tasting blood.

''An attack could occur at any time'' said Kevin Rudd, in sombre father-of-the-nation mode, releasing his government's long-promised counter-terrorism white paper.

Oh dear, yes, exactly ... in sombre 'son of the great father John Howard' mode.

''The threat of home-grown terrorism is now increasing … The first responsibility of any government is the protection of Australia and Australian interests.''

It was a chance for Rudd to tell voters the country was in his safe hands and just how shamefully unsuitable for government the Abbott-led opposition was.

Oh yes, indeed. In safe hands. Fearless anti-terrorist Chairman Rudd good, wild cat unsafe hands couldn't catch at slip to save his life Tony Abbott bad.

The opposition, naturally, wasn't having a bar of it. The Liberal Senator Simon Birmingham told reporters: "The greatest threat to the safety of many Australian families over the last 12 months has been the home insulation program and Peter Garrett's mismanagement of it''.

You can see the exquisite dilemma developing by the par. Was it a good move for Birmingham to link pink batts and terrorism, even if truth to tell, more have died in Australia installing insulation than have fallen to radical terrorists in recent years in Australia? Not to mention the hundreds who have died from the sternest of domestic terrorists, the car and truck. Probably not. Why he even managed to upset Tory Maguire, in Coalition's own goal in the insulation shoot-out, and Tory's notorious for being a mild mannered Lois Lane type.

And how can a Devine react to this kind of shameless pillaging of John Howard's tactics and policies? Much like the opposition:

... over in the new Abbott-led Coalition joint party room, the mood was decidedly upbeat, according to the Liberal Senator George Brandis. MPs were citing ''anecdotal evidence'' of how the community had suddenly turned hostile against Rudd: ''It's palpable''; Rudd was seen as ''all talk and no action''; ''When the Prime Minister speaks all you hear is blah blah blah.''

''Blah blah blah'' is the catchphrase for the opposition in their attacks on Rudd.

Yep, just like whenever John Howard spoke, all vast swatches of the electorate could hear "blah blah terrorism blah blah terrorism".

Oh how fine it was in the good old days, and how sad it is now to see such a wonderful record so vilely traduced. Now we can only look fondly back to the days of Mowtown and the Devine's greatest hits and memories. How about this one, in Right time for the showdown in 2003:

Better to bring it on now, at a time of our choosing, with all the cockroaches gathered for a showdown out in the open in Iraq, rather than cower at home, our economies shrinking, our civilians picked off, our enemies growing stronger, until we finally wake up to the fact that fighting is necessary, and find it's too late and we are too weak.

Our civilians picked off? One by one as the effete liberal chattering urban elites sit around sipping their lattes and swilling their caviar like the swine they are? Hasta la vista baby, I'll be back, step across that line you wimp. What doesn't kill us can only make us stronger.

And how about An orange alert for the lefties in 2004?

Conspiracy theorists are, of course, fringe dwellers, but they serve a purpose, pushing the boundaries of cynicism, feeding into the anti-West infotainment industry personified by the obese American filmmaker Michael Moore.

They need to raise wacky doubts to keep their world view intact, because every televised beheading is a setback for the left. It is a reminder of who the real enemy is (hint: not John Howard or George Bush) and who the intended victims are (Christians, Jews, moderate Muslims, anyone who gets in the way). It is a reminder that the war between the civilised West and fanatical Islamic terrorists is real, not a war against an abstract noun, and a lot more complex and intractable than the "Blood for Oil" and "Neo-Con Warmonger" slogans would have you believe.

Oh yes, back in those days, the message was clear cut, the quislings, traitors and low lifes easy to spot:

The consensus in the media is that Iraq has been an unmitigated disaster, and a self-fulfilling liability for Howard and Bush in their upcoming elections. Every terrorist atrocity is somehow placed into the Iraq-is-a-disaster matrix, with blame apportioned accordingly, not to the terrorists but to the governments of the coalition, which should have left Saddam alone. Thus, when Islamic terrorists bombed commuter trains in Madrid in March, who was blamed but the Spanish government, which had joined the US coalition in Iraq and was voted out of office as punishment three days later.

It was the glory days for the war on terror:

Yet, despite the terrible press, our side is, in fact, making significant progress in the challenges which are part of the war on terrorism.

Sob, and now there's not much talk of a war on terror, and if there is a war, it's being led by Chairman Rudd. Of all people, and using it to take cheap pot shots at Tony Abbott:

In fact, Rudd told the party room meeting that attempts to link home insulation to the counter-terrorism white paper were a good example of how the opposition always ''goes a step too far under Tony Abbott''.

The Prime Minister told his troops that Abbott ''represents a risk'' to the country, because of his ''extreme views'' on industrial relations, the economy and climate change.

The speech was a rehearsal of Labor's favourite pre-election line, that Abbott is, as Albanese puts it, ''the most extreme conservative to ever lead the Liberal Party.''

Sheesh, it's not nearly as much fun going cockroach hunting under a banner held high by Chairman 'blah blah' Rudd. All you can adopt as a posture is to sound cynical about the motives, like those wretched lefties used to do during Chairman Howard's reign.

It's just not fair to commentariat columnists.

Can they abandon the war on cockroaches? Of course not!

Can they join Chairman Rudd in his be alert and alarmed and always look under your bed before sleeping campaign? Oh that's terribly hard old chum.

Can they admire the way he's co-opted their world view? Only if they're feeling cynical, like cynical leftists.

It's a shocking dilemma, and just when they were tasting the blood of Garrett ...

Meanwhile, ironists who enjoy the irony of profoundly reflexive levels of unprecedented irony will enjoy the bizarre spectacle of Chairman Rudd leading the war on terror, and Miranda 'blah blah' Devine being reduced to blah blah as a response ...

(Below: oh no. Quick, change the copy on the pamphlet below. It should read "And that ain't Chairman Rudd's fault!")

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I know three times in one day! you should be so lucky!

    Actually your pithy analysis reminded me of a trashy novel I once borrowed from the library and, shock horror, still have a bit of!

    It says

    " Free digital watch, it's yours free, "I want America's enemies to pay for their crimes" your signature here"

    Then "Take aim against the barbarians, Peel off target from front page and place it here. RUSH me my free books & watch""" (I think that's the correct number of quote marks)

    Sure it lacks a little in a written description...


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