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We can say f--- on TV
April 17, 2011 1:58 PM   Subscribe

"Despite promises that the 43rd Parliament would be kindlier and gentler, it has been characterised by vitriol in question time, a Prime Minister labelled a liar - and outside Parliament, a bitch - and an Opposition Leader called an extremist. Both sides complain the other is mean." [So much for kinder, gentler politics]
posted by vidur (35 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Prime Minister labelled a liar - and outside Parliament, a bitch

You leave Stephen Harper out of this
posted by saturday_morning at 2:00 PM on April 17, 2011 [10 favorites]


This is no conga line of suckholes.
posted by dangerousdan at 2:33 PM on April 17, 2011


Right-leaning news outlet wrings hands over "lowered tone" of political discourse. Film at yadayada...
posted by bonobothegreat at 2:35 PM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Plenty of left leaning commentators and news outlets wring their hands over exactly the same thing when it suits them. Anyone who thinks modern Canadian political discourse is too rumbustious clearly hasn't been to any other country in the world or read a history book in their lives.
posted by joannemullen at 2:45 PM on April 17, 2011


Right-leaning news outlet

The Sydney Morning Herald? Don't get me wrong, its further to the right than I am, but I usually see it being accused of precisely the opposite.
posted by PercyByssheShelley at 2:46 PM on April 17, 2011


She should totally offer evil guy some kind of quid pro qou to find Bufalo Bill before he kills that girl. Also the secret to the alien code from Vega is to understand that they have sent a 3-dimensional picture. Be sure to build two copies of the machine though otherwise you won't resolve your daddy issues.
posted by humanfont at 2:52 PM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, to be fair, Abbot is a knob.

Oh, that's not helping, is it?
posted by pompomtom at 3:00 PM on April 17, 2011


I don't know if it is my admitted unfamiliarity with Australian politics or plummeting journalistic standards worldwide, but is it too much to ask for a story illustrated with a picture of someone to identify what exactly her role in government is within the first, let's say, eight paragraphs?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:04 PM on April 17, 2011


Ricochet biscuit, that's Julia Gillard, the Australian prime minister.
posted by rory at 3:21 PM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I learned as much in the ninth paragraph, thanks.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:28 PM on April 17, 2011


Centrist tripe!
posted by tumid dahlia at 3:39 PM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, okay. But are you really condemning an opinion column written for an Australian audience which makes prominent reference to the Australian prime minister and has a named picture above it of the woman that every Australian knows is prime minister for not explicitly stating "Julia Gillard is the prime minister of Australia" in the first, let's say, eight paragraphs?
posted by rory at 3:41 PM on April 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


I actually think they ought to say "Prime Minister Julia Gillard" in the photo caption. In fact I'm surprised there isn't a style rule about it.
posted by tumid dahlia at 3:52 PM on April 17, 2011


I actually think they ought to say "Prime Minister Julia Gillard" in the photo caption. In fact I'm surprised there isn't a style rule about it.

Rules, schmules. Relax. This is Australia. Where the bloody hell are you?
posted by vidur at 4:05 PM on April 17, 2011


I actually think they ought to say "Prime Minister Julia Gillard" in the photo caption. In fact I'm surprised there isn't a style rule about it.

Perhaps there would be, if the Herald had any style.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:24 PM on April 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


Couple of things that stood out for me in the article:

1. The use of words like "bitch" for a Prime Minister by people in public (Yay! Free Speech!) being apparently endorsed by a beaming opposition leader who stood in front on those slogans as if it was a photo-op at Opera House - it showed a tremendous lack of class. And I say this as someone who comes from a country where the federal and state legislatures routinely descend into fisticuffs and chair-throwing.

2. The need to compare standards of behaviour with US and UK. I mean, I get the whole "West" and "Anglosphere" thing, but Australian political discourse perhaps already references developments in UK and US a bit too much.

3. Anonymous commentary on the internet "informs some of the invective"?
posted by vidur at 4:40 PM on April 17, 2011


I learned as much in the ninth paragraph, thanks.

Or you were willing to comment in a thread about Australian politics without knowing the Australian President's name?
posted by the noob at 4:59 PM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh bravo, bravo for the SMH in bravely highlighting this shocking state of affairs. Why it's almost as if the public is somehow deprived of any other sources of information with which to make judgment. It's like some crazy, topsy-turvy world, where bile-flecked invective is more likely to get a politician coverage than mild-mannered and complex policy discussion. It's, why, it's as if somehow reporting has been taken away from experts with the knowledge and resources to inform the public, and - somehow - been handed over to overpaid dilettantes with ideological axes to grind and no way of communicating beyond angry rhetoric.

My god, this is outrageous! We should protest! What kind of vacuous, money-grubbing, demoniacal bastards could possibly have a major role in this shittingly bad detoriation in public discourse??

We can't ask the SMH, of course, they are fine promulgators of The View From Nowhere. Fucking bastards. They are worse than the politicians - any of them - times one billion.
posted by smoke at 5:16 PM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I reckon nobody did it better than Keating.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 5:29 PM on April 17, 2011


Interesting that the article fails to mention what was in my mind the most offensive statement of all - Gillard's public claim that the Greens are extremists who don't care about things "ordinary" Australians care about - you know, like jobs, families, kids.
"'[Greens] will never embrace Labor's delight at sharing the values of everyday Australians, in our cities, suburbs, towns and bush, who day after day do the right thing, leading purposeful and dignified lives, driven by love of family and nation" - Julia Gillard
Of course, anyone who believes such bollocks should probably take a gander at this.
posted by Jimbob at 5:52 PM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


smoke et al, to be a tiny bit fair to the Fairfax rags, they're less to blame for the current woeful state of the national debate than either New Ltd or the ABC.

News Ltd because they've been offensively, disgustingly partisan in all of the coverage for a long time now, and the ABC because I along with many have far higher expectations of them, that they have dismally failed to live up to. The pretty much read whatever tripe is on the front page of the Aussie and feed that up.

I don't know if it's just because I'm reading stuff that conforms to my own prejudices, but I couldn't survive without my daily Crikey. Doesn't always cut through, but it provides a far more critical and insightful running commentary than any other professional media outfit. Blogs can only get you so far (and you tend to self-select for partisan ones).
posted by wilful at 6:31 PM on April 17, 2011


The problems with ABC's "flagship" politics reporting are really starting to get to me. ABC News24 is really ABC News12 if you're lucky, and most of those 12 hours will be spent, as wilful says, fussing about the daily controversy from The Australian, or treating the whole thing as a horse race.

"The Insiders" is a pathetic piece of trash - I haven't watched it in a year, but have watched the discussion about it go on on Twitter on a Sunday morning - discussion that has gradually changed into piss-taking (drinking games based around Bolt or Ackerman or whichever nutjob they choose for "balance" that week), and this week, almost complete silence. Even the Twitter politics wonks have stopped tuning in.

And Annabelle Crabbe gives me the shits, somehow. I can't quite put my finger on it.
posted by Jimbob at 6:42 PM on April 17, 2011


I reckon nobody did it better than Keating.

And that's a sad fact about our representatives, we still have to look back to Keating for examples of disdain done well.
posted by the noob at 6:43 PM on April 17, 2011


And Annabelle Crabbe gives me the shits, somehow. I can't quite put my finger on it.

She's passed into the realm of pop the star. She's lost to us now. She can no longer write a quip-free sentence.
posted by the noob at 8:38 PM on April 17, 2011


MetaFilter: can no longer write a quip-free sentence.
posted by robcorr at 8:42 PM on April 17, 2011


MetaFilter: can no longer write a quip-free sentence.
posted by robcorr at 8:42 PM on April 17, 2011


Sounds better in my accent
posted by the noob at 8:52 PM on April 17, 2011


MetaFilter: can no longer write a quip-free sentence once.
posted by bicyclefish at 11:36 PM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


You've got an atheist republican (and female!) prime minister, your politicians can say "shitstorm" and people like that, and oh yeah, you actually have question time for the leader of your executive branch?

Sounds like Australia's politics are going fantastically well compared to ours in the States.
posted by norm at 9:49 AM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Faint praise indeed.
posted by pompomtom at 5:22 PM on April 18, 2011


Or you were willing to comment in a thread about Australian politics without knowing the Australian President's name?

Well, to my shame I thought that Australia had a prime minister and not a president. But yes, I tend to read MetaFilter to learn new things. What do you do?

There are two active threads about Canadian PM Stephen Harper; one identifies Harper in the FPP as the PM and the other refers to the Harper government. I think a single, editorializing link to a poorly written opinion piece is pretty thin in the first place, and when it assumes knowledge that is not especially widespread among the 99.7% of the world which does not live in Australia, it does not make it any better.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:10 PM on April 18, 2011


I think a single, editorializing link to a poorly written opinion piece is pretty thin in the first place, and when it assumes knowledge that is not especially widespread among the 99.7% of the world which does not live in Australia, it does not make it any better.

The author of the article wrote it for a weekend edition of a major Australian newspaper, and she didn't know it was going to be posted to MeFi, so I guess we can forgive her for assuming that her readers would know who is what.

The two Stephen Harper threads you mentioned as perhaps being good examples to emulate: one is about him, the other is about his government.

This FPP (or the linked article), on the contrary, was not about Julia Gillard or about Tony Abbot (leader of the opposition, incidentally). This was about the quality of political discourse in Australia, and the individuals are incidental to the issues the author was trying to discuss. The questions this opinion piece raised (in the 3rd paragraph) and tried to discuss were:
We may get the politicians we deserve but do we also get the political discourse we deserve? Or is it thrust on us by the barbarians in the big house? Do Australians care if their politicians are vile to one another - and does it matter?
All this is not to suggest that SMH wouldn't benefit from having a Style Guide or that SMH must not ever caption such photos, but that's already been said upthread by tumid dahlia.

As to the "single link", that's just how most of my FPPs are and I don't think there is anything wrong with that. I am not sure what you mean by "editorializing link", as the FPP is just a quote and a link and there has been no editorializing from my side. Again, that's just how most of my FPPs are and I don't think there is anything wrong with that. For the rest (poorly written, pretty thin, crazy assumptions), there is the "other" flag and the mod contact form, but you already know that. I'm sorry for this small font derail, but as the OP, I thought I should clarify this.
posted by vidur at 7:41 PM on April 18, 2011


vidur: fair enough, but in this case a little more context on the FPP would have made the article much more accessible for those of us interested in but unfamiliar with the current situation.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:32 PM on April 18, 2011


ricochet biscuit, I'll keep that in mind for future posts. Thanks.
posted by vidur at 9:13 PM on April 18, 2011


You've got an atheist republican (and female!) prime minister, your politicians can say "shitstorm" and people like that, and oh yeah, you actually have question time for the leader of your executive branch?

Sounds like Australia's politics are going fantastically well compared to ours in the States.
posted by norm at 9:49 AM on April 18 [1 favorite +] [!]


It gets better actually.

During the 2007 election campaign a story leaked that not only that Rudd had been out and drunk, but that he'd gone to a strip club while he was a public servant. Overall, the response was positive, in the sense that perhaps he wasn't such a robotic bureaucrat after all.

And then there's Keating and Hawke, the former got in trouble for 'feeling up' the queen and insulting people, the later was a Rhodes scholar and for a time record holder for speed drinking a yard glass of beer.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 9:50 AM on April 21, 2011


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