The Meltdown
November 20, 2013 2:08 AM   Subscribe

Peter Hartcher, political editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, tells the story of the self-immolation of the Australian Labor party and the political destruction of two prime ministers, in a five part series: Meltdown.

non-interactive version: parts one, two, three, four, five.
posted by kithrater (11 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
“The Labor party, clear in its beliefs and its narrative, should decline to serve in government with any other political party and should make it clear to the Australian people that we will not compromise on our principles and that we will govern alone, or not at all.”

Ultimatums such as this should always result in the voters choosing "not at all."
posted by three blind mice at 2:46 AM on November 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


I read parts one and two: I did not think it was strong journalism, at all. Most of it seemed constructed as per Hartcher's usual method - unattributed hearsay to the omniscient "high-placed Labor sources".

Given that this swarm of anonymous dickshitters bears at least partial responsibility for Labor's travails of last six years (on both sides of the Rudd/Gillard divide) - and have demonstrated a remarkable ability to put their venal, petty, clueluess bullshit and self-justification over the good over the party or public - I'm largely disinclined to read anything they have to say. It was bad enough when MPs lined up to take a dump over their party and leadership, and it was attributed.

Hartcher arguably represents the current nadir of the press gallery - an competitive yet dubious distinction indeed. Like most of them, he's incapable of actual journalism, relying on being drip-fed leaks, telling the public what they need to think (witness his inability to explain the enduring popularity of Rudd, and serial retconning of "the narrative" [e.g the supposed election date that I think Pete called at least six times before it was actually declared. It's almost like the Labor Right were trying to force the election...]), and repeating wan talking points of the day - irrespective of facts.

I despise him. As a "journalist", as an op-ed writer (Piping Shrike, though somewhat repetitive with ye olde thesis, shits all over him; Peter Brent, etc etc), and I feel that he and the press gallery as a whole deserve utmost condemnation for their blase and ignorant coverage of climate change issues - an issue of overwhelming and critical importance. They have deserted their purpose.

Laura Tingle and Lenore Taylor are the only gallery journos worth reading. The rest are pure dross.
posted by smoke at 2:48 AM on November 20, 2013 [16 favorites]


Couldn't find a publisher for a book, eh?
posted by robcorr at 3:12 AM on November 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


Oh and Peter Hartcher wasn't kicking along Rudd's agenda? - Odd -Hartcher's part in the constant destabilisation isn't mentioned.

Self immolation - he can fucking self immolate and do us a favour.
posted by mattoxic at 3:46 AM on November 20, 2013


"The man who was notorious for his deep immersion in the fine detail of complex policy..."

Yeah, no. Not being able to see the forest for the twigs is more like it. Harcher doesn't understand that Rudd doesn't understand how much could get done and how things actually get done.
posted by hawthorne at 4:16 AM on November 20, 2013


“The Labor party, clear in its beliefs and its narrative, should decline to serve in government with any other political party and should make it clear to the Australian people that we will not compromise on our principles and that we will govern alone, or not at all.”

Firstly... principles? Not compromising on them? We are talking about the ALP, right?

Secondly, yeah the political winds in recent years have been blowing towards minor parties and independent candidates across the nation. The voices complaining about this may be loud, but the public rarely give a shit. The Gillard government wasn't on the nose because she shook hands with Adam Bandt, unless you believe the commenters on Andrew Bolt's blog comprise a powerful demographic. If the ALP really wants to kill off the Greens, then maybe they should try some policies that will attract progressive, engaged voters, rather than attempting to write them off as irrelevant. They're far from irrelevant. My own union endorsed the Greens over Labor this last federal election. Maybe they should try justifying and explaining their principles and ideology to the public and getting people on side, rather than conceding the ground to the enemy and the focus groups. Try some fucking leading.

And that goes for the Coalition too. We're seeing that here in Tasmania, at the moment, where the Liberal opposition leader, Will Hodgman, attempting to capitalize on the minority Labor/Green government we have at the moment, is making all sorts of loud pledges of a similar nature to the one above - attacking minority government and compromise in itself, promising never to "do deals" with any other party to form government. We'll just see how many hours that lasts if a few Palmer United Party candidates manage to get up in the next state election.

The ALP and the Liberals have both sold out on principles, devoting all their effort to chasing the ignorant swinging voter. They've got a fucking nerve to whinge about minor parties when they seem to be doing all they can to drive anyone who actually believes in any principles or ideology of any kind towards them.

Like most of them, he's incapable of actual journalism, relying on being drip-fed leaks, telling the public what they need to think

It's the Insiders disease. Horserace, beltway bullshit. But, judging by the state of my Twitter feed of a Sunday morning, punters can't help but lap it up.
posted by Jimbob at 4:48 AM on November 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


Hartcher has got an awful case of Head Boy complex. Pompous beyond belief.

From the front page of his site:
"Hartcher is one of the prophets of our time." - Dr Michael Wesley, executive director, the Lowy Institute for International Policy.

Er, yeah. Nothing embarrassing about hanging that on yer shingle. Real distinguished.
posted by Wolof at 5:24 AM on November 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


KEVIN16!
posted by Joe Chip at 8:33 AM on November 20, 2013


It's the Insiders disease. Horserace, beltway bullshit. But, judging by the state of my Twitter feed of a Sunday morning, punters can't help but lap it up.

I feel guilty that I use Insiders as my excuse for not moving home. I still watch it every Sunday, in anger, from Europe.
posted by wingless_angel at 10:28 AM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I watch insiders only when Piers Ackerman is on. It's a study as to how truly ugly in every respect a human being can become.
posted by mattoxic at 2:31 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


For well-written invective about the current state of the Australian press gallery, you can't go past Andrew Elder.
posted by wilful at 4:44 PM on November 20, 2013


« Older "Pop Art of a poor man’s country"   |   Girl, you must be a somebody because you are an... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments