‘Anna, you’re next’ gloats the front page of Monday’s Sunshine Coast Daily, displaying some bizzare, long-term, twisted logic that any reasonable, well-trained fair and balanced journo would find laughoutloudable.
That paper used to be part of Australian Provincial Newspapers, not the worst of print-media outfits. It was gobbled up by the Dirty Digger, Rupert Murdoch, a few years back.
Hence the splash at right. Any respected career journalist we at The Bug have ever known would find it risible that ANY result in ANY Queensland-based federal electorate will have ANY effect whatsover on Anna Palaszczuk’s reelection prospects in two years’ time.
Labor’s exceptionally poor showing last weekend in a state that’s long been attractive to retirees from around Australia came about largely because of a scare campaign that convince retirees that their pensions would be cut or taxed and Labor’s 40% death tax would deprive their kinfolk of sharing in their full estate.
People of all ages were told their petrol or diesel cars would be taxed and they’d be forced to buy electric cars that couldn’t pull the skin off a custard pudding. If they could find a recharging bay to make the attempt in the first place, that is.
Renters were frightened with pretend “rent increase” notices because of Labor’s negative gearing changes.
Queenslanders were blitzed with ads that federal Labor can’t manage money and the absurd notion that Bill Shorten would have his hand in their pockets.
The huge anti-Labor swing in the Dumbshine State must surely have also been affected by Clive Palmer’s unprecedented $60-$70 million campaign ad blitz that largely attacked Labor with lies about its “zillion dollar taxing” plans.
Queensland voters were probably astute enough to know Palmer is a noxious, worker-hating, what’s-in-it-for-me windbag braggart but got the message anyway and swung across to One Nation and the LNP.
Are any of those issues or that monstrous Palmer spendathon going to play a role in the next state election? Not a single, solitary one of them.
Even the Adani mine, another front-and-centre issue in Campaign 2019, will probably be of no concern whatsoever to Anna Palaszczuk and Labor’s prospects next time round.
By then the project might have been approved or rejected and, if it does get the tick from the state government, Queenslanders will have probably cottoned on to the fact that the project is employing and will employ far, far fewer people than the Adani owners, the LNP and The Courier-Mail and other regional papers have claimed over time.
On second thoughts, maybe Adani will be. Or at least the Galilee Basin. By then there might be such a stink over whatever the Morrison government bequeaths Clive Palmer in mining go-aheads for services rendered that Palaszczuk will make Queensland look like Santa Claus with a blue belt on.
So, Anna, there’s no need to be frightened by outfits such as the Sunshine Coast Daily. You’ll win or lose the next state election mostly on issues that have sweet-fuck-all to do with those of this federal poll.
And The Bug suspects most journos at the Sunshine Coast Daily would know that, regardless of the shit they’re forced to put out on the streets.
A tasteless sight
There’s already been a lot of hostile reaction – on mainstream and social media – to that Sunshine Coast Daily front-page graphic of Premier Palaszczuk with a gun sight superimposed on her face.
Leading the charge have been advocates against domestic violence, particularly against women. They are justifiably angry. Those opposed to gun violence generally are equally up in arms, with senior police saying it could promote an attack on the Premier.
It’s certainly tasteless for many reasons but The Bug points particularly to those police concerns, especially since the paper circulates in and around the Gympie region, an area synonymous with gun rights activists and a hot bed of the type of anti-politician rhetoric dished out by pro-gun One Nation types.
In 2010 failed US Republic Party vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin copped flak because her political action committee (PAC) used graphics of gun sights when it published a map of Democratic Party congressional districts and the names of these holding them that the PAC said should be targeted for defeat at the next US elections.
Not many months later, in January 2011, one of those targeted on the Palin PAC’s map, Gabby Giffords, a Democratic Member of the House of Representatives, was seriously injured when shot in the head at a public event by a right-wing nut job who also killed six other people including a nine-year-old girl.
The connection was quickly made between the map and the shooting, although no definite link was proved.
Nevertheless, after the Christchurch mosque shootings Prime Minister Morrison declared we had to change the toxic nature of political discourse and we all had to find ways to “agree better”.
He should perhaps pick up the phone to what appears to be his in-house News Corp media team and tell them they need to tone down their imagery.
Tele plays the name game
In its Monday edition the Sydney News Corp tabloid the Daily Telegraph went a tad overboard in its election wash-up pages by running headlines based on puns of the names of Labor Party identities.
As you can see by the graphic (right), the subs (if there are any left at the Tele) had a fine old time with their little jokes using the names of Bill Shorten, Anthony Albanese, and Chris Bowen.
But it was the Daily Tele’s story referencing Penny Wong that had members of The Bug’s ethics and standards committee scratching their heads and recalling another Labor Party leader who never became PM, Arthur Calwell (below).
As immigration minister in the 1940s Calwell uttered a few but very memorable words in defence of the then white Australia policy and its bias towards European immigrants and its exclusion of those from Asia.
“Two Wongs don’t make a white” is his now oft-quoted comment, usually cited to illustrate the unquestioned tinge of racism exhibited by many in public life at the time.
So, where does that leave the Tele’s headline? Maybe only Penny Wong can make a definitive assessment.
Burt got it right first time
The Darwin daily published by News Corp, the NT News, editorialised in favour of a Labor Party government and we hope the (futile) endorsement was based on a sober assessment of the Labor’s policy offerings and did not rely entirely on the pick of Burt the Croc, the paper’s occasional election analyst (pictured).
As The Bug noted last week Burt was asked to pick the next PM by being given the choice of a meaty treat attached to photos of the PM and Opposition Leader.
He ended up chowing down on the Shorten offering but now the NT News reveals Burt’s first choice was actually Morrison, but his leap fell short of the lump of flesh hanging under the PM’s pic so he snapped up the lower-hanging Shorten fruit, or meat.
If only Newspoll and other pollsters had such a simple excuse.