Have Peter Khalil and Anne Aly the Attention Span of a Goldfish?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 16/11/2019 - 5:29am in

What should pro-gun lobbyists say when a mass shooting takes place and the public demanded gun control laws?

Lars Dalseide, National Rifle Association of America (NRA) media liaison, taught his far-right One Nation visitors from Australia a tried and tested tactic applied successfully in the US in those situations:

Lars Dalseide: “ ‘How dare you stand on the graves of those children to put forward your political agenda?’ Just shame them to the whole idea.”

Steve Dickson, at the time One Nation QLD party leader: “I love that.”

Lars Dalseide: “It’s like, ‘If you, if your policy, isn’t good enough to stand on itself, how dare you use their deaths to push that forward?!’”

James Ashby, One Nation media advisor: “That’s very good, very strong.”

It doesn’t take an exceptional memory to remember that advice, at least in its general lines. It was featured in Al Jazeera’s “How to Sell a Massacre”, which ABC Four Corners broadcast in Australia last March: less than 10 months ago.

Dalseide’s wisdom is easy to understand: in order to silence calls for gun control, cynically pretend a respect one doesn’t feel for the victims and demand a sensitivity one is incapable of for the feelings of their families. Ashby and Dickson understood that just fine. It’s simple.

I doubt John Barilaro (Deputy NSW Premier) finished high school, but I still suspect he may be able to read and write (kinda) and he adopted Dalseide’s spin, which doesn’t require education. Moreover, talking points staffers regularly prepare for parliamentarians are easy to follow.

“ ‘For any bloody greenie or lefty out there who wants to talk about climate change … when communities in the next 48 hours might lose more lives,’ he said on ABC radio. ‘If this is the time people want to talk about climate change, they are a bloody disgrace.’”

Last week pretty much every COALition polly speaking to the media did as Barilaro. A real life version of the human centipede, the COALition did what its fictional counterpart does: the shit that comes from number one’s ass goes straight into number two’s mouth, to emerge a little later from number two’s ass and into number three’s mouth and so on. From the top dogs of both genders (Australia’s Morrison and NSW’s Gladys Berejiklian), down to some mediocrity named Trevor Evans, passing through the likes of Barilaro and McCormack, the same spin repeated unimaginatively: this is not the time to speak of climate change; think of the victims.

At best they will add “thoughts this, prayers that”.

It’s plain to see what’s going on here. So, it’s no surprise high-ranking former emergency services commanders have asked for climate change to be discussed. Academic experts have made the same point.

But the thing is that common people have noticed as well. I’ve heard non-political radio breakfast show presenters noticing that. More importantly, locals affected by the fires have made dramatic appeals to link climate change and bushfires (Carol Sparks, Claire Pontin and Dominic King, Aaron Crowe and Fiona Lee). They don’t seem to find that inappropriate or insensitive.

Anyone with an attention span longer than that of a goldfish can see that. (Incidentally, the NSW COALition government has adopted more direct and forceful measures to gag public servants on climate change).

And yet, even that little level of perceptiveness seems too much to ask from Labor. Instead, from Albanese and Penny Wong, down to Victoria’s Peter Khalil a couple of days ago, Labor have reinforced, as human-centipede like as the COALition, the same ridiculous mantra “you are insensitive if you talk about climate change and bushfires”. In Dalseide’s words: “How dare you stand on the graves of those children to put forward your political agenda?”

The latest I’ve seen regurgitating that load of crap is WA’s Anne Aly (Labor) while “debating” Andrew Bragg (COALition). To the same claptrap she added her own personal contribution: a little hippy bashing (the same “hippies” that supported her), in an all-too-apparent attempt of making herself look Very Serious. Like Dalseide said: “Just shame them to the whole idea”.

Whatever the public image Albanese may find expedient to project (“Anthony Albanese rips Joel Fitzgibbon over climate change as Labor rifts widen”), the truth is that Fitzgibbon prevailed (“Labor frontbencher Joel Fitzgibbon wants his party to adopt the Coalition’s climate policies”)

And a further truth is that Fitzgibbon is merely Angus Taylor’s puppet. Barely days after the May elections Taylor was already setting Labor’s climate change policy. And Labor is following his command down to cynically parroting the COALition’s talking points, coming straight out of the NRA playbook.

Do they really expect to fool anyone with that?

What is clear to me, though, is that we can expect nothing from Labor.

Whether you like it or not, only the Extinction Rebellion crowd, the Climate Kids, the Socialist Alliance, and the Greens have managed to maintain a coherent stance on climate change. Justice imposes to add independent MP Zalli Steggall to that list.

That may not be enough to change anything, but that’s what we have. Deal with it.