Politics

The Coalition: Masters of Scare

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(Image via @Talaolp)

The Coalition's contemptuous move to limit parliamentary sitting time to a handful of days prior to the April 2019 Budget must be looked upon as a decision made by a party that has lost control of its ability to contest the next election with any trust. 

Otherwise, why wouldn’t you be transparent?

Trying to say State issues were solely responsible for its resounding loss at the Victorian State Election and the Wentworth 19% swing was all Labor’s fault, firmly place the Morrison Government at the forefront of Australia’s worst ever governments.

Having lost all ability for any critical self-analysis that would tell them the electorate no longer trusts them, cannot abide the lying, lack of any humane thought, racism, sexism and dismissiveness of equality of opportunity, the Liberal and National parties find themselves hated.

There was a time when we were ambivalent about our politicians. Now we are ashamed.

The battle lines have been chosen and given Morrison hasn’t heeded the advice of the voters you can expect a full-on old-fashioned campaign, including more scares than a Stephen King novel.

Fear, fear and more fear will form the foundation from which the conservatives will build their election campaign.

As The Guardian's Greg Jericho writes:

'It is clear that the Government’s chief weapon for winning the next election is fear and there is zero surprise about it. It is such a well-worn tactic by conservative parties around the world that of course, it is the one which a party led by Scott Morrison would pursue.'

Fear is everywhere from negative gearing, power prices and power blackouts. Fear that you won’t be able to retire because Labor will steal your money and of course the fear of immigration and terrorism.

The conservatives have a long history of frightening people. Those of my vintage will well remember Robert Menzies’ “Reds under the beds” campaign. “We are to be invaded by the red hordes from the north,” he shouted loud and clear in every election campaign.

I remember as a young boy seeing pictures on posters in trams, in the newspapers and shorts at the cinema with pictures depicting the Communist hordes thrusting their way towards us.

There were others with thousands of Chinese rolling across Sydney Harbour Bridge in their rickshaws with guns and Communist flags.

Both the trade unions and the Labor Party were pursued with vigorous anti-Communist slurs and scare campaigns for decades.

Tony Abbott in his tenure as both Opposition Leader and Prime Minister, on a daily basis, sought to place the public in a perpetual state of shock and awe.

Remember his daily visits to businesses resulting in another deceit about a carbon tax? A Sunday roast was going to cost $100 (screamed Barnaby Joyce) and Whyalla was going to be wiped off the map.

He insinuated a crisis around every corner every day. Pathetically so, without fact or reason. Yes, the Carbon Tax was going to wreck the Australian economy.

ISIS is coming to get us. And you personally. His scare campaigns were relentless dirty gutter politics. He stopped at nothing to frighten the shit out of people. It was like being on a permanent war footing.

He promoted fear like a legitimate political weapon and wielded it unapologetically.

He created a budget crisis saying that all hell was going to cut loose. Lie after contemptible lie was told, terrifying the people into believing that the Australian economy was about to collapse.

Amazingly when the Abbott Government gained office we found no crisis. It was just shrill politics from a demented politician.

The Liberals had conducted a scare campaign about budget deficits and government debt, but in government, Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey forgot all about it.

Make no mistake; the conservatives have been running scare campaigns for decades. Who will forget former Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock demonising asylum seekers, always referring to them as illegals? Never in their scaremongering did the Liberals have the dignity or decency to treat these folk as human beings.

Ruddock even told us that refugees were so evil and inhuman and violent that they throw their own children overboard. He went on to say that they were bringing diseases to our country. Nothing was left out in their putrid zest for demonising these people.

Scott Morrison, the Hillsong Christian, at one time even went out of his way to encourage his party to be more destructive with their damnation. Praise the Lord!

Had Abbott continued in office, their smearing of Muslims may well have reached its zenith during the 2016 Election campaign. However, it is a scare campaign that in its longevity has shown the conservatives to be the Masters of Scare.

John Howard, together with Bush and Blair, with the use of blatant lies scared the world into believing that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. The consequences of the scare campaign are well known. We are constantly reminded by the right about terrorists and, of course, Muslims. 

More recently, Liberal anti-everything backbenchers conducted a scare campaign against the "Safe Schools" program.

We have been told that Labor’s negative gearing proposal would wreck the property market and during the election, that a Labor/Greens alliance would be one of chaos.

Their extravagance of language in these matters knows no bounds. Which of course makes their accusation of a Labor Medicare scare campaign in the 2016 Election bereft of historical conscience.

The conservatives? Well, they have "form” as we Australians are apt to say.

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