Why Do We Let Them Change the Subject?

The “protests” were about the introduction of carbon taxes. The news reports were about a handful of signs that were apparently impolite in their references to the Prime Minister. And that is where the debate has gone and more or less where it has stopped.

This is not hypocrisy. It is changing the subject. We know that demonstrations against John Howard were infinitely worse in what was said and how it was said but these never became an issue in itself. No media report ever found itself sidetracked onto the irrelevancies of some nitwit slagging a Liberal PM. What we are observing is a reasonably successful attempt to divert attention from why the protests were held in the first place.

Protests, at least so far as the right side of the political spectrum is concerned, are about as decentralised an activity as one can possibly have. There is an issue and there is a venue. Everyone who wants to come along is invited to come along. Some just show up and some bring their signs. No vetting, no checking, no exclusions, no nothing. We just take all comers as in fact does anyone else who organises a protest.

And while I had my doubts about the value of these protests and demos or whatever they might be called, having gone and having seen the press the next day, I think they were worth the effort. No one is in any doubt that we are the tip of an iceberg. There are plenty of others who share our sentiments but have few means to appreciate that there are many millions of Australians who are reluctant to see their economy trashed, their living standards eroded and their own cost of living rise for reasons that completely escape them. The problem is that hardly anyone is made aware of the damage that will be done to the economy if these carbon taxes are introduced. Maybe there are now a few more who understand what the issues on the table are and many others who know they are not alone in having the concerns they have.

I myself like only respectful protests where no one says anything nasty about anyone else, least of all about our political leaders. But I willingly take the risk that I will be standing next to someone less temperate than myself with whom on many issues I profoundly disagree. But politics makes strange bedfellows.

When I think of the assemblage of Stalinists and totalitarians of various sorts who march under the banners of the left, that sensible people associate with these types ought to be seen as a scandal but isn’t.

Before the protest set off, the marshals advised us that there should be no violence, that we should not block the traffic, that we should not disturb other pedestrians, that we should stay on the pavement and only cross on green lights. The idea that it might be otherwise never entered my head.

But beneath this exterior of middle class propriety there is a burning resentment against the incompetence of governments and the ways they are plundering our resources and wasting our potential. From these issues we are not being distracted as much as those who are responsible for this damage hope. But they are doing their level best to direct everyone’s attention somewhere else. It is up to us to make sure it doesn’t happen.

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60 Responses to Why Do We Let Them Change the Subject?

  1. TerjeP says:

    Which one did you go to Steve?

  2. JC says:

    Steve… it’s just the left’s feigned outrage.

    That sign about Duck Bium being St.Bob of Tasmania’s bitch may have been a bit rude but it did hit home.

    In fact it hits home so well Duck Bum has her political party lying for her that she formed an alliance with the most extreme party of nutball lunatics and freaking losers since Federation.

    I wouldn’t worry about. And the punters aren’t.

    In the immortal words of Tubby Milne… “it’s commons sense really”.

  3. papachango says:

    Surely someone can dig up a photo of Bob Brown or any other Greens candidate at some rally with an effigy of George Bush doing unspeakable things to John Howard in the same frame? That would put this stupid diversion to rest very quickly.

  4. twostix says:

    Many conservatives need to become far more resilient when the left and the “cool kids” in pop culture attack us for doing the things that we have sat by and watched them do for thirty years now.

    Most of the main media personalities are of the left, and so will always attack their ideological opponents, even for doing things far less outrageous than they do.

    What many conservatives need to realise is that by and large it doesn’t matter what they say. If it did 80% of Australia would be of the left and Gillard and Co wouldn’t need to constantly lie about their position on key issues (boat people, economics, marriage, bible stories lol) and yet still, despite most of the media shameless barracking for them can only muster 38% of the primary vote.

    Theory: At least 45% of the public are almost entirely immune to the cool kids media, maybe 10% can be swayed. However it’s *not* written in stone that always conceding to the days lefty media attack point is a winning strategy.

    Conceding gives it legitimacy. Instead attacking and unveiling them as hypocritical and unprofessional partisans is often a far more cutting strategy. Howard used to do a wonderful job of outing Red Kerry (even when I was a lefty I used to like watching that smart arse cop a beating).

    Like ‘ole crazy Barnaby showed the other week on Q&A, the left are weaklings, all about show and are only strong when they believe that most people in the room agree with them. Publicly call them out and they get very, very uncomfortable. Years of very little scrutiny and critisism has made most prominent lefties brittle. Defending opinions is far harder than attacking and is something the left are not at all versed in.

  5. johno says:

    In hindsight it is clear what the government’s strategy was going to be.

    The Liar’s recent speech in Adelaide were she tried to distance herself from her partners – in – government, the Greens by calling them extremists and branding those who haven’t been suckered in by the great catastrophic AGW con as the other extreme. She wants to end up with people thinking that a great big unecessary tax that will send us back to the caves is a sensible middle ground position.

    If the Coalition lets her get away with, we are sunk.

  6. JC says:

    Like ‘ole crazy Barnaby showed the other week on Q&A, the left are weaklings, all about show and are only strong when they believe that most people in the room agree with them.

    He really was great on that program. Fat Tony Jones hasn’t recovered and looks like a scared deer in headlights now when he’s challenged about his partisan douchbaggery.

  7. JC says:

    The Liar’s recent speech in Adelaide were she tried to distance herself from her partners – in – government, the Greens by calling them extremists and branding those who haven’t been suckered in by the great catastrophic AGW con as the other extreme.

    She’s pathetic politician possibly the worst I’ve seen in the big leagues including state level.

    How the fuck can she criticize the Greens for being extreme after she got into bed with them.

    What a stupid lying turd she is.

    What’s really offensive about it is that she thinks we’re stupid and can’t tie our shoelaces.

  8. twostix says:

    Surely someone can dig up a photo of Bob Brown or any other Greens candidate at some rally with an effigy of George Bush doing unspeakable things to John Howard in the same frame? That would put this stupid diversion to rest very quickly.

    I spent some time combing through Youtube last night. I found nothing from that far back bizarrely (the YT search is really buggy!).

    One thing the left is excellent at is throwing things down the memory hole the moment it becomes politically inconvenient. During the Rudd and Obama campaigns lots of my regular old stomping grounds unapologetically had massive purges of their archives to stop the “evil rightwing” from finding anything to hurt their (our at that time) superstars chances.

  9. twostix says:

    She wants to end up with people thinking that a great big unecessary tax that will send us back to the caves is a sensible middle ground position.

    Julia Gillard of the radical fringe left, ruthless, power hungry, atheist and proud Fabian Socialist thinks she can make people believe she’s the moderate voice of Australia’s Parliament on a Tax issue.

    It’s so crazy that it might just work.

  10. viva says:

    In an interview with Bolt and Price on MTR this morning Tim Flannery stated that even if the whole world acted to reduce emissions the result in terms of temperature would not become apparent for 1000 years. Lets see Julia spin her way out of that one.

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/mtr_today_march_25/

  11. C.L. says:

    The answer is very straighforward. Most journalists are left-wingers (this isn’t a theory, it’s a fact) and they will ALWAYS do their best to derail the non-Green/Labor side of politics. Rough estimate: the media corruption in this country is worth about 5 to 7 poll points to Green/Labor. And that’s why non-GL leaders like Abbott will always have to do more to win (both news cycles and elections) than GL leaders.

  12. Biota says:

    Somewhere a long time ago I read that during WWII Churchill said that for a time we need to use the methods of our enemies. Maybe that time has come again?

  13. PSC says:

    It was abundantly clear after the Alan Jones issue that Gillard did ok when Jones was telling here off for being late and calling her “Jul-Liar”, and did terribly when she was being asked about carbon taxes.

    The ALP has offered the Libs a lay-down messaire on this issue. The Libs are loosing it, just by not talking about the issue. If it keeps going this way the time the Libs get their house in order, the ALP will be talking about the massive personal income tax cuts, and the Libs will be talking about burning the bitch who brings the tax cuts.

    So the trick would seem to be:

    – ask more questions about carbon taxes
    – cut the Ju-Liar crap

    If you want to play in the real world, you gotta learn real-world moves.

  14. Gabrielle says:

    In an interview with Bolt and Price on MTR this morning Tim Flannery

    Just as an aside..The Flimflam man also said he was on his way to the BP refinery in Geelong. It doesn’t exist. Last I heard he was still asking for directions..

  15. JC says:

    PSC:

    Jones is right. She is a lying, dishonest rodent.

    Here’s the thing. The plan is that the tax goes up each year to 2020. That’s the only way the nutballs she formed an alliance with (The Greens) will sign on.

    The tax cut the dishonest fat arse is talking about is only for the first year.

    They may very well get this through. However you seem to be very optimistic that the Greens/ALP Alliance will be able to survive a compound increase of 4% each year, which is a 50% tax by 2020.

    Good luck with that. I prefer to put my feet up and stick the popcorn in the microwave.

  16. JC says:

    In an interview with Bolt and Price on MTR this morning Tim Flannery

    He’s like Garnaut. They’re Money beagles. These two fuckers can smell a pile of government bribe cash 30 miles upwind. Upwind!

  17. C.L. says:

    In an interview with Bolt and Price on MTR this morning Tim Flannery stated that even if the whole world acted to reduce emissions the result in terms of temperature would not become apparent for 1000 years.

    LOL.

  18. viva says:

    Yes the lefty media bias is a big problem. But IMO an even bigger problem is we are battling years of propaganda on global warming – to the extent that to take the contra view still has the whiff of “crankery” about it. That’s why Abbott has to hedge his bets by reciting the prescribed mantra of belief.

    Copenhagen, Climategate and IPCCgate may have made inroads and even the Royal Society has now acknowledged the science is not settled but the AGW theory still carries an aura of respectability and many punters – including politicians – are cowed/awed by that.

  19. pedro says:

    I don’t get this fretting about a protest sign. It’s a protest for god’s sake. The sign nicely makes two points that a lot of people, including me, believe. She is a liar and she has been running a fair bit of the green’s agenda. Sheesh.

    Same goes for the burn the witch sign. Some people really need to get a life.

  20. Infidel Tiger says:

    All these vacuum sealed hacks seem to think that calling Julia “Bob Browns Bitch” has sexist overtones. None of them are obviously hip to the street. Calling someone your bitch implies “you own them”. They’re your slave or servant.

    If you are listening to the Senate right now, you can clearly hear the righteous Barnaby Joyce making Conroy his “bitch”.

  21. dover_beach says:

    Word, IT.

  22. Infidel Tiger says:

    In an interview with Bolt and Price on MTR this morning Tim Flannery stated that even if the whole world acted to reduce emissions the result in terms of temperature would not become apparent for 1000 years.

    So I guess we are doing it for our children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s childrens’ childrens’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s childrens’ childrens’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s childrens’ childrens’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s childrens’ childrens’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s childrens’ childrens’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s childrens’ childrens’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s childrens’ childrens’s
    children then?

  23. Steve Kates says:

    Terje – The demo I went to was in Melbourne. Very orderly it was, nothing like the demo outside the World Trade Organisation meeting a few years back.

  24. papachango says:

    …Tim Flannery stated that even if the whole world acted to reduce emissions the result in terms of temperature would not become apparent for 1000 years

    So how does this gel with the professed certaintly that if we don’t do anything, the temperatures will rise by 2-5 degrees within our lifetimes?

  25. AndrewL says:

    In regard to changing the subject did anyone read Sinclair’s post about the semantics of being called a “denier”. It seems to cut both ways.

  26. Slim says:

    Who’s ‘we’ and who’s ‘them’?

  27. rog says:

    Why Do We Let Them Change the Subject?

    Well probably cause you aren’t too bright. I mean, who advised the leader of the opposition to stand in front of those tasteless banners with Bronwyn Bishop and the other attack dogs present?

    It might win a few hearts out at Long Bay but they cant vote.

    Abbotts flickering tunnel vision has put the libs back decades, and the conservatives arent helping the cause.

  28. Gabrielle says:

    It might win a few hearts out at Long Bay but they cant vote.

    Actually I don’t believe that’s true rog. Legislation was passed which gives convicted criminals the right to vote.

  29. rog says:

    Really?

  30. twostix says:

    Abbotts flickering tunnel vision has put the libs back decades, and the conservatives arent helping the cause.

    What does that even *mean*?

    Going back decades to 30 years of Liberal rule? Or going back a decade to 12 years of Liberal rule? Wow what a sad day that would be.

    And rog, the question was why do *we*. Nobody was asking the likes of you.

    It must infuriate you so, that in your mind the Liberals are so unelectable and “revolting” and “decades behind” yet the people just keep on supporting and electing them. Labor couldn’t even make one single term! LOL!

    Finally criminals are an ALP stronghold, both in supporters and in the party. But don’t let reality get in the road of your delusions.

  31. Michael Sutcliffe says:

    Legislation was passed which gives convicted criminals the right to vote.

    I’m sure rog would have supported it.

  32. JC says:

    Well probably cause you aren’t too bright.

    Says Quodge the thinking man’s 9th grade dropout.

    Hey Quodge, you never finished 9th grade so don’t go around judging anyone’s intelligence level as you’re not equipped to do so.

    You’re such a scumbag.

  33. Dandy Warhol says:

    Rog, I can’t help but notice that you don’t use the possessive apostrophe.

    The bloke who wrote the offensive ‘Browns (sic) Bitch’ sign also didn’t know how to apply the possessive apostrophe.

    Was it you? Did you spike Tony’s big moment with your tactically-placed sign?

    Come on boyo – out with it!

  34. sdfc says:

    Fuck the punctuation police are here.

  35. Dandy Warhol says:

    Would you shut up? He’s on the verge of confessing.

  36. Cousin IT says:

    Have you seen wag the dog?

    Change the story change the lead.

  37. m0nty says:

    I find it amusing that in a thread about the left using the incivility of the right’s grassroots to subvert debate, salt of the earth types like CJ persist in just the sort of childish crap like “Duck Bum” that the placard wielders served up to the Fairfax papers on a platter.

    They’re making a point about how immature Gillard’s critics are. Why prove them right? You’re bending over and presenting your posteriors, it’s not their fault that they’re kicking you up the arse.

    Can we see a picture of CJ? Perhaps we can use an epithet befitting his physical peccadilloes. Weak Jawline? Two Chins? Roof Over The Toolshed? Mr Combover? Mole Nose? C “B.O.” J?

  38. dover_beach says:

    persist in just the sort of childish crap like “Duck Bum”

    From the crowd that brought us ‘Bushitler’, ‘Mad Monk’, “Little Johnny”, “Barndoor”, etc.

    BTW, who’s CJ?

  39. Gabrielle says:

    The old story. It’s only okay when they do it.

    Yeah I was wondering about “CJ” as well.

  40. m0nty says:

    Ah right, JC. For some reason I got the initials mixed up, because I thought it just too silly to name yourself after Our Lord Jesus Christ.

  41. Peter Patton says:

    persist in just the sort of childish crap like “Duck Bum”

    Why is it childish to say this on Catallaxy, but not childish when said by six-figure salaried cartoonists?

  42. m0nty says:

    It is childish in both instances, Peter.

  43. JC says:

    Oh yea I forgot about your incoherent babbling montY.

    I find it amusing that in a thread about the left using the incivility of the right’s grassroots to subvert debate, salt of the earth types like CJ persist in just the sort of childish crap like “Duck Bum” that the placard wielders served up to the Fairfax papers on a platter.

    Personally I didn’t have an issue with the placard, as it said what it needed to very succinctly. Lefties shouldn’t have any sort of problem with that sort of thing judging from past history anyways, least of all St. Bob.

    They’re making a point about how immature Gillard’s critics are.

    Lol… Yea like they would be more mature if they let Duck bum off about her generalized dishonesty and lying.

    Why prove them right? You’re bending over and presenting your posteriors, it’s not their fault that they’re kicking you up the arse.

    Lol..what sorta incoherent swill is that.

    Can we see a picture of CJ? Perhaps we can use an epithet befitting his physical peccadilloes. Weak Jawline? Two Chins? Roof Over The Toolshed? Mr Combover? Mole Nose? C “B.O.” J?

    You wish. Unfortunately for you I’m a perfect male specimen, MontY. Lets all see your pic so we can judge please. And don’t try to hide any defects as we’ll be able to tell.

    Oh, but the way your moniker is really annoying with the capitalized “O”. Write the freaking thing properly.

  44. daddy dave says:

    From the crowd that brought us ‘Bushitler’, ‘Mad Monk’, “Little Johnny”, “Barndoor”, etc.

    You forgot HowWARd.
    And there endeth the discussion. Anything other than a mea culpa from m0nty, or at minimum a concession that the insults fly from both sides of the river, will be met with scorn and derision.

  45. C.L. says:

    LOL. Monty’s still investing all his hopes in The Placard.

    “childish crap”

    You mean, like endlessly mocking the “Mad Monk” for wearing Speedos when he’s a registered lifesaver?

  46. JC says:

    Barndoor

    That was me. At least I posted that without seeing anyone else doing so before hand. True.

    MontY we also hang it on the right at times in good spirits, like Fatty O’Barrel and the engorged Hockeystick, or Barn Door Yoyce

    Admittedly there’s more shit hung against lefties but we do also pile it on right wingers at times, so stop it with being so precious.

  47. m0nty says:

    A mea culpa? For what? Sure, insults fly from both sides, but “two wrongs do not make a right”. Though perhaps that should be the slogan of this blog, since its commenters seem determined to keep on testing that theorem over and over, no doubt purely in the interest of scientific rigour.

    You mention Hockey, O’Farrell and Joyce: none of whom are aligned with the right faction of the Liberal Party. Do you have any pet names lampooning Christopher Pyne? Andrew Robb? Chris Berg? Lord knows there are more than enough funny-lookin’ parts of their bodies to ridicule.

    Why do you let them change the subject? You not only let them, you send them an engraved invitation. It’s a fair question that Steve asked, and you seem to have no ability to answer it. That would require a bit of humility and introspection, which are in short supply here.

  48. daddy dave says:

    Sure, insults fly from both sides, but “two wrongs do not make a right”.

    But is it even wrong? Cartoonists and comedians lampoon our pollies. Why not ordinary people? Serious question.

  49. JC says:

    You mention Hockey, O’Farrell and Joyce: none of whom are aligned with the right faction of the Liberal Party.

    MontY, you’re seeing ghosts now. I can’t imagine anyone here knowing the factional names of the Libs as that’s something that hasn’t really been discussed here other than the last few days when the drug addled psychotic, Pitta Patta started to rant about some liberal group as the “uglies”. One commenter questioned if they were still around.

    Do you have any pet names lampooning Christopher Pyne? Andrew Robb?

    Nope. It’s not a quota system, as people here don’t believe in quotas. However if you’re really asking if people here cricisize the libs, well they do. But it would be something of a shock to you that we criticize mostly from the right, which is a unique thing in Oz.

    Lord knows there are more than enough funny-lookin’ parts of their bodies to ridicule.

    But not a protruding bum making it difficult to walk around because she’s too lazy to shed some pounds.

    Why do you let them change the subject? You not only let them, you send them an engraved invitation.

    I don’t understand what you’re talking about.

    It’s a fair question that Steve asked, and you seem to have no ability to answer it. That would require a bit of humility and introspection, which are in short supply here.

    People here are very introspective if by that you mean that we question policies etc coming from the right or left. As for humility…. Nope not so much. You won’t find much humility here.

  50. m0nty says:

    What I am talking about, JC, is that if the MSM or whoever are looking for ammunition with which to attack the right for being uncivil and boorish, they need look no further than this blog. You’re packing more ordnance here than Reagan sent to the Contra rebels. Brett “Slotty” Lee couldn’t bowl it in the slot any more invitingly for the likes of Crabb or Devine to spank you through the covers.

  51. . says:

    Uncivil and boorish?

    99% of mitigation schemes. Economic ignorance, arrogance and incompetence all rolled into one.

  52. daddy dave says:

    Are you predicting an major expose of JC’s use of the term “duck bum”? That one’s really got you upset, hasn’t it? Why is it worse than jokes about Abbott’s speedos? Why is it worse than jokes about Kim Beasley’s weight? (remember that Chaser stunt with the food dangling from a boom mike at a press conference?)

  53. . says:

    The outrage over insulting a woman is patronising, patriarchal and mawkish.

    Reminds me of the native-american looking chick-dude from Portlandia.

  54. JC says:

    What I am talking about, JC, is that if the MSM or whoever are looking for ammunition with which to attack the right for being uncivil and boorish, they need look no further than this blog.

    Why thank you. We do try our best for the most and it’s nice to see appreciation.

    You’re packing more ordnance here than Reagan sent to the Contra rebels.

    Heh.

    Brett “Slotty” Lee couldn’t bowl it in the slot any more invitingly for the likes of Crabb or Devine to spank you through the covers.

    tell me, MontY, can you show me evidence where you admonished people for posting comments referring to the lying rodent or the mad monk etc?

    The ABC was posting comments questioning Pyne’s sexuality and suggesting he ought to engage in bestiality with a large dog, so i don’t think that Nanabel Crabb would want to be discussing this stuff without a head guard as she would come out second best seeing her employer allows that sort of thing on it’s programming.

    As I said earlier, tell lefties to lay off this stuff and after a decade they’ve kept their promise it may be a good time to revisit the issue.

  55. Peter Patton says:

    monty

    Christopher Pyne is quite rightly known as a yapping mincing poodle.

  56. dover_beach says:

    m0nty:
    for being uncivil and boorish

    dd:
    Why is it worse than jokes about Abbott’s speedos? Why is it worse than jokes about Kim Beasley’s weight? (remember that Chaser stunt with the food dangling from a boom mike at a press conference?)

    Indeed, and yet the Chaser crew, Clarke and Dawe, etc are lauded by the likes of Crabb, etc.

  57. Gabrielle says:

    Yes it is quite acceptable to insult a male politician on his appearance, his speech, his clothes, his virility.

    Yet it is deemed unacceptable to treat a female politician in the same manner. Why is this so?

    Where is the equality?

  58. m0nty says:

    Nanabel Crabb, now that’s amusing. 😀

    The answer to “why do we let them change the subject” should not be “because Muuuuum, they started it!”

    When leftist protests aren’t controlled by the organisers well enough and end with violence, the media always reports the violence and not the issues. In resorting to violence, the left lets the media change the subject. It’s the same dynamic. You can’t blame the media for being slanted, as they do it exactly the same way for both sides if they slip up.

    The actual answer to the question is “because we’re undisciplined”. That’s the reality of protesting. Organisation is key. It’s basic PR: control the message, stay on point and don’t let chaos intervene. That’s politics.

  59. dover_beach says:

    How boorish.

  60. daddy dave says:

    That’s the reality of protesting. Organisation is key. It’s basic PR: control the message, stay on point and don’t let chaos intervene.

    That’s probably all good advice, m0nty, and reinforces my belief that protesting something that should be left to the Left.

    Anyway, as we saw in the US, when the right organises peaceful protests – the Tea Parties – the media just makes up stories about violence and racism out of whole cloth. So it’s a futile exercise for conservatives.

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