We were looking at remarks of Mr Kenny in The Weekend Australian of 13-14 January 2018. I need not set out those remarks again as this post will end with former posts that contain quotes from Mr Kenny over the years to the same effect.
When Mr Kenny refers to the ‘love media’, what label does he have in mind for his side, or tribe? All of us are worried about energy prices, but has anyone bettered Mr Kenny’s identification of the real problem when he refers to people who are ‘phlegmatic about alarmist claims on climate’? When he says ‘even business leaders fuel the left side’, does he accept that that entails two propositions (each of which I would regard as at best odd): that we can give some useful meaning to the word ‘left’ in this context; and that in that meaning, it would surprise us if business leaders supported opinions grouped under that label? When Mr Kenny refers to ‘the political/media class’ with such disfavour, what definition can he give of that body that does not show him up as its leading exemplar? For that matter, what ‘elite’ would not have Mr Kenny? And does he really believe that Trump and Farage were ‘mainstream’ candidates? Finally, given that a substantial part of the business model of this newspaper is to report on conflicts fuelled by opinion polls, has Mr Kenny not broken all records for hypocrisy with the sentence: ‘It demands leadership, not opinion poll watching.’
In fairness to the newspaper, I might say that the same edition carried a piece by Caroline Overington about a suicide that followed cyber-bullying that I thought was first class in every way. Now, Ms Overington does appear from time to time with the Anti-Christ, the ABC. Mr Kenny might inquire of Ms Overington how often she gets ‘howled down’ as a ‘heretic’.
Before going to Mr Kenny’s priors, I may report on one of his colleagues in labelling, Jennifer Oriel. Ms Oriel is a cheerleader in the partisan scolding of those awful people called ‘progressives.’ But Ms Oriel has now made confession – of the sin of apostasy. She has outed herself as a former Labor supporter.
And old friend asked why, after years of voting Labor, I left the Left. I considered justifying myself again with the chronology of exodus. But the truth is plain and blunt. Why did I leave the Left? Because two plus two equals four.
Well, there you have it. Mr Kenny explains everything in politics by reference to the facts (which I assume means evidence). Ms Oriel does it with arithmetic. The reference is of course to 1984, but the notion certainty in politics being arrived at mathematically is unsettling. But, then, how many contented and equable lapsed Laborites do you know?
Here, then, are two previous posts that show that Mr Kenny is nothing if not consistent. You will see that we begin with a disclaimer by Mr Kenny of ‘partisan or personal cheerleading.’ It fairly takes your breath away.
Passing Bull 18 – The Dean’s Wake Syndrome (19 October 2015)
....unlike progressives, conservative commentators tend to stand on principle rather than indulge in partisan or personal cheerleading….
Chris Kenny, The Saturday Australian, 17-18 October, 2015.
On any given Saturday you can get about five whoppers like this from that newspaper as the ‘conservatives’ make faces at the ‘progressives’, like little girls to little boys behind the shelter-shed. What was the context?
Rowan Dean, the editor of the Oz Spectator, and the leader of the unattractive pack described in Passing Bull 15, threw a wake for the former PM. We are told that Dean was smarting if not seething. The usual idolaters were there – Andrew Bolt, Miranda Devine and Paul Murray (who has been inconsolable on Sky ever since, routinely throwing objects as well as tantrums, and imploring the new PM to be tough on Muslims).
Mr Kenny, another idolater in his time, says he knows how these people feel. He does so in terms that contradict point blank the silly boast set out above, and which show why Australians are revolted by the cabal of politicians and journalists that have dragged us down to our present level, on both sides of politics, and where all except the addicts, or those who profit from or traffic in the addiction, are praying for relief, if not enlightenment from a mix of the Wars of the Roses and a New Dark Age.
After years of sneering at the poll-driven, media-grovelling superficiality of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd Labor years, the Liberals have descended into the same sand-pit.
And with the ABC, Fairfax Media Newspapers, Canberra press gallery, academe and sundry other elements of the love media and political/media class railing against their version of the anti-Christ – a socially conservative prime minister – a great opportunity to prove them all wrong has been frittered away.
Most of us with a view to the structural ebbs and flows of politics could see that despite the antipathy directed at Abbott, some obvious failings and poor poll ratings, the Coalition was most likely to be re-elected next year.
This would have confounded the love media and twittersphere, and confirmed the good sense of mainstream voters.
In Abbott’s favour were strong policy settings (border protection, climate change, and attempted budget repair), the escalating issue of union power and corruption being teased out in the royal commission he established, and how all this had rendered Bill Shorten nigh-on unelectable.
When an impatient Turnbull launched his challenge the week before the Canning by-election he not only robbed Abbott of a chance for recovery but denied many true believers the pleasure of this social-political experiment – this vindication.
It passes belief. If you did not know that you were the victim of an experiment, at least you know it is not one that will be repeated. Here is why politics presently revolt Australians. There is hardly any reference to principle, but just a focus on partisan political cheerleading. And do you know why? The people and their representatives do not know as much as Messrs Kenny or Bolt. They cannot be trusted.
As usual, the crucial partyroom votes were exercised by inexperienced, impressionable and self-interested MPs, many of whom would not have entered parliament if not for Abbott’s campaigning skills and who might have been less than helpful in briefing journalists and voicing disharmony as they fretted over the polls.
In the next post, I will try to spell out this disease of the mind, but Mr Kenny does offer one frightening thought:
I sense the republican cause may be at the heart of much conservative antipathy.
These embittered relics of Plato’s Republic and the Split are not just harmless Looney Tunes. They are intent on not allowing us to break with the Mother Country and become self-governing without support from the Anglican Crown. Bring back 1788 – and the lash. They are Monarchists envenomed. Don’t they know about 1789?
Passing Bull 44 – Outstanding hypocrisy in the Press (26 May 2016)
Politics and politicians are on the nose all around the world. There is a savage reaction in the West against political parties and political elites. Since the system as we know it has been worked by political parties run by elites, the results may be disastrous, if not terminal. Corbyn was bad enough, but Trump is a genuine nightmare.
In Australia there is a very unhappy union between politicians and journalists. There is much to be said for the view that our press is in large part responsible for the awfulness of our politicians. They are far too cliquey and close to their subjects; the worst kinds of would-be journalists are tribal, and feed themselves on hits from other followers of the cult on the Internet. The real disasters are former political staffers who then want to pose as journalists. Instead, they become boring and loaded cheerleaders.
Two of the worst examples are Chris Kenny and Niki Savva. They could not hope to pose as being objective, but they sadly think that that they are intelligent. They live in confined echo chambers quite cut off from the world, just like the politicians in Canberra. They are part of a useless but self-appointed elite that is quite out of touch with what they call the mainstream.
It was therefore quite a surprise to read the following from Chris Kenny in The Australian last Saturday:
There is a great and pernicious divide in Australia. It is not between the eastern seaboard and the western plains, or between the rich and poor, city and country, black and white, or even between established citizens and refugees. The divide is between the political/media class and the mainstream.
There is a gulf between those who consider themselves superior to the masses and want to use the nation’s status to parade their post-material concerns, and those who do the work and raise the families that make the nation what it is.
That is a reasonable statement of the problem, even if it comes from one of the worst examples of those who give rise to the problem. And what on earth is a former Liberal staffer – attached to Lord Downer; no wonder his syntax is shot – and employed by The Australian and Sky doing referring to ‘the masses’. Has Mr Kenny ever met one of them? But then it all becomes clear when we get this:
In this election we are seeing the chasm open up, like a parting of the seas, as the media elites and their preferred left-of-centre politicians seek to determine what issues should be decisive. They lecture and hector the mainstream. Worse, they try to dictate what facts can even be discussed. They seek to silence dissent. They have compiled an informal list of unmentionables, facts that should not be outed: the truths whose name we dare not speak.
And then Mr Kenny goes on to ‘lecture and hector’ those poor souls who share his echo chamber, the true believers who know that Satan masquerades as the ABC and the Fairfax press.
This is all as boring and predictable as anything said by Mr Kenny in The Australian or one of those ghastly Sky chat shows that demonstrate that the chattering classes, the former chardonnay socialists, have long ago swapped sides graphically and terminally. We reached a new all-time low recently when Peta Credlin joined Andrew Bolt for a nocturnal tryst on Sky that will be sure to upset at least three dinners a night. It might all be boring, but the hypocrisy of Mr Kenny takes your breath away…..
…..Does any decent Australian give a bugger about the alleged Left/Right divide or any other of those profoundly stupid chat shows called ‘culture wars’? Have they not yet seen that everyone else rejects all this bullshit and all those who want to wallow in it? Does the press just not get that they are an essential part of the package that people are rejecting all around the world?