“There is only so much room in a brain, so much wall space, as it were, and if you furnish it with your slogans, the opposition has no place to put up any pictures later on, because the apartment of the brain is already crowded with your furniture.” Adolf Hitler
Don’t think Abbott can win.
Howard, behind in his first term, made the tactical masterstroke of campaigning on the GST against Beazley’s ‘small target’ strategy.
In doing so Howard captured the debate. He gave the electorate an idea to kick around during the camapign – and it was a fairly safe one since the GST had been thrashed to death in the 1993 election. The GST was both new and familiar at the same time.
So, Howard behind in the polls, gave the electorate an idea against the idea-less Beazley. The peepul voted for Howard almost out of sheer gratitude.
Abbott is behind but, unlike Howard, has no ideas – and I agree with the immortal Andrew Elder at ‘Politically Homeless’ that Abbott has not had an original thought for about quarter of a century. His career is based on headkicking and ripping people’s gutses out. He was Howard’s loyal and unquestioning servant: a voice-activated Frankenstein assassin. ‘Kill Hanson, says Howard. ‘Yes Master’ responds Abbott and puts the legwork into the secret slush fund that bankrolled the sleaze attacks on ‘One Nation’ – what was it ‘Australians For Freedom and Democracy’ or somesuch horror.
His Master’s Voice Arms and Legs
Abbott is like Herman Goering who once said ‘I have no conscience except the Fuhrer’ or the brainless servant of absolute loyalty who served the Corleone family in ‘The Godfather’: ask Abbott to put a horse’s head in somebody’s bed and he’ll do it without hesistation, as long as the interests of absolute power are served.
So, without any ideas, Abbott is powerless to wrest the initiative from a position of disadvantage. His simle strategy is to evince fear responses in the electorate by invoking the Full House of Lib/Nat shibboleths about the ALP.
You can’t trust Labor with Money
Tax and Spend
Great Big New Tax
Stop The Boats
Faceless Machine Men
This is powerful but limited. Scary bed-time stories only give children nightmares, not adults.
The Australian electorate has become more progressive over the years (the Lib/Nats core constituency is the Over 55′s), but the great unwashed middle will still flock to a safe pair of economic hands and Rudd was scaring the horses.
In one week Gillard has defused the RSPT and the Asylum Seeker issue. I am confident as the campaign contnues she’ll keep the masses calm and give out enough soft-left Dogwhistles to stop leakage on that side too.
Thinking By Proxy
Abbott’s only worthwhile idea in his opening election statement was that to give Local Communities more say over the spending of school funds, but that’s just a focus group grab in response to the BER.
How a Rhodes Scholar can be so vacant is flamin’ alarming. That scholarship committee needs to review its selection process.
Abbott’s backup attack lines are an interesting species of polly-strategem. They involve accusing Labor of things it hasn’t yet done so that when and if they do occur he can say ‘I told you so’. Two examples:
ALP will run a filthy campaign
ALP will attempt to promise/spend their way to victory in the campaign. (Surely what Howard did in his last two victories and also attempted in 2007).
Abbott’s pre-election campaign was similar brew of weirdness and cunning: endless footage of himself semi-naked, clad in lycra while participating in Triathlons and giving the camera a generous dose of full-frontals with the voice over saying ‘I promise action for Australia’. I mean the message is as subtle as a Vegemite Suppository administered by crowbar. The only footage I have seen which approximates it is Slobodan Milosevic, president of Serbia, filmed doing enthusiastic free weights as Sebian tanks smashed through Croatia.
Does this kind of thing really win votes ? Or is it just an excuse for Abbott to drop his daks in public. I dearly hope its the latter.
So Abbott’s dead meat I reckon.
All JG has to do is keep the ship steady and say a couple of moderately interesting things and Abbott will be out of his depth competely.
I will predict white-eyed, spittle-foam desperation verging on the hysterical.