Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Oz: Wonderful, fabulous news for that marvellous Mr Howard - Labor still miles ahead in the polls!

UPDATE: Methinks they doth protest too much?! First Den pops on his crusty pants, and now an entire editorial is devoted to, among other causes, slagging respected online psephologist Peter Brent for daring to question the objectvity of Shanahan's analysis?

Desperate, desperate stuff.

I won't dignify the trash by reproducing at length, but just a couple of choice cuts in this self-serving ode to delusion worth a laff:
Smug, self assured, delusional swagger is no substitute for getting it right.

I KNOW they had Janet Albrechtsen in mind when they wrote this. I just KNOW it.
As a newspaper we don't know who we will support at the federal election.

Hear it here first, an iron-clad, core-promise QP guarantee: I will shave my head if the Australian gives a Vote Labor editorial at this year's election. I'd even go so far as to say I'd shave my head if any Murdoch rag gives a Vote Labor editorial. And trust me, I don't look good with a shaved head - I have these creepy, bumpy sections in the back of my skull - but I am so completely 100% confident of what I'll read in the Oz's ed section on election day that I can make this pledge.

You only ever react so violently to criticism when consciously or otherwise you know there's a ring of truth to it; never before today has the Oz demonstrated so effectively how true this is.


You gotta love the Govt Gazette, you really do*. The latest Newspoll makes painfully clear that the Howard government has failed spectacularly to narrow the gaping lead Labor has over them, and how does the GG spin it?

News report: 'Howard checks Rudd's march.' Riiiiight.

Dennis Shanananananahan: Howard-friendly BBQ metaphors - with a particularly uncomfortable focus on sausages.

Edimatorial: 'Strong leadership has got voters' attention'. Everybody all together now: Julia Roberts at the polo in Pretty Woman. Wo! Wo! Wo! Wo!

You know what? And this probably only confirms absolutely what a complete nerd I am - but I woke up this morning and literally the first thing I thought of was how the GG was going to spin the latest Newspoll in the event that their Coalition buds were still trailing so badly. And sure enough, the case in point was waiting for me at my work desk interweb:

THE Government has successfully shifted the political dynamic, checking the personal appeal of Kevin Rudd and setting a series of future traps for Labor.
Ahh - this must be that liberal media bias I've heard so much about, right there.

The 56-44 2PP result with no increase in Coalition primary support is completely eclipsed, of course, by discussion of the high numbers of both Labor and Liberal supporters who support Howard's recent NT action. Which is lovely, but doesn't really correspond to the GG's key message that people are growing tired of the Kevin Rudd Novelty and finally coming back to kindly Uncle John, finally realising There's No Place Like Home after all - their unproven hypothesis for the last six months now.

The Iraq poll doesn't do much for Howard either - 31% of respondents wanting the troops to 'remain in Iraq for as long as the Iraqi government wants them to stay' versus 63% of respondents who want the troops to return by mid-2008, immediately or some other definite date. In Oz, though, the Wizard argues that Labor 'risks putting itself on the wrong side of the Iraq debate' through its policy of a fixed troop withdrawal date.

The fuck? You really wouldn't want the Oz doing your tax return right now, would you? They could probably turn a thousand-dollar refund into a two-thousand dollar debt if John Howard told them to.

I must admit, I'm ever so slightly less confident about Howard winning this election than I was 24 hours ago. Today's Newspoll only reinforces a steady, consistent trend and the perception that more and more voters have stopped listening or paying attention to Howard.

However, the smart money - literally - is still on Howard, with Portlandbet, who have opened a book on every one of the 150 federal seats to be contested, calling a close Coalition victory. I tend to think that 16 seats is just the tiniest too far of bridges for Rudd.

You'd have to think, though, that if Howard does lose this election, in the face of a strong economy, paranoid international climate and rusted-on Liberal hack monkeys banging away at the MSM's typewriters for him, history will regard him as one of our greatest - well, losers.

(*You don't really have to, don't worry.)

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At 11/7/07 1:29 pm, Anonymous marcelproust said...

Like you, I have watched with some amazement The Australian's take on the latest poll. It may be that they are clutching at straws, but it may also be that the resurgence in Howard's approval rating is a straw in the wind, and that he has been and will be able to use the advantages of incumbency to respond to some (I think) fairly unthinking responses to the "Aboriginal children crisis."

However much one would like to dismiss The Australian's approach as mere boosterism, experience indicates that leader approval, and not simply party preference, is a critical factor.

My own hope is that the "honeymoon" response to Howard's initiatives re indigenous communities in the Northern Territory will wear off, even though the reasons why his actions have been well-received are very deeply entrenched.

At 14/7/07 10:18 pm, Blogger TimT said...

You'd have to think, though, that if Howard does lose this election, in the face of a strong economy, paranoid international climate and rusted-on Liberal hack monkeys banging away at the MSM's typewriters for him...

... and a substantial majority in the lower house - substantial enough for the media to conclude three years ago, at the conclusion of the Howard/Latham election that it would be at least two elections before Labor would come back.

This is what many bloggers are so conveniently ignoring at the moment. And this is why the current triumphalism over Labor's 'lead in the polls' seems to me like so much complacency.

...history will regard him as one of our greatest - well, losers.


At 16/7/07 10:39 pm, Anonymous shane easson said...

good post but gee, it's all over,red rover. I was unsworth's chief of staff and although few remember today, he was well ahead of griener in the 'preferred Premier' stakes in the months leading to the decimation of the ALP. Leader ratings don't matter. Labor despite the number of seats required will win big.

At 16/7/07 10:59 pm, Blogger Sam said...

Sure hope you're right, Shane.


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