Tribalism is the bane of Australian progress. It is the default position for a populist Australian psychology that is always far more ready to adopt partisanship over national interest or even ideology. To wit, at The Guardian:
While national politics frets about its trust crisis, the bulk of Australian voters appear reasonably sanguine with both of the major parties five months on from the federal election, with more than 60% of the Guardian Essential sample rating the performance of the Coalition and Labor as excellent, good or fair.
The latest survey of 1,088 respondents shows 63% are positive about the Coalition’s performance post-election and 62% say the same about Labor, although Coalition voters are more positive about the government than Labor voters are about Labor, with 93% of Coalition voters affirming the government and 83% of Labor voters affirming the opposition.
We currently have the worst politicians of my lifetime, and probably all time, but folks just don’t care so long as they wear the right tie.
This maddening tribalism is no more on display than in the two party’s spun out propaganda outfits, GetUp and Advance. Each is at it today, GetUp via Domain:
Activist group GetUp will escalate its fight with Prime Minister Scott Morrison by accusing him of being an “authoritarian populist” who tries to shut down his critics, naming three campaign priorities to take on his government.
Branding the Prime Minister as a “lite” version of United States President Donald Trump, the group will redouble its campaigning on climate change with the help of donations flowing in at a rate of more than $12 million a year.
GetUp national director Paul Oosting will paint Mr Morrison as a copy of populist leaders overseas who cannot take criticism, citing the Prime Minister’s speech in August when he blamed the activist group for “bullying” opponents.
That’s the best GetUp has got? No mention of wages growth; rising youth unemployment; housing affordability; energy crisis; crush-loading and falling living standards; university corruption; CCP and corporate political corruption; Budget unfairness; freedom of speech, etc, etc, etc. Just “Trump”.
Then we swing over to Advance at The Australian:
The new voice of Australia’s conservative movement has vowed to go after radical left-wing groups in a national campaign against “climate alarmists”, after accusing members of activist group Extinction Rebellion of being criminals who pose a menace to society.
Liz Storer, a 36-year-old former Liberal councillor and ministerial adviser, will be announced on Wednesday as the new national director of centre-right campaign machine Advance Australia, which has positioned itself as the political counter to GetUp.
But Ms Storer said while GetUp was on her radar, her first campaign would be aimed at Extinction Rebellion, which has risen from obscurity to prominence in the past week by closing down traffic in the CBDs of Brisbane and Melbourne.
…“They are a menace to society … We saw last week the Victorian police saying they had to stop normal policing to deal with them. ER are proving to be the real criminals …. Gluing themselves to streets (and) hanging from bridges.”
Again, no mention of wages growth; rising youth unemployment; housing affordability; energy crisis; crush-loading and falling living standards; university corruption; CCP and corporate political corruption; Budget unfairness; freedom of speech, etc, etc, etc. Just “scum”.
There’s no argument, no engagement, no identifiable ideology even. It’s just red versus blue or idiot versus moron. It’s a giant distraction that won’t even progress the one issue that they do bother to mention in climate change. How can it when neither message is crafted to create, support and influence an independent centre?
These dills have turned the entire process of policy formation for national interest into a personality disordered, reality TV version of same that changes absolutely nothing.