Irony Does Not Compute

23/02/2019

Some of you would know from an older piece that my Federal MP is everyone’s favourite “leftie masher” (a popular nickname after he spent a weekend arguing with a meme page on Facebook), Andrew Laming (LNP). His main roles appear to be trash talking Queensland Labor and being a useful distraction, with such incidents as his attack on teachers. He recently posted/tweeted this on social media:

“Each Election, I deal with a @QLDLabor scare campaign tailored specifically for low-IQ voters. What will it be this year?”

Clueless pot, meet kettle.

That Laming, or indeed any other Coalition MP, can criticise Labor for running an election scare campaign has only two explanations. Either they are so daft as to make Laming’s laughable comment about IQ all the more hilarious, or that they understand the irony but somehow do not expect voters to pick up on such an obvious contradiction. Both are reason for concern regarding the intelligence of our elected officials and/or their level of respect for those who elected them in the first place.

Basic primary school level communication skills would inform you that insulting someone is a certified way of building up barriers between people. Transfer that concept into the political arena, and you’ll find that insults are a certified way to alienate prospective voters. Sadly, this appears to have less bearing these days, as those that were the intended target of the insult would probably have never voted for the LNP anyway, and those that do vote for them are more likely to agree and fuel the division rather than question the attack. That brings out another irony, which can apply to both ‘sides’ of politics but more so the ‘right’, where those who will tut about a lack of civil debate will simultaneously fall into a pit of confirmation bias populated with vitriol without a second thought.

The idea that one can smear the opposition using abuse rather than factual deliberation instantly points to either a lack of communicative skills or proof of questionable character. When watching our politicians debate (or, more specifically, Coalition members speaking at any point), both deductions seem apt. Aggressive verbal and body language is not acceptable in any situation, and in Parliament it is quite astonishing how we’ve managed to collect a group of obnoxiously loud pricks.

While the insult aspect of this tweet is widespread, what is more striking is the sheer hypocrisy behind the scare campaign comment. Over the last three months, I have not picked up a hint of ‘scare’ in any of Labor’s policy plans other than the ‘Mediscare’ slogan (from 2016) which may be making a comeback. But I would argue that for something to constitute a scare campaign it would have to be based on lies or conveniently skewed truths, and as far as the Medicare debate goes, Labor was absolutely right to be concerned – cuts to Medicare have passed and their effects are already noticeable.

On the Coalition/One Nation/Australian Conservatives/etc. side of the fence, the number of scare campaigns is phenomenal.

  • Same sex marriage and the Safe Schools program will turn your kids gay/will lead to the legalisation of paedophilia (glances at the Church) and bestiality. Absolute lies and horrific comparisons made.
  • Weakened borders caused by Labor and the Greens bringing back the boats. You mean the boats that kept coming but were just sent away elsewhere? And the awkward omission of the fact that the medivac bill only applied to the current cohort of refugees, not new arrivals? How do claims of weak borders add up when you reopen another detention centre – in direct scorn of what the bill was intended to do – and throw around million-dollar contracts to phony security companies?
  • Vicious attacks on retirees, because god forbid wealthier people don’t get cash refunds for tax they didn’t even pay.
  • Labor hates farmers because… something, they don’t even really explain that one. Because ignoring the effects of climate change and incredible water mismanagement with the reek of corruption will do wonders for the drought ridden country.
  • The Greens advocate drug taking! No, they advocate for a safe environment and proper education because they understand that people will always take drugs, whether out of curiosity or addiction, and it’s proven to save lives.
  • Increased taxes will hurt small businesses, we can’t afford Labor! No, we can’t afford the Coalition because all of their tax cuts have devastated public services and gone straight to massive corporations. While I’d still consider Labor to be too bought out for my liking, at least they’d reign that in a little.

There would be many more out there; no doubt any topic of discussion will have a fiery rant about how Labor would make the scenario worse by a Coalition member. I hold no love for Labor particularly, but when presented with the traditional and off putting two party-preferred system, the IQ directs one kindly towards Labor.

While the irony of calling out Labor for scaremongering is lost on our dullard government, it is not, I hope, lost on the people. We recognise it for what it is, and such hypocrisy cannot be rewarded with another election win. They do not deserve your vote, and you do not deserve their twisted games.

 

Liked this? Read the previous Laming post HERE

Previous piece: Banks Out of Schools

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