Abbott’s Denial of Reality

Another good analysis of this repugnant regime by Jennifer Wilson at No Place for Sheep. Thank you as always, Dr Wilson.

“Tony Abbott recalls how to deny . . .”
(Image Credit: Paul Kane/AAP)

It’s the goal of every political party to impose its particular concept of reality onto the nation over which it desires governance. Treasurer Joe Hockey, for example, wants to convince us that if we have a “good” job that pays sufficiently well we will be able to buy a house, even in what governor of the Reserve Bank Glenn Stevens describes as Sydney’s “crazy” market.

In other words, Hockey wants to impose his party’s ideological belief that all that is required is hard work to get you where you want to be. In the matter of affordable housing this fallacy is easily challenged: nurses, emergency workers, teachers, police, all essential to the safety of any community, are paid so comparatively poorly they have reduced opportunities to purchase a home in the city in which they serve, yet their jobs are “good” in every other sense of the word, and they work hard in traumatic and difficult circumstances.

In Hockey’s ideology the individual is entirely responsible for his or her fate, and the wider social and cultural context in which we exist is of no relevance whatsoever.

Even cabinet ministers occasionally have difficulty meeting their mortgage payments, Prime Minister Tony Abbott folksily tells us, and his own daughters are wondering how they’ll ever get into the market. These comments only serve to confirm the “craziness” referred to by Glenn Stevens; however, this is not Abbott’s intention. In yet another cosy homily, the Prime Minister is attempting to brainwash the nation into the belief that it is normal to struggle mightily to own a home, and that housing is a privilege, not a human right.

The LNP ideology in general, not just as it is revealed through the prism of the housing market, is based entirely on the denial of the reality of everyone other than themselves and the like-minded. So as another example, in what must be the most twisted effort thus far to keep the country free of asylum seekers arriving by boat, we now hear that the Abbott government is allegedly using tax payer dollars to persuade people smugglers to turn their over-loaded boats towards Indonesia where they presumably will either offload their cargo of human misery, or conceivably turn right back around in the hope of being intercepted by another representative of the Australian navy and border patrol who will, if they are lucky, pay them more thousands of dollars to turn back to Indonesia.

This interesting variation on Nietzsche’s theory of eternal recurrence will, the government assures us, ensure ongoing success in its campaign to turn back the boats and keep Australia safe. The fact that we pay those vile people smugglers to turn around will not, of course, encourage the people smuggler trade, because the Abbott government wants to stamp that trade out and paying them to turn back will stamp that trade out, dummy, what is wrong with you that you can’t get that? It won’t even risk more drownings at sea because paying people smugglers to turn back their boats will stop drownings at sea, or at least in the bit of the sea that belongs to us, because the people smugglers have been paid and paying them means nobody will drown.

Are you gas-lighted yet?

The government has zero interest in the reality of waterborne asylum seekers, their struggles and their fate. The only reality that matters is that of a group of largely white males who currently comprise the orthodoxy, and whose sole goal is to remain in power. Their task is, by hook or by crook, to quote their leader, to persuade enough of the citizens of this country to share that reality and vote them back in. Denial of every other reality is essential to achieve this outcome, onshore and off.

Denial is an insidious psychological mechanism, on a personal, community, national and political level. One of the most destructive of its effects is the barrier it inevitable constructs against change. Nowhere do we see this played out more dramatically than in the Abbott government’s fanatical loyalty to the continued use of fossil fuels, brought yet again into stark focus this week by the Prime Minister’s brain fart on the aesthetic offensiveness of wind farms and his intention to find, by hook or by crook, expert evidence to prove their danger to human life.

A few weeks ago Jeff Sparrow tweeted about the demented wind farm phobia displayed by both Hockey and now the PM. Its roots, he claimed, lie in the fear that at their every turn the turbines are whispering: “Hang the bourgeoisie. Hang the bourgeoisie.”

Denial, in the psychological sense, causes a refusal to accept evidence-based reality, refusal to acknowledge the repercussions of one’s own actions and the effects those actions have on others. The denier uses minimisation, rationalisation and justification to cling to a status quo under challenge, and the more frightening the challenge, the more desperately the tools of denial are brought into play.

The Abbot government suffers a group psychosis, so deeply ingrained is its pathological denial of any reality other than its own; its callous disregard for the effects of its actions on any other group, and its narcissistic belief in its own entitlement and superiority. This can only go one way: downhill. Currently, we have no significant organised challenge to the Abbott government’s dominance, but when we do and we must, even it means widespread civil disobedience, the orthodoxy will decompensate, and hopefully implode. This will not be a pretty process: overthrowing tyrants never is.

Change is an anathema to conservatives, and we are in a time of enormous global changes that must be maturely addressed. They will not cope. They are already not coping, and if we had an opposition with any kind of a spine, the government’s sick reality would be under real and consistent challenge.

(Image Credit: Desertpeace)

703 thoughts on “Abbott’s Denial of Reality

  1. Puffy,

    If Jason, I will forgive you only if you didn’t know how badly he behaved after the heist of the Golden Fleece!

  2. Puff. My pleasure. It was hardly “from the trenches” though, being called to discuss the NBN and current internet problems in Canberra. Canberra is probably the IT capital of Australia, yet there are surprisingly large numbers of residents who just can’t get access at all, let alone at sufficient speed to do top end IT work.
    Put it this way, no meeting called in order to sing the praises of the LNP plans for our internet future would attract anyone with sufficient wit to be able to find their own way home again. Not in Canberra and probably not anywhere else either.

  3. One interesting point raised by an IT gentleman at the meeting tonight relates to house prices. Many many IT people work from home offices or small shopfront type offices. With a part of Canberra being blessed with the ALP style NBN, but most being on the never never Turnbull brand, IT savvy people are already buying and renting houses and small offices according to the standard of internet access. Thats all very well when Real Estate agents can advise you that on this particular side of the street access is good, but over there it is not, and is likely to remain poor into the long distant future.
    Already, IT people are claiming that price differentials of in excess of $100k exist, but this situation will exacerbate in quick time. Then the guy who argued that he would never need fast speeds in internet will find that prospective buyers are very mindful of speeds available wherever and whenever and will make value decisions accordingly. This also happens with small office rentals.
    Being on Turnbull Lane will not be as financially attractive as being on Conroy/Clare Parade. Jason Clare captured the vibe with the comment “harbour views for IT nerds”.

  4. ForeverJanice, my condolences for your loss of Witchery (what a great name story, thank you).

    I’m with PuffyTMD about the idea of the Rainbow Bridge. There’s a part of me that looks forward to meeting my old four-footed family members when I pass on too.
    *sad smile full of my own memories of missed friends*

  5. I may as well add my two bobs worth to MSM kill-Bill theme. It is too well organised and timed to be a random occurrence. I feel that is has the fingerprints of the LNP dirt bag unit namely Mark Textor. I follow lots sites and beside the usual LNP mouth frothers, this onslaught has brought out more nom de plumes that I have not seen before.

    Then you have the usual MSM groupthink press gallery. “The polls are bad for Bill” and Abbotts are great!!!! “Bill had a bad week” and yeah Abbott had a stellar week with in fighting in cabinet. The big news dump by Fairfax today to sink Bill was “AWU put some money into his 2007 campaign” Big deal.

    This from Noely and she was right someone flicked a switch to get this campaign up and running. Image Abbotts screams of ALP being unstable if they panicked and changed leaders

    YaThinkN Mod Betty Taylor • 9 hours ago
    Oh I agree Betty, though I’m not sure the ALP will have a choice. Since I uploaded this have seen 3 more pieces in various non News Ltd places. For some reason it seems like someone flicked a switch 48 hours ago and regardless of what people want, you know what it is like once media decide on an “Narrative”. How many times did Gillard answer every question, exhaustively, didn’t matter in end, it stuck, was the grab on the nightly news. Just have a feeling that has started again. What I would like to know is why? Why have they all suddenly kicked off on this tangent?

  6. but PM trying to knock off a Loto always seems a bit desperate. Loto going after PM makes some sort of sense but tother way round smacks of fear.

  7. Accurate assessment of his reaction to —“Pope’s plea to humanity on climate”
    “@geeksrulz: BREAKING Vatican News: Gerard Henderson claims to have had a seance with Santamaria and God and they all decided the Pope is the Anti Christ”

  8. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Bret Walker fires up at Abbott.
    First-time homelessness spikes in Sydney.
    The political power of the church on display as Baird increases funding for their schools.
    This mass shooting may be the tipping point for Obama who said WTTW that “surely we must realise that we are the only advanced country in the world where things like this occur with such frequency”. The gun was a 21st birthday present from the perp’s father!
    We have our own problems with guns in parts of Melbourne.
    This looks like a giant rip off.
    So THIS is where all the Legal Aid money goes? By the way how would you feel about being in a jury trial that runs for six months? How much would a juror be paid?
    Michelle Grattan looks at Shorten’s brought forward appearance at the Royal Commission.
    Public servants start what will likely be a drawn out industrial action.

  9. Section 2 . . .

    And the Immigration Department head has called in external providers to conduct performance reviews of management personnel.
    Abbott’s citizenship legislation might be blocked on the Senate until the high seas pay off impasse is resolved.
    Mark Kenny looks at the headwinds Abbott faces as the Paris climate change summit approaches.
    The Pope’s climate change encyclical will be a challenge for the sceptics
    John Garnaut on the work Abbott has in front of him over relations with Indonesia.
    Stand by for a PR blitz from the multinational tax dodgers.
    Surely someone should do a stretch of porridge over the BBY collapse.
    Peter Martin says the RBA has worked out why business is not investing.
    “View from the Street” asks if Bill Shorten will lead the Coalition to victory. He also has a good dip at Abbott’s citizenship manoeuvring.
    James Massola says Labor is “watching Shorten closely”.

  10. Section 3 . . .

    Manufacturers are sneakily upping prices by surreptitiously reducing content weights and dimensions. Mrs BK won’t buy Cadburys chocolate any more.
    Abbott’s wind farm commissioner brain fart has led to a flood of derisive activity on Twitter at #allthecommissioners.
    The commissioner move is a new low in Abbott’s railing against wind farms.
    How Abbott is creating a “Mad Max” energy future.
    The 39 worst things the Liberals did yesterday.
    A relationship between early puberty and certain serious diseases has been found.

  11. Section 4 . . .

    Alan Moir in Bill Shorten’s office.

    David Pope sums this government up beautifully here with a northern development road trip.

    Mark Knight doesn’t think Melbourne Metro is working too well.

    David Rowe has Shorten more than a bit concerned.

  12. Today, we solemnly say to our friends across the Channel : beware, Brexit could be your Waterloo ! And to make sure the message is really heard, we have gone as far as to convey it in English. Messieurs les Anglais, don’t let the sirens of a fake independence pull you away from the continent. Just as in 1815, your future is in Europe.

    En savoir plus sur

  13. kk

    What are they doing , installing 18k gold seats and diamond encrusted walk in humidors !!!

    The place is decrepit.

    A lot of the main beams in the structure are wrought iron. So, I understand, they’re OK if just staying still but not if the building is moving i.e. sinking into the Thames.

  14. Have to agree, Cliff..the sudden shift of focus from crimes against humanity to a few bucks on industrial donations does smack of a conspiracy…and I also can see Textor at play…it’s interesting, I talked about Textor with a very savvy Territorian (Darwin based) and he remembers Textor (the younger) hanging about with the much older manager of the Parap Pool back in the eighties. Now this chap ( I know his name, but litigation forbids!) was so diligent in his maintenance of the pool, he would use an underwater camera to “check the seal and structure” of the pool even while it was open to the public…if you get my drift. I wonder if young Textor was being “trained” as his “understudy” ?

  15. It’s obvious what the ‘Get Shorten’ campaign is about. You might think it was intended to have everyone hating Bill well before the time he was due to appear at TURC. A bad day being questioned by Mr Stoljar could have seen calls for Bill to resign as leader and the party faithful, already well primed by the MSM, would have agreed. Shorten pulled a swifty by getting his appearance brought forward, but the campaign will just kick up a bit and keep going.

    But –

    There’s another factor you are all missing. Labor’s National Conference will be held at the end of July. It is no coincidence that Shorten’s TURC appearance was planned to take place weeks after the conference, and no coincidence that he will have to go back for cross examination around that original hearing time. The MSM are beginning to talk up the alleged problems Shorten will have at the conference.

    Whoever organised this hate campaign intended Shorten to go to that conference with grave doubts about his leadership and possible scandalous revelations at TURC firmly planted in the minds of delegates. The intention was to force Shorten to resign as leader before or during the conference. This would give Abbott a trump card – leadership instability. You can just imagine it. ‘Labor is at it again’. ‘You just can’t trust Labor to keep a leader for more than a year’. ‘If they can’t keep their party stable they can’t run the country’. We have heard it all before, It worked last time, if Shorten resigns soon it will start up again, on and on and on, all meant to wipe away all our memories of Abbott’s own leadership problems and the disunity in his cabinet and back bench on so many big issues.

    The government is scared. Abbott is a rotten leader, he should be booted out, they know this. But because of the way they carried on in opposition about instability they can’t bring themselves to get rid of him. Shorten is doing well, he won’t play their games, he looks like staying. Something has to be done. Shorten has to go.

    The MSM have been roped into this campaign and have been only too happy to dish the dirt. And how convenient that the ABC is running The Killing Season just as this campaign kicks off. There was some very smart planning there from someone.

    Shorten has thrown a huge spanner in the works by having his TURC appearance brought forward. By conference time the worst will be over. I won’t be surprised if his lawyers manage to get his whole appearance brought forward.

    Shorten may well turn up at the conference as a hero. Whoever is behind this hate campaign may have done Shorten a huge favour.

  16. Of course, it is possible that ‘Kill Bill’ is coming from within the Labor Party………….

  17. leone

    Gee leone, I hope not. Labor are not as vicious as the Libs. “Kill Bill” has to come from the Credlin side.

    Anyway, I don’t think LNP and MSM can hurt Shorten in as many ways as they did Julia. Shorten is a male. The female journalists tend, in general, to show a little more hesitation, apart from Sales, perhaps. We shouldn’t see all the porn JG had to put up with. No misogyny, no female card, no sexist comments in Parliament. And so far he hasn’t been called a liar. I mean that, in general, males are more respected than females.

  18. rnm

    Tony Wright writes such trivia. To think people buy this paper to read such a shallow article after the “turnbull” comment had been all over the news for most of the day. What a deep thinker Wright is.

  19. The Cadbury thing –

    I can’t comment on how nice(or not) Aldi chocolate is because I refuse to shop there. I prefer to support Australian companies, not German billionaires.

    I stopped buying Cadbury years ago, when they decided to adulterate their chocolate with vegetable oil as a cost cutting measure. ‘Real’ chocolate doesn’t contain vegetable oil so by taking out some – actually it was a lot – of the more expensive cocoa butter and replacing it with much cheaper vegetable oil Cadbury turned their ‘real’ chocolate into compound chocolate.

    Their marketing people dolled this up as a relaunch. The packs were changed from the old foil wrappers and paper sleeve to a cardboard box. The block format changed too a thinner block with bigger pieces which the PR people said had a better ‘mouth feel’. The block weight was reduced too, but the price remained the same.

    Consumers hated everything about the ‘new’ chocolate. It tasted awful, they didn’t like the pack and they were not fooled by the new portion sizes, they knew they were getting less chocolate, nasty chocolate at that, for their money. Sales dropped and kept dropping.

    Cadbury changed their recipe and tinkered with the packs, but the chocolate still contained some vegetable oil, and over time the block sizes kept shrinking while the prices stayed the same or went up.

    I don’t eat much chocolate. These days I like dark choccie with a high cocoa content. I usually buy Lindt or Green and Black and I don’t worry about the price. You can’t eat a lot of 85%cocoa chocolate at a time, so a pack lasts a while.

  20. I was on a diet for many years, so no Nutella for me. Now, that I can eat anything, I decided to buy some of that lovely spread. I did check though first if it contained palm oil. Sure enough, it does. So I didn’t buy the pot. I would buy it if it contained any other oil even if it meant losing a bit of flavour.

    French people need to stop scoffing Nutella for the sake of the planet, the government’s ecology minister has said, even though she admitted that it does indeed taste good.

  21. When Aldi first opened in Muswellbrook, I trotted along to check them out. I didn’t find them any cheaper than the other supermarkets and I was insulted when I discovered they charged a fee for the use of credit cards. Can’t remember now but I think the charge was 1.5%. As far as I’m concerned Aldi can get stuffed.

  22. Janice
    Same here. I don’t understand why so many people think Aldi is cheaper. It isn’t. And I have big problems with their business model. I’ve been into all that here before, no need to do it again.

    i’m happy shopping at IGA and Coles. My IGA is owned by a local co-op, I’m a shareholder and I get a few perks for being a regular shopper so it’s in my interest to keep supporting it. Because they don’t sell everything I buy I also like Coles and strange as it may seem, their fruit and vegies are a lot fresher and nicer, and much the same price, as the stuff at the allegedly ‘cheap’ big greengrocer here. Prices are much the same for the basics at both.

    Yet people firmly believe Aldi is the cheapest place to shop and won’t believe it when you say it’s not. Why? Because the media tell them so, I suppose.

  23. I never liked Aldi. I found it not user-friendly. I shop at IGA (the manager is a Labor man), at Coles, and for cheese at Woollies. One salesperson at W told me that the staff was treated well.

  24. With most of the votes in the Danish election counted, the Social Democrats have got the most votes out of any party but the opposition blue bloc of parties will combine to win the most seats however the blue bloc party with the most seats is not the main opposition Venstre party, but the anti-immigrant Danish People’s party, which will make the process of forming a government very interesting. Also Helle Thorning-Schmidt has resigned as leader of the Social Democrats.

  25. leonetwo,

    I read with interest your previous comments on Aldi.
    I shop at Aldi (5 minutes drive) for the bulk of my needs and Woolworths (2 – 3 minutes Drive) for odds and ends.
    Her are a few comparisons of prices last week.
    Truss Tomatoes $5.99 Kg $8.98 Kg
    Bananas $1.99 Kg $3.40 Kg
    Imperial Mandarins $1.49 Kg $1.98 Kg
    Lettuce $0.99 ea $3.40 ea

    After reading your comments I checked my weekly shopping from Aldi and out of 64 items I could find only two that were not “Australian Made”. A tin of pineapple slices from the Philippines and a box of tissues ” Made in Australia from imported components”. Jars of jams, can of beetroot, sugar, biscuits, etc., all labelled “Australian Made”.
    I shop at Aldi not because the media tells me it is the cheapest, but experience has proven it to be so and I am satisfied with the quality of the product.

  26. This is not a new attack on Shorten. Has been going on since day Abbott, or was it Brandis set up TURC. Trolls have been quietly working away with gentle poles. Sites such as Kangaroo Court, First there was the rape allegations, which led nowhere.

    No, this is a part of Abbott’s well laid out plans to win a second term.

    The dirt has just begun, Abbott careful today, not to make any accusations against Shorten, keeping to generalities.

  27. Barry J
    Whatever floats your boat, I suppose. We all have our own preferred shops.

    My problem with Aldi is not whether or not their goods are Australian, my problem goes to their overall business structure and the overseas ownership. I’m one of those weird people who prefer to support Australian companies.

    Those labels –
    I always read the labels carefully because I need to be careful about what is in the stuff I buy, not that I buy much processed/packaged food anyway.

    The ‘Made in Australia’ label is very misleading. It means whatever you buy might have been packed or processed using some imported ingredients. You need to look for ‘Product of Australia’ which means it is Australian grown and processed. You might have noticed the media comment on proposed new labelling laws a week or so ago. The proposals are pretty useless, but it might lead to better labels eventually.

  28. leonetwo,

    Well aware of the misleading food labelling. Thats why I put inverted commas around Made in Australia.
    With a son employed as Production Manager at a well known “Australian” company in the food industry that is actually Japanese owned, I have no truck with Aldi being overseas owned. The way I see it is the money is better in my pocket that in the pockets of the rip off merchants Coles and Woolworths.

  29. I think every shop has its day of bargains. One day I checked the price of truss tomatoes at IGA: $8.99. As I also had to go to Coles I found them at $2.50. Exactly the same on same day, same morning. I’d say just shop for bargains.

  30. Plans to appoint wind farm commissioner ‘very hurtful’, says former disability commissioner Graeme Innes

    Former disability commissioner Graeme Innes has blasted the Abbott government’s plans to appoint a national wind farm commissioner when there is no full-time disability commissioner as “very hurtful” and “very damaging”.

    “It sends a very clear message about where people with disabilities fall in the pecking order,” he told Fairfax Media on Friday.

    “Clearly, we fall below strong lobbyists.”

  31. “Everyone seems to have forgotten or never cared that our governments gave actual money to actual people smugglers”

    Get in the bin, MSM, and stay there.

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