We really are in a post-truth era of politics; and for a change, Western Australia is leading the pack instead of trailing 30 years behind. As you probably know, we are a one emperor, one newspaper kind of town and we piddle ourselves over the notion of secessionism.
Actually, we are so provincial that, if we were stylish, we would rival the south of France.
Alas, we are not.
But back to our one newspaper.
The West Australian has been remarkably consistent over the course of this year in its grovelling sycophancy towards Premier Mark McGowan. Its front pages have painted McGowan as the steadfast messiah of the Sandgropers. However, in the last couple of weeks, politics west of the border has been tumultuous — particularly for the opposition. The opposition leader and shadow treasurer have resigned and a new opposition leader has been elected. And given the movement in the WA Liberals, it is hardly surprising that its new leader, Zak Kirkup, has featured on the front of the West Australian. Because, you know, it’s news.
Apparently, that has upset the fragile little petals in WA Labor who sent out a perturbed email to the faithful.
To say it’s disingenuous is to be too kind.
I started reading it with a smirk, and finished reading it with a perfectly executed chortle. Clearly, comrades at Labor HQ think their members were either born yesterday or have failed to so much as skim the news during the last 6 months. Any way you look at this, four out of the last six front pages featuring Zak Kirkup pales into insignificance next to nine months of ‘oh look, Dale dug a hole’. Not to mention it makes Labor look like the pouty ex-wife who wound up with most of the assets but is seething that her former husband is sporting a younger, cuter model with an arse you could bounce a coin off.
Wait, it gets better.
The email then attempts to draw an analogy between Seven West Media and the Murdoch media, suggesting that the last week of front pages has stifled WA Labor getting its message out. This is laughable. The journos at the West (save for some notable exceptions) must have biceps bigger than Busso from the amount of water they’ve been carrying for this government. In actuality, Labor doesn’t have much of a message because, aside from locking us in the state, they haven’t done anything substantive in three years nor do they have anything noteworthy on the cards. All they’ve done is sit back and enjoy high royalties from high iron ore prices. And until last week the only time the WA Liberals featured on the front page was to overshadow the reporting of some McGowan induced gaffe. As I said earlier, post-truth.
And I love the use of the phrase ‘chipping in’. Hilariously, most of the people receiving that email ‘chip in’ to Labor every time union dues are docked from their pay, and the reality is, the only ‘big money’ in WA is union money. But when all else fails, go back to the tried and true class warfare shtick. It’s lazy and boring but apparently effectual.
Ultimately, emails like this don’t get sent without reason. Evidently, there has been just enough change in the political landscape to cause Labor to regroup and rethink.
They just shouldn’t have made it so obvious.
Caroline Di Russo is a lawyer, businesswomen and unrepentant nerd.
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