Dec 23, 2016

Year in review: denialism and demonisation in an anus horribilis

Relying on demonisation and denialism to achieve power comes with a terrible price -- as 2016 showed across the West.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

“Did I ever tell you about the man who taught his asshole to talk?”
William S. Burroughs

Last week, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull ended his political year by declaring that Bill Shorten was not fit to be prime minister because of his “shameless lies”, a move welcomed by the gerontariat at The Australian as demonstrating Turnbull was finally “a convert to a powerful negative assault on the contemporary Labor Party”. That the Prime Minister had donned his predecessor’s boxing trunks and taken to swinging haymakers at a punching bag adorned with the face of his Labor opponent was a fitting symbol of both his ever more Abbottesque prime ministership, and of 2016.

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27 thoughts on “Year in review: denialism and demonisation in an anus horribilis

  1. Guwardi

    Gold Bernard, thank you

  2. Dog's Breakfast

    Ah Bernard, you forgot that 2016 was the year that conventional liberal economics, whether you describe it as neoliberal or otherwise, actually died in 2016. A morally and economically bankrupt theory dreamed up in academia and championed by the very very big end of town, actually doesn’t work. It’s a lie foisted on the people.

    Traditional economic theory still has plenty to offer, but traditional economics doesn’t sell us ‘free trade’ and then maintain and enhance strict regulations against free trad ein the form of intellectual property and pharmaceutical protections that just happen to help the biggest of the big global corporates.

    What you have failed to realise is that rational economics is a very different beast from liberal economics. Liberal economic theory died this year, and thank god it did, although its smelly, rotten corpse will make the world unlivable for a few years yet.

    Vive la revolution.

  3. paddy

    Ever the optimist Bernard. 🙂
    But a nice summary of the train wreck that was 2016.

  4. Stuart Coyle

    I take it that the Latin spelling error in the title is deliberate. Nicely played!

    1. AR

      I assumed that the anus was the Abbotrocity.

  5. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    I know she’s big in mining but “The People’s Republic of Gina” is surely an exaggeration, Bernard.

    1. AR

      Yeah, i was waiting for the boom-tish but I guess it was just a typo. from overusing the hot key.

    2. Charlie Chaplin

      That’s how Trump pronounces “China”.

  6. Wexford

    I thought I was reading Rundle when I hit that closing paragraph. Brilliant sign-off to close the year 🙂

  7. Damien Flattery

    A very reasonable summary, however I note the apparent contradiction between identifying that “the economy is no long delivering the kind of gains in material wealth…” and then following up with “Australia is increasingly a successful services economy”.

    So which is it?

    It appears that wage stagnation and job insecurity are going to make the majority poorer regardless (even by your own admission), so exactly why are people meant to be happy about this?

  8. garydj

    Great article, Bernard.

  9. Susan

    Bernard, rather than distorting reality with your suggestion that the left has a protectionist approach to the economy, why not discuss the more obvious advocacy of protectionism within the Nationals? In that way you would explain the incoherencies of Coalition policy by pointing to the different positions of the two parties to the Colaition.

  10. Robert Sterry

    I enjoyed that very much Bernard. A beautifully crafted but sad tale reminiscent of Frank Muir and Denis Norden!

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