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Aug 25, 2017

Shorten is not the first Labor leader under whose bed the Liberals have found reds

Remember the infamous "Estonian lady" linking Gough Whitlam to the evils of communism?

The full court press against Bill Shorten as the “most left-wing Labor leader in decades”, the recent ludicrous attempt to tie GetUp to the Australia-USSR Friendship Society, and finally Mathias Cormann’s announcement that a Shorten government would continue the failed experiment “of East Germany” have got people scratching their heads. Could team Turnbull be this stupid, this delusional? 

The answer surely is no, and it’s surprising that people don’t see which voters they’re targeting — older, and not-so-older voters from non-Anglo backgrounds, and either a direct or a family memory of Communism. Many of these people do believe that even the very mild social democracy Labor is proposing is a slippery slope to North Korea — and this might be especially so of Vietnamese-Australian voters and other south-east Asian groups.
 
There’s also a precedent for this — the “Estonian lady” ad made for the Libs by John Singleton in 1974. The Whitlam government had recognised the USSR’s annexation of the Baltic states, and Singo — who was at the time trying to turn himself a very early proto-Trump figure through an outfit called “The Workers Party” — had a middle-aged woman give this monologue (sadly, there is no copy on YouTube, or the internet, that I can find): 
 

ESTONIAN LADY:

I come originally from Estonia, the Baltic State. I escaped about 30 years ago when the Russians took over my country for the second time. I have lived enough under Communist regime, so I left and came to Australia. My husband and I, we worked very hard and we did well. We brought our children up so that they are well educated and they have a good living standard. Then about 16 months ago the Labor Party came to power, and I thought so, it is still a free country, but now I can see how wrong I was. Today I can see Labor is disguised socialist but for me it is disguised communist. Many Australians can’t understand, they haven’t seen it happen. I have seen it in my country, Latvia, Lithuania, East Germany and Poland, and now I can see the same thing happening here.  

The ad very effectively tied Whitlam’s leftward-moving social policies with the Baltics recognition, and it generated a howl of protest at its sleazy implications — including from many on the right, as the intro to the 1975 Quadrant article on it suggests.

Team Turnbull’s revival of such occurs at a time when many of such generation are gone to the great SBS broadcast in the sky. But it’s clearly the direction they’re pitching in, and it’s surprising how few have spotted it. Coming soon from team Turnbull, has Labor infiltrated our precious bodily fluids? 

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11 comments

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11 thoughts on “Shorten is not the first Labor leader under whose bed the Liberals have found reds

  1. Nudiefish

    When I first heard about the USSR allegations from the LNP I thought, ‘Hello, where are they going to go with this’? Turns out it is just another wet flop on the floor.

    Once upon a time when people actually read the Murdoch rags, allegations like this would hang around for at least 10 days, or so. Now it is just another wet patch that one steps over to see whatever the next comedic turn that the crazy Turnbull outfit is performing.

  2. Longfulan

    Aaahh, General Jack T. Ripper and purity of essence. What a great movie!

  3. jmendelssohn

    Hawke killed this tactic in 1983 when Fraser suggested that under Labor people would be better off keeping their money under their beds. Hawke’ response was they couldn’t do that because “that’s where the Reds are”.

  4. Dog's Breakfast

    Yeah, I’ve just put this down to them losing the very last bit of plot they ever had.

    The underlying assumptions are amazing, particularly that any move that is even slightly leftish takes you immediately to Stalinist Russia. No grey in this crowd, except their hairs, it’s all black and white.

  5. Graham R

    Likely true, but I think something else.

    Since both Julie Bishop and Mattias Cormann had logic meltdowns this week, babbling nonsense, I suspect some really bad internal party polling has demonstrated that the LNP is finished come next election. Both of them are from Western Australia, looking particularly grim for the LNP, and I detect the fog of panic in their utterances.

  6. AR

    And there was the traitorous Mar’nFer’son with Fordham on Hate Central repudiating the HawKeating Accord and all its works as creeping socialism and a grand mistake, warning that TINA to neolib kowtowing.
    Just for good measure he also railed against not enough wage & rates cuts because, y’know, without profits, business can’t continue being beneficent.
    SO between the rock of flailing libtards and the turncoat ex”Labor” hardmen, we are looking at a very dirty election campaign.
    Assuming that one is allowed and some genius doesn’t declare a State of Emergency.

    1. michael r james

      Their only hope might be if Trump does actually bomb someone–heck, if you take your conspiracy theories from The Long Kiss Goodnight, it might even be us! (Pretending to be Kim Jung-un, which actually is plausible). And bonus Trumpian thought: no Trump Hotels to even get their (orange) “hair mussed”! Plus very few Americans could point to us on a map of the world (and of course to them the only Australians that matter are in Hollywood anyway, like Arnold Schwarzenegger… ).
      It would be a win-win with Trump triumphantly coming to our rescue, and Turnbull becoming the Maggie Thatcher of his generation (a little diversionary war won her her second term, without which she would have been a one-termer and barely in the history books, yes, sadly Malcolm’s fate). It would also make those potential boat-people think twice about coming here any more.
      Plus, fewer voters left and the main survivors will be the far-right nutters in their bomb shelters … Yes, I think I’d get Textor-Crosby gaming this out.

      1. AR

        MRJ – that is frighteningly perspicacious, almost as if you are channelling your namesake, Montague Rhodes, except that we are in peril of a very fat reality rather than a thing ghost.

        1. AR

          … or even a “..thin ghost

        2. michael r james

          …..*slap forehead*….
          Of course, Malcolm needs to take a lesson from Milo Minderbinder and convince Trump of this scenario (a “little” war in which everyone wins, well except those pinko commies in NK, China, the nearest bed …), and here’s the real trick: the orange one should pay us to bomb ourselves! That way Turnbull (or Crosby-Textor of course) can do a little strategic pest eradication; what with sufficient diversionary bombing, the pattern (of non-LNP electorates) won’t be suspicious. Might even need to incur a little cosmetic damage to the harboursidemansion, you know to generate sympathy and “solidarity” with the people etc etc.

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