Thursday, 13 January 2011

Of floods and politics

I started drafting this post days ago but just couldn't bring myself to blog about the politics of the Queensland floods while the disaster was unfolding.

Thankfully, politics have largely been left out of the media during the height of the disaster.  But now that the danger appears over a few observations hopefully won't offend:
  • Tony Abbott and John-Paul Whatishisname must have been spitting chips for days - watching Gillard and Bligh getting seemingly endless TV, radio and press coverage (e.g. Bligh's tears this morning will be re-run time and again for days).  They sensibly didn't even try to compete but goddam they would have been fuming.

  • While not competing made sense - Abbott staying on holidays throughout was stupid (although not too stupid as it turns out because the MSM left him alone on that one).  Showing up in Briz today (as I just see on the ABC he has) could be equally as stupid - if he gets time on the news tonight, everyone will be reminded that they haven't seen his mug since this started and see him turning up now as cynical politics

  • In the same vein, the disaster will be a political boon particularly for Bligh but also for Gillard - look for an early bounce in the polls which I suspect will be more significant that BlueMilk ponders in this piece at Hoyden About Town.  The sad reality is that disasters and starting wars is great politics for an incumbent - if managed well politicians become leaders of a people facing a common 'enemy'.  It's one of the reasons Bush and Howard took us to Iraq and why Howard used (so successfully) the "We will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come" line (and all those others designed to demonise).  Religious nut-jobs have of course also know this since time immemorial.

  • It will be fascinating to watch how the Qld and Federal conservatives try to find political capital out of this.  Certainly Tony Abbott's first two attempts - Let's dam Queensland and (bizarely) Let's stop the building the NBN - both seemed to have backfired or at least fallen flat.  Again, I note that the religious nut-jobs were the first to attempt to make capital

Finally, and nothing to do with politics - I hope the people operating the Wivenhoe Dam get some sort of medal after all of this is over 'cause it strikes me that it was their good management that saved Brisbane from far, far worse.


clarencegirl said...

Hear that supplies are coming into Townsville now - including XXXX!
Glad you are all relatively dry that far north.

Island View said...

Dry for now thanks clarencegirl - packing off linen and going to a benefit concert by the local muso's club while we wish we could lend our shovel and shoulder to those down south.

Waiting for the beer truck that I saw on the news leaving Rocky yesterday - That and the first cyclone of what I expect will be a long, long wet season (for all of us)!