There’s the gag about the economist for whom reality was just a special case of his model, and then there’s the ALP reaction to the reality of Tony Abbott.
I find it bizarre, and dishonest, both to themselves and us, that because Abbott refuses to conform to the “cut to the bone” Tony that the advertising relentlessly told us he would be, the ALP, and fellow travellers, condemn Abbott for “hypocrisy”.
This has got to be the worst case of fiction being mistaken for real life that I have ever seen.
The line goes, that as Abbott declared there was a “budget emergency” and a “border emergency”, then he has no business extending Australia’s credit lines to meet expenditure already incurred by the previous government, and he should have turned-off illegal immigration like a tap.
At the same time he is criticised for honouring campaign commitments to abolish taxes like the mining tax, along with the income support measures that went with them.
There is a pathology at work here which gives a clue to why the last three federal Labor governments were so bad.
It appears that the whole left of the political spectrum has become entirely divorced from an empirical view of the world and act as though the world as they would like to be is the world as it is.
This explains the thought bubble style of government under both Rudd and Gillard. In this world, issuing a media release (or airing an advertisement) was enough to make it so.
So, spending money on an “education revolution” consisting of better provisioning school buildings and classrooms was both educational and revolutionary. Or instituting a program called the National Disability Insurance Scheme was enough to ensure that the physically less-abled of us would have exactly the same qualit of living at exactly the same price (whatever that quality and price might be) as the rest of us.
That the revolution accompanied declining educational outcomes, and income wasn’t sufficient to meet the commitment, didn’t enter into the picture.
Perhaps this is emblematic of the age. After all Twitter has just listed on Wall Street raising $1.82 billion USD, having virtually no revenue, let alone being in sight of a profit. That’s the world inhabited by more on the left than the right (see our study on social media and the last election).
It could also be part of the “progressive” mind-set, which is predicated on the view that the world must change, which involves a degree of visualisation, that probably has a degree of rub-off as projection.
One thing is for sure, while it might provide cheap rebuttal lines, this mindset is inimical to Labor getting back into power any time soon.
Any future victory has to be planned on the basis of what is, rather than what “should” be.