No wonder our politicians treat us like we’re stupid
Tuning into Tony Abbott’s interview with Today FM’s Kyle and Jackie O this morning I knew it would be embarrassing - it’s just that I thought Abbott would be the one making me cringe. Not so.
Kyle Sandilands is obviously a smart man. He’s made millions out of the bogan media persona he’s built, and he isn’t the first radio shock jock to take a stereotype and flog it until it can’t get up any more.
But I still find it amazing that so many people are happy to be talked down to about how stupid they are. The Kyle and Jackie O show this morning was such a festival of ignorance it’s no wonder people like Julia Gillard think they can completely change their personality from one day to the next and the rest of us will buy it.
Here’s some of the highlights of Kyle’s “I’m as dumb as an ox” shtick.
KYLE: So, and, I know that you’re big into Jesus and that you don’t want the gays to get married and that’s all I know. What else do I need to know?
TONY ABBOTT: Well, look, these are all aspects, I guess, maybe even caricatures, Kyle. But, the important thing, I suppose, if I come onto a programme like this and I try to answer questions, well, then more people will get to know more of me.
JACKIE O: Well, I mean, obviously, you know there are a lot of people out there that are voting, but they don’t really understand all the political talk and they haven’t made up their minds yet. For those people listening, what would you say to win their vote.
TONY ABBOTT: Well, I think we need a competent government, a government which gets things done and the current government has wasted too much money and it’s been responsible for too many stuff-ups, like the pink batts programme. Now, you know, a government that doesn’t stuff-up is a good government.
KYLE: Yeah, well, that’s true. I know that the Howard, you’re the Howard mob, right? Liberal.
TONY ABBOTT: That’s right. I was a Minister in the Howard Government.
KYLE: So, they did a pretty good job, even though he never came on here and hated us, right, and he never came on here. But that’s fine. You can’t force people to do things. But that was a pretty good government, like we had heaps of cash.
JACKIE O: Yeah, that’s right.
Now for my favourite part:
KYLE: Lucky for her. You seem like an alright guy. We’re a bit dumb around here, we don’t pay that much attention to all the interest rate chatter and bank business and what have you. We are really the swingers, we’ll just go for whoever seems the coolest.
TONY ABBOTT: I don’t claim to be that cool, but I hope I am competent to run a government. That’s my pitch.
KYLE: Well, that’s cool. For that job, that’s pretty high in the cool stakes.
TONY ABBOTT: House roofs will not be catching fire under a government that I run.
KYLE: That’s important.
TONY ABBOTT: We won’t be wasting money spending a million bucks on a covered play area, which you could get for $250,000 or less. All of the waste that we’ve seen under this Government will stop.
JACKIE O: That’s a good thing, that’s got to be a good thing then.
I don’t care how rich he is, someone with a debt like that likely does “pay attention to interest rate chitter chatter.”
He’s not an idiot, but he clearly thinks his listeners are. Yet one million of them continue to tune in.
We complain constantly that politicians treat voters like they’re stupid. Considering how so many of us a prepared to pretend we are, you can hardly blame them.
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