Unapologetically tough and unapologetically fair
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd today said that the Government was moving with “the utmost urgent speed” to fix what might be “perceived as an unfortunate conceptual misalignment” regarding the issue of asylum seekers.
“Up until now we have described our policy as ‘tough but humane’, however from now on the correct designation will be ‘harsh but kind’,” Mr Rudd said.
The Prime Minister looked annoyed when a reporter suggested that perhaps a better alternative might be “sweet and sour”. “Let me say this, do I apologise for saying what I mean and meaning what I say? Not withstanding the various qualifications existent for meeting the dynamic fluidity of changing contingencies, no, I do not apologise, not in the slightest,” Mr Rudd said.
“In fact, I am unapologetically unapologetic.”
Mr Rudd went on to unveil what he called “exciting new initiatives” in the area of “political to public sphere cognitive signifiers”.
It is believed this means the Government has changed and updated its various catchphrases, slogans and soundbites.
“We have been working around the clock to redefine the architecture of our policy communication formulation to counter what might appear to be the possibility of adverse misalignment in incredibly complex and difficult areas of interconnectivity,” Mr Rudd said.
“If it takes determined and decisive language to achieve the optimum outcome of listener interface, then my language will be decisively determined,” Mr Rudd said.
“If someone doesn’t like that, I say that’s the way the Iced Vovo crumbles, especially when introduced into the porously osmotic agency of a cup of tea.”
A beaming Prime Minister looked up expectantly at this point but appeared crestfallen at the stony silence of the assembled media.
“Oh hold on,” Mr Rudd said shuffling through his notes before finding a postit note marked spot.
“Fair dinkum, me ol’ China plates fair suck of the sav this is what you’d call, well, a full-on shit meteorological event.”
Again there was silence from the media pack, the only sound drifting across being the far off leaf blower being used to clear the mounds of dead bogan moths from Parliament’s outside light fixtures.
The new range of catchphrases follows the concerted attempt last month, spearheaded by Minister for Repetition Peter Garrett to label climate change as “dangerous climate change.”
Mr Garrett’s office has indicated they will be enhancing what they called a successful policy communication revamp by upgrading the phrase to “dangerous, anthropocentric, imminent, we’re-all-going-to-die, look-out-here-it-comes climate catastrophe”.
Due to the improving prospects of a rebound from the GFC, Treasurer Ken Henry is believed to have green-lighted departmental spokesperson Wayne Swan to talk about “light at the end of the tunnel” rather than “not out of the woods”.
Meanwhile academic observers who previously espoused the theory of the military-industrial complex and its public policy ramifications are now beginning to talk of the emergence of the marketing-promotional complex.
Talking point upgrades are now being issued across Government agencies hourly from the subterranean desks of chained functionaries in the fluorescent light buzzing basements of the Ministry of Verisimilitude, which previously under Howard Government was The Ministry of Denial.
Gleaming multi-storey PR consultancy offices have mushroomed around Capital Hill, like the encircling stainless steel and glass fronted encampments of an occupying army
Jostling for space, but much less ostentatiously, are the squat windowless laboratories of marketing researchers.
Unmarked black vans with darkened windows occasionally pull up at the concrete-bunker like structures and disgorge groups of blindfolded voters.
The subjects are quickly hustled into what are believed to be banks of focus-group session rooms.
Whether anyone ever emerges from these clumps of building, now unofficially called Spin Central, is unclear
However there are reports of police picking up apparently severely disoriented individuals stumbling next to the Hume Highway.
One was shown on the local news, mumbling dazed as if in trauma, what sounded to be the following: “Would you say Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s message on tackling the crisis in our hospitals has seemed to you very convincing, somewhat convincing or not that convincing?”
As today’s press conference was finishing the Prime Minister was asked how he had enjoyed his breakfast.
Mr Rudd looked somewhat taken aback and engaged in a quick conference with a media communication strategy advisor who had previously lurked, mostly unnoticed, at his elbow.
After a hurried whispered conversation Mr Rudd squarely faced up to the microphone.
“Let me say this unequivocally concerning the issue of breakfast satisfaction, I believe enjoyment of breakfast is something of great importance to Australians and I join with them in that conviction.”
The strategist was later overheard making the following remarks during a frantic phone call: “Toast or cereal? Get on this now.
“We have to find out what plays with the swinging, inner-outer suburban, aspirational, mid-level mortgage, two-car, family-of-four, part-time working mum.
“Eggs? Good god no, that’s too risky. Do you completely want to lose the socially-aware inner-urban vegan-social-morality-marker demographic ?
“Re: immigration, get our Asian community communication analysis unit to do some exploratory work on the impact favourability of the following phrase: ‘sweet and sour’. Yes, in Mandarin is OK.”
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