Monday, August 07, 2006

Ideas with (brown paper bag) currency

“Ideas with currency” is the title of an OpEd by Dennis Glover in the Australian a few months ago in which he argued the (obvious) point that Left thinktanks are vastly outspent by the Right, particularly when it comes to the “money shot”: thinktank researchers/fellows writing OpEds or “fighting it out with conservatives on radio or TV”.

But then Glover quickly veers from the bleedingly- (and painfully-, to someone my age) obvious to the insultingly myopic:

It's true some Labor figures are prolific writers. Lindsay Tanner, Wayne Swan and Craig Emerson have written significant books on social policy in recent years, but they're fighting lone guerilla struggles”.

“Lone guerilla struggles?” Yeah right. Quite apart from the fact that today’s Yoof are not wearing the images of any of this trio on their designer T-shirts, Tanner et al are washed-up, boomer lightweights. If Glover really wants Labor to have a future, dumping Tanner and his ilk from their safe seats would be a useful, if small start.

But like all boomers of course, Glover is really only interested in squeezing everything he can out of the present, and never mind anyone else’s future other than his own (generation’s).

He is thus happy to admit to being a party to corruption, in accepting taxpayer money to write a party-political speech:

"This isn't a typical speech for a speechwriter . . . It's a stump speech - a campaign speech - and is an attempt to bring together a whole series of policies, which come within that departmental area".

Why is he so blithe? Because he actually thinks the core issue is that he is a Labor “mate”/member:

Mr Glover, a Labor Party member for more than 25 years, said he earned his money [$2064, at one dollar a word]. "You don't get to work for ministers and have my background without being a party member," he said.

No you don’t, indeed. And I’m sure that such corruption (taxpayers’ money for the boys, as opposed to jobs, on Labor's money ,for the boys) is a beaut way of making the Left ever more "fresh, relevant and appealing".

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