Angela Mitropoulos on Wed, 29 Feb 2012 01:42:17 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> some reflections from australia on recent events here - the demise of zombie politics?

Hey Martin,

Far from being regarded as someone who can "speak directly to people," during his term as PM, Rudd was renowned for his use of convoluted corporate buzzwords, being too smarty-pants elitist, and (almost unforgivable in this country) speaking Mandarin. I preferred that figure, I have to say - though I would never vote for him or the ALP. But his conversion into an "ordinary family man" has had everything to do with his decision this last year to adopt the same discourse that the Liberal Party has in the lead up to a contest with Gillard. Namely, that she is not "ordinary," which in this instance is conservative "dog whistle" for her being "unmarried, childless, atheistic," -- ie, 'not normal.' The matter of the "coup" simply feeds into this, not least because I can't recall a leader of any party who has ascended to the position without bitter internal conflict. Tony Abbott toppled Malcolm Turnbull, Keating overthrew Hawke, it all seemed rather nasty but routine. I don't see why Gillard's ascendancy should be regarded as any different.

But you are right to hate the Labor Party for their policies on border control, and you know my position on this. What this means, given that the Liberals and Labor are indistinguishable on this question, is that the former long ago realised that a contest about race and border control would not deliver the affective mobilisation/opposition that one around sex and gender would. Of course, racism and sexism are never separable, but whereas in the US the Tea Party converges around resentment and paranoia about a Black President, here the same strategy is being configured in relation to a female Prime Minister. Whatever Rudd's flaws are, I baulk not at the man but at the neoconservative political strategy he and his campaign advisor/


//angela.mitropoulos | |

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