Ad Watch – Garrett

Monday, 5 November 2007 

There are two, slightly conflicting, messages in the Liberal’s response to Garrett’s gaffe that is repeated with what they say against union influence on the front bench.

On the one hand it is the incompetence of Garrett/union bureaucrats that is the problem, on the other hand they are clever enough to impose their secret agenda on Rudd. This ad at least focuses on Garrett’s ineptitude, which is the best approach, and even makes him look a bit shifty. However, again the message is mixed with McDonald popping up at the end. Both may be seen as radical, but in totally different ways. A new version with audio of Charles Woolley talking about him, which the PM mentioned on Sunday, will help sharpen it up.

It is likely Garrett obviously thinks he is toning down what he can say before the election to be more radical afterwards but that’s OK because he will have little influence and like all the celebrity candidates will be reliant on Rudd who is about as radical as he sounds. These celebrity candidates may lack political experience but it is the precisely the way that they can latch into an anti-politics mood that makes them useful. This is a tricky game and Labor has taken its time getting to grips with it but even with Nicole Cornes they look to be starting to do so. She can be useful as being a ‘non-party person’, as she puts it, in a traditional blue ribbon seat like Boothby. Garrett gives moral conviction, which is essential for a moral issue like climate change.

It is that very moralism that underpins the message of ads with Garrett and Swan giving tips on how to shop for groceries and fill the car with petrol. Labor does not seem to be running these ads in the mainstream media but confining them to more moralistic segments of the younger You-Tube audience. That rock stars and politicians may not have any more expertise on these matters than the public is not the point. They are both claiming the high ground by being more ‘aware’ on how to act sustainably. That resources are limited (ignoring humanity’s unlimited capacity to utilise them) is the secret agenda of the climate change debate, and actually, the Liberals don’t have too much problem with it. Whoever wins, a call for everyone to tighten their belts is likely to be the domestic side of the global warming agenda and both sides are comfortable with a message that says life, on an earth with limited resources, was not meant to be easy.

Posted by The Piping Shrike on Monday, 5 November 2007.

Filed under Tactics

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