||Issue No. 227||02 July 2004|
A Place To Call Home
Interview: Power and the Passion
Unions: Tackling the Heavy Hitters
Industrial: Seeing the Forest For The Wood
Housing: Home Truths
International: Boycott Busters
Economics: Ideology and Free Trade
History: Long Shadow of a Forgotten Man
Review: Chewing the Fat
Poetry: Dear John
The Locker Room
Where D’ya Geddit?
If television isn't bad enough with Big Brother and Eddie McGuire popping up at unexpected hours we now have the nightmare of an unparalleled advertising blitzkrieg designed to save John Howard's posterior.
Managing this campaign is none other than the Federal Government's hearts and minds expert Eric Abetz, fondly known as Erica to his many fans.
Erica is an 'operator' in what laughably passes as the Tasmanian Liberal Party, ensuring that conservative politicians from the Apple Isle remain somewhere to the right of Attilla the Hun.
His bold efforts have made the Tasmanian Division of the Liberal Party what it is today, an irrelevant sideshow.
In the meantime our Tool Of the Week has signed off on this mind numbing campaign designed to tell us ungrateful swine how we've never had it so good.
The problem arises that when we match what the government is actually doing to the health system and the state of the land, and compare it to these bizarre ads.
This multi-million dollar misinformation project also includes a domestic violence campaign that has been in the pipeline for some time - years in fact. It was reportedly held up because Eric and his colleagues felt that the tone of the campaign was 'anti male'. Maybe they felt that their former colleague, that great Australian, Noel Chrichton-Browne, would be offended.
Does Eric's medieval worldview extend to the position of women?
Coming on top of the fiasco of the $600 family payments bribe, one wonders what Erica's next move will be? How To Vote Scratchies? He's already moving to ensure that landless peasants lose the right to vote with his changes to the Electoral Act.
He is obviously a student on the great effort of Jeb Bush in ensuring that the poor huddled masses don't get so uppity as to actually think that they can participate in a democracy.
You can see why he believes that a decent education shouldn't be wasted on unwashed factory fodder.
The ads themselves are at a saturation level that even McDonald's and Coca-Cola can't match. It's more than likely that it will blow up in the government's face as they seem to be more irritating than informative.
"That's great, so what's different?"
Well, Eric is a big believer in helping people to help themselves. In this instance he's helping the advertising industry help itself to something in the vicinity of $120 million dollars of your tax dollars. Brilliant stuff.
Eric's campaign to expose the plight of some of the most disadvantaged advertising executives in the country has so moved sections of the community that many have been motivated to send mobile phones, laptops, Gucci shoes and other essentials to help Eric's mates keep helping themselves.
Behind his rather bizarre exterior Betz is a unique character who also appears to have his own Intelligence Service
He even went further than his Neo-con heroes in Washington over the Iraq palaver by stating on the public record that there were 'many' links between Iraq and Al Quieda. This was news to everyone, as even the CIA and the Pentagon couldn't substantiate that.
While this may indicate that he likes to think of himself as an Australian Donald Rumsfeld the truth is that he is far stupider, which is saying something.
In the meantime we can only look on in amazement as Eric pump primes Australia for the upcoming popularity contes...err...election.
So, the next time one of Eric's informative and entertaining commercials appears on your TV, thank our Tool Of The Week that your tax dollars are being so well spent.
Thanks to Eric, from 2004 no Australian advertising executive need live in poverty.
As for the rest of us, well, it's making the ABC more attractive every day.
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