Saturday, April 16, 2011

Club Troppo » Lies, damn lies and poker machines


n a more general sense, these campaigns by blatantly self-interested industry groups have made me to rethink my attitude towards government advertising campaigns pushing intended policy measures (as well as ones that have been actually implemented). Labor’s objections to the Howard government’s massive spending on marketing WorkChoices seemed plausible at the time (despite the hypocrisy involved in simulataneously gleefully taking advantage of opposing union movement advertising funded by union members whether they liked it or not). However the success of the mining industry campaign against Rudd’s “super profits’” tax, and the current campaigns by Big Tobacco, Big Mining and Big Clubs, rather suggest that we’re condemned to permanent policy paralysis unless we reluctantly concede the right of elected governments to spend public funds promoting their policies. It’s just too easy for wealthy sectional interests (business, unions or whatever) to frighten a complacent public into fearful oppositionism on any given policy issue.

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