My last interaction with Jaimie Abbott ended reasonably well.
Then, I received this in the opening lines of her June e-newsletter:
While Julia Gillard leads a chaotic, divided and dysfunctional government which has no plans for Australia’s future, we have a plan to deliver a strong, prosperous economy and a safe and secure Australia. To read more about our plans visit www.realsolutions.org.au.
“Chaotic” and “divided”? Maybe. The ALP’s leadership shenanigans could certainly be described in this way, although it’s remarkably united on actual, you know, policy. But “dysfunctional” and with “no plans for Australia’s future”? It’s a bit of a stretch to call a government that’s doing well on every KPI except public opinion* “dysfunctional”, and with Julia so clearly staking her political future on Gonski et al, I’d say the ALP’s plans for Australia are clearer than ever (whether you like them or not).
So, I tweeted this (click here to see a few follow-ups):
Got Jaimie Abbott’s latest email blast. Resisted urge to voluntarily lose hair.
Less than 24 hours later, I received this email from Jaimie (who isn’t on Twitter, incidentally):
Luke, considering your online comments about how you feel about my newsletter, I have now unsubscribed you – so you won’t have to worry about receiving future ones. I added you in good faith & I’m sorry you feel that way.
Odd. Considering she had offered to subscribe me to her “event invitation list” despite knowing my thoughts on the LNP’s current [lack of] policy. And that I had accepted in order to be kept in the loop on her upcoming public debates and forums (given she seems allergic to any other form of public-access communication with anyone who doesn’t agree with her).
I sent this reply:
So.. you’re on Twitter now? Do let me know your handle, I’d like to follow along. Or was it one of your nameless supporters** who alerted you to my tweets?
Either way, I make no apology for them. To accuse a government implementing Gonski, the NDIS and a bunch of other reforms of having “no plan for the future” is stupid, whether you agree with their plan or not. I KNOW you’re smarter than that. To say it when your big plan for Australia’s future is to cut funds to everything (except high-income parents), to “stop the [not-actually-illegal] boats” (despite having no international agreements in place for this) and to all-but-deny anthropogenic climate change is laughable.
I accepted YOUR invitation to your mailing list so I could be informed when your public debates occur. You knew my views and should have expected lies and vitriol in your mailings to be outed via the means available to me. Your response today is childish and petty, and I can only assume it belies overall disinterest in robust political debate in any public forum.
I’m disappointed, but not surprised. And you’d better believe I’ll be doing my job as an elector to insist on more facts and less fluff from you and your party in coming months (of course the same goes for the other major party, though right now their policy platform is pretty clear).
It seems the LNP’s strategy is to ride the tide of public opinion to office, without ever being held accountable for anything they say. Given they have no truth or intelligence or detail with which to defend their current “policy” platform, I guess they don’t have any other option.
Let’s defy Rupert and Tony, and turn public opinion around. Shall we?
* “being humane in general” is another disappointing KPI for Labor, but it’s not like the LNP have anything better on offer.
** I’ve received several scathing Twitter attacks from anonymous lovers of Jaimie. Oddly, no-one in agreement with me has felt the need to hide their identity..