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The pollie who dogwhistled wolf!

January 30, 2012

The Boy Who Cried Wolf  is one of Aesop’s most famous fables.
We all know the story of the boy who cried wolf one too many times and the villagers didn’t believe him when a wolf did appear.

On Australia Day 2012 we saw the story played out with a twist.

For years Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party of Australia have used the dog whistle to appeal to the base fears of the ill-informed and the intolerant attitudes of the selfish.  Their success in doing so is unparalleled.

So much so that the media has become conditioned to it, and some in the media are complicit in furthering the message.

Is it any wonder that when Tony Abbott responded to a question about the future of the Tent Embassy, AAP and News Ltd reacted as though it was a dog whistle?

The Daily Telegraph - posted at 1:35PM on January 26, 2012

Having cried wolf (or dog whistled) so often what does he expect to happen when he comments carelessly on a topic as sensitive as the Tent Embassy?

Tony Abbott has no-one to blame but himself.

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Many have questioned and then clarified what Tony Abbott said.  However did they clarify the question?  Surely the context of the answer is framed by the question.

QUESTION:

Mr Abbott, today is also the 40th anniversary of the Tent Embassy in Canberra. Is the Tent Embassy still relevant or should it move?

TONY ABBOTT:

Look, I can understand why the Tent Embassy was established all those years ago. I think a lot has changed for the better since then. We had the historic apology just a few years ago, one of the genuine achievements of Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister. We had the proposal which is currently for national consideration to recognise indigenous people in the Constitution. I think the indigenous people of Australia can be very proud of the respect in which they are held by every Australian and yes, I think a lot has changed since then and I think it probably is time to move on from that.

If it is “time to move on from that” does Tony Abbott think the Tent Embassy is no longer relevant?  More likely he never thought it was relevant.

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Has anyone asked the Tent Embassy protesters why they were so angry, even in the weeks leading up the Australia Day?  Could it be that there is still a long way to go?

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