Archive | June, 2010

Pragmatism in Politics

26 Jun

What happened on that 24 hour period in Australia had to happen, it’s that simple. I was an admirer of Kevin Rudd during the first two years of his term as PM, however, it was clearly starting to unravel. The placement of the ETS on the back-burner; the awful messaging surrounding the Mining Super Tax; the number of times the Coalition were let of the hook despite some hideous mistakes including Julia Bishop’s horrendous national security passport gaffe; Tony Abbott’s numerous mistakes culminating in his statement on the 730 report that in the heat of the moment, not everything he says can be considered gospel; the complete lack of effective policy from the Coalition. As Gillard stated, this was a good government that had lost its way and the Coalition now will have a brand new, re-energised foe to face.

What the ALP must do is reconnect with the electorate.The public must understand what the Government is fighting for and why. The Government has the ammunition to blunt any of the Coalitions economic arguments and this ammunition should be used constantly. overtime the Opposition mention the debt, the Government should be screaming from the rafters that the ALP got Australia through the second worse economic crisis the world has ever faced. Australia’s forecast of being out of debt in three years has the rest of the world green with envy. Sure, the Government had to spend money to stimulate the economy, but it worked. Sure Australia have briefly gone into debt, but the fact that the economy was handled so well, employment never went as high as was forecast, debt never went as high as forecast, borrowing never went as high as forecast and Australian is in great shape because of the ALP. We will soon be out of debt and far from any  The ALP should scream this, often, frequently, until they are horse.

The ETS must be brought back and fought for at the next election, completely blowing away any chance the Coalition will have to block it in the Senate because there will be a clear mandate. The Coalition should be tarnished as the party of no and a party willing to play dangerous games with the nation’s future by putting climate change as an issue of little importance. The Greens have to be attacked as the Party of our way or the highway and as being just as responsible for the blocking of the ETS as the Coalition. This will get the ALP’s environmental credentials back and would mean votes would stop leaking to the Greens.

The Super Mining Tax is a good tax, but it must be communicated in an effective understandable way. It should be framed as the People’s Resources Fund, not a ‘Super’ tax on miners, which is currently how it sounds.It is necessary, it will help our economy and the voters agree that money derived from our resources should stay in Australia. But it needs to be sold properly.

A discussion surrounding a pull-out date for Afghanistan will also help. With casualty numbers up, people are losing faith in the war and Karzai. Obama, Cameron and NATO as a whole are discussing a pull out date, so should we.

Gillard is an excellent choice and will be a brilliant leader of the ALP and the country. She is strong, frank and very Australian. She doesn’t act or sound like the academic that Rudd did, despite being incredibly intelligent and exceptionally politically savvy. Being the first ever woman will naturally be a positive for half of the electorate and I believe the other half will soon catch up.

She has fought Abbot on numerous occasions and has generally won more often than not. She will be able to take the fight back to him, question his odd statements and show him to be the extreme right leader he is. Already, the Coalition are playing a dangerous game by attacking the ALP for having blood on its hands – Abbott is the third Coalition leader in three years – people can do the maths.

If the ALP can get this messaging right, they can regain their popularity and win the next election convincingly. It will be hard and it will be a lot of work, but they can do it.

Is the BBC giving free advertising to Coke?

15 Jun

You may not have heard it, or it may not have clicked yet, but the “Wavin’ Flag (The Celebration Mix)” by K’nann is a huge plug for Coke and because it is charting, everyday the BBC is giving free air time to Coke’s jingle. Coke are one of the official World Cup sponsors, so their branding is already everywhere and this song is just part of their massive product promotion. In doing so, Coke gets the product placement award for the day and the BBC gets the sucker award.

The advertising is pretty obvious. Right at the beginning of the song, K’naan sings the coke jingle.

If you’re not convinced, have a listen to the very last musical section of this Christmas Coke advertisement.

The song was originally put out by the artist on his album Troubadour, before being added to a charity album for the Haiti Earthquake, but because of the overtones of national pride, it fitted pretty perfectly as an anthem for the World Cup this year. The original mix didn’t have the jingle at the beginning and the lyrics were apparently somewhat darker. However, with some slight amends and constant airplay on TV through Coke commercials, it has become the theme to this years World Cup and a singles hit (as I write this it is currently number 3 in the UK singles chart)

What confuses me is, why is the BBC playing the Coke version? Surely there can be edits that leave out the Coca-Cola jingle? I personally don’t have a problem with Coke using a clever marketing ploy, I’m more concerned that the BBC has either been duped, lazy or has an ironically disturbing lack of popular culture knowledge.