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La La, La Rouche, again

December 13th, 2009

Via Mark Bahnisch, this piece from the Oz on the links between Barnaby Joyce and the LaRouchite Citizens Electoral Council. The story fits into the rather misleading “Crazy Barnaby” theme that has been developing since Joyce was appointed Opposition Finance spokesman by Tony Abbott.

It’s misleading not because Joyce isn’t influenced by the LaRouchites but because this is presented as a personal idiosyncrasy. As I pointed out here the great majority of the political right, including most rightwing commentators at the Oz and most of the current Opposition frontbench derive their opinions on environmental issues such as global warming and DDT, directly or indirectly from La Rouche[1].

fn1. Mostly indirectly, because of LaRouche’s insistence on implicating the British Royal Family in the alleged genocidal plots of scientists, environmentalists, and the Left. If he would only drop this stuff, he could be the new Matt Drudge or Glenn Reynolds.

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  1. Freelander
    December 14th, 2009 at 13:11 | #1

    @ken

    Yes. I found Tim’s post fairly convincing as well so I don’t think I will dispute it.

  2. David C (aka Smiley)
    December 14th, 2009 at 13:43 | #2

    @Donald Oats

    which makes me think of the the political spectrum as more like a circle than a straight line marked “Left” at one end and “Right” at the other.

    I was thinking that exact same thing last night but didn’t pen it, so to speak. But in a traditional view of political alignment, either way you’d call them wingnuts.

  3. December 14th, 2009 at 13:55 | #3

    Do tell, Ken. Exactly what evidence would be required to convince you that mosquitoes evolve resistance to DDT if you spray the environment with it and that DDT resistance makes DDT less effective in the fight against malaria? Well?

  4. Freelander
    December 14th, 2009 at 13:58 | #4

    @Tim Lambert
    Facts and evidence, bit below the belt isn’t it?

  5. paul walter
    December 14th, 2009 at 14:09 | #5

    Sad to see Jack Strocchi peddling the same line as the Oz article.

    Quiggin is merely reminding us that the economy is about more than just benefitting a few greedy oligarchs.
    Of course many conservatives would also understand what globalisation is about; their communities are being destroyed by rubbish like the AUSFTA; hence untrammelled global environmental damage,for example, since neoliberal globalisation is just deregulation of any rules, good or bad, by stealth, that might block the narrow objectives of control and profitability
    But the rightist think tanks are never backwards in coming forward with more disinformation.
    The sort of rubbish written in the OZ article is a typical example: try to drive a wedge between certain types of small c conservatives, moderates and lefties who have also woken up to neoliberalist “divide and conquer”, of the sort you read constantly in the Murdoch press: not for “the economy”,or “society”, but in the narrow, self ordained interests of people like Murdoch and his sponsors, preferably at the expense of everyone else.

  6. James
    December 14th, 2009 at 14:13 | #6

    Guy Rundle has an interesting article on Barnaby and the worldview of those susceptible to the CEC in today’s Crikey. Adam Schwab points out that if his remarks had come from someone else, e.g Volcker, they might not seem all that crazy.

  7. David C (aka Smiley)
    December 14th, 2009 at 15:08 | #7

    Actually the phenomenon of switching political alignment isn’t that uncommon. It was noted on numerous occasions during the height of the Bush presidency, that many of his neoconservative foot soldiers had actually started out as liberals.

    This is what wikipedia says about the subject:

    The term neoconservative was used at one time as a criticism against proponents of American modern liberalism who had “moved to the right”.[5][6]

    The bit on George Orwell is also interesting. He is held up by neoconservatives as the first neoconservative, yet this is what he said:

    Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it.

    This is why using the terms left and right is fraught with misinterpretation. The terms that I’ve seen used to describe old school alignments are paleo-conservativism and socialism. Liberalism is the neo-socialism. And as we’ve seen it’s really hard to classify wingnuts. At least that is my interpretation. :?

  8. Ken Nielsen
    December 14th, 2009 at 18:05 | #8

    I concede, TL, I concede. You are correct in every particular. Always have been always will.
    It is always foolish for someone to question the truth of what you say or write.
    I’ll never do it again.

  9. paul walter
    December 14th, 2009 at 18:18 | #9

    The didactic element at this blog is a wondrous thing.
    Present and educate people with the concept of evidence and then present actual evidence, which may be unfamiliar for those used to a diet of Tabloidism and in the example above – ken n’s epiphany- will surely lift the spirits of those here who had come to believe that the internal communications system of this society basedon reason and logic, had broken down completely.

  10. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    December 14th, 2009 at 18:53 | #10

    I don’t understand why DDT is a left / right issue. The left ban stuff but so does the right. Drugs being a good example of the latter. I have not looked into the DDT story in depth but the Quiggin / Lambert position seems quite reasonable to me.

  11. Freelander
    December 14th, 2009 at 19:03 | #11

    @Ken Nielsen
    Good for you. Most are unwilling to recognise when they are wrong.

  12. Alice
    December 14th, 2009 at 19:33 | #12

    @Freelander
    Freelander – dont be fooled by Ken’s charm. It was a most ungracious and unwilling concession.;)

  13. Alice
    December 14th, 2009 at 19:35 | #13

    ;-) most of my smileys dont work (Ill give up this silliness soon).

  14. Michael of Summer Hill
    December 14th, 2009 at 20:23 | #14

    Ken n, I am a bit thick and slow these days for bugger if I can find the term ‘agrarian socialist’ in The Nationals Constitution which you have labelled Barnaby Joyce. I believe you are an Oxford trained laywer and could do with some help.

  15. paul walter
    December 14th, 2009 at 20:44 | #15

    Alice, perhaps you should pusue a gravatar instead- maybe a nightingale maybe, or wren.

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