you make me feel like dancing, craig emerson

In what was suppose to be a standard issue interview about a the Australian Government’s price on Carbon, MP Craig Emerson took a moment to awkwardly press play on a recording of Skyhooks’ Horror Movie, and karaoke’d away his own version of the song.

Watching his version of ‘No Whyalla Wipe Out’ I sat there watching the interview on YouTube holding my hands to my ears saying, ‘Don’t do it, Craig. Don’t do it. Please, don’t do it …’ Yet still, he did. It was awful. It was out of tune. It was out of time. He was rocking back and forth with not sense of rhythm. Media agencies and online forums instantly erupted with disdain.

Craig Emerson’s was looking like a fool trying to dispel what he believes are myths conveyed by Tony Abbott and the Opposition through the media. Everyone is talking about Emerson and his little song of combat.

And there in lies the point.

Whilst others think this is an appalling piece of singing, I think this is a stunt pure and simple. And could quite possibly be a stunt executed beautifully in it’s simplicity. Abbott has been winning the conversation prior to the Carbon Tax going ‘live’ as of July 1st, 2012. Suddenly on July 2nd, we are talking about Emerson’s little song undercutting Abbott’s message.

It’s odd to me that in Australia we vote for governments knowing their agenda, and then getting upset when that agenda is actioned into law. Australians continued to vote for John Howard, knowing his policies on the full sale of Telstra and the introduction of WorkChoices legislation. Then, we kind of got upset when he did just that.

We elected Kevin Rudd in part because of his environmental policies regarding climate change. The Gillard government has continued that policy with the introduction of the Carbon Tax. Suddenly with the prospect of a new tax, we’ve gotten a little iffy about it. And Abbott has been trading on that feeling.

But now, we have a game changer to that conversation. The question remains though, can the Gillard government continue that conversation beyond the bad singing and the awkward dancing?


2 thoughts on “you make me feel like dancing, craig emerson

  1. You are kidding…. He looked like an idiot… He made the government look like idiots…. Idiot government idiot policy….. Do you really want to join them… You can’t defend stupid stuff like that… That’s why labor is getting creamed…. If you are a friend of the left you are behaving as a bad friend. Good friends tell their friend when they are acting like idiots….

    1. Thanks for your comments, John. My thoughts on this are less about the rightness/wrongness of the policy itself, but more towards the political attempt to set a clear ‘game change’ in controlling the news cycle – which is neither about the left nor right. The Opposition has been dominating the conversation on this issue in the media for some time now, whilst the Government has failed to get their message out their as successfully. This drastic stunt is now being reported through many media outlets as ‘Craig Emerson mocking Tony Abbott’s claim that Whyalla is going to be wiped off the map.’ So yes indeed, Craig Emerson has made himself look ridiculous, but now Abbott’s claim is being tied to that as a scare tactic. The next step is to see who steps up and moves the conversation forward, away from the stunt into actually selling their policy. Can it be done? Are they going to be able to spin it to their advantage? Or is it all just too little too late? Time will certainly tell on that one, but I am interested in seeing how it plays out. A week is a long time in politics, and people have a habit of forgetting the stupid things that politicians do. There is a long list of cringe worthy gaffes and faux pas from both sides of the house lurking in the past. Would I prefer our politicians acted in a more honourable way? You betcha. But I do remember that we are the nation that when we heard that Kevin Rudd drunkenly went to a strip club in NYC on a junket, his approval ratings went up that week. Thanks again.

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