The New McCarthyism, Arts Attack, The Politics Of COVID-19

Listen to our latest podcast! The contents:

McCarthyism was that awful US syndrome from the 1950s, where the mention of ‘communism’ was like a combination of the bubonic plague, 1918 virus and COVID-19.

It was a virus we thought the world might have rid itself of, but it’s alive and well in 2020. It’s no longer the Soviet Union causing all the trouble, but the Chinese Government, and the conservatives have a problem with them.

And the politicised Australian Federal Police is always going to play its part, helping to stitch up a NSW Labor politician who mentioned a few nice words about the Chinese President. And, in case you missed, that’s a NSW Labor politician, announced with a large megaphone.

Are the Barbarians at the gate, and do they raise their guns at the mention of culture? It seems they do, with their constant attacks on the ABC and a meagre $250 million rescue package for the arts, screen and entertainment industry that’s likely to kill it off, rather than save it.

$783 million of funding has been cut from the ABC since 2014 and the government keeps saying “there is no cut to the ABC”. But, as George Constanza loves to say: it’s not a lie if you truly believe it.

And the politics of COVID-19 continues. Far from being the time where, as Scott Morrison said, “politics are to be left at the door”, this has been a time of more political ideology, more unhinged attacks, blame-shifting and targeting of the poor.

One gets the feeling the government is getting a little bit inebriated on the Prime Minister’s high approval ratings and picking up that tried and tested attribute that accompanies political arrogance: tone-deafness.

Will there be a political price to pay? We’ll find out after the Eden-Monaro byelection.

Music stings:

  • Betty’s Worry Or The Slab, Hunters and Collectors
  • Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick (Flying Remix), Ian Dury and The Blockheads
  • Sweet Refined Things, Jess Ribeiro
  • Pearlescent, EnV
  • The Only One That Knows, Ed Kuepper

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