If you thought coverage of the Queen’s hats and curtsey-gate was bad, just wait until Air Force One touches down in Australia this week.
There will be excruciating live crosses counting down the minutes until president Obama lands on Australian soil; describing in detail each element of the motorcade snaking through the roundabouts of Canberra.
It’s hard – make that impossible – to imagine an Asian head of state receiving such fanfare.
But it turns out media overkill is no guide to the way Australians understand our place in the world.
We might admire the Queen’s class and staying power, we might love the thrill of a POTUS visit; but we hold our cultural allegiances at arms length from our views on our future prosperity.
We are currently witnessing the spread of a global contagion that threatens our quality of life; from the halls of Washington DC to the streets of London an international outbreak of dumb is gathering momentum.
On one side of the Atlantic legislators take their economy to the brink in a bid to conform with Tea Party slogans; while on the other the punters express themselves by smashing windows and grabbing what they’re told they have to have. United in dumb.
And we are not immune from this dumbness epidemic in Australia, with growing evidence that people want to put a stimulus straitjacket on the Government in the increasingly likely event of a Global Financial Crisis (GFC).
This week’s Essential Report shows that as we brace for another GFC, we are not prepared to back the use of stimulus spending to keep the economy strong – even though we accept it worked last time.
Australians are losing faith in their economy just as the experts are telling us that things are looking up.
In an eerie echo of the climate change debate, this week’s Essential Report picks up a massive disconnect between public sentiment and expert opinion; just like those pesky climate scientists, economists are presenting a world at odds with the average punter.
Across a range of benchmark indicators we are seeing a sharp deterioration in economic confidence, with pessimism about national and personal economics heading back to where they were at the height of the Global Financial Crisis.
On the general direction of the economy more people think Australia is heading in the wrong direction rather than the right direction, a drastic change over the past 12 months and even since the May budget. This question is a key indicator for any government, as it reflects the electorate’s attitude to the broad direction of its economic policy rather than any specific issue.
Subscribe to the Unspun
- 6.30 with George Negus
- Canberra Report
- EMC International
- Essential Report
- Keep our Cops
- Network Ten
- Sky News
- social media
- The Drum
- The Punch
- Web and Design