Monday, 29 June 2009

There are some things you cannot win

and I do not mean the lottery.
There have been two 'fake' e-mail scandals in Australian politics recently. One at state level and another, even more worrying, at federal level.
The state level scandal arose out of an e-mail claiming that certain members of the Labor Party had received funds from the Church of Scientology. Whatever else it is Scientology is not a church. It is dangerous and destructive. The claim is that the Opposition should have been able to smell this as a 'fake' and not use it. The reality is that they were intended to use it. In fact they had no choice. If they did not use it and it turned out to be genuine then they would have been in just as much trouble.
So we move to federal politics....and another 'fake' e-mail. Or is it a fake? Like the e-mail at state level this e-mail exists. Someone has written it. Again the Opposition had no choice. They had to use it for the same reasons as before. It could be genuine. The sources were impeccable.
What is worrying is that the same deceit has been successfully used twice. It is clever politics but it is also bad politics. It is designed to undermine democracy. It makes for a wonderful news story so the media is more than happy to go along with it. After all the media is for the here and now and not the long term. It is what is happening now that sells not what might happen in the future. Those in the media believe they are invincible. Whatever happens to democracy will not happen to them.
The e-mails themselves are not fakes at all. The information in them is. The e-mails have in fact served precisely the purpose they were intended to serve.

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