This morning, walking home, I listened to the ABC's 'Insiders' program on Radio National and the ABC's footy show 'The Sunday Inquisition' on 774 and the two of them weirdly blended together in my mind. Helped, undoubtedly, by an overabundance of the phrase 'moving forward' in both. Sample dialogue:
Insiders (Random political commentator): Well the Labor party wants this election to be a bout moving forward.
The Sunday Inquisition (Random AFL personality): Well the club is happy about the win but we've got to keep it in perspective moving forward.
Which is to say, that once Julia Gillard announced the election, she then immediately stepped up to provide the election with what will become its ludicrous, annoying tag line: 'Moving forward.' According to today's 'Age,' the PM said the phrase 'moving forward' in her campaign launch speech no less than 22 times and, according to my own unofficial estimate, she'll be gearing up to say it 9 065 000 more times before polling day.
Expect to see 'Moving Foward' on TV commercials, on leaflets, on banners and placards and those funny curtain things they hang up behind political leaders when they talk on television. It'll be on the tax payer funded propaganda that clogs up your mail box (that's right, you're paying for that stuff!) and on the ALP's how to vote cards. It'll probably even show up on naff t-shirts that some of the more clueless in the community will wear:
And it will serve to make life easy for Government MP's who might otherwise struggle with tricky questions on the campaign trail:
QUESTION: What is the ALP going to do with asylum seekers that arrive by boat.
ANSWER: Well, what we'll be doing is attempting to move forward with this issue in a realistic and prudent fashion.
QUESTION: What will the Government do to curb carbon emissions in this country?
ANSWER: Well, what we'll be attempting to do is move forward with this issue in a realistic and prudent fashion.
QUESTION: What will... well, you get the idea.
The Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, did not come up with a snappy slogan of his own in reply, declaring in fact that the election 'was not about glib slogans, but about competent government.'
Given the Government's recent record of mismanagement and policy backflips - the abandoned ETS, the move right on asylum seekers, the disastrous home insulation and green loan schemes - Gillard and the Labor party hierarchy will hope that their slogan sticks and sticks hard.