The “assassination”of Kevin Rudd

2 07 2010

It’s been less than a week, and already the analysis has started.  I can’t say I don’t like this, especially when it focuses on language, my pet love.

Treasurer and newly Deputy PM, Wayne Swan met  the ABC’s Fran Kelly in Canberra to discuss the ALP’s leadership change.  Politics is a cruel game, no one would deny. I find myself wondering about the use of terms like “assassination”, “execution” and “elimination”, as employed by various commentators about the removal of Kevin Rudd. Adjectives attached have been “ruthless” (which I don’t like for very personal reasons), “brutal” and “callous”. It was called “decisive” and “swift”; and the whole event  was also characterized as a “coup”.

No doubt, time will have an impact on how these events are seen.




4 responses

4 07 2010
Gary Birch

I look forward to your take on all of this over the coming weeks. The conspiracy angle seems to be in favour at present with Julia playing Brutus to Rudd’s Caesar. Personally, I think the most influential force is the fourth estate, headed by the eminence grise, Rupert Murdoch, sitting in the wings, pulling the strings. And the Dirty Digger isn’t even officially Australian any more. Recently, I have found it interesting to compare the relative bias of the Murdoch and the Fairfax press. Murdoch has been viciously and unanimously anti-Rudd, which, in a state like Queensland, where we get only the Murdoch papers, has been hugely effective.

4 07 2010

Yes, I too like the Brutus/Caesar analogy. Especially with Julia now saying – judge me on what I do in the office, not how I got here. Actually, that has an echo of the cadence of Antony’s I come not to praise Caesar but to bury him.

As for the Murdoch monopoly in Queensland, all the more reason we ought to be teaching critical literacy in the schools, starting dare I say it, in primary school. How else can we expect people to grow up and be able to put some space between the language employed and the “reality” of the event being described. Sigh. Certainly a critically literate citizenry is not in the interests of the powers-that-be. Sometimes I wonder just how far removed we are from more overtly suppressed citizenries.

11 08 2010

Here in Berkeley, ca., I hear all sorts of neologisms and we discuss them with Lenny Talmy, U.C. Berkeley visiting scholar, and Martin Schwartz, Near Eastern Studies, who identifies with linguistics.

My question. Can I send you my latest finds from Berkeley?

11 08 2010

Sure Ted, that’d be great!

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