Story by Emmjay
As we rocket towards the next election, the one certainty, IMHO, is that Australia will inevitably get the government we deserve.
In 2007, the Ruddslide disposed of a much despised sitting Prime Minister and his party. Australia had clearly grown very tired of a very tired, mean-spirited and uninspired government wedded to Thatcherite free-market principles. My God ! The rodent had taken Australia to war in Iraq against massive public opinion and justified his decision with lies about non-existent weapons of mass destruction. How bad did a government and a Prime Minister have to be before the electorate would throw the bastards out ?
Rudd’s little-disguised frustration and inability to push ahead with much change, beyond admittedly engineering a world-leading response to the global financial crisis – saw his inconceivable deposal by his deputy. He has proven that he is not a team player – moreover he has stayed true to his real calling of being an administrator, not a politician.
Rudd’s removal left the Left supporters amongst the Centre-Left in a quandary – torn between the exciting possibilities of Australia’s first female Prime Minister and the obvious disrespect for Rudd’s achievement in beating Howard. There were many weasel words in transparently unconvincing justifications about Rudd losing his party’s confidence, but Australia saw the reality – Labor had gone to jelly at the threat of hostile media-driven polls.
And against a backdrop of long-standing and deeply incompetent and corrupt State Labor governments, the Gillard government managed to hang on to power in the 2010 election with the help of elected independents.
None of this is news, of course, but the previous national election outcome and the widely-predicted one to come show a trend of escalating irrational anger amongst people who are so completely unwilling to think about politics and who are so easily manipulated by media ogres. This atmosphere threatens to translate into the election of a government who is avowedly antipathetic towards the very interests of those who would traditionally have voted Labor.
Put another way, poorly-informed, lazy and witless voters, easily manipulated by a hostile media funded by cashed-up self-interested parties in mining, gambling and other environmental and social disasters are apparently happy to punish a government and a Prime Minister that they feel is bad. When asked what is bad about the PM and the government, no coherent response is forthcoming.
And so we see the looming disaster of the possible election of a tory coalition that is not only antipathetic to the needs of everyone south of the upper middle class, a coalition that is indifferent to the exigencies of dealing with climate change, that seeks power for power’s sake, that is an arrant apologist for mega wealthy mining magnates with the social grace of pigs (apologies to real pigs), that is completely clueless about policy and who is led by a misogynist retard bully with all the grace, sophistication and style of a floating turd.
An apt description is John Howard Lite – mean and nasty but without the rat-like cunning. A party of drop kicks led by a man who could learn a thing or two from a superior intellect – George W Bush – no mean feat.
But is Australia unique in our ability to contemplate disastrous political choices ?
I think not. Witness the worrying rise of the extreme right in Europe – both in the Spano-Greek-Italian basket case economies and amongst the more solvent Franks and Huns.
More recently, last week in fact, saw the election of huge numbers of new local government members from the UKIP party who won about 25% of the votes in the seats that they contested across Britain. Led by Nigel Farage (described by David Cameron as a loony – when Cameron was leader of the Opposition) a rag tag bunch of disparate people who are not in any sense organised beyond sharing a desire to be with white folk in a society remarkably like the 1950s, the UK Independent Party overnight become a major force in British politics.
For what do they stand ? Answer: pulling Britain out of the EU and turning the taps off on immigration for the “next five years or so”. How these policies make sense – especially at the level of a local council, I have to admit, is beyond me.
Cameron did a backflip from his new position of being in power and toned down the “loony” comment, recognising that his coalition was likely at some stage to have to engage and negotiate with these half-witted Hansonites in the very near future.
What is causing this madness ? Why are people supporting far right arsehats – the kind that our parents fought wars against ? I think it’s because as nations we are easily frightened and when we are frightened, we revert to type. Australians, in the main are sheep too.
We are frightened by real and imaginary forces alike. Like the UKIP, we are so willing to follow the first arsehole in red speedos who exhorts us to circle the wagons and break out the carbines. And so what if a few of our own folk who have the misfortune of looking a little bit like red Indians get caught in the crossfire ? It’s for the greater good. One’s own tribe’s greater good. A sacrifice worth making – so long as someone else is making it.
And it is a huge mistake to respond to far right political supporters by trying to placate them. Chamberlain was proven badly wrong by history. There was, and is now, no piece of paper guaranteeing peace in our time.
When Julia Gillard smacked Tony Abbott for his crass, moronic personal attacks and beat him so severely for his misogynous demeanour, it made the world media stand up and take notice. That’s the appropriate way to treat a dog that refuses to behave – a rolled up newspaper across the snout.
But returning to the main concern, how is it that, in the face of one of the most important initiatives ever to be undertaken by any government – worldwide – and BTW, much better handled in the past by Britain than here – namely proper support for the disabled –how is it that anyone would contemplate voting for not the party carrying the initiative, but the Opposition ?
It beggars belief why a population that overwhelmingly supports a far better deal for disabled people and their carers – even to the extent of 60% of polled respondents accepting an increase in the Medicare Levy – would for a minute consider voting for another party that has to be brought kicking and screaming to the table every fucking time. A party with no discernible policies beyond opposing everything. A party with nothing positive to say, and no vision for the country beyond turning the clocks back Howard style.
Perhaps Clive Palmer and Bob Katter – who epitomise the loony far right could offer the country a way of avoiding the disaster of a Tony Abbott-led government by dumb perverse chance. They might split the conservative vote and allow Labor a slim chance to survive; a chance to push forward with more real reform.
A chance to avoid accommodating the political wishes of morons whose sole objection to the PM is “I just don’t like her”.
I’m not a huge fan of Julia Gillard, but I do concede that she and the party have had to deal with some seriously difficult issues – from the position of a minority government, the powerful hostility of the mining and energy multinationals, a hostile media, corruption and outright incompetence in the broader Labor party and the global financial crisis, the rise of violent fundamentalists and the distractions of a deposed former leader who has justified his own removal by acting like a petulant schoolgirl ever since.
I want a tough and humane leader who admits and redresses mistakes like she does. I don’t want some bozo on a bicycle wandering around in dayglo vests with hair nets and safety glasses, pretending that he’s a man of the people, struggling to keep his um feet out of um his um mouth.
An Australian George W Bush ? Please NO !