Rant

Still a bloody lucky country

It’s two weeks since I arrived back in Australia. I thought I might be able to hold off ranting about politics for a bit longer but…well, you follow this blog, so you know me!

The thing I notice is how prosperous Australia seems and how much more equal. We make much of the ‘myth’ of equality here but our belief in the principle has stopped the worst excesses. And generally speaking, all our lives are better than they have ever been.

It’s not like that everywhere: Abu Dhabi has the riches but it doesn’t share the wealth with the migrant workers that are quite literally building the nation for them. And as for power and freedom? Forget about it. The UK is just bloody depressing. The LibDem coalition is destroying the last vestiges of any greatness Britain once had: they’ve already introduced forced labour, even for the disabled and terminally ill, and now they’re taking bedrooms away from poor children. Use of food banks is skyrocketing. There are six million working people in poverty but bankers are still getting million-pound bonuses. And the US has gone batshit crazy. In 2000 their biggest problem was how to spend their surplus and they were the leaders of the free world. Now their government is paralysed over debt and they lock up their own citizens without trial.

Australia is doing well, comparatively. And actually a chunk of recognition is owed to the federal government – the Labor government – for being the only government in the developed world to steer their country away from recession in the wake of the banking/financial crisis.

So how fucking ridiculous is it that the election campaign hasn’t even officially started and Julia Gillard has already resorted to fear-mongering? Migrants taking jobs (457 Visas) and Rising crime (Gangs). Straight out of the Tabloid Guide to Fear and Loathing. Stay tuned for Dole Bludgers and Druggies. Don’t let the facts (visa not undermining jobs: crime down) stand in the way of an old-fashioned neocon hate campaign.

Going down this road could full well lose the ALP the federal election and then we’ll be stuck with Abbott, which will be a disaster. He and his conservative buddies will jump on the cuts-and-privatisation band wagon and before you know it the advantages Australia has gained in the past few years will be gone.

Getting rid of Rudd was one of the stupider things the ALP has ever done but I thought ‘hooray’ – at least a woman is in charge. But Gillard let me down pretty much immediately with her mean-spirited positions on gay marriage and refugee claimants. It seems like the crusty old blokes running the ALP told her to prove her womanhood wouldn’t be a liability by being as inhumane and cruel as possible. And then you find out her Chief Media Advisor/Director of Communications is John McTernan, a Blair Government hack and you KNOW that’s what happened. The UK is a mess. And the Blair Government was a huge part of the problem. He is not going to help.

Julia Gillard was at her best when she told Abbott off last year. Women everywhere applauded her. She needs to lock herself in her bedroom and watch the box set of Borgen while listening to Bette Midler until she finds the woman who gave that impassioned speech . And then she can come out and the tory-lites in the ALP to fuck off and she can start being a decent human and telling Australia the truth.

Just in case she does, I’ve written a speech for her: Still a bloody lucky country

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11 thoughts on “Still a bloody lucky country

  1. Labor constantly fights battles defined by the Liberals; our surplus is bigger than yours, we hate foreigners more than you do. By repudiating the Hawke-Keating legacy, Labor allowed John Howard to claim the strong economy was his creation, hence they get no credit for Australia’s strong performance through the GFC. Both Rudd and Gillard are cowards when it comes to standing up to conservative fear mongering and the party stands for not much at all.

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    1. Couldn’t agree more, Marmaduke. Rudd was already back-pedalling on climate change (Copenhagen was NOT a success) whatever he might say now from the backbench and we have no way of knowing what the state of the nation would be today with KRudd still at the helm (power certainly doesn’t suit him). Voters who have strong feelings about social justice, equality and the environment have no major party to align with now.

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  2. I love that you’re back in Australia and joining the political rant that’s going on. And when she sits in her bedroom she should watch a replay of her last impressive speech about women’s equality and careers.

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  3. I’m afraid that to me the ‘misogyny’ speech was just another move in the theatrical games of parliament. Her actions indicate that it was just the implement of the day with which to bash vile Tony. It was interesting that, taken out of context, it was viewed so differently from overseas but, back here in Aus, she’s not walking the walk and I even have to doubt that the ‘talk’ is of her own calculation.

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  4. There might be. But the party machine keeps them in check. Did you ever think you’d see the man who sang “how do we sleep while our beds are burning?” being such an ineffectual politician? The politics of fear has even got to them. They’re so scared of alienating conservative voters that they don’t represent the people on the left at all anymore.

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  5. Australia is indeed the very lucky country.

    We should have a damn good look at the rest of the world and then stop complaining.

    The (mostly) disastrous Gillard government is nothing more than a warm up act for what is to follow.

    People reckon the Labor mob were bad, just wait til Abbott and his lot get in.

    It’s going to be hell for all but the top end of town and their cronies.

    Still, it gives me and my fellow political cartoonists plenty of material to work with.

    http://cartoonmick.wordpress.com/editorial-political/

    In the meantime, prepare yourself for post election years with a well stocked beer fridge, a straightjacket, and (incase of an extreme emergency) a one way ticket to NZ.

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  6. I was in a pub in economically depressed Cornwall last November. A local asked me how the Australian economy was traveling. “Great” I said, “Much better than the rest of the world, low unemployment, nothing to complain about”.

    Sad to get home and find the media and so many others fostering the delusion that life here is tough and awful. Then to consider that we might get rid of the very government that has helped cushion the impact of the CFC here so successfully. Many of us carry on like spoilt little brats, and like little brats, I often get the urge to slap them.

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