Back in my day….
No one was allowed on a bus with a pram unless it was folded when I had babies. There were no special pram parking spots on buses or trains. But back then women didn’t think that spending two grand on a pram was a good idea because people actually believed they could one day own a home within four hours of Sydney, so they put the money towards their mortgage instead. Now everyone under the age of 50 in NSW is stuffing their faces with expensive avocadoes and craft cheeses because the idea of actually buying a car or a house in Broken Hill and commuting on overcrowded public transport and congested motorways is too much.
Rage is all the rage in our part of the world. Segue rage, bike rage, parking rage, WestConnex is raping my suburb rage, Saturday night there’s nowhere to go out and my rent is so high I can’t afford a social life anyway rage is all part of living in Sydney.
And the Bernard Salt groupies who voted for the anti-science numbskull pollies currently in power continue to negatively gear, tut tut and invoice government departments for their opinion. Sigh. Anyone else looking forward to the Sydney property crash?
This morning Brandis is threatening to stall the same sex marriage debate if he doesn’t get his way. Unchristian Porter, Corgi and the other right wing rednecks all advocate butting out of people’s lives, except when it comes to telling people who they can marry. The problem with the Lieberal Nationals being elected is that the balding white males who run the party don’t want the world to change. The system works for them, it has made them rich. If we want a just political system we have to get rid of these dinosaurs. At least the independent parties are passionate about creating a fairer Australia.
I’m a yes person. I’ve done infomercials for washing machines, how hard can politics be? I thought. But after running in Joe Hockey’s electorate last year, I now know why women last don’t last too long in parliament. Hanging out with blue-suited number crunchers having endless discussions with accountants is more than this koala could bear.They reminded me of living in Britain in the late 80s when Dragoness Thatcher was in power.
Politicians are overpaid, and also the dullest people on earth, they receive far too much attention. How do the political journalists do it? How can they watch the games of preening and self-congratulations and emotional manipulation and not want to bash heads in? How can they listen to the well-rehearsed sound bites and faux sincerity all day and stay sane?
My acting teacher Hayes Gordon said, “I don’t regret doing cigarette ads, I don’t regret alcohol ads but I regret teaching the politician Robert Askin how to be charming on camera so people thought he cared.” The Liberal party feed their candidates self-confidence pills so they believe they are the masters of the universe. That kind of self-assurance is breathtaking. Last year I found myself seduced by people whose policies are abhorrent. The Libs are so good at faux sincerity it’s like watching Tom Cruise acting. You start to think he’s actually a nice guy even thought your logical brain knows he’s a Scientologist and that he dumped our Nickers so he must be an arsehole.
I know this is unusual, but as a politician, I wanted to be transparent. I thought I was the prodigal daughter returning to North Sydney to save the electorate from the Liberals. But I wasn’t even a contender, the old boys club has too much money and they want it to stay that way. I know how Ricky Muir feels.
Now the idiots want to strip funding to carers while wasting millions on a plebiscite. I’ve been a single mother living on a small income for years, I know all about financial planning. Shonky Mal Turnbull may not know how to be a leader, but he could get a few single mums in his cabinet, then he’d be able to pass a successful budget.
I’m hoping and praying that when I return to Australia we will have a parliament made up of a diverse group of female and male politicians, but I fear that nothing has changed. I should look on the bright side; another long torturous federal election campaign is over. There was almost a double dissolution, a budget, lots of pontifimacating about, “jobs and growth,” and eighty billion weeks of campaigning buffoons to endure.
I met a man who reminded me that voting is a privilege. “In my home country I wasn’t allowed to vote,” he told me.
Every night on TV we suffered idiots in suits who protect their mates and do very little to turn us into a clever country. Having watched them run a campaign in 2015, what disturbs me most about the Liberal party male power machine is not their political views but their lack of empathy. I didn’t hear any of them speak about helping their fellow humans in a real way. That’s a motherhood statement.
I learnt a lot standing as a politician in 2015. Don’t call swinging voters swingers at a community forum packed with senior citizens. Why did I want to be a politician? I got ahead of myself and imagined spending taxpayer dollars on homeless people, animal shelters and counselling for women victims of domestic violence. I met David Gonski. A rich banker who lives in Point Piper who actually knows how to fix our education system so it is fair to all kids, and the bastard politicians won’t even listen to him.
If I ever venture into politics again, I’ll start the single mother party. I will be the minister for cramped housing, over breeding and goon bags. If current politicians can rort their way into helicopter travel, when I’m elected every child of a single mum will receive a pony. but maybe I’ll just throw a party. Only smart people who want to save the planet can come. You with me? My slogan: Single mothers like to party. BYO cask wine and Prozac.
Spoken and authorised by Lou Pollard for the Single Mothers Like to Party Party.
The individual whose vision encompasses the whole world often feels nowhere so hedged in and out of touch with his surroundings as in his native land.
Politics? Anyone still interested? In Australia we are near the end of one of our longest ever election campaigns. In the US the fun has barely started.
Our world is in a mess.
Australia’s land clearing emissions have nearly doubled in the last three years. Most Australians want the Great Barrier Reef saved at the expense of coal mining. Idiot conservatives who have protected paedophiles for decades want to waste hundreds of millions of dollars on a same sex marriage plebiscite, babies are being harmed in detention centres, and many of our politicians pay lip service to ending violence against women. Funding to the arts and education have been slashed.
For the future health of our children, no further open cut mining or coal seam gas drilling should be permitted in residential or good agricultural land or near our waterways. Our long-term future is more important than coal, and nothing can replace the loss of our food bowl. To ensure a fossil fuel-free future we must vote the dinosaurs out of our parliaments.
This election, vote wisely. On Saturday July 2nd, we get to decide our next prime minister (until he gets knifed in the back by one of his party faithful).
Please think about what you’re voting for. You control your preference in the order you choose. Handouts at the polling booth are the way each party wants you to vote for their own best results, which is usually not the ideal outcome for the future of our country. It is time to make our votes count. We must honour the legacy of Jo Cox.
Your vote is powerful.
In the voting booth, everyone is equal – Barbara Boxer
Why don’t you vote for me?
Not everyone in North Sydney would pay to meet Bronwyn Bishop.
This Thursday April 21st and Friday April 22nd, I’m performing my funny new show all about Australian politics, Vote One Lou Pollard at the Factory Theatre in Marrickville for the 2016 Sydney Comedy Festival. In this election year, come along and hear my crazy tales of politics in North Sydney.
When the other candidates are a joke, vote for the comedian
Last night I met Australian journalist Peter Greste at the Sydney launch of the book Prison Post at Berkelouw bookshop. Prison Post is a collection of letters of support for Peter Greste received while he was in prison in Egpyt. A few weeks ago, I received an email from the publisher saying that my letter to Peter may be published. When I arrived at the launch I ran into my writing teacher Patti Miller who told me that my email had indeed been included in the book.
Peter Greste is now a free man, despite being sentenced last weekend in absentia by an Egyptian court who conducted his trial with no evidence. Unfortunately his Al Jazeera colleagues Egyptian-Canadian producer Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed are back in prison after a Cairo court sentenced the three journalists to three years in jail after finding them guilty of “aiding a terrorist organisation,” a reference to the Muslim Brotherhood, which was outlawed in Egypt after the army overthrew President Mohamed Morsi in 2013. The verdict sparked worldwide outrage.
Peter Greste’s family campaigned tirelessly for his release. They set up an email account for messages of support they could print out to take him on their visits. Last night, Editia publisher Charlotte Harper spoke warmly about how the book came about, and Australian comedian and writer Wendy Harmer read funny letters to Peter that he had received from around the world. Then it was Peter Greste’s turn to speak. He told us that our letters had kept him going on very bleak days in his 400 days in prison. He spoke about how he saved the letters to read and how his brothers had told Peter during their visits that thousands of people from around the world were behind him. The letters kept Peter connected to the outside world.
While I’m thrilled to be included in this publication and I want everyone to buy it because the proceeds go to supporting people in prison around the world, we need to work to get Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed released from jail. Peter Greste last night urged us all to keep tweeting, using the hashtag #FreeAJstaff and also to pressure our local MPs to raise the case with the Egyptian government. Peter Greste is now a fugitive for a crime he didn’t commit. And we need to let his wrongly imprisoned journalist colleagues know we haven’t forgotten them. We can send emails to this address: email@example.com.
Journalists must be free to report on the world’s atrocities and joys. Living in Australia we take press freedom for granted. It is time we stood up and used our voices for good.