Yesterday there was a by-election held in the electorate where my children go to school. At the polling booth, I asked an older Liberal party member who was handing out how to vote cards how he could campaign for climate denial when the science is clear. He asked me a question about H2o or Co2 levels in the atmosphere then told me off for not knowing the answer.
“You should educate yourself,” he said.
“I believe the scientists,” I replied but because I couldn’t answer his science questions he laughed. My brain has never retained STEM facts so that’s not proof that global warming doesn’t exist, it’s proof that 99% of the time my mind is off with the pixies dreaming up single mum get rich quick schemes, and maths and science are not my strong point.
When I said to him, “How about your party find some strong policies instead of incessantly bitching about the Opposition?” he told me I didn’t understand science. He is right but I clearly understand that I don’t want our beautiful environment destroyed by corporate and political greed.
Even a former Liberal Party leader stated the day before the poll: “You forfeit the right to govern if you don’t have a climate action strategy.”
A few hours later the Government lost a safe seat they’d held for 117 years, and the Prime Minister gave a tone-deaf concession speech attacking opposition leader Bill Shorten and people on welfare. I’m no policy-maker but here are a few ideas if they want to stay in government next year:
Where 45% of the electorate are renters, don’t talk to us about negative gearing. Overpaid members of parliament have used Australians on low and below the poverty line income to buy and push up house prices. We are sick of subsidising wealthy politicians who manipulate the property market. Let’s remove this rort.
We’ve had three conservative Prime Ministers in two and a half years, so perhaps don’t mention stability and certainty in your election promises. Nor economic management when you’ve tripled the deficit and refused to help low income families in the five years you’ve been in power.
And let’s not mention the NBN debacle.
The conservatives have now lost their majority in the lower house. Maybe with a hung parliament we can get the kids off Nauru without having to go to court.
Liberal party, it’s not 1954, you could try listening to voters. All over the world, educated people are living to the 21st century. Wentworth liked the guy who you kicked out of the job, so they decided to elect a progressive independent doctor who believes in climate change. Maybe your party can’t attract women with integrity because no intelligent lady would join your gang of dinosaurs. Scott Morrison, try inspiring our country with visionary ideas, you currently sound like a used car salesman trying to sell us a clapped out, dodgy lemon. Your hollow words are (went) worthless
This week I woke up dressed in a diabolical fashion, with unflattering lighting overhead and inedible food by my bed. No, it wasn’t Mother’s Day. When I walked into the main hospital building that morning, the first thing I noticed was the drab decor; so hideous that the caring lovelies working there had tried to patch up the dullness with bright paintings, but I could feel the bacteria and sadness in the walls.
But we do have incredible care. When I came to after my anaesthetic, I had the most lovely pregnant nurse and I couldn’t get over how grateful I felt that we have great health care in Australia. Everyone was so caring I shed a few tears, I felt blessed that this was my first thought. I looked around and noticed that the hospital staff represented every corner of the universe, Africa, Asia, alien, Australia, America, Pacific Islands, Europe and bogan. Despite the racial hatred pollies who’ve received very few votes are trying to stir up, Australians are a mixed bag of nationalities who want to work and live together in harmony without politicians telling us we can’t.
I had a general anaesthetic so I could have Botox injected into my bum muscle (I speak fluent doctor yeah) to try to repair nerve damage from an operation I had in April. I did ask but the doctor wouldn’t do a 2 for the price of 1 Botox deal on my arse and my face. Bloody Medicare. Before I went under, my colorectal surgeon told me to eat soft foods, when I awoke I was served beef so tough it could have been used by our defence forces. And the doctor wouldn’t let me go until my blood pressure and pulse rate went up so I sat in a chair scoffing non-hospital food until I was allowed to leave. I’m happy to be home. On my return, there was a two-stage political coup erupting to change our Prime Minister. Here comes the revolution: We’ve changed to a conservative god bothering white male from a mega-rich white male. Plus ca change. And now that the weekend is here, and our right-wing politicians have finished throwing tantrums and travelled away from the Canberra bubble, I’d like to help those boorish pale males think about something other than themselves, perhaps the nation’s healthcare, education, domestic violence, babies dying in detention centres or even a treaty with the people who were here first.
Politicians, I can’t believe I have to spell it out for you, but most of you are ego driven and need Commcar drivers to help you get to work at Parliament House because you couldn’t find the place by yourself. You are public servants, we voted for you to serve us, not to watch you cower before opinion polls, you spineless idiots. Walk into the hospital, STFU, listen and watch how a diverse group of people co-operate, learn how they carry on their jobs without petty squabbles, working as a team to achieve incredible outcomes for the good of all humanity. This may help as most of you couldn’t organise a piss-up in a brewery. If you still don’t get it, be careful the door doesn’t hit your unBotoxed bums on the way out.
You are asleep at the wheel. Banker lawyers aren’t renowned for their innovation or empathy, but you have turned out to be our Clayton’s* Prime Minister, the one we have when we don’t really have a leader. You are surrounded by pseudo human career politicians and you have proved to be as much of a jerk as Abbott, just dressed in a better suit. Malcolm, you seemed to have potential, years ago you talked with great passion about Australia becoming a republic, the Australian people thought that you could have been a man of vision but instead, you bow to people whose ideas belong in the Dark Ages. 30 women have been murdered this year alone and the only thing that makes you angry is the company tax rate not being cut. You truly are our most disappointing Prime Minister.
You spoke of Australia’s success with resettling refugees using sportsman Allir Allir as an example. You forgot to mention the refugee children languishing in mouldy tents on Manus and Nauru and the dying man whose supporters had to fight in court for him to receive proper palliative care in a hospital. Allir Allir coming here from a refugee camp in Kenya had nothing to do with you. You cold fart unholy man.
You have no inspiring strategies on:
And Malcolm, you feel the need to constantly bash Bill Shorten, but you’re short on common sense, short on intelligent policies and short on compassion. What you need is a bunch of single mums in your cabinet; you’d get some great decisions made in record time (and under budget) and our country would perhaps be more inclined to give people in need a fair go (does this concept sound familiar?).
Your grandchildren won’t be proud of how your party decided to destroy what’s left of the Great Barrier Reef, how about you stand up and become a statesman? Because right now you look like you really don’t want the job. Malcolm, it is time to step up or crawl off to your dodgy tax haven in the Cayman Islands like the scaly, shifty old caiman you resemble.
*If you’re not familiar with this term, in the 1970s and 80s Clayton’s was advertised as ‘the drink you have when you’re not having a drink.’
It’s been a bloody grouse week for those of us who speak fluent Strine. We’ve had ripper new words and phrases added to our lingo:
Rejoyce – lying to your constituents then getting re-elected
Beetrooter – older white male who preys on young female work mates
Beetrorter – doing dodgy deals to ensure a parliamentary pension
Fang a Canavan* – protecting your mates despite their ability to act like a dickhead
Go Full Barnaby – chucking a sickie when the top job awaits
Ucken Joyce mate – to flick your wife and kids with no wucken furries
Chuck a Vikki – to root someone whom even Stevie Wonder would find fuggly
*See also nepotism & cronyism
Last night as I stood on the land of the Gadigal clan of the Eora nation cheering AB Original on stage as the opening act for Midnight Oil’s homecoming, I realised that we’ve come quite a way from the 1980s. I first saw Midnight Oil live when I was 16 years old and they changed the way I viewed the world.
They may be white boys from the white bread northern beaches of Sydney but in the early 80s for many of us white bread teens from the suburbs they were our introduction to what was actually happening to indigenous Australians. I learnt nothing of Aboriginal culture at school, I was only taught about the white invaders. So many of us had no idea of the atrocities and abuse committed by white governments and their White Australia policy; Midnight Oil opened our eyes to what was actually happening. The Oils were writing Australian songs and telling our stories and I’d never heard anything like it.
And those biceps. I will never forget standing near the stage at the Sydney Entertainment Centre and watching Rob Hirst drumming. Uh oh! My first musician crush, setting myself up for a lifetime of being attracted to players. Sigh.
Last night, as we waited for Midnight Oil in the shadow of the glowing Deutsche Bank sign, I thought of how the Oils have sung about many big companies that have raped our planet, and how we need protest music more than ever. When they played Blue Sky Mine I thought of the hideous she-devil Bishop defending James Hardie and making a dying Bernie Banton wait for compensation. This year she was briefly our Acting Prime Minister.
As the crowd roared from the opening bars of Armistice Day, I thought there is nowhere else I’d rather be right now. When Peter Garrett spoke of stopping the giant Carmichael mine and the carnage that Adani could bring to the Great Barrier Reef, one idiot in the crowd behind said,
“Shut up and play the music.” Only a moron comes to a Midnight Oil gig and demands that politics aren’t mentioned. Before I had a chance to tell him to go home and listen to Kylie Minogue, the band came back with more raw, punching rawk:
I see buildings, clothing the sky, in paradise
Sydney, nights are warm
Daytime telly, blue rinse dawn
Dad’s so bad he lives in the pub, it’s underarms and football clubs
Flat chat, Pine Gap, in every home a Big Mac
And no one goes outback, that’s that
You take what you get and get what you please
It’s better to die on your feet than to live on your knees
I love that Midnight Oil are a band with strong political opinions, and musically, they were simply brilliant. They’ve done so many shows this year the band is tighter than ever. And they were backed by the incredible Hunters and Collectors horn section. I don’t know what painkillers the injured Jim Moginie was taking but his guitar playing was inspired. I’d forgotten how good they are live. The waves of screaming energy and excitement kept coming as my hips reminded me how their music made me feel in my teens.
Today my body aches, but my heart is filled with the thought that perhaps I’m not the only one who cares about changing our world.
Not much time, but time to try
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.
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