26 November 2007

Yippedy do dah

Look, I dunno if this Rudd fella can make the kind of Australia that me and my bleeding-heart buddies would like. Basically, that Australia would be a 24-hour block-party where everyone worked a 4 day week, and then got a modest allowance to do their favourite hobby.

There would be no violence at all, and we would not go to any wars, in fact our military would be totally disarmed and sent exclusively to do clean energy and sustainable water projects in the world's poorest countries. There would be no decisions made based on people's racial background - in fact there would be so much blending and non-tribal love making that most Australians would look kind of like tall South-east Asians with big noses.

There would be no industrial farming, fertiliser or pesticide use - each regional municipality would have a "zero sum" food production regime, where they would produce enough basic produce for their own population, then trade with their neighbours on the surplus. There would of course be no deforestation, and a reversal of salinisation - people would earn handsome incomes from protecting forests, even if they didn't get any visitors at all. There would be no states and the federal government would concern itself with free education and healthcare for all.

But anyway , it's good to see a nasty and divisive man out of power, along with his nasty and divisive government. Perhaps we can hope for a temporary slowing down of the hardening of Australian character that's been happening over the last 10 years. Maybe a faint whiff of compassion will be detected in political rhetoric, that has become so totally overrun with talk of "strength" and "growth" and "stability" and "protection" and other paternalistic buzzwords.

Don't forget, dear readers, they allowed senior government ministers to bribe Saddam Hussein to take our wheat exports at the same time as declaring war against his nation. They slandered a boat-full of refugees who were sinking in our waters, who were trying to save their children from drowning by saying they "threw babies overboard" solely to get inside Australia's borders. They lied and lied about climate change, about whether most of the world's experts thought it was real, then when finally they had to say it was real, they lied about what the international agreements mean and how they really work. Right up to the election. And they forced through a special project about work place relations that influences a massive proportion of voters, without talking about it before an election, without proper study or advice even from their own bureaucracy.

Just try to think back ten years. Remember Max Gillies who dressed up like the PM and portrayed him as a hopeless drunk while he was in power? Remember it was okay to poke fun at politics, it was normal, and it wasn't edgy or subversive, or slightly dangerous (like the Chaser about to go to COURT for comedy?) Remember getting bulk billing at a normal GP - not just at a shitty over stretched clinic where the doctor spends 8 minutes on a consultation and gets confused if you don't need a prescription for something? Your consultation fee was paid for entirely by taxes that you'd already paid, or your parents had paid, remember? Oh yeah, and remember when you actually owned the national telecomms company (also through taxes), not only if you had a share portfolio? (Although mind you I'm all skype these days). And didn't ANZAC day used to be "lest we forget" rather than "lest we get so pissed we forget everything shit about our political landscape."

Phew. If you got through that here's some things people in other countries are saying.

The Guardian (UK)
Howard's defeat was finally delivered by the key defection of the group that had for so long supported him - the 'Aussie battler' - the disillusioned blue-collar voters that Howard had won over from Labor in his sweeping victory in 1996 -renamed 'Howard's battlers'.

The Times (UK)
Rudd, 50, a Mandarin-speaking former diplomat, a staunch republican and a fiscal conservative who had campaigned for lower taxes and strict control of public spending, became his country’s 26th prime minister after a huge 6.1% swing against the ruling Liberal-National coalition.
Is "mandarin-speaking" some kind of code for "communist sympathiser" I wonder?

The Washington Post headline is:
Bush ally defeated in Australia: Next Prime Minister promises new course on Iraq, Warming..
(but they require registration to view it)

The Seattle Times

The Bush administration lost one of its staunchest political allies Saturday, when Australians chose a Mandarin-speaking former farm boy to become their new prime minister. . . .

Australia becomes the latest country to turn out governments that contributed to the U.S. war in Iraq, joining Poland, Spain and Britain.
The Buenos Airies Herald
Rudd is expected to forge closer ties with China and other Asian nations and has said he wants a more independent voice in foreign policy, but yesterday again promised Australia would retain its close alliance with the United States.

1 comment:

J said...

yes yes! and the education revolution would involve changing the three 'R's to 1) rhythm & rhyming (this would include dancing, poetry and singing), 2) research (of anything of interest) and 3) relaxing & reflecting (yoga, swimming, tree climbing, window gazing, long term forecasting) or similar. Kids would learn about how to be happy and useful, and kind, through collaborating and playing - not rote learning or following stupid orders. aaah.

Meanwhile, back in 2007, yes I agree that this mob are a better hope for some values other than profit at all cost :)