Changing governments changes the country. But it doesn’t necessarily change peoples’ lives, most of the time. This time it will.
Years ago we were all of the belief that Tony Abbott was unelectable. He was supposedly too crazy for the mainstream. He was too right-wing. He let us see what he really thought, and it was scary stuff! Knowing how he thought would be enough – we would recoil. Wrong! He unleashed the crazy people, and we have been stuck with them ever since.
You could not make this government up, because it is beyond reason. Everyone has foibles, and we all thought the Liberals were sort of likeable toffs, and even Abbott was not a malign presence, just a little mad.
The reality proved different. On every thing they have touched, there has been the dead hand of contempt, an awful, cynical, ‘born to rule’ disdain for the citizen.
Remember university funding – although most of them received an education on the public purse, they treated us, from 2013 onwards, as if we were all free-loaders, wanting free degrees. Perhaps we all wanted to become parliamentarians, and look down on all those unwashed citizens.
Remember the ABC and SBS – they cut the funding, because why would an electorate want quality broadcasting and news? Let them eat cake.
Remember global warming – world’s best practice, a carbon price. Let’s call it a great big new tax, and do nothing about it for six years.
Remember when Australia was seen as a fair country, one where all citizens were given a fair go, and we abided by the rule of law. I may be gilding the lily, but didn’t we also respect international law, and weren’t we original members of the United Nations? That was until Scott Morrison became our Minister for Borders, and we sent those pesky United Nations inspectors back to where they came from.
Remember when we had a Human Rights Commissioner? Her name was Gillian Triggs, and she was demonised and denigrated by a pack of Coalition politicians, led by Tony Abbott and George Brandis, the Attorney General, for doing her job, which was to oversee that Australians’ human rights were protected. (From their own government.)
Remember when we were building a national broadband network? Well, that looked like it might actually work, but Malcolm Turnbull turned up. He was the one who was going to engage with us, and treat us with the respect we deserved, and not deluge us with three word slogans. Well, old Malcolm “Jobs and Growth” decided, because he was so tech savvy, to use copper in the NBN, rather than optic fibre, so we have an expensive dud on our hands, perhaps forever. So not only cruel people, but dopey as well.
Do you remember Barnaby Joyce? He wants to make a comeback to the leadership of his party, and hence the country, if they get elected. Barnaby has been described as “the best retail politician in the country” by none other than that notable Rhodes Scholar, Tony Abbott. You can only imagine what he is selling.
Remember when he bought some water, for double the price recommended. The only problem was that it was for imaginary water, which would be provided the next time the Darling River flooded, if it ever did. That is like going to the butcher shop, and buying next year’s rib-eye, if that herd gets to market. Maybe you’ll get a steak next year, maybe not.
Remember when this country had a heart? Consider how we are treating an Irish family, living here for ten years, who had a son, born here in Australia, and the son was born with cystic fibrosis. Born in Australia, remember, to parents applying for permanent residency. They are to be deported because the son is seen as a burden on the Australian taxpayer. Excuse me for being ashamed. I can think of several hundred burdens on the taxpayer, mostly being paid handsomely to go to their jobs, in Canberra!
Remember when the unemployed were treated as citizens too? Remember when the dole was a payment to keep body and soul together between jobs, and how it facilitated things as fundamental as attending job interviews and eating every day? Well now we take a guess at how much the poorest people in our community owe the government, (past overpayments perhaps?) and we send them robo letters, and cause untold misery to them, and when the minister discovers a lot of the letters were sent in error, answers that most of them were not sent in error, so don’t worry about it.
You can see why this change of government is so important. Although the current government is hopeless, and without hope for the future, think of the dreadful ennui, the boredom of having to live with these people for another three years.
Think of people like Peter Dutton in charge of ministries. Think of Craig Kelly fulminating about climate science being so, so wrong. Consider Barnaby. Will he get to sell imaginary water again? Think of Tony Abbott and his truly awful grin, unable to speak, grinning at us.
So, if for no other reason, vote these clowns out, for your own mental health.