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The Opposition – full of grumps and fantasists

If you were exposed to the last conservative government in Australia, you have just about seen it all. It was like a trip back in time, to a time when the communist scare had legs, when there was no such thing as ‘society’, and crony capitalism took over from the idea that Australia was the land of the ‘fair go’. And never forget the last prime minister really believed that he was chosen by God.

In the 1950s and 60s many in Australia were afraid that communism was going to sweep down from the Soviet Union, down through China, through South East Asia, with a short stopover in Indonesia, until it made its inevitable landfall on Australian soil.

Darwin would fall, and the absurdity of a new Brisbane Line was a part of the fever dream. We would abandon the country north of the Line, but our brave Aussies would rush to take up arms. It was hoped that we could push the communists back, preferably into the sea.

During Scott Morrison’s shambolic time in office, nothing reminded us of those dark days of fear and xenophobia like Dutton and his China bashing.

Of course, he had a lot of Coalition confederates, happy to take China’s money in the good times, but still wanting to blame them for the Covid-19 virus and attributing all sorts of evil to the Chinese Communist Party.

What was shocking was their willingness to re-visit those days, where the Communist word caused heartburn, and we stood behind LBJ. This time around it was Donald Trump providing us with a shield. Risky!

And we must remember Trump’s record of favouring white supremists. Was there a whiff of the White Australia Policy in our rush to condemn the Chinese? Is there a whiff of post-colonial racism in our demonisation of a document titled “Statement from the Heart”?


Dutton is a throwback to cold war thinking

Watching Peter Dutton as he struggles to find relevance is exhausting. There he is, wearing his scholarly glasses, using words like “history” and even referencing George Orwell’s Animal Farm. The quote he is using describes Soviet Russia in the 1930s and 40s and is laughable in an Australian context.

In my opinion it better resembles the belief system of the born-again community, where it divides the world into the ‘saved’, and those not saved.

“At a time when we need to unite the country, this prime minister’s proposal will permanently divide us by race,” he said.

If Dutton had acted like any sort of aspiring leader, he would have embraced the Voice as being essential, and as a necessary first step toward reconciliation with our original inhabitants.

He would have welcomed the opportunity to lead the cranky and the disenchanted in his party toward their better selves, but he has instead handed them more to be grumpy about, and sowed seeds of doubt, where none existed. All it takes is a reasonable amount of goodwill.

Even the Coalition would be aware that we have built our estimable modern achievements on stolen land. The least we can do is to give First Nations folk some acknowledgement of past wrongs, and a heartfelt promise that we will consult them in the future.

Everything about the Coalition these days reeks of grim reaction, of rejecting every aspect of modernism. Who do they think they represent? Not even Uncle Arthur, who terrorises all of our Christmas dinners, could hold to all these regressive ideas.

They don’t believe in climate change, because they haven’t read any of the science for the last forty years. They also presumably think those images of melting glaciers were photo-shopped.

They are panicking because they think a shadowy crowd of transgender kids is plotting to flood into girls’ toilets, for some unspeakable reason.

Although they know that there is a tsunami of hunger and homelessness, they do not want to vote for a $40 a fortnight increase in the Jobseeker allowance.

We need a decent opposition. But what we have is a Dad’s Army of nay-sayers, spooked by issues of gender, equality, law and order, reparations for past wrongs to our Indigenous fellow citizens, immigration terrors, and absolute panic that an unemployed person, somewhere in Australia, is rorting the system. God help us!


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  1. Colin

    Love your writing very entertaining. Thanks.

  2. andyfiftysix

    Yes , Dutton has raided the cupboard and its bare. He also said that there is no need for lots of policies before the next election. He doesnt realise he has consolidated the Lib memory. The reason they got dumped is for the very same set of attitudes and policies Dutton admires.

    Seriously, they need a clear out to have any chance two elections from now. On reflection, if they just disappeared, nobody would miss them.

    Your last statement is just so close to the bone. People are terrified that at least one dole bludger is rorting the system. Meanwhile, every poly in canberra is rorting the system by over $200 a night, every single one of the bastards.

  3. Canguro

    What an embarrassment to have a stooge like Dutton along with his troop of dopey followers representing this country’s alternative government on the international stage. If, in the utterly unlikely scenario that he was to occupy the office of PM, can you imagine him in serious & productive dialogue with the likes of Xi Jinping, Joko Widodo, Fumio Kishida, or other regional leaders, including those of the Micronesian states that he joked about going underwater due to global warming, or Keir Starmer, the soon-to-be next British PM, or Joe Biden or any other significant heads of state?

    You’d have to crawl under a blanket to avoid witnessing this gibbering loon flailing away trying to find something to say amongst the big players.

    Abbott was just awful on the global stage, cringe-worthy to witness; to co-opt a quote from the equally awful Alan Jones, he should have been thrown out to sea in a chaff bag. Ditto Dutton, the doublet dunce.

  4. New England Cocky

    @ andyfiftysix: The reason that the media-ocrity is pushing the threat of ”one dole bludger rorting the system” is that only pollies are allowed to rip-off Australian voters, and that applies especially when the COALition holds the treasury benches.
    From Anus Taylor’s $80 MILLION empty glass of MDB water during the worst drought in living memory to Beetrooter’s email report costing hundreds of thousands of dollars to Boofhead Duddo doing favours for French au pair girls.
    Nothing to see here because it is common practice, but Australian voters are prohibited from acting similarly because only pollies make the laws.
    Perhaps it is in the best interests of Australian democracy if both Duddo and LeyZee are appointed life tenure to the Leader and Deputy leader of His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition respectively so that competent people wanting the return of egalitarian principles and honesty to Parliament can be assured that the LIARBRAL$ and NOtional$ never return to political power.

  5. Andrew Smith

    The kicking down is not new, left to themselves many Australians (and many other nations too) thrive (in their own minds) and further, influence or resurgence of old WASP identity from the UK Brexit and US Trump; locally large cohort that was developed by Howard, Crosby and Murdoch, then corralled as a voter block.

    The modus operandi was a return (did we ever leave?) to white nativist Christian authorianism, playing victimhood and ‘collective narcissism’ that needs an ‘other’ to target e.g. refugees or non Euro immigrants to dog whistle, denigrate and justify one’s perceived status; eugenics?

    Collective narcissism ‘The term “collective narcissism” was first used by Theodore Adorno to describe the sentiment that gave support to Nazi rule in Germany in the 1930s’ later research has linked it to Brexit, Hungary and Trump.

  6. Fred

    NEC While I understand your sentiment, unfortunately politicians are like diapers – they need to changed when full of …it. By about 4 consecutive terms entrenched arrogance, laziness and corruption creeps in to the ruling party. It would be good to have an opposition that doesn’t embrace these as “standard operations”. There will come a time when Labor needs to go.

  7. GL

    LNP: Dorian Gray’s painting made flesh.

  8. Max Gross

    @New England Cocky. Barnyard Joys “drought envoy” report wasn’t even an email. He claimed to have sent it to Sideshow Scott as text messages!!! And this grifting old souse is still out there!

  9. wam

    A beaut read, Mark.
    I wonder if the loonies will vote with dutton against the climate action oops that was senile bobbie and the rabbott, I mean against the $40???

  10. Sully of Hay

    Looking at the LNP Politicians and all the National Party landowner types around where I live, most of whom attended elite expensive Private Schools in the cities, I have to wonder if these snob factories for the born to rule brigade even teach Science as a subject, as they all deny scientific facts, belittle climate scientists and experts in every field as elitists, when they in fact are the elite of inherited entitlement and wealth.
    Look at Abbott, Joyce and Dutton, all Private school old boys and all climate science deniers, elites to the core who misuse the term elite along with the Far Right American import, woke, to attack those who accept science.

  11. Paul Smith

    “At a time when we need to unite the country, this prime minister’s proposal will permanently divide us by race,” [Dutton] said.

    When, as president of my local RSL Sun Branch, I recognised the Frontier Wars on ANZAC Day 2018, I was told I had politicised what should be a non-political gathering. I replied that any effort to obtain justice is not political until it is politicised by opposition to it. By pushing back against what was the right thing to do, the “traditionalists” did the very thing they accused me of. By the same perversion of the course of justice, it is Peter Dutton who is dividing Australians by race. He fails to acknowledge that the very existence of the constitution in its present form divided Australians by race from the outset by not recognising ATSI people as Australians at all. The Voice is not about privileging them with something that no one else has access to. It rectifies the exclusion of Indigenous Australians from the project of Australian nationhood.

  12. Clakka

    Good article, well put. I’m over the msm trumping up, sensationalising and giving credence to the absolute dross peddled by the naysayers in all their evil devious forms. Like yesterday. Who in this world gives to hoots about the disgraced (and now irrelevant) Morrison’s moronic naysayer intervention into the ‘debate’?

    There’s not one iota of decency in those msm, nor the naysayer pollies. It only serves one purpose to them – undeserved profits, in the face of their inevitable ethical, moral and financial bankruptcy.

    Their aim: to sucker the ignorant, and continue the usury and disenfranchisement of the First Nations folk.

    It’s the acts of low-brow scum.

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