The Axe-minster carpet is wearing thin. l don’t suppose you have noticed, but our beloved Labor Party (God rest her eternal soul, wherever that may be) has been losing a shit load of erections lately, like a crusty old man who’s misplaced his Viagra. They have been losing elections like a cluster of randy pubescent teenagers on cheap alcho-pops’ losing their virginity….over and over again!
l know we are in the doldrums between elections, so why bring up such an embarrassing topic of conversation:
“why keep harping on about that hoary old chestnut?” -l hear you say.
Because this rather thorny issue will take some time and effort and more than a skeric of nous to fix. But fix it we must!
We have gone and lost three elections in a row now, and our beloved Julia just scraped through by the skin of teeth before that, remember.
Seven long years in the wilderness, and no end in sight. (if only it were not metaphorical, but real wilderness -what’s left of it, rather than sitting on the wrong side of some dreary echo chamber in some architectural abomination, in some god forsakencountry town in the middle of bloody no where, stranded on a desert island at the arse end of the earth. Don’t get me started… l might cry)
As Julian Somner-Miller, that wise elder and great exponent of science and reason was oft heard to say: “Why is it so?”
Clearly, it ain’t due to the quality of the opposition, of that we can be sure. The pundits don’t have a clue, despite endless readings of the tea leaves, despite many an innocent chook being eviscerated and their entrails laid out for all to see. If anyone did have the slightest notion of why the
left , sorry, the centre left, sorry, the always a bit to the left of the LNP, is languishing at the bottom of the cesspool, surely they would tell us, wouldn’t they? It’s only common courtesy.
Your armchair experts, your comentariat, your pontificators and know-alls, can blame whoever they like: Clive Palmer, Pauline Hanson, the donor class, the world wide devil sacrifice conspiracy cult, the Michaela Cash charisma factor, or any combination of the above. But l happen to know the truth, because l followed Saint Bob Brown and his convoy of the faithful, all the way to outback Queensland, into the belly of the beast, right to the very gates of Hell! So don’t you dare scoff at me. You weren’t there, so you don’t know. We met the disgruntled miners head on, in the otherwise quiet hamlet of Emu Park, just outside Rockhampton. (Rock-Hampton is just like Hampton, only rockier) Despite reports from the Murdoch press, (there is no other in all of Queensland) we did not frighten those big burly coal miners. No, we didn’t intimidate them one little bit. Most of us were grey nomads, long since gone to seed, tootling around in our wee camper vans. It was us who were somewhat intimidated by those large sooty men in Hi-Vis jackets, eyes bulging and mouths frothing, shouting vulgar insults into deaf ears. But by and large they were quite harmless… in public anyway. Many were quite happy to give us a piece of their minds (quite generous really, most of them having none too much to spare. Ha ha!) They slowly and deliberately explained to us their innermost feelings, with nary a hint of verbosity or pomposity: “We are coal miners, we mine coal OK? So fuck off!”
Admittedly, it took a while to decipher their esoteric message, but once the penny dropped we were mortified, our chagrin was palpable. The road to redemption that we offered with such sincere sincerity, and lashings of pity, was summarily rejected before we had even finished speaking.
Other miners were less subtle. Able to articulate their concerns ineffably: When asked why they were deliberately trashing our favourite planet and decimating God’s creatures, they simply rubbed thumb and fore-fingers together and smiled with a mischievous grin.
l, along with many other sensitive types, did not take too kindly to their blandishments and brutish way of expressing themselves.
But one thing we did agree on: the coal miners of outback Queensland are the people that decide who governs this wayward nation.
About a hundred miners and a hundred grey nomads faced off that day. Pretty even numbers on the ground. But from that moment on, the voices of the poor struggling miners were amplified a thousand times ’till even gullible greenies were blaming Bob for single-handedly losing the unloseable election. Just to set the record straight, we didn’t go to Central Queensland to give the coal miners some free advice. We went there to spark a groundswell of outrage against the Adani mine through-out the entire nation, culminating in a mass rally in Canberra, the likes of which this country has not seen since the Franklin Dam protest. (ah…those were the days) Our choreographer had visualized a triumphant Bill Shorten (remember him) rising to the occasion, declaring unequivocally to wild applause: “That accursed mine will never be built as long as l am Prime Minister of Australia.” His Bob Hawke moment.
Well, that didn’t happen did it? Bill was no Bob, was he? Poor old Bill iss not a pimple on Bob Hawke’s hairy arse. Poor old Bill is a GUTLESS WONDER!
No wonder he lost the election. We thought he was a penny bunger, but he turned out to be a fizzer.
With an extraordinary feat of gymnastic dexterity, the Labor Party managed to alienate both die-hard fossil fuel fans in the far North, AND vacillating born-again greenies in the deep South. Well done team!
Have a squizz at the stats:
NSW 22 24
Vic 21 12
SA 4 5
Tazzy 2 2
NT 0 2
ACT 0 3
Q-land 23 6
WA 11 5
We won every state and territory except Queensland and WA – the mining states, surprize, surprize, der! We lost Queensland by such a huge margin, it gazumped all other states combined. It looks like we corralled just about every conservative who knew that climate was more important than anything else. But your rusted-on LNP type will only follow science and reason so far. When push comes to shove, they will vote to protect their God-given birthright: That pile of booty they have sold their very soul to accumulate, their only source of comfort, security and superiority in a feckless world. You could hear them audibly agonizing all the way from Newtown: “If we vote for the Devil incarnate, we may save God’s creatures from a slow and agonizing death, but we risk seeing our cherished security blanket cut up and stuffed in the freezer by those heathen Socialists, who love nothing more than humiliating us poor rich people.”
Climate change can seem like a trifle compared to the existential threat of run-away Socialism.
When we are afraid, we humans tend to become conservative, in an attempt to conserve what we have. This is why, paradoxically enough, fear of climate change drives a certain class of people (let’s call them the upper class) to vote for a party that steadfastly turns a blind eye to that gathering catastrophe, even when that catastrophe is the root cause of their fears. Weird eh? In times of trouble, and there is a bit of trouble about, and more on the horizon, high falutin’ concepts like science and reason are left by the wayside, as our gut instinct for survival takes over. l am sure your psychologists would have a few words to say about that….maybe even a PHD. (that’s not a Post Hole Digger, by-the-way)
“Yes of course we conservatives want the government to do something about climate change, we aren’t stupid you know. But we want our government to do it, not your government.”
“There will be chaos, there will be mayhem. We greedy, needy people are going to need ever cent we’ve got, squirreled away for a not-so-rainy day. We are going to need a government that we can trust to look afterus, their loyal supporters, through thick and thin… dare l say it, through Hell and high water. This is no time to go joining a foreign tribe of dubious intent, who do not have our best interests at heart”
Have you noticed there is a repetitive pattern here, not unlike Groundhog Day, or ‘de ja voux’. (French for ‘oh, shit we fucked up again’)
Before every federal election the Labor Party announces ambitious new emissions targets with great fanfare and a lot of hullabaloo. Then we lose the election. Then we announce not so ambitious emissions targets with very little fanfare and hullaballoo.
Does this sound familiar?
This seemingly endless circular pattern is becoming worn into the parliamentary carpet. We like to call it the ‘ax minster system of government’.
Every time we lose though, we do manage to win over slightly more converts to our latest visionary climate policy. Except of course in outback Queensland, where the voters seem to have little enthusiasm for any of our visionary climate policies. This, despite our greatest orators painting pictures of deserts swathed in solar panels, mountains covered in windmills, hydro dams the size of Sydney harbour.
So the poor old Labor Party throws itself back into the electoral meat grinder with the latest not so visionary climate policy, knowing, deep in our collective bosom, that the voters aren’t really as stupid as we pretend they are. Yet again we fail to gain those few vital seats that would give us the reigns of power that we hanker for. Sure, we tend to dominate the civilized sections of society, where even your avowed conservative likes to believe in science and reason and other such progressive left-wing dogmas. But alas and alak, we simultaneously manage to alienate just about every single solitary human being and their dog in outback Queensland… yet again! As l write this l sincerely doubt there is a single Labor voter North of Indoropilly prepared to show their face in public, willing to shout from the rooftops: ‘long live the mighty Labor Party!’ with the possible exception of Bob Katter’s brother, and he’s gay!
Your average, run of the mill, dyed in the wool, common or garden bone-headed Outlander (outback Queenslander) seems to have an uncanny ability to link our latest visionary climate policy, via some esoteric mechanism like ‘the butterfly effect’, to the loss of their very lucrative job in the local coal pit. Your exceptionally perspicacious Outlander is even capable of making the somewhat tenuous connection between our latest visionary climate policy, and the drop in sales of hot pies and sausage rolls to the hungry miners in said coal pit…..and so on and so forth. We can all see where this is heading. It’s called the ripple effect. Before you know it we are drowning in a puddle of muddy water.
So as sure as night follows day, for your average, run of the mill, common or garden thinking person, this leads to a bit of rumination on the rights and wrongs of having the people that rule our lives chosen, time and time again, by the lunk-heads of outback fucking Queensland for Christ’s sake! This gangrenous canker on the beating heart of democracy, this open wound in the body politic of a once proud nation, has been festering away for a generation.
It is now known throughout the known world, that the LNP refuses to act on climate change because they are lap dogs, being fondled by the feared F.F.F. (Fossil Fuel Fiefdom)
‘Don’t bite the hand that feeds you’, as they say, or maybe: ‘Don’t let the Rottweiler bite your hand off when you feed it’.
But l offer you this juicy tit-bit for gustation, rumination and digestion: that an equally, if not more compelling reason for the recalcitrant, unreasonable, unfathomable, and otherwise incomprehensible inability of the LNP to do anything useful about the imminent climate catastrophe that is lapping at our toes, is because it would mean eradicating the very goose that lays the golden eggs -as regular as clock-work, every three years! One could, if one felt inclined, close all the coal mines in the country, and provide jobs for all the retrenched coal miners in other less ‘morally compromised’ industries. (medical marijuana springs to mind)
Like the Victorian Government did in the La Trobe valley when Hazelwood power station was abruptly terminated. That didn’t dint Labor’s electoral performance one jot. Quite the contrary, changing the course of history is not actually as hard as you might think, but as the old saying goes: ‘You really have to want to change it’. But for the LNP, this would be an extremely risky undertaking. There is no guarantee that coal miners swapping to solar farmers would carry their party loyalty with them. No guarantee at all. You see, your common or garden coal miner doesn’t get a job in the mines because they think climate change is a hoax. No, it is the other way around. Your average coal miner, (and let’s face it, some of them are pretty average) is readily persuaded climate change is a hoax upon arrival at said coal mine. This brings peace of mind and engenders an all pervasive spirit of mateship, and that, after all is said and done, is what our coal mines run on. As we all know, it is far easier for us to change our opinions than our jobs, especially as your cushy jobs are few and far between in the middle of bloody nowhere in a dying industry. As for opinions, they are thick on the ground. Everybody’s got more than enough to go around, and they are happy to share them out, tailored especially for you. Just take your pick. If you don’t like them, there are plenty more where they came from. Easy come, easy go!
If you do happen to find the coal mine closing down, as they tend do these days, despite bucket loads of largesse from the LNP, and a wind farm just happens to pop up next door, as they tend to do these days… keep your hi-vis vest, that will come in handy, but you won’t be needing all those stale outdated opinions. Shed them like a second skin, wash them off with the coal dust. Start afresh with brand new opinions. Opinions that fit seamlessly with your new job and your new mates…. and you can toss out the LNP while you’re at it. Ha! who needs those crusty old dinosaurs anyway?
Now l ask you, in all sincerity, why in God’s name would the LNP want to go and set that chain of events in motion?
You would think your Labor Party, on the other hand, would be as keen as mustard to get those exciting new razzamatz state of the art renewable energy projects up and running. You would think that wouldn’t you, if you were a thinking type person. Because we all know from experience, the painful experience of countless electoral drubbings, that until those windmills start spinning and those disgruntled coal miners regain their gruntles, until they are happily ensconced in their new jobs, they will cling to their climate change denial like a limpet clings to the Titanic, and they will cling to the political parties that promulgate it like Glad-wrap. But if on the other foot, you weren’t a thinking type person. If you were the type of person who is happy to let others do your thinking for you, then you probably wouldn’t think that, would you? You might think something else entirely, something like: “It’s in the lap of the Gods,” or ‘Que sera, sera’ (French for ‘shit happens’) or “everything happens for a reason” (by the way, have you ever thought that the reason things happen to you is because you are stupid)
You might sit around crying woe is me and lamenting your bad luck and blaming the evil fossil fuel lobbyists and Clive Palmer and Pauline Hanson and all the other bottom feeders, (not that they are entirely blameless) instead of getting-off-your-sorry-arse and building stuff….. l am talking toyou Anastasia, because you happen to be in the unique position of holding the reigns of power, while your ever frustrated Federal colleges hold nothing more than a bitter cup of hemlock, which they sip from time to time to drown their sorrows. The only rains they feel, come with winter squalls that dampen your spirit and give you a runny nose. You Anastasia, and you alone, are imbued with the manifest destiny to end this sorry state of affairs that is holding up our dirty dungarees for all the world to see, dragging our cherished democracy through the mud, and last but not least, leaving our beloved Labor Party stuck head first in the quagmire!
For every job you create in the coal mines, and the oil mines, and the gas mines, you are creating another LNP voter. Coal miners are not as stupid as they think they are! Every single one of them will vote for the party that unequivocally backs the coal industry 100%, and they all know, and we all know, and we know they know, that party is not the Labor Party. Bite the bullet, close the coal mines, and build the fucking windmills for Christ’s sake!
Ben Boyang www.binsblog.org