Aussie politics is a strange bugger. Far be it from me to comment on the politics of another nation (ahem)… but I just can’t help it when my wingnut detector goes this ape. I’m not sure that you can even fit Australian politics into a traditional Overton window – Liberal in Australia seems to mean economically neo-liberal, as opposed to socially and democratically liberal, as we’d been led to believe.
Just to be clear, I’m not trying to set us (here in the UK) up on some kind of pedestal – if you’ve ever read anything I’ve written, you know how ridiculous that would be. No, the reality is that Australia is important to the rest of the world. Their natural resources are of major importance world-wide. The environmental status of Australia is a standard candle for the health of the global environment and, being a leading developed nation, it falls to them to help lead the way in environmental protection.
With a less singular focus, the leadership of western democracies has been falling further and further into the hands of neo-liberal administrations – administrations who’s main job is making sure the international cartels get exactly whatever the fuck they want. It looked like Australia had moved a step away from that position with the election of Julia Gillard (an atheist in office? Gets my vote). The world breathed a brief sigh of relief until…
With a face so taut it has been speculated (by me) that it may be pinned to his arse with staples, Tony Abbott enters stage left. Brandishing a Catholic Seminary education, the winds of change begin to blow a howling gale, as Planet Earth collectively shits itself. I mean, if Tone is going to dump a load of shit on your most sensitive areas, you may as well prepare the ground, no?
So far, he’s shown himself to be a violent, misogynistic, antipathetic weasel with no regard for people or the environment – qualities which make him roughly perfect for the job of sucking corporate cock. It’s not even as if he hid these characteristics particularly well before his election – his face-palm moments have been well documented since the very beginning of his political life.
So what the bastard fuck made Australia vote him into power? Fear, that’s what. It’s the same tactic that the right has used to win elections for years all over the world – the same reason Britain voted that puffy-faced cack-spewer David Cameron in. By hijacking the narratives of conservatives in other countries, Abbot and his ilk have miraculously convinced a nation that is, in point of fact, doing pretty well that it is, in fact, about to implode. Australia has survived the economic crisis with little overall exposure, and mining interests have kept the economy afloat. At the height of the global financial collapse, the nation had a A$22 billion surplus. Wages are high. Income inequality, though rising (where isn’t it?), is rising slower than in most developed nations. The renewables sector has grown, and targets set for a reduction in carbon output.
But this is changing all too rapidly now that Abbott has enthroned himself on his steaming heap of reality-denying fecal matter. And so, without further ado… it’s list time!
Tone on the environment:
- Abolishes all international environmental agencies, starting from day two of his premiership.
- Petitions the UN to revoke the World Heritage status of Tasmania’s forests, so he can begin awarding logging contracts.
- Exempts the state from federal restrictions on shark culling, so he can murder them more freely, despite evidence showing that culls don’t work.
- Authorises the dredging and dumping of a swath of the Great Barrier Reef to increase coal exports, prompting the UN to threaten the Reef with ‘in danger’ status.
- Is repealing the carbon tax, without replacing it with any credible (or, for that matter, any) alternative.
- Considers the science regarding climate change to be ‘absolute crap’.
Tone on the economy:
- Espouses ‘market non-intervention’ and an ‘end to corporate welfare’ whilst simultaneously supporting A$10bn in fossil fuel subsidies.
- Will re-instate and expand ‘Work for the Dole’, despite clear evidence from several nations already running similar programs that it does not have the intended effect, in fact quite the opposite. Our Brit hearts really feel ya on this one.
- Claws back A$3bn from welfare recipients whilst ignoring the multi-billion tax avoidance of the super-rich.
- Promises corporate tax breaks (at a cost of A$5bn over othe first two years) and scraps the 30% profits tax on environmentally dangerous mining operations.
Tone on gender and equality:
- Supports the expansion of ‘Compulsory income management’ for Aboriginal communities, despite evidence of it’s deleterious effects.
- Literally believes that potential immigrants should be sent to a Pacific island to be processed.
- Feels that it is ‘folly’ to think women could ‘even approach equal representation’ due to their ‘aptitudes, abilities and interests’.
- Has repealed same-sex marriage legislation. Way to step backwards, Tone. You cunt.
- Has a cabinet with one solitary woman. One. Remember, he’s the Women’s minister.
- On abortion, is fervently anti-choice.
I could go on, but to be honest, this guy is really starting to piss me the fuck off. Where do these people get off? What fucking century is this? In the only good news to be found, it seems that Australians may have begun to realise that they’ve voted in the biggest schmuck in the shitpit – polls suggest that after only two months in power, his approval ratings were only 40%. It’s a sad day for Australia, and it’s due to be a bloody long three years to come…