|The George Brandis Live Art Experience|
There has been much hoopla over the last three years as to crazy captains calls and ideologically driven foolishness. Much of that was what caught the attention of the public, with regular updates in the TV news as to the latest insanity from Team Abbott, or the sideshow that was the Turnbull takeover.
However for those of us political tragics there was a much more real story going on. The AbbottTurnbull gov was from day one ultra-conservative, the likes of foreign to Australia. Indeed many of their economic talking points and opposition to things like marriage equality and social justice are directly from the lunar right US Republicans. The Abbott gov was one that had lurched the Lieberals into far right territory which had as yet been unexplored here. The party were corporate puppets as never before. Corporate fascism was trying it on in Australia. Abbott wanted us to become an uncaring country shackled to capitalist extremism. All very christian you know :s
On the other hand, Labor in opposition moved somewhat to the left. In developing new policies Shorten was able to pick up on the public's aghast opposition to WTF PM Abbott was doing to the country. Some of this described in The Guardian in a look back on three years of disaster:
Who or what is responsible for the government’s many other strange cultural and religious obsessions? Eric Abetz’s insistence on a link between breast cancer and abortion, notwithstanding the science that discredited this theory five decades ago. The attempt to ban the burqa in the confines of Parliament House. The campaign to water down racial vilification laws in support of the right to be a bigot. The havoc wreaked on investment in renewable energy as the government campaigned against “ugly” wind turbines. The many attacks on the ABC, culminating in a government black-ban on appearing on its current affairs flagship, Q&A. The attack on Safe Schools.Mad Monk Abbott and his so called Team were happy to ignore Australians who were vulnerable, instead making us an easy target. A hard nosed and uncaring approach to
Endless fuel to stoke the fires of satire – perhaps – but there is another more disturbing dimension to these obsessions. The federal government almost always “punches down”. The coalition caucus is a toxic brew of fierce antagonism directed at minority groups, the disadvantaged and victims of discrimination.
Those targeted to be disadvantaged by its policies are invariably minorities, the less well-off and those with little or no political voice: those with the smallest superannuation balances, Muslims, cleaners of Canberra offices, food processing workers employed at SPC, the unemployed (the attempt to impose a six-month qualification period to qualify for unemployment benefits), children in disadvantaged schools (the sabotage of Gonski education reforms), the strenuous attempts to chisel lowly paid workers with intellectual disability out of backpay owed to them, the calculated and deliberately cruel infliction of injury on refugees fleeing war zones including Syria. The Guardian
gov, that saw us labelled by compliant media as a "burden" on society in headline news, screamed from the street from newsagent front windows. Minorities and the powerless were used as canon fodder in his ideological war. Whole sections of society became disenfranchised and demonised by his gov.
Unfortunately for Abbott poor people have the internet. Shorten appears to have plugged in to this disaffection we were feeling knowing that his party had a way to address it. His "people first" slogan was an example. Shorten simply plugged into old school Labor values and ran with them. Long before the election was called the stage was being set. Abbott's ideologically motivated Royal Commission into "union thugs", vs eventually a Labor policy to have a royal commission in to banks. It was unions vs the finance industry. Or in this case, workers vs our corporate masters. This is what resonated with voters.
It was an ideological struggle on a national scale between 30 years of Reaganomic "trickle down", and living in a human society where corporations and capitalism weren't our masters but our tools. It was Australia's stand against corporate slavery.
How the main stream media couldn't see this when blind Freddy could is beyond me :s
The most interesting element of the election result, however, is that I don’t think the electorate made the same mistake the media did. Voters know personally how important education, access to healthcare, a fast NBN, public transport, environmental protection and renewable energy, penalty rates and childcare funding are to their everyday cost of living, and their ability to compete in an economy stacked in favour of the rich. That is why, even with a low primary vote, Labor has still managed, through voter preferences, to put themselves close to a winning position.
Therefore, the real story this election is the backlash against the Liberal National’s neoliberal trickle-down agenda, which, even when propped up and maintained by the mainstream media, isn’t attractive to voters anymore because they can see the damage these policies cause to the economy and social fabric of their communities.
Even if the Liberal Nationals manage to form a minority government, with a wafer thin majority and possibly 20 crossbench senators to work with, every neoliberal policy brought to parliament will have to be sold, negotiated, and justified to MPs and senators elected by voters who are concerned about growing wealth inequality. So voters have, in a way, got what they voted for; a government who will be forced to take their needs into account. What could be more exciting than that? New Matilda