Election Injection

By DeusExMacintosh

Tony Abbott

Julia Gillard is a childless 48-year-old unmarried atheist redhead who lives in sin with her hairdresser. She is also the first woman to become prime minister of Australia. Just in case you thought that might mean a new era had dawned, be assured that it is probably just about over. Not that Gillard had radical intentions, or radical policies, or any policies. Her slogan was “moving forward” – to nowhere in particular. The election, which took place this weekend, was hers to lose and she has all but lost it.

The opposition had fallen in a heap after the Liberal Party “spilt” its ablest and most charismatic politician, Malcolm Turnbull, for insisting that the party recognise climate change. Into the breach to lead the Liberal-National coalition stepped the Mad Monk, Tony Abbott, ears akimbo, wide mouth agape, who refuses to believe that anything needs to be done about climate change. He set about building an image as one of the boys, a strategy that misfired when photographed during a triathlon wearing bathing trunks that Australians call “budgie-smugglers’. (His budgie was actually more like a “wren”, as unkind observers pointed out.)

We have yet to see Gillard in a thong. The election wasn’t fought on policies or issues or ideologies, but on sound-bites and gossip – and sex. Not the kind you do, but the kind you are. If there was something new about it, it was that women voted for a woman just because she was a woman. The tabloids did their best to represent Gillard as a treacherous Jezebel, who stabbed her predecessor, Kevin Rudd, otherwise known as the Milky Bar Kid, in the back. Mr Rudd was, of course, not stabbed, but dumped in June by the Labour Party which is run, not by Mr Rudd or Ms Gillard, but by a junta of faceless male powerbrokers who prefer to remain anonymous…

Anyone who thought Australia had a woman PM because of some fundamental change in the nation’s psyche was immediately reassured. Gillard was pilloried for her “deliberate” childnessness, her clothes, her morals, her looks, her undeniably unimpressive boyfriend, and her betrayal of Rudd. In any grown-up country her opponent, Tony Abbott would have been unelectable. He looks and sounds like a clown. There is not an issue that Abbott will fail to reduce to a fatuous mantra…

To hold a clear majority a political party must hold 76 seats. The coalition won 70, Labour 72, and at last count four were undecided. Of the others one (Melbourne) had been won by a Green (Adam Bandt) and there were three Independents, all of them erstwhile members of the National Party, previously known as the Country Party. The Green will probably support Labour; the three Independents are – well – independent…

Australia’s future looks grim enough with Gillard but with Abbott it would look terrifying.

Germaine Greer, The Telegraph

25 Comments

  1. Posted August 25, 2010 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Is she making this stuff up, just to stir the pot?
    Or is really that clueless about her own (erstwhile) country?

  2. Posted August 25, 2010 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Yes I agree LE. Occasionally Germs writes a provocative column for a newspaper that may or may not make some good points; occasionally a UK columnist writes a clueless column on politics in Australia. This is a crossover of both those phenomena.

  3. ken n
    Posted August 25, 2010 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Greer has become the columnist’s equivalent of the radio shock jock. She gets published – and she can pop up in the DT, The Independent or the Guardian – because editors know she will say something designed to shock.
    Rather sad for someone who once had useful things to say

  4. Posted August 25, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    I don’t see the cluelessness. It sounds about right to me. Except ‘terrifying’. Abbott isn’t terrifying. He looks and sounds like a clown because, well…

    With a constipated parliament don’t worry. Just sit back and watch Comedy Hour, um, Question Time.

  5. Posted August 25, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Allowing Germs the usual authorial licence, the only point that seemed over-egged to me was:
    “and sex. Not the kind you do, but the kind you are. If there was something new about it, it was that women voted for a woman just because she was a woman.”
    And that’s because we (including GG) simply don’t know, despite, LE, your anecdotal evidence about the of course not at all sexist people whose voting intentions or actual votes are known to you.

  6. Patrick
    Posted August 25, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Why would anyone comment on this shtick? lol

  7. Peter Patton
    Posted August 25, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Greer is the Catherine Deveney of Essex.

  8. Peter Patton
    Posted August 25, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    I reckon it was Abbott’s daughters wot won it. 😉

  9. Hugivza
    Posted August 25, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Clearly the “female eunuch” is missing more than a few appendages.

  10. Posted August 25, 2010 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    It’s the not knowing people from the other side that really hamstrings a commentator. I know I’ve been to literary functions where talk has turned to politics and I’ve thought, ‘holy crap, I’m the only Tory here’. This has two effects: (1) I don’t discuss my views and (2) as a consequence the people I’m talking to don’t get to hear any alternatives. I have no doubt there are social gatherings where the same process obtains in reverse.

  11. Patrick
    Posted August 26, 2010 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    LE, my Grandfather never donkey-voted, but he did use to write on the reverse ‘a plague on both your houses’. Maybe next time I will use your newer version 🙂

    Come on SL, share!! Although my friend, a right-wing (by French standards) French school teacher, is in the same boat. She admits that she usually just nods in a non-committal way since she can’t imagine revealing her true preferences to her colleagues.

  12. Posted August 26, 2010 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    The Left definitely have more of a tendency to believe their opinions are ‘more informed’ hence obligated to inform others. And any dissenting view can get one labled a fascist. You have to go thru all sorts of diplomatic gymnastics to establish you’re not a racistsexisthomophobe etc if you discuss certain subjects in any way deviating from the orthodox view.

    The Right don’t do that. The just talk to you like you’re telling them about Elvis’ ghost living in your bath or something.

  13. Posted August 26, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    [email protected] … So, lefties believe dialectic is possible with information exchange, while righties don’t and are pure dogmatists. Is that what you are implying? If so, that’s unkind to the tolerable righties, but explains Mr Rabbit.

  14. Posted August 26, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    Dave, in my experience appreciating the dialectic is rare on either side. The Left tend to be united underneath the diversity by the view that something is worng with ‘the system’. If you don’t agree, or question their solutions (which amounts to the same thing) you are supporting the immoral system.

    The Right tend to support the ‘system’ and as said system includes the principle of free speech they inclined to let you speak freely. But there are no go zones. When you go there they don’t follow you.

    There are dogmatists on both sides.

  15. kvd
    Posted August 26, 2010 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    If you accept that Windsor, Oakeshott and Katter all represent basically conservative electorates then I think Mr Abbott has the more legitimate claim to government by majority. While this would disappoint me on several significant policy fronts, I think the country should (and of course will) accept his ‘victory’.

    Windsor is a quite impressive man, but Oakeshott and Katter provide the balance to that.

    I think Mr Abbott will form a grudging coalition with the Independents, but shortly thereafter go back to the electorate proclaiming it unworkable. He will then be returned with a working majority in his own right.

    The country will be the poorer for all this, will probably lose the services of several gifted people, and it will delay the introduction of several good policy initiatives, but democracy will survive, and the sun will come up tomorrow.

    It’s just disappointing that the night must precede the day – is what I always think.

  16. kvd
    Posted August 26, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    And I should note that Ms Greer is always entertaining and intelligent, and the world will be the poorer when she ceases to contribute. I wonder if she would ever consider cohabiting with Paul Keating? Australians should be quietly proud of our multi-diversely talented offspring.

  17. kvd
    Posted August 27, 2010 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    LE I completely agree with your last sentence; in fact that is all I was saying. As to the acid, I tend to filter that stuff, and try to concentrate on the points being made. I think it is possible to disagree with a thinker, but still very much appreciate his or her stance and arguments.

  18. Peter Patton
    Posted August 27, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    kvd

    Agree entirely. GG remains one of the great Australian ratbags. And she is immensely entertaining and charismatic. She and Keating would not mix at all, as he is an uneducated philistine. She’d find him boring; as do I.

  19. kvd
    Posted August 27, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Peter, I will not argue with you, because it is off topic – except to say I think Paul Keating carries on the great Australian trait of cynicism. And while I am quite sure Ms Greer would blow him out of the water, it would be great fun to watch his sinking, guns blazing, departure. Boring? Never. He reminds me of Steele Rudd:

    “Not that a politician is ever remembered much after he dies, but Smith had been a blind, bigoted, old Tory, and was better dead. Politicians are mostly better dead, so far as other people and their country is concerned …”

  20. Peter Patton
    Posted August 27, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    kvd

    Well if there is one thing in this world that truly is in the eye of the beholder, it is whether someone is boring! 🙂 But I did not state that he is boring as a matter of fact, merely I find him boring. I was being a little presumptuous perhaps in speaking for Germs, but I doubt she’s be cross me; at least I’m talking about her! 😉

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