Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Read this, you ignorant bitches.

Do you sometimes feel that weblicated feature titles lack a bit of 'zazz? Yeah. Me too. In the latest instalment of 'Australia? Who gives a fuck?' (you're reading it) a whole bunch of the big funnies have happened and we might finally see He Who Would Be Furor (not a typo) out on his bitter little arse.

John Howard has to call a federal election some time in the next few months and everything that has kept him in power is fading like the last off-key screech in an ad for Australian Idol bloopers. It is funny to think that Britons, for example, complain about the British parliamentary process. Sure it's not transparent, sure the media let them get away with shit. But there is at least argument between and within parties and lying to Parliament is close to a hanging offence. Here? Forget about it.

lolitishun.jpg


Johnny-intolerant-bastard-climate-denialist-corporate-bumpuppet-Howard has kept his hold on power for the last 10 years with three main devices.

1. Strict party discipline - both in terms of message and public loyalties, and by using the Federal Police to track down anyone in his party who may have leaked policy documents to the press.

2. Nationalistic manipulation of fear and opportunity - hell, a boatload of refugees that could be denied asylum represented the best of both worlds and virtually won Johnny an election all by itself.

3. Tight media control and support - talkback radio empire Southern Cross Broadcasting is Johnny's one point of call each week. Radio, TV, and printed transcript all dispensed with in one go, without any tough questions. Oh, and advertising campaigns that run into the hundreds of millions of dollars funnelled into the print, radio, and tv stations which have mostly been so kind to his government for so long. . . .funny, that.

BUT WAIT!! THERE'S MORE!!

No there isn't. That's it. And it's all falling apart spectacularly right now.

See, after the last election Howard brought in "Work Choices". It's an ironically titled replica of an American serf-based industrial relations system. Only thing is that nobody got to vote on it. We only found out about it after he won. It is one of the main anvils around his neck right now. Big employers are mostly happy with it but the good news is that the majority of voters are employees, and not multinational CEOs.

Anyway, Howard has taken so many kicks in the nuts over Work Choices that the name has been dropped, some of the harshest legislation had to be 'postponed', and the wonderfully caring system of 'Workplace Relations', with accompanying mega million$ ad campaign was born.

But here's the funny. The ad campaign has just been pulled from national tv after only 2 weeks. Turns out that one of the actors is also a boss. A boss whose former staff - including his own son - have claimed that they weren't paid, that they were treated horribly and taken advantage of.
"Once I started working with him it turned out he wasn't paying me … according to him it was a new business that was waiting for money to come in — that was the story that just kept coming and coming," Mr Moore said.

"There was one time I did get some money, and that was after, I'd say, six weeks of working there … I asked him for some money, and he took me to the pub and bought me a few drinks and gave me $100 out of his wallet."

Oops!

But Johnny hasn't put all his eggs in one megacorp-suck-up-basket. Realizing that he's seen as indecisive, visionless, and poll-driven he has taken a new tough position - doggy-style. That's right - all of a sudden in the last month or two, Howard has been meddling in state affairs left, right, and centre. The new confrontational, no-nonsense, get-it-done for his peeps coz that's-how-he-rolls Johnny has been on fire.

Never mind that all the State governments are Labor, he has been busting their balls for the good of Australians. He tried to seize control of the country's biggest overground water system, the Murray-Darling, from four states with an emergency grand-sounding $10 billion water plan - apparently drafted on a napkin during a power-lunch. That's not working out for him.

He has declared a national emergency as an excuse to further patronis and displace Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory. But a lot of generally reserved mainstream media have actually been calling that for what it is - wrong, insincere, and part of a different agenda.

In Tasmania, he has just interjected to seize control of financing for a threatened hospital from the state Labor government. Oh, what's that? It's in one of the most marginal electorates in Australia? Geez, that's a bit obvious. Well how about Queensland, where he is going the whole way and telling the State Government how to run local councils. That's just visionary!

Normally, that is where it would end. People would voice their expressions and cynicism. They'd identify a pattern but find nothin harder than their observations to support their suspicions.

But what's this? Someone, as yet unidentified, within Howard's machinery has leaked a high-level internal advisory?

Howard's polling guru, and preferred independent advocate for businesses Mark Textor prepared a document for the Liberal Party detailing how Howard is generally seen now as out of touch, dishonest, and about as popular as a death on a holiday cruise. And he recommended that Howard play wedge politics with the state Labor governments, depicting them as inefficient and in need of federal intervention. And he made these poll-based recommendations just about the same day that Howard declared a State of Emergency over the Northern Territory.
KEVIN RUDD: Well, Mr Howard's pollsters have let the cat out of the bag because they've said to Mr Howard, don't bother about governing the country, just blame the states for everything. This document which has been released from the Liberal Party is a devastating indictment of Mr Howard's decision now to govern purely in terms of short-term politics, not long-term policy, in terms of what the nation needs for the future.

So now we not only think that he is a full-of-shit, mean-spirited, poll-driven little bastard, but we have leaked internal documents to prove it. It's all taken a little of the shine off his campaign which was meant to take a little shine off everybody else.

Poor little guy, 12% behind in the polls and baffled. The facade of party strength, the foundation of media support, and the illusion of public faith are all collapsing at about the same time. Apparently the state governments are also responsible for the nonth consecutive rise in inflation but nobody apart from, you guessed it - Southern Cross Broadcasting - seems interested.

Finally, fifth time lucky and fingers crossed, Australian voters might see this Mr. Sheen-made-flesh for what he is - a wee bigoted bell-end who puts the 'spare' in transparent.