doctorow at March 7th, 2014 13:01 — #1
joey_bladb at March 7th, 2014 13:45 — #3
Played this in the background while I was working and I kept thinking to myself that the "Grain Vote" must be some kind of popular organic farming movement to which the PM was ardently opposed.
wrecksdart at March 7th, 2014 14:37 — #4
My understanding of "rant" is somewhat more...vociferous, gesticulated, and agitated than yours @doctorow, but I liked it nevertheless. Keeping in mind that I'm an 'merican (and therefore remain somewhat oblivious to the existence of nations and news outside our own borders), it seems Australians haven't had good luck with PMs for the last few years. Am I mistaken in that? And hey, not to worry--I know what it's like to have scheisse-level national leadership.
spunkytws at March 7th, 2014 15:05 — #5
WA Green Party Senator Scott Ludlam gave him some campaign advice -- and hope for people who despair of a world grounded in something other than kleptocratic corporatism.
I wish a mere speech could give me hope. Unfortunately it seems to me that all Ludlam can really do is shout at the people who are arranging the deck chairs on the proverbial Titanic that the ship is sinking, only to be ignored.
michael_r_smith at March 7th, 2014 15:42 — #6
Aussie here. I actually liked Julia Gillard. Her problem was that politics here is a boys club, largely out of step with the rest of the country. Abbott is prime minister because his party couldn't lose against a losing opposition, and he floated to the top after other leaders gave up. A presidential system would have a better connection with the voters.
For my part I give my (1) vote to the greens, but they are decades away from being able to lead the country.
vinnietesla at March 7th, 2014 15:49 — #7
My attempts to figure out what "neoliberal" actually means have been kind of frustrating. It seems to be as slippery as "fascist," but without the fixed historical point of reference the latter term has. It seems to be something like "unprincipled capitalist," but with the details either obscure or vague.
wrecksdart at March 7th, 2014 15:57 — #8
Thanks for that, and I'll say again (as I did above), that your senator's "rant" sounded pretty thoughtful, honest, and engaging, which is far more than I can say about what we hear here in America day by day.
milliefink at March 7th, 2014 17:14 — #9
We want our country back.
I'm not religious, but I can't help saying "AMEN!"
kimmo at March 7th, 2014 17:52 — #10
Didn't you look at Gillard's speech linked in the article? She tore the Mad Monk (Abbott) fourteen new arseholes like a bloody champ. Of course, the Labor party are only slightly less of a bunch of gutless sell-outs and right-wing stooges than the US Democrats, but given that, she was among the best we could hope for.
But naturally, by ostensibly standing for the interests of working Australians and further, being female, her tenure was doomed, as the corporate media scumbags relentlessly harped, chipped, and tore away at her standing, on matters of such far-reaching import as the size of her bum or earlobes, or the tone of her accent. The psychotic fuck currently running the joint gets a free ride, of course. Nobody in the MSM gives a shit about the size of his earlobes, let alone the fact he's dragging us all into a giant fucking hole...
I first noticed Gillard in opposition, where she excelled at taking the previous 'Liberal' government to task over its heinous atrocities, excoriating those utter scumbags with wit and style. I was disappointed to see her ascension delayed by Rudd the dud, but whatever it took to get rid of that vile fuckstain Howard was fine by me at the time. There was a wealthy businessman who devoted $200k of his fortune to ensuring that Howard lost his seat, a crushing indignity for that heartless prick who mistook being PM for being a test cricket batsman (like with baseballers, career statistics are of great import), and seeing his record so besmirched was some slight compensation for enduring his reign...
But the legacy of Howard is poisonous. Many of us would have expected Gillard to stand up for refugees, but no - the xenophobic demonisation and vicious mistreatment of these most vulnerable and helpless of people continued (largely) unabated under Rudd/Gillard, perhaps because Howard had discovered a rich seam of evil stupidity in the populace (via Pauline Hanson) that could be mined indefinitely, a task infinitely simpler than displaying any backbone or leadership on the matter. I'd like to think that if Gillard hadn't made this vile concession to electoral demographics, which elevates western Sydney bogans to speak for all Australians to our government, her integrity would have remained unsullied enough to enable her to weather the storms that sunk her.
If you ever come across these words, Julia - your own fine words on Abbott's hypocrisy may have rung less hollow if one of your heels wasn't resting on a refugee's face at the time.
wrecksdart at March 7th, 2014 18:39 — #11
I'll admit it--I've never thought myself bright enough to tease out all the particulars of politics, which is why I also love to read/watch/listen to political news. So thanks for that summation--I especially like the ending.
And I did watch that prior video of Gillard and enjoyed it immensely--I think more of the women on the Democratic side are seeing the virtue of standing up to bullies ala Wendy Davis, and I'm all for it.
One final thing that's been mentioned here before is that it's wonderful to see politicians who can think on their feet, even amongst catcalling and somewhat boorish behavior. Americans mostly get soundbites like wee tiny drops of tasteless jargon that's easy to seize on because it sounds so brilliant if one doesn't have to think more than two seconds about it, which is about the point that its lack of substance becomes all too clear.
daneel at March 7th, 2014 18:55 — #12
I have some Australian friends. If I want a laugh I just ask them about Pauline Hanson.
kimmo at March 7th, 2014 19:51 — #13
You seem to have a cruel sense of humour...
john_gratton at March 7th, 2014 20:14 — #14
thank you for writing the rant that I wanted to, but better. that was lovely.
boundegar at March 7th, 2014 20:36 — #15
It means being nice to gay people and black people while selling them out to corporations. Make sense?
ldobe at March 7th, 2014 20:44 — #16
As I understand it, neoliberalism is basically the attitude that the government is inept at doing anything but waging war and that private industry is great at everything and can always be trusted to do the right thing and do it better than the government.
From this standpoint it makes perfect sense to privatize everything the government does to the point of there no longer being a government so much as a combined bureaucracy made up of the corporations who run the country and the "government branch" whose job is to rubber stamp whatever corporations want, in addition to printing and handing out free money to only the worst social and economic parasites dreamed up in the corporate boardrooms.
kimmo at March 7th, 2014 21:12 — #17
Even to the point of bandying around such absurdly, patently false notions like it's possible for the market to deliver competition in the field of providing basic utilities like electricity, gas, water, internet, roads, etc.
Every time something gets privatised, it's game over for quality of service, accountability, and any chance of consolidated revenue. It effectively constructs a conveyor belt tearing wealth out of the commons and dumping it by the truckload into private pockets, usually overseas at that.
Here's a nice antidote to such scum-serving crap... TED didn't have the balls to stand by it, though...
kimmo at March 7th, 2014 21:21 — #18
You forgot to hit the Like button : p
john_gratton at March 7th, 2014 22:08 — #19
there you go, fixed that.
robulus at March 8th, 2014 04:00 — #20
I just never got this. From Beazley as opposition leader onward Labor decided middle Australia were all racist assholes and they needed to be perceived as just as tough on refugees as the libs. I've always seen this as a missed opportunity to offer a genuine point of difference between the two parties.
Instead we get children sitting in offshore prison camps.
phuzz at March 8th, 2014 07:11 — #21
I did like this bit in particular:
Prime Minister, you are welcome to take your heartless, racist exploitation of people's fears, and ram it as far from Western Australia as far as your taxpayer funded travel entitlements can take you.
But reading it doesn't do justice to his dead pan delivery.
What's the Australian for 'sick burn'?
(*edit apparently I have to change something)
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