Yes, today is the day that the Government takes control of the Senate. John Howard, our redoubtable Prime Minister, has promised that the government will not abuse this power. Actually, what he really said was, "I solemly swear to the Australian people that this Government will not abuse the trust that the voters have placed...ahem, ahem...I'm sorry...MWAH-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH!"
Just out of curiosity, I headed over to the Liberal Party website to check out their "core beliefs". Here they are, with my parenthetical addenda:
We believe in the inalienable rights and freedoms of all peoples; and we work towards a lean government that minimises interference in our daily lives; and maximises individual and private sector initiative.
"You, dig a hole. You, fill it up again. Or you'll both lose your meagre unemployment benefits. Angry? Well, that's not government interference you're feeling, that's initiative."
We believe in government that nurtures and encourages its citizens through incentive, rather than putting limits on people through the punishing disincentives of burdensome taxes and the stifling structures of Labor's corporate state and bureaucratic red tape.
Yes, who wants to pay those niggly little taxes? Better put big taxes on everyone and be done with it.
We believe in those most basic freedoms of parliamentary democracy - the freedom of thought, worship, speech and association.
Think happy thoughts!
We believe in a just and humane society in which the importance of the family and the role of law and justice is maintained.
As long as they're Australian families. And we always uphold the rule of law - though the laws may change at any time.
We believe in equal opportunity for all Australians; and the encouragement and facilitation of wealth so that all may enjoy the highest possible standards of living, health, education and social justice.
Come on, show that initiative - take out expensive health insurance and put your kids in private schools.
We believe that, wherever possible, government should not compete with an efficient private sector; and that businesses and individuals - not government - are the true creators of wealth and employment.
Compete, no; prop up - yes!
We believe in preserving Australia's natural beauty and the environment for future generations.
Look at those business parks and housing developments! Beautiful. Future generations won't know any different.
We believe that our nation has a constructive role to play in maintaining world peace and democracy through alliance with other free nations.
We're the ball-boys for the US World Domination team.
In short, we simply believe in individual freedom and free enterprise; and if you share this belief, then ours is the Party for you.
And I bet the Xmas bash is a really wild affair.
Look, I don't mean to sound so bitter. Plenty of that from those who vote Liberal. Imagine how far those of us on the Left would get if we were as loud and angry as conservatives? That's our problem - we are as passionate about the things we believe in as they are about what they believe in, but we respect their right to have an opinion; they don't respect ours. Labor may or may not be dead in the water, I don't know. Maybe Mark Latham is simply subconciously protecting himself i.e. "If I can't be a part of Labor, that's okay, they're not going anywhere anyway." (Pete Best probably said the same thing when he left the Beatles. Apparently before his recent retirement, Best was working as a career advisor in Liverpool. Good grief, imagine taking career advice from Pete Best.)
Or maybe he is mad.
Well, finally...you may notice on the Liberal website, there's a link to "What others say about John Howard". There are - count them - two responses. Imagine if there were responses from a cross section of the community, or responses from the kind of people I like to have as friends or - woo! - a response from Latham?
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