The Hell With Labor

Back when the whole Bill Henson nude child photos controversy was in the media, I felt like the only lefty art lover in Australia who thought what Henson did was really, deeply wrong. The worst thing was the company I kept; I wanted to be on the side of the arty types I admired, not - dear god - Miranda bloody Devine.

I've always derided the Julia Gillard haters. I'm not talking about the people who evaluate her entire record and have justifiable concerns with some of the decisions she's made; I'm talking about those rabid opponents of everything she does not matter what; the type who clog talkback radio, who were declaring in the comments of New Ltd websites the day she rose to the position that she was the Worst Prime Minister ever. Those people. They don't want a female Prime Minister, they don't understand how democracy works, they don't know what the government does, all they know is they're against it. Even though I stopped supporting Labor years ago, like so many deeply disappointed over their policies on everything from same sex marriage to asylum seekers, I felt compelled to defend the Gillard government in the face of the poisonous, illogical rantings of the Juliar carbon tax opponents, the turn-the-boats-around brigade and the Gillard is in bed with Bob Brown bunch.

But now, I'm angry. Now Gillard has really ticked me off. There have been noises for a few weeks that the relationship between Greens and Labor federally has broken down, and Bob Brown - who has more honour in his little finger than Julia Gillard has in her entire body - confirmed recently that he and Gillard are no longer having regular meetings, following the government's breaking of the agreements over logging of Tasmanian forests. But I held my wrath until, in line with the modern Labor tradition of selling out to Big Business and populism, Gillard reneged on the agreement to introduce mandatory pre-commitment on poker machines, instead agreeing only to a trial in the ACT for the next few years. How many lives across Australia will be ruined in those years? Those people have been sold out by a Prime Minister too cowardly to tell the Australian people that they are being lied to by Clubs Australia and the poker machine industry.

Does this government stand for anything? They stand by and allow the Australian people to be lied to - by big business on poker machine reform and the mining super profits tax; by radio shock jocks on asylum seekers, by complete lunatics on climate change - without demurring; they don't lead, they don't even follow, they just mince about helplessly, taking the populist route and losing. Who the hell do they think they are going to impress? The conservatives and bigots they seem to be trying to attract will never vote for them, convinced they are aligned with the Greens; actual Greens and leftists are disgusted by their record and want nothing to do with them anymore. It's been asked recently could the Labor party be dying. Let it. To hell with them.

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