Where Angels Fear To Tread

"Ho hum", I thought as midnight approached on my fourth NYE in a row spent at home in front of the TV, "another year". Then I remembered it's an election year, and I tore all around the room in a fit of excitement like Mr Bean on Christmas morning.

I don't know what to tell you. I'd been up since 5am. I was full of wine. I'd lost all sense. Reality hit this morning when I woke up, realised it's an election year, had a think about just what sort of an election it's going to be, and fell in a sobbing puddle on the floor.

Make no mistake, this year is going to get nasty. Really nasty. Tony "born to rule" Abbott has never recovered from losing the 2010 election; he offered to sell his own arse; in an act of patriotism they don't receive enough credit for, Mssrs Oakeshott and Windsor told them they didn't want it, and he went grudgingly to the opposition benches, where he has spent the last two and a half years smarting, and scheming. I can't bring myself to elaborate  on the entire catalogue of treachery, but just look at the most recent example, the Ashby affair, where following a federal court judgment finding that there was, after all, a conspiracy involving LNP staffers and a former minister, Mal Brough, to bring down the government - to say nothing of the potential involvement of Pyne, Hockey and possibly Abbott himself - Abbott's reaction? "Get over it". He hasn't answered a single question about what he knew or - and we all want to know this - who the hell is paying James Ashby's legal bills. No big deal, says Abbott. Either he has no idea what his ministers get up to, or he was personally involved in sedition. Never mind, let's forget about that and move on to $5000 the Prime Minister received from her boyfriend back in 1995 (and did she ever consider getting a Rachel at the time?).

I'm often amused when trolls on twitter assume that, because I'm against the LNP, I must be a Labor supporter. I'm most pointedly not, and I find the idea there's some Labor-Greens alliance kind of ridiculous. Just today, in the latest act of dog-whistling, Labor has booted 100,000 single parents off parenting payment and onto Newstart allowance once their youngest kid turns 8. Fair enough, you say, no one needs to be at home all day when their youngest kid turns 8? Except we're not talking all day here. These changes will have a devastating effect on the many single parents who work part time, trying to fit work around the paltry day and after school care options we have in Australia; they'll suddenly find their payments used to supplement the money they earn working drastically reduced. So they can either struggle with full time work that can be outright hostile to working parents, in some cases having to abandon studies which would benefit themselves, their families and the nation in the long run - or they can accept the reduced income and just go without. Either way it's the kids who suffer. Of course, family tax benefit that applies to partnered parents continues till the youngest child is 16. Happy New Year, love the ALP.

But despite this, I sincerely and desperately hope the ALP wins the federal election. Three years of Abbott smirking at us every time you turn on the TV would be...a lot like what we have at the moment. He has to go. Close to home, I've started to notice Liberal party volunteers campaigning for their candidate for the Federal seat of Newcastle at community events. Newcastle was a safe Labor seat for generations, and the Liberal party put as much enthusiasm into their candidates' local campaigns as I put into office Christmas parties. But following the 2011 NSW state election, where several local seats were astonishingly won by Liberal candidates for the first time in their history (upon being told on election night that the Liberal party had won the state seat of Charlestown, Gladys Berejiklian's jaw dropped open), the Liberals thing they can win this. They believe a Liberal party candidate can win the seat of Newcastle, and they're giving it everything they've got. I can't let that happen and I won't let that happen and I can't let that happen. I've not put much effort into elections in the last couple years beyond sticking out a coreflute, but this year I'm fairly going to throw myself into it. I'm not sure exactly how - I just didn't gel with the Newcastle Greens as well as I did in Marrickville, and am not sure if I should just spruik for the ALP if it would mean having to defend policies I don't agree with - but I'm going to try.

Comments

  1. The future election truly terrifies me, in so many ways. I'm still genuinely gobsmacked by how little people think about who they're voting for. I'm sure that there are still people in Queensland happy to vote for the LNP after all the dreadful things their incumbent has wreaked.

    But I don't know what worries me more - that Abbott will get in, or that they'll bring in Turnbull at the last minute and he'll decidedly win.

    This inexorable turning to the right by all parties saddens me. How can we care so little for others? How can we blithely say, "well, if they don't like NewStart they can always get a job?" As your post so beautifully points out - it ain't that easy.

    Thank you for the food for thought.

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