Wednesday, 26 June 2013

They actually went and did it.

They replaced Julia Gillard with Kevin Rudd.

No doubt those who call themselves "feminists" will screech and rant about what a terribly sexist thing this is, and how unremitting pressure from Abbott and a whole lot of other conservatives brought about her undoing, blah, blah, blah, and a whole lot of other utterances which make verbal diarrhoea look like pure sweet unicorn farts.

The fact of the matter is that she was undone by her own incompetence, and by the disastrous position to which she was leading her party. These are exactly the same factors which led to her replacing the man who has now been appointed (once again!) to replace her. The difference is that back then, she was Deputy Prime Minister and the logical person to step into Kevin Rudd's shoes, at least temporarily. She called a general election, a thing which was pending in any case, and led the Labor Party to that election. By means of all sorts of chicanery and double-dealing, which included an outright lie and the smearing of those who called the lie out as "hysterical", plus the representatives of two very conservative electorates betraying their trust,  she cobbled together a minority government into a Labor/Greens/"Independents" coalition and subsequently gained control of the Upper House.

Then she proceeded to spend the next three years screwing up in every possible way she could. The public opinion polls told the tale, but she and her government refused to listen. Now she has paid the price for her poor leadership, just as the man she replaced paid it before her.

There is nothing sexist about this. As the man was treated, so was the woman - and so will the man once more, God willing, as soon as an election is formally called. Except that this time it will be the electorate which gets to wreak its vengeance.

A very large proportion of the Labor front bench, plus the two "Independents" who gave us this disaster and maintained it in office, will not be contesting at the next election. They have seen the writing on the wall, and are too cowardly to stay and face the inevitable.They will instead take the disgraceful "out" of being able to say they were undefeated in office.

John Howard, who stayed when he knew the polls weren't that good for him, was able to swallow that defeat and remain gracious in it.

If all goes to plan and Kevin Rudd is sworn in as Prime Minister, Tony Abbott will now no longer have to restrain himself when on the campaign trail. Labor has lost the "misogynist Tony" defence. It will, of course, almost certainly declare gay marriage an issue, telling gays that "Catholic Tony" will deny them their dream. But what of Labor, the Greens and the Independents, who have held both Houses for more than long enough to put a gay marriage bill through, yet have done nothing? Are they not just as "homophobic" for not having acted on this? By what right do these fucking hypocrites dare ride gay issues to the election now?

Let's face it - Canada has gay marriage under a conservative government (Stephen Harper's Progressive Conservatives), and Australia could easily go the same way under an Abbott government if he allowed a conscience vote, which I think he is gentleman enough to do. I think gays of both genders (and their supporters) are selling themselves out if they vote Labor just on this one issue.

The destruction of Kevin Rudd Mark 1 began when Tony Abbott was installed as Opposition Leader by the slimmest of margins and started to oppose him on an Emissions Trading Scheme, instead of rolling over and baring his throat the way Malcolm Turnbull did. Rudd, who had threatened a double-dissolution election on the issue (which he might conceivably have won with Turnbull as his opponent), suddenly got cold feet. It was all downhill from then on. Kevin Rudd Mark 2 is still the same Kevin Rudd - and if Tony Abbott gets his measure quickly, I think we will see a repeat of the same performance, culminating in the election result we should have seen three years ago.

I do not think the electorate will forgive - too many Labor front-benchers have shown themselves to be rats leaving the sinking ship, and I suspect their likely replacements will be sacrificial lambs pushed to the slaughter not become sufficiently well known to their new constituencies to have much chance of adequately defending those seats. The real issues now are:

1) When will an election be held? (With Gillard's ouster, Rudd is no longer held to the September 14 date if he does not wish to be and he might as well go to the polls ASAP to take advantage of his Second Honeymoon. Makes you wonder if the whole thing was planned this way from the start.)
2) Will the Coalition still have the momentum to take both Houses, or will Rudd manage just enough of a bounce to save that?
3) If #2 ends in a hostile Senate, what will happen at the subsequent double dissolution?

Much has been said about a government needing a strong Opposition and too much of a win being a bad thing. But I do not think there is anyone currently in government who has the talent. Whether Labor loses by seven seats or seventy makes no difference. It has had its turn and has done nothing in six years but act to the detriment of the nation. I hope that the election brings nothing less than its complete and utter ruination. And now that Gillard appears to be headed out the door, Rudd might as well go too.

And the Labor "faceless men" and Kevin Rudd can take the blame for Gillard's ouster. This is a shame; it would have been nice to see the backlash against the "feminists" for trying to tell the Australian electorate how sexist it was. They might have discredited themselves forever; now they can keep wailing and railing against the same old usual suspects.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Labor and the Left - sinking even deeper into the quagmire.

Right-wing gay journalist Christopher Pearson died recently at the age of 61, and one of Labor's longer-serving speech writers decided it was appropriate for him to repeat an old and baseless rumour - while at the same time cleverly covering his back by admitting the dubiousness of its veracity. He also decided it would be a good idea to say some pretty disgusting things about the Leader of the Opposition, with particular focus on Mr Abbott's Catholicism. What class. (/sarc)

Prime Minister Julia Gillard decided she was going to keep on playing the gender card, inexplicably linking the issue to the wearing of blue ties. Unfortunately it didn't seem to go down all that well, even among her feminist sympathisers. Nor did her instructions to her Members of Parliament that they should stand at school gates and defend her school funding "reforms".

Amid all this, and possibly distracting from the utter failure of her misandrist ranting and misogyny paranoia, there appeared (with convenient timing) a juicy scandal involving a highly slanderous menu allegedly distributed at a Liberal Party dinner function, which referred to her in most unflattering terms. Now I'm all for calling an incompetent failure an incompetent failure, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation or anything else, but this thing referenced her physical attributes in unflattering terms; it truly went beyond the pale. And so Labor and the media jumped on it with all the enthusiasm of a 21 year old American frat boy taking his first legal drink, and quite a few people who were at the dinner (and some who weren't) were liberally smeared with the moral responsibility of having produced this sexist tripe (although the menu's closing admonition to "eat all your greens before they take over" was a nice little stab at our 'environmental' extremist friends).

 Except the truth outed; it turns out the menu was nothing more than a tasteless back-room joke, which was shared on Facebook by a man who hadn't drafted it, and subsequently tweeted hither and yon by a second chap who (per the link) had been fired from that restaurant months earlier. This chap professes (also as per the link) to prefer anal rape by an HIV-positive dog to living in an Australia governed by Tony Abbott. What class. (/sarc) Not that this has stopped the ALP or its media defenders from continuing to beat the drum on behalf of this complete joke of a Prime Minister.

It's looking like things are not going to end well for her, with the possibility that she might not even get to contest the next election (which can be no later than November of this year).

The only clear replacement for her is Kevin Rudd, blue tie and all, whom she herself replaced three years ago on the basis that "a good government had lost its way". Shortly before this happened, she said in an interview that there was more chance of her playing full-forward for the Western Bulldogs football team than there was of her replacing Rudd. Shortly thereafter she replaced him, then proceeded (quite sensibly in my view) to an election, stating (not so sensibly) that there would be "no carbon tax under [a] government I lead". And then of course she introduced one (as the Liberal Party had insisted in the leadup to the election that she would), and looked as pleased as punch when it passed the Senate.

So, Ms Prime Minister, just who has lost their way now?

I'd like to see her kept on, simply to see what abysmal depths the Labor Party can plunge to in the polls before it is wiped out at the ballot box. On the other hand, there's a small part of me that wants Kevin Rudd back, so Tony Abbott can tear into him and finish the job he started in 2010. Of course it may be that Labor replaces her with some other person, some sacrificial lamb, so that both Rudd and Gillard can claim they were never defeated at an election as sitting Prime Ministers (they both stand a significant risk of losing their own seats unless they retire at this poll). This, while technically true, would also be grossly dishonest - it would ignore the fact that neither was ever permitted to contest the election at which they would have been annihilated.

This behaviour puts me in mind of Howard Staunton, who cravenly avoided defeat as the unofficial chess world champion by never facing the brilliant American chess prodigy Paul Morphy. Morphy instead challenged and beat Anderssen, who was the best active player of his day, and then gradually went insane; IIRC partially because of Staunton's continuing refusal to face him; reminiscent of the mind games the KGB played - eventually successfully - with Morphy's equally gifted (and sadly equally unstable) countryman from a subsequent century, Bobby Fischer.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

The Australian Labor Party plumbs the hitherto hidden depths of desperation.

So this morning I woke up to find that (according to my regular blog readings) Aussie Prime Minister Julia Gillard is under imminent threat of removal. (An opinion which, I should state right away, appears to have been watered down somewhat as the day has progressed.) This is not too surprising, given her long record of utterly fucking things up; nor is it at all surprising to find that the only reasonable contender being mentioned is former Prime Minister (and by some lights the victim of Gillardian treachery) Kevin Rudd.

This would be a big mistake, for two reasons. The first is that, theories of treacherous and unnecessary backstabbing aside, Rudd's removal was seen by many on both sides of politics as entirely justified. His position was shaky; he was warned what would happen if he failed again; he failed again. End of story, and what better thing to do than to replace him with the Deputy Prime Minister and go to an election? One was impending anyway, and Labor's fortunes were headed down the S bend, so why not put it to the people?

Why not, indeed? Knifing him had the advantage of enabling the Government to wash its hands of all the disasters that had thus far occurred, and to put them down as the horrific blunders of an incompetent megalomaniac who had been determined to do it his way. That plus the novelty value of possibly having Australia's first female Prime Minister plus Julia Gillard actually having done an OK job as acting PM in the past (just don't mention the Building the Education Revolution blunders and $16bn down the drain) plus the infamous claim (later proven to be an utter lie) that there would be no carbon tax under a government she led sufficed to give her just enough seats to form a government... with one Green and two Independents in seats which would ordinarily be Liberal/National Coalition.

Things since then have gone nowhere but downhill.

The problem with bringing Rudd back is that it reminds you (or ought to, if you still have a thinking bone left in your body) of just why it is that he isn't Prime Minister today. To wit - there are a hell of a lot of people on both sides of politics who think the man is an incompetent narcissist. But that didn't stop him from pulling out all the stops to prove that he was leadership material once again and that the people still loved him.

Except maybe they don't. And if there is anything, anything of truth at all, in the perception that Rudd scripted and stage-managed his recrudescent glory, then it must surely confirm the worst fears of those who think he is not only an incompetent narcissist but seriously mentally unstable.

And this is the man they want to bring in to "save" the Labor Party.

No. The only thing that is "saving" the Labor Party right now is Julia Gillard's ability to play the gender card whenever Tony Abbott has her political back against the wall; to get the media so distracted by the so-called "misogyny debate" that they (and a significant share of voters) forget about whatever latest thing it is that she and her Cabinet have royally fucked up. Any man - any man at all - put into her position will have his proverbial throat torn out.

There are too damn many people out there who want to see her concede on Election Night. And then the radical feminists and Emily's Listers can scream all they fucking well want, but it will be THEIR fault for putting an incompetent twit into the job when they should have waited until they had someone with talent and integrity.

Australia's first female Prime Minister has been a complete fucking disaster. Someone more like Margaret Thatcher would have been a better choice, and well worth waiting for. Unless of course you're a screeching fucking harpy or a snout-in-the-trough bottom feeder. And too fucking bad if you are. Scream all you like; your gravy train is heading for derailment.