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Friday, 1 March 2013


A reader recently took issue with me for inserting a ‘two minute hate’ into every paragraph of every blog entry.
He was referring to my penchant for subjecting the ALP and any or all of their policies to a fair degree of high farce ridicule.
The criticism was kindly meant. I took it in the same manner and told him so. However, I think it is worth exploring the origins of, and inspiration for, my “two minute hates”.
My kindly reader asserted that this made me look bitter and he was right; I DO ridicule the ALP, I DO do it a lot and I AM bitter.
But I’m not bitter because I’m some right wing fanatic who loathes all things Left. I’m bitter about the untold damage this particular Federal Labor Government is inflicting on the material and spiritual well-being of this country.
I don’t hate all things ALP.
In my opinion Gough Whitlam was a good PM let down by some cretinous cabinet ministers and a desire to cram 10 years of governance into a single term.
Bob Hawke was a good PM, until that massive ego finally got the better of him. Paul Keating was a good treasurer until HIS massive ego finally got the better of Bob Hawke.
Gareth Evans, who ironically was reputed to have a taste in expletives that makes Kevin Rudd look like, well, the Milky Bar Kid, was a fine foreign minister and John Button is rightly revered by all sides of politics.
(Apart from Rudd, who thought a photo opportunity with Cate Blanchett’s sprog was a better idea than attending Button’s funeral.)
Peter Walsh and Bill Hayden were no slouches and John Kerin was a good Primary Industries minister whose reputation was unfairly scarred by an unfortunate encounter with a cupboard during his five minutes as treasurer.
The best local member I’ve ever met was the ALP’s Kalgoorlie MHR Graeme Campbell.
Campbell was regarded with some disdain as a ‘maverick’ in ALP circles. He was a polarising figure – droller wits would have said that you needed to add ‘bi’ to the ‘polar’ in Campbell’s case - but he worked his socks off for his constituents, not so much on taking the big ticket items to Canberra, but in helping them solve the small beer issues that loom large in ordinary lives.
All good ALP people and true and I’m happy to go into bat on their behalf – apart from Keating’s stint as PM, which was a bit woeful all round.
While I may lament their choice of political colours, I would never doubt their genuine desire to take the country, state or dusty main street to a better place than the one in which they found it.
I even voted for them. Twice.

I have praised Campbell, so a good place to begin highlighting the stark difference between Labor of yesteryear and Labor today is with my local Federal ALP member.
In nearly three years living in his electorate, not only have I not met him, I’ve never even seen him. A few of the few who have seen him tell me that if there were no footy club raffles to draw or school halls to be photographed in front of, he would be stuck for something to do.
He may well be a do nothing nobody on the ground, but to the ALP he is the very model of a model MHR. He sucked in enough voters to win the seat, then dutifully assumed his role as an anonymous caucus drone available to be bought, swapped or sold by factional heavyweights as they see fit.
In fairness, perhaps his choice of seat hasn’t helped. If he had contested a Sydney seat he may well be in the Ministry by now, a la David Bradbury.
Bradbury, like so many of his colleagues is a salutary warning about the long term damage caused by severe gorm-deficiency in an infant’s diet.
By any law of natural selection, Bradbury should be sweeping out the Ministry instead of sitting in it, but Gillard promoted him to Assistant-Treasurer because he holds a seat in Western Sydney, a region which collectively hates her Government.
He is also NSW ALP/Union ‘family’. He used to work for the Australian Services Union. His sister is a Health Services Union (that of Craig Thomson fame) national assistant secretary. His wife used to be a HSU organiser. In his maiden speech to parliament he singled out former HSU (and ALP National) president Mike Williamson (he whose daughter works in Gillard’s office) and the “entire team at the HSU” for praise and thanks.   
The whole Labor movement is a study in law of diminishing returns created by an ever dwindling gene pool.
Put every NSW ALP identity, every NSW-based MP and the executives of every east-coast-based union on the first branch of a family tree and you would be back to the original breeding pair in about two generations.
It is a genealogist’s wet dream.
It has been said that as PM, Hawke would ring opposition leader John Howard before making policy announcements to test the political wind for possible stumbling blocks to broad agreement.
It was a measure of respect, not only for his political opponents, but also for the electorate, allowing them to have faith that their political masters wouldn’t waste time and money on mindless point scoring and bickering.
The respect with which this ALP in Government was going to treat the parliament, its political opponents and the people was on show before it even gained power, when Kevin Rudd adopted the habit of turning his back on Prime Minister Howard.
A childish aberration? Hardly. After Rudd as PM delivered his hollow snare drum of platitudinous echoes known as the ‘Sorry’ speech, his staff urged on-lookers to turn their backs on then Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson’s reply.
The Rudd Doctrine of Distortion, Division and Derision was born and its message was clear: we don’t respect you, we don’t care what you think and we don’t care what you have to say.
Gillard disposed of Rudd and, as the monuments to her policy follies assumed colossal proportions, she grasped the Rudd Doctrine and took it ever increasing depths.
Parliament is a shambles and Gillard, Wayne Swan and the conga-line of union hacks masquerading as Ministers of the Crown have made it so.
Opposition leader Tony Abbott: “hack”, “bully”, “thug”, “sexist”, “Misogynist”, “woman-hater”, “attack dog”, “Can’t help going the biff”, “douchebag”, “nuts”, “poster boy for vile bully-boy values”, “the biggest bullshit artist in Australia”, “rancid”, “dodgy”, “mendacious”, “nasty”.
Keating had a fine line in invective, but he was always across his brief. He could deliver the devastating riposte, but was always sharp as a tack on policy detail.
If this mob think they are the parliamentary heirs to Keating, somebody needs to break the news to them that they are adopted.
Disregarding an opposition query – and thus giving rise to the suspicion that they don’t actually understand it - they launch into as many ‘two minute hates’ as there are questions.
Swan seems to think that question time is a licence to vilify private citizens as part of some bizarre class warfare crusade he has embarked on.
The other frontbenchers, led by Greg Combet, Anthony Albanese, Craig Emerson, Stephen Conroy and Penny Wong - with perhaps the honourable exception of Chris Bowen - joyfully follow their leaders into the abysmal abyss.
And that is just in parliament. Every press conference or interview with every member of this Government for the past five years has been a “two minute hate” of orchestrated aggregations of aggressive accusations, a tortuous trial of tautological tirades. 
Why do they insist on endlessly injecting irrational rancour into the public discourse in this country at every opportunity?
They are incompetent rent-seekers; disdainful of the electorate; and unable to grasp the irony in a relentlessly negative Government, relentlessly accusing an opposition of relentless negativity. That’s why.
Any wonder that five long, wearying years of being forced to listen to supposed adults and responsible ministers indulge in vitriolic verballing and frothing faux outrage have left me bitter?
Egalitarian society we may be, but if I saw Hawke or Keating in the street, I’d address them as ‘Mr’ Hawke and ‘Mr’ Keating. They treated their office and the electorate with respect and have earned that simple honorific at least.
If I saw Gillard or Swan in the street, I’d be hard pressed not to greet them with a yell of abuse.
Gillard, as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Australian Workers Union, handed the country’s governance to Paul Howes, a powerful man who musters all the gravitas of a rogue hamster.
Swan has plunged us into needless debt through a combination of monumental incompetence and ideological stupidity.
Collectively, this motley crew of shop stewards in suits have deliberately, with malice aforethought, set out to divide us by way of class, gender and earning power. Envy, resentment and discord are their stocks in trade.
Poor Fellow My Country indeed.
The Government sets the tone of public discourse. It builds the road to the country’s future and inspires the people to follow them down it. Unfortunately, in the case of Gillard and Co. the road to moral superiority is paved with good inventions.
When indulging in “two minute hate” I am simply walking down the path they have forged.
Should I rise above it and take the higher road?
For this mob? After what they have done? Fuck ‘em.