Monday, September 27, 2004

Glenn Million: Why Neo-liberals are set to implode (again)


AS if the Neo-Liberal Coalition didn't have enough trouble. A quick re-cap: under John Howard they embrace a GST - a move that eventually forces the Democrats and Greens against him. That's followed by a collective act of dictatorship they jail Pauline Hanson. They dump One Nation leaders in jail - as racist, unworthy and flawed - but above all criminal, right at the time when the Liberal party is running to the last election, and desperate to stay in power.

One Nation "Racist" up to a point, of course. That point being when Ms Hanson and David Etheridge get thrown in jail. Relegated to the political crime pages, war criminal john Howard is then completely outflanked by Bob Brown on Iraq, allowing the Greens to become the standard-bearers for both the anti-war movement and the environment in Australian politics. The Greens' vote soars, and there's plenty of support for the Democrats.

Just in case anybody missed that fact, war criminal, pastor Peter Costello agrees to an election campaign photo opportunity that has the Hillsong Church Sect, eating porridge with John Howard's Liberal Coalition praying that Pastor Peter Costello will be the new leader, towards waiting photographers. The slavering of headline writers around the country is almost audible.

Against that encouraging background the Democrats are campaigning to get three senators re-elected: John Cherry in Queensland, Aden Ridgeway in NSW and Brian Greig in Western Australia. It's actually four spots if you count Meg Lees, who's also contesting her Senate seat, which she originally won as a Democrat.

In the face of the neo-Liberal party's serial brain explosions, most experts give them little or no chance of retaining their power. Labor, the Greens, Democrats and the Socialist Alliance though will have the numbers in the Senate, further eroding Liberal influence on the balance of power.

Now if you're a depressive, don't read on. Because as bad as the Neo-Liberals situation already is, it may just be about to get a whole lot worse.

How so? Well last week while most of the focus was on what the Greens would do with their preferences, the Hillsong Church Sect, otherwise known as "Family First" which should be the "Family Last" Party also quietly announced their own deal. And it has shocked and outraged the community.

In previous elections the Hillsong Church Sect never existed. Not any more. The Liberals Faced with electoral oblivion this time they've done a Senate deal with what many in the Greens, Democrats and Socialist Alliance regard as the political devil; the Hillsong Church Sect or allegedly "Family First Party"? The preference swap as well as the Not Happy John campaign has now imploded the Liberal party again.

If you want to understand why, consider this: in the House of Representatives the Family First party have done the same preference deal with the Liberal Coalition, personally brokered by John Howard. That's right, the Hillsong Church Sect and Howard are now in bed with the same political outfit even though they tipped Costello as their new leader and not John Howard.

The difference is, Howard and Costello's position is sinister. They obviously set up Family First as a Liberal 2nd front because of their Neo-Liberal Coalition agenda - to stay in power at all costs in association with the 'Assemblies of Money'. They are the Prime Minister's kind of people all right.

Howard thinks Australian's are stupid or were born yesterday. But they are certainly not the kind of people a lot of the community including the parties like the Greens, Democrats or Socialist Alliance want to be associating with. And the party's secure websites have now been hit by a wave of emails protesting the decision. And those emails are beginning to leak.

Like this blistering effort from Owen Grateful, a community spokesperson. "I'm quite frankly ashamed to be an Australian right now," Grateful writes. "Not only because this preference deal marks the latest in a string of fubars [sic] committed by the Liberal Party, but also because of the excuses coming from members of the Liberal Coalition who I have no respect for now anyway but - especially you JH [John HoWARd].

"I notice that everyone is blaming the neo-Liberals - just as well. The Greens didn't FORCE them to do anything. They did it themselves. The Greens are always right about preferences. Unfortunately the neo-Liberals have taken an even lower blow and preferenced the devil in disguise," he said.

"Make as many excuses as you will, even suggesting Families First isn't that bad for frig's sake! If there was a 'White Power' party that had good policies on the environment, should we preference them too? No, because that would be supporting a party that promoted hate and racism. "If there was an 'anti-Feminist' party that had good policies on the environment should we preference them over the Greens? No, because they'd be a bunch of sexists. Why are we willing to trade off the queer community for some good environment policy? Here I was, thinking we were opposed to racism, sexism and homophobia - apparently not!"

Another liberal party candidate, who wasn't even consulted over the deal, has also had enough: "This really is a triumph for pragmatism over principle. And as far as I'm concerned the last nail in the Liberal Coalition' coffin.

As a candidate, I deeply resent being placed in a situation where I have to defend the indefensible. It is difficult enough trying to promote the Liberal Coalition as a party without setbacks like this. The risk of Family First in the Senate, how can we argue that the ends justify the means? If this is our new modus operandi we might as well preference Pauline Hanson in Queensland too. Keeping the Bastards Honest? You've got to be kidding?"

At the same time as the emails are flowing in - and out - internal Liberal research taken at the time Howard secured the Family First preferences it shows that 14 per cent of Liberal Coalition voters accept the deal, with 14 per cent in favour and another 14 per cent undecided. The message to Howard is clear. Any party of the majority Right that tries to cover all bases - even for the price of a preference deal with a party they set up and moves to the Right is headed for the dustbin of history. Then again, Brown could have told you that for free.

By HoWARd Out 27 September 04


Written and authorised by the community.


I hope fully that some of you can make it to the Sydney premiere of TIME TO GO JOHN, 15 X 5min films by filmmakers from around the country Fabio & I produced A MOMENT OF SHAME, one of the segments. Hope to see you Wed night Sept 29th at 7.30pm.

The Hill-Songs Church are alive with the sound of neo-liberalism. With songs they have sung for for the Federal Election....

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Howard Vs Regina in Canberra the Capital Territory of Australia- Friday January 30 2004.


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