So as the election gets closer and people plead from the heart to note vote for the Coalition based purely on their fears of what a Coalition might be (and not what they’re saying they will do), this little gem of astonishing fucking idiocy has been doing the rounds.
It’s been shared by friends of mine with a virtual sage-like nod at it’s wisdom, which is a pity because it turns out my friends are either vapid or insipid. I’ve privately held the view that for a lot of people, voting Labor isn’t about their staunch working class roots so much as a conspicuous form of branding. Any defence of the party is usually from the party’s own mouth and often doesn’t go into detail about why a policy is actually a good idea but instead says “oh yeah, well the Liberals eat babies” or some other form of piercing insight. Because Labor has moth-eaten and (in-practice) repealed ties to the socialist fraternity (and socialism’s devilishly intellectual, don’t you know) and purports to look out for fairness and the little guy, people align themselves with the Labor brand so they can show their friends how Caring and Intelligent they are. I question this, as beyond the overt cynicism of such a gesture if you were actually as politically educated as you claim you would be able to, you know, talk about policy and concede a good policy is a good policy regardless of the author.
For example, I’m happy to say Gillard had a very impressive record of legislative reform (it was mostly “micro-” legislation as she was hobbled by a hung parliament). Rudd’s apology to the Stolen Generation was a shamelessly overdue, essential step in atoning for what is clearly genocide under the UN Convention on the topic.
It’s not hard, people, you just have to open your mind a bit.
So back to this piece of wank that is the “don’t be a fucking idiot on Saturday” flyer. If you believe this and agree with it and nod and point and say, “yes, Australia! These are facts! Consider those facts!” then you are, in fact, a fucking idiot. Let’s examine why.
Firstly, the flyer purports to be non-partisan, yet it’s put together by a clearly left-wing group. So, in our world of compulsory voting they’re actually voting Labor, even if through the Greens. So, it’s not actually impartial and objective… it’s an agenda piece being dishonest.
Now, onto their claims.
1) The NBN
Christ this is a frustrating topic. I’m going to put down a few dot points to clarify a few things:
* The NBN is a great idea
* A good policy poorly implemented is no better than a poor policy
* The Coalition’s plan is a compromise born of the failure of the Labor party to successfully implement the NBN from the get go.
People hold the view that any day now, the NBN is coming. Do your homework people; the NBN could be delayed by up to 10 years. Each year, NBN Co is scaling back the figures on actual uptake as well as forecast uptake for the year, and there’s always someone to blame. It turns out, and we wouldn’t expect someone of Stephen Controy’s inexperience to have known this, but there’s a reason a business case is made before any implementation work is done.
Objectively, the NBN is faster than the Coalition’s plan, which for convenience sake I’ll call NBN Lite. However, this is all theoretical as NBN faces structural issues, sustained delays, cost blowouts and other delights. Part of the delays are inherent to a project of that scope and ambition; but equally, someone of that scope and ambition deserves to the done right, and done smart. Labor has failed on both these accounts, from the tender process to the late and half-baked business case, to the implementation phase.
So the question is, would you take slower speed FTTN connections if they were guaranteed, or would you hold out for FTTP connections if there’s no ETA but it’s a long, long, long time away?
This says nothing of the expected productivity gains under the FTTN connection, either.
I’ll say it again – a good policy badly executed is no better than a bad policy.
2) Gay marriage
Oh fuck you, all of you. Kevin Rudd voted against gay marriage as recently as September 2012. It’s only when he sensed changing his public stance would garner him votes that he did it. Like Abbott, Rudd is staunchly Christian. Unlike Abbott, though, he’s into intelligent design. But look, the point is this – Rudd and Abbott both hold abhorrent, outdated, and terrible views on gay marriage. Neither would attempt to stand in the way of a tide of public opinion but only Abbott has conviction enough to own a shitty, evil policy in pubic.
“Rainbows and shit”. Again, fuck you.
3) Saving the planet
Oh! I know this one. It’s the greatest moral challenge of our time. Right?
People forget that both parties govern from the centre, and whilst they lean a bit left or a bit right, they’re pretty similar. Basically what you’re saying, you lazy armchair activists you, is that you like the way Labor talks about climate change. You certainly can’t support them in practical terms because like the Coalition, they’ve done fucking nothing. Oh, the carbon tax? It’s a revenue raising mechanism that has had how much impact on the environment? Oh, but it’s an aspirational policy? Excellent, I’m sure that will help cool down our winters.
4) Economic management
These clownshoes lost any credibility by calling the Economist right wing, and since you all shared it with your earnest nods and deep conviction, you agree with them.
The Economist is a liberal newspaper. It supports liberalism as an ideology. If you think liberal = Liberal, then you’re a bad person and should feel bad. The Economist has endorsed both Democratic and Republican, Labour and Conservative, Labor and Liberal leaders in the past. They support candidates based on how closely their policies align with the Economist’s agenda. I appreciate for middle class Labor voters this is a terrifying prospect but it can happen.
In any event, capitalising on a mining boom is hardly good economic management, and if people forget the union agitation from 2007-2010 then, well, whoops. How much lost productivity was there then?
Labor’s been lucky that there’s a commodity boom but like the Howard government, they’ve really not done anything radical in this area that warrants a “good economic manager” title. Their reckless spending on poor ideas is hardly an endorsement in this area. Look at the Education Revolution. Schools were told they could have one of three new buildings. They weren’t given discretion on the spending, they were given a one size fits all policy and told to deal with it. Instead of missing out, many took on a second school hall. Hardly great work.
It’s misleading to credit the state of the economy to governments unless they substantially deregulated parts of it.
And the best bit;
“Labor… give a shit about people and communities and, usually at least, create policy that’s informed by evidence instead of ideology.”
Bullshit. And anyone who shared this and didn’t critique this breathtaking idiocy explicitly supports this statement. Both parties filter evidence through ideology when making policy. It’s a simple fact, and if you disagree then I suggest you cut back your acid intake substantially because you are trippin’, fool.