It must be the
end of Summer. The tennis is over, the cricket … well did it
ever really begin. The beaches are almost deserted at noon on
Wednesdays and the streets are full of tired looking mums
looking for parking spaces near schools. Ahh! That is Australia
in late January.
So while we
boguns, trogs and dropkicks get back into the world of work and
weekends without football, what is it the ruling class wannabes
have been up to over summer? Could I suggest plotting more of
Tucked away on
page ten, last Sunday’s Age newspaper had a little story about
the Young Liberal Convention held in Melbourne. That evening
Federal Health Minister, Tony Abbott, was featured on the news
bulletins spruiking his version of Jesus at the convention. He
gave Kevin Rudd a serve who immediately responded with the usual
smugness he manages to convey despite the homely visage
presented on his TV ads recently. However, back to the story.
The nightly news
carried Abbott’s little interpretation of Jesus and Rudd’s
response and that was about it. The Sunday Age carried the story
at the top of the page and it was eight columns wide. However
the real story from the convention, which was not covered at all
in any media I have seen, heard or read since, did not begin
until the bottom of column five.
Liberals are the breeding place for the future leadership of the
Liberal party (unless you’re a former merchant banker who can
afford to buy your way in). This earnest gathering of wannabe
rulers had some interesting things to say and some very
disturbing motions to pass.
When it comes to
blatant racialism the current crop of Federal Liberal and
coalition party members is hard to surpass. However, the Young
Libs seem to be giving their mentors a bit of a run for their
money. This is not the first time their racist, sexist
anti-Australian views have been exposed. Back in July 2006 the
ABC’s Lateline program provided documentary evidence of their
racist, sexist and homophobic ideology.
ignorant fashion the President of the Young Libs, Alexander Lew,
has this to say about Aboriginal culture and history.
“Aboriginal history is important and should be taught at our
schools, but you can squeeze 40,000 years into one lesson.” Not
be outdone by this rubbish, the overly hyphenated Miranda Airey-Branson
added insult to ignorance by claiming, “You go to Rome you see
the Colosseum … if you come to Australia, we have got really old
It seems that
this convention has revealed a little more of the workings of
the Liberals and how they talent scout for our future rulers.
First, gather a small group of bigoted and ignorant young people
together (who hopefully come from the wealthy elites) then set
them loose on issues they have no insight into or respect for.
The talent scouts will be on the lookout for those who can say
things, like Mr. Lew and Ms. Airey-Branson, and sound sincere at
the same time.
Not content to
demonstrate their utter contempt for the First Australians and
the legacy they have left us, they upped the ante and in a not
too veiled attack on the poorest within our communities passed a
motion that calls for the withholding of welfare support to
parents if their children don’t go to school.
notice that with little hope of secure, long-term income
producing work at the end of their school lives, the Young Libs,
secure in the knowledge that daddy, daddy’s mate or the party
will provide for them no matter how stupid they are, overlook
the key issue for school kids today. That is, “what’s the
point?” Unlike the wannabe rulers, the average school leaver can
no longer plan a long-term career path. Unlike the dickheads who
passed this motion, the families “out there on struggle street”
know they are being screwed but feel totally powerless to change
the system which represses them.
Finally, with a
wink and nudge to the Victorian Tobacco growers, some of whose
sons or daughters were no doubt in attendance, passed a motion
calling for the reintroduction of tobacco advertising. Now, that
sucks, if you’ll excuse the pun.
However, it was
not all doom and gloom. In what must have been a shot from
outside the right-wing, the convention did pass a motion to
reject the teaching of intelligent design. However after I
thought about this I realised that the probable reason they
passed the motion was that, given the amount of intelligence
displayed in the earlier motions and discussion, they found
little evidence to support the notion of intelligent design so
had no other choice than to pass the motion.
The Sunday Age
article ends with an abridged list of Young Lib alumni. These
include Peter Costello, Peter Reith, Andrew Peacock and
Victorian Liberal Louise Asher. The question remains, what are
we to make of this group of history deniers and racist, sexist
I guess the
contemporary political milieu gives us the answer. While the
summer news headlines were dominated by sports stars on and off
their respective playing fields, bushfires (which were almost as
destructive as the political climate) stories of petty crime and
salacious stories of ego and wealth, we didn’t hear too much
about the suffering of the poor among us. Nor did we hear too
much empathy for those who can’t afford the usual Christmas
cheer or those whose lives are held at the mercy of the racist,
sexist and homophobic religious right-wing nutters who rule us.
The fact that
our media failed to elevate the story of the Young Liberal
Convention and the ideology that drives them to the font page,
also highlights the failures of our corporate and mainstream
media to do the jobs entrusted to them. While they choose to
take the soft options of regurgitating press releases, they
repeatedly fail to deliver to us the truths so often hidden
behind closed doors or buried at the back of the dailies.
Summer is almost over and while some have made hay while the sun
shone, others, like the Young Libs have been sharpening their
knives in readiness to carve more pounds from our flesh. Their
ignorance is unforgivable. Our complacency that allows their
ignorance to fester is inexcusable. So, while there is a short
window of opportunity, we need to ‘out’ the Young Libs before
the long days end and cold hard reality of winter hits us.