The Null Device

Good news, bad news

The good news: The predicted collapse of the Greens, with the Tories preferencing Labor ahead of them and Rupert Murdoch declaring them a cancer to be cut out of the Australian body politic, did not happen. Adam Bandt was comfortably reëlected in the seat of Melbourne and online liberty champion Scott Ludlam might just have scraped into the last Senate place in WA (though it won't be known for weeks), despite the Wikileaks Party kicking him in the teeth in their preference card, after a clusterfuck of right-wing minor parties coalesced into a seat for the Australian Sports Party.

The bad news: The Coalition won by a landslide. Tony Abbott, a reactionary religious authoritarian who believes that climate change is “crap”, is Prime Minister, on a platform that can be summed up as “we'll have none of that here”.

The good news: The Coalition didn't manage to get control of the Senate, so they'll have to negotiate to have their reactionary platform passed into law.

The bad news: It looks likely that the Coalition plus the Religious Right (Family First and DLP) will, together, have a majority in the Senate. The main upshot of this is that the internet censorship system that was dismissed as a “gaffe” in the election is likely to materialise as a negotiating tactic (“Mr. Abbott, your industrial relations plan is anti-family. However, we could pass it if you give us a national mandatory internet filter blocking porn, homosexuality and blasphemous content.”) The other option, of Abbott striking a deal with the sizeable Green presence in the Senate, is, of course, utterly out of the question; one does not deal with un-Australian extremists.

So, yes, basically, Australia is fucked, at least to the extent that one was expecting it to be a modern, progressive country; at least for the next 3 years, probably the next 7, odds-on to be the next decade, and quite possibly however long it takes for the Greens to transmute into a party of alternative government. From now on, 2013 is pronounced “nineteen-fifty-sixtythree” in Australian English. The past has vanquished the future, and here comes a victory of shit.

Inner Melbourne, which reelected Bandt and almost sent a few other Greens to Canberra to join him, is a light in the darkness; a bit like Austin, Texas, or Barcelona in Franco's Spain. And as such, it can probably expect collective punishment; one part of that will be the razing of homes and parks to build freeways for outer-suburban Liberal voters to drive their 4WDs on. (Incidentally, all federal funding for public transport is to be scrapped, because “we don't do urban rail in Australia”. Which makes perfect sense, given that global warming is a load of black-armband Marxist crap, oil will be cheap forever, and if you start getting traffic jams, you can always build more roads and widen the existing ones.)

There are 2 comments on "Good news, bad news":

Posted by: Greg Sun Sep 8 15:03:00 2013

Are the Senate numbers changing or am I misreading them? I see ALP + Greens > LNP + Others.

I have also thought about the punishment-by-freeway that is likely to be inflicted on inner Melbourne for being the only Green electorate. Let them breathe diesel dust! With federal and state governments up against the Melbourne City Council and local citizens it actually might get ugly in this usually uneventful part of the world. Look out for major anti-Bandt dirt and anti-hipster propaganda in the Murdoch media as Fitzroy becomes Australia's scapegoat.

Posted by: acb http://dev.null.org/acb/ Sun Sep 8 19:01:03 2013

A few decades ago, Jeff Kennett did something similar in dropping the Grand Prix on St. Kilda, accelerating its transformation from a bohemian demimonde to the home of cashed-up bogans. Perhaps the State and Federal Tories' answer for the inner north will be to compulsorily acquire a few blocks and sell them at a bargain price to Hillsong for their new flagship megachurch with 10,000 parking spaces or something.

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