Election Season

12 03 2010

Soon South Australian’s everywhere will go to the polls.  It’s election season and politicians are out kissing babies and visiting places they would normally avoid like the plague to score cheap votes.  Signs have been erected at bus stops urging people to ‘Vote4You’ and all those annoying posters have been put up on street lamps around the place, with the particular candidate in a suit, sporting the faux grin, looking confident and, most importantly, competent.

And it’s that slogan, ‘Vote4You’ that’s the object of my current distaste.  You’ll see it around the place, on the static posters as bus stops and on buses, or you’ll see it on TV with the people jumping and pulling rebellious rock and roll-esque poses in order to connect with the young people of South Australia.  And just think about it for a moment; Vote–4–you.


Because last time I checked, I wasn’t the one going into parliament to vote on things such as whether or not the State government can attack freedom of association by first targeting unpopular groups such as the Bikies.  And let’s face it, we don’t get much choice in the matter.  Mike Rann has run the state with an iron fist since coming into parliament.  With an excellent Public Relations team preserving his public image, keeping the papers quiet, keep journalists on their toes so their too busy to be assignment with real issues and then allowing them just enough time, in a controlled environment, for Rann to get a final rebuttal to some opposing argument on a key issue.

Add into this the obscene focus on rebuilding the State’s hospital in front of the UniSA CityWest Campus, which has been the cause of so much mud-slinging between the two major parties, and it makes me sick into my own scorn — bottom line, lot’s of money is going to be spent either way.

Which brings me Isobel Redmond, who has just about as much charisma as Rann, zero.  She makes a point of walking Hindley Street late on Saturday nights to meet and greet all the youngsters out there and talk to them about her policies.  She even went so far as to be visiting Tea Tree Plaza to do the same to young people while they shop and suck their boost juice.

Rann has now promised ‘police-trained security guards’ for trains to improve the use of public transport.  They are to be armed with guns, batons and pepper spray.  Because placing armed, trained ‘officers of the law’ on public transport in a confined space is not going to get anyone killed, at all.

Yeah, that’s really going to go down well.  And I’m saying this as someone living in the Salisbury/Elizabeth area.

Which brings me to my point.  These people don’t care.  They’re focussing on getting re-elected so they can continue to enforce their particular brand of morality of morality on the rest of us.  Sometimes that morality comes in the form of Trevor Grace, other time’s it’s Rann kissing a baby somewhere in a city park.

So I end this by saying, simply, that I do not accept any of these candidates as my leader.  I do not want a leader and refuse to legitimise their positions.  In fact, our political leaders are no different to the Gang of 49, the Bikies Rann loves to hate and the ‘NewBoys’ street gang.  Only difference is that they wear less tattoos, more suits and employ a media management team.

So, when it comes time to perform my ‘encouraged’ democratic duty I will truly Vote4Me and by not casting a ballot.

Because only I can.

“They’re selling drugs to our kids!!11!1!1!!”

1 05 2009

Okay, so I’m going back to basics.  My original intention for this post was to attack the root of government with whatever logic I can muster, but I will admit that I’ve been redirected to attack a more prevalent strain of statist thought in our lives.  Something that runs global, no matter whether your from Australia or Timbuktu.  It’s a pandemic, once that has existed long before swine flu, bird flu, SARS or theocracy or any other disease out to find us and destroy us — and something that caught my attention today.

Drifting around the city between the university and the various other tasks I had to perform, saw my path impeded by a protest conducted by the Rebels, a bikie group looking to combat legislation enacted by the South Australian parliament that has been termed  the ‘anti-bikie’ legislation.  The legislation attacks freedom of association of an organisation when its members have been branded ‘criminal’.  But the protest itself meant nothing at the time, it was only after that it had any significance.

After getting home that I turned on the news and the farce played out.  As it turns out, during the protest the rebels had submitted a petition to a senator for the Democrats.  In a true show of journalistic integrity, the reporter narrating the scene of the handover described the document as ‘bizarre’ before explaining that it referenced the Bible and the Magna Carta while calling for a Bill of Rights.  There was a pause in the narration while the report cut to a seen of Mike Rann, talking to reporters who was making a deliberate attempt to lead the media by referring to the groups’ call for a Bill of Rights as absurd, on the basis that they ‘live outside the law,’ and, ‘are selling drugs to our kids.’  And then it hit me, like a diamond bullet through the brain (thank you, Apocalypse Now) the true disease is not this swine flu scare that’s sweeping the globe.  It’s this unrelenting faith in the powers at be, even when we know the bastards are out to screw us.

Take Obama, or ‘super-jesus’ as I’ve come to call him in conversation.  He’s very good.  Very photogenic, very eloquent and the main thing he has going for him is that whole, ‘he’s not Bush’ thing.  He’s go the Charm of Clinton and his slight-of-hand is better than Houdini.  People have this amazing faith in Obama.  It’s almost unquestionable.  Never mind that he is a politician and by the nature of his profession he is a professional liar.  He can continue bombing campaigns in remote Pakistani regions, exercise state privileges secured by Bush to cover his tracks, run up 12.8 trillion in debt in order to ‘combat’ a bad economy and even manage to piss of the island of Manhattan with his happy-go-lucky antics — and is still beloved by all!  Hell, in a world where wars are waged and people are dying of some misfortune or another, the fact that the Obama family adopted a new dog makes international headlines.

Then, to come a little closer to home, there’s Rudd.  Like Obama, he was swept into office on a mantra calling for ‘change’ while talking about ‘working families’ –the very same people who he’s going to have to tax in order make up what his government now owes.  The guy has managed to maintain, despite a bad PR rap recently, something like a 74-75% popularity rating.  No politician is ever that popular — the only possible explanation is that he’s decided to give away all the money he’s collected from everyone.  And I barely need to go through the list of stupid things this guy has done, but I will mention that his politics certainly makes me raise an eyebrow.

And now to bring it closer to home, there’s Rann.  He loves the media, the PR spin and you’ll see him in the centre of the action, talking to journalists, making absolutely outrageous claims about whomever his opposition happens to be.  If there’s anything to be known about Rann, he’s about as in touch with your common man as a lunatic is in touch with his sanity and that he sure as hell doesn’t give a damn about the individual liberty of South Australians.

Where ever you’re from, I’m sure you can relate to the caricatures of the political elite I’ve given.  After all, politicians of all shapes, makes and models, seem, at least to me, something akin to that dirty old uncle who makes you feel uncomfortable every time he comes over for dinner.  People know they’re creepy and what goes on behind closed doors is wrong.  Yet they still do as  they’re told when they’re threatened with the bogeyman.

Fuck ‘Alcopops’

24 03 2009

The state of Australian politics is truly amazing.  Political commentators don’t concern themselves with important issues, such as the introduction of anti-bikie laws that threaten the fundamental rights of each and every South Australian (and if Rann gets his way, every Australian).  No, last week saw political commentators up in arms regarding whether there should be an increased tax on, ‘Alcopops’ — sugary, alcoholic beverages that are colourful and popular among youths out on the town.

It was everywhere, in the news people couldn’t believe that these drinks were going to be sold cheaper to young drinkers who will proceed to get themselves drunk.  Only problem is, they forget that these same people are going to get themselves drunk no matter what — they’ll find something else to drink and it will be harder than ‘alcopops’.

Like me, any rational reader right now is going to be thinking, ‘So what? Who gives a fuck?’  That is, until I read other articles, watched interviews and began noticing the total number of public service announcements.  It’s amazing, in one day I had to suffer multiple anti-smoking ads, anti-obesity ads, anti-binge drinking ads, anti-speeding ads, anti-driving while stoned ads, anti-binge drinking ads aimed at teenagers, anti-drunk driving ads — and these were all funded by you and me.  Then there were the rants about the culture of binge drinking.

It’s incredible nannyism.

Apparently, a group of wrinkly old men, whom you have never met and probably never will, living in Canberra know what’s best for your body than you.  And are willing to decide upon the finer details of your lifestyle; if not through direct legislation than by recruiting a vast number of zealots to do their bidding.

Worse yet were the rants against the Australian culture of binge drinking which flared up once again.  Again and again it was chanted that we need to break this binge-drinking culture and that the government has failed in its duty to care for its citizens by failing to initiate taxation on a popular drink.  Never mind that the minimum drinking age is completely arbitrary, along with the age of consent.

Well, it all reminded me of a thought once expressed by the wise Shawn Wilbur somewhere; maybe we need to focus on making life bearable, on making it so people don’t have to drink to escape the reality of their life.  These are the people who drink to excess and wind up killing themselves in some accident, fight or from some other affliction.  And when you think about it, this makes sense; high school is a prison, work for many is a constant struggle to pay bills, pay the mortgage/rent, fill mouths and placate the taxman in an economy that is increasingly (some might say inevitably) going to shit with every scrawled letter of the parliamentary pen.  That’s certainly a reason to drink if I ever did hear it.  It’s then little surprise that anxiety and depression are common among our cities and that people are so willing to piss away their hard-earned cash on, well, the piss so that they may forget life for about 12 hours.

But mention this to any statist and they’ll immediately tell you that’s why we need new legislation to do x, y, z and hence solve these problems.  It’s an impossible battle against busy-bodies that wish to tell you what to do with your corpse.

The worst thing about it all is that people accept it.  They fall to enforcing the latest government instigated health initiative with the passion of the gestapo.  Someone else once remarked that if government were to ever tax beer, hence making it more expensive for the masses, then there’d certainly be revolution.  Somehow, I seriously doubt it.


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