N.B The latest Newspoll has indicated the Tories were ahead of Labor 51-49.
What foul imbecility has come upon you? Do you remember why you jumped on the Kevin 07 bandwagon and delivered the Australian Labor Party a landslide election win after 11 years of toryism?
The Howard government rode the wave of the largest resource boom since World War II. Despite billion dollar surpluses, the Tories distinguished themselves by actually taking money OUT of our health and education systems. They took us to two unjust and unwinnable wars and their draconian treatment of refugees earned us the scorn of the United Nations. Not satisfied with the level of torment already forced upon the workers of Australia, the Howard government sought to ban collective bargaining and force the workers onto individual contracts designed specifically to allow employers to cut benefits with only the meanest increase of wage.
Every step of the way Tony Abbott, the Vampire of Warringah, stood applauding the little emperor. Howard’s faithful lapdog wanted, if anything, the industrial relations reform to go further. He has been harangued by the media, the ALP and the unions but refuses to rule out a return to Howard’s policy. It is only the name Workchoices he will concede is dead.
Consider also, this is the man who put his personal religious beliefs before his responsibilities as Health Minister when he obstructed Australian women from gaining access to the contraceptive drug RU486. If elected, the Mad Monk could put the fight for female reproductive rights back to the Stone Age. What possible use does a modern, enlightened Australia have for such a man? What possible desire could there be to see the workers breaking their backs for Tory overlords and women losing control of their very bodies?
And what has Kevin Rudd actually done to earn the scorn of these short-sighted swing voters who backed him so powerfully less than three years ago? Isn’t this the man who finally took the steps towards reconciliation the Tories refused? Isn’t this the man who abolished the cruelly titled Workchoices legislation? Isn’t this the man who actually listened to the Reserve Bank and independent economists and immediately implemented a stimulus package? Did he not save Australia from the brunt of the Global Financial Crisis with the Tories opposing every step along the way? Has he not re-engaged Australia with our Asian region through active participation in multilateral bodies? And now he is increasing the workers’ superannuation at the expense of the mining conglomerates so that even the most miserable Tory-voting miscreant will have enough money to live on in retirement.
But what about the Emissions Trading Scheme? Oh yes, what vitriol has been shot at the Labor Party over that issue. But who really deserves the blame for the failure of the ETS? Was it not Kevin Rudd and Labor who were forward thinking and leading the world in attempting to introduce this bill? Rudd’s commitment to the ETS caused him to concede to all the Tories eight demanded amendments. And which Tory insisted on these amendments? Tony Abbott! And now he is the loudest voice of all against any ETS. What more could Kevin Rudd have done? He introduced the legislation twice only to have the majority of Tories, driven by ideology not by science, to block it.
There were of course well-intentioned soft Tories who were willing to cross the floor. So who put the final nail in the ETS? The Greens! What possible good did they think could come from this? The Greens and the ALP could not together pass an ETS with tougher emission targets. So what have they done? They had a choice between a small but important step in the right direction or nothing at all. They choose nothing! It is not the ALP but rather the Greens with the blood of the ETS on their hands. What greater example of political irony is there than the Greens killing a pro-environment bill?
Of course the Tory base will always vote Tory. But the hundreds who took part in the latest Newspoll and the millions they presumably represent need to have a long think about what their fickle opinion could mean if it translates onto the ballot. A return of the Tories under Abbott will plunge Australia into a more conservative and backwards era than ever before seen. Make no mistake, Abbott is Howard’s protégé. The choice is quite plain as it was in 2007. The Tories will reintroduce their draconian IR laws, play a moralising role with female reproduction rights, exacerbate the ode of sorrow already suffered by displaced persons and abandon Australia’s attempts to reengage with international diplomatic bodies, not least the United Nations.
Rudd is only a moderate reformer, it’s true. But the choice is between a moderate reformer and a conservative apparatchik. The policies so far revealed by the Taliban of the Liberal Party are unsound, untried and unjust. Their pitiful and chaotic non-response to the Global Financial Crisis also disqualifies them from their once dubious, though persistent, claim to be good economic managers. So kindly think twice the next time one of Murdoch’s goons asks you which way you might vote come election day.
Your Sincere Well-Wisher
Benjamin Thomas Aquinas Jones