Out of the Mouths of Babes

Posted in #ausvotes by skepdadblog on July 26, 2010
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I was watching the debate last night when my five-year-old son walked in, resplendent in jammies and carrying his bedtime book.  He jumped up on the couch with me (standing on my genitals in the process, as is his wont) and wriggled into the warm part under my arm, handing me the aforementioned book with a meaningful look in his eye.

We read a little before he asked me what I was watching.  I explained in a very non-partisan way about Prime Ministers and elections, and how the lady on the left was explaining why she should stay PM and the man on the right was explaining why he should become PM.  We watched for a little while, before he pronounced Tony Abbott as his preferred Prime Minister.

I asked him why, briefly wondering if he had in fact been reading The Punch online while I wasn’t watching instead of playing Lego Star Wars.  His reply?

“Well, the lady keeps telling lies.”

Touché, wee man.  Touché.


Dear Tony: Do you love your country or not?

Posted in #ausvotes by skepdadblog on July 23, 2010
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Dear Mr Abbott,

Australia deserves better than the ALP.  You and I both know that the LNP has what it takes to effectively run the country.  But here’s the problem – there are a lot of people who want to vote Lib, but won’t vote Abbott.  You know it, and it’s about time you stopped ignoring it.  You can’t spin your way out of it by airbrushing yourself out of leaflets and gurning on Hey Hey.  You need to do something big.

You can’t win.  Say it with me.  I. Can’t. Win.

But the Coalition can.

Stand up in front of a wall of Coalition MPs – as many as can be mustered, and anyone not there had better have a cast-iron excuse – and state something like the following:

My fellow Australians,

The Liberal National Coalition has the best blend of experience and sensible, well-considered policy to lead this great nation.  Unfortunately, it is increasingly clear that the Australian people are concerned about my ability to perform the duties of the Prime Minister to the standard they expect and deserve.

Ms Gillard is a formidable opponent, and to be frank, if she were leading the Liberal Party I would follow her willingly.  Unfortunately she leads the Labor party, which has no meaningful policies and has spent the last three years taking Australia backwards.  As Prime Minister, she would do what she does best – talk, full of sound and fury and signifying nothing – while the Labor backroom pulls the strings.

Australia deserves a responsible, open and progressive government, and that means the Coalition.  However, Australia also deserves a strong leader with popular support.  I regret that I am not that leader, but I cannot deny it.

It is thus with a little embarrassment, but firm resolve, that I announce my decision to stand down as leader of the Liberal Party.  We took an unpopular candidate to the election in 2007 and it hurt the nation greatly.  I could not in all conscience allow a repeat of that mistake.

My personal regrets are cancelled by my intense pride at announcing [Malcolm Turnbull|Joe Hockey] as the new, unanimously supported leader.  You all know him, and you know that there is no person on any side of politics more capable of leading this nation.  [name] will see this country right and represent Australia on the international stage as an exemplary Prime Minister.   I ask that you join me in giving him your full support – not at the next election, but at this one.

So now, as the Labor Party sharpens their spin pencils and starts drafting their next fear campaign, I give you our new leader to talk about reality and grown-up policy.  Ladies and gentlemen, [name].

Gracious, displaying immense strength of character and demonstrating to the public that what matters is the nation, not feathering your nest.  Do it in exchange for a choice portfolio, or a nice ambassador’s post, or whatever.  Just do it.  You’ve only got few weeks left as the leader of the opposition anyway, why not go out honourably instead of in disgrace?

The ALP will go after the Libs for changing leaders again; that’s why you need all the MPs there to say that it was open, voluntary, unanimously supported and in the interests of the nation.  No backstabbing.  No faceless union heavies.  Mea culpa.  What matters is the nation, and you’re prepared to make that sacrifice.

It hurts to say, but Tony: you’re our only hope.

Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.

Riding the Nepotism Train to Voteville

Posted in #openinternet,#skigate by skepdadblog on February 17, 2010
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What has our favourite senator been up to lately?

Now I’m not saying that Conroy is corrupt – Tony Abbott says that far better than I could – but he’s certainly no stranger to “private meetings with stakeholders”.  Remember when Conroy privately briefed the Australian Christian Lobby – and only the ACL – on the results of the filtering trial before announcing the filter legislation?

I’m confused about this use of the term “stakeholders” too.  Stokes and the ACL clearly have a vested interest in the proposals.  But aren’t they the ones benefiting from them? If you decide you’re going to raid your dad’s wallet to take your girlfriend to dinner, should you consult your dad or your girlfriend?  Britney’s thinking about the delicious lobster.  Dad’s thinking about the mortgage.  As your hand closes around a couple of fifties, you’re thinking about the sweet lovin’ after dessert.  Britney’s a firecracker, but that don’t make it right.

Surely the Australian taxpayer is a more important stakeholder as we’re the ones actually footing the bill with our hard-earned battler dollars.  Where’s our private briefing?  Where’s our consultation?  As usual, we’re the suckers who do the work, pay the bills and watch while Conroy uses our money to buy a solid gold ticket on the nepotism train to Voteville.

Not my vote, Conroy.  Not my vote, Kevin.  How do you sleep at night?