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28 November 2014

Suicidal hubris or a trick up the sleeve?

Has this federal government lost its grip on reality, fooled by its own rhetoric, destined for a grisly political death or do they have a grand game changer ready to be unleashed?

The Abbott Government seems to be on a mission to systematically annoy, exploit or degrade as many pockets of the Australian electorate as they can in one term of government. But for a party that regards the power of office as an end in itself, they appear to be running a flawed strategic agenda.

Let’s not kid ourselves, this bunch really do want to get themselves re-elected. They’re not a squadron of kamikaze neo-con pilots, biting off the last piece of ideological territory before their poisonous political movement crashes to its inevitable death. They are not that stoic.

Who can forget the embarrassing three year tantrum Abbott threw when Julia Gillard beat him to the punch, negotiating her way to minority government?

The madness we are witnessing are the actions of a government that thinks it belongs in power. The men in blue ties hold every hope of being re-elected. They may even be under the impression that the things they are doing are contributing to their chances of re-election.

Since coming to office this government has waged vicious attacks on our most vulnerable, acted as an unabashed lobbyist for our most harmful and moribund industries, ignored, denied and chastised science, killed off promising new industries, skipped their way excitedly into a religious war, ignored a global health emergency, defamed global leaders, pursued nasty political vendettas, punished its detractors and nobbled our national broadcaster.

And they’ve done it all without whiff of charisma. The people inflicting these horrible wounds are not classy, well-spoken, smart practitioners of the dark arts. No! Our tormentors are a ramshackle group of misfits: a punch drunk Luddite who struggles from word to word in every sentence he delivers as he gaffs his way across the domestic and international stage; a hateful, angry, glutinous, cigar-smoking leaner; an eighteenth century dandy with a nasty streak wider than the gap between rich and poor; an extreme Christian zealot who thinks crimes against humanity are not quite harsh enough; an asbestos defending, globe-trotting lawyer who rates a mean stare amongst her greatest attributes; and a smooth talking could-have-been hero of the Australian centre who lately has taken the strange step of selling his soul on national television in defence of the man whose job he covets.

Ramshackle? This mob are an outright circus of evil clowns and it makes the pain, torment and burden just that much more difficult to bear.

But bear it we must. And we also must, apparently, tolerate the fact that all of these crimes against Australia and what we stand for are committed within an atmosphere of dishonesty and hypocrisy that has never before plagued our land of sweeping plains. We are served undergraduate linguistic gymnastics, developed by the Abbott Ministry of Truth, for which we pay millions, designed to convince us that black is white, up is down and herpes is good for us.

And yet, be assured, this mob expect to be re-elected next time around.

Can the support they receive from Rupert and his anti-democratic, anti-truth attack dogs be that reassuring? Is Abbott and his gang of shifty fiddlers betting the farm on the power of Bolt and friends to spin their lunar right, IPA-inspired agenda?

Murdoch certainly has been putting his best foot forward when it comes to his little game of telling people what to think and who to hate. To give some perspective, Bill Hayden, Whitlam’s last Treasurer, recently told Wayne Swan that Murdoch’s current behaviour was ‘three to four times worse’ than at the time of the dismissal.

That’s heady stuff. But it’s still hard to imagine that our government of power-hungry, ideological vandals could be so trusting. Would they really put all their eggs in one basket? Murdoch may have cranked up the mendacious absurdity, but his readership is declining rapidly at the same time as the Fifth Estate is gaining competence, credibility and readers.

Either this government is drunk on hubris, fooled by the ease of their 2013 election win with misplaced confidence in the support of the world’s most evil media ‘empire’, hurtling their way towards what the polls have long suggested will be a landslide loss in 2016. Or they have one last, grand nasty trick up their sleeve; a devilish plot to frighten, threaten and corner an under-informed public into voting for them again.

Let’s hope it’s the former and that the damage done in the meantime can be reversed, because trying to imagine what that devilish plot might be is enough to send shivers down your spine.