No, Really?

Tony Abbott was in the news again yesterday. And this time, I’m going to take the lying, scheming, opportunistic, arrogrant little toerag at his word. I’m going to assume that he was actually being as honest as Andrew Bolt would like us all to believe that he was.

I’m going to assume that he really does glory in the sobriquet of “Dr No.”
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Here we go again

This week’s outrages – and by that I mean outrages particular to this week – were two in number for me:

Baillieu plans to go after nurses:
Not only does the Victorian Liberal government plan to slash nursing numbers and replace them with less well-trained and (crucially) less well-paid “health assistants”. There would still be nurses, but fewer of them, doing more work for the same pay (which would, of course, be a decline in real wages). That would be disgusting enough by itself.

Now we learn that the group representing the employers in the negotiations – presumably a law firm, although I have yet to see them identified anywhere – seems to be colluding with the government to try to provoke the nurses into industrial action that will allow the government to force a solution – and we’ve already seen how short-sighted that solution is. Welcome to Victoria, home of Crown Casino, and soon, a shiny new range of hospital casinos where you bet your life…

Doyle still a dick:
The Lord-Mayor of Melbourne, or as he now prefers to be known, Generalissimo Roberto Doyle shut down efforts to force the council to be accountable for the eviction of the Occupy Melbourne protest from City Square. Legal action is pending, however, and I can’t be the only one who wants to see the big bully blubbering like a spolit child who’s just been told “No” for the first time ever. Again. (He still holds the record for sulkist concession speech in Victorian politics from his record-setting failed attempt to become Premier back in 2002 – largest loss by the Libs ever. Those were the days).

We have a Carbon Price:
It’s a start. It is not, however, any of the things that hyperbolic Opposition members and the even more hyperbolic people who vote them have described it as. Well done, at last, Julia.

Public Service Announcement: Right Makes Right – or does it?

Before we go any further, let’s get one thing straight: the title of this piece is incorrect in every conceivable manner save one: it’s analogy to “might makes right”, and the self-justifying arrogance embodied in that belief.

Being right – saying or thinking the right things (whatever your particular sphere of political belief defines as “right”) – does not automatically your actions right. But it’s truly amazing how many people seem to believe it does. There are true believers in this one at both ends of the political spectrum, from the left-wing hypocrites who think that being morally right excuses vandalism to the right-wing hypocrites who believe in the Ten Commandments, but only for everyone else.

There’s a particular style of political activism that distinguishes itself by thinking that being morally right means that your actions are, by definition, moral. Whatever they might be. So it’s okay to, for example, kill people in order to prevent the “murder” of abortion; or to provoke the police by every means up to and including physical violence, and then scream that it’s “police brutality”.

If you’re going to go around telling people that you’re right, and you know what’s best for them, and so on, get a clue: saying this sort of thing means you should be held to a higher standard of moral conduct, not a lower one.

This applies to you whether you’re a cop or a protester; whether you’re Richard Dawkins or Pope Benedict. If you’re right, then don’t tell us: show us.

“Thank you” – an open letter to assorted ALP members

Dear politician,

When I think of the hard work and long nights that the Gillard government has put into the incredibly difficult task of devising a system of handling the arrival of refugees on Australian territory that is even more corrupt, dehumanising and inhumane than the notable sadists of the Howard government could devise, it just makes me wish that you’d used all that time and energy doing something better for our country. Like killing yourselves.

Anyway, congratulations on winning the race to the bottom, and I look forward to your party’s future slide into irrelevance.

If you’re at all curious as to what I’m currently insulting politicians about, it’s the Malaysian Solution. For more information, I recommend you check out the post Malaysian deal a test for us, not for the government at The Conscience Vote.

My WikiLeaks Wish List

Daniel Ellsberg was a military analyst employed by the RAND Corporation, when he leaked the doccuments that became known as The Pentagon Papers. They were published by the New York Times on June 13, 1971 – at the height of the Vietnam War. It was a scandal in its day, and the 7000 pages worth of documents leaked by Ellsberg represent the largest such leak in history.

Until recently, that is. No doubt you’re aware of the recent disclosure of 9000 pages of similar materials – more Pentagon documents, this time relating to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan rather than Vietnam – by WikiLeaks.

Naturally, this led to comparisoms of Daniel Ellsberg and Julian Assange. And The Washington Post took the step of asking Ellsberg about it, and he contributed a wishlist of four leaks he’d like to see on WikiLeaks.
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4 Good Reasons Why You Should Vote

Let’s get one thing straight, right at the start, okay? This is not me telling how to vote, this is me telling you why you should engage in the exercise of your democratic franchise. Because there are many people out there who seem to think that not voting is somehow a better idea than voting, which is why the average American president gets elected by about 25% of the US population.

So take a deep breath, prepare yourself mentally and physically, and let’s move on.
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In reply to #utegate – Making Political Scandals Australian

Like every other fan of Australian political theatre, I’ve been following the Ozcar affair. But I really object to it being called Utegate. We’re Australians. We don’t have -gates. That’s an American shorthand for a political scandal. We have our own term for these things, or at least, we should.

So I propose that we innaugrate a new, Australian cliche: The Overboard.
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The (Alaskan) Lumberjack Song

Something new for the Daft Lyrics Database: a newly written filk piece, to the tune of Monty Python’s Lumberjack Song:

(Presented with apologies to people named Jones, people named Tomlinson and some people named Palin.)

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