|Man in the middle|
Traditionally, what has separated Left from Right on the political
spectrum is one's agreement with the sentiment
according to his abilities, to each according to needs.
Statists on the left of Australian Politics (the ALP) have actively promoted
policies that reward the creation of need, whereas the statists on the right
(the big-L-Liberals) have focused on buzzwords like 'incentivation', which
pretend to reward the creation of wealth.
It's pretty clear why leftists had to be statists - only an all-powerful
could possibly make decisions about what someone's 'abilities' and 'needs'
were, and redistribute wealth accordingly. But it wasn't so clear why those on
the right had to favor government control over personal choice.
Regardless, the poor voted ALP, the rich voted Liberal, and the
middle-class voted for the candidate with the most charisma.
But then something unthinkable happened. Australia voted for a short, bald,
ugly man with a hearing aid and the charisma of a used dishcloth. And he stayed
Prime Minister for over a decade. Little Johnny might be an embarrassment
overseas next to the Texan gun-totin' stature of George Dubya Bush, or even the
easy-going likability of Tony Blair, but he's our embarrassment, and
we like him. And at least he's better than that rabid dyke across the Tasman.
Of course Little Johnny still suffered the slings and arrows of cries that
he was supporting 'the big end of town' over the 'the little guy', but in fact
it was the blue collar who turned to him. Times were so good, and so many
people were upwardly mobile that the workers became 'aspirational voters', and
were reluctant to impose punitive taxes on a class which they hoped to belong
Whether this mobility-between-classes happened as result of leftist
egalitarian policies, or merely as a result of the choice which greater wealth
offered is something that historians will be rewriting for centuries, but it
The ALP, bastions of the unionized working man where percieved to have turned their backs on the
workers party, who joined the blue-bloods in voting for the blue ribbon party.
Which is why Kim (Fatboy) Beazley, the champion of the non-statement, the
non-policy, prolix proliferator of pap, has made a decisive move - for the
middle! In his budget reply, he made 'a pact with middle Australia' and promised to
give them child-care places in school, and fast broadband.
Of course, private schools haven't seen a commercial opportunity in
providing child-care on their premises, so it seems unlikely that people are
willing to spend their own money to fund it. However, if that money is taken
from them in the form of taxes, it becomes economically worthwhile. Obviously.
An all-knowing Government can make better decisions than mere individuals.
And as for broadband, the competitive environment seems to be doing a
pretty good job of providing that at ever-reducing cost. Presumably Kim intends
to re-nationalize Telstra, and pump billions into the company to build a
government operated and controlled network. And it would be government
controlled - no surfing for porn on Kim's network. Kim will force ISPs to
offer porn filters, and anyone who requests an unfiltered feed will have to
identify themselves in writing.
But that's not all. Fatboy will also re-ban 'unfair dismissal'. Apparently
someone spending money to buy labor shouldn't be able to choose to buy
it elsewhere - or at least a government body will make sure that the choice was
Clearly, the government knows what's best for you.
Fatboy is continually fighting choice. Unfortunately for Fatboy, his
approval ratings have slumped below those of Julia Gizzard, Kevin Rudd, and
even the ever-smirking Peter Costello. The only person that Fatboy beat seems
to be The Rottweiler - Simon Crean. Kim is unphased, insisting that it is not
a popularity contest.
Well, actually Kim, a democracy is just that. Loser.