Nov 22, 2007

We interrupt this whatever for some politics...

... because apparently, politicians have now decided that if you can't beat The Chaser - join 'em.

That's right, those howlingly funny Liberal tricksters in the Sydney seat of Lindsay decided to launch their own election prank on voters - distributing bogus flyers purportedly from a group called "Islamic Australia Federation", urging people to vote Labor because they support the Bali bombers and back construction of a controversial mosque.

Now I could be mind-bogglingly outraged by this insidious and nasty play on race and religion intended to divide a community for short term political gain. I could follow the likes of Channel Nine political commentator Laurie Oaks, who gave those involved a giant serve on the 11 o'clock news this morning.

But what really gets my goat, what really boils my stew, what really gets me in a hump of lovely lady lumps - is that this is the Liberals' idea of a joke. The suggestion appears to be that the Liberals are a bunch of highly-intelligent satirists with a sardonic wit dryer than John Clarke's - and we're all just too thick to get their incisive political commentary.

Current member Jackie Kelly - who's conveniently retiring at this election, and whose husband is implicated in the dodgy pamphlet drop - this morning described it as a Chaser-style prank, apparently with a completely straight face. What next? John Howard drops the c-bomb then says "Well, they say it on Newstopia!"?

At what point are the Liberals going to realise that as a party, they don't do satire? They are a strictly ABC 6:30pm timeslot affair. Remember the old British sitcoms they used to show before the news, usually starring Penelope Keith, or perhaps Patricia Routledge? I can just imagine Mr Howard rolling in his chair at the wacky antics of Hyacinth Bucket ("It's pronounced 'Bouquet", Janette!"), or Tony Abbott applauding plucky Felicity Kendall in The Good Life. Sure, there's a lot of feel-good stuff there, but hardly razor-sharp satirical comedy.

Supposedly Peter Costello's a big fan of Get Smart, but I am yet to hear him pull out a "Would you believe... it's been a giant cock-up?" The only thing they could lay claim to is that this whole episode sounds like it could be something out of Yes, Prime Minister, but somehow I don't think they'd take that as a compliment.

So while you're weighing up your options at the ballot box on Saturday; while you're carefully considering each party's commitment to the environment, infrastructure, education, industrial relations, interest rates, the war in Iraq and fighting the zombie scourge - please don't forget about comedy. In this time of global tumult, we all need a good laugh - and we need somebody in charge who knows what good humour is.

Of course, neither of the major parties can claim the title "King of Comedy". That surely must go to Pauline Hanson, who's current tilt for a Senate seat - and the possibility people might support her - is surely the biggest joke of all.


  1. Oh Nat, LOL.



  2. I think that you would really enjoy the blog of a friend of mine. His name is Nash, and his blog is here -

    His latest entry particularly reminded me of this blog, and vice versa.

    If you get a chance, check it out. Hope you enjoy!

    -Peter (the guy who you interviewed about bums at Impro Mafia one time)

  3. It is clear to me that you spent WAYYYYYY too much time watching british comedy as a kid (older kid)

    I am expecting a Yes Minister parody/parallell to be drawn soon... Or is that too simple!!!

  4. G'day Nat

    As someone who lives in the electorate in question, I don't think that it made any difference to me about who I voted for.

    If she didn't retire, I think that Jackie Kelly would have been defeated anyway in her own right. This stunt will not help the Liberal candidate.

    Desperation is a stinky cologne and this particular act reeked of it. It was almost like sitting on a life boat of the Titanic and yelling out for dear life as the life boat capsizes, hoping for a miracle.

  5. Hi Erk,

    Man, I hope you're right about with the Titanic analogy...

    I can't make up my mind about who I think will win this election (being 11:15am Saturday as I type this)... but I'm just more and more concerned about the idea that John Howard could be PM for another year or two...

    He has been Prime Minister since I was 15 years old. It doesn't seem right somehow that my entire late teens and 20s should be spent under one PM...

    But yet I have many friends my age who all earn a fortune and are conservative voters. It saddens me to think that the concerns of my fellows could be so selfish, relating only to their own pay and tax cuts. They are not selfish people, but there's something about earning a lot of money that sometimes changes people mysteriously. Or maybe they were always like that, it's just I never noticed it until my income dropped far below theirs.

    I want a broader, more inclusive The white middle-class family model does NOT represent all Australia, even if it does include me. This is probably the one area where I do NOT wants things to be all about me. ;)

  6. Nat, one has to wonder about the policies of both of the major parties. As I explain in my blog on the post I wrote yesterday "Australia Votes Tomorrow", it is basically a two horse race.

    I had a think about the major policy announcements and what affects me as a single guy in his early 30's with no kids.

    While a tax cut would be welcomed, what else affects me?

    Baby Bonus? No.

    Child Care? No.

    Education? No.

    Work Choices? Not as much as the unions would have me believe, I'm on a state award.

    Everything seems to be geared towards the mum, dad, 2.1 children and the white picket fence. If you don't fit into that category, is it too bad?

    I'll be happy when this election is over and as someone who has some politics interest, I'm sick of the whole thing. I can only imagine what people who don't care think?

    My tip: Kevin 07 will be moving into the Lodge. Why? Mainly for the reasons you mention - JH will lose it rather than KR winning it.

  7. Hey Erk,

    Well I'm watching the results come in at the moment, and it's looking like a big swing to Labor. Still, I won't call too early...

    As for policies - you're right. Both parties target to "families" as you say. I have no children so I benefit from very little on either side. ;)

    The Howard government has given me two things that I can name: the first home owners' grant of $7000, and a few hundred dollars' worth of super co-contributions.

    It will be interesting to see what Labor has to offer the "kidults"...

  8. Morning, Nat

    I think last night's results (that I slept through - I hate super duper early mornings!) could be a good thing for the country. Instead of the government, the opposition and the unions spending vast amounts of coin debating and re-debating IR through ads, I hope that they can get on with their respective jobs.

    Have you seen the You Tube video that is on the front page of my site? Very funny stuff and how true!

    I haven't digested everything yet but we will have to wait and see what happens to us. Kidults unite! ;)