Features Australia

September 7 is our Spring Clean-up day

Let’s jettison all the rubbish that plagues Canberra

17 August 2013

9:00 AM

17 August 2013

9:00 AM

Spring is in the air, even though it’s still winter. During these past two or three weeks Sydney has bathed in gorgeous sunshine, the frangipanis have started to bloom and bikini-clad girls are already appearing on our beaches. Bliss. This is July and August? You gotta be kidding me. Must be climate change. If so, bring it on. I’m ripping my solar panels off the roof, tearing up my subscription to Clean Renewables Weekly and installing a large dirty brown coal generator in the backyard if it means spring comes sooner. Of course, it does mean we’ll all have to do our spring cleaning a little earlier, too.

Co-incidentally, there is also a Spring Election happening in a couple of weeks; the first September federal election since the 1940s. Now, I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that there is, just possibly, a very slight chance that, in the absence of some extraordinary and unforeseen event or other, then maybe, well you never know, the Coalition might — with a bit of luck — just sneak back into power on 7 September.

In which case, this year I’m looking forward to a Spring Clean of a more political nature, as Australia sweeps Kevin Rudd and Labor out of the back of the Garage of Governance and tips them into a large wheelie bin and consigns them to the General Council Clean-Up of history. I’m already getting the black bin-liners ready, and a couple of sturdy brush-head brooms. Remember, if you’re doing a proper Spring Clean you have to be ruthless. No room for sentimentality. All the useless stuff must go.

First thing I’d like to see tossed out once and for all is that infuriatingly condescending habit that Labor politicians have of ‘smirking & chortling’ at people who are asking them a perfectly reasonable question. Such as: Reasonable Question: what have you done with all our money? Typical Answer: ‘smirk & chortle’ followed by inane and inaccurate comment about the GFC or ‘overseas circumstances beyond our control’. Or: Reasonable Question: why can’t you just admit that you got it wrong first time around? Typical Answer: ‘smirk & chortle’ followed by more lies about the Sri Lankan civil war.

Next into the wheelie bin goes ‘compassion’. Normally, they don’t allow you to throw highly toxic matter into the clean-up bins, but we’ll hide ‘compassion’ under some of Labor’s other noxious substances and hopefully nobody will notice. ‘Compassion’ in the hands of Labor has proven deadly. Watching Adam Bandt and the insufferably smug Penny Wong arguing on Q&A recently about whether it was Labor or the Greens who could best lay claim to being ‘compassionate’ on the subject of asylum seekers was enough to induce severe vomiting, migraines and diarrhoea.

Penny Wong: ‘I wish the Greens would stop suggesting that they are the only ones with compassion. There is a lot of compassion inside my heart when I look at this issue, and I wish that there was an easier solution. But I do think compassion is owed… to those who are drowning.’

We should also toss out all the dodgy budget numbers, while we’re at it. I’ve thought about this long and hard. Years ago, numbers were really important, even the slightly dodgy ones. When Peter Costello or John Howard gave us numbers they were usually worth something — at the very least the paper they were written on. Sometimes a lot more. Certainly, numbers in those days were something you could hang your hat on. But no longer. Labor have so comprehensively trashed all the fiscal and monetary numbers that they’re, well, just junk really, cluttering up the back of the garage and leading to endless, pointless rows. How does an $18 billion deficit that was a $1.1 billion surplus become $30.1 billion in ten weeks? Will the NBN cost $37 billion or $94 billion? Out with the lot of ’em and let’s start from scratch and get a whole new set of numbers when we can next afford to.

Phony moral superiority has to go too. It’s been hanging around for years now and getting whiffier and whiffier by the day. All that ‘we’re doing this for the planet’ stuff just doesn’t cut it any more. Out! Equivalence. I’ve been looking for an opportunity to chuck this stuff out. First there’s ‘moral equivalence’ — that odious habit many on the left have of equating, say, building retirement villas on disputed land in the West Bank with, um, gassing your citizens with chemical weapons. Then there’s ‘numerical equivalence’, where those of seriously limited intellect within the Labor party see no difference between Treasury predictions under Peter Costello continually being ‘wrong’ — that is, under-estimating, in our favour — with Treasury predictions under Labor continually over-estimating, to our endless detriment.

Finally, there’s the odorous ‘political equivalence’. Whenever anyone on the left gets caught out doing something smelly, the cry invariably goes up: ‘Well, they’re all as bad as each other.’ I don’t buy it, so I’m dumping it. I think we should get rid of all the old flip-flops, too. It’s getting harder and harder to know whose flip-flops belong to whom. They all look very similar to me, whether it’s the Liberals on Gonski and industrial relations or Labor on Nauru, the carbon tax and just about everything else.

Speaking of which, all those Labor scare campaigns are looking decidedly tired and worn out. Get rid of them; they just clutter the joint up and serve no purpose whatsoever. There’s even some old jars of Vegemite that have been used for holding more rubbish. Chuck ’em out. You may not agree, but I’d also like to dispose of recycled ministers. There are simply way too many of them, and they’re costing us a bloody fortune. Thanks to having sworn in so many so frequently as they kept swapping leaders, we’re going to be left paying the pensions of dozens of Labor’s failed and useless ex-cabinet members for years to come. It would be so much easier just to chuck the lot out on the pavement and maybe someone will come along and find a use for them, but I doubt it.

The beauty of a good spring clean is that it makes everyone feel a whole lot better. A fresh start. No more smug compassion and condescension. No more endless broken promises, backflips, fibs and deceptions. No more self-righteous, sanctimonious and supposed moral superiority. September 7 is Spring Clean-up day. Let’s enjoy it.

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