Diary Australia

Australian diary

2 July 2016

9:00 AM

2 July 2016

9:00 AM

I’m reminded annually when I’ve nothing to wear on St Patricks Day that green is not my colour. Also during election campaigns. April 18 and the Senate provides a double dissolution trigger. A July 2 election looms like a speck on the horizon. For political junkies, elections are like a new season of a favourite TV show. It’s only 6 days until Game of Thrones (or, in social media parlance, GoT) returns. I realise this election will span the entirety of GoT Season 6. By the time the PM visits the G-G, GoT has a head start. Favourite (bastard) son Jon Snow has been resurrected from the dead. Meanwhile, Adam Bandt talks about resurrecting the Labor/Greens coalition. Richard di Natale says the Greens are in great shape and will show themselves as the true opposition to the Coles and Woolies of Australian politics. The Greens are the wholefoods store – politically correct and much more costly. Di Natale highlights climate change and gay marriage as key differences. Turnbull and Shorten have their first debate at the People’s Forum where Western Sydney ‘undecideds’ ask the questions. David Speers and Laura Jayes seem genuinely surprised there were no questions on climate change or gay marriage.

Greens economic policy is to deliver social equality through higher taxes, increased public services, more debt, wind farms and closing the gap between the rich and middle class. And upholding Judeo-Christian tradition. They announce they’ll legislate weekend penalty rates so that people are paid more on the Lord’s Day and Sabbath than Jumu’ah. Surely that’s Islamophobic? It’s revealed Richard di Natale employed an au pair whom he paid $150 per week. Rookie error- if you’re going to fight class warfare it’s best not to keep servants. The following week the Greens announce their defence policy, essentially to cut spending and tell the USA to get stuffed. In GoT, Daeneyrs Targaryen shows how much you can do on a small budget, defeating Dothrakis with nothing but her bare hands, fire pits and no clothes. But that’s not real life.

It’s bush week. Gorilla assassinations, attack kangaroos and a woman killed nightswimming with crocs after a failure to legislate against stupidity. On-trend, Peter Whish-Wilson calls for sniper deployment to shoot dogs preying on Tasmanian penguins. Surely it’s simpler to allow recreational hunting of feral canines? No. Greens policy opposes hunting, preferring research on ‘more humane methods’ for managing introduced species. So no hunting and no snipers. Does he realise snipers require military training? A week later Whish-Wilson moves from penguins to finance, declaring the Greens will use their influence to force banks to sell their wealth management divisions. Sarah Hanson-Young gaffes on superannuation, confusing earnings with contributions and demonstrating not only complete ignorance on super but on money flows generally. My advice is don’t put SHY in charge of the forced divestments or she might accidentally make banks sell their philanthropic foundations instead.

In the home stretch GoT’s Jon Snow rustles up an army to challenge the brutal Ramsay Bolton and Cersei Lannister informs religious zealots she won’t take any more crap from them by letting her bodyguard tear one of them in two. In real life, a gay nightclub is attacked in a mass shooting by an Islamist extremist who hates homosexuals. (Tautology – all Islamist extremists hate homosexuals.) Usually terrorist attacks boost Coalition election polling, but the PM has another distraction after recently supping with Sheikh Shady, who preached homosexuality is evil, AIDS is divine retribution and Islamic Law punishment for sexual immorality (zina) includes stoning. Di Natale condemns the shady sheikh’s views by tarring the whole of humanity, declaring ‘those views aren’t confined to any particular religion’ but exist ‘across society’ and ‘different religious groups’ before changing the subject to marriage equality. Now, I love weddings and look forward to attending more of them when same-sex marriage inevitably becomes law, but there’s no comparison between not attending a wedding and attending a funeral. Maybe if Shady had opposed marriage equality the Greens would sue him under anti-discrimination laws and demand LGBTI awareness programs in Islamic schools, like they did with the Catholic Church. Jokes. They wouldn’t. Meanwhile in Sydney, the Greens allocate preferences to Fred Nile of homosexuality-is-a-mental-disorder fame, ahead of a gay Indigenous Liberal candidate.

Two weeks from polling day and I’m preparing to leave the country. Not in a fit of metaphorical pique but for real, for a wedding in Israel. Postal vote time. GoT is also drawing to a close. Snow defeats Bolton with a military strategy that may turn out to resemble the Coalition’s election strategy – pretty inept but nonetheless victorious. Bolton is finished off by a pack of killer dogs who haven’t eaten penguins in weeks. Landing in Israel to news of Brexit. SHY tweets it shows the danger of hyper-conservatives peddling fear. I recall Manor Farm was informed Napoleon ‘would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?’ Israel’s a little like Australia – no one cares about the Australian election. Lee Rhiannon’s few campaign utterances included describing Israel’s creation as a catastrophe. Here, rainbow flags are still flying from Tel Aviv Gay Pride 2016, the Middle East’s only gay celebration. The wedding is in Jerusalem, where for eons the 3 Abrahamic religions have co-habited and worshipped on top of each other. Today it’s protected by Israeli soldiers with machine guns who don’t take crap from religious extremists. And I realise my dress for the wedding is green.

The post Australian diary appeared first on The Spectator.

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