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459 Fitzgerald Street
North Perth, WA, 6006
Australia

NO MORE TONE

Tahlia Palmer: Steady Eye

NO MORE TONE

Andrew Ryan

Well dust me with a feather all gentle and true: this week we found ourselves with a brand new Prime Minister! No more Tone! Let us all bop in unison for the wonderful thing that is usurpation of a disliked dictator! Such excitement filled the air on Monday night this week (some bars in my vicinity were even proclaiming free drinks in celebration); such excitement at the downfall of an arseholic, fuddy-duddy national-leadership-failure of a man, four days shy of his ability to earn a Prime Ministerial pension no less (which would have been just under $600,000 a year; instead he has to suck up just over $300,000 a year (fuck off career politicians that shit ain’t cool if you’re not actually doing good things for the people in the country you’re “leading” who aren’t born rich)).

And when I say “filled the air”, I mean filled the communication pathways between digital devices and eyeballs all over the country (as well as international internet folk who follow the digital expressions of people who pay attention to Australian politics); holy shit was it a treat to be aware of #libspill in real time (and some might say that it is internet’s fault this happened, gasp omg technology).

And also, when I say “man”, I mean reptile.

THE POINT: Australia just experienced something very special, and very exciting. We just experienced the instatement of our fourth prime minister in two years, something that, as far as I am aware, has never happened to this colonial nation in the last 50 years of its 200 and whatever history. CRAZY HISTORY SIGNIFICANCE. Keep eyes and ears peeled for how this shit goes down from now on because we’re pretty well equipped to do proper democracy now thanks to the internet being so fast at information spreading…

Analysts and insider+insighters+all-round-thinkers probably saw it coming, but I don’t know if all the spectating+voting citizens did, though I reckon many wished for it, as pipe-dreamy as it may have been for the whole of Abbott’s almost 2 years in office. What a relief to the portion of humans who thought that he was a ridiculous joke; the man who decided that knighting the Queen of the entire Commonwealth’s husband was definitely a good idea, for whatever twisted reason he had; the man who bit in to an onion like it was an apple, presumably as a sacrifice to the overlords of Our Glorious Agricultural Industry; the man who said the words “Stop The Boats” way way way more times than the word “Compassion” in reference to humans seeking refuge from the problems of their homelands as they come to this landmass; the man who said “lifestyle choices” way way way more times than “sovereignty” in reference to First Nations people of this land having rights to live on their ancestral land despite colonial bullshit fucking up traditional ways of living, surely the colonial government owes them more than what is currently given now that we all at least kind of understand that First Nations got the true knowledge of how to treat land all clever and sustainable… gawd, to look in to that man’s mind would be a heavy, heavy trip…

But the little factoid that Malcolm Turnbull is the 4th PM in 2 yrs is an interesting one, because of the context of Australian history. Before 2008 (when Kevin Rudd was elected), John Howard was Australia’s Prime Minister for 11 years. One prime minster for 11 years. And then four Prime Ministers in two years. The last time an Australian Prime Minister served a full term was before the iPhone was invented.

There were 11 years of that Howard guy and his dudes (mostly dudes) doing their shit and bullying anyone who gave any sort of critique of what they were doing in to silence (by using funding cuts and career pressure; some information about that stuff has actually made me cry from the sheer, overwhelming sadness of being born in to a colonial nation that appears to give fuck-all shits about human and also democratic rights (see: this book)). I suppose that many people who were old enough to remember (or at least clock) the movements of all that time+shit had fair reason to give up on political care by the time Tony Abbot became Prime Minister (Disciple of Howard AND the Roman Catholic God as he is, and a charm-lacker to boot); all hope was lost etc, HE WEREN’T NO LEADER. Little did most people know that Internet opinions would take the place of true voting process in this heavy-connected world we now live in. Bootz. Slam dunk anti-Abbott internet crew.

The main cry: TONE IS EMBARRASSING.

Liberal Party social media interns or whatever would have reported back to the powers in the Liberal party that pretty much every vocal Australian on the internet was all like “omg cannot BELIEVE this guy is our PM what a fkn nonce” or “WTF IS HE ACTUALLY EVIL???” or “dude lay off the dog-whistling” or “wtf what is wrong with you” or something to that effect (and, you would hope, paid attention to protests on the street), unless the commenters/protesters were all “he’s a good, god-fearing man” or “STOP THE MUSLIM INVASION” or “fuckin’ useless tree-huggers should be shipped out/IF YOU DON’T LOVE IT THEN LEAVE” or something, but the latter opinions touch on out-right extremism and are not to be minded by anyone in politics who wants to be taken seriously by the rationally minded rest-of-public… and Turnbull is a mostly moderate leader, within his neo-liberalism at least, and it would seem that most Australians are quite politically moderate (median range within “left vs right”) soooooo…

We have a new Prime Minister.

As someone who has never considered voting for the Liberal Party Australia (or its coalition best-buddy National Party of Australia) I am very wary about the change (despite my excitement because of the change) simply because of the fact that I would never vote for that party. Why would I never vote for those guys, you may or may not ask? Because I think market regulations are v. v. important, for a range of reasons (to be explained some other time), and those guys wanna get rid of as many regulations as they can. Me and those guys are total opposites in that regard. The free market can suffer in its socially-disease-ridden-jocks for all I’m concerned; economic/entrepreneurial gain should not be of maximum importance when we’ve got future quality of life with a huge global population to think about. It’s hard enough to get by in the world without already-rich-families and/or corporations being able to pay for soooooo many things to further their monetary gains when smaller businesses (and not-for-profit organisations+community ventures) are struggling to meet their costs in order to help their fellow humans survive through economically-shaky technological changes as a result of that already existing industrial-money income/wage/class difference.

Global markets aren’t everything. Being able to provide and engage in a mutually agreed upon nice-time amongst your various communities could potentially be that everything that free-market isn’t. Or: each community has different needs in order to care for the humans within them, and each community should be afforded the ability to sustainably provide those things in a way that is not destructive to the communities on which they encroach outside their own. Mutually agreed terms: the way of the future. And longevity of natural eco-systems would probably be a really good thing to look after.

~~~

There are a few things I’ll be keeping an eye out for in #auspol spots now that Turnbull is Prime Minister, in the lead up to the next national election (because heaps of people in the know are predicting that Libs will probz come in for another term and we’ve got to look at things prrrrrettttty closely lest we fall further in to neo-liberal political-elite policy making trap for the next couple of years):

- how many public forums governmental politicians participate in in which they are not able to rely on pre-prepared statements (if there is heaps of that: GREAT. If there are the same as now (not many, if any), then BALLS TO THAT, IT’S THE SAME SHITTY CULTURE OF NON-TRANSPARENCY).

- anything to do with Australia becoming a republic

- everything to do with the internet

- everything to do with “Indigenous Affairs”::: most importantly: the government funded Recognise campaign, because Abbott was self declared Prime Minister “For Indigenous Affairs” but the things he backed went against all kinds of understandings of how to enact cultural safety for this land’s First Nations, and Turnbull has gotta reference that shit now that’s he’s taken over that weirdo position.

- paid parental leave

…the end.