I was watching Q&A’s pollie-heavy edition “The Queensland Election” this week, hopeful for a illuminating stoush about the Queensland election result. Question 1 was put “Now that Labor has effectively been killed in Queensland, is it possible for the party to survive off the rest of the country?” and the panel rotated to Graham Morris, ex-Howard campaign manager.
Now Morris, through no fault of his own, looks and sounds like a 250 year old Goblin who has just sculled a quart of Claret. Morris’s answer, produced below, was several times interrupted with loud laughter from the studio audience as his comically bug-eyed delivery and the hysterically inbred stereotypes of his content, contrasted so pointedly with the refreshing normality and appeal of the Green’s Senator, Larissa Waters, two seats away, whose party and leader, Bob Brown, constituted the point of Morris’s attack.
The labour, L-A-B-O-U-R, vote and support has just collapsed. It is down under 30 per cent, which means in everywhere from here on in they’re going to have to rely on the Greens and that is really hard. You know, how do you tell a truck driver that he’s got to get into bed with some of Bob Brown’s supporters. How do you tell a brickie’s labourers…
CRAIG EMERSON: I’m going to leave it alone.
LARISSA WATERS: Yeah, I’m not touching it either.
GRAHAME MORRIS: How do you tell a brickie’s labourer that, you know, some tree frog is more important than his family’s jobs.
Morris was oblivious that it was in fact the Green, Ms. Waters, who looked and sounded rational and appealing, while he looked and sounded like a bigoted circus freak forcefully defending the necessity of using children to sweep chimneys.
The above effect was replicated by George Brandeis’ extended impersonation of a vampire cousin of Dr. Evil while sitting next to the articulate and fresh Liberty Sanger, descibed as a ‘Labor Lawyer’. She is married to Victorian Labor Senator David Feeney.
Which got me thinking about Clive Palmer’s hideously less-than-magnaminous victory spew to the media on Qld election night, which the Courier Mail described, accurately, as ‘an almost hysterical rant’.
Palmer himself, due to years of self-indulgence, now has the appearance of a besuited and overflowing sack of onions, stretched to the point of explosion, and his heart-felt response to the question ‘Has the LNP won too many seats ?’ was
No. We should get the lot.
…surely a concise expression of his personal ideology, with We replaced by I.
Palmer’s graceless and self-indulgent behaviour added ‘unashamed greed’ to a public face already shaded in as ‘several screws loose’ after his assertions that the Australian Greens were funded by the CIA, a statement which he has lately admitted was invented with the intention of transient political (which for Palmer means ‘personal’) gain. So let’s add ‘opportunistic liar’ to that list.
Palmer and Morris are key Lib/Nat operatives. Palmer is their No.1 donor and Morris is a senior strategist. Their behaviour and/or appearance and/or attitudes are light-years from that of your normal Aussie. I hope that both will spend much more time in public commenting as loudly as possible as they display a heart of the Coalition which is alternately rotten (Palmer) and bizarre (Palmer and Morris).
Nick Minchin must be chewing through his mobile credit trying to get Palmer to shut up and leave the talking-to-the-public to those trained in its art like himself and Abbott. But Palmer, a man of enormity in ego, size and wealth has developed a taste for public interaction. His 2010/11 advertising campaign over the Mining Tax crippled the ALP and he now apparently believes his Green-CIA-Link Horror was an adroit and subtle manouver which rescued the LNP from disconcerting pressure. Palmer is not so easy to sit down or shut up. Minchin will have to convince him money is at stake.
Great! Let’s hear more from Palmer. With any luck he’ll cost the LNP about 20 seats at the next Federal Election.
And finally, there’s Gina Rineheart. Well, she’s a female version of Palmer. Though not boorish, she’s just as greedy, just as self-obsessed and just like Palmer, titillated by the success of the mining tax campaign and enervated to see more of herself on the teev. And everywhere else. Hence at the macro level she’s bought a big stake in Fairfax and Channel 10 including a position on its board, and at the micro-level she’s started depositing her personal manifesto in public space.
In behaviour which can only appear normal to a gazillionaire buffoon, Ms. Rhinheart installed a poem of her own devising on a plaque on a boulder in a Perth street. Its not the poem-on-a-plaque itself which is weird, but the content of that poem which called for Australia to establish special economic zones to facilitate minerals export (I kid you not – in a poem) and Palmer-like, excoriated ‘political hacks’, no prizes or guessing who. The intriguing blog ‘The Worst Of Perth’ has pictures of the boulder and plaque including readable images of the poem and a serious artistic review of Gina’s muse.
Like Morris in his obliviously self-targeted critique and Palmer in his ‘almost hysterical rants’, Gina’s main target is the treacherous – yet though they know not, much more normal than them – Greens. In feminine type, Gina’s attack on the Greens is much more oblique and subtle than Clive’s, as it uses a typically inner-city Green mode of communication, public art, to convey her message. But there is something chilling about Rineheart’s excursion into Greensville. And it is this:
Rineheart’s poem and boulder, like the Dome Of The Rock on the Jerusalem Temple Mount colonizes a precinct previously belonging to others, does so with grandiose and profane boasts, and proclaims victory over lesser and conquered faiths.
It is the victory monument of the Jihadist.
I only hope that Gina’s Jihadic rants via Fairfax and Channel 10, like those of Clive who comports himself as fetchingly as Russ Hinze psychically controlled by Sir Les Patterson, will be repeated continuously and in such conspicuously poor taste as her boulder poetry so that the voting public can get a good ear-, eye- and gutful of the intellectual freakery which drives the Liberal and National Parties.
So, here’s hoping the coalition’s collection of circus freaks can prevent a LNP victory in 2013. Graham, Clive and Gina, over to you.