It’s pretty much standard for politicians to suck up to their audiences.
If they’re talking to mining magnates, they tell them they’re the backbone of Australia. If they’re talking to farmers, they tell them they’re the backbone of Australia.
If they’re talking to factory workers they tell them they’re the backbone of Australia (and then they tell them they earn too much).
But when Tony Abbott told a room full of loggers that they were the ‘ultimate conservationists’, even that audience must have been reaching for its sick bag.
Seriously, people who cut down trees are saving them? As what? IKEA furniture?
We now live in a world where strong men mislead the public over the shooting and bashing of asylum seekers and wimps ask for the closing of detention centres. We live in a world where a AAA credit rating and one of the highest standards of living in the world spells an ‘economic crisis’. And now we discover that companies that cut down old growth forests are really hippies who are making the world a better place.
I don’t know why we’re bothering with a campaign to cut down on the amount Australians drink. Who needs drugs and booze when you can feel completely off your face just listening to Abbott?
Maybe our Dear Leader was confused. Maybe he gets along well with the forestry industry and finds their company stimulating. Maybe he meant to say loggers were the ultimate conversationalists. After all, we are talking about a bloke who said he wasn’t the ‘suppository of all wisdom’.
He got that right.
Greg Hunt, the erroneously named Environment Minister, has asserted that the Tasmanian forest to be removed from World Heritage Status wasn’t really up to scratch. It’s all messy with the wrong trees in it and stuff. (Some of the protected area has a combination of eucalypt forest over rainforest and is considered some of the most impressive in the world.) Mr Hunt feels that these messy, non-uniform trees are ‘detracting’ from the rest of the site, much like I feel his government is detracting from the rest of Australia.
Sure, some native forests may need to be managed to ensure introduced species don’t take over but you don’t chop down the whole bloody lot to do that. You don’t turn Australia into a neat little parkland with a tree or two dotted on it, sit back and say, “That’s better! All nice and neat!” What’s this government going to do next? Demand that the platypus is killed off because it clashes with the kangaroos?
This is conservation, Abbott-style.
On that logic, you can twist any old thing around to mean the opposite:
If loggers are conservationists, then Ivan Milat is a champion of population control;
Sure, Corey Bernardi said that same sex marriage would lead to people marrying their dogs but he’s not a horrid little homophobe. He’s an animal rights activist;
Gina Rinehart isn’t a greedy, arrogant mining magnate who wants to pay her workers $2 a day. She’s a human rights champion, freeing the working class from their addiction to possessions, like food and clothes;
Waiting days after you knew the truth about a young man who was murdered in a detention centre run by Australia doesn’t make you a wimp, it makes you a hero;
People who hunt for sport aren’t killers, they’re animal liberationists. What better way to free a duck from the yoke of human-induced suffering than to help it get to heaven that little bit quicker;
And Tony Abbott is a feminist because he said so. Stick that in your tampon and smoke it.
Abbott’s feminism is yet another beautiful example of his special brand of logic. He reckons that because Australia had a female Prime Minister and a female Governor-General, that means the “just about every glass ceiling” has been smashed. Ta-da! Discrimination against working women has gone! That’s why Abbott’s cabinet has only one woman in it.
The Australian Medical Association released a statement on women’s health on Wednesday, showing that more than half of all women have experienced some form of physical or sexual violence. Senator Michaelia Cash, the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women, let us know how great the report was and that the government would be working to reduce violence against women.
Does anyone else think it’s odd that our Prime Minister, who is the Minister for Women, and a newly proclaimed feminist was not at that launch? Senator Cash said she would be working on the report, as would the Minister for Social Services, Kevin Andrews. Abbott’s name didn’t come up. I can’t think why you’d need the Minister for Women involved in women’s health issues and violence against women, can you? I mean, apart from the fact that he’s the MINISTER FOR WOMEN.
Senator Cash also proudly declared that the Abbott Government has a ‘zero tolerance’ approach towards violence against women. Zero. Tolerance.
Obviously the Abbott government isn’t responsible for the harm being done to women held in detention centres. They couldn’t be. They’re feminists.
It’s not even double-speak. It’s pure bullshit.
Australia will be a better world when all those messy forests are cut down and we conserve the empty, barren spaces for mining companies, pulp mills and coal seam gas producers to use.
It will be a better country when women accept that because a couple of them got top-notch jobs, the rest of us should be happy with our lot. And we’ll all be a lot better off when rich, white men and their mates get everything their own way.
If you say it often enough, it must be true.
Our Prime Minister is either the most deceptive person we’ve ever had in the top job or he is an idiot. I’m honestly not sure which he is.
Corinne Grant isn’t the only one who has something to say about Tony Abbott’s performance as PM so far. Senator Scott Ludlam extended a welcome to Western Australia to the Prime Minister yesterday, while reflecting on some of the Government’s recent decisions that may not be so welcome. The speech has already had more than 250,000 views on YouTube. Watch it here:
MORE ARTICLES BY CORINNE GRANT
*Corinne Grant is a stand-up comedian, MC, presenter, writer and broadcaster and has performed both nationally and internationally. In addition to her years on Rove Live and The Glasshouse, she has appeared on everything from Spicks and Specks to Dancing With The Stars to Good News Week. She has co-hosted successful national radio shows, performed countless solo live shows and appeared everywhere from the Sydney Opera House to the Kalgoorlie Arts Centre. Corinne’s first book, Lessons In Letting Go: Confessions of a Hoarder (Allen and Unwin) was released in September 2010 and went into reprint just months after its release. You can follow her on Twitter @corinne_grant.