I love the Liberal/National Party (LNP). I love them because, without fail, each day someone from their front bench will say something that is both entertaining and cringe worthy, all at the same time. Followers of politics will know that the LNP are the bastions of free speech. It was Australia’s rather vile Attorney General, George Brandis, that suggested, “In a free country people do have rights to say things that other people find offensive or insulting or bigoted.” A few weeks later the esteemed LNP, in direct contradiction to their policy, shut down all debate on free speech in parliament, thus rendering the ability to challenge the LNP view as moot.
Christopher “Whyney the Pyne” perhaps best summed up the free speech hypocrisy of the LNP in his approach to monitoring his Facebook page. Anyone that has commented on Whyney’s page will know that if you do not agree with him he will just block you. The problem is he blocks you but allows you to still see his posts. What’s worse, in a further insult to your intelligence, he allows you continued access to the share button. As if, after vehemently disagreeing with him, you would want to share his drivel.
His approach to free speech and immense hypocrisy was demonstrated with this rather amusing quote that he uttered in an interview with Erik Jensen, “I have 6026 likes on my Facebook site, which is a few more than yesterday, I usually go through the comments, because there will always be a rogue troll who pops their name down not because they like me but because they don’t like me, which I can’t fathom. And I remove them because this is a ‘likes’ page.” From the mouth of the babes as they say.
Even though the LNP won’t allow others free speech it is just as well they practice it themselves. Why? Because by them practicing free speech we get to see exactly what they stand for. If you really want to know what the LNP stand for take a look at this astonishing collection of qutes from our lame excuse of a Prime Minister. Mr Abbott is scary.
On torture –“Sometimes in difficult circumstances difficult things happen”.
On women – “I don’t think that it’s a bad thing at all that we always have say – an enormous number of women simply doing house work.”
On Education – “It’s all very well keeping kids at school past year 10, but they have to be the right kids being kept at school past year ten.”
On climate change – “The climate change argument is absolute crap, however the politics are tough for us because 80 per cent of people believe climate change is a real and present danger.”
On cars and pollution – “They’re even good for the environment because cars that are moving spew out far less pollution than cars that are standing still.”
On same sex marriage – “I’m not someone who wants to see radical change based on the fashion of the moment.”
On the Asylum Seekers – “Jesus knew that there was a place for everything and it’s not necessarily everyone’s place to come to Australia.”
And quite simply this one is a WTF moment – “If we’re honest, most of us would accept that a bad boss is a little bit like a bad father or a bad husband … you find that he tends to do more good than harm. He might be a bad boss but at least he’s employing someone while he is in fact a boss.”
Keep it up Tones. Right up to the next election preferably.
But anyway the LNP certainly practice free speech. Joe Hockey rivals Mr Abbott for foot in the mouth politics. Of coursed Hockey, after having handed down the LNP’s immensely unfair budget, was photographed smoking a cigar on Parliament’s balcony and then went for a little jig in his office.
This is the same guy screaming that the, “.. Age of entitlement is over.” This is also the same guy calling people on welfare “leaners” while maintaining billions of dollars of subsidies to mega rich mining companies. He and Social Services Minister, Kevin Andrews, seem to think that the imagined economic crisis that Australia is facing is the sole fault of people on welfare. The fault seems to be particularly with those on disability and unemployment benefits. These two giants of empathy will have people who become unemployed receive no income for six months. Just how these people are expected to live is not explained. But hey …. Living is an entitlement so ….
Graham Innes, who just got turfed as Disability commissioner, was incensed at the Government suggesting that people with a disability are “Leaners”. Said Innes, “I prefer a more positive, and less judgmental society, where everyone’s contribution is accepted and valued. I want entrances where everyone – not just people who use steps – can come in. I communicate with Australian Sign Language (Auslan) so everyone – not just hearing people – can understand. This makes a more inclusive and more sustainable society.”
Indeed the disability sector, and people with a disability themselves, are responsible for a thriving disability economy. There are whole industries focused on disability. Who makes wheelchairs? Who makes hearing aids? Who helps people with severe physical disabilities to get out of bed and have a shower in the morning? Who puts captions on TV shows and movies? Who develops the software that enables people who are blind to read print and use their computer? These things don’t grow on trees you know. People are employed, being fed and paying off their mortgages because people with a disability exist.
I don’t know how many people work in the sector as a whole because statistics generally focus only on care. If you want the real numbers you need to include a whole host of professions – teachers, therapist, support workers, accessible cab operators, manufacturing and so on. What I do know is that the NDIS needs an extra 80 000 workers to meet demand, about double the number that are currently employed. It’s a kind of win, win here isn’t it? I am not sure who the lifters are and who the leaners are. But as Innes said we need an approach that considers, “… where everyone’s contribution is accepted and valued.”
Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein, wrote these immortal lines , “…The whole series of my life appeared to me as a dream; I sometimes doubted if indeed it were all true, for it never presented itself to my mind with the force of reality.” Australians having elected the LNP into power must be feeling similar sentiments. But no matter because with every passing day and with every utterance that they make the LNP are showing their true colours. As they continue to utter their bigotry Australians become more appalled. Only two more years and Australia can turf them out. There is a reason Abbott is the most unpopular PM ever – But how much damage can he do in two years? I shudder to think!!!