Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bronwyn Bishop, and the poison apple tells me it's rumble in the Mosman jungle time ...

Is it wise for a woman who looks like this to use this kind of metaphor?

Poor Kevin believed he, as the snowy white haired leader had the devotion of his band of dwarves only to end up getting the poison apple from the evil Queen.

“Mirror, mirror on the wall who is the most duplicitous of us all?”

Oh sorry, those bloody type-setter monkeys ran the wrong picture. This is the one they should have run:

Of course if they'd been cruel monkeys, they might have put up even more unkind images of the wicked witch, and even more unkind photos of dear Bronnie Bishop. Like this:

But after many years of painful instruction the typesetter monkeys are learning not to be sexist, and not to play the ad hominem card when attacking policies, and above all not to put in over-obvious pictures as a way of accompanying startlingly silly parables and metaphors.

Or else this site would just become a festival of loon pics. Instead of being dedicated to the loonish scribbles of the likes of Bronnie, and her latest outing Overpopulate and perish.

Wherein she must think she's being extremely witty comparing Kevin to Snow White and Julia Gillard to the evil Queen. Proving half a wit is sometimes worse than none at all.

Still, you have to admire Bronnie. The mud she manages to find by heading off to deepest darkest parts of the gutter is always piquant.

Especially when she manages to conflate immigration with boat people, when others in the Liberal party are at pains to pretend that the debate about the population number in Australia is all to do with serious matters involving infrastructure and sustainability, and now we need to rein in the numbers, numbers which just so happened to be let loose by the Howard government to fuel and provide labour for the mining boom, amongst sundry other booms:

A policy needs a commitment to a number. Tony Abbott has committed to an annual 170,000. But still Labor equivocates in the same way about stopping the boats. 143 boats bringing over 6,000 asylum seekers have come to Australia since Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard decided to scrap temporary protection visas and started handing out permanent residencies like confetti and closed Nauru.

Actually immigration numbers have precious little to do with asylum seekers arriving by boat, since they came under Howard by boat, and they came under Rudd by boat, and will continue to come, to be herded off to East Timor or Nauru, or some other handy 'out of sight out of mind, let's pay to hide the bunny' location, but it does have a lot to do with dog whistling and playing the Hansonite card.

And of course the Liberal penchant for paying women to stay home and breed and keep the kids coming makes for very odd bedfellows in a discourse ostensibly about sustainable population numbers, and the burdens on the infrastructure.

Here you have to adopt a mantra of the kind that was popular in the nineteen thirties in Germany, where it was necessary to breed the right kind of dinki di folk in search of the promise of inheriting the promised land, not to mention lebensraum (oh alright, Godwin's Law swear jar scores handsomely).

Yes, godzone in oz, and no furriners and outsiders coming to despoil our narrow island heritage, and take lamb roast off the table, but decent local oi oi oi's:

Our birthrate had dropped to 1.7 births per female – below replacement level. The baby bonus introduced by Peter Costello did see the birthrate rise to now 1.9 births per female and common chat around schools is that the first of the baby bonus kids are now enrolling in school. Some may argue that it was not the baby bonus that brought about the mini baby boom but the rise in the birthrate does correspond with the baby bonus and the cohort is known as the baby bonus kids.

Yes, by any decent score card, one dinkum oi oi oi Aussie kid is worth ten or perhaps a hundred migrants, certainly a thousand from some parts of the world, never mind if they have skills or a million bucks, or were lured here by the Howard government on the promise that producing a boom in the education sector by studying to become a hairdresser would be good enough reason to give said student residency.

While this kind of nativist rhetoric evokes memories of the old days of the White Australia policy, or for that matter anti-Irish Catholic nativism in the nineteenth century in New York, it invariably produces more heat than light.

Bronnie is surely in line for membership of the Order of the Star Spangled Banner, thereby qualifying herself for the label Know Nothing (a label applied to the nativists because they would invariably say in a Bart Simpson way that they knew nothing about the nativist secret society - more on all the forms of nativism here). It's remarkable to think that German Americans were distrusted for their love of beer and their language and their religion and their schools, long before the first world war got going. A love of beer! Surely that's enough to get you into Oz as a dinkum Aus!

The nativist fetish amongst some agrarian socialist Liberals is so bizarre that they'll happily add a 2% rise to company tax, as a way of supporting brooders and breeders staying at home to take care of their oi oi ois, which simply makes a nonsense of all the 'great big new tax' chatter and the evil of the mining tax outrage, and so on and so forth, as well as providing ammunition for those who think it would lead to price and inflation increases (Labor attacks 'big tax' Tony).

But you can't expect the likes of Bronnie to resolve contradictions in thought, as it's hard enough for her simply to roll out the "lycra clad louts good" party line.

Bronnie's solution to all this deviant complexity and difficulty? Why it's to turn Australia into the glorious shambles that bedevils the British and United States voting system:

Rudd was done in, in a secret deal to install Julia Gillard. Is it the Australian people to be done in as a result of the Labor-Green deal?

Perhaps the only way to avoid such consequences for the future is to abolish compulsory preference voting and move to first past the post or at the very least optional preferential voting as in many of the states.

But for the here and now the best outcome for Australia is to elect the Coalition to government under the leadership of Tony Abbott.

Yep, that's the way forward. Simplify and move to first past the post, thereby ensuring that there are just two choices. Tweedledum and dee. Or if you will, dee and Bronnie dumber.

No wonder the first cab off the rank in the comments section plaintively noted that you can't separate talk of population growth from talk of immigration, but how spiffing it would be to separate racist cant from talk of immigration.

But surely the most cynical contribution has to be that of one Shane of Melbourne:

Hmmm. Let’s look at this logically. Bronwyn says we are becoming overpopulated and must cut down our immigration intake. But we must give out middle class welfare to encourage people to breed. Two contradictory policies. As a taxpayer I’m paying for the middle class welfare, the maternity bed, the childcare place, the primary school education etc. However if I import a skilled migrant, I don’t have to pay for any of those things with the added bonus that if they get a job, they become a taxpayer. No Bronwyn, if you truly think that Australia is becoming overpopulated then the only logical position is zero immigration and an elimination of middle class welfare incentives to breed.

Well maybe it's not so much a logical position as a way of bearding the dragon, and bearding the hapless goose known as Bronnie is ever so much fun.

You can have the same fun watching Tony Abbott basting himself in his contradictions, ready perhaps to turn himself into prime Oz lamb, in Boost our babies, but cap migrants: Abbott:

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is denying any contradiction between his aim to boost population by encouraging Australian women to have more babies, while at the same time trying to limit growth by cutting migrant numbers.

He expressed an ''an important distinction between the children of Australians and people coming to this country'' while facing questions about the difference between ''our kids and kids who come from overseas'' during a visit to a child-care centre in Brisbane yesterday.

He denied there was a contradiction between his pledge to establish a six-month paid parental leave scheme, which would ''boost population'', and his promise to rein-in population growth by scaling back some parts of the migration program if he wins the August 21 election.

Of course there's no contradiction because on the one hand there's the other hand, and on the other hand, there's the other hand. And it's certainly got nothing to do with a dislike of immigrants, or dare we mention the unmentionable, boat people:

''I am an immigrant myself and I will never be anything other than pro-immigrant ... I simply note the observation that [former Labor prime minister] Paul Keating made a long time ago that the best migrants are our own kids.''

Yes of course we luvs ya, funny furrin people, and sure a lot of us are sprung from furriners, and even boat people, but they paid ten pounds or more, and we've had enough of ya, now that we've had the pick of the best from Wales and London.

''I'm just making the point that there is no inconsistency between encouraging Australian families to have kids or making it easier for Australian families to have the choice to have children, and wanting to have a sustainable immigration intake,'' he said.

Ah well, if Paul Keating said it, that must make it right. Hang on, but Paul Keating's Labor.

Is this cryptic code by the master Liberal tactician that it's okay to vote for Labor to keep the company tax rate down? Since Labor is nativist, but also wants to help out the business sector?

Meanwhile the anticipatory bleating has already started:

Sheesh, it's getting hard to be an honest nativist these days. A genuine currency lad or lass.

What we need is a Gangs of New York type finale, with Bronnie and her gang out on the street, armed with razors and baseball bats, doing their nativist thing against the immigrant hordes.

I'm thinking of calling it Gangs of Mosman, but for some reason Marty's not taking my call.

Marty, Marty, it's a winner. You see there's this fierce witch, and she's got this poison apple, and she hands it out to the boat people, and then there's a fight and everyone falls down, and then the winners go home to breed and get handouts, and it's a bigger and better Australia, except it's smaller ...

Golly, driven mad and there's a month to go. Hang in there, while I whip up a concept for an outline we can turn into a treatment ... I know Marty will love it, and with Bronnie as star ... how can we lose?

(Below: oh yes, it's rumble in Mosman jungle time).


  1. Interestingly, here in the freakshow that is Adelaide, the state Liberals are being quite nuanced about both parties immigration policies, pointing out that might be better to work out optimum populations before setting caps, and that foreign students bring in a significant amount of money into the state. There seemed to be a sub-text about why should we damage our economy to satisfy some Western suburbs rednecks...

  2. Ah Adelaide. A friend gave me a hard copy of the Sunday Mail on the weekend, and it seems to have shrunk a little, but I was wreathed in nostalgia.

    I'm open to persuasion on all kinds of policy points and what constitutes a sustainable population - I'm not one to think 9 billion people on the planet is just jolly hockey sticks for everyone - but at the same time drum beating and wolf whistling and fear mongering ain't part of a rational discussion ...

    Here in Sydney half the joy in life would be lost if we had taxi drivers who knew where they were going ...

    Sorry, that's a redneck joke, the point being that if we didn't have migrants, likely as not we wouldn't have taxi drivers.

    It seems to have occurred to a few that bashing the migrant can might cost Australia in the way of diversity energy and growth ... and growth is still a sacred cow for the Liberals ... which is why they propose to do it by breeding but not by migration ... which is why we're currently getting such nativist humbug from Bronnie and Tony Abbott ...


Comments older than two days are moderated and there will be a delay in publishing them.