Proudly not a real Australian

I go away for 10 days and the Coalition falls apart and suddenly Cate Blanchett isn’t a “real” Australian because she’s rich, or an actor, or modified her house to use less energy, or something. If the second part wasn’t so pathetic, I’d say I should go away more often.

By now there’s simply no doubt that Tony Abbott thinks we’re all idiots. And the everyday Australians that he always speaks about, he thinks they’re the biggest idiots of all. That’s why he happily admitted that people shouldn’t believe what he says unless it’s scripted. He believes that no one will remember and/or care that he’s a big liar. That’s not the most flattering view of the electorate, is it?

Abbott seems to think that, despite the large number of Australians who didn’t vote for him, we all agree with everything he says and want him as our leader. Talk about being delusional (in the colloquial sense, not the DSM-IV sense). Dude, we know you’ve had your dickstickers in a knot for the last nine or so months, but you didn’t win so let it go.

I arrived back in Sydney to this utter nonsense about Tony Abbott/Barnaby Joyce/Australian Family Association* saying Cate Blanchett – whose environmentalism is well known, installing Australia’s second largest roof-top solar system at The Wharf – isn’t a “real” Australian because she’s in an ad for a carbon tax. Of course they’re attacking her – can you imagine them trying to say Michael Caton isn’t a “real” Australian? Actually, I’d love to see them try, that would be hilarious.

Blanchett isn’t a “real” Australian simply because she disagrees with them. It’s the Howard-era “unAustralian” bullshit all over again, where instead of acting like an adult when people hold views that are different to your own, you act like a petulant child and attack them personally. Can someone please call the waaaaambulance for Tony Abbott? For a great post about the attacks on Blanchett, see The Conscience Vote.

Abbott said “People who live in an eco-mansion have a right to be heard … But their voice should not be heard ahead of the people of Australia”. I call bullshit. By “the people of Australia” he means those who attended that awful anti-carbon tax rally in Canberra where he stood in front of the sign calling the Prime Minister “Bob Brown’s bitch”. So actually, Blanchett’s voice is being heard after the voice of “the people of Australia”. But Tony Abbott has never been big on the truth. Or making sense. Or being consistent.

And so Labor continues to let the Coalition control this discussion (it would be a lie to call it a debate). What the hell is wrong with them? Before the last election, Labor should have been selling the country’s economic health thanks to the BER and stimulus packages, but instead they couldn’t sell beer to a pissed rugby league fan.

The pathetic state of public discourse in this country makes me cringe.

So, having had my first post-holiday whinge, I am proud to declare that I am also not a “real” Australian. Not because I’m a rich actor with an energy-efficient home, but because I want the carbon tax. And if doing something for the environment costs me a little bit of money, then that’s ok because I’m not a selfish arsehole who thinks my cost of living in a rich country with a good welfare safety net is more important than everyone else on this planet.

*The Australian Family Association was founded by the National Civic Council, a conservative Christian organisation that believes a woman’s role is to have babies and that her “self-identity and self-esteem may be found and grown through giving themselves to and loving their husband and family”. They also want “extensive” censorship of film and tv. Funnily enough, I think they’re rubbish.

38 responses to “Proudly not a real Australian

  1. I haven’t been a real Australian for some time now.

  2. Cate is a real Australian. A very rich real Australian unlike the rest of us poor chaps.

    • Ah, but her wealth is irrelevant when it comes to doing something about climate change. Vadim, welcome to the News with Nipples.

      • It is entirely relevant and you know it.

        • No it’s not. Sure, she can afford to modify her home, but her wealth means she won’t get the assistance the Government will provide to low and middle income earners.

          • Rhiannon Saxon

            My husband and I have already been in the process of modifying our home, and we are a single-income family of four racking up more debt every fortnight because we can’t afford to EAT FOOD otherwise. We use solar hot water and some solar power and have no heating or cooling at all (Because we can’t afford it)…Does this make my opinion so very much more worth listening to than someone who has been heavily involved in modifying an entire theatre? Or, could it be, that we should (maybe) actually start listening to scientists?
            Perhaps this ad which uses a cross-section of people including celebrities, a scientist, a working single mother, etc, is precisely because people AREN’T listening to scientists.
            And it’s not a government ad. There are ads ALL over the place run by NGOs and corporations that do not attract the confected vitriol that this ad received, oddly, BEFORE it even aired.

  3. thefirstJanineonthisblog

    Oh thank god you are back.

    Proud, unreal Australian.

  4. More typical tall poppy nonsense IMHO.

    Good to have you back.

    • Thanks David Fawcett. I think it’s more than just tall poppy syndrome. Abbott and co know that if you shout loud enough about Blanchett’s personal wealth, then people will think of that when they see the ad, rather than what she and the others in the ad are saying. He is very cunning.

      • You are right, it isn’t trivial at all and I didn’t mean to come across that way.
        My initial reaction was disgust at the idea that Australian’s who do well for themselves are somehow less Australian for it. Just when I start to think that we are past the tall poppy thing it rears it’s ugly head again.

        If you are curious about what I think I’ve just posted a blog article about this myself. I won’t post the link here – don’t want to be spammy. 😉

  5. Being a bullshit artist is not cunning. It’s just being a bullshit artist . Cate must have not swooned when she met him for him to have rubbished her the way he did.
    Look at its performance with plain packaging for tobacco just another way to get its head in the news. Say anything and then capitulate ,no great stink in the MSM just move on . What about calling it a back flip or a broken commitment as they would if it were a Labor stance.
    Welcome back, hope the break fired you up and being called un Australin by howard and his offspring is a badge of honour.

  6. Rhiannon Saxon

    Welcome back, hurrah!
    I was called Un-Australian when I was 14 and questioned, to another high-school student, the enormous expenditure earmarked for the 2000 Olympics.
    Ever since then I have thought that if questioning government expenditure, not being an Oi Oi Oi-chanting Oi-k, not being anti-intellectual etc was Un-Australian, then count me in to the Uns.
    Sorry for convoluted sentences.
    I wonder how Un-Australian it is to use one’s inherited wealth to lobby governments and promote one’s own vested-interest world view by buying up part of a TV station…nah. That’s being a good aspirational citizen, surely?

  7. Welcome home you un-Australian you. We missed you.

    By we I mean me.

  8. So does this mean sycophantic channel 7 reporters and morning TV presenters will stop calling her ‘our Cate’, especially at red carpet events.

    I’m a ‘new Australian’ so my credentials are always in question.

    • Despite my parents being immigrants, my (very) white skin means my credentials are never in doubt. Yet the one Chinese family in my home town, fourth generation Australians, were often told by dickheads to “go back to their own country”. I know Australia doesn’t have a monopoly on dickheads, but we sure seem to have a lot of them.

  9. Ps. Abbott’s comments on putting pragmatic politics ahead of good policy is disgusting and is an enormous insult to voters and his party alike. It is a forthright statement that he cares more about gaining personal power and being deliberately oppositional then he does about the welfare and future of the nation. How is that ok? How is that responsible government or an indication of his governing skill, think it’s appalling, I also think it’s folly to admit it but again he gets away with it.

  10. Hang on a tick, Blanchett was attacked for being out of touch given that she can afford to piss a bit of money up against the wall. The same applies to Caton who is not the sum of his roles (in other words he IS a pinko greenie, he IS NOT Darryl Kerrigan). Both assume that the average person gives a rats arse what some wanker actor who in all likelihood hasn’t set their eyes upon their own power bill in years, thinks about science or economics.
    To show I am fair I think the same about the Club industry getting up in arms over the pre-commitment deal (and I am one of those employees who could get the arse because of it) Rich Chief Executives telling us how hard it is for a barperson these days.
    As for Abbott you have contradicted yourself without being aware of it. You go to great lengths to insist that he is a liar (apparently because he was honest enough to admit having been loose with the truth) yet support the PM’s carbon tax about which she bare face lied to the electorate. Although ‘a large number’ of voters didn’t vote for the Coalition, more did than for any other party and in any case around 80% of voters voted for a party whose stated policy was against having a carbon tax.
    If you can afford to throw money against a problem which the nations who really need to take action on are not (please do not give the governments line about how NZ has a price on carbon, frankly who cares) good for you, but the vast majority of Australians cannot.
    As for that other hypocrisy: that Abbott et al just turn to personal attacks against people that disagree with them, surely that is a joke. Of course he does because that is all the left has done on this issue since they invented it.
    I can’t describe how much I hate Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd, Wayne Swan and frankly I’m no fan of Abbott either. I long for the days of Howard and Keating, where regardless of what you thought of their views they held them with conviction (I know, that old chestnut) This current mob remind me of a pack of dirty old men telling us whatever they think we want to hear in order to fuck us.

    • Whoa, kimsonof, long comment. I haven’t contradicted myself at all. Abbott said you can’t believe what he says. Which makes him a liar. I don’t care that Gillard broke an election promise because she had to negotiate to form a minority government, which means compromise.

      The thing is, Australia can afford to clean up our shit. And those who don’t earn much will get financial assistance. But I agree – I don’t much like the mob we’ve got in parliament in either party.

      • Well then the term would be double standard. It’s apparently OK to lie as long as it means you will personally get paid more. I don’t want financial assistance, that’s welfare and is another quiet step on the road to socialism.

        • What’s so bad about socialism??? I’m v confused by Australians adopting the term, as Americans use it, as a political bogeyman. Socialism is not communism. Socialism gave you Medicare and payment support for the needy and public housing. All of which I personally think are good things and indicative a modern, democratic and yes, wealthy nation.

          • Apologies for typos, typing while holding a wriggly baby ain’t easy

          • Rhiannon Saxon

            TOTALLY agree.

          • Those things are fine and I agree necessary. Making the cost of living so unbearable that people need to go to the government with their hands out in order to survive is not. It makes ordinary people dependent on government when otherwise they would not be.
            Although public housing in NSW is a shambles and needs a complete overhaul. When I first moved here I was astonished at how public housing was all piled together in ghettos. There is no incentive to get out of the system and indeed all of the Houso friends we have (we have a few as my wife grew up there) that is all of them without exception have as their sole goal in life, to stay in houso.
            You still didn’t address the main thrust of my comment which is about double standards. Perhaps if I framed it as a question? Is it fine to lie to the electorate if:
            A) It means you will get a personal financial advantage?
            B) You are a lefty?
            C) You are anyone except Tony Abbott?

            • A) No
              B) No
              C) No

              Politicians are allowed to change their minds. When presented with evidence, I hope they do. (Also on this point, I don’t think it’s fair to hold up a statement said 30 years ago as a student as being somehow representative of someone’s views in middle age. Sure, if you’ve made consistent comments since then it’s relevant, but in most cases it’s just a view you grew out of.)

              My issue with Abbott is he just says anything, whatever he thinks people want to hear. He has no integrity. And now we know he has no interest in good policy. I don’t think Gillard is much better, but I am willing to cut her a bit of slack because she is leading a minority government and that requires compromise with people who have very different views. Actually, I wish we had more minority governments because one party with all the power is a bad thing.

              So, as for double standards, I agree that Gillard went to the election saying there’d be no carbon tax, but see my earlier point about a minority government meaning you have to do things differently than if you had won outright. I think it’s unfair to call that a lie, and if the Coalition was leading a minority government and had to break an election promise in order to compromise, I wouldn’t call that a lie either. I didn’t vote for Labor, partly because Gillard said there’d be no tax/cprs/action to clean up our shit.

              • Rhiannon Saxon

                Yes yes yessity yes, that’s exactly what I was clumsily reaching for int he subterranean darkness of my current blah-state. Thank you for wording my fuzzy mental state so clearly so that I didn’t have to.

              • A politician with conviction should never comprimise with extremists (which is what the Greens are) You can’t expect me to believe (nor can you believe) that in the two days or so Gillard suddenly came to completely reverse an honestly held opinion against a carbon tax. She was all for it then when it wasn’t sold well she pushed for it to be dumped. When Rudd lost credibility over said dumping she knifed him only to change her mind again. This is the problem I have with all this, Gillard doesn’t believe in a carbon tax, she believes only in winning ‘whatever it takes.’ I thought she was from the Vic Left not the NSW Right. So to hear her go on about this as though it is her heartfelt belief rather than an expedient route to maintaining power really shits me, THAT is dishonest. The best thing I can say about Brown is that although his views are extremist and his party is many unsavoury things (for example at least one Sydney mayor is an ardent anti semite) he really does believe in his gibberish.
                Gillard never had to go down this road in any case. What was Browns option? Either he could support the coalition (seriously that WAS an option) withdraw support for either party in which case the coalition would (and will at the next election so my sources tell me) heavily preference LAbor in Melbourne resulting in the loss of Browns sole seat in the lower house. Finally and most likely he could stick with the ALP only without many teeth left. Gillard would really open up the possibilities to govern in her own right if she dumped this now and euphamistically removed Bob’s balls. Not only is she dishonest, she is a political halfwit.

                • Rhiannon Saxon

                  I don’t understand why everything thinks it is down to the Greens. Don’t forget there are a few Independents, with a fair bit of bargaining power, who believe that a carbon PRICE is good for rural electorates and regional industries. I am *so* bored of reading about the Labor-Greens government when it really should be (until the new senate, definitely!) the Labor-Independent-Independent-Independent-One-Green government.
                  I suppose that doesn’t have the right ‘WooooooooOOOOooooo The Greens will murder us in our beds and inject us with gay heroin and make us marry trees!” ring to it, though.

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