TRUE OPINION: Australia is a morally bankrupt country that likes to forget everything apart from a few jingoistic myths, writes Kieran Butler.
Australians love war porn. John Howard worked this out and made Anzac Day central to the mythology of Aussie Mateship. I’ve always loved that one. It goes like this:
“Mateship is quintessentially Australian” said Howard.
“Really, how does that work you fucking war criminal?”
“See, whenever there is a disaster, like a flood or a bushfire, Australians are unique. They band together to help each other out. It’s what makes Australia uniquely Australian”
“Fuck me. I had no idea. I’m intrigued. I was watching people in South America do exactly the same thing after an earthquake recently. I think it is called being a human being”
“Yeah, but in Australia we call it mateship. It’s what makes Australia uniquely Australian. We’re the best country in the world”
Every Anzac Day people pause for a minute’s silence after someone says “Lest we Forget”. I often think that most Australians spend that 60 seconds wondering who Les was, and why nobody remembers much about him.
Australians forget. Very, very quickly.
Cast your mind back just two years. Most of Australia was on fire. Morrison had snuck off overseas on holidays and was tweeting about the cricket as a distraction. He said something about not holding a hose. Australia kept burning. Morrison came back. Did a mea culpa of sorts. Made a shitty PR video about calling in the military and said he would spend some money. He forced a woman to shake his hand and gave birth to #handshakerape. Australia’s senior fire chief told everyone he had warned Morrison in May 2019 that Australia was going to burn in the summer and to get prepared. Morrison ignored him. To be fair, he was covering up the (alleged) rape of Brittany Higgins around that time. Some fires are more important than others.
WATCH & LISTEN: This is Australia
Social media blew up. Everyone hated Morrison. Some wags even suggested he step down as Prime Minister. His approval rating nose-dived. The Australian Left seemed to genuinely believe it would last. They were wrong.
Opposition leader, Anthony Albanese, wasted the opportunity to put Morrison to the sword by spending all his time cooking on BBQ’s and caring about people. At the precise time he should have been whipping up fear and fomenting hatred of his political opponent, he thought looking like a reasonable human being would be electorally popular. In Australia!
It wasn’t. Within just three short months Albanese was as hated as he was when he started and Morrison was enjoying his high approval ratings again. Australians forgot. They always forget. Morrison’s entire political strategy is based on it.
This time last year Morrison was strategising for an October election. He would delay the vaccine roll out till later in the year because if he went too early with it Australians would forget. He set a target to complete it by the end of October but planned to over deliver by late August and then call an election for October 9. Then Brittany Higgins piped up. He would now need time for people to forget about the rape. He pushed back the vaccine roll out again.
RELATED – TRUE OPINION: Lies. Rape. Corruption. Vote LNP
Then Delta piped up – not the singer – the virus. He rushed the vaccine out and pushed the election back to December. Then Macron piped up. He pushed the election back to March. Australians always need time to forget. Now he has pushed the election back to May. He can go as late as September.
We’re right back where we were 2 years ago. Australia is facing another crisis that the government received fair warning about. It was September when they were told to have RAT’s ready to go by November. People are waiting in queues for two days. Social media is blowing up. Everyone thinks Morrison is a c*nt etc. Albanese is still being reasonable and refusing to spread fear, stoke division and foment hatred.
Australians forget. This is what Morrison is banking on. He’s right. They forgot about the bushfires. They forgot about the rape. They forgot about the delayed vaccine roll out that would have avoided the lock downs. They have forgotten about Macron. They can’t remember #sportrorts and #carparkrorts.
With over $16 billion dollars stashed away for rorting and corruption the LNP will buy their way back into government whenever this election is held. This is because Australians forget, but it is also because Australia is a morally bankrupt country. Like the myth of Aussie Mateship, that is not particularly unique, but it is what will be its ultimate undoing.
In related news, I have announced my candidacy for the seat of Hawke at www.rortsbet.com.au. In the lead up to the election it will be the go-to website to rate all candidates for rorts and corruption plus a whole bunch of other satirical nonsense. This is Australia. It is never going to get any better.
Lest we forget.