I’ve said a few times now that I’m scared about this election. That was an understatement. I’m fucking terrified. I’m terrified that, in spite of all the damage they’ve done and are still doing, the Liberal Party might retain power.
I’m scared because the public debate around Safe Schools and equal marriage has created a dangerous environment for queer people, where homophobia is considered a legitimate “opinion” rather than a dangerous form of oppression. This makes it easier for bigots to refuse queer people appropriate medical care, refuse us jobs and housing, to abuse us in public, to make us feel unsafe, to use physical violence against us. It is getting very scary out there and I cannot understate the danger to the queer community that will come from another three years of Liberal government. They are taking services away from an already underserviced community, and it will get worse. They don’t want us to exist, and they are doing everything in their power to achieve that.
I’m scared because our country is running concentration camps – offshore detention is literal torture. Our government is feeding our already racist culture in order to keep voters focused on their fear of foreigners (specifically brown foreigners) rather than on their horrific policy record. And it works. It doesn’t just keep people’s attention on so-called boat people, it puts people of colour living in Australia at huge risk. Combine this with the Liberal’s insistence that we’re all at imminent risk of terror attacks, and people of colour are having a shit time. You know how many terror attacks have happened in Australia recently? NONE. Oh, wait, there was that car bomb the other day… which was set by racist Australians… and aimed at Muslims… But that doesn’t count, right, since the targets were brown…? If you’re white and don’t care about this issue because “it doesn’t affect you”, then you are an arsehole. We’re talking about people’s lives here. (And yes, Labor is just as bad. That’s why I don’t vote Labor either. But the Libs are far and away the worst of the two.)
Speaking of racism, can we talk about how fucking scary our Indigenous policy is under the Liberal government? The Libs feed us lie after lie about Indigenous people, support the closure of Indigenous communities, cut funding to Indigenous services and then blame Indigenous people for dying decades earlier than white Australians. We refuse to acknowledge our history of Aboriginal slavery, we still haven’t paid thousands of Aboriginal families the wages owed to them for work done in the 50s and 60s, and we are currently creating another stolen generation through the forced removal of children from Aboriginal families. This country has the worst record of any nation anywhere for the way we treat our Indigenous people. The Liberal Party will not make things any better.
And now we’re onto home territory. If you’re a straight, white Australian and the previous sections were of little personal interest, listen up. The Libs are campaigning on a platform of “economic responsibility”. This is hugely ironic and fucking hilarious, since this government has the literal worst economic record since Menzies. (Look it up, it’s scary stuff.) They continually criticise Labor for “over-spending”, but the Libs have DOUBLED our debt during their term, while introducing austerity measures that put our country to shame. They have tried to blame Labor and an uncooperative senate, but the truth is, if they’d had their way, we’d be in an even worse mess. They have fucked aaaaaaaaaaaaall the shit up. And here’s why:
- They have taken money from essential services such as education, healthcare and social welfare. When you take money from these services, people on low incomes – the vast majority of Australians – struggle. This means they have less money to spend, which means business suffers, which means jobs are lost, which means there are MORE people struggling… You can see where this is leading. It also costs more in terms of healthcare, because people avoid seeking treatment early due to cost, which means health problems escalate, leading to more hospitalisations and more severe conditions, which yep, means it costs the government more (ironically enough, our two-tier system costs the government MORE than fully public universal healthcare, but that’s whole other discussion).
- They have refused to invest in new industry, particularly clean energy, preferring to invest in existing industries like coal and mining. These industries are failing, because the world is changing. They are not producing the financial returns to justify this investment, even if you ignore the environmental impact. Plus, a lot of the money made by these industries ends up overseas, so we never see it anyway.
- They continue to give massive tax breaks to the wealthy and to corporations, claiming “trickle down economics”. Trickle down economics has been debunked by reputable economists so many times, but the Libs do love to rely on it. The problem is, it doesn’t work and in the long run, it causes big problems. Big like Global Financial Crisis big. There’s a reason Australia was one of only two countries who weathered the GFC without going into recession. Our government at the time (thanks Labor) INVESTED IN ITS PEOPLE. Not all of their plans were perfect, by any means, but the logic behind their policy was spot on. If you invest in people, they will have the freedom to invest back into the country. If people feel secure and safe, they will spend money, they will hire employees, they will create jobs, they will be able to invest in their health and education, which all have short AND long term benefits – both socially and financially.
Whichever way you look at it – whether you only care about economic success, or if you actually have a social conscience and care about vulnerable Aussies – the Liberal’s economic policies make zero sense. They won the last election by scaring people with a fictional budget crisis and then LITERALLY CREATED A BUDGET CRISIS.
There are so many things to be scared about this election. The Labor Party don’t need to run scare campaigns with made up boogie men, they just need to tell the truth about the Liberals. Whoever you end up voting for (go Greens! 😉 ), please PUT LIBERAL LAST. Whether it’s because of the way they’re treating women and domestic violence victims, or the way they shit on Indigenous Australians and refugees, or just because you want economic security for your own personal self – they will not make a better Australia.
Rant over. xo
All Rights Reserved to Cambrey Payne 2016. Acknowledge sources when sharing.
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