Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Charles Manson put his Family First, too...

You feel a tiny little twinge, a niggle of excitement that your Super-ego immediately suppresses, that for the first time in what feels like 87 years, John Howard may not be around after the next election to make the country you love so much even more damaged.

And then reality bitch-slaps you: Even with Howard and his rabble of corrupt, incompetent goons (Andrews, Downer, Vaile etc) gone, Australia could become a particularly mean place. That is, if Fundies First take over the asylum. And make no mistake: this is their goal.

The Democrats will cease to exist at a federal level after this election - so that's four Senate spots up for grabs. The Dem voters who've drifted over to the Greens may give the latter one, possibly two of these spots, but the rest are fair game. A combination Labor/Green Senate majority is extremely optimistic; a Liberal/National/Fundies First majority combo, terrifyingly, seems more likely.

I don't use the word 'terrifyingly' lightly. These people are not about putting families first; they are about putting queers last. The evidence speaks for itself here, here and here.

But even if you don't want to believe me, believe this: In the 2004 federal election, Fundies First gave its lower house preference to the Libs in all but two seats: Leichhardt, seat of possibly the Coalition's most dedicated GLBTI rights campaigner Warren Entsch, and Brisbane, which Lib candidate Dr Ingrid Tall, openly lesbian ex-President of the Queensland AMA, failed to win.

See the pattern? FF's agenda is to construct GLBTI people as antagonistic to The Family, as per the agenda of its Assemblies of God parent corporation. They don't appeal to fruitcakes who want to burn lesbians at the stake by accident.

The only reason Steve 'less than 2% of the vote' Fielding has a job in politics is the result of a woeful miscalculation on Victoria Labor's part when determining preference deals. But this isn't to say Labor will rule out dealing with them again. In fact, FF's well-concealed Bible-bashing would be closer to the politics of many in Labor's ruling conservative right faction than they would publicly admit to.

Nevertheless, Labor does have a policy of reforming most discriminatory laws against same-sex couples and might even deign to establish a proper federal partnerships scheme (other than its current policy of offloading to the states). The problem is, neither of these policies will see the light of day if FF and the Coalition rule the Senate.

It's infuriating that the MSM - mostly the Murdoch monkeys - can spew out the dangers of the 'loony' left Greens, but always stay silent on the equivalent loony right in FF. Any party of principle should condemn a political party that hides its agenda, that pretends not to be a faith-based organisation, that claims not to seek to demolish separation between Church and State. Much as I despise the political views of Fred Nile and his Christian Democrats, I can respect that I know where I stand with Fred and his ilk. Unlikes FF, They don't pretend to be anything they're not, hiding behind the 'I can't believe they're not ceiling scratchers!' label to maximise their voting base.

It's testament to the success of FF's marketing, if nothing else, that enough people either believe, or are prepared to gloss over their extremities. Labor in particular should be ashamed of themselves for helping to legitimise their cause - but when there's votes to be had, Labor is happy to play Howard to FF's One Nation.

In many ways, FF's potential ascension to Senate control is more of an affront to democracy than John Howard's prime ministership could ever be. The sad reality is that even with him gone, things could still get a hell of a lot worse.

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At 1/8/07 12:15 pm, Blogger Jeremy said...

I think it's a bit rough to call the Greens "loony" left on a par with Fundies First's "loony" right.

The Greens are a hell of a lot more mainstream, encompassing as they do that part of the political spectrum formerly represented by the left of the ALP. They're not a single-issue environmental party; they're the only progressive political party remaining (whilst Andrew Bartlett seems progressive, not all of his Democrat colleagues are).

FF doesn't represent mainstream views on the right; it doesn't even represent mainstream views in the christian churches. It represents nutcases like the Exclusive Brethren.

THOSE people are "extreme" and scary. The Greens? If the best their opponents' recent attack site can come up with is defaming left-wing bloggers like me, then surely that just shows how empty the smears against the party really are.

At 1/8/07 12:21 pm, Blogger Sam said...

Fair point Jeremy, though I was talking more about the mainstream commentariat labelling the Greens loony rather than saying I agree with that label myself. I think in their eyes, you don't have to go very far left to get to 'loony' status but you have to go a hell of a lot further right before they bring it out.

At 1/8/07 9:51 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny you should mention the "mainstream" media Sam because both Today Tonight and ACA ran stories last night attacking religious fundamentalists.

The ACA story sunk the boot into both the Exclusive Bretheren and Hatesong. They had footage of some former Hatesong parishioner who had been on Enough Rope saying it was all a money-making cult (I know....knock me over with a feather)! Unfortunately no mention of the Hatesong/Family First link (although I didnt see the whole thing so they may have got it in somewhere).

The TT story only went after the Exclusive Bretheren or the "sinsiter cult" as it was referred to by the reporter. They also had a former parishoner with a few choice words to say and the story consistently mentioned the Breth's political ambitions and links to J.Ho. They even had a quote from J.Ho's office at the end in which he admitted meeting with the leader of the Breth and endorsed him as a "good citizen" (apparently rabid homophobia doesnt disqualify you for "good citizen" status in J.Ho's book).

The only disappointing thing was that they ran both stories at the same time so I couldnt watch both. I have to admit I got a real thrill out of watching the fundies copping a hatchet job (even draged me away from Gaybores for 10 minutes). Although I probably shouldnt get too happy since it wont be long before the they're sinking the boot into the queers again. Chris

At 2/8/07 8:59 am, Blogger Sam said...

TT and ACA always love a juicy cult story, Chris. Must admit I'm a bit surpised they'd do one on Hill$ong, since I imagine many of its flock would also be loyal viewers.

OT: Thoughts on the new Gaybores?

At 2/8/07 4:22 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Sam

I was surprised about the Hillsong attack too. Maybe the people at ACA realise that Hillsongers still make up a very small percentage of the population unlike our pollies who seem to think they number in the millions!

As for Gaybores its had more re-inventions that Madds and Kyles combined. I actually quite like the new titles as they look like some money was spent on them (unlike some of the hideous efforts of previous years - 2005 anyone?). Apparently the change that caused the most controversy was changing the Neighbours logo itself. I read an interview with one of the writers before the revamp and he said that there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth about it. He said (and I agree) that the original running-writing logo looked dated even when the show started in the 80s but everyone was too scared to change it! Looks like he got his way after all.

I dont mind any of the new characters and even Dan O'Christian is less grating than he used to be although why they seem SOOO desperate to turn Ned into a popular central character is beyond me.

On a sour note apparently we are set to lose the hunky Benjamin Hart as his on-screen girlfriend Pepper has left. Hes finishing filming next week. Sigh...

What will be really interesting is the change in storyline direction over the next few months. All the articles promise a return to "family-friendly" (shudder) storytelling. If that means we go back to the bad old days of nothing ever happening and the biggest drama being arguements over who takes the bins out on Monday night I will be seriously p*ssed! Guess it also means that the long promised gay male character is off the cards!

I suppose its all really just lipstick on a pig but its a loveable old pig with a set of Harold Bishop jowls so Im happy to go with it.



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