Friday, August 31, 2007

Beware false idols like Andrew Johns (and Brad Goodman)

I used to get a bit pissy seeing various footy blockheads from the codes (no, soccer doesn't count, thanks for asking) arrested for various physical assaults, especially against women, indecent public displays and other bogantastic behaviour.

Then it dawned on me - the footballers aren't entirely the problem.

If Ben Cousins wants to have a Tina addiction, let him (shame though, given how delish he is when he's, you know, upright and conscious).

If Andrew Joey Joe Johns Junior Shabidoo wants to feel ecstatic, Kath Day Knight style, power to him.

No, I'm not encouraging life-threatening substance abuse. But I am pointing out that self-harm, as opposed to getting into a punch-up with pubgoers post-match or forcing yourself onto female flight attendants, is just that - self-harm. Nobody else suffers.

The only reason why these particular men's substance problems is news is because they play top-grade football - which, in Australia, is akin to walking on water. Many blokes with absolutely no otherwise discernible talents, brains or social skills are elevated to role models because of our country's obsession with sport. Those who do have a brain somewhere inside their pummeled skulls usually know better than to get involved with the fights, drugs, sexual harassment and other shenanigans of their less evolved peers.

But when they are caught out, the meeja seems to treat it as a personal betrayal. It's like they've arrived home one evening and caught their husband Andrew Johns in bed with another man. For what? Popping pills.

It sounds (or the Newcastle Knights doctors are spinning it) as though his arrest in London is symptomatic of a long-term battle with depression in which drugs play an unhealthy part, in which case he has my sympathies and best wishes to get past it. But who said he had to be such a massively significant role model? The guy plays football. He's not publicly elected, he's not responsible for public funding, he's not working on a cure for cancer and far as I know he hasn't made an extra-curricular career campaigning against drugs. He's just unfortunately subject to an insanely disproportionate level of media scrutiny because some consider him to be the greatest living League player.

Front-page news if the captain of the Opals (Oz women's basketball team) happened to be caught with an ecky pill somewhere in Europe? Doubt it. Front-page news if Andrew Johns broke wind in church? Hell yeah.

Until such time as we get past our obsession with idolising football players, we'll continue to mould false masculine role models out of many blokes who'd most likely be in prison if they didn't happen to be good at footy. I know I'm a big pansy for saying this, but I really wish more young guys would look up to actors, writers, judges, artists, editors (heh, yeah I know that's optimistic), doctors, human rights campaigners - men who actually contribute positively to making the world a smarter place.

It's not that footy doesn't have its place. The world does need hot, mostly straight guys in microscopic tops and shorts getting homoerotic with one another before thousands of screaming fans - that's just a given. And seriously, if football is an outlet for some young boys to get away from their impoverished lives, as is sometimes the case with indigenous guys (who may not have the luxury of knowing about artists, writers etc), then it's playing a vitally important role.

But ffs people - Andrew Johns is not your husband, father or brother. He hasn't assaulted anybody or commited any crime that directly and adversely affects anybody else other than himself (and of course, his *actual* family and *real*, not vicarious friends). Let the bloke have some privacy to work on his issues and please keep in perspective what he does in the context of the planet's continued operation. It ain't that big.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

De river in Africa...

Mark Foley, right up until October 2006: 'I am not gay.'

Republican senator and outspoken anti-gay marriage, anti-same-sex couple rights advocate Larry Craig, August 2007: 'I am not gay.'

Give it time. Foley, Hayes and Callea all got there in the end.

We've covered the sensitivities around outing or not outing. But this guy ain't no Anthony Callea. If it's true - and let's face it, 'ooh, I just had a twitchy foot going into that public toilet!' defence is equally as lame as 'I should not have pleaded guilty' - Craig will win his coveted spot in the Hypocritical Right-Wing Closeted Fag Hall of Shame.

But as always, Craig is but a sad, pathetic symptom, not necessarily a cause, of a much broader problem.

Here's an example of a typical right-wing response to anti-gay closet politicians - in the US, invariably Republicans - being outed:
Unlike Liberals, I do not believe that being gay and Republican is a crime. In fact, I don’t think it is a crime to be gay with any political persuasion. Those on the Left obviously disagree since they are obsessed with “outing” people.
Wrong. 'The Left' - or indeed, most self-respecting out and proud fags and dykes, left, right or split - are concerned (not obsessed) with hypocrisy and exposing those who wish to legislate one agenda for us, and dictate a different personal agenda for themselves.

Being gay and Republican is certainly not a crime - the hotness of some Log Cabin Republicans is - but let's not be naive about why so many Republicans (and Laborites or more likely Liberals here in Australia) choose to stay in the closet. They do so because the strongest anti-queer element invariably comes from the Right. Those who seek to deny same-sex couples fundamental civil rights or even recriminalise homosexuality are most always from the Right/conservative spectrum.

Sure, the far-left has its homophobes too - Castro springs to mind - but in the mainstream middle of Western, secular politics - the US, Australia, UK, Europe etc - you don't need to swing too far right before you find the folk hell-bent on keeping down the fags. Cases. In. Point.

The proof's also in the pudding when you think about MPs here in Oz. Out pollies: Bob Brown, Penny Wong, Penny Sharpe (NSW), John Hyde (WA), Ian Hunter (SA), Andrew Barr (ACT), formerly Brian Grieg. Political parties: Labor, Green, Democrats.

'Out' pollies in the Liberal Party (bearing in mind one had little choice in the matter): Andrew Olexander, Mark Brindal. And look how well that turned out for both of them.

I'm not suggesting the Labor or Green pollies have an easy time of it - I know Labor and its union affiliates have homophobes who would put their Liberal equivalents in the shade - but overall they do have an easier time of it. They can at least win preselection without first having to hide their homo lovers or, worse, fabricate a 'happy family' complete with accessorising children.

It comes back to what I think of as the gentlemen's cigar room syndrome, whereby closet cases will do whatever the can to get into that room and then keep lying to stay in there, until such a point that they may well come to believe they genuinely don't deserve to be both happy and openly gay.

Although men like Foley and Craig are symptoms, through this process they also become part of the cause. The message such men send out to young, struggling same-sex attracted guys - stay closeted, repressed your inherent nature, live a lie through yourself and your family - is totally unacceptable. That's why they must be outed - for their own sake as much as everybody else's.

This is completely different from being openly gay and also choosing to be politically conservative. I deeply pity men like Christopher Pearson, David Flint, even Alan Jones, but I have a modicum of respect that they were able to get into the room without lying. During my friendship with Mark Brindal, I saw the difficulties he endured living his double life prior to being officially outed, but I admired his attempts to champion same-sex law reforms - right up to launching a failed civil unions bill in SA - from his virtually impossible position.

It's not these men who should be our focus; it's the hypocritical liars who need to be exposed. And this should be a process of liberation for them, not punishment.

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Thursday, August 23, 2007


2004 Miss Universe - all the way from Newy - please give it up for Ms Jennifer Hawkins!!

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Err...Sorry, I mean please give it up for the breakaway star of 'Ugly Betty', Ms Becki Newton!!

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Mister Jennifer Hawkins?

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Oh yeah. NEVER mix him up.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Astonishing indeed

UPDATE: Even Kevin 'me too' Rudd won't have a bar of the cult:
"I believe this is an extremist cult and sect," Mr Rudd told reporters in Adelaide.
"I also believe that it breaks up families, I also believe that there are real problems with the provision of modern education to kids under their system where they, for example, are not given full range of access to information technology."
Cheers, thanks a lot.


J-Ho is astonished - 'astonished', I tells ya! - that some people might be concerned he so readily meets up with senior members of the Exclusive Brethren.

I find it quite astonishing that people think it odd that I have met with a lawful organisation. I do not deny for a moment I have met with members of the Exclusive Brethren, and why not? They're Australian citizens, it's a lawful organisation.
Yes, as are the Australian Coalition for Equality and the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, but they've never managed to get a face-to-face meeting with you in your office, J-man. What gives?

Even if you want to look past the illegality of their dodgy cash dealings or covering up child molestation until such allegations around the EB are proven conclusively, you can't really get past how forbidding your own members to vote is effectively a form of civil disobedience. At best, they're telling their members to rock up on election day just to avoid the fine, then write 'Jesus is my boy' (or whatever takes members' fancy) on the ballot paper; at worst, they're literally holding back their flock from leaving Cult HQ and vote. So what they're doing is either illegal, or a complete repudiation of Australia's democratic system.

And why would a PM want to meet up with an organisation that doesn't even believe in operating within the system of which officially he is head?

Do you think maybe, just maybe, the $270,000 pumped into Howard's 2004 election chest might just have a little something to do with how Howard determines which 'lawful' organisation he will or won't meet up with?

How about their willingness to front the Libs anti-Greens smear campaigns? Strangely political happenings from an organisation that claims 'voting is a political interference with God’s rights', no?

Then of course, there's that pesky Constitutional separation of Church and State thing - you know, how
The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.
Which, admittedly, also ensures the right of the EB to practice all the bizarre, anti-social behaviours it wishes - provided, as the PM is so quick to point out, that they're legal.

The problem, however, is that there's a lot of compelling evidence to suggest they're not. That's why I, at least, am astonished that the prime minister of my country insists on meeting with such a cult.

Or at least, I would be astonished, if I thought the prime minister of my country had any morals, ethics or ability to condemn/support organisations based on their wrongdoings, rather than how much they contribute to their re-election fund.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Politics 101

Today's lesson: Turning a one-word answer to a simple question into 45.

Question: Have you ever been to a strip club?

Tony Abbott: "I've done all sorts of things in my time and the last thing I'd do is put my hand on my heart and say that I have never done anything wrong because that would be fibbing and I would rather not fib about these things."

Translation: "Yes."

Rudd's misadventure at Scores gentlemen's club is not serious news, but it shouldn't be completely dismissed either. Clearly it's a leak from Leaky Downer in another desperate pre-election Rudd smear attempt - don't forget, this indiscretion occurred nearly 4 years ago - but if nothing else, it really only reinforces what a nerd Rudd is, firstly that he can't hold his piss, and secondly, according to the two witnesses who were actually there, he couldn't handle the girlies bouncing up and down in front of him either.

Dammit Janet is trying to press the anti-femmo button on it (sorry, can't bring myself to link her - just go to the relevant Oz blog site), claiming femmos will stay silent on this particular PM-to-be engaging in an activity that degrades women because he's closer to their side of politics and speculating that if it were an Abbott, Downer or Nelson in question they'd be first to squeal chauvinism. She may have a point, but Abbott's chauvinism manifests in public policy - opposing a woman's right to termination and birth control - rather than private frolics, as has happened in Rudd's case. That's why the protests against him are louder.

Assuming he kept his busy hands to himself, Rudd has done nothing illegal, nor has he done anything I imagine a lot of senior Labor and Liberal blokes haven't done either. Downer might be shooting his own party in the foot, if Labor now counter-leaks some of the Liberals' private misadventures (particularly where the "girls" at "strip clubs" frequented by at least one Lib minister I know of are a little more ... "handsome" ... than the ladies at Scores).

But it is another infuriating example of Christian hypocrisy: senior pollies playing their Christian cards when opposing, for example, same-sex marriage, as Rudd does, and essentially placing themselves in positions of moral authority and judgment until they decide they want to stick a twenty down a stripper's G.

Not that I necessarily automatically assume women who work at strip clubs are being exploited. I knew one topless waitress in Adelaide who was also one of the most intelligent, empowered, take-no-bullshit women I ever met. Some women are just confident about their bodies, and if they happen to be able to make some cash out of flaunting them (while hopefully developing a more long-term career fallback option on the side), power to them.

Still, a 'purist' Christian like Rudd by definition has to oppose strip clubs, not support them, even during a one-off binge bender. What he's made is a foolish error in drunken misjudgment, but if he chooses to set himself up on a higher pedestal, he should be expected to fall harder and with more pain.

Rudd's still a good candidate for PM in my book - still a far, far better option than the current mug and his flying monkeys, whose screw-ups actually damage the entire nation - but he might want to bite his tongue next time he plays the 'family values' card, especially when elevating straight relationships as superior to same-sex couplings.

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Friday, August 17, 2007

Poor Pauline

It's not Pauline herself I'm concerned about. She's had her day, she'll never win a Reps or Senate spot again and she can keep popping up at elections all she wants, but the old chook's gotta face facts: Howard has succesfully soothed most One Nation voters back into his fold and is currently offering them no incentive to leave. They're getting most of what they want out of him.

The reason I find her '07 bid of any interest is its indication of how some things have changed so much since 1996 - and yet, concurrently, some things have remained the same.

What's stayed the same, according to Pauline, is that Australia is still in danger of being 'swamped' by an undesirable foreign element. What's changed is that now it's the towelheads, not the gooks, who will comprise the undesired swampers.

Given that history has shown how wrong she was about the Asian Invasion in 1996, what's to say it won't again show her up as wrong about the Muslims now? That come 2017, we won't be looking back thinking, 'gawd, remember when that Hanson chick and all the other righties were banging on about the Muslim threat? Pfft, what a joke! Now I'm going to install some iBotox*.'

By then, who knows who'll be the racial whipping boy du jour? The Asians and the Middle Easterners will have been covered - maybe Anglo racism will take a novel turn on the flood of white South Africans desperately emigrating to Australia in droves, and they'll be the new black by then? Canadians? Greenlanders? Still a few nations left.

To her credit, Pauline's trying a different marketing campaign this time, no doubt free of the Oldfields, Pasquarellis and other Muppeteers pulling her strings. Rocking up in an interview with SSO mag in April this year was certainly novel, as were the revelations therein of attending a gay bar with Oldfield in Cairns (though given the rumours about Oldfield, maybe not so novel). The interview reveals her typical ignorance and complete lack of understanding of the issues around civil unions and same-sex parenting, but also possibly a genuine desire on her part to establish goodwill with the queer community. Perhaps after Pauline Pantsdown and Dancing With the Stars, Pauline's become aware of, and tried to capitalise upon, her supposed camp value.

Shame about the quip re the AIDS-riddled South Africans...'of no benefit to this country whatsover' (although, again, she's only articulating in a coarser, more explicit manner the PM's own views). Probably not going to win too many mincer friends with that one. And lord knows how queer Muslims - yes, they do exist - would fit into her masterplan.

Still, if nothing else Pauline has got one thing right: From her you get 'truth and honesty. You know where you stand with me, not like the other bastards who tell you one thing and do another.' I mean, the same thing's true of Fred Nile and it doesn't mean I'm about to start voting for him, but she simply doesn't have the intelligence to conceal her agenda the way Howard or Fundies First can.

Maybe she should be seen as a prohet: What she's articulating now, poorly, incoherently and in that pained, close-to-tears shaking voice, is merely an indication of the future of Howard government policy. In that regard, she may be of some use.

(*random speculation about future developments)


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Pig or prophet?

Now wait up - before you get stuck into Hamish 'women should not be politicians' Jones, consider this: Is Hamish a foul-mouthed, misogynistic aberration, or is he just the logical successor to the Liberal Party's No. 1 NSW Senator and John Howard's best mate, Bill 'deliberately barren women should not be PM' Heffernan?

Perhaps Hamish was merely spewing out what he assumed senior Liberal figures wanted to hear? Or indeed, the Liberal charmers closer to his own generation, e.g. Alex Hawke?

Even though he was clearly a dead candidate - i.e. running dead in a safe Labor seat against star recruit Bill Shorten - he still had long-term political amibitions for the party, and was apparently a darling of the Victorian Costello-Kroger faction.

On the topic of being punished for free speech, future candidates getting caught out for stuff they blog, etc: There *might* have been a Get Out of Jail card for Jones if he'd shown genuine remorse after his exposure and claimed to longer believe what he wrote, perhaps in a fit of pique. Yesterday's effort, in which not only did he proudly defend what he wrote but added the 'women should not be politicians' pearler, ripped up that card and set it alight for good measure.

So yeah, bloggers shouldn't necessarily be punished for the sins of their blog past - lord knows I'd probably be in trouble if I ever decided to run for public office, as I'm sure many of my linked blog buddies would be - but that is irrelevant to Jones' situation.

Misogynist? Yup. Extremist? Surely. More honest representation and expression of popular thought within the ranks of senior Liberal men? Quite likely.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Bullshit 2.0

SX column for the week. But first, just a friendly reminder to the Woollahra Ladies Who Luncheon: Visers come OFF once the lady comes OFF the Paddington Lawn Tennis club courts. Wearing said visers down Queen Street is an affront to everything that is pure and good.


This year’s federal election is the first in which the Web 2.0 phenomenon is playing a major part, and watching our pollies navigate the new media ranges from amusing to downright tragic.

If, like me, you’ve ever emailed an MP and saved their address in your folder, you may have unwittingly become their Facebook friend. I’m now ‘friends’, for example, with Malcolm Turnbull, Lindsay Tanner and Penny Sharpe, even though I’ve never met any of them personally and none of them would know me from their parties’ equally ignominious GLBTI policy documents.

Likewise, many of us read about the Labor hacks who instantly beefed up Kevin Rudd’s Facebook profile friends into the hundreds upon its inception – but poor old John Howard only had eight friends for the first few days of his. Still, Howard’s not about to miss out exploiting a medium on these new fangled intertubes, and his weapon of choice now is to announce policy directions and strategies, such as the ‘Mersey dash’ to Devonport, on YouTube. Obviously, somewhere an adviser is bending Howard’s ear on the far-ranging scope and instant accessibility of new media outlets, perhaps in an attempt to neuter the growing perception of Howard’s age and anachronistic conservatism rendering him redundant to a large chuck of voters under 35.

But as its proponents often argue, Web 2.0 is less a technology than an attitude. And although millions of people now have a blog, Facebook profile or page, we’re also very wary of how new media is used and exploited. Coke’s ‘Zero Movement’ 2.0 campaign failed spectacularly, for example, because cynical visitors to the site soon exposed the fake blog posts that sung Coke Zero’s praises as being nothing more than Coke’s employees writing scripts from the company’s head office.

Likewise, the same cynical younger audience will quickly tweak to political bullshit, even if it’s in a hip, funky format. Kevin07, Labor’s US presidential-style online love-in of all things Kevin, is nothing if not a well-crafted and designed one-stop shop of all major new media, but only time will tell how effective it is in both raising Rudd’s profile, and enticing undecided voters to vote for him.

For the moment, new media seem to favour the left side of politics. Conservative commentators have already condemned the egalitarian nature of Wikipedia – ‘the free encyclopaedia that anyone can edit’ – highlighting how easily entries can be incorrectly and even libellously edited. Perhaps this is why we’re yet to see a John07 website, although you can enjoy his thrilling YouTube presentations on the federal Liberal site.

Still, bullshit by any other medium…

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

Like sands through the phwoarrrr glass...

So one of the nice things about working from home is that you get to catch up on your Days and your B&B (no longer your Y&R, unfortunately, but - meh. Most of their characters eventually end up on Bold anyway.)

More importantly, you get to find out that Shawn D Brady has been recast in the form of Brandon Beemer:

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...And then suddenly, you forget you're meant to be working. And indeed, your name, age, address and memories for the last 15 years.

According to the ever-reliable OTHER Miss Hilton, Brandon is f**kin' to the Bass. Lance Bass, that is. Lucky sod.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Bex and a nice lie down?

In light of the adoption ban, I happened to run into George Newhouse this morning, who was campaigning outside Edgecliff station (before the election has even been announced, no less!) Newhouse is the Labor candidate for Wentworth and probably has a better-than-ever-before chance of turning the blue-ribbon (now hot pink-tinged) seat red than any previous Labor candidate.

Anyway, when I aggressively accosted politely engaged him over why Rudd still hadn't offered a formal reply - rebuttal, even, to the ban - I got the standard reply of a/ Rudd doesn't want an election wedgie and b/ Labor's understanding is that the legislation won't actually be presented in the Spring session, after all. It's a whistle to the fundie vote that won't actually equate to action.

This would fit with other informed speculation about only being alert, not alarmed, to this particular queer bash.

Not that Newhouse, of course, is in any position to know the government's legislative agenda, but it's possible - microscopically possible - that we don't need to worry about this after all. At least, not until the Libs win the election and/or the Lib/National/Fundies First coalition wins Senate control.

That's nice, isn't it?

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Monday, August 06, 2007

I can't believe it's not a meme!

Cheers muchly to the mindless munkey for presenting me with a Thinking Blogger Award. You like me! Right now, you really like me!!

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Here's how it plays:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,

2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,

3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote.

I like to think all the blogs I link are think-worthy and generate much thought and rumination - but as this is a shameless popularity contest, I have to short-list 5. So:

1. not a turtle: Byron, aka Mr Munkey, makes me think, but more importantly often makes me wet my pants in mirth. Which makes for embarrassing times at work but he's worth it.

2. Raw Materials: Adrian hasn't blogged for a bit, and I hope this is rectified soon, as his writing is as elegant and eloquent as his thoughts.

3. Bent My Wookie: There's no real way I can say this without sounding condescending, but here goes anyway: Jacob is wise far, far beyond his 18 years. Probably wise beyond my 2- years, in fact. He's even familiar with the works of Pablo Neruda.

4. Sometimes blue: Superdrewby has some quality personal and political observations wedged between all the sweet, sweet flesh.

5. comicstriphero: On par with Byron for laffs, but I also like to think of CSH as my queer spy in the nation's capital, doing her bit to bring down the Empire. Yeah, that's cool.

Yep, it's love on the interweb - in a non-Gaydar-cruising-on-a-Sunday-afternoon sorta way.

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Howard to kill Teh Gay and Teh States with one stone

UPDATE: Ruddock was telling lobbyists this week that the adoption ban was off the table. Either Howard has blind-sided Ruddock (plausible) or Ruddock was lying through his caps (more plausible).

Farrrrrrk! What more can you say, really?

(thanks to Chris for tip)


Hrm. Seems we might finally get some action on HREOC's 'Same Sex: Same Entitelements' report after all. Just hazarding a guess here, though. Reasoning?

Because the malodorous swamp creatures are going to press ahead with the overseas adoption ban, after all. And this is the Howard government MO with fags and dykes: qualify one queer-bashing offensive with a 'but hey, we also did this one good thing!' defensive. It happened in 2004 when the private sector superannuation intederdepency reforms paired with the marriage ban.

Above my fury and urge to kill rising, rising, I'm actually a little curious. Why now? Why at all? I know the first 'stranger' adoption of a boy by two gay men happened in Western Australia in June but I daresay this is part of Howard's broader quest to decimate states and have complete, unfettered, 'mwuhahahahaha' evil laugh-type power.

Annabel Crabb nails this in her Smuh blog. Following Howard's effort at the Mersey Hospital in Devonport (side note: is it just me or does he ALWAYS have that look of utter horror whenever he comes into direct contact with any human being?), it's becoming clear his new desperate pre-election tactic is to play up a knight-in-shining-armour role in the marginals, that conveniently paints the state Labor governments in a bad light.

Mr Howard's solution (to state/commonwealth conflicts) is very different (to Rudd's) - if bickering over a particular area becomes chronic, then the Commonwealth should just sweep in and take 'em over. The appeal of this approach in the short term is utterly unmistakable. Just ask anyone in Devonport what they'd prefer - an orthodox federal system, or a hospital?
Just imagine, by the way, what must be happening right now in the offices of marginal Coalition MPs all over the country. Anybody who wants their house painted under the new Howard federalism would be a mug not to put in a call, wouldn't they? Anyway, election or no election, it's a debate very much worth having - it's just that up until now 'whither federalism?' hasn't exactly been a barbecue stopper. Does the Howard approach send us down the path of eventually abolishing the states completely?

Answer: Hell yes. Uniform state Labor governments have stuck in his craw for ages, and realising he has increasingly little to lose, he's treading a fresh war path against them. He's losing the war with the Murray-Darling takeover and hasn't really got a good solid boot into a jurisdiction since Stanhope's ACT government and quashing the civil union legislation - so recognising he's on solid ground with queer bashing, he now eyes the WA Carpenter government.

I don't think Labor will side with them on this. Given Rudd's reluctance to show a queer-friendly facade, he can at least fall back on the argument of trampling the autonomy of elected governments, rather than highlight the objective moral reasons why banning s-s overseas adoption is fucked up. But I presume Howard has made sure he's got autonomy-sympathetic defector Gary Humphries on the team before announcing this plan.

So I guess that's the 'why at all'. The 'why now' is quite interesting. Note: 'The Family Law (Same Sex Adoption) Bill is listed on the Prime Minister and Cabinet department's website as legislation 'proposed for introduction in the 2007 spring sittings'. Given the six-week parliamentary hiatus during election time, can we guess from this that they don't plan for the election to be until at least the end of November?

If this announcement doesn't coincide with positive action on the HREOC report, I think it would be safe to assume that Howard is eagerly burning what tiny little bridges remain to the queer vote. It certainly won't help Malcolm Turnbull hold onto Wentworth - although, that might be part of Howard's masterplan too.

Regardless, brace yourselves for another couple of months of political queer-bashing. This will be May/June '04 and June/July '06 all over again. Apologies in advance to all the same-sex couples whose families will be demonised, whose children will be victimised and bullied in the schoolyard with the PM's blessing, and whose difficult situation will be exposed and exploited for some cheap, cynical vote-scoring. All I can offer as hope is that this year might be the last for it.

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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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