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02 December 2009 @ 03:12 am
How Dolores Umbridge came to lead the Aussie Conservatives  
Imagine, dear flist, if you will, that you are a major Australian political party.

No, not the chaotic though successful ALP, with its knickers on display as it straddles a membership ranging from dyed-in-the-wool trade unionists to chardonnay-sipping would-be-socialists (if socialists weren't so damnably unkempt). Nor are you the Greens, you own too many name-brand cosmetics for that. Put down the Akubra, my friend, you are not the Nationals and you do not care that it hasn't rained in living memory, nor that the soaring Aussie dollar is going to bugger exports, should you ever have anything to export again.

No, my friend, you are the Australian Liberal Party. Moderate by American standards, economically fairly dry by British, socially reasonable for the most part, and generally prone to slow, steady behaviour.

Yesterday, you were led by Draco Malfoy:
Malcolm Turnbull, who may not have been born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but who had optioned the silver mines and put the best spoon manufacturers on retainer by the time he was nine. Multi-millionaire and staunch republican (as in Goodbye, Your Majesty, Thanks!), he has run a fairly straight conservative line. Famous for fiscal responsibility, being ever so slightly pompous (in the same way that Jo Rowling is slightly rich) and for being one of the few people in parliament who was about as smart as K Rudd, our Glorious Cyborg Leader (aka Harry Potter, seriously, take a look at a photo of the man), Malfoy may never have been the most popular boy in school, but he was always going to be a prefect if for no other reason than the fact that people couldn't imagine him not being one. When you look up Born to Rule in an Australian dictionary, Malfoy has paid to have small shots of his impeccably coiffed head glued in beside the phrase.

A few days ago, Malfoy finished hammering through a deal whereby the Liberal/National coalition would support the government's emissions trading scheme (ETS). This is a fairly standard, fairly restrained carbon tax scheme, whereby costs would be spread out over many years and which also comes in the context of a generous rebate system for both low-income earners and for people who install insulation and solar panels (or other 'green' power generation equipment).

The very important thing for you to know is that the ETS was all but identical to the conservative coalition's scheme that they were planning to enact had they won the last election.

Now Malfoy knew this, his team had hammered out significant concessions to the original proposed ETS, and the final one had the support of 66% of the Australian populace with only 23% against it. In Aussie political terms, he was onto a winner.

However, his coalition contains a startling number of people (at least 42) who believe that the whole Global Warming thing is a load of old todgers. Now I know that some of you out there might agree with them, which is probably because at the moment you are snowed in with a gale blowing outside. However, I live in Australia, where it never rains unless it is causing a massive flood, and where things burn down seemingly daily and it was 40 degrees Celcius on Sunday and 20 on Monday. Global Warming is so much a part of life here that the wallabies and bandicoots have started lobbying for an ETS.

Nonetheless, those 42 Liberals declared that Malfoy had led the Liberals astray from the One True Path of Voldemort (John Howard) and was teetering on the godless maw of Muggle-loving Potterism.

Enter Gregory Goyle:
Also known as Joe Hockey. He is the every man of the Australian Liberal Party, a boofy, affable dry who is reasonably bright, not appalling, though not as squeaky clean and above it all as he would like you to believe. Still, he's not a bad man nor a bad politician. Although he's not a bright shining star of the political firmament, he's widely considered to be a Good Bloke TM and has a broad popular appeal.

Goyle has spent the last few days pointing out that Malfoy's method of ensuring support within the Liberal Party for the GST was akin to the Albus Dumbledore School of Adolescent Sacrifice: ie, Don't ask, just do it and trust me. Rather than committing the whole party to supporting the ETS, Goyle declared that he would allow a conscience vote. To understand the significance of this, you need to know that the government already has the numbers in the lower house, and requires one vote in the upper house. Given that there are many Liberals, including Goyle, who support the ETS, this would essentially guarantee the passing of the scheme. Although he was a friend of Malfoy's, Goyle said that he would stand against him if the party decided to spill the leadership and put it to a vote.

If you had asked most people on Sunday morning whether Malfoy or Goyle would lead the Liberal party this week, they would have answered Goyle.

But they were under-estimating the crazy! Enter Dolores Umbridge:
Sorry chaps. But if I can draw your attention away from the chest hair for a moment (I know, all but impossible!), I would point out the ears.

This man is called Tony Abbott, and I will grant you that he is admirably fit. However, he also a rampant Catholic and not afraid to impose it.

Umbridge has spoken out at length against abortion and reproductive technologies, which in secular Australia is like ... I suppose like an American politician declaring public atheism. He is a combatative, divisive politician, who has been known to swear at his opponents in parliament and whose understanding that people have views different to his own is, if history is any guide, based in the firm belief that they may hold such views, but only because they have not been exposed to the Glorious Truth, and that once he Shares the Glorious Truth with them, they will Understand.

Prissy, perfectionist and quite happy to stab his political enemies in the back, Umbridge dreams of a world where his Decrees will be law, and knows that they would be best for Australia, if only people could be led to realise it. At school, he was a milk monitor and cleaned the dusters and was happy to suggest worthy candidates for detention.

Remember earlier that I mentioned the ETS was practically identical to the previous government's proposed carbon trading scheme? This man was one of the leading supporters of that scheme, a scheme he described as essential and appropriate.

Last week, he declared that the ETS would not only destroy the Liberal party, but the Australian way of life as we know it (despite being, I remind you, a scheme of great modesty and with the support of a significant majority of the Australian people). When he was reminded that he had previously supported the exact same scheme, he said 'No I didn't.'

When journalists showed video of him saying 'Great scheme!' he replied that they should go and do lines, with a special quill.

Yesterday, the Liberal Party decided to spill its leadership and vote to see who had support.

Umbridge won, 42:41 over Malfoy, with both of them beating Goyle in an earlier round of voting.

I now believe that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd DOES in fact have supernatural powers, as there is no other logical explanation for the fact that a man who has spent the last year doing 90% of bugger all in terms of selling his party's policies has just had the next election handed to him on a platter. And for all of you overseas, this in short is the reason why every Australian citizen and resident you know has spent the last 24 hours cackling in a slightly crazed state.

For the locals, I end with a quote from the ALP's Tim Gatrell: 'Now I know how the Liberals felt when we elected Mark Latham leader.' Quite.
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Vaysh Swiftstormvaysh on December 1st, 2009 04:39 pm (UTC)
Now, that you put it in Potter-terms, I almost understand it. BBC-fail, though.

When journalists showed video of him saying 'Great scheme!' he replied that they should go and do lines, with a special quill. Priceless.

And, um, this will sound totally skewed, but this Dolores Umbridge is another very convincing reason for lesbianism.


blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 1st, 2009 04:55 pm (UTC)
You know, that's the thing that gets me most. In pure aesthetic terms, I could understand the silver-haired and tongued Malfoy, I can even understand the boofy appeal of Goyle, but jug-eared Umbridge? WHY?
she had the face of an angel & the body of a devilnuclearsugars on December 1st, 2009 06:04 pm (UTC)
Goyle has spent the last few days pointing out that Malfoy's method of ensuring support within the Liberal Party for the GST was akin to the Albus Dumbledore School of Adolescent Sacrifice: ie, Don't ask, just do it and trust me.

*dies laughing* I almost wish I could have you do this for every form of politics; I'm sure you could make a killing at a university or something.
O: jocundityalethiaxx on December 1st, 2009 11:49 pm (UTC)
Haha, I was just thinking bb would be the best polysci professor ever...
(no subject) - blamebrampton on December 2nd, 2009 08:22 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on December 2nd, 2009 08:22 am (UTC) (Expand)
siria on December 1st, 2009 06:15 pm (UTC)
This is completely hilarious! And clever.


Oh, and wat nuclearsugars said.
siria on December 1st, 2009 06:16 pm (UTC)
what, even!
(no subject) - blamebrampton on December 2nd, 2009 08:25 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - siria on December 2nd, 2009 10:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on December 2nd, 2009 08:24 am (UTC) (Expand)
pingridpingrid on December 1st, 2009 06:39 pm (UTC)
You are a political commentary genius. That is all.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 2nd, 2009 08:26 am (UTC)
Well, decent comedian, there are certain levels of insight I couldn't be arsed turning on at godawful o'clock this morning ...
jamie2109: emotional - awesomejamie2109 on December 1st, 2009 08:23 pm (UTC)
Haha, that's perfect. I spent most of last night shaking my head in amazement - way to shoot yourselves in the foot, Libs.

When I was reading this, I didn't scroll down to see who you had labelled for big ears. Umbridge is perfect.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 2nd, 2009 11:32 am (UTC)
!
BIG EARS! OH GOD! I need the time to re-do all of this as a Noddy satire!
Re: ! - jamie2109 on December 2nd, 2009 11:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: ! - blamebrampton on December 2nd, 2009 11:46 am (UTC) (Expand)
feralcheryl on December 1st, 2009 09:09 pm (UTC)
I know you're busy darling, but thank you so much (but not for the Abbot photo- eeeeech). I am grinning from ear to ear and there may be some coffee in the keyboard.
Final question: who is Nick Minchin?

Love you long time
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 2nd, 2009 11:52 am (UTC)
At least he's not wearing budgie smugglers. And it was my early Chrissy pressie to you. Expect the traditional goat later, probably by email as I have no idea where you currently live ...

Nick Minchin. Hard one. At first I thought maybe Bellatrix, but then I realised, she's obviously Barnaby Joyce. However, after a little more thought, I looked at the close relationship between Minchin and Joyce, and realised, Nick's Rodolphus Lestrange. Happily, I don't think the two characters shag in canon, they just destroy the world: just as here.

Love you too, oh lord, the packing!
nahimanaemerald_dragon8 on December 1st, 2009 09:36 pm (UTC)
That's brilliant, love it!

I now believe that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd DOES in fact have supernatural powers, as there is no other logical explanation for the fact that a man who has spent the last year doing 90% of bugger all in terms of selling his party's policies has just had the next election handed to him on a platter.

My thoughts exactly! It's the hair, I think.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 2nd, 2009 12:00 pm (UTC)
Do you think he secretly sacrifices goats?
It's a Deense: bouncing titsdeensey on December 1st, 2009 10:47 pm (UTC)
Unrelated:

WAAAANT
ladyjanevaladyjaneva on December 2nd, 2009 09:11 am (UTC)
*snort*

Great icon!!!
prone to mischieftreacle_tartlet on December 1st, 2009 11:08 pm (UTC)
*crazed cackling*
I'm still laughing about Bob Hawk's answer when asked what kind of leader Umbridge will make. Bless him. Does that make him one of the portraits in the headmaster's office?
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 2nd, 2009 12:12 pm (UTC)
That was a champion reply! And yes, the sneer! Surely only the PM gets a portrait?
Meredyth: Arthur Sadfacemeredyth_13 on December 1st, 2009 11:44 pm (UTC)
Rumours that I am rushing my application for UK residency are not greatly exaggerated.

Also, you're right about NZ, and as I now know just how busy their Film industry is, it is a definite fall back proposition to the UK. If only I could be sure they're not planning on becoming the next Aus state or territory. *sigh*

*goes back to checking ticket prices and the Pound/Dollar exchange rate*
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 2nd, 2009 12:13 pm (UTC)
On the upside, years more with no Lib govt, so there will be time for them to have their heads screwed back on before they can get a majority again.

And NZ is definitely planning to stay separate!
(no subject) - meredyth_13 on December 2nd, 2009 12:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on December 2nd, 2009 02:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Welcome to Ant Countryant_queen on December 1st, 2009 11:53 pm (UTC)
Well at least you didn't post the Abbott in speedos shot *shudder*. But yes, Abbott as Umbridge works. If I say "There is no return of the dark lord/climate change" enough times people will belive it, though apparently he's a climate believer now. I don't think he knows what he believes in (aside from the Glorious Truth, whatever colour socks it happens to be wearing at the time)

Alas, poor Malcolm. I'd almost grown fond of him as an opposition leader. I did love him telling all the reporters to calm down after the meeting.

Malcolm defecting to Labor would be a nice touch at this point.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 2nd, 2009 02:44 pm (UTC)
Of the three, he was certainly the least painful to look at!

And yes, I think you are right about Tony's modus opperandi. Malcolm finally becoming a member of the ALP would thrill me, but Julia would smother him in his sleep ;-)
(Deleted comment)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 2nd, 2009 02:44 pm (UTC)
Giggling is the only way to respond to Tony Abbott. It's more fun than weeping at any rate ...
Holly: Je suis loserhollyxu on December 2nd, 2009 02:46 am (UTC)
I. Wow. This is kind of wonderful, but once my brain kicks in it's also fairly unsettling.

*ponders*
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 2nd, 2009 02:56 pm (UTC)
Just keep laughing at him as Leader of the Opposition. Thinking about what could happen if he made it into government is so frightening that it could do your head in.
boodiedharawal on December 2nd, 2009 03:18 am (UTC)
This is the best summation of the whole schemozzle I have seen, what were they thinking... They just handed KRudd another term in office.

Tony Abbot is far too divisive, and a one vote majority??? I wouldn't be getting TOO comfy with the pay rise and added parliamentary staff Tony.

blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 2nd, 2009 02:56 pm (UTC)
Thanks, dear. And yes, I think you are quite right! I am sending you my best wishes for improved circumstances, BTW.
(no subject) - dharawal on December 3rd, 2009 01:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
bare_memabonwitch on December 2nd, 2009 04:10 am (UTC)
*blinks*

Brilliant! You make everything so understandable...

*goes to hunt out the Terry Pratchett I just got from the library*
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 2nd, 2009 02:49 pm (UTC)
Which one? I love him!

And I am an Explaining Person ;-)