Australia’s Obama: One Year On

Originally Written November 25, 2008

One year has passed since Australia’s Messiah (Kevin Rudd) overthrew the brutal conservative regime, and ended twelve years of oppression. The evil ogre John Howard was slain, the people liberated. After 12 years of darkness, the sun came out to shine. A brand new dawn – an era of hope, a time of change.

Sound familiar? Indeed, such were the similarities between Kevin Rudd’s “New Leadership” and Obama’s “Change” campaigns, that political commentators frequently confuse the two, or at least blur the lines between them to the point that they are indistinguishable.

One year has now passed. So how is the Brave New World down under?

Australia’s new Dear Leader moved quickly to appease Australia’s cultural elites. He apologized to our indigenous population for past (largely historically debunked) misdeed. He ratified the Kyoto Protocol, moving Australia right into the center of the world’s most relevant global environmental issue (well, relevant if it was still the early 1990’s at least). But these two gestures, whilst symbolic, had no practical consequences. And it was then that his true colors began to show.

One of the first major policy decisions made by Dear Leader’s government was to propose censoring the internet. That’s right. Censor the internet. We would proudly join North Korea, China, Iran and Cuba (paid for, of course, by the consumer, and slowing the internet by as much as 70%). All, of course, to ‘think of the children’. Whilst the full regulatory details have not yet been released, it is clear that this will include not only pornographic sites, but political objectionable ‘hate speech’; who knows what else. In order to gain access to even a semi-full internet, persons will have to register to ‘opt-in’ to a relatively clean feed. Yes that’s right, the Australian government is planning a national ‘pervert register’.

The nanny state continued. Under the guise of ‘curbing youth drinking’, alcopop taxes were increased by a whopping 70% – the largest revenue increase in dollar terms in the Federal Budget. Bar hours were restricted, and lockouts proposed. A Labor-dominated Senate Committee called for increases in the drinking age, then hastily backtracked after public outcry. The nanny state was well on the way.

Last month, Labor (going against an election promise) introduced plans to legislate compulsory student unionism in our universities, destroying freedom of association on campus, and forcing students to give hundreds of dollars against their will to support left wing causes. Mao would be proud.

And then came the financial crisis: a godsend to any visionary politician. Chairman Kevin took the opportunity to be strong. To be decisive. To be a leader with true vision. He immediately announced an unlimited guarantee of all bank deposits (ignoring briefly that Australia’s banks were all highly profitable). A strong leader! The people rejoiced!  Or at least they did until two days later the stock market crashed as investors transferred everything to banks to take advantage of this unlimited guarantee.  The stock market collapsed. Managed funds were forced to freeze their assets to prevent collapse, and retirees who (in Australia’s privatized social security system) relied on these funds for income, were told by the government to go to welfare offices. A visionary indeed. Of course, as a result of this, Chairman Rudd announced he would have to abandon his promised-tax cuts (Kevin campaigned by saying he was an economic conservative too). Instead, spending would go up and the federal government would be plunged into deficit.

This is what life in like in Australia’s Brave New World. One year on, this  comrades, this is change you can believe in.

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