All posts for the month July, 2010

Top Secret Gay Agenda

Published July 30, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

Top Secret Gay Agenda

The right would have you believe that there is something known as a homosexual agenda, a conspiracy to overturn the supposed natural order according to them. This view is nothing new and may sit behind the ignorance held by some about the rainbow community. The only agenda here being to fight for

  • Unconditional Acceptance
  • Acknowledgement of human and social diversity
  • Just and fair treatment under the law
  • Repeal of discriminatory legal statutes
  • Live free of undue fear
  • Recognition of the valued contribution to the community in which we live
  • Full citizenship


Gender, lifestyle and politics

Published July 28, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

You know when political critics are desperate they start making personal attacks, this seems to be the case now with Gillard.

Brown ‘disgusted’ by attacks on Gillard

The question then becomes how significant is lifestyle choices in this campaign or is gender the real elephant in the room. Gillard is a single woman and currently lives in a common law or de facto relationship possibly perceived by some as a threat to the patriarchal social order. While Abbott packaged as a real fair dinkum bloke with a happy family reinforced recently through the strategic roll out of his wife and family on the campaign trail exemplifying the patriarchal ideal. One could then argue this situation has little to do with the policy positions these politicians represent, and they would be right because it is more about mounting an ideal or playing to the electorate’s perceptions about what should be.

Further to this point, one could equally argue this to be an example of political ‘Othering’?

How significant is gender and personality politics in this campaign?

Labor announces Mental Health Policy

Published July 27, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

Upon reflection, the measurers announced sounds great, in acknowledging suicide as a significant mental health issue. The policy outlines a number of suicide prevention measurers underpinned by a primary health care policy framework. However, Labor’s focus on funding for key stakeholders including Lifeline Australia & Beyond Blue seems limited.  The nature of mental illness is complex and demanding, people who suffer chronic conditions readily use up their goodwill with others. Often becoming socially isolated, with family, friends and even professionals rejecting the person because they are so high maintenance in some cases experiencing ongoing suicidal ideation , self harming and suicide attempts. The real issue started with deinstitutionalisation, with a shift in care focus to an undervalued and under resourced community sector. This policy goes somewhat to addressing this issue however it comes down to the quality of front-line services and related resource levels.

How does this policy seek to address these issues?


Lifeline Australia crisis line 13114 (24/7)

Beyond Blue

Mental Illness is not a dirty word

Queer and Asking

Published July 27, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

While watching the ABC’s Q&A or #qanda tonight (Monday 26 July, 2010) what came to mind was this the debate that we needed to have not just over 24hrs ago.

The panel covered a wide range of issues including climate change, immigration, leadership, and same-sex marriage among others. It was jovial high-spirited entertaining and even feisty at times more than can be said about the Great Mass debate, oh the Leadership debate.

3 things stand out

Not sure whether Malcolm Turnbull is Liberal, Labor or Green he is such a little rainbow

Richo is as feisty as he has ever been he backed Penny on her fight for Gay/Lesbian equality in government & within the party

Penny while mainly adhering to the Party line showed some good leadership qualities and never backed down from her position.

Christine sadly sounded more like a whining Librarian

The other person was some right wing moron who made up the numbers

The Great #Massdebate of 2010

Published July 26, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

The Leaders Debate 2010

Gillard won for the following reasons

  • She gave a polished professional performance
  • Backed up her answers with credible qualifications including a broad knowledge base on specific topic
  • Kept to script in so much as the narrative she is telling

Abbott lost for the following reasons

  • He invoked Howard not an original idea in his head
  • He looked confused at times and out of his dept
  • He continuously read from his notes
  • Spin Spin Spin

Sky News gave it to Abbot, not clear on how they came to that conclusion, other than some sort of editorial commentary.  In the main it was called a line ball, with neither side truly advancing their case but simply playing it safe.

My wife and I

During the ‘Great Dull Leader’s Debate’, only one thing stands out Abbott introducing his wife Margaret (I have a spouse & you do not). Then today she appears side-by-side with him for the first time on the campaign trail, at a Brisbane childcare centre. Gillard is a single woman, but does have a partner Tim Mathieson and obviously, this situation does not fit the vanilla 1950’s narrative. It seems no matter how sophisticated the world becomes the dominant narrative breaks through, where the wife of the candidate is no more than a political accessory. Gillard does not fit this stereotype, she then becomes an obvious target for the venomous barbs of the media, a bit like comments about hairstyles and fashion in minimising the contribution women make.

My wife & I

Kev 07Thérèse Rein

Lil Johnny –  Janette Howard

Vote for the GreenSenator Bob Brown

The vanilla 1950’s narrative

Published July 26, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

The origins of modern Australia heavily shape its institutions, traditions and worldview. This timely narrative has its roots in an Anglo-Celtic English speaking Christian tradition whose ancestors settled/invaded this great southern land. A perspective grounded in heterosexism and reinforced through an adherence to a conservative sexist misogynistic functionalist dogma. This sees the primary social unit as a married couple and their offspring living in apolitical suburbia. Men perform the role of provider through outside employment, women as unpaid family carer in maintaining the home and caring for the family. While increasingly, women have careers and undertake outside employment often as an addendum to their traditional role. The total sum of the family’s efforts goes towards the fulfilment of the Australian dream and hence a contribution towards the maintenance of society.

Them foreigners back to the future

Published July 25, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

Cut immigration

From 2.4% to 1.4%

Student immigration cuts

Illegal Immigration               Asylum seekers                    Boat arrivals

Abbott said:

“We will determine who comes to our country and the circumstances under which they come.”

Abbott announces a cut in immigration playing on one of those inherent cultural anxieties Australia seemingly suffers.  It seems by again invoking Little Johnny, it somehow gives him increased credibility, when the electorate made it clear in 2007 that they had enough of the Coalition’s hard nose policy line. This theme of border security/control appears in a range of policy announcements in reinforcing this anxiety around invasion by foreign masses.

In this context, referring to a policy fortification of our borders the spectre of 1950’s White Australia looms high on the horizon.

While this may seem extreme, are we about to enter a period of fortress Australia?

How green is my policy?

Published July 23, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

“Moving forward together on Climate Change”

Climate change

Market economy – market based mechanism

Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme

Carbon tax Carbon capture & storage Emissions trading scheme

Renewable energy

Climate Change Commission?

150 person Citizen’s Assembly – seeking  Community consensus through a 12mth consultation process

Incentives for early action from business and industry

Today Labor announced its climate change policy full of fluffy language and restatements of old positions, except an aim to seek community rather than political consensus. The bones of this framework are based on the CPRS, which Rudd took to the last election and seemingly gained an electoral mandate to implement, but did not. Inevitably, someone will have to bit the proverbial bullet and move beyond the talk fests of consensus building to provide a green alternative to the carbon guzzling one we now have.  It is the environmental vandalism perpetrated by Capitalist upon the planet is something new at some point we will all have to pay for this abuse.  In Gillard’s own words

“that the price of inaction is too high a price for our country to pay. The price of inaction is a price ultimately that our country will not be able to afford” this may be the bottom line. However, this policy seems more consistent with the inaction she seeks to reflect upon in this quote.

Political smoke & mirrors

Coalition – No Carbon Tax

The Greens policy positions

Can we really afford the inherent Capitalist debt, in its abuse of the planet?

We need action Now?

Oh Scrooge beware the ghost of future elections

Published July 21, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

It seems the Coalition focus is back on penny pinching, a long tradition of conservatives to drain the public purse while propping up the private sector. I watched Joe Hockey’s rant about Labor’s waste of public monies and that under a Coalition government they would slash this waste. If their record of accomplishment is, anything to go by they may save money only at the expense of  public services. Yes a Coalition  government is a kin to Scrooge of a Christmas Carol all about profit (budget surplus) for its own sake and little about the lives of people.

the Coalition angry white men,   ill discipline & back to the future politics

Not-so-jolly Hockey sticks it to ‘Paris’ Swan

Joe the blow hard, why is this man so angry, I understand political opposition but Hockey takes it to a new level. The gaffe made above highlights the depth this bloke will go to score political points, why this ill discipline maybe the downfall of the Coalition.  During the time of this current parliament the Conservatives have mounted an oppositional politics for its own sake evoking many an historical political ghost in questioning Labour’s ability to govern. While within the Liberal’s ranks they have dispatched 2 leaders (Nelson & Turnbull) out of political connivance and in retaining a deputy (Bishop) whose credibility is highly questionable. In electing Abbot they have returned to the hard right of Howard a Zen master of political smoke & mirrors. I recently watched a documentary called “Liberal Rule”, which looked at how the  “bully pulpit of the Prime Minister” help spread his message about trade unions, Australian history, Indigenous politics, multiculturalism, consumer choice and education reform”. It seems Abbott has learn well off his old master as can be seen by the stacking of his front bench with Howard warhorses.

Vanilla Vanilla Vanilla

Election 2010 & ghosts of policies past

Published July 20, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

Getting the message out

Gillard V Abbot

Industrial Relations

Workchoices V Fair Work Australia

It seems the ghost of Workchoices still haunts the Coalition as possibly the number 1 reason they lost office in 2007.  The Conservatives readily distance themselves from this deeply unpopular piece of legislation that in the main stripped away basic worker’s rights and conditions in favour of the employees. In a radio interview ON 3AW yesterday Abbot signed a symbolic death certificate (video) stating that Workchoices is dead cremated and buried.  It seems he had his own ‘never ever’ moment, the question here being, is it gospel truth, or talking off the top of his head?

While the PM has been kissing babies and seemingly staying on track with her message, reflected in current polling.

Election 2010 on New Media

Other stories

No shrinking from budgie smuggler stunt

Workers protest as Ark Tribe hearing resumes (industrial relations)

Campaign newbie to challenge Rudd

Victorian ETU cuts ties with Labor

Abbott takes axe to Rudd’s ‘bureaucracy’

Barnaby, Brad, Jen, Joe, Paris, Wayne and Ritchie

Gillard denies behind-the-scenes deal with Greens


The Drum – Campaign Diary

Campaign Pulse

Your call 2010 (Seven)

It is your choice?