American politicians run for election, but Pommies stand. Therefore London-born Tony Abbott will be standing in the general election.
Actually, he will be ‘standing up’, something he already does a fair bit: when a lady enters the room, or when a Cardinal passes by, for example. So he shouldn’t find it too difficult to stand up a bit more.
Just not in Speedos, we hope. Julia Gillard — another Pom — is also not running. But neither is she standing. She is to ‘moving forward’. Actually, from where I stand, it seems more like sidling sideways, but that doesn’t look so good on election posters.
She sidled up to big business on the mining tax, and the deferral of climate change action, and slipped alongside Cronulla-style conservatives on immigration and boat people.
Labor insiders claim this is only to get elected and once she has power in her grasp she will burst forth, phoenix-like, red hair flaming in the sun, to reveal her true progressive self. Which all sounds a lot like the guff we got before Rudd was elected. So here we go again, another election, another generous serve of Labor jam tomorrow.
Nowhere is this self-deluding Alice in Wonderland scenario more assiduously promoted than among gay Laborites. Only Labor can deliver reform, they say, so we must elect Gillard and then we will see a thousand gay flowers bloom.
But didn’t Julia say a flat no to marriage equality? Not according these fantasists, who say her response was in fact very subtle and nuanced, leaving the door open for change. According to this script, pressure is building inside Labor for action on equal marriage, and if re-elected, the Holy Grail will be in our grasp, perhaps within a year.
Setting such wet dreams aside, the best we can really hope for is that dear Julia will do nothing to block gay rights, but neither will she lead on the issue. Her excuse is consensus.
She has a long list of policies about which she makes broadly sympathetic noises, but on which she will not ‘move forward’ until there is ‘community consensus.’ A consensus she will do nothing to create.
This ‘Sorry darl, not right now’ list includes population, immigration, carbon pricing, and equal marriage. The chances of her ‘moving forward’ on these issues come to Buckleys and none. Unless.
Elect a few Green and Sex Party members to hold the balance of power in the Senate. In an ideal world, elect enough in the lower house to force whoever wins to govern in coalition with them.
Because Julia’s sideways sidling has brought her so close to Tony Abbott that it could easily be either in the Lodge. But it won’t much matter which, if a generous handful of dissidents are elected to occupy the spare bedrooms.