Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Political Bukkake

Being a member of a party whose 'thinkers' and string-pulling union officials seem to despise you is a thankless walk on a muddy, overgrown and ultimately lonely road.

You get your renewal. Because you earn a middling sum, and aren't a member of an affiliated union, your fee is enough for a return airfair to Sydney. The temptation to get the airfare, track down and slap some faceless pissant who's holding your party in stasis, can be overwhelming.

I will sign up again, try to deepen my involvement, find a nook where I belong.

On lefty's site I used political bukkake as a pun, but it seems apt for the process of earnest, wide-eyed pursuit of value from a political system starved of decency. You open your wallet, you spend hours-on-end campaigning to put people into power, you stand to attention as they step up to the policy podium, then they spray their worthless self-perpetuating seed all over you.

The membership of Labor is, apparently, out of touch with the voters. "Code" for saying the membership of Labor are actually mostly left-wing, while those at the top of the party with the faint taste of power in their mouths are repeating the policy of incremental divergence that has served the party so well for the past decade, and allowing a handful of people in marginal suburban seats to drive the once-great policy machine of the nation's opposition.

I'll sip my Aussie grown Sav Blanc, reflecting on how this makes me an irrelevant elitist. Study my worthless Masters degree. And wonder why and how we evolved into the democracy of incremental nothings.

Then I'll send off my renewal, and wait for the next wad of self-hating apologia to land from above.

30 comments:

leftvegdrunk said...

As distasteful as I find it, I reckon this is an appropriate metaphor.

And you are a masochist. I'll sip my Tawny Port, and wonder what all of this makes me.

Armagnac Esq. said...

SB and Don please just veer back from too much flaming (or, er, spraying); there's plenty of political content in your disagreement to fuel a decent stoush...

Splatterbottom said...

Don Quixote,

"Make the world a better place" "lead with honesty and integrity"

This is so typically leftist. People are not interested in your version of a better place, or your version of honesty and integrity. That is just plain conceited. They are entitled to be governed by the people they choose, and they will make their own decision at the ballot box as to whose version of honesty, integrity and a better place they choose.

If you refuse to take notice of what interests the voters, and stick to your own virtue, then you end up like the guy in the Eagles song:

She spends her time at another man's side
And I spend my time with my pride.

I don't mean that the ALP should become more like the Libs in terms of dishonesty, because that is not why Little Johnny Rotten keeps getting elected. He keeps winning because people think he is a good economic manager.


The whole left right distinction is misconceived. The real distinction is between totalitarians and anarchists, with democrats in the middle. The left always tends to the totalitarian end because they want to impose their self-righteous virtue on us.

As for the spelling, that wank is the biggest cop-out of all. I will always make a few typos. If you think that makes you superior, you are typical leftist. One of my favourite blogs is Bogol

Splatterbottom said...

Armaniac,

Sorry I didn't read your last note until after I had posted. I will keep it in mind.

Another Outspoken Female said...

Am interested to know what you make of current labour policies and line up. Do you think anything would really change if the party got in at the next election? Do you think you can make a difference?

Just curious.

Brownie said...

'Do you think you can make a difference?'

You will start out standing, proud to steal her anything she sees ...
but you will wind up peeping through her keyhole down upon your knees.
Dylan 1966

Major Anya said...

There are plenty of other places to make a difference.

Unless you are interested in getting pre-selected, I wouldn't bother with party politics.

Saps the soul.

phil said...

"This is so typically leftist. People are not interested in your version of a better place." As a non-party-card carrying 'lefty' (on some issues), I have to take issue with this. People are interested in a (generic) better place and the major concern I think many 'lefties' currently have is that the current administration is taking us away from anyone's idea of a better place. It's reductionist, narrow and backward-looking, with coincidental low interest rates, reflecting international economic conditions. Armaniac's present despair is finding a way to negate the untruths that are widely bandied about by the gov't and its myriad of paid mouthpieces to cover up this 'idea'.

Splatterbottom said...

There are many things I dislike about the present government, but that is not the point.

My point is that the leftist version of common good is now so far out of the mainstream that it is an incumberance on the ALP's electoral chances.

Political parties compete for votes. They try to sell their policies, and also in designing their policies they have some regard to what the electorate might want.

The problem for leftists is that socialism is now so discredited that it is no longer saleable. People do not want leftists ordering them around, imposing regulations, speech codes and other PC nonsense on them, and otherwise screwing up the economy.

Most people know that government behaviour affects interest rates. External factors are also relevant, but those of us who lived through the St Gough fiasco know how badly the government can screw things up.

Armaniac's problem is that the people see right through him and his leftist shibboleths.

If Labor wants to govern it has to rid itself of its leftist baggage and give the people something approximating what they want.

Armagnac Esq. said...

So your argument in a nutshell is that labor should be right wing just like the libs then they'll get voted in.

There are a few issues with that argument, to put it mildly, but I'm too tired to parse them out, my 'gnac and mrs 'gnac both await in the next room.

Don Quixote said...

I'll start out by apologizing for the spelling comment - it was nasty and unnecessary and I retract it completely.

Now, on to what you've said so far -

"There are many things I dislike about the present government, but that is not the point.

My point is that the leftist version of common good is now so far out of the mainstream that it is an incumberance on the ALP's electoral chances."

Out of whose mainstream has the left version of good fallen? I would have thought that at least half the population support homosexual equality, racial diversity and gender balance.

"Political parties compete for votes. They try to sell their policies, and also in designing their policies they have some regard to what the electorate might want."

Indeed, but they also have a responsibility to follow their own moral dictates - a failure to provide a valid alternative would seem to ensure a Nazi style one party system. If you'd like some balance, substitute the world Stalinist for Nazi.

"The problem for leftists is that socialism is now so discredited that it is no longer saleable. People do not want leftists ordering them around, imposing regulations, speech codes and other PC nonsense on them, and otherwise screwing up the economy."

Socialism and leftism are not pills that have to be swallowed at the same time. And your point about being bossed around is rather absurd, in light of the repression being exercised by right wing democracies at present. If you don't like people being bossed around, embrace same sex marriage and equal rights for women. But be wary! You may find yourself leaning a little towards the left...

I'd also add that it's interesting people still complain about pc. What is it that you want to say that you find you can't?

"Most people know that government behaviour affects interest rates. External factors are also relevant, but those of us who lived through the St Gough fiasco know how badly the government can screw things up."

If you are interested in things being screwed up, wait until the new IR changes take their hold.

"Armaniac's problem is that the people see right through him and his leftist shibboleths."

I think it's quite refreshing that Armaniac is prone to introspection and self exploration. It displays a willingness to avoid blindly following the talking points set out by either side of the political spectrum.

"If Labor wants to govern it has to rid itself of its leftist baggage and give the people something approximating what they want."

You're basically proposing a merger of the two parties here. Either that or you're suggesting a competition in which the right wing government that proves least corrupt wins.

Splatterbottom said...

Enjoy your more profitable pursuits.

The puzzle for Labor is to come up with something electorally presentable. They know that gold medicare cards and crude anti-Americanism doesn't work. There is still plenty of scope. People are sick of Johnny Rotten and would dump him in a flash, but they don't want to screw up the economy.

It is not a case of duplicating the Libs, it requires the design of sensible policies, and the left is incapable of this.

phil said...

Pretty much what Don said, and more, but's a dialogue of the deaf, innit? But just this: St Gough coincided with the abandonment of the Bretton Woods Accords, gold standard etc. Plus we had the OPEC oil price hikes etc. I don't for a second condone the shonky Khemlani episode, but can anyone claim with a straight face that a McMahon government would have handled these external shocks any better? What happened elsewhere around the world? Spare me!!

Splatterbottom said...

Hi Don

Intolerance of fools is usually a good thing except where it is applied to me.

Now,

Out of whose mainstream has the left version of good fallen? I would have thought that at least half the population support homosexual equality, racial diversity and gender balance.

I don't see these as left/right issues. Homosexual equality is a no-brainer. Racial diversity is good, as is gender balance. If you want to start mandating targets and quotas, this is where people start jacking up. The more horror stories that come out of these programs, the more people hold the left in contempt.


Indeed, but they also have a responsibility to follow their own moral dictates - a failure to provide a valid alternative would seem to ensure a Nazi style one party system. If you'd like some balance, substitute the world Stalinist for Nazi.

It really comes down to the people in the parties and the people who vote. If they have murder in their hearts they will elect Hitler or Hamas.

This is actually a live issue here, because Howard chose to go down this path with the Tampa/children overboard issues. The tragedy is that Beazley chose to agree with him. Labor did not follow its own moral dictates. If a decent opposition leader (like say Keating) had taken Howard head on at the outset, I think the outcome would have been very different.

The economy, on the other hand, is not really about moral dictates. We know now that socialism leads to more poverty. We know that free markets are good, and the main role of the government is to prevent monopoly practices. (There is a nice irony in Telstra in that if the ACCC makes Telstra less monopolistic, the government will get less for the remaining 50% when it sells it.)

If you are interested in things being screwed up, wait until the new IR changes take their hold.

I have a wait and see approach to this. Hopefully they will drive unemployment down further.

I think it's quite refreshing that Armaniac is prone to introspection and self exploration. It displays a willingness to avoid blindly following the talking points set out by either side of the political spectrum.

So do I.

Splatterbottom said...

Hi Phil

can anyone claim with a straight face that a McMahon government would have handled these external shocks any better?

Perhaps a bit better, Billy, like Fraser was a quasi socialist. It wasn't till the Hawke/Keating years that we got sound economic management. Billy would have been less profligate with middle class welfare than St Gough, but I am not saying that the external factors would have had no effect.

leftvegdrunk said...

I enjoyed this. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.

Armagnac Esq. said...

I agree, I don't get to host many long threads like some of the alpha sites out there, but this one was characterised by intelligent reasoning and an absence of arguing for the sake of it or flaming.

R H said...

Armaniac. Cut out the controversy.

Who do you think you are?

Larvatus Prodeo?

You are not.


And if you are, where's the dolls?

Armagnac Esq. said...

r h you've caught me out.

I am, indeed, not Larvae Prod.

Your comment about the dolls has got me thinking though... dolls? A reference to blogbabes? Or to small fluffy things you sit on the e-mantlepiece?

adam said...

Does this mean I missed the stoush? aw...

As someone who's read Latham's diaries Armaniac (if memory serves), I'm surprised you're prepared to lay down the biccies for those clowns ever again. Not that I'd defend Biff's post-leadership actions, but the guy was on the ball policy-wise.

Of course, for limp party hacks like Emerson, Beazley et al, they'd be happy to be Big Men on Campus in a fucking opposition for the rest of their pathetic lives. Hence, the fear of reform.

The question is, would you be prepare to sell your soul to the factional system to make a difference? The party could do with some more vertebrates, that;s for sure.

phil said...

I certainly enjoyed putting in my two cents' worth and I'd like to thank splatterbottom for a thoughtful response. More long freds at armagnac'd, I say.

Splatterbottom said...

I enjoyed it too, although I must confess that I always argue for the sake of it.

R H said...

Where's your evidence for that?

Splatterbottom said...

That's the advantage of being a conservative - you don't need evidence. You just know you're right.

R H said...

Yes. I know. It was a silly question.


But I wanted a laugh.

Splatterbottom said...

I am a bit disturbed by Armaniac's use of the unusual and highly technical word bukkake. I am particularly interested to know how he came upon it, so to speak.

Armagnac Esq. said...

See my comment on a recent post by Jason at Stoush...

Adam, I got about half way through, then I became rather cynical because for all his protesting Latham exhibited the same lack of "left wing" qualities I thought he was critiquing.

Actually he kept contradicting himself.

And I did start to think he was driven more by the old class warfare of it than actual policy positions.

Splatterbottom said...

Armaniac, sometimes you are dripping with sarcasm. I assume this is brought on by a political bukkake session.

Armagnac Esq. said...

Nothing like it! Just sometimes politics gets up my nostrils and makes me gag...

Splatterbottom said...

This post has introduced me to some new tricks, and has got me thinking. Do you think that "Come On Eileen" was the first bukkake inspired hit song?