November 14, 2004 | Unknown

Assorted Election Ramblings: Because Laborites Never Let Go of the Past

During the Federal Election, Darlene had a bit to say, as well as to drink. For no extra price, here for the first time ever in one handy compilation are some edited extracts of some of her sycophantic and whiny ramblings, because as an ALP hackette she loves misery and nostalgia (“If only Mark was more like Gough, well not like Gough, if only he didn’t have anything to do with Gough really and he was more like Keating, well, not like Keating really, more like (insert Labor leader of choice here except Bob Hawke – nothing annoys your average Laborite more than success).
11 September 2004
“Speaking of bigoted nongs, Family First’s Percy Campbell has been trying to win over motorists in Ryan, although only straight ones, while trying to establish a stand-up career. Apparently, Perc amused himself no end by suggesting he needs a lady ultra-right winger to help him woo drivers, lest they think he and his male ‘companion’ are lefty woolly woofters. “As a family party, we don’t want to have two guys standing there. They might think we’re the Greens”, the unfunny fundamentalist reasoned. Alas, Family First is black and white on the outside and black and white on the inside.”
26 September 2004
“A rally against the Howard Government in King George Square in Brisbane today attracted over a thousand protestors.
During the demonstration, which coincided with the Liberal Party’s federal election campaign launch, speakers such as Senate candidate for the Socialist Alliance Sam Watson and Richard Neilsen from The Greens accused the Prime Minister of dishonesty over issues such as children overboard, the environment and the war in Iraq. A marcher named Dave thought “…it was time for the Howard Government to go and I think there is no way they should be holding a political forum in a public space”, while Ph.D. student Jen declared, “I don’t like Howard”.
The presence of four members of the Working People’s Coalition of Australia caused a minor stir after its leader claimed to “…hate communist scum”. The only other incident occurred after a female protestor tried to kick down the barricade surrounding City Hall.
Chas from The Chaser was last seen wearing an orange rat-catcher’s costume and looking for the rodent with a big brown head.”
2 October 2004
“It has been such a big campaign week for oldies that some of us are spending the weekend dozing over Lucy Turnbull’s letter about Malcolm, while the melodic sounds of Frenzal Rhomb’s Rock against Howard plays in the background.
According to Mabel, my best friend since Queen Victoria’s coronation, that whippersnapper with the potty mouth claims over-75s will be guaranteed a hospital bed if he forms government after the election.
“Holy”, I yelled at Mabel, but before I could say shit she told me in a disapproving tone that Labor will also bring in a national dental program.
“If you can’t afford to get your teeth fixed, you can’t afford to buy the sort of food that requires you have teeth”, Mabel reasoned.
Mabel, who never misses a chance to tell everybody she is a self-funded retiree who deserves more than pensioners who wasted their money on drugs, Bob Dylan records and communist party memberships rather than saving it, said she will be giving her vote to “John” this time because he is offering $200 to “contributing citizens”.
It’s not for me to remind Mabel, my best friend since the Boer War, that the only time she hasn’t voted Liberal was in 1972 in protest at the gown Mrs McMahon wore to the White House the previous year. “She’s no Mrs Howard, Violet, and he seems a bit, well, unusual”, she muttered at the time prior to ticking the box for the Democratic Labor Party (DLP).”
3 October 2004
“After failing to convince security staff I was a serious journalist and/or Liberal, I spent last Sunday at the anti-Howard rally outside the party’s campaign launch.
Let me tell you, it is not easy covering a demonstration hostile to conservatives when dressed in a frock Princess Di would have worn before her divorce, while carrying a bag with the Prime Minister’s face on it and a cardigan inside in case it got cold.
Unsurprisingly, Labor was not fussy about who it let in to its launch, so in I went with my notebook, biro, homemade media pass and membership card.
As a member, I was spared from sitting next to dodgy press types and instead found myself surrounded by representatives of the esteemed political class, including former leader Paul Keating, former leader Kim Beazley and current Senator Bob McMullen, who seemed impressed with my modest claim of being “just an ordinary branch member”.
In between playing spot the pollie; I paid a bit of attention to what was happening on stage, particularly when lovely Ms Lacy featured in what might have been a world first, an Australian wife recommending her husband to people.
Although deeply hurt by the Liberal Party’s rejection a few days earlier and an ALP hack since 1998, I resolved to adhere to my usual impartiality.
I can thus advise that Labor’s intention to index pensions four times a year and introduce income splitting are the best initiatives ever introduced in the history of humankind.”
9 October 2004
“Today I did what every self-respecting political party hack does on Election Day and slept until noon. Hang on; I actually engaged in that behaviour endured by humanity’s selfless and spent four hours handing out how-to-vote cards at a school in Brisbane. Even if noble of itself, I aim to use my experience to predict who will emerge victorious.
Interestingly, a number of voters took leaflets only from the major parties, which my research suggests has to do with the fact that the bigger size is more useful when wiping up sauce that has run from a P & C sausage sandwich to your Mark Latham: Opportunity for All t-shirt.
Alas, for the Baptist in possession of Family First Party paraphernalia and a pleasant personality, the recognition level for his controversial group was low. Thus it is my contention that Family First will only get one vote from the five-year-old who attempted to set their card alight in the hope of building a fire to burn some lesbians.
Since the lone Democrat was situated at a side entrance away from sober company, I have no way of gauging how dire their recognition level was so I will guess like opinion columnists are wont to do and say it was nothing, like their vote is bound to be.
Unfortunately, the Baptist and I were both targets for the Hanson-like views of an ageing Liberal with a chip on his shoulder so big he could keep members of the CFMEU in jobs for life (no, it wasn’t Graham).”
10 October 2004
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…democracy simply doesn’t work.” -Kent Brockman
Without wanting to adopt a shrill Margo Kingston tone, the election result was shattering, outrageous, devastating, disappointing, bewildering and sad. Perhaps the fellow who stuck three (or was it two) fingers up in my face while I was handing out how-to-votes and said; “see you in three more years” summed it up.
Of course, the voters’ choice is to be respected, but why oh why we would go back to the bad old days of a major party with control, or near control, of the Senate. We can assume John Howard will be going to church today to thank the good Lord above, and ‘her/his’ political operatives on earth.
Speaking of the likes of Margo, which I was, I suspect the election result is just another indication of how out of touch most political commentators are.”
At this point Darlene would like to advertise the Straight Out of Brisbane festival, which is coming up soon. It features a range of things too numerous to mention. My friend and Spinster zine colleague, Carmen, will be speaking at an event with some lesser lights like Christian Kerr from Crikey and that youthful Merlin fellow from Big Brother, presumably without the mispelt sign. It’s important to support such things or we won’t have them anymore, just like the old days in Queensland when fun could only be had by making jokes about Joh’s speech patterns and visiting the Big Pineapple.
Darlene can be contacted at or go to

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