We, of the left, have a problem. The problem is the National Party and it’s adherence to the more cosmopolitan Liberal Party. It is an unhealthy allegiance in the fact that the Libs’ have the psychological upper hand over the Nats’…in short, they have worked out how the mind of the National party voter thinks and they move and manipulate it with all the dexterity of a master puppeteer!
Take those two recent major upsets in National Party regions…the SPC. cannery row and the “struggling farmers” thing…in the opposite corner we had the Holden / Ford / Toyota fiasco….with the latter, no problems..cut, cut ,cut…..they tried it with SPC. and the proverbial hit the fan and now we see Barnaby weeping tears for the ;” wives and the kids and the heat and dust and the flies…” so the Libs’ soften somewhat with “drought relief”…of a kind…and no doubt the Nat’ voter out there in the “heat, dust..etc” will choke back those sobs and dry away the tears, tug the forelock and mumble a humble “thank you sirrrr..” and get the patronising firm grip on the shoulder “good man” touch and all will be forgiven.
You see, the Nats’ are god-fearing people at heart…they may not go to the church as much as their forebears, but they know where it is and they willing attend the fetes, fairs and collections for…because those country folk know that there is a system in place in the bush, they can’t articulate it, but they “feel” it is there…Their “lot” in life is a seesaw between punishment and reward…rewards do come, but first one must be punished…one must suffer, and suffer humbly, quietly and completely…then comes the reward…and this is where “Father” comes into the picture in the guise of the Liberal Party Prime-Minister of-the-day (It is never a National Party prime minister!) and the appropriate amount of largesse is distributed to the faithful…and the local Nat’ party-man struts through the district like Caesar on a Tour of Triumph and “mother” once again irons “Father’s” shirts with a hum and song and all is well at the local Ag. Supply store….the jokes flow once more.
I know this through my familial connections in this district where I live and through the work I do with the “approved” environmental group…but you see, there is no reference to the environment in the name, nor in the general literature, at least not blatant…it is all warm / cuddly, non-aligned stuff and THAT, I have been informed, is how it will stay!…this community know about the “environment”, of course they do, they farm it…have been doing it for a hundred years or so…I am tempted to point out the bleedin’ obvious on the collapsing condition of the town, the services, the salinity and the environs…but I know it would be wasted breath..They knows what they knows!
I was called to go to one of these local farmers place -to pick up some mulching hay for a community garden we are developing…; an old farming family (“been here for a hundred and thirty years”) that got nearly burnt-out by these very recent fires we had around here. the sheds, equipment and trees / garden all destroyed…only the piggery and the family house spared…but the patriarch was not deterred..he was a god-fearing man.. “…so you see, the house was spared..Now, I’m a humble man, but I am also a religious man and I believe (and you might think this a bit vain of me ) that god looked down and said ; “Look, there’s old Klaus S…he’s had a hard life”…and I have too..you know that , Dan’ ? (his son leaning on the kitch’ bench)…why, there’s that bad accident of yours (you look at ‘Dan’ and one eye is looking back at you while the other is staring at something 90deg’s to the right !)..too right and then your brother’s bad accident….of course I had that time when the post-drilling auger grabbed my clothes and nearly ripped my arm off…broke my sternum something bad…and the prostrate cancer…the heart attack NOT A BAD ONE!..just five by-pass…and of course the stroke hardly touched me and I think God looked down and said ” Ol’ Klaus…he doesn’t need his house burnt down and so he directed the fire around the house…(The reward, you see?)….and I thank God for that !”
He then went on to show me charity things and generous deeds fellow church people and industry people had given him…to finish up with a costing rundown of farming and how it was unlike the (Labor) govt’ that wastes money .
So there you have it, in a nutshell…the Lib’s know that to keep the Nat’ voter on side, indeed , to keep the Nat’ Party inside the “home”, you keep it ; “bare-foot, pregnant (with want) and chained to the kitchen” and give it regular beatings like an abused wife.
Sounds ghastly, sounds brutal and dishonourable….but as the man says’ in the Lamb advert…”You know it’s true”!