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Berejiklian returned in NSW — the new redneck capital of Australia

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(Meme courtesy Community Action for Windsor Bridge)

The State Election has catapulted NSW to the dubious honour of redneck capital of Australia, writes managing editor Dave Donovan.

IF THERE IS one good thing to come out the terrible NSW Election result, where the corrupt, koala-killing Tories were returned for a third term, it is the validation it has provided to us much-maligned Queenslanders.

Up here in the Sunshine State, we have over the years copped our fair share of criticism. Joh Bjelke-Petersen didn’t help our cause. Nor the Fitzgerald Inquiry. And it cannot be said that the contributions of Pauline Hanson and Malcolm Roberts particularly added to the lustre of the Sunshine State.

Incoherent, idiotic and redneck is a quick and dirty summary of much of the abuse and insults that have been heaped on us over the years. Merely due to me being a Queenslander. For my part, I was born on a cattle property, near Dingo, 100 miles due west of Rockhampton, on the Tropic of Capricorn, in Central Queensland. Now you don’t get much more Queensland than that.

But the abuse and the insults have suddenly run dry.

The reason is the return of the appalling Liberal Government in NSW. A Government that has no concern about our national heritage – knocking down ancient fig trees our diggers sheltered under as they were marching out to Gallipoli. Knocking down perfectly good football stadiums to build new football stadiums, just to send some money to developer cronies. A Government that changed the rules to hamstring its ICAC, that made 12 of its politicians resign, including one of its premiers. (It has had three premiers in the last six years, by the way, just like the Federal Government — another cringe-inducing shambles.) A Government that is dozing down koala habitats and running roughshod over the environment, including plans to frack on Sydney’s water supply. A Government that has traduced the Planning Department to advantage its rich mining mates, and created a revolving door between the Government and the very concerns it is meant to regulate and administer.

This is the Government NSW has just returned.

Yet people from NSW look down their noses at Queenslanders. We are the bumpkins who elected Joh, and Pauline and crazy Malcolm Roberts. But wait a minute. We also provided progressive Kevin Rudd. The Labor Party began in Queensland, in Barcaldine, after a series of shearers’ strikes. Moreover, since the long, bleak, corrupt gerrymander years of Joh and his despicable National Party was kicked down the stairs by Wayne Goss in 1988, Queensland has been one of the most anti-LNP states in the Commonwealth. There have only been two Coalition or LNP governments elected in Queensland in the last 31 years. So much for Queenslanders being rightwing nutjobs.

NSW, however, in 1997 gave us John Howard as Prime Minister. The man who tried to turn the nation back to his stultifying 1950s ideal. Who launched the culture wars. Denied climate change. Refused to apologise to Indigenous Australians. And took us to war in Iraq on an utter fabrication and lie. Just the other day, he provided a written reference for Cardinal George Pell — just after he had been convicted of molesting little boys. “Sure he is a pedo, your Honour, but still, he’s a good bloke!” Howard is a lifelong Sydneysider.

NSW also gave us Tony Abbott, the raw, unpeeled, onion-eating imbecile from Manly, who lasted only two years in the top job, yet made it seem like decades longer. An incompetent, self-aggrandising, money-grubbing, lame-brain whichever way you may look at him — which itself is no pleasure. Even slimy green grubs are repulsed by Abbott. He also calls Sydney home.

Then Malcolm Turnbull. The pretentious, insufferable, windbag and know-it-all, who belatedly discovered his tiny shrivelled balls after he was kicked out of the Liberal leadership, after just more than two years. Whose only purpose as Prime Minister was seemingly to remain as Prime Minister. And even failed at that. A visionless has-been, who did nothing else but than backtrack on his principles and cave in to his sworn enemies. Another Sydney star. Well done again, NSW.

And finally, Scott Morrison. The motormouth from the south. The man who, Stephen Bradbury-like, skated into the top job, not quite sure how he had done it. A man whose only claim to fame before politics was getting a young girl to bounce her tits around and curse — and then call it a "marketing campaign". A man who persecuted refugees with glee. Who sought to capitalise on anti-Islamic sentiment in the community. Who botched every budget as Treasurer. Who has done nothing at all as PM, except smirk smugly and pretend he isn’t wildly out of his depth.

These are the people NSW has again bestowed upon the nation when, on Saturday night (24 March), they voted in the appalling Berejklian Government. Which is ripping down a perfectly good 25-year-old stadium, to get their mates to build a $2.4 billion one, all on the public purse. Rather than refurbishing the old one (which isn’t old at all) to bring it up to standard, for $18 million. It is outright corruption. But then NSW is seemingly okay with that. Australia’s convict heritage runs strongest in the Premier State, clearly.

NSW is also the home of rightwing propaganda, such as from 2GB, which streams the bile and confident idiocy of lunatics, such as Alan Jones and the vile Ray Hadley. But it’s not just them. NSW has also given the nation mad Mark Latham, who has just been elected to the NSW Upper House for the racist One Nation Party. It also has given us serial bigot David Leyonhjelm. And Fred Nile. And the loony Hillsong Church.

Everywhere else in Australia, even in Queensland, these idiots would be laughed out of town. But in NSW, crazy-talk is mainstream and persuasive. In fact, it might even get you a spot on SkyNews! Because it’s not what you know in NSW, it’s who you know, and the Liberals do look after their mates.

So, well done, NSW. The new redneck capital of Australia. May you, and Alan Jones, and Ray Hadley, and David Leyonhjelm, and Fred Nile, and Mark Latham, and John Howard, and Tony Abbott, and your needless new stadium, and rampant cronyism continue to thrive under Gladys Berejeklian. Of course, it will.

Thank God I live in Queensland. Or, just frankly, somewhere other than the home of confoundedly idiotic conservatism in Australia — NSW.

You can follow managing editor Dave Donovan on Twitter @davrosz

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