Carlo’s Corner: Team Australia. Seriously. Team Australia.

Friday, August 8, 2014

“Everybody needs to be part of Team Australia,” said Prime Minister Tony Abbott, raising one very big question: which prick gave Abbott a DVD player and a copy of the South Park makers’ joke film Team America?

Coz that kinda shit is not funny. Seriously, this guy makes laws. Don’t go fucking around with hilarious practical jokes like this, coz next thing you know it will be a real government program.

As, indeed, it already is.

Yes, the Department of Defence has its “Team Australia” web page — with a crap logo (see image above) and everything. As it helpfully explains: “Team Australia combines Australian Government and industry in promoting Australia's innovative defence and security technologies.”

True story! What is more, “Team Australia is a collaborative initiative of the Australian government and the Australian defence industry sector” plus a whole other half dozen mentions of the phrase “Team Australia” in about 100 words of text.

I’ve got no idea exactly what horrific ways to kill civilians this program is actually selling, but when I saw the page I thought, “Finally we have reached the very bottom, it is not actually possible for the bastards running this country to say anything dumber.”

Then Eric Abetz said abortions cause breast cancer, and I realised there simply is no bottom.

If you hadn't seen our latest great defence initiative, you probably thought “Team Australia” was just an especially shit way to try to sell ridiculous laws to drastically extend the government’s ability to spy on us and record our online activity without a warrant.

Which, of course, it is. At least, I think it is, because it's a bit hard to actually follow the government’s explanations of its proposed new law.

Attorney-General George Brandis tried to helpfully explain that, under the new law, intelligence agencies could keep records of the web addresses you visit, but not the web pages. Or maybe it was the other way around?

Exactly how this mass collection of our online data will protect us from terrorist attacks is not clear, unless we think would-be terrorists are out there Googling “How to blow things up and hurt Australians”.

But in the process of seeking support for its “Team Australia” anti-terror laws, the Abbott government was forced into a highly embarrassing reversal in its bid to abolish the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA).

With Brandis having promised to legalise the “right to be a bigot”, this backdown has understandably caused huge upset among the bigot community, which is a big problem because that is a pretty key base of government support. In fact, of late, support for the Abbott government has pretty much been limited to bigots and mining magnates who aren't Clive Palmer.

And now even the bigots are turning on them. For instance, national bigot spokesperson Andrew Bolt was especially livid, claiming the failure to abolish the RDA meant he was being “muzzled”.

An example is his claim in his August 7 Herald Sun column that it stifles debate over “the Government’s racist plan to change the Constitution to recognise Aborigines”.

Two things are striking about Bolt's claims. The first is, it is a very odd form of “muzzling” when he gets to say exactly what he thinks about all these things in his column, blog, TV program and various talk shows on which he is a frequent guest.

The second is that calling a move to have the constitution recognise the country's original inhabitants “racist” has to be the most bizarre, batshit crazy claim I think I have ever heard. And this in a week in which Abetz and Brandis were allowed to open their mouths in interviews.

It raises questions of who exactly is on Team Australia. Abbott should probably draw up a list so as to avoid confusion.

For instance, if you go overseas and fight alongside Islamic jihadists, you are most definitely off Team Australia. But if you go help massacre children with the Israeli Defense Force, you are definitely on Team Australia. That is the kinda “can do” genocidal violence Team Australia appreciates.

Team Australia is filled with “lifters not leaners”, so if you are unemployed, you are not on Team Australia. Neither are single mothers, those on the disability pension, would-be students who can't afford rising fees, trade unionists, building workers, environmentalists, scientists or women who aren't Julie Bishop or personally related to the prime minister.

However, according to the Independent Commission Against Corruption, it seems big developers are most definitely on Team Australia. And fair enough, as they provide a great example of how to be “lifter” in our society. Rule number one is pay your bribes in cash.

Like Green Left Weekly on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.