Surely this election campaign violates the Geneva Conventions' ban on torture

June 23, 2016
Where is the outrage from UN bodies over the abuse Australian voters have been put through?

This election campaign. Eight weeks. Eight long, drawn out weeks of two gangs of rich white bastards in suits battling over who gets the honour of overseeing the next three years of irreversible ecological catastrophe, with extra Barnaby Joyce. It must violate articles in the Geneva Conventions banning torture.

And where is the United Nations? Oh sure, the UNHCR is all over Australia's case just because our government violates international law with its policies of mandatory detention of asylum seekers in offshore prison camps. Where innocent people, including children, are jailed indefinitely in hellish conditions, suffer abuse and frequently resort to self-harm and suicide.

But what about Australian voters? Where is the outrage from UN bodies over the abuse we've been put through? It's like some people just have no sense of perspective.

Election campaigns are gruelling things at the best of times, and the relentless negativity can be draining. I mean, sure I don't agree with this government on everything, but sometimes I just wish we'd be willing to see the positive side of things and celebrate the small victories.

Like, yes sure, the Great Barrier Reef has suffered unprecedented coral bleaching at the same time as the federal government approves coalmining expansions threatening to guarantee its destruction. But just think how much paper environment minister Greg Hunt saved by arm-twisting UNESCO to exclude the threat to the reef from its latest climate change report.

When you consider how extensive the threat is, that must be quite a lot of pages cut. And you know how wasteful these UN bureaucrats are, they probably didn't even print the thing double-sided. The reef may be condemned to an irreversible death as we rush headlong into an ecoholocaust threatening the planet's capacity to sustain human civilisation, but you have to take your wins where you find them.

That said, the Liberals do have a little problem with credibility, trotting out millionaire former merchant banker Malcolm “I was so poor as a child we could only afford one offshore tax haven” Turnbull to try to explain why weekend penalty rates are a luxury bosses can no longer afford.

Turnbull's problem is the guy just genuinely looks like a giant money bag. It is all you can think of when you look at him, which is a bit unfair as we all know his actual money is in the Cayman Islands.

To compound the problem, the Liberals produced the bizarre “fake tradie” campaign ad featuring a guy in clean work clothes wearing a gold watch insisting — in a bizarre accent halfway between ocker and Martian — that we should “stick with the current mob” for a while.

Some questioned why a genuine tradie would want to stick with a “mob” out to destroy their rights at work, but it was soon established that, rumours notwithstanding, the star of the ad was indeed an actual tradie.

As in, the guy is a trained fitter and turner. He is also the owner of a building firm and lives in Sydney's affluent north shore, which might explain his enthusiasm for a Coalition government hell bent on smashing unions in the building industry.

But that doesn't mean he didn't nail the key question all hard working people in this country are most concerned about — their investment properties.

That is real finger on the pulse stuff there. All you ever hear people banging on about on public transport, in workplaces and pubs all over this country is: “Can I afford a new investment property?”

And sadly the answer you so often hear is, “probably not, seeing as I can't even find a place to rent without selling a kidney”.

The alternative we are offered to all this is Bill Shorten, whose main aim appears to be trying as hard as he can to not look and sound like Malcolm Turnbull.

Shorten has succeeded to the extent that many struggle to remember what the guy looks like at all, which I am not sure is a good thing in a prime minister. He could probably announce anything and people would just shrug and say: “Who's that weirdo on the news talking about reintroducing slavery? Change the channel, I think Masterchef has started.”

At least the campaign will soon be over and we can get back to the daily grind of being screwed by whichever bunch of rich pricks in suits win by virtue of making themselves the least hated.

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