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Libertarians are for laughs


You might think from some of my posts that I don’t like politicians.

Well, maybe I was exaggerating a little again.

I don’t really want to see all politicians tortured to death in large fully televised venues so we can all enjoy their final public performances.
Not all of them.

Some of them make me laugh. Even when I’m not rending their flesh with white-hot pincers.

For example Paul Keating was known for interspersing the usual mouthfuls of political bullshit with some truly choice insults aimed at other politicians, though perhaps he lacked the quick, dry wit of another Labor PM.

Sir Winston Turnbull CBE : “I’m a country member!”
Gough Whitlam: “Yes, we remember.”

Was Tony Abbott revealing the source of his policies or playing for the Mahafahrtist vote when he took out ‘the suppository of all wisdom‘ at a recent campaign launch.

There’s Bronwyn Bishop, the shark-mouthed former Minister for Defence Industry who proudly announced to an immensely entertained press gallery that she had just become “the first woman in Australia to go down on a submarine”.
Hey Bronnie, what’s long and hard and full of seamen?

There was Joh Bjelke Peterson, the peanut farmer who harvested large crops at every gerrymandered election and led a generation of Queenslanders with oppression, corruption and knee-slapping political pranks.

His stand-up routine in front of Australia’s subservient media was called “Feeding the Chooks”. But what had me in stitches was the bit where the Queensland judiciary fails to find evidence of his decades of entrenching outright criminality in that state’s institutions.

They only had to look in the mirror!

Separation of Powers? Why don’t you tell me what it means?“. Sir Joh sure could lay ’em out in the overcrowded hospital aisles – often with police truncheons.

Many of the best stand up politicians draw inspiration from a chaotic gabble of shallowly self-interested yet eminently laughable ideas to enslave us to plutocrats and feral markets. They call it ‘libertarianism’. I’m not sure how it all got started – maybe with Hemingway, maybe with Hunter S. –  but these days most libertarian political humour comes from the US.

As far as I could tell, former Minnesota Governor Jesse “The Body” Ventura had some good policies, but like most Libertarians pretty much the only ones he ever got around to enacting were tax cuts for rich people and companies. I could always imagine how debates in the St Paul assembly must have gone, with some spruiker screaming into a microphone about how much the opponents hate each other before the debaters hurled themselves together for ten minutes of garish, camp, stylised simulated combat. Politics should be colourful, though I could come up with much bloodier answers than ‘The Body’.

The really funny Libertarians have an almost Milliganesque talent for making themselves look utterly stupid in the most hilarious ways. Like Sarah Palin, Ayn Rand or anyone named after Ayn Rand. Ron Paul must have a sense of humour like Major Major‘s father.

The closest Australian equivalent to US Libertarian goofiness comes from our Agrarian Socialist comedians. The National Party has always produced a steady stream of jokes in that genre, many of whom were elected. Don’t let their economic policies fool you, these guys draw their inspiration and information from the same Libertarian sources. Bourbon and bad westerns.

Bob Katter was originally from the National Party stable but has now gone indie. He broke into the circuit with his “I’ll walk backwards to Bourke if there’s queers in Queensland” routine and now threatens to sing “Cunamulla Fella” unless you vote for him. The Palmer United Flying Circus tried to sign Bob up for their “Dipsticks on the Titanic” tour but he’s sticking with his “one man, one Australia, vote one” one liners.

It was One Nation that made the breakthrough taking Agrarian Socialist humour to the world stage though.

Pauline Hanson was originally a Liberal Party clown until dropped for her heavy reliance on coon jokes (“I will represent true Australians. Not Aborigines”).

With the unforgettable tagline “Please explain” from her famous rant against foreigners “Xenophobia? What’s that?” she was soon Australia’s darling and had attracted a supporting cast of hilarious buffoons. She was the only Australian politician with enough insight into public opinion to record speeches to be given after we kill her.

This election it was Stephanie Banister with her side-splitting performance of “Oops, I stepped in a Haram” that has put Australia at the forefront of international political loopyness. On reviewing her now viral tour-de-force Ms Banister dead-panned with classic Aussie understatement “Someone made me look stupid”.

One Nation has set a new standard for madcap pre-selection the other parties will struggle to emulate, though I’m sure they’ll try.

Making people laugh is a vital political skill.

They’re less likely to notice when you slip a hand into their pocket.

From → politics, rant

  1. There is in fact a tiny libertarian party in Australia: the Liberal Democratic Party.

    They don’t get very far though. Apparently the government bailiwick is so firmly entrenched in this country’s backside, there’s no hope of ever removing it.


    • Not surprised they don’t get far.

      Most Australians would take one look at their name and assume they’re another tory front party.
      Which Libertarians are of course, whether they know it or not.


  2. Um, you’re kidding, right?

    Read this and tell me those are the words of a closet Tory.


    • Hey, I didn’t say they were closet tories.
      They just support the tory agenda without realising it.

      Mainly its because they are exquisitely sensitive to secondary oppression by statists but seem utterly oblivious to primary oppression by individual and corporate plutocrats.

      That’s because they buy into the Randroid managerialist bullshit that some people are actually worth many hundreds of times the value of others – and deep down they think that includes them and its only the state holding them back from joining the other worthy oppressors in their penthouses and stretch limos.

      So effectively they work to prevent the state from doing anything that might challenge the power and wealth of the one percent (e.g. raising taxes or regulating markets).

      At least the tories know who they’re working for.


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