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The masked liberal: Manus & Negative gearing, beginning of the end for Mal? Nope

The masked liberal: Manus & Negative gearing, beginning of the end for Mal? Nope

Friday 29 April, 2016
Stop rubbing your hands together with glee, Laborites! For your recent victories over Manus & Negative gearing mean nothing.
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All is not well in the Secret Libratory. My room-mate/arch-nemesis ‘Labor Boy’ has smugly chalked two victories over the ‘Fauxilition’, cackling his chortling cackle, necking a Coopers and cutting an exit toward the kitchenette, his flannel shirt flapping in the breeze.

But that fool LB is ghastly mistaken. I’m willing to suggest that the headlines, those that screamed the ruling of the PNG Supreme Court, which decreed the Manus Island centre illegal, and Malcolm Turnbull’s negative gearing plot, ‘exposed’ as a tax break for the rich under the spotlight of the ABC’s 7:30 Report, are in fact, tall letters, short on meaning.

We’ll start with the 7:30 Report:

One internet commentator even put forward the question “the worst start to an election ever!?”. Which, adjusting my English to his hyperbole: “most over the top statement in the history of the internet ever?”

And while Labor Boy, and others like him may proudly elevate these two instances as the virtuous spanner that removed the nuts on the wheels of the Turnbull vehicle, one which is now unroadworthy, they may have wrested the starters gun out his hand, fired it, and made good their bolt.

Or: “Ease up, Turbo”.

What really has been won?

As last night meets morning light, very little. While Manus will be closed, the policy that formed it will leave the island. It is not a change of policy. Those who arrive here will have to go through the due processes in place. The only thing that was won yesterday would be felt in Papua New Guinea, and the only thing we will gain, my fellow citizens, is a brand new name from an equally obscure location to learn.

However, the sometime cohorts of Labor, the Greens have jumped to the last square on the board without climbing the ladder, with Sarah Hanson-Young stating that the game was, in fact up.

Well, the game is not up. They’re just moving the casino.

Which brings me to the 7:30 Report, and the reaction to it. Social media was awash with gleeful recounting of Turnbull’s Yeltsin slip. The wave of opinion over on the Twitter was entirely constructed by a swell of ‘me-too’ platitudes. Finally, gosh, the cat is out of the bag, and it has horns, and the feet of a goat. Well, of course it does. We knew it that. He can’t even talk. I bloody well can, tho, eh. #Mongrels

Retweet. Retweet, and repeat.

He slipped, and they laughed. The reaction followed the same format of a Funniest Home Videos clip. Cartoon voice, slip, laugh, quip, canned laughter. But there’s a reason why that show is no longer on Television, and it’s the same reason why in the morning light, the reaction has petered out.

It’s a hollow laugh.

Sorry to say, but last night meant nothing. Nothing has been won.

Not even the JVC camcorder package.


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