Sunday May 2022, 0900 hours: Cleaning up after an election party can be either a lark or a chore, depending on who won.
This clean-up is just disgusting. Every lipsticked bottle and ashtray and discarded packet fills me with bile – a symbol of another term with Scott Morrison at the helm.
I vacuum, with hatred and resentment sweating out of me, only to be replaced by more sickening gut-wrenching hatred and resentment.
I sit to watch the morning post-mortem news TV, hiding childishly and churlishly under the blanket peeking at the smirking right-wing commentators, and unblocking my ears to listen to the bloodshot-eyed lefties.
The rout is complete – Greens vote halved, swing from ALP, and the sole beneficiary is the conglomerate Clive Palmer/United Australia/Reignite Australia/Craig Kelly extravaganza.
Clive’s mob have 11 senators, and their preferences easily supported enough on the right to return the Liberal National coalition.
It is clear what has happened.
A whole mob of people who previously voted Green or left or green/left independent voted for ‘Freedom’, which means that for them, the mandates and vaccination had become the determinative issue at the ballot box.
Almost every commentator grossly underestimated this, assuming that it was only the unvaxed by choice that were affected.
In fact, there were hordes of voters who had not wanted to be vaccinated, but did, to save their jobs and their nightlife and cafe lattes.
They were resentful, and voted with their feet (and arms).
And of course, there were the thousands who actually lost their jobs over mandates, many in the ‘waiting for Novavax’ camp. It also appeared that thousands who had not voted for years had enrolled just for this purpose.
Previously Green voters in particular had abandoned the party owing to its support of the mainstream medical advice.
The federal election was always going to be decided on less than five per cent of the vote, and they clearly swung to Clive.
Maybe it was his $100 million spend, or maybe he just got his messaging right to the pendulous ‘wellness’ voters.
Federal Liberal ‘pro-choice’ voters stuck to their guns.
They knew from the dog-whistle state-premier-bashing that Scotty was secretly nudge-nudge wink-wink on their side. ‘I understand your frustration blah blah’.
An ALP luminary comes on TV saying that they should have realised that a proportion of their base was angry at them for supporting mandates and vaccinations, and that they could have listened more clearly to their polling.
The leader of the Greens is crestfallen and disappointed.
He says that the party ought to have messaged that whatever your view on vaccination, climate change is the most important issue.
He could not believe his eyes that there had been leakage from the Greens to United Australia.
Did they not realise that a vote for Clive was a vote for coal? What did his slogan of ‘Freedom Freedom Freedom’ mean – the right to pollute?
Clive Palmer is jowl-shakingly crowing that he read the electorate better than all the press and pollsters, and that people wanted their ‘freedom’ more than anything, that this is what veterans had fought wars for, had died with real Aussie red blood for and that now he would be able to build many more coal mines than before.
His balance of power in the Senate would be used to quash any non-mining-friendly legislation. He didn’t even blush.
Lucy from Byron Bay is interviewed: ‘I have been a Greens voter all my life, but I could not vote for them this time’.
‘Our whole way of life is at stake with these mandates, and I had to vote for someone who was going to stand up for my rights; my body, my choice’.
I vomit into an empty nachos bowl.
And I curse myself too.
Who did I think the tens of thousands of protesters were going to vote for – Adam ‘get vaccinated’ Bandt?
Why did I conveniently ignore the fact that Trump actually increased his vote?
Why didn’t I spend more time talking to my lovely unvaccinated friends about the big picture?
I should have argued that Clive Palmer really didn’t care about mandates and vaccines one tit, he was just riding on the coat tails of anger and trauma.
For him, it was only ever about ego and mining.
Maybe I could have changed some minds with my widely syndicated viral Echo column.
Why didn’t I write that article on ‘ugly freedom’ theory, about the meaninglessness of the concept/word in the context of climate change.
That idiot who called me a sheep at the IGA for wearing a mask (incidentally the day before I tested positive to covid) – I knew him from the blockades way back.
I should have taken the time to sit with him, listen to his story, and reinforce that no matter what, he should not vote for minerology.
But here we are. I smash the bottles into the recycling bin, partly so they can all fit, but mostly as a release of anger. I wonder if that powder on the table is ecstasy, cocaine or talc and whether it would ease my pain? Damn the Murdoch press!
A curse on you Craig Kelly!
I’m not watching the news any more, and I’m hiding from Facebook. Isolation and insulation might not save the planet, but it could just save my sanity.
I’m not having any more election parties either.
The clean-up is just too painful.