I’ve been very popular lately. It’s been years since I’ve had so much mail. Real mail. Printed on paper. In fact, some days my letterbox is bursting at the seams.
The best, so far, was the one I got today. It was from one of Australia’s rock legends and he wrote to me! I’ve never had anything to do with the man in my life, but all of a sudden there is addressed mail, in my box, all the way from sunny Maroubra. I open the envelope and his baldhead and piercing eyes look back. No way! Peter Garrett
has written to me! Well ok, not me exactly. But me as in “Melbourne resident”.
For those outside of this little corner of the world it is State election time here in Victoria. Peter Garrett, once front man of Midnight Oil, once champion of the Indigenous, once crusader for the forest – is now a Labour man, a member of the Federal Parliament. It seems strange out of 150 elected representatives, this man from another state had the urge to contact me about my choices this Saturday. Hell, even my Federal MP, also a member of Pete’s party, hasn’t bothered to drop me a line. I mean, this guy’s usually a prolific writer, well when he’s up for election that is – but not a peep out of him lately.
So why is Pete so keen to contact me and what's the bee he's got in his bonnet? Mr Garrett, once a friend of the environment and many things alternative seems very, very worried about the Greens. He seems to think that these guys have gone into an unholy alliance with the real bad guys, the Libs. "Following the recent preference deal between the Greens and the Liberal Party..." - those were the words he used. But poor Pete seems to have got it wrong. The Greens nicely left me a leaflet, printed on recycled paper, to tell me their preferences*. Maybe Pete was upset that the Libs weren’t last on their preferences and this is what was concerning him? I can just imagine the consternation back in the verdant party room “Who to put last – the scumbag Liberals or the rampant, right wing christians?”. It appears they searched their souls and chucked Fundamentalist First at the bottom of the pile, just a nose in front of the Libs. But this isn’t what Pete was implying.
Or maybe he is really, covertly working for the Fundamentalists? After all – Labour preferenced them way ahead of the Greens in my Federal seat at the last election. Thanks to Labour’s decision to do so (or as this is a democracy, their blind followers who had faith they wouldn’t do something so dumb as endorse a party that was so far away from their own values rather than one that one that was in a closer neighbourhood ideologically speaking) my Federal senator is now a member of Family First.
Who’s afraid of the Greens then? Pete and his friend Bronwyn seem to be.
I’ll let you into a little secret Pete. I was a Labour voter for many years. Call it a youthful folly. Now I am entirely unaligned. Though this election I now have 3 parties on my hit list – all vying to be number 6 on my preferences – Liberal, Family First…and Labour.
Why? Because campaigns like this, which deliberately tell scare mongering lies, really piss me off. I expected more integrity from the Labour party, but this is why I feel so totally disenfranchised by you and your peers.
I was your target audience for this letter, Pete. But you got it oh, so wrong.
* from the Greens websiteMELBOURNE
2 COLLINS, Isabell (PP) 1 DI NATALE, Richard(GREENS)
4 PIKE, Bronwyn (ALP)
6 GEBBING, Rebecca (FF)
5 PAPAS, Steve (LIB)
3 CHAMBERLIN, Kevin F.