Essential Report

The Punch: 10 handy stress-relief tips for furious Aussie conservatives

Sep 14, 2010

First Published on The Punch 14/09/2010

As a long-suffering leftie, I thought it was just my fragile ego that was picking up an increase in the intensity of the bucketing I have been receiving from my Punch fan club in recent weeks.

Australia, in happier times.

Australia, in happier times.

But now we have statistical evidence to prove that the federal election has transformed average Liberal voters from mildly dysfunctional union–baiters into feral class warriors who want to tear down a system that no longer works for them.

In a series of questions about attitudes to the independents and Greens, huge numbers of Liberal voters have put themselves in the ‘strongly disapprove’ column.

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Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the decisions the independents have reached about which party they will support?

Australian voters are normally an even keeled mob; ask most questions and the most you can get is about ten percent feeling strongly about anything. But here we have 58 per cent of Liberal/National voters strongly disapproving of the Greens and 54 per cent strongly disapproving of the independents.

This is not just regret at an opportunity lost or sullen sour grapes. These people are filthy and their anger is set to shape the mood of Australian politics for the next three years.

It is an anger that will destroy Rob Oakeshott’s New Paradigm before anyone has even worked out what it is; jump all over any semblance of action on climate change as Green fundamentalism and whip up any minor misstep as proof of gross incompetence.

With the active promotion of sections of the media, it is an anger that will deny the government’s legitimacy, with every disagreement between the government and the cross-benches elevated into a potential constitutional crisis.

But it is also an anger which, if left unabated, threatens to damage the Coalition itself, transforming the advances made in Tony Abbott’s strong election performance into a carping Opposition-ism that will diminish its chances at the next ballot, whenever that may be.

So in the spirit of peace, I offer my friends from the Right the following set of clues on how to bring the distress, hurt and madness back under control.

1. Make a stress ball in the shape of Mark Arbib’s head – squeeze it really, really hard and kid yourself he’s offering you pre-selection.

2. Fast forward through ‘The Dismissal’ for the good bits.

3. Exercise: put on your wallabies tracksuit and go for a long walk

4. Consult a doctor about potential medication for your condition via telemedicine over the NBN

5. Take your anger out on any ‘minority’, anywhere- there are boatloads on the horizon even as we speak.

6. Turn off the TV for the duration of every Rob Oakeshott speech – which will give you sufficient time for a relaxing country drive

7. Consult the experts. They say: ‘you should repeat something positive’ while your anger subsides. Maybe they could try “workchoices, workchoices, workchoices” or “”John and Jannette, John and Jannette, John and Jannette, John and Jannette”, or “We decide who comes”…
8. Again from the experts – “Try counting to ten” – it worked for Brendon Nelson’s polling.

9. And one more – “Imagine yourself in the position you want to be in” – put on a red wig and dance about in front of the mirror.

10. If all else fails, drink. There’s been a bit of talk about an Australian style Tea Party starting up. Make it a Rum Party, start in QLD, and forget there was an election in 2010.

Peter Lewis, Director EMC


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