Flat White

Get ready for 'campaign confusion'

19 March 2022

9:00 AM

19 March 2022

9:00 AM

Things are different since the great election overreach of 2019. You can sense the change. We need to get with the times as the world gets faster and we all get drunker, or at least find a PR company that can create the illusion of being sober as we all get slowly pissed.

Seasoned campaigners will tell you that winning elections is like selling beer. Or perhaps selling the cigarettes that will eventually kill you while the sin taxes keep going up and up. It won’t happen immediately, but – like a bottle of Maybelline – it will happen.

I’m still suffering ‘sad brain’ from that last electoral disaster, and it isn’t only me. Insiders continue doing regular therapy sessions with Murpharoo on the couch and PK still vents about Peter Dutton while dancing on Radio National to The Smiths and Pat Wilson’s Bop Girl. Over at Four Corners they’ve spent the last three years in mourning now that they’ve run out of stories about George Pell. Going retro and acting like they’re the old Truth newspaper ruining conservative politicians for their moral failings and what Julie Bishop once called their ‘Big Swinging Dicks’.

The Truth at least spared us the quasi-religious moral posturing and defamatory tweets, and it did give us Samantha Fox, weight loss tea, and Nancy Reagan’s astrologist. So in some ways, this is a compliment. I just want Louise and Sally to do a 40-minute Heart Balm on whether Billy Snedden really did die on the job and then make Scott Morrison apologise for it.

Clearly, women’s issues will play a big role in this election. Apparently white ‘Hillary’ Chanel pantsuits sales have gone through the roof, as the campaigning commences. Nothing says ‘suffragette’ and ‘inclusivity’ more than Australia’s female power elite wearing $3,000 designer suits in a high-end fashion spread.

This election is all about reinvention, adjusting the persona, and – as us campaign strategists like to call it – making things up. After weeks of whining about the soft 60 Minutes piece with Karl, ScoMo, Jen’s opinion, and a ukulele, isn’t it great to see the media getting back to doing its real job of doing a soft Women’s Weekly piece on a seriously ripped Albo in tight trousers, designer specs, eco-friendly codpiece, and hint of Calvin Klein underwear? Karl is about to give Albo the same 60 Minutes light touch – it’ll be like the Zoolander walk-off scene but with full ideological manscaping.

Security issues matter. There are ways of telling whether your local candidate is a Manchurian Candidate. Do they sometimes wear a Chairman Mao cap when visiting the Camberwell market to meet their unemployable antique-selling artist friends to discuss climate change? Have they ever worked for Huawei? Do they talk ‘Warney’, but only when pretending to be another white imperialist intent on world cricket domination? Can they decipher the instruction manual for your new Made in China television, which is just as indecipherable as an imperialist Warney flipper? In all of the languages, not just the Scandinavian ones with the Allen key, and is the Allen key a metaphor, like the ukulele, for ScoMo’s political prospects?

Confused? Well, I hear Jane Caro is running for the Senate. Yes, that Jane. But isn’t Jane living in New Zealand, I hear you ask? Jane could be having a mid-life crisis and got lost, but she will need to make sure her citizenship papers are in order if elected, given how often she’s apparently permanently left Australia. Having called the majority of Australians who voted at the 2019 election ‘truculent turds’ and the married women of Australia ‘prostitutes’, Jane has decided all is forgiven and we – the turds and hookers of Australia – should vote for her. Or at least wear a condom. Or maybe keep our legs together, as Senator Lidia Thorpe suggests. Jane is running for the Reason Party, which used to be the Sex Party until somebody decided they were having way too much fun and introduced a Malcolm Turnbull bonk ban, so this all sort of makes sense, but then you think about it some more – inhale like apparently Adam used to – and it doesn’t make any sense at all.

Teal-wearing, climate action Independents who are cashed up with mining industry trust fund money but fail to see the irony is actually one of the four signs of the Apocalypse – and they should all know better seeing they all went to private schools and should know what the word irony means. Just read Revelations Chapter 5: and the Tesla will lie down with the high emissions diesel four-wheel drive outside the gates of the expensive private school your children attend in Warringah. The other sign of the Apocalypse is Jane Caro.

The Independents are asking all the hard questions the rest of us are too scared to ask because our education system is progressively getting worse and we are all a bit stupid: is the world really going to end in 3.75 years or maybe next week in a climate apocalypse, and do you always bring an umbrella to the climate protest just in case, even though Tim Flannery keeps insisting it’s never going to rain?

I like it when Independent candidates post pictures of their wealthy supporter-hosted events and you can check out the large, lavish, manicured gardens. It’s like watching an episode of Home and Gardens with Marie Antoinette as the presenter.

Back in December Adam Bandt was encouraging the youth of Australia to light up a joint and get high, but he never said the election was going to be like this. Pass me the joint, Adam, please. What kills me can only make you stronger.

Michael Scammell is dazed and confused and votes.

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