It worked. For the second election year in a row, a lobby group booted the Prime Minister by convincing the bogan that its constitutional right to get rich easy was under threat. While it was the unions in 2007 pillorying Workchoices, the mining industry in 2010 nobly found itself willing to spend tens of millions of dollars on ads to save tens of billions of dollars on tax. With the ALP’s re-election prospects worsening by the day, the party booted its technocrat leader. A leader who sometimes didn’t speak English, and was allegedly threatening the bogan’s entitlement to make $150k per annum for holding a stop sign in a hole somewhere near Kalgoorlie.
In his place was installed Julia Gillard. With a strong background in both the union and maxtreme justice dispenser Slater & Gordon, the bogan is intended to feel that its unconvincingly stated intention of going to work in the mines is safe. Safe from a tax that it has not actively sought to understand, but knows that it does not like. Another key benefit of Gillard’s ascension to PM is the bogan’s vastly increased capacity to pass ginger jokes off as political analysis. After identifying that Kevin Rudd looked somewhat like Tintin, the bogan’s content ran dry, and it was forced into silence. No longer. With a deeper arsenal of ginger jokes derived from Summer Heights High, The Footy Show, and its friends, the bogan can now extend an unflattering analysis of its leader’s physical appearance well out past 20 seconds. Immediately upon her appointment, it trawled the internet for web pages entitled ‘ranga joke of the day’, then bookmarked it to provide fodder for its workplace joke-telling. The bogan likes this.
While the last couple of decades have made women in politics less remarkable, the bogan still cannot help itself. With comments more thinly veiled than Janet Jackson’s right breast during Super Bowl XXXVIII, bogans have availed themselves of AM radio talkback shows to share insights such as “if she’s never run a household, how can she run a country?”.
Whether the bogan will vote for Gillard is a different question. More likely, this new twist in an already circuitous pre-campaign campaign is likely to provide the bogan with ample opportunity to say things it believes are profound, without requiring any knowledge or offering any insight. It will say things like “I’m not sure if Australia’s ready to vote for a woman”, blissfully unaware that, in a parliamentary democracy, it has no capacity to vote for Julia Gillard (unless it lives in the admittedly bogan loci of Melton or Hoppers Crossing). In the bogan booth, however, the bogan will pause, concerned about the prospect of being told what to do by a women…
Whether applicable in this instance or not, the bogan’s homophobia infiltrates much of its mindset. Despite the cheap shots on offer, and his self-confessed fear of homosexuality, the Coalition knows that Tony Abbott needs to stay away from gender and sexuality in the coming months. He will face a new task; breaking the balls of someone who was born without them, and looking chivalrous all the while. Bogan Bribe Watch could not have asked for anything better.
Scapegoat Score: 6 shadowy powerbrokers out of 10
Having had a few days in office to start talking policies, our new PM has engaged in some classic, textbook bogan baiting. She has told the denizens of western Sydney and Melbourne (specifically) that she is philosophically disposed against ‘a big Australia’. The bogan interprets this as a PM who will do her utmost to prevent more towelheads arriving on our shores in a flotilla of bomb-laden rafts. She will negotiate with the miners on the resource rent tax, a tax that the bogan despises despite being unaffected by it and unaware of what it actually is. And she has relentlessly and enthusiastically joined the bogan in tossing around as many hastily-conceived rednut jokes as can be sloppily crammed into a content-free policy statement.
Let’s add a couple of bonus shadowy powerbrokers to our earlier assessment. Julia knows the importance of the bogan vote, and will stop at nothing to get it.