God Save Oz

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Australia's holding a general election and the left-wing Labor Party is positioned to win for the first time since the Spice Girls were the fresh new thing. The response of the incumbent Liberal Party: Ads like this.

It's really pretty hard to imagine that in this country, but according to some polls the commercials are working. There've been efforts to portray union officials as jackbooted economy-killing thugs of late, most notably by the guys at Union Facts, but the threat doesn't hit like it does in Oz. (The Barry White "authorized by" voice at the end is a great touch, too.)

In stateside news, remember the U of Florida tazer boy? Police have been cleared of any wrongdoing.

NEXT: Also, It Makes Your Coke Cost More

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  1. BOOOOOOOM

    BOOOOOOOM

    BOOM BOOM HERE COMES THE BOOM

    no really though what a terribly boring ad.

  2. The police cleared the police of any wrongdoing? Then they must be innocent.

  3. I’d be a little surprised that an anti-union ad would be successful in OZ. I recall the place being pretty strongly union.

    But, then, old “Pig Iron Bob” Menzies used to get a lot of mileage calling his labor opponnents “well known communists” back in the fifties.

  4. My cousin worked in Oz, and he told stories of union workers leaving *exactly* at closing time, no matter what they were doing. Cranes would stop with steel girders dangling. Or the guy at the end of the hose walking off without bothering to turn off the water.

  5. Sounds like somebody yelled at them for starting their close-up work a few minutes before their shift ended, and wanted them to stay late.

    Don’t want me to turn off and pack up during that last 10 minutes of my shift? OK, boss, whatever you say.

  6. This just in: Iraq hawks use wedge issues to manipulate conservatives who oppose the war into voting for them.

    You know who else the Liberals in Australia like? Gay people. And communists. And that Womyn’s Studies professor who totally just gave you a B- back in college because you’re a white male.

  7. Yeah joe, that’s an excuse to create safety hazards like dangling girders. Don’t knee-jerk support unions or anything.

  8. This just in: Iraq hawks use wedge issues to manipulate conservatives who oppose the war into voting for them.

    joe what the living fuck are you talking about?

    let’s get back to ripping on this ad.

    typography: boring
    special fx: none?
    explosions: in the negative hundreds
    meat: very little
    boobs: none

    god what a failure on so many levels

  9. ps that wasn’t a donderoooooooooo joke though it could be with a bit of tweaking.

  10. I don’t believe this ad is authentic. How can it be without having Paul Hogan in it?

  11. joe

    In Australia, the Liberal Party is the major party in the conservative coalition.

    So, no, Liberals in Australia hate all those pooftahs and commos in the Liebuh Pahty.

  12. Episiarch, if you read “support” into my comment, that’s you’re problem.

    Some of us can observe and understand without feeling the need to pick a side. You should try it sometimes, instead of defining everything in terms of partisan zero-sum thought.

  13. Does joe think that the Liberals in Oz are “liberals” in the US sense?

  14. I don’t believe this ad is authentic. How can it be without having Paul Hogan in it?

    no it’s authentic.

    proof:

    boring people get drunk sometimes too. and sometimes they’re the creative director of an ad agency.

  15. Well, it seems that Issac saw the same thing as me.

  16. D’oh! I meant Labor, Isaac.

  17. Issac – then you do remember rule number one.

    NO POOFTAS

  18. You should try it sometimes, instead of defining everything in terms of partisan zero-sum thought.

    joe please stop my spleen my spleen you’re killing my spleen (softly).

  19. Isaac, did you read my comment as an endorsement of leaving girders hanging?

  20. I always thought the word Pooftah was made up by the Monty Python guys.

  21. the Philosophers’ song sketch. With the Aussies. fantastic sketch!

  22. Issac – then you do remember rule number one.

    Too right! Bruce.

    Say G’day to Bruce, Bruce and Bruce.

  23. Police have been cleared of any wrongdoing.

    Well, golly, then it must be okely dokely to tase someone for not holding out their hands for the cuffs, even when you have 800 lbs. of officers on top of 200 lbs. of disorderly conduct perp.

  24. Anti-union ads probably work better in pro-union areas, cause they get to see just how counterproductive and corrupt unions can be.

    Here in Virginia, an anti-union ad would probably be met with confused looks and questions about what they had against coal miners.

  25. “Is your name not Bruce?”

    “No, it’s Michael”

    “That’s going to bit cause confusion. Why don’t we call you Bruce just to keep it clear!”

  26. Fun fact:

    “Australia” is not “Austria”! There are no kangaroos in the wilds of “Austria”. And Lederhosen are only found in certain biker bars in “Australia”!

    Other interesting differences:

    G’day (AUS) = Servus (AUT)

  27. Nothing more to add here, but there was a link at the bottom of the taser story that led to an interesting and very related story:

    Ocala police fired a Taser at a man because he refused to put his hands up and put down his Quran. Now the man is claiming his civil rights were violated.

    Police asked 49-year-old Jeffrey Shields to show his hands, but he refused, saying he had his Quran in his waistband and didn’t want to drop it.

    Police said he resisted arrest without violence.

    All four officers involved are still on duty, pending the investigation by the Ocala Police Department.

    They sure do like their tasers down there in Florida.

  28. a couple of quick points from an aussie;

    its probably unwise to pick imediate sides down a left/right divide, principaly because there is no substaintial difference in actual policy, the governments dislike of unions stems less from political principal and more from a lingering class divide.

    secondly, the supposedly ‘conservative’side displays many of the base populistic charactersitics which many here would criticise in the current republicans:

    massive expansion of government (in contradiction to their founding principals)

    general decrease in civil liberties… not quite the patriot act but their trying.

    billions poured into middle class wealfare and other populist election promises which are starting to have a real negative effect on the economy.

    complete loss of ministerial accountablity for numerous fuckups.

    their stated ‘economic rationalism’ is less about the actual freedom of the economy and moreabout maintianing the establishment.

    interestingly the largest series of market deregulation and liberalisation occured under the previous labour government (with the grudging support of the unions). the currency float, privatisation of industries, employment deregulation, elimination of most trade tarriffs and superannuation reform where all labour initiatives.

  29. This just in: Iraq hawks use wedge issues to manipulate conservatives who oppose the war into voting for them.

    You know who else the Liberals in Australia like? Gay people. And communists. And that Womyn’s Studies professor who totally just gave you a B- back in college because you’re a white male.

    I like how the liberals in Oz are anti-union…and how joe isn’t a liberal.

  30. Police have been cleared of any wrongdoing.

    I suspect that would be the headline of any story about a police investigation that was the result of pretty much anything but an officer gunning down a newborn in the hospital nursery (and even then, he’d probably get off if he claimed the rattle in the baby’s hand looked like a gun).

  31. I’d be a little surprised that an anti-union ad would be successful in OZ. I recall the place being pretty strongly union.

    Yeah, that’s what I thought, too.

    But regardless of one’s opinion on unions, John Howard is a jerk for other reasons.

  32. From what I’ve heard, there’s a lot of union hate to go around among Kiwis and Aussies. Their goal in the 70s was not to work with companies for better conditions, etc. but to destroy them completely and have them nationalized. Them islands is craaaaaaaaaaazy.

    Also, boom in the back of the room like it’s never been done.

    I’m the boom king.

  33. The funny thing about elections in Australia is that voting is compulsory. So there is a large chunk of votes that are not so much undecided as couldn’t give a f*ck and will tick any box they feel like so they can leave and go to the pub. Which makes opinion polling rather unreliable.

    Although 53 to 47 still sounds like a thumpin’. About time too.

  34. “Anti-union ads probably work better in pro-union areas, cause they get to see just how counterproductive and corrupt unions can be.” Yeah, no corruption in management, ever. And if there were the MAGICAL MYSTICAL MARKET would SWOOP down and end it before anyone was harmed by it. Those damn unions, working people banding together to increase their bargaining power, how I hate them!!! Oh for the days when workers had to stay on the job and fix that dangling girder, and then work on into the night, and then were not paid and told if they did not like it they would be blackballed in the industry, and for the days when they had to turn that hose off and then submit to hygeine tests (like ol’ Henry Ford used to do to his employees) or else be fired by some coot who owned the company because his dad left him gobs of cash and the factory. You know what I really hate about unions, how they through hard organizing work and often violent (and government supported) opposition made decent working standards so common place that they can be taken for granted by armchair intellectuals who, having read Road to Serfdom, think they have “one little principle” than can magically explain everything…

  35. Of course Howard’s government is going down for one reason: he supported Bush and he happens to live in a country (unlike Blair) that has a sensible opposition party that will make him pay for such a stupidly unpopular act. One thing you have to like about GW is that he eventually ruins those who backed him.

  36. boobs: none

    Yeah, ever since I’ve gotten used to t-shirt girl, I find it hard to take conservative positions that aren’t presented on a pair of boobs seriously.

  37. The Liberal party have been traditionally anti union, but this is the first time I can recall them coming out and outright bashing the ALP for it in an election. This whole thing has come about because of the Howard governments industrial relations reforms in the last couple of years. The union movement mounted a massive campaign decrying the changes, saying we are all going to be exploited, people will starve etc. As far as I can see the sky hasn’t fallen in yet.

    The unions are also fighting for their own survival in OZ. Fewer than 20% of full time workers belong to one now and the previously big nationalised industries/companies have been sold off and privatised, thus creating a lot of contractors. Most union leaders in OZ are complete wankers who do nothing to further the interests of their workers and are probably as corrupt as the bosses they denigrate. Most of us on individual contracts just look on in bemusement.

    The leader of the Labor Party, Kevin Rudd, is trying to sell the idea to the electorate that the unions don’t hold sway like they used to in the ALP, which will be tough for him. There is still a fair amount of distrust of unions in OZ, due to the IR strife we had in the 70’s and 80’s (unions were very bolshy and militant back then).

  38. This is a non-story, despite how a member of the conservative government might like to portray it. Galaxy poll 53-47, Newspoll a couple of days later 58-42 – average over the course of this year 55-45 (around a 3% MOE in the 4 major Australian polls).

    It’s fun to make up stories about statistical ‘noise’, but let’s not draw erroneous conclusions from same.

  39. Yeah, no corruption in management, ever. And if there were the MAGICAL MYSTICAL MARKET would SWOOP down and end it before anyone was harmed by it. Those damn unions, working people banding together to increase their bargaining power, how I hate them!!! Oh for the days when workers had to stay on the job and fix that dangling girder, and then work on into the night, and then were not paid and told if they did not like it they would be blackballed in the industry, and for the days when they had to turn that hose off and then submit to hygeine tests (like ol’ Henry Ford used to do to his employees) or else be fired by some coot who owned the company because his dad left him gobs of cash and the factory. You know what I really hate about unions, how they through hard organizing work and often violent (and government supported) opposition made decent working standards so common place that they can be taken for granted by armchair intellectuals who, having read Road to Serfdom, think they have “one little principle” than can magically explain everything…

    I have no problem with unions myself, but I don’t think they should be immune from criticism either.

    However, I do think this ad is just a last-ditch attempt by the Liberal Party for votes rather than an actual stand against union corruption.

  40. If you’re looking for good election ads in the Australian election – this one is a doozy…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptccZze7VxQ&source=cmailer

  41. My favourite line is ‘Leader Rudd declares swift and violent education revolution’

  42. I live in Australia and here are a few things:

    1. The Liberal Party is actually a conservative party. The term “liberal” refers more to Classical Liberalism than the American form of Liberalism. Although they aren’t really classical liberals either, just mostly conservatives.

    2. The Labour Party is mostly populist. They have little defined social agenda (other than whichever way the winds are blowing) and mostly focus on the welfare state and union rights.

    I would also like to state that I’m not Australian and after dealing with the policies two major parties and hearing what the minor parties had to say, I became a libertarian. I used to be an American Liberal, but upon hearing those blind union supporting dicks who support the execution of homosexuals or having schools teach oral sex if those policies were popular, I saw that they were spineless and had no real beliefs beyond performing deep throat on the unions.

    Seeing as how both parties sucked so bad, I came to the conclusion that government power is scary because those assholes would be using it. This country turned me into a libertarian.

    I know this post is rambling and might not make a lot of sense. It is 3:00AM here and I have to stay up all night to wait for someone who is stopping by at 5:00AM, so cut me some slack.

  43. “There’ve been efforts to portray union officials as jackbooted economy-killing thugs of late”

    Well it seems at least someone is finally speaking the truth.

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