Forget Kevin07, It's Two Thousand And Ben


In the last week, it has become clear that the Australian people are sending a message to Canberra; and that message is "We don’t like you". The polls have spoken. They don’t like Rudd. They don’t like Abbott. Some of them like Brown, but let’s be serious here.

The fact is, the Australian electorate has clearly decided that both sides of politics are pimples on the face of Australia, and are looking to give them a good squeeze. And who could blame them? Rudd and Abbott seem intent on giving us more and more reasons every day to wish to see them both splattered across a bathroom mirror.

Let’s look at Kevin Rudd, firstly. I remember his election campaign back in 2007 distinctly, and I do not recall that at the time he said anything about being an angry incompetent control freak attempting to destroy Australia’s prosperity. Which is what makes the current situation so disappointing — it’s the dishonesty that hurts us so, that burns in us like the experimental cosmetic in the eye of the democratic rabbit.

Why couldn’t Kevin have been upfront with us? Why couldn’t he have just said, "If elected I will orchestrate massively expensive administrative catastrophes, put your lives at risk and launch all-out war on vital industries while flying into blind incoherent rages every time my valet overheats my shaving water"? We would have respected him for it.

I would have happily voted for a politician man enough to admit he was planning an orgy of horrible governance — it would have been sort of exciting. And it would have only taken a bit of tweaking in the campaign. Remember those ads where Labor contrasted what Rudd said he would do and Howard said he would do? They could have just added on a few things, like:

Rudd: I will burn down your homes and electrocute your children
Howard: I WON’T (clang)

Rudd: I will punch young women in the face if they won’t bring me a vegetarian meal
Howard: I WON’T (clang)

You see? If anything, that would have increased his vote. But Rudd didn’t go that way, he just lied to us, claiming he would be a good prime minister and an efficient administrator and didn’t want to kill anyone.

And now this whole mining tax palaver is pretty much the last straw, isn’t it? If it wasn’t bad enough that we have a Prime Minister incapable of forcing the world to agree on climate change, or keeping Peter Garrett in his reinforced enclosure, now we have a PM so inept that he can’t convince the populace that taking money off rich people and giving it to them is a good idea. Yeah, "here, have some of those rich bastards’ money" is such a hard sell, isn’t it Kevin? It’s so complicated.

No, he’s done his dash there. He could have won our hearts with a few simple posters showing him punching Clive Palmer in the mouth, but he went all "let’s look at the facts" on us, and lost it.

So Rudd’s a washout. What about Abbott? Ha! What about Abbott? I think we all know that Abbott is no alternative at all. Do we want a prime minister who spends seven months a year competing in triathlons, and most of the rest flogging the impure thoughts out of himself? Do we want a prime minister who only speaks the truth when carefully scripted, and who treats every other public situation as an opportunity to try out his avant-garde improvisational comedy routines? Do we want a prime minister for whom every interview is just a knuckle-whitening exercise in avoiding an embarrassing public outbreak of lycanthropy? Do we want a prime minister who is constantly provoking us into rhetorical questions? Do we hell.

So what are we to do? Vote for the incumbent, and we get three more years of apoplectic bumbling and bizarre attempts to use slang. Vote for the Opposition and we get three years of twitching and unaccountable interest in reproductive systems. Vote for the Greens and, let’s be honest, we might as well just eat our ballot papers.

Is there an answer?

I am happy to report that there is.

I hereby announce my candidacy for the post of Prime Minister of Australia in the 2010 federal election.

It is time for a new kind of politics. Politics not based on fear or hatred or working knowledge of parliamentary procedure. Politics based on love, and unity, and a willingness to admit that in the end, when all is said and done, when everything’s been thrashed out, everyone is really pretty stupid. The only difference is that some politicians admit they’re stupid (me, Barnaby Joyce) and some deny that they’re stupid (Christopher Pyne, Hitler).

I am not one for extravagant promises, but I can guarantee that when I am Prime Minister, everything will be better for everyone. My policies are carefully calibrated to ensure zero disadvantage, maximum benefit, and a general warm sense of wellbeing, as if I had placed the entire electorate in a big jar of golden syrup. In fact, that will be my main campaign slogan: "Vote for Ben: the Golden Syrup PM". It won’t be my only slogan, of course, there will also be:

Ben Pobjie: He thinks you’re totally hot

Vote 1 Ben: You never know, it might be fun

Rudd, Abbott, and Brown: Probably not child molesters, but you just never know, do you?

Not that I’m only about catchy, impactful slogans. I also have policies. Lots of them. In fact, my core election promise is that I will always have at least 5 per cent more policies than any other alternative PM. That’s my commitment to you. Not more policy-free zones under a Pobjie Prime Ministership. I will be policy-FULL. Behold my policies!

Climate change: I will address climate change in a firm, straightforward and masculine fashion by making it illegal except in cases of self-defence. I will also provide impetus for progress on the world stage by separately inviting the US and China, without the other’s knowledge, to a party, and then locking them up in a room together until they come to an agreement. Tough love!

Taxation: I plan to take strong steps to fix our taxation problems. Upon election, I will introduce legislation without delay that will make public discussion of taxation a criminal offence punishable by up to 20 years’ prison. It will only be permissible to talk about tax policy in private residences. Newspapers publishing commentary on taxation will be instantly shut down and the editors chemically castrated.

Health: I will be a pro-health Prime Minister. I will make a point of promoting health wherever I go, and I will denounce in the strongest terms anyone who says health is bad. Healthy people will be subsidised, and unhealthy people severely punished for setting a poor example.

Whaling: As Prime Minister, I will put an end to Japanese whaling by instituting an Australian whaling fleet to harvest whales before our insidious northern rivals get to them.

Education: Education has become sloppy and inefficient, and needs to better serve the future needs of a modern economy. To this end, all children will be given a comprehensive IQ test at the age of five. Those scoring over 110 will be sent to school. The rest will be taught to make hamburgers and bag groceries and will be put up for auction to the hospitality and retail industries. In this way we will avoid the enormous wastage that plagues our education system and ensure that children are funnelled into the most useful paths possible. No more will we have millions of taxpayer dollars spent on hauling some mouth-breathing wood-ape all the way to Year 12, only to see them spend their life fulfilling the BBQ sauce-squirting destiny that any fool could see was pretty much inevitable from the day they first stumbled out of the womb in search of the nearest Hungry Jacks.

Industrial relations: As Prime Minister I will achieve a balance between business needs and workers rights by instituting a simplified system of workplace contracts, in which both employer and employee take turns in writing each line of the contract, without being able to see what the other wrote last. In this way, contracts will be both even-handed and hilarious.

And the policies won’t stop there! Wait till you see my plans for compulsory attendance at sporting events, paid maternity leave at double the mother’s previous wage, the appointment of an official Parliamentary Ska Band to open Question Time, and the return of the death penalty for children’s choirs.

It will be a new utopia for our great southern land, I’m sure you’ll agree. But I do need your help. Unfortunately, under the current system, one cannot become Prime Minister without having a bunch of "MPs". This system will obviously change pretty soon (wink, wink), but for now we have to work within the system. So I need you to sign up for the Pobjie Party, so you can be elected in YOUR electorate, and help make my, and by extension Australia’s, dreams come true.

Do it today! Email me with the subject line "Yes I Would Like To Help Transform Australia And Give Ben Multiple Income Streams Tell Me How". Together we can build a country of which we can all be proud.

Kevin07 is in the past. It’s time for a new leader, a new era, a new clever way to rhyme names with years. Fall in behind me, because this year, It’s Time for Two Thousand and Ben.

Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.