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The Tribe Has Spoken

By Pearl Bullivant on February 20, 2015 in Other

Photo: John Kerr

Photo: John Kerr

New Year’s Eve 2014 and Pearl and her left leaning cronies (we lefties are proudly ‘leaners’ not ‘lifters’) from The Clovelly Push gathered in our clubhouse in Newtown, sipping G&Ts and reminiscing about the year that was. We vowed to create our own ‘tribe’, since we are too old and childless to be Yummy Mummies, too poor to be MAMILs and way too daggy to be hipsters.

Our tribe of ‘Pensioners Against Consumerism’ will be coordinated solely to upset the utopian materialistic world of Russell Zimmerman, head of the Australian Retailers Association. In a tantrum typical of politicians, mining executives and property developers, Mr Zimmerman’s spoilt brat reaction to the Martin Place siege – “I don’t want to be a prophet of doom and gloom but you do worry about how this could affect spending” – was so abhorrent to our dignities that we have vowed to bring the Australian economy to its knees in 2015 by keeping our Glomesh bags tightly shut.

Adding to our anti-consumerist zeal was the bizarre claim back in September by GP Morgan economist Stephen Walters that “Australians are suffering economic post-traumatic stress disorder”, a remark totally insensitive to those suffering actual PTSD and warranting militant pensioner action.

With our tribe successfully voted upon, we continued to recall the year that was to pass and gazed fondly and tearfully at the photo of our ‘dear leader’ Gough Whitlam hanging proudly on our HQ’s lounge room wall, and rallied against the Sydney Morning Herald’s hypocritical palavering to the great social reformer’s memory, having previously implored voters “to give Tony Abbott a chance”.

And as we threw darts at the Tony Abbott dart board in the kitchen, we drunkenly reviewed the ‘social experiment’ of Australia’s ‘reformer’ of the 21st Century, comparing his achievements to those of Gough’s forty years earlier.

Tony Abbott: the PM the SMH told us we had to have; the man who is hell bent on turning back every social reform since the Whitlam era, armed with a cabinet of conservative, homophobic, racist, fundamentalist Christian climate change deniers chanting a slogan of ‘death to intergenerational debt and theft’ (compare that to Gough’s ‘It’s Time’) while targeting pensioners, charities, Medicare, universities and Legal Aid, forgetting that the real parasites on our economy are tax-avoiding big businesses and preferring a GST on food over a levy on Our Gina.

But Abbott’s appeal as a retro man (sans facial hair), a progressive in a regressive way, and, to coin a hipster term, ‘new school posing as old school’, would have been way too fashion forward for the SMH to resist, seeing that the paper has been reduced in size to a lifestyle mag.

Yes, Tony is the PM we had to have. I recall in the 1970s my sister being overjoyed at how much better off she was under Gough’s leadership, how she could afford to replace her children’s school shoes, whereas today’s voters are far more concerned with the impact of a carbon tax on the affordability of a 4WD upgrade and a luxury spa holiday.

Even I have to admit that in his first year in office, Abbott has ‘discharged a heavy responsibility’ and delivered what the voters wanted – he stopped the boats and abolished the mining and carbon taxes. Forget the real issues of government, like public health and education and the threat of climate change; in New World Australia those who rely on these institutions are ‘leaners’ (ignoring the fact that if we fund education, the so-called ‘leaners’ can become ‘lifters’) and it’s Tony’s ‘lifters’ who conveniently rely on the wealth from climate pollutants.

2015 – it’s time…

Pearl xxx