I have been fascinated watching twitter in the last 24 hours going off with the astonishing “Senator Ludlam welcomes Tony Abbott to WA” video.  Being a fan of democracy, obviously many I associate with are of a more progressive slant, though what I have found interesting in this case is the amount of people who could not care less about the Greens who are impressed.

If you have not watched yet, this line below may entice you:

“Western Australians are a generous and welcoming lot, but if you arrive and start talking proudly about your attempts to bankrupt the renewable energy sector, or cripple the independence of the ABC and privatise SBS; if you show up waving your homophobia in people’s faces and start boasting about your ever-more insidious attacks on the trade union movement and all working people, you can expect a very different welcome.”

Now, upfront I will state, I am not a Green’s voter by nature.  I tend to focus more on local candidates (that pesky ideal of your MP representing your electorate) and quite frankly, bar one particular candidate in recent times, the Greens have not really impressed me.  In the interests of honesty and so you can see where I am going here, I will illustrate how I roll when it comes to the Senate vote.  I am a notorious below the line voter, rock on in with my cheat sheet, every number being carefully selected.  I really don’t care about the political parties as such, particularly when it comes to the Senate vote, I care more about who I think will actually give my state a voice supporting the issues I care about, hence the likes of Melanie Thomas (Pirate Party) & Claire Moore (ALP) being at the very top of my list.  As an aside, I would love to know why it seems that party members in Senate seem to have more leeway than lower house MP’s when it comes to freedom of expression & not totally strict adherence to party-line?

As I tweeted after viewing:

Anyhow, being a fan of the Senate, I have noted Scott Ludlam before, particularly in relation to TPP & NBN, though he was one of a few, he didn’t particularly stand out to me.  As these things happen, he came into my sphere of attention again last week as a Senator who actually was happy for us to email our ‘NBN Senate submission’ to him, so obviously now I am personally invested in him staying in the Senate – selfish, yes, but hey is a Win-Win situation.  This speech though, delivered to basically empty chamber really resonated with me.

The cynical part of me knows that he used his speech as the kick off to his WA Senate campaign.  I know that every word, sentence, phrase was probably agonised over.  Fact is, the manner in which he delivered it, some of the calmly sarcastic comments could seriously backfire on him back home in WA?  So was a really gutsy roll of the dice to say what he did & how he did it.  

The below quote alone may mean the general masses who only follow commercial TV, Radio & Papers may never hear it, but you have to admire his backbone in saying it:

"It looks awkward when you take policy advice on penalty rates and the minimum wage from mining billionaires and media oligarchs on the other side of the world-awkward, and kind of revolting."

What I really liked, was that apart from the repetition of “been noted”, which was used to emphasise a previous point, not to ram home the usual political theme of “we know the punter is stupid so we better repeat this all the time so it gets into their thick skulls” style.  I despise the 3 word slogans and the dumbed down language which is in vogue for the vast majority of politicians in recent years.  Not only is it aggravating, it is bloody insulting to the public in general.  All flavours of pollies do it.  Yes there is a time & place to repeat a phrase, for emphasis, but the amount of times it is done nowadays just in general press conferences, speeches, hell, even answering a journo’s question is just plain offensive & makes me want to throw something at the TV & the pollie in question.  

Mr Ludlam actually paid us a bit of respect with his speech.  He used full descriptive language, covering many topics - not just the one that he considered poor Jill Dill could cope with.  He didn’t belabour each point he raised – assuming Joe Blow is too dumb to know what TPP etc is.  He didn’t yell at us so that we would pay attention to him.  By treating punters with a bit of respect, not as morons with teeny weeny attention spans, he alone received my respect in return.

I live in Queensland.  If you know anything about Queensland politics, I don’t need to elaborate on how you could understand that I am pretty much ‘over’ politics at the moment.  If you don’t know what I am talking about here, then chat to any Queensland mates you know, because if a few High Court challenges are lost, these policies will be coming to your LNP state soon :(  You toss in what the Coalition have done since they got into power, and the terribly underwhelming response from the current opposition, well, let’s just say this Democratic Fan Girl is pretty much stranded at sea and perilously close to giving up the whole political process as a dead loss, particularly my participation in it, little as it may be.  

Scott Ludlam’s speech was the kick up the butt I needed.   Regardless of the campaign ploy, that 7 minutes of video reinvigorated me, it reminded me of all that is going wrong, but instead of being depressed, I felt hopeful.  Hopeful that obviously to even pick out all those issues that I was not alone.  Hopeful that there could be more of our democratically elected representatives out there who feel the same way.  Hopeful that we may have finally seen a true 'Adult in the Room'? Hell, even hopeful that Mr Ludlam may have inspired other aspiring pollies to take a leaf out of his book?

“Prime Minister, you are welcome to take your heartless, racist exploitation of people’s fears and ram it as far from Western Australia as your taxpayer-funded travel entitlements can take you”

So yes Mr Ludlam, you have been noted!  AND I thank you for the heads up :)

Cheers & best wishes to Mr Ludlam with his WA Senate campaign, he certainly kicked it off with a bang.
What was your feeling watching “Senator Ludlam welcomes Tony Abbott to WA”?
PS as @Doclach reminded me, I was remiss to not include my 'hot for Scott' tweet, silly, but hey, honest ;-)

Like me & Scott Ludlam was not really on your radar? Read this "Scott Ludlam: Green at heart" for interesting background information, not your normal white bloke in Government ;-)
Noely Neate
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Noely Neate
Talks too much on Twitter
Professional desk jockey
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