There’s a phrase beloved of many people in Australia who consider themselves “hard”, “real”, “everyday” and the like. “Suck it up, Princess”, you will hear them say whenever people make a complaint or find something difficult to understand and/or deal with. You’ll see it on T-shirts, said on TV shows and the like.
Right now, there are many people dismayed at the actions of the new Abbott Government, whether it’s the sacking of three senior public servants who gave the impression of supporting Labor policy, shutting the Climate Commission, launching inquiries into wind farms as to find an excuse to shut down their expansion, fighting the ACT Government’s move to approve marriage equality or the move of having just one woman in their cabinet. These people, for the most part, did not vote for the Abbott Government. These are the people who need to Suck It Up, because Abbott is not ruling for all. He’s ruling for his People. His Crew.
None of the actions of the last week should come as a surprise to anyone. Abbott’s pre-election cabinet had two women – and one of them was Sophie Mirabella. Abbott ran hard on fighting against anything that helped the climate, renewable energy and climate change science. His main backer into the leadership, Senator Nick Minchin, is a well known climate change “skeptic“. Abbott got into the job as opposition leader mainly because Minchin and his fellow backroom climate change “skeptics” was dead keen at stopping Malcolm Turnbull from agreeing to the climate change bi-partisan consensus that should have occurred. So, it really should not be a surprise Abbott will spend a considerable part of his first symbolic week reversing moves to address climate change as an world wide phenomenon. That agenda has been confirmed by Abbott’s appointment of Maurice Newman as the Chairman of his Business Advisory Council – the man who deciding that attacking climate change science was right and proper for a man new in his position – a view he also propounded as the Chairman of the ABC. Anyone who believes that governments should be addressing the effects of climate change – the Abbott Government is not for you. So, just suck it up. And cough. A burn. And shiver. And whatever else our freakish weather shifts will bring.
Train riders, public school parents, people who don’t have private health insurance – Abbott won’t be ruling for you either. Abbott has spent his second day triumphantly announcing that Western Sydney people will be spending $4 to drive on a widened bit of road. If you use trains, there is nothing for you. Private car drivers, already relieved that the Abbott Government will be subsidising many new car purchases through the leasing tax rort, can experience 10 less minutes of frustration. For a little while, until it chokes up again – like it always does. I would not be surprised that Action Man Abbott springs up somewhere, spruiking new private schools and private hospitals somewhere (when was the last time you saw either a Labor or Liberal politician at a public school?). Really, those people who depend on publicly funded anything can just suck it up. The fumes left by the cars roaring past.
The Labor Government got it wrong in one big way. They attempted to rule for all – appeal to all sort of voters with middle class welfare, maintaining Howard era subsidies, rorts and legislation. They should have realised that it was a useless, self defeating exercise. Vast chunks of self interested Liberal voters – middle class white people like me – will vote out of self interest before they vote for a mob who want to help out the whole of society. There was little point trying to appeal to them. They should have just used to time to rule for Their People, making society work for a wider section of the people. But now they are out, we have the Liberals back, ruling for Their Crew. Amongst this group of people are those who use the phrase “Suck it Up, Princess” whenever people complain about the actions of a blinkered, narrowcasting Liberal Government. Or just in everyday conversation.
Suck It Up, Australia. That’s what we are going to have for three years. At least.