Scaremongering has always been a part of the political process but has reached an even more insidious level in recent years with the manipulation of social media like Facebook, US style attack adverts and politicians fanning the flames of paranoia. Donald Trump has made a fine art of it with his blatant appeal to a range of phobias and fears – like the armies of Latino drug addicts, criminals and rapists storming across the US/Mexico border.
Here in Australia xenophobia, racism and the fear of Communism have all been seen as voter winners in the post-war environment. The supposed ‘Red Menace’ was a political godsend for the Menzies Government, as were the boatloads of asylum seekers for John Howard and Tony Abbott.
With the Federal Election campaign well underway, it’s not surprising that a bit of old school, albeit totally absurd, fear mongering is starting to raise its ugly head. Take Michaelia Cash’s dire warning that Labor is out to take the tradies utes, forcing current apprentices into expensive electric vehicles. It was all part of a Government generated scare, in response to Bill Shorten’s endorsement of electric cars. The mighty and iconic Aussie ute, the workhorse of the nation, is about to be junked like ‘The Cars That Ate Paris’. Yes, the dreaded ‘Ute Police’ will soon be smashing down your garage door to toe your trusty petrol guzzler away.
Whilst the more extreme right-wing parties like One Nation have promoted their own brand of paranoia, like Australia being overrun by Muslims, we have yet to experience the emergence of a political party for whom total paranoia is the one and only preoccupation. Standby for the advent of PAP, the Paranoia Australian Party, who’s only political motivation is to put the scare up all and sundry.
PAP agree entirely with Michaelia Cash but see Labor’s plan to trash your ute as far more sinister. It’s all part of Elon Musk’s plan to dominate the world with a little help from Bill Shorten and the Greens. Once you take forced delivery of your Tesla vehicle, the law will mandate 16 compulsory solar panels on your roof plus the installation of a Tesla battery. Non-repentant petrol heads will lose their licences and be issued with a bicycle or electric segway.
PAP not only endorse the views of One Nation’s esteemed climate consultant Malcolm Roberts but believe that the obsession with cows belching methane and coal-fired power stations, will lead to a tax on human flatulence. ‘Gas’ monitors will be installed in all households and those families who fancy a spicier diet could be up for hundreds of dollars each year.
PAP also believe that both major parties are working to remove all firearms from both rural and urban Australia with only the armed forces and police allowed access to weapons. They predict home invasions will become a daily occurrence throughout the country as householders are left to defend themselves with only mops and old golf clubs. Without a cull on kangaroos and feral animals, wildlife will eventually overrun farming areas, depleting crops and forcing thousands off the land. Dingoes will run amok in every Australian city.
Finally, PAP sees a well-concealed conspiracy to have English replaced as the designated Australian language and by Esperanto, an artificial dialect that reflects the multicultural nature of our society. English will eventually be banned and those elderly Australians who can’t grasp the new language will be forced to communicate in Emojis.
As a footnote to their somewhat radical policies, PAP suggests that doing a donut in an electric ute is not much fun at all. There is no roar of the engine and no belching of suffocating exhaust fumes. It’s one of the best reasons they say why you should vote for them!