You and I have a lot in common, I notice. I am only thirteen months older than you and we both grew up on farms: mine was sheep and cattle. We are both female, something I will look at again later. We are both degree qualified and we both work.
As you know, I used to be a member of the Liberal Party. Recently I was sent a reminder by text message to renew my membership. I replied no, including a link to my published article explaining why I would not be renewing my Liberal Party membership. I have to say a few more things have popped out of the woodwork about our young Tony since I wrote that. Very sad.
Yesterday a really strange thing happened. I got a phone call on my mobile and a male voice announced he was calling to let me listen to a recorded message from you, Julie. Your voice (I assume it was your voice) then assured me you needed my membership to fight the terrible Labor government.
Apart from the fact I am yet to be totally convinced the Labor government have been worse than a coalition government would have been, you didn’t really tell me why I should vote for your party, let alone renew my membership.
It seems since the idyllic days of our respective childhoods, we may have moved apart. I am so sad about this, Julie, because we should be closer. I just didn’t feel terribly flattered or needed listening to you criticise the current government. If you want to attract me, you have to tell me what you are proposing, to improve life for my family and me, for Australia and for the causes which I am passionate about. Of course, as an accountant, I’d like to know how much your policies are going to cost. For example, will you be reducing the fees for partner visas? Will you be supporting a humanitarian approach to the treatment of asylum seekers and prevent Scott Morrison from inciting moral panic in the community? Actually, just teaching Scott enough manners to respond to dinner invitations would be nice.
Really though, a RECORDED MESSAGE? How uncouth! If you want to beg me to renew my membership, at least have the decency to make a damn phone call. It doesn’t have to actually be from you, after all we know how busy you are preparing costed policies to release before the election. I just feel the personal touch might be nice.
I’m also very puzzled about the gender aspects here. If I had been a male ex-member, would my recorded message have been from Tony? Was a female reaching out to me in a recorded way supposed to make me feel special? If that is the case, I seriously suggest you look for a new public relations team because frankly, unless everyone got your voice and no-one got Tony’s voice, I find the whole damn thing rather sexist. You might be aware I am not that keen on sexism. Please tell Tony I rarely iron anything.
Then there is the little issue of any support offered to me during my battle with this government you declare to despise so much. You see, I’m not at all sure, despite the Liberal Party’s fundamental principle of individual freedoms, that you would have put MY right to my individual freedom to marry my husband ahead of Howard’s attitude to African migrants. Howard never did seem to comprehend that Africa is a continent, not a country, but never mind. I don’t see you stepping in now to encourage the current Minister to review my CDDA claim. Furthermore I hear you have a plan to reduce the public service numbers. So will that mean people waiting years for an appeal hearing now at the Migration Review Tribunal will wait even longer? Or that a twelve month visa decision time line will become twenty-four months?
I’m just curious, Julie.
Now let’s just revisit Tony for a minute. I’m really not at all interested in having a Prime Minister who thinks all children should read the bible before they leave school – unless it is in English Lit. as a fiction piece. I’m not interested in having a Prime Minister who stands nodding his head at reporters and saying nothing then walking away. It is embarrassing to watch, Julie, it really is. I’m not interested in having a Prime Minister who hasn’t got the gumption to appear on QandA. I admit I don’t watch it any more, I got a little sick of Pyne and Mirabella saying silly things. I’d just like to see Tony perform unscripted.
I’m very sorry, Julie, because I really don’t think you will understand my perspective. I am sure Malcolm Fraser was sad to walk away too, after all he had been Prime Minister. I am just a lowly voter, but I am also sad to see the Liberal Party become a clone of the GOP. You know, that silly party in the USA that has men standing for Congress that don’t know how pregnancy happens. Really very sad, don’t you think?
Julie, I have nothing against you personally but I really would prefer you not call me again with a recorded message. Do please accept this as my “recorded” response.