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Monday, August 22, 2011

No Confidence in ‘No Confidence’ convoy

Oh boy. This was going to be bigger than Ben Hur. Organisers were at one point touting that between 5,000 and 10,000 vehicles were going to be taking part in the Convey of No Confidence, intended to display dissatisfaction with the current Australian Government of Julia Gillard.

Towns along the route were warned to expect large numbers of travellers arriving en route to Canberra. The Canberra populace were warned to expect major traffic disruptions. Parliament House staff were geared up for the thousands that the organisers insisted were going to be arriving for the protest on the lawns in front of that edifice.

Instead, the whole affair came and went as a major anti-climax. I have three separate reports of there being 180, 200 and 300 vehicles that took part. Even the highest of those three estimates is a long way short of what we all were told to expect. Organisers are now back-pedalling claiming ‘oh, we never actually said how many would be coming.’ Rubbish. It was being bleated far and wide, not least of all by Sydney DJ, Alan Jones.

Never one to shy away from creating controversy, Jones addressed the ‘rally’ claiming that police had been turning vehicles away from Canberra’s border. More bullshit. But this is Alan Jones after all. Don’t expect him to ever let the truth get in the way of a good sound bite. Al-baby wouldn’t know the truth if it bit him on the arse.

Jones supposedly later recanted the statement. But as a caller to Canberra local ABC radio pointed out this morning, it wasn’t Jones who made the retraction but merely his radio station on his behalf. Well, really, did anyone expect Jones to actually admit that he was wrong? He was quite possibly mislead by the organisers, but isn’t the onus on him to get his facts right? But then again this is the same clown who thought it was a great idea to actually advertise the Sydney race riot that spilled over from the beach to the streets and public transport system. He read out text messages on the air that said where and when. And he escaped unscathed from that mess. How he has any credibility left at all after the infamous Cash for Comment scandal is beyond me. I’d probably get more accurate information on pretty much anything from Dodgy Brothers’ Used Cars than from Alan Jones.

The whole Convoy thingy has been a fiasco. At present it is the local Canberra taxpayers who have to bear the cost of all the infrastructure movements set up in expectation of the vast hordes, expected to be the biggest and baddest flock of visitors anywhere since the Vandals decided to go on a package holiday to Rome. Reports have also emerged of the organisers contacting businesses on the travel route, asking them to be ready to cater for large numbers. Instead, hardly anyone showed, leaving said businesses out of pocket for all the perishable food stuffs brought in at the request of said organisers.

Do I have confidence the Gillard government? No, not really. But nor do I see the Jug Ears Abbott’s Opposition being much chop either. Sadly Australia has gone from being essentially a ‘two’ party system (remembering that the Liberals only get government from their Coalition with the National Party, who are increasingly becoming non-entities anyway) with some minor players at the fringes, to a No Party Worth Jack-shit system. I suspect the lack of confidence in the Convoy of No Confidence suggests public apathy more than anything.

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