Smart politics.

Robert McClelland’s done good. Things looked a bit ropey last week. No sooner had he announced the removal of same-s-x discrimination then it got drowned out by the stink over the ACT’s civil unions bill. But yesterday he managed to force the ACT Government into backing down on its civil union bill.

Good stuff mate. Very smart work.

OK, so the Prime Minister’s stated position was that such matters were for the states and territories themselves. And the ACT, which pays far more in tax than it gets back from the Commonwealth, and is self-governing in every other way, shouldn’t be under the thumb of the Federal Government like that. And, yeah, Labor voted for the ACT bill when Howard overturned it the first time.

But you gotta understand, the responsibility of office brings a better, a more strategic perspective. So McClelland made it clear to the ACT’s “Attorney-General” (like that Toytown needs an “Attorney-General”!) that the bill would be overturned again unless it reverted to a registration scheme for same-s-x couples. So Simon Corbell backed down.

Smart politics.

I mean, come on, everyone’s a winner. The queers get their relationships recognised. The ACT gets a bill through that won’t be knocked back. The conservatives don’t get frightened by the end of the world that would be caused by gay marriage. And the Rudd Government – and particularly its gay and bi members – no longer get embarrassed by the lefty pissants who run Canberra.

Smart politics.

Sure, Toytown Labor might have had a long-standing policy on the matter, but let’s face it, the place is chockers with public servants who wouldn’t work in an iron lung, and what are they going to do if the Feds overturned their legislation anyway? Vote Liberal? They all got a little cosy with the last mob, anyway. F-ck ’em. That’ll teach them to show up a Labor Government. They think they can live in their own little socialist paradise. But this is Australia, not Scandinf-ckinavia.

As for our gay and lesbian friends, OK, so “registration” sounds like what you do with your pets, but too bad. I mean, no sooner does the Government announce the removal of discrimination than they’re demanding gay marriage. Geez. Talk about moving the goalposts. And where are they going to go? Let’s see them try their luck with the Greens. Their votes will filter back to the major parties anyway. That’s the beauty of preferential voting. Anyway, gays are about the only community group that Brendan Nelson’s heart won’t publicly bleed for.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, who cares what they do in the privacy of their own homes? It’s no one else’s business. But this Government’s not about to go frightening the horses. Keating tried all that touchy-feely bullsh-t and look what happened to him. His head still has the dent from where the baseball bat hit him. Kruddy’s cleverer than that. Much cleverer.

Smart politics.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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