The Convoy of No Consequence

Warren Brown’s Cartoon: Trucks as the weapon of choice.

Whatever the reasons for their discontent
And lack of confidence in our government,
Those truckies’ energies seemed all misspent
When they arrived in Canberra to a non-event.

They’d made such great plans for their cavalcade,
Driving big trucks; some with trailers custom made
For their endangered business, the live cattle trade,
All flying banners in the anti-carbon tax crusade.

Unconcerned about the air’s pollution
To which they’ve made a massive contribution,
They want a double dissolution
Or else they’ll join the ‘Peoples Revolution!’

That’s a slogan they’d heard used before,
By Tony Abbott when he threatened war
If Labor taxed rich miners to subsidise the poor.
Nor were truckies going to take it any more!

So where was support for their demonstration
They’d been promised from across the nation?
Why so few joined them in their protestation
Of “No Taxation Without Representation!”

But that’s the US Tea Party catchcry!
That would put off your average Aussie guy.
Okay to get mad about a politician’s lie,
But join some foreign movement? He’d rather die.

Perhaps that’s why the convoy of no confidence
Was looked at askance, maybe with intelligence,
Then shrugged off with indifference
And became of little consequence.

NOTE: What a wash-out the ‘Convoy Of No Confidence’ turned out to be. There’d been so much publicity about the planned protest by thousands of truckies from the far corners of Australia travelling to protest against the Gillard government, primarily about the carbon tax and demanding a new election. Their rage had been set off, it seemed, by the temporary ban on live cattle exports, but road laws, gay marriage, fuel excise and the mining tax were all in the mix. They had coordinated routes for eleven convoys and seemed to have widespread support.

Tony Abbott actually climbed aboard one of the trucks in a convoy of 20 to 30 vehicles for the last leg of the journey on Sunday night, describing the protesters as, “Very decent, salt of the earth Australians who feel that they’ve been ripped off by a bad government.” I think he was hoping for an enormous publicity pay-off for his “No Carbon Tax!” campaign. Imagine the impact of several thousand semi-trailer trucks on Canberra’s city streets.

Instead only a few hundred trucks turned up. I hoped the lack of support was about a growing boredom with or even repugnance for Tony Abbott’s relentless negativity on the carbon tax. Or perhaps an awareness of how extreme the anti-carbon movement is becoming and so very much like the US Tea Party. That would not go down well with the average Australian, I imagine. Though I’m pretty sure that most truckies would not be aware of the tactics of Astro Turfing movement talked about by
Ramon Glazov
, writing today in the Drum

I had the impression on Monday that the electronic media were reluctant to give up their angle on this story of the Prime Minister and Government being besieged by angry truckies and their mighty motorcade. But even Tony Abbott and Motormouth Alan Jones had to accept the poor turn out, however much the TV news made of the filming opportunities of even a few hundred monster semis. Today the print media was more realistic and The Age gave a good account of all the excitement of the non-event including the clever comment by Anthony Albanese in Parliament which inspired my title!

Sad though to read in some accounts which I won’t link to here and in comments on various blogs how so many on the right are accepting of the dishonest claim by Alan Jones that the poor showing was the result of a police blockade at ACT borders. A claim immediately denied by the police, but seemingly swallowed hook line and sinker by many of the convoy’s supporters.


Darin Sullivan,     23/08/11, Great analysis of yesterday’s event…. well done.

debbiep,     2011/08/23 Great poem patrica. Love the way Abbott continues to describe the government as ‘bad’ , it is a ‘Look over there’ moment while inciting bad into politics himself.

Talk Turkey,     23/08/11, Well done Patricia. You don’t need help from Turkeys! But you earn feathers for us all with your pomes. No wonder Ad astra and The Political Sword are shortlisted for the relevant categories of the Wonkleys this year!

 Lyn,     23/08/11, Hi Patricia. Brilliant article, wonderful pome.

Gravel,     2011/08/24 Well said Patricia. I like the way you express your thoughts at the end of the great pome, you have a great way of expressing yourself. Keep on keeping on.

Min,     02/12/11,    Brilliant as always Patricia

 Wixxy,    02/12/11,     Patrica, that is absolute gold .

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