Not with a bang but a whimper, this week's so-called Convoy of No Confidence has proved itself as potent a protest against the Gillard minority government as spit on the radiator of a Nullabor road train.
The threatened gridlock of central Canberra failed to materialise as just a few hundred incoherent, cashed-up truckies, "farmers and their wives" and various Gillard haters, sought to portray themselves as representative of a broader national discontent. Instead, what we saw was a motley array of confused - and confusing - complaints, ranging from the so-called carbon tax to the temporary suspension of live animal exports.
Tellingly, the Australian Trucking Association, the Livestock Transporters Association, the Australian Logistics Council have refused to condone the poorly orchestrated and thoroughly compromised rally.
The one discernable demand from this addled event was for the double-dissolution of Parliament, the dismissal of the current federal government and the holding of a new general election.
None of which is constitutional and all of which is entirely illegal. And they demanded this in defence of Democracy.
Not bloody surprising given that this "peoples' protest" was organised by right-wingers Mick Pattel, recently endorsed by the Queensland Liberal National Party, and Anita Donlon the failed Liberal candidate for the Victorian state Parliament last year. Who? Yeah, right!
A shame, really. As Adam Brereton wrote in New Matilda: "Considering the real problems that exist in Australian rural communities it was tragic that the convoy was a laughing stock."
Which brings us to those unhinged serial offenders, Opposition Leader Br'er Tony Abbott and his feverish, rabble-rousing bum chum, radio shlock jock Anal Jones, who descended on this rally like starved crows on rotting roadkill.
Jones has form on irrational, apoplectic scum-buggery, having helped incite the infamous Cronulla riots.
This demented, self-important old dill specialises in peddling odious hyperbole and snarling, spitting, foam-flecked hatred through the auspice of the equally odious Radio 2GB.
More recently, jabbering Jones has called for the drowning at sea of Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Greens leader Bob Brown.
Having no sense of humour, he was not joking.
Jabber the Humbugger?
And at this week's misguided rally this sanctimonious millionaire broadcaster - aka The Parrot - spat blood when Sydney Morning Herald journalist Jacqui Maley had the temerity to ask whether Mr "Cash-for-Comment" Jones was paid to appear at this particular flatulent event.
Outraged at such a telling question, the Parrot revved his malicious hyperbole into overdrive and urged the crowd to turn on Maley in a bitter tirade that left her fearing for her safety and observers wondering whether that vicious old bugger Jones had finally succumbed to dementia.
As for Br'er Abbott, he continues to bore holes in the hull of the good ship Oz. Xenox News readers will recall that last year he solemnly declared his desire for a 'kinder, more civilsed' parliament... and then continued with his increasingly inflammatory (and policy-free) rabble-rousing.
And on and on Abbott's (and Gloria's) self-defeating hostility goes.
Abbott's word is as worthless as it is fickle. He continues the Howard Era/Error vicious tradition of division, not merely toying with dangerous extremism but actively encouraging it. Whatever it takes, right Tone?
Like the barely sane "Tea Party" in the USA, Abbott is prepared to destroy the very thing he covets. And his reckless vitriol is aided and abetted by such fact-free corporate media luminaries as the afore-mentioned raving nutter Jones, Akerman, Bolt, Shanahan, Devine and other News Limited attack dogs.
You'd think that the recent terrorist attacks committed in Norway by that dickhead Breivik - a home-grown Neo-Fascist Christian fundementalist - would cause our local crop of ratbag pollies, tabloid provocateurs and self-righteous shock-jocks to tone down the angry, bigoted invective they shower their gullible audience with.
No, sadly no, all to the detriment of our bruised and bum-fucked democracy.
But incitement to violence is a criminal offence, whether in a political or other context, so why aren't these demented ratbags under arrest? Hmm?
Whatever, the Australian Federal Police is at least examining comments on news sites promoting Gillard's assassination and those goading disgruntled punters into taking up arms against the government.
USA, here we come!
Yep, folks, this is the poisonous, scary shite that Tony Abbott - arrogantly convinced that he, not Ms Gillard, is the nation's rightful Prime Minister - plays Russian roulette with.
But the fatal bullet is not aimed at his skull, no, it is aimed at the heart of Australia's relatively fledgling democracy.
And for what?
The only reason Abbott accuses the Gillard government of illegitimacy is not just because his lust for the PM's job was thwarted by ambivalent voters but also that, thanks to his off-putting belligerance and spooky self-righteousness, he failed to negotiate an alliance with the Independents and the Greens - who were voted into power by an electorate that had clearly decided that neither of the two "major" parties deserved to govern solo.
Get that? Voters democratically elected a minority government.
And as for denouncing a Labor/Green coalition, what does that then say about the grafted-on Liberal/National coalition which is the only way those conservative parties have ever been able to form a government at either federal or state level.
Meanwhile, we have a stable minority government overseeing a national economy that is the strongest in the OECD and the envy of the developed world, despite the Opposition parties' hate-filled rhetoric and relentless scare-mongering.
The fact is, the last election delivered a long overdue dose of democracy into our entrenched two-party parliamentary cartel.
Shock! Horror! The majors have no choice but to negotiate their policies!
No surprise to watch the Opposition sulking. To that privileged lot (especially those spivs with silver spoons deftly inserted into their rectums at birth) anything other than a Lib government in power is obviously just a dreadful mistake, a flaw in an otherwise perfect political system, right?
Wrong. Without the fly-blown Nats, the Libs could never form a government. So stop whining about minority government and "mandates", Br'er Abbott, and come up with policies that ADD UP, you sancitmonious old fukc!
And no, a three word slogan is not a policy.
And remember the GFC? You should, because it ain't over yet, despite vanquished PM Rudd's deft handling of the economic essentials that kept Australia from the fiscal abyss.
But according to Br'er Abbott and his wall-eyed acolytes Rudd wasted taxpayers' money and the GFC was a mere blip. Or maybe it didn't happen at all.
Yeah, sure, ask our American friends about that one.
Br'er Abbott's strategy for the historic Global Finanicial Crisis was to stand on the shoreline and bellow "No Global Financial Crisis" (Oops, sorry, too many words, Tony!).
His Shadow "Treasurer" Jolly Joseph Benedict "Joe" Hockey's plan involved raising a sweat, grinning inanely and mewling "Wait and see, wait and see..."
Mistress Bishop, the Deputy Opposition Leader, poked her head up from under the table and glared at the GFC until it went away.
Even Barnyard Joyce had a plan: he would hold his breath until his face went beetroot red and his head exploded, Cronenberg-style.
Yep, great fiscal managers, that lot!
As a by-the-way, did you notice the delicious irony of Br'er Abbott scraping into the Opposition "leadership" role by one vote and Rotty Reith missing out of the Federal lib Presidency by one vote? Now that's what I call a mandate!
But oh my fucking god, the Gillard hater's cry: the GREENS "control" the Senate!!! Lock up your daughters, hide the good cutlery, release the hounds, run for the hills!
That's right, children, it wasn't a dingo that gobbled up the Azaria's baby, it was The Greens!!!
So far I've heard deranged Denialists accuse the Greens of being Socialists, Communists, Fascists and vegetarians. And they practice origami!
But against all reason, Br'er Abbott bounces from factory to shopping mall trumpeting his Great Big Void. Three words, three syllables. Can't fail to win the punters. Give us a KISS, Tone!
Keep It Simple, Stupid!
And this is the bloke who, according to Independent Tony Windor, begged MPs to make him prime minister, saying ''the only thing I wouldn't do is sell my arse - but I'd have to give serious thought to it''.
Sounds funny, right? Tragically, Aussies seem oblivious to the inherent danger.
Just because they think they live in a democratic country doesn't make it so. They have no Bill of Rights, no Constitutional rights. In Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain and elsewhere, people are dying - literally - to have the human rights that we here in Australia ASSUME we have.
We have ASSUMED rights but there's nothing writ down. Nothing in law. Even our dumbed-down American brethren have that much, at least.
And most Aussies have no idea how close to fascism - that absolute and utterly ruthless collusion between government and business - they came under Germ Howard!
Time for The Greens to shake 'em up and wake 'em up! A thousand blossoms will bloom! Aussie democracy may yet flourish.
If only we could bring down the reprehensible Murdocracy and the Idiocracy that is its inevitable adjunct!
Ms Gillard might not have all the answers - and by christ she has a lot to answer for - but at least she is moving in the right direction, encouraging new investment and technologies while Abbott's coterie of denialists defend the 21st-century's equivalent of the horse-and-cart: the fossil fuel industry.
To resolve many of the nation's current and future financial woes, here's a simple slogan we should all be yelling at the top of our lungs and demanding of both the Labor/Independent and LibgNat coalition parties:
MINING SUPER PROFITS TAX.
Oh, damn, sorry. One word too many. Too many words for "ordinary Australians" to comprehend, right Tony?
But really, how complicated is this move towards a price on carbon - on pollution - on all the shit the corporate behemoths spew into the air, sea and soil we depend on for survival?
Tax the polluters, give the money back to those who may be hit by any price rises and those that want to produce carbon free energy. Let the polluters price themselves out of the market and bingo, we get a cleaner greener economy and limit climate change.
As for Br'er Abbott's "Direct Action" furphy, only 40 out of 140 economists (surveyed by one of our top universities) give it any credence.
Aussies are generally type-cast as gamblers so you'd think with those kind of numbers punters would howl Abbott down in no uncertain terms.
But no, apparently many Australians are just as stupid as phoney Tony thinks they are.
Bursting with hypotheticals, Abbott has declared that IF Labor loses the next federal pool and IF he becomes Prime Minister and IF a Labor-Greens-whatever alliance use their Senate majority Senate to stop him from repealing the carbon "tax", then he will insist on a Double Dissolution of Parliament.
That's a lot of "ifs" but he left out one major "if":
If voters vote Labor/Greens/Independents back in again, then what?
If he only had a brain!
OK, now just for the hell of it, let's revisit Julia Gillard's pre-election "promise" not to introduce a carbon tax, an issue that continues to excite the few dim neurons found in the shrunken brains of Abbott supporters.
Gillard's promise referred to a Labor majority government. The hung election meant both parties had to negotiate with minor parties and independents to form a government, and of necessity, the one who succeeded, Gillard, had to cut deals with her new partners.
If Abbott had managed to quash his negative persona and convince the Independents and/or Greens that he and the LibgNats could form a more responsible government than Labor then he would now be in Gillard's position: PM in a minority government.
So for godsake people, stop wailing and gnashing your teeth about Gillard's no-carbon-tax "lie"! As if if we didn't suffer a decade of bare-faced deception, slander and fear-mongering under the Mendacious Midget and his falacious cheer squad.
Whatever Gillard intended, all changed when Australians voted-in the Independents. She HAD to negotiate with them - as did Abbott - to form government and succeeded where the rabid Abbott failed. It's called compromise, not lies, based on facts on the ground not pre-election "promises".
As for Br'er Abbott, he is an unashamed tosser. The bloke blows hot and cold, left and right, east and west, running, jumping and standing still (and riding a bike). Name one tune that he hasn't changed (i.e. lied about), often on the same day if not in the same breath.
Phony Tony is as apt a moniker as Lying Rodent.
Jesus-on-a-stick, people, if Br'er Abbott was subjected to half the scrutiny and abuse as Ms Gillard, he'd turn to water!
Either that or he'd stand there, nodding his head in speechless fury waiting for a light to come on in his skull.
But keep that gormless media loop running, boyo: Great Big Tax, Stop The Boats, Charlie Don't Surf.
Meanwhile, the Mad Monk has until 2013 to hone his unique "people skills". Good luck with that, Tony! And Watch your back, mate!
Two years is a long time for Tony crash-test-dummy Abbott to scuttle around yelling "fire" while the LibgNats find someone with at least a smidgen of credibility, integrity and sanity. Someone? Anyone?
Meanwhile, we will no doubt continue to suffer the usual mainstream media focus on short-term grievances, bloody-minded partisanship, meaningless polls and sideshow politics.
I'm no fan of Ms Gillard and did not vote for her (or for Labor) but she IS the PM and Br'er Abbbott is not. She DID successfully negotiate with the Greens and Independents to form government and Br'er Abbott botched it (Remember his billion dollar bribe to get Independent Wilkie on-side?). Gillard and Labor DO have costed policies and Br'er Abbott and the LibgNats do not. That says it all.
Now, get off the road Tony before you get knocked off your bike.
For now, once more, children, let's review how the Gillard carbon tax plan is supposed to work (Fuck off Costello! Don't you have a irrelevent op-ed to write?).
Australia's 500 biggest polluters will pay tax relative to how much carbon dioxide they emit.
The government will distribute some of this revenue as compensation to people who can least afford price rises that may - or may not - result from these industries possibly passing on - or not - costs to consumers.
Industry can reduce their tax by reducing pollution. The government will even assist them to do this by providing incentives for clean energy schemes.
Pretty straight forward, really.
But with 70% of Australia's newspapers owned by a certain Mr Ruprecht Murdoch, you'll hear little about that.
There's no denying that there are major problems with the Gillard Labor government (and I don't mean the current tawdry Craig Thomson sideshow) but to hand the nation's top job to an irrational, duplicitious extremist like Tony Abbott would be leaping from the frying pan into the fire... with a fistful of dynamite.
OK, you've read my rant this far so here comes the money shot.
I've said it before and each day confirms it: democracy is failing. We are witnessing its decline even as we whinge about the very people we ourselves placed in those privileged positions of power and influence.
The tragic farce of current US politics is a clear warning.
Like Communism, Democracy - or, rather, our "Western" version of it - is crumbling from within, undermined by those in charge.
Debunking the electoral process, the Coalition have never accepted the result of the 2007 federal poll and each time Br'er Abbott or that grub Anal Jones or some other scurrilous right-wing opportunist fans the flames of hate, more cracks appear in the democratic rights, values and institutions that we all take for granted.
Let's face it, most of us really don't give a flying fukc who's in charge in Canberra or the State franchises, just as long as they get the bloody essentials right: hospitals, schools, transport, alcohol, that sort of thing, right?
As for the mass-murdering Christian extremist Breivik - now in solitary confinement in a prison that, ironically enough, was once a Nazi concentration camp - at the age of 21, he reportedly sought a nose job in his nutty desire for Aryan physical perfection.
A nose job!
Seventy seven innocent people might still be alive if only the stupid bastard had sought a blow job instead.
Maybe Abbott and Jones have a similar need. Well, being such close mates, maybe they could seek comfort in each others'... arms. Hmm?
In'sh'alla! Shalom! Peace be upon you.
This was Max Gross for Xenox News, watching the sun set, sniffing the wind and hearing the call of the wild. A-hunting we will go... for a spritzer!