Around the height of Melbourne’s big lockdown, back in 2020, I was doing a bit of grocery shopping. This was when mask mandates were fairly new and people were told to do their shopping solo. There I was, a solitary bloke filled with anxiety and maybe going a bit overboard (I had latex gloves and was double-masking), just out to get a few essential items; a carton of Mountain Dew, three litres of double-thick chocolate custard, and a bottle of limited edition Xbox Body Wash.
The cases were at their peak (for the time) and most people were doing the right thing. But in the middle of all the worried faces: there he was. One guy walking around the shops like King Dick. He had no mask and a barely-concealed smirk as he wandered around defiantly breathing the free air us sheeple would never be able to taste. He strutted around picking up fruit and smelling it whilst others looked on in disgust. Without a word, we had all made up our minds about who this guy was, and what he was doing. A Sovereign Citizen, an anti-vaxxer, a Proud Boy, and alt-right psycho. The anger was palpable as people shot him dirty looks and drew conclusions about how this guy was an absolute piece of shit.
I watched for a while with the same judgement as everyone else, before finally I decided that I was going to say something.
“Hey mate,” I said in a genuinely friendly tone that surprised me. “Just wondering if you know about the mask situation? Do you have a mask on you at all?” The second I had opened my mouth my social anxiety kicked in and all anger melted away. Just the act of speaking had made me ready to give this bloke the benefit of the doubt. Despite being a pretty cool guy online, it might surprise you to know that IRL I’m quite shy, and as soon as I started talking I knew I didn’t want a confrontation. So, despite my earlier anger, what came out of my mouth was an honest, good-faith question.
And it paid off. He immediately apologised, said he was in a hurry and that he had forgotten his mask. No harm, no foul. “I was just gonna buy some here actually,” he told me. This simple moment was now a lesson for everyone in the store. We had all silently judged this man when in reality he was just a nice guy trying to get by, and a little communication was all that was needed to cut the tension and bridge the gap.
Just kidding. He immediately called me a “stupid fat c*nt” and said he would bash me if he ever saw me again, then followed me out into the carpark threatening to bash me the whole way.
I was lucky: I caught an early glimpse of the anti-vaxx brain that wouldn’t be officially unveiled until 2021. I saw one of these people with the mask off and learned a valuable lesson: the time to talk to them is over. If 2021 was the year their masks came off, 2022 should be the year our gloves come off.
2021 started with a bang. The insurrection in Washington on Jan 6 showed us clearly who the right are. For the last couple of years US Trumpers and conservatives chanted “Back the Blue” and declared their support for police everywhere in response to the Black Lives Matter movement. Then on Jan 6 they got together and bashed a bunch of cops, one of whom died from complications related to his injuries from that day. Four more committed suicide within the following months.
The mask came off. They don’t “back the blue” or give a shit about anyone but themselves. Jan 6 was when they simply stopped pretending. They don’t want to talk, they don’t want to reason, and they don’t have solid opinions backed up by evidence. They lied about a stolen election, lied about a Covid-19 conspiracy, and even lied about their support for law enforcement. And after they bashed a cop, Republicans in office stood by them, and stood by their former President/sex offender.
This wasn’t just a moment in the downfall of American democracy: it was a warning bell for all of us. Everywhere in the West, the masks are coming off. Anti-vaxxers, Proud Boys, the alt-right in general are taking their masks off and showing us that really, deep down, they’re fascists. They’ve killed a lot of people in the last few years, too, with mass shootings, vehicle attacks, and bashings during an anti-democratic coup. It’s starting to add up.
And the centre-right “mainstream” conservatives are taking their masks off and showing us that they’ll happily ignore all of that stuff – as long as the fascists vote for them.
George “I-wonder-why-the-AFP-were-investigating-his-trips-to-the-Philippines” Christensen took his mask off in 2021. I mean, he did years ago when he posed for a photo holding a gun implying that he wanted to kill greenies, but he at least passed that off as a joke. At the end of 2021 he talked to fascist agitator Alex Jones and literally told people in foreign nations around the world to descend on Australian embassies. This literal traitor to our nation should have been sacked on the spot. He should have had his seat made vacant and all ties with the LNP destroyed. More than that, he should have had a new investigation opened by the AFP; one that doesn’t relate to the youth in Asia.
But no, he has the full support of Scott Morrison and the Liberals because they need his voting base. Sure, they pretend like they give a shit by saying “oh no his comments are not on” and “we don’t support his views” but did they fire him? No. Is he still a member of the National Party? Yes. This counts as supporting him!
Peter Dutton, who I have a very specific opinion about, successfully sued someone for saying he is a rape apologist. This was after Dutton described the rape allegations made by Brittany Higgins as a “he said/she said” matter. According to a 67-year old white male judge, whose actual name is Justice White, that doesn’t quite make Dutton a rape apologist.
Either way, Dutton is one of the most powerful men in the country. A very well off man occupying one of the highest offices in the land, sued a regular bloke, a fucking refugee activist, for being mean on Twitter. The mask comes off. Dutton doesn’t give a shit about the Australian public. He might sue if you make him feel sad because he is an absolute piece of shit and I think he’s sick of pretending he isn’t.
The mask came off for anti-vaxxers last year, too. For months and months I’ve been subjected to bourgeois hand-wringing social media complaints about how these poor working class people have legitimate concerns, and that they’re by and large good people dealing with a tough situation. We’ve heard that they’ve been infiltrated and misled by a few far-right agitators, and that it’s actually classist to hang shit on them. As a bloke who grew up working class in Ipswich, Queensland, allow me to say: fuck that. They’re a pack of absolute fuckwits and they haven’t been infiltrated by the far-right, they are the far right.
To call them all working class battlers is also so fucking condescending, when no one even took a census of the crowd. But they must be poor, uneducated people, right, because the poor unwashed masses can’t understand big words like “pandemic” and “vaccine”? Bullshit. I saw quite a few Mercedes with “Kill the Bill” stickers, those apartheid and Australian flags cost fucking heaps, they had a sick sound system that I could never afford, and that giant hangman’s gallows on the back of the trailer would cost a metric fucktonne. Whether it was the Klansman outfit, or the blokes in full Viking costumes, there was a HUGE amount of cash on display, so fuck that made-up working class narrative. None of them were struggling. Fuckwits are fuckwits.
In 2021 the mask came off as neo-Nazis and fascists of all stripes, like Avi “the wife basher” Yemini, stood side-by-side and shoulder to shoulder with politicians Craig Kelly, Clive Palmer, and Pauline Hanson. With the full support of the federal and state Liberal parties, these scum smashed a union office, split open a Channel 7 Journo’s head, and marched on Victorian Parliament with a working gallows, literally screaming to have Dan Andrews and his supporters murdered.
They say they aren’t fascists. I say they are liars. I was there. I saw KKK outfits, I saw Nazi slogans, and I wasn’t the only one who saw them. There were Trump flags and apartheid-era South African Flags. They’ve taken their mask off and we refuse to see it.
The anti-vaxxers keep saying they aren’t anti-vaxxers. “I’ve taken the vaccine, I’m just concerned about the mandate!” they repeat ad-nauseum. But that’s a lie, too. Because at the rally they all have shirts and signs and slogans that say “I am not a medical experiment” and “no vaccine is going in my body”. Clive Palmer got up saying he wouldn’t take the jab to furious applause. It’s all smoke and mirrors to deflect from their dogshit opinions. “I’m double vaxxed, but I just have some questions…” is the new “I’m not racist, but…”
They are not, and have never been good people with valid concerns. 100 percent of the people at that rally were scumbags. These are people who just saw an opportunity to throw a tantrum about how much they hate lefties. If they were really concerned about vaccine mandates, they’d be upset about all the vaccine mandates that have existed our whole lives. If they were really concerned with the government legislating public safety measures, they’d be upset about stop signs and seatbelt laws. But these things aren’t what drives them. What drives them is “fuck you”. They don’t have rational and valid concerns, they want to see lefties hanging from ropes and this was a perfect time to show it whilst hiding behind some vague messaging about stopping a piece of legislation they will never read nor understand.
But more than anything, the mask came off the Liberals and the federal government. Scott Morrison and the rest of his party of corrupt creeps showed us they will happily slurp up the votes of these fascists quicker than I can slurp up a 3-litre double-thick custard.
I used to believe, and I mean this sincerely, that the Liberals and the Nationals were largely good people. That they cared about this country, and even though they have a different opinion to me about how to get things done, they still want to do the right thing. I used to believe that we needed conservatives like them to balance out our political system and that in their hearts, they truly thought what they were doing was right.
I don’t believe that anymore. Not for a second.
Slowly, over the last decade, my illusions about their true nature have been stripped away. Even at the beginning of the pandemic, there was still a part of me that naively thought, “As bad as he is, Scott Morrison wouldn’t just let Australians die.” How silly I was.
What were we in lockdown for? What the fuck was the Government doing? For two years we were in and out of lockdown, and the whole time I had this idiotic notion in my head that we were getting ready. More money was being given to hospitals. More beds, more ventilators, more testing facilities, more money earmarked for welfare so people can miss work if they get Covid-19; more drugs or whatever we need so that when we finally open up, we can handle the expected influx of new patients.
My naïve fantasy was shattered in days. Now people can’t get treated, and if you’re sick you just have to go to work because there’s no way to prove you have coronavirus and no way to access government support without proof. Hospitals are cracking, nurses are quitting, the economy is grinding to a halt, but worse than all that, people are dying in greater numbers than at any point in the pandemic. Children, mothers, sons, fathers, daughters, the numbers are going up and up. People with other medical emergencies are having to wait hours for an ambulance and are spending hours upon hours in emergency rooms. It won’t just be huge numbers of Covid dead, we will be looking at a huge spike in excess death from all causes, because the Liberals don’t give even a tiny shit about you.
It took just a couple of weeks for all this to come crumbling down. “Living with the virus” for so many people quickly turned into “dying with the virus”, and the mask came off. Damien Perinic, or whatever his name is, never cared about the people of NSW dying, he just wanted to keep his big-business donors happy and he simply stopped pretending otherwise.
During the deadliest pandemic in living memory the Libs spent billions on a couple of submarines we will never use. They gave millions to Gerry Harvey and other rich business mates who pay bribes to the Liberal Party. And to top it all off, when we finally opened up, instead of handing out free rapid tests to the people of Australia, you know, the ones who pay taxes and pay Scott Morrison’s salary, they make sure Harvey Norman gets the tests, so instead of providing a free public health service to the tax-payer, the libs have made sure that one of their donors, a retailer who doesn’t even normally deal in healthcare and pharmaceuticals, can turn our collective misery into a tidy little profit. The Liberals are human scum.
I don’t want to live in an Australia where the LNP exists. I don’t want them to lose the election; I want the entire party to be destroyed. Their mask is off, so our gloves need to come off. For me, if the election this year is anything less than the biggest defeat the coalition has ever suffered in its history, 2022 will be a failure. We need to smash them in every way we can.
So here’s what you can do to ensure that happens, and that the conservatives and far right in this country fear for their very existence:
- Donate to any party left of Liberal. Give money. Heaps. Do it now. What’s the party you vote for? Give them some money right now. You already gave them some? Give them some more. Right now. Do it now, open up a new tab and donate literally now. How much are you giving? Double it. Money wins elections. Give money now.
- Boycott any business that donates to the Liberal Party and let them know. Tell them why you are boycotting. Harvey Norman is an obvious one. I’m also not going to advise you to steal from Harvey Norman, because that would be illegal. But you know, ideas are free.
- Look up the contact details of any Liberal or National member of parliament and get in touch. Again and again. It’s your right to call your member, so call. Let them know how you feel. Make sure they get the message as many times as you can.
- STOP FIGHTING WITH OTHER LEFTIES!! I don’t give a fuck if you’re a Marxist, an Anarchist, a Greens voter, a social democrat, or even a Labor voter. I don’t give a shit what your concern is. The Liberal party exists. They exist and they run the country. Until they don’t exist anymore, you have bigger fish to fry. No, the LNP won’t win if people vote for the Greens or a socialist party: we have preferential voting! Stop it. Stop going after people who are trying to harm Scott Morrison.
- Stop watching and engaging with media that platforms conservatives. There’s no point. They just openly lie, and it’s not like they answer any questions anyway. You watch Daminic Perrier or whatever his fucking name is and all he does is go “jobs, economy, families” for a bit and you won’t gain even a kernel of knowledge. Whether it’s QandA or the 7:30 Report or the commentary box at the cricket, these crooks have nothing to say and you’re wasting your own time by watching.
- Make conservatives feel unwelcome. Heckle them at their rallies. Mock them at BBQs. They keep threatening to kill us, and also they are actually killing us… I reckon it’s fair play to at least be mean to them in return?
- And just have fun with it! Make a cool collage about how you hate the LNP, make a macaroni picture about anti-vaxxers, or make a spoonville with all the cabinet ministers faces on the spoons and stomp on it with the kids! Get creative!
At the end of the day, as I sit in my house, worried for family members who are sick, worried about whether I’ll have work or not in the coming months, and eating a bowl of off-brand Weet-bix and treacle for dinner because the supermarkets are bare, I am fucking livid. Choking on my own rage.
I truly believe that the Liberals, the Nationals, One Nation, Palmer United, and their followers, be they “centre right” or full-blown Nazis and fascists, are shitty, despicable people. They aren’t trying to do what’s right and they don’t have our best interests at heart. Their existence is bad for democracy, and bad for the well-being of our country. To think otherwise is to put your head in the sand and pretend that Jan 6 never happened, that there never was a working gallows outside Victorian Parliament House, that journos haven’t been bashed, that multiple killings worldwide like the Christchurch massacre never occurred, that corona deaths haven’t absolutely shot up whilst billions of dollars weren’t pissed away on useless military equipment and bailouts for wealthy business owners. And that all around the world the right haven’t organised and militarised and openly called for the deaths of their enemies.
We don’t need to just kick Scott Morrison out, we need to burn the entire right-wing juggernaut to the ground and salt the earth so that nothing ever grows again.
Or just make some angry tweets or whatever.
Our writers can't live off exposure, but they sure can die from it. You can donate or become a supporter to help us write more stories like this one.
Our entire range of stickers are now back in stock - $2 - Buy now from The Shot Store