Neoliberalism Dressing-Down: Australian Senator Ludlam on Prime Minister Tony Abbott

This clip may seem a bit far afield, but we at NC are fans of good examples of rhetoric, particularly since you see them so seldom in the US.

This video (hat tip 1 SK) is going viral in Australia, and with good reason. The contrast between the young Senator’s soft-spoken delivery versus the withering, but accurate content of his speech is extremely effective. And if you’ve ever seen Tony Abbot in action, he’s a bad caricature of a bag-carrier for monied bigots. He manages the difficult task of making the previous Liberal prime minister, John Howard, look good by comparison.

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    1. Wayne Reynolds

      Where are the candidates of his caliber here in the US? There are none in my state.

  1. Christopher Dale Rogers


    Many thanks for this post – I’d not actually heard of Senator Ludlam previously; although in my defence I’m an eight hour flight away from Perth and more than 10 hrs from Sydney.

    Having lived in Perth, and travelled the Continent extensively in the mid-1980’s, one has been saddened as to how such a wonderful nation has been sacrificed on the alter of greed enthused with a neoliberal fervour bordering on lunacy.

    Is it not a great shame that the political systems of the UK, USA and Canada cannot produce characters like Senator Ludlam – Ed Miliband, the leader of the UK’s Labour Party, is but a shadow of the Senator for Western Australia, whilst my views of Obama and the UK’s Cameron usually get me banned from many a forum.

    I only hope that the electorate in most Western nations finally wake up to the “arse-fuck” they are receiving from their leading politicians and corporate owners of said politicians.

    As such, its great to see that hope remains, even though it may be some 12,000 miles away from my homeland.

  2. sadness

    Oz in the guise of Abbott, the LNP and what’s left of the ALP is finally showing it’s true face to the world, but the world, in a human sense, is already in the asylum waiting with it’s door wide open for us tardy idiots to come on in.
    Unfortunately Scott Ludlam will no doubt have trouble being re-elected on April 5….working brains are not welcome down here.

  3. Couldn't hear it well

    Caught the gist of it w/ my system set at max but could not understand it in the particular; could you have set the level higher on your end? Then too, his voice is weak and he is probably speaking away from mic. I agree with the earlier comments and wish that the American educational system produced not only good speakers but that our culture as a whole produced human beings with greater empathy and an understanding of what a system that stressed the common good could achieve rather than the destructive individualism that makes solidarity with the mass so difficult.

  4. susan the other

    The Aussies always show us up. I’m not even sure we have a soul… but all things evolve! This Senator Ludlam from Perth, a Green, was soul defined. And I hope he and the Greens know that you don’t have to sell your soul – even tho’ the “market” can find a price for anything – because there are alternatives. TINA is pure bullshit.

  5. readerOfTeaLeaves

    Ludlum is what politics for *humans* (as opposed to corporate entities and ‘markets’) sounds like. What a beautiful, beautiful sight.

    Given his age, geography, calm presence, and list of very specific issues, I have a mighty strong hunch Ludlum’s a harbinger. My contacts in WA suggest that climate change is impacting daily life; Ludlum’s on to something.

  6. Jack Richards

    Ludlum’s example, however imperfect he may be in other matters, shows that decency and compassion are what we have, not what we want. This is a potent force which unites us and cannot forever be beaten. With it we can win back the world.

  7. ralphbon

    “Just as the reign of the dinosaurs was cut short to their great surprise, it may be that the Abbott government will appear as nothing more than a thin greasy layer in the core sample of future political scientists drilling back into the early years of the 21st century.”

    It don’t get much better than that.

  8. ambrit

    Bloody H—! That was great! I just showed the piece to some of the folks I work with in the break room. They could not quite grasp that this is what real free speech looks and sounds like. They did love him though. Several, sadly, had to ask just who these ‘Greens’ are.
    One step at a time.

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