Greens Senator Scott Ludlam has attacked Prime Minister Tony Abbott in a speech which has engaged thousands online, though delivered to an empty senate chamber.
The speech, which was to invite the Prime Minister to visit Western Australia ahead of the state’s senate election re-run, tore apart Abbott’s record since coming into office: “You are welcome here.. but we invite you to leave your incredibly boring three-word campaign slogans at home.”
Senator Ludlam’s speech has now been watched more than 457,000 times on Youtube, reported by international media and shared by hundreds of thousands on Twitter and Facebook.
With a cold, deadpan delivery, Ludlam criticises Abbott’s policies on the environment, notably his support of the controversial Western Australian shark cull, health and other public transport.
Ludlam slams Abbott’s decision to take advice on penalty rates from “mining billionaires and media oligarchs on the other side of the world” as “kind of revolting” and says it is good to remember the Government is “temporary”.
“Just as the reign of the dinosaurs was cut short to their great surprise, this government may just be the a thin, greasy layer in the core sample of future political scientists.”
“Your thoughtless cancellation of half a billion dollars of Commonwealth funding for the Perth light-rail project has been noted,” he said.
“Your blank cheque for Colin Barnett’s bloody and unnecessary shark cull has been noted. Your attack on Medicare, on schools funding, on tertiary education; noted.
“The fact that your only proposal for environmental reforms thus far is to leave Minister Greg Hunt playing Solitaire for the next three years while you outsource his responsibilities to the same Premiere who presides over the shark cull? That’s been noted too.”
Ludlam concluded: “Prime Minister, you are welcome to take your heartless, racist exploitation of people’s fears and ram it as far from Western Australia as your taxpayer-funded travel entitlements can take you.
“We want our country back. Through chance, misadventure and, somewhere, a couple of boxes of misplaced ballot papers, we’ve been given the opportunity to take it back: just one seat, next April 5, and a whole lot more in 2016.
“Game on, Prime Minister. See you out West.”
The effect of the speech has surprised even the Senator.
seem to have hit a bit of a nerve with the speech the other night. thx to everyone who liked + shared it – it’s v encouraging 🙂 #wavotes
— Scott Ludlam (@SenatorLudlam) March 6, 2014
— Georgia Blackburn (@oncloudstreet) March 6, 2014
The speech has won Senator Ludlam supporters that he will hope turn into votes in the senate by-election in Western Australia.
— Maire Foyle (@solitaryseabird) March 6, 2014
Website Junkeedot.com has turned the Senator’s words into a meme.
— Junkee (@junkeedotcom) March 5, 2014
As have others.
Vote Ludlam 1 pic.twitter.com/ZpDjsznh47
— Ærchiearchive (@archiearchive) March 5, 2014
Ludlam also participated in an Reddit Ask Me Anything this week.