On The Floor

All lyrics written and copyrighted by Casey Bennetto, 2004.
Annotations written by Loki Carbis, 2009; revised in 2014.
The assistance and advice of Casey Bennetto in the creation of these annotations is gratefully acknowledged.

This page is intended for informational purposes only.



Dr John Robert Hewson was elected to Parliament in 1987, and became leader of the Liberal Party on April 3, 1990 after Andrew Peacock led the party to defeat in that year’s election. Also, the music that plays just before he sings is the distinctive opening riff of the “Dr Who” theme music.Hewson: Dr Who? Doctor Hewson!
Sit up straight when I’m talkin’ to you, son
Hewson’s policy perspective, especially in economics, was from the far right of the Liberal Party. Hewson was an outspoken admirer of Margaret Thatcher’s economic policies.the magical might from the radical right,
I’m gonna light up the night with a scheme and a dream so bright
so sit right back while we bite back,
Fightback! was the name of Hewson’s radical economic policy package, released on November 21, 1991, whose key elements were the introduction of a consumption tax called the goods and services tax (GST), the compensatory abolition of a range of other taxes such as sales tax, deep cuts in income tax for the middle and upper-middle classes, and increases in pensions and benefits to compensate the poor for the rise in prices flowing from the GST.this is called Fightback! – me and my G on the right track –
and we don’t stop ‘til we get our way: G – S – T – O – K!
Band/Hewson: Hey! Ho! Hey! Ho! Hey! Ho! Hey! Ho!

Keating: G – S – T? This is what you call salvation?
To whack taxation over the nation?
This is the bright new plan you bring?
Fifteen percent on everything?

Historically, a GST was first proposed in Australia by Keating himself in 1985. However, by 1991, the problems with a GST had become apparent after its implementation in Canada, and Keating, along with a majority of Australians, had turned against the idea.I was a stick-up kid for the capital gains,
but the feeling wanes when you grow some brains!
Poor law, so my homies say: G – S – T – no – way!
Band/Keating: Nay! No! Nay! No! Nay! No! Nay! No!

Hewson: We’re twenty points up, we’re off the charts!
We don’t need you and your bleeding hearts!
‘Trickle-Down’ economics is another name given to the style espoused by Hewson. The idea is that tax cuts for the wealthier will lead to capital investment, benefitting the economy as a whole. It is, of course, unmitigated crap.The poor and sick’ll have a trickle to suck,
One of Keating’s rebuttals of Hewson’s policies was what became known as the ‘Caring Arm’ speech, the main thrust of which was support for the welfare and other low-income group support policies that Hewson wanted to gut. Hewson’s “you give ’em a hand, they might drag you down into the muck” is a paraphrase of Keating’s paraphrase(!) of Hewson’s statement in Parliament on 20 August 1992: “I remember you saying not long ago that when they fall off the pace you will reach back and pull them up. What you mean is that you will pull everyone else down to the lowest common denominator.” Keating adroitly rephrased it to highlight the unkind, less egalitarian implications of the phrase: “that if you lean down and put an arm out to people in this country who are not as well off and who deserve support it will drag the rest of us down”.but if you give ‘em a hand, they might drag you down into the muck!

That’s why you were born to lose,
you get stuck in the shit in your shiny shoes,
and that’s why you’re gonna get blown away:
‘cos you can’t play like Doctor J!
Julius Erving, a.k.a. Dr J, was a US basketball star of the seventies, acknowleged as one of the game’s all time greats. “You can’t play like Dr,. J” was a well-known catchphrase of his.You can’t play like Doctor J
Band: You can’t play like doctor J
Hewson: You can’t play like Doctor J
Band: You can’t play like doctor J

Oh no! They sent the Doctor to get us!
Keating (as treasurer) on Hewson (as shadow treasurer) in Parliament, 31/10/89.It’s like being flogged with warm lettuce and cabbages!
Keating’s nickname for Hewson in the wake of the proposed GST, in Parliament, 19/8/92 – “This is only zealotry. This is the feral abacus at his best. This is the notion, the bean counter, where basically, again, people do not matter.”The feral abacus! Come to savage us!
He must be ravenous! Ravenous!
Keating on Hewson – “I’d put him in the same class as the rest of them: mediocrity.” The Bunyip Aristocracy line was actually Keating on Andrew Peacock, in Parliament, 7/12/83: “He is part of the bunyip aristocracy, a remnant of the failed upper class, one of the crowd who reside in Melbourne and govern Australia. He is supposed to be let off while the rest of us are supposed to pay the penalty.” – Casey didn’t think it hurt to cross that one over onto Hewson, though it suits him nowhere near as well, not least because Hewson is not from Melbourne.‘Mister Mediocrity, from the bunyip aristocracy’,
the Member for Wentworth should be in bed,
From this exchange in Parliament, 14/11/86:
Keating: Yesterday, on another personal matter against me, we had old dozy over there, the honourable member for Wentworth, up on a question about the VIP flights–
Carlton: Madam Speaker, I take a point of order. I would have thought that personal abuse was uncalled for. Madam Speaker, I ask that you ask the Treasurer to withdraw.
Speaker: I did not hear what the Treasurer said. I ask him to withdraw it if it is offensive.
Keating: I was implying that the honourable member for Wentworth was like a lizard on a rock-alive, but looking dead.
he’s like a lizard on a rock – alive, but lookin’ dead.
Old Dozy knows when I’ve got ‘im,
Keating on Hewson: “He always turns around when I drop one on him. He can’t psychologically handle it.”he always turns around when I drop one on ‘im,
it’s somethin’ he can’t psychologically handle,
Keating in Parliament, 8/3/84: “So Opposition members should not come that tawdry line with us. The fact is that they are the thugs of Australian politics. They are the constitutional vandals of Australia. They are greedy for power. They would rip up the Constitution, attack any convention or any individual to get their own way.”him and his band of constitutional vandals,
Drones: Keating assailed by interjections in Parliament, 26/5/1983 – “Mr Deputy Speaker, can I get some protection from the drones on the back benches?”
Pansies: Not actually about the Liberal Party; directed (in the sense of collateral damage) at the Democrats and their fellow senators. Keating in Parliament, 5/11/92: “This Party of ours absolutely opposes the GST as an inequitable, unuseful and totally unfair tax. But let us not hide behind this indignation about these pansies in the Senate.”
Frauds: Keating in Parliament, 28/10/82 – “Yet honourable members opposite use this argument about smearing. They have smeared people for years. They have always regarded themselves as having a God-given right to run Australia and now, like a lot of lackeys, they are trying to protect the people behind them in the establishment who have had their fingers in the public till. They are trying to protect reputations that such people do not deserve. We are about exposing them for the frauds that they are.”
Mugs: Keating in Parliament, 21/9/85 – “Honourable members opposite, as members of the so-called party of managers, may think that they have the allegiance of business in this country; they do not. Business thinks that they are mugs and hillbillies; and it is right.”
drones and pansies, frauds and mugs,
Blackguards: Keating in Parliament, 16/9/85 – “The people have a very clear choice to make at the next election-to have a party in government with some decency and guts or the blackguards on the front bench of the Opposition.”
Harlots: Keating in Parliament, 14/5/85 – “While all the fiscal and tax harlots opposite jump on the boat of opportunism they will be left in the gutter of fiscal irresponsibility from whence they came and where they belong.”
Pigs: Keating in Parliament, 12/11/85 – “They were running a swill of an economy… a pigsty, and that was the limit of their capacity.”
Thugs: see above annotation for Constitutional vandals.
blackguards, harlots, pigs and thugs,
Mindless & Useless: Keating in Parliament, 11/11/86 – “These are the absolute gutter tactics of a mindless, useless, idealist, unprincipled Opposition.”
Foul mouthed grub: Keating to Wilson Tuckey in Parliament, 19/2/86.
you mindless stupid foul-mouthed grubs,
Keating in Parliament, 16/9/86 – “Yet Opposition members talk about the Opposition’s credentials and how it advises the Government. The Opposition crowd could not raffle a duck in a pub.”you couldn’t even raffle a chook in a pub!

Barnyard bullies: actually about the National Party leadership, Keating in Parliament 3/11/83 – “In the meantime, the barnyard bullies, the Leader of the National Party and his deputy…”
Ghouls: on the Nationals again, in Parliament 3/11/83 – “Meanwhile, the ghouls of the National Party of Australia sit beside the Liberal Party members in this House, hoping for the day of the great rapprochement between the conservative parties: The bushrangers get together with the city slickers.”
Dullards: in Parliament, 16/10/85 – “It has not penetrated the dullards on the other side of the House that a business or government can still entertain, but at its own cost.”
Dummies & Dimwits”: in Parliament, 21/11/85 – “How thick these people are! We can actually publish these numbers and discuss them for weeks and months, yet these dummies and dimwits opposite cannot understand what we are saying to them.”
Barnyard bullies, crims and ghouls, dullards, dimwits,
Ninnies: in Parliament, 27/3/85 – “The ninnies opposite may laugh, but basically the members of the Opposition have not got a serious thought in their heads about trying to run an economic policy.”
Clowns: under fire again in Parliament, 28/3/84 – “Mr Speaker, can I have some protection from the clowns on the front bench opposite?”
Fools: in Parliament, 8/3/84 – “It is our role as the Government of Australia to protect the High Court of Australia against lunatics and fools like members of the Opposition who would put the whole constitutional fabric of Australia at risk.”
Born-to-rules: in Parliament, 26/3/87 – “The Opposition has never cared about ordinary Australians. It has always been the party born to rule-the born to rule squad out there to run the rest of us. The only place where the Opposition got into trouble is that a few of us on this side of the House think that we are born to rule the Opposition. And we are doing a pretty good job of it, and we will keep on doing a pretty good job of it.”
ninnies, clowns and fools and born-to-rules,
over here we’re born to rule you,
Dishonest crew: in Parliament, 11/11/86 – “The Opposition is such a motley, dishonest crew.”
“Almost make me spew”: in Parliament, 17/9/85 – “What really amuses me and almost makes me spew are the terms of this matter of public importance…”
you dishonest crew, you almost make me spew!
“intellectual hobos”: in Parliament, 20/3/86 – “Yet no such forethought and no such conceptual thinking was ever in the minds of these intellectual hobos who attack us for having some inconsistency–“Loopy intellectual hoboes!
Brain-damaged: in Parliament, 30/11/83 – “Mr Speaker, do we get any protection from the brain-damaged Deputy Leader of the Opposition [Howard]?”
Dummies: see above annotation for Dimwits.
Desperadoes: in Parliament, 27/11/85 – “All the former Government had was an overvalued exchange rate which cut our manufacturing industries to pieces and ruined our export markets, and a monetary policy which ground the economy into the ground, never fixed inflation and gave us double digit unemployment. Talk about desperados!”
Brain-damaged dummies and desperadoes!
Hare-brained: in Parliament, 17/9/85 – “a hare-brained proposition from the honourable member for Mackellar”Hare-brained hillbilly cheats! cheats! cheats!
Keating in Parliament, 17/9/85 – “If he [Howard] wants to go stumping the country on whether this country has a tax system in which decent, ordinary Australians are not ripped off by all the bludgers and parasites and one in which decent people are entitled to a decent go with fairer rates, they will have a very clear choice-a vote for us or a vote for coalition members who have always been cheats, cheats, cheats. They will always be cheats, cheats, cheats, and will always defend cheats, cheats, cheats.”will always be cheats! cheats! cheats!
Clots: Keating in Parliament, 18/2/86 – “Why don’t you go and read it, you clot?”useless motley corporate crooks and clots!
Stunned-mullet: Keating in Parliament, 29/11/83 – “He would have no idea about how to restrain wages in a recovery. He would sit back like a stunned mullet…”
Rust bucket: Keating on Peacock, in Parliament, 6/6/84 – “What we have here is an intellectual rust bucket. The bucket might be painted up , but there is rust underneath the duco.”
Boxheads”: in Parliament, 21/9/85, to Tuckey again – “You boxhead, you would not know. You are flat out counting past 10.”
stunned-mullet rustbucket boxheads!
Scumbags: in Parliament, 22/9/84 – “You were heard in silence, so some of you scumbags on the front bench should just wait a minute until you hear the responses from me.”
Alley cats: in Parliament, 26/5/83, over Michael Hodgman’s interjections – “Do not worry about him, Mr Deputy Speaker. He has got the political morals of an alley cat.”
scumbags! and alley cats!
You wanna fight back?
Hewson released a revised version of Fightback on December 18, 1992, which did succeed in regaining some of the polling ground he’d lost to Keating’s attacks.Fight back! Fight back from that!

Hewson: Well, alright, you think you’ve got it made?
Then let the game be played –
why are you so afraid?
You’ve got the cheek to critique
and shriek that we’re weak –
let the people decide! Let the public speak!
Make a correction! Call an election!
Show us your miraculous resurrection!
If the people hate me and you’re so great,
why you wanna make me wait?

Keating: Becaaaauuuse….

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