Ok, I guess you’ve all heard about John Alexander’s election night speech where he recalled telling a doctor who suggested that he’d be eligible for a disabled sticker that he still he had “pride”.
Some people seemed to think that this could be regarded as being slightly insensitive, so Mr Alexander offered that wonderful apology that we’ve come to expect from people who are so lacking in empathy that they don’t immediately realise what’s wrong with what they’ve said: “If anybody’s been offended I apologise.”
The trouble with an apology like that is that it seems to suggest that there’s the possiblity that people haven’t been offended. This always strikes me as strange because invariably the person making the so-called apology is only doing so because a large number of people have been expressing their offence. I mean, it’d make no sense to say, “If you were upset that I crashed into your front fence and knocked it over, then I’m sorry.” Clearly some people are offended, so the subtext when you add the “if” makes it sound more like: “I understand some humourless bastards are complaining so I’d better pretend that I’m sorry so you get off my back and I don’t have to listen to your whining any more.”
Having made such a fulsome apology, Mr Alexander went on to channel Donald Trump by telling us that “no-one has done more for people with disabilities than I have”.
I think he should have added, “If anybody’ thinks that they have, I apologise.”
Anyway, Malcolm Turnbull told us that he’d apologised so that should be the end of the matter. Mm, I wonder why he isn’t so magnanimous when Labor or Green politicians make an apology. Anyway, Mr Turnbull thought people were being “mischievous” in the way they interpreted the joke. According to Malcolm, all JA was trying to convey was that it would have been inappropriate for him as a former tennis champion to have accepted a disability permit. He wasn’t clear as to why this should be. Does Malcolm have a problem with para-Olympians accepting permits?
However, it’s been a great couple of weeks for Mr Turnbull. He’s managed to get marriage equality through the Parliament. I know that he hasn’t mentioned this much himself because he’s too modest, but it was a really great achievement the way he kept stopping the legislation being put to Parliament until after the postal survey. As well as that, there was only a five percent swing against Alexander in Bennelong. And Labor played it pretty hard. As John Alexander, their celebrity tennis playing MP complained, they put up a celebrity ex-politician against him which was terribly unfair.
Whatever, Mr Alexander told his fans that the election was a “renaissance” of Malcolm’s leadership which I find strange because the Renaissance occured during the fourteenth century and even Tony Abbott was only trying to take us back to the 1950s. All right, I’m being mischievous like those people who thought that JA’s remarks were offensive. Of course he meant that it was going through a revival. Mm, that’s not confusing too. Is the tennis champion who’s done more for people with disabilities than anyone suggesting that Mr Turnbull’s leadership had hit a bit of a flat spot?
I thought things were going swimmingly. The economy is growing faster than it was when it wasn’t growing at all, and nobody is worried about government debt any more. They’ve moved those men on Manus from one place to another place and nobody seems to notice that they don’t have a long-term solution because the US isn’t going to take more than a handful. His Deputy PM is back in the House, even if he’s admitted that he’s no longer in his own house. So why this talk of a “renaissance”?
It’s almost like he thinks that the PM was in trouble.