My wife and I are celebrating our 25th; wedding anniversary with an overseas trip, so I’m unfortunately missing a lot of the farce that passes for politics in this country.
I did pick up via Twitter that Peter Dutton was complaining that his Labor opponent hadn’t moved to the electorate. This seems a strange complaint given how often they’ve suggested that Bill Shorten was overconfident and already measuring up the curtains for The Lodge which apparently as part of some austerity drive wasn’t fitted with them in the renovations. Yep, when we said that Tony would never make it to The Lodge we were right, even if only on a technicality.
Whatever, Mr Dutton’s normal completely misplaced confidence did seem missing when he suggested that a candidate who was yet to win the seat should have already found a house and moved in. Is he actually suggesting that Bill should have already got quotes for removalists and worked out the most direct route to Parliament?
To be fair, Petey did tell us that he was only passing on some of the things other people were saying. Unfortunately, due to a whole range of laws, I can’t repeat the things I’ve heard people say about our Home Affairs Minister. Besides, that wouldn’t be fair, would it? To say something about someone and then suggest that I was just repeating someone else’s opinion. Why, I’d probably be forced into an apology the next day even if Scott Morrison tried to suggest that there’s nothing wrong with suggesting that Ms France was “using her disability” as “an excuse”. Subtext: Disabled people do that all the time, don’t you know? Look at how upset people get when Centrelink or the NDIS ask them a simple question like, “Does your child still have Down’s Syndrome?” I mean, it’s a reasonable question. Now that ScoMo’s PM we should expect the odd miracle or two!
However, it was re-boarding the plane at Dubai that I noticed something I’ve always taken for granted. There was an announcement asking for first and business class passengers, as well as those with young children or who needed assistance to board the plane first. And I thought: “The perfect analogy for Liberal policy!”
Now, in case you haven’t noticed, I often think things are the perfect analogy only to become confused when the analogy breaks down after just a couple of sentences. In this, I’m rather like every Liberal leader we’ve had since Fraser, but unlike them, I don’t pursue the analogy for a couple of elections after it’s clearly shown to be… well, an analogy and not something you should base your whole policy development on.
So, when the call came for certain groups to come first, I thought that’s it: Those who have more money and can afford business and first class go first, closely followed by those with young children and those who obviously need help. The rest of us should just wait patiently without complaint because, hey aren’t they looking after those who need it? Look how helpful we are to that man in the wheelchair? See how we allow Mum and Dad to get settled with that toddler who’ll scream all the way to Barcelona? Isn’t this a fair go for those who have a go?
And, if you suggest that, as the first and business class people already have great seats and can wait in the special lounges, maybe they could just be put on last, then it’s the politics of envy and class warfare and you’re no better than those who argue that we should all be travelling the same class and before you know it, our planes will all be like Communist cattle trucks and we’ll all have to dress like Sally McManus! (I’m quoting Janet Albrechtsen, Sally, so if you’re reading this, I have no problem with the way you dress… Not that you need my permission… I’d better get back to the analogy before these politically correct times get me into more trouble than Dutton…)
I did take the analogy a lot further in my head, and I had a lot to say about the whole “”fair go” slogan, but as it’s breakfast time, I won’t do a Liberal thing and pursue it by suggesting a whole franking credits scenario where the business class people get discounts off their tax for their plane tickets, but we need to give an equivalent amount to the unfortunate few business class passengers whose taxable income means they don’t pay any.
No, like Malcolm Turnbull, I know when to quit. Peter Dutton didn’t.