Recently we had a number of foreigners come here and tell us what was wrong with the place. If they’d been from some countries, we’d have told them that we shall decide the circumstances in which they come and whether they’re allowed say anything at all, but they were mainly from Britain and the United States, so it was all ok, because we have a long history of being told what to do by those countries.
I refer, of course, to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Sydney. You may have read reports that when former Breitbart editor, Raheem Kassam, started speaking about Kristina Kenneally, sections of the crowd broke into chants of “Send her back”, which had a certain irony and just because of the number of speakers who were from her country of origin. As Kenneally herself pointed out, the original chant was because Trump had suggested that four congresswomen go back to their “crime-infested” countries of origin and start fixing things there, so the crowd was basically suggesting that the USA was a crime-infested country that needed fixing.
The conference was full of speakers happy to tell us that the greenies had taken over the world. Ok, let’s ignore the fact that we have three of the biggest buffoons to ever make it to high office and they all identify as conservative. Ah, for the days of those intellectual giants like Ronald Reagan, John Major and Billy McMahon… No, we just recently had communists like Malcolm Turnbull and David Cameron running things…
Now, I would have thought that trying to preserve the planet was about as conservative as you could get, but apparently not. It seems that by “conservative” what they all seem to mean is what I understood as “reactionary”: a person who opposes progressive social change and wishes to return to the halcyon days when everyone had the right beliefs and you could get a fair day’s work for a fair day’s whipping.
Most of you probably have an image of a conservative as someone like Bob Menzies, a defender of tradition, so long as it was British and suited his political agenda, and a keen lover of the Royal Family. However, Nigel Farage’s little speech made me wonder just what a conservative is these days.
Farage came to prominence as a member of the pro-Brexit UKIP party. I always thought that “kip” meant to have a sleep so when people say the name, it always makes me wonder who they’re suggesting should go to sleep. Nigel still holds ambitions of becoming PM, and given the situation, it’s highly likely that, were he to find an electorate silly enough to elect him, then he may be the only person silly enough to want the job in a post-Brexit Britain.
Surely someone like Farage would be a staunch supporter of the monarchy, I thought. Well, he sort of is. He loves the Queen – “an awe-inspiring woman, we’re bloody lucky to have her” – but he’s not so keen on some of the others in the family. Apart from describing the Queen Mother as a “overweight, chain-smoking gin drinker”, he told us: “Well, if I want the Queen to live a long time to stop Charlie Boy becoming king, I want Charlie Boy to live even longer and William to live forever to stop Harry becoming king,” His concern was prompted by Charlie Boy and Harry’s attitudes to climate change. (I’m presuming that “Charlie Boy” is Prince Charles and not one of the Queen’s racehorses).
Of course, this is a monarchy and, as such, it doesn’t really matter what a common man like Nigel thinks about succession, so I don’t know why he’s bothering with an opinion at all. I also don’t think he quite understands that Harry is so far down the list now that the chances of him becoming king are less likely than Farage becoming PM. Still, his desire for William to live “forever” does seem a little extreme. Unless by forever, he just means to the end of the world which, if he and his fellow travellers get their way, may come a lot sooner than we’d like…
P.S. On Sunday night, the ABC ran David Attenborough’s “Climate Change; The Facts”. I understand that there has been some backlash because they didn’t balance this by presenting non-facts. Malcolm Roberts is said to be ropable and is planning to write to the ABC management just as soon as he learns his other letters.
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