While it may be fair for us, the hoi polloi, to address insults to our politicians because they are unequal to our expectations, it is not so, for those politicians to do the same to each other.
We have heard the insult “boofhead” from the leader of the Opposition, Mr Anthony Albanese. It’s not pretty, it’s not clever, it’s not professional, it’s not parliamentary and it’s certainly not an utterance that should come out of the mouth of a mature man. It is puerile and it is a sign of someone who is neither intellectually nor psychologically ready to be a leader of anything, let alone of a Democratic Parliament that may govern a country. It is ungoverned speech.
It is an utterance more fitting to Trump, am erstwhile leader of another country, geographically if not effectively, far, far away. But no, this utterance has been made here, in Australia by Mr Anthony Albanese, the head of the ALP, one of the major political parties, the Opposition, in fact; and Oppositions, to my way of thinking, are far more important than the prevailing Party or, as it happens here, the Coalition of two parties who presently occupy the throne of Government. The Oppositions is there to prevent the Government from behaving too outrageously anti-democratically, too oppressively, too unwisely or by being too steeped in corruption; and to state alternative, humanitarian and just policies. Shouting childish insults at their opponents is not part of their job description, as it neither is in any workplace of a civilised nation, where the consequences could be severe.
Yet this insulting outburst has been applauded, praised and repeatedly discussed on social, as well as main media as if it is something that enhances the character trait of Mr Albanese, current head of the ALP, the expectant winners of the coming elections. Expectant, at least by the rusted-on devotees of the ALP and of those whose devotion pivoted from an adherence to conservative values to a fierce need to shed themselves of the liars, the sexual predators, the bullies and the misogynists who litter so much the “broad church” of the LNP that it has become nothing less than a moral sewer.
The word “character” is a Greek word, going back to ancient times and its meaning is to “etch into” not cut through the surface, to draw a deep line. A Greek today would recognise the word χαράζω (charazo) the verb for slicing a line into the body of something, in this case, the soul. When Martin Luther King Jr made his “I have a dream” speech, he used the phrase “the contents of the character” with which he meant “by the cut of a man’s soul.”
What we do and what we say are etched into our soul and make up our soul, our character.
And so we now see the cut of Mr Albanese’s soul and we sense that it does not make for an impressive candidate for leadership.
Aristotle, Plato’s young student, said two profound things regarding this matter: Man is by Nature, a political being and Just because a man is good, it doesn’t mean he is a good citizen, both reminding us that by Nature we are social beings, needing each other to grow well and that we have a duty to our country, to the collective a duty which far outweighs that to our singular self. We are all, whether we like or nor, members of a polis, a country.
And, had Plato been alive today, he too would shake his head and point his bony finger at Mr Albanese with great anger. “You are not a philosopher,” I hear him say, “so you can’t be a king of a country!”
Mr Albanese would make these two great men -men who put down the foundations of Western civilisation- very angry. Aristotle was the discoverer of logic (the mathematical way of constructing a syllogism) and Plato was a committed researcher into what makes a Kallipolis, a perfect, an ideal, a just city.
After his kiddy tantrum these two wise men would do everything in their power to stop our Albo (how easily it rhymes with Scomo!) from getting anywhere near a position of influence. They would hound him like Aristophanes hounded the likes of Cleon and Cleophon on his satirical stage.
What Albo has done with his “boofhead” immature ejaculation is to send us the message that the Parliament is nothing more than a kiddies’ sandpit -something which we, the demos had long suspected- and so we should expect that nothing of any value would emerge out of those corridors of corruption, and that Albo is no better than a thoughtless, heartless and bereft of any care for us, Scomo. Further, we should not think that the ALP is any different to -let alone better than- the LNP and its appendages, Pauline’s ON, Craig Kelly’s UAP, Katter’s AP, Palmer’s PUP and the rest of the motley binful of moral detritus.
Henceforth, we should expect more of the same:
Dutton: You’re the boofhead!
Albo: No, you’re the boofhead!
Dutton: You’re the boofhead!
Albo: No, you’re the boofhead!
The rest of the parliamentarians (shouting): Boofhead, boofhead, boofhead!
And, during the campaign, the LNP will doubtless be pointing the finger at photoshopped photos of Albo, shouting accusations of baby tantrums, the most excruciatingly nauseating image of which would be that of Pauline Hanson, shrieking as is her wont, “The Alp is nothing but a group of babies shouting insults from their cot! They are nothing but babies having tantrum after tantrum coz they can’t win! The Alp has lost the plot, if not its brain!”
Excruciatingly nauseating stuff!
And if we know anything about the ALP, we know that they are experts at losing the unlosable elections!
I weep at the profound and phosphorescent exhibition of idiocy, corruption, ineptitude, unwillingness to shed the “donors,” characteristics that mark our politicians now rampant in our parliament. No matter which side of the bench you scan with your eyes, this Parliament is fast sliding into the pits of putrefying sewer particles.
It would be worthwhile for our politicians to ask themselves what Homer had almighty, cloud-gathering Zeus say to the flashing-eyed goddess Athena, “O, my dear child! What a word has escaped the barrier of your teeth?” (Odyssey, 1. 60)
Obviously Mr Albanese’ teeth do not form an adequately strong barrier when it comes to unwise words.
Can you point at anyone in that place who is not?