A couple of weeks ago, I said a government is like your underwear; if you don’t change it occasionally, eventually people start to notice that it has a bad odour.
The Morrison government had managed to slip back in the 2019 election by pretending that it was a whole new set of jocks and that there was nothing wrong that a bit of deodorant wouldn’t fix. However, by 2022 they had the unmistakable aroma of that dead thing under the floorboards.
While much has been made about Labor’s low first preference tally, the media seem to have completely ignored the fact that the Liberal’ vote was no better and that – unlike Labor – they didn’t actually pick up the seats on preferences. All told, the Coalition have lost nearly twenty seats and, when you take in to consideration that Nationals held all of theirs, it’s a truly dismal result for the party of Menzies.
After much soul-searching, they have been unable to find a soul. Following such a loss, you’d expect them to be chastened, to take a step back and to hope that the media give them a chance to regroup and find their feet so that they can do what they need to to become an effective opposition, but no, it seems that the trouble was that these “privileged” electorates are out of touch and don’t understand that it’s the cost of living and all that economic stuff that people should be focused on, not whether we’ll survive the century or whether the government is behaving corruptly. Nah, to paraphrase Jane Hume, it’s the voters who don’t understand that our values are the same as theirs and that’s because they’re too stupid to realise it.
So, they’re about to appoint Dutton as their leader. It was once said that Tony Abbott was the most effective opposition leader ever when he nearly won the 2010 election. Personally, I would have thought that every opposition leader who actually won was more effective, but you’d certainly have to say that he made a much better opposition leader than government leader and, it would have been better for everyone if that’s the role he continued to have until his departure from parliament.
While Abbott had the simple strategy of attack Labor whatever they say, one wonders if this will be the tactic that Dutton adopts because he seems to be the sort of man who doesn’t like anything. I might be wrong but I can only think of Dutton telling us how bad something was or how terribly a person performed or why we shouldn’t trust anyone. I can’t remember a single bipartisan moment when he said something like: “Ok, if you must make an apology the least I can do is sit quietly.” Yes, it’s hard to imagine someone who boycotted the apology to the Stolen Generation accepting the need to embrace the Uluru Statement From The Heart.
Ah, but he’s actually warm and cuddly and his family love him and his friends are all friendly and many, many journalists are telling us that he’s much nicer than his public persona would have you believe.
Ok, says Samantha Maiden, he did call me a ‘mad fucking witch’ in a text which he sent to me by mistake but that just shows the warm, caring sort of person he is. He was reaching out to a mate who’d just lost his position.
When asked about Dutton’s walkout, his jokes about climate change in the Pacific, his views on same-sex marriage, Stuart Robert told us and I am quoting him directly: “You can’t judge someone on either comments they’ve made or decisions they’ve done when they’re exercising their personal conscience or their particular viewpoint.”
Now call me strange, but I would have thought that people’s comments and behaviour are exactly what we should be judging them on when deciding whether to vote for them or not. I mean, it’s been decided that we shouldn’t be judging him on any resemblance to that person who can’t be named, so if not his words and deeds, what’s left? Of course, we have had several years where we were asked to judge our PM on the aesthetics of his curries and the charm of his wife and his skill in demonstrating exactly why certain jobs should be left to people with training, so maybe that’s what Mr Robert meant. Forget what they say and do; judge them on their ability to pose for a photo.
Yes, I’m well prepared for the family shots and the Dutts playing with his dog and telling us all that the names that those nasty Labor people called him was water off a duck’s back and he only sues people who are refugee advocates because that’s when it’s truly hurtful and it’s really only been his portfolio that’s meant that he’s tried to start a war with China and pull the wings of flies In person, I like everyone and we have sweet and sour every Sunday, so the Chinese-Australians should understand that I’m only concerned about the rise of China on a professional level and I’m going to propose a special visa for Chinese au pairs.
For some reason, I keep thinking of Monty Python:
Interviewer: I’ve been told Dinsdale Piranha nailed your head to the floor.
Stig: No. Never. He was a smashing bloke. He used to buy his mother flowers and that. He was like a brother to me.
Interviewer: But the police have film of Dinsdale actually nailing your head to the floor.
Stig: (pause) Oh yeah, he did that…
Interviewer: And you don’t bear him a grudge?
Stig: A grudge! Old Dinsy. He was a real darling.
Interviewer: I understand he also nailed your wife’s head to a coffee table. Isn’t that true Mrs O’ Tracy?
Mrs O’ Tracy: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.
Stig: Well he did do that, yeah. He was a hard man. Vicious but fair.
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