Some things keep happening, but unfortunately the media likes to treat everything as though it’s an event in itself and that there are no patterns emerging here. For example, whenever there’s a mass shooting in America, politicians will tell us that this is not the time to talk about gun control and attempts to politicise this tragedy are shameful. Of course, nobody in the media asks Donald Trump after the New York terrorist attack why he immediately chose to “politicise” it by mentioning border control. Surely, that wasn’t the time to talk about such things.
However, Malcolm’s muddlers have reached such consistency with their strategies for handling things that even the media are starting to notice. In case you haven’t been paying attention or have been on another planet, it goes something like this:
First Phase: Either “People who see a problem here are just trouble-makers” and/or “There is a slight problem but it was caused by Labor and we’re dealing with it.”
Second Phase: “Look, it’s a real mess and it’s definitely Labor’s fault and we can’t fix it overnight.”
Third Phase: “There’s no need to do that, because what we’re doing is enough and everything will be all right now”
Fourth Phase: “We’ve appointed someone to look into it and we’ll have a report from them soon and there’s no need to take action right now” or “We’re going to do the following and, no, that isn’t what Labor suggested because what Labor suggested would be costly and unnecessary but this is simpler and more efficient and let’s talk about something else. Something positive. Why are you concentrating on this instead of writing about what low-life Bill Shorten is?”
And so, just a couple of weeks after Malcolm solved the energy problem by announcing that they were going to make it the responsibility of suppliers to ensure that we all had adequate power, more cheaply, while meeting emissions targets, he solves the citizenship problem by announcing that all MPs will need to declare that they have no other citizenship rights. This isn’t an audit, of course, Labor suggested an audit. MPs will have to produce supporting documentation. What exactly, I’m not sure. I mean, will a note from mum be enough?
Whatever, I can’t help but think that John Alexander’s recent announcement, hot on the heels of Senator Parry’s resignation, has moved the whole genre from farce to absurdism.
“Excuse me, but I’ve just realised that my father is British too!”
“Didn’t you know that before?”
“Yes, well, I did, but I didn’t realise that the rules would apply to all members of Parliament. I thought well, that… um. Anyway, I’ve got nothing to worry about, but I’ll do some checking but I’m sure that I have no problems.”
“What makes you so sure?”
“Well, it’d just be silly, wouldn’t it? I was born in Australia!”
“So were a number of people whom the High Court ruled ineligible.”
“Yeah, but I’m sure that my father would have renounced his British citizenship when he took out Australian citizenship even though he didn’t need to. He would have done it to ensure that his children weren’t entitled to a British passport or a working visa if they ever went to Britain.”
Yep, that sounds totally plausible. I’m just waiting for Mr Turnbull to say that he has legal advice that the High Court will rule differently this time.
Next week the results of the marriage survey will be announced. As this is Cup Day, I’m putting up the odds of what will happening.
YES win followed by nothing much happening because “We need to work out the legislation and to ensure that the rights of various religions are protected” – Evens
YES win followed by various excuses from the NO campaign and nothing happening this year, because the “confusion around citizenship needs to be sorted out before we can pass such significant legislation” – 2-1
Computer malfunction at the ABS delaying the result until 2018 – 3-1
YES win by a small margin followed by the government delaying change in law because the result wasn’t clear enough.
NO win followed by some confusion about how the ABS calculated the result – 8-1
NO win followed by people wishing to marry someone of the same sex deciding that they don’t need the right to marry any longer – 500-1
YES win followed by legislation being introduced without delay and everyone agreeing to simply accept the people’s verdict allowing the legislation to pass before the end of the year – 1000-1