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Wentworth: Something right out of the classics!

By George Theodoridis

It’s Thucydides all over again, isn’t it? I mean, it’s so bloody obvious! Here, in this war we have the classic “Thucydides Trap” a phrase coined by Graham Tillett Allison Jr a professor and a national security officer in the US administration.

A phenomenon that has become a game the sort that John Varoufakis the Greek economist and erstwhile Minister of Finance in the Geek Gov’t, plays very well.

Indubitably so! A small State declares war on a larger State. It happens all the time, if indeed, not all the time.

In this game, Turnbull was a big State – so to speak and Dutton was a small but emerging State – so to speak.

Here are the Historiographer’s own words said in his History of the Peloponnesian War: “What made war inevitable was the growth of Athenian power and the fear which this caused in Sparta.”

Beware of rising powers if you’re too powerful. You frighten them and they get angry and declare wars against you.

OK, the end result re the Turnbull v Dutton war had a kink in its proceedings and neither Turnbull nor Dutton won, unlike the war (thirty blood shedding years of it!) between Athens and Sparta in which Sparta won unequivocally.

And that war too, like the one that’s been going one within the LNP for Zeus only knows how long, was an internecine war: Greeks against Greeks, Libs against Libs. The Greeks lost back in 5thC BC as will the Libs, whatever the result in Wentworth tomorrow.

I love a good war where no blood is shed. Brain cell to-brain cell, moral stand to-moral stand. Two bands of warriors throwing mud pies at each other, the one with the least number of mud pies covering their faces wins. It will be the Libs.

Thucydides said that he wanted to write about the war (one in which he participated by the way) because he wanted to see what happens to men’s morals during a war.

He didn’t like what he saw.

All men shed their morals during the battle. That’s the first victim of war. Morals are left back by the home’s hearth, next to the baby and the young wife, next to the elderly mother and father, next to the statue of the god you favour.

And it’s the case with all wars. I mean wars, not little tiffs and scraps and exchanges of insults.


Like the one between the mild-mannered Libs (I am told as I write, that there is such a species, examples of John Hewson and even Fraser are proffered) and the wild-mannered Libs (not the slightest doubt about their existence) of which one lot will lose and one will win.

In maths, when we multiply two minuses (and in my “leftie” mind, all right-wingers are minuses, albeit one lot, in this game is less so than the other) we end up with a positive. I must admit though I just don’t know what a positive in this multiplication of minuses will look like.

The Greeks v Greeks scenario brought about a dictatorship in Athens – Athens, the heart, head and womb of Democracy and the cradle of civilization, a rule by thirty tyrants, the word meaning extreme conservatives, far right, in today’s parlance.

In a place like Athens, it wouldn’t last long and it didn’t survive beyond eight months; and that was the positive. Athens lost the war, was ruled conservatively for eight moths but this tyranny gave them the incentive to collect their wits their courage and what manpower they had left, fought the tyrants, killed them and regained their Democracy. (It’s a bugger when one thinks of the fact that this Democracy is what, in the end, condemned their most prominent and most wise man, Socrates to death but that’s another story of another war).

Whatever the result then of today’s by-election, one thing is certain: the Libs will lose; which will ineluctably bring about another “loss,” the one in their mates’ ranks, that of the Nationals, where Mr Barnaby Joyce will most probably accomplish his obsessed fantasy, that of regaining the leadership of that party, having toppled its current leader, Michael McCormack after which, Joyce ought to change his name to either Lazarus or Barrabas!

Which Libs will have the least number of mud pies on their face? To a leftie like me, it matters not. A win-win situation because we lefties see this result as a sure precursor of the Libs losing the Federal election next May. But we often count our chickens prematurely.

One can hope that the least “minus” lot does have the fewer mud pies spread across their faces but this isn’t a battle of two sides; it is one where there are at least four opponents and these may or may not bring an unexpected result but they could bring about a different political make up and a moral chemistry `a whole different vibe – in the subsequent Parliament.

Many issues that solicit moral circumspection, such as climate change, taxation, Adani, the shift of the Oz embassy to Jerusalem, religious freedom, will be given – I suggest – the requisite amount of cogitation and have those previously exercised excesses curbed considerably if either Kerryn Phelps or Tim Murray win.

And then there is also the other mud-slinger, the one who, like the god Apollo, slings from afar, the one who has lost the original war, the leadership of the Liberal Party and of the country, Mr Malcolm Bligh Turnbull.

His sling is a tweet and he’s enjoining the honourable denizens of Wentworth to beware about the lot that run the party now, after his assassination.

And then there is also his son, Alex Turnbull, who leaves no mud pie unslung. “Teach them a lesson!” He exhorts the very same denizens.

Finally, I’d like to remind the gamers what had happened to the conspirators of Caesar’s assassination on that fatal Ides of March, in 44BC and what followed that bloody event: A mountain of blood and gore rose up from it and it swallowed up the Roman Republic and all its benign and orderly legislature from which new event followed the emergence of a most malevolent savagery, trying desperately and brutally to manage an uncontrollable empire.

And so, I’m off to the war ground.

I’m taking my own pies – meat ones – and sauce and my own beer.

Whoever loses, for a leftie like me, it’ll be a fun show!

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  1. Judith

    Sounds like a good argument for having more women in parliament.

  2. george theodoridis

    Don’t worry, Judith, they’re in there as well this time. Boots ‘n all, as they say in the classics!

  3. New England Cocky

    The Guardian view of the Wentworth shenanigans.

    @Judith: Can’t have any more women … the present ones make the incumbent males look foolish and untalented enough already.

    However, Barnyard Joke would like some more women ….. “a night of adultery with your beer, lady?”

    Wait a minute … is a night of debauchery with a separated male still adultery?

    Bring the 2018 Federal elections so that we may despatch this motley misgovernment to the WPB of Australian political history.

  4. george theodoridis

    NEC: One fights the demons of Weep and Laugh with these people. Which of them wins one can never be sure. Often I do both, generally Laugh first and Weep later and the weeping goes on much, much longer.
    This is Trump’s set of values: They (they Saudis) make me money. I make money with them…

    That the Saudis are savages is not even on his radar. His values have nothing to do with humanity and human rights, human needs, social and political imperatives. “They make me money!” That they impoverish the rest of humanity, that they pollute and defile every dot of belief from the rest of us, means nothing to this man.

    You weep! Alas, you weep!

  5. george theodoridis

    …and this is why misanthropy and not philanthropy is burgeoning at such a prodigious rate in the world.
    It is written somewhere, somewhere which we’re told, Trump should be well acquainted with that “the love of money is a bastard of a thing!”

  6. Kronomex

    LNP blame game has started: It’s all the fault of Malcolm and climate change for the horrible results. Antony Green calling it a win for Phelps as of a couple of minutes ago.

  7. Kronomex

    I’ve been watching and listening to Trent Zimmerman and he’s so full of crap that I’m surprised…now he’s waffling on about the LNP’s marvellous achievments and avoiding saying anything about the by-election…that it’s not coming out of his eyes and ears. Hopeless, truly hopeless.

  8. Kronomex

    Vomit inducing bullshit from Scummo, the sore loser and vicious prick, and Friedeggburger. I’m not saying anymore about him because his behaviour on camera may make me really lose my temper.

    I won’t be surprised if we have yet another investigation into the ABC (Antony Green) for daring to call the election in Phelps’s favour. Any guesses on who will yell the loudest?

  9. george theodoridis

    Mates around me are placing bets on whether it’s going to be before or after Xmas that Morrison is disappeared and whether it’ll be Dutton or (cough, splatter, cough!) Abbott who will replace him. Outside betting goes to (hahaha!) Julie Bishop.
    My very near neighbour thinks that Alex Turnbull will be wooed into the job. (Come on, Alan!)

    Alice would have exclaimed jaws well dropped, “Hilariouser and hilariouser! They’re all playing cards, barely standing to the breeze!” I love “Alice In Wonderland.” It describes the Oz Parliament to a T!

  10. george theodoridis

    Just saw the news that Jane Caro is contemplating standing against Abbott in Warringah!

    Utterly glorious news! Gave my ageing heart a new lease on life and I’m sure she’ll do the same for Oz.
    High time for this sort of person to emerge and to stand against some of the worst political debris running this country.
    Strong brain with a reciprocally strong heart! YES!

    Go, Jane, go!

  11. Nw England Cocky

    @george theodoridis: Great news George, but if she is running for the ALP I trust they will learn from their mistakes with the talented Maxine McKew, she who evicted Little Johnnie “Flakjacket” Howard from his Bennelong political sinecure and led to the simultaneous sacking of the Howard LNP misgovernment in 2007.

    The you have a talented journalist with a high public media profile, use that person as your connection point with the Australian public, rather than some poorly trained wannabe politician with few skills and less ability.

  12. helvityni

    I too read about Jane Caro’s plans, I like her appearances on the Drum; she’s straight-speaking, plus she is very much interested in improving our education system.

    I thought she would be running as an Independent…?

  13. george theodoridis

    Yes, Helvi, she’s thinking of standing as an independent; and it’s the right way to go about it.
    Joining up to this pas de deaux of political thugs would be a disastrous thing for her and for what she has to offer, a humaneness that they have treated with complete disdain.

    She has the heart, the brain and the imagination and, even more importantly, the simple eloquence (not the artificial rhetoric of the politicians) to articulate the abject failure of the major herds to come up with a decent answer as to why they must behave with such bastardy to fellow human beings.

    And she has the ability to educate their acolytes in the wider population not only about the moral duty of every human to help any life in danger and hardship -any life at all- but also about the benefits that refugees can bring to this country. Economic, cultural, social!

    What is the ALP, if not another look of the LNP? Pauline Hanson would sit well at either of the dinner tables.

    Both houses are poxed!

  14. helvityni

    Yes George, we need more women in our Governments, but no more Paulines, Michaelias,Melissas or Kellies….

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