Brown Study

Brown study

6 July 2013

9:00 AM

6 July 2013

9:00 AM

As this is the thinking man’s column, I thought it useful to reflect on some of the wider issues emerging from the backstabbing mayhem and bloodletting involved in the removal of Julia Gillard and the return of Kevin Rudd. There are at least three issues that emerge. The first is that, curiously, the position of the Leader of the Opposition has been elevated to a newly exalted status, so that it is now virtually part of the Constitution. The position is not even mentioned in the Constitution, but to listen to the excuses given by one Labor party conspirator after another as to why they lied to the Prime Minster, their colleagues and the people, and dragged yet another elected PM from office, you would think that the whole process of government revolved around the Leader of the Opposition.

You might have thought that the excuses would have been that the country needed a better government, more noble objectives or loftier aspirations than Ms Gillard could offer, that the economy was at risk, that some great reform was being frustrated or that Kevin Rudd had found the secret to better government and a happier future for us all. Even the cringe-making excuse that a good government had lost its way would have sufficed. But no, not a syllable of any of this. Instead, the sole justification for the coup was that Tony Abbott had to be stopped from becoming Prime Minister. Talk about negativity!

But how pathetic it is that a party has so little self-respect and confidence that it has to seize on the success of its arch-rival as the only reason for destroying its own leader. At least this shows how mesmerised the Labor party is by Tony Abbott and how he virtually controls politics in Australia. It also reinforces my view that the popularity of Rudd will fade, the adoring schoolgirls will move on to a new oddity, Abbott will continue to set the agenda and the people will conclude that we deserve a better government.

The second issue that emerged is that the coup and the smooth transition to Rudd Redux show we do not need a republic or a president and that our constitution works perfectly well in a crisis. This was a major upheaval by any test, but the Governor-General, satisfied that the old leader no longer had the support of her party or, hence, of the parliament, simply swore in the newly elected leader and business went on as usual. Imagine if the coup had occurred in some paragon of republican government like Ecuador; riots, tanks, arrests, counter-coups, confusion and the collapse of the peso would have ensued.

Third, the coup shows, sadly, that Machiavelli was right: the real victors and winners like Wong and Shorten were those who abandoned conventional morality like loyalty and honesty, lied to their leader and the public and won power by holding out the promise of office to any waverers they could seduce. Sir Thomas More scoffed at the courtier rewarded for his lies by becoming only Attorney-General for Wales; what would he have said to a liar whose prize was to become a mere parliamentary secretary? The conspirators have played the game of power without principle and won. So far.

If things do not change, my whole day will soon be taken up by going to shops banned or terrorised by the ratbag Left so that I can show the victims that some of us support them. I am now into a pattern of going to a Max Brenner cafe to have my solidarity cup of coffee and by that means to take a personal stand against the anti-semites in the Greens who boycott Max Brenner for providing chocolates to the Israeli army. Now we have the Disability Commissioner, backed by the Human Rights Commission, launching an online petition against Myer for saying that the new tax to finance the disability scheme means there will be less money around to spend at the store. The Commissioner has launched this attack on Myer to force it to employ disabled people as ten per cent of their workforce. No matter what the merits of that issue, there is no justification for a government body, paid for by the taxpayer, to unleash a campaign against a company with the implication that the government disapproves of the company and thinks it should be punished.

In the US, when the tax authorities turned their guns specifically on conservative organisations, President Obama rightly intervened to stop it; not so in Australia, despite Rudd’s promise to work better with business and stop the class war. Moreover, the harassment of Myer continues a trend of government bodies, urged on by Wayne Swan’s vicious attacks on business leaders, singling out individuals and enterprises of whom they do not approve and abusing them for not toeing the government line. The Human Rights Commission has form. I had to reprimand them years ago for bringing the chairman of the human rights commission of the then USSR to Australia to show us how to improve our human rights. Then, when I was in charge of it in government, it had a strange project underway (at your expense) to formulate a definition of leering. They must have been successful, as there has been at least one case of a leering doctor. Apart from all that, this latest act of hostility marks a new low in the increasingly strident attacks by the apparatus of the state on lawful citizens and businesses, and it should be stopped.

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