The monstrous rape and murder of Eurydice Dixon has cast a pall over Melbourne and it is only right and proper that we should show our genuine grief and sorrow. But some of the commentary to which it has given rise has itself been reprehensible and opportunistic and has shown what delight it gives some people to be able to use a tragedy to push their own political and social agendas. Some activists have taken the opportunity to denigrate all men, for the alleged offender is a man, all men do this sort of appalling thing and, therefore, all men should be denigrated. Others have criticised the response of the Victoria police in advising women on the steps they should take to protect themselves. No-one, surely, could doubt the genuineness of the sorrow and grief that police spokesmen have demonstrated, matching the speed with which they found and arrested the alleged offender. Nor could any rational person think that the police advice to women to avoid such tragedies happening to them was anything but well-intentioned, sensible and practical. Superintendent David Clayton said that people should be careful in parks, be aware of their surroundings and of who may be around them, stick to lighted paths and try not to have both ears plugged if listening to music. Naturally, the activist lobby jumped on him and accused the police of ‘victim blaming’, as if he were claiming that such a horrific crime was in some way not entirely the perpetrator’s doing. He said, and clearly meant, no such thing; he was giving good practical advice that evil was out there and always will be and that this is how we can avoid it and protect ourselves. But this was too good an opportunity for a bit of police bashing and the wholesale blackguarding of men. Once again, police authority was eroded by the inevitable apology that was bludgeoned out of them for simply telling the truth.
There was something disturbing but instructive about Malcolm Turnbull’s speech to the Liberal party federal council last weekend. Why, he exclaimed in a cry that was presumably intended to inspire the troops, look at how we have increased spending on hospitals under the new agreement with the states by $30 billion. And, with one eye on the coming by-election in Loughman, he went on to say that whereas the ALP was peddling the lie that his government had cut spending on hospitals, the fact was that in Queensland it’d actually increased from $2.67b in 2013 to $4.86b in 2018, and in the Loughman region alone by 53 per cent. Moreover, bulk-billing by doctors was now at a record high of 93 per cent. So the test of a good government deserving re-election is apparently that it spends vastly more each year, continually outspends itself, spends more than its opponents on hospitals, and thinks it a virtue to strengthen the chains between the citizen and the government when it comes to paying doctors’ fees. Not a word of how we can cut at least part of the well documented waste in public hospitals or how we can enhance personal responsibility and the direct relationship between doctor and patient when it comes to paying the bill. This really is what is wrong with the Liberal party these days, apart from the fact that it stands for nothing much; its one claim to merit, judging by the PM’s speech, is that it is spending more money than last year and more than the socialists would. No wonder the troops are half-hearted about the coming battle.
It is a bit of a strain to defend a Liberal senator, but I have to come to the defence of Lucy Gichuhi, who is an African-Australian, having migrated from Kenya. She had not made much of a mark in the parliament until a few days ago when, in the course of giving an interview back home, she bemoaned her low salary of $200,000 p.a. She was, of course, ridiculed for such insensitivity and also for another observation, but one that deserves more attention. One of the hardships of living in Australia, she complained, was the lack of ‘house girls’, a burden particularly harsh for her, as she had become used to domestic servants in Kenya. The twitterarti naturally unloaded on her for her ‘snobbery’ and pretension in complaining of the lack of servants in our Nirvana of equality, but I thought she had highlighted a valid point and one that I have long advocated. If we had tax deductibility for domestic servants, two results would ensue, as well as the bonus of provoking the Left into more paroxysms of protest. First, unemployment would vanish overnight, as there are vast numbers of potential workers who want part-time jobs that will earn them some pin money, but not put them into the danger zone of having to pay tax; domestic service is ideal to achieve that end. I would instantly employ a housekeeper if the wages were deductible and so would you. Secondly, the buying power of the wages of the newly-employed would give the economy a powerful boost as they would soon be out there buying up big and improving their standard of living. But it is probably too sensible for a government to adopt such a reform.
The Orwellian nightmare continues, this time with a sting in the tail. Curtin University in WA is not only banning allegedly sexist and stereotypical speech, but they are going to dock marks for assignments that do not measure up to the commissariat’s orders. So ‘a student may fail an assessment’, followed by ‘educative and/or other actions’. And what sins deserve such punishment? Oh, really serious stuff like writing ‘mankind’ instead of ‘humankind’ or ‘founding fathers’ instead of ‘ancestors’.
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