During the last 50 years I have been exposed to politicians who were naive, others who were stupid, more who were corrupt, and an unfortunately small number of honourable men and women.
By Julian May
During the last couple of weeks, I have been witness to political behaviours which are either naïve, stupid, or something else entirely, and I’m hard pressed to decide how to properly categorise them.
I’m an I.T. cretin. My skills are pretty much limited to sending emails and buying stuff on line, but I recently decided to try my hand at Facebook, mainly so that I can keep in touch with my grandchildren.
Whilst stumbling about my Facebook page the other day, I somehow came across something from Gurmesh Singh, National Party Member for Coffs Harbour.
He was bleating about people saying nasty, untrue things about him on Facebook.
I had a giggle at his apparent discomfort, because Singh’s National Party was guilty of doing exactly the same thing, during the last federal election campaign.
TheNational Party campaign team promoting Pat Conaghan (pictured above) in Cowper launched one of the dirtiest smear campaigns I have ever witnessed in Australian politics, targeting Conaghan’s main rival, independent candidate, Rob Oakeshott.
As late as the morning of polling day, lies about Oakeshott were being spread via various media, possibly orchestrated by Conaghan’s supporters.
For me, it was another very sad reflection upon our society, that any political party could degenerate to a point at which they were prepared to believe that such despicable behaviour was acceptable. Then it got worse.
I cast my vote at the William Bayldon School polling place, where I, and several people distributing “How to Vote” cards for Rob Oakeshott, had the dubious honour of hearing one of Conaghan’s National Party supporters, who was handing out Conaghan’s “How to Vote’ papers, suggest that voting for Oakeshott was akin to voting for Adolph Hitler.
What sort of mentality would prompt anyone to make such a ludicrous statement?
Does Gurmesh Singh condone the making of such statements about a rival, by members of his National Party, but whinge when this same type of pathetic behaviour is used against him? Naïve, hypocritical, or what?
The morning of 3 January, I was watching the ABC news report about the fires in Victoria and I saw footage of Scott Morrison attempting to force people to shake his hand.
His presence was demonstrably unacceptable to these people 9see picture below), but Morrison clearly lacked the emotional intelligence to deal with the situation by simply walking away.
He had made a serious error of judgement in insinuating himself into a hostile environment, and then compounded the error by making unwanted physical contact with people who obviously didn’t want a bar of him.
We’ve had some woeful excuses masquerading as prime minister of Australia, but this guy seems to have achieved an amazing lowering of political standards.
During the earliest period of major fires, when criticism of his unwillingness to acknowledge climate change was almost universal, Morrison tried to duck the issue, by claiming that it was inappropriate to discuss the possibility of climate change, at a time when one of the strongest indicators of its reality was claiming lives and property on the mid-north coast and northern tablelands of NSW.
This tactical error may have been a result of pursuing simple political expediency, with Morrison not wishing to alienate his big supporters, who are making “squillions” out of fossil fuels. However, his decision to scamper off to Hawaii whilst Australia was burning, smacks of severely diminished emotional IQ.
I was stunned to hear Morrison, having been dragged home, solely by dint of negative media attention, say words to the effect that, upon his voluntary return to the country, he was gratified to know that the Australian people wanted and needed his leadership, in a time of national crisis.
I kid you not, I nearly spewed!
Until this morning, I thought that Morrison had already reached the bottom of the political barrel, but, undeterred (or is it under turd?), this morning, live on national television, he further distinguished himself by attempting to grasp and shake the hands of obviously unwilling people, who seemed as though they might rather have been sticking needles under their fingernails.
With a hide thicker than that of the average rhinoceros, Morrison will undoubtedly try to spin this rejection into something personally and politically positive. His mentor, Donald Trump, would certainly manage to do so.
Naivety, stupidity, or something else?