Weasel Words?

When I heard this charming expression drop from the lips of our Prime Minister, I don’t know whether I cringed most at the purile alliteration or the flat, boring monotone in which it was delivered. She seemed enamoured of this clever phrase because she savoured it several times during her rambling monologue. (Will somebody please get the PM a new speech writer?)

And with all the matters that could occupy the leader of a country in these difficult times, what was she droning on about? A conspiracy?

Yes, and what a conspiracy! Allegedly invented by Mal Brough to discredit Peter Slipper and take his seat. (This bears an uncanny resemblance to certain other attempts to discredit politicians, but more of that later.)

Someone should tell the Prime Minister that Mal Brough won’t need a conspiracy to take Peter Slipper’s seat. He’ll only need to stand as a candidate. I should imagine that a blind dog would have more appeal in Mr Slipper’s electorate than the sitting member at this moment. Even if he was the ‘last prayer’ of a tenuous minority government.

And this brings me to certain conclusions about two other incidents that made me uneasy.

Before the last elections in South Australia, a damaging document was leaked to an opposition leader. The document was a lie and the opposition leader who ran with it knocked out. I was stunned by the injustice of it.

Not so long ago, a politician viewed by many as the most promising Statesman since Menzies was leaked a damaging email. He believed it, ran with it, and was put out of action in exactly the same way. Was I the only person to see the pattern? Surely not!

Once again, the injustice of it shocked me. The liar wasn’t punished; the traitor sacrificed himself for ‘the faith’ and the innocent head went on the chopping block. (Of course, we wouldn’t want a leader that’s not up to all the tricks, would we?)

When I heard a few months ago that James Ashby had contacted Mal Brough for advice, I thought, Here we go again: another Godwin Gretch.

Does three times prove it? Or is it third time lucky? Or unlucky? Is there anything these unscrupulous people won’t do in their pathetic attempts to cling onto power?

Nor does the Opposition escape my censure: Boring on about the legality of a slush fund set up by the Prime Minister twenty years ago. She’s a lawyer, right? Of course, it was legal! … Wasn’t it?

At a time when the dollar is so high that it is strangling export and fizzling out the mining boom; when the economy is so rocky that every week another large company goes under, flinging hundreds out of work; I find such trivia frustrating.

People’s lives are being ruined: They are losing their hard-earned homes because they cannot pay their mortgages; cannot find new jobs in a dying market. And the Prime Minister wants to harp on about a so-called conspiracy involving an election not yet called? Unbelievable! Scurrilous!

Weasel words, Prime Minister? Yes, indeed!

The House Is Awash

They’re at it again – or still! Julia tap-dancing about between her support of a proven misogynist, and her abhorrence of derogatory remarks about females … and Tony with both feet in his mouth; and the other Tony, whom many of his voters have publicly declared a traitor … Even fellow independent, Richard Torbay, has criticised him for ‘tarnishing the independent brand’.

And then there’s Tania, who said, very piously, on radio, this morning, that the government doesn’t make judgements based on rumour. Oh, dear! Wash your mouth out!

True to my calling, I straight away think about the Suffragettes who laboured, suffered, and, in some instances, died for their cause. Someone like Emily Davison. What would she be saying if she had a living voice?

Possibly something like: “Why did we throw ourselves under horses, chain ourselves to palace gates, suffer imprisonment and vilification, starve ourselves to the point of death, when, a century later, a woman in the top position in the land (thanks to our efforts) has betrayed us, (and herself)?”

I say she hasn’t only betrayed women. Anyone with a feminine side (men, too), or the merest regard for female dignity, must be asking themselves this question.

Germaine Greer’s attack on the dress sense of the Prime Minister made me wince. I thought then, (and still do) that it was a distinctly unfeminist comment, a betrayal of all she represents to a generation of women. After all, the P.M. has far more important business to think about than a wrinkle across the back of her jacket. But maybe she knows more about her than we think. A sort of remark in kind, and not, as I had thought, a desire to be outrageous. (I don’t really find any excuse for it, but maybe there is. The jury’s still out.)

Sadly, until self-interest ceases to be the main driver of these, our leaders, we can expect more of these demeaning sessions in our parliament. When we find a public figure (man or woman) who puts the interests of the country before his/her own personal ambitions for power – that person will indeed be a Statesman.

Thank goodness, someone had the sense to pull the plug on the whole miry pool. How sad that it was not our P.M. who paved the way, but the man who should never have been elevated to the position of Speaker in the first place. The Suffragettes must be rolling in their graves!

I am sorry, Suffragettes, that even in the ‘enlightened’ world of the 21st Century, and after all you have done for us, you are still not able to rest in peace.