“You know that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace” – Bob Dylan.
The Silver Fox has overcome The Shit-House Rat. And there is much rejoicing. But beware! Before you go patting the head of the Member for Wentworth, let us not ever forget where the wily old fox has been: His dirty paw prints are all over Australia’s high-speed broadband. Massive teeth marks left in Labor’s 1000/400mbps fibre-to-the-home NBN model in favour of the foxes National SLOWband. Least we forget how the fox wagged his tail when master Abbott scratched his ear and said, “We are absolutely confident 25 megs is going to be enough — more than enough — for the average household.” The fox barked his approval. He barely whimpered when his initial costings apparently overlooked $29 billion worth of blowout, for a scheme that might be realised in 2024.
Once upon a time the fox pretended to be Minister for Environment and Water, licking his chops at the controversial Bell Bay Pulp Mill back in 2007. Later, the fox dug up $10 million which he gave to a Russian/Swiss “rain-making” firm whose most elegant scientific justification was: “There is no evidence to show that this technology does not work.” The fox beamed pride as the case was presented and explained by a Russian researcher, who spoke Russian to local experts using a Power Point presentation entirely in Russian. The “rain-making” firm was part owned by Rupert Murdoch’s nephew, a Wentworth resident who is a regular and significant contributor to the foxes fundraising group the Wentworth Forum. This all took place right before a very expensive election campaign – weird!
The Silver Fox has proudly and “wholeheartedly” backed the introduction of a $7 GP co-payment; likewise with the dismantling of green energy research and infrastructure; ditto for the deregulation and privatisation of Australian Universities, and the six month waiting period for those with the temerity, certainly the misfortune, to seek federal assistance.
The fox has a taste for less-than-ideal remedies to problems that possibly do not exist. Wily old fox recently described Australia’s current asylum seeker policy as necessary “cruel measures” to stop people smugglers. Knowing this taints his foxy image as a compassionate Coalition ally of thought, once evoked in his genuinely moving eulogy of Robert Hughes.
Rich fox! Never been hungry a day in his privileged life fox. From his fox hole at Sydney Grammar prep to Sydney Grammar High, and then a nice little cozy lair studying Law at Sydney University and Oxford. Can’t blame the fox for being born into wealth, but he does have a problem relating to the average Australian living day to day. One indicator – the fox opposes the luxury car and alcohol tax on the grounds that it might drive up inflation. Yes…rich get richer fox…the richest, in fact, until Clive Palmer landed splat in Canberra with $133 million in his wallet. Tally-ho! A hunting we will go.
But in spite of all this, for some reason of turpitude, the fox is particularly popular among Labor and Green voters as preferred leader of the Liberal Party. That’s all right, isn’t it? Of course, but one should not mistake a preference for his leadership as a general fondness for his politics.
That’s the same fuzzy-headedness that landed Australia in hot-water last federal election, “Anything’s gotta be better than this current bloke, right?”
Have Australian voters learned so little from the 28th Prime Minister that they honestly believe now fox 29 is in charge, all the amoral, inequitable, socially irresponsible policies of the Coalition will now be rendered A-okay? What difference will the fox’s art-savvy charisma make to your working week? How will the fox’s privately administered smiles help feed your family? Next time you find yourself marvelling at the fox’s unique selling points, his personal branding, his charming penchant for poetry and some genuinely laudable positions on social policy, please remind yourself the fox is just another, very rich, white man – not a palatable hero for the less-ardent left.
Consider this final point – the 29th Prime Minister of Australia is the best thing to happen to the public image of the Coalition in decades. Why Australia is not deeply concerned about this is to say the least, troubling.