An occasional series on the new nationalists – dingoes and drongos like Trump, Farage, and Bernardi – and other Oz twerps.
Nationalism on a rampage
It’s been a swell week for nationalists; utterly bonzer. Mrs May has suddenly felt the need to consult the people again. Mr Turnbull has done a Trump and discovered Australian values and Australia first. The world holds its breath hoping that France will do to Le Pen what Holland did to Gilders. The only downside for the nationalists was that the Trump armada suffered the same fate as the Spanish armada – it just went badly off course – and Mr Sean Spicer has turned the West Wing of the White House into a studio for the Marx Brothers.
If Mrs May has achieved something in calling the election, she has shown that she can’t be trusted. She is just another politician who is just as malleable as the rest of them. She was put in a difficult position by a popular vote obtained by fraud, but she had steadfastly denied that she needed to go to the people to get a vote for herself. Now she has changed her mind for patently political reasons. The so-called opposition has blown itself up.
But three things come out of this rude reversal of course.
The first is that Mrs May and those behind her now concede that there may be circumstances in the divorce process that warrant taking the opinion of the people again. That might hardly seem to be surprising in an exercise that is said to be about that curious thing called sovereignty, but it is important. Why shouldn’t the final decision be subject to a final vote – when the full implications of the lies of the leaders of the winners have been revealed?
The second thing is that Mrs May looks determined to have history repeat itself in the worst possible way. The referendum was disarmingly simple, but it was disastrous in providing no guidance about how to go about the divorce. What’s more important – free trade or closed immigration? Mrs May wants to repeat the process and get a blank cheque. ‘Mother knows best. Trust me with uncounted money – I’m a politician. I will get you the best available result.’ What would be wrong with candidates from any of the parties campaigning on the basis that they will if elected support a bill to require Parliamentary approval of any deal? How do those who support the sovereignty of the people object to this manner of its revelation?
The third point is that as matters stand, Europe looks to be in a decidedly better negotiating position. The English representatives will have what used to be called plenipotentiary powers. The European negotiators need the approval of 28 governments. Ask the Canadians what that means. ‘I personally think that your position is entirely reasonable, Madam, but I am afraid that the Moravians and the Bohemians just won’t stand for it. They are, frankly, determinedly odd way out there and so far east of Calais’.
Mr Trump suffered another loss, apart from that of his armada. His friend and ally, Bill O’Reilly, was forced out of state owned TV, Fox News. This devout Christian, who met the Pope the other day, had been preying on women. Trump will never understand how he demeaned his office by giving character evidence for such a creep. O’Reilly said that the allegations were utterly groundless. If that’s so, the directors of Fox have become accessories to blackmail by handing over $13,000,000 for nothing. That is one hell of a lot of hush money – but it shows how sick we are, that it is $5,000,000 short of what this jerk got for a year’s pay. This is not about O’Reilly and sex, or Murdoch and morality. It is about the abuse of power, and it is about the actions of decent companies like BMW and Mercedes standing up for their women employees and talking to Rupert Murdoch in the one language that he understands – dollars.
Fox News is a corrupt body. It has now lost its head and its figurehead for the same offences. Each for his sins was sent off with tens of millions of dollars, when each deserved to be a guest of Uncle Sam to allow him to cool off and to warn off other vicious predators.
Still, this does look like a net win for all of us. It’s unlikely that this fall will trouble Trump supporters, but you never know – some at least must now be counting up the breaches of promise, while Trump is about to unveil tax reductions for the filthy rich – while continuing to renege on his promise to hand over his tax returns.
Meanwhile, a lot of Australians have been left feeling like they should wash their hands by the embrace by their Prime Minister of Australian values. It’s at about the time of Anzac Day each year that we get subjected to bullshit about Australian mateship – as if the Turks did not have any friends. When will our government release a manifesto of our values toward refugees and corporate tax and, indeed, tax avoidance? Victoria has a statute that says: ‘A person must not by a deliberate act or omission evade or attempt to evade tax.’ If you get caught breaking this law – and there is no definition of ‘evade’ – you can get two years in the slammer. Is that an Australian value or just a Victorian aspiration? Can you imagine what might happen if some idiot sought to enforce that law?
Most of business is now horrified – yet again – about what its so-called government is doing. On any big issue they have developed the knack of going straight to the edge of the wrong answer. You know that we are in deep trouble when a party that calls itself the Liberal Party shops business for its grubby mates like Bernardi and Hanson and Abbott.
Let me tell you how bad the trouble is. About one third of Australians don’t trust and won’t vote for the Liberal Party or for the Labor Party. The balance floats at about 50-50 for the other two. That means that a clear majority of Australians will not have voted for and will not trust either the Liberal Party or the Labor Party if it wins office at the next election. The reasons are obvious, but not many appear to accept that the system is broken – and that our model of democracy is about as useful as a T model Ford. The smile of the Prime Minister just keeps getting more watery with every flip or flop. And am I the only one who thinks that Mr Shorten looks more revoltingly insincere every time that he opens his mouth – like a wind-up doll under a hard hat and with a luminous jacket? I wonder if he ever had a job that required him to get his hands dirty – literally?
Still, Andrew Bolt was thrilled to bits. He thinks that Mr Turnbull has vindicated the nationalism of himself and his unattractive mate and ally, the Sniper. I wonder if Mr Bolt, in the privacy of his bedroom and before a full-length mirror, celebrates these little wins with the silly walk of John Cleese? And I wonder, too, what is the preferred second language of Mr Peter Dutton? When people start speaking of that train wreck as a possible leader, we experience the full horror of Mr Kurtz at the heart of darkness.