Singly or in pairs, they may have been problematic, but the stream of debacles has come in such a torrent they are actually assisting the Abbott Government, says Bob Ellis.
EITHER BY ACCIDENT or intelligent design, the present swag of debacles is assisting the government, a bit, I think, by their very abundance.
The unlowered flag, the Speaker’s bias, the childcare snatchback, the Gonski betrayal, the gay marriage shaming, the crumbling of Qantas, the Holden wasteland, the boat people cooking crayfish undetected on an Australian beach, the criminality of Downer, the fury of China, the thieving of taxpayer millions to fly to faraway weddings, the turned-around boat whose bow broke, the broadband blow-out, the fresh new splintering of Tasmanian forests, the eighteen policy backflips of Pussy Pyne, the Abbott curse on his sister’s maladministered genitalia, would each have been a sundering, spreading, government-shaking scandal (like, say, Rudd upbraiding an air hostess, or Belinda Neal a waiter) had it been the only one, and enough to cause a ministerial resignation or a move in caucus on the Prime Minister of the day. But the multiplicity, the crowdedness, the upstaging silliness of each new cockup in its turn ‒ sometimes two a day — have crossed the nation’s eyes with their very abundance; and, when Murdochpoll next week shows the parties 50-50 (pink batts inquiry brings back bad memories of Labor) those numbers ‒ out by a million votes — may be believed.
What is worrying is what these venomous klutzes will do to protect themselves ‒ and retrieve themselves ‒ in the hard-fought year ahead.
The pink batts Royal Commission will not be enough. Targeting Gillard’s one-eyed thuggish lover Bruce will not be enough. It is more likely they will refuse to let Parliament sit for long periods once Howard is Governor-General and then, with a friendlier Senate, break up the ABC and sell off some of its component parts — Current Affairs to Skynews, drama to Jamie Packer, sport to Singo and so on.
And it will be hard to discover what is happening, or how badly they are doing, since only Newspoll will published, and show, each week, ‘Surprising support for Abbott death penalty plan’, or whatever.
And then they will try to make voting voluntary, or make it harder, as happened in Florida, to get into the polling booth after 10.30 a.m.
Incompetence is the father of fascism, usually. And there has been such a welter of incompetence in these last hundred days as to provide that perfect storm from which, as a rule ‒ amid thunderclaps, tornadoes, lightning strikes and drenching rain — Mussolinis emerge.
We need to watch it in the next few months therefore, lest we grow too cocky and imagine the battle is over.
It is not over by any means. Evil will find a way.
And evil, post Bryce, will come storming back.
(Image via willtypeforfood.blogspot.com.au)
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