Archive | November, 2013

A new Menzies Era

3 Nov

My mother, when a North Shore matron, invited a number of her friends over to show off her son recently returned from National Service having spent a year of the two in Malaysia, as an infantry Malay Language interpreter. 

I arrived to join this assembly of the North Shore sensibilities having just received the news in a city pub that a regular soldier with whom I was on friendly terms had been cut in half by a Viet Cong machine gun.  My late friend wanted to leave the army, when I knew him.   He was intelligent, capable of successful tertiary study and keen on beginning a family.  His wife was exceptionally beautiful and attracted the attentions of officers when my friend was away on exercises.  We had worked out an army exit strategy involving mature age study supported by student allowances, etc.  He decided to sign up for one more three year stint in the army so build up some capital and was sent to Viet Nam.

This tragic story was just one of the many that represented the costs borne by Australians and Vietnamese as a result of the con job perpetrated upon the Australian electorate by the Menzies Government for no better reason than its desire to retain power – self-interest regardless of the human costs.

I asked my audience of North Shore ladies why they had voted for Mr. Menzies.  The consensus was that the avuncular Mr. Menzies’ wonderful speaking voice inspired confidence.

The most remarkable traits of the Menzies Government were those which conspired to engender within the electorate a soporific acceptance that the Government had things under control, knew things which we could not know, was a repository of wisdom – in short, we should leave the running of the country to the Government and not concern ourselves in things we were ill-equipped to intelligently consider.  In a similar vein, Malcolm Frazer stated upon taking office that it was his first priority to take politics off the front page of the newspapers and have the electorate leave it to those  who  were best equipped to take care of such things (one assumes those born to rule).

The Abbott Government has quickly settled into this born to rule mode of dealing with the public – press conferences are few and far between – the suppression of news about asylum seekers and their demonisation so that we don’t care about them anyway – the shutting down of climate change monitoring.  In the best anti-intellectual, science-denying traditions of the Catholic Church pressed upon him through the tutelage of Bartholomew Augustine Santamaria,  Tony Abbott believes that whatever happens to the climate will be God’s will, as indeed, will be every act perpetrated by his Government.  Let him deny that this is his ultimate belief.

So dear Australian electors, settle back and watch God eke out his will upon us through his instrument Tony Abbott.  It is your choice.  Perhaps it is time to stay the hand of God with the voice of reason.