I Love a Sunburnt Cliché

Throsby’s Rule: If a politician hasn’t earned a nickname in his first term, he can’t be trusted.

“Fake Farmer” doesn’t cut it. They all are, the Nats. Why do you think they renamed from 'Country Party'?

Real farmers don’t have time for grandstanding in parliament or baby kissing, despite a few notable exceptions. Real farmers are too busy farming. Real farmers crouch in the lower forty with dry soil flowing through their fingers, scowling at a cloudless sky.

So it seems The National’s new leader, Michael McCormack, is just another Man in The Grey Flannel Suit. A cookie-cutter neoliberal.

The silliness in Canberra has reached such feverish levels we’ve almost forgotten the chap who’s our standby prime minister.

Climate Change

Rather than come to grips with climate science or question weather events, a good politician should calm the people by quoting Dorothea Mackellar: “Of droughts and flooding rains.”

I know some smart people who deny climate change, as they did the warming formerly known as global. I take their point that Earth’s climate has seen wide swings over the eons.

Even if they’re correct and this is just another perfectly natural climate event, I still don’t get that they aren’t worried by both its severity and suddenness. Or the actually-melting glaciers.  Perhaps they are and think what the heck.

Wrangling for political advantage drives climate change-denying politicians to declare, as Michael McCormack did addressing the Clean Energy Future package:

If …the seas are rising due to the catastrophic climate change, why is it that so many of the doomsayers are still happy to live on the ocean’s edge? For every alarmist scientist after their next funding grant who will tell you we are facing dangerous climate change.”

Why, Mr McCormack, don't the several dozen million Americans who live on the San Andreas Fault all simply quit their jobs, call the removalist, and move… somewhere?

Isn't the ONE thing we can do is listen to the grant-seeking scientists, because they do know what’s happening. Data is their world. Is there a farmer in the entire country who doesn’t believe in sustainability and worry about the weather, and if it's deteriorating? Is there one Nats politician who does?

Should we listen to a politician's unscientific pronouncements on climate science when he has made declarations like what follows? 

MP McCormack can apologise till the other farmers’ cows come home, but he will never erase a puerile twenty-nine year old’s homophobic, ignorant, and hateful editorial rant that tainted the Daily Advertiser’s editorial columns three decades ago.


A week never goes by anymore that homosexuals and their sordid behaviour don’t become further entrenched in society. Unfortunately gays are here and, if the disease their unnatural acts helped spread doesn’t wipe out humanity, they’re here to stay.”

I have no pangs of guilt for telling the truth about what gays are doing to the world and the decent people who live in it.”

If something isn’t done and done quickly to prevent homosexuals getting rights they don’t deserve then God help us.”

Homosexuals want to be accepted as part of society, yet want special treatment. If this had been passed now, what further ‘favouritism’ would these people get in future?”

On Death Penalty and Prisoners

…there is a strong and growing case for capital punishment. Let’s face it, perpetrators of heinous crimes are getting off far too lightly.”

Don’t let do-gooders stop the testing of prisoners for HIV. From the moment someone is sentenced to ‘do time’ until they’re let out, that person gives up most of their rights.”

Olympic Sports

The IOC’s decision to include beach volleyball, mountain bike racing and women’s soccer at the 1996 Atlanta Games has surely given hope to tiddly-winks one day becoming an Olympic event. I can see it now … the 2000 Sydney Olympics with egg and spoon, three-legged and sack races, jelly wrestling and marbles.”

School Punishment

…there is nothing wrong, in my opinion, with students … being given a ‘stinging reminder’ about how to conduct themselves.”

Where does one acquire that sort of opinion, and why would any reasonable person dare commit it to print as an editorial? Anything to do with, Throsby wonders, schooling at Saint Michael’s Regional and Trinity Senior High Schools in Wagga Wagga?

Was he listening intently to drunks at the local pub and thought it sufficient research on how people thought about gays, crims, and their kids?

Had he been to editors’ training sessions and been drilled in “provocative writing that increases sales”?

Or was it just an ugly self-reinforcing mindset in the Daily Advertiser’s press room at that time?

Who cares?

No amount of apologising or saying “I’m not that person anymore” will erase being the sort of person who would ever believe – or, paid to, publicly espouse – such intolerance hatred.

Has he changed stripes?

I doubt it.

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