Australians deserve a long, hot, glorious summer of beaches and barbies and to indulge themselves in a joyous Christmas break of less-than-sober reflection, thongs-on-the-sofa relaxation and carbon-enhanced pleasures. It has been quite the year.
As we are now officially in the season of goodwill, we have instructed our editorial writer to keep his snide, polarising, sarcastic, aggrieved-conservative (‘ag-con’) criticisms for the TV chat shows or Twitter and to concentrate instead on finding the good in all those who have shaped our cultural, artistic and political lives this year. Indeed, now is the time and the place to look for the positives in our fellow human beings, regardless of their political or other persuasions, in order to lavish praise upon all of those in the public eye who so richly deserve it.
So let’s start at the top. Warmest seasonal greetings to Malcolm Turnbull, our highly effective and popular conservative Prime Minister and to his delightfully unassuming wife Lucy. There are those who uncharitably felt that Mr Turnbull’s ‘management style’ left a little to be desired, but there is no doubting the magnificence of his astonishing political victory on the floor of the parliament in the final hours of the year as our elected representatives leapt over the benches, Greens, Liberals and Labor all passionately kissing each other, in their rush to embrace the successful passage of the ‘Love is Love’ legislation. Were it not indeed the season of goodwill, we might take this moment to point to one or two other political matters that could do with such outstandingly successful political stewardship, such as energy, debt or freedom of conscience, but we’d hate to spoil the festive atmosphere.
So, too, we must praise the alternative Prime Minister Bill Shorten; a man of impeccable credentials forged in the long, draughty corridors of the AWU; a man of the highest integrity; and a man given to extraordinarily long displays of loyalty to even the humblest of his senatorial backbenchers. It is a credit to Mr Shorten’s prowess and skills-set that he has kept Labor well in front of the government for what is rapidly approaching 30 straight Newspolls in a row. How on earth does he do it?
The Minister for Defence Industry and the Leader of the House of Representatives, Mr Christopher Pyne, is also deserving of our most heart-felt seasonal wishes. After all, without the prescient and insightful comments thoughtfully made by Mr Pyne earlier in the year at Sydney’s austere Cherry Bar, it is unlikely many of us would have been so comforted by the knowledge that the government was determined, come hell or high water, to legislate same-sex marriage by the end of the year, with zero religious or parental protections, regardless of the concerns of the seven million or so fuddy-duddies unprepared to casually discard the silly old institution laughably known as ‘marriage between a man and a woman’.
Season’s greetings, too, to Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. In this crazy, mixed-up world of ours it is all too easy to simply decide a course of action based on a clear set of values and principles, when of course a more nuanced, ‘diplomatic’ and cautious (some might say cowardly) approach is often more politically astute: such as the decision by Ms Bishop and Mr Turnbull to betray Israel at the UN on a raft of anti-semitic resolutions rather than doing the morally correct thing and showing unflinching support for our beleaguered ally and friend.
Finally, let us not, at this time of goodwill to all men, neglect to mention Mr Sam Dastyari. Rarely has a young politician so thoughtlessly and so repeatedly offered both his good name and his hand of friendship to help others, particularly gift-bearing strangers from the Orient.
Enjoy your Christmas, Australia. You richly deserve the break. And as for our political classes, we look forward to you returning refreshed next year, eager to get cracking on fixing our self-imposed energy crisis, restoring our dwindling freedoms, and reducing our out-of-control debt.
The hoopla surrounding the visit by Milo Yiannopoulos to these shores was as troubling as it was revealing. Where Milo grabbed the headlines with ‘outrageous’ criticisms of the Opera House and, er, Vegemite, his detractors chose violence, intimidation and thuggery. Milo’s shows were funny, insightful, a bit cruel and inspirational. Confused, the Left couldn’t find the words to counter his ideas, so chose wooden sticks and jackboots instead.