Bishop stays. Goodes goes. Abbott is silent. What is wrong with this picture?

31 Jul



In case you are still in any doubt about what matters and what doesn’t to the Anglo-Saxon hegemony think on this: white Speaker of the House of Representatives and Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s personal pick Bronwyn Bishop remains in charge of the House, in spite of decades of financial abuse of taxpayer funds, the obscene details of which are unfolding daily before our disbelieving eyes. The only thing that keeps her in her job is Abbott’s support, because while the Prime Minister cannot actually sack a Speaker, there’s little doubt that if Abbott pressured her to get on her bike, she’d be mad not to obey.

On the other hand, Indigenous football star and Australian of the Year Adam Goodes has been driven from his sport and public life by unrelenting racist attacks every time he shows his face. Goodes’ reaction to a thirteen-year-old girl calling him an ape has been held up by the racist commentariat such as Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt as being the reason footy crowds have taken such a set against him. However, it seems to have escaped the commentators’ collective memory that it was in fact the illustrious Eddie Maguire who at the same time called Goodes “King Kong.”

What also seems to have escaped their racist filter is that Goodes did not know at the time that a young girl was responsible for calling him an ape, and when he did become aware of this he handled the situation admirably, meeting with the girl and her mother, and engaging them  in conversation about the wounding and divisive nature of racist insults.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott, normally a man with an opinion on everything no matter how irrelevant, remains conspicuously silent on both matters. Ms Bishop’s shenanigans with helicopters and luxury limos have left rotten egg splattered all over Tony’s face, an ungracious response on her part to the man who, when he won government, rewarded her with the prestigious job of Speaker. Getting rid of Bronwyn will cause Tony to lose egg-splattered face, as it will be an admission of his lack of judgement of a woman he’s known for decades, and indeed, has been heard to refer to as his “political mother.”

But as Freud would have it, an adult man must at some point cut ties with his mother, and this could be Tony’s moment to sever the umbilical cord.

Abbott apparently can’t say anything on the Goodes’ matter either, given his demographic is fundamentally xenophobic and racist, and he can’t risk alienating them. While the country engages in a national conversation about racism, our leader remains unacceptably silent, missing in action. While the indignation and outrage at Bishop’s fraudulent behaviour escalates, our leader remains silent, missing in action. The number of topics Abbott can publicly engage with seems to be shrinking daily: he certainly seems incapable of entering into the energetic debates that will shape and reshape our nation in a most concrete fashion. In other words, he’s useless.

Ideology can do that to a man. Render him useless.




11 Responses to “Bishop stays. Goodes goes. Abbott is silent. What is wrong with this picture?”

  1. townsvilleblog July 31, 2015 at 9:25 am #

    As is often the case in life the wrong people dodge any form of punishment, I mean, BB knocks up over $811,000 in expenses in one year and the Speaker of the NT parliament resigns (throws hands in the air) it makes no logical sense, much like the child in class who pings you in the ear with a projectile and when you turn around the teacher sees you and you’re in trouble for not being attentive to what you’re being taught, never the firer of the projectile.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Florence nee Fedup July 31, 2015 at 10:42 am #

    Perfect description, useless. Good for nothing.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. samjandwich July 31, 2015 at 12:23 pm #

    It does seem to be a pattern that a failure of leadership prompts the more depraved elements of a society to rise up and dominate. Are we really such a dysfunctional species, that our natural inclination is to undermine each other?

    On Adam Goodes, this article from Stan Grant is wonderful:

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson August 2, 2015 at 6:33 pm #

      That is a passionate pier Grant wrote, quite breathtaking I thought.


      • townsvilleblog August 4, 2015 at 9:09 am #

        Hopefully Goodes stays now that Bishop is gone and Abbott will stay silent for a while because this example of his weakness has shown him up to be absolutely gutless, I can picture him on his knees …oh please Bronwyn, please resign for my sake, pleasr Bron…until she does so never the tough bloke he makes himself out to be…sissy lol!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. hudsongodfrey July 31, 2015 at 9:20 pm #

    Barrie Cassidy had much the same idea, and took it in a slightly different direction.

    I think the two issues are quite different, yet mentioned in the same breath mainly because so many of our politicians, most notably Abbott, have concurrently got both wrong.

    I don’t think there’s much doubt left in anyone’s mind that Bishop the speaker has lost too much credibility to remain in the chair. Abbott might want to stick by her because she’s been an ally and perhaps a friend, but to do so would be to condone the cynical and dishonest attempts she has made to obfuscate and evade accountability.

    Meanwhile some have made pathetic attempts to excuse booing from amongst the cowardly anonymity of a crowd on the basis that the rules of contact sport in allowing for a level of physicality that might otherwise get you arrested set the arena within some kind of proscenium wherein all the rules of society are suspended and racism is okay. It’s bullshit of course and anyone who cannot see through the casual and overt racism of those who’re feigning ignorance of what motivates it has now by Goodes and all decent leaders of the sport been relieved of their misapprehensions.

    On both counts the Prime Minister stands accused of a woeful lack of judgement. It is indeed unbelievable that he keeps his job while neither he, nor Peta Credlin, nor any other member of the government appears to have the nous to recognise these two blatantly obvious opportunities fairly demanding he do or say the right things……


  5. doug quixote August 1, 2015 at 8:08 am #

    Useless? Positively detrimental to the nation, I’d have said.

    But Bishop will be gone within the month, I’ll guarantee that. It emerges that she and her chief of staff have links to the company that provided the flights. A smoking gun is hoving into view.

    Abbott will follow her down soon enough.

    Liked by 1 person


  1. Flaunting, Extravagant Friday . . . | THE PUB - July 31, 2015

    […] And Jennifer Wilson: […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: