The rest is all there. There’s no shortage of Gonerils and Edmunds behind the LNP arras, God knows. Any number of garrulous poisoners, tuppeny swordsmen and passive-aggressive manipulators among the LNP’s profit-junkies, poor-haters, tycoons, homophobes, hardheads, opportunists and climate deniers. Abbott, Bernardi, Joyce, Madigan, Frydenburg, Leyonhelm, Dutton …
They’re pulling Malcolm’s strings, much as he denies it, waggling his jaw with or without his consent to mouth hypocrisies without number.
Of these, the most obvious and damaging is climate change. On Saturday, Malcolm’s Collaroy condolences linked storm damage to climate – within weeks of approving Reef-destroying coalmines and having taken Australia from 20th worst to 3rd worst carbon-polluter, ahead only of those bastions of social and environmental enlightenment Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia.
Sunday, Malcolm Instagrammed excitedly about heritage-listing Centennial Parklands, despite his abject silence as local MP over the ongoing destruction of the Anzac avenue and of parkland hectares in his electorate. Monday, he pretended the Orlando massacre was a “hatred of freedoms” and an “attack … on our borders” rather than recognising it as a homophobic hate crime, despite having made headlines attending Mardi Gras a few weeks earlier.
He mouths support for gay marriage, then proposes a plebiscite that will likely fail. He once crossed the floor on climate change, but now he holds to a policy-vacuum shaped by backroom sceptics and deniers. Two years ago, on UK television, he described Abbott’s stop-the-boats policies as “harsh measures … some would say they’re cruel…” Now he backs Peter Dutton’s “illiterate and innumerate” comments as “outstanding”. He once (in Spycatcher days) stood for civic conscience and free speech. Now he speaks with hobbled tongue.
Scrutiny at our borders, only for some it seems following the entry into the country of a hate preacher and then to invite another to dinner.