I must begin with an apology. I don't really 'do' Australia. The reason is simple, it's because I know next to nothing of what goes on 'down under there'. Of course, I don't know much more than 'next to nothing' about America, or Europe, or China, or any of the other things I 'Bore for Britain' about on this blog but at least I have a veneer, only skin deep but just thick enough to bluff my way until one of you 'brainiacs' chip in your five bobs worth to the Comments. But Australia - not a clue!
Thus, I was especially grateful to Mr. Tom Switzer (no, me neither) in The Spectator who provided me with enough of a briefing for me now to bluff my way on most things Australian. Mostly, he concentrated on the Aussie PM, Malcolm Turnbull of the Liberal party (= conservative, sort of) whom I do recall, vaguely, carrying out as neat a political assassination of his fellow Liberal and party leader, Tony Abbott, as you would ever see outside the Kremlin! According to Mr. Switzer, the Australian media went mad with joy and thanksgiving and assured Aussies everywhere that at last the Messiah had arrived. Mega-wrong hardly describes it!
"When Turnbull backstabbed his predecessor Tony Abbott in a Liberal party coup 18 months ago, the media herd declared ‘hallelujah!’ The 62-year-old climate enthusiast and former merchant banker, we were told, would transform Australia into a beacon of progressiveness. At the time, I remember attending one of those swanky dinner parties in metropolitan Melbourne where eyes lit up at the mere mention of Malcolm. There was a real sense of excitement. In an echo of Harold Macmillan’s famous declaration that Brits had ‘never had it so good’, Turnbull declared: ‘There’s never been a more exciting time to be an Australian.’ But the trouble for any politician exciting high expectations is that they can almost never be fulfilled. Once he was the ‘it’ man; everyone wanted to know Malcolm or be seen with him, especially in his posh Sydney electoral district, Wentworth (our equivalent of Notting Hill in west London). These days, if you were at the pub and saw Turnbull waltzing in, you’d look the other way, hoping not to catch his eye."
Oh dear, "what a falling off was there"! Now, apparently, the Labour party are climbing back up the popularity ladder - but please, I beg them, don't bring back that Welsh woman who was once Prime Minister and whose Aussie accent, in an effort to out-Aussie any Aussie, was so atrocious as to constitute 'cruel and unusual punishment'! Also, it is reported that so dismal is Turnbull's premiership that Pauline Hansen, the wickedest fish 'n' chip shop owner in the world, is also making a come back.
What is going on?
I don't know but I think we should be told!