Two hundred and fifty pound Pom Senator Jordon Steele-John outdid his famously inferno-deranged Greens Party deputy leader Adam Bandt today by describing the government as “a bunch of arsonists.” (My thanks to Kae for the Hansard link). In a Greta-like crescendo of hysterical how-dare-yous, Steele-John, 25, also compared “climate change” to Port Arthur killer Martin Bryant and coal to guns. Steele-John’s biography notes that he “studied some politics at Macquarie University by correspondence. However, his sudden unexpected appointment to the senate cut short his undergraduate studies.” When you’re tempted to feel sympathy for our heroic firemen tonight, remember that sacrifice. That he parlayed a quarter of a B.A. and, yes, a wheelchair into a six-figure salaried say in the governance of the nation proves he’s as cunning as he is nasty.
As the fires rage, our leaders don hard hats and reflector vests, stand alongside emergency services brass and do their best Winston Hepburn. If they can fake stoic command and touching empathy as well as my hybridised exemplar – and most of them can – they’re adjudged by pundits to have performed well. It’s tempting to mock them as they pretend to be knowledgeable about people and lands beyond the pale but they have to do this and be seen to do it well. In 2009, Julia Gillard’s solicitude for fire-ravaged Victorians was said by some to have been wooden – so wooden, in fact, that a wag could have claimed one of her CPP officers followed her with an extinguisher just in case. Christine Nixon’s hair-do and burger run during Black Saturday have entered into folklore. So has Gough Whitlam’s Greek holiday post-Tracy and George Bush’s fly-by post-Katrina. Anthony Albanese, meanwhile, had a bad day. Though secondary to the heartache being experienced by victims of the fires, it should still be said that Scott Morrison performs these ministrations well. What he hasn’t done well at all is combat the conflagration of lies about “climate change” whose exponents – like boys with Bics – are the true miscreants. He should say just that. They are more dangerous to us than finite flames.