I’ve got a little list

I refer first to that splendid G&S Mikado tradition.

And here’s a character with whom we all should have some gripes:
    The crooked lobbyist.  I’ve got him on the list.
And while we’re at it lets add politicians of ALL stripes.
    They’d none of ‘em be missed–They’d none of ‘em be missed.
And I for one am fed up with those film and TV stars
Whose lives they think must be so much more int’resting than ours.
About whose love affairs and babies I don’t care a whit.
Send ALL of ‘em to Africa and drop ‘em in a “Pitt”.
But it really doesn’t matter whom you put upon the list,
    For they’d none of ‘em be missed–they’d none of ‘em be missed!

See more!

The usually impeccable gentleman Tony Windsor had a little list too, it seems.

I can only sympathise.


See also Ciao Bella: Sophie prepares to exit stage right.

Late on Thursday, the Australian Electoral Commission had independent Cathy McGowan ahead by 1144 votes in Mirabella’s north-east Victorian seat of Indi.

In pre-emptive strike mode, Mirabella dumped herself from the frontbench.

A past mistress of the caustic comment, her political career became more incendiary as years passed. Her hard-faced comments about Muslim women wearing head coverings, asylum seekers and ”stolen generations” fed seamlessly into the disdain with which she seemed to regard GetUp! director Simon Sheikh when he keeled over next to her on ABC TV’s Q&A in July last year. (1)

In a rare win, Belinda Neal had to apologise in 2008 after Mirabella complained the former Labor MP for Robertson had yelled across the chamber, ”your baby will be turned into a demon by evil thoughts”…

Brilliant academically, Mirabella studied law at Melbourne University, got into student politics, was a noisy Liberal Club president and caught the eye of Colin Howard, a dean of law and noted constitutional law expert. British-born Howard combined sneering superiority with social awkwardness and possessed a cruel appreciation for weak argument and weaker people. Mirabella learnt at his knee and then some.

In 1995, the newly minted 27-year-old barrister moved in with her 66-year-old mentor. They lived in Carlton, an inner suburb of Melbourne, for about five years. Howard named Mirabella as sole executor and beneficiary, notwithstanding he had two adult children. She left for the central Victorian town of Wangaratta, established a practice, impressed the local residents and laid the basis for a parliamentary career. Elected the Liberal MP for Indi in 2001, she married former army reserve officer Greg Mirabella in 2006. Howard moved next door.

Howard battled Alzheimer’s disease and died at 83 in 2011. Mirabella had kept her lover a secret from her family but her unusual family arrangements burst messily into public during an acrimonious dispute with Howard’s children over their father’s assets.

All this background static informed her struggle to withstand McGowan’s strong campaign and although Mirabella was a frontbencher her increasing notoriety trashed the Liberal vote in Indi…


No, she won’t be missed.

See also The story of how Cathy McGowan stormed Indi, Sophie Mirabella claiming credit for others’ Indi initiatives and The passion of Sophie Mirabella.

I met Sophie Panopoulos at a Liberal students’ conference in the late 1980s and at the time, as I’ve tweeted earlier, thought she was a great sucking hole of need. If she was a bloke she’d have a chip on her shoulder, but let’s not be sexist. We all wanted to be MPs at that age, but I underestimated how much sheer need would count toward that end…

The rise and fall of Sophie Panopoulos Mirabella MP involves more than just one person and those who care about her, who have watched her go από την ύβρη προς Νέμεσις in such a short time. It involves the death of several big ideas:

  • that you have to be accepted for the front you present to the world;
  • that you accrue class and status for yourself by defending those with class and status;
  • that you can reshape the Liberal Party and the country any damn way you please, and that anyone who doesn’t like it can just piss off;
  • that intensity makes up where integrity falls short; and
  • that ferocity conquers all.

Like Andrew Bolt, she’s still not sorry. She never will be, because she can’t be. She’ll think that her failure came because she wasn’t intense or aggressive enough, and there will be enough of those who support her in that, to the point where the rest of us who point and jeer won’t matter one bit.
When you’re like her, as many Liberals are, you can’t self-examine and apologise without unravelling. If you thought the unhinging was bad, just you wait for the unravelling.

That was written by Andrew Elder in October 2011!

Andrew Elder was a member of the Liberal Party of Australia, starting off as a libertarian-punk, then as a moderate seeking to preserve rights and freedoms in a changing world; now he scorns the know-nothing Liberals, doesn’t trust the left and disdains the other interest groups that flit around Australian politics, and does so publicly yet obscurely. He blogs at Politically Homeless.

But see also Lay off Sophie Mirabella, says rival Cathy McGowan. Well OK, but only if Cathy McGowan really wins, as seems more than likely!

Trouble with The Coalition is that you don’t have to look far to find pinheadery.  I really do hope that the mature and inclusive Tony Abbott PM will resist such forces. but there have been bad signs already, such as Climate sceptic MP Dennis Jensen wants to be science minister – perish the thought! See also Peter Chen’s A surprisingly ideological endgame.

However, the final days of the campaign saw the interesting intrusion into this pathologically dull campaign by a range of issues that show how ideological the incoming government is going to be across a wide range of policy domains.

It appears that the vision-thing is there, but lurking below the surface.

The clearest indication that the battle for Australia’s national identity is far from over can be seen in related announcements: the first was a plan to review the history curricular to play down political achievements of the Labor movement in Australia and indigenous voices.

The second was the identification of ‘waste’ in the form of specific research projects currently being undertaken in the higher-education sector.

While high-school teaching changes indicates a declaration of renewed active fighting in the ongoing history wars, the latter is more sinister: the clear objective of using post-hoc cancellations of research funding allocations within the arts and social sciences is the development of ‘chilling effect’ on academic research.

Compare Gay Alcorn’s Culture wars need to be consigned to history.

We fought them the last time without wit, without grace, without nuance. There was something true about Howard’s distaste of ”political correctness” and some validity in the Howard haters’ argument that this was an effort to crush alternative points of view. Words grew heavy with battle. Multiculturalism. The ”black armband” view of history. The ABC. The ”elites”.

My hope is that we’ve grown up a little since then, that we can debate issues without resorting to branding those who disagree ”un-Australian” or even ”left” and ”right”. But there are people for whom the culture wars never end, for whom victory never comes…


Lest you think I have something against Victoria or women, let me confess my adoration of this one:


Yes, I will probably even prioritise Miss Fisher (so admirably embodied by Essie Davis) over the Storm/Rabbitohs game tonight! I can tune in afterwards for the final minutes.


(1) I can forgive Sophie Mirabella’s being gobsmacked during that QandA, as I posted at the time:

See also my post How to pick a climate site that’s not worth reading.

1. It thinks global warming is all about Al Gore.

2. It thinks every scientific organisation in the world from the Royal Society down is in a massive conspiracy to destroy capitalism.

3. It takes Lord Monckton seriously.

4. It touts some pipsqueak or other simply because they cherry-pick “proofs” climate change is not happening.

5. It thinks all the measurements from NASA or elsewhere are somehow rigged.

6. It sees climate science as a racket whose sole aim is garnering research grants.

7. Checking the site’s fine print shows it is a front for powerful energy interests or right-wing US think tanks.

8. It believes the “Oregon Petition” is genuine.

9. It displays the most egregious ignorance of the well-established physics behind climate theory.

10. It has no idea about the concept of “certainty” and the scientific method.

Morris appears to be an unreconstructed troglodyte on all counts – as well as a potty-mouth in the past re Julia Gillard.

Or perhaps it was the proximity of Sophie Mirabella – surely one of the most grating personalities on either side of politics today, and she does run off at the mouth before her brain quite gets into gear.

But no, the guy just collapsed…