Fred Goldsworthy’s Right Said Fred | OPINION, September 17, 2016

Dear Malcolm, I was watching you on tele the other night commenting on that incident in Minto where a deranged man, screaming ISIS curses, attacked a complete stranger with a knife.

It was a horrific incident and needs total condemnation.

But you went on for what seemed like half-an-hour, not just commenting on it and delivering appropriate commiserations, but on and on telling us how to think about it.

I remembered an timely assertion by Ernest Hemingway that a good writer doesn’t describe and tell you what you should see; if he’s any good he makes you see it, directly.

And there you were like a boring academic rabbiting on about what conclusions we should draw from it all.

Then you went into that contortion of drawing close parallels between Minto madness and 9/11 New York and I knew I was watching a man who’d been in too many University Union Night Debates where making arguments out of preposterous parallels is the order of the night.

The problem is that this sort of overkill in presentation doesn’t sway most people but it does make you sound defensive and desperate to convince that you are a real leader.

Your present Coalition Government shares this overweening defensiveness.

No minister seems to be able to get more than three words out before the need to tell us what to think about how much better off we are now, than under that terrible Labor Government that done us wrong in every conceivable way.

You would sound more like a confident leader if when you proposed something you explained details and reasons then did it and let us work out for ourselves what we think about it.

Prime minister, your government should do the same.

I know all this will be difficult, especially for those that can’t think past a cliché.

You made a monumental balls-up with the timing and shenanigans surrounding the double dissolution election.

Back in the Senate we’ve got that dangerously silly red head woman who declares war on clothing accompanied by the white haired genius who has declared war on every climate scientist on the globe obviously regarding himself as the smartest man on the planet.

Climate change is all a NASA conspiracy he says - there’s got to be some entertainment out of this.

Downstairs you’ve ended up with Whelan the Wrecker and a gang of right wing assassins at your back and upstairs about 30 different agendas; you can hardly expect us to think of you as a canny political general.

A word about your mate Mike Baird: he’s got to be up for a gong as the greatest salesman in the southern hemisphere at least – Aussie Day Honours?

I hear he’s got a plan to flog off half the interior of the Opera House as superior accommodation for exhausted millionaire opera-goers and my mate Blue tells me he’s in talks with BOC to sell off the right for them to make a modest charge for domestic oxygen use.

Early discussions suggest that charge rates will be gauged on body weight of breathers, including pets, adjusted annually.

Personally, I think this is likely to be objected to as weightism and that it would be better if all breathers were fitted with accurate monitoring gauges.

G’d onya Mike – watch out Julia.


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