Are you crazy?
When I was in the NSW Young Liberals, a series of clueless individuals sought to prove their visionary qualities and policy gravitas by professing a concern over this country's decrepit mental health facilities, and its antediluvian attitudes toward mental illness and the mentally-ill (lock-'em-up-and-keep-'em-away mixed with a quixotic civil rights approach). No firm answers, mind you, no consideration of how much mental healthcare might cost or on what such monies might best be spent, nor even much direct contact with those whose lives take them into these areas, but hey it's serious policy mixed with compassion.
Today, we see the urgency of some action in this area.
One step up from blaming someone who has died, we see a politician blaming a mentally ill person for his predicament. This was done on the basis of a journalist wheedling a story out of a mental patient.
This is so disgusting it is hard to know where to begin.
First of all, if you're appalled by radio shock-jocks don't listen to them, and don't be surprised when they overreach themselves. Higher standards should be expected of leaders of major political parties, and so-called journalists from so-called national newspapers. Maley and Turnbull are morally retarded in seeking to exploit a mentally ill man for their own purposes, and both organisations which they represent should expect to decline, not appreciate, in credibility and the esteem in which they're held.
It was Steve Lewis from The Australian who first hawked this email, and now Maley has brought up the latest development. The Walkley Awards should bar any entry from that paper into its awards. Not even commercial current affairs television would stoop so low (did you ask Grech "how does it feel?", Maley? I bet you did). The Rudd Government might be tearing off in numerous directions and achieving little, but it is never going to lose a single vote from this silly campaign.
Then there's Turnbull. No public servant will ever leak to the Liberals, not even if Rudd's popularity goes the way of Turnbull's. He simply does not have the standing to throw anyone under the bus, and more importantly nor is he able to screw someone so pitiful as Grech without his victim attracting overwhelming sympathy. He can't even go after the dead wood on his backbench because the Liberal Party would go "awww! Poor Wilson! Poor Bronwyn! Poor Alby!" and return them to that bush capital far from their branches.
I backed Turnbull because he is the only prospect of a post-Howard future for the Liberal Party currently in Parliament, and now he's gone. His shafting of Packer over the latter's deception about his intentions with Fairfax was probably the gutsiest move by a future conservative leader since Captain S. M. Bruce's Military Cross-winning effort at Gallipoli (those who claim Turnbull serves only himself overlook this). He's wrong to flog the debt too much now but it will become an issue, at the election after next or the one after. Though I no longer wear the club colours I hate to see them trounced by a nuf-nuf opposition - like Hewson, Turnbull can see the weakness in Labor but also like Hewson, he can't swing the blow that shatters the glass jaw.
Now Turnbull, and all the hopes that one could have for him, are gone the way of the Republic and Packer and Trevor Kennedy, dead and gone. There'll be Abbott and Lord knows who else (Hockey will be blocked initially by dopey Dutton), faffing about while chained to the course of Howard, waiting for the tide of conservative thought from overseas to turn (and when it does, this dimly perceptible day in the future is when Hockey will be able to get up, elected by a Parliamentary Liberal Party whose would-be members are not yet eligible to vote). I just can't believe that Rudd and Swan are squeaky-clean in all of this, I just can't. The Liberals are not only facing the end of the one-term solution, they are facing both the sheer task of reinvention and their own inadequacy to perform that task.