12 October 2011

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.

Liberals of my generation were convinced of two things, apart from our own special brilliance. Firstly, that the Fraser government had failed so utterly that the Liberal Party could and should be recreated from scratch. People who revere John Howard and regard the Liberal Party as something he invented and shaped in his own image have a bad case of this. I remember one debate supporting pokies as "voluntary taxation", not just focusing on the revenue stream that would enable other taxes to be cut but also the very idea of non-compulsion in the collection thereof.

The second thing of which we were utterly convinced is that being a staffer offered an apprenticeship to modern politics that was quicker and more comprehensive than building a community profile over decades and then eventually convincing that community that you should represent it in the hallowed halls.

Panopolous was briefly a staffer in the NSW government, as was I; she ended up working in a cafe soon after moving from Melbourne to take up the role, as I was told by someone who enjoyed her change of employment more than I did. I went to that cafe and while she refused to take my order, she plonked down the coffee so that it splashed me. "Sorr-ee", she said, and it's the last time I saw her. Yes, it was years ago, but I still don't remember having done anything to her to deserve that. Those who did deserve an apology, members of the Stolen Generation, were denied one from Sophie when she boycotted the House on that memorable day in 2008 on utterly bogus grounds.

I noticed that she missed out on becoming a staffer when Howard came to office, and apparently she had never been a staffer in the Kennett government. It's one thing to admire her, as many conservatives did from a distance, but it's quite another to have her in one's office, berating the receptionist and patronising public servants. Her peers, like Tony Smith and Mitch Fifield, got those jobs. Even people who were freshers in Liberal student politics when she was la grande dame, like Josh Frydenberg and Kelly O'Dwyer, got those jobs.

It never occurred to me that Sophie Panopoulos would make it as a Liberal MP in Victoria. I assumed she would just be preference fodder for vacuous box-ticker candidates like Tony Smith, and then go on to be some sort of backroom player in that state. I should have known better: both Bronwyn Bishop and David Clarke in NSW offered nothing besides the talent to make other people confuse her sheer rage and inadequacy with energy and depth. I expected her to become a spokesperson - like Melinda Tankard Reist, the sort of person who'd start off with a good cause but whose lack of discipline in the face of a media whirlwind would see her branch out into the bat-shit apocalyptic, or even someone who started there like tobacco gobshites.

It's the "should have known better" that explains why moderate and other Liberals at the time let such a person slip through a selection process that should be more rigorous at vetting people. Not only that, but having beaten such a system makes perpetrators scorn it, in the same way that Groucho Marx jokingly didn't want to join a club that would have him as a member.

Anyway, make it she did and out came the attack-dog lines, hoping to give her opinions an intensity that they lacked in integrity: Petro Georgiou and Judi Moylan as "terrorists", Gillard as Gaddafi, blah blah blah.

The only way you could have any sympathy for such a person is for her to be attacked by Belinda Neal, less an opposite than a mirror image on the House benches. The same slightly questionable use of personal relationships to get the mentoring that young men apparently get more readily. The same hatchet faces and repellent personalities, except to those who must be charmed: kiss the hand you cannot bite. As Labor politics might have given Neal a veneer of compassion for the downtrodden, so in conservative politics Panopoulos might have sought some appearance of status and class from defending the monarchy, the Bush Administration, the Howard government, etc.

I have no idea what the truth is in this or that. Those issues are yet to play out in court and other forums and none of what appears here should indicate any opinion one way or another on issues that have nothing to do with me really. I have noted the division between those who can help Sophie and those who can't; I note the arc by which one person started off as powerful and helpful to Sophie and who over time became less powerful and helpful to her.

Like US politician Newt Gingrich, Panopoulos/Mirabella spends so much time with mouth-breathers that she is regarded, and regards herself, as intelligent to the point of genius. I remember seeing the video from which this image was taken:

Never before or since have I seen her look so utterly calm and in control. That was the moment she truly arrived. I have no idea whether or not it was the happiest day of her life, but surely it must be close. Surrounded by nongs and imbeciles, she was beatific: I half-expected her to do that air-scooping wave that the Queen does.

Part of the problem with the intensity over-intellect approach is that you're going to lose it at the wrong moment. That's what happened when she got chucked out of the House at the most crucial juncture of her career. She's a member of shadow cabinet in a hung parliament; had the carbon price votes gone the other way she could well have become a Cabinet Minister with billions of taxpayer dollars at her disposal. Now, she got sent off at a point where her side was miles in front but her opponents were starting to catch up. In sport, players who do that become known as pikers and are spoken ill of for decades.

One of the 20-or-so bills passed as part of the carbon price was to transform the steel industry. The Leader of the Opposition made a point of touring steelworks as part of his campaign to drum up opposition to the whole carbon tax price thing. The person responsible for developing a coherent Coalition position on the steel industry, carbon thing or no, was the Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry and Science, Sophie Mirabella MP. Oh well.

The whole scope of Australian industry is pretty broad and even a committed person would struggle to identify how exactly the carbon mechanism will affect it. So, Mirabella falls short of lofty expectations - but is it really that lofty to expect the Shadow Minister to produce something more than press releases? You can criticise Abbott for saying no, no, no all the time - I certainly do - but in the absence of solid backup by someone with nothing better to do than provide it, the guy has to say something.

Let's go to a policy issue squarely within her scope and competence. When I knew Sophie Panopoulos she was big on voluntary student unionism (VSU). She was a MP in 2005 when the Higher Education Support Amendment (Abolition of Compulsory Up-front Student Union Fees) Bill 2005 was passed, and spoke glowingly of it. She might not have been a prime mover behind that legislation but she was entitled to be proud of it in a way that pollies do when one of their big causes gets enacted. When that was reversed she was suspended from Parliament - in a hung parliament, where her persuasive skills might have seen this achievement retained.

When she was chucked out Peter Slipper was in the chair. Slipper has never been the Coalition's poster-boy and is much, much less so now. It's one thing to disrespect such a man and to play to your pals who all disdain him too: but in an environment where so much is at stake, where the Liberal Party expects that every man and woman will do his/her duty, a senior frontbencher should have enough discipline to keep the focus on the main game. Note how Jamie Briggs was slapped down for expressing an opinion, and contrast it with Abbott's apparent indulgence of Mirabella dropping the ball on the try line.

Tony Abbott will not get rid of Mirabella. Others tear down wacky right-whingers; he builds them up and defends them no matter what. It is likely that the next leader of the Liberal Party will give her a spell in the back paddocks, but Abbott will stick by her to the death. If he really had to get rid of her, if her public image became so bad that it affected Lib polling and the backroom boys began to lobby him to get rid of her, it would be the sort of thing that would make Abbott wring his hands. This isn't because Mirabella commands some vast number of votes - she'd influence no vote in Canberra beyond her own. On the other hand, he'd have doubts it for the rest of his life - and this is a guy who just doesn't do self-doubt and examination.

Indi (Mirabella's electorate) is within the Murray-Darling basin. If Tony Burke and Craig Knowles aren't all over that electorate they have really lost their touch. This isn't to say that Labor can win Indi, though stranger things have happened. They do have a once-in-a-generation chance to mess with the heads of a political opponent who has given them so much grief, in that opponent's heartland, at a time of hung parliament - and if they pass it up Labor activists will be right to disown them.

The Liberals of Indi took her on the basis that she was a go-getter and someone with a future. Having your local member in Cabinet is no small thing for any rural community. There must be some doubt as to whether they'll get there with the incumbent; I bet Panopoulos/Mirabella has burnt so many bridges with local Libs that she'd now be up for some sort of levy in that legislation passed today. Is there a Liberal preselection candidate in Indi (or moving there soon) who could knock her off? Will there be an exception to the Thou Shalt Not Knock Off A Sitting Member rule made for our Soph - and if so, is there a Wangaratta Windsor or a Benalla Katter who can win an election without having a party behind him/her? Do the Victorian Libs want to put another jewel-in-the-crown in play by hanging onto her?

Mirabella is, however, representative of a generation in the Victorian Libs who have been around long enough to appear on the public stage and make a few errors but not long enough to get the big jobs and make the big decisions: Tony Smith is bored bored bored but has not proven himself successful at anything since he learned how Peter Costello likes his coffee. Greg Hunt has put in so much work defending the indefensible that he will find it hard to rebuild any sort of credibility. Mitch Fifield is going the way of Chris Pyne or Michael Ronaldson, a politician of no achievement besides getting himself re-elected. These people were going to run the entire Liberal Party, and with it the country: now, they are just going to watch the demise of one of their own (oh yes) with a there-but-for-the-grace-of-God helplessness.

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.


  1. thanks

    see also

  2. Hillbilly Skeleton12/10/11 11:11 pm

    That's the Murdoch clan's motto: "We don't know the meaning of 'Sorry'". Obviously, Anna Nicole Mirabella has slavishly taken the creed to heart, as one would expect of someone without an original idea in their whore-lipsticked head.

  3. Fantastic post. I've never met Mirabella but it confirms every impression of her that I've ever had. Interesting but not surprising that she always seems to be advertising for staff for her electorate office.

  4. Thank you for sharing this explanation of unexplainable behaviour.

  5. I guess a couple of things. The Liberal Party is unrivalled in the process of winnowing wheat from chaff, except for modern Labor which shares its predilection for spurning the wheat for the dross.
    Therefore the crux of the piece- Mirabella and Neal.
    Labor branches are bleeding heavily for similar reasons to Liberal ones- the branch has stopped being bottom up, subjected to the parachuting in of outside candidates with little knowledge or likely concern for the seat they'd represent and branches rubber stamp policy drawn up behind closed doors on agendas devised by careerists for whom the party of their choice is some thing "nine to five" rather than a good faith and conscious consideration of reality and possibility.
    Paul Walter.

  6. I agree that the whackos protest was an epiphany for Mirabella.

    She adopted the arch conservative role (knowingly or not) to begin with, in the same way some clever nerdy girls take up smoking - to fit in with the 'in crowd'.

    Her private life also reflects a desperate search for love, or at least a fascimile of it.

    In that crowd, she felt loved. She felt popular (one of the reasons politics is showbiz for ugly people is that, like acting, for some politics is a consistent reaffirmation that people love and admire you).

    She was always out there, but since that day she has been more so - protesting outside Albo's office, and, in Parliament, more and more defiant of the chair (a recent expulsion had her accusing Parliament of curbing free speech).

    She's found a group of people who she thinks love her.

  7. Amongst the low information voters in her electorate she is popular, she has played the parochial card at every opportunity. She was instrumental in forcing through the internal free-way option in Albury - despite the 'settled' decision by the minister of transport at the time John Anderson for the opposite plan of internal boulevard and external free-way. This put her onside with Wodonga business as they did not give a toss about Albury, but saw a chance for extra traffic in their shopping precinct.

  8. Andrew,

    This piece made me catch my breath. Yours is the best political blog in the country.


  9. I was in the audience in Albury when Panapolous and Sussan Ley were defending Workchoices. Sussan Ley is a very fine member for Farrer, Sophie attacked the audience and was apopolectic when an earnest sober woman politely asked Sophie why she thought she she could represent her. The joke is Sophie has never been further into her electorate than the Hume Highway.

    I have met Kelly O'Dwyer and Josh Frydenberg and those entitled young Liberals leave me cold.

  10. Mirabella has behavioural narcissism. It’s very understandable that she slipped through the Libs selection process. The issue is that her behaviour, as with all narcissists, quite deliberate. Their behaviour is abnormal but it is definitely not an illness. Under no circumstances should people with behavioural narcissism be sympathised. That is the very reaction, along with fear, that stimulates their abnormal behaviour. People with behavioural narcissism are often psychopathic and must always be avoided because they will never change. They don’t want to change their behaviour simply because they consider that they are superior in every sense.
    Yes, egomania is an extension of behavioural narcissism. To have someone with such an abnormal behavioural dysfunction in Federal Parliament is bad enough. To contemplate having the same person in a ministerial role would be extraordinary.

  11. Very interesting post. I will return to read your blog again!
    The only thing that baffled me was the Greek: από την ύβρη προς Νέμεσις. Any chance of a translation?

  12. P.S. I could relate to much of your profile. I am politically homeless too!

  13. Hmmm...sounds like someone is more than a little disgruntled that Sophie got somewhere in politics. Suck it up!

  14. Interesting post
    Mirabella who I have thankfully never met has always seemed to me to be a particularly nasty piece of work. But on this rise and fall thesis – she has clearly risen but where is the evidence that she has fallen - that she has gone 'from hubris to nemesis'? Her stuff up in Parliament might be the beginning of the fall but Abbott seems to think she has a role to play and is inclined to forgive her 'little slips' (for now at least. Her star is plainly hitched to Abbott's and I would guess she will get shunted off when he does.

  15. Anonymous @2:37 PM: Sophie's "somewhere in politics" being a repellant reflection of Abbott. Spit it out!

  16. I am most certainly disgruntled that Sophie got somewhere in politics if that somewhere is Federal Parliament. It is high time for her to go somewhere else!


  17. από την ύβρη προς Νέμε

    From hubris to nemesis.

  18. This post has attracted more hits than any of the other 580 posts since I started this in 2006.

    Meika: Mike's piece was grounded and succinct, thanks for the link.

    HS, Balanda1, Frontrunner: thank you.

  19. Paul: I've been in preselections where the Libs sorted the wheat from the chaff and foisted the chaff upon the electorate. The parachuting thing comes from a mystical ability to "handle the press", an ability that is not that hard to pick up and very, very easy to overestimate - as you can see from control-freak leaders who insist that "the media cycle" can be "managed".

    Mehitabel - maybe so.

    Persse - interesting. See the post two below yours. Has the bypass made much difference?

    Kymbos - thank you.

  20. Dramfire - I'm usually suspicious of medical diagnosis applied to a subject who hasn't been treated directly, but I wanted to publish your comment in the interests of having the conversation about public life being for those who have something to offer rather than those with a void that needs filling.

    Mango - see the post five below yours.

    Anonymous - Hmmm, if you'd posted that a dozen years or so ago, you might have a point - but you didn't, and just because you can't move on doesn't mean I can't and haven't. With respect to Dramfire, no sane person would swap my life for hers. Hmmm.

    Richard and the two Anons: thank you.

    Doug: of course she's finished. She has let the side down at a crucial time. I guess the whole thing is a metaphor for the unravelling of the Abbott experiment. Abbott might feel that she has a role to play, but in policy and tactical terms she's a washout.

  21. I live in Indi and i've met Libs who admit that all the active members hate her, for her pig-ignorant condescension and conceit, but they're evidently too sheeplike to do anything about it. Still, she's going to singlehandedly save the National Party in Vic - "Vote Nats! Or Else we'll get one of those Lib psychos!"

  22. Thanks for a great read.
    It's one thing to associate with the wackos at the local park for a protest, it's something else to sign them into Parliament House where they can run riot.

  23. Very interesting article. Not surprised it's attracted so much attention.

    I think what makes it interesting is that it's not just about Mirabella who, let's face it, isn't *that* interesting but because it throws some light on the nature of modern politics - how the apparatchiks have taken over. I'm sure things were different in my youth (60s and 70s). The pollies then were businessmen or lawyers or farmers or teachers or returned soldiers - in other words someone who had done something other than politics. I suppose many of them would have had an eye on the political game throughout their career, but the modern dominance by people who have done nothing but politics is extraordinary. Or maybe I'm naively looking back on a golden time that wasn't that golden...

    Anyway, an interesting article that gives some good insights into why modern politics is the way it is.

  24. A freeway and road bridge replacing the the old causeway and Hume highway route through Albury is a vast improvement, whether internal or external. My own view was that the external option would have been better for Albury, freeways don't add much amenity to regional towns. The business community view was that traffic closer to town would mean more business, particularly Wodonga shopkeepers who imagined that they would get an increase in Albury customers because of the easier access along the freeway. Wodonga already had the freeway bypassing their section of town.
    Sophie, as she tells it, bailed Howard up as he was coming out of the toilet, got into his ear and next thing you know - policy reversal, despite 20 years of debate, and a definite statement on the DOT website from Anderson that the external option was to go ahead.
    Most of the people I know in her electorate regard her as an embarrassment.

  25. What a great post. Much, as others have said here, is explained.

    (WV: 'rizin'. And then, after the edit, it was 'outsm'. Eerie.)

  26. Anon & Persse, it really is up to the locals to stand up because it sounds like as soon as they do, she's finished. Is there anyone on council, any local activist who might consider having a crack?

    PB, I think you need a mix of people in Parliament - yes, including staffers - but they have reached a level of dominance that makes for poor political outcomes.

    Kerryn, thank you (don't get the bit in parentheses though).

  27. Great article, thanks.

  28. She was imposed on the locals by Head Office.

    For reasons which still elude me, I had two of the other preselection candidates giving me blow by blow accounts of the preselection process.

    Basically, the Melbourne mob rocked up and made it clear that the only choices available to the locals were Sophie Mirabella and Sussan Ley (and they were backing Mirabella).

    The locals took it on the chin then, and there's no reason to suggest they've toughened up since.

  29. Jude: Oh, no thank you.

    Anon: Thank you.

    Mehitabel: Why Julie Bishop is ahead of Ley boggles my mind.

  30. I have had the dubious pleasure of meeting Sophie in apurely profession capacity, opening federally-funded projects. She is adept at whipping out the giant novelty cheque, complete with her signature. Regardless of how the money has made its way to the project.

    I have had staffers of the other pre-selection candidates recount the whole process and it wasn't pretty.

    The local paper's picture editor would seem to have a personal grudge against her, but maybe it's just difficult to find a flattering picture.

    She has consistently lost ground at elections, but there's such a huge margin to lose, it doesn't seem to affect her.

  31. Not sure why this wasn't included on the page, or perhaps it was and I missed it?


    Even more damning of Mirabella than the above.

  32. I have run against Sophie at the 2004 and 2010 federal elections for the Greens - clearly in such a blue ribbon conservative seat I have snowflake in hell's chance of winning. Sophie is a great opponent... easy to outdo in any debate or public forum - she attacks, abuses, misrepresents and behaves like a bullying schoolgirl if she is challenged - and that's just the audience. She has gone from a 16% majority to 8... and almost all of that has gone to Greens. Labor refuses to run a good candidate because they can't win, and local lefties such as myself will not stand for such an unprincipled bunch as the current Labor party.
    So Sophie will only go if the internal party gets rid of her, and locally they treat her like royalty - it's pathetic to watch. So our only hope is that Turnbull is finally installed as leader and Abbott and Sophie are relegated to the home for ousted neocons.

    1. Jen Hope you win next time. Sophie is a nutcase

  33. Interesting article. I've never really had much time for Mirabella, and don't have much nice to say about her, so best leave it at that I guess.

    However, I am interested that you mention my local MP, Tony Smith. He crafted the broadband policy for the Liberal Party for the last election, and has been banished to the backbench again as a result of that I believe. The thing about that though, is that his electorate has bee significantly altered in the latest redistribution and has become more rural (in fact his electorate office is almost right on the border now), and it would be quite interesting to see how he copes with that, his free market economics and policy ideals favouring blue ribbon Liberal seats and the suburbs that were formerly in his electorate, but not people who live in towns barely serviced by Telstra.

    Also, as you say, as a former staffer he doesn't have much of a profile beyond a fridge magnet.

  34. Unfortunately - she will win again. It would be nice to have some decent candidates in the electorate who would be given a fair coverage in the local right wing rag that is printed in the area. I find her absolutely repulsive - and unfortunately looks like her good mate 'Tone' is the next prime minister - how embarrassing! I feel like I have bad breath every time I hear him speak.

  35. watch this space, Sophie's time may finally be up. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/28/campaign-to-unseat-sophie-mirabella

  36. That's a brilliant post, lovely writing and nice touch of fact here and there to give cred.
    Well then we of Indi have spoken even if it did take us a few years.

  37. Such a pleasure reading this again especially as it now looks prophetic rather than simply perceptive.

  38. All that lead in lipstick is surely bad for the brain. Well, her time's just about up. Cath McGowan seems to be on the verge of taking Indi.

  39. How did a box with 1000 anti Mirabella votes get 'lost' and why did it take so long for electoral office to notice that it was missing? How did it get found ..... mmm says me stroking my goatie ...

    1. They weren't 'lost'.

      They were there the whole time but the box was mis-labelled as being 1000 less than were actually in the box of McGowan votes. So in essence it was a data entry error on the night that was spotted during the later recounting. It was found because the AEC staff picked up the huge discrepancy between the number of House of Representative votes and Senate votes.

  40. I have known Sophie since our Melbourne Uni Lib Club days. She was psychopathic then - attacking the Young Lib progressives more than she did Laborites.

    I find it Ironic that for someone who spent her life defaming and attacking the 'Left' as she perceived it - it was the 'Right' in the form of the rebel Nats of Indi who finally became her nemesis - and lopped off her head.

  41. I knew her when I was on student council with her and Richard Marles. She was a foul-mouthed, heavy smoking, aggressive individual then who certainly developed into what we see today. I still recall her demonstrating her disdain for the student union's anti-smoking policies by sitting on the window ledge of the council room smoking (cigarette hanging out the window) while smoke drifted across us all. She didn't care. Anyway, what happened in Indi is a great lesson in life. I do hope that Sophie takes some time out to reflect upon her sins.

  42. Hi Andrew

    Thanks for this piece, a very interesting read, the contributors to it do not seem to include the usual collection of trolls found on far too many sites today. I'll peruse some more of your blogs as time permits.

    Dramfire explains Mirabella’s behaviour being due to her 'behavioural narcissism', perhaps he is correct. It however, does not necessarily explain why she has been successful. I’ve got a different position.

    Here's a quote from a guy you may know of, his name is Clyde Kluckholm, for me it partially explains the weirdness of things today and how someone like Mirabella could get as far as she did:

    "Values provide the only basis for fully intelligible comprehension of culture because the actual organization of all culture is primarily in terms of their values."

    It appears to me that selfishness is one of the core values of our society today and perhaps it's most significant determining value. Not your normal run of the mill selfishness but a selfishness that is so acute as to constitute psychopathy.

    Here are characteristics of a person with psychopathy:

    • Glibness/superficial charm
    • Grandiose sense of self-worth
    • Pathological lying
    • Cunning/manipulative
    • Lack of remorse or guilt
    • Emotionally shallow
    • Callous/lack of empathy
    • Failure to accept responsibility for own actions
    • Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom
    • Parasitic lifestyle
    • Lack of realistic, long-term goals
    • Impulsiveness
    • Irresponsibility
    • Poor behavioural controls

    A list of characteristics that too many of our politicians appear to have, and as far as I can tell most if not all political parties have politicians that fit this description. Also it may explain as to why people with these characteristics succeed, because if it is a societal value then not only do the majority of voters and preselectors regard such behaviours as normal the majority regard people displaying them as worthy of the reward of election as a politician. The result in Indie may seem to belie this, but if Mirabella is ousted, as it seems most likely that she will be, 44.6% of voters in Indie voted for her, its not the majority but its not far off. It is however heartening that she has been defeated, good job!

    Regrettably for politicians with these characteristics no act is unthinkable, and this explains the terrible things that get done, for example the NT Emergency Response, the insane attitude and cruel treatment meted out to asylum seekers, etc, etc.

    I despair, things are getting worse and worse. I no longer believe the world is a place where reason matters, if it were it would be a very different place indeed.

    However, when I was younger the future seemed pregnant with possibility, perhaps it was 20, 30, 40 years ago: but I have come to understand that it no longer is. When considered in the light of the reality of the fact that the possibilities never came to fruition I am of the view that I was wrong - the future was not pregnant with possibilities - the conditions which appeared to me to have made it so were only illusions.

    How long our world will suffer this condition I don’t know, I fear it will be so long as catastrophe is staved off.

    My regards to you, I think share your political homelessness.

  43. Anon...

    Those are sad traits that many health professionals agree about the political class..

    That's why there needs to be a STRONGER vetting system for entry in to politics..

    No more HACKS irrespective of their prestigious credentials..

    It damages our society and that's where corruption sets in sadly.

    Your blog is on The Hoopla website Andrew.

    Well Done!!

  44. Not so much IQ testing but EQ testing will determine levels of empathy and compassion inherent in people putting themselves up for election to our parliament. People who wish to serve the nation, must prove they care about others, not only themselves. What bothers me also, is what is going on with people who voted for Sophie Mirrabella? What's going on in their minds?

  45. https://wixxy.wordpress.com/2011/10/03/sophies-choice/