Ez to my princerples, I glory
In hevin’ nothin’o’ the sort
I ain’t a whig, I ain’t a Tory,
I’m jest a canderdate, in short.
J.R.Lowell, The Biglow Papers, II
A Trojan horse is of course a misnomer, albeit sanctified by centuries of incorrect use. If Homer got it right (Herodotus thought not) it was a Greek made timber replica of a horse with Greek warriors inside, which the greedy and poorly advised Trojans accepted within their defensive walls to their ultimate peril. It ought to be called a Greek horse, but perhaps even in the good old times prior to the proliferation of various anti-vilification laws it was safer to associate the archetypal deceit with safely dead loosers. One could be tempted to say that today Trojans cannot sue you, but now it is not certain. An enterprising lawyer could find a 1/458 Trojan, or even a group of them at the activisto-academic pastures who would undoubtedly feel offended, insulted, humiliated or intimidated by the imputation that Trojans could possibly be involved in subterfuge. Politically correct judges prepared to believe that are a dime a dozen. Let’s ban Iliad! Or in modern terms: Republication is prohibited. But I digressed; if only slightly.
Everybody but Liberal Party apparatchiks noticed that every time the Australian Labor Party is in any serious trouble Mal-in-the-box springs out to the rescue. Even John Howard in his self-paean Lazarus Rising mentions it. Malcolm Turnbull should have been expelled from the Liberal Party a long time ago. In crudely political terms there would be no risk in it; he can’t make it as an independent, especially now when Messrs Wilson, Wilkie & Oakeshott made “an independent Member of Parliament” a term of opprobrium. If, and that is a very big if, Liberals lost that one seat, they would by showing at least some spine gain another three elsewhere. But talking about LibNats and spine is like talking about Stalin and freedom or about Gillard and integrity.
Mr* Malcolm Bligh Turnbull, a lawyer, a journalist, a banker, a company director, ex-minister, ex-leader of the Liberal Party, an author and MP had previously tried to join the true party of his heart, Labor, and they would not have him. One can guess that he is worth more to them quietly white-anting the Coalition. His beliefs, such as they may be, and however vaguely expressed, are more in line with the ALP policies than with those of LibNats though I know that policies of all our parties resemble a chameleon and stone fish hybrid. Were he to be expelled ALP could possibly accept him if only to be able to gloat that capitalists are totally corrupt. But in non-rigged elections he would be unelectable.
MBT made his bones by defending the media magnate Kerry Packer against the Royal Commission on the Activities of the Federated Ship Painters and Dockers Union** “goanna” allegations, by defending ex-MI5 officer Peter Wright against breaches of the British Official Secrets Act, by establishing an investment bank in partnership with Nicholas Whitlam, a son of Gough Whitlam, and Neville Wran, a former ALP Premier of NSW, and by chairing the Australian Republican Movement. In his spare time he became a managing director and partner of Goldman Sachs. One could be tempted to say that John Howard invented the “Aussie battler” expression just to describe him. His enviable career shows obvious fascination with spying and deception which could yet lead him to the ultimate achievement – the first presidency of the Australian Peoples Republic and the destruction of the Liberal Party of Australia en passant. Of course, I may be wrong and perhaps Mr Turnbull means well, but I would not bet on it.
It would be too much to expect the party which could not bring itself to expel notorious Slipper to get rid of a much more careful and thus more dangerous ALP Trojan horse in their midst. The Liberal party members are perhaps mindful, unfortunately rightly in my opinion, of a proverb about those living in glasshouses. Who would be left if all the unprincipled, venal, deceitful or thoroughly immoral members were expelled? I realise that dishonesty is a fuel of the internal combustion, some may say infernal, engine which is called politics. It has worked in the past and may still work for some time, given the citizens’ apathy, nourished daily by the main-stream-solid-left media. Yet the “occupysomeplace” incidents, stupid as they are, are portent of the more serious upheavals to come. Recent general elections in Spain show the magnitude of the discontent with the politics as usual.
Ergo: Do we need a new party? Do we need a party?
1% 1% 1%
*/ I am not sure whether it would be proper to call the richest man in the Parliament of estimated net worth $186 million a comrade, though MBT’s wealth did not stop him from showing solidarity with the trade unionists by claiming from the Australian taxpayer $176 a night which he allegedly paid as rent on his wife’s Canberra town-house.
**/ sometimes referred to as “the Costigan commission into organised crime”. Kerry Packer was not subsequently prosecuted.