23 March 2022
The revelations since the recent tragic death of former Senator Kimberley Kitching have laid bare the despicable, vicious nature of politics inside the Federal Labor Party.
In the Victorian Labor Party too, allegations of bullying of female MPs have been levelled at the Premier, Daniel Andrews, along with certain other of his fellow MPs – which continue to be denied.
A pattern of behaviour? Perhaps. The problem for Labor is not that it’s been relentlessly occurring (in the name of ‘business as usual’) but that insiders are now calling it in the wake of the untimely death of Senator Kitching.
These high-paid women Senators (now known as the ‘Mean Girls’) think nothing of side-lining, isolating and even destroying people who don’t fit the Labor mould. Any breach, any sign of weakness and the individual will be ‘picked off’ and expediently dealt with. Their modus operandi is ‘conform or get out’.
Recent allegations confirm what many have suspected for years. Politics is now a ‘game’ for insiders where the rules politicians seek to apply to others – do not apply to themselves. The political class has succeeded in becoming a foreign country to the rest of us.
What might we deduce from what has emerged in the days since Ms Kitching’s death at just 52 years of age?
With more than a little irony, the statement issued by the so-called ‘Mean Girls’ helps us understand with greater clarity the toxic work environment in Caucus.
The ‘official’ statement had been preceded by a refusal to speak on the subject by any of them. This ‘dead bat’ approach was conveyed by a ‘spokeswoman’ in classic default ‘duck and weave’ behaviour by grubby practitioners of the political dark arts.
These three operate as guided missiles in the Senate – sometimes information sometimes solo. They rarely miss their target spending hours planning and executing their sorry craft.
Rather than serving the nation and building confidence, as voters misguidedly expect, these people apparently prefer to indulge in meanness and hatred. They find it comes more naturally to them. They thrive on targeting enemies – inside and outside – the miserable territory they occupy.
Kitching was easy pickings. No more than a ‘play-thing’ for the ‘Mean Girls’ who were intent on wiping her from the ALP landscape.
That they succeeded – albeit in this shocking and unexpected way – makes their actions no less reprehensible.
Two other clear observations can be made about this sorry episode.
The first is the ‘Mean Girls’ hypocrisy. They think nothing of pointing their finger at others for the very behaviour in which they allegedly indulged – over an extended period. The more they (and their supporters) deny the claims of Senator Kitching – the more some voters may believe they are true.
In their sneering, superior way these three have positioned themselves as arbiters of human behaviour – what’s acceptable and what’s not. Now, of course, what is plain for all to see is that they happily target others in order to allegedly conceal their own disgraceful conduct. Politicians are world experts at shifting voters’ focus from here to there.
The second observation is equally consequential. By their reportedly cruel actions and vicious words, these three have succeeded in further diminishing the standing of politics in Australia.
As practitioners of dirty politics they, and doubtless others in the parliament – across party lines – have artlessly steered their ‘profession’ into the political sludge so familiar to factional brawlers of the ALP.
In short, they have made politics less appealing to younger people with talent and ambition. Who would want a future in the forest these people inhabit?
It is any wonder that voters across the political divide look at the elected representatives of the nation and conclude that politics is for people of frequently limited ability all paid for by the taxpayer.
The stridency of the denials of guilt in this sordid business lead all thinking people to conclude that Labor’s ‘Mean Girls’ are not worthy of our continuing attention – and much less our vote.
Equally reprehensible is ALP Leader, Anthony Albanese’s, refusal to grasp this moment and deal with this glaringly shocking conduct in his own party.
Voters are not the ignorant cohort these three Senators (and their leader) believe them to be.
Voters have also noted how inconvenient this story is for the left-leaning media in Australia. It doesn’t fit the desired political narrative – especially as the election approaches.
People on the Labor benches are entirely virtuous and behave ‘impeccably’ while only those opposite treat others with disdain?