justice for all and malice towards none
The Hon. John Howard, MP
thought I'd take time off from watching the Balkan war on TV to drop
you a line about the draft preamble to the constitution. Les Murray
is saying that it's all your fault -- the embarrassing guff about mateship
and that patronising evasion about the Aborigines and their culture.
maybe, but I don't believe a word of it, John. I know Murray's mob and
they will always get you into trouble. Look at poor old Manning Clarke.
After he was dead, Murray reckoned Clarke used to turn up at dinner
parties wearing the Order of Lenin. The story was bullshit of course
-- it was just a cheap muck-metal gong the Russkis handed out to everybody
who attended some international conference of historians years ago --
but that's what you get from going to the same parties as the redneck
draft preamble sounds like a rotten compromise stitched together by
Paddy McGuinness after a particularly trying meeting of the Quadrant
editorial Board when the monarchists had fallen out with the Bog Irish
republicans and the redneck poets and the old-style screaming queens.
this weird hokum about "achievement". It says that the democratic
and federal system of government will exist under law to "protect
all Australians in an equal dignity which may never be infringed by
prejudice or fashion or ideology nor invoked against achievement".
It reads like some petulant poet defending his Australia Council grant
in the Riverview Hotel after a long afternoon on the red. Ah yes,
I understand what's going on now. The elitist politically-correct black
lesbian-marxist-deconstructionist mafia are trying to roll me on the
committee. Fuck them. Cheers and laughter from the mob at the bar.
Stagger out onto Birchgrove Road. Fall over.
I'm sure that bit isn't your bit, John, 'cos I remember it in Murray's
early hand-written draft commissioned by the Herald. And anyway, the
idea of "equal dignity" is a nonsense. You can't guarantee
Australians equal dignity -- just for a start, some of them are politicians.
ideology of this mob is a raging mass of inchoate fears, sentimental
bullshit, dumb mythology and old grudges. There are many dank shadows
and stagnant pools and they like it that way. Most of them defended
that trashy anti-semitic novel by Helen Demidenko/Darville and even
honoured it with various awards. And when anybody with decent instincts
weighed in against One Nation they defended Pauline Hanson in their
sly way, and said that criticising her vigorously was something like
That is what they mean by "Free to be proud of their country and
Old Australia, the Australia of respectable little black brick houses
on Homer Street, Earlwood, with squalidly neat buffalo grass lawns and
one hydrangea in the corner and a narrow concrete path down to the Hills
Hoist in the back yard is as dead as Bob Menzies, John. It was always
a rosy myth and it died years ago with a lot of other myths like Terra
Nullius and Hard Workin' White Men. That Australia was both good and
bad and it was also narrow and backward and boring -- a cheap bit of
nation-building that most Anglos don't mourn much. Why hang about with
the few who do?
an aside, but let me tell you about my experience on the polling booths
today. I was handing out for the Greens (who else would a marsupial
hand out for) and there was a funny little red-headed taxi driver with
verbal diarrhoea handing out for One Nation. He spent an hour explaining
the international Jewish-Marxist-Bankers' conspiracy to the jerk from
the Non-Custodial Parents' Party, who was a pretty receptive audience.
There's a whole subculture of these nutters out there. They mutter about
discrimination in favour of women and the superiority of Christianity
and White Anglo-Saxon Culture and the right to carry automatic weapons
and drive their 4WDs everywhere and whenever they're given a verbal
flogging they whinge about freedom of speech and the conspiracy of the
a right wing victim culture and its intellectual champions defend it
in a coded language and hope they can lean on it and harness it and
control its worst excesses.
hang out with a bunch of wilful losers, John? Why not be seen with a
mainstream Churchillian conservative like that nice Gerard Henderson?
I know he comes across as a pseudo left liberal cultural Catholic these
days but he is measured and it would reflect well on you. The other
mob are a desperate choice for desperate times.
Nick B. Possum
in Whispers from the mean streets
-- Best of 1999