KIMBERLEY Kitching has become the most talked about Australian politician to die in office since Harold Holt, the panegyrics honouring her the most bipartisan since the death of Fred Daly. One thing all the tributes prove is that the late senator from Victoria possessed not merely talents but charisms for connecting and communicating. Name another politician likely to be lauded in death by Geoffrey Robertson and Pauline Hanson. It’s easy to see why the dreary Mean Girls – especially Labor’s vinegary foreign affairs spokesman, Penny Wong – resented a woman as abundantly gifted with geniality as she was with savoir faire.
And yet despite dozens of complimentary obituaries – an unprecedented number by reporters and commentators disclosing their personal friendship with Kitching – the real person is still missing. Anthony Albanese and the “Labor family” are staying quiet about the bullying allegations made by their ‘friend’ before she died three weeks ago – not because they’re honourable but because they’re guilty. Many government and media figures, on the other hand, are adamant – not because they’re righteous but because they’re ruthless. There is something to be said for a ‘period of mourning’ in which respect and remembrance are permitted to speak for themselves. In a social media city that never sleeps, however, the silence of contemplation is filled with noise, contretemps, over-analysis and pseudo familiarity. Nobody in the press noticed but it was telling that Archbishop Comensoli’s procession only entered St Patrick’s in Melbourne after all the speeches for Senator Kitching had concluded. Suffice to say that Andrew Landeryou’s worldly political oration had nothing to to with the repose of his wife’s soul. I wasn’t surprised the Archbishop wouldn’t sit through it.
While a coroner may note the stress Kitching was suffering prior to her death, it isn’t reasonable to attribute heart failure to politics. For conservatives, tactical exploitation of an oily shibboleth – in this case, Believe All Women – is one thing. Endorsing a spurious premise just to turn the tables is quite another. The last thing the country needs is the ‘gentler, kinder politics’ through which the left silences the anger its extremism incites. Remember how gay ‘marriage’ advocates tried to censor debate because young homosexuals might commit suicide? How long before tough questioning of a Prime Minister or Treasurer is out of order because he or she might die at the dispatch box? They tried it once for Julia Gillard, more or less. Whether or not Brutuses and Machiavellis are the only ones suited by nature for politics is an interesting question but is subordinate to a general truth regardless of the answer: a practitioner must have a hide impermeable to blades and impassable to compunction.
In other words, Mr Albanese doesn’t have a ‘woman problem’ any more than Scott Morrison does. In other words, being excluded from a tactics committee or being given the cold shoulder by a few colleagues doesn’t herald the need for more ‘culture change’ along lines contrived by Kate Jenkins and other bluestocking carpetbaggers. In other words, we don’t ‘need’ more women in Parliament. If the risk of a heart attack is to become a workplace health and safety bar on hard-fought politics, be assured of one thing: none of the principles important to Senator Kitching will survive and all of the institutional and cultural pathologies she abhorred will triumph.
A point about the treatment of this very fine woman has been well made. So horrendous are a few of the allegations that the Labor Party – as employer, let alone as friend – must investigate them as a matter of conventional due diligence. Kitching’s other friends – if that’s what they are – should now rest content with the case they’ve made, trust the public to remember the disgraceful double-standard and let her rest in peace. Electioneering isn’t loyalty.
Ms Kitching was as ruthless as any of them, just with a pleasant smile instead of vinegar (I observed this in person when I attended the Sydney public hearing into the Cash Ban bill in 2020).
For example, the late Senator was responsible for the ambush and ousting of Christine Holgate according to this source.
I’ve given a lot of thought to this subject and my conclusions are…
– That she was treated very badly because she was friendly with conservative commentators and several Coalition figures.
– That a full-time political career wasn’t good or ideal for her, personality-wise.
– That in many of the photographs I’ve looked at, she didn’t look very healthy.
– That she no longer belonged in the Labor Party and should have broken free of it.
– That she was a very good person – with outstanding abilities and much to offer.
– That some people at Sky, News Corp and the Coalition are now overdoing their allegedly heartfelt representations about the injustices she (undoubtedly) endured because they think this is a vote-shifter. It isn’t.
It might not be a vote shifter but it does take the wind out of the Labor party crumb maiden rhetoric.
It does, indeed, Rosie.
My concern is people following the likes of Peta Credlin off a cliff by affirming this whole gender grievance pantomime, though. That just locks it into politics permanently and will never serve the interests of conservatives.
They are overdoing it because that worked in the political assassination of Christian Porter. Making them play by their own rules is the only thing that works, particularly when the other side is abetted by a compliant media complex.
In a well balanced political environment, all your points are valid. In this environment it’s the only defence against the gaslighting of Morrison has a woman problem.
Quite so Buccaneer. I would also say apparently endorsed by her ALP insider husband.
Maybe this eventually means the return of Vex news.
Another very well written opinion piece CL.
Highlights the appalling double standards prevalent in the political realms.
“Making them play by their own rules is the only thing that works, particularly when the other side is abetted by a compliant media complex.”
Correct, I call it Rules for Conservatives/Libertarians and anyone on the right. The only way…and I mean the only way….to deal with the progressive left is to apply the same standards to them, ruthlessly so. The days of being nice, kind considerate and turning the other cheek are over…finito. The left have made the bed, they now must be forced to lie down in the bed they made.
Which is why, last year when the ludicrous Porter story broke, a PM with any balls, would have stood before the MSM and reminded them of Bill Shorten. Instead all we saw was a Coalition and a spineless supine PM who capitulated to the left.
Last year, on the day the Porter story broke, my progressive Guardian reading ABC listening boss asked me what I thought about the story. I shut him down by saying that I’ll be happy to talk about Christian Porter when he’s ready to talk about Bill Shorten. He’s never uttered another word about it since.
Could not agree more, Cassie.
No more of this being Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms Nice Guy towards them.
I disagree with those conservatives who say that we should be above fighting the left at their own game; progressives are counting on that so they can continue to be as hypocritical and as nasty as they like.
Taking the “high moral ground” and remaining silent encourages the left even more.
Lee, I think this point on another subject is similar to what I’m suggesting:
He did this repeatedly on multiple issues and it’s why he’s on the verge of being thrown out.
It’s a difficult choice, isn’t it?
Use the left’s stupid false ‘standards’ and reinforce them (to your later detriment) or go in hard because ‘turn-about is fair play.’
About the only major politician who is in the zone and getting the trade-off right is Ron DeSantis.
The media silenced the shorten story, the same way they silenced the True Thai story and the Gillard Bruce Wilson story. Most people have no idea that Shorten even dumped his wife at the football let alone know there is a credible rope allegation that won’t go away. The msm have even had the gall to have this guy comment on the porter story, the higgins and tame stories.
This drives home the role of the ABC in leading the porter story and running silent when the shoe is on the other foot.
It’s easy to tell someone they should stand up to a bully. The left are saying the old standards weren’t standards and their new standards are the only ones that matter. The only way to invalidate that mantra is to constantly point out that because they don’t live up to their new standards, those new standards are worthless.
Which is why I won’t have any sympathy for spineless, no principles Morrison if it happens.
Morrison also threw Bettina Arndt under the bus, called Higgins a “victim” even before the trial, and inferred Cardinal Pell’s guilt on more than one occasion.
Also, I very much got the impression he was unhappy with the High Court upholding Pell’s appeal.
If Morrison thinks that conceding to the left on nearly every occasion will get him votes from them, then he has another think coming.
That goes for anyone else too.