Saturday, 25 February 2012

Is this "The Split" all over again - or merely the Bonfire of the Vanities?

I am not a Labor Party historian.

I am just old enough to have some political memory (more than most "reporters" in the Media, it seems).
I distinguish "reporters" from "Journalists" who are few and far between in this issue.
  1. Here is one reporter who has tried to be "a player" in the move to unseat Julia Gillard - without declaring his various bits of "baggage"*** which might just influence his position.
  • *** Uhlmann unsuccessfully contested the ACT 1998 general election for the electorate of Brindabella with the Osborne Independent Group, a strong pro-life ticket with stated objectives of blocking both euthanasia legislation and legislation to decriminalise abortion.(Wikipedia - Chris Uhlmann)
So, is it once again Queensland (this time Rudd) against Victoria (this time Gillard)?
Or is it Catholics against the Non-Catholics?
 
No doubt it is no that simple.
Such things seldom are.
But consider HV Evatt and BA Santamaria with Vince Gair as the Wild Card.

Maybe it is simpler than that.
There is a decided anti-feminist streak in the Santamaria and Gair groups in that scenario, and in the modern re-play, we know about Tony Abbott, and Rudd is not in favour of female Prime Ministers, or at least, all of them we have had so far in Australia. 
And then there is the mysterious link to Abbott's endorsement of Chris Uhlmann and Uhlmann's own track record of anti-abortion advocacy.

My own memory of The Split is limited. But what I do remember is very unpleasant, and at the time, mysterious.

  1. I remember, as a child, my Father getting very nervous when a couple of "nice men" in dark suits turned up to our house in Melbourne, and asked (demanded) to speak to my father, in private. They were not personal friends of his. Years later it turned out that these were "Groupers" BA Santamaria's people trying to pressure my father to assist them. He had no money to spare, but maybe they thought he had some influence. He went to ground for years after that. In fact, it coincided with him having a nervous breakdown, which was seldom talked about in my family.
  2. Many, many years later (1976 to be precise), I remember being interviewed for a job by a senior Victorian businessman and Liberal Party officer, who was Chairman of a Tourism Board, (I was applying for a job on their staff). He was impressed with my credentials, then suddenly he asked: "Where were you educated". I told him of my University training, etc
    No, no, ....... I mean where were you educated? The penny dropped.
    He meant which School had I gone to.
    Part of me regrets not having answered "Grammar, Sir".
    I never got the Job.
    He wouldn't appoint a Catholic (even a "lapsed Catholic") to the job.
I look forward to the time when the ABC holds an Inquiry into the goings-on behind the scenes before that 4 Corners story which played a major part in manufacturing this debate. There is so much more which has not been said about the role of the Media in all of this mess.

Ok, the Media did not create it, but they surely have poured a big can of diesel on the Bonfire.
To steal a good title - "The Bonfire of the Vanities"

**********

At the very least People ought declare their personal baggage in this debate, as I have always attempted to do (in this Blog).
 
My own personal baggage includes a stint as a former Seminarian.
That give me a parallel, but NO link with Tony Abbott and Chris Uhlmann.
But before anyone gets excited about that, it also links the three of us with Joseph Stalin.

2 comments:

Brigid O'Carroll Walsh said...

Very good and useful post, Denis. I didn't know about the Uhlmann "baggage" but it explalins much. Should image Uhlmann's wife's vote went to Rudd.

I fear that between the Evangelical Atheists and the Evangelical Christians we are heading for sectarianism again.

Brigid O'Carroll Walsh said...

Your getting tweeted to-day - and by someone other than me! "-)))

REMEMBER: "IT IS BY BEING QUIET AND POLITE CITIZENS WE ALLOW OURSELVES TO BE IGNORED"