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Monday, August 27, 2007

Influenza, sympathy for horses, and a goose gets a saucing

Hooh, boy. Miss Eagle sure does feel sorry for the horses. You see, dear and gentle Reader, your correspondent has been, for about the last ten days, battling the 'flu. Way back in April, I had my annual 'flu injection. This is always a good protection and I rarely get a sniffle. This year was different. Herself, though, tells me to stop grumbling. People have died of the 'flu this year, she reminds me. And this is true. There have been a number of infant deaths in and around Melbourne due to the 'flu. There have been frail and elderly people stricken with it and hospitalised. As for me, I have felt just one step away from the hospital door. I am writing to-day, so I must be feeling better. But you see, there's no telling. How many days have I arisen with optimism in my heart and mind only to be feeling deathly ill by nightfall. I say to Herself that I have done my best to keep going. She replies that she thinks I should have hidden quietly in a darkened room and things might have been better much more quickly.

I have been tempted back to the blog with a story of "what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander" proportions involving a Cabinet minister of rather goose-like proportions himself. He is pictured below: Kevin Andrews, the Minister for Immigration and member for the Melbourne seat of Menzies, over Doncaster way.
Now, Kevin - our goose getting a saucing - has distinguished legal qualifications. He is also a very public Catholic political voice. He came to national attention when he led the push - which not only included fellow Liberals and Nationals but members of the ALP Right - to overturn the Northern Territory's euthanasia legislation. A fact which Territorians have never forgotten. When he was the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, he introduced the draconian Work Choices legislation - which appears set to lose the Howard Government the 2007 election.

However, when the going gets tough Kevin is not among the tough who get going.

He was not able to successfully sell the Work Choices message so he was shifted and the dreadful job was given to the avuncular media star, Joe Hockey. Now, in the matter of Dr Haneef, he has found the going very tough, Haneef's legal team very determined, and the public expressing profound doubt. There have been times, as Andrews has tried to defend his ministerial decision to revoke Haneef's visa, that he has given every appearance in manner and body language that he has felt hung out to dry by Ruddock and Howard.

Andrews is prepared to do the courageous act but he is not prepared for the heavy political in-fighting which might be required to bring the act to a successful conclusion and bring concomitant glory to himself. Miss Eagle thinks he does not have the taste or relish for it.

But then there is to-day's story whereby it appears that Andrews has committed a foolish act. A law degree from Australia's most distinguished and prestigious law degree factory. A post-grad from another distinguished Melbourne academy. Ambition enough to get a fairly safe Liberal seat with which to enter Federal parliament. Yet he lists five publications: three for 1990, one for 1994, one for 1998. Hardly enough to demonstrate fitness for the publish or perish strand of academe or the publish to be taken seriously strand of modern politics. Mmmm.

Such a modest publishing record could have been omitted perhaps? Under the cover of humility and contemporary relevance? So much better, Miss Eagle thinks, than the current pointing of the finger towards a saucy goose with the assertion that Andrews has claimed a false status for himself.