Gadfly 57

The suggestion for a women’s caucus among our female Members and Senators is a good one; but it’s only the beginning. The time has come to face the simple fact that men are uniquely unsuited to the business of politics. It should an occupation reserved for women.

I’m not joking. Politics is far too important to be left to the fragile egos and testosterone fuelled pomposities of men. They cannot be trusted to govern nations. They can’t even govern their own flailing vanities. And what’s worse, they conflate their own fortune with that of their country: ‘Après moi le deluge.’

They have built our political systems in their own psychological image – as competitions with all prizes to the winner. They have divided themselves into teams with ‘captain’s calls’ and parliamentary gamesmanship with little room for sensible compromise. Worst of all, they have accepted the Clausewitz principle that ‘war is politics by other means’.

In fact, war is the abandonment of politics for a descent into savagery. But the male politicians speak of ‘glory’ and ‘heroism’ and ‘patriotism’ to disguise the horror of war’s barbarity, its terrible inhumanity.

Consider the twentieth century. The early decades were dominated by what men call the ‘great’ war. Yet it was an appalling bloodbath over the German pique that others were enslaving more ‘colonies’ than they. Kaiser Wilhelm’s uncle, Britain’s Edward VII wrote, ‘Through his unbelievable vanity, my nephew falls in with all the nationalistic toadies of his entourage who continually assure him that he is the greatest sovereign in the world. But because his cowardice is even greater than his vanity, he will cower before [the] pressure of the general staff. When they dare him to draw the sword, he will not have the courage to bring them to reason. Abjectly he will be dominated by them. He will unleash war not through his own initiative and not with militant élan, but through weakness.’

Unleash it he did. And 60,000 young Australians were slaughtered. When the Allies declared ‘victory’, their leading men so scorned and humiliated the defeated Germany that they laid the foundation for the next ‘glorious’ war that slaughtered no fewer than 70 million people. And the maps they drew in the Middle East set the scene for the ‘terrorism’ that infects the world today.

Does anyone really believe that women would have caused such horrors if they had been the guiding hands on the helms of state?

But enough of history. We need look no further than the two biggest countries on the globe today where China in is in the thrall of a throw-back to its imperial past where the dynastic emperor demanded unquestioning allegiance from ‘his’ people and tribute from ‘his’ neighbours. And America?

Well…Donald J Trump.

Here at home we have watched in horrified fascination as male plotting has given us six changes of leader in eight years, including one woman urged on by the ambitious, ruthless men around her. And truth be told, hers was the only prime ministership that will be remembered – as it exposed the horror of twisted men preying on the children in their charge.

So, as 2019 beckons, let’s hear it for the Women’s Caucus. If only they could loosen the fierce grip that male politicians have on the levers of power, we could start a movement that brings the sanity of compromise and the greater good into the world. Goodness knows, the world needs it. Robert Macklin has carved out a unique place among Australia’s literary biographers and historians. He has won numerous literary prizes including the 2009 Blake Dawson award for business literature with Peter Thompson for their classic THE BIG FELLA – the Rise and Rise of BHP Billiton.His Kevin Rudd: The Biography was shortlisted for the ACT Book of the Year; and he has won three Critics Circle Awards for his military biographies and histories. He has completed a lecture tour of three Chinese universities based on his works and is presently writing a history of Australia/China relations over the last 200 years.Queensland born, he has been a journalist at the highest level, a confidant and biographer of two Australian prime ministers; a documentary filmmaker in 32 countries of Asia and the Pacific; and is also political columnist and commentator in the nation’s capital. He presently divides his writing time on fiction, non-fiction and screenplays between Canberra and Tuross Head on the NSW South Coast.

#RobertMacklin #Opinion #Weekly #Books #Reading

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