Here we go again (refer attached photos, approaching Bodalla from the South)!
With the ALP candidate’s single modest corflute fixed days before, quietly minding its own business and harming no one, the sudden recent appearance of the Liberal candidate’s ‘double-helping’ corflute, plonked 10m away with the presumed intention of being seen ahead of hers, was coincidentally accompanied by a defacing of the ALP candidate’s hitherto undisturbed signage.
But we have seen this before. In the 2019 State Elections, we saw wholesale pushing over, upending and/or dislodging of then-ALP candidate Leanne Atkinson’s corflutes from Tuross Head all the way up to Moruya. And then, most recently, the same treatment shamefully meted out to NSW ALP candidate Dr Michael Holland with the same childish penchant for scrawling moustaches and petulant statements like “Pasta” across the candidate’s face.
Is it just mere coincidence? But in the Eurobodalla ward of the federal Gilmore electorate why has the Liberals candidate interestingly foregone the usual expedient of corflutes, and instead adopted the much more costly and far more labour-intensive wrap-around banner and heavy-duty post trellising systems all over the Shire? Was someone in his campaign team fearful of the above treatment being meted out to him/them and, if so, why might that be?
Though firmly committed independents, surely we cannot be the only people in our Shire across all political persuasions who find this sort of loutish behaviour totally out of order? It needs to be called out for what it is before it becomes just another blithely accepted casualty of declining standards in our democratic processes, and - more to the point - the precursor, if left unattended, of other more ominous and unpleasant consequences as history has a way of reminding us.
A resigned acceptance that this conduct is an expression of a form of tribalism which is never going to change is neither an excuse nor a justification for saying and doing nothing. The admonition of Irish political commentator Burke stands us all in good stead: namely that the maintenance of evil is dependent upon good men (and women) saying nothing.
Besides typifying a form of spoilt brat foot-stamping syndrome, this conduct has definite undertones of vicarious intimidation and bullying, the ‘my way or the highway’ attitude and outlook: But, like all bullies, of the cowardly sort (because it’s done in the dark and when no one is looking) which is a classic characteristic of the profile of that psychological type. A very current example of that school of mentality - albeit at the very extreme end of the same spectrum? Russia’s President Putin who has no time or tolerance for views and opinions other than his own.
But those concerned remain totally unconscious to the fact that their behaviour is also helping a great many sensible members of the electorate to gauge the calibre and character of a candidate who for personal gain is willing to turn a blind eye to and condone this sort of behaviour from his own Party supporters. As the great British wartime leader and (THOSE CONCERNED PLEASE NOTE) quintessential conservative, Winston Churchill, pointedly observed: ‘The price of freedom is eternal vigilance’.
In this scenario complacency is simply not an option.
To the perpetrators: Be on notice.
Fitzroy & Mylène Boulting.
Above: Corflutes are open to graffiti - and tribal supporters from all colours are guilty of taking out the pen.