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Lee Harvey Oswald, by his own admission, played a crucial part in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Oswald may or may not have taken a rifle into the Texas School Book Depository, though he never fired it. It wasn’t Oswald’s role to shoot the President. That was the job of others. Soon after the assassination, Oswald briskly left the environs of the Book Depository and returned to his Dallas rooms where he was alerted by members of the Dallas Police Department that his escape rendezvous was ready to proceed. So Oswald was in cahoots with the assassination machinery

Oswald then decamped to the Texas Theatre cinema where he was more or less immediately arrested. After a day or two in custody of the Dallas Police, Oswald was then escorted to the Police Basement where Oswald played his crucial role – which was to be shot point-blank on national television, the squadrons of Dallas Police surrounding him apparently powerless to protect the most wanted man in the USA.

Oswald Was The Patsy. 

Oswald was the one left holding the blame for the assassination and was himself assassinated by his co-conspirators as thanks for assisting in their act of national decapitation. Public anger at him for plunging the nation into chaos,  an assessment of wickedness of character and a perpetually soiled reputation was all his .

Oswald was The Patsy  
… and therefore expendable.

And this is exactly the role that Peter Dutton played in the downfall of Malcolm Turnbull.

As a Patsy in the service of others.

Revenge

As in the JFK assassination, a central motive in the assassination of Malcolm Turnbull was revenge.

Tony Abbott hated Turnbull for stripping the Prime Ministership away from him in 2015 and from the moment that event occurred has never ceased plotting how to destroy Turnbull in return.

Policy

Again, as in the JFK assassination, the direction of government policy was at stake in the Turnbull assassination. For JFK, his intervention in the CIA  Bay Of Pigs Black Operation, causing it to fail, signalled a change in the tenor and execution of Foreign Policy unacceptable to US Reactionary interests just as unacceptable as Turnbull’s accommodation of Climate Change considerations within Energy Policy and Gender Equality considerations within Marriage Policy.

But Policy does not begin to describe what was at stake for Reactionary interests in both scenarios. What was at stake in both the JFK presidency and the Turnbull Prime Ministership was the soul of the nation.

As David Marr put it,

[the assassination of Malcolm Turnbull is] an audacious gambit by a political faction that knows it is losing traction in the community.

Terrible polling figures for policies dear to their hearts does not dissuade but compels them to act.

The rule is this: when you face losing control of the country, you must take control of the party. Otherwise you are done for.

Camelot

JFK’s Camelot signalled the death of the old order and the commencement of a new way. Reactionary interests were being sidelined. The Military-Industrial Complex, the CIA shadow government and the Monied interests that controlled and parasitically fed on both were outraged. Their grip on the soul of America, their gravy train was coming to an end under the upstart, wealthy, Catholic President. JFK didn’t need them. He had his own means. He was not dependent; no-one’s protege. And to the Reactionaries, JFK was the wrong man in the wrong place. A Catholic ! As President !

Wentworth

And so too was Malcolm Turnbull the wrong man in the wrong job. Socially progressive, yet a Liberal Party Prime Minister. Independently wealthy, he does need Murdoch’s financial backing or anyone else’s. Possessed of his own vision. A Republican !  A supporter of Marriage Equality ! And – lethally –  clear-minded on Climate Change and the role of Fossil Fuels.

The Monied interests of  The Liberal Party and the media organisations they controlled could not abide Turnbull. Under Turnbull the Liberal Party would drift from Reactionary views and come to accept Science-based Climate policy and progressive social currents. No Coal ! The wealth, status and prestige of the Old Order was under challenge.

Malcolm Turnbull , the Member for Wentworth, was an existential threat to the Old Order. He had to be eliminated.

Hemlock

The main players in Turnbull’s downfall were Abbott, sick with the need for revenge, Eric Abetz, insane by reason of mental obsession with his own importance; and Kevin Andrews a crusted Reactionary of instinctive hatred towards progressives.

Abetz, Abbott and Andrews: AAA, Triple A.

But none of these could challenge in their own right. Abbott is a failed and unmissed Prime Minister, described by some of his own colleagues as electoral hemlock. Abetz and Andrews are yesterdays men, politically alive only by the artificial respiration provided by long service to Coal, Tobacco and other Liberal Party donors. Neither could be the suitable face of a renewed or modern Liberal Party. Hemlock the lot of them.

No. They needed a Patsy.

Dickson

Peter Dutton, member for Dickson, Minister for the hugely popular  Border Protection portfolio. Beloved by right-wing media across the country for his unswervable commitment to allowing immigrant children to die in detention, for the humour he finds in the devestating consequences of Climate Change, for walking out on the national apology to the Stolen Generation; for his championing of the plight of White people; for his contempt for Civil Liberties and Refugee Advocacy groups.

This is Dutts, as he’s fondly known to right-wing talkback hosts and their audiences. No wonder One Nation did not stand a candidate against Dutton in the last election.

Praised every week on Sky TV, on 2GB, by average Aussies everywhere. You’d have to be made of stone to be immune to such unrelenting flattery

Dutts is a Queenslander. Marginal seats in Queensland will be crucial to the outcome of the next Federal election.

The Longman by-election came up. Sky and 2GB were confident. The Liberals would win it. The first time a Government would win a By-Election in 90 years.  But instead, out-campaigned by the ALP  the LNP vote went backwards.  That wasn’t expected. Blimey ! We could really lose this.

Phone calls from Triple A. Dutts – we need you. You’re the man. You can save the government. Save The Party. Save The Nation. Dutts is an ex-copper. Grounded. But human. He came to believe it.

The Assassination 

So, Triple A roll Turnbull on Energy Policy. Turnbull looked weak, vulnerable. Longman lost. Energy Policy lost. Now’s the time, Dutts ! So he goes for it. Malcolm is assassinated.

But Dutts loses. Someone else gets the job.

Triple A don’t care. Turnbull is eliminated and the Climate Change elements of the Energy Policy are gone. Basically Triple A and the Reactionary interests have got what they want.

The Patsy

But in the process it has become clear that most of the Liberal Party and most of the nation don’t want Dutton. Most find him unreasonably harsh and possessing xenophobic views outside the comfort zone of the mainstream. Plus the general public has been alienated by the self-evidently selfish and callow nature of the whole Assassination.  We can all see this whole affair is just a vehicle of Abbott to satisfy his blood lust.

Dutton is the face of all this. He will lose his seat at the next election. He drank the Hemlock.

Dutts is expendable.

A Patsy.

Tripe A ? They live on. As do the systemic forces that nurture them.

Why Triple A Couldn’t Lose

Kevin Andrews holds the blue ribbon seat of Menzies on a 2PP vote of 60.6%
Tony Abbott holds the seat of blue ribbon Warringah on a 2PP vote of 61.6%
Eric Abetz holds the No. 1 Senate Spot for the Liberals in Tasmania. His seat in unloseable.

These Reactionaries will be in Parliament until the end of time distantly watching the comings and goings of the less fortunate from the glorious viewpoint afforded by their Ivory Towers in blue-ribbon seats.

Their chosen servant is not so fortunate:

Peter Dutton holds the marginal seat of Dickson on a 2PP vote of 51.6%

Win Lose or Draw in whatever stoush AAA find themselves fomenting, they can never lose. Their seats are too safe.

Dutton, doing their bidding,  is a marginal-seat holder. Any moderate swing would unseat him. Being held responsible for disintegrating the Parliament and knifing a popular PM will be fatal to him.

Abetz, Abbot and Andrews could care less. They’re untouchable, despaching others to do their dirty work.

Cowards really.

A Little Bit Afraid

The vote in the Dutton v. Turnbull leadership spill was 35-48. Triple A only count for three. But thirty-five of the eighty-three Liberal Party MPs voted in favour of Dutton for PM. That’s 42%.

Forty-two per cent of Liberal Party MPs think that Dutts would be a suitable Prime Minister. Given Dutt’s  alarming lack of concern for everything except White people I find it amazing that such a high percentage of Liberal MPs think this way.

Worse than this, we didn’t count the National Party MPs yet. With notable exceptions, such as Darren Chester, National MPs are even more reactionary than Libs. There are 22 National Party MPs in the current parliament. Let’s say that 18 of them are Dutts-friendly. That would mean that the majority LNP Government Caucus thinks like Dutts, 53-52.

Let’s remind ourselves of the Dutton manifesto:

Peter Dutton, member for Dickson, Minister for the hugely popular  Border Protection portfolio. Beloved by right-wing media across the country for his unswervable commitment to allowing immigrant children to die in detention, for the humour he finds in the devestating consequences of Climate Change, for walking out on the national apology to the Stolen Generation; for his championing of the plight of White people; for his contempt for Civil Liberties and Refugee Advocacy groups.

Suddenly I feel a bit afraid of the LNP.

Republicanism and Santamaria

Background for this section is obtained from David Marr’s Quarterly Essay on Abbott, Political Animal, QE #47

Even before his first day as leader, Malcolm Turnbull was held in deep distrust by the LNP for the many reasons described above.

For Abbott, the prime motive was revenge, but he also sincerely believes that Turnbull is unsuited to national leadership by reason of his Republicanism. This may seem strange to many that Republicanism should be an automatic reason to consider someone unfit for office, but Abbott really believes this.

Abbott is an amoral political operator; a stone-cold liar primary among his many character flaws, but Abbott considers himself to be a man of values. Foundational to those values are his belief in the indispensible utility and goodness of certain long-standing Western institutions: namely the Papacy, The Monarchy, The Enlightenment, Constitutional Liberal Democracy and the traditional moral code associated with them.

In Abbott’s world, allegiance to those institutions and philosophies automatically make a person good and mark them as a suitable for office. Failure to embrace them invalidates a person for leadership and makes them morally suspect.

Turnbull is a Republican, not a Monarchist. In Abbott’s thinking that disqualifies Turnbull from office. Simple as that

Abbott’s starry-eyed admiration for the values of Western civilisation, the Papacy, the Monarchy and the Enlightenment are a romantic fiction that Abbott tells himself about himself, as he relives the ‘Prince Hal’ [QE #47 p.1] Ladybird books of his childhood,.

Abbott’s heart beats faster at the excitement of imaging himself a new Crusader King, a new reforming Priest or a defender of Western values. As a University student, Abbott, discipled by the famous Catholic anti-Communist warrior Bob Santamaria, spent day after day expunging ideological and moral evil from the campus.

While Abbott was motivated purely by revenge, he is able to delude himself that his assassination of Turnbull was a morally significant act for the betterment of Western civilisation. That’s why, after the result of the leadership spill was announced by the Whips, among the very first to speak to the media was Tony Abbott who said:

As we have been reminding ourselves, we are the custodians of great logical traditions.

“The Liberal tradition of smaller government, greater freedom, lower taxes, the conservative traditional support for families, small business and values and institutions that have stood the rich test of time, 

Values and Institutions that have stood the rich test of time – the evil Republican is dead: Thank me.

So, let’s look at Abbott’s values as he actually lives them:

Following the spill, Oliver Murray of News.com.au quoted two former colleagues of Abbott:

Former Liberal frontbencher Amanda Vanstone told ABC: “All I can tell you is my own experience of Abbott is whatever you do with him, unless he gets his way he’ll be disruptive.

“That’s my own experience of him. My personal view is putting him in any ministerial position doesn’t mean he’ll be a team player unless he gets what he wants.

It’s up to them to decide whether they can cope with that or not. That’s their decision, not mine.”

It was something backed up by former Liberal leader John Hewson.

“He’s got one goal, which is to get back to the Prime Ministership even though he’s made some smooth sort of statements coming out of the room today, it sounds pretty much like, ‘I won’t snipe, I won’t undermine’, the sort of commitment he’s made once before,” he told ABC.

Murray goes on to say: A minister’s position seems a crazy reward for someone who has had a major role in bringing his party to its knees.

 

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