Frank Fairy is one of those tree-hugging Dems who loves seeing them well out to the left so it is not surprising that poor old Mystic Meg has copped a major spray from the lad.

The Princesses adoring fans think they can now sing, “ding dong the wicked witch is dead” and live happily ever after. Poor fools – that’s exactly what the Death Star wants you to think. For a start, the other cuckoos in the nest (particularly Darth Murray) are still there and seem unlikely to go anywhere (why jump ship when you can do more damage by staying?). The Dems strategy for the last several years has revolved around changing image while retaining their tainted substance, crossing their fingers and hoping for the best.

Mystic Meg’s departure has radically changed the numbers in the Senate – the Prime Miniature (who will be taking her to lunch very soon, if he hasn’t already) can now get his four votes by having the air force drop gold ingots on Tasmania, promising to sink all the refugee boats, and dishing out a few lunches and handshakes. Frank expects to see a lot more cargo float down the river in the next year or two – starting with another wave of IR reforms and Telstra. Thanks very much, O Mystic One. Watching her (and others) bemoaning the existance of the Public Safety Committee and complaining that it’s just a tool for persecuting people who dare to disagree was delightful.

Perhaps somebody should remind the Mystic One who set up the Public Safety Committee and who has set it onto dissident members before – the last time it was used to deliver any significant sanction was to kick a member who resisted the GST sellout off National Executive. The member in question was actually on the Public Safety Committee at the time but that didn’t stop it meeting without him, appointing itself a majority, making retrospective rules and having him executed in absentia for breaking those rules. So nobody is seriously going to defend the Public Safety Committee – of course it shouldn’t exist in a democratic, tolerant party. But its just a bit much to complain when your own creation comes back and bites you. Mystic Meg stuck the Public Safety Committee onto her enemies with gay abandon during her time as leader, so there is some delicious irony in seeing the thought police have their own thoughts policed.

Frank wonders if there is an undated resignation letter floating around in files somewhere in Canberra. Every Dem senator signs a pledge that if they leave the party they’ll resign their seat, but we already know what the Mystic One thinks about pledges she signs – like that one she signed about not selling Telstra. So where is she going to go? Maybe the Libs, or maybe another centre-right upstart will become the rubbish tip into which the Democrats can pour their unwanted Senators. Frank would like to know what those members that re-pre-selected Darth Murray and Anaemic Allison thought they were doing – they’ve just had two quasi-Lib senators returned for six year terms that they’re likely to spend either causing damage from within or sitting as independants passing the Rodent’s horrible agenda. Which goes to show that most Dem members are too nice – that is, weak and ineffective, to be in political parties.

But Frank is being too unkind. The Dems have survived disaster before – and anyway, Anaemic Allison is too much of a wimp to defect, and Ridgeway still hasn’t completely blown his cover. Greig and Cherry are still firmly in the bunker and not saying anything at all – it would be nice to hear that for once one of them has any views about anything at all – Frank knows that’s a big ask for Democrat Senators, though. Only Andrew Bartlett is genuinely standing up for the party’s principles and policies.

In the meantime, the Democrats can’t give any firm commitments (on anything) because nobody knows how long the candidates they get elected will stay with the party. Frank can’t imagine many people voting for them on that basis.

Peter Fray

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