The Bernardi Blaze and Bait

Oh look! Here comes Cory Bernadi again! You know him, treatment right?

He’s the guy who looks as though his hair was copied (inexpertly) from the pages of SalonSENSE Hair Trade magazine circa 1987.

He’s the guy from whom you can’t unglue you eyes because … because … he’s just so SHINY.

Shiny Conservative Cory. His party brings him out when they need a interstitial; a bright break from the the main act of Raise The Debt Ceiling Even Though We Said We Wouldn’t. He’s a saloon bar specialty who sings The Lambeth Walk out his bottom. And as he honks his reeking song, pharmacy someone removes things like PBS entitlements, physician public education funding and dead bodies from the stage.

He’s the guy with whom many in my nation are arguing today.

I’m not even going to call those enjoying their reactions to Bernardi “The Left” anymore. They shall henceforth be known as “Andrea”.


Pronounced with an “A” as in “ARmy” of “ARduous ARseholes”, I have renamed the “Left” after everybody’s least favourite character in Beverly Hills 90210.

All Women Must Fight As One in Broderie Anglaise
All Women Must Fight As One in Broderie Anglaise

Andrea is gullible, sensitive and enjoys wearing cheesecloth. She is editor of the West Beverly Blaze; poorly written “progressive” news for classmates with whom she already agrees.

Today, Andrea is interested in Cory.

Behold this demi-Andrea effort from a “progressive” News Ltd employee who sasses Bernardi a little ( but does not bother to do her 90210 homework to the degree she would know that (a) no the question of the moment of conception is not, as she offers “the crux of the matter” in abortion debate but an ontological side-dish and (b) that Bernardi’s claims that abortion rates are on the rise are not founded in fact.)

But. You know. Whatever. Chick got clicks and looked like she cared.

And that’s the most important thing, Andrea Zuckerman: to care.

Just in case Andrea had a moment not caring and chanced to consider actual policy instead, the Coalition wheeled out Bernardi. A never-to-be-promoted irrelevance.

He spouts a load of evangelical barrel-scraping at a pitch unheard by middle Australia but enjoyed absolutely by an Andrea now so busy writing righteous SLASH emotional status updates about HER EXPERIENCES to a chorus of YOU GO GIRL™ that Government can resume doing whatever it likes without the bother of its opponents looking at anything. Just at a book written by a man devoid of charisma, professional hope or any chance of getting his lunacy passed into law.

He’ll open his mouth and produce responses like this:

or this

or this

which manage to be every bit as asininely wedded to the idea of Good Moral Character as Bernardi is in his peculiar religious mania.

Atheist Andrea believes not only in her own good but in the same simple cause-and-effect arrangement of evil as Bernardi,

Politicians should not utter policy lest it be “triggering”. Because State Circle is actually the demarcation for a Feminist Safe Space, apparently. Suspend parliamentary privilege and ensure all potentially triggering topics are discussed away from our ears. Because. You know. TRIGGERING.

This is how progressives respond to bait, now: just as Andrea would. Upright. Girlish. Noble and always ready for a scandal. And in hopeless chorus.

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass

Andrea is saying nothing. She can’t. Because Bernardi is not a scandal. This is not a scandal? ? ? this is what must be said at all costs. This is not a scandal.

Of Watergate, the watershed scandal, Baudrillard reminds us how scandal now appears in politics. At intervals frequent enough to maintain the illusion that scandal is still possible; the purpose of today’s Bernardi scandal is to bury the real scandal which, as it happens, is that there is no scandal.

No scandal. Just a big, monstrous liberal democracy gnawing on one’s rights. Quietly.

Formerly one worked to conceal scandal—today one works to conceal that there is none“. There is no scandal. That is the scandal.

Here comes Cory and here comes a defence against his impotent jabbering about things like “family” and “god” and a range of twaddle middle-Australia has long since popped in the charity bin.  And here comes the “Left” treating him with a reflexive earnestness.

This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man’s hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

That we have not yet begun to recognise the purpose of that dependable con is peculiar. Is it that we enjoy boasting about the number of Bachelor Degrees and Gifted Children we have despite him? Is it that Bernardi is so faltering and poor in his speech and argument he is easy sport? Or, are we really that stupid?

Here comes Cory and yet you still do not recognise his approach. He is ready with a “Global warming is a lie written by those who would turn our nation into a a Politically Correct Sharia Law and Communist Lesbian Bouncy Castle”. You respond with an outpouring like “Love makes a family!” or “I love homosexuals”.

You both look like dills.

Look. The guy just doesn’t seem very bright and I suggest that everybody knows it. Everyone except, of course, Andrea. He said the same idiot thing he always says about Politically Correct Homosexual Foetus Killers. It is not a scandal. “This is what must be said at all costs“.

In saying that this is not a scandal but a simulation of a scandal is not also to say that there will not be an attack on women’s reproductive rights; although I imagine this will take the form more of a slow withering of subsidised services that out-and-out ban. But it is to say that Bernardi, the poor back-benched thing, will not be its architect.

The response to this imagined scandal feels great, of course. And when one does, as one should, have a feeling of dread in considering the intractable maze of liberal democracy, a cry of SCANDAL and a boast about one’s blind musician children and multiple degrees and lesbian parentage and trigger warnings seems like a legitimate response.

But it isn’t. Because our rights will not be taken by Bernardi and they will not be taken all at once.

They will go slowly. And as they go, we will have our Shiny Fake Cory scandals all concealing the one political scandal left: there can be no more scandals. Just a slow withering that one cannot see in a silly man’s misstep any more than one can see a flowering of hope in social media updates that boast of one’s good, lesbian, musical character.

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom
For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper*.

My advice is to listen for the whimper. Not the bang.

*Yes I totally know Eliot had a dodgy reputation. Fuck you. I don’t care. This poem is the awesome.

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