The political pond proved just how shallow it is this week when faced with a few inconvenient truths.
As usual, I was the truth teller and was on the receiving end of criticism by a blancmange bunch of ill-informed puppets.
My crime was to tell the Greens to stop hiding behind the story of the tragic death of the two young boys whose bodies were washed up on a Turkish beach, as a front to justify their absurd refugee policy.
The Greens, remember, were part of the team responsible for the policy decisions that saw 50,000 illegal arrivals in Australia and over 1,000 deaths at sea. Back then, a Greens Senator dismissed these deaths as ‘accidents happen, tragedies happen’, proving just how callous their agenda really is.
This time, however, the tragedy of these boys' deaths was characterised as a result of their fleeing the horrors of the Syrian war. Unfortunately, the facts don’t match the claims. The family had been living in Turkey for three years. The father had a job and they were sheltered and safe. Money was being regularly sent from their relatives in Canada. In an interview, one of the relatives said the father wanted dental implants which they couldn't afford so they decided to go to Europe and claim asylum to get them. The tragic end result was the death of his wife and children.
But that truth was too much for some.
It didn't fit their narrative so Labor's bellicose Anthony Albanese called me a national embarrassment (for telling the truth) and one of my regular critics from inside the Liberal Party, Ewen Jones, could barely contain his enthusiasm to join Labor’s idiotic chorus.
There was no refutation of facts, no cogent or informed debate, no opposing points of view, just emotive name calling and abuse. That’s how some of your political representatives want to determine substantial policy positions – ignore the facts and just go with the ‘vibe’. Having been through similar circumstances on a number of occasions I shouldn't be surprised – except I still am. I am surprised that each year there seems to be less room for discussion or informed debate in the battle of ideas.
Facts are to be ignored if they don’t suit the personal agenda and the national interest scarcely seems to get a passing consideration.
It’s as if the knee jerk responses are designed to receive the approval of the twittersphere rather than contribute meaningfully to the national parliament.
It reminds me why so many people, in Australia and abroad, are expressing their discontent with politicians and political parties. It explains why Trump is doing so well in the US republican primary campaigns. People don’t want politics by twitter; they want truth, diligence and honesty from their representatives.
Notwithstanding any abuse I might receive, I am determined to give them exactly that.