On a Downer

By September 24, 2018Australian Politics

Sometimes it is difficult to know if some of what appears to be right wing nutjobbery is what it seems to be. Every now and again, I have a fleeting suspicion that some of it may be satire1, as some of the statements made seem to be too much like equine ordure to have been uttered with any degree of seriousness. Alexander Downer, the last in the line of the Downer dynasty to occupy a seat in parliament (assuming daughter Georgina flops in Mayo again at the next election), has written an opinion piece in the Financial Review2. This article is one of those for which it is difficult to determine its intent: whether it is supposed to be serious commentary or satire.

Downer starts with the aphorism that ‘the public get the politicians they deserve’. He then proceeds to blame the electorate for being wrong; for making “governance harder, not easier”. Ironically, Downer then selects “our old friend climate change” as an example of how this has gone wrong2. I say ‘ironic’ because his daughter, Georgina, apparently does not ‘believe’ the climate science3. However, Downer has completely missed the point by stating that it is due to the public wanting action on climate change, but are unwilling to pay higher electricity prices. The problem with the lack of action on climate change is not due to any confusion in the electorate. It is solely due to the idiotic climate change deniers in the Liberal and National parties who refuse to even countenance action on climate change4.

Downer then whines about how the public is never happy with prime ministers, by going through the polls’ and, presumably, the public’s disenchantment with all recent occupants of the office. From there, he jumps to disabusing readers of the value of electing independents by, in one case, asking how Rebekha Sharkie, who thrashed Georgina in the Mayo by-election, would manage the roll-out of 5G. That is a bad example to choose, given the NBN fiasco engineered by the Coalition. Then, hilariously, Downer states that “if disillusion with Liberal and Labor keeps growing, you’ll end up with something a lot worse: a coalition of chaos”2. This is accompanied by a link to a story bemoaning the prime ministerial musical chairs5. Whether this pun was intended by Downer is unclear (he isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed), but one thing is certain, we already do have a Coalition of chaos, a Liberal and National one.


  1. http://www.blotreport.com/australian-politics/tom-switzer-satirist/
  2. https://www.afr.com/opinion/columnists/dear-voters-australias-political-chaos-is-your-fault-20180923-h15qm1
  3. http://www.blotreport.com/australian-politics/georgina-downer-blocks-policy-questions/
  4. http://www.blotreport.com/australian-politics/climate-change-deniers-in-parliament/
  5. https://www.afr.com/news/canberras-political-chaos-deterring-multinational-investment-in-australia-20180911-h157mq



  • Jim says:

    There was a move a few years ago to bring Alexander Downer back to South Australia to head up the local (SA) Liberal Party. As has been suggested they now must be very pleased that he did not take up the offer. The guy is simply out of touch and has been for many years–a bit of a worry that he was our Foreign Minister for so long. However, I think it is time to stop discussing him. He is simply irrelevant, although I reckon that Rebekah Sharkie would like to see him on the hustings again.

    • admin says:

      No doubt she would like to see him. And it looks likely again, because Georgina has been pre-selected for Mayo again.

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