If only all Australians had the same intellectual luxury available to them as the Victorian Labor Premier, Dan Andrews. Earlier this year he funded and personally promoted a video slamming men for looking at women on Melbourne’s trains. The paid actress in the advertisement wasn’t overly good- looking – in fact, to me she resembled a tranny. As Donald Trump would say, ‘Not my type’.
But the message was clear: if you’re a man using public transport, sitting opposite a woman ranging in looks from the masculine to Marilyn Monroe, you should look out the window the entire trip. To gaze upon a female for any longer than three seconds – what back-in-the-day we called ‘perving’ – is an example of ‘toxic masculinity’. According to Andrews and other members of the Rosie Batty cheer squad, this dreadful habit of people checking out the opposite sex is a precursor to domestic violence. Part of the ‘patriarchy’, they say.
But what of real-life examples of unprovoked violence in Dan-Land? What if one of his colleagues in the State Labor Caucus, a fellow member of the Victorian Socialist-Left, kicked in a hotel storeroom door with the force of Phar Lap in his prime? That’s okay, apparently. When Will Fowles did this in Canberra last week, Andrews stood by his man, calling the incident a ‘turning point’ by which the MP could fix up his life.
Fowles had rolled out the standard array of excuses popular among high-profile people in strife, declaring, ‘I have for a long time been dealing with addiction and other mental health issues.’ Of course he had. He was in such terrible shape last year he decided to run for State Parliament, winning Jeff Kennett’s old seat of Burwood in Melbourne’s East. Instead of seeing a doctor, Fowles thought it was more therapeutic to visit the voters. Labor now has a violent drunk and nut-job on its hands, but in Dan-Land that’s a good thing. Mental illness is the perfect excuse for bad behaviour.
It reminds me of the 1970s road rule in Indonesia: being full-as-a-boot behind the wheel was actually a valid reason for dangerous driving – as in, ‘I’m innocent, Your Honour, it was the alcohol that made me veer off the road’. The Socialist Republic of Victoria has become just as absurd. The Premier has set the highest possible standard for male behaviour in the State, unless you’re from the Labor party. For blokes, an ALP membership ticket is a get-out-of-jail card.
Andrews was one of the last to abandon John Setka after the union boss texted his wife calling her, among other things, a ‘f–cken dog’, a ‘sneaky c–t’ and a ‘f–cken piece of shit’. The bloke perving on the train should have reached for his mobile phone, hurling abuse at the woman instead of just looking at her. He would have got a more sympathetic hearing from Andrews. Or he could have got off at the next station, hitting the grog all night and randomly turning hotel doors into woodchips. This would have got him a Labor seat, even a ministry. Mental illness has become an all-purpose excuse for anyone in Australia trying to get out of trouble. You can set your watch by the sequence for politicians, celebrities and errant footy stars. One day they are having simulated sex with a dog and/or injecting more drugs into themselves than Woodstock. The next day they are in the media announcing their ‘depression’, ‘anxiety’ and inability to leave home.
My favourite was when the Cronulla Sharks great, Andrew Ettingshausen (now a contestant on the TV show Survivor) was asked why he was rooting around with an ex-teammate’s wife. It was because his life had collapsed into funk and depression. I’m sure it felt that way in the throes of his passion.
Given that medical science is yet to develop a full understanding of the human brain, who wouldn’t plead ‘mental illness’ when they’re busted? You can never be proven wrong. I know of a schoolboy who regularly disobeys his teacher’s instructions on the basis that, ‘It would make my mental condition worse, Miss’.
There have always been plenty of doctors in Australia willing to certify that someone needs a bogus day off work, a ‘sickie’. Now they just scribble out ‘anxiety and depression’ and it can never be contradicted. It’s the perfect rort, financing medico and Big Pharma investment properties across the world.
Even those who set up Australia’s mental health industry are having second thoughts. Last week, Kennett, the father of BeyondBlue, condemned Fowles for using mental illness as a ‘coverall excuse’ for his door-kicking outburst. This is the same Jeff Kennett who personally invented and popularised the dubious medical condition of ‘anxiety depression’, draining resources away from the 1 to 2 per cent of Australians genuinely suffering from clinical depression. It was always going to end this way. In fact, I told Kennett it was certain to end this way but he refused to listen.
With the Left wanting to construct a Snowflake Society, in which everyone can be a victim and people are too fragile to hear the basic truths of life, ‘anxiety depression’ is a perfect fit. The incentives for using it are enormous. Imagine how much better my political career would have been if I had pleaded ‘anxiety’ when breaking the taxi-driver’s arm or John Howard’s hand. I would have been in my 15th year in The Lodge by now.
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