Features Australia

Revolt of the elites

28 September 2019

9:00 AM

28 September 2019

9:00 AM

It was a big week for the noisy Australians. Some 300,000 downed pens and nobly put aside the tedium of tapping out emails to join with their offspring in the spring sunshine and demand an end to the end of civilisation as we know it. ‘We’ll all be rooned,’ was the general sense of the Texta-scrawled pleas on the placards. The planet could only be saved, it seemed, if coal mines were closed and the prime minister mocked — ‘ScoMo likes it hot’ the protesters jeered. Their mates in the media, who sadly didn’t spare us their verbiage by going on strike too, were agog at the size of the uprising, giving it wall-to-wall coverage. They ignored the fact that the ‘strikers’ were dwarfed by the 16.4 million Australians who turned out in May to cast a vote in the federal election that the alarmists had dubbed a referendum on climate change and that a decisive majority of ‘quiet Australians’ endorsed the government and its commitment to cut emissions and power prices while continuing to export coal.

‘Activism is learning,’ proclaimed one poster. That’s certainly what one academic thought; he promised full marks to students for an assessment if they turned up at the demo and sent him a selfie. It’s a joke, a caricature of what academia should be about, but it’s at our expense; we’re paying this climate clown’s salary.

A couple in their mid-thirties made the news simply by declaring they have said they were not going to have children because of climate change. Who can blame them? The youngsters out marching would put anyone off reproducing.

On cue, at the UN, Grim Greta, the children’s climate crusader-in-chief, threatened the elected representatives of the democratic world and the assorted tyrants, plutocrats and mass murderers gathered at the general assembly. Never a democrat, she warned, ‘Change is coming whether you like it or not.’ It made one long for the days when children were seen and not heard. The explicit rule of climate alarmists is that Thunberg, as a child, cannot be questioned or subjected to any scrutiny and must be accorded thesolemn respect which the alarmists would not dream of showing to Donald Trump, who is merely the elected representative of 330 million Americans. But how is one meant to take Thunberg seriously when her speech sounded like a bad ‘Die Hard’ script. ‘How dare you! You haff stolen mah dreems.’

Thunberg is right. Somebody has stolen her childhood but instead of blaming everyone over the age of 16, she should look closer to home. It’s hard not to watch this exhausted, emotional teenager, thrown into the spotlight far too early, and fear for her future, if not for the planet. How does she back down when the apocalypse is a no-show, as it has been for all of human history. There is no General de Gaulle to tell this generation, Rentrez chez vous, dans dix ans vous serez tous notaires. Go home, in ten years you’ll all be lawyers.

Trump, who has made a career out of breaking the rules of the outrage brigade, sarcastically tweeted that Thunberg was ‘a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future.’ Twitter, of course, erupted but Thunberg showed commendable resilience and sarcastically added Trump’s description of her to her Twitter bio. Good on her. Climate prodigies need to be able to take the heat, so to speak, or stay out of the kitchen.

As is the fashion, Thunberg and 15 other children filed a complaint at the UN alleging that five of the world’s major economies have violated their rights by not taking adequate action to stop the ‘climate crisis.’ Germany and France, used to preening themselves for their climate gestures on the world stage, will not be amused to be singled out. It is safe to assume that Brazil, Argentina and Turkey, the other alleged climate criminals, will be supremely indifferent.

‘Why should we go to school if you won’t listen to the educated’ was the best sign at the climate strike, wrote one tweeter. It was certainly a sign of the times. Across the Western world, educated elites are enraged that they have been outvoted at the ballot box and desperate to impose their will by other means.

In the US, the Democrats, doing their best impression of the Bourbons, having learnt nothing and forgotten nothing, are preparing to hand Trump his re-election on a platter by commencing impeachment proceedings against him.

In Britain’s Supreme Court, the unelected judges decided that it was their prerogative, not that of the prime minister, to decide when parliament should sit. Lady Hale made the announcement wearing a startling bejewelled spider brooch. She conjured up an aging Wednesday Addams, of the Addams family, and her pet spider Homer, immortalised in a poem; I have a gloomy little spider; I love to sit down close beside her. Like Lady Hale, Wednesday had autocratic  tendencies and sent several of her dolls to the guillotine. The arachnid also evoked the ‘tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive,’ which is how the majority of the population, which voted in favour of Brexit, would have seen the judgement; partisan judges ensnaring a hapless prime minister in their sticky legal threads so that Remainer MPs can torment him, until he can turn the tables on them by dissolving parliament.

It is obvious to Australians who have more recent experience of constitutional crises than our British cousins, that the best way to resolve them is to go to the polls. But nothing is less likely to tempt the Remainers who quail at the thought of facing the people. When Labor prime minister Gough Whitlam found himself unceremoniously sacked by his own governor-general it created the greatest constitutional crisis in our history. Imagine if Prime Minister Boris Johnson were dismissed and Jeremy Corbyn invited to form a caretaker government until the country went to the polls and one begins to appreciate the enormity of the damage done to the body politic in 1975. The saving grace of the situation was that parliament was immediately dissolved and the writs issued for an election. At the time, Whitlam said, ‘Well, may you say, God Save the Queen, for nothing will save the Governor-General.’ It’s the second verse of the anthem that comes to mind this time around. As Remainers cling to parliament, like survivors clinging to the wreck of the Hesperus, Brexiteers look to Boris and think, ‘Confound their politics. Frustrate their knavish tricks, On Thee our hopes we fix, Oh, save us all.’ Enough of demockracy, let’s have the real thing. Call an election, Remainers, if you dare.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10

Show comments