Ashley Robinson.
Ashley Robinson. Patrick Woods

Singing from JFK songbook

I wrote this column below before the Federal Election in September 2013 and with Clive Palmer currently sending text messages and spending millions on advertising leading up to the next federal debacle, it was a timely reminder.

Sadly, I was wrong about Clive but maybe right about some of the other stuff.

See what you think...

A famous American politician once said, "Ask what you can do for your country, ask not what your country can do for you.”

These words were possibly plagiarised from John F. Kennedy's old headmaster but when he uttered them in his maiden Presidential Address in 1961, they stuck with him forever.

I was thinking about those words a few days after the last election when there was great debate about whether Clive Palmer would win the seat of Fairfax and how he went about it.

I actually backed the bloke the day before and got odds of 10-1 from a true-blue local conservative.

He thought I was balmy.

My reasoning was that Clive was very clever coming into that final week: dot-point ads claiming what he was going to do if he got in; the ads were easy to read; and he never really had to justify any of it.

Plus, he had (independent State Member for Nicklin) Peter Wellington pushing hard every time I turned the TV on.

Maybe, though, after listening to the big man with his couple of PUP members in the Senate, he might end up like our old mate Don Chip who was famous for leading the Democrat Party chant of "keeping the bastards honest”.

If Clive could do that, he would be way ahead of what we have had from major parties over the past few decades.

For his part, Peter Wellington should of either been congratulated if Clive went well and dug in for our community, or have been held accountable if/when Clive didn't do the job properly.

In saying all that, maybe it is time for all of us as a nation to start singing from the same book as JFK - start thinking about others rather than the "what's in it for us” mentality and blaming our representatives and leaders for whatever goes wrong.

This is a good country, with good people, but I think currently we are over-indulging in so many ways.

Maybe it's time to man up.

I know that my opinion grates on people but it is my opinion with my name on it.

I can be wrong and I also can learn to work with people I don't entirely agree with.

So I am hoping all our representatives have read this quote from another famous American, Abraham Lincoln: "I'll do the very best I know how, the very best I can and I mean to keep doing it until the end. If the end brings me out wrong, 10 angels swearing I was right will make no difference”.

Where is it relevant, you may well ask.

Well, even if it is a reminder about Clive and his ramblings then and now, it may be helpful.

But surely if we could find some candidates to follow Abraham's mantra, Canberra would be a more productive place.

Think and vote wisely in 2019.



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