Another day, another solemn prime ministerial hypocrisy: climate change and the Reef, Centennial Parklands and trees, Orlando and homophobia, Indigenous recognition. It can’t be easy. All this hypocrisy takes its toll. In a trajectory of doom that is positively Shakespearean, Malcolm Turnbull seems emptier and drier with each appearance. The man who had everything (but wanted more) is already a husk of his former self. Where will it end?
I thought the problem might be wealth. Extreme riches do seem to make blindingly bad political leaders – Ceaucescu, Berlusconi, Trump. But why was unclear, until Margaret Atwood gave me a clue. Wealth isn’t really wealth. It’s really debt.
Everything we have, from jobs to bodies to microchips, we take from the earth. But – and here’s the thing – it’s not a gift, it’s a loan. Everything must be repaid. The ancients knew this, constantly making downpayments via death and sacrifice. But for us – more inclined to sacrifice nature than sacrifice to her – the bigger the pile, the greater the debt. So I wondered whether that was making Malcolm wimpy; massive wealth, massive debt.
Wonderful analysis from Elizabeth Farrelly in The Sydney Morning Herald with “The great tragedy of Malcolm Turnbull”.