A Darwinian View of National Selection.
A lot of people say to me, “Emmjay, you’ve got an Ag Science background, what’s going on with the National Party?”
And that’s true. I have deep connections to the land (I have a backyard amongst the latte-sippers of Inner West Cyberia) and I am deeply connected with Gaia’s biosphere (I have some plants and sometimes wildlife flies (or scurries) in from time to time).
But I think what qualifies me to give advice in this sphere is that my sciency Darwinian background provides me with a useful framework for coming to grips with this terribly troubling National Party leadership vacuum.
Without a doubt, the best framework for understanding this matter comes from our old mate Charles Darwin. Let’s look at the Nats from this perspective.
The Nats are, of course the love children of the old Country Party, known by that phononymic joke allegedly born in Federal parliament “I’m a Country Member”, to which some wag responded “No, but I’ll try.”
The crux of Darwin’s Theory is that in every population there will be genetic mutations. And the Nats are redolent with genetic mutations. I should have rested my case after that last sentence.
But Darwin posits that some of these mutants will have characteristics that give them some superior fitness to survive and thrive when their environment gets seriously crazy – like when coal mining overtakes a rural person’s central focus or when everyone in the bush who grows stuff that’s getting hammered by climate change, votes for some clueless bozo with highly frayed moral fibre and less comprehension of science than pond scum.
Darwin theorises that Nature will weed out those individuals who are not “fit” – as you know, his phrase was survival of the fittest. Not those who are necessarily the most physically fit, but those who can adapt and thrive – be fit in changing environments – say, like a 2 degree increase in global temperatures. Although, one might hazard a guess that mental fitness could come in handy in the current Cretinacious Period.
It was not always thus, and in the Decentfolkus Period, the Nats – or the then Counts were led by men (and it was always men) who were marked by actually looking after their constituents as opposed to looking after themselves and a handful of their white shoe clad mates.
That was before the Akubra, the Drizabone and RM Williams boots became tropes in the Pretentious Period.
But enough of this wordy sciency stuff. You’re almost certainly hanging out for a decent table that distils a complex topic like “How did the National Party come to peer over the edge of a precipice that is increasingly looking like their extinction ?”
Here is the Evolution of the National Party. Courtesy of https://australianpolitics.com/parties/nationals/federal-national-party-leaders-since-1920
According to the above web page, we can summarise this in a few short paragraphs…
And I quote:
“Earle Page, the party’s second leader, is its longest-serving, at 18 years, 5 months and 8 days. Page also had the longest service in the House of Representatives, representing Cowper (NSW) for 42 years between 1919 and 1961.
The shortest-serving leader was Charles Blunt, who served 11 months between 1989 and 1990. Having deposed his predecessor Ian Sinclair, Blunt lost his seat in the general election.*
In its first 69 years since 1920, The Nationals had seven leaders.
In contrast, the period since 1989 has also seen seven leaders, including Joyce’s two non-consecutive terms
The 44 years between 1940 and 1984 was a time of unparalleled stability, with just three leaders (Fadden, McEwen and Anthony).”
Psephologists at the Pig’s Arms Socio-economic Institute have taken this one step further – identifying that no leader of the Nats with the slightest clue, has been born after 1960.
And here we see it, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls and gender non-specific people, the epoch which has triggered the threatened demise of the once great Country Party began with long haired louts in the Rollingstoneaceous Period of the 1960s.
And although it is pure speculation whether the next leader (and I use the term loosely) of the Nats will be a lump of anthracite or the methanous fart from a Holstein Friesian, what is fairly certain, is that if the Nats don’t get their (literal) shit together, they’ll be political toast in the coming climate change era.
Editor’s Note 1. Stay tuned for our next hard-hitting article – Pond Scum – how the Nat’s tried and failed to trash the Murray Darling Basin Plan….
* Editor’s Note 2 – this is not to suggest that the Hon. Blunt member was altitudinally-challenged, but that his successful challenge of his leader was met with the kind of voter backlash sadly lacking in the most recent Bonoboesque farrago.
Editor’s Note 3. It has been brought to our attention that that we may have mixed up the captions in the photographs, but we can’t for the life of us figure out how.
Editors’s Note 4 – No Antony Green was harmed in the writing of this folderol.