They're a new level of silly

TOO FAR? Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is in Colin's crosshairs this week.
TOO FAR? Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is in Colin's crosshairs this week. Chris Ison ROK070616chockey4

WELL, strike me pavlova and call me Phar Lap!

This Section 44C saga has just gone to a whole new level of silly.

And I'm not just thinking of the situation the Deputy PM has now found himself in.

Poor Barnaby.

I've never quite been able to even work him out if he was a New South Welshman pretending to be a Queenslander for much of his career.

But I do sympathise with him on this occasion.

It's not just because he's become fodder for a certain D-grade celeb-type on her Twitter feed.

It's not just for the comparisons drawn with Wal of Footrot Flats.

Simply, one shouldn't be held accountable for the sins of one's father.

Surely we can forgive him for being a half-Kiwi.

But no.

It's gone to a whole new level of silly because our Foreign Minister has now decided to become this country's number one conspiracy theorist.

Julie Bishop's claims of a cross-Tasman Labor collusion to bring down the Turnbull Government would be laughable if it wasn't so serious a diplomatic matter.

Quite frankly, Ms Bishop demeans her office, diminishes her reputation and degrades our cousins across the ditch.

Her claims are political grandstanding of the highest level (or lowest, depending on your viewpoint).

But she didn't stop there.

To then suggest that her Government might now find difficulty in working with a future Labour government in Wellington, is beneath contempt.

NZ is in the middle of an election campaign.

How can she allege that this is meddling by a foreign power in Australian politics without the Kiwis regarding her comments, as possibly attempting to influence the outcome of their election?

Sure, it doesn't reach the heights of Russian interference in the US presidential campaign but still.

Penny Wong's Chief of Staff raised the dual citizenship issue with a NZ MP after the media had done the same thing. So what?

There was NO collusion. NO conspiracy.

It's a simple truth that Barnaby Joyce's father was born in NZ.

No one made it up in order to bring down the government. This isn't Obama 'fake birth certificate' territory.

Our Parliament seems to have lost their collective minds.

Both sides are threatening to take as many of the other side's MPs to the High Court to prove citizenship as they can.


We elected this bunch to focus on stuff affecting ordinary Australians.

Either the High Court provides a clear and decisive directive on the application of Sect 44C, or Parliament needs to put forward a plain-speaking, unambiguous amended Sect 44C to a Referendum, so we can end this for good.

Because, as I've recently said, our Constitution was drafted at a time when some of the aspects of 21st Century Australia couldn't have been imagined.

What happens if someone is elected to Parliament if they have been adopted and don't know the origins of their birth parents?

What about the citizenship status of candidates who might have been IVF babies produced courtesy of a donor?

What if an MP finds out that their father wasn't actually their father but was the product of a mother's brief encounter with Lars the milkman?

As Section 44C currently stands, we could have MPs before the High Court for years.

And how much does all this cost the taxpayer?

We all know that the ability for our politicians to get easily distracted by issues like this is legend.

Clearly, Section 44C needs to be changed and our pollies need to stop with the nonsense.

Get on with the job of governing boys and girls.

Surely you don't need a non-compulsory, non-binding postal survey to understand that.

Topics:  colin claridge gympie opinion piece political commentator

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