Friday, September 18, 2015

A little editorial: George (and his Dragon) must go

When Malcolm Turnbull pitched his candidacy for leadership of the Liberal Party on Monday he stated, as an unequivocal article of faith, that his prime ministership would be based on transparency, consultation and an end to "captain's calls".
Federal arts minister Senator George Brandis's decision to establish the National Programme for Excellence in the Arts is in chapter-and-verse conflict with the principals espoused by now prime minister Turnbull. He must be removed from the portfolio, or at the very least, instructed to immediately dismantle the NPEA and return the funds expropriated for its operation to the Australia Council.
Senator Brandis is, personally, a lover of the arts – albeit of the "dead white male" variety – and it is a very great shame that he was infected by the dark spirit of the Abbott regime (although many will argue he was one of its architects). 
For that reason, there's a weak case for a chastened and mentored Brandis continuing in the portfolio – minus the NPEA.
But such is the depth of antipathy towards him throughout the arts community, and the suspicion and fear that would attend his every decision, no matter how innocent, in the portfolio, that Mr Turnbull has no option but to move him on.
Not to do so would indicate that the words of candidate Turnbull were empty. That would be a deeply disappointing, and politically dangerous, way to start his tenure. 


  1. I think you're right, the game's over, it's time to exit through the turnstiles and head home.

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