The game of politics is
surely the creation of a sick mind, and certainly nastiest game ever invented
by man or beast. Seeking to control the people around you is hardly an
honorably profession and not highly regarded by many people, and failure
regarded even more harshly than success.
Politics is also one of the areas in which an obituary can be written and read
before someone's departure from the game. Simon (i'm-outa-here) Crean is
standing aside in the hope that someone more popular can replace him.
Unlike Kim (Fatboy) Beasley, who departed without having to be tapped on
the shoulder by wise men who believe in sacrifice for the Commoner's Good,
Simon had to told that he was a bit on the nose. There are some things that
your best friend won't tell you, but in friends there are no politics and
someone always will. Simon was told it was time to go. But in fairness to him,
he has (after a brief stint of denial and conferring with the missus) agreed to
fall on his sword and let someone else have a go at the achieving the
impossible - rallying a splintering ALP and trying to present a
coherent front to the electorate in the coming election campaign.
And in fact one can't help but feel a little sorry for the ex-union thug and failed
opposition leader. His career as federal ALP leader may have been ineffectual
and largely un-memorable, but one is forced to acknowledge his lack of mistakes
in the role. There are no sound-bytes which will hound him for the rest of his
retirement, no 'life wasn't meant to be easy's, no 'please
explain's or even 'few too many Asians'.
Simon even did a few things right - he pushed through badly needed ALP reforms
before the party was totally discredited by the influence of the union thugs,
and he held off the party's total disintegration in the wake of the wedgie
politics played so well by the coalition.
The saddest thing for Simon is that in years to come he will be written up
as the born-to-rule leftie
who followed in his daddy's footsteps and failed. And, apart from a few
die-hard True Believers and academics in the history
department, he probably won't be remembered at all.