The vile reaction to the sad news that Liberal Senator Mary Jo Fisher had a supermarket shoplifting calamity clearly linking to a depressive illness and a change in medication she was taking to combat it started off a weekend of rarely matched woe.
We were on the verge of completing a typically unsubtle excoriation of several Labor/Greens MPs and staffers whose unrestrained and indecent ghoulish glee on Twitter and Facebook on the subject prompted concern among several members of the VEXNEWS Investigations Unit, when we heard the traumatising news from Norway that a Young Labor party gathering of hundreds of teenagers had been set-upon by an apparently politically-motivated evil mass-murderer cunningly disguised as a Police officer with a sniper rifle.
Some eighty young people murdered.
I met my wife and many of the good friends who’ve comprised much of my life at such youthfully enthusiastic political gatherings so it did all feel rather close to home, as far away as it is.
And in a further depressing, meaningless tragegy overnight, one of the great vocalists of our life-time Amy Winehouse took her own life.
The waste of talent in all of this is what occurs to me.
Might there have been a future Prime Minister or masterful Norwegian UN peace-negotiator cut down among the eighty young people murdered on the tiny Utoya island?
We’ll never know.
What songs, what joy, relief and insight, has the world missed out on with Amy Winehouse’s completely unnecessary, premature death.
We’ll never hear them.
And with the South Australian Liberal Senator, there is an opportunity for good and decent people to ensure that her talents are not wasted because of her illness or more particularly the bigotry many people have about it, from which we are meant to have evolved in recent years.
It was good to see Andrew Robb be manly enough to say what some of Fisher’s political rivals ought to have said: all are innocent until proven guilty, the talk of her losing her Senate seat is ghoulish and vile and the context is that she’s got a health problem that she’s fighting to manage and beat.
This really has been a weekend of woe. We hope Mary Jo Fisher’s critics pull their heads in until they hear all the evidence. If they don’t, they’ll be hearing from us real soon, to quote former President Bush. From what we’ve heard so far, she seems very unlikely to have consciously committed a crime at all. But let’s wait and see.
Politics is a rough and tumble business but society deserves better than political opponents celebrating the illness and related troubles of their foes.
Now try listening to this, without shedding a tear or two.