"All political lives… end in failure." Not so. We are delighted to say that in Australia there are a few notable exceptions to this rule. Bob Brown is to be congratulated for joining Bob Menzies in defying Enoch Powell’s iron-clad law of political survival by resigning, like them, at the peak of his powers. Knowing when to jump is the one sure way of ensuring a satisfactory political legacy in these treacherous days of Prime Ministers being stabbed in the back by their own parties, or being unceremoniously bundled out of parliament by their own constituents.
Although Bob Brown never made it to PM, he came as close as a minority party leader ever can. Uncomfortably close, as the country is about to learn with the introduction of the unpopular carbon tax, the pointless mining tax, and whatever other rotting bones Wayne Swan intends to throw to the rabid Greens in his imminent “back to surplus” budget.
Less than three hours after our editorial last week had hit the newsstands – in which we called for the mainstream media to take a closer look at the more extreme and damaging aspects of Brown’s ideology - the Senator had run up the white flag and decided to call it quits. We’d love to take the credit, but the more likely explanation is that Brown, having sifted through the entrails of the Queensland election, realized that the Greens have peaked and its downhill from here on in. The threat from Katter in the senate and unwavering polls pointing to a Coalition victory would have been ringing in his ears as much as the pleas from his partner for them to spend more time together. Clearly, Brown has no desire to be branded a failure.
Enoch Powell and Robert Menzies would be impressed.