Andrew Wicks

About Andrew Wicks

Andrew Wicks is a country boy with a penchant for movies and sport. After a few years working in health, he decided he'd rather work with today's youth and studied arts and education in rural NSW. His main interests are religion, health and lairy shirts.

Section 44, what is it good for? Or: Why I stopped caring and pitied Barnaby Joyce

With Barnaby Joyce now in the Section 44 firing line, I think this great Australian witch hunt has gone on long enough. When are we prepared to admit this is doing more harm than good?



I’m not saying it is, I’m just saying what it looks like. The foremost law person in the Commonwealth, George Brandis, suddenly appearing on Sky News to sever the legal noose around the suddenly kiwi Barnaby Joyce looks dodgy. It looked like the classic nonsense cinema escape when we had 007 cornered, as George lowered the rope ladder, spouting a rubbish one liner. We wanted blood, and now we shall be denied our desired crimson on the back of a schoolyard rule of nah-uh? 



In a one minute tableau, miming George uttered the word ‘uh’ eleven times, which, and I’m not picking on his vocal tics, if indeed he possesses them, but it, uh, doesn’t, uh, make you, uh, believe him. But to all of this, I say who cares.

This whole thing has gone far enough.

Surely the High Court will now have to make a uniform ruling on Section 44, because this, bless it, has got well out of hand. We’ve participated in the thong (or jandle) wearing redux of the Salem witch trials. All business in the town has stopped, as civic leaders and townsfolk alike group to point fingers, throw accusations and surmise on who among us practices the witchcraft of dual citizenship. Look! They can fly unencumbered through customs! I’ve seen it with me own two peepers. It’s wrong it is!

And yes, I realise Section 44 forbids it, and yes, one law should rule all, as it’s the birth certificate of our nation, but I ask you what has really been won? Some in the media have participated in their own bent game of political Pokemon, gotta catch ’em all…unawares. It started with the fantastically coiffed barnet of Scott Ludlam, which was initially viewed, not as a tragedy, but a shame. Silly Scott was silly. But somewhere along the line, it got personal. Two greens departed the house, and the blazing eye of Sauron cast its unblinking eye over the barren senatorial wastelands toward the tower habituated by the White Australia Wizard. Sadly, Pauline is as Australian as melanoma, so we turned to noted stoolie weasel Malcolm Roberts. Who, is a dolt, and let’s be honest, an embarrassment, but he’s an elected one at that. After all, he argued with an attractive knowledge man on QandA and made us all look stupid, and now he must pay. Revenge is a dish best served constitutional.


Malcolm Roberts argued with an attractive knowledge man on QandA and made us all look stupid, and now he must pay. Revenge is a dish best served constitutional.


So, easily digestible headlines were carved, documents were watermarked, and a gruff knock on the door of a rusting caravan was soon heard. Hi Malcolm, yeah, the village here. Just turns out that you’re not from here, so, we’re going to push you off a cliff to prove that you’re not Australian. If you fly, she’ll be right, and we’ll see ya for Oz Day. Fortunately, Malcolm has convinced himself the townsfolk are actually witches themselves, so he’s set himself to wait them out until the next blood moon to find out. With his paperwork safely in the grip of the High Court, there was a palpable feeling of who should we get next? our actions were validated by small words in an ancient text that has little relevance to us in modern day Salem. Those who we didn’t like in everyday life, hello to you, Matt Canavan, were easy targets. He blamed his mum, lol. Glad we did that.



Soon the palpable push was a tangible one, if we can’t vote them out, we’ll throw them out. We can, because we can. They did the wrong thing. So, we snitched, and I know why. I know people are angry. I am too, the last year of Australian politics has been one huge disappointment after another. But is stringing up the tomato in the forty gallon hat actually going to solve anything? Is it going to make the pain stop, or make us feel better? I mean, what’s the end game here? Empty the Senate and hope the replacements are an improvement? Who decides if they are? Do we forever dangle the paper sword of Damocles over their sweaty heads?

What happened to us, man? We’ve traded everything to seek the opiate of constitutional law, not pausing to think about the damage that we’re causing our friends, family and the community at large as we wheel Barnaby Joyce down to the local cash converters to enable our next hit. Nah, lad. I’ll get a good price for him, eh.

It’s got to the point where I no longer blame those who committed the crime. I just feel sorry for them, careers flamed by a turgid technicality. In the greater scheme of things, their crime is what exactly? I don’t think Larissa Waters was divulging state secrets to sexy Justin in Quebec, nor do I believe that Malcolm Roberts is funnelling military materiel to secure the border against Pakistan. How their possession of this documentation inhibited their processes in Parliament? Obviously, the opposite has now become true, as this torch brandishing volcanic clusterfuck we started, this crusade to maintain the virtue of the Senate has severely crippled it, razing the hopes of the electorates where these candidates promised change for the better. What becomes of Ludlam’s campaign against internet censorship, or Water’s fight for the Barrier Reef, or young Malcolm’s battle against the institutional ignorance of NASA? You know, real issues, not this where you from, boy palaver.

All we’re doing is watering down the conversation. And while we deride the leadership/spill mentality that has taken root in Canberra, and complain how the power to choose is now out of our hands, are we not committing a similar set of atrocities?

In both instances, we’re able to do these things by law, but does that mean we should?





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