Sunday, August 16, 2015


Have you ever noticed that many humans with aspirations to lead often confuse leadership with I-know-better-than-anyone-else arrogance?  There are more examples of this than I can name in a short blog post, but most of them are male - wannabe alpha males obviously, though not all.  Margaret Thatcher led us all to believe that she was female by wielding a handbag, having big hair and wearing a skirt, but then I have seen many Scotsmen with at least two out of three of these so this has yet to be officially confirmed.

A prime example of this is a chap called Campbell Newman.  Mr Newman was the Premier of the Australian state of Queensland.  I guess Americans might call him the State Governor while people in the north of England might call him a "fooking twat".  Anyway, Mr Newman began his political career as Mayor of the city of Brisbane and in that role he did a pretty reasonable job.  When the city was hit by a disastrous flood in 2011 his military background came in really handy and there was no doubting his logistical prowess as he swiftly organised aid and clean ups in cooperation with the state Labor government of the time.

The trouble is that his military background became a definite disadvantage once he was elected Premier of the state in 2012.  His Liberal National Party won by a massive landslide, decimating the Labor Party to such an extent that after the election they were able to hold full party meetings in the public toilet at Parliament House - in just one cubicle.  Everyone thought that the Liberal National party would be in power for more than a decade, such was their majority.  However, nobody was taking into account Mr Newman's staggering capacity for arrogance and pig-headedness.  Assuming that due to the overwhelming nature of his victory in the polls he had a mandate from the public to do whatever he liked, he embarked on a programme of highly unpopular and often draconian, not to say barely legal policies.  These he implemented without consultation, and very often they were the very same things he's whinged about the Labor government doing when he was in opposition.  Too often his policies fell foul of the judiciary who warned him that they were either non-constitutional or else sailing too close to the wind.  Mr Newman knew best though and pooh-poohed all the warnings and pushed on anyway.

Obviously with his military background he was used to giving orders, which is fine in the army which lets face it is not supposed to be a democracy.
 "Right men.  We need to make a frontal assault on that heavy machine gun post if we're going to be able to advance across the river.  All those in favour say "aye".  All those against say "no".  Errrrm...... righto.  I'll.......errrr....... just go ahead and attack the thing myself than shall I?" 
Not only that, but the parade ground would be a proper kerfuffle if everyone just marched whichever way they wanted.  It would be like having an entire battalion of soldiers with no sense of direction. Or what if the sergeant major had to hold a vote every time he wanted to give the order to present arms.  No, it just wouldn't work would it?  And so Mr Newman should have stuck to what he knows best - that is telling people who are paid to do what they're told, what to do, if you understand my meaning.

In any case, if I'd been equipped with opposable thumbs I'd have written to him and warned him that he was heading for trouble.  Sadly though my thumbs remained stubbornly un-opposable and so I was unable to tell Mr Newman that if he ever wanted to be a truly great leader he would have to respect those people whom he purports to lead and must never under any circumstances take them for granted.  I would have intimated to him that the reason he came to power in the first place was that the Labor government was perceived by the voters as being arrogant and pig-headed.  He'd even said as much himself.  So in the end his tenure as the Premier of Queensland was brought to a grinding halt when Queenslanders sacked him after just one three year term.  It was a landslide to equal the one that brought him to power.  Obviously he hadn't heard of the Santayana's quote - “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”.  Yes, that's Santayana the philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist.  Not to be confused with Santana who once said.

                                            "Yes, don't turn your back on me baby
                                            Stop messin' 'round with your tricks
                                            Don't turn your back on me baby
                                            You just might pick up my magic sticks".

Personally I wouldn't touch his magic stick with a bargepole, but each to his own I suppose.

I think our young Baci must have learned all he knows about leadership from Mr Newman.  Like Mr Newman he's very small and uppity, though he certainly has more hair than Mr Newman did.  In fact here on the Sunshine Coast there is a suburb called Bald Knob and whenever I heard it mentioned I was never sure whether the speaker was referring to the suburb or Campbell Newman.  Anyway, Baci is definitely under the impression that he is the alpha guinea pig of his herd of four.  When all four boys are in their own separate cage he likes to sit on top of his house so that he can keep an eye on what the other three are doing.  In fact often he'd rather sit there and glare at the others than eat his food.  If as is happening more and more regularly as they get older, my staff are too slow to grab him when he and either Tom or Alfie are out having "floor time" he'll fluff himself up to appear as big as possible (Though he's still only the size of a small rat.), chatter his teeth and charge at the other guinea pig, often tearing a chunk of fur from their butt and then strutting off with it still in his mouth.  Both Tom and Alfie are terrified of him even though they are about twice his size and weight.  This fear may be due less to the threat of violence than the threat of being rogered to within an inch of their lives, which is what Baci does to them when he doesn't feel like biting.

However, Toby, the oldest and slowest of the boys shows no fear at all.  Baci will fluff himself up, chatter his teeth and charge at Toby who just looks up casually from whatever he's eating, waits until Baci is close enough and then sits on his head.  It's a bit like watching the scene from the Indiana Jones movie when "Indie" is confronted by the Arab dude with the huge sword who spins and twirls it and does all sorts of intimidating tricks until "Indie" just pulls out his pistol and shoots him.  If only Mr Newman had an adviser like Toby to sit on his head when he got too big for his little boots he might still be the Premier of Queensland now.


I don't think I like wot Uncal Billy is incinerating.  There's absolootlie no way I'm ennything like Camel Nooman and I resemble enny sirjestyon that I mite be.  I never give ennywun enny ordas and I demand that yoo all forget evrything wot Uncal Billy sed abowt me immeejutly.  In facked if you don't I'll like cum round to yoor howse and pull bits of fur from your bum. Rite?

                                                           Toby aka "The Tobinator"



  1. You go Toby put the young Baci in his place. It must be all the teenager piggie homornes in Baci. Hopeful he will mellow out with age?? Love Alaisha & Stevie