In the tiny, neotenous mind of the socialist political leaders are parents whose job it is to look after them in every possible way and bail them out when they're in trouble. This is in stark contrast to the conservative ideal, which sees leaders as adults trying to facilitate the emotional and psychological maturation of the electorate. Tories want to encourage responsible behaviour, self possession and self direction so that the state doesn't have to look after millions of crybabies -- many of them in middle age and beyond -- who are such a massive financial burden upon it.
It's pretty clear that perennially petulant pinkos see their (usually male) leaders like fathers. If they get what they want from them they're over the moon, gushing with endless gratitude. If not, they'll whine and sulk up a storm to punish cruel, heartless daddy for his appalling behaviour.
The embarrassing antics of many of the true believers at Whitlam's memorial service were a clear illustration of this sad syndrome. Take their graceless booing of the current PM Tony Abbott. Christopher Pyne nailed it with this tweet.
Gough Whitlam was unfailingly polite. He would have been aghast at the rudeness of some of the mourners today #auspol
— Christopher Pyne (@cpyne) November 5, 2014
Then there was the endless adulation heaped upon their dear departed leader. It was all about what Gough gave them. (Well, that's how they saw it. It wasn't what he gave them. It's what the taxpayers did, even though they weren't asked. And they certainly showed their disdain for this by decisively voting him out of office when they got the chance.)
Cate Blanchett's contribution was just cringeworthy. Apart from it being historically inaccurate, the irony of it was just humungous. I mean, here's the most pampered, elitist, and financially over-rewarded woman in the entire country -- who was hardly underprivileged from the get go anyway -- lauding Gough's wealth redistribution in her direction. Hell, if she thinks he was such a legend for what he did why doesn't she emulate him and sling a slice of her next paycheck in the direction of the dispossessed? Doesn't have to be much, even a quarter would do. That's probably a cool million right there ...
Then there was Noel Pearson's "instant classic" speech. Don't deny the guy's a great orator. But some of what he said was a tad OTT, IMHO.
Like that bit about Gough harbouring "not a bone of ethnic or gender prejudice in his entire body". If true, then it would pretty much qualify him as a secular saint. Racism is not all pervasive, but given that each individual is confined to a male or female body, and hailing from a distinct ethnic group, I think it's well nigh impossible to be completely free of prejudice -- even if it is mainly positive -- about groups you know little or nothing of because by definition you are not one of them.
Anyhoo, this was the same guy who uttered the memorable line about "Vietnamese Balts". Sheesh. Just imagine if John Howard had said that. You'd never hear the end of it ...
But when it comes to Gough Whitlam different standards apply. He's the good father, not the bad one, so in his eulogies all is forgiven and history rewritten.