6 September 2014:
So before we dig into the bucketful of complaints about the first year of the Abbott government, consider the quality of the people who sit on its benches.
For starters, there are three Rhodes Scholars: Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull, and Angus Taylor.
Two more ministers have degrees from Oxford University: George Brandis, QC, and Josh Frydenberg, who has the added distinction of a Masters degree from Harvard University. Two other MPs also have Masters from Harvard, among the seven MBAs, two MPAs and four PhDs on the government benches. Two more have Masters of Philosophy from Cambridge.
Fulbright scholar Greg Hunt has an MA from Yale to add to his BA and LLB from the University of Melbourne, with honours. Former WA treasurer and attorney-general Christian Porter, a one-time prosecutor who arrived in 2013’s record intake of MPs, has an impressive four degrees, including a Master of Science in Political Theory from the London School of Economics where he topped his class. And he’s a mere backbencher.
Three government MPs are medical doctors, including Dr David Gillespie, a gastroenterologist who won independent Rob Oakeshott’s old seat of Lyne. He is also a farmer, one of 16 in government.
There are at least 30 solicitors and barristers, and five former police officers, including Jason Wood, once a Detective Senior Sergeant in Victoria’s organised crime squad and counter-terrorism unit.
Luke Simpkins also was an officer with the Australian Federal Police and an Army officer of 14 years. Senator David Fawcett had 22 years as an Army officer and RAAF test pilot, and has a science degree and an MBA.
Another humble backbencher is Brigadier Andrew Nikolic, possessor of two master’s degrees, with wartime roles in Afghanistan and Iraq as chief of staff and deputy commander and a post as UN Military Observer in Israel, Syria and South Lebanon.
These are just some of the high achievers representing us on the government benches. They could be earning a lot more money with a lot less scrutiny and scorn than they get in parliament….
I knew Tony Abbott was a Rhodes Scholar, but did not realize the caliber of the LNP MPs. A most uplifting and hope-inspiring article by Miranda.