In an extraordinary move, possibly spurred by some psychological issues among Labor politicians, the Albanese government is attracting worldwide attention to the state of politics in Australia.

The psychological problem can best be described as the ‘Payman’s Panic’.

Under this condition, an irrationally affected Albanese government has turned against the Jewish state. But this is the very state for which Labor’s Dr Evatt played such a prominent role in ensuring its international recognition in 1948.

An early manifestation of this illness was when a senior minister in the Gillard government announced a new test for foreign policy: whether it could be defended on the steps of the Lakemba Mosque.

A primary symptom of Payman Panic is the fear that Senator Payman will be associated with a new Muslim party, potentially resulting in the loss of Labor seats, similar to the way the Teals took blue-ribbon Liberal electorates. In a move that must amaze our closest allies, the Albanese government has formally summoned the Israeli ambassador, Amir Maimon, to be dressed down, not by the Foreign Minister, but by an assistant minister.

Despite facing unprovoked and escalating daily rocket, drone and anti-missile attacks from Lebanon by the Iranian terrorist proxy Hezbollah, which have led to approximately 70,000 Israelis being evacuated from their homes and workplaces, the Albanese government has warned Israel not to defend itself.

For older Australians, the situation Israel finds itself in recalls Australia in the second world war when its territory was invaded and its ports bombed. We would have been outraged if the government of a long-assumed friendly power, even one whose members were inflicted with some psychological problem, had instructed us not to defend ourselves. Similarly, other nations and individuals must be shocked by the irrational actions of the Albanese government.

It is clear that if a diplomatic solution cannot be found to enforce the terms of Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war, Israel will have no choice but to take military action. This may happen after Israel has subdued, if not eliminated, another one of Iran’s proxies, Hamas.

Returning to the dressing-down by the Albanese government, this included a threat totally devoid of consequence. This was that should the Israelis disobey Canberra’s instructions not to defend themselves, the Australian government would not support Israel. This ridiculous threat only exposes the Albanese government to ridicule.

The world’s powers have likely noticed that no matter what outrageous acts the Communist Chinese commit against our defence forces on the high seas or in international airspace, the Albanese government consistently responds with only nominal, low-key protests and ‘wet lettuce’ reactions. In fact, those powers would be well aware of the fact that the government has left Australia effectively defenceless and indeed, is more concerned about recruits’ preferred pronouns than their fighting prowess. Those powers of course appreciate that summoning an ambassador to be dressed down is a very serious move in the world of diplomacy. It bypasses the normal communication between countries and suggests a seriously strained relationship. Friendly or hostile, they know  Israel is facing a life-or-death situation, and they are no doubt surprised that one of its traditional supporters would seek to pull the rug out from under it.

Israel is fully entitled under international law to defend itself. That a Western government would support terrorists, rather than a state defending itself, is an indication of the moral collapse of the Albanese government.

A psychiatric assessment of the plight prevailing in government circles would no doubt involve an examination of the facts surrounding the Payman Panic. The time for the Labor party to question Senator Payman’s eligibility to stand as a dual citizen was at her preselection, not in now feeding the media with new doubts.

She claims she could not renounce her Afghan citizenship because the Taleban takeover made this impossible. Only the High Court can decide this, and it seems unlikely this will be raised during this term.

Now Labor has a good political point that Senator Payman only attracted about 1,600 votes ‘below the line’. But nothing can be done about this.

So she was elected on the Labor vote, not a personal vote. Nor can anything be done about this. It is also clear that she would understand the caucus rule. But again, nothing can be done about this.

(Incidentally, for reasons previously explained, I doubt the rule’s constitutionality  because it is inconsistent with the fundamental concepts of representative and responsible government.)

Apparently, the Prime Minister expected Senator Payman to resign from parliament because of her dissatisfaction with the caucus rule. She clearly has no intention of doing this.

Under the headline ‘$450K reasons to stay in the Senate’ Sydney’s Daily Telegraph reported that the senator paid $450,000 in 2023 to purchase an apartment in Canberra, subject to a mortgage. Like many politicians, she claimed substantial allowable sums for staying in her own apartment, e.g. $4,650 in October. Taxpayers are thus required  to give substantial tax-free assistance to politicians paying off a substantial investment.

In any event, the solution to the choice of a candidate who does not represent the electorate is simplicity itself.

In the course of empowering the people over the politicians, the people should be allowed to vote on whether they should be able to recall a politician to a by-election.

This could be readily done by introducing, alongside citizen-initiated referendums, citizen-initiated recall elections.

In discussions at the time of Federation, South Australia Premier Charles Kingston proposed the beginnings of such a system.

But Alfred Deakin dissuaded him because, he said, responsible representative government would have the same effect.

For reasons explained previously here, it did not.

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