Perrottet ‘whistles Dixie’ as death law passes

by PAUL COLLITS – FOR most Australians, the most momentous political event of the past fortnight has been the federal election. 

This saw the coming of a new government, the crashing of the Liberal Party, especially some of its so-called “moderates”, the exit of the unlamented ScoMo and the rise and rise of The Greens. 

When did the Liberal Party last safeguard the rights of those who cannot easily defend themselves or champion the truly vulnerable?

But for those of us who cherish the right to life, something else occurred, in the shadow of the election campaign, that was described by the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney as a “dark day” for NSW.

“If a civilisation is to be judged by how it treats its weakest members, the NSW parliament has failed miserably, and has set a dark and dangerous path for all posterity, determining a new and disturbing definition of what it means to be human,” Archbishop Fisher said.


The Rum Corps State became the last in this wide brown land to legalise euthanasia, euphemistically known to its admirers (of which, sadly, there are plenty, it would seem) as “voluntary assisted dying”.

Those who champion the culture of death here and overseas are, if nothing else, adept at the use of euphemisms and “look over there” strategies.

Merely two years ago, following a State election in which abortion was never mentioned, champions of what Tony Abbott aptly described as “infanticide on demand” shepherded through legislation designed to kill more unborn babies.

The progenitor of both of these abominations was Alex Greenwich, a Kiwi activist who has made inner Sydney his home.

While he was the driver, there were many willing passengers from both sides of the aisle and from the ever-growing cross-benches.

Especially noteworthy has been the all-but-unanimous support of the culture of death from the Nationals, who are, as someone once said, these days more Brokeback than Black Jack.

Yes, these politicians may be said simply to be following the zeitgeist, and wrapping their resultant electoral self interest in earnest, often teary, bundles of now fashionable cliches about “dignity”.

If the polls – suspect though they are – are remotely accurate, most of the population seems to want the old, diseased and frail to have the option of topping themselves when the going gets too tough (or the pressure from family and doctors does).

The same supporters of euthanasia seem blissfully unaware of the irony attached to their simultaneous hand wringing over mental health related suicides by the physically healthy. I have never quite understood this.

The numbers in all of these “reforms” seem to have settled at around a 70-30 per cent split.

But some of the politicians did oppose the recent bill, as they did in relation to abortion, and, indeed, same sex marriage.


These politicians fall into two categories. There are the champions of life from conception to its natural end, such as Greg Donnelly MLC in NSW.

Their efforts in support of life have been indefatigable and praiseworthy.

Less worthy of praise are those who turn up to vote “no”, but do little else. Interestingly, we can lump into this latter category the leaders of the three major Parties.

The Catholic Church in Sydney has taken a hatchet to the reputations of these politicians as standard-bearers of life, especially the Premier.

It did this through an editorial in The Catholic Weekly that pulled few punches.

In an editorial headlined “Drop dead disgraceful”, The Catholic Weekly – published by the Archdiocese of Sydney – condemned Mr Perrottet for lacking “sufficient calibre” to oppose the assisted suicide laws, which passed into law this month.

“Those left wondering whether the Catholic Premier had taken leave of his senses watched in amazement as he said he was ‘proud’ that the NSW parliament had presided over a respectful, tolerant and sensitive debate,” the Catholic Weekly editorial said.

The Catholic Weekly editorial also attacked Opposition leader Chris Minns, who is Catholic, for devoting only five minutes to a speech opposing euthanasia.

“Five brief minutes was the most the Leader of the Opposition could find to argue that healthcare organisations – including Catholic hospitals – should not be forced by law and against their most fundamental ethical principles to collaborate in killing,” the Weekly said.

It said evil had triumphed because “the two individuals with the most political capital and authority to bring to bear in opposing such a victory looked very much as if they lost their nerve and didn’t have the stomach for the fight”.


“The performance was bizarre and surreal, constituting one of the most humiliating examples of meek acceptance of evil ever seen” the editorial said.

“Those who stood for life are fully entitled to ask where Dominic Perrottet and Chris Minns were in the lobbying, the campaign to communicate the reality of euthanasia, the parliamentary cut and thrust necessary to opposing it?”

The Weekly contrasted this with the “heroic resistance” of MLC Greg Donnelly “as he valiantly attempted to at least ameliorate by amendment some of the most obscene measures of the Greenwich bill”.

Tough, well-chosen words. Its stance even made it to the mainstream media.

The estimable Monica Doumit also noted the sheer hubris and non-negotiable drive of the death cultists: “Pro-euthanasia advocates met with disdain amendments that would have softened the effect of their dying laws on vulnerable patients.”

No mercy, indeed.

The gist of the Catholic Archdiocesan argument related to two things – the minimalist approach of the leaders to prosecuting the anti-euthanasia case, and the fact that the Premier, in particular, could only bring himself to say how grateful he was for a “civilised” debate after the die was cast.

This is the cry of someone already beaten by the enemy, and, perhaps, little interested in the battle in any case.

It is a feeble thing to say about so fundamental an issue for our society. Thank God that is over. Back to the Cabinet room! Let’s get on with the real issues.

Perhaps the Premier, already known for his proneness to eyeing the political dimension, simply knew the writing was on the wall and chose to sit this one out.

A little like Tony Abbott, infamously, in relation to 18C and freedom of speech. (At least Abbott, unlike his Liberal successors, actually believed in freedom of speech).

Perhaps the Premier is discomfited by his unfashionable views, and wants no one to notice that he has them.

Not unrelated, maybe Perrottet suffers from what might be termed “embarrassed Catholic syndrome”.

Catholics, of course, are on the nose for many citizens, for reasons all too obvious.


That the Sydney Archbishop (through his newspaper) was so viciously blunt on this issue will come as a surprise to many used to his softly-softly approach to public policy.

Indeed, the only Catholics in high public office who get away with their religion – think Albanese, Turnbull, Daniel Andrews, Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden – seem to be those whose convictions about core Catholic values and proscriptions are, at best, tenuous.

A British journalist a few years back actually questioned – in the context of a then emerging Tory leadership candidate, Jacob Rees-Mogg – whether a believing Catholic could ever hope to attain the top job.

Well, Perrottet did, but, from his clever job of hiding his supposed core values, he seems to be aspiring to invisible Catholic status.

Certainly, life issues do not come close to Dominic’s hill to die on. It is the same for the other NSW leaders concerned, Chris Minns and Paul Toole.

Greg Donnelly’s vigorous leadership on an issue that he holds dear is a massive and telling contrast. There was no heavy lifting at the top.

While The Catholic Weekly is spot on, there is a much greater problem here with the politics of so-called “conscience” votes.

For the major Parties, they are a cop-out, a damned convenient means of issue-avoidance, and an admission that they believe there would be unseemly, internal, uncivil wars if ever the Parties chose to have a corporate view on these issues.

Better to park these debates over the most basic human right of all, than risk the appearance of division.

It is a brilliant strategy that allows the Parties to sail on to the next election without fear of retribution. It is narrative management.

For anyone remotely pro-life, this bespeaks both cowardice and cooperation with evil.

It is a long time since the Liberal Party even pretended to be conservative, or even liberal.  To uphold traditional standards and values.


When did it last safeguard the rights of those who cannot easily defend themselves or champion the truly vulnerable?

Then again, COVID has shown just how much any of the major Parties care about anyone’s rights.

The NSW Premier and his political peers seem far more interested in ensuring that no one talks about the unspeakable executive overreach of the past two years, than in engaging powerfully – you know, as if they meant it – in fundamental life-and-death debates.

I would hope that the NSW Premier will not wish to be remembered later in his life as the leader who stood back and did little when the chips were down, who, in effect, was a shepherd for the right to death, but maybe he simply doesn’t care.PC

Paul Collits

MAIN PHOTOGRAPH:  Dominic Perrottet. (courtesy The Sydney Morning Herald)

3 thoughts on “Perrottet ‘whistles Dixie’ as death law passes

  1. I believe you reap what you sow in this world, maybe not always if you are sorry for what you did, but generally what you do to others will happen to you. So the MPs who voted for this assisted dying bill will find themselves being assisted to die out of office one day.

    Just like abortion, that should only be in special minute cases but is now to full-term, assisted dying in Australia will be similar to some European countries where it has got out of hand with some old people not having a say anymore or some close relatives not having a say. We are in the 21st century and yet we cannot look after our old people and science cannot find life-saving cures for them?? Looks like it is cheaper to knock them off than look after them.

  2. Thank common sense (certainly not god) for the passing of the Euthanasia Bill – truly a triumph of the community’s will (85% +) versus a dogmatic, dictatorial, medieval-bound church. The latter were only to ready to prohibit the rights of deserving pragmatic people who on the other hand were in no way insisting that it should be compulsory. Spot the democratic difference!

  3. When an Arch Bishop says you’ve crossed the line, even Perrottet must realise he’s gone too far.
    As the leader of his family, he has exposed all of them to his evil. Mr Perrottet’s wife must be either proud or worried, depending on her own beliefs.
    Matt Kean is now Perrottet’s god and the Premier’s Christianity is forever compromised.

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