“Sod the wine, I want to suck on the writing. This man White is an instinctive writer, bloody rare to find one who actually pulls it off, as in still gets a meaning across with concision. Sharp arbitrage of speed and risk, closest thing I can think of to Cicero’s ‘motus continuum animi.’

Probably takes a drink or two to connect like that: he literally paints his senses on the page.”

DBC Pierre (Vernon God Little, Ludmila’s Broken English, Lights Out In Wonderland ... Winner: Booker prize; Whitbread prize; Bollinger Wodehouse Everyman prize; James Joyce Award from the Literary & Historical Society of University College Dublin)





04 April 2018


Twas a lovely sunny morning at the Fleurieu Peninsula town of Myponga when Peter Verkerk, the Electoral Commission's returning officer for the South Australian parliamentary seat of Mawson, finally declared the poll in the Bowls Club.

We could smell the sausage rolls from the car park.

Former Premier Jay Weatherill was there, looking remarkably refreshed and relaxed since his Labor Party lost (he held his seat), along with former Minister Kyam Maher, who will now lead the party in the Legislative Council, and new Labor leader, Peter Malinauskas. 

That's Verkerk making the announcement, right, with former minister Leon Bignell, with failed SA Best candidate Hazel Wainwright and Weatherill to his right.

As you can see in the deadly simplicity of the form, the long vintage-time campaign resulted in a very narrow victory for "Biggles", who is a stalwart supporter of the wine industry. Much of the traditionally conservative Fleurieu Peninsula vignoble, all of Kangaroo Island and McLaren Vale now lie within the newly-drawn Mawson boundary.

"When the new boundaries came through Jay looked at me in Cabinet and said 'This looks pretty shit for you Biggles'," Bignell said in his acceptance speech.

"But I had a look at the new redistributed Mawson boundaries," he continued, "and I said 'Hang on, it looks like I've got eight new pubs, about 21 bakeries, a distillery, three breweries, and an island', so with a whole bunch of friends and family I set out to retain the seat of Mawson."

Which, against all the odds, he has done.

Reflecting on the public forum we'd had in the McLaren Vale Bocce Club, he said "McLaren Vale's got a lot of different groups and they don't necessarily come together under the one roof all that often ... and what happened that night united people who came together and it was terrific to have those discussions and hear from people as to what they thought."

Biggles promises to listen even harder as he sets out to represent his new electorate from the opposition benches. Time for more unity and public discussion methinks. Democracy doesn't come cheap.

And more of those knockout Myponga sausage rolls, please!


Sam Powrie said...

Great post Phillip! You are correct, democracy doesn't come cheap! It needs ongoing attention and nurturing and participation! The coming together theme is really important for the future...

mono pump said...

cellargoss has biggles winning just to quit soon take the money and run whitey

Philip WHITE said...

First reaction: BULL SHIT. I've seen some politicians in my time, but can't recall another with more pride in their electorate. When they changed the boundaries, took away Leon's left-leaning suburban booths and replaced them with the conservative south-western Fleurieu coast and Kangaroo Island he quickly seemed to love it even more.