John Pesutto - Court fight for what?

The simple answer is – John Pesutto himself.

I believe John Pesutto is positioning himself to self-include into the list of capable Liberals who could not be leaders in government.

Perhaps without realizing, the medium he is using is the ill-fated decision he took to expel Moira Deeming from the parliamentary Liberal party post her attendance at the Let Women Speak rally last year.

I wrote at the time:

John Pesutto, who is a very decent person, in my view was ill-advised to go that hard on Moira Deeming.

Pesutto and the Liberal party need to solidify their hold on the work oppositions do in holding the government to account. An unconditional undertaking to be a team player from Moira Deeming, along with some clarification on what she did or did not know of the British activist Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull’s association with any supremacists groups was all that was needed for now. If at all, Moira Deeming could have been put on notice with the warning of expulsion for any future ‘political misadventures’.

It is not too late. Things can still be salvaged unless the internal party power-play has to take precedence for the political optics, which in my view can only harm the outfit and the two protagonists. Both can contribute a lot.

As the great Albert Einstein said – in the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity. John has a great opportunity, not only to set his house in order, but also to lend a voice to the forgotten voiceless (cis) women and girls.

I have met John on a number of occasions and mentioned it to him. I was told, as former treasurer Kim Wells has also confirmed, attempts were being made behind the scenes to resolve the matter.

I saw the defamation case being advanced to the Federal court, hoping it would not go ahead.

I saw all that in light of the fact that in all legal battles, behind the scenes resolution attempts go parallel to the public display of progress being made on the way to courts.

For both John’s and Mrs. Deeming’s sake, I still hold hope that the September trial date will be vacated with an amicable resolution of the issue.

But three former Premiers, Ted Baillieu, Jeff Kennett and Denis Napthine jumping into the legal fracas by lending their financial muscle is not only ill-conceived, it is more detrimental to John Pesutto than Moira Deeming.

All the brilliant minds on John’s side should know, even if John wins, as a woman, Mrs. Deeming will get sympathy from many and all cis Victorians who, for John, will be then divided in choosing who to vote for.

Mrs. Deeming’s loss or win, will leave John Pesutto wounded. And a wounded leader is hardly any good.

Are John’s minders thinking the votes he was targeting when he decided to expel Mrs. Deeming, will come running to him?

They won’t, even if he wins.

In my considered view, this legal fight carries no political capital for John and a hell of a risk to his leadership and his chances to ever be the Premier of the state.

The posturing – with the three Premiers jumping to finance the fight, is already finding sympathy for Mrs. Deeming. There are donors lining up on her side as well.

And remember not all Victorian women and girls are as woke. There is a considerable number of parents, include most in migrant communities, who have young children, daughters and believe in traditional values.

Many Victorians of Indian descent fall in that category. I have heard personal stories of girls coming back home from school and crying when told they may have to share spaces with others who were not born biological girls.

Feeling completely disenfranchised, voiceless and powerless, they and their parents see someone like Moira Deeming, offering hope and a voice to them.

It is true many families do not really have a view one way or another on the controversial transitioning practices. But they want their daughters not to feel awkward and their spaces encroached upon; they want them to feel empowered to enjoy life guaranteed to them at birth.

Also read: How Sky News proves my case on John Pesutto-Moira Deeming fight

Thus they find a lot in common with Moira Deeming.

When the Indian Supreme Court last year refused to legalize same-sex marriage, no disappointment descending on the community was detected. Majorly social gatherings found that decision to be a relief and reaffirmation of their beliefs, except the odd ‘academic’ or the social media influencer with no grassroots followers, thus votes.

Both John Pesutto and Moira Deeming have a lot to contribute to Victoria, Australia.

It is beyond me that three of the former leaders have chosen to take a side. I wonder if they know the consequences of what they are doing, to John and the party.

If the experienced former leaders’ conduct is any indication, it does not bode well for the Liberal party.

All three of them are elders of the party. The party has given a lot to them and it is now their time to give it back. But certainly not by doing what they are doing.

Elders’ role by definition, is to find solutions. When there is none, utilizing their experience, they should be able to craft one.

And craft one they must, for party’s sake, John’s sake and Moira’s sake and above all for Victoria’s sake. Because every government needs a united and strong opposition.

What Victorians see today is that the Labor party has a woman Premier and so many women Ministers are running various departments.

In contrast, the Liberals are pooling funds to punish a woman, one of their star performers at the last election, for something which ought to have been sorted out in the party room. Period.

The issue, once through the court, will have its heat taken off the Neo-Nazi and Anti-Trans narrative. It will then have the potential to turn into the issue of treatment of women by the powerful men in the Liberal party.

And it will NOT be a good look.

The look is everything in politics these days of TikTok and Instagram.

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