ANYONE approaching an old dog should first proffer the back of their hand for a curious sniff, signifying friendship rather than aggression.
Most old dogs accept this gesture and a lasting relationship usually ensues.
Those who choose instead to kick the dog soon discover old dogs not only don’t learn new tricks, they can become aggressively unforgiving.
Greens senators Richard Di Natale and Sarah Hanson-Young this week decided they would greet incoming Senator Jim Molan with a kick rather than a sniff, and both will live to regret that decision.
Senator Molan and the Greens are as ideologically opposed as it is possible to be, particularly on border control and defence.
Senator Hanson-Young once naively declared before a Senate committee that her “knowledge” of naval border operations was derived from watching the fictional TV series Sea Patrol.
Senator Molan, on the other hand, was behind the Sovereign Borders operations against people smugglers.
A gallant and erudite soldier, Senator Molan is multilingual and worldly.
His opinions have been forged by a lengthy military career that spanned such diverse experiences as command, flying and diplomacy.
The opinions are focused and forensically expressed.
Senator Molan entered RMC Duntroon 50 years ago in the first class that would be granted degrees by the University of NSW.
The year 1968 was a tumultuous one in Duntroon’s history and Senator Molan’s class would experience the worst of what was described as bastardisation.
They learnt to absorb those experiences but, young pups they were, to file those memories while remembering revenge was a meal better served cold.
Senator Di Natale was born in 1970 and, coincidentally, he and Senator Molan are both alumni of Melbourne’s Christian Brothers Parade College.
Senator Di Natale has declared “occupied land” should be returned to Australia’s “original inhabitants”.
Both Senators Di Natale and Hanson-Young demonstrated by their vicious parliamentary attack on Senator Molan this week that they hold him and, by extension, the wider ADF in utter contempt.
The Greens have consistently called for reduced military expenditure and a greater reliance on the UN for international conflict resolution.
Perhaps they could sell that policy in Rwanda and Bosnia.
It makes little sense, just as their irrational opposition to the Adani coal project leaves North Queenslanders impoverished for job opportunities
The Greens would rather have no ADF to satisfy their antimilitary obsession.
Both policies make perfect sense here in Townsville. Well perhaps not, because what makes sense in inner-city Melbourne defies belief here.
If Senators Di Natale and Hanson-Young think Senator Molan is a slow-moving target they can destroy with spurious allegations of racism and worse, they would be well advised to invest in some serious body armour.