You don’t need everyone to love you, just a few good people

Jami-Lee Ross was admitted to a healthcare facility to wrestle his demons and begin the arduous journey back to a full recovery of his mental health.

Unknown to us over the last week, Jami-Lee was unravelling beneath a decisive, calm and accomplished facade.  Speaking clearly and well, he was lucid, convincing and seemed completely normal, right up to when his facade broke and, for his own safety, Jami-Lee was involuntarily hospitalised.

What you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy happened to Jami-Lee, and at the hands of previously trusted friends. Surely the worst betrayal.

GRAHAME COX/STUFF
National MP Jami-Lee Ross.

He was so convincing that some of us thought his mental breakdown had been feigned for political mileage because a full recovery in just two weeks was improbable. So it proved; not only had Jami-Lee experienced a mental breakdown, he hadn’t properly recovered.

Who knew?

His political party did.  The people he worked with for years knew.  The people who knew him best knew. Bridges and Bennett told us many times in the last week they knew he was unwell when they described him as ‘irrational’ and ‘delusional’.

Uncharitable at best, they were callous, unfeeling and cruel at worst.  Oh yes, they knew all right.

But why did they do this? Why torment Jami-Lee and tip him yet again over the edge of sanity? When they knew he was struggling with mental health, they heartlessly pursued him.  Putting his indiscretions in the spotlight, they rolled out witnesses to the facts.

They convinced us, and Jami-Lee too, that he had become irreparably flawed simply because they cared more about their political gain than his health. Their shabby smear campaign continued despite them being warned several times by Jami-Lee’s health professionals of the consequences.

Bridges’ and Bennett’s campaign against Jami-Lee succeeded in rendering him unlikely to win his seat as an independent candidate in a proposed by-election.

They wanted him gone from parliament by means fair or foul; and most foul it was when voters in his Botany electorate abandoned the man as being unfit – the man who three days earlier they had unstintingly supported.

Even the media, complicit as they were in dirty little secrets, drew a collective gasp of disbelief when Bridges and Bennett lifted the sheets on the private life of one of their own.  Political and media skeletons in the closet rattled with alarm at this unprecedented disclosure. Where would it all end?

It ended with the disintegration of a man’s life, which now has to be painstakingly glued back together.

Jami-Lee, we wish you a speedy and complete recovery.  You distinguished yourself as a sublime showman, but in the words of another great showman, “you don’t need everyone to love you, just a few good people”.

May your few good people give you the strength and healing needed to get through the dark days ahead.

We want to see justice done too, and a good place to start would be to place two heads on a pike as a warning that such behaviour will never again be tolerated. For what they did to you, their heads should hang in shame.


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The subject evoked in the collage is the debating of political issues with friends in a public place

Pablo Picasso
Glass and bottle of Suze (after 18 November 1912)
pasted paper, gouache and charcoal

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