Mungo MacCallum has an article in today’s Crikey which tends to take a similar – entirely pragmatic approach to the Parliamentary snarl that occured last Thursday. I happened to see edited highlights of it on “Order in the House” which confirmed all my previous feelings on the point. Btw, I think Julia G was by far the most impressive speaker. She spoke quietly, and commanded sufficient interest from her opponents to be heard in silence.
Costello was impressive too in the demagogic kind of way that the press race calling encourages – but not if you tried to pay attention to his arguments which were weak. Anyway, the press disagrees with me, and the press is the press is the press. The perception is the reality is the perception etc etc.
Anyway, this is a rambling introduction to a paragraph by Mungo which undoubtedly contains much practical – tactical wisdom.
The smart thing to do would have been to reply, that sure Rudd had had heart surgery, and so what? So had thousands of others. At least it proved he had a heart; John Howard would never need heart surgery, for the same reason that Phillip Ruddock was unlikely to die of blood poisoning, Alexander Downer would never succumb to a brain tumour and Peter Costello was forever safe from testicular cancer. With a touch of wit and style it could have been turned onto a political plus.
I’m sure he’s right though it must be added that MacCallum’s ripostes seem addressed to the latte sippers rather than the hoi polloi. Even so the ALP should get a humour unit to tackle the ‘dirt unit’ they claim to be fighting. Keating was good at it and the more humourless R. J. Hawke managed to do in Fraser’s suggestion that people keep their savings under their bed by quipping that they commies were already there.
Even so, I still find it infuriating that my outrage at what’s happening cannot be expressed without damage to those who are seeking to defend themselves against it.