Those are the words that the sub-editor of the Australian – I presume that is who wrote them – used to describe these comments from Warwick McKibbin.
“It is more important to have independent voices (on the bank board) than ever, because the policies being proposed in recent years I don’t think have been in the national interest, and the composition of the board matters a lot,” Professor McKibbin told The Australian.
“If they want to reappoint me, I’m available, but it is their choice. I understand that if there is a better candidate available, then so be it.”
That’s apparently ‘challenging’ the government to reappoint him. I’d call it responding to a question in a straightforward way. Likewise if one is anyone of consequence and one criticises the government – or anyone else – and it’s deemed newsworthy, it will be so-and-so ‘slams government’.
And so our lives go on, with the media hyping them up so that they’re essentially unrecognisable to the players. Except that the players are so inured to it all that they barely react, and indeed barely notice that public life becomes the nearest thing to fiction it is possible to have whilst not actually changing any facts.