Milne sinks deeper into it

After the extraordinary media beat-up of Kevin Rudd’s outburst at some of his backbenchers critical of the Government’s reduction of parliamentarians’ printing allowance, I questioned whether giving this pitiable story more oxygen was apposite, but as it continues even today, and encouraged by the comments of Bushfire Bill and others on The Poll Bludger over the weekend, here goes.

It was never more that a one day story, but as it emerged on a Sunday, I suppose the weekday shock jocks had to have their go this morning. [more]

When I got wind of the story on Saturday night, I asked myself who would write such a tawdry piece, and who do you think jumped into my mind – Glenn Milne.  He seems to have a mission to furnish the Sunday tabloids with scuttlebutt, and if he can engineer a smear against Rudd in the process, that’s grist to his mill.  This time he seems to have had another objective, to float this yarn as the PM travelled to the US for meetings of major import to this nation, and given Rudd’s steadily rising prestige on the world stage, also for the globe.  What better outcome for Milne than to not only cast slurs locally, but also to embarrass Australia’s PM on the world stage?  Of course he would deny this, but as this story is already a couple of weeks old, as it was on VexNews on 14 September and as Misha Schubert is said to have broken it earlier, why did he file this non-exclusive story just now?  You make up your own mind.

No doubt Milne’s initial reaction would have been one of chest-swelling pride that not only had he promulgated a ‘sensational’ tale, elaborately embellished visually in some local outlets, but it had also travelled overseas.  He may be less impressed with his efforts today after the feedback he’s received from bloggers and talkback.

What motivates this man to keep coming up with sleazy pieces about Rudd?  I have a theory.  Above all other journalists Milne has longed for the end of the Rudd honeymoon, which he prophesizes regularly, but which steadfastly refuses to eventuate.  Even Dennis Shanahan, at least temporarily, has given up on this.  Frustrated by witnessing no progress in Rudd’s long-awaited descent from stunning levels of popularity, he believes he can nudge along Rudd’s fall from grace by digging up bits and pieces that he thinks will awaken the besotted electorate to Rudd’s real and quite nasty inner self.  This is what we have come to expect from Milne – he delights in recalling, on every possible occasion, the Scores nightclub affair, the Brian Burke connection, the s**t-storm event on TV, the ‘Ipswich Inc’ invention, the RAAF air hostess saga, the fictitious hairdryer incident, the Rudd temper that intimidates and overworks his office staff leading to a big turnover, with some not seeing their kids for months on end, and so on.  Anything unpleasant in Milne’s eyes is added to his catalogue and trotted out endlessly.

Another theory is that Milne is furious about Rudd’s repeated labelling of him as ‘the Coalition’s journalist of choice’.  This is deliberate and will continue.  Many bloggers agree with Rudd.  But Milne so fancies himself as balanced that on talkback radio this morning he felt it necessary to attempt to rebut this label.  Rudd has stung him and he’s out for revenge.

Let’s look at this pathetic mugging realistically.

First let’s set the scene.  Australia’s Prime Minister is in the US for talks on climate change and the global economic situation, as well as to encourage investment in this country.  In just two years he has earned an international reputation for his strategic thinking on climate change and in the G20 forum.  He is highly respected.  While in the US he will co-chair a meeting on climate change with Bill Clinton; he will join more than 100 leaders for a special UN summit in New York tomorrow at which UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has assigned him a special role.  He will then attend the G20 meeting of leaders in Pittsburgh where he will talk about Australia’s unique escape from recession and severe unemployment.  Between meetings with world leaders, he will have engagements with executives from major financial institutions, hedge funds, ratings agencies and other big corporate players to try to get them to invest in Australia.  Does Milne think that these assignments are sufficiently important to give him clear air to address them?  No.  He’s quite prepared for the PM to be distracted by his inconsequential story, as indeed he was by an equally thoughtless journalist at his very first doorstop.  Glen Milne, how can you hold up your head?

Next let’s examine the misdemeanour which Milne so nastily lays on Rudd.  Rudd swears.  He uses the ‘s’ word and the ‘f’ word.  Sometimes he does his block.  Goodness gracious me!  Is there a male, or for that matter a female; indeed is there an older schoolchild who does not use these words, which are now part of the Australian vernacular?  When I was a kid ‘damn’ was a swear-word, and ‘bloody’ was taboo.  Now the former is seldom used (except perhaps by Milne when he’s upset) and the latter is part of our language, even in ads.  So what is Milne on about?  He points out that Rudd goes to church every Sunday.  Presumably that should be enough to inhibit him from allowing an expletive ever to pass his lips.

Let’s look now at his descriptor of Rudd.  He may not have invented the term ‘potty mouth’ but he loves using it.  My dictionary doesn’t have ‘potty mouth’ but the Urban Dictionary defines it as “Someone who can't utter a sentence without the excessive use of swearwords.”  Well, we heard him use s**t-storm once on TV and Milne says Rudd used the ‘f’ word three times in a private meeting with backbenchers.  That hardly fits the definition, but apparently it’s enough in Milne’s view to warrant the tag.  His lead has been followed by its use on ABC news and current affairs and on SBS where the term ‘foul-mouthed’ was also used.  No doubt Milne feels gratified.

Milne is laying a bum steer on Rudd, if I am allowed to use that unseemly expression.  He knows perfectly well that the use of those words is commonplace and is no reason at all for condemning him.  Those who point out that Paul Keating used much worse invective, or that John Howard had black moods after every poor poll, or that Malcolm Turnbull has a violent temper, miss the point.  We know that all leaders have times of stress, times of frustration, and need to dress down those who are not pulling their weight or pulling in the wrong direction. But because Milne is out to ‘get’ Rudd, anything goes.  He’s trying to draw the inference that Rudd is not the pleasant man we see on TV that people find engaging when they meet him, the man who shows concern and decency towards those who are less well off, the hardworking leader intent on improving the lot of Australia and its citizens.  No, he’s a nasty, swearing, bad tempered man who ought not to be leading this country.

In fact Milne sees Rudd’s character as so flawed that he feels entitled to show such contempt for him as he embarks on a critical overseas engagement that he writes the scurrilous piece he did at the weekend, hoping that it would follow Rudd and humiliate him.  He failed, as so often he does, when Rudd disdainfully dismissed his piece.

Milne feels entitled to direct his poison pen towards Rudd whenever he pleases.  Given his apparent lack of insight into his own behaviour and the galling effect it has on many readers, together with his disinclination to modify it, he might be surprised to know that the contempt he shows towards Rudd is more than matched by the contempt in which many bloggers and talkback callers hold him.

Milne is steadily sinking deeper into whatever he’s swimming in; if he sinks any lower he might find himself paddling alongside Piers Akerman.

What do you think?

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Ebenezer

21/09/2009Its no surprise from Milne and Limited News. The PM is out of the country and it is a Newspoll weekend, it is their form to run smear on occasions like this.

Lyn

21/09/2009Hi Ad Thankyou for another interesting "make my day column". ("he might be surprised to know that the contempt he shows towards Rudd is more than matched by the contempt in which many bloggers and talkback callers hold him".) I have read the first line of the commenters on Milne's opinion piece, and yes you are absolutely correct, Glenn Milne might just find in his desperate attempt to bring down Kevin Rudd, Kevin Rudd's percentage may go SKY high. A link below for your readers. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2009/09/21/glenn-jong-meme/ Ebenezer makes a short truefull to the point comment.

Cavitation

22/09/2009I find it surprising that reporters nowadays believe it to be part of their jobs to actually make the news, or at least manipulate it so as to sex it up, instead of just reporting it. Why are reporters seeing it as their role to participate in the news instead of merely relaying it? Partly, this is caused by the change of media, from print to video. TV reporters stand in front of the cameras and relate the news, adding their own personalities to any story, and print reporters seems to be trying to do the same. It seems to me that TV reporters are better at distancing themselves from the story; print reporters seem to have little self control when given an opportunity to personalize a story - and there is more cross-over these days with more TV stints and web-video for print journos. The Fox news business model also is influential, whereas the journalist doesn't appeal to all viewers, but just to the most enthusiastic ones, so that reporters have to tailor the message to that extreme group. But clearly, the job has changed, and we are getting reporters seeing themselves now as players. But whereas politicians want respectability, reporters want notoriety.

Lyn

22/09/2009I was on the verge of deleting this blog from my feed reader but this post caused me to change my mind. I get sick of the uncritical, pro-Rudd angle. It's good to see this well articulated crankiness.

Bushfire Bill

22/09/2009Milne's tactics are not only pointless, they are lazy. How many times have we seen this "Rudd is a hypocrite" theme emerge from Milne's basement ouji board and those little pieces of paper he scribbles his thought bubbles on? Milne, as he trawls through the scraps and crumbs that other journalists have discarded, looking for gold nuggets, thinks that if he can set-up in the public's mind that Rudd was illegitimately elected (because he fooled us into thinking he was someone else) then therefore he has no right to actually [i]govern[/i]. Rudd is entitled to claim the Prime Ministership, but not the right to change anything set up from the Howard years. Please leave the house in good order, mow the lawns, put out the garbage, pay the bills but don't change anything else, Mr. Rudd, because we'll be back soon and don't want to have to do too much restoration work. He wrote another column in yesterday's Australian about Telstra, quoting a telecommunications industry expert saying Rudd was mucking up the whole balance by breaking up Telstra. Apparently (and, to me, amazingly) dismembering Telstra into its industrial and retail arms to [i]increase competition[/i] is Socialism writ large. Rudd has an agenda: to change the way things are telecommunications-wize. The cheek of the man! How dare he [i]govern[/i]! Agendas? Philosophies of reform? Only Liberal governments have that. Rudd's job is to mind the store until the Liberals are restored to power and can get Australia back on the tracks. It's clear that the "journalist of choice" label has stung. It was first pinned to Milne's breast by Rudd during the week of parliamentary debate on Utegate, after Grech had given his fake evidence. Ever since, Milne has been even more vicious in his assaults on the government and Rudd in particular. The state of affairs seems to be that Rudd, when swearing publicly (or even using harmless Bazza-isms) is calculating and hypocritical, because we all know he doesn't speak like that in private. Linguistics experts are called in. Psychiatrists consulted. Endless natter in TV talk shows ensues. Glenn sniggers on Insiders. At the same time, as a result of the latest story, Rudd is calculating and hypocritical becaue he uses swear words in [i]private[/i] and not publicly. It seems that no matter what language Rudd uses - whether in private, public, no matter the context - he is calculating and hypocritical, sending false messages to the electorate. This calculating hypocrisy de-legitimizes his right to govern. Glenn has told us how it is a bunch of small businessmen from Ipswich who actually run the country. How Rudd "inappropriately touched" a waitress at a pole dancing club in New York (false, but never retracted). How he lied about his childhood. How he misled parliamant over Utegate (a favourite of Milne's, the Woodstein Fantasy: "It's not the crime, it's the cover-up"), how he - gasp! - [i]may have[/i] met Brian Burke in Perth three years ago (Glenn trawled through the emails on that one). Rudd makes young 23 year-old flight attendants cry (although the woman herself utterly denies it). He throws hissy-fits over his hairdryer (also debunked). Shocker of shockers: Rudd is someone who behaves differently in public as opposed to privately, who uses context in communication. If, at base, his character is so untrustworthy, as evidenced by these [i]seemingly[/i] minor incidents, this taints everything else he does, whether it be saving the country from the ravages of the GFC, reforming Telstra or hob-nobbing with the governmental elites of the world stage. It's the little molehills that can add up to giant mountains, in Milne World. Of course, one can take an alternative view. Milne is so out of the loop, so far beyond the Kuiper Belt of political journalism and influence, that the crumbs he presents as cream buns are just that: crumbs. Every time Rudd calls him the "Liberal Party's journalists of choice" it reminds Glenn that usually all he is fed from inside the loop are ranting emails from disaffected Libs, and cheap scuttlebutt from Labor hacks, outraged at being slung off the gravy train. No wonder he is cranky. I suppose everyone is entitled to rehabilitation. Glenn told Steve Price he is off the grog after the Walkley's embarrassment. But Glenn's path to redemption may have just turned him into an even ornerier species: the dry drunk. The alcoholic fog may have lifted, but Glenn doesn't appear to be seeing things any clearer. He is still immersed in a sea of innuendo and outright falsehoods, rumour and suggestion, a diminutive David trying to land a rock square in Goliath's eye. This [i]modus vivendi[/i] once got him into trouble with Stephen Mayne, and into even worse trouble when he tried to - publicly - achieve just retribution by socking Mayne one in the kisser. What better place to do it than on national television? Glenn is a national figure after all. Why, he even nominated for President of the Press Club (and was unaccountably denied the honour by his peers, who also would have attended the Walkleys). As to the latest "scandal", it is irrelevant to Glenn that most journalists saw this story as a bit of reverse spin for Rudd, showing him standing up to the hacks who wanted to keep their snouts in the trough, facing down hardened Labor urgers with a string of epithets they would be sure to comprehend his words unambiguously. The implication in this interpretation of events is that Milne was an easy mark, seduced into writing something that would be sure to [i]improve[/i] Rudd's popularity, not destroy it. Poor man, even when he's getting a scoop it backfires. Remember Walletgate? [i]That[/i] saw off Milne's master, Peter Costello, permanently. Remember "Scoresgate"? Rudd soared inthe ratings. Pottygate is sure to take its place in the annals of Milne mischief gone wrong. Poor Glenn... there really [i]is[/i] a sucker born every minute.

bilgedigger

22/09/2009Please don't be misled into thinking that Milne does all this off his own bat. He is slimy but he is not that smart. He is "the puppet man". The competition for who can embarrass the Prime Minister while he is overseas is one that has the full support of a number of journalists.It's fun to identify just who is primed to ask the follow up question after the puppet man's pieces. The benefit of these games is that the journalists don't have to think hard enough to frame any other questions. The old saying of paying peanuts and getting monkeys was made for these media harlots.

Michael

22/09/2009Once, way back, 2005/6?, I think it might have been on "Insiders", Glenn Milne told a self-deprecating tale. Since then it's all been downhill for him, but perhaps the downhill-slide was kerneled in the tale. He told how he and his teenage daughter had gone to see then Prime Minister John Howard in his office at Parliament House. I forget how or why the visit arose, but when, on leaving, he asked his daughter what she thought of the experience, she answered that it was "watching two little men trying to look big". He told the tale 'against' himself, it seemed at the time. But the core of her observation seems to have stuck him somewhere deep inside, and he's not been able to remove the barb ever since.

Lyn

22/09/2009Hi Bushfire Bill I thoroughly enjoy your very informative comments, Ad is spot on too.

Kersebleptes

22/09/2009Well, it is always the first crime (against journalism) that is the hardest to commit. After that, it becomes easier & easier, until you hardly notice them at all. Especially if they are keeping your bread buttered. Normally it all comes to a crashing halt, with the perpetrator being led away cuffed and bewildered (or screaming & kicking). But there is no real law enforcement in Glen's world, so he can continue as long as he can keep his pimp Ozzie onside. If only he wouldn't leave the evidence of his work scattered over the streets and in decent peoples' yards every morning!

Ad astra reply

22/09/2009Ebenezer Milne will once again be disappointed with today’s [i]Newspoll[/i], where almost nothing has changed – or putting it another way, the Coalition is not improving its position. Rudd’s honeymoon continues unabated, with his net satisfaction increasing. I note that the poll was taken from 18 to 20 September, so for at least one day, the Milne story was around. While it would be difficult to argue that the story had no affect on the poll, it’s likely that when the next [i]Newspoll[/i] comes around this story will have been largely forgotten, and therefore will unlikely influence polling behaviour. But by then I suppose another beat-up will have emerged. Lyn 1 There’s now two bloggers named Lyn on [i]TPS[/i], so let’s call you Lyn 1 to save confusion. As mentioned above, Milne’s efforts have not reduced Rudd’s popularity in the polls. But I expect he will battle on with his poisonous pursuit of Rudd hoping some of his offensive mud will stick. Thanks for the Crikey link, which shows how poisonous that blog-site finds him. I suspect he may not be predisposed to change in the face of trenchant criticism. He may even enjoy the notoriety with which his pieces endow him. As bilgedigger suggests, he may be writing these nasty pieces at the behest of his superiors. They publish his material, so as the very least they must find it ‘acceptable’. If this is so, the pats on his head from his bosses would more than make up for the brickbats that bloggers throw his way. Cavitation The self-opinionated journalist is a pox on honest discourse. I am amazed that even junior columnists feel entitled to add their gratuitous opinion and advice to their account of a news event. While having a coffee today at a country eatery, I glanced at a paper I never read: Melbourne’s [i]Herald Sun[/i]. I was gobsmacked when I read a piece by a Susie O'Brien (her photo is of a young person) titled [i]Rudd outburst an abuse of power[/i]. She begins: [quote]” The latest airing of the now infamous Kevin Rudd temper suggests that, despite his protestations, the PM has bullying tendencies and needs counselling. By his own admission Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is a workplace bully.[/quote] So the temper is ‘infamous’ (based on this and the RAAF hostess incident – no more evidence required), he has ‘bullying tendencies' (presumably also based on the latter story) and ‘needs counselling’ (evidently based on her professional knowledge of such matters). She replicates the Milne story almost word for word and concludes: [quote]” The Prime Minister is a nasty bully and his flippant justification shows he doesn't get it. His bullying won't stop until he is made to stop. It's time to remind the Prime Minister his behaviour wouldn't be accepted in any other workplace in the country.[/quote] The fact is that the episode was an interaction between Rudd and his political colleagues, not a boss talking to his employees. So to call it ‘workplace bullying’ is not only absurd, it portrays a level of ignorance that even a junior journalist should not exhibit. Apart from her unsupported assertions and inaccurate conclusions, she exhibits graceless impertinence in writing about the nation’s leader the way she did. Who on earth does she think she is? She’s more arrogant even than Glenn Milne. This is the same journalist who set out to depose Victorian Transport Minister Lynne Kosky in a savage campaign that went on for several weeks which [i]Crikey[/i] in a piece [i]News Ltd takes campaign journalism to new heights[/i] http://www.crikey.com.au/2009/01/20/news-ltd-takes-campaign-journalism-to-new-heights/ said [i]“News Limited's campaign ...must surely set a new standard for tabloid bullying.[/i] So much for bullying behaviour. If you’ve got the stomach, O’Brien’s piece on Rudd is here. http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,26108536-5007146,00.html Clearly this is a reporter that fits your description of ‘journalist as player’. Lyn 2 As you’re the second Lyn, I’ll use Lyn 2. You would be correct to assume that this blog is supportive of what the Rudd Government is doing. I believe it is doing a sound job, has shielded the country from the worst effects of the GFD, is trying to combine its programs by joining the stimulus with infrastructure development, is trying to work through the extraordinarily complex task of devising an effective and equitable ETS, is handling foreign affairs and international diplomacy prudently, and is attempting to bring equity and balance to IR. It’s not perfect, but it’s not as imperfect as many critics insist. What infuriates me is the misinformation that commentators promulgate, the illogic of many of their conclusions and the way they mix their personal opinion with the facts so confusingly that it is hard to separate opinion from fact. Pieces like the Milne article are just vitriol dressed up as reporting. As I’m often contradicting these effusions, and picking them to pieces, I may appear to be a Labor spear-thrower. I do try to be objective. How well I succeed is for others to judge. I hope you will continue to visit and that you will pull me up if you think I’m off target. BB Again, thank you for your comprehensive analysis of the Milne syndrome. Your thesis that he is a poor sucker egged on by others, all the time thinking he’s a big man exposing Rudd for the fraud he believes he is, is plausible. bilgedigger thinks similarly – that Milne’s just a ‘puppet-man’. The worst revelation for Milne would be that he’s been suckered by his bosses, by the Coalition spinmeisters, or worst of all, by the Rudd media machine. Michael Thank you for that story, which I’ve not heard. The small man syndrome is a sad affliction, and the actions it brings about are always tinged with bitterness that too often morphs into venom. Kersebleptes Your suggestion that dishonest journalism is addictive, is credible. Milne is truly addicted to writing vitriolic anti-Rudd pieces. He may never recover.

Acerbic Conehead

22/09/2009AA, things aren’t going too well between Glenn and Kev at the moment, but there was a time when the two of them, plus Tony Abbott, used to be regularly on the tiles together at the Scores Club. In fact, I’ve attached below a video of them a few Christmases ago when they did a great impersonation of the Rat Pack. And being a Rat Pack, I’m sure John Howard and George Brandis are in there somewhere also. And guess what, only 95 or thereabouts shopping days until Christmas. Do you think Malcolm will make it that far? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdHPy7mTHio

Sir Ian Crisp

23/09/2009Some in the commentariat have asked some pertinent questions regarding this issue. They want to know why the PM isn’t snared by the rules governing workplace bullies. And knowing how the workplace has been transformed over the last 20 or so years (anti-discrimination legislation, affirmative action etc) just how is it that foul-mouthed louche behavior is still tolerated. The Bird of Paradox is the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations so I wonder what she will do. At least now we know how she got her name. Maybe Ad Astra you’ll have to amend your rating of her from 9 and 9 to 0 and 0. As you can see Ad Astra I don’t have to provide evidence of the poor quality of people attracted to politics; the politicians themselves are making my case for me. Will you permit us to use the same language here at TPS that K Rudd used? Lastly, spare a thought for Joe McDonald, WA union heavy who was expelled from the ALP on the recommendation of K Rudd because of ‘inappropriate remarks’. The harlequinade continues.

Bushfire Bill

23/09/2009[i]"Some in the commentariat have asked some pertinent questions regarding this issue. They want to know why the PM isn’t snared by the rules governing workplace bullies."[/i] The Labor caucus is not a workplace. It's a political institution, full of undercurrents, agendas, back-stabbing, urgers, spruikers, time-servers and chancers chasing the gravy train... as are all political caucuses, including the Liberal Party. The PM, or Leader, cannot sack an MP. In the eyes of the Constitution a backbencher has the same standing as the Prime Minister (look it up). While there are some similarities to a workplace, the PM, or Leader, does not have the same power over an MP as a boss has over a mere employee. I am surprised at the sudden prissiness, even political correctness of some of those on the right who seem to have, in the last couple of days, got religion about workplace bullying. It is an especially rich contemplation considering the same bunch of Pollyannas continue to hold onto (as a guiding light for how employers and employees should interact) the the greatest workplace bullying concept in this country's history: Work Choices. And that is assuming Rudd's words [i]were[/i] in fact workplace bullying, which in the context they were not. They were appropriate language, "robust" in nature, that got the point across in time-honoured fashion. Go to any building site. Stick your head into a Rugby League scrum, attend a feisty meeting at an advertising agency, peek into a hectic kitchen at a busy restaurant - all workplaces - and sample the language there. And then come and tell me, with a straight face, that the odd bit of swearing at a few recalcitrant snouts in the trough is bullying. The Right continues to believe (with little hope, in my opinion) that, by cutting Rudd off at the toes, they can bring the whole edifice down. There are two reasons for this. One is that they believe they have a right to power, and that the public is ready to change its mind, [i]wil[/i] change its mind and be "snapped out of" their appreciation for Rudd by a flick of cold water to the face, something trivial, a sybolic pointer to alleged bad character. Milne is one of these, forever chipping away with a teaspoon at the Colossus of Eumundie, looking for the fatal flaw, the hidden crack in the granite that goes all the way to the head. The other reason is a combination of laziness and desperation. Unable to contradict Rudd's brilliant response to the Global Financial Crisis, the unanswerable success of the stimulus packages and all the other positive improvements that have been accomplished against their unstinting, negative, mindless opposition, they can only resort to cheap tricks and pumped-up illusions of bad management. That is the desperation half of the equation. The laziness factor comes in when we consider that, over the past two years, the Coalition and their supporters have not written one new policy. Sure they have [i]reacted[/i] to a few things, mostly by saying "No!". There has been the odd fairy tale, such as Wheelchair Granny in the Tarago crying over the price of petrol. But these are cooked up in the five minutes before Question Time, or during an hour long tactics committee meeting. They are not policy. They are interference. There are no new Coalition policies because the Coalition, on the whole, believes their old policies were perfectly good enough. That is part of their self-deception, their Born To Rule vanity, the "Rudd cheated the voters" meme. In this context, it is far easier to be lazy, to cook up "scandals" about "character", to use a small-time non-story as a lever to attempt move a mountain. But when the pencil is poised over the ballot paper, most punters - a victorious majority for Labor - aren't going to vote for the hopeless Malcolm Turnbull (no slouch at foul language himself) because Rudd told off a bunch of whingers in no uncertain terms. They're not going to put "1" next to the Coalition candidate's name because Rudd may have mixed up his sucking with his shaking of a sauce bottle, or because he went to a pole dancing club in New York four years ago, or even because they thought the sign outside the newly built school hall they're casting their vote in looked a bit "political". They're going to cast their votes with the fact in mind that they still have a good job. That their country is the best-performing in the G20. That their government has a purpose and has ideas, especially compared to the other mob who have none, and - worse - still don't believe they need any. There's really no choice. Despite what Milne, aremd with his cheap gossip and his "feeling in the air" would have us believe, this government has accomplished a lot. Consider further the GFC as a lead weight around Rudd's legs, and the performance has been even more astonishing. Quibbling around the edges about blue language - heard in every workplace except, apparently, News Ltd. offices - delivered to those who deserve it, when the main message was that a blatant rort was killed off, won't cut it with the punters. They recognize laziness when they see it, and it is not Rudd who has been lazy. He works himself and those around him to the bone to achieve what's best for the nation, while the Opposition just says, "No!", pumping themselves up with pretensions of being the Government In Exile like so many post-revolution White Russian expats, longing for the Czar, while waiting on tables in Paris. The Parliament is not a workplace. It is the place where the government of Australia, warts and all, [i]takes[/i] place. And if the odd greedy head, complaining about perks foregone has to be kicked from time to time the public will applaud, not condemn.

Ad astra reply

23/09/2009Acerbic Conehead Amusing comment and an interesting YouTube piece – brings back lots of memories of the Rat Pack and Deano. Sir Ian Bushfire Bill has addressed your assertion. All I need to say is that the ‘workplace bullying’ accusation is one of the more grotesque that Rudd’s opponents have made. Some do out of a misunderstanding of what a meeting of a leader with his backbench is. It is not a boss-worker relationship. Other critics, such as journalists, know that full well, but latch onto it as a nice story with which to beat Rudd. I find all the fuss about using words that are commonplace laughable. Do they want to revert to ‘damn’ or ‘dash’, terms we were permitted to use, but only when we became adult. When opponents feel that’s all they’ve got to hit Rudd, they are verbally destitute. Swearing does not make politicians crooks or members of the mafia. Julia still gets her 9/9 score. BB Thank you for providing a rebuttal of the silly ‘workplace bullying’ accusation. It’s annoying that it has been picked up unthinkingly by commentators who ought to know that the setting in which Rudd dressed down his argumentative backbenchers was not a workplace. The media seems so hungry for an angle that it sets aside commonsense and logical thought.

Kersebleptes

23/09/2009Ad Astra, The media may well be setting aside common sense and logic, but sometimes it gets results. Here's a link to a comment that illustrates that... <a href="http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2009/09/21/newspoll-55-45-14/comment-page-10/#comment-332059">http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2009/09/21/newspoll-55-45-14/comment-page-10/#comment-332059</a>

Bushfire Bill

23/09/2009Of course, the other point about the parliamentary "workplace" in this instance is that it is clear the factional heavies who accosted Rudd on the printing budget thought that [i]they[/i] were in a position of power over [i]him[/i], not the other way around. They walked away from that meeting with amended understandings of their own importance.

Kersebleptes

23/09/2009Geez, what a mess of a link. Sorry about that...

fred

23/09/2009Kersebleptes I followed your link and came to the reason why Milne and co report the way they do on the things they decide to report on. Milne's [and co]'report' has probably, according to your link, cost the ALP/Rudd 1 future potential vote. And probably a few more among existing voters around the place. Mission accomplished. Repeat with variations. Much better thancoming up with real policies and political analysis. Well, easier anyway.

Ad astra reply

23/09/2009Kersebleptes You’re probably correct when you say that the negative stuff, even the ‘workplace bullying’ fairytale, does influence some, but my guess is that that would apply to very few who are not already pro-Coalition. Your link made interesting reading. Fortunately Bushfire Bill came to the rescue and rebutted this silly beat-up. BB Your question about who was doing the bullying is germane. It looks like his backbench, who came in in numbers, were trying to intimidate Rudd. They got their comeuppance in no uncertain terms. Rudd is no pushover; they had better get used to that. fred While Milne longs for a king hit on Rudd, he is willing to settle for a slow steady process of stealthy erosion – anything that will bring about his long-cherished dream – the end of the Rudd honeymoon.

Rx

23/09/2009Milne and his like can go to hell.

BH

23/09/2009AA - Excellent article and your last paragraphs are perfect. Milne has belittled himself and made his columns unreadable for many. I wonder if he likes being classed in the same category as Akermans or does he wear it as a badge of honour. Particularly loved the 'two small men' piece - a very perceptive young lady. Wish we could say the same about her father.

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27/09/2009Milne is at it again. No doubt stung by Rudd’s characterization of him as ‘the Coalition’s journalist of choice’ he’s written a follow-up piece to last Sunday’s about Rudd’s outburst at some of his backbenchers critical of the Government’s reduction of parliamentarians’ printing allowance, this time in today’s Sunday Telegraph, Rude Kevin Rudd will reap whirlwind. It’s more of Milne’s wishful thinking. He must go to sleep fantacizing about Rudd’s downfall and how it might occur, and when he wakes he writes as if it’s reality. This time he’s recycling last week’s story without so much emphasis on Rudd’s use of the ‘f-word’, but on the gathering backbench and union whirlwind that will blow him away. Milne asserts that “...put simply, what aggravates his colleagues and union leaders is what they see as his prissy, self-centred, top-down, ‘nobody's right, but me’ approach to government.” Will the backbenchers and union leaders appreciate Milne becoming their spear-thrower? Or will they see it as ‘the kiss of death’ to the cause Milne insists they are pursuing? How accurate is Milne’s assessment likely to be? If it’s as accurate as his recurrent predictions of the end of the Rudd honeymoon, we can safely ignore it. If you want to counterbalance Milne’s latest effusion, read the original account of the episode by Misha Schubert in The Age in PM irks factions over cut to perks on September 10. Here's the link. http://www.theage.com.au/national/pm-irks-factions-over-cut-to-perks-20090909-fhlt.html?skin=text-only And for a belly-laugh, read Guy Rundle’s piece on Crikey, Why Rudd said the f-word twice http://www.crikey.com.au/2009/09/22/rundle-why-rudd-said-the-f-word-twice/
I have two politicians and add 2 more; how many are there?