November 25, 2007




In truth, I was too bored to yawn.

Maybe the Rudd Rapture was too much for me, but by the time Mr Visionary was giving his victory speech and declaring that he would “rule for all Australians”, I was, I suspect, already asleep.

Rudd was out to impress - right? - dishing up every asinine, superfluous cliché that came to mind, including the promise to “rule for all” pap.

Hey, all you doltish politicians and would-be politicians, news flash for you: if you win, you have no fucking choice but to “rule” for everyone.


Not nearly as hideous as poor old Maxine McKew though.

First up, McKew is not gifted at the spontaneous speech, although one would have thought, win or lose, McKew would have had a few pre-prepared words at the tip of her tongue. Apparently not.

I watched her interminable speech live last night, neither conceding nor accepting Bennelong, merely driveling on and being exuberant, much like the head of a girl’s hockey team.

As the minutes turned into months, I felt as though I’d accidentally tuned into Playschool, perhaps an episode from back in the 1970s.

Listening to McKew, I was overwhelmingly struck by the notion that she imagined she was speaking to a large room of three and four year olds.

Cheesy, saccharine, condescending, disjointed, irrelevant.

Ending on an especially discourteous note, McKew proclaimed that Bennelong "would never be taken for granted again". (*Crowd cheers. McKew beams with flushed innocence and happiness at her own astuteness*)

It was an ignorant and ungracious thing to say. The sort of nonsense that could only ever come from a candidate who has yet to work a single day as a sitting member. In her self-absorbed excitement, McKew kinda forgot that John Howard has spent more than 30 years working for the people of Bennelong. They are the people who put him there and kept him there. I doubt that Howard ever took his seat for granted, and if he did, then the voters clearly didn't mind, since they kept him gainfully employed for almost his entire adult life.

It was, perhaps, the sort of school-girl like mistake that only a new pollie would make. Nonetheless, McKew will need to be a tad more careful with her thoughtless and rude utterings in future.
McKew was torture enough – for me, at least – but shortly after, some man, whose identity I didn’t pick up, insisted that Malcolm Turnball is no longer going to be the Minister for Environment because the people of Australia have spoken! The people of Australia don’t want the new pulp mill in Tasmania, and Turnball was wrong, wrong, wrong to approve it! Yes, this chap crapped-on and on, not in the least bit saccharine or condescending, just plain stupid.

The people in Turnball’s seat seemed pretty darned happy about the pulp mill, seeing as they gave him what no other sitting Liberal was given yesterday: a whopping big swing in his favor!

Yet, the unknown dipstick (I assume someone from the ALP; I assume someone who is newly elected) went all hoop-aloop about the whole of Australia rejecting Turnball’s approval of the pulp mill. The interviewer had the sense to point out to the little troglodyte that the ALP agreed that the mill will be built. The unknown dipstick couldn’t be stopped though, suggesting that the ALP, having won, would have the opportunity to reverse their position immediately, and that if Rudd did so as one of his first acts as PM, it would be a truly wondrous thing, and would signal to the country that we have a brave and dazzling new leader.

All in all, the only people oozing with sincerity, warmth and a respectable degree of articulateness last night were John Howard and Peter Costello.

Costello, somewhat shell shocked, mustered up a respectful speech, informal, spontaneous, thanking people, offering no blame, no hint of anger, much in the same vein that Howard took an hour so so later.

The rest were gibbering idiots or superfluous to requirements.

Welcome to the land of the ALP.


Oooh, aaah. My bad. The unknown dipstick suggesting that the Rudd government will reverse the pulp mill decision might have been none other than Greens leader Bob Brown. (Sorry, was listening, rather than paying much attention to the screen.)

Tee, hee. Good luck with the Senate Kev!

The Greens increased their vote by 0.6% above their vote in 2004.

Not quite the 10 to 15% touted by the pre-vote polling.

Not quite the massive support that Bob keeps telling us he has in the general populace.


  1. Anonymous12:39 PM

    Bennelong "would never be taken for granted again"

    Yes, Caz, certainly an ignorant and ungracious thing for the callow, toothy McKew to say.

    I don't really believe for a minute that Howard took Bennelong for granted.

    At least Howard spoke from the heart.
    Copntrast that with Rudd's wooden prepared speech, him glancing at notes, repeating himself with cliches eg time to turn the page blah blah..

    All in all pretty dull and uninspiring.

    Now we'll see what Rudd is really made of, eh?

  2. Anonymous12:56 PM

    Caz, just heard Costello to quit politics- will not become leader of the libs.
    Well, you could knock me over with a feather.
    Who have they really got to replace him ?

  3. The McKew thing was in part her doing, but also because of the extraordinary media focus on the contest for that seat. The coverage went on far too long maybe because the media were expecting McKew, or even willing her, to claim victory.

    As for her maunderings, I put it down to precisely the kinds of things a candidate would say in a room full of slavering supporters.

    In short, there wasn't a story there other than the obvious, but media, and public, expectation pushed the tedium index beyond endurance.

    On another matter I've so far not seen remarked upon, Caz, Mr Costello's 'victory' speech seemed to omit any mention whatever of Mr Howard.

    Does your (or anyone else's) recollection confirm mine?

    If so, is this significant? Probably not, other than as a kind of dour footnote to the Howard Era.

  4. That really is a bombshell, Kath. And was just thinking of 'Tip' mylself...

  5. Anonymous1:07 PM

    Yes Jacob I remember the omission.
    When asked to comment on Costello not mentioning Howard, Nick Minchin said not to read to much into it, and that Costello was observing a protocol by waiting firstly for the PM to concede!
    That's my memory of it anyway.

  6. Wouldn't it be ironic if Rudd gives McKew a Minister's job, just for a surprise win, and 6 years later she does something incredibly stupid that causes his undoing. It would the Kelly syndrome all over again.

    I always thought it was very, very silly of Howard to give Jackie a Ministers position. I am sad though to see that the bad karma caused by giving her the job came back to bite him. (It wasn't bad for Jackie, but was for all the more deserving MPs who missed out.)

  7. Well, it might not take McKew six years Steve.

    Despite being kept under lock and key (well, almost) the ALP shadow ministry managed a disproportionate number of remarkably dumb gaffs during the campaign.

    If the ministers are such loose-cannons, goodness knows how the back-benchers will behave.

    The papers are already suggesting that McKew will be given a Ministry as a "reward" for rolling Howard. We'll know soon enough whether Rudd will be so stupid, and so stupidly symbolic.

    The Libs LOST, so it doesn't matter whether Howard wins or loses his seat. It's an irrelevance, other than that the locals won't have the inconvenience of a by-election.

    Within context, the win is no more "rewardable" than any other new ALP seat. I'll be singularly unimpressed if McKew gets a portfolio.