Friday, July 11, 2008

Rock Bottom

Talk about shameless... today Brendan Nelson berated Rudd becaue banks are raising their interest rates:
"The banks are increasing their interest rates under Mr Rudd, but I don't remember them doing that under Mr Costello," he said.

"The most important thing is the banks have got to explain to Australians - and Mr Rudd's got to put the blowtorch on them to do this - explain to Australians why with such huge profits are they further increasing interest rates."
He's right about the obscene profits, of course, but I don't remember Costello doing much about that either. And wasn't it Costello himself who predicted this coming "tsunami"? And wasn't it Howard and all his cabinet colleagues who help create it?

For Nelson now to try to score cheap points with lowest-common-denominator populism is worse than pathetic, it's shameless. Please, Malcolm, put him out of his misery.

And yet - astonishingly - another Howard cabinet member has gone even lower today. Yes, I'm talking about you, Alexander Downer. Here's a link to the Peter Hartcher article that got Downer so incenced - enjoy!
Downer can be petty and puerile. He plays a mean-spirited, personal, scratchy game of partisan politics. He can be breathtakingly immature.

He was always ready to be flippant and frivolous. He was something of an Inspector Clouseau of foreign ministers: pompous, slightly ridiculous, self-important, hard to take seriously, though ultimately getting through most of his assignments with some bare seat-of-the-pants competence.

Flippancy can be entertaining but, when employed injudiciously by a foreign minister, can compromise Australia's interests...

Downer lacked judgment, and that lack of judgment meant he never acquired gravitas. He held high office, but at a low level.
Read it and enjoy - I don't expect we will be hearing much more about Alexander Downer in our lifetimes, unless he gets his day in the dock.