Posts Tagged ‘Piers Akerman’

I’ve been in two minds about whether to write this post. On the one hand, it’s a pretty amusing story and highlights just how absurd one can be while collecting what I imagine is a decent paycheque from a major media outlet. On the other hand, it’s so obvious that it barely needs to be written about. I don’t even know what has tipped me toward publishing this post, but now that we’re started I’ll go ahead and state my point.

Piers Akerman appears to be foaming at the mouth.


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Now that I have written that headline, I don’t need to provide any information that backs it up or even relates to the topic. Instead, I can spend some time talking about how wonderful an entirely different person is. What’s not to like about Stephanie Rice?

And then I can throw in a few sentences smearing the ostensible topic of my column, mentioning a few scandals that he has had (or is rumoured to have had) some association with. Like the sexual harassment of colleagues; the drug use; the claims of assault. And then I can go back to talking about how wonderful Stephanie Rice is. She has the face of an angel and the heart of a lion. And she can swim. Through the water. It’s amazing.

And then I can wait for people to comment and answer with a smarmy response that insults their intelligence (or perhaps their political affiliation) without actually addressing the issue they raised. For instance, if someone suggests that an African-American preacher or many in his congregation know their ancestors were forced into slavery, I can mock Barack Obama. But if anyone says anything slightly rude or hostile in response to my column, I can denounce it as gutter crawling crap.

Yep, it’s a good life being a total moron who gets paid for writing this nonsense.

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Piers speaks in tongues

Not sure how long this will last, but Akerman’s blog appears to be b0rken – he’s channeling Caroline Overington.

UPDATE: Here’s a sample:

Reading Piers’s column itself, he and Bolt are going to have to jelly-wrestle to resolve their dispute – Piers is blaming Labor for the destruction of the Murray-Darling, while Andy says everything’s fine and we’re getting as much rain as we have in the past.

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Piers Akerman notes that the Uniting Church has purchased the Kings Cross building in which its Medically Supervised Injecting Centre operates:

It quietly paid about $7.1 million for 66 Darlinghurst Rd – the building occupied by the shooting gallery – seven months ago and settled in double-quick time.

The price seems to be a record for the area which has had a decline in property sales and prices seriously affected because of the presence of the junkies attracted to the shooting gallery.

As one local told me yesterday: “Prices here are badly affected. One nearby property around the $5.5 million mark has been to auction twice and failed to sell because of the junkies who hang out for drugs near here.”

The same person, a strong supporter of the Cross, said other areas were booming with two new banks and a Hungry Jacks franchise all being renovated.

Keeping the unfortunate people who suffer from substance abuse and addiction safe and alive, and providing them access to treatment referrals, can’t be acceptable when it jeopardises hard-working Australians’ right to sell their property for millions of dollars.

Here’s an outrageous suggestion – if the usage of the safe injecting centre is so great that it is increasing the concentration of drug users in the surrounding area, wouldn’t that suggest that the best solution is to implement more of these centres at other locations?

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The Garnaut Climate Change Review’s Draft Report was released yesterday. I’m still working my way through it and am holding off on reading others’ thoughts about it or solidifying my own opinion until I’m done.

But some others – the usual suspects, in fact – don’t need to bother with that. Needless to say, Andrew Bolt has been posting a steady stream of posts on issues related to climate change and emissions trading – despite showing that he is grossly incompetent in checking facts. I tried reading some of the comments threads on his site but gave up – seeing the same tired, flawed criticisms from commenters who obviously did not even watch Garnaut’s address at the National Press Club, let alone taking the time to read the report.

Meanwhile, Piers Akerman does one of his typical hatchet pieces, slinging mud at every Labor politician whose name he can fit into the column (he even manages to work Belinda Neal into a column on Garnaut) and hoping that his readers will be so mesmerised by his florid prose that they won’t notice he provides no evidence to back up his insults.

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Satan 07

Kevin Rudd will turn us all into demons.

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Piers is on a hat-trick

Fresh from this morning’s substance-free assault on Kevin Rudd’s character, Piers Akerman has filed another column attacking Rudd, this time decrying the quality of Rudd’s statement about the commencement of the election campaign. It appears that this is a column from the future – presumably it will appear in tomorrow’s Telegraph:

KEVIN Rudd had the opportunity to make his case for a change of government yesterday and came off looking like he was auditioning for a role on Young Talent Time.

Of course, Piers managed to throw in a bit of Howard cheerleading to break up the character assassination of Rudd:

Howard’s posture and his ability to answer the toughest questions the Canberra press gallery could come up with at noon on a Sunday reminded poll-watchers that, yes, he is experienced, and, yes, he takes responsibility for his unpopular decisions.

In answering one question, he said he hoped that the unemployment rate would sink to the “threes”.

Given that it is currently riding in the unprecedented low “fours”, that may be one of Rudd’s too-distant bridges – but it is a goal worth noting.

So, what’s wrong with Kevin this evening?

Rudd, on the other hand, said his new leadership would be all about “working families”.

He likes “working families”. By one count he used the phrase a dozen times.

But what does he actually mean by the term? Where are the “non-working families” who have apparently been attracting all the Government’s attention to the exclusion of Rudd’s “working families”?

“Rudd’s working families”? Piers, here’s a historical note:

JOHN HOWARD: Working families in Australia have never been better off.

And it’s all downhill from there. Piers even manages to blend a comment on Rudd’s nickname of “Dr Death” to build an implied link with not only the “bureaucratic over-administration” of the Queensland health system, but with the other person to carry that moniker, Jayant Patel. Miraculously, Piers managed to go without mentioning the Heiner affair. Just a couple of digs at the unions, some jibes about “lethal bureaucracy” and Rudd’s lack of management experience, and Piers is done – based on his assessment of Rudd, I don’t even think we need to have an election. There is only one man capable of leading Australia, while his opponent is an incompetent killer of projects, trees and hospital patients.

Let’s see what Piers can dig up for the next column.

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Just in time to kick off the campaign proper, Piers Akerman launches into a character attack on Kevin Rudd. It’s an ugly bit of writing, filled with pretty much nothing of substance and a long stream of insinuations:

PHONE calls from Kevin Rudd to his friends in the media, which once included me, always begin – according to members of the press gallery – with the words “this conversation has never taken place, right?”

Is that supposed to sound much worse than the notion of conversations being “off the record”? We know Peter Costello doesn’t mind doing that as well, and in fact it’s a common part of journalistic practice in politics.

While I will not confirm or deny the accuracy of that account, it is public knowledge that Rudd and I have had numerous discussions and it was written elsewhere that both he and his wife, Therese Rein, have been guests at my home.

I have, however, never breached our many agreements of confidentiality.

But, without breaking my word, I can say that my initial admiration for Rudd, the man, has diminished over the past nine months until I have the gravest concerns about his fitness to head a political party, let alone run this nation.

So, you are not going to give us any direct evidence to support your assertion, ostensibly because of your great respect for confidentiality, but you want us to believe that he’s a very bad man? Have you been reading Kevin Andrews’ “Guidebook to Character Assassination”?

My main concerns about his character relate to what I perceive to be an unalloyed ruthlessness, a lack of his loyalty to anything but his own short-term political ambitions and his projection of a carefully constructed image that has little or nothing to do with Rudd the man.

Of course, all politicians exhibit these traits to some degree.

They wouldn’t make it through the first pre-selection meeting if they did not, but these qualities drive Rudd as they drive no other politician in Australia today.

[SNIP section about the Robert McClelland affair]

I don’t know that this is a revelation, but neither do I think it’s the sign of gross incompetence you are making it out to be. I have my own issues with Rudd’s approach and his handling of the furore over death penalty policy. But, as you note, these are fairly common traits among politicians, and Rudd is in the position of trying to win an election against a very clever opponent. The fact is, he has been doing well all year because of his approach.

Despite his claim to be a conservative Christian, the reality is that everything with Rudd is about power and when he is before an audience not enamoured of religion, he is happy to tailor his persona and step back a few paces from his ready avowals of faith made before other gatherings.

What does this mean? Does he worship false idols if it suits his audience? Does he start swearing like a sailor? Again, every politician tailors their presentation to their audience – watch John Howard’s appearance before an audience like the Australian Christian Lobby and see whether he was talking about the same things in the same way that he would when meeting with Tasmanian timber workers.

The list of excuses he has made for various blunders from the phoney Anzac Dawn Service he was to take part in with Channel 7’s Sunrise crew, an essential medium for the delivery of the hand-wrought Rudd image into Australian households, to his night on the tiles with New York Post editor-in-chief Col Allan, runs on and on.

Yes, he has made some blunders, and he has attempted to get past them – how uniquely Machiavellian of him.

But there is an insight that can be drawn from his voyeuristic pole-dancing episode.

Rudd’s lapse of judgement in progressing from dinner to the strip-and-clip joint was not caused by his desire to see bare breasts, or go on the sauce; it was driven by his insatiable craving for power, which Allan personified.

Rudd could have met him for a coffee, he could have met him for dinner, he could have begged off going on into the Manhattan night but to do so would have meant giving up an opportunity to curry favour with someone of undoubted influence.

A politician attempted to develop relationships that would help his ambitions? Inconceivable! Seriously, this makes no sense – yes, Rudd put himself into a position he would have been better to steer clear of, but to analyse it a few years later and say that he should have scheduled a different meeting is absurd.

It is hard to nail what the real person is like and, while I would never question his love of his family, there is a sense that he does not have the long-standing friendships which help provide leaders with the ability to meaningfully communicate with the population.

No actual evidence, not even an anecdote, but just the implication that he has no friends. And without long-standing friends, you can’t communicate with the population? I wonder: (a) how many long-standing friends John Howard has, and (b) how many of them bear any resemblance to ordinary “working Australians”.

His “people” moments are staged, geared for the 6pm news, sometimes disastrously, as was the case when he went to a unit near Canberra to talk about a scheme to subsidise property for low income earners only to later find that the person chosen for the stunt by ALP staffers from the People’s Republic of the ACT would be, embarrassingly, ineligible for the scheme he was promoting.

A bit like that nurse JWH spoke to last week about how to reform Tasmania’s health system – oops. So Rudd stages photo-ops with ordinary people – again, how does this make him different from other politicians, let alone grossly incompetent to lead?

This shallowness was exhibited again last week when, after railing against the Coalition for its wasteful advertising spending, Rudd and his staff flew to Perth ostensibly to launch a cancer-screening initiative but really, according to the ABC, to shoot a commercial with two local candidates.

Couldn’t he manage to do two things in one trip? Is there something wrong with him preparing campaign advertising? And haven’t you failed to acknowledge the distinction that the Labor commercials will have been paid for by the party, whereas his criticism of Howard is the use of “government advertising” as a campaign tool?

Whatever John Howard’s critics may say, he is what he is and, apart from a trim of the famous eyebrows, what you see is what you get with no contrivance.

To some extent this may be right (although it’s not as though we get to watch “Big Brother: Kirribilli”), but that just means plenty of us know we don’t like him.

He doesn’t fabricate an enthusiasm for sport before a grand final, doesn’t manufacture grief when tragedy strikes and he doesn’t run from tough decisions or blame other members of his Cabinet or staffers when those decisions may be unpopular.

Are you accusing Kevin Rudd of doing these things that Howard does not? Is the implication that Rudd would “manufacture grief” after a tragedy? If so, please provide some evidence to back it up instead of insinuating that he is an uncaring fake.

It is, however, Rudd’s consistent refusal to address grave concerns about the so-called Heiner Affair which bring so many of the question marks about his character together in my mind.

[SNIP Heiner affair details]

Ah, we should have known you would end up back here – banging on about the issue that you really wish could destroy Rudd, but that everyone else has let go of.

The Australian people should have sufficient knowledge to know he is not fit to run the nation.

Well then, you should have given us some actual knowledge instead of a clumsy and illogical character assassination. Nothing you have written reveals anything new about Kevin Rudd, does very little to suggest that he is markedly different from his political allies or opponents, or that he is unfit to lead.

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Wank Wars

Now even Piers and Andrew can’t agree on who is the Liberals’ saviour.

Meanwhile, Matt injects some actual analysis, along with some reality, into the traditional media’s discussion.

And over in the darkest shadows of the Internets at Larvatus Prodeo, Kim and the commenters are carrying on with an actual intelligent debate about polling and political strategy. It’s disgusting what those filthy bloggers do, sitting at their computers and typing their sick fantasies.

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