Brandis blooper enlivens election

First Sealed – February 10, 2004

The quality of election night “expert” commentaries is not on the
improve, if Saturday night’s Queensland coverage is anything to go by.

Indeed, the only thing that stood out other than the sheer number of
former and failed politicians who managed to get themselves on TV or
radio, was the commentary from Liberal Senator George Brandis.

The loud and loquacious Senator muscled his way into both radio and
television coverage – and declared early in the night there was a
substantial swing against the Beattie Government, using as his
justification the vote for his factional ally, Councillor Jean Bray, in
Ipswich West.

In 2001, Labor won Ipswich West with 57.3 per cent of the two party
vote – and it held it on Saturday with 57.7 per cent.  Well
spotted, George.

Kevin Andrews and the wrath of god

Second Sealed – February 10, 2004

Hillary Bray writes:

Have Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrews’ recent fire and
brimstone media releases – as covered by Crikey – been the result of a
sudden wish by the God-botherer to make Labor feel that Job got off
easy?  Or is there another explanation?

The decidedly ungodly Ian Hanke, cleft-chinned Liberal hitman,
bon-vivant, bald-headed bar fly and – most incriminating of all –
former pressie to Peter Reith has been seen hanging around Andrews’

Kev the Rev should beware.  He should look at how Reith’s
reputation ended up.  Sodom and Gomorrah got off lighter and the
Cities of the Plain get a much better press nowadays than his former
Victorian colleague.

Kev the rev narks Mark

First Sealed – February 11, 2004

Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrews is at it again, with another
media release – this time on redesigned letterhead (nice touch, Kev) –
accusing Iron Mark of rewriting the past.

“Cancelling History” – bold, caps, underline – is its portentous headline.

It doesn’t quite accuse him of doing a Pol Pot and going back to Year
Zero, but you’d be forgiven for thinking that’s what you’re about to
get when you read the opening pars:

“Political history now starts on December 2, 2003, the day Mr Latham narrowly won the Labor Party leadership.

“According to Mr Latham anything said or written by him prior to that
date is no longer relevant and has been expunged from his internet
sites (see media release KA20/04).”

Instead of Brother Number One we just get Big Brother:

“Perhaps Mr Latham has been reading too deeply of George Orwell, particularly 1984.

“This passage from Chapter Three is prescient of Mark Latham’s
flipflops and goes a long way to explain them: ‘To know and not to
know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness…, to simultaneously hold
two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and
believing in both of them, to use logic against logic…to forget
whatever was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory
again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly forget it
again…Even to understand ‘doublethink’ involved the use of doublethink.’

“Mr Latham once believed in internet democracy. He wrote on 14/5/2000
in the Sunday Mail that: ‘Democracy can be revitalised only by opening
the system to public participation. Internet democracy seems a logical
change. It will re-engage people in the political process. Politicians
will need to post detailed information and policies on the net,
addressing a host of issues and audiences.’

“Mr Latham says he believes in ‘honesty and transparency in public life’ yet he is now denying what he once believed in.

“As Orwell wrote  ‘to simultaneously hold two opinions which
cancelled out….to forget whatever was necessary to forget.’ This is

It’s is also pretty damned undergraduate.  What’s Kev the Rev think he’s up to?

He won’t even be giving boys and girls of the Gallery a laugh.  Piles of sanctimonious twaddle are no fun to sort through.

Is it really all Reithy’s old press sec Ian Hanke working off his
frustrations?  Surely not.  He’s too clue-ey to produce this

Kev the Rev’s holy war continues

Another day, another rampaging release on Iron Mark Latham by Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrews.

“AVOIDING SCRUTINY”, this one screams. 

“Mark Latham’s paltry excuse that he hasn’t the staff to issue
transcripts rings as true as his claims to introduce “honesty and
transparency in public life.

“He has three directors, three deputies and a plethora of myrmidons [great word, Rev!], but no stenographer?  Not likely.

“In the leaked draft of his conference speech alterations and amendments were made by no less than three typists.

“The fact is Mr Latham has form. He has expunged and whitewashed his
history from both his websites and…”

We’re about to give up on trying to work out political reasons for this
obsessive-compulsive conduct and just consult a good shrink.

Now that gives us an idea…  “Avoiding scrutiny”, hey.  Why
doesn’t Andrews set an example.  Why doesn’t he get his head read
in public?

After all, in the wake of the PM’s statement on superannuation – such a
big cave in there are fears that the House of Representatives Chamber
could turn into a black hole any moment – we really should know just
what’s driving Kev on.

PS  Late breaking news:  Kevin Donnelly is the genius behind
the idea of Kevin Andrews as The Incredible Hulk – or he’s the bloke
the PM’s office are blaming, anyway.  Tony Nutt, the PM’s
Principal Private Secretary is supposedly fuming – and a line doing the
rounds says that as a strategist, Donnelly makes a great academic.