What a bloody sook Alexander Downer is. His response today in The Sydney Morning Herald to Peter Hartcher’s savage farewelling of him last week contains a standard-issue lament about the anti-conservative bias of the Australian media.
Given that the Howard Government benefited from a decade of cheerleading from The Australian, where Downer has his own personal and deeply-embedded spruiker in Greg Sheridan, the claim is risible. Though not, as it turns out, as risible as the rest of Downer’s self-defence, which is entirely silent on such trivial matters as Iraq and AWB’s bribery — which we now discover extended to India as well.
Worst of all, Downer questions Hartcher’s seriousness. Hartcher’s critique was damning exactly because he and other commentators take foreign policy seriously, and don’t see it, as Downer did, as simply an extension of a crass domestic political agenda. Australian public life is the better for Downer’s departure.