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.

Invest in the journalism that makes a difference.

EOFY Sale. A year for just $99.

SAVE 50%

Save this EOFY while you make a difference

Australia has spoken. We want more from the people in power and deserve a media that keeps them on their toes. And thank you, because it’s been made abundantly clear that at Crikey we’re on the right track.

We’ve pushed our journalism as far as we could go. And that’s only been possible with reader support. Thank you. And if you haven’t yet subscribed, this is your time to join tens of thousands of Crikey members to take the plunge.

Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief
SAVE 50%