Having been reported by Misha Schubert weeks ago, without garnering any comment at all, Kevin Rudd’s F-bomb attack on a range of Labor factional hacks has been put back into play by a full-page splash by Glenn Milne — whose bizarre new hairdo appears to be one man’s attempt to imitate a three-flavour gelato — and dutifully given the News Limited clusterfuck treatment.

The latest is some nonentity in The Hun calling for Rudd to undergo “counselling”.

It’s hard to know what’s most pathetic in this latest round of nothing — the natural thin-lipped prissiness that would attract a miniature Pomeranian such as Milne to the story, the dutiful way in which it was spun through every News outlet as if it was news, or the psychobabble counselling angle that’s now been taken up by a disposable Hun hackette.

If News is really trying to open up a new front against the Ruddkrieg, they’re getting pretty desperate. The PM said fuck twice? What sort of cardigan-wearing, twinset-and-pearls constituency do they think is out there, sitting by their Bakelite radiograms, waiting for our Sir Robert to come on and announce that we’re at war with Japan again?

Like hatters driven mad by the mercury that gets under their fingernails, have the News crew started to believe their own guff about collapsing morals, etc, etc. Is there a swear box in the editorial offices? If so it would pay for the new A+ roll-out, the brave new repaging, sorry reinvention, of The Oz we were waiting for.

However, on the off-chance that this malarkey could have some impact, I offer Labor the following remedy.

It was reported that the PM really let fly at Victorian Senator David Feeney.

The remedy to any negative fallout from this is to arrange for as many Australians as possible to personally meet Senator Feeney.

Feeney is the Cartman of Labor politics — bumptious, spherical, and obsessively concerned with the management of his Victorian right-wing microfaction — any encounter of more than 15 minutes with the man would have most people praising the PM’s Christ-like restraint in sticking to verbal abuse and not stabbing him through the eyes with a biro, so as to better mash his frontal lobes.

In my subjective opinion.

Your correspondent has tangled with Senator Feeney only once, in the sandpit of student politics of the early ’90s when I together with many other people succeeded in turfing out the sitting SRC president at a time when Feeney was running the Labor club (or whatever they had branded it).

The impression then of Feeney, correct or otherwise, was of a young man obsessed with the accumulation of power, and driven, I suspect, by a deep resentment arising from his morbid obesity. It was an early and salutary lesson that joining the ALP would involve devoting your one life on earth to battling these people and that it just wasn’t worth it.

Like a gambler winning roulette on his first go, and never gambling again, your correspondent quit the field. Feeney went on to rise through the Labor ranks with the occasional flare-up like a fire on a distant ship — a news report about misusing Gareth Evans’s mail allowance while working in the beardie’s office, a fake death notice planted by enemies in the papers, and a recent carpeting by the federal leadership over his and others’ attempt to pull a “faceless men” stunt, and impose factional deadweight in office-bearer positions.

So it was inevitable that the Rudd-bomb would be dropped over mail allowances — mail allowances are to these guys what a Magnum .357 is to Dirty Harry. Remove it and they’re eunuchs. Why does a No.3 ticket Senator, who runs a microfaction, need a huge mail allowance, you ask? Why indeed?

Anyway, Labor should get Feeney on a tour of meet-and-greets ASAP. Shopping centres, community halls, a pen in the Royal Melbourne Show — just show enough people the sort of people Rudd has to deal with and the issue goes away instantly.

You could send Milne out with him. Milne could ride Feeney. There’s your dog and pony show.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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