Craig Thomson.

Well, that’s done then.

And yet, there’s so much more this week. We strongly advise you suck down some anti-nausea tablets before reading on …

2GB broadcaster Alan “this is the most disgraceful thing that has ever been done to democracy” Jones’ assertion that the Convoy of No Confidence had been blocked at the ACT border — a statement utterly rejected by police — and his very public attack on a journalist; Kevin Rudd on the beach, the general shenanigans — actually that word is too kind — in question time; the ALP talking points doing the rounds (see tips and editorial) …

We can’t actually write through this. The fatigue is paralysing our typing fingers.

So let’s throw to our readers first. Their thoughts this week on who should win top Sideshow honours (drum roll please):

The Coalition’s stance on pairings has not impressed:

@DblRistretto shameless political stunt — Abbott denying Crean a pair to go to Margaret Olley’s funeral — disgraceful

@adamgilbert #SideshowAlley shameless act this week surely has to be “Depends on the Funeral” Christopher Pyne on dishonouring #pairing

Neither has Jones’ behaviour:

@davstorm75 Alan jones’ attack on a skynews journalist.

Just to recap, The Sydney Morning Herald‘s Jacqueline Maley wrote her account of being heckled and verbally abused by Jones with the help of the Convoy crowd for daring to ask he had had been paid a fee to attend the rally. Read the full rundown here. It’s stirring stuff.

Seems readers are pretty put off by Parliament high jinks (along with the rest of the press gallery):

@spencer_thomas #SideshowAlley question time in general …

Then there’s the litany of Craig Thomson related offences:

@jboyded Brandis’ phonecall #SideshowAlley

@jboyded Concetta’s claims re Thomson’s heritage #SideshowAlley

In short order, the Senator George Brandis’ move to refer the Thomson matter to the police, and Liberal Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells’ inquiries around whether Thomson and fellow MP Darren Cheeseman had revoked their New Zealand citizenship … Hey, it was worth a shot.

Meanwhile, on a beach in Queensland …

Kevin Rudd is watching the latest season of Mad Men. And Modern Family. And reading Henry Kissinger On China. So News Limited tabloids around the country declared on Sunday. The Sunday Herald Sun even splashed the scoop on the cover, pointing to a two-page spread inside:

There was the former prime minister — “fighting fit” after heart surgery — strolling wistfully along the Noosa foreshore.

“Relaxed and self-deprecating,” reporter Renee Viellaris wrote, “Mr Rudd, 53, spent Saturday chatting happily with locals and holidaymakers in Noosa.”

Rudd was certainly in fine form. There were jokes about the op — “You’ve got more tubes coming out of you than the NBN network.” — about his new zipper — “I’m basically a single monorail. It [the scar] does [fade] but I’m looking for some Austin Power chest hair to stick on.” — and the cow valve now pumping blood through his healthy heart — “I promise not to ‘moo’ in public.”

Then there’s today’s op-ed/talking points/press release from opposition leader Tony Abbott in The Daily Telegraph in which he argues that no one really won the election. There might be a few constitutional lawyers who have something to say about that …

“This week marked the first anniversary of the election that no one really won. Julia Gillard was ultimately chosen by the Greens and the independents, not by the people.

“She’s the prime minister who has been selected, not elected: first by the factions after the political assassination of Kevin Rudd, and then by the Greens and the independents in a hung parliament.”

And let’s sup on the tale of two butters to round off this litany of sins against politics, public discourse, democracy and all round decency:

* Each week Sideshow Alley will nominate the latest offerings to the service of dumbing down politics by journalists and/or politicians, and at the end of each month we’ll be asking former finance minister and author of Sideshow Lindsay Tanner to write through his pick of the best/worst example. But we need your help — send your picks to [email protected] with “Sideshow Alley” in the subject line or use the #sideshow hashtag on Twitter.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey