Questioning the Dear Leader

Garry Andrews writes: Re. “Kim Jong ill” (yesterday). I didn’t share Harry Goldsmith’s alienation. Guy Rundle shone light on Australian political communication by recounting Dear Leader Kevin Rudd’s recent laboratory “inspection”. Pyongyang’s favoured propaganda techniques are all the rage in Canberra, and no one has the perspective to pause, let alone protest.

The carefully curated media opportunities are just part of the cult of focus-researched personality that everyone inside the circus depends on and therefore internalises and perpetuates. Bowls clubs, school visits, barbecues, the hustings. The fake and the staged. The “cuts, cuts, cuts … build, build, build … jobs, jobs, jobs.” It’s the fabricated veneration of fabricated men. And so very little to venerate.

If it isn’t questioned now, we may well lose the institutional capacity to ever engage authentically with politics and policy again. Harry Goldsmith may find it a turn-off, but I say more of the same!

The worst of times

Denise Gadd writes: Re. “Murdoch wins, everyone else loses leaders’ debate” (yesterday). I am at a loss to understand why Wednesday night’s debate has been labelled a cracker and “gloves off” by many in the media. I  agree with Guy Rundle. It was boring and just political rhetoric. The audience was almost in a trance — had Sky News handed out Mogadons to everyone before they took their seats? The questioners looked as if they were in a trance as the respective protagonists replied. I was yelling at the television for at least one of them of them to come back at Abbott and Rudd and demand a followup up to their question, but no, the Mogadons had worked a treat. Whatever happened to old-fashioned politicking where people yelled and thumped their fists on the table to make a point and the audience either roared its approval or booed the candidate off the stage? The nearest Wednesday’s mind-numbingly boring talkfest came to anywhere near a “cracker” was when Abbott said “doesn’t this guy ever shut up?” But it was so tame it almost seemed rude rather than a challenge. As Charles Dickens wrote, “it was the worst of times.

Pride before the fall

Doug Clark  writes: Re. “Essendon was stupid, but it’s the AFL with governance issues” (yesterday). I agree with Adam Schwab that the AFL charge sheet was poorly written, but it was also very strangely written. I’ve seen a lot of these in the criminal and regulatory context, but not once have a seen a section entitled Dramatis personae (i.e. cast of characters). Where did that come from? This thing is looking more and more like a classical Greek tragedy all the time.  And like the best tragedies, someone’s gotta die (in the corporate/AFL sense) — but who will be the first?   

Lou Moretti writes: I don’t think Adam Schwab’s article adds any meaningful analysis of this saga. In fact, I shouldn’t even waste my time with the article’s content. If Schwab researched all the material he should be able to answer the following:Why did Essendon self-report? Did the AFL attempt to reach a discreet settlement with Essendon? Would any such settlement have been in breach of the ASADA investigation? Why did Hird say he “accepted full responsibility” for what happened in the Essendon football department, then later recant? Why did the Essendon FC change tack and refuse to co-operate with the AFL? Does Caroline Wilson know her job?

I could keep on going, but I am sick of this saga, and I too want to get back to the game I enjoy like no other.

If Crikey wants to get into commentating on this saga please contribute some facts, not another opinion on the players in this saga.

Indonesia, not PNG

James Tierney writes: Re. “A bleed-to-know basis: Dror Moreh documents The Gatekeepers” (Thursday). In today’s Crikey email, Luke Buckmaster writes the following: “… Joshua Oppenheimer’s unforgettable The Act of Killing features men who committed unspeakable crimes in Papua New Guinea.’

The events in The Act of Killing took place in the city of Medan, in the Indonesian province of North Sumatra, not Papua New Guinea.

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