The police investigation into Energy Minister and one-man calamity industry Angus Taylor’s office, for sharing an allegedly forged document with the media to attack a political opponent, has dominated the week’s news.
Much of the commentary believes Taylor is in serious trouble. Even The Australian‘s Dennis Shanahan, while arguing the issue should have been “dead within minutes of it becoming public” concedes Taylor’s “stupidity”.
No such worries, however, for New Corp’s Chris Kenny, who on his Sky program said he had never seen “a more pathetic scandal”.
“Is there an adult anywhere who believes someone would deliberately change $1700 to $1.7 million and expect to get away with it?” he said, of a document where someone had done just that. “What on earth would be the benefit of bumping up $4000 to $14 million when it would be so obviously exposed?”
Beyond the interesting defence of this is too dumb to be a crime, we can see why Kenny in particular wouldn’t see why any of this is a big deal.
Crikey was put in mind of the “Utegate” scandal, one of those moments that really summed up Malcolm Turnbull’s political instincts while opposition leader. An email (later revealed to be forged) purportedly demonstrating corruption on the part of then-prime minister Kevin Rudd and then-treasurer Wayne Swan was shared with the papers. When it was shown to be a phony, Turnbull’s standing plummeted, and he was eventually ousted by Tony Abbott as Liberal party leader.
During all this, who was Turnbull’s chief of staff? One Chris Kenny.