(Images: AAP; Twitter)

The people of New South Wales aren’t the only people getting a treat. It may not be as good for one’s mental health as a nice picnic, but Victoria’s is nearly as diverting — former premier and Crikey‘s-estranged-granddad-who-hates-us Jeff Kennett’s twitter feed. Overnight he warned:

You are on notice Trolls, the goodies the silent majority are riding over the hill and coming to rescue the State
And they are not part of the Premiers [sic] social media team, paid for by us, but citizens tired of the abuse, of the loss of what Victoria was when the best State in Aus

What is he talking about? What can it possibly mean? Who is he talking to? It’s possibly the apotheosis of his posting career, though it has some serious competition. Frequently, Kennett has used Twitter as a place to direct the energy he used to expend making quite fantastically offensive comments at corporate lunches.

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Digging a trench on the wrong side of history

It’s not just Stephen Mayne that Kennett likes to row with on Twitter. He also felt the need to speak up during the fallout of the Tim Worner/Amber Harrison affair. After Harrison and Worner had an affair and Harrison was made redundant, she went HAM on Twitter, posting love letters and documents so sensitive that none of the reports on the matter could specify what they were without risking legal action.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of Harrison’s conduct, some would argue it wasn’t a brilliant idea (legally, given Kennett’s history or even just generally) for Kennett to get involved. But he did. He sent a series of tweets Harrison’s way telling her “stealing from your employer is unacceptable” and “what we do not like is you releasing commercial documents that have nothing to do with your claim, and is not your property”.

From Taylored to Jeffed

It’s the most modern of political faux pas: making a positive comment on one’s own post, clearly believing you’re logged in as someone else — an act we call “getting Taylored”. Kennett’s addition to this glorious tradition is a disappointingly low energy one, we’re sad to say.

Just “agreed”? Not even “at last someone says it” or something? Seems a waste.

I predict a riot

Unsurprisingly, the reign of current Premier Daniel “Dictator Dan” Andrews, has been a frequent topic for Kennett’s more… shall we say, florid, posting. After Andrews delayed announcing further easing of lockdown last October, Kennett got so upset he forgot how to spell the word throw (oh and how not to encourage widespread civil disobedience): 

Encourage businesses to prepare to open and then again slam the door in their faces. I say open up businesses, and let this control freak through [sic] us all in jail…

He may have meant that as nothing but bluster, but given the Andrews government’s tendency to send the cops to people’s houses for social media activity, it was a risk.

Sounding the alarm

Following on from the logic that the phrase “I don’t want to sound racist” invariably precedes a statement that will breach the Racial Discrimination Act in six distinct and horrifying ways, last month Kennett tweeted “I do not want to be alarmist” before claiming he had inside information that the state’s lockdown was going to last until into the new year:

I do not want to be alarmist, but I have just heard from two different sources, food companies being briefed tonight the Victoria’s lockdown will last to the New Year. If that is a fact, our society as we know it, famlies [sic], children, small business won’t survive without great pain.

Victoria’s Industry Support minister swiftly replied that “food companies have been told no such thing” and describing Kennett’s tweet as “irresponsible bullshit”.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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