Tim Blair


New Criterion



Thursday, December 05, 2002

If any of you out there in blogland were keeping alive the idea of defending Auntie from charges of political bias, abandon all hope.

On tonight's Australia (the bit that matters) Talks Back, Max-weird McCutcheon put two dumb fingers up to the dwindling mob of ABC apologists. The subject was, of course, the resignation of left beacon and demonstrated liar, Carmen Lawrence, from the Opposition front-bench.

In the first place Max gave a text-book demo of Uncle's earlier analysis by achieving a remarkable, near-unanimous response from listeners. Let's assume that about two thirds of Australians support the policy of mandatory detention for illegal arrivals. Under Max's tutelage the ABC's responders managed no more than 5%.

Who let that fascist in?

And if you think that the Max-majority represent the cream of the Australian intellect, why don't you listen to them for a change.

Max's second sin, showing he's as stupid as he is biased, was to declare his open support for the Labor left line. It was a pleasure, he said referring to Lawrence's political stratagem, to hear the words "politician" and "principle" in the same sentence. That is, he takes her political positioning at face value.

Max-weird seems oblivious to the long tradition of the word "principle" in the cant of the Labor left faction. Whenever the left adopts a position that fails to satisfy the basic conditions of policy for a Party that aims to be in government some day, it claims to be taking a "principled" stand. When they appeal to the prejudices of the left in the unions and branches, at whatever cost to the rest of us, they make the same hypocritical claim. They act from the heart, from principle, with the rank and file, whatever will disguise the fact that they are prepared to shaft the people to advance their factional and personal agendas.

We don't expect politicians to be honest about their motives.

We're still entitled to puke when Lawrence fronts the press conference she called and damns her colleagues for tailoring their policies to suit the media.

Guess what? None of Max's callers, let alone Max-weirdness himself, even raised the distasteful subject of Carmen's political motivations.

We can assume it's not just a free kick to the Greens - that's incidental.

The one caller hostile to Lawrence wanted to test her "principles" against the evidence given to a Royal Commission by several of her colleagues that she had used confidential family court documents relating to a woman who later suicided in an attempt to shaft a political opponent. Max-weird ruled it out of order! It's all in the past. Isn't it great to be a professional, tax-payer funded, public-service broadcaster.

It seems to me the main question is, does Carmen aim to challenge for the leadership before or after the next election?

Whatever, she's invited the Labor rank and file to walk even further from the mainstream on this crucial issue. Looks like Peter Costello will inherit the Prime Ministership whenever Howard decides to retire.

What are this tainted lady's chances? Here's one opinion:I think that she has a long-term senior career in politics ahead of her.

That's from Kim Beazley, who fluffed his chance for the Prime Ministership on the very same issue on which Lawrence is now trying to build her leadership ambitions.

And whenever Labor returns to government, which Uncle may not live to see, that government will have about the same affection for the ABC, thanks to the communards of Radio National, as the current government. Whatever Lawrence's position, in it or out of it.

Enjoy yourself boys and girls, it gets no better for you than this.