Tim Blair


New Criterion



Monday, August 18, 2003
BACON'S BUTLER may be no wiser a choice than Whitlam's Kerr.

Power without pre-selection is always the dream of political cronies. In Richard Butler's case the challenge of public position without public opinion may prove too hard.

Later: On tonight's Radio National PM Richard Butler began his vice-regal life as he intends to continue it - politically. Following a slash at monarchist David Flint, Butler promised to keep his appointment with the parliamentary enquiry into WMD on Friday this week.

What if his statements, explicitly or implicitly, put him at odds with government policy?

Stiff cheese; our Dick insists on his rights (he calls them obligations) to comment on matters on which he has expertise. As a former Foreign Affairs employee, Butler no doubt thinks he has expertise on most things, national and international.

Butler says that he will perform the role provided by the Tasmanian constitution, i.e., in another of Uncle's perfect paraphrases, 'to represent the people of Tasmania'. Silly old Uncle thought that's what Tasmanian governments were elected for. So does the Tasmanian constitution.

And if Hollingworth's children came back to haunt him, will Butler's women rattle along his battlements?