Tim Blair


New Criterion



Friday, June 11, 2004
WHAT DEXTERITY, what athleticism, what flexibility.

In the short distance between last week and his landing at Maroubra yesterday Parachute Pete Garrett demonstrated not only the well-known political double back-flip with pike but also the extrremely rare visceral eversion.

'Sorry kids' said Pete, in effect, even before his super-hero cape had settled on his muscular shoulders. 'All that pacifism, anti-Yankism, deep-greenery, it was all just an act. Never really believed it off-stage. I'm really main-stream.'

Henny Herald was shocked, exclaiming Labor's extreme makeover on her front page, but referring to Pete's performance.

Lord Bob-Brown of the Barricades and all Pete's former friends are stunned into uncharacteristically moderate utterances, but it won't last.

Considering the growing US pressure on Mark Latham over his cafeteria policy on the US alliance, here's a question some journalist might like to ask him, just as soon as that is allowed.

Did you enquire of Pete Garrett, before endorsing his application for ALP membership, his ALP candidacy in Kingsford Smith and his entry onto the electoral roll, whether he still wanted to close Pine Gap?

Later: I forgot to mention another Garrett principle abandoned in the past five minutes:
Last month Garrett wrote in The Australian Financial Review in opposition to the US-Australia free trade agreement on the basis that it would promote economic growth. He is opposed to economic growth. As he wrote: "Economic growth is almost always accompanied by a commensurate increase in environmental degradation."