Tim Blair


New Criterion



Saturday, August 28, 2004
POSTS HAVE BEEN ABSENT these last few days because I could not, my dears, give a damn. If you ignore the calendar, it is Spring around the offices of ABCwatch and the entire ABCwatch team has been convinced that there is much to life beyond blogging. We remain convinced.

There have been temptations, but they were easily resisted. I was not even pulled to the keyboard by the stunning hypocrisy of Messrs Beazley and Rudd on Foreign Minister Downer's quibbles over the suction of the ANZUS Treaty on Australia in time of war involving our US friends.

But since I'm here, let me observe the pathetic infantility of Auntie's reporting and commentary. They were indistinguishable in this case.

The hacks trotted off to Washington to elicit official outrage at Australia's canvassing the limits to alliance friendship. They got precious little for our money, and so resorted to that computerised phrase-generator, Kevin Rudd, whose sentence compilation module is still in the workshop.

They were rewarded with a rebuke to Alexander Downer for his tastelessness in appearing to endorse the Labor Party's own half-heartedness about the US, and its hostility to Taiwan.

Bomber Beazley, the US's warmest friend on the Labor front bench, was so intoxicated by the pheromones wafting along the corridor from the Ministerial suites that he actually played along with Rudd. Isn't it pathetic.

And so, the party committed to doing its little best to undermine the constitutional reconstruction of Iraq, the most important current project of the US, with a leader who refuses to back down from his endorsement of the 'Bush is the terrorist' line of his own left-wing, is lecturing the Howard Government on how to be nice to Uncle Sam.

None of that seemed curious to Auntie's hacks. Nor did they consider for a moment that Downer's target was not the US's Taiwan policy, but the light-heartedness of President Chen Shui Bian who seems inclined to call Peking's bluff on independence.

Imagine if Rudd/Beazley had declared their outrage at the prospect of Australia not offering its support for the only significant Chinese democracy on the planet. If they had expressed their outrage at a major power threatening a smaller one for claiming the sovereignty it has exercised de facto for half as long as Australia has existed as a state. That would have been news.

I'm glad I resisted commenting on all that.