Tim Blair


New Criterion



Thursday, October 14, 2004
Can you believe this? Tonight The 7.30 Report runs a half-hour special on Peter Garrett's election campaign, a soft-soaping, challenge-free, Australian Story kind of puff piece that gives Parachute Pete every opportunity to comment on himself and his gift of himself to the Labor Party without mentioning, even in passing, that the result of all this self-promotion was a swing of just 0.1 % to the ALP. In a city seat crammed with greens.

Apart from Pete's own voice-over the only other comments allowed were from Garrett mates, notably the green activist Peter Toyne, who couldn't even bother to get his hair dye right for the occasion.

But the dream lives, because Mark Latham came good on his deposit on Parachute Pete with a forest policy that even Lord Bob-Brown could not seriously fault. We've now got time to get our "heads around" that, says Pete.

Toyne worries that the cruelties of an unfeeling world, represented by such obscenely immoral impositions as "Parliamentary procedure", will crush Pete's idealism. No worries, Peter T, Mr Shaky has already proved he can perform whatever contortions ambition demands.

Considering that Peter Garrett has one tenth of the political wit of Mark Latham, and has failed to deliver electoral success through his reputation, his real problem, like Latham's, lies in himself. Will his Caucus colleagues ever promote Pete from the back-bench?