To expats abroad, and abroad locally deplaned, Throsby delineates the dastardly dissemblance of Sam Dastyari.
Intrepid headline hunters ought be relieved (but are probably disappointed) that Sam Dastyari is not a double agent, he’s just a naughty boy.
He did and said only what every Aussie snollygoster with any sense of impropriety has thought or done regarding China, our largest neighbour and trading partner. Such dealing demands a prudent degree of sucking-up due to China’s influence and regional aspirations, however much that dismays our security agencies.
Sideburns Sam’s misfortune was being the right person in the wrong place at the right time. To whit, a convenient target for battle-weary Tories whose attack boxes were neatly checked: Labor, Muslim, socialist, cheeky humourist, and (of Persian descent) a non-honkocrat. For a government in peak decline knows character assassination irresistably intoxicates presstitutes who, under such spell, are powerless to resist. Media frenzy ensues. Issues of import evaporate.
Nobody likes straight news.
Everyone loves a howling mob.
And why did some Laborites suggest Senator Dastyari resign? Well, Sam’s victimisation was clothing a stark naked LNP gummint at its moment of crowning ignominy.
So Senator Dastyari quit and, in his absence, Australian politics relapsed to the parochial farce for which it is internationally renowned.
Each flavour of press pundit has pounded Malcolm Turnbull recently… printwise, Throsby quickly adds.
So it was no surprise when, to cries of “check yer attitude,” PM Trumble sat upon the stage of ABC Television’s popular Q&A forum and sneered disdainfully at what, he had few doubts, was undiluted rabble.
Q&A is a fine newstainment affair of ordained format: a leading neoliberal figure is pumped (verbally) by an audacious non-adulatory audience whose most impertinent inquisitor is subsequently humiliated nationwide by Murdoch’s NewsCorpse – duration proportional to the temerity of his or her enquiry and vitriol proportional to how greatly the neoliberal’s feathers were ruffled by the rude ruffian.
NewsCorpse – a famous recipient of corporate tax welfare and equally renowned as oblivious to irony – invariably accuses the interrogating Q&A audience person of being a welfare cheat no matter how long the bow needs drawing to achieve this.
Lips, don’t unpurse.
And no, Malcolm did not greatly impress. His demeanour was described as combative, befitting a courtroom, cranky, a tosser perchance. Fannybaws, bellend even.
And yes, the Prime Minister really did seem rather pissed off. Throsby surmises Lucy has been nagging him, possibly for weeks, to mow the lawn, clean the gutters, or to nail down some loose boards on the jetty.
What else would drive your average Aussie millionaire to such immodest rancour?
Trumpeting for POTUS
Australia’s affectionately tolerated ambassador to Washington, Joe Hockey, raised many eyebrows and most unibrows when (in March 2017) he pleaded for Donald Trump’s sanctity by warning POTUS’ critics against constantly impugning the great man:
While pundits will seek to endlessly speculate and make definitive statements each and every day concerning the Trump administration, it is wise to avoid such speculation and instead rely on the facts.”
Well, Joe, a year later the facts are in. In a fawning fluff piece, USA Today described a president “unfit to clean toilets in the presidential library.” WaPo’s fact check says POTUS Trump has averaged five and a bit misleading or false statements each day for the last 300, a rate that by November reached nine a day.
Picking on Sloppy Joe for not being a career diplomat now looks misplaced. Our ambassador resembles the most diplomatic envoy in Washington. His “Report Card from Warshington” to the Lowy Institute on 14 December 2017 is a marvel of merchandising:
It’s an important tool in the tradecraft of diplomacy to engage in advocacy beyond the corridors of the state department or the hallowed halls of the Congress,” Emissary Hockey said.
Advocacy then took an odd turn.
Rather than changing the country,” Consul Hockey said, President Trump was “responding to some of their demands.”
Envoy Hockey boldly declared the president had not lost his core supporters and if Americans went to the polls today, he would be re-elected president.
The Tangerine Palatine’s bulldozing of regulations had increased business confidence, and the Dow Jones industrial average had increased by over 30% since Trump took the White House – nothing to do with a previous administration’s eight years.
President Trump is learning how to use the power of the office to reshape policy,” boasted his ocker evangelist.
Mr Hockey’s resolve echoed around his proud homeland with just a dash of puzzlement. Why he was representing the United States to Australia and not the other way round?