Thursday, January 31, 2008

Me and PJK, we're like that

PC on PP McGuinness at Larvatus Prodeo, January 30th:

I don’t usually believe in kicking the down any more than in trashing the newly dead, but in Carey’s case, as in PP McGuinness’s, I’m willing to make an exception.

Paul Keating on PP McGuinness in the Australian Financial Review, quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald, January 31st:

I have made it a rule never to speak ill of the dead ... I am going to break that rule in the case of Paddy McGuinness.


Bernice said...

Yes- there was something...special...about Paddy.

ocky said...

Good ol' PJK. Gotta like a bloke who says "contumely".

Stephen Hill said...

I think Bob Carr commentary is even better than Keating's piece, particularly in suggesting how an out-of-touch commentator assisted in ushering an out-of-touch government out of government through the shear ridiculous detachment of lavish praise.

As in the end it is ironic that what was expected of the Howard hagiography unit would in its need to construct a heroic figure, would in its belief in Howard's omnipotence, when it was eventually repeated as gospel would provide the grounds for little Johnnie's downfall.,25197,23129013-7583,00.html

"McGuinness's contribution was a different one and, to those of us in the Labor Party, deliciously counterproductive. He was part of a group - I call them the Angry Right - who locked John Howard into policies that ensured he was, by early 2007, seen as out of touch and out of date: climate-change denial, support for George W. Bush in Iraq, loss of workers' rights.

For 10 years, whatever Howard did or said he would be supported by a group of columnists, spread across the Australian media, none more bottled-up angry with Labor than McGuinness. If their - if his - prime minister was under criticism, they locked shields and unsheathed short arms. "This shall not pass!" they seemed to be declaring any time their man was attacked.

No prime minister has had a Praetorian Guard like it, a body of opinion-makers so fiercely and one-sidedly and resolutely in his camp. They were Howard's adulators. Malcolm Fraser, John Gorton, Harold Holt and Robert Menzies: none of them had been able to count on such consistent support from a group of commentators. And even in the end, when the electorate wanted Howard to ratify Kyoto and wind back the commitment in Iraq, the symbiotic link with the Praetorians made it impossible for the emperor to shift. And they fed and nurtured and consolidated his attachment to the orthodoxies that did him in."

feral sparrowhawk said...

So was that what he was doing in his defense of Suharto (in which Fairfax becomes responsible for the deaths of the 5 journalists, rather than the person who actually ordered their death) - not speaking ill of the dead.

Seriously, your and Keating's commentaries couldn't have been more different. You gave a valid reason for exempting McGuinness. The section that Stephen Hill quotes of Keating's piece is also fair enough, but when he gets purple on McGuinness' vituperation the pots, the pots are calling

Stephen Hill said...

I was quoting from Bob Carr's piece not Paul Keating, hopefully the link is operational.