The Howard Dirt Files were renowned. But even so, the Howard years were just a foretaste of what was to follow once Labor was elected. I quote here from Miglo aka Michael Taylor’s post of September 12: Media mud chuckers.
It appears that no matter who leads the Labor Party, whether in Government or Opposition, the media always manage to dredge up some mud to throw at them.
The comparison couldn’t be more startling than at present. Where are the demands for Abbott (and a quarter of his front bench) to resign? These are not just unsubstantiated rumours from “unnamed sources”, or speculation on events from years ago, this is here and now with the rorts continuing up until the present. Where are the threats from shock-jocks to throw the perpetrators into chaff bags? Why are not Abbott’s family “dying of shame” as it was suggested that Gillard’s late father should do?
Shorten has now won the leadership of the Labor Party.
A little about Bill, born in Melbourne his father a waterside worker and unionist from Tyneside, UK. Educated at Xavier Collage, graduated in Law at Monash uni. Aside from his former role as National Secretary of the AWU, Bill is probably best known for his role in the Beaconsfield Mining Disaster.
The event was reported thus:
HE SPEAKS the language of the people; everyone is “mate”.
And he is never seen wearing anything other than the union official’s uniform, the chambray shirt and branded bomber jacket.
This week, Australian Workers Union national secretary Bill Shorten has been the public face of the Beaconsfield mine disaster. He has featured in almost every news bulletin and newspaper, has given countless news conferences and, at times, been the sole conduit of information about the mine for the media, the public and for anxious miners’ families.
He has played the hand of the “good bloke”, and won praise from both mine management, as well as miners’ families. He says the week has been a rollercoaster for him.
At the 2007 election, Bill Shorten was elected to the House of Representatives as the Labor Member for Maribyrnong and commenced his career as the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children’s Services. As Parliamentary Secretary, Shorten pushed hard for a National Disability Insurance Scheme, something which was later to become a policy of the Labor Government and passed as an Act of Parliament shortly prior to the 2013 election.
Isn’t that how you are supposed to express things? Factual information.
But not so, almost immediately the media runs a lead article titled: Labor’s Shorten experiment: the tale of ‘Showbag Bill’.
The article includes a snippets including the names and statuses of his former wife and current wife, which seems a little irrelevant but as this comment immediately followed the inevitable “power broker” descriptors, it was perhaps meant as a method of emphasis.
Shorten’s first wife, Debbie Beale, is the daughter of multimillionaire businessman and former Liberal MP Julian Beale. His current wife, Chloe, is the daughter of the Governor-General, Quentin Bryce.
Tony Wright’s article is otherwise fair and balanced. It does however give the appearance that it was written some time in advance. And why lead with such a negative title? Why is Bill Shorten “an experiment”, there is certainly nothing within the text of the article to justify not to provide any sort of explanation as to this description.
Shorten, in fact, has the gift of speaking the salty language of factory-floor workers and the smooth tones of captains of industry alike. He is a born networker and has a reputation for remembering names, whether they be union members from Adelaide or Ballarat or bosses from Sydney.
News.com on the other hand is yet to give it’s comment on the announcement of Shorten’s election to the leadership, other than this trivial and sarcastic remark:
Shorten: “Bill the Knife”, which reflects his not insignificant part in recent Labor leadership coups. Actually, he probably doesn’t answer to that name at all, but anyway.
My intuition tells me that it will be exactly as Michael predicted. Again from his topic, “Media mud chuckers”:
At the moment there aren’t too many people in the party who’d be safe from the mud chucking. But anything will do. Kissing the wrong baby in 1985 or dumping a girlfriend as a teenager would be enough get the sharks circling.
In your opinion, given my assumption that the media would want political blood, who could thus be ruled out as the person to lead Labor at the next election?
That well known manifesto of good taste and style (said with sarcasm), Larry Pickering has labelled Shorten (only when it looked likely that Shorten would win the ballot) as, “..a treacherous union thug in a white collar and red tie”. More to follow, I should imagine.