Politicians and forbidden sex

16 May

If you happened to be looking for a good curse to put on someone for a reason that makes sense to you, you couldn’t go much further than wishing an unfaithful partner on them. There’s nothing quite like the upheaval  of discovering a partner’s infidelity to rock your world in just about every way, and none of it feels good. It is an excruciating form of suffering and rather common, though when in its throes one feels entirely alone, and as if this has never happened to anyone else quite as badly as it’s happening to you.

I’m thinking long these lines after reading the latest story about “our secure marriage that withstands the pressures of political life,” this time from Bill and Chloe Shorten last weekend. The allegedly ugly and unspecified rumours are not for me to repeat, given my already tenuous legal situation. Let’s just say infidelity is one of the major temptations in many partnerships. Rumours of unfaithfulness often send public figures into a virtual frenzy of indignant denial, as well as what some might think of as unseemly revelations of their enduring closeness and commitment no matter what difficulties they encounter.

In the intimate and rarefied atmosphere of political life, sexual temptation must inevitably rear its enticing head. It can and does manifest in any workplace, often due to little more than proximity, however, throw in the tensions and hyper-excitement  of life lived in the political bubble and you have ideal conditions in which lust can thrive.

Sex is lovely. Sex is relief. Sex is gratification. Sex can make you feel better when nothing else can. Sex is celebration: think of the victory root on somebody’s office desk. It is also consolation, when everything is going wrong and people hate you. Really, there’s not much sex doesn’t ease, albeit temporarily.

Is it any of our business if politicians are sexually unfaithful to their partners? There’s a good argument on this here, and some comments are interesting as well. I think whether its our business or not is largely out of our control: some of us will make it our business, the media will make it our business, a jilted lover will  make it our business, a scorned partner will make it our business, a love child will make it our business, and so on. In short, if you are a politician and you have an affair there is the most enormous likelihood that we will find out about it and judge you, generally in the negative.

We are hard on our politicians, and perhaps rightly so. Many of them seduce us with their “family values” and their claims of moral integrity. We are not pleased when they are revealed to have feet of clay. In the popular imagination the unfaithful partner is harshly judged: there are those among us for whom infidelity is practically a hanging offence. An unfaithful politician is doubly judged, perhaps. If she/he is willing to go to such lengths to deceive those closest, why should we trust them in public office? It’s a reasonable question, but of course people are infinitely capable of compartmentalising, and how they conduct themselves in their private lives need have nothing to do with how they behave publicly. John Howard, for example, was a devoted family man and cared about the Aussie battlers. He had no compunction at all, however, about locking up refugees and their children indefinitely for the fabricated crime of seeking asylum.

A politician should be aware that if she or he undertakes an illicit affair, the fall out might be catastrophically public. Not only will they have a devastated partner and maybe family, a possible jilted lover and all the rest of the accoutrements of infidelity, they’ll have the public to contend with as well. There is nothing that can be done to protect them from these outcomes. They are on their own. Whether it’s our business or not, we’ll all have an opinion.

Of course many partnerships survive infidelity, some even claim to have be strengthened by the trauma. But political careers? Well, Bill Clinton’s survived. I’d advise pollies to think very carefully before they embark on an affair, but that would be a waste of time. The very hallmark of the affair is that one does not generally enter into it through using one’s head. Its another part of the anatomy entirely that’s involved.

 

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59 Responses to “Politicians and forbidden sex”

  1. gerard oosterman May 16, 2012 at 9:27 am #

    It remains a typical Anglo obsession to snoop around other peoples lives. If we were more open and less obsessed with ‘privacy’ and lived our lives communally and inclusively with others we would not be so keen to ferret around other peoples lives…
    Why is it that the phone hacking in the UK was so prevalent. It would be of much less interest anywhere else if someone entered a Re-hab. or if Andrew Beiber changed his partner and looked a bit pale.
    French presidents always have extra-marital affairs and the Italian leaders all love rubbing coconut oil on nubile girls. It is not a big deal and people are not so curious about others that hey would want to read about it every week-end. They yawn about things that make the Anglos get so over excited by.

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    • samjandwich May 16, 2012 at 10:04 am #

      Yep, I’ll second that… however one exception that I’m aware of is the gay community – if such a unitary thing exists. Many of the gay couples I’ve known (not least my uncle and his partner) seem to be very successful in negotiating the “open relationship” thing, allowing each person the freedom to have temporary dalliances with whoever else catches their eye while at the same time being able to maintain the integrity of their “primary” relationship… and even swapping notes on the virtues or otherwise of their various flings and using this knowledge to enhance their own sex lives. I don’t know how much of this is due to openness, how much might be related to gender (unsurprisingly I hesitate to say this, but I do have the impression that men are more likely to have fewer scruples about extra-relationship sex, or concerns about their partner doing same, whereas when I recently had a conversation about this with a female friend of mine she related that the very idea of this happening almost makes her want to cry), and how much is cultural expectation.

      I’m not sure you could say Bill Clinton’s career survived. From my perspective he’s pretty tainted… to the extent that whenever I see him I can’t help but think about how much his nose resembles a penis!-/

      But, er, what would we think about gay politicians being unfaithful??

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      • Jennifer Wilson May 16, 2012 at 11:20 am #

        But is he tainted because he had the affair or because he so vigourously denied it? My complaint with Clinton was that he lied and lied and lied again about Lewinsky, not that he had some sexual fumbling with her in the Oval Office.

        I agree with your observations about some gay relationships, but I have known of very bad situations when lesbians have played away. I’ve also know men who’ve gone quite nuts when female partners have strayed.

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    • hudsongodfrey May 16, 2012 at 10:39 am #

      I also saw this in the papers this morning

      http://www.theage.com.au/world/cave-women-in-a-different-light-20120515-1yp30.html

      An unsurprising acknowledgement perhaps of what any schoolboy probably suspected when we were told these things were fertility symbols that perhaps contained ancient religious symbolism!

      As to Jennifer’s article I think that there’s a lot more to be said about how we deal with double standards that are often quite sexist when applied to people in public life.

      I’ve often joked that as the leader of the free world most American men probably thought that if Bill Clinton couldn’t partake of a Blow Job then they’re chances weren’t good.

      Stephen Fry tells a story about a scandal in the 1950s about a backbench MP who was caught in St. James’s Park having sex with a Guardsman. When Churchill – Prime Minister at the time – was told it was one of the coldest February nights in 30 years he said, “Makes you proud to be British.”

      The serious side of that is that the double standard isn’t redressed as many it seems would urge us to to by chastising Clinton. What we need to do instead is get over our silly childish obsession with prurience. I suspect that when we make the kinds of jokes about prominent women that we can make about men in powerful or privileged positions taking sexual liberties then maybe we’ll know that our psychology as a society has evolved beyond the kind of stupid leering fascination that may once have lead cavemen to point and stare at the traced outline of a vulva on a stone wall and still fascinates the tabloids today.

      I think it is sad (though perhaps true) to read Jennifer saying that “A politician should be aware that if she or he undertakes an illicit affair, the fall out might be catastrophically public”. That this presents a “catastrophe” is the source of my disappointment.

      There’s an underlying bias towards the puritanical view that all sex is illicit and should perhaps only be permitted by exception within relationships that are designed to be procreative rather than as an affirmation of our human need to gratify and be gratified by one another. That we so readily devalue the latter in this way is perhaps one of the most disappointing things we’re liable to encounter in life.

      I want to live in a society where if Julia Gillard chooses to do the finger-cuffs thing from Chasing Amy, then we either take no interest at all or express a faint sense of jealousy. For those who didn’t catch that movie (the non Kevin Smith fans in our midst) it’s just a colourful description of a threesome.

      We don’t have to be told that if fidelity is granted and expected between two people then of course infidelity is wrong. And while I might rue double standards that would set politicians apart from the rest of us I do think that we ought also be adult enough to recognise that the punishment people in public office receive in terms of their peccadilloes being “exposed” is disproportionate to the crime.

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      • Jennifer Wilson May 16, 2012 at 11:14 am #

        I have said on occasion that some politicians would never have an affair because they don’t have that much imagination. There is something rather appealing in a person who is, in certain circumstances, capable of disregarding the consequences and just doing it. The triumph of desire over reason! Which is not to minimise the consequences for everyone caught up in illicit affairs.

        I agree the subtext is that all sex is illicit and can only be permitted in sanctioned relationships designed for procreation. That would seem to be the dominant view, given the public hostility towards well-known figures (not just polllies) who “cheat.”

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        • samjandwich May 16, 2012 at 11:53 am #

          Yes point taken about jilted men, re connections with domestic violence etc etc… but then to my mind these people don’t really deserve the title “men”.

          For me it isn’t so much to do with the fact that Bill Clinton lied, but that what I imagined to be lively and engaging charisma on his part was all of a sudden exposed as just plain sleaze. And now for whatever reason I just get the impression that that’s one of his primary motivating forces. He just comes across that way.

          Barack Obama, now he’s completely different. Remember this photo? http://davidpelliott.wordpress.com/2009/07/11/eyes-to-the-right/ Now there’s a man whose ability to compartmentalise remains steadfastly intact! and maybe you could say, if someone can let their desires get the better of them occasionally, but without going over the top, they come across as classy, whereas once a particular line is crossed the mistique just evaporates. Former Senator John Edwards also comes to mind.

          But then, do politicians face the dilemma of becoming sexy just because they’re powerful? Julia doesn’t do it for me, granted, but Christine Lagarde, Angela Merkel, Lara Giddings… would having an affair with me do their careers any harm?! sigh.

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          • helvityni May 16, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

            Does Hillary Clinton get you excited, Sam? I used to fancy a French Finance Minister some years ago (can’t remember his name anymore), but otherwise I can’t see the politicians of any country as overtly sexually attractive…
            I agree with Gerard that we should leave our politicians and their possible peccadilloes well alone, not interested.
            I expect them to be truthful about important political issues, but they can keep and even lie about their little love affairs.

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            • samjandwich May 16, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

              If onl;y everyone was as sensible as you Helvi! Alas all the voters care for these days is scandal. Craig Thompson may be a silly little boy who has done something very naughty, but as to how someone could cite that particular affair as a reason to support an Abbott government is beyond me.

              I’m not going to answer your question though. I wouldn’t want poor Jennifer to write a serious article about this subject only to have it become a list of who’s hot 0_o

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            • Jennifer Wilson May 16, 2012 at 5:56 pm #

              I don’t think there’s any of them I’d write home about, Helvi. I think it’s unreasonable to expect politicians to be more or less unfaithful than any other person. Most people don’t have their affairs broadcast across the media and subject to public judgement. This stuff is only really interesting when it’s people you know, and then only for a little while! Like five minutes.

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        • hudsongodfrey May 16, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

          I guess the thought that I’d try and develop along those lines is to ask what happens if the way Hilary has to find out about Bill’s carry on is through the media, or even if she prefers to deal with him privately on her own terms. That prerogative is taken away from her when the public are invited to critique not just his morals but hers by inference if she doesn’t provide a “reassuring” enough level of outrage to satisfy people whose business this really is not!

          Did Clinton lie to the public. Yes obviously. But he was pretty much required to do that for political reasons. Maybe we could also speculate as to how genuine Hilary’s reactions were. For all we know she knew more and cared less for the fact that her dolt of a husband strayed than that he had the unmitigated stupidity to get caught at it (again) thus causing her credentials as a wife to be embarrassingly scrutinised. And who would blame her for that?

          Ultimately the criticism to be made of this is simply how unkind and unnecessary this modern for of muck-raking has become. Even in a Victorian age when moral scrutiny was at a level we regard these days as terribly straight laced and prudish, it seems to me that they at least had the decency not to treat sexual indiscretion as a matter for public sport.

          In a modern more liberated sense I think some kind of concession to partners and families of indiscreet public figures ought to extend to the view that maybe what matters to the marriage or the fabric of family life isn’t always who you screw so much as who you come home to.

          Having an issue with whether they get “caught’ or not is different from catching someone and taking the liberty to use it to discredit them politically or otherwise without regard for the consequences to their partner or family.

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          • Jennifer Wilson May 16, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

            Like you, I imagine a world in which none of this sexual scrutiny is necessary. I have no idea how this might be achieved.
            The problem with your penultimate para is that the person you’re screwing may not see it that way! I’ve heard horrible stories of long-term lovers being unable to attend funerals, and being unable to grieve in any public way at all because they’ve haven’t been the ones “come home to.” The “public” that latches on to these sexual peccadilloes is likely equally made up of adulterers, lovers, and betrayed partners, each of whom has their own set of grievances, guilts and resentments.

            What’s inescapable is the strong emotion attached to this stuff. I think it was Nietzsche who said that morality is all about emotions. We decide something is good or bad by the way it makes us feel. I don’t know if it’s that simple, but I think there’s something to it. How can this be bad when it feels so good, is a complication!

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            • hudsongodfrey May 16, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

              Yes I totally agree that the person being screwed ought to have a say in the matter. I was just trying to get to the point that even if the person doing the screwing around is a politician I don’t consider it a matter for public scrutiny. Not when that scrutiny makes it worse for all of the people involved including those who may have been wronged.

              Indeed the grieving process that you mention raises the quite difficult question as to whether people are grieving for the loss of a relationship are better or not to simultaneously grieve publicly for the losses of status and identity that relationship may have afforded them. Certainly my feeling is it isn’t fair to force that upon them. My feeling is that it’s nobody else’s business unless the people involved invite people, who they’ll usually trust, into their confidence for their help or support.

              As for Nietzsche I think he did have it half right if the science I’ve seen around emotional intelligence is worth believing. I don’t think it in any sense excuses us in too many circumstances failing to filter our initial emotional responses through the moderating influence of our rationality though. Everyone knows not to cheat if they’ve committed to another person.

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            • helvityni May 16, 2012 at 7:58 pm #

              You are right, Hudson, it’s nobody else’s business but the two cocerned, and in my books this goes for the polticians as well..

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        • Marilyn May 16, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

          Craig Emerson did it with Julia Gillard and Ross Cameron did it with some unknown woman while his wife was pregnant with twins.

          Sex is the oldest pastime known to man, why do people get into such a tizz about it.

          I walked out on a bried marriage in my 20’s because there was a smorgasboard of lovely men out there in the world.

          I have no regrets and I didn’t hurt anyone on the way.

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          • Jennifer Wilson May 16, 2012 at 8:44 pm #

            Craig Emerson did it with Julia Gillard? I don’t know anything.

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            • Hypocritophobe May 16, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

              It’s not surprising really.I mean Labor pollies are as human as the rest of us, and as such may have sex with the same species now and then.

              Whereas the …..conservatives?………. well……well
              Are animals safe , inanimate objects, food? etc etc.

              I believe there was a time in the UK when the country almost ran out of man sized fish-net stockings and you couldn’t buy an orange for love nor money.There were droves of people in the Party too scared to turn their back on a wooden chair and a fellow Tory!
              It may have coincided with the time Downer was over there. Not sure ?????

              No wonder they’re so tightly wound.

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              • Jennifer Wilson May 17, 2012 at 6:55 am #

                And now an over-stimulated Paul Howse tweets last night that “if it wasn’t inappropriate I’d like to dry hump Bill Kelty.”

                A Brokeback Mountain moment for Paul.

                BTW I’m crossing the border into Queensland this morning. I’ll be gone a few days. I hope to get my family out this time.

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            • Marilyn May 17, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

              they had an affair in Parliament, who cares?

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  2. Ray (novelactivist) May 16, 2012 at 12:05 pm #

    I suggest people read ‘Sex at Dawn’ which more than adequately explains that monogamy is not natural. This obsession with monogamy is not just an anglo obsession, its a modern obsession. In times past it was common for (at least for the well to do) to have a mistress, including royalty and politicians.

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    • hudsongodfrey May 16, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

      Apparently animals are gay as well. And good luck to them by the way.

      On the other hand just because they Praying mantis bites her partners head off is no recommendation to any human equivalent.

      I think if we get to choose the form relationships should take that best suits us by mutual agreement then its probably all good. The matter here is that some people also feel that community approval of their unions is important while others just want to say that community disapproval is quite unkind and not at all necessary. I’m very much with the latter group though I’m happy for people to express and accept positive support from others when it is offered.

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    • Hypocritophobe May 16, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

      Religion is not natural either, Ray.
      (Nothing MORE unnatural.It’s a crutch for the lazy)
      Very popular,though.

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  3. gerard oosterman May 16, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

    Of course, the neuroses to remain so obsessilly hidden don’t mean that we are not curious in finding out what others are doing. It is a double edged sword. Make something hidden and we will inevitably want to snoop around, if only to find out if others are like us as well. This is why people were paid to do all this phone hacking.

    Finally it becomes an addiction, hence those awful Anglo Sunday papers revealing who is doing the latest stint in a re-hab., or who is looking suspiciously pregnant and not even married to boot. That close up between those child-bearing hips of Gina, is it proof of a Brazilian wax, surely not? Gee, doesn’t Lord Far Tarse look flushed, did he just do it, or is he back hitting the crack-ice?

    For the Murdoch Empire it was a colossal and monumental opportunity of money making. It worked while it was going on. And now, the spectacle of Rebekah Brooks with her lovely tousled red hair will be another one of those continuing sagas, raking in even more money.
    Go for it boys.

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  4. gerard oosterman May 16, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

    NB: new spelling for obsessively.

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  5. gerard oosterman May 16, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

    This side is acting strangely,I am going to make a nice risotto instead.

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  6. Hypocritophobe May 16, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

    Some Light Reading
    (It relates to Pollies and sex, if you consider that if the shit hits the fan completely,
    British PM Cameron may be screwed, as result!

    http://www.thepowerindex.com.au/power-fail/rebekah-brooks-charged-and-could-face-time/201205151360

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    • Jennifer Wilson May 16, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

      Thanks Hypo, that fills in a few gaps for me. I wonder if Brooks is about to find out that prison isn’t the holiday camp her newspapers often allege. The irony! Trial by media! She won’t get a fair trial, Charlie claims. Oh, my. Could almost make me believe in karma.

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      • Hypocritophobe May 16, 2012 at 6:23 pm #

        And if she does go inside she will have to practically be in solitary 24/7.
        With her long flowing ruby locks and connection to the wealth of Murdoch, she will be a moving feast.
        Not to mention the long list of enemies made via her years of Rupert’s rag production.

        I have not been welded to the entire coverage of this,but I have certainly not seen,smelled,or heard too much remorse (let alone the genuine kind) for the victims of the tabloid drive for cash by sensationalism, at any cost.
        (Nor is the push for a few questions in Aussie media going fwd.Suffice to say Holmes has usual apologist puff piece on show today.It looks like he sees himself as a one man army standing before the, forming of a fully independent high powered media watchdog.Why he pushes for continued self-regulation is a mystery)
        ____________________________________________________________
        This whole Brooks/Murdoch NOTW saga has mini series written all over it.
        Nicole to play Brooks?
        Hugh for Lachy?
        Rupert could play himself.
        His appearance at the enquiries so far was worthy.
        😉

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  7. doug quixote May 16, 2012 at 6:46 pm #

    It is a vexed question, Jennifer. It is the alpha males who seek political office, and they are just the men who are the most highly sexed and highly motivated, as well as being attractive to most women; the more powerful the male, the more attractive.

    We really do need to rethink our attitude to the holier-than-thou attitudes so prevalent in the USA in the UK and apparently in Australia as well. The Europeans seem more relaxed about it, and their attitude is the preferable one.

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  8. doug quixote May 16, 2012 at 6:53 pm #

    On the likelihood that few look back into the archive, I will put this here :

    “My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice. And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.”

    Adolf Hitler, April 12, 1922. From The speeches of Adolf Hitler

    Obviously a great Christian, and one the right wing Christians can revere.

    Puke.

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  9. samjandwich May 17, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

    Wow, 28 comments and still no mention of Dominique Strauss-Kahn!

    I’m sort of wondering – and this picks up on something Hudson said above – whether this issue is not so much to do with sex or infidelity, as it is epistemically more closely related to politicians’ lies. Are politicians’ lies different from those of people who are not there to represent us? Is it perhaps the case that when someone like Bill Clinton denies what has alledgedly taken place with “that woman”, that he is simply following a process which is already determined by his position… and it may be the case that trust in a politician is damaged if they are seen to be deceiving their partner, but is that a lesser form of damage to our confidence in someone than an admission of failure, ie saying “yes I did have an affair”?

    Again referencing our friend Hudson, I just always think these situations come back to us needing to filter and scrutinize our own emotional/personal reaction to situations and to ensure that we are aware of the origin of our beliefs. And if you’re going to have an affair, at least warn your partner first!

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    • doug quixote May 18, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

      I mentioned (quoted) Hitler – that, by tradition, ends the thread!

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      • Hypocritophobe May 18, 2012 at 7:11 pm #

        DQ

        You could almost interchange Howard’s name in that tradition (for Australia).
        He must have the same level of hate directed at him (pro rata.)
        (More if you add in Pete Costellos share.)

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        • doug quixote May 18, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

          Speaking of the toad, he was being interviewed tonight and it seems he is the voice of reason these days. . . .perhaps, compared to Mr Rabbitt and the Rabbitters, he is.

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      • hudsongodfrey May 18, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

        Godwin says hello!

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  10. Hypocritophobe May 18, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

    Never mind forbidden sex

    http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/business/media-2/tony-abbott-and-rupert-murdoch/

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  11. doug quixote May 18, 2012 at 8:58 pm #

    Did anyone see Bob Carr interviewed by Uhlmann? Carr has already mastered his brief and left the Uhl with little room for manoeuvre.

    The quality of the Labor ministers is far beyond that of the opposition shadows in almost every case.

    The opposition are simply unelectable.

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    • Hypocritophobe May 18, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

      Apologies DQ,
      But….
      (Unless and until he returned to his previous human form) There are 2 occasions I would deliberately cast a glance in Uhlmann’s direction.
      (1) If I had an object jammed in my throat which could only be dislodged by an upchuck the size of a blue whales morning sickness barf.

      Or

      (2) I was suffering terminal turgidity by way of a month long titanium hardened erection which needed instant deflation (for obvious medical reasons).
      His interviewing style could easily induce both scenarios in a fail safe and instantaneous fashion.

      I have no doubt if someone were to present a reality TV Show entitled
      “PREDICTABLE ENNUI” – ‘Is it Bat Shit or Paint Drying?’,
      clips of his interviewing style would adorn every promo.

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      • doug quixote May 19, 2012 at 7:44 am #

        Bob Ellis has a mantra : never comment on a book you haven’t read, nor on a film you haven’t seen.

        Good advice, yes?

        I think it should go for interviews as well, Hypo.

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        • Hypocritophobe May 19, 2012 at 10:44 am #

          Goodo DQ.
          He’s doing INTERVIEWS now?

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          • samjandwich May 19, 2012 at 6:56 pm #

            I agree actually. Of the little Uhlmannism I have subjected myself to, he’s hardly what you’d call impressive.

            Bring back Jane Hutcheon!!

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            • Steve at the Pub May 21, 2012 at 8:39 am #

              On the contrary, Chris Uhlmann is one of the better television interviewers of his time.
              I’d knock my knees were I about to be interviewed by him, which wouldn’t happen were I to be about to face his ABC compadres Tony Jones, Kerry O’Brien etc.

              You’ll have to reserve judgement on him until after a change of government. If he then gives easy rides to the Liberal party (as per the usual ABC soft questioning of the ALP) THEN get stuck into him.

              Asking actual questions of the ALP seems to be what Uhlmann is being pilloried for.
              It is merely him being professional.

              The jump in interest in the 7.30 report over Christmas/New Year when Kerry O’Brien (then still the main presenter of 7.30) went on holidays, was a clear & resounding measure of the contrast between Uhlmann’s professionalism & O’Brien’s tired fawning to the ALP.

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            • Hypocritophobe May 21, 2012 at 10:36 am #

              @ Steve because there is no comment button.

              Bullshit.
              The last 2 so called interviews I watched him do were an exercise in pro Liberal rudeness and arrogance which insulted journalism.Namely Gillard and Brown.
              Brown bit back and rightly told Uhlmann he was sprouting his chaff like an opposition PR spinner,which seems to be his penchant these days.
              I know how bad he is and how one eyed he is.Your defence has just iced the cake for me.
              You seem to confuse rude with brusque and accusatory for investigative.

              Methinks you need to invest in a better thesaurus.

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            • Steve at the Pub May 21, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

              Hypo: “Bullshit” rather accurately summarises most of what you write. You exhibit a remarkable degree of self-awareness there! I didn’t think you had it in you.

              Bob Brown is noted more than anything else for his petulance when asked hard questions. Presumably this is a legacy of some 20-odd years of fawning & soft pedalling by the press corps. So Uhlmann asked some actual, you know, questions of Bob Brown. That is what every journalist who has ever interviewed Bob Brown is supposed to have done, and instead has abrogated their responsibility to the public.

              It is understandable that when you back a team, & they have failed, that the inner partisan would want to censor questioning of that team. However in an adult world politicians whose failures have impacted heavily on the nation, SHOULD be required to explain themselves.

              Why should the ALP get a free pass and avoid hard questions, when conservative politicians face a malestrom whenever they are questioned?

              The only outcome from that is the conservative politicians are tempered into a far superior grade of advocate. Is that what you want to achieve?

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            • doug quixote May 22, 2012 at 7:20 am #

              To Steve, at a Pub or not : I must agree with Hypo on this one, ‘Bullshit’ is a little too strong a word for that post, but Uhlmann generally is a waste of space.

              Bob Carr handled him so well he was a tame pussycat. Hypo missed a treat of an interview. It is the interviewee and not the interviewer that should make the running.

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  12. 730reportland May 18, 2012 at 10:49 pm #

    Dragonista has a new post of similar theme
    http://dragonistasblog.com/2012/05/18/is-an-unfaithful-politician-fit-for-office/

    I commented there, enjoy.

    Like

    • doug quixote May 19, 2012 at 7:28 am #

      Not impressed, 7.30. Women just don’t get it : alpha males are the ones who have always made up the class, the group, from which our political leaders come.

      For thousands of years these highly motivated and highly sexed individuals have been the leaders, the kings, the grand viziers, the chiefs the presidents.

      If we want to eradicate them from leadership positions that is another issue.

      Alpha males are powerful, highly sexed and usually highly attractive to most women; even the ugly ones have an attraction through power, wealth and force of personality.

      That women seek them out is no surprise; and that most of them are not saints is also surely no surprise.

      We need to consider these issues afresh.

      Like

  13. doug quixote May 19, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

    Readers are invited to attend :

    http://www.ellistabletalk.com/

    where I have a star turn examining Shakespeare (!)

    Like

    • Hypocritophobe May 19, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

      DQ
      I had a peek.
      The infiltration of certain fora bacteria put me off commenting over yonder.
      It sure gets around.

      Like

      • doug quixote May 19, 2012 at 6:40 pm #

        There are always bacteria; apparently we all carry around a kilogram of them!

        Our job is to sort out the wheat from the chaff, the goats from the sheep – after all, there is noplaceforsheep.

        Like

  14. Marilyn May 19, 2012 at 6:25 pm #

    I fail to understand why fucking someone is more disturbing that starting an illegal war and murdering 1 million human beings who might like to have fucked and been fucked at some point but never will.

    Without fucking there is no life.

    Like

    • samjandwich May 19, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

      Marilyn, can I ask you a serious question?

      You obviously have quite a lot of disdain for the vast majority of human beings and the way their stupid, unnecessary weaknesses so often cause them to comprehensively fuck other people’s lives up. And yet you manage to maintain your engagement in and your efforts to change this world that obviously disappoints you so much.

      What keeps you going??

      Like

  15. Marilyn May 20, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

    Rage at the stupidity of human beings.

    Like the three cretins in the guise of journalists today – Grattan, Penberthy and Akerman claiming that Thomson is a scandalous cad and liar even though Thomson has been cleared by the AEC of the only thing he could ever have been charged with.

    And the voice of a much loved 7 year old child’s last ever words to me as we deported her illegally to Pakistan on false papers after 4 years in prison here “”shoot me grandma Marily, the taliban will get me”.

    Tends to focus the mind on human rights – even those of grubs like Bill Heffernan.

    Like

    • helvityni May 20, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

      You are a good human being, Marilyn.

      Like

      • samjandwich May 21, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

        Yes, and what I admire is that you can keep a clear focus on the issues despite the rage. Not many people can do that.

        Like

  16. annodyne May 22, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    1. Marilyn above – I do hope that child is safe today.
    2. Blog etiquette: must one read all Comments before commenting? I have forgotten the post at this stage … except I think this is the key question
    3. ‘If she/he is willing to go to such lengths to deceive those closest, why should we trust them in public office? ‘
    4. but I held J M Fraser in higher regard after his Nashcapade of the Lincoln Motel. The classy thing is to SAY NOTHING.

    Like

    • Jennifer Wilson May 22, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

      Goodness, I totally forgot Malcolm lost his trousers incident. I don’t think we have a blog etiquette. Perhaps I should think one up? Nah. I have to focus on my response to the Collective Shout attack on the Lingerie Football League.

      Like

      • samjandwich May 22, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

        There’s a lingerie football league?! Where do I sign up??

        Like

        • Jennifer Wilson May 22, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

          You can only be a spectator. Nobody has come to grips yet with the idea of blokes playing football in lingerie. Personally I would love to see the Swans in red knickers and nothing else because those boys have spectacular arses.

          Like

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