Hockey, Lawler, Jackson: the self aggrandisement of the the mediocre

22 Oct

Folie a deux


On Monday’s episode of Four Corners, we witnessed the destructive power of excessive self-belief as expressed in the folie à deux performed for us by Kathy Jackson and Michael Lawler.

I don’t think it’s  all that unusual for some couples to bond on the basis of the beliefs of one or another of them. I’ve known several whose raison d’être is one party’s (usually in heterosexual relationships the man’s) perceived talents, ambitions, goals and characteristics, all of which are fiercely supported by their partner, to the exclusion of clarity of mind and thought. Shared delusions form the basis of many a partnership.

The Lawler/Jackson combo is an exception to the usual, given that in their case, the man has almost entirely capitulated to the female’s fantasy of herself as noble, self-sacrificial and as a consequence, persecuted. Indeed, Lawler admitted that others may view him as “cunt struck,” a term with which I was entirely unfamiliar before Monday evening, but one which I am as taken with as I was when I first heard the term “rat fucker” from the moist and fleshy lips of former PM and excessive self-believer, Kevin Rudd.

I personally don’t give a rat’s rooted arse what happens to either Lawler or Jackson, and if any man or woman fawned over me as did Lawler over Jackson, I’d tell them to fuck off and get out of my face, but there you are, I’m ungrateful and like my boundaries.

What is most disturbing about the Four Corners intimate expose of the couple is that two such banal and emotionally immature individuals can bring so much chaos and grief to so many others. I mean, if you’re going to be done over by someone, at least let that someone have a bit of class. To be done over by people entirely lacking in any kind of calibre adds insult to injury, for mine.

Which brings me nicely to Joe Hockey’s valedictory speech. Talk about self-belief, or rather self-aggrandisement. The man is convinced, like his former boss Tony Abbott, that he leaves behind him a significant and worthwhile legacy. Colour me smashed Italian marble table.

All in all, I weep for the mediocrity of those who would be our leaders. We deserve better. Or perhaps we don’t. Perhaps we are all in a bubble of self-delusion, thinking ourselves greater than we can ever be. Perhaps our leaders accurately reflect the self-importance and entitlement of a nation that increasingly considers itself above the trials and tribulations of the rest of the world, for no reason other than it just is.



40 Responses to “Hockey, Lawler, Jackson: the self aggrandisement of the the mediocre”

  1. Heather October 22, 2015 at 10:08 am #

    Nail on the head. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

    • helvityni October 22, 2015 at 11:02 pm #

      One way of expressing your sorrow of losing your preferred PM, is to dance on an Italian marble coffee table and break it; this could only happen in Oz.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) October 22, 2015 at 11:00 am #

    A mediocre head space:

    For colour to the legacy.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The Nurdler October 22, 2015 at 12:06 pm #

    You’ve nailed it, we get what we deserve….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Geoff Andrews October 22, 2015 at 12:58 pm #

    Even the Sydney Morning Herald agrees with you about Hockey, Jennifer:

    I don’t read the SMH so I’m not aware of Michael Pascoe’s writings but I’m having a wild guess that this article has a hint of hypocrisy about it plus a knife neatly under the shoulder blade.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn October 23, 2015 at 8:51 pm #

      Pascoe and Gittins have both been bagging Sloppy Joe for years, both excellent economics reporters.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. doug quixote October 22, 2015 at 7:01 pm #

    Bravo! Well said, Guinevere.

    Poor Joe, he really seems to believe his own bullshit.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. dave2718 October 22, 2015 at 9:23 pm #

    A pretty famous quote from 1964 in Donald Horne’s Lucky Country starts” Australia is a lucky country run mainly by second-rate people who share its luck.” Seems some things have not changed all that much.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. samjandwich October 22, 2015 at 9:57 pm #

    I just watched the the 4 corners report and I honestly couldn’t understand why it is that the people involved/implicated could imagine that whatever it is they’ve been involved with could be at all significant. Storm in a million dollar teacup perhaps, but a teacup nonetheless.

    And er, I thought the journalist was gorgeous

    Liked by 1 person

    • doug quixote October 23, 2015 at 7:17 am #

      Are you cuntstruck?

      Liked by 2 people

    • Jennifer Wilson October 23, 2015 at 9:12 am #

      Bloody hell Sam
      I edited that

      Liked by 1 person

      • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) October 24, 2015 at 8:47 am #

        Blown to hell and gone, as it were.

        Liked by 1 person

      • samjandwich October 24, 2015 at 11:12 am #

        Owh, I’ve noticed recently I’ve been going through a phase of being overly ironic! To be honest I’m not sure where it comes from and I’m not really sure whether it sits particularly well with me. Must look into that.

        Ultimately I quite agree with Hudson’s analysis below. It actually wasn’t a particularly incisive report. probably still should declare that I might have got a bit distracted!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jennifer Wilson October 24, 2015 at 1:07 pm #

          It didn’t sound like usual you, but hell, everybody’s entitled to experiment Sam. 🙂


    • helvityni October 23, 2015 at 10:31 am #

      Sam ,I always thought you were Samantha. Well, you all got to agree that she was rather attractive…?

      Liked by 1 person

      • samjandwich October 24, 2015 at 11:15 am #

        I’ll take that as a compliment Helvi! Though I’m sure there would be many Samanthas out there who feel the same way…

        Liked by 1 person

  8. hudsongodfrey October 23, 2015 at 1:29 am #

    I found the Four Corners report to be a poor one. It might be the sort of thing that passes for human interest on the ABC’s other Australian Story program, but for a vehicle that’s known for serious journalism there was virtually no exposition of the facts involved in the case. Far too much time was spent dwelling on the rantings of two quite traumatised individuals, be it as it may they seem to have brought that hardship upon themselves. I presumed Ms Jackson to be either sedated for her own medical well-being or uncharacteristically restrained perhaps as a ruse. Either way her demeanor sat so completely at odds with that of anyone who could possibly have risen to a position of prominence in a union that I felt at times inclined to spare her and myself the ordeal.

    Joe Hockey, stuck me as being a bit like the office temp repeatedly promoted above the level of his competence. The kind of worker whose supervisors move them on to anywhere where they can be somebody else’s problem. Eventually he became Abbott’s, and Tony was too economically dim to spot it until far too late.

    Forrest’s tweet of the Shrek Cartoon was excellent BTW.

    I hope we get another Democratic Presidency if Joe Hockey is to be our man in Washington. I worry that our Joe would be out of his depth yet again with some of that country’s harder edged Republicans.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson October 23, 2015 at 2:28 pm #

      I read an extract of Hockey’s speech after I’d written this piece, otherwise I would have included it.
      The rhetoric of self importance, stolen from Churchill…

      Liked by 1 person

      • hudsongodfrey October 23, 2015 at 6:07 pm #

        Still no original ideas then!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn October 23, 2015 at 8:52 pm #

      I think the fact that Caro let the two criminal clowns rant until the hung themselves with their own criminality was the strength of the program.

      Liked by 1 person

      • hudsongodfrey October 23, 2015 at 9:39 pm #

        Maybe you have a point. You may be better attuned to the vibe of the thing than I such that the sense I got that they were merely disingenuous translated into a gotcha moment for you.

        When I viewed the program I was waiting for the investigative side of journalism to refute their claims in fact. There was apparently a five hour videoed deposition/rant that surely might provide a contradiction or two. Not to mention the findings in courts and the Royal Commission. That there were a number questions that obviously went unasked leads me to suspect certain topics might have been off limits in a deal of a kind that brings an extra layer of skepticism into play.

        So I came to the piece with no basis for trusting and wasn’t shown anything to change that circumstance. Maybe you can help us fill in the gaps as to why they’d go on national TV with such an unconvincing story if your agenda was presumably to be redeemed in the public eye?

        Liked by 1 person

        • doug quixote October 24, 2015 at 10:50 pm #

          They believe their own bullshit. Or rather she does, and he is cuntstruck.

          David Rofe QC had it right in his lucid moments.

          It is rather like the step-father who goes on TV to appeal for information when all the time his step-child is buried in the shallow grave he dug for it.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Nick October 25, 2015 at 1:22 pm #

            “They believe their own bullshit. Or rather she does, and he is cuntstruck.”

            So he would have you believe. Why do you think he chose to use that word?


            The other approach has much to do with re-framing the audiences perception, and perhaps very little to do with the senses. The minds of the audience members are distracted into thinking that an extraneous factor has much to do with the accomplishment of the feat, whereas it really doesn’t have any bearing on the effect at all.

            Because he’s not as stupid as he portrayed himself.

            Liked by 1 person

          • hudsongodfrey October 25, 2015 at 4:43 pm #

            I can’t bring myself to celebrate any cleverness in “cuntstruck” as a word, but I guess it conveys the degree to which the guy is clearly loopy for her. An observation I suspect translates into her manipulating him as her puppet spokesperson while she merely hovers in the background trying to look put upon.

            Anyway that’s my guess. He’s genuinely deluded, and she’s bunging on an act to get whatever it is that she now wants or hopes to salvage from the wreckage of her life and her career.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Nick October 26, 2015 at 12:47 am #

              I’m not sure if you missed my point, hg. It’s not that the word is “clever” by any means. It’s that I’m suggesting it was intentionally deployed to grab headlines and become the story. The articles that followed the next day focused mostly upon it, much less upon whether the claim is actually true or not.

              Why do you think he is ‘clearly loopy’ for her? Or that either of them are ‘traumatised’? These people are professional liars. I’d be wary of accepting any part of their story at face value.

              Jackson’s guilt is a foregone conclusion btw. I don’t think it was really what the program was about. Both the opening and closing scenes of the program featured Lawler on his own. He was its target.

              He is (or was) more powerful and well-connected than she is. He’s not some deluded puppet who was “dragged into all of this”. His dirty hands are all over the Thomson scandal.


              • hudsongodfrey October 26, 2015 at 8:46 am #

                Maybe, but I’ll take you back to my earlier point about the story, that it wasn’t investigative enough. In fact most of what you now assert must come from your own reading of other events. At the very least watchers of that particular episode of Four Corners would need to have a great deal of foreknowledge to put it in context. Anyone like myself being a less keen student of the HSU didn’t know Lawler doesn’t come to this with an informed opinion of his actions. What follows therefore is liable to be either a puff piece or a character assassination depending on whose side you take.

                I find it easier to judge liars on the veracity of their statements than their mental state before the camera’s gaze over time. I don’t mean to be excessively generous to them, but if one films for long enough then edits it the right way a slanted picture can emerge. If Lawler did indeed take the reigns and tried to steer this interview in a sympathetic direction he’s clearly failed, and come out looking unhinged in the process. He is in that case an even bigger fool than she has been, but that in effect gets us no closer to knowing very much more that would be in the actual public interest about the running of this union. It becomes a bit of a “lone gunman” narrative whereby an organisational problem of corruption could be written off as just a couple of loopy mavericks. Or to put it another way, when told through the eyes of unbalanced people you get great human interest stories, but you don’t get balanced answers to any material questions.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Nick October 26, 2015 at 11:14 am #

                  Some valid points, hg. But I didn’t come away with the impression this was a “lone gunman” scenario. I think it very much alluded to a much deeper conspiracy, but wisely steered away from making claims it’s not ready or able to make.

                  Personally I think it was excellent investigative journalism. I wouldn’t expect anything less from Meldrum-Hannah. This case is far from over. To expect a report like this, at this stage, to be able to package things up into neat little boxes of veracity for us is to misunderstand the nature of investigative journalism.

                  Lawler contradicted himself multiple times through the course of these interviews. That’s documentary evidence, and it’s admissible in court. It’s also now on the public record. Like many Australians, a week or so ago I didn’t even know his name.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • hudsongodfrey October 26, 2015 at 11:19 am #

                    Watch this space then 😉

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • Nick October 26, 2015 at 11:28 am #



          • Jennifer Wilson October 25, 2015 at 6:45 pm #

            Yes, I also thought Rofe had it right.


  9. Barry Waters October 23, 2015 at 11:19 am #

    Not since Lear gave his kingdom away have we had a chance to see two people destroy themselves in the full gaze of the public at the same time as they believe they are defending their honorable intentions. There they were, indulging in their narcissistic pleasures in a tragic display of their character assassination, brought about and engineered entirely by themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson October 23, 2015 at 2:29 pm #

      I think Bob Ellis referred to Anthony and Cleopatra
      For mine, they’re more like the Bold and the Beautiful


      • helvityni October 23, 2015 at 3:10 pm #

        Yes, yes, more like the Bold and the Beautiful…a weird couple.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) October 29, 2015 at 9:00 am #

    I know you are missing him already, so this, in memoriam:

    And also to show that some others are asking the sort of questions posed in your concluding paragraph. A sort of refrain to one or two of your tweets of yesterday.

    Liked by 1 person

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