Sunday, November 19, 2006

Beazley is getting off lightly

This may be the end of his career, and that would be a damn fine lesson in polical cynicism. He's getting off lightly because people are not really shining a light on what it says about the man who wants to lead the nation.

It says he really didn't know anything about the people involved. It says he doesn't watch or know anything about Rove, or Belinda, and is generally out of touch. Not a mortal sin in itself. It also says he's had no interest at all in the tragedy of Rove and Belinda, and her battle over many years with breast cancer. That he skimmed those bits to get to the serious news, considered the story too plebian.

Celebrity culture may be pretty vaccuous, but their struggle is a genuine tragedy and one that's moved most of the country. You don't have to like Rove's show much to know he's gone through hell, to have followed the story of that hell in at least some basic detail, to have put yourself in his shoes, thought 'what if I lost the anchor of my world, the keeper of my heart?'

His eyes, in the funeral photos, are the embodiment of hell on earth. They are filled with the anger we'd all feel with someone close torn away by something so random and unjust.

Beazley clearly wasn't all that moved, preferring to move on to read about his mate Murdoch's latest acquisitions in the business pages or what brilliant things his favourite nation the US of A was doing in a given week.

But, when she died, he still wanted to make a bit of hay. Well, the hay's on fire, Rudd's circling at last, and frankly that was just one misjudgement too many. Not the name error, but what it, in this context, tells the electorate about him.

Most of the media attention just seems to have focused on this as 'another Bomber gaffe'. But it was not just a gaffe, and it's so much more this time. And the public, who care a great deal about the Belinda and Rove tragedy, will see it for what it is.

Rudd, Gillard, your moment may arrive 12 months earlier than you expected...


Legal Eagle said...

Couldn't agree more. Beazley was trying to jump on the populist bandwagon to make some quick political capital. His comments prove that he didn't actually care at all. If he's just going to jump on bandwagons, I don't think he's a suitable leader for the Labor party.

I think most people I know have been touched by the Rove and Belinda story. It is patent that they loved each other so much. From what I could see, Belinda behaved with such courage and dignity. I felt so sorry when I heard that she died. I always had this little hope that maybe, just maybe, she might beat it.

patrick said...

I will be outstandingly surprised if Rudd makes a move now; why bother when, as you allude, he can wait twelve months and it will most likely be his anyway?

"That he skimmed those bits to get to the serious news, considered the story too plebian."

Seriously, though, isn't it too plebian?

I'm not disputing that Beazley's out of touch, but come on, man, people die of cancer every day. It's _always_ a tragedy, but we don't expect the bomber to memorise everyone's name.

Frankly, I don't care if Beazely doesn't read enough of the Sunday Tele or watch the six o'clock news. I'm more interested in the man's policies than his name-recall, interest in celebrity cancer cases, or even really, what he gives a shit about.

It's his policies that will change the reality of my life in the next five years, not whether he thinks Nicole and Keith are a good couple.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Patrick I think you're missing the point -- my understanding of Armagnac's post is that the offence lay in trying to cash in -- and to cash in on the popularity of people for whom he (Beazley not Armagnac) cares not two hoots. He is welcome to not care; the unsavoury thing is the cashing-in attempt. (Sorry if I'm misrepresenting you here, 'gnac.)

Personally I was also appalled by the bad manners, the patent insincerity and the generally clumsy, goofball wrongness. Surely the head of a country needs to be a bit diplomatic.

kate said...

The 'gaffe' was rude and tactless at best, 'heartless' springs to mind in my less generous moods.

I don't care if Beazley doesn't read the celebrity news, I do care that he could weigh in on a death without any sort of grace. I also care that his performance is routinely that of a man with no imagination, and nothing to offer the Australian people. He's Howard Lite at best, and we deserve someone with some intellectual curiosity, someone who can look at the problems we've got and demand creative answers. We also deserve someone who can hear about a death and react appropriately, and acknowledge that person's individuality.

Sadly, Beazley has been outclassed by Rove. Not because of the way Rove acted this week, or in relation to his wife, but because of the way he treats strangers, and takes an interest.

JahTeh said...

What I can't understand is why his minders didn't bring him up to speed if he had to make any comment.