(Image Credit: Muck&Brass)
To quote the (then newly appointed) editor of the SMH, Darren Goodsir, in 2013: “Hold the front page! Hartcher Has Spoken!”
When political savant and genius commentator Peter Hartcher opines profoundly about the Abbott Budget, the nation sits up and listens. So what was Pete’s Delphic Saturday SMH pronouncement in the on The Budget?
“It’s too early to abandon hope.”
You DO have to laugh, don’t you?
He then goes on to discuss, po-faced, one of the main reasons why Tony Abbott would not promote Turnbull to the office of Treasurer.
So let’s let Joe “Misery-Guts” Hockey stay in charge of it. There’s years of trash-talking in him yet: how bad debt is, how they’re going to strip away benefits, lifter, leaners and, of course, “It’s all Labor’s fault!” THAT’ll get the punters back into the empty aircraft hangers they used to call “Harvey Norman” (been to one lately?), and let’s not forget Joe’s “glum” look and that special “cranky” one he saves up for important occasions… all this with the added benefit that Joe has been absorbing king-hits from Abbott since Tony first decked him on the rugby playing fields of Sydney Uni.
Hartcher today is back to his old tricks: writing-up restaurant gossip about leadershit. He even admits it was the drink talking. A group of Ministers, in their cups, sipping Scotch, reckon Joe should go, in favour of Malcolm Turnbull.
The Abbott government is already doing so brilliantly on Foreign Affairs and international diplomacy (says Perspicacious Pete), now all they need is Turnbull in as Treash to fix up the economy and they’ll surge ahead in the polls. The Nation will breathe a sigh of relief. Consumer confidence will soar.
He doesn’t tell us who’ll take over Communications after Mal’s bumped upstairs. That’s a shuddering thought if ever there was one. Bronnie, come on down!
And here’s the kicker: when all is said and done, Pete tells us, “It’s not gunna happen.”
Yes, it’s deep, deep, deep analysis from the International & Political Editor of the august Sydney Morning Herald. Youse can see why they pay Peter Hartcher the Big Bucks.
What next? Maybe he’ll whip around to the back alley and go through the skip? Then he can tell us what the Anonymous Senior Liberal Power Broker was doodling on his paper napkin. Maybe he can even suss what the fortune cookie said?
Thank God we have the likes of Hartcher to guide our thinking. Mr Goodsir was right: whatever Big H writes, Goodsir will print and say, “More please, sir”. There’s plenty of it, too. Goodsir’s Editor Of Many Things writes everything that everyone tells him. Oh, the insight! Celebrate the context! Praise the profundity!
The poor man has a desperate need to be relevant. To show he’s still connected and gets the good goss. Forever an insider etc., etc. And to prove it, he peddles plutocratic piss-talk from out the back door of the Greasy Spoon. “I am a camera,” says Peter (and he doesn’t mean “Box Brownie”).
Pity for Pete, he supported Rudd. That kinda cruelled the ground for later Liberal licks. He’s shut out now. Maybe he thought they’d thank him for the regular Ruddstoration Routine? Sadly, all the advice he’s offered Abbot on how to deal with everything from travel rorts to Oriental potentates has been ignored. Cassidy doesn’t even invite him onto the show anymore (has he ever been on it? Even when he was there?).
Look what his Rudd Love did for him and the country. Abso-bloody-lutely nothing. Rudd’s “triumph in the polls” lasted all of, oh, about a fortnight, and now Pete’s relegated to passing on Chinese whispers and leftover noodles from a Liberal doggy-bag.
It’s a shame that nobody – either in politics, or on the receiving end of it – takes any notice of Peter Hartcher.
Then again… thank God they don’t. His only fan, Darren Goodsir, should take the hint.