The Art of the Australian Insult


Mean Mr Rudd
April 4, 2009, 2:04 am
Filed under: Cultural Cringe, International relations, Politicians | Tags: , ,

Revelations that Kevin Rudd made a flight attendant cry drew mixed responses from readers of the Sydney Morning Herald.

“In an eight- or nine-year-old, this behaviour would be acknowledged as that of a spoilt brat. In a prime minister it is inexcusable,” argued Elizabeth Chandler of Mount Victoria.
“Let the man eat meat,” suggested Allan Gibson of Cherrybrook.

Vicki Stewart Forster wondered why anyone was worrying about the story in the first place:

“The world has been in financial meltdown for a couple of years and we have troops fighting on two war fronts, but what do our news headline focus on? A cabin attendant with hurt feelings.

Isn’t elephant-hide skin a prerequisite for this job?”

Gordon Drennan of Burton, South Australia, argued: “Kevin Rudd’s pattern of behaviour reflects very poorly on his real character. The way he expected his staff to work hours far beyond what was reasonable. Multiple instances of abuse of subordinates. A reputation for dummy spits.”

While Mike Reddy of Vincentia was unimpressed that the question had been asked in the first place:

“The journalist who quizzed Mr Rudd about an alleged example of his bad temper was plainly trying to embarrass the Prime Minister in front of a London press conference.

Undoubtedly this was a success. But I think the reputation of the Australian media suffered greater damage. Serious journalists of the world must have been scratching their heads that on the day the G20 summit passed resolutions that may help the world recover from its greatest economic challenge in 75 years, the Australian media dredged up gossip from months ago.

Australia has often struggled against perceptions of it being a colonial backwater and cultural desert populated by uncouth people with funny accents. Tabloid journalism of this sort can only underline those unfortunate perceptions.”

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