The Art of the Australian Insult


Is Malcolm Turnbull dead man walking?
June 28, 2009, 4:04 pm
Filed under: Politicians | Tags: , ,

“By the time they had trawled through Turnbull’s past, the Opposition Leader was portrayed, under the privilege of Parliament, as a treacherous, bullying, smearing, opportunistic, justice-poisoning, forest-stripping, tax-avoiding, profiteering, cat-abusing loser.

I had thought all this was being warehoused for the next election. But no, they want him dead now.”

Paul Sheehan comments on the circling of the hyenas in Parliament, where Malcolm Turnbull looks distinctly like a dead man walking after Utegate. The illustration accompanying the article, in which Turnbull is rendered as a dying zebra being ripped to shreds, is especially entertaining:



My country for a hairdryer
May 8, 2009, 8:31 am
Filed under: Politicians | Tags: , ,

“This particular allegation by Turnbull is absolutely ridiculous and absolutely false and designed.”

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd resents Malcolm Turnbull’s allegation that he had a frothy over the lack of a hairdryer while visiting troops in Afghanistan.



An all-time low
April 8, 2009, 8:06 am
Filed under: Politicians | Tags: , ,

“YOUR Newspoll survey shows that Kevin Rudd’s popularity has been apparently unaffected by a shameful display of inexcusable behaviour towards an RAAF cabin attendant, even though his bad temper and filthy little mouth are legendary. Have our standards and complacency sunk to such an all-time dismal low that we are now prepared not only to tolerate this type of bad behaviour but then reward it while excusing it on the grounds that he’s only human?

Do the feminist warriors who infest the Labor Party, our education system and saturate our media condone this deplorable bully-boy display on one of their own, from our Prime Minister, no less? Apparently so. Weak as a fizzy drink the lot of them. No wonder our kids are running amuck with bad behaviour when this is the example set by those supposed to present a moral compass for society.”

Ralph Walton, Belmont, Qld, letter to The Australian.



Kevin Rudd, Mark Latham and Mother Teresa
April 6, 2009, 11:23 pm
Filed under: Politicians | Tags: , , ,

“ONE cannot help being amused by Bill Leak. When all is said and done on Kevin Rudd, the reality is that he makes Mark Latham look like Mother Teresa.”

Colin Gourley of Doncaster, Vic, one of a number of responses to a controversial cartoon by Bill Leak.



“You’d rather see the country fail”
April 6, 2009, 5:35 am
Filed under: Politicians, The economy | Tags: ,

“They are just completely irresponsible and reckless. I think they would rather see the country fail than see the Rudd Government succeed.”

Treasurer Wayne Swan hits out at the Opposition’s threat to block aspects of the budget if they are unhappy with allocations, during an interview on the ABC.



Eat your crusts, Prime Minister
April 6, 2009, 5:22 am
Filed under: Politicians | Tags:

“Kevin Rudd doesn’t like sandwiches … never has. Take a look at his hair. Here is a bloke that, long term, has not eaten his crusts.”

Brian Greaney, Buderim, Qld, letter to The Australian.



Making a meal of Kevin Rude’s outburst
April 6, 2009, 5:04 am
Filed under: Politicians | Tags: , ,

“Bullying behaviour by the Prime Minister in particular towards a female member of our serving defence force is totally unacceptable. The kind of bullying that reduced her to tears and ended up in an incident report being filed … would not be accepted in any workplace across Australia. It reflects very badly on him.”

Julie Bishop to ABC television. Joe Hockey said that the Prime Minister’s press secretary had lied to Australians. “What was more alarming out of that entire incident, not just going off the handle at the RAAF staff, but the fact his office was lying to the Australian people about what actually happened. This illustrates a pattern of behaviour out of his office that they are prepared to mislead the Australian people as to the truth of the matter.”

“He’s been quite appropriately nicknamed Kevin Rude … as a result of this episode,” said Opposition frontbencher Senator Nick Minchin.

“Those of us who work and live in Parliament House have known for years there’s two sides to Kevin Rudd, and that behind closed doors he’s prone to temper tantrums and this sort of belittling and very bad behaviour with his own staff. For him to reduce a 23-year-old air hostess to tears because of a temper tantrum over his meal is completely and utterly unforgivable. I think Australians are now seeing gradually another side to the bloke they elected Prime Minister 18 months ago.”



Having Turnbull on toast
April 6, 2009, 4:51 am
Filed under: Politicians | Tags: ,

“The PM’s claim that he is following a reduced-meat diet (“Pork chop carry-on over no meat: Nats”, April 4) seems to be inconsistent with the facts. According to recent polls, Mr Rudd seems to be having the Leader of the Opposition on toast on most days of the week, especially when Parliament is sitting.”

Leslie Sisley Bathurst



The whitest guy around
April 4, 2009, 8:17 am
Filed under: Politicians | Tags: ,

“BESIDES albino blues guitarist Johnny Winter, moon-tanned British comedian Matt Lucas and an undiscovered race of sightless subterranean mole people, Kevin Rudd is the whitest guy around.

He’s Ned Flanders minus the funk. He’s so white that it’s impossible to keep time on a backbeat in the presence of even a Rudd photograph.

Next to the Prime Minister, Family First senator Steve Fielding looks like a Wiradjuri elder.”

Tim Blair on the Prime Minister, who was somewhat surprisingly compared to Barack Obama by the Bishop of London.



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.”