The Art of the Australian Insult

Politics: a modern Greek tragedy
September 23, 2008, 2:06 am
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“I’ve always said politics was a modern Greek tragedy, it always ends in failure … and I can say my career has fulfilled that adage. I measure what I achieved by the amount of stupid decisions I stopped – the public will never know what they are, thank goodness.”

Michael Costa, who has now officially resigned from Parliament.

Could it be Michael Costa in a wig?
September 22, 2008, 10:42 pm
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“Nathan Rees believes something big and furry is roaming Sydney’s west. Could it be Michael Costa in a wig?”

Bill Carpenter, Bowral, letter to the SMH comments on the NSW Premier’s interest in a panther-like creature that is believed (by some) to roam wild west of Sydney.

“I’d tell them to get fucked, for nothing”
September 11, 2008, 7:40 am
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“I like making coffee. So it’s one option in retirement. People would get to come along – I’d make coffee and Deb would make cakes – and they’d get five minutes to argue with me about anything they like. The cost would be built into the price of the coffee. Then I’d tell them to get f–ked, for nothing.”

Michael Costa fantasises about life after politics in an interview published in April this year.

“Everything he touches turns to mud”
September 4, 2008, 7:12 am
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Michael Costa is not popular with Daily Telegraph readers:

“I can’t believe Michael Costa still has a job. Everything he touches turns to mud.” Craig want, Sydney.

“Michael Costa is the supreme example of the self perpetuating Sussex St grandees who are all over the state parliamentary party like a rash. Spin and bluster have replaced detailed analytical debate, policy or respect for any of the Labor traditions and principals [sic]. So Mr Costa, please pick up your bat, ball and parliamentary pension and head off to the big end of town’s boardrooms that you are so eagerly trying to ingratiate yourself and play with their shareholder’s money.” Peter Seinor, Maroubra.

“Morris Iemma is so incompetent that Michael Costa could tell him anything and Morris would agree. Michael, give it away because your name along with the entire state Labor Party and the Premier are already in the history books as the most incompetent clowns ever to govern the state of NSW.” Rod Williams, Mt Annan.

A banal bunch of charlatans
August 18, 2008, 2:35 am
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Serial writer of letters to the editor, David Ingram of Randwick, is at it again in the Sun-Herald of August 17 2008.

“I am totally convinced that, no matter how any letters may be written to newspapers by disgruntled readers, no matter how many protests and confrontations may be staged – even criticism from its own parliamentary party members and from its own state headquarters – this incompetent NSW government takes no notice.

In fatc, it seems to rejoice in maladministration and, as it headsinot its final few years of office before it is unceremoniously kicked out into political oblivion for time immemorial, let’s hope the damage they inflict between now and then is only minimal.

This banal bunch of charlatans will go down in history as the worst, most abominable administration ever inflicted on an Australian electorate.”


More criticism comes from the readers of the Daily Telegraph, responding to news of Michael Costa’s run-in with a ten year old girl who complained about wages for firefighters. Costa had declared that NSW firefighters were amongst the best paid in the country; the girl piped up: “Excuse me sir, I’m only 10 years old and even I know that is a lie!”


“This is Labor. Not listening to your constituents, holding the belief that you know better, and doing whatever the hell you like.” Patrick Ellis, Paramatta.


“What is it about Michael Costa – anybody else who behaves in this boorish and thuggish manner would get the sack. Yet Morris Iemma lets him get away with it. Mr Costa is a sick joke and it’s time for him to go.” Paul Garrett, Lewisham.


“Like Mr Iemma, everything Mr Costa is involved in is also stuffed up and the sooner NSW voters see the back of these clowns and their fellow Labor ministers the better. NSW Labor – rotten to the core.” Robert Scott, Sydney.


Joe Hildebrand asked a very valid question:

“Yesterday we reported that Michael Costa had had a confrontation with a 10 year old girl over the issue of firefighters’ wage increases. Not surprisingly, everyone seemed to take the little girl’s side, but I ask you: If the Devil were to come to Earth, which one do you think he’d dress up as?”

A bunch of spivs
August 1, 2008, 4:57 am
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“What a bunch of spivs.”

Daily Telegraph reader Ryszard Linkiewicz is not impressed with Morris Iemma and Michael Costa, who earn big salaries wile denying salary increases to paramedics, teachers and other workers. News of claims that aliens are real led to this quip from Bernard Rubens:

“Rumour has it that a visitor from outer space has arrived on earth. If the rumour is correct, please direct the visitor to Macquarie St to assist Mr Iemma and his cabinet.”


Another reader found an opportunity to link another piece of current news to Morris Iemma:


“The Beijing smog now as a new official name: “unrelieved humidity”. NSW now has a new name as well – “smug”, “unbelievable stupidity” formerly known as Morris Iemma.”

“At least there’s a cure for madness”
July 28, 2008, 3:38 am
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NSW Treasurer and manic depressive Michael Costa issues a challenge to critics who differ with him on the issue of privatising electricity in the state:

“Say it publicly, ‘Costa’s wrong on electriciuty because he’s mad’ and put your name to it. Mood disorder at least is a legitimate illness – they haven’t found a cure for stupidity. If people resort to personal attacks it’s a sign of weakness in their own arguments.”


Costa seems to be referring, obliquely at least, to the immortal words of fellow depressive Winston Churchill, who was once told off for being drunk and responded by reminding his critic that she would still be ugly in the morning, when he would be sober. Two reader responses to the article are worth quoting, the first from the appropriately named Lynda Voltz, the second from Zane Alcorn:

“I don’t recall Michael Costa’s mental illness being raised as the driving force behind the privatisation of electricity in NSW. But I will say this – he is delusional. ”

“I’m not an ALP member but I’ll happily call you mad for it – made as a cut snake., bonkers as a banana. It has nothing to do with your illness and everything to do with your proximity to big business, mate.”