The Art of the Australian Insult

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.

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.”

“I’m human, I’m not perfect”
April 2, 2009, 10:16 pm
Filed under: Politicians, Transport | Tags: , ,

“All of us are human, I’m human, I’m not perfect. If I upset anybody on that particular flight, I’m sorry, I apologise for it. We all make mistakes, your Prime Minister included.”

Kevin Rudd apologises for making a flight attendant cry on an RAAF flight in January. He tackled her over the lack of a meat-free meal.