The Last Days Of Paul Sheehan (1)

It is terrible to see the once keen mind of Paul Sheehan in such evident decay. In his column this morning he attacked John McTernan, the model for the smaller angry Scotsman in The Thick Of It, for using the F-word, and the insults ‘buffoon’, ‘obnoxious’ and ‘diddums’. The sheltered Sheehan, now sixty-one, has not heard these words before and smelling-salts, I have have been told by his good wife Susan, have been required.

He goes on to curse Wayne Swan for ‘ramping up the rhetoric of class warfare’ when he called the Opposition ‘the puppets of billionaires’. This in a week when Gina Rhinehart, who earns in fifteen minutes what Barack Obama does in a year, was universally acclaimed as deserving it and given seventeen hundred more cheap Asians to play with, and make more money with, thus quenching the flames of class war and hobbling the tumbrils forever.

He says too that Craig was wrong to call Abbott ‘unfit to be an M.P.’ ‘Breathtaking’, he said in stout uprearing Rumpole defence of the abashed non-bastardiser who had forced on his girlfriend the adopting-out of a child not his own in an ongoing thirty-year sexual farce that might have stirred the fledgling Geoffrey Chaucer to, well, an Abbot’s Tale of mistaken fatherhood, abandoned bride and cuckolding tardily uncovered in Parliament House amid a nation’s jeering. Sheehan thinks Craig a viler man than this girlfriend-sharer and bride deserter and amputee-basher for, gee, denying he went to a hooker on three nights when he was in another town (pray mark this) and saying this accusation wasn’t fair.

He has further said of Albo ‘he has made the gutter his present address’ for asserting, correctly, that Abbott had breached the Crimes Act, probably, by threatening Craig with further verbal violence if he did not resign. ‘Again, breathtaking,’ this old fool says.

‘Similar tactics,’ he adds, ‘were used by another desperate government, the government of Gordon Brown, now seen as a disaster for Britain.’ This is the one that saved the world from bankruptcy, kept poor kids going affordably to university, and whose party is now getting 42 percent and the Tories 29. McTernan was an adviser to Brown, he continues, and Blair, and was the cause, probably, of ‘this period of toxic bumbling by the Prime Minister and her staff.’

Well, gee, shucks, Labor picked up half a million votes in the fortnight from May 2 to May 15 and will pick up, oh, a quarter of  a million tomorrow and there are thirty-eight fortnights to ho. ‘Toxic bumbling’, is it. Gee.

It is time this hyrophobic war-horse were put out to grass.

I am available to fill his vacancy for half his wage.

And to debate him anytime.

Leave a comment ?


  1. Frank Willmott

    Hey Bob,
    A sideways question. Is there a decent hardprint newsrag out there? I just cancelled my AGE subscription after another morning of bookends Grattan and Vanstone proving you don’t have to have skill to be a propagandist. At similar stages of their careers Grattan reminds me of Mr Magoo, Vanstone of Baby Huey [Vanstone not to be taken too lightly when history finally judges her the henchwoman in a crimes against humanity government]. I have been hanging on to the AGE because of Leunig’s and Kenneth Davidson’s contributions but can’t bare anymore the lack of balance and the loss of integrity. Is the Nation Review still in print?

    • The Nation Review has been extinct, thanks to David Williamson, since 1981. The Monthly is good, The Week, The Spectator and The Guardian. The Byron Bay Echo ….

      There used to be sixty.

      • Frank Willmott

        Thanks Bob, I was being facetious about the Nation Review. It was once one of the highlights of my week/life. Not too far removed from the Uni rags of the time either - in Melb, Lot’s Wife, Rabelais etc. Hi-octane journalism, amongst all the ratbaggery, political theory and tags, naivety, these sheets were on a genuine search for the truth; to enlighten. Compare that with today - journalism driven by ego, ambition, pack membership, conjecture, supposition, [I couldn't give a rat's arse about Tony Wright's nasty little opinions; Jesus Christ, John Silvester thinks he's Raymond Chandler], inventions and lies, celebrity-ownership a la Crabbe [watching The Insiders do you ever get the feeling none of them know what they are talking about?] So I checked out the websites and samples of the papers you suggested, and shit, same stuff, same negativity; same congo line like in FLYING HIGH, bustling to beat Gillard to death. In fact I noted the same AGE journos recycled. Kenneth Davidson stands alone. A lighthouse. Read his article today on a financial solution to Victoria’s woes. Full of meat as usual. If only he was appointed as Administator to run the State. No I don’t want to go back into the mire. It took me 40 years to kick the AGE habit. Time instead to meditate on it, maybe visit Slashdot, swim out to sea.
        PS What’s this Williamson stuff?

        • Williamson threatened to sue the revived Review for something I said in my piece on Gallipoli and the publisher, Samuelson, said ‘I haven’t budgeted for litigation!’ and pulled the plug on it.

  2. Class warfare as taught in England by spin doctors like McTernan may work over there, but it wont work here in Australia as those old battle-lines are no longer relevant as Howard’s Battlers have proven over the years.

    The challenge for Labor is how to capture those same aspirational hearts and minds.

    Importing a blow-in with no cultural idea of what binds Australians together has proven the worthlessness of his actions and advice.

    Bob Hawke when he was PM used to talk about “bringing Australians together.”

    Now there was an idea.

    He must shake his head in shame when he see’s whats become of his party. Likewise I imagine Bob Ellis does too. Very sad to see how glib lies and obfuscation are easily pumped out by this current Labor crowd.

    Look at question time in Parliament today.

    What fun the Liberal tapeworm’s had.

    Re: 1700 immigrant workers that Gillard disowned, saying she had no idea.

    Immigration Minister Chris Bowen says he briefed Gillard fully on the deal in “the week of” May 21, without specifying which day.

    Gillard refused to directly answer repeated questions on whether she supported the deal, saying only that she supported the creation of 6000 Australian jobs at Roy Hill.

    How they twist and turn. And Bob says nothing. Not a peep about Gillard.

    I imagine he secretly cries with shame at how his beloved party has fallen…

    • McTernan was an Adelaide Thinker In Residence and picked up a few things. All politics is class warfare: the unlettered against the ‘elites’, the bootstrap capitalists against Old Money, the Murdochist colonial tampon-sniffers against the House of Windsor, the Latham Aspirationals against the Big End Of Town, the Arab Spring against the Sunni Royals, the Iranian Shi-ites against the Shah.

      Where is there not class warfare? Here?

      And you think resenting Gina’s two million dollars an hour and wanting half of it is a way of thinking that won’t have allies?



  3. As the great Herbert Vere Evatt once said, fuck Howard’s battlers. You’re either on board or you’re ballast.

    • Don’t be too hard on them; they copped the same aspirational shit the Republicans give the poor Yanks, and the Conservatives give the poor Poms :

      “Vote for us; we’ll save you from the dreaded socialists who’ll stop you getting wealthy which is everyone’s proper due if they work hard and behave themselves and don’t rock the boat. [Even if it has to trickle down, you poor slobs]”

      And so it goes . . .

      • Miranda Devine’s rent seekers. There is a very real, ground floor cultural value system-set in this country that involves being part of the living team. Liberal voters might harbour a love of the bush, or a penchant for individualistic eccentricity. Alan Jones listeners will have a keen nose for political justice and muscle at work. This is the organic nation. We produce a particular kind of hard nose but even then sometimes, if you look closer, even then. There has been reams and reams of upper middle class immigration from not particularly new or interesting cultures and being an immigrant country, there is no cultural imperative for anyone to either know or care about undercurrents unless they are of the flow. The mainstream culture has formed around the hollow core rather than the what is, the uniqueness.

        Aspiration needs to be killed off. It is empty. It’s not what Australia was, even not all that long ago. Anyone who is ever going to own a plasma already has one.

  4. The great Herbert Vere would be embarrassed beyond measure with today”s lot.

  5. A thousand years.

  6. Two thousand years.

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