While accurately described by star News Limited reporter Samantha Maiden in their Sunday newspapers as a party (scheduled for tonight Wednesday)Â on what Rudd has apparently been calling â€œAssassination Day,â€ less astute journalists have misinterpreted Ruddâ€™s gathering of his former Prime Ministerial staff â€“ now cancelled â€“ as an â€œassassination party.â€
Someone can hopefully help aging lefty email newsletter writer Bernard Keane to do a Google search so he can figure out the difference between the ex-PM referring in jest to his â€œassassination dayâ€ (as he is well known to have done from time to time) and his arranging of an â€œassassination party.â€Â Big difference.
Bearded clam Keane colleague, Andrew Crook, believed to be seeking an Age traineeship while bravely and contemporaneously pouring scorn on their senior management, could perhaps explain the difference, in semiotic terms over a soy latte, next time Canberra-based Keane takes the bus down to Melbourne.
WHATâ€™S IN A NAME?
Keane in the loss-making lefty email newsletter crikey falsely asserted earlier this week that Maiden had described the event as an â€œassassination party,â€ in a failed attempt to stitch her up which backfired odiously when VEXNEWS probed â€“ if youâ€™ll pardon the expression â€“ the â€œerroneous anusâ€ in the kind of forensic detail that would have made a proctologist wince.
In yet another VEXNEWS exclusive, we have obtained a copy of the invitation from an aggrieved member of the Rudd’ PMO Generation Y All-Stars who says it clearly demonstrates that Ruddâ€™s invitation makes no reference to â€œassassination partyâ€ or anything like it.
They told us on strict condition of anonymity because the party was meant to be a private affair:
â€œRudd would have been criticised for failing to have the party that he promised. Rudd was criticised for having the party. Heâ€™s still being criticised now itâ€™s cancelled, albeit by Twitter. While Sam Maidenâ€™s story didnâ€™t refer to it that way, the follow-ups all described it as an Assassination Party in a way that was quite misleading. Keane was one of many offenders.â€
IN SEARCH OF THE GREYBEARDS
The awkwardness of the situation was compounded â€“ insiders from Ruddâ€™s home state of Queensland explain â€“ by Ruddâ€™s remarks to the Sydney Morning Heraldâ€™s Peter Hartcher that he probably should have had some more â€œgreybeardsâ€ on his staff. The Generation Y majority took that as a bit of an insult from their guy and some were looking forward to drinking as much of Ruddsterâ€™s grog as possible before telling him so at â€œthe gatheringâ€. Talk around Sydney was that a few of them were so dark about Ruddâ€™s greybeard remarks that some were planning on not attending in protest.
Insiders say â€“ contrary to Ruddâ€™s implication to the contrary -Â that thereâ€™s been no outbreak of â€œgreybeardsâ€ in the new Rudd office, with twenty-something Daniel Street serving notionally as an international development adviser but was recently spotted near the Darling Harbour premises of the ailing Fairfax company chatting up a storm with frequent-flyer on Ruddâ€™s Air Force One of Leaks, Peter Hartcher. Cynical snouts attached to the militant Sydney wing of the famed VEXNEWS Investigations Unit regarded it as highly unlikely they were chatting about â€œmicro-lendingâ€ or conditions in Palau.
While Ruddâ€™s treatment was reasonably brutal after Maidenâ€™s compelling exclusive on Sunday, certainly the timing of the occasion was deliberate and unfortunate. But he paid a high price for it, all the same, further alienating himself from the party he is thought to still hope to lead. As we have said, Daryl Melham has more chance of getting the framed leadership pic on the caucus wall. On that note, wasnâ€™t it touching the other week to see Laborâ€™s second worst ever Leader, Mark Latham in the Financial Review, defending the honour of its worst, Doc Evatt from the savage criticisms of a patriot with a much-needed long-memory, Gerard Henderson.
Rudd was painful but a world apart from those two admittedly tragically talented dirtbags. Ruddâ€™s views were mostly (very) sound, his treatment of people mostly so appalling that itâ€™s a wonder he went into the people business of politics in the first place.
THE STORY ENDS IN RUDD BEING A FIZZER
The zero tolerance of most of the Gallery and the vast majority of the caucus for Ruddâ€™s little games is surely a pointer to Rudd that his Wilderness Years are not going to end in Churchillian comeback glory. If invaded by Indonesia in a â€˜Tomorrow When The War Beganâ€™ style attack over our stunning decision to stop the cows, then surely the nation would turn to Laborâ€™s modern Major-General Mike Kelly rather than the bookish uber-nerd with Pol Pot people skills.
Failing that, Gillard is as safe as Paul Howesâ€™ house, which seems very safe indeed. Nearly as safe as Peter Garrettâ€™s seat.
That said, hereâ€™s the invitation. It was meant to be tonight. But it wasnâ€™t meant to be. Therese (sorry we really canâ€™t be bothered with the acutes and graves) wisely cancelled the event. If they hadnâ€™t the volcanic ash would have stopped many from showing.
The invitation itself seems pretty innocuous to us and our Rudd-love was nearly fully extinguished when â€“ on his watch â€“ Israel was outrageously singled out for attack over its foreign intelligence service supposedly using false passports even though every intelligence service (including our own) does exactly the same thing for the very good reason that it would like to keep its agents alive. Modern anti-semitism rarely comes in the form of vile, chilling hook-nosed caricature, it comes in imposing on Israel standards that never seem to apply to anyone else, least of all its enemies.
The nature of life in the fast lane might mean that Rudd will never get to host his former crew unless heâ€™s holding a retirement party. Perhaps bringing that forward would be best for everyone. We suspect Prime Minister Gillard would have her own celebration too.