A very nice piece of hypocritical Bolt on this mornings Insiders to start off a week’s public affairs.
The Rudd Labor plan to offer a health carrot to the States in a bid to overcome some apparent reticence in reforming respective public hospital systems, with the stick of ‘comply-or-we’ll nationalise-for-you’, doesn’t sit well with Andrew.
The very idea of a plebiscite/referendum to ask the people whether they want nationalised public hospitals or not seems anathema to Bolt. In complete and total disregard to what the whole approach to the issue is, Bolt denies the approach has any validity whatsoever because of the stick. He completely ignores the carrot, and as Brian Toohey pointed out, ignores the current Federal-State funding imbalance anyway.
Then, to even greater amusement, Bolt carries on the theme of recidivist democratic theorem by stating outright that Geoffrey Cousins shouldn’t/can’t exercise his democratic right to speak out volubly against Malcolm Turner’s edge-fiddling over the Tasmanian pulp mill affair. Reason being appears to be that Cousins is financially well off and shouldn’t be out in public spending his own money in an attempt to make a point that most of us would like to make but can’t afford to. On ya Geoffrey Cousins, I say. Andrew thinks it’s undemocratic, even though he was forced to back down when faced with the glaringly stupid statements he’s made previously re: democracy, by Lenore Taylor.
Then we see Bolt attempting to argue against Brian Toohey’s rather erudite and factual synopsis of the US pull-out from Vietnam in 1975, even to the point that because He – Bolt – thinks that Vietnam could have been won and all of history is just dead wrong anyway, the Iraq war ought to be prolonged as George W. Bush claims it ought in order that America have the opportunity to rectify the smudge on her copy book which Vietnam apparently still is. Let’s see now. Brian Toohey is 63 years of age. At the time of the US withdrawal from Vietnam, he was 31, gainfully employed as a journalist and had been for many years. Bolt, by direct contrast, is 48, or will be in four weeks time (Many Happy’s, Andrew). In 1975 he was 16, still at school and while clearly of an age where critical thought processes would be in their formative stage, was hardly at an age where sharp, definitive understandings of international politics hold sway. Yet Bolt has the arrogance innate in his character to tell someone like Toohey that he hasn’t a clue of the realities of an historical situation, despite the fact that Toohey has written far, far more on the Vietnam era than Bolt can ever hope to achieve in what remains of his lifetime.
I noticed also that Andrew seems to harbour a definite grudge against the Melbourne Press Club who select the Graham Perkins Award for Australian Journalist of the Year, and possibly even former winner (2005) Paul McGeough. On what basis escapes me entirely. Perhaps Andrew might care to elucidate at some point in the future? Can you shine some light, dear reader?
If you missed this morning’s Insiders, do make an effort to catch or record the repeat on ABC2, tomorrow at 6:30am. For the Bolt performance alone, it’s worth a look.