Downer's Career Battered, Strangled, Buggered
What goes on in Alexander Dower's subconcious? He gets asked if he'll need to resign if implicated in the AWB Inquiry and comes back with this response:
[extract from The Age]
"It's a completely hypothetical proposition. It's rather like saying what would happen if I was found strangling my wife. I mean, I would be in deep trouble if I started strangling my wife."
Alex, for those who don't know has a long history of stuffing up the Lib's reputation. Try this Green Left Weekly article
One of the smarmiest yet most ironic tales in the book is that of the rise and fall of Downer.
After doing the numbers in his run to the leadership challenge against John Hewson, Downer declared: “Gee, I could win this”. And he did! But as Liberal leader, Downer was a satirist's paradise: on a visit to the NT he pledged to repeal Mabo; he addressed a League of Rights meeting in 1987 thinking it was a Christian rally; and following the “Things that Matter” policy launch, he made that horrifying reference to domestic violence as “the things that batter”.
Probably Downer's most revealing statement, however, was his confession that he didn't realise that becoming leader of the Liberals “meant working seven days a week and travelling constantly”.
The Liberals came to the conclusion that Downer was a big mistake. This was reinforced by the fact that no donations had flowed in to the party since the 1993 election loss and party treasurer Ron Walker's statement that he couldn't persuade corporate leaders to make donations with Downer as leader. The party's debt to the National Bank had grown to $5 million, and party campaigners were concerned that Labor's advertising company could portray Downer as a joke.
I still remember the look on Mr D's face as he made the "things that batter" joke. He looked around myopically with a smile on his face, waiting to be swamped in gails of laughter. Instead he lost the Lib leadership to John Howard.
Now, nearly twenty years later, in one of the most serious situations an Australian Federal Minister could face- a possible finding that he aided and abetted the transfer of money to Saddam Hussein that may have been used to buy ammunition with which to shoot invading armies (such as ours) Downer comes out with another "joke" about mistreating women.
In '87 John Howard would have been jumping for joy when Alex made that stupid remark. Now, as Downer represents us to the world, hours of media training and a careful cultivation of his profile as a potential Australian leader, the Prime Minister will be cringeing with embarrassment.. with good reason. Two decades of correction just went out the window, and our Foreign Minister, in the eyes of the world, looks like a dickhead again.
There's no hope for him John... why don't you bugger him off ?