Tuesday 9th of August 2022

giving lapdogs a bad name .....

giving lapdogs a bad name .....

Did anybody else, watching Alexander Downer on Australain Story last night ('Alexander Downer - At Home & In The Office'), have the same cringing sensation you get while watching Ricky Gervais on The Office? In the same way that Gervais' character parades before the documentary camera as God's gift to mankind while in fact nobody can stand him, Downer portrayed his family life embarrassingly.

His wife explained how he did silly things such as if she expressed hunger he would say that she looked like she wouldn't need a meal for a year. Alexander also explained that one of his wife's most enjoyed meals was one he'd prepared from a recipe book. He also jokingly suggested to his mother that she should change her birthday so that it didn't clash with his trip to Washington.

It gets worse.. describing himself as a "Sherman tank", Nicki explaining that "he loves the United States" and that Downer had a Bush/Cheney sticker on his car, And the Popeye-inspired line "I'm very much my own man, and I am as I am." He's very important obviously, as he has to run for the plane to Canberra.

Now, here's the odd part- the bit in the doco where Downer gets patted on the head by Condi and friends has been subsequently published by The Age as a news item! Personally I found the way that the Yanks spoke of Downer as similar to how you'd speak of a pet dog you'd just taught how to fetch.

Anyway, after the meetings God's gift is shown to be a caring family man, ringing his mother for the birthday. First he forgets to enter Australia's area code (ouch) and then can't get through anyway. I'm sorry, but by now I had tears of laughter in my eyes.

It won't be appropriate to comment after next week's part, in which Alexander will be shown as a caring man in the face of tragedy.

I'll bet there'll be a few more "news" stories yet in this little advertising campaign.

bowing to temptation .....

Hi Richard ....

Please forgive me for taking "licence" with your entertaining post .... I couldn't resist it!!!

No Worries

I would've done the same.  Glad you enjoyed it John.  By the way, what do you reckon of the idea that this PR exercise might be a lead-up to another stab at the Prime Ministershp?  I know it's a scary thought.  Consider, though, that Downer's current media profile is not one a wallflower.

 By the by, "At Home And In The Office" wasn't the title of the ABC piece was it? I thought I'd made it up....

Lord Mayo .....

Thanks Richard.

The program was actually called "The more things change" but, given its value (as you've already highlighted), it may as well have been called "The things that batter".

I don't think Lord Mayo has any residual ambitions for the Lodge ... he all but acknowledged that by confirming that he had decided that he didn't want the job of alternative prime minister before rattus challenged him.

The only person who takes him seriously is him ... even his wife mocked him.

Not Interested?

Alex "wasn't interested" in replacing ElBaradei as IAEA head while the Bush Adinstration was trying to create the job vacancy, either. I bet his behind would've been the first to warm the seat if the plan had gone "the right way."

IMHO these silly boys are playing marbles, with Armageddon as the Tom Bowler.


Aside: where does the cartoon come from?  Bewdy. 

apres tennis .....

You’re right Richard.

I should have picked-up on Lord Mayo’s latent ambitions the moment he treated us to an intro to his yellow suitcase …. proof positive that he is a political player to be reckoned with or alternatively, that privilege & money aren’t arbiters of good taste ….. or perhaps both.

And yes, the cartoon is a bewdy. It’s by Peter Nicholson of the Australian.

on things that batter .....

from Crikey …..

Well, there's something we didn't know, and thank you Australian Story, vanity hagiographers by appointment to Alexander Downer, for drawing it to our attention.

We didn't know it when young Georgina Downer slipped like a nepotist in the night to join the family firm as a Foreign Affairs graduate trainee - a feat she managed despite a modest third-class honours degree that might normally have disqualified the majority of applicants.

And never mind that only 39 of her fellow applicants out of 1695 managed to crack a job with DFAT. We didn't realise that not only was she going to work at Daddy's department, just as Daddy and Daddy's Daddy had done, but that she would also be sharing digs with Daddy in his Canberra unit, bringing new meaning to the notion of ''arm's length''.

Have these people no concept of what is even remotely seemly?

And Alexander wonders why people find him hard to take. ''People have said the most shocking things,'' he says.

Of course they have, Alex, of course they have.

and Christian Kerr wrote ….

Australian Story missed an important episode in the life of South Australia’s most senior federal parliamentarian last night. Perhaps, it's because they’re not locals.

Adelaide is a small place. Everyone knows everyone - or knows someone who knows the few people they don’t know. Which is why, back in the middle of 1996, I had ended up talking to someone from the promotions department of The Advertiser newspaper about a competition they were running.

I’d sorta noticed it -- guess the celebrity legs. There they were. A few feet in fishnets. Most of them belonged to members of the Adelaide Crows. But, my new friend told me, one of them was attached to the neophyte Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer. Even better, they said, there were full-length shots of Alexander, foot on a coffee table, suit trousers rolled up, pulling on the stockings and grinning.

Back in those days, I worked as the press sec to one of Downer’s cabinet colleagues.

A cabinet colleague, but a factional enemy. What was the most appropriate way to handle this news?

In the end, the media management was easy. I was always wandering the Gallery and always talking to journos. So I thought I’d drop some hints to my mate who was the Tiser Canberra correspondent, an ambitious and enterprising young bloke always up for a laugh and a bit of sh-t-stirring named Dave Penberthy. The rest, as they say, is history.

Indeed, it was truly historic to have a full colour photo of the Foreign Minister pulling on fishnets taking up most of page three of one of the country’s best-selling and most influential newspapers, The Daily Telegraph , when the then president of the United States was visiting the country in 1996. Presumably, Bill Clinton laughed at the goose as much as the rest of us.

and Sophie Black wrote …..

In the first part of a two part Australian Story special on Alexander Downer last night, the Foreign Minister spoke candidly about being teased throughout his career:

People have said the most shocking things about me over the years. I think if I were a weaker character I would've given up a long time ago. People have attacked me because of my background, because of my family, they attack my because I have curly hair or the way I speak, we lived in England for a few years. It's just been relentless. It's just been relentless.

Here's a snapshot of what he may have been referring to. Crikey apologises for any hurt feelings.

5 March, 2003: Lex Loser's sledgehammer diplomacy

6 March, 2003: Exclusive: Alexander Downer -- Pompous colonial git

7 September, 2004: Fin letters: Sour grapes and Downer hypocrisy

13 December, 2004: Team America -- Alexander Downer?

6 June, 2005: Alexander Downer rewrites history, again

8 July, 2005: Alexander Downer's aspirational target

13 October, 2005: Downer dummy spit

19 January, 2006: How Downer's big mouth helped Saddam Hussein

7 February, 2006: The funny side of Lord Downer
19 April, 2006: Downer recollections go audio

29 May, 2006: Downer's unfortunate faux pas

18 September, 2006: The outrageous, preposterous, appalling, shocking Alexander Downer.

31 August, 2006: Is Downer's daughter set to work in Dad's own department?

27 February, 2007: The Downer Dynasty continues at DFAT

19 April, 2007: Emperor Downer has no clothes

26 March, 2007: Oh, possum! Go to Downer if you’re down