||Issue No. 233||13 August 2004|
Interview: Trading Places
Safety: Snow Job
Politics: In the Vanguard
Unions: Gentle Giant Goes For Gold
Bad Boss: 'Porker' Chases Blue Ribbon
International: Cruising For A Bruising
History: Under the Influence
Economics: Working Capital
Review: Fahrenheit 9/11
Poetry: Bad Intelligence Rap
Satire: Osama Bin Manchu
The Locker Room
The Private Service
Gary Humphries first rose to mediocrity in the regime of ACT Chief Minister Kate Carnell, back in the days when blowing up hospitals was considered good public policy.
His claim to fame after that was losing the ACT for the Liberal Party after a backlash over his rather unorthodox approach to competence.
The man with all the charisma of a fence post, but none of the charm, has since gone on to replace that bumbling bundle of self importance Margaret Reid as the Liberals sole senator for the ACT.
As Chief Minister our Tool Of The Week oversaw the organised ripping off of ACT public servants who, when they weren't being sacked, saw their wages and conditions lag 10-15% behind their commonwealth counterparts.
On top of this Canberrans also enjoyed watching cutbacks to everything except cutbacks. Buses libraries, health, housing; all suffered from the fiscal zealotry of the one time failed student politician.
The excitement machine raised eyebrows in the nation's capital when he threw his insubstantial weight behind Peter Costello's claim that the best thing that ever happened to Canberra was the Liberal Government sacking 17,000 of its citizens.
No doubt they are far better off now that they no longer have to bother about paying a mortgage, collecting a pay packet or contributing to their country.
Our Tool Of the week's tortuous squirmings over the issue of him acting as cheerleader as his neighbours getting kicked in the guts by his mate with the smirk took a turn towards the pungently hypocritical this week when he tried to position himself as the Public Servant's friend.
This, of course, was his swipe at the Mouth from Mandurah, Kim Beazley, and his well thought through suggestion that the best way to win people's hearts and minds is by sacking them.
This week Humphries also tried to flex his muscle by dragging out the hoary chestnut of cracking down on the poor bastards stuck on the dole.
No doubt with so many of his erstwhile fellow Canberrans enjoying the Liberal Party's 21st century equivalent of bear baiting, from the position of the bear, this sort of tripe will go down a treat.
Someone needs to remind the Humph that Public Service means a bit more than former Communication Ministers getting a job with Austero.
His venality in this area appeared somewhat misplaced when his concern over 200 jobs at the Department of Defence is stacked up against the 17,000 jobs his Liberal Party colleagues wiped out of existence in the greatest contribution to civic building since Attilla sacked Rome.
Humphries is one of those Liberals whose frustration at their inability to run themselves into the ground in the private sector is manifest in their desire to run the public sector into the ground instead.
Humphries gold medal for hypocrisy this week will no doubt hasten the end for the unelected senator for the ACT.
With the Greens Kerry Tucker running a good chance of slotting the second place I the ACT Senate campaign our Tool Of the Week faces the ignominy of being the First Liberal Senator from the ACT to fail at his first electoral test.
The best thing our Tool Of the Week could do between now and then is to keep his mouth shut, as opening it seems to only allow him the opportunity of inserting his foot in there.
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