Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Shame, Bomber Beazley, shame

Australia: Following an earth tremor six days ago, there is a continuing tragedy at a mine in Beaconsfield, Tasmania, with one miner dead and two miners a kilometre underground awaiting rescue in the cold and dark.

The leader of the Federal Opposition, Kim Beazley, doesn't think it was insensitive to try to make political capital out of this tragedy which has the whole nation and much of the world watching, hoping and praying.

Beazley’s mine call provokes ministers
Andrews calls for Beazley apology Beaconsfield comments
Beazley bucketed for workplace laws link
Beazley uses accident to attack IR laws
Sydney Morning Herald :: Daily Telegraph :: all 36 related »

I suppose it would also not be insensitive to call Mr Beaazley a lard-arse political has-been with one of the lowest popularity ratings of any leader of the Australian Labor Party in its long and proud history.

Nor to mention quietly that he has broken one of the unspoken rules of political life: never try to score political points on the broken backs of people in catastrophes, particularly when those sad events are in progress. And again, it might be insensitive to mention that when he was Minister for Defence, 'Bomber' Beazley liked nothing better than to pose for photo opportunities sitting atop an army tank while wearing a camouflage uniform and a smile two feet wide. I think he must have been a child war hobbyist who never grew up.

Beazley grew up in a political family. He is a Rhodes Scholar and a friend of Tony Blair. Has he learned nothing from a life in politics? I think he has just taken his points even lower with the Australian electorate, which never likes this sort of grandstanding. He should remember the flak over the political grandstanding during the Granville Railway Disaster when some other idiots tried to make political footballs out of dead and dying people.


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