21 February 2006

The bully bullied

Senator Santo Santoro, Minister for Ageing appeared on the 7.30 Report and Red Kerry had him. Santoro was visibly nervous and mouthed platitudes fed to him in what was obviously a rush job by the department. After all the curry he's given the ABC you can bet the staff there would be pleased to see the boot on the other foot, though if there is any area of public policy less smirksome than frail elderly sexual assault victims I can't think of it. At the end of the interview Santoro actually whimpered.

"I think they're doing a great job". Based on what? When will professional interviewers learn to dodge fatuous personal assertions like this? If all a minister has is high dudgeon, chances are you're at the last ditch and the objective information is just a bayonet-thrust away. Never should a statement like that go unchallenged.

He's out of his league. Parliament House scuttlebutt has it that nobody wants to work for this drama queen. it would take extraordinary political sensitivity to work out a policy for protecting the frail elderly from abuse, and Santoro lacks the finesse, mental stamina and sharp focus on detail that someone like Julie Bishop had. Let's have a new minister by Easter (after ten years of Howard I'm not that fussy anymore) and pack this boofhead off to pick on lesbian-art-grant-recipients or whatever.

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