”Fabulous” Phil Ruddock could be forgiven for ending this week a little disheartened having gone largely un-noticed in the “who really leads the government” boast-a-thon, which saw many of his colleagues acting up like testosterone filled youfs.
Perhaps the attorney is too mature for all that, preserving his stamina for the heavy lifting that goes on behind the scenes.
But it wasn’t like the upper-echelons of the commentariat appreciated his top-notch public relations. Consider this slap in the face from the king of Sydney talkback himself, Alan “Dunny” Jones, when on Friday (Sept 2) chatting-up his favourite PM in the entire world, he said:
“PM, there’s a letter to one of the newspapers today which I thought was most apposite. It said I am watching the unfolding hurricane drama in the US. Why is it that when any major disaster happens anywhere else in the world the US offers money, manpower and resources yet I see no mention of even one country saying we can help you America.”
Fabulous must have thought his hearing had finally succumbed to all those heavy metal concerts he attends in non-sitting weeks.
Only the day before he’d announced, along with Foreign Minister “Bunter” Downer, that Australia was sending two “specialist emergency managers” to help get America back on its feet again.
Things just weren’t going Phil’s way. Not only was his press release overlooked by Mr Parrot Pants, but by this afternoon he’d been trumped by Little Johnnie himself who announced a $10 million aid package to our third-world partner.
Still, the attorney must have earned some brownie points within the Dubya administration after not bothering to distribute a press release when the much-loved process that awaits David Hicks was partially reformed.
Heck, Fabulous had far more important matters to deal with. Like the “new more secure marriage certificate” he’s offering to all the couples waiting to tie the knot.
Fabulous announced that the new certificate has “special links and a unique number on the reverse that enables each one to be traced”. What more could you hope for in a marriage?
Importantly, you can check out an image of the certificate on Phil’s web site.
At 63 Fabulouso has been round long enough to realise that love’s what makes the world go round. Affectionately, he added his two-bobs worth to the pile of remarkably un-insightful leadership speculation that has consumed the agenda of late:
“We have the best of both worlds,” he revealed to the Today show’s Karl (“Good Morning”) Stefanovic. “An outstanding Prime Minister and a very competent and diligent Treasurer.”
From that you’d have to suspect the attorney is at one with Derryn Hunch, who assured his listeners in the company of Bunter on Thursday, “70 doesn’t mean you have to go home”.
Except if you’re if on the High Court.
With two more justices following Michael McHuge out the door by 2008 (Smiler and The Tub) and Kirbs the following year, you’d love to know what Fabulous Phil was driving at when he craftily predicted: “a lot could happen next year.”