Malcolm Farr of news.com.au is more to the Left than Jimmy Hendrix’s guitar handedness was. So it comes as no surprise when he gives Shorten the ‘simply unknown’ treatment in referring us to David Marr’s ‘Faction Man’ essay. At the risk of knocking your socks off, I can inform you that David Marr is a ‘progressive political and social commentator’.
I can almost live with the shameless promotion of Shorten as some sort of ‘warrior’ and ‘master’:
‘And Mr Shorten emerges as a man who rules the backroom battlegrounds where former alliances can quickly become casualties to new ones.
Marr himself offers this appraisal of his subject’s deal making: “Shorten didn’t invent the system. He mastered it‘.
However, Farr’s attempt to airbrush the controversy surrounding Shorten’s dubious history and label it as some sort of conspiracy is pathetic:
‘One of Mr Shorten’s difficulties as alternative Prime Minister is that many voters still don’t know much about him, and what they do know has been planted with them by his enemies.
And his most prolonged public appearance was at the trade union royal commission where is deals were revealed, many getting a public airing for the first time.
Many of those deals benefited his Australian Workers’ Union and its members, but when seen in isolation can look suspicious. And one reason for this is he is relatively unknown‘.
So does Farr think that the $40,000 personal gift Shorten cheerfully received from Unibuilt (who Bill was negotiating against on behalf of Unibuilt’s workers at the time) is something that was ‘planted by Shorten’s enemies’ or are we simply looking at it too much in isolation?
Shorten is not unknown. He has been the opposition leader and a prominent player in Australian politics for plenty of time. If Farr wants to know why Shorten has ‘failed to emerge strongly as a leader’, it’s because people know Shorten all too well.