July 09, 2004
GARRETT CHANGES TUNE MID-SONG
This may be the quickest about-face in Australian political history:
Labor's star recruit Peter Garrett has condemned the federal government for approving joint training facilities in Australia without consultation.
"The thing that I object to more than anything else is the fact that we've got Australian foreign policy being determined by officials, and senior Australian officials, in Washington, and then Australians get told about it," he told the Nine network.
"The merits or otherwise of those issues need to be fully discussed by people, not simply unilaterally announced and then dumped on people in the middle of an election campaign, following on from comments from American foreign policy or defence officials, which actually end up increasing the tempo of the debate."
Garrett was then informed by his Today Show interviewers that Mark Latham supported the joint training facilities:
"Well, if Mark Latham thinks it's a good idea and that's what the party view is, then there's merit in it. We'd accept it," he said.
"The point is that if Mr Latham thinks that that's a positive thing to happen, he will have given it some opportunity, and considered it.
"People in the Labor Party will respect his views and follow them. So will I as a Labor Party member. No question marks about that whatsoever."
UPDATE. Here’s the Today Show transcript, with a more complete (and hilarious) identification of Garrett’s whiplash moment -- and his weird attempt to change the subject:
INTERVIEWER: What about this news we’ll have more US troops training on Australian bases?
GARRETT: We need to have a full and thorough discussion about these issues. The thing I object to more than anything else is that we've got Australian foreign policy being determined by senior officials in Washington. The merits or otherwise of those issues need to be fully discussed by people, not unilaterally enounced and dumped on people in the middle of an election campaign, following in on from American defence officials.
INTERVIEWER: In the past, you have described US bases in Australia as the biggest pimples on the face of adolescent Australia. Is that what these new bases will be?
GARRETT: I don't know. I haven't seen the details. I don't know that much about it and that's the point. We need to have an open, generous and considered discussion about these issues so Australians themselves can weigh up the merits. It's been conducted in a fevered atmosphere. This is something for Australians to think through and Australians to discuss.
INTERVIEWER: Mark Latham thinks it's a good idea.
GARRETT: Well, if Mark Latham thinks it's a good idea and that's what the party view is, there's merit in it and we'd accept it.
INTERVIEWER: You turned around quickly there. That was a quick turnaround.
GARRETT: That's not the point. If Mr Latham thinks that's a good thing to happen, he will have considered it properly and everyone in the Labor Party will respect it. No question marks about it.
INTERVIEWER: You sound like a good party man.
GARRETT: I hope so. Haven't seen the detail of Son Of Star Wars. That's the difficulty.
Well, it would be the difficulty, if Son Of Stars Wars was what you were actually talking about. Peter Garrett is seven feet of pure liability.
UPDATE II. The ABC dodges Garrett’s mid-interview reversal of opinion, noting only that Garrett "accepts the Labor Party's support for the joint training facilities."
UPDATE III. On PM, the ABC continues dodging the moment of Garrett’s humiliating opinion-switch. Punks. AAP quotes happy Alexander Downer.
UPDATE IV. Chris Jones in the Courier-Mail doesn’t let Garrett off the hook:
When told that his comments were in conflict with the publicly stated views of Opposition Leader Mark Latham, Mr Garrett did a swift about-face, saying: "Well, if Mark Latham thinks it's a good idea and that's what the party view is, then there's merit in it.
An issue none have addressed so far: Garrett didn’t know his party’s policy -- and it’s on a subject he’s allegedly "passionate" about. Hasn't he been reading the papers?
UPDATE V. The Courier-Mail editorial notes Garrett’s ignorance, and writes:
Mr Garrett's scripts are likely to be more closely edited between now and the election.
So much for the "high-profile candidate".
UPDATE VI. More, from The Australian ("Mark Latham was yesterday forced to hose down comments from Labor star recruit Peter Garrett") and the Daily Telegraph ("If Peter Garrett achieves nothing else in politics he is unlikely ever to be pipped for the title of world's fastest backflip").
Posted by Tim Blair at July 9, 2004 01:45 PM
This is the biggest display of idiocy and unprincipled behaviour I have seen in a long time.
Unless of course you count the fact that Garretts only guiding principle is anti-Howard arguments.
It didn't take Garrett long to fall into line. They must have showed photos of what happens to those who go against the NSW Labor Party...I think Peter Baldwin still has some.
This reminds me of Garrett's debate with Bjorn Lomborg. After the skeptical environmentalist laid out his arguments, Garrett replied, "No no! The scientists and people who have studied these things disagree with you!" (I'm paraphrasing from memory.)
Garrett's M.O. is apparently to avoid the need for knowledge, data and analysis, by invoking the opinion of a higher authority (Latham or "people who have studied these things").
The end ofthe SMH article you linked to is hilarious: "Mr Garrett denied he had tempered his views to adapt to Labor Party policy". Does this man know the defintion of "tempered"??
Is there a standup in the world who wouldn't kill for material like this? Comedy gold.
Still to come...
Peter Garret breaks a taxi driver's arm, and grows man-boobs.
ohmygod! and these CLOWNS want to run the country!!??
The more press Garrett gets the worse it is for the Labor Party. Best thing that happened to the Libs this year was Labor recruiting Mr Baldy Man.
Before we're to hard on him, we need to allow for the fact that Garrett has never had to actually think before. As a preservationist, rather than thinking conservationist, Garrett was always able to simply grab an emotive catch cry, then prance his piece in front of the adoring media hacks.
Real world politics [in which you have to get through to those who don't simply grant you a version of infallibility exceeding anything the Pope dreams of]would be expected to cause Garrett problems. I'm sure he won't complain about his media treatment, however. He probably goes home each night thankful that the journalists aren't swooping on his foul-ups the way they would if he was Pauline Hanson.
Not, of course, that he'd make her mistake of saying what she actually believed?
The thing I object to more than anything else is that we've got Australian foreign policy being determined by senior officials in Washington. The merits or otherwise of those issues need to be fully discussed by people, not unilaterally enounced and dumped on people
The subtext here is that Garrett was not personally consulted. Margo has the same problem. They cant see that in a democracy, elected officials do make decisions on the basis of a mandate given to them by virtue of having been democratically elected. The unwashed left call this 'undemocratic' as it is not their view that is accepted as policy.
I don't know. I haven't seen the details. I don't know that much about it and that's the point.
Hmmm, doesnt't stop the fucknuckle from making pronouncements and having them accepted as being an informed opinion.
This interview should be required reading for any Australian voter. ( P.S, its sooooo obviously a Howard plot)
Singapore's military has been using Australian bases for years. They pre-position equipment here so they don't have to transport it everytime they want to train. Funny, you never hear anyone protesting about it.
I thought Mal Meninga's about-face a couple of years ago was the fastest in political history - He entered politics at the beginning of the interview, but resigned before he had finished his diatribe.
If only Garrett could do the same...
I think he should shut his mouth and let his hands to the talking.
Notice how he was so close to doing that crazy dance of his.
Abbott should put the blowtorch on him and see if his body will follow those maniacal hand actions of his.
He voted against it before he voted for it you might say.... He won't be able to steal Kerry's "we have better hair" campaign slogan though.
Rocks for brains, plus he looks like an Easter Island statue an' all.
Can we give him back?
Latham wants to send him back to the factory for repairs but he just can't risk having him out the arena for 3 months.
My respect for Mal increased the day that he did that walk out. At least he knew that politics wasn't for him and was honest about it.
As for Peter..... this is the guy they want to run the Environment portfolio? It will be extremely painful to watch and I hope for our sake that it does not happen.
From the ABC "report": "Greens leader Bob Brown has backed Mr Garrett."
This has the potential to get interesting. How much twisting and turning will we see from Brownie over the next few months as "seven feet of pure liability" stumbles from one incoherent statement to the next? A whole lot, I'll bet.
I'll vote for Labor and publicly oppose calls for the privatisation of the ABC if I see or hear an ABC journo ask Garrett: You've been labelled seven feet of pure liability. Any truth in that?
And I'll donate money to both Labor and the ABC if I see or hear an ABC journo ask Garrett: So, fucknuckle, you've been labelled seven feet of pure liability. Any truth in that?
Seven feet of pure liability. Best line of the 2004 Federal Election. Easily!
Update: I'm surprised Tim Dunlop and Chris Sheila haven't been over here telling us Garrett's not 7 feet...
You'll find the extra foot if you just look in Peters mouth...
Heh, first time I glanced at the head line I though it said "GARRETT CHANGES TUNE MID-BONG"
Downer has a very amusing take on this debacle:
I have a feeling that Labor won't put the seven foot long moray eel impersonator into the the environment portfolio, his history could only come back to bite them.
Labor will create a new portfolio of National Reconciliation and have him acting the angel (harping here and harping there).
Moray Eels have very strong jaws, hard to pry open, therefore expect his foot to stay firmly planted in his mouth until the election!
Good one, Tim.
And this rod-walloping spanker wants to be part of the GOVERNMENT?
Tim, the true beauty of this is that it shows Garrett's 30 years of "principles" up for what they always were. Bullshit.
ohmygod! and these CLOWNS want to run the country!!??
The scary thing is, they may get their chance.
The interview with Kevin pixie Rudd by Maxine McKew on The 7.30 report last night,was nearly as funny as the interview with Garrett
Which circus did these clowns come from.
Also I read this morning that Paul Keating has been advising Mark Latham . This could explain a lot..
"Peter Garrett is seven feet of pure liability."
Hang on kids - Garrett said in his first utterings to the press that the Labour party's line would be his line. He didn't say he was always going to agree, but he did say that the party line was gonna be his line. He probably doesn't agree, as I'm sure certain Liberals don't agree with everything (anything?) this conga-line of suckholes does to support the US's plan for global superiority and big gun diplomacy.
so yeah, it was a quick turnaround - but it's what he said he was gonna do ... ie if the party line was X, he'd put his point, then if Labour and Latham didn't agree, he'd support the party line. I'm sure he doesn't still agree with the party line - but he said he'd support it.
You people should all take your head out of Timmy's arse and think about things. Fuckwits.
Chris: Are you trying to say that if we have certain political feeling that don't match the left, that we've all drunk the kool-aid?
If someone corrects course in mid-phrase, I think they make themselves the object of ridicule.
Peter Garrett = Verbal Prostitute
That's it, I'm voting Labor. This is Billy MacMahon all over again, on stilts. Comedians will be wistfully telling their grandchildren about this idiot for generations to come.
Hang on, Chris. It's Labor for a start, not Labour -- penis-breath!
Garrett is a brain-dead, snorting, sniffing, superannuated, mediocre music performer, semi-fair singer, could be wannabe, retard, spastic (in its true meaning), anglophobic, holophobic environmental nazi with deusions of grandeur AND a belief that someone in this world actually gives a sh*t what he thinks!
Even worse than that –– he's going to be a politician!
Gee -- let me guess -- have I thought about it?
'Hang on kids - Garrett said in his first utterings to the press that the Labour party's line would be his line.'
Try again next time.
Or hold your breath and turn blue.
And Chris, language! I mean, really! It doesn't help your argument! Stupid as it is!
Look! Garrett said he was going to be a party tool and then he was a party tool!!! Where is the flip-flop??!?!?!??! You should all listen to Chris he is VARY SMARTY!
Serious suggestion here: what if Garrett is just planning to use the Labor party in order to get elected into parliament, and then immediately defect to the Greens?
Isn't this the most sensible explanation of his actions? Isn't this what _you_ would do if you were Peter Garrett? And furthermore, what guarantee has Mark Latham got that he _won't_ do this?
Peter Garrett, Australia's answer to Senator Kerry.
More to the point, Garret started off by complaing that the "people" had no say in the decision. But it seems what he really meant was that the right person hadn't approved. Once that was cleared up, all was ok because we all know that the left represents people so any leftist position is by definition the will of the people. Or something...
John Kerry is more consistent than THAT.
Re- Garrett's spiel. I wonder if he would be so stridently against policy being determined by officials and unilaterally dumped on the public (to paraphrase) if the words 'foreign policy' were changed to, say, 'multiculturalism' or 'Kyoto'?
Is it wrong for this Republican consultant to be a huge closet Midnight Oil fan? Is it wrong that I have supported this idiocy by purchasing CD's and paying the price of admission to see Midnight Oil in Boston three years ago?
The shame. The shame.
I've got it!
By penance, I think it is my responsbility to start some sort of "Midnight Oil Fans for Bush" organization.
"Best flip flop I've ever seen, I'm jealous!"
John F. Kerry
My goodness. Could the lesson here be: Don't let your celebrity fronts speak without proper briefings and rehearsals?
How impressively Soviet.
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact? If the Party is for it, so am I!
Evil Genius For a Better Tomorrow, no shame at all. Republicans are intelligent enough to recognise the difference. Unlike groupthink lefties. I personally think Blue Sky Mine - extended mix - is one of their great songs and of course there are many others, if you can ignore the chippy lyrics.
Garretts mouth is like a teenagers dick in it's first root, it's shoots off as soon as it gets excited...
We need to have an open, generous and considered discussion about these issues so Australians themselves can weigh up the merits.
Isn't it amazing how quickly he changed his mind about the Australian public making up it's mind once he knew Latho said it was ok.
I said it once before and I'll say it again. Latham only brought Garrett into the labor party to make himself look less stupid, mind you it's a toss up.
Good to see Mr Half-chewed Rubber-tipped pencil is as flaky as his fellow brethren in the Labour Party. Maybe Sooky Latham should tell him to go into a dance routine whenever he slips up.
Question to ponder:
Should a leader be willing to risk power on a matter of principle? Should a politician toe the party line, even if it means going against their conscience & fundamental beliefs? Does this make them a sell-out, and do we really want such people running the country?