Monday, June 21, 2004

The opaquely horrible Don Watson

In April, Don Watson had this to say, apropos of Mark Latham’s borrowing from an old Bill Clinton speech:

There is no habit (among politicians) of precision. There is a habit of regurgitation of dullness and clichés.

As I wrote then – and also earlier, from Adelaide Writers Week – when it comes to throwing around stone-sized clichés, Don Watson appears to be living in a rather large glasshouse,. Instead of pointing out the obvious – Mark Latham simply doesn’t want to employ a competent speechwriter because there are no votes in ideas and vision, certainly not out there in Aspirational-land – Don sticks within his own blinkered dogma, so leading to some inevitable howlers.

So what was that about politicians not being precise, Don? Two months on, evidently PM John Howard is a boulder-sized exception:

I think his best quality is the ability all good politicians have, to see where an argument can be constructed and make it sound like he really believes it.

Now, if only Don could now learn the art of constructing an argument himself. As it happens, Don (and Mark), I’m qualified and available for the task, right now. Too bad that you’re both apparently too scared of ideas to take me up. And that’s "transparently” scared, Don – just in case you need a redundant adjective to make my offer to you sound more appealing.

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