our clown goes to london...
The Abbott Government hands out more jobs to the Howard mafia, with Alexander Downer being appointed London High Commissioner and Nick Minchin off to New York. Barry Everingham reports.
THE DECISION of the Abbott Government to appoint former foreign minister Alexander ‘Dolly’ Downer to the plum diplomatic post of High Commissioner in London is as absurd as it outrageous (though not unexpected here at IA, where we signalled the Abbott Government’s intentions back in December).
Indeed it is parallel to Gough Whitlam's appointment of Senator Vince Gair to Dublin — at least Gough wanted Vince out of the Senate in the dying days of his Government, but Abbott's reasoning is bizarre.
From Mark Kenny in this morning’s Sydney Morning Herald:
Former foreign affairs minister Alexander Downer is set to be named as the next high commissioner to London, prematurely ending the term of the existing office holder, Mike Rann.
The move is understood to be Mr Downer's second preference after he lobbied hard for the Washington post.
Fairfax Media has learnt the federal government has decided on the controversial switch, but aware of the sensitivities, is not planning to announce the change until after the state election in South Australia on March 22.
Downer was flop as Opposition Leader, which only came about when the Liberal Party was in a fit of despair and he was offered the poisoned chalice at a time when no other Liberal MP would even remotely consider it.
His end came in 1995 when he insulted all women who had suffered abuse at the hands of husbands or partners by sneeringly referring to "things that batter".
After that, he served on the backbench until John Howard was swept into power the following year and Downer was appointed Foreign Minister. And mere moments after being appointed to the role, he exhibited more than his diplomatic credentials by agreeing to be photographed in fishnet stockings and stilettos(picture excluded) by outstanding photojournalist Grant Nowell for the Herald Sun [interpreted by Gus above].