IT REALLY is a pity young, firm women and giddy girls are not obliged to follow the fallout of the OPI's Overland leaks investigation, as it would bore the pants off all of them in no time flat. Mind you, other sections of the community, the mature and sensible bits, also face the challenge of staying securely be-trousered, but for different reasons. There is so much that is laughable about this latest Spring Street farce that convulsive contractions of the diaphragm might easily see the Fletcher Jones hit the floor. The papers are full of it this morning, black and white and dead in the head all over.
Should Police Minister and Deputy Premier Peter Ryan resign? Who knew what and when? Lots of end-of-civilisation-as-we-know-it quotes from the Opposition’s Rob Hulls, who is going on (and on and on) about probity, standards, ethics and violations of public trust.
Very low in the coverage is any mention of the twin questions that would seem to be at the nub of this ever more florid burlesque. Indeed, the second is not being put at all:
1/ Tapping phones, especially so many phones, is serious stuff -- so serious the suspected offence is supposed to come with the potential for a multi-year prison term.
Why was the OPI so quick to infest so many phone lines with bugs – ministers, reporters, political aides, union officers, even spouses -- and to do so on the strength of Simon Overland’s boo-hoo gripe that people were saying harsh things behind his back?
2/ Why this case?
The very same Rob Hulls now presenting himself as a champion of the public’s right to know is also the former Attorney General who refused point-blank to allow his staffers to testify about the Windsor Hotel scandal. If the then-Opposition had enjoyed the same respect and affection Overland appears to command at the OPI we might now be enjoying the amusement of a voluminous chronicle of Hulls’ colleagues’ eavesdropped brainstorming about the best way to keep the Windsor facts under wraps.
So keep a close grip on your belts, sensible Melbournians. Further barrages of belly laughs are on the way – especially for those with a taste of for the petty, the self-righteous, the hypocritical and, most of all, the absurd.