ONE OF the more interesting things about smoking is the opportunity to observe the way butts discarded in the toilet often find each other. Not always – sometimes they will sulk in separate corners – but surprisingly often, and for no apparent reason, they are drawn to float butt-to-butt or side-to-side, like little logs on a Canadian river. What mystery of physics arranges these matings must remain a riddle until the grants and peer-reviewed literature are in, but it seems noxious discards’ mutual attraction also applies in the wider world.
The proof: On August 3 in Melbourne, Julia Gillard will launch former Police Commissioner Christine Nixon’s biography
UPDATE: As a reminder of Nixon’s oily dissembling, let us re-visit her testimony before the Bushfires Royal Commission on April 14, 2010. Nixon is being asked to explain details omitted from an accounting of her social calendar provided at an earlier appearance:
Q: The statement makes no mention of a meal at a pub; do you agree with that?NIXON: I think that, looking at the statement, itwas prepared with the best knowledge I can at the time…Q: When you prepared this statement had you forgotten that you went to the Metropolitan [Hotel]?NIXON: Look, I didn't think it was relevant, and what I understood I was being asked about was my role as the Police Commissioner and the other two responsibilities I had on the day. Whether I had a meal at home and prepared it myself or whether I had a meal otherwise, I didn't see as being important….Q: …But you have just agreed, Ms Nixon, that the omission of the reference to the meal out in the statement was a matter of choice. You decided it was not relevant?NIXON: I did.Q: I suggest to you, you deliberately omitted reference to the meal being out at a pub both in your statement and in your oral evidence because you didn't want to reveal that you had gone out for a meal rather than stayed at home?NIXON: Look, I don't agree with that point at all. It was an arrangement that was easily cancelled. It wasn't significant. It wasn't a celebration….
And thus it was that Victoria’s senior disaster official left the bushfires command centre to stuff her face while 173 Victorians were being burned to death. As the full transcript makes clear, for three full hours on the terrible night of February 7, 2009, not a single emergency official bothered to contact Nixon, presumably because those at the command HQ realized her wisdom was not worth the cost of a phone call.
Is it any wonder a pair of oleaginous specimens like Nixon and our PM enjoy such mutual esteem?