Finally someone saying the Emperor in waiting has no clothes

February 7, 2006 |

All of the adulation in the press about Wee willy Shorten taking on a seat and ultimately leadership of the Parliamentary wing of the ALP is nauseating.  The guy is connected and gets plenty of coverage but what has he actually done?  What does he believe in?  The  Daily Flute had an opening salvo against him last Friday.  And fair enough. 

I had dealings with Shorten at Monash and found him to be a less than impressive machine operator straight out of central casting.  Said all the things right wing wannabees said and pulled all the undergrad tricks in the eternal but ultimately unproductive factional fights Uni labor politics is famous for.  But the thing is that Bill, of Xavier heritage and blue blood tradition, believed in a lot of not very much but power.  His soundings in the press has been a lift from US management books.  At least his MBA has been put to goodish use.  He markets himself as a Tony Blair/Bill Clinton for Australia, the new brand of social democrat who will outmaneuvre the conservatives by being friends of the middle class while keeping a foot in the working class camp. 

An empty suit who knows how to hustle the contacts. 

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