Independent. Always. (Part 3,256)

The Sydney Morning Herald’s political correspondent in London filed a “proof of life” article this weekend, in a futile attempt to convince her editor she wasn’t spending all her time lounging around in Shoreditch bars and Brick Lane curry houses:

She probably could have stopped at the headline. Maybe she could have made it a little clearer, perhaps; “Opposition Party Opposes Government Position”.

Somehow though, she manages to fry up a couple of hundred words of absolute nothing burger on the theme:

London: Britain’s opposition is demanding Prime Minister Boris Johnson boycott Australia’s campaign to have Mathias Cormann installed as the next head of the OECD saying the former cabinet minister’s denialist climate change record makes him unfit for the job.


That’s a thoroughly modern adjective with really one main usage; to discredit an individual who expresses any level of scepticism with the climate change narrative.

How modern is this word? Here’s how many times it’s appeared in published books in the last couple of hundred years:

Labour’s spokeswoman for trade, Emily Thornberry has written to the British Prime Minister, demanding he guarantee that Britain will not back Cormann, who was instrumental in twice removing Malcolm Turnbull has Liberal party leader, over his record on climate policy. Australia’s Labor Party has backed Cormann’s OECD bid.

I’m confused, is UK Labour saying Cormann is a bad person for rolling a Prime Minister from the other side of the political spectrum? Or is the journalist making that assertion?

Also, Emily Thornbury, (also known as Lady Nugee); oh dear…. go to YouTube and look at her greatest hits. Fortunately for Emily, Dianne Abbott and Richard Burgon are still MPs so the Westminster Village Idiot position has an incumbent and succession plan.

Former Labor premier Mike Rann, who was replaced by the Abbott government just one year into his term as Australia’s high commissioner to Britain in 2014, added to the criticism.

Man who got the sack has an axe to grind.


But Cristina Talacko who chairs of the Coalition for Conservation said Cormann was not a climate change sceptic.

“Mathias is certainly not a climate denialist and that he will be very well placed to help the OECD member countries to achieve net zero given his experience on negotiations, his knowledge on how to apply the best methodologies and his fiscally responsible mind.

Woman from the same side of politics likes her side of politics.


British Labour’s opposition to Cormann’s candidacy is significant in the context of the UK-Australia bilateral relationship, particularly given the Australian Labor Party has endorsed Cormann’s candidacy.

So what? Do the UK Labour and Australian Labor (sic) Parties need to be in lock step about every issue? Who is Bourke trying to lobby here?

Number 10 declined to comment.

Number 10 might have a little more on their plate to deal with in 2020 than responding to Latika Bourke’s latest stating the bleedinobvious article.

Bill’s Opinion

The content of Bourke’s column is only relevant if you have the prior assumption Cormann’s stated position on climate change is incorrect at best, possibly mendacious.

It would have been written completely differently if the author was seeking to maintain a perception of journalistic objectivity.

There’s no law requiring the Sydney Morning Herald to be non-partisan, but their tagline is “Independent. Always“, after all.

Finally, the amusing, “Number 10 declined to comment” reminded me of this classic:

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