Looking at life... from an oblique angle / and I sometimes Twitter (normally only when riled up): @brindafella

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Politicians only lie when they open their mouth

"He's one of the few in the history of this country to run for high office talking out of both sides of his mouth at the same time and lying out of both sides."

Thus said Harry S. Truman, about Richard Nixon. (reference)

Recently, a politician in my own country was caught out telling only some quirky version of the truth, and that VERY late after he was caught out.

It happened to be the Prime Minister of Australia, the Honourable Kevin Rudd MP. Note the 'honorific' title before his name: As Wikipedia says, "An honorific is a word or expression that conveys esteem or respect when used in addressing or referring to a person."

So, we now learn that this honoured man used quite un- or dis-honourable language to a steward on a flight he was taking, courtesy of the official transport provided for his use by the Royal Australian Air Force.


* Has Rudd's inner bogan been outed? Canberra Times, by Rossyln Beeby on 3/04/2009 2:59:06 PM

* RAAF flight attendant abused by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd after special meal request,, By Steve Lewis and Ian McPhedranThe Daily TelegraphApril 03, 2009 12:01am

* PM Kevin Rudd's flight rage at RAAF meal service, The Australian, April 03, 2009

* Mile-high meltdown, BBC Online, Nick Bryant's Australia (blog), Nick Bryant, 01:44 UK time, Friday, 3 April 2009

* and there are more...


The gist of the story is that Kevin Rudd was on a healthy diet and was not eating "red meat". So, when he was served red meat on an Air Force flight, and there was no alternative meal not including red meat, he used his famous wit and charm to reduce the flight attendant to tears.

Only several months later does the story come out.

Only then does he admit to the story.

Only, that's not the point.

These people (the flight crew) are servants of the politicians. 34 Squadron (part of 84 Wing) is there for the purpose of serving dignitaries (including politicians), and the service is "charged out" at a price quite ridiculously below the actual cost of the service provided. And, the politicians know (or ought to know) about the cost basis for the service.

So, when someone bad-mouths a 'servant of the people' (an Air Force member), what does that say about the person using his or her mouth?

I could not find a quote about "politicians only lie when they open their mouth" but I did run into the Truman quote at the top. Truman got it right about Nixon. It seemed like it might even apply here, as in 'what happened at the time and what happened later'.

Who would want to be a politician? Not me.

I know several people who have been crew members of 34 Squadron. (This is 'that kind of town' where you meet people from all over.) They are fine people, very professional, caring, and indulgent to what needs to be done for dignitaries. I'm sure that the current crew of 34 SQN are also fine people. And, they deserve better than someone using a "bad mouth" on them. After all, all personnel of the Australian Defence Force must undergo annual training in how to treat others in a kindly and considerate fashion in the workplace. What a pity that politicians seem incapable of remembering their lessons!


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