Topic: big media
Alan Ramsey is a cornerstone of the Fairfax press business. He is a must read because of his corporate federal political memory and a host of other qualities. He can be a bit of a "lounge bar bore" as Kerr and Mayne (both then at crikey.com.au) cruelly - and jealously - argued a few years back .... until recovered self confessed alco Kerr got on the same treadmill at The Oz broadsheet, and well done there CK.
Crabb has got what it takes. Whether she gets the gig we have no idea. Whether she wants it is another big one. Looking at crusty Ramsey she would have to be searching her soul about locking in a certain future.
What brings SAM's owner editor to this judgement I hear you ask, just as we predicted Deborah Cameron would succeed in the crunch job after Trioli at ABC 702 radio? AC is clearly smart and writes well with an appealing dry wit. But that's not nearly sufficient. She's really very honest and strong and that brings gravitas. A keystone has to have gravitas. Hair style has nothing to do with it as follows:
1. Last Saturday 29 Nov column AC declares a brazen attempt by the Deputy PM Gillard to duchess her with a personal call about 'Tim's hair care product'. All so innocent - not. But only the beady eyed and cynical would understand the need to declare. Even better if she had refused the gifts outright. But AC reveals she accepted the trivial gifts - the real import was the deputy PM making the call not the value or source of the shampoo. The attempt to blurr the lines of separations of 2nd (executive) and 4th (press) estates, infamous revolving door.
2. On Meet the Press 10 next morning, we watch with jaded eye as AC defers to News Corp colleague to ask "the question" about Tim Mathieson over alleged nepotism for an honourary health ambassadorship role. This looks tragic we think. The duchessing has taken it's course as per 1 above. But then Crabb breaks out of the gilded cage with the spirit of a real pillar of the 4th estate so essential in our democracy: A crunching question on the real issue de jour - failure to properly manage money in a time of economic strife with computers in schools roll out double the cost announced at election time.
Nor was it a simple question. It took maybe 30 seconds to a minute to ask. And Gillard didn't answer it because she had no answer really. And it showed. The natural order was re-established. Accountability was reinforced. Faux sisterhood was subordinated to the business of democracy and professional arms length.
Step on up Annabel Crabb, your country needs your service and as they say on the West Wing, where's the choice in that? You are a little fresh by comparison, and we think you made a minor factual mistake in today's column (Bidgood really did mispeak by leaving out a second "not" in his mangled double negative pommie defense of mate PM Rudd), but these are indeed trivial, amplifying the greater reality. Our imperfections colour the jewell and provide the space to grow into the role.
As No Drama Obama has revealed, you feel like 'this is what I should be doing'. SAM can tell which is our blessing and our curse.
And Old Ramsey? You will be missed Dude, you will be missed. Well played, that's some innings Dude. It's all one can ask for in this veil.