The Guardian • Issue #2081


  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2081
Weasel Words heading

Exchanges and debates (valuable)

Former Australian PM Tony Abbott, always in search of far-right figures to be relevant to, has dropped in on the ‘Danube Institute’ in Hungary, funded by the Hungarian Orban government. Abbott will contribute to the Hungarian Conservative magazine, and will be a guest speaker at the Institute, a place he describes as where   “valuable exchanges and debates” take place. We can look forward to the man who described Aboriginal people living where they’ve always lived as “a lifestyle choice” really getting into a debate with a Hungarian PM who has spoken out against “mixed race” countries.

Personal agendas

Like ‘ideology,’ and ‘regime,’ personal agendas are those bad things that only other people have. I have ideas (good), you have an ideology (bad). We have a ‘government’ (good), you have a ‘regime’ (boo). I’m just doing my job with no ideas at all, like a zombie, and you have a personal agenda. How dare you!

Nine newspapers executive editor, Tory-by-name-and-nature McGuire, has explained that staff who have signed an open letter calling for fair reporting on Gaza and Palestine, won’t be allowed to write on the topic because she doesn’t want their “personal agendas” influencing their writing. If you’re a Nine journalist and your “personal agenda” includes disliking both-sidesism and the murder of other journalists, you’re out of luck.

On the other hand, if your ‘agenda’ is at all affected by having been on one of the junkets to Israel often bestowed on Australian journalists, and you have not signed a letter calling for reporting that adheres to truth, you’re laughing.


The Victorian Liberal Party, who are to the Victorian Labor Party as the Hooley Dooleys* were to the Wiggles, are worried about children. No, not about underfunded high schools, guess again. Overfunded private schools? Don’t be silly.

What’s on the mind of the professional politician who hopes to be Minister for Education one day, is that a large group of Victorian students took a half day off to attend the Schools Strike for Palestine. As well as being divisive (see previous Weasel Words for how that word is used to attack democratic expressions of opinion), the Schools Strike for Palestine is political, and Jess Wilson, MP for Kew, and full-time politician isn’t having a bar of it.

*early 2000s pop group for children. More likeable than the Victorian Liberal Party, but about as successful

Traditional American* values

Nick Bryant, who used to describe Australia to the the BBC’s online audience as though the The Australian newspaper is an unbiased source, and as though Sydney is Australia, has said that the US Ambassador to Australia Caroline Kennedy promotes “traditional American values.” Bryant doesn’t spell out what these values are, but Kennedy has reassured some of the local warmongers that the ruinously expensive AUKUS submarines are on track. You don’t get more traditionally USA than that.

*sic. We know that the Americas includes more countries than the USA, but we’re quoting Nick Bryant, who probably doesn’t.


Penny Wong has described Australia’s role in promoting nuclear disarmament as “ambitious.” That’s a fair description if you completely ignore our cooperation with the USA’s submarines and bombers, and our very polite refusal to ask if there are any nuclear weapons onboard; and if you use the sense of ‘ambition’ of thinking something would be nice, then doing nothing about it. The next time you decide to sleep in, just tell yourself you’re ambitious about getting up, then carry on snoozing.

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