The view from the departure lounge

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What a week it’s been (well, week and a bit) for departures. The exit doors have been flapping particularly wildly this week. So It’s time to say a few farewells, none of them fond, to those who’ve been boned, or forced to bone themselves. (That expression really doesn’t get any less inappropriate with time, does it?) I know I won’t miss any of the most recent departures.


Tony Blair
Most have slammed his record on account of Iraq. Blair was the salesman who gave the war what scant veneer of legitimacy it had, and for that he will ever be described as Bush’s poodle – a lovely description given the man’s inherent prissiness.
And Tonza should indeed be remembered harshly for the debacle in Iraq. But he has other crimes to take into account. It was he who, almost a decade ago, coined the phrase “People’s Princess” – a contradiction in terms if ever I heard one. He was described at the time as the nation’s Mourner-In-Chief. I’m sorry Diana died, but let’s be honest, she had a better life than she deserved, and the charity work she did was the least anyone with half a conscience would do if they received massive amounts of money because they’d married someone wealthy.
Blair’s other linguistic offence was to spearhead up with the notion of “Cool Britannia”, one of the most irksome self-congratulatory marketing terms I’ve ever heard. The only thing that’s really cool about Britain is the climate.
Paul Wolfowitz
Few things satisfy me more than prominent Bushies falling foul of the administration’s own monstrous arrogance. And so it was with Wolfowitz, one of the architects of the Iraq War whose appointment to the World Bank was second in its appropriateness only to the appointment of the repugnant John Bolton as UN Ambassador. I haven’t enjoyed a resignation this much since Rumsfeld. Wolfowitz won’t be missed, and please, God, may his next posting be to Baghdad.
The rumour about Peter Costello being tapped to replace him in today’s Crikey, while perhaps far-fetched, is a fascinating one. A much better option than becoming Opposition Leader in December, surely?
Stay tuned for Alberto Gonzales as the next hopeless Bush appointment out the door.
Eddie McGuire
In an irony whose deliciousness must surely be most appreciated by Jessica Rowe just now, the boner gets boned himself. OK, sure, so he’s denying it. Whatever. The point is, it was a dumb idea for him to run Nine off-screen instead of on-screen. He must be incredibly relieved that another suit can take the heat for Seven’s resurgence, and he can do what seems to come so naturally to him – host television shows.
Margaret Jackson
Private equity is high-stakes poker. She played the wrong hand by backing APA, and she’s paying the price. So is James Packer and presumably the rest of the Qantas board will follow. I hope she doesn’t get too much of a parachute payment, but as this is corporate Australia, undoubtedly she’ll earn even more for her ignominious departure than she did at the helm.
Lote Tuqiri
It’s just for a few games, so he can regain his speed, but what the hey, it made headlines, so I might as well include it anyway. And Lote, next time, check whether the speakerphone is on, buddy.
Allan Moss
What a surprise it was to see the Macquarie Bank CEO declare this week that he was earning far too much money, and that instead of banking even more millions next year he’s going to give the game away and become a philanthropist, using his undoubted skills to improve the world as much as he has Mac Bank’s bottom line.
Oh sorry, that was wishful thinking.

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