BACKING UP from his entry to the political fray — launching an unsolicited, unwarranted and malicious attack on Tony Abbott’s wife — former “First Bloke” Tim Mathieson has struck again, threatening a lawsuit against Victorian Premier Denis Napthine for likening his misuse of Julia Gillard’s car to notorious state MP Geoff Shaw. Mathieson, an irrelevance, wasn’t worth a can of beans when Gillard was Prime Minister. Now it is time for him to shut up.
It’s been quite some time since I’ve given readers something to listen to while they read, although right here is something that fits the bill perfectly; I first heard it, horrified, walking through the staff kitchen whilst running the dinner shift in a Brisbane restaurant in late 1994 and never imagined I’d be using it in an article about politics.
Yet here it is: it’s irritating, puerile, and downright tasteless — just like Tim Mathieson, partner of Julia Gillard, the sometime “First Bloke” thrust upon an unreceptive public — and as readers will see, there is a clear connection to shampoo, which has made Mathieson a figure of some infamy in his own right since his girlfriend was ejected from the Prime Ministership. Rather fittingly, its banal lyrics retell, in idiot-simple terms, a story that it’s a shame hasn’t as yet befallen Mathieson. Still, we live in hope…
“Idiot-simple” is an apt term to describe Mathieson, who has unwisely seen fit to leave a message on an answering machine (that also recorded his mobile number) in the Warrnambool electorate office of Victorian Premier Denis Napthine, threatening “legal action against Denis the Vet” if Napthine again mentions him in the Victorian Parliament in relation to the miscreant state MP for Frankston, Geoff Shaw.
And I say that because first and foremost, any idiot with half a clue about how Parliaments in this country work knows that whatever members say inside the chamber, during parliamentary sittings, is subject to parliamentary privilege — and is thus immune from legal proceedings for defamation.
It is clear that Mathieson doesn’t even know this much.
And before I go further (assuming readers have by now listened to the little gem I linked to the second paragraph), those unfamiliar to date with the story can read about it here — and listen to the imbecilic message Mathieson left for “Denis the Vet.”
The problem Mathieson faces at first blush is that there are valid and compelling comparisons to be drawn between Shaw, who was suspended and fined by the Victorian Parliament last week over the misuse of a taxpayer-funded vehicle that he used to drive all over the state and beyond in his private business, and himself — who did practically the same thing in Gillard’s taxpayer-funded vehicle all over Victoria selling shampoo in his job as a sales representative for a haircare products company.
We discussed this at the time, when Geoff Shaw was facing 24 criminal charges — subsequently dropped — over the misuse of his car despite making reimbursing taxpayers for his misdeeds, and when a 10-month fight by then-Prime Minister Gillard to stop the Department of Finance from complying with a decision by the Information Commissioner that certain material should be released under a Freedom of Information request granted in favour of the applicant was finally defeated.
What did this material reveal? That Mathieson had not only been up to the same thing Shaw had, but that Gillard — like Shaw — had repaid monies to the taxpayer in what can only be construed by anyone with a brain as tacit acknowledgement that the breach had been committed.
As I said at the time, for Shaw to face charges over a breach of regulations similar to that which Mathieson appeared to have gotten away scot-free with was eyebrow-raising, to say the least; and as much as Gillard’s standard tactic of attempting to bludgeon unpleasant revelations about herself and those around her into non-existence under the threat of legal proceedings, the public had a right to know what Mathieson had been doing: a contention the Information Commissioner clearly agreed with.
Now, Mathieson appears to be recycling the strategy, and despite the suggestion some of the Premier’s staff might have been shocked to hear him threaten to have Napthine hauled before the law, the fact remains that this is laughable — and it is Mathieson who is the joke.
This boofhead has, since Gillard was removed from office, shown a propensity for attracting headlines for all the wrong reasons; only last month he tried to damage the reputation of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s wife, Margie, in a vicious and disgusting personal attack that was as lacking in decency as it was in any basis in fact or reason.
At the time, I suggested that Mathieson might have been used as a cat’s paw for forces elsewhere in the ALP, and that he might have been put up to it; with this latest episode involving Denis Napthine, however, it’s difficult to give Mathieson the benefit of the doubt in such a way: after all, in this case, there is nobody else to handball the responsibility to.
This time, Mathieson is on his own.
We’re talking about an individual who is well-known for being “seen” at the “right” events, and getting himself invited to make a slew of public appearances at functions during Gillard’s Prime Ministership — often flying solo — that serve little more purpose than to pander to some weird cult of celebrity that, to be frank, is scraping the dregs of the barrel for “stars” where the likes of Tim Mathieson is concerned.
And whilst I acknowledge he spent a lot of his time on worthy causes whilst “First Bloke,” the merit of those activities really has to be weighed against both his propensity to turn up to the opening of an envelope and these past couple of appearances in the public eyeline, in which he has behaved as nothing more than a thug.
Julia Gillard was a dreadful Prime Minister, and one of the worst specimens to ever hold that office; we could talk about that particular subject for days (and probably will in the next week or so 🙂 ) but if nothing else, she was an elected member of Parliament made leader of her party by her colleagues, and thus Prime Minister — irrespective of the tastelessness of the circumstances in which those events occurred, or her fitness or otherwise to hold the office of Prime Minister at all.
Mathieson, by contrast, is nothing: a loud-mouthed boorish thug of absolutely no standing whatsoever, and his five minutes in the public spotlight as “First Bloke” did and does nothing to alter the fact that in the bigger scheme of things, he isn’t worth a can of beans in the context of public affairs in this country — and, perhaps despite delusions to the contrary, never will be.
He should crawl away and hide behind whatever rock Gillard is using for shelter; in so doing this obsequious, obnoxious toad will find himself in good company, and the rest of us can be thankful not to see or hear from him ever, ever again.
Simply stated, Tim Mathieson should get lost. The world will continue to turn without him. It is time, belatedly, for him to just shut up.