Finding Relief in Tweets: Jeff Kennett’s Greatest Hits
The people of New South Wales are not the only ones to receive a gift. It may not be as good for mental health as a good picnic, but Victoria’s is almost as much fun – former prime minister and CrikeyThe estranged-grandfather-who-hates-us, Jeff Kennett’s Twitter account. Overnight he warned:
They are aware of the Trolls, the good guys that the silent majority are riding over the hill and coming to rescue the State.
And they are not part of the premiers [sic] social media team, paid for by us, but citizens tired of the abuse, of the loss of what Victoria was when the best state of Aus
What are you talking about? What can it possibly mean? Who are you talking to? Possibly the apotheosis of his career as a poster, although he has some serious competition. Kennett has frequently used Twitter as a place to direct the energy he used to expend on fantastically offensive comments at corporate lunches.
Digging a trench on the wrong side of history
It’s not just Stephen Mayne that Kennett likes to row with on Twitter. He also felt the need to speak up during the aftermath of the Tim Worner / Amber Harrison affair. After Harrison and Worner had an affair and Harrison was fired, he went HAM on Twitter, posting love letters and documents so confidential that none of the reports on the matter were reported. could specify what they were without risking legal action.
Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial and get Crikey Directly to your inbox
Whatever the hits and misses of Harrison’s conduct, some would argue that it wasn’t a brilliant idea (legally, given Kennett’s history, or even just in general) for Kennett to get involved. But he did. He sent a series of tweets in the manner of Harrison telling him that “stealing from your employer is unacceptable” and “what we do not like is that you provide business documents that have nothing to do with your claim and are not your property.”
From Taylored to Jeffed
It is the most modern political misstep: making a positive comment on your own post, clearly believing that you are connected as someone else – an act what we call “getting Taylored”. Kennett’s incorporation into this glorious tradition is disappointingly low-energy, sad to say.
Just “agreed”? Doesn’t even “finally someone say so” or something like that? It seems like a waste.
I predict a riot
Unsurprisingly, the reign of current Prime Minister Daniel, “dictator Dan” Andrews, has been a frequent topic for Kennett’s most … let’s say, flowery, post. After Andrews was delayed in announcing further relaxation of the lockdown last October, Kennett became so upset that I forgot how to spell the word throw (oh and how not to encourage widespread civil disobedience):
Encourage businesses to prepare to open and then close the door on their faces again. I say open business and let this control freak out [sic] all of us in jail …
He could have meant that as nothing more than bravado, but given the Andrews government’s tendency to send police to people’s homes for social media activity, it was a risk.
Sound the alarm
Following the logic that the phrase “I don’t want to sound racist” invariably precedes a statement that will violate the Racial discrimination law In six different and horrible ways, Kennett last month tweeted “I don’t want to be an alarmist” before claiming that he had inside information that the state lockdown was going to last until the new year:
I make I don’t want to be an alarmist but I just heard from two different sources, the food companies informed tonight that the Victoria shutdown will last until the New Year. If that’s a fact, our society as we know it, families [sic]Kids, small businesses won’t survive without great pain.
Victoria’s Industry Support Minister was quick to respond that “food companies have not been told such a thing” and described Kennett’s tweet as “irresponsible bullshit.”