|Quoting Allrite (Reply 2):|
Hope they specify the dress code for the talks.
To be fair Allrite (even to be unfair come to that) you need to specify a bit more. Basically, Downer's most memorable effort was at a (?Asian) conference where he did a song and dance act dressed in fish net stockings. But he had history before that.
|Quoting Beaucaire (Reply 3):|
Since I know the man just from his position as former Australian FM but have never researched any of his "contributions"..- who the hell then has proposed the man if he's a lame duck ??
As best I can tell, and Allrite seems about as blank on the subject and we have yet to hear from others, someone in the UN thought it would be a good idea, no doubt after Downer had explained to him that he "fancied a UN job so what was there going of suitable status" - always very fond of status. After that, the request would come to Aus, and Kevin from Heaven could hardly say no, so once the lobbying had been successful, it would have been close to a fait accompli.
That written, there is a fair bit of inner complexity within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (it abbreviates to DFAT - such that ladies from there are known as DFAT lady [De fat lady] with or without intended humour on their part) so they may even have thought it was a good idea. But I rather doubt it.
He did star in the AWB payments for trucking wheat to Saddam scandal, where with half a look it was clear there were no extra trucking fees. But it never came across his desk, or words to that effect.
There was a set of Moir cartoons in the Herald at the time which portrayed Howard, Downer and the Min for Trade (now departing Mr Vaile) as various characters from Winnie the Pooh (Downer was Winnie himself) each with a bucket pulled over their head - to avoid being able to see, or perhaps also to hear.
The things that batter comes from when he was leader of the Opposition. He has a bit of a pommie accent so batter and matter are close, and the things that batter was a joke in rather poor taste about domestic violence as well as what was important.
All in all, a man with a fair reputation for gaffes. Sorry about that to Cyprus, but we are relieved to lose him.
Still you never know, in an awkward situation where both sides in the room might start shooting him, he might turn up trumps - as they say, you just never know!!!
- no picture of crossed knees!
Confession: I have spent many happy weeks working part-time for DFAT and they have some really top notch folk on their full time staff. I did not spend as much time with them once Downer took the reins!! DFAT certainly have done some good things with Indonesia, but PNG has been a bridge too far - it appears to be a bridge too far for the inhabitants of PNG too - alas.