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Anti-News Unlimited continues campaign against Gillard...over a hot water system?!

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What is it about the Murdoch tabloids and Julia Gillard? Are they secretly in love with the PM? Barry Everingham comments.

The Lodge

The Melbourne Murdoch rag is at it again — this time screaming headlines about a hot water system at The Lodge.

The implication is that Julia Gillard decided the new system was needed and even perhaps called plumbers to discuss it.

And as though that’s not enough, they are taking her to task for buying household items.

Now, let’s put a few things into perspective here — there is what’s called “process” when it comes to the official establishments under the control of the Commonwealth.

That’s The Lodge, Kirribilli House, Government House and Admiralty House.

The occupants of those places seldom make decisions about alterations, repairs, contents or purchases. Public servants at the Department Finance and Deregulation make the decisions, not the current occupants.

In addition, the Official Establishments Branch in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet has input as well.

If the reporter who beat-up the story didn’t know this, it has to asked: what is he or she doing working in Canberra?

Or, is this story just another part of the Murdoch Anti-News Unlimited’s outrageous vendetta against the government in general and the Prime Minister in particular, with the order from the top being: Get Julia at whatever the cost?

Let’s cast our minds back to the time when John and Janette Howard decided that The Lodge wasn’t enough to satisfy their imperial needs.

So, they lived in Kirribilli House, with awesome views of Sydney Harbour.

Their excuse?

They didn’t think it was fair to disrupt their children’s education — presumably nobody had told them boarding schools existed. Pity they hadn’t asked the hundreds of people who man our diplomatic services on overseas posts what they did with their kids’ education while serving overseas.

So, while Parliament wasn’t sitting The Lodge was in mothballs but kept fully staffed. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars were spent ferrying public servants between Canberra and Sydney for meetings with the Prime Minister.

While the Howards were at Kirribilli, several alterations were made — fair enough.

A new dining room table was ordered; when it arrived a wall was needed to be removed to get it inside.

That wasn’t the decision of John and Janette any more than Julia or Tim decided on a new hot water system.

Those decisions are made at arm’s length from the occupants, who are not responsible for the upkeep of their temporary homes, which at the end of the day belong to all Australians.

Which is surely reason enough to make sure they are maintained at the highest possible standards.

It’s time the Murdoch tabloids had a cup of tea, a Bex and a good lie down.

And of course, by day’s end, Tony Abbott will presumably agree with every word written here and say so publicly.

 

 
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