In John Clarke’s brilliant mockumentry of the Sydney 2000 Olympics, The Games, there is a line delivered during a press conference by a (fictional) government minister about a (fictional) disgraced civil servant: that he has my full support. The irony of this line is explained in the course of the episode: realistically, we learn, it is code for absolute scapegoatery, dismissal, blame and other such negative association with an already-broken media disaster – even though, as we also learn, the victim in question is not necessarily responsible.
Witness, then, the recent discussion of Brendan Nelson’s hold on the Liberal leadership. Either the newscasters responsible are fans of The Games or the lingo is bona fide, but in an ABC news report last week, the voice-over reported signs of Nelson’s ever-slipping hold on the party faithful as the film grab showed a steadfast Liberal frontbencher at the mic.
‘Brendan Nelson,’ he intoned, ‘has our full support.’
Dibs on his parking space, then.