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Last updated on July 23rd, 2017 at 09:30 am
“On July 29,” Seven’s Peter Jean reported, “Mr Brogden committed political suicide.” Last night Brogden tried to take things one step further:
John Brogden was rushed to hospital last night after an apparent suicide attempt, one day after he resigned in disgrace as the NSW Opposition Leader.
He was found at his Pittwater electorate office in a drug-and alcohol-induced stupor shortly before 11pm, with self-inflicted stab wounds, and taken by ambulance to Royal North Shore Hospital.
His wounds weren’t serious, and Brogden is expected to recover quickly. Nice words from Bob Carr.
- I suspected, no I knew this would happen! I don’t know why others didn’t see it coming. I wasn’t exactly a fan of John Brogden, I found his constant media harping very irritating. All that aside however, this is, without a doubt, a great tragedy! I wish him and his family all the very best.Posted by Brian on 2005 08 30 at 09:22 PM • permalink
- I feel sorry for John Brogden as well.
The media should have laid off him after he resigned.
Slatts points out that some politicians can get away with racist and sexist comments more easily than others. This is Bob Hawke at an ALP fundraiser in 1981, with many journalists present:
The way Hawke tells it, there are lots of “little men” present. Finally, one “puts his hand in his dirty little dhoti and pulls out his ticket”. It’s third prize: a free trip around the world on Air India.
Then another little man comes forward. This time it’s second prize: a fruitcake. The little man complains that the third prize is better. Mimicking the compere, Hawke moves smoothly to the denouement. “But this is a very, very special fruitcake. It was baked by our glorious Prime Minister, Mrs Gandhi.”
The little man says—according to Hawke—“f—- Mrs Gandhi”. To which the compere replies: “Oh, no, no, no, you will be wanting first prize.”
Although Hawke’s joke horrified many witnesses and colleagues, the incident failed to gain much media attention. Twenty months later, Hawke became Labor leader and PM.
Oddly enough, this didn’t make front page news across the country, and Hawke wasn’t hounded by journalists camping outside his home and office for days afterward.Posted by Evil Pundit on 2005 08 30 at 10:15 PM • permalink
- Jane Albrechtsen covers this nicely in today’s The Australia here:
…Brogden’s remark is still repugnant. It’s not wrong just because it is racist, sexist and factually incorrect. It is wrong because it is uncivil.
But, here’s where it starts to get a bit sticky for Labor types. A quick search of the boys behaving badly file has Latham topping the charts of incivility. Remember the time he called the Prime Minister an “arselicker” and the US President “flaky” and “the most dangerous and incompetent president in living memory”? And then there was the time he stood up in parliament, not among a few friends in a bar, and called me a “skanky ho”? Call me precious but an insult that means “smelly whore” seems just a tad personal and demeaning. Back then feminists, such as Anne Summers, were silent. But yesterday she was waving her metaphorical finger: “It’s good to see that racist remarks attract such swift and unanimous condemnation … but let’s hope we can be equally outspoken against sexist comments and behaviour.” Anne, you forgot to be equally outspoken a few years ago when sexism was aimed at your opponents.Posted by walterplinge on 2005 08 30 at 10:22 PM • permalink
- The thing is that the media did lay off of this one for nearly a month, treating it as “off the record”. The push was from inside the party… The Australian reported “Yesterday (Monday 29th), Brogden named the national president of the Young Liberals, Alex Hawke, as the source of the stories about his exploits at the Hilton party.”
- Regardless of what the president of the Young liberals might have said, it was purely the choice of the media to push the story. They could easily have buried it, like they did with the Hawke story.
I hold the media primarily responsible for the outcome of this situation. They had no excuse to keep going after Brogden once he hed resigned—none at all.Posted by Evil Pundit on 2005 08 30 at 10:57 PM • permalink
- From what I recall, Bob Carr continued to lambast Brogden in no uncertain terms even after he had given a full apology.
It’s a bit rich of him to now come out and offer his best wishes to Brogden after stating than his apology would not be accepted. He should have accepted the apology at face value when it was offered.
- I don’t think that what John Brogden said was racist, I just think it was extremely rude.
A work acquaintance said that the three word political suicide was dredged out to get rid of Brogden as he was a lightweight and the party wanted to get rid of him, however, he would have been popular with the female voters.
I do hope he is able to get help for his depression. Suicide is a long term solution for a short term problem.
- I hope John Brogden quickly learns that life has more to offer than being Premier of NSW. My heart goes out to his wife and kid. Some people are being too precious, we all (possible exceptions) only know Brogden as a politician and dealing with crisis, hard knocks and a hostile media are part of the job description. He’s proven he’s not made of the right metal in this regard and so has Barry O’Farrell for pulling out of the contest for leader because he’s been too affected by Brogden’s actions. If a serious personal tradgedy struck someone like Howard or Bush do you think they’d go to pieces like this pair?Posted by Hank Reardon on 2005 08 31 at 12:04 AM • permalink
- #3 and #7 Excellent points.
The concept of manners and civility might hopefully make a come back into public discourse.
Acting like a gentleman or lady has been criticised for the past 30 old years as a patriarchal, class-conscious construct and the left has given us political correctness and a ‘my rights’ mentality as woefully poor substitutes.
—NoraPosted by The Thin Man Returns on 2005 08 31 at 12:08 AM • permalink
- Evil Pundit – that’s the sort of joke you could evidently get away with in the early 80s, before the advent of political correctness and before we gave a shit about India. I know Hawkie gave up the booze when he became PM – I wonder if he was dry at the time of the telling of that joke?Posted by James Waterton on 2005 08 31 at 12:13 AM • permalink
- Attempted suicide from our potential leaders isn’t the best of things.Posted by Aging Gamer on 2005 08 31 at 12:25 AM • permalink
- #9 Nora –
It appears that political correctness was brought in, and replaced good manners.
A bit like Occ Health and Safety – common sense (but it’s uncommon, apparently).
I had a lot of friends in the military, one of the was Russell, a very dark-skinned aborigine (bloody good looking, too), at Holsworthy. I hadn’t seen him at the boozer for a while and asked whether he had been on holidays. He asked me why I asked.
I said “Looks like you have been working on your tan.”
He replied “No, just browned-off.”
He and a mate of his were really good singers and played guitar. Rusell was always immaculate in his uniform, I reckon he would have got “stick picket” quite often.
- It was heartening to see all the NSW liberals go to the hospital and see him. I couldn’t see them pragmatically supporting him as leader after his behaviour, but depression and human life surpasses all political bullshit, and his party did him proud by rallying to him.
Lets face it, there were a few laughs in the story but no one wished this to happen.
As for Carr, I think his actions were fair enough, he defended his wife, but when something like this happens you have to offer support to the bloke. What is the alternative? Put the boot in further? Say tough shit?
There is no easy retrospective view on this, people in political life have had far more ridicule and scandal than Brogden has, but I don’t think anyone wants anyone to snap like this and cause suffering to his friends and family.
Now has anyone got any thoughts on why the bloody hell Channel 9 should show the poor bloke being carried into an ambulance? We all know it’s happened, but to show it was a bloody disgrace.
- As the resident psychiatrist here, I do have a couple of points to make (and believe me, a lot fewer points to make than one should be making at Margostan.) I also agree with the distinction between racism and rude behaviour. And lets face it this was not Brogden’s first apology.
However, having been involved with politics in some form for most of my life, I find the revelation that a politician is a primitive slut somewhat underwhelming. There are no shortage of the same kind of animal in the media as well. Its not like he was some kind of pervy stalker, he was just being a primitive bloke as many people can be in the right/wrong circumstances.It is not that I condone his behaviour, but I agree with Janet’s statement too that compared to Latham’s boorish behaviour, this was very small beer indeed.
Many of us too utter regrettable statements in the company of friends that we do not expect to be subject to public scrutiny (although admittedly we are not all running for parliament.)
It is very unfortunate that Brogden had received insufficient counsel to get a bit of perspective on this. It is also very unfortunate that his self-harming has resulting in so much sympathy. Its not that I am a heartless bastard (wait, let me think about that a bit more), but it sends a completely distorted message to those whose backs are against the wall: hurt yourself and defeat your enemies. Not that I expect his actions were deliberate or manipulative as such, just more of the same injudicious behaviour.
Its time that journalists either decide to report on their own and everyone else’s sexual behaviour and private comments or show some decency and respect to themselves and the community.
- Re; #5… Alex Hawke would have played the Telegraph off against the SMH. He probably would have left them no choice but to run with the story. How stupid would the Tele have looked with the SMH breaking this one when there was a Tele journo involved? Evil Pundit, if the allegations about the story comming from the inside are true, (confirmed today), only the young Libs could be held primarily responsible, the media being accessories.
- Not so, Blerko.
Regardless of what the Young Libs may have said, it was the choice of the media whether or not to run with the story.
It was certainly the choice of the media to continue pursuing the story after Brogden apologised and resigned.
The media have the primary responsibility for this situation.Posted by Evil Pundit on 2005 08 31 at 02:22 AM • permalink
- EP, JP is responsible for his actions, not the press. By spreading blame you negate the need to support the bloke.
You once said: “So you’re both a political coward and a political bellend”
If the recipient of that message had topped themselves would that be your fault?
Grow up fuckwit. And if that drives you to take the ultimate solution, its your problem, but we will support you.
- If you’d apologised and resigned after I called you that, Flute, I wouldn’t have parked myself outside your front door to pursue the matter further.
That’s the difference between my behaviour and that of the media.
It’s gratifying to know that you’re still pissed off about that retort. You certainly earned it.Posted by Evil Pundit on 2005 08 31 at 02:57 AM • permalink
- Pollies & Journos in Shock
The rumour mills are whirring in the wake of the latest media-led suicide attempt.
Down at Sussex Street, extreme measures are being put in place.
A new slogan is to be be tried out on focus groups in the hope that it will forestall a barrage of complaints – ALP: No Offence Meant.
Guidelines have been drawn up for party members dining out in nearby Chinatown.
“Sit down, shut up, keep your hands to yourself, and eat all your vegetables! Say please, and thank you”.
Graham Richardson’s book may have to be reissued with the expanded title:
“Whatever It Takes – Within Limits”.
“The old macho culture of male chauvinism, boozing, and racial stereotyping has to end”, said a party heavy today, by mobile phone from his yoga class.
Female journalists across the country are concerned that their pool of potential mates is shrinking faster than a donger in a cold swimming pool. One who preferred to remain anonymous made this anguished statement: “Most of the public already distrust us – if I have to stop consorting with pollies, what do I have left? Male Journos! Yuk!”
- “Most of the public already distrust us – if I have to stop consorting with pollies, what do I have left? Male Journos! Yuk!”
Too true blogstrop.
Nicky had to leave journalism before I’d go out with him. I was still a journalist which proves he was less choosy 😉
—NoraPosted by The Thin Man Returns on 2005 08 31 at 03:26 AM • permalink
- “Female journalists across the country are concerned that their pool of potential mates is shrinking faster than a donger in a cold swimming pool. One who preferred to remain anonymous made this anguished statement: “Most of the public already distrust us – if I have to stop consorting with pollies, what do I have left? Male Journos! Yuk!”
it’s not that bad…….you got a choice between mungo macullum or bob ellis……enjoy.
- EP says: “Censorship, the first resort of the political coward” but thinks the media should not have run with the “leak”. Perhaps this will helpyou decide what you think.
Good news is that he has been able to go home.
- I tend to snigger at pathetic, self-pitying teenage Marylin Manson fans who saw lacklusterly at their wrists with hobby knives, so why would I waste a moment of sympathy for a 29 year-old jackass like John Brogden?Posted by Pastor Maker on 2005 08 31 at 04:59 AM • permalink
- Sorry…make that a “39” year-old jackass like John Brogden!Posted by Pastor Maker on 2005 08 31 at 05:00 AM • permalink
- Brogden’s implosion was of his own doing; that’s the nature of suicide.
You could say that his party was unsupportive, that he was too young for the position, that the media ‘tipped’ him over the edge, thats life’s unfair, a bitch….
I think he was unfortunate to have his actions publicised and fortunate to be important enough to have his actions publicised.
I am sure that he will now receive the attention he needs.
Good luck John Brogden
- Blerko, have you ever considered that there is a difference between censorship and self-restraint?
One is imposed by external force, and the other is a voluntary consequence of internal judgement.
The decent thing to do after Brogden apologised and resigned was to drop the story. Those media outlets which chose to continue pursuing John Brogden after that point must bear the responsibility for their actions.Posted by Evil Pundit on 2005 08 31 at 05:32 AM • permalink
- Brogden didn’t quit politics after resigning the leadership yesterday, so the media had no obligation to stop reporting on Brogden’s inability to test his mettle on the ladies.Posted by Pastor Maker on 2005 08 31 at 06:14 AM • permalink
- Sure, they had no obligation to stop kicking him once he was on the floor.
But if they had stopped, they would have been better human beings.Posted by Evil Pundit on 2005 08 31 at 06:29 AM • permalink
- Flutey’s been banned for the “fuckwit” remark. No insulting of other commenters because of arguments on other weblogs, please.Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2005 08 31 at 07:13 AM • permalink
- Yes, they would have been better human beings, EP, but they wouldn’t have the ratings or the sales. Even I watched the trainwreck that is ACA just to see how far they would run with the story.
Yup, video of the poor bugger being loaded into the ambulance.
I don’t blame the media for his decisions – they were his.
I do, however, think that there are lines that the media cross, then recross and cross again, and it would be nice sometimes, if consideration was given.
On a humane level, let the guy resign in peace and sort out his family crap – lord knows he’s got plenty to deal with.
But then again, he’s in the public eye, he’s fessed up and put himself in the position to be pilloried, so let’s keep going and see where it goes. Sells more papers.
From what I’ve heard about his attempt, I don’t consider it a serious one. More an act of desperation in a moment of alcohol-induced weakness. If he was serious about topping himself, he would have most likely gone for the gun or the exhaust or the noose.
Regardless of all that, it’s still a bloody shame, and for the rest of his life, he will have to life with the consequences of his actions. I sincerely hope he’s up to it, as there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s not a train, either!Posted by Nilknarf Arbed on 2005 08 31 at 07:23 AM • permalink
- “fluto” has also been banned. Any subsequent attempts to register will be banned. As will your IP address.Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2005 08 31 at 07:29 AM • permalink
- Evil Pundit,
John Brogden wasn’t on the floor until he tried the “teenage goth princess” approach to winning sympathy and silencing critics. He hadn’t resigned from politics, had he? In fact, his “honorable” resignation speech turned into an attack on the state government and a whinge about the young liberals who’d back-stabbed him.
The very function of the commercial media is to sell advertising space. In order to sell advertising space the media needs viewers and readers. By covering the John Brogden soap opera the media believed it would attract these viewers and readers. Therefore it would have been financially irresponsible for the media not to cover the story.
I don’t see John Brogden’s defenders jumping up and down when the tabloid media harrass baby-carrying single mothers in parking lots.
Why are so many people here against free enterprise all of a sudden?Posted by Pastor Maker on 2005 08 31 at 08:01 AM • permalink
- In reply to 6 and 37:
It wasn’t just crudeness.
If I was a politician I wouldn’t care at all when my opponents called me an arse licker and idiot and so on. That’s all fun and games…
But calling my wife a mail order bride is that step too far. My response to an apology would be “fuck you”.
If the guy then attempted suicide my attitude would change too. Puts things in perspective, so to speak.
Put yourself in Carr’s shoes. Would you have done anything different?
- Why is it that Labor and other lefties continually demand apologies for all manner of things but invariably refuse to accept the apologies when they are given.
Any bets on what their response would have been had John Howard apologised for any of the things that they dreamed up he was responsible for?
And, to me, Bob and Helena Carr’s outrage was just a tad over the top.
O/T but relevant, sort of – now we have a Samoan bouncer at the Cross complaining that the Springbok Captain called him a black cunt when he was throwing the Springboks out of the bar.
A Kings Cross bouncer complaining about being called names! What has our world come to?
- Sam, it was cheap crudeness and Bob Carr’s an ungracious hypocrite. Brogden did the right thing in resigning while other politicians guilty of far worse have gone on to be leader of their party, feted by the same media that unnecessarily hounded Brogden into attempted suicide when they smelt his vulnerability.
Brogden wasn’t guilty of mere crudeness. He wasn’t guilty of mere attempted infidelity either. He deliberately insulted the spouse of his former opposite in Parliament. He only resigned after first lying about the facts, and after he realized there was absolutely no chance of survival.
But he didn’t resign from parliament, so his past behavior towards women was as newsworthy as, say, that of Bill Clinton.
And I won’t buy the claim that Brogden tried to commit suicide. His life wasn’t even in danger. His half-hearted probings with a letter opener sure won your loyalty, didn’t they?
You’ve obviously never been the father of a teenage girl, or you’d be familiar with the “overdosing on asprin and gin in order to win sympathy” response to being chewed out for coming home at 3 a.m on a school night.Posted by Pastor Maker on 2005 09 01 at 06:22 AM • permalink
- John Brogden deserves our sympathy for being in such a state that he would react to this pressure so desperately. It is a bit pathetic to get high and try to knock yourself off, especially when the pressure he has been under has not been relatively so unbearable. Imagine if every person who had a bad experience being reminded of drunken behaviour was so unable to deal with it. It is a cry for help from someone who should be able to help themselves. Feel sorry for him, he has damaged himself by his comment, but he has truly squandered his reputation by dealing with it so weakly. See you later mate, good luck pulling your life back together.
- Some journos have acted disgracefully, none more so than Angela “I’ve been around long enough to know a proposition” Cuming. The way she tells it she started a conversation with Brogden, who apparently didn’t realise she was a journo. Brogden then committed the unpardonable sin of asking if she was available! Her mock outrage at being chatted up- in a bar, late at night- was pathetic.Posted by reverse_swing on 2005 09 01 at 11:03 AM • permalink