I find the attacks on Tim Mathieson to be way over-the-top and lacking some balance. Here we will concentrate on Tim’s positives (and please keep comments about Mr Mathieson on this thread positive – use the other thread if you wish to criticise him).
Kevin Rudd might describe the Lodge under Gillard and Mathieson as
but the former first partner, Thérèse Rein, managed to extract vastly more from the taxpayer than Tim. All Tim wants is a free tickets to the footie and cricket. He doesn’t want to be poncing around opera halls and the like. When you think of the cost of the Governor-General’s wardrobe (paid by the grateful taxpayer), isn’t it nice that we just need to buy Tim a pair of shorts and a t-shirt? Rudd and Rein, by contrast, managed to extract a large fortune from the taxpayer.
Second, think of Tim’s Men’s Sheds. If the school halls had been built by Tim instead of DEEWR it would have saved the taxpayer a large fortune.
Third, people might criticise Julia’s glasses, clothing, speech, thinking etc. But everyone is complimentary about her hairdo. Tim is responsible for the only redeeming feature of this prime minister.
Fourth, Tim brings a bit of class to the Lodge. Imagine how painful it would be for the prime minister’s interlocutors if Tim wasn’t there to show them around the pool room at the Lodge. He has the hairdresser’s sense of when a person is about to crack when being spoken to by the prime minister and Tim just quietly pulls off the besieged visitor to the pool room.
Fifth, and you can’t blame Tim for failing, he has tried to show Julia and Wayne what they should do – cut, cut, cut. Tim cuts hair, and this was his way of showing Julia and Wayne what they should have done with the Federal Budget. Bad luck for us that they ignored Tim’s advice.
Sixth, I can even excuse Tim’s concern about seeing members of the Liberal party at the footie. When he became first bloke he asked “what is my most important job” and was told “you must hate Tony Abbott”. He is operating according to his duty statement.
Finally, when Julia Gillard leaves the Lodge, Tim will return to his previous occupation, without a large public pension and without the expectations of former first ladies.