Manners, please

After a week in which public political discourse has reached a new low on the common decency index, the community deserves better than major organs of media dancing to the new discordant tune of Labor’s frontbench. To the end of a speedy return to civility, The Age could do far better than publish a column such as Michael Duffy’s puerile character attack on Kevin Rudd (Opinion, 27/2).

Peppered with lines like “Rudd, whose ghastly smile can look so false it seems to come from another face … something constructed using an old police identikit” and “his sentences sound like they were constructed in some other language and turned into English by a cheap translation app”, and phrases like “extreme narcissism” and “this malevolent Tintin”, it is very much to be hoped that Duffy’s piece is not an earnest of the new political “analysis”. Poking fun at someone’s facial features and speaking style is grating though normal in a 10 year old at recess, but entirely out of place in responsible dialogue.

Duffy should apologise and the editorial team should think harder – especially this of all weeks. Oh and Michael, back to school to learn some manners.

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