Howard goes all passive aggressive

Photograph of John HowardYesterday PM John Howard’s supposed “frankness” was “appreciated” (according to anonymous sources), because he told the federal cabinet “If you have a problem with how I’m doing my job, don’t be afraid to say so.” But how could anyone respond meaningfully? To do so, you’d have to proclaim your disloyalty in front of the entire cabinet — and who’d dare to be first?

I’m surprised that no-one has reported this for what it is: passive aggressive behaviour.

Note the wording. If you have a problem. I’m doing my job. If you can’t say what you want then you are being afraid.

Actually, it’s interesting reading through the criteria for passive-aggression as a personality disorder: ambiguity; forgetfulness (“I don’t recall”); blaming others (the terrorists, the Muslims, the boat people, the Aboriginals); fear of intimacy (when did you last see John and Hyacinth hold hands?), procrastination (how long has it taken to do anything about, oh, global warming?), resists suggestions from others… There’s an essay in its own right!

4 Replies to “Howard goes all passive aggressive”

  1. ‘If you have a problem. I’m doing my job. If you can’t say what you want then you are being afraid.’

    Could have been transcribed from conversation with an ex-boss of mine….

  2. @Richard: Ah, I think we’ve all had a boss like that at some point. The important thing is to name names, don’t you know? 🙂

  3. What Johnny has said here is fine. Ppl that don’t say what they WANT are either:

    > afraid (insecure, lack confidence, or are scared),
    > trying to be “nice” (possibly hiding something), or
    > being as diplomatic as possible

    You usually either fall in one of these categories. Don’t start accusing him of being passive aggressive – everyone is doing this in one way or another…

  4. The real passive-aggressive behaviour comes from the Coalition backbenchers speaking behind Howard’s back to the News Limited papers. Really dearies, if you want to save your own arses, you’d start your revolt like… now.

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