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!