I've had my say on twitter and elsewhere online about the character assasination of Mike Quigley. Today the SMH has joined the fray with an editorial. In doing so they join everyone else in saying there is no allegation about Quigley, but that the issue should have been identified in the recruitment process, writing;
But Quigley's NBN candidature needed to be judged against a clear appreciation of his previous experience. That taxpayers are staking $36 billion in this project demands complete transparency. It should not have been for Quigley to decide what history was relevant. And if he was too forgetful, the federal government's own inquiries should have filled the gaps. That they did not is not surprising.
There is a perverted logic in arguing that a recruitment process should have identified a matter about someone for which they were NOT being investigated.
It would not, of course, be the first time such a thing has happened. There was an infamous case of Telstra appointing a Chief Technology Officer who had faked his CV to include a doctorate, disclosed only when his new staff wanted to write a story for an in house magazine about him.
The interesting governance question is that we know the Commonwealth paid a large sum of money to an executive recruitment mob (Egon Zehnder) for the staffing of the NBN Board. If there is a question of why the issue wasn't known is this one for the head hunter rather than the Government? After all what more can a Minister do than pay for the best professional advice available.
Meanwhile the SMH also carries a great story about people who comment on blogs. Rick Gekoski notes "the number of readers' comments that are splenetic, ranging from the snide dismissal to the full-on rant. I wonder why so many of these commenters are angry and self-righteous, so anxious to spit out their insults?"
Adding "Spitting is what it is, and one can feel spat at. I like to call this phenomenon Gobbing. There are a multitude of gobbers."
He identifies six characteristics of gobbers; They have a peculiar name, not a real one, and rarely a pictur, they are in a perma-rage with regard to almost everything; they apparently lack any other forum in which to express themselves; their response comes so quickly - Skim! Spit! Click! - that it can hardly be considered the result of thinking; they like sarcasm and eschew irony; and they are unable to distinguish an argument from an assertion...if answered back, they spit harder.
Of course, bloggers like me dream of having our share of "gobbers".
As an example of the form look at the comments (including mine) on this article on the Turnbull/Quigley exchange.
Novae Meridianae Demetae Dexter delenda est