This morning Their ABC ran early news bulletins that used the phrase ‘secret lover’ referencing the Premier of New South Wales and a former disgraced parliamentarian.
The reference was dropped in later newscasts in favour of ‘secret relationship’ but still with the emphasis of ‘secret’, implying whatever the ill-intentioned might wish it to be.
Gladys Berejiklian is that marvel, the first woman premier of New South Wales to win an election in her own right, the one who has guided the state through these perilous times. She’s also a woman wise enough to know she needed to do what was needed for her personal and political continuance. God knows we have few enough women of her calibre of leadership and when men from both sides of the political fence come forward in her defence, you know her worth.
So slightly-smutty, suggestive news headlines don’t cut the mustard where most people are concerned. But, of course, the ABC knows about secret lovers.
Some years ago, working on contract in a federal department in Canberra, my next-desk colleague was a young woman who had had a baby, a gorgeous little chickadee, to a senior, married, ABC journalist. Married — and this is a very ABC thing, to another ABC employee – and if you think Tindr is a great dating tool, it has nothing on the ABC.
Far from being discreet, my colleague seemed to relish the fact that her child’s father worked for the national broadcaster. Such is the cachet of Their ABC in Canberra.
And, as it turned out, she may well have owed a not-terribly challenging workload and a plum overseas assignment with generous pay loadings to these connections.
It makes one think of the mistresses of Charles 11, the Merrie Monarch, who gifted each lucky lady with a duchy here, a manor house there. Well, the ‘iron rice bowl’ as the Chinese say, of assured lifetime work in government service or the ABC is worth probably as much as a ducal fiefdom, I suppose.
Every so-often the baby would come to visit, wheeled in its pram. Section heads coming in for meetings would smile appropriately — presumably having been told the history of this particular interloper — and then slide away into their meeting rooms, having kept the topics of brief conversation to the weather and how busy the traffic was getting.
That cute baby must be old enough for high school formals by now but with their lineage, they probably won’t have to worry too much about finding a job in the future.
There’s one waiting at Their ABC.
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