Thursday, 27 June 2013

What do David Bain and Kevin Rudd have in common?

So, a lot happened overnight, while I was otherwise engaged.

The wildest day ever ended at Wimbledon with favourites knocked out, honest journeymen injured on slippery grass and a spate of retirements right in the midst of games. Events never seen before in  London SW17.

One of the wildest days in recent memory ended in Canberra with the ALP shooting itself in the foot while stabbing itself in the back.1 And Gillard went, bewailing her fate as a woman (“infamy, infamy, every misogynist had it in for me”) but gratifyingly just in time for everyone to switch over to Origin—a game where the enemy comes in from the front.

And back here at home? While Len Brown was probably out celebrating the National Party conceding him the election2, it seems everyone else was glued to TV3 watching another wild theory about the Bain murders. A wild theory based on everyone having forgotten all that Robin Bain would have had to do to kill his family and yet be found clean and neat3 with just two dark lines on his thumb to show for it, right next to a rifle magazine in the most unlikely position possible.4

Danyl’s suggestion that debate about the case reminds him of the story of  The Umbrella Man is a good one.

So a lot happened.

Meanwhile, over in South Africa, a man who ended an apartheid state without bloodshed is slipping away as peacefully as the transition he inspired. The world was a better place for his existence.

So, in answer to my headline what do David Bain and Kevin Rudd have in common apart from everyone wanting to talk about them today?

Kevin Rudd wants compensation from voters for the wrong done to him (in his mind) by Julia Gillard, in the form of another long kick at a job he’s already been evicted from. And David Bain wants compensation from taxpayers for the wrong done to him by the courts in having found him guilty several times before releasing him.

Does either deserve it?5

UPDATE: Brendan O'Neill reckons the remarkable Rudd/Gillard bitch-fight tells a bigger story about the death of Labourism.

The deposing of Gillard by the substanceless, personality-free Rudd should worry us all, for it suggests that the managerial wing of modern politics, with its grey, autocue-reading, principle-dodging spouters of bland platitudes, is truly in the ascendant. They're now even launching coups…
    Anyone who cares to look closely at what has happened … might see more than a story of two Labor politicians at loggerheads; they might also see that the entire project of Labourism is now gasping for breath, dying slowly, finished off by the loss of purpose and growth of bitchiness in these old parties of the working man.

1. Yes, in the absence of anything more intelligent to say myself, I pinched the line from Barclay Anstiss. Thanks Barclay.
2. Not a U-turn but a loop, says Brownlee. And yes, this line was pinched from
Tim Selwyn.
3. Summarised at
The Dim Post: “I’ve always thought that David Bain was guilty – mostly because the defence counter-factual in which Robin Bain killed his family, took off all his blood-stained clothes, put them in the wash, put on some different clothes then committed suicide – didn’t really make any sense…”  Not to mention the contortions Robin would have to pull to shoot himself in the back of the head with a rifle.
Best summarised by Tim Selwyn: “Problem is the same photo that shows the correspondence does so as if it were posed for the purpose, as if it were staged by someone especially to demonstrate the marks go with the magazine clip. The magazine is on edge about a centimetre from the fingers of the hand with the marks outward… A clip sits on edge and on carpet only 1cm away from the hand of an adult male who has fallen dead to the floor (from shooting himself). Wouldn't the thud jolt the clip over, esp. on carpet? The chances of that happening like that in the photo are so remote. In the scenario I paint the planted clip is pressed into his hand by David and stood on edge to complete the story as a sure alibi…”
5. Whatever your view of David’s guilt or innocence or taste in woolly jumpers, a jury finally found him innocent not guilty—and the way justice is supposed to work after that decision is that compensation for the injustice committed by being wrongly locked up is then paid. Justice wouldn’t be served if it wasn’t. 
But there is nothing in justice that Kevin deserves more than a decent kick in his arse sending him out the door he came in. I expect Australian voters will give that to him swiftly, and deservedly.


  1. "the scenario I paint the planted clip is pressed into his hand by David and stood on edge to complete the story as a sure alibi…”

    If he did it as an alibi, he didn't do a very good job of using it as such at any of his trials.

  2. a jury finally found him innocent

    The second jury found him not guilty, which isn't quite the same thing.


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