Australia’s most authoritative jurist, Justice Andrew Bolt, is believed to be taking lessons from the nation’s most renowned swooner, Lord Downer of Adelaide Hills, in the lead-up to an expected High Court appeal in the George Pell child sex abuse case.
Sources within Lord Downer’s family estate, Pout House, have told The Bug that Justice Bolt has been a frequent visitor to the house in recent days.
“His Lordship has been using some of the smaller rooms at Pout House to instruct Justice Bolt in the fine art of swooning (main picture),” an anonymous Downer family retainer told The Bug.
“If he needs to learn how to swoon then he has come to the right place. Nobody does it better than His Lordship.
“So far Justice Bolt is coming along nicely. But it is hard to match His Lordship. He’s the true master.
“Lord Downer can execute a perfect swoon at the drop of a well-plumed hat — from a slight giddy waver, to a sideways stagger, or a light purse-lipped swoon with kerchief to forehead, right up to a full dead faint with falsetto squeak.
“His Lordship has been at it for years and even has a favourite red velour fainting lounge (pictured in background) which his always barechested Under Footmen must always bear on their oiled and glistening shoulders to ensure it is within collapsing distance every time he leaves Pout House.
“Yesterday I heard Justice Bolt tell His Lordship that he intends to use swooning at every one of his public or on-air appearances when speaking of the Pell case as the High Court appeal approaches.
“So far he has been using his traditional head-shaking and downcast look of disappointment when addressing the blatant defiance by the Victorian Court of Appeal of his repeated directions to overturn Pell’s conviction handed down from his Sky News bench and in his written judgements published through News Corp.
“Apparently he wants to step up to swooning to underline the insolence of the two rogue members of that court.
“Justice Bolt even told Lord Downer that he would seek to exercise his ex-officio rights to instruct the panel of High Court judges hearing the Pell appeal.
“He said he’s hopeful that the High Court judges will not let the clear miscarriage of justice against Pell to stand by falling back on feeble excuses such as so-called evidence and the veracity of the victim as witness,” the Pout House source said.
The Bug caught up with Lord Downer outside his favoured luncheon establishment, the Sophistry Club in Adelaide’s King William Street.
When questioned about his involvement with Justice Bolt, Lord Downer initially refused to speak or even to exit his sedan chair. But after several minutes he finally emerged and walked swiftly towards the club’s entrance.
“Get away from me. I have nothing to say to you riff raff,” he declared while swinging a swagger stick wildly in the direction of one of The Bug’s Adelaide correspondents.