The Peter Principle lives! In 3D

The three men depicted above are at the vanguard of perfection when it comes to damn fine examples of the Peter Principle in action.

I’m speaking, of course, of Peter van Onselen, Peter van Onselen and Peter van Onselen.

In the middle we have the Peter Van Onselen who’s a professor of politics and public policy at the University of Western Australia. He is flanked on the right (his left) by the Peter Van Onselen who is the national political editor for the 10 Network and on the left (his right) by the Peter Van Onselen who frequently opines on political issues in the feature pages of the national broadshit, The Australian.

All three PvOs are often spotted elsewhere: on channel 10 and ABC panel shows and, occasionally, addressing left-wing think tanks such as The Sydney Institute.

The Peter Principle, of course, refers to workers who at some levels of their career were quite competent but who, sadly, over time, get promoted to a level that sadly exposes their utter deficiencies – their total incompetence – at that role.

And for whatever reason, all three Peter Van Onselens seem intent, from time to time, to prove that principle spot on.

Don’t get me wrong. All the Peters can say some very wise and sensible things from time to time; they just seem compelled almost immediately to say or write things that are so, so, breathtakingly peter principleish.

Here’s a prime example. Considering one of the basic and truest tenets of political science is that a week in politics is a very long time, one, two or all three Peter Van Onselens have declared, over quite some time now – not weeks but months – that Scott Morrison WILL win the next federal election.

The Channel 10 Peter van Onselen was at it again just the other day with the tweet (above) as he promoted a podcast with some chap called Hugh Riminton.

When I first heard the Peter Van Onselen who’s an academic professor back Smoko in for the now looming federal election but wasn’t back then, I suggested than the University of Western Australian senate should immediately separate him from the lecture theatre by booting him so far off campus he’d splashed down half way to Madagascar.

Now that’s not to say that Peter Van Onselen, Peter Van Onselen and Peter Van Onselen might not be proved correct come polling day.

The media is even more rightwing than three years ago and thus will be more pro-LNP than ever before. Yes, I appreciate that when it comes to The Courier Mail and its sister Sunday Mail, that’s very hard to believe.

And there’s every indication that the Fat Controller from Townsville will spend even more that the $90 plus million he used in dishonest ads to attack Labor in 2019. Palmer’s apparently even more obesely wealthy than he was back then. Another thing that’s hard to believe.

But I’ll stick with my basic view: anyone who wants to test their credibility and their nous, in front of a computer, a microphone or a hall full of students, by calling the election winner this far out is either incompetent, or fucking stupid, or both.

Peter, Peter and Peter also open themselves up to what such an election prediction means: is that what they really want to happen as well as think will happen? That Morrison and his government deserve another three years in power?

I’ve got no doubt that Peter van Onselen, Peter van Onselen and Peter van Onselen are all inherently right wing. At least two write and report on politics in the mainstream media so that’s probably a given, really. That politics scribes ascend to increasing levels of narrow, conservative, thought is called the Rupert Principle, by the way.

But here’s my challenge to all three: pen or sprout some fine words as to why Smoko and his mob deserve to be reelected if that’s what you truly believe.

Apart from giving me – and countless others – a very good laugh, it would cement my view that the professorial van Onselen should be put in a chaff bag before being booted out into the Indian Ocean and the other two restricted to non-politics duties at their respective media outlets. Something they could, given time and effort, become competent at.

Are shipping news and fruit and veggie market reports still a thing?

Don Gordon-Brown