Wednesday, August 11, 2004

playing dirty

What I don't get is how these controversies even get this far these days ("Former governor hits paydirt"). You'd think in this era of spin and image management, that at the first murmur of such a possible payment out of the Premier, Richard Butler would've gallantly (and loudly) declined accepting it. I mean, what do you want, a huge PR kerfuffle where large segments of the population end up hating you for appearing greedy and corrupt, or go out looking halfway decent? OK, it's $650,000, that's a lot of money; but that just makes it even worse, because of whose money it is. It'd be different if he could honestly say he deserved it, though from the sound of things, it's nothing to do with merit anyway:

A $650,000 'golden handshake' extracted by Richard Butler in return for his resignation as Governor of Tasmania sparked outrage yesterday.
Relief at his departure after just 10 months in the job changed to anger when Premier Paul Lennon revealed he had offered the additional payment on top of Mr Butler's $370,000 income.
It was to compensate Mr Butler, who Mr Lennon described as the victim of "gossip and innuendo surrounding alleged breaches of protocol, rudeness and arrogance".

What exactly does that mean? It's compensation for potential defamation? Pre-emptive damages?