Any tech journalist who discusses Malcolm Turnbull's "policy launch" tomorrow without quizzing him on it acting in the service of politics without the chance to examine the policy-maker, and is a fool.
Whatever else we know about Malcolm Turnbull's broadband plans, they represent brains without balls.
Brains tells us that everything you say about broadband in Australia is an attack launched on a government that can't take a trick, even with fourteen trumps in its hand.
There once was a man from Devizes
Whose testes were two different sizes
The one was so small
It was no ball at all
The other won several prizes.
When it comes to a broadband policy launch, is Malcolm Turnbull winning prizes?
Don't make me laugh: he's keeping the gig to the morons, partisans, gourmands, time-servers, place-seekers, and dyspeptic dipsomaniac brain-donors of the press gallery.
Having handed a gift of a policy that's already risible – virtue of its red-handkerchief $90 billion – to a witless goon at the Daily Telegraph, Mr Turnbull is now ignoring every approach to journalists with, you know, experience in the telecommunications market.
He's quite free with his advice, criticism and public denigration of journalists that don't agree with him. I've had “why won't you call British Telecom?” (answer: I did) and is happy to tell me what I've misunderstood, forgotten or added up wrong, should I dare to run a spreadsheet over the NBN or any similar project, anywhere else in the world.
I've offered to quiz him at any public press forum he chooses, and never once received a reply.
With 25 years experience in writing about the telecommunications industry, and – if I include my original training at the Overseas Telecommunications Commission – close to 30 years all up around telecommunications, I'm not on the invite list for Malcolm's Great Broadband Policy Launch.
Because, unlike the lazy shit-for-brains that infest the gallery, for whom all politics is reduced to “the government said / the opposition hit back” or “the opposition said / the government hit back”, I am both numerate and familiar with all of the technologies that are proposed for modern broadband.
In other words, people like me – and I have – need to suffer his lame lectures about journalistic technique if we don't agree with him. He'll sit at the door, scratching and whining like last decade's hound that we're not going to the original source (that is, sources that agree with him). But we're not permitted to quiz him in a public forum.
In his broadband launch, Malcolm is going to be an original source – but only if he can share his fleas with other superannuated hounds.
What a lame joke: and this is the best brain in the alternative party of government.
What a joke.
Work that “$90 billion” figure, printed without question, query or even the simplest mathematics by the Daily Telegraph, the utter suckhole of journalistic suckholes in Australia, a place even facts won't use as their hospice because it's better to die in the gutter than have your brains sucked out by News Limited lizard-people with skull-drills and straws.
On today's number of households in Australia, that's well past $10,000 per household.
That number is so stupid – strike that, so utterly stupid – that any journalist worth the price of the headline and a Starbuck's coffee should have asked even one question:
“Since British Telecom is only asking a couple of thousand per kilometre for individual node-to-home connections, on the most inefficient model that human ingenuity can devise, what idiot gave you a convincing estimate of $10k per household for FTTH?”
Or even better: “Why did you believe an estimate that is many times every available international benchmark for FTTH rollouts, based on what's already been spent?”
Or even better: “This is a naked political lie. Put up or shut up.”
News Limited doesn't work that way. Its game is this: we will only run with the naked, unadorned press release, if we get it first. Go off to its IT pages and tell me I'm wrong: but only if you first poll the PR companies who know how the game is played. Give News a 24-hour break; that's all you need.
And it can even be utter drivel as ran in the Telegraph today.
Which is why experts aren't going to be welcome at Malcolm's little piece of theatre. It only took a few seconds with a spreadsheet – but the brain donors don't do numbers, they do “he said / he hit back”. Which is exactly the wank-and-dribble level of intellect Malcolm Turnbull wants covering his policy launch.
The one was so small, it was no ball at all