GORDON SANITAIRE by Gordon Urquhart (XVI)

When Friends Fall Out

It just got to a point where I didn’t want to listen any more. I had given all the advice I had to give, really tried to help, and it was the same thing over and over. It was tiresome and it grew painful and, you know, I decided that a line had been crossed.

I don’t mean a made up kind of line, of the type most recently identified by our Prime Minister[1], which is the kind of line you don’t necessarily see and certainly don’t acknowledge until the media ask awkward questions, and people keep saying, “Are you crazy? You have to do something! You guys couldn’t organise a shag in a convent … or perhaps you could, some of you, and maybe that’s the problem.”

No, I’m talking a real line. And really crossing it. I’m talking about Jean le Petit and his constant carping and undermining of Teddy Cosington. I knew Teddy from business circles. For a long time I didn’t know him at all, actually, and instead I knew people who knew him, and people would promise to introduce me, but it never quite happened. Then I met Lady Cosington – Teddy’s mum – when I was invited to join the board of governors for the Indochina Literacy Foundation (since renamed South East Asian Reading Outcomes Australia). The work which the foundation sponsored was always fascinating, and the spring rolls were always good when we had nibblies before our meetings (I’m joking!), and the problems were tough to solve but that made the effort rewarding, and I did enjoy food, to tell you the truth.

I met Teddy and we did a lot of good work together. He joined Jonny le Petit and I in our political consultancy. In the early days Jonny agreed that a couple of old lawyers with lots of political mates could use the input of a former construction magnate who owned a string of racehorses. You couldn’t buy contacts like Teddy Cosington’s.

But Jonny never really liked him. The two could have fun together, but they couldn’t quite get on. Jonny would call Teddy a spiv and an arriviste behind his back, but he never missed one of Teddy’s soirees.

Recently Teddy scaled back his activities, to spend more time travelling and golfing, and he became a partner of the consultancy in name only. But this wasn’t enough for Jonny. He tried to get Teddy removed from the foundation, and that was, for me, the last straw. Old Lady Cosington would have been traumatised, had she been alive to see these shenanigans. And it was in her memory that I decided to cut Jonny le Petit out of my life and sue him for $8 million.

It’s a wrench. We went to school together, you know. But I’m working on big things, like a building project with Teddy, and I don’t have time for pettiness any more. And it’s for the children.


[1] You will recall Prime Minister Gillard in one fell swoop successfully forced: 1) a member of her team to quit the Labor party, and sit as a crossbencher; and 2) the independent speaker to also stand aside, while allegations against both men were investigated. She said this at the time: “I do believe a line has been crossed here and because a line has been crossed, I have acted. I actually think it is a judgment call on what is right to do in a complicated set of circumstances … about what best marks respect for the Parliament in the circumstances.” Journalists at the press conference either scratched their heads or giggled as she said this, from what I’ve heard, as if there were any dignity left in the Parliament to preserve.  http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/a-line-has-been-crossed-gillard-acts-on-thomson-and-slipper-20120429-1xsiz.html

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Published in: on May 14, 2012 at 8:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

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