The News.com.au webshite - the "Newspulse", the email "flier" they send out - has a foul headline "Bob Collins killed himself- Report". The article to which it links is slightly more considered - but the NEWS LIMITED website editor had no such qualms - he states Collins's death as suicide, as fact. That is outrageous.
"FORMER Northern Territory Senator Bob Collins may have committed suicide, according to a report to be published today. The report, by Darwin-based writer Paul Toohey in The Bulletin, says the Northern Territory coroner is to investigate whether the Labor icon took a drug overdose three days before his trial for child sex offences.
The article also says Mr Collins:
- TRIED to kill himself by driving his Toyota LandCruiser into a tree at high speed in Kakadu after the child abuse charges were first laid in 2004; and also
- TOOK an overdose of pills in hospital in Adelaide while recovering from bowel cancer.
A proposed State Funeral offered to Bob Collins's family is likely to be withdrawn, or rather the family is being asked to reconsider their acceptance of a Government offer (in accordance with the Protocol Office standing rules). How gutless is that little dodge - putting pressure on the family, rather than the Government actually making a decision of its own.
So a major Politician, a former leader of the Opposition in the NT, and a former Senator for the NT, is to be buried under a slur of sexual abuse, which can never be tested in the courts.
Let me just say that from people who know some of the characters involved in this story, there are two sides to this whole business.
Let us not pretend that the Politics of the NT is above the Politic of Hatred. It is not. Lots of "respected people" in the NT resent the good things which Bob Collins did for the people of the Northern Territory. Those same people are prepared to listen to "tittle-tattle" from individuals with whom these "respected people" would not normally share the same room.
But if there is some "scuttlebutt" to be aired about Bob Collins, anything and everything is suddenly credible enough to be printed.
This is the Politics of Hatred - nothing more. It reveals the depths to which politicians and journalists will stoop.