We know, or so we are told, that the wages of sin is death, but arrogance and error seem to pay rather well. The proof is now on the market in Paddington, where Radio National’s commissar of the questionable, Phillip Adams, is selling his groovy-cool modernist digs. As Adams tells the SMH‘s property reporter
Gone is the colourful facade that irked so many neighbours, later painted Moscow Red – “appropriately hued given my political inclinations” – and more recently repainted black and white.
Prospective buyers will be interested to know the house comes with a little history, a saga which suggests its current owner is quite the revisionist when it comes to placing his means at the disposable of another’s needs. Asked to make an adjacent dunny lane available to a neighbour’s elderly, wheelchair-bound parent, Adams declined. Indeed, he did more than that, blocking egress by means of gate and lock. The case went all the way to the NSW Supreme Court, where Justice J “George” Palmer opined:
For the reasons which I have given earlier, I hold that the action of Mr Adams in changing the lock on the gate to the right of way and in refusing to give keys to Mr Couche and his co-proprietors constitutes a complete and wrongful denial of their rights as owners of the dominant tenements.
There is no mention of this episode in the SMH‘s account of its reporter’s chat with the Sultan of the Spurious, although the asking price — “between $5.3 million and $5.8 million” — is mentioned in the final paragraph.
It seems that getting his facts wrong (without apology), lifting other’s words without attribution, admiring authoritarian regimes, and declaring within days of 9/11 that America had reaped what it sowed is no impediment to the accumulation of wealth, certainly not for those favoured by Radio National’s paymasters.
Of course, Adams also continues to pump out his columns for The Australian, exercises readers of that newspaper’s weekend colour magazine will find in the rear, where carbuncles so often fester. If yet another re-counting of Adams’ childhood, mean stepdad or auto-burnishing of his goodness doesn’t appeal, Justice Palmer’s opinion of the columnist’s efforts to make life more difficult for a crippled 91-year-old, as radio rival John Laws put it, can be read in full via the link below.
— roger franklin