Monday, February 02, 2015

Abbottalypse Now ...

That's the way one wag treated the PM in Fairfax's rolling coverage of the Queensland debacle and the consequent fuss.

As a chicken! 

Though as a reader kindly noted, the chicken looked pretty grumpy emerging from a Coptic church:

Kinda shifty and surly looking, with a touch of haunted, but as a result, if it isn't about leadership speculation, the pond isn't interested.

Happily, if you are interested in leadership speculation, that's all you can find. 

Even in Murdoch la la land yesterday the header was provocative, if misleading:

They were quoting Nick Xenophon, but you'd never have guessed from the splash.

And then there were the comedians doing their bit for electronic graffiti:

As for the rest, it was wall to wall weeping and raging and fear, fear, fear, as the smell of the ballot box wafted through the nostrils of nervous backbenchers like napalm in the morning:

And then there came the reptiles:

And what a stirring there was in the nest of the reptiles of Oz:

Oh there were all sorts of fingers in the pie, gravely talking of warnings, like the desiccated coconut who had enthusiastically endorsed the whole agenda:

Et tu Henry? But what about the asset sales, and the leasing, you goose?

And behind him tramped the usual rabble with signs, and portents and warnings:

There were a few who held out hope, or offered signs of support, and naturally the PM's Singapore man, his bro, his bromance brother, was front and centre:

Oh fan the flickering flame boys, flame the flickering flim flam man ...

But as always the best comedy line came from the Oz editorial:

Roll that one around on the tip of the tongue.

Savour it on the back palate, let it infuse the entire mouth:

We must not yield to the lethal power of negative politics.

The pond contends that this is the finest line the editorialist has ever come up with.

Though perhaps this concluding line is even more richly comical:

When renegade conservatives like Clive Palmer and shock-jock Alan Jones join with Labor to run a populist campaign against a reforming government, Labor benefits. Mr Shorten could also ride a wave of populist opposition into government next year. But Australia cannot afford to succumb to the destructive force of negative politics.

Shocking, as opposed to the sophisticated, nuanced and sbutle insights of the Murdochian press:

Populist? Moi? Negative? Moi? Never, just a jolly jape amongst chums ...

As always, the Oz editorialist made for some fine reading, with some tears, and tearing of sackcloth, and wild distribution of ashes:

Yes, never mind the steep learning curve Newman embarked on, determined to alienate as many areas of Queensland society as he could manage in a single term.

But on with the lamenting:

Oh the lost opportunities, the failures and the flops, and never mind the rosy-tinted spectacles the cheer leading reptiles, high on the kool aid, had offered for as long as possible, and are still trotting out when space allows.

What do do?

When in doubt repeat the three word slogans, and bemoan a few weak spots:

The Prime Minister is right that voters want competent government and that elections are not a personality contest. The problem is that in the eyes of many voters, his government has not always been competent. It has, since late 2013, been unpopular. It is encouraging that Mr Abbott said he is determined not to become “another weak government” and conceded there were lessons to be learnt from the Queensland election. The Abbott government has achievements such as stopping boats of refugees undertaking dangerous journeys to Australia to seek asylum. It has repealed the carbon and mining taxes. It has successfully concluded free trade agreements with China, Japan and South Korea. But there are nagging doubts about the Prime Minister’s judgment. The strange decision to award a knighthood to Prince Philip destroyed any hope Mr Newman could cling to government. It was an indulgence that underscored Mr Abbott’s blind spot when it comes to the monarchy. It damaged the conservative brand, disrupted the Queensland election campaign and took the focus off Labor’s lack of policy credibility.

In a final par, the reptile editorialist translates the woes of Abbott and Newman into an Australian wide disaster, when it might be suggested it's simply a disaster for the reptiles and other assorted cheerleaders, and for the motley tribe currently in power.

But no, a disaster for American citizen Rupert is automatically a disaster for Australia.

Over in Fairfax land, the news was much the same:

Et tu Hartcher? After the years of hope?

But the pond's favourite moment - since it's the krazed kommentariat that forms the pond's beat - came with Paul "magic water man" Sheehan wringing his hands, and keening and moaning:

A few highlights.

It takes singular skill to point out that the carnage is all the fault of the public, and absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the leadership on offer:

Now the public, according to the polls, wants a fifth prime minister removed in seven-and-a-half years, and an 11th major leadership change in 11 years. 

If the past is prelude, Prime Minister Abbott is going to be engulfed by the churn. His polling numbers are as bad as any leader's since polling started. He was expressly asked not to appear during both the Victorian and Queensland elections, while the Leader of the Opposition was ubiquitous. 
His conduct before the Queensland election was obtuse in the extreme. Exit polling in Queensland found Abbott was a factor in the disintegration of support for Premier Campbell Newman and his government. It was confirmed to me by a Liberal strategist that this election was not simply a parochial result. It was a violent electoral swing, with Abbott's unpopularity in the mix. 
Gone are the days when a party would stick by its leader as Labor stuck by Arthur Calwell from 1960 to 1967, until he had lost three elections (1961, 1963 and 1966) and turned 70.

Arthur Calwell! Yep, gone are the days of stupid, but not gone are the days of stupid commentators somehow seeing something noble in obdurate stupidity ...

It is of course all the fault of social media:

On a deeper level, the carnage is a sign of our intense immersion in social media, giving society a collective attention deficit disorder. Everything is faster now.

Yes, it's all too fast for the old man - waiter, some magic water, quick - and if you pay attention to the Abbott follies, why you're suffering from a collective attention deficit disorder.

But the finest flourish came at the end, with this hysterical introduction of Christians and lions into the discussion:

And the people are leaning into the amphitheatre and giving Abbott the thumb's down. Death. 

Death? Retiring on a handsome parliamentary super scheme to don your lycra and ride your bicycle and write columns and otherwise turn into a pesky gadfly is death?

But that's the way Sheehan sees it. Democracy as a kind of lynch mob. And hapless Tony Abbott is going to be engulfed by the mindless lynch mob churn. Never mind if Abbott's been beyond obtuse, it's all the fault of the mugs gathered around the Furphy water wagon.

But do go on:

We are seeing a culling of leaders in an incessant and carnivorous news cycle that is chewing up people who took a path to public office that is much harder and more dangerous than carping from the sidelines. Newman, a former Army major, went into battle with big policies and acted on them. He didn't seek to be parachuted into a safe seat. He died in electoral battle honourably and he departed honourably. "This is the end of my political career", he said on election night. In his TV appearances on Sunday he even seemed relieved. I don't blame him.

Yes, yes, indeed, and many readers will remember Paul Sheehan's immensely sympathetic enconiums, tributes and warm glowing praise for Julia Gillard on her retirement.

The pond can't seem to locate them right now, and some might claim that Sheehan, during the Rudd and Gillard years carried on like a necromancing doomsayer, delivering all sorts of bile in the most bilious way imaginable ...

You can read the rest of Sheehan here if you're tired of hitting your head with a hammer ... and if you want carping from the sidelines and a relentless inability to see beyond a goose mourning an honourable electoral warrior, after having spent years slipping verbal swords into the backs of other electoral warriors.

Sheehan, in his writing, has all the grace and dimensionality of a Manly or a Collingwood supporter.

Schadenfreude ... it's so hard to escape its gravitational pull.

But enough. Time for the pond to steal away into the day, and leave the mourners to their bewilderment, and their collective mourning and the sackcloth and the ashes ...

Soon enough there will be a speech to pour over, offering entrails, runes and tea leaves, and a question time too, as if in one hour, anyone could turn around what has been building for years, and will go on imploding until the next election.

There's just time to note David Rowe celebrating Tony Abbott's press club speech, as if one speech could make or break what has long been broken, with a nicely grotesque image (and more Rowe here).

Strangely it seems to involve the nattering negativity which so upset the reptiles:

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Fizz went the rocket and Miranda the Devine ...

Talk about the tone deaf mouthings of the barking mad irrelevant.

Remember this?

Uh huh.

So what does Miranda the Devine, little Ms parrot, come out with on the day of the Queensland debacle?

One thing can be said for this parrot. 

She can get her Murdochian lines off by rote as she  heads off on a witch hunt ... as if somehow it's Credlin's fault that Abbott and the federal government is on the nose, and quite possibly it's Credlin behaviour and policy-making that caused the uproar in Queensland, and the debacle.

Is there nothing Credlin can't manage to wreck and ruin? 

Not in Miranda the Devine's parrot cage, as somehow she even manages to drag in Joe Hockey and Mathias Cormann being photographed enjoying a cigar.

Sheesh, that's the trouble with nannies these days, they're never around when you need them most.

But hang on, hang on, let's go back to the beginning, so that it can be clearly seen that it's all Credlin's fault, and nothing to do with that boofhead master of nattering negativity:

Yep, that's clear as lead. 

It's clear Peta Credlin personally wrote out the lines for Tony Abbott, so he could claim he was a very good captain, and she made Tony learn the lines, and then she insisted they be delivered letter perfect, because, like any good scriptwriter, the puppet mistress resented the puppet trying to improve on her masterpiece. 

Just say the lines, you drooling robot, you automaton you, you cattle, she told Tony, like a martinet Hitchcock, and sure enough, what a good little parrot he too turned out to be ...

Well if you believe that, why not share a kool aid with Miranda the Devine?

On and on the parrot rants, and it's a reminder that when the Devine berates the sisterhood for being ultra bitches, she knows how to lead by example:

By golly, that Credlin's responsible for everything, including him coming up with misogynist lines, and the monarchist bee buzzing around in Abbott's noggin.

Never mind that Abbott confessed it was he that committed the Prince Philip gaffe, and that Credlin, at the time they began, had opposed the revival of knights and dames ...

Yet somehow it's all Credlin's fault.

Talk about the emperor's new clothes ...

Well if you believe the ranting of the Murdochian parrot, providing an extended, bitter gloss on the original tweet, then the kool aid is working, and you know how to perform a thousand small atrocities as you lump all the crimes of a fearless leader on to a member of his staff.

She might be the chief, but is she the Chief?

About now you're probably asking why the parrot broke Godwin's Law. 

Well if you aren't you should be, because Miranda the Devine has Stalinist form when it comes to this sort of personal abuse (yes, Stalin counts amongst krazed right wing members of the kommentariat, as much as Hitler and Mao).

Remember the various corollaries and extensions of the law, here:

What I see more often is the more insulting "Stalinist" epithet used against liberals. The word "Commie" isn't sufficiently overloaded with blood the way "Nazi" is, so anti-liberal trolls need a badder bogeyman. --MartinZarate

Sorry, Martin, when krazed kommentariat parrots go about the business of eating their own, it's not just liberals who cop the epithet. It's Liberals, female Liberals being the worst of all.

Hey ho, nonny no, now we're primed, on we go:

A Stalinist!

And she runs the office like an Orwellian gulag.

Yes, that's worth a break out box. Why the shameless hussy's as bad as that dreadful Stalin man, who slaughtered millions ...

And the hapless pussies, Liberals without balls, simply can't stand up to the Stalinist. She's too strong, and they're merely males in search of a joke in New Idea, and the hapless PM doesn't have a clue, all he's got is a "benign gaze".

You know, like that "benign gaze" he gave that television reporter ...

But hold on, if she's a Stalinist, doesn't that mean that Tony Abbott is Uncle Joe Stalin himself? Old uncle Tony "Joe" Abbott lurking in the lodge ...

Around this point, most readers would be consumed by laughter or tears.

The world has moved on, and it moved on so quickly after Queensland, that Miranda the Devine, a bear routinely relied upon to show she has very little brain, was caught high and dry with yesterday's copy and yesterday's party line.

This very day the discussion has moved beyond Credlin, and on to Abbott.

Why even the Chairman himself tweeted the news:

That's not just a message directed at the puppet mistress, that's a tweet directed to the Feds, and more particularly to Tony "Joe" Abbott ...

Even the Bolter's moved past the Credlin bashing. He knows Queensland was about Abbott and Abbott's policies, and not his chief of staff, though that might be a fun bashing game for Murdochians wanting to install their own puppet in the job, in much the same way that Abbott once contemplated appointing Greg Sheridan to a plum post.

Cue the Bolter:

There's more if you want to do a Campbell Newman google - just for the memory of a man so strong he made Charles Atlas weep with tears of envy - but here's the Bolter's final words for those who don't like rewarding the ratbag with a click:

Abbott hasn’t had Newman’s freedom to smash through as he tackles another Labor debt, thanks to a mutinous Senate. But he, too, has broken promises, picked too many fights, announced radical schemes without real consultation and made idiosyncratic decisions such as reinstating knighthoods. Abbott is a good man, but has built an image of a leader out of touch, unpredictable and too self-willed. 
Australians can’t be commanded, tricked, bullied, surprised, taken for granted or treated like fools. How many leaders have learned that already - Paul Keating, Julia Gillard, Jeff Kennett… 
I don’t know if Abbott can recover, but I do know he won’t unless he immediately shows he knows the public is his master.

You see, Ms Devine. It's not about Credlin, it's about the actual PM, old Uncle Tony "Joe" Abbott himself ...

It's around this time that the pond began thinking again, very fondly, of one of its favourite arrogant characters in literature, Oscar Wilde's remarkable rocket.

You can find it here with other Wilde stories in that collection, and it ended this way:

“Hallo!” cried one of the boys, “look at this old stick! I wonder how it came here;” and he picked the Rocket out of the ditch. 
“Old Stick!” said the Rocket, “impossible! Gold Stick, that is what he said. Gold Stick is very complimentary. In fact, he mistakes me for one of the Court dignitaries!” 
“Let us put it into the fire!” said the other boy, “it will help to boil the kettle.” 
So they piled the faggots together, and put the Rocket on top, and lit the fire. 
“This is magnificent,” cried the Rocket, “they are going to let me off in broad daylight, so that everyone can see me.” 
“We will go to sleep now,” they said, “and when we wake up the kettle will be boiled;” and they lay down on the grass, and shut their eyes. 
The Rocket was very damp, so he took a long time to burn. 
At last, however, the fire caught him.  
“Now I am going off!” he cried, and he made himself very stiff and straight. 
“I know I shall go much higher than the stars, much higher than the moon, much higher than the sun. In fact, I shall go so high that——” Fizz! Fizz! Fizz! and he went straight up into the air. “Delightful,” he cried, “I shall go on like this for ever. What a success I am!” 
But nobody saw him. 
Then he began to feel a curious tingling sensation all over him. 
“Now I am going to explode,” he cried. “I shall set the whole world on fire, and make such a noise that nobody will talk about anything else for a whole year.” And he certainly did explode. Bang! Bang! Bang! went the gunpowder. There was no doubt about it. 
But nobody heard him, not even the two little boys, for they were sound asleep. 
Then all that was left of him was the stick, and this fell down on the back of a Goose who was taking a walk by the side of the ditch. 
“Good heavens!” cried the Goose. “It is going to rain sticks;” and she rushed into the water. 
“I knew I should create a great sensation,” gasped the Rocket, and he went out. 

Well there's already one great, sensational stick in the Queensland mud, and there's a federal stick about to follow, and it will take more than sacking Peta Credlin to stop the great sensation ...

(Below: an illustration from an early edition by Walter Crane)

Just go ...

Ignore the petty vandalism for a moment, and focus on the message ...

Just go ...

Not Campbell Newman. He's already gone.

Tony Abbott ...

Just go ...

Do it with style and grace of the kind conspicuously lacking to date in your political career.

Well of course the doofus isn't going to pay the slightest bit of attention to electronic graffiti, but thus far his premiership has helped the Liberals to lose in Victoria, where he was persona non grata, and now in Queensland, where, whatever happens in the final counting, he has helped to steer the good ship LNP on to the rocks ... without once showing up in the state.

That caps a dire month back at the helm, and it's not going to get any better. The speech he delivers tomorrow will be swamped by speculation, innuendo and bizarre stories of the "Mal Brough is going to be a suicide bomber" leadership challenger kind ...

Oh that rough Brough, slouching like a beast in a Yeats' poem towards Lake Burley Griffin ...

The ironies are already running thick and fast, and as always the pond turns to the reptiles at the lizard Oz to gauge the temperature of the water.

It's getting near boiling:

That was written without irony, but the juxtaposition of bouffant one knob polisher stories was replete with irony:

Where are you now, counter-revolution, Shane Stone, and the voices backing Tony Abbott that were supposed to be heard around the land?

Here they are. Take it away bouffant one (and google if you want the links):

And other reptiles were already bracing for the storm on the bridge.

And the Fairfaxians were also there.

Yesterday they'd been out and about armed with a baseball bat and the rough Brough:

And today they led with the obvious:

Yes, the pond watched the inept ABC election coverage, and poor old Antony Green in eternal battle with his computer, his touch screen and the data. It was rich in comedy material ...

And yes, the headline is thin as gossamer, seizing on a 'Wayne Swan' quote to suggest that Prentice was throwing Abbott under a bus, when she had in fact attempted to be achingly cautious, while attempting to sound like she was within cooee of the real world, rather than living in an Abbottian la la land, as bodies collapsed with a thud around her.

But in the end she was cornered, and came up with the goods:

Asked on the ABC whether Mr Abbott was the right person to lead the Coalition to the next election, Ms Prentice replied: "Well, that's a discussion, isn't it? We need to look at where we're going." 
"Tony has said he has listened and learned. He is making a keynote speech on Monday at the press club [and] we can't continue as we are. We are not taking the people with us. We are getting bad feedback." 
Ms Prentice predicted the Coalition would suffer the same fate as Campbell Newman's first-term state government if "we don't change what we're doing". 
Ms Prentice agreed Monday's speech was "make or break" for Mr Abbott. 
Asked whether the Queensland result would trigger a leadership spill, Ms Prentice hesitated and replied: "Look, I think our discussion... I think the members will look at the results tonight and they will take those to Canberra." When pressed again about the likelihood of a showdown, she said MPs would "see what he [Mr Abbott] says on Monday". 
Former Labor treasurer Wayne Swan, a panelist on the ABC broadcast, seized on the comments and said Ms Prentice had thrown Mr Abbott "under a bus".

It was, on even a moment's reflection, an impossible conclusion. Abbott's entire premiership hinges on a 'make or break' speech on Monday?

In that case, he's gone, but yet to acknowledge it. A single speech as the redemption of a premiership?

That's government by crisis, and the government has - despite all the weasel words designed to whittle it down - been in crisis for months. Maybe if Abbott were Churchillian, a single speech could do the job, but a rhetorical Churchill he's not.

Does Abbott have within him the grace to depart, as opposed to saying grace at meals? (That peculiarity, which placed Abbott somewhere deep in the mid-west in a John Ford movie courtesy of Peter Fitzgerald here).

Probably not, but the count in Queensland is liking to go on for the next week, there might be appeals if a count is tight, and then there's going to be the outcome, which is going to be precarious no matter to whom the prize falls. The depth of inexperience in the Labor mob is only matched by the level of slaughter in the LNP mob.

Look at the Currish Snail on line this morning, alive with the smell of napalm and bad puns, as the state of toads goes wild with excitement at the daring of the voters:

In the end, it doesn't matter how the story goes, provided there's a story, and Abbott's future is the next story.

Yes, good old Dennis Atkins - remembered lovingly in Adelaide for falling asleep in a movie he was supposed to be reviewing - bells the cat from a deep north point of view:

Note, above all, that illustration at the top of the story:

Abbott as a quaint, out of touch monarchist, standing with his photos by Lake Burley Griffin, like a fatuous, smirking, hand-rubbing goose ...

That's the image these days, and it's pretty settled and fixed, just like the long list of complaints and disasters, which are now routinely regurgitated.

And now the shark jumper has nuked the Queensland fridge, it's going to be a long way back, and if it all hangs on a single speech, the fridge nuker is doomed ...

If the Feds had half a clue, they'd move along, and quickly, rather than stay stuck in the quagmire. They could still have a good half term carrying out their agenda of transferring wealth from the poor to the rich, and they might even be able to mount a respectable campaign for re-election if they managed to elect the right figurehead in place of monarchist, grace-saying Abbott.

Right now, they're in the grip of a Mafia moment, as noted by Andrew Dyson, and with one body already off the political stage, there's sure to be more (and more Dyson here).

There will be blood. The only question is how much ...

Saturday, January 31, 2015

The trumpet blowers gather at the walls of Jericho, and surround the self-regarding Captain ...

(Above: found at Crikey here).

Even as he tries to deliver his mea culpas and mend his ways, Tony Abbott manages to sound tone deaf.

You know things are desperate when the only one to lay on the regard is the one handling the trowel of self-regard:

"This is a very strong team," he said. "And one of the reasons why so many members of the team are able to perform so well is because they've got a very good captain. 
"It takes a good captain to help all the players of a team to excel." (more at the ABC here about Tony Abbott declaring himself a 'good captain').

In the old days, the pond used to be told it was the British way never to blow your own trumpet, to always be seemly and modest, and if in search of praise, let it come from others and be honestly earned.

Trumpets were there for a purpose:

So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.

All blather of course, but it's profoundly ironic to see Abbott forced to blow his own trumpet because everyone else is out of breath.

It's the stuff of Shorten zingers - Titanic captains and all that - and of cartoons:

It's got so the pond can't keep up with the follies and the circus acts, and the reader comments are more agile. The newest gambit came about because everybody slowly began to realise that it was the man doing the self-trumpeting and the own goals, rather than the woman, despite the best strategic advice:

(And more Moir here).

Is there any other clown willing to join in the fun in this bit of the circus act?

Mr Billionaire irrelevance himself.

Yes everyone's in the act and in every way now Abbott remains the source of contention, an object of fascination as he writhes on the spit of anger and contempt.

And still it goes on. Just as everyone thankfully decided to give the Sir Duke saga a rest, along comes Tony Walker in the AFR this very day:

Yes, yes, they're always a bit slow at the staid AFR, but even as we attempt to git along, little dogies, the news continues weird.

What's an Abbott to do to change the look and jut of his cowl?

Yes, according to the reptiles in EXCLUSIVE mode, the 'listening' PM is about to dump his leave plan.

Of course if it had been a Labor plan, it would have been headed Gillard in excruciating backflip as policy farce collapses in a cow pat.

Oh okay, maybe the pond shouldn't be writing headers, but the point is surely correct.

This was the original 'Captain's pick' policy outing, much reviled by many, yet Abbott has clung to it tenaciously for years, and only now reluctantly, in the direst of hours, has he decided to 'listen'.

But how is this folding of the tent actually listening?

A listener would have had second thoughts the moment that Abbott devised the scheme on his own and announced it to the world.

It had Abbott's paw all over it (along with the token woman) but what are we to make of this "fair dinkum" scheme now?

Fair dinkum, it seems like it's fucked. (stroll down policy memory lane at Liberal HQ here).

What to do, what to do?

Well at last the knob polishers and forelock tuggers are starting to get back into the act.

The bouffant one has found his voice, or at least rounded up a few stragglers.

So who's he got?

Say what? A dipstick long out of the game, discarded and irrelevant, now dusted off, and dragged back into the sunshine, with Shanahan in his column recycling the thoughts of the skipping Stone?

Yep that's how pathetic it gets as the one voice, the one backer is taken up by the reptiles:

That's the counter-revolution?

Could it get any more pathetic?

Well actually it could. There was another forlorn voice urging the troops to rally around the Union Jack (with bonus Southern Cross), scribbling away in the ABC with Abbott needs backing, not the boot.

Abbott knows full well that regaining the trust of his Coalition colleagues and the Australian people is a hard road back from here. If a harsh lesson has been learned that even confident leaders should consult and listen, this month's Medicare and Philgate misadventures haven't been in vain. But surely Abbott the man deserves better than what he has endured this week after his Bishop of Bradford moment. He certainly doesn't deserve to share Edward VIII's fate. 
Schadenfreude may be pleasurably cathartic for those indulging in it. But when schadenfreude dominates our political discourse, not only Abbott has a serious problem: we all do.

Things are pretty desperate when there's a whining and a wailing, and a mourning about schadenfreude, as if Abbott's years of kneecapping, and relentless negativity should now count for naught, and everyone should rally around the stricken bully.

Harden the fuck up man. Politics is a tough game, Abbott gave it out, now he's copping it, and in policy terms in relation to the PPL, he's on the verge, according to the reptiles, of doing the most spectacular  flip flop, back flip of all.

Enjoy the spectacle, it's rare that this kind of circus comes to town for daily thrills ...

Meanwhile, in the world of Fairfax, the pond couldn't resist this juxtaposition yesterday:

The man was so tone deaf that at one time he considered his chief bromancer for a plum posting, and it was only Chris Mitchell who saved him from the folly?

And so today in Fairfax?

You can read it here, but at its heart is the fallout from that latest folly, which naturally the reptiles at the lizard Oz have given the barge pole treatment:

News of the approaches to Ms Bishop and Mr Turnbull comes after Fairfax Media revealed on Friday Mr Abbott approached The Australian newspaper's foreign editor Greg Sheridan – who has described the Prime Minister as his "best friend" in university days – take up the plum role of high commissioner to Singapore after the 2013 election. 
One cabinet minister labelled the offer "completely bizarre" and expressed shock the newspaper's editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell – a friend of Mr Abbott – confirmed to Fairfax that he had dissuaded Mr Sheridan from moving. 
Mr Mitchell said: "Obviously Greg and I are personal friends, as are Greg and Tony, so I guess the offer was probably quite attractive but he has a pretty good job at the Oz too".

There's a man who not only rewards the Royals, he thinks and acts like a Royal taking care of his mates.

There's more in the story, but the pond particularly enjoyed this bon mot from an anonymous source:

A junior minister, however, put the counterview: "Rudd was a well-liked national leader. People were shocked because they woke up one day to find that he was gone, without explanation. Nobody would call Tony Abbott a beloved national figure. No one would be surprised if we got rid of him."

Now who can argue with that impeccable logic?

And so to Queensland with the news that, according to some sources, up to thirty per cent of voters are being motivated to vote by their anger and discontent arising from the federal government, and Tony Abbott in particular. (1 in 3 according to the Currish Snail here).

Well Queenslanders will get the government they deserve, but even the Currish Snail was sounding a little nervous on this day:

Totally unfair of course. Campbell Newman could always do. He could alienate the judiciary, basic legal rights, Alan Jones, anyone interested in land care and reef care and worship coal and  ...

Feel free to add to the lengthy list at your leisure, the pond is off to watch the coverage. What fun, whatever the result ...