Thank the long absent lord someone noticed.
While all and sundry are scurrying about donning the sackcloth and ashes, and shedding tears of woe, is there anything more insufferable than the sanctimonious adjustment of the historical record?
Laurie Oakes tidily ticks off a few names in How the US and UK listed Nelson Mandela as a terrorist till 2008 while we always admired him.
There was Ronald Reagan branding him a terrorist, and Margaret Thatcher, and then there was John Howard:
There is some dispute about whether John Howard also used the word "terrorism" in reference to Mandela. I doubt it.
But Thatcher and Reagan were Howard's political heroes, and he certainly joined them in opposing the sanctions that eventually brought about Mandela's release from imprisonment and, with it, the end of apartheid.
In the 1980s, Howard was right up the front of the queue of conservative politicians lining up to support the apartheid regime, dissembling and claiming that sanctions didn't work.
Later, recognising he was on the wrong side of history, he beat a hasty retreat, and the always gracious Mandela was gracious to him in 1999. It didn't help Howard, however, at least not when he tried to become the head honcho of cricket, and some in charge of the appointment turned out to have long memories.
And then there was Dick Cheney, as noted in Dick Cheney Didn't Regret His Vote Against Freeing Nelson Mandela.
And then there was Joh Bjelke-Petersen and his cronies in the days of the Springbok tour.
An eighteen day emergency!
Some later emerged from the fuss able to hold their heads up, Malcolm Fraser and Don Bradman amongst them, and Nelson Mandela was always ready to forgive and forget, but the pond will always remember those on the wrong side of history.
And when the pond sees John Howard now out and about and shedding crocodile tears about Mandela and hailing him as one of the world's greatest leaders (here) all the pond can think is that there goes one hell of a crocodile, with a thick and shameless hide to match. Sorry Mr. Mandela, and your admirable capacity for forgiveness and harmony, but the pond would settle for a nice crocodile skin handbag and a delicious pair of shoes ...
Of course you won't find any sentimental nonsense about Mandela emanating from the Bolter.
He paused only for a moment in his theologically inspired crusade against climate science to quote Tim Blair quoting the Wall Street Journal, here. Quite possibly he baulked at the notion of any kind words dribbling off his keyboard, which routinely gets gummed up by tar and chicken feathers.
Naturally the comments section below the Bolter note was full of Mandela hate, black bashing, and yearning for the good old days of apartheid, while insisting that Mandela was just a terrorist.
Reading them is a bit like straying into a cesspit of bigotry and hatred, and given the man's death, without any sense of grace or generosity or timing.
But why, you ask, is the pond surprised? A decent soul would have arranged for the immediate removal of all the bilious hate-speak, but not the Bolter. He thrives in the fetid atmosphere of hate, fear and loathing ...
Mandela will shortly be standing before God to answer for those crimes he committed while alive, and God will not be so forgiving towards what he did ...
And so on and so forth.
Move along, nothing to see here, just the Bolter and his rabid, frothing and foaming readership.
Meanwhile, it seems that Campbell Newman is helping sustain the rage about the ABC:
The preening cockerel of the north, Joh's natural heir and assignee, is outraged, and naturally so is the Bolter.
The ABC is out of control, he splutters, here, reminding the world that the reptiles at the Oz, echo chambers like the Bolter and conservative politicians are determined to maintain the rage and punish the ABC at every turn.
It's also just in time to provide even more evidence for today's column by MIke Carlton, Simple as ABC: Tories are imploding.
As I wrote here last week, the battle is on. Rupert Murdoch's self-styled culture warriors lead the offensive, with a thunderous barrage of confected ''news'' stories, anti-ABC rants by the usual columnists and bloggers, and almost daily editorials in The Australian verging on the demented.
Verging on the demented?
As usual Carlton is inclined to be much too polite. Beyond the valley of the barking mad is more to the point ...
Carlton mentions that Abbott has already begun to pave the way for an inquiry, and no doubt a new wave of board appointments of the climate denialist Maurice Newman kind, and also pings Malcolm Turnbull for his remarkable breach of protocol, by going around the chair to directly assault Mark Scott.
So what do the reptiles at the lizard Oz propose as a beguiling inducement and incentive to sign up to their digital services?
Yes, you too can join the crusade.
Meanwhile, speaking of haters that are gunna hate, the Bolter provides this bizarre hope:
... gays and lesbians have nothing to lose but their chains in this debate. No horde of gay-haters would suddenly feel freer to vilify - and nor would the rest of us be any slower to fight back.
The Bolter as defenders of gays? Is there no end to self-delusion?
Fighting back? Lordy, lordy, the Bolter wouldn't even allow his sister to drop a comment on his blog, as you can recall here. (or here). Of course the Bolter has been hacking in to gay marriage with a quite amazing ferocity for yonks ...
Manners, after all, are for us all to defend and decide. All respect to Young, but I’d rather leave that work to the many us than limit it to the few of her. (here)
Leave it to many Bolters? Amazing scenes ...
Yep, the man who vilified people, and incidentally got his facts wrong in the process, is suddenly posing as a freedom fighter, willing to stand shoulder to shoulder against prejudice and hate.
The conscience of the nation:
There is no clear law against calling a female Prime Minister a witch. But see what happened when one protester at a rally against the carbon tax did just that. Fellow protesters told him to remove his sign, which was condemned in Parliament and in countless newspaper articles, TV reports and radio broadcasts. I attacked it, too, and it’s remarkable how rarely similar signs appeared at later rallies.
That collective disapproval of the sign had a far greater effect than a prosecution under the law would have achieved. Had the man with the sign instead been charged the would have become - rightly - a martyr and other citizens would have been absolved of their duty to speak out and robbed of their power to pass judgment. The state would have nationalised morality. The public would have turned from jurors to subjects.
The Bolter as a defender of Julia Gillard? The Bolter as denouncer of hate speech? Collective disapproval?
Like the collective disapproval in Salem?
Oh roll the pond into pickle and drown it in vinegar ...
But wait, it does make a kind of sense ... because really Gillard shouldn't have been compared to a witch but to a cat that should be shoved in a chaff bag, taken far out to sea and drowned ...
The Bolter will ride shotgun on hate speech?
Does he ever read the comments he cultivates?
Haters gunna hate, and soon enough the howling, yowling beasts will be loosed from their chains, and roam the moors tearing at the throat of the ABC ... in the name of free speech ...
Oh wait, they're already there ...
Thankfully First Dog has listed a number of accomplishments in the first 100 days of the Abbott Tonyocracy ... the rest here, paywall affected for the moment: