Monday, November 30, 2009

David Burchell, jolly Joe Hockey sticks, and a cabal already white anting the new Kim Beazley ...

(Above: losing your cool playing hockey).

Poor jolly Joe Hockey sticks.

Even before he gets elevated to the throne, the knives are out.

It was only a short time ago that he was being advised by Christopher Pearson to stick to economics because as a theologian he was a windbag dullard destined for hell (At odds with the gospel according to Joe).

Now the normally rambling, incoherent David Burchell pulls himself together enough to shaft Jolly Joe in the cruellest of ways, suggesting he won't be buying a used car or policy from Joe any time soon, as he explains in No logic in Liberals' climate of paranoia:

As luck would have it, many, many years ago I was an accidental witness to the flickering dawn of Joe Hockey's now-sunlit political career. Through the rather indirect means of the Beer Drinkers Party, Hockey had ascended to the head of his university's students union. Each month he and I met the vice-chancellor in the genteel repose of his oak-panelled rooms, ostensibly to discuss matters of pressing concern to students but, actually, in Hockey's case, to generate a pleasant stream of inconsequential banter about the state of the university rugby team or the prospects of the rowing eight.

No doubt we can all remember incidents from our youth which, were we forced to live through them again now, would place us in agonies of embarrassment.

Yet I have to confess I never before or since saw a political activist so blithely devoid of even the merest tincture of political conviction.

Oh dear and ouch. Well it's true that Burchell detours via marital relationships, and the French revolutionaries of 1789 to get to this point, but he also knows how to guillotine a head or two:

Senior frontbenchers whose names were once bywords for icy political calculation have turned into wild visionaries, their disordered imaginations generating fiery spectres of evil foes, shadowy cabals and dark plots innumerable. Senator Nick Minchin, who not much more than two years ago was the third or fourth most senior political figure in the land, now resembles in his public utterances nothing so much as a pyjama-clad blogger shuffling around in his distraction in worn bedroom slippers, and declaiming with clenched fists against global conspiracies to return us to the Stone Age.

Minchin in pyjamas? Well it is the Adelaide style.

But then it seems that Burchell is something of a risk management type, albeit with great reluctance:

It is probably no accident that it is the beacon of climate change that has finally brought the Liberal Party on to the rocks. It is, after all, the very archetype of a political debate carried out on principles of pure faith and unreason.

Since no ordinary citizen can really assess how compelling the science is, all any of us can hope to say is that the best course of action is the more prudent one, and hence the one that promises less future damage to the planet.

He even manages to call Malcolm Turnbull as showing something close to heroism in tackling his internal critics, and pressing his ETS policies, copping flak from colleagues and the press in the process. Before leaving us with this final thought on Jolly Joe:

Perhaps, in the Liberals' present bout of collective emotional instability, in their paroxysm of conviction-mania, Hockey is exactly the kind of quasi-leader - a light, agreeable semblance of a political personality woven out of the purest gossamer thread - his party deserves and needs.

Throw in Glenn Milne on Joe Hockey, and loon pond is in turmoil. The loons are revolting. According to Milne, in Joe Hockey's political hot potato, here's what Nick Greiner said to his protege:

Greiner's point to Hockey was that if he becomes leader now on ETS terms dictated by the climate sceptics in the party he can never be his own man, his own leader.

"For Joe to take the job now based on what he's said before would amount to standing for a lie," says Greiner. "That is, he'd be standing for the reverse of what his previous view has been, in favour of an ETS. It wouldn't be his leadership it would be someone else's. "They (the right-wing sceptics) want two bob each way. They want to impose their view then have someone electorally saleable and moderate like Joe sell it."

Turnbull has seized instinctively on Greiner's argument as the fundamental weakness of Hockey's candidacy.

Yesterday Turnbull savaged Hockey's credentials. Throwing decency to the winds, he revealed that in a private conversation on Saturday, Hockey admitted his position on an ETS remained the same as Turnbull's.

Worse still, Nick Greiner has taken to the ABC airwaves, to spread his heresy even wider. (And no doubt it will turn up on The World Today website when the ABC catches up with itself - it has, direct link here, though in a day's time it'll be as old as yesterday's mashed potato and as useful as bubble and squeak).

Dear lord, Christopher Pearson, David Burchell, Nick Greiner and Glenn Milne suddenly warning jolly Joe to beware the runes, and consult the Delphic Oracle long and hard. Milne does of course do his best to show how all this could in the long run bring down the Rudd government, but still there's one bitter pill no one has yet worked how how to sugar coat, and it concerns mad Uncle Wilson Tuckey and our very own, On Our Selection, pick the wings off flies, Dave, aka Barnaby, Joyce:

Behind closed doors Hockey has already been wrestling with the dilemmas raised by Turnbull. He does not trust that any deal with Minchin to rein in the Right if he became leader would hold. He has recognised that if even for the moment he pushes off the ETS to a Senate inquiry how does he deal with it after that and stay true to himself? "Can I sell my soul?" he has asked colleagues.

He has thought medium and long term, as well; if after a Senate inquiry he then tries to fashion his own ETS policy for an election, the likes of Wilson Tuckey and Barnaby Joyce would be straight into it again, because they don't believe in one at all. Hockey has imagined an election campaign with the Nationals threatening already spooked Liberal climate change sceptics in their seats. It would be a debacle.

Well the oldest saw in the book is the truest. A democracy without a strong opposition isn't much of a democracy, and an opposition infested with incoherent loons is the worst situation of all.

Good luck to jolly Joe, but here's hoping when he searches through the sheep's entrails, he finds more insight than currently seems available to the smelly corpse once known as the Liberal party.

And after the ballot, can we just move along people, and keep the line moving!

By golly, when David Burchell stops writing about the Iliad and the Golden fleece, and the wise ways of arcane medievalists caught up in the hundred years war, loon pond isn't just in turmoil, it's in total apocalyptic chaos.

Meanwhile, spare a thought for Julie Bishop. Julie who?

Never mind, the Liberals might well have found their amiable Kim Beazley, who did wonders for the Labor party ... as well as arranging for years in the wilderness.

(Below: new rules for Hockey playing Liberals?)

Heath Aston, Quentin Letts, Germaine Greer and a load of borrowed old cobblers

(Above: Germaine Greer in 1974).

The art of the desperate blogger is to filch content, and use it to pad your own.

As a desperate blog, this site has frequently resorted to the tireless art of the hack - remember the good old days of Alan Ramsey, when he began quoting himself so much (or others) that some columns consisted entirely of quotes?

Well Heath Aston has the art form down to a 'T' in Postcard from London: Greer blamed for British ladettes.

In it, he devours the thoughts of Daily Mail columnist Quentin Letts with a vigour that would make even a harlot blush.

By my count, he harvests close on five hundred words (496, give or take a word or two) of comrade Letts, in a piece with a total wordage of 822.

Now even stretching the fair use clause to an extreme, and even allowing for the Fagin elements in desperate bloggers - and yes I've been accused of Faginism with my wholehearted, wholesale recycling of the words of others - this amounts to outrageous cheekiness.

Aston does the extensive quoting in the usual way, thereby hoping to hang comrade Letts with his own words, before applying his own flourish of the samurai sword to sever the head.

But it's all a bit of a furphy. As comrade Letts is a bit to the right of Ghengis Khan, and madder than a meat axe, his tirade against Germaine Greer - ostensibly the cause of the rise of British ladettes - is just a standard frothing and foaming, scarcely worthy of a mention even in loon pond, so obvious is it in terms of blatant trolling for attention.

Indeed we could give up on all other loons and concentrate on Letts, so rich and fecund and fertile is he in his folly, but really the man is his own one-person loon pond.

That said, he does know how to spend a word, and not in pennies, but in quids and quids of extravagant verbiage, shucked oysters of spite, so Aston's comeback sounds positively enfeebled:

It’s time that Australian blokes sent Quentin Letts a message: Our women can say whatever they want.

But it’s also your God-given right not to listen to them if you choose.

Oh dear confronted by the splendour of a verbal feather display from Letts, and a bollocking of Germaine Greer, that's the best Aston can manage? What's worse, Aston confesses to not having read The Female Eunuch, and then tries a 'get out of jail' clause by comparing Letts to Andrew Bolt, Piers Akerman and Tim Blair, all tied together and hit with a stick. "He's right wing, reactionary and excitable."

Um, you mean the Daily Mail manages to outdo all these antipodean loons, clustered in Chairman Rupert's down under stables? Surely not, and surely the Daily Mail is only a paper that Chairman Rupert would love to own so that he might have Letts as the jewel in crown, or in his stable of dung throwers, if you will (especially as Rupert made the cut in Letts' 50 People Who Buggered Up Britain).

Luckily Germaine Greer can sort out the likes of Letts with a quick verbal thrust to the groin, and loon pond is the richer for it.

Aston compounds his slackness by failing in his duty to his readers.

He doesn't provide some immediate links to Letts' ramblings, by pretending it's from Letts' latest book, and therefore some kind of rambling above the polite linking circuit of the intertubes.

Is there an instruction sent out to Chairman Rupert's minions not to provide links, even if available, because that might take readers from their page? Is this the kind of internalized, incestuous cannibalising planned as the future for News Corp offerings to its social community?

Well enough of that already.

With a simple click, you can skip here to the rambles of the raving loony Quentin Letts.

There you will find his trolling about Greer under the header The First Ladette: How Germaine Greer's legacy is an entire generation of loose-knicked lady louts, illustrated with a snap from 1974, which in the tradition of the intertubes now graces the top of this piece.

The goosey Letts yearns for the days of Brief Encounter and mourns that women reminiscent of Celia Johnson's character in that film no longer exists. The sweet deluded possum exists in a bizarro other dimension of alternate reality, but here's the main point - as a desperate columnist Letts already does his own recycling, and he does it with some vigour, enough in fact to make the average harlot blush with shame. His book is but grist to the relentless grind of column writing, with lengthy excerpts designed to send you rushing off to the bookstore while filling up the newspaper.

So you can also get other excerpts from his latest book, such as It's time to rise up and revolt against dumbed-down Britain.

It doesn't occur to Letts that his loonish squawking is helping dumb down the UK - I swear just reading one of his columns cost me at least ten IQ points. Because he is of course just an old fashioned English snob, and a bitchy one at that:

The Queen has altered her accent, shifting it several notches down the posh scale. Her Majesty does not yet prattle like a Milton Keynes hairdresser, but she is a good deal less icy, linguistically, than when she succeeded to the throne.

It is just as well that access to the Crown Jewels is not controlled by a voice recognition device or she would struggle these days to get her hands on the Imperial State Crown for the State Opening of Parliament.

We should be thankful, at least, that Her Majesty has not caved in to that bane of spoken English, the Australian or American rising inflection - the habit of lifting the voice towards the end of a clause or sentence, as though seeking reassurance. People do it because it feels egalitarian, seeking the listener's continued consent.

What's that you say Quentin? I'm not sure I understand you (in a quavering, quivering rising voice). Mayest I go on?

Well it passes the time for those who read the Daily Mail, and it too can pass your time if you want to gain second hand in the antipodes the sense of what it might be like being a brain dead zombie stalking the English political, social and cultural scene with barbs and jibes of a preening, poncing kind.

Why in November alone there are 18 columns, including a couple of theatre reviews - comrade Letts is a theatre reviewer in his spare time, god help the British theatre - and the archives stretch back at Colebatchian length, full of denunciations of all and sundry.

And if you tire of that, you can resort to Rachel Cooke's colour piece and profile, Is this Britain's most opinionated man? in The Guardian. There you can come to a deeper understanding of Letts' legal battle with Alan Sugar, aka Sugarlump.

But I digress. I suspect we've come to a definitive reflexive point, which is to bemoan how the intertubes have been reduced to a loon ranting at a loon for extensively quoting a loon (while ranting at said loon), when the simplest option by far is just to head off to the original loon, and see him in all his feathered verbal finery. Loon central, so to speak.

Well heck, how about this from Letts on Rupert Murdoch, who made 47 in his list of those who'd buggered up Britain:

47 Rupert Murdoch

Murdoch ownership of many media outlets has been efficient if sometimes a little discombobulating. The Sun, News Of The World, BSkyB, even The Sunday Times: all have benefited from an injection of Aussie populism.

Politics without Murdoch would be less frenetic, more smug.

The exception to all this bracing Murdochery, however, has been The Times newspaper - and, in particular, its letters page.

To have a letter published in The Times of old was to lick a teaspoon of ambrosia, its correspondence page being the pre-eminent forum for lay debate.

Today's Times letters page carries a lot of letters from public relations people, and the 'jokey' contributions are rather overdone.

The paper's change to a tabloid format crushed the elegance of the letters page. It lost its status. And a Britain without an authoritative, tightly edited Times letters page is somehow a less civilised place to live. (here for more on the list).

You see! I've caught Aston's disease. Ah choo ...

Letters to the editor?

Sir, I call your attention to the presence of rats in the bar, yours Major Gowen (ret.) Or should that be about the first or last cuckoo? (here and here)

Silly old pommie bastard, what a dearie, what a sweetie. Now if only Quentin would read The Punch so he could expose how Chairman Rupert's minions are buggering up blogging down under ...

(Below: Quentin Letts makes a mess in the kitchen similar to the way he trolls for comments and intertubes fame of a kind).

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Paul Sheehan, Nick Minchin, Tony Abbott and the coiled viper

Exciting week coming up in loon pond.

But why not spare a moment for The Secrets of Droon, The Coiled Viper, by Tony Abbott.

Oh okay, I fess up, this Tony Abbott is the author of more than fifty novels for young readers, including more than thirty books in The Secrets of Droon series, as well two hardcover novels, Kringle and Firegirl. And he was born in Ohio and now lives in Connecticut with his wife and daughters.

Drat. It seemed so true and right and just. The coiled viper. Tony Abbott!

But in an alternate universe, did the American Tony Abbott channel our own Tony Abbott down under, with his tale of a coiled viper, an ancient magical object of unknown incredible power? With brave lads reaching for the source of power, the mastery of the universe, like Gollum reaching for his precious?

Gandalf: Don't... tempt me Frodo! I dare not take it. Not even to keep it safe. Understand, Frodo. I would use this ring from a desire to do good... But through me, it would wield a power too great and terrible to imagine.

Gollum: It came to me, my own, my love... my... preciousssss.

Meantime, what a fine squawking there'll be this week on the pond. Give the ring to Mr. Abbott, we say, let's see what he can do with his ... preciousssss coiled viper.

Meantime, over at the Herald, Paul Sheehan is of course writing about the leadership issue - so many loons, and only one subject of conversation - but in the process, his column Malcolm and the mincer does contain a few classic Sheehan moments.

First up, if anyone has ever talked to you about the urban elites, ask them if they can write this kind of opener:

I have been waiting for this civil war since August 12, the night I went to dinner at the Cape Cod restaurant in Canberra. It's an excellent little seafood restaurant tucked into the Deakin shopping centre not far from Parliament House. It is also a haunt of Senator Nick Minchin. We dined together that night.

Yep, if you're going to open a column with a poncy bit of posing, that's about as good as it gets (and never mind the delusion that you can find an excellent restaurant in Canberra). Oh okay, it would have been better if instead of fish, he'd talked of eating liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti, but he can only get better, as he moves from fifteen buck loaves of bread to a column on dining out in Canberra with movers and shakers.

But then it gets even more flavoursome - do I detect a hint of tarragon in vinegar? - as the behind closed doors couple of Sheehan and Minchin have an anxiety attack about the Australian economy:

This was even before he got to the issue of climate change science, which Minchin regards as highly contested.

Here is the core point, the source of the heat. This civil war is about bad legislation, not bad science. It is not a choice between climate rationalists and climate deniers as the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, in their surreal and self-serving mutual agreement, would have us believe.

Bad legislation, not bad science? But I thought it was about an international leftist conspiracy, as outlined by Nick Minchin?

NICK MINCHIN, SENATOR, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE: For 10 years the left internationally have been very successful in exploiting peoples' innate fears about global warming and climate change to achieve their political ends...

...NICK MINCHIN: I frankly strongly object to you know, politicians and others trying to terrify 12 year old girls that their planet's about to melt, you know. I mean really it is appalling some of that that sort of behaviour.

SARAH FERGUSON: Angry about what he sees as the indoctrination of children, he blames the left.

NICK MINCHIN: For the extreme left it provides the opportunity to do what they've always wanted to do, to sort of de-industrialise the western world. You know the collapse of communism was a disaster for the left, and the, and really they embraced environmentalism as their new religion.

SARAH FERGUSON: Minchin encourages his junior colleagues to speak out too.

NICK MINCHIN: I don't mind being branded a sceptic about the theory that that human emissions and CO2 are the main driver of global change - of global warming. I don't accept that and I've said that publically. I guess if I can say it, I would hope that others would feel free to do so.

You can of course watch the video on demand program, frolic through the transcript, and otherwise enjoy the Ziegfeld Liberal Follies of 'o9 by going to the Four Corners site here.

At the time, the Nick Minchin performance attracted the odd severe comment, as it put him out there with mad uncle Wilson "Ironbar" Tuckey.

One Liberal frontbencher told The Australian that Senator Minchin came across as a "complete fruit loop" when he suggested climate change was a left-wing conspiracy. "Border control is going along a treat and they come out behaving like total f ... wits. They don't know how crazy they look, because crazy people never do," the Liberal said.

Liberal MP Mal Washer said Senator Minchin "wouldn't have a clue" when he suggested a majority of Liberals rejected man-made climate change.

"I don't dislike Nick. But to go public on it while we're still trying to negotiate is to say the least bloody unhelpful," Dr Washer said. "Frankly, he wouldn't have a clue. He's out of touch. (here).

Well now the fruitloops are in charge of the henhouse, and Sheehan is giving them the velvet glove and a soft ride, and it is of course impossible to have a meaningful dialogue about what might constitute a good means of addressing climate change, including the current legislation, if (a) you don't believe people have anything to do with it and (b) it's a vast left wing conspiracy to alter lifestyles and ruin economies and scare children.

Sheehan mentions nothing of this, but then what can you expect from someone who had the scales torn from his eyes by Ian Plimer, so that he came to understand that rather than a left wing conspiracy, or a scientific theory with plenty of considered exponents, the climate change debate is in fact a religious one, with scientists as the theologians in chief. (Beware the climate of conformity).

The setting up by the UN of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 1988 gave an opportunity to make global warming the main theme of environmental groups. "The IPCC process is related to environmental activism, politics and opportunism. It is unrelated to science. Current zeal around human-induced climate change is comparable to the certainty professed by Creationists or religious fundamentalists."

Yep, two soul mates chatting over fish in Canberra, and yep, for hypocritical dissembling, Sheehan is right up there with Minchin.

Still, poor Malcolm is no longer in the middle - once the eastern suburbs pronounces a shunning on their own, you know it's all over:

He may survive this political civil war. He may even seek and win re-election tomorrow. But he will never, ever, enjoy the confidence of the electorate. The only question remains is how much damage Malcolm Bligh Turnbull will cause on his way out.

Enjoy the confidence of the electorate? Surely he means enjoy the confidence of Nick Minchin and Paul Sheehan? Unless of course, on a world view, from the god given perspective of the fish eaters of Canberra, Paul Sheehan and Nick Minchin are the electorate?

Well as usual this site is full of bright ideas (Another bright idea Parker? Okay, I'll regret it but tell the rest of the class), so we have a compromise proposal that will surely appeal to the electorate of Paul Sheehan and Nick Minchin.

First the Liberals will ignore our suggestion of Tony Abbott for the top job, calling it as the idle mischief-making it is, and then they appoint that used car salesman, Jolly Joe Hockey for the gig, thereby appointing a marshmallow man with no substance to make a deal with the Neanderthals. The theologically flabby Hockey, who only wants to please and be loved, will do the dirty work on the current legislation, but he can't last. He doesn't know how to beguile and contrive solutions that will appeal to the Neanderthals.

What's needed is a skilled negotiator. So jolly Joe Hockey sticks should be viewed as a place holder. And then the Libs parachute in to the party a new leader via the Bradfield by-election.

Voters of Manly, we unveil your new candidate, who is by all accounts aware of the power of the ring:

Atu Vuloano, Paul McGeough, and Elmer Gantry heads to Fiji for a little hot gospelling ...

(Above: Atu Vulaono on the right, and Reijeli Vulaono in the background).

Here at loon pond we get to marvel at the strange ways of the world on a regular basis, and nary a ripple in the farthest reaches of the pond should be ignored, lest it provide another wondrous example of the mysterious ways of the lord.

It was Paul McGeough's report An unholy alliance of church and state that first introduced me to Pastor Atu Vulaono in Fiji, sounding like a close kissing cousin of Pastor Danny in Melbourne (no, not in that way, in a lordly way).

Now there's no point in cannibalizing McGeough's piece - its charting of the rise and fall of the Vulaonos is sufficient unto itself - but I thought the intertubes might provide some complementary readings for this Sunday, the first Sunday of Advent, and as usual the full to overflowing intertubes provided some neat ancillary items.

First up is an offering from the Fiji Times online. Though it's fallen on hard times under the new regime, the venerable paper nonetheless provides more details on the rise of Atu and Reijeli Vulaono, in No easy road up:

When Atu and Raijeli Vulaono registered the New-Methodist Christian Fellowship on August 5, 2002, they caused little more than a stir in the Christian movement in Fiji.

The new church was almost irrelevant in the sense that it only had nine members attending service at a hall in Votualevu, Nadi.

Their son played the drums, a daughter at the keyboard, two more daughters singing and mum and dad preaching.

Their audience was a Filipino woman and her two sons.

From little things big things grow - it's the Christian way - and eventually the New Methodists could claim 20,000 members, including some in Australia, with churches in Sydney, Griffiths, Cairns and Perth, a following amongst footballers and the police (with their own crusades - was it just a coincidence that Atu Vulaono's brother in law was Esala Teleni, the Police Commissioner?), and as well as the churches, four trucks, two boats and a multi-media system. Not to mention some cash to splash on advertising and a television show.

"We appeal to the police, the soldiers, prisons and the ruggers because we are genuine and I believe I am very honest," says Mr Vulaono.

"We are very transparent. Whatever we preach, we live that life so it is credible.

"When I preach, I talk about what the Lord has done to me so people can identify with the message.

"I believe that the Lord has really helped me to be honest."

The Vulaonos live a very busy lifestyle.

They have an open home in Nadi and house their missionaries as well.

When they can, they hang out at the Esquire coffee shop at the airport. That is when they have their family quality time.

"We are very close and I think that's our strength," says Mr Vulaono of him and his wife.

"When I stand up and preach, I have a very powerful woman behind me, not only powerful but very close to me.

"She supports me.

"That's why when critics come, the harder they come, the harder they fall."

These days, as McGeough charts, it's Vulaono who's taken the fall, as he fell out of favor with the regime and its dictator in chief, Chairman Frank.

In the glory days of the cult, 4000 youths marched in the streets of Suva to declare God in their lives as part of a week long 'youth explosion conference'. (New Methodists march to declare faith). In those days it was easy to preach about the evils of kava (Kava is evil, says minister), since it's the food of the devil, and as usual there was a call for family values.

But then the mood began to change - Victims of 'jealousy' was the story June 28, 2009:

Atu and Raijeli Vulaono are the talk of the town, but for a different reason.

They say they have become the victims of a vicious whispering and email campaign by people motivated by jealousy and envy.

"We believe that iron sharpeneth iron according to the word of God," says Mrs Vulaono.

This verse is found in Proverbs 27:17 which reads, "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend."

"When we hear criticism, we look at it in a spiritual way," she says.

"If it's going to help, then we go that way. Or if not, then it just doesn't bother us."

Well no bother ... up until Chairman Frank sharpened his iron.

You can keep googling through the Fiji Times - "bling" away you Murdoch-loving satanists - but we wanted something a little more juicy and we found it at Soli Vakasama:

First there was a link to some holy rolling hot gospelling Fiji style, here, as part of the Fiji police crusade. Along with this in the comments section:

sency railau
I do here a lot of bull shit from you maam.
There is a lot of au, keirau, au ,au ,au - Sa rogo na vosa o au , sa yali na Kalou
Sa matata na gusu ni gunu lolly pop.

Well they play it tough in Fiji. A bit like a rugger hooker in a scrum with a decent punch, this came back and hit somewhere around the groin:

@ sency railau,
1.) when you think you have the guts to accuse, you should also have the guts to give your real name and show your face and not just a blank!
2.) the comment you've put doesn't belong in this website, go find a sova benu site to put all your benus in!!, preferably a site called garbage bag(if there's any!!)
3.) you have displayed a very cowardly act by bitterly accusing Mrs Vulaono using a fake name, a faceless mask and by displaying your address as from Wambe, Sudan. What I don't understand is, since your name is fijian and your contant is also broken English and Fijian, are you a sudanese immigrant in Fiji, or are you a fijian botoboto wannabee kai Sudan, or maybe you look like a kai Sudan with sark black face , ulumaji, lila waso and all, yeah???? please reply and identify yourself, i think you'll be an interesting specimen to observe!!

Now there's a Christian sharing the love.

Well there's over two hundred comments on the Soli Vakasama piece, starting with this one, and heading right down to the recent news that Chairman Frank has shut down the holy rollers:

This must be one of the way fwd that that this illegal regime is advocating. Using a brand of religion that teaches women to point to their private parts and say as Mrs Atu said ‘Oqo na kei Atu” (pointing to her vagina ) and Atu in one of his sermons emphasing man’s superiority over women stated that during sex “me toka ga i cake na tagane ka davo tu ga i ra na yalewa.” This holier than thou approach runs parallel to VB’s philosophy of my way or the high way. Now VB is seeing first hand how hard it is to lie and lie and then ask the Internatinal community to understand him. Time is running out VB, qurt whilest you are ahead, but you still will face the music for being a murderer, a traitor, a women abuser and civil rights abuser etc etc etc.

And there are more blogs out there, with more fussin' and feudin' and fightin' over lost souls and Fiji, not to mention Chairman Frank. Will no one rid him of the troublesome vexatious bloggers? (Raw Fiji News, Coup Four and a Half, etc etc).

Well who knows how long McGeough will last in Suva, filing this kind of copy, but I for one am grateful for his report from the furthest reaches of the pond, and his stories of cops helping to reform prostitutes in very strange ways ... but first pausing to get serviced on the job.

The spirit of Elmer Gantry is unquenchable, unslakeable, insatiable, limitless, omnivorous, ravening, unappeasable, eternal, voracious and wondrous, and it's no coincidence that Sinclair Lewis first got his inspiration from Methodists, Unitarians and pentecostalists.

While Chairman Frank gets his style from the dictators of old:

There was no public announcement. "The closest to an official announcement was a letter from the chief censor to editors, ordering them to cease broadcasting the New Methodists' paid programs on the grounds that they had become a security risk," a media source says. Says Barr of the police crusade: "It was a stupid thing." The priest dismisses Vulaono as something of a charlatan - "he roars and yells at sinners; to hear him preach is out of this world. People were upset as much by the influence he was gaining over the police and young people as by the contradiction of Frank's claim to want a multi-religious society, and here was this splinter group trying to dominate the country.

"Then, suddenly, it was over. I spoke to the PM's secretary - he waved his hand and said, 'Finished.'"

Finished! This is the end beautiful friend, this is the end, my only friend, the end of our elaborate plans, the end of everything that stands, the end, no safety or surprise, the end, I'll never look into your eyes ... again.

Ah well, Sic transit gloria mundi. But Elmer can never be defeated, and he'll rise again somewhere else in another form, and we eagerly anticipate his rising ... for where would loon pond be without its loons? Ride the snake baby, to the ancient lake baby ...

NB. Links to Fiji on the fragile intertubes are fragile because Chairman Frank takes a view, so no guarantees re above links ...

(Below: young Christians on the march, and further below, back row from left, Vonokula, Elijah and Rosy, and front row Atu Vulaono and Ophia).

Tim Blair, Piers Akerman,and a vast international conspiracy revealed along with a dash of monomaniacal obsessive compulsive behavior

Cult pejoratively refers to a group whose beliefs or practices could be considered strange or sinister. The term was originally used to denote a system of ritual practices. The narrower, derogatory sense of the word is a product of the 20th century, especially since the 1980s, and is a result of the anti-cult movement, which uses the term in reference to groups seen as authoritarian, exploitative and possibly dangerous. (here)

1. a particular system of religious worship, esp. with reference to its rites and ceremonies.
2. an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, esp. as manifested by a body of admirers: the physical fitness cult.
3. the object of such devotion.
4. a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.
5. Sociology. a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols.
6. a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader.
7. the members of such a religion or sect.
8. any system for treating human sickness that originated by a person usually claiming to have sole insight into the nature of disease, and that employs methods regarded as unorthodox or unscientific.

And now? Any system for examining science that originates from a person claiming to have special insight into the nature of science, and employs methods regarded as unorthodox or unscientific, or shows signs of being unhealthily obsessive compulsive?

Tim Blair's most recent postings in order from Sign of the Times downwards:

Sign of the times: a video showing a fundie holing up a sign Climategate: it won't go way, report it, CBC. Previous preferred signage for such activities was John 3:16. Could this be a sign?

Eternal melting: an aggregation of headlines from the New York Times over 128 years concerning polar doom. Previous preferred topics for this kind of monomaniacal use of google involved coverage of the impending rapture, celebrated by Christians as about to happen by the end of the year. Could this be a sign? Or a portent?

Thick atmosphere: further discussion of warmergate, confirming that the world of science is full of machinations, conspiracies and collusions of a vast kind, not limited to subtle blackmail, climate tribalism and social organization within primitive cultures. Story does not provide explanation for social organization within the primitive tribal structure known as Tim Blair's blog. Still the conspiracy unfurls like a python confronting a hapless rat.

Warmergate wrap: further discussion of deep conspiracy. Tim Flannery, previously dismissed as a loon, is now claimed as a coherent man who has had a change of heart. Expert scientist Mark Steyn referenced. Public denied the truth.

... do these revelations justify the sceptics' claims that this is "the final nail in the coffin" of global warming theory? Not at all. They damage the credibility of three or four scientists. They raise questions about the integrity of one or perhaps two out of several hundred lines of evidence. To bury man-made climate change, a far wider conspiracy would have to be revealed. Luckily for the sceptics, and to my intense disappointment, I have now been passed the damning email that confirms that the entire science of global warming is indeed a scam.

Rest of column is coverage of an email to The Knights Carbonic providing details of vast international conspiracy. While some might dismiss this as satire, must now research Knights Carbonic and their role in vast international conspiracy.

Al's Ride, leads to an exciting link about protestors chasing Al Gore. Group includes 9/11 Truthers, new world order theorists, eugenics freaks and anti-warmers. No mention of luddites, presume fear of bad weather kept them in home smashing up computers. Still, clear evidence that the cultist Al Gore is being exposed by people with a decidedly anti-cult attitude.

Better to die on your feet looks at the way dense urban electorates remain in Malcolm Turnbull's carbon corner. Tirade about ETS scheme, and cost, perhaps we need a farmers' uprising to descend on Canberra. Farmers make the best scientists of all. Wonder if we could make a straw doll dressed in dense urban folk style and stab them with pins? Worth a try?

Snack time coverage of rare cow pig dish linked to climate justice salad story about weird people who are compulsive about food. Other reports suggest Homer Simpson fainted at the sight of the grotesque bacon celebrated in the piece about compulsive meat eating. Softie! Nice to know vegan cultists are no match for bacon cultists.

Concerns heeded celebrates Concetta Fierravanti-Wells resigning from position as parliamentary secretary for immigration. The anti-Copenhagenists will not be denied, as opposed to the Calithumpians and the British Israelites, and other splitters, deviants and cultists.

Verdict in covers poll of Blair's readers, with invite to click to vote along with non-prejudicial statement about Climategate from LBC radio. Incredibly scientific result. Link to another poll, "not scientific at all, but still interesting". Herewith link to current strawpoll Are you inspired by Twitter? Contains evidence that twitter people are becoming more and more aware of international conspiracy, and are turning into anti-Copenhagenists. Further future polls at same site will surely provide further damning evidence of the cultists at work.

It's about the planet covers Malcolm Turnbull's obsession with the future of the planet, and future of our children and their children. Clear evidence he's in the grip of a conspiracy. Further Turnbull jumps a taxi queue, proving he's a bully. Update after update reveal astonishing conspiracy and revolt. The peasants are revolting!

Caution against linking confirms that icebergs spotted in south Pacific ocean have nothing to do with climate change. Delta Goodrem's birthday party performance also has nothing to do with global warming. It seems that nothing at all has anything to do with global warming. Only evidence of global warming is hot air emanating from Tim Blair's blog readership, only natural when confronted by cultists with conspiratorial tendencies.

Turnbull's legacy hints at conspiracy to rush through ETS scheme being locked in place tonight? Conspiracy fails to happen, but it could have happened, and probably would have happened, except perhaps for being exposed on Tim Blair's blog. Conspiratorial cultists always on the move, and must be nailed down wherever possible, or their hides nailed to barn door, and salted. Must keep exposing cultish conspiracies.

How you should think concerns Peter Singer's insane attempt to tell people how to think about climate change, as opposed to Tim Blair, who doesn't tell people how to think, because there's nothing to think about. These cult conspirators are insane, and attention to them is insane, but someone has to do it. Expose the cultists now.

George on the Bungle, quotes George Monbiot on climategate. Previously dismissed as a loon, but now a loon who shows clear signs he recognizes the conspiracy at work. Failure to quote Monbiot's reference to deniers' campaign of lies, grotesque as it is, avoids confusing true believers. Flurry of updates confirms the conspiracy is real.

Reach end of page, know there is further startling, damning, shocking evidence of vast international conspiracy below the fold, but can't go on. Unnerved. Clear evidence that the conspiracy is not linked to aliens or the second coming of Christ, but might well involve bristlecone pines.

Now aware that vast international conspiracy is at work, dash over to Piers Akerman. Real grassroots fury putting heat on ETS.

... falling back on the argument that John Howard backed an ETS almost a decade ago has whiskers now.

Realize that the impact of the vast international conspiracy is huge, and somehow has managed to change a decade into two years. John Howard goes to an election campaign with an ETS policy just over two years ago in 2007, and the fiends have somehow turned this into a decade with whiskers. Is there no end to the skill, nuance and subtlety of these conspirators?

Akerman provides conclusive proof that everything is a fraud and a conspiracy, and involves emotive arguments emanating from Tim Blair's blog:

Those in the electorate who have bothered to inform themselves and not be influenced by the emotive arguments issuing from the self-confessed scientific ignoramuses of the blogosphere know more about the charlatans involved in promoting global warming than they did when Kyoto was first mooted.

Tim Blair a self-confessed scientific ignoramus in the blogsophere? Clear evidence that Akerman has been captured by conspiratorial cultists?

Feeling like a scientific ignoramus in the grip of a cult? Read Piers Akerman to make sure you are.

Etymology: French & Latin; French culte, from Latin cultus care, adoration, from colere to cultivate — more at wheel
Date: 1617
1 : formal religious veneration : worship
2 : a system of religious beliefs and ritual; also : its body of adherents
3 : a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also : its body of adherents
4 : a system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator

5 a : great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film or book); especially : such devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual fad b : the object of such devotion c : a usually small group of people characterized by such devotion

A usually small group! Well they got that wrong, as the vast international conspiracy is exposed as the work of a huge mob of cultists, fixated on climate change with a kind of religious, theological fervor of a kind once only seen in Jesuits. The only way to beat this fanaticism is with fanaticism.

Now people heads down in prayer, as we venerate and thank the exposers of this vast international conspiracy, unheard of since the time when Orson Welles' exposed the invasion of the earth by Martians to a concerned populace, unheard and uncared for by those in power and self-serving authority, who were strangely unaware of this intergalactic conspiracy.

Remember! You too could become a victim of a conspiratorial cult!

(Note: no science has been provided or discussed in this piece, because of the clear and damning evidence that all science is in the grip of a vast cultish international conspiracy).

(Below: further disturbing proof of a giant, vast international conspiracy. The screen is black for a reason! No, it's not that because it's a radio broadcast, but because it's the final proof that the truth is being suppressed by a vast international cabal of scientists. No fraudulent detail is beneath them. And we can now reveal to you that the force for evil is ... The Stonecutters ... an ancient secret society unveiled here. You need to hear the truth! Part two of the original Welles' revelations is available at the same YouTube location here).

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Christopher Pearson, more squawking, angels on a pin and Ockham's Razor

(Above: bring me the head of Malcolm Turnbull).

Sadly ordinary loonacy has been overwhelmed by the squawking of Liberal loons about the current leadership crisis, and the mobs doing their best to replicate the peasantry during the worst days of the French revolution, but there's a compensation.

The dancing on the heads of pins is a remarkable, wondrous sight to see.

Here's the tirelessly obtuse Christopher Pearson at work in Malcolm's sensible solution is WWJD ... what would John do?

... Turnbull is transfixed by the prospect of giving the government the trigger for a double dissolution on his emissions trading legislation if the Coalition doesn't allow the bill to pass immediately. Viewing the electorate at large through the prism of his eastern Sydney seat of Wentworth, as is his wont, he's convinced the Liberals would lose another 20 seats at an early election and that he would have to preside over his party's annihilation.

It's a judgment call that tells us a lot about his relative inexperience as a politician. The 20 extra seats loss scenario was plausible six months ago, but the politics have changed. Not many of his senior colleagues now believe that Kevin Rudd is keen to call an early election. Public sentiment on the dangers of global warming has shifted in the past two years.

Here's David Uren in the very same paper on the very same day under the header Liberals facing election rout:

The Coalition could lose at least 20 of its metropolitan seats, including those of its leader, Malcolm Turnbull, Treasury spokesman Joe Hockey and climate change critics Kevin Andrews and Andrew Robb, according to an analysis of Newspoll results ...

... According to the Newspoll analysis, support for the government's emissions trading scheme legislation is overwhelming among Coalition voters in metropolitan areas. Newspoll shows that 63 per cent of Coalition voters in the cities believe the government's bill should be passed, while only 28 per cent think it should be opposed.

If one in 10 of those voters changed sides because of a Coalition decision to block action on climate change, it would cost the Liberal Party the 20 metropolitan seats that it holds with margins of less than 6.5 per cent.

These findings are consistent with the Liberal Party's internal research in marginal seats, which shows that between 75 and 80 per cent of swinging voters favour action on climate change.

Senior party officials say the research shows a triumph by climate change sceptics would be "the death of the party".

Newspoll chief executive Martin O'Shannessy says the most worrying finding for the Coalition is that its voters aged 18 to 34 favour the government's legislation by a margin of almost five to one. The Newspoll survey, taken in mid-September, showed that 75 per cent of Coalition voters in this age group backed the bill, while only 17 per cent were opposed.

Well you might think this shows up Pearson's relative inexperience as a political commentator, but we just report in a fair and balanced way, and you decide.

The rest of Pearson's column is more of standard, typical guff from a commentariat columnist now attempting to sound rational on the matter of climate policy, having spent the past few years boxing the ears of anyone who dared assert that the science of global warming was more than a religion designed to secure sinecures for scientists in well paid jobs, probably flying black helicopters for the United Nations.

Well the geese have got their wish, but did they understand they were wishing for a maddened rabble on a stampede through the desert to find the nearest waterhole and slake their thirst? Which seems to have got harder these days, not that we're attributing a one-off effect like the shortage of thirst-slaking waterholes to the general impact of climate change.

Pearson side steps down nostalgia lane to the time when he wrote speeches for John Howard. That leads to one amusing moment when he refers to Malcolm Turnbull "having inherited John Howard's party" which leads to the obvious question - Brendan who? - but it also leads to a great deal of navel-gazing, self-indulgent, self-important tedium, which we can safely pass over.

But it does raise the question as to when the Liberal party will forget about John Howard and tackle the tasks at hand. Like it or not, little Johnny is gone, now long gone, but the shadow he casts over the minds of the enfeebled, like Pearson, is truly startling to behold.

As we've observed elsewhere, if the Liberals were to follow the unctuous advice of Pearson, and Malcolm were to do what John would do, they'd have proposed implementing the ETS John Howard took to the electorate in the last election as part of the party platform, by the year 2012, which of course is when the world will end, so it wouldn't have mattered much, but staved off the fears of the mug punters. Unless of course that was just a piece of non-core blather in the style perfected by Howard, offered up so it could be disregarded down the track.

Who knows, and who cares. Loon pond is almost collapsing under the weight of collective loonacy, as the commentariat loons are distracted by speculating on the Liberal party leadership, and so forget the joys of real loonacy on rich subjects farther afield than politics.

Well as a healthy corrective, we mentioned angels dancing on the head of a pin, so why not get Thomas Aquinas's views on how many angels you might decently find or fit on a pin:

Q. 52, a. 3 - "Whether Several Angels Can Be At The Same Time In the Same Place? There are not two angels in the same place. The reason for this is because it is impossible for two complete causes to be immediately the causes of one and the same thing. This is evident in every class of causes. For there is one proximate form of one thing, and there is one proximate mover, although there may be several remote movers. Nor can it be objected that several individuals may row a boat, since no one of them is a perfect mover, because no one man's strength is sufficient for moving the boat; the fact is rather that all together are as one mover, in so far as their united powers all combine in producing the one movement. Hence, since the angel is said to be in one place by the fact that his power touches the place immediately by way of a perfect container, as was said (Q. 52, a. 1) there can be but one angel in one place." (here for Scholasticism).

There, that's sorted. There can be only one angel in the same place at the same time, and the question is will it be Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull or jolly Joe Hockey? Will god intervene and promote his faithful servant Abbott, or the theologically unsound Joe Hockey, demolished by Pearson only a week ago as little more than a hell-deserving heretic of the mawkish sentimental 'why can't we all just love each other and get along' Christian kind. (At odds with the gospel according to Joe)? Yep, with jolly Joe, you get a nice guy, a weak theologian, and a clone of Malcolm Turnbull whom the hard men will hope to have dancing on their puppet strings. Poor Joe.

Give it to Abbott, and let's have some fun. Sure Australia might go to hell in a handbasket, but we're heading there anyway, so the Pellist and Jensenist heresies assure us. So let's have some fun on the way.

Who knows who'll get the gong, which master chef will reign supreme, but if god fails to intervene, it will be a serious blow against her ongoing interest in the business of decent government for Australia.

Now here's a poem for all those commentariat columnists still dancing away on the head of their chosen pin:

William of Occam, oh where have you been?
"I've been out dancing on the head of a pin."
What do you conclude, now your task is complete?
"It's fine for the angels, but hard on the feet."
—Sara Kreindler (

And while we're at it, here's a bonus poem in celebration of the cutting and slashing of Liberal party policies to the point of stumblebum incoherence:

"Simplex sigillum veri"
Cut causes, be merry
Slash 'em and dock 'em'
Said William of Ockham
Wiping his razor
On the sleeve of his blazer.
—Anonymous, The Times Literary
Supplement, June 18, 1981.

By the way, if you click on the previous link, you'll also get a nice little bit on William of Ockham, but to save you the trouble, you can also click here.

And if you google (or bing, I don't mind if you worship in the temple of the satanists) the name, you might also end up at Ockham's Razor, Robyn Williams' science show for the ABC, here.

You see, from Christopher Pearson to angels on a pin to a radio program which makes for quietly pleasant and informative listening on a Sunday. Thank the lord for the intertubes ...

(Below: some angels on a pin).

Miranda Devine, Tony Abbott, and much myna bird squawking on the pond

(Above: time to dust off and get out my favorite Tony Abbott pictures as the good news is that the redeemer cometh).

Credit should be given where credit is due.

It's thanks to the loons that grace these pages - the Miranda the Devines, the Janet Albrechtsens, the Tim Blairs, the Piers Akermans and the Andrew Bolts - that the Liberal party has taken a hard right turn, and driven itself into the deep end of the pond, with the electricals likely to be ruined and the body inclined to rust (well Andrew Bolt should grace these pages, but there's loons and then there's the irreducibly barking mad).

For years, this cadre of comradely columnists has carried out a holy war against climate change science and scientists, with a ferocity of squawking that silenced everything else around - much the same as the Indian myna birds in the back yard drive out any other voices, except for the two weeks a year the parrots turn up at blossom time. It's the editorial theory of print the controversy to capture the eyeball, which could yet see creationism and intelligent design make a strong comeback in Australian schools.

Some might think that what's needed to keep these mynas on the hop is a flurry of parrots in federal politics.

What fun if Malcolm Turnbull did a Don Chipp and set up a new liberal democrat party prepared to carry out the policy espoused by the Howard government when it went to the last election:

John Howard's election policy said: "A re-elected Coalition government will establish the world's most comprehensive emissions trading scheme in Australia, commencing no later than 2012. The scheme will be the primary mechanism for reducing Australia's emissions at [the] least cost to families and to Australia's economy." (Rambunctious conservatives put reason off to one side).

Yet Miranda the Devine is surprisingly modest in Liberals wallow in sceptic tank, with the header the one true flash of wit - surely some subbie prepared the delightful salutation to the Devine as the sceptic tank. Unless of course her self-image is cheerful about being a sceptic tank.

The muddle headed wombat theory of life is shown charmingly at work in the Devine's scribblings, wherein everything that has happened is someone else's fault and nothing to do with her.

First she literally interprets a theory that the current split in the Liberals is equivalent to the DLP split in the fifties and must involve the Catholics:

While there are certainly a lot of Catholics involved - Malcolm Turnbull, Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey, Kevin Andrews, Barnaby Joyce, Cory Bernardi and Christopher Pyne, to name a few - they are found on both sides of the debate.

Yes, and isn't it great that one of the major Catholic players - Tony Abbott - is infected with the heresy of Pellism.

But surely this isn't about old religion - it's about the great new religious crusade, which the likes of Ian Pilmer and the Devine assure us infect the climate change types, and the climate change types assure us infects the likes of Pilmer and Devine. The whole debate has been given a zealous religious hue, egged on by the language deployed by the commentariat columnists.

Now suddenly, the windows egged, it's the quiet tone of rational thoughtfulness that delights:

It is incomprehensible why Turnbull would want to share ownership with the Government of this "train wreck".

Could it be that Turnbull remembered what he devised under John Howard? Well I guess remembering back a few years is incomprehensible to someone who can barely remember last week's barking mad opinion piece.

But wait fresh dangers emerge from abroad, and perhaps after all we can blame the English, and of course the talking tampon who will become our king (hang on, the commentariat wanted to keep the monarchy):

Far from neutralising the vexed issue of climate change, Turnbull has turned it into the Opposition's defining concern, ever since the day in October he returned from meeting the neo-green British Conservative leader, David Cameron, in London and declared: "I will not lead a party that is not as committed to effective action on climate change as I am.''

A neo-green conservative. Lordy, I feel faint at the prospect. We must cut our ties with Britain at once, before we're tainted by bonnie Prince Charlie's save the planet rhetoric and any more Australian conservatives are forced to meet the neo Cameron, fresh from some new and incomprehensible neo-matrix of feel good green gaia gooiness.

But first we must allocate the blame, having gone way past enthusiasm, disillusionment, panic, and search for the guilty. Now it's punishment of the innocent, while letting off the guilty. The whole storm in a teacup (that's all you ever get with climate change) is about Turnbull:

With his reckless talk of electoral "catastrophe" if the party does not back him, even as his front bench disappears before his eyes, Turnbull is effectively burning down the building on his way out to ensure any successor fails to prosper. In the eyes of his fans, this scorched earth policy makes him a man of honour martyred for his principles, too good for his party, nobly exiting politics to get on with the next phase of his personal-destiny fulfilment project.

"This is about the future of our planet," he said, with an eye to the historical record, "and the future of our children and their children."

Oh the hubris of the man, the conceit, the popinjay grandstanding, and on the very day of disaster, there he was spotted eating oysters! Just at the moment of his downfall! (and suddenly I realized we did share something in common. We can always share a plate of oysters when I stumble on poor Malcolm derelict in the gutter in Oxford street some day. I dream of course, but what a dream as I grandly say come on Malcolm, things aren't so bad, let's knock off a couple of dozen together, the finest Coffin bay can offer).

But what you might ask about the hubris of Nick Minchin, or the wretched Eric Abetz, who so ably assisted in making utegate the comprehensive disaster it was, or above all the surly pious devious, deviant - you'd almost call it Jesuitical except he belongs to another part of the cult - ways of Tony Abbott?

In the words of one dismayed colleague, Turnbull had decided to "crash or crash through. Either way he wrecks the party." But the irony is that the Liberal Party wasn't in great shape anyway, and the agonies it is enduring, thanks to Turnbull, may turn out to be a blessing.

Yep, he's the party wrecker, and the hard men, the tough brawlers, the crazed fanatics, the fundamentalists, are innocent, no blood on their hands.

But surely there must be a consolation prize. Whenever I went to a children's party, there was always a prize of some kind - smarties, chocolate, lollies - for the dropkick losers and nerds and geeks too hopeless to win the 'pin the tail on the donkey' contest:

At least they are openly contesting ideas, which is healthier than the Labor Party's undemocratic fake consensus.

Oh you mean acting like an incoherent, opportunistic rabble is healthy debate?

So who have we got to lead the rabble out of the wilderness known as loon pond?

Well it seems that the likes of one Bernardi from Adelaide is the way forward. He's both an author and a rowing champion, and he preaches the importance of appealing to the party base and the core Liberal principles, which might make up thirty to forty per cent of the electorate.

But um didn't Malcolm Turnbull say to win an election you need the proverbial fifty per cent plus one in the current system? You need to be somewhere in the middle, luring the swinging voters to your cause and your team, rather than off barking at the moon about your fundamentalism?

Never mind:

Bernardi has emerged as the most promising rising star in politics for years. He is a clear thinker, articulate, with conviction and courage.

Well good luck with that. Perhaps there'll come a day when the electorate will swing to the hard right. Perhaps in 2012 as we get closer to the end of the world, thanks to the ravages of climate change. Meantime, who else you got?

These are qualities Tony Abbott has in spades, of course. As brilliant as Turnbull, he also has the shrewdness of a practised politician. While not as popular as the affable Hockey, he is the intellectual leader of a pared-down Liberal Party that will emerge from the ashes Turnbull leaves behind.

Dear lord, the mad monk, the jesuitical turncoat, the man willing to say one thing, and then when it doesn't suit, change his mind and say another, this is the intellectual leader of a pared-down Liberal party? And pared down? For how long?

You mean it's better to be a savage, wild pack of wolves cheerfully proud of fundamentalist thinking than a viable alternative government ready to pick up the pieces if Chairman Rudd's hubris gets too intolerable? Sorry Australia, Miranda the Devine wants the Liberal party to turn inwards and become a self-serving cult of true believers.

Well let the fun begin. Already the first note has been struck, in Abbott reveals thirst to lead by Mark Metherell:

Sex has always been something of a touchstone for Abbott. He revealed this year for instance that he had ''a celibacy adviser'' during his time as a trainee priest at Emu Plains in Western Sydney.

Oh yes, we're back with that Catholic thing, and the DLP, and suddenly it's in the Liberal party, and what fun and hooting and joy for the inhabitants of loon pond for months to come.

Abbott drew enduring dislike from women for his resistance as health minister on such issues as the morning-after pill and his questioning of government funding for abortions.

But not of course from Miranda the Devine. She likes that kind of talk. Let's see if fifty per cent plus one of the Australian electorate shares her enthusiasm for the mad monk.

But credit where credit's due - she sowed the seeds, and now she can reap the harvest. It's just a pity the lunatics have taken control of the asylum, in preference to offering themselves as rational alternative administrators of Australia.

UPDATE: we interrupt these proceedings, which sometimes take on a republican tone, and lambast anti-republican monarchists like Tony Abbott, with an important message from the Queen of Australia:

The Commonwealth can be proud of the fact that in each of its six decades, it has shaped the international response to emerging global challenges.

And on this, the eve of the UN Copenhagen Summit on Climate Change, the Commonwealth has an opportunity to lead once more. The threat to our environment is not a new concern. But it is now a global challenge which will continue to affect the security and stability of millions for years to come. Many of those affected are among the most vulnerable, and many of the people least well able to withstand the adverse effects of Climate Change live in the Commonwealth. (more here).

God save the Queen. And while we're at it, god save Malcolm Turnbull, Tony Abbott, Miranda the Devine and the Liberal party.

(Below: I'm indebted to the Great Lakes council for the handy information sheet on Indian Myna birds recently introduced to loon pond, available here. Please make sure you take steps to remove the Myna, an introduced pest, and while you're at it, make sure you discourage a commentariat columnist today, another introduced pest which really makes the pond an unpleasant place to visit some days).

The common or garden introduced commentariat columnist:

Friday, November 27, 2009

Gordon Grech, Michelle Grattan, and the hits and email memories of Malcolm Turnbull ...

On a day when a million sites are comparing the Liberal party to the black knight in the Monty Python sketch ... why do I feel compelled to compare the Liberal party to the black knight in a Monty Python sketch?

Put it another way. Wilson Tuckey wins! Sophie Mirabella wins (and gets to scribble humbug for The Punch in the process, here)! Tony Abbott wins. Nick Minchin wins. Eric Abetz wins. Winners are grinners, so saith the black knight.

Swimming valiantly against this tide of winners hogging the headlines is Michelle Grattan, with Dangerous double life of Grech.

And why not? Sure Malcolm is no longer in the middle, and is in the process of being belted into the outer, but what better time than to indulge in a nostalgic Malcolm hits and memories moment.

So I'm with her. My only complaint is that her story doesn't link to the actual report, which is available here, under the slightly solemn header 142nd Report: Matters arising from the Economics Legislation Committee Hearing 2009 (referred 24 June and 12 August 2009).

What is it with the MSM that won't provide links for fear for a moment that you might stray from their pages, and frolic free on the intertubes?

That said, the report makes for deliciously strange reading, though sadly the email attachments and other documents don't seem to have made the cut.

Amongst the many titillations on offer in the press reporting, some involve John O'Sullivan the chairman of investment banking at Credit Suisse, who also happens to be the partner of one of our favorites on this site, Janet Albrechtsen (and you wondered why she was always writing in rhapsody about the wonders of Australian banks, and the perfect musical harmony of the spheres in the banking sector, except for the off notes introduced by the evil Chairman Rudd).

The tabled emails also show that Mr Grech in March promised John O'Sullivan, chairman of investment banking for Credit Suisse, that he would push through a fee arrangement for the investment bank.

"Re fees - what I have in mind is that once Rudd and his hacks sign off on Ford Credit - you and I can change the contract to reflect your preferred fee arrangement and push that through quickly next week."

Mr O'Sullivan is the chairman of the Wentworth Forum, Mr Turnbull's political fighting fund, to which he has donated more than $20,000.

There is no evidence to suggest that Mr Grech was aware of Mr O'Sullivan's links to Mr Turnbull and the Liberal Party before his proposal on March 19 about the bank's fee arrangement for the OzCar fund.

Last night, Mr O'Sullivan declined to comment, citing commercial confidentiality obligations. However, it is understood Mr O'Sullivan asked Mr Grech to cease inappropriate email communication.

Grech's bizarre behavior is only matched by Turnbull's willingness to do the dance, with at least 22 emails and eight phone calls or text messages between November 2008 and June 2009, as Grech fancied himself in the roll of deep throat or perhaps an operative with a James Bond sense of self-importance.

Never mind his delusions, what on earth was Malcolm thinking?

In the ABC's story More grief for Turnbull as OzCar resurfaces, the emails are quoted at some length, including the notion that Australia's treasury belongs on this site, because it's "left wing loony".

Again a couple of gobbets in which Grech acts and sounds like a member of Malcolm Turnbull's staff rather than a public servant:

"Perhaps it is best to meet somewhere private in Sydney this coming week," the email reads.

"I can create a reason to be in Sydney for work, say on any day from Wednesday to Friday to meet up with you and Abetz. Must be very private, we must not meet in PH [Parliament House]."

Another email offers Mr Turnbull political advice.

"Malcolm, thanks for giving me some time on Friday, you looked really good," the email reads.

"As I was trying to say on Friday, and this is not a negative reflection on you, I really don't believe our polling will improve until the punters start to feel a bit of pain."

Grech clearly led a Walter Mitty fantasy life:

"My immediate motivation is to place myself where I think I could be of most valuable to MT [Malcolm Turnbull] and the party," it reads.

"At this stage I am probably more valuable here in Treasury, albeit the personal risks I am taking. I am also doing some fundraising for MT, he tells me that the cupboard is bare."

Ironically Grech even had words for Turnbull in relation to the ETS which has now flung Turnbull into crisis mode:

A couple of days later, Grech was advising Turnbull on strategy for dealing with the emissions trading scheme legislation: ''[S]poke with Sinodinos tonight. He very much agrees with my view that we should neutralise the ETS issue ASAP by supporting Rudd's bill - but by pointing to those areas that we would fix in government.'' He added boldly, ''With Costello out of the way, I think you should press this issue home sooner rather than later.''

Grattan covers the 'punter pain' in more detail with this gobbet:

''Malcolm,'' he wrote on Sunday, June 14, 2009. ''Thanks for giving me some time on Friday. You looked really good. As I was trying to say on Friday - and this is not a negative reflection on you - I really don't believe our polling will improve until the punters start to feel a bit of pain.'' He went on to spell out a ''Punter Pain Profile'' (involving higher interest rates, a weakening labour market and the like). ''Many of these things will come together roughly at once … As for you - you have nothing to prove to anyone. Be true to yourself as much as you can.

''If we can contain a loss to roughly the margin we have now - you will be very well placed in 2012-13. You will still be a prime age for the highest office and can serve at least two terms.''

Oh well, he was after all a public servant, not a Nostradamus or a Rasputin, a sage or a seer. He was just a naughty boy. Eager to fight the good fight against the evil doers surrounding him:

Grech was determined the ''fig leaf'' must be ''stripped away'', and leave Treasury's alleged Labor bias exposed. Writing to O'Sullivan on May 13, he said ''the Treasury Executive Board has very close links with the ALP. It is an arm of the ALP. KH [Treasury secretary Ken Henry] was on the personal staff of [Paul] Keating … He still takes counsel from Keating, who calls him regularly and did so during the Howard years.''

Grech adds he is ''happy to speak with JA [Janet Albrechtsen, O'Sullivan's columnist wife] for background if she wants''.

What a pity JA didn't apparently take up the offer. But what joy that Grech was such an inept operative and spy:

He ended the email saying, ''I am deleting this as soon as I send it through to you.'' Unfortunately for Turnbull, in the age of modern technology, tracks are never completely covered. On the day his leadership was falling apart, the Grech emails were back haunting the unwise Turnbull. But he was probably beyond caring.

Well yes, but what great sport. Sadly the next few days will resemble a bullring, with Turnbull not so much the matador as the bull. No matter how it goes, he will be bloodied, and the gore will spill into the dust. Already the sword is held high, the point between the shoulder blades marked with an invisible X.

Why not instead plunge into the world of Gordon Greech and enjoy those forlorn fleeting Walter Mitty, Don Quixote moments, as windmills are tilted at, and the world seemed so much more innocent ...

Grattan might seem like she's behind the curve, but I reckon she's way ahead of the slobbering, slavering pack full of blather about their their consciences, and their great respect, and their great loyalty, and so on and so unctuous forth and so deviously and deviantly etcetera.

No, way back then we were in a most satisfying James Bond world, not the recent brutal Daniel Craig, not even Sean Connery, but the genteel world of a Roger Moore.

Hang on a sec. Those hi jinks were happening only six months ago. By jingo, the world's turning on its axis faster by the day ... could it be climate change?

(Below: this site has oodles of memorabilia we want to clear fast. Sending your details to our comrades in Nigeria should see prompt satisfaction of your needs from your humble servants at loon pond).