The pond made the mistake of leaving on the telly so that the 7.30 Report - reporting live from location in tinsel town Canberra - began to harass the eyeballs ...
As seems to be the habit these days, the lighting and the colour balance was a shocker, as can be seen above (no photoshop retouching required).
All the pond can now remember was that an interview with Bill Shorten went like this:
Salmon pink asks ghostly white a question. Ghostly white responds.
Salmon pink. Ghostly white.
Salmon pink. Ghostly white.
And so on. The interview with the hapless Anthony Albanese produced much the same response, as if La Belle Dame sans merci had strolled through the lighting department at the ABC - though there was a little more flush in the wan Albanese's cheeks as he announced that his job was to fight Tories. So that's what happened to Sydney infrastructure, and a second airport. It got lost in the fighting with the Tories.
The interviews burbled along but this show-stopper question from Chris Uhlmann came early:
What are we to make of the words the politicians say now, what's happened to truth in politics?
At this point there was almost mob rule in the kitchen (yes, sob, we have a telly in the kitchen). There was an attempt to hurl a can of beetroot at the screen, and rioting of a most unseemly kind for a full five minutes before order was restored. Then came a homily from the pond's partner about how the ABC had no technical standards left, what a disgrace Mark Scott was, how he'd spread resources paper thin, and how Chris Uhlmann was a featherweight fowl of the first water.
Then, oh the suffering, a burst of What's happened to truth in politics sung at full volume to the tune What's it all about Alfie ...
No, it didn't scan, but if you'd like to join in:
What's politics all about Billy?
Is it just for the truthful moment we live?
What's it all about when you sort it out Billy?
Are we meant to take more than we give
Or are we meant to be kind?
And if only fools are kind, Billy
Then I guess it's wise to be cruel ...
Etc, etc. Shorten seemed to think Uhlmann had drawn a long bow, but isn't that what dunderheads always draw?
Is it just the pond, or is the ABC specialising in comedy stylings but dressing them up as political insights?
Yesterday came a speech by a European parliamentarian Daniel Hannan explaining gravely to the Institute of Public Affairs how European parliamentarians had fucked Europe. Well done Dan ... and your next job is?
The quaint young sod (well he was born in 1971 according to his wiki) seemed to think that the Anglosphere still existed, and it was just a matter for good old Britain to embrace Australia in its motherly fold, and all would be well of the world.
Hannan seemed to have an entirely skewed WASP understanding of the current demographics in Australia - that must have come from looking around the IPA audience.
But he did remind the pond to contact Gina Rinehart and suggest that she tithe a little of her coal and iron ore shipments heading for China, and send the portion off to old blighty with a warm personal note of thanks.
Talk of the Anglosphere always whisks the pond back to the days when the world map was red, but in a positive, non-socialist red way, and Britain wandered around creating hot spots that have continued to fester and erupt like cankerous sores ever since (lordy, did Britain, France and Italy do a great job in Somaliland).
Naturally after contemplating the joys of the Anglosphere, we could all retire for a snifter of port in the City Tattersalls Club (unless of course you'd prefer to have a very dry sherry at the Sofitel).
So quaint, so charming, and suddenly the pond was transformed and uplifted by a vision of the IPA as the Empire club, with a flurry of hear hears, and there theres ...
(found here. They need a caption).
Well at least Hannan scored a trip out of old blighty, no doubt paid for by the labours of his anti-European, anti-Pacific vision, and who can argue with that?
It primed the pond, and made it ready the day's chores, which naturally includes a trip to Pravda by the harbour (Melburnians can keep their Pravda by the Yarra).
As befits a socialist rag - or so The Australian says - who better to write about the current leadership fracas than that Cheshire cat, Peter Costello, in PM's forces mistaken if they think Kevin will give up.
The header struck the pond as somewhat ironic, since the distinguishing feature of Costello's undistinguished bid for the Prime Ministership was that he gave up ... and gave up ... and gave up ... until he'd given up so often no one knew or cared that he was trying.
But it was grand to see a Liberal grandee rattling the Kevin bogeyman so early in the day. It was all so predictable, what with the traducing of Rudd and the mocking of Gillard, but it did produce a nicely splenetic touch at the end, almost prescient, and perhaps written back in the glory days of Howard v Costello:
As for Costello? He will not change. While he has breath he will be angling for the leadership. Even if he wanted to be, he cannot be loyal to another leader. He will brood and he will fester.
What's that? Costello was actually writing As for Rudd rather than indulging in a therapy session?
Rudd schmudd Costello.
Why the smirking sanctimonious cat might even get on the piss with Michael Brissenden, and spill the beans about his plans to destroy Howard (Notes refute Costello leadership claims). What a featherweight fop.
And in the fuss, the pond almost overlooked prattling Polonius - known to you as Gerard "Prufrock" Henderson - doing his routine prance and prattle in Hold the hyperbole, Labor's problems are just the same old same old, replete with the same old historical furphies, and the same old chips on the shoulder.
Now you might think it unseemly for the pages of an ostensibly Pravda by the harbour rag to be dominated by cheerless conservatives, but hush that's just The Australian trying to convince you that it's the sole repository of chundering conservatism.
Dear absent lord, does Malcolm Fraser irritate Polonius or what?
Today Malcolm Fraser is a hero of the leftist-luvvies set and receives standing ovations at taxpayer-funded literary festivals.
It's the pond's thesis that Henderson is deeply embittered because (a) he can't get a gig on the ABC of a stature elevated to his sense of his own elevation, and (b) he knows he'll never receive standing ovations at taxpayer-funded literary festivals. Here's hoping he tears up any ABC cheques he receives for appearances on the ABC, and flings the pieces back in the faces of the cardigan wearers.
Henderson delivers an extended vent about the negativity of Fraser, and perhaps it's now time to admit he should see a shrink about his Fraser fixation. Is there anyone else who maintains the rage with such ferocity about long lost times?
It's all the more peculiar because he seems singularly content with the way things are working at the moment:
Dictatorships have coups. Parliamentary democracies have leadership election ballots. In this system, prime ministers and opposition leaders are chosen by their peers. On The World Today yesterday, Rudd strategist Bruce Hawker declared that Rudd "won the public opinion war but lost the battle in the caucus". But Hawker knows that "people power" has no role in parliamentary democracies, where MPs choose leaders. It was no different when Keating replaced Hawke.
Indeed. What a relief that people power has no role in parliamentary democracies. Here's hoping that Mr. Henderson speaks sharply to the tosser that wrote this nonsense:
In democratic societies, elected leaders possess authority, legitimised by the ballot box. Successful prime ministers or presidents exert their authority after taking account of the checks and balances on absolute rule.
Democratic leaders invariably experience problems if their authority is diminished. That's Gillard's problem right now. Her authority has been in decline since she succeeded Kevin Rudd as prime minister in June 2010. (here, forced video at end of link).
Yes, that's in an extended piece by Henderson explaining how people power had weakened Gillard's authority, and while it was disgraceful that people called her a bitch, the reality was that people power had de-authorised her, and it would take time for her to be re-authorised.
So there you have it. People power and polls and the media have no role to play in politics, except that people power and polls and the media plays a role in politics.
Perhaps you could - if you want a gig in the antipodean Pravda - fudge this by calling people power "authority", giving the word an almost mystical meaninglessness ... as if somehow reflecting the notion of the authority of kings involved people squawking and complaining about the monarchy ... but would you really want to be Gerard Henderson?
Every day in every way the more the pond spends listening to the chattering classes exemplified by that inner city trendoid Gerard Henderson, the dumber and dumber the pond becomes ...
(Below: scenes that hurt. Like reading Gerard Henderson).