(Above: click to enlarge if you you're pale and "nervy" and highly strung and finicky and use too much energy every night. You might well be suffering from (a) reading Gerard Henderson (b) night starvation).
The pond has always been highly strung and "nervy", and especially so the last week. Possibly it's because of watching people shuffle, or imagining they're shuffling, or proposing to shuffle by way of a ballot the deck chairs on the Titanic, little understanding that the shuffling the chairs isn't going to save the ship, which is heading for the iceberg at speed.
Or possibly it's because nothing's more guaranteed to bring on attack of the vapours than reading a Gerard Henderson column.
There's something about his finicky style that suggests he too might have needed Horlicks as a child. And then there was this strange glitch in this morning's presentation. Click on this baleful splash:
And you were immediately whisked away to a story by Peter Hartcher blathering on about China takes centre stage as US talks of trade war.
Henderson had been disappeared! Or perhaps it was a bait and switch tactic, so that people expecting Henderson suddenly ended up with something more readable.
Whatever, it was hardly a grievous glitch. Who could imagine anyone storming the rag demanding that they be allowed to read Henderson? Except, perhaps, Henderson ...
And soon enough the glitch was fixed and Henderson was back in the firmament, a sun amongst the stars, glowing with insights into the political process, and once again yammering on about how the Liberals did best in the lower socio-economic areas of the Higgins and Bradfield electorates, and so you could click on Forecast is for continued fog of delusion and conflict over policy, and read this:
This provided an early warning that the reaction to Labor's emissions trading scheme was likely to be greater in the outer suburbs and regional centres, where electors were less well off and employment less secure.
Yep,, once again it's climate science as funnelled through McMansion land, but let's go back to the opening par, which is pure Henderson fog of cliche dressed up as ironic awareness of fog of cliche:
The term fog of war has become something of a cliche. In domestic politics, from time to time, reality is offset by the fog of delusion.
Which in Henderson's case is usually offset by a fog of obfuscation, and wouldn't you know it, the next par is pure, distilled essence of Henderson, with all of the Murdoch hacks cast in the role of true believers who accept the necessity of climate change:
In Australia most journalists, including most members of the press gallery, believe in the necessity of what is called action on climate change. They maintain that Australia can, and should, take action to reduce global warming. Hence the majority support within the media for Kevin Rudd's proposed emissions trading scheme and, subsequently, Julia Gillard's carbon tax, which will transition into an emissions trading scheme.
Could it be, that because he's a snob, Henderson only listens to the ABC, and never actually reads the outpouring of fear and loathing about climate science in The Australian, the Daily Terror and the rest of the Murdoch rags?
Where does he get "most" from?
Has he ever actually conducted a survey to obtain a little more evidence for his traducing of Murdochians and the press gallery in general , rather than relying on his foggish gut belief? Is it just part of his standard potato mash of torpid, lazy, unsubstantiated assertions (remember, heaps of butter to make them go down) ...
Never mind, what follows is Henderson's template 101 in relation to climate science and policy, with Abbott the clear winner:
The evidence suggests that first Rudd's and then Gillard's leadership was blighted by their climate change agenda. Without the Liberal leadership change in December 2009, there is little doubt Labor would have prevailed over the Coalition at the 2010 election. Abbott's unequivocal opposition to the emissions trading scheme changed the political landscape.
Yep, nattering negativity is a clear winner.
So here's the real fog of confusion. What does Henderson actually think about climate science? Does he accept the current set of conclusions? Does he think, like Abbott, that it's an issue that needs addressing, and that pissing money into the pockets of corporations and unleashing an army of green men and women 15,000 strong will help sort it out?
Or deep down does he think it's all alarmist clap trap, like so many in the Murdoch press do?
Why can't he say what he thinks? Why must he always proceed by way of innuendo and inference? Why must he always talk indirectly, behind the arras, about the outer suburbs and the press gallery?
Here's a clue:
Ostensibly, Labor's present leadership dispute is not over policy, since Gillard and Rudd have similar, if not identical, positions on such issues as climate change, asylum seekers, the need to put the budget in surplus and so on. Yet policy is at the very heart of Labor's crisis - since it was initially caused by Abbott's opposition to Labor's climate change agenda.
Agenda? Somehow climate change is an agenda of the Labor party? Or is a policy in response to climate science an agenda? What sort of agenda? Is climate science being used to introduce creeping socialism? Should we fear the black helicopters?
Well don't expect to get any clear answers. Henderson reverts to the template and to the outer suburbs and regional centres.
Bob Brown and the Greens like to rail against the big polluters. Yet in some outer suburbs and regional centres, the so-called big polluters are also the big employers. It just happens that most of the marginal seats the Coalition needs to win to assume office are located in these areas.
Uh huh. So the entire swing to the coalition is the result of the Labor government attempting a response to climate science ... because people only think with their wallet or purse ...
What a pity the story of the frog in the bring to boiling water is a myth. Any sensible frog jumps out ... unlike Gerard Henderson, who always manages to sound like an insensible frog ...
It may be the electorate's apparent opposition to a carbon tax will dissipate when the Gillard government's scheme is introduced on July 1. But the evidence so far suggests that action on climate change is primarily responsible for Labor's parlous position. Only the deluded believe otherwise.
And it may be that Henderson has an actual view on climate science, well hidden behind the skirts of the press gallery and outer suburbs and regional centre dwellers. But will he ever put it down in print, or will he always remain canny, and dance around the issue? And will Tony Abbott ever sort out a decent policy?
Roll on the army of green men and women ... and no doubt regional centres will be pleased at the featherbedding.
The real cheek? Henderson talking about reality being offset by the fog of delusion, when surely he meant to say the fog of confusion produced by his columns ...
(Below: action man Putin saves the planet, after explaining to the Sydney Institute how an army of green people would do it, here).