Tuesday, May 08, 2012

A Bertie Beetle guide to politicians and policies and perhaps bad teeth ...

(Above: more Nicholson here).

There's stupidity, rampant stupidity, and then there's politicians.

Once you back a politician into a corner, the sensible ones will try to find a way out.

And then there's the stubborn, mule for a brain ones. Like Barry O'Farrell, who persists in the delusion that because (a) it was an election promise and (b) he's seen fairies at the bottom of the garden, Sydney's need for a second airport will be best serviced by a VFT train out of Canberra.

If he feels that so strongly, why doesn't he move to Canberra and save himself the cost of the train fare ...

Much as the pond loves VFTs and trains in general - Japan, oh Japan, what a train spotting country you are - the notion that Canberra airport can do the job is ... well, it's beyond delusional, it's completely unsustainable in terms of strategic thinking and infrastructure and immediate growth.

It puts the notion of a second, relevant and useful airport back into the too hard basket for an eternity. Especially when they can't even organise a railway to Sydney's north-west ... and if you're lucky you might get above 80k an hour on the current Sydney-Melbourne line between Junee and Goulburn.

And then there's the federal government, now determined to mount a detailed investigation into the suitability of Wilton. Whereby every NIMBYist available will hover into view and explain how it's utterly impossible, while Badgerys Creek, which had all the reviews imaginable done years ago will keep mouldering in the sun ... because the NIMBYists have done it down.

Is there a politician who can grasp the nettle? Not on your nelly.

And so in one microcosmic abject way, you get a complete picture of the stultifying incompetence of the federal system, the delusional ways of parochial politicians, and the complete inability of the Australian system to actually craft plans that transcend the four year election cycle group think. If it wasn't so tragic, it would be pathetic.

Memo to self: must stop reading stories like Wilton on agenda as Sydney's second airport, starting to sound like Gerard Henderson scribbling about the ABC.

It's like listening to loons talk about the virtues of copper when they clearly haven't understood anything about the virtues of fibre, and when they should be off reading FTTN a huge "mistake", says ex-BT CTO.

Meanwhile, the British conservative government is off with the pixies as it struggles to stay ahead of the "superfast" broadband game (Government broadband plans face £1bn funding shortfall). And the Chinese government are hooking everything in sight up with fibre, while censoring everything in sight ...

Oh dear absent lord, back on the FTTN thing. Settle, settle.

Nothing will fix the loonacy, must just enjoy splashing about in the pond's chilly waters.

Meanwhile, it's good to see that one journalist is keeping the flame alive in the Mal Brough affair, with Phillip Coorey scribbling Joyce takes Brough to task over meeting with Slipper's accuser.

The pond makes no secret of disliking Brough, ever since he tried to cover himself in glory with the inept invasion of the Northern Territory.

In a decent world, his inept behaviour in relation the Peter Slipper matter would see him denied Liberal pre-selection. Whatever the truth of the matter, his response was wrong, and any advice he offered deeply compromised, inevitably flawed, complicating rather than helping. But who said this was a a decent, sensible world?

According to Coorey's story, Barners and the pond are at one, like minds, kissing cousins.

Barners? Eek ...

But it seems in this matter at least, you can take Barners and the pond out of Tamworth, but you can't take Tamworth common sense out of either of us:

Senator Joyce said Mr Brough, a fellow member of the Liberal National Party, should have twigged when Mr Ashby came to him that it would be improper to help him given Mr Brough was seeking to unseat Mr Slipper to re-enter federal Parliament.

Oh yes Barners, yes.

Senator Joyce said once Mr Brough did decide to get involved, he should also have spoken with Mr Slipper to hear his version of events.
''If you are going to play marriage guidance counsellor, you've got to hear both sides of the story,'' he told the Herald.

Oh well, half right. To have played marriage guidance counsellor with Slipper and Brough would have been more than silly, it would have been downright stupid. Quite possibly dangerous.

Perhaps it was a rhetorical point. Barners of course is exceptionally skilled as a counsellor. Who can forget his sturdy, stern advice to the children of Gina Rinehart to take their cod liver oil as prescribed by mamma bear and all would be well?

In Canberra, Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce and the NSW Liberal MP Alby Schultz faced questions about why they had written to John Hancock, Bianca Rinehart and Hope Rinehart Welker, urging them to drop the court action.
''I think he really does need to answer: 'Why would he involve himself in a personal family business?','' independent MP Tony Windsor said of Senator Joyce.
''Is he in the business of writing to everybody who has children who might be in some sort of dispute with their parents?'' (Mother's actions put gun to our heads over trust, say Rinehart children)

Hmmm, did Barners seek the children's side of things along with the mother's?

Truth to tell, given the pond's line of business - political loonacy and the loonatic commentariat attached thereto - the arrival of the Abbott years is being awaited with a slavering, almost breathless frothing and foaming anticipation.

The Labor party has been inept, but a swag of contending Liberals and Nationals will be something to see.

Tony Abbott has stayed out of the limelight these last few days to avoid talking about Mal Brough, but in the end, the ongoing civil action will see the matter return to the spotlight, and with it more gossip and insights into what went down, and why Brough so singularly failed to understand the concept of conflict of interest.

Abbott's lucky that the Craig Thomson affair has been festering for years, and should have been nipped in the bud years ago. Talk about inept ...

But back to the Liberals and the talk of more blood letting, with Helen Kroger being stripped of chief whip status in the Senate under cover of the landing of the federal budget, thanks to Senator Eric Abetz.

Et tu Eric?

Was it only yesterday that Katharine Murphy was reporting Libs rejoice: the Kroger era is over, and just as the head-kicking Bamboo general marches off into the sunset, so it seems must his first wife, as she gets demoted to third in the Victorian senate ticket, and Eric the enabler whips her out of the way ...

Oh it's a long way from the glory days and 2003 stories about how Helen Kroger was Breathing life into a tired and battered party.

Yep, with Barry O'Farrell arranging VFTs from Canberra and Mal Brough on hand to invade Tasmania, and ritual blood-letting and butchery of an almost halal kind whipping through the Liberal corridors of power, the Abbott years promise endless entertainment, and the bizarre sight of the commentariat pretending all's well and everything's for the best in the best of worlds ... because they got what they dared to wish for.

Could the pond just offer the Liberals and Mr. Abbott one tip? Seeing as how Europe and the markets are about to enter another period of dangerous instability, it might actually pay to let the Labor party and the minority government totter along for the next year. The greed for power is all too reminiscent of Malcolm Fraser's unseemly lust, and where did that get him? Or the country?

If Labor expires early, it will be an unholy mess. If the government runs its course, it'll be the best, perhaps the only way to hide the misdeeds of the inept clowns in your party and allow you to blame Labor for everything that goes wrong on your watch ... for at least the first two years ...

Because even before you've got into actual power, the circling and the back-stabbing and the panem et circenses have already begun.

First up? Well surely today, there's Kroger v. Abetz, but we most want to see Barners v. Mal Brough, doing family counselling and pig wrasslin' Tamworth style ... (the pond would talk about wrasslin' pigs if it weren't for the fact that the pig won).

Why we'd even pay for the relatives to catch a plane from Melbourne to Sydney which could land in Canberra, and then they could catch the VFT to Sydney to see that high class sort of wrasslin' go down ...

(Below: Barry O'Farrell present Julia Gillard with a Bertie Beetle bag while talking of rail funding here ...

And what do you get in a Bertie Beetle bag? A second airport for Sydney? A very fast train to Canberra? How about some kit kats, redskin sticks, milko sticks, and a water pistol or a basketball? Yep, that's your lot, now bugger off and give the pond a little peace).

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