Thursday, May 31, 2012

From the Three Stooges to Eric Abetz palely snickering to Ruddock emerging from his crypt ...

(Above: the pond in search of a new metaphor. Droogs? See Rocco Fazzari's proposal here).

After the high comedy of Tony Abbott running around the floor of parliament like a headless chook, the pond immediately thought of the Three Stooges.

Almost immediately thereafter that rooster Wayne Swan took to calling Tony Abbott one of the Three Stooges, which forces the pond to offer a disclaimer. The pond isn't written by rooster Swan, nor any of his staffers, relatives, friends or fellow travellers (would these acolytes note that these days Swan is more a boiler fowl than a rooster?)

Okay, so we share a taste for obvious, somewhat banal metaphors, but that's as far as it goes.

The pond blames that golden goose Tony Abbott for making the pond sound like Swan, or Swan sound like the pond ...

While we're on the subject of disclaimers, the pond insists that it maintains a proper, fully dedicated fear and loathing of Bob Carr. Those outside the great state of New South Wales have simply no idea of the years of ear abuse suffered by hapless citizens as the dulcet Carr tones droned on about how much better it was to have an Olympics stadium than trains that ran on time ...

And now he's been inflicted on the world. Sorry world.

Which makes it even more poignant and mysterious that the pond actually felt sorry for Carr. What could have brought it on?

Well it was another headless chook, by name Eric Abetz, carrying on like an A grade twit about Carr owning the sole shares in a dormant company lodged on the shelf with his accountant and going by the name RJCarr Pty Ltd:

BOB CARR: The company is dormant.

ERIC ABETZ: Why does it then have a principle place of business? Why is it still registered? Are you just holding it dormant so that you've got something to go back into after your stint as Foreign Minister is over?

Talk about clutching at straws. As if a dormant shelf company which might return to life down the track posed a grave conflict of interest ...

BOB CARR: My advice is that that company is dormant, it is with my accountant, it does no work, it receives no income because I'm doing no commercial work - none at all.

And then it got surreal:

NAOMI WOODLEY: The Foreign Minister's tone became more incredulous as Eric Abetz persisted.
ERIC ABETZ: But you are still a registered shareholder are you not?
BOB CARR: But this is a bit of paperwork. This is simply a bit of paperwork. I do no commercial work.
Madam Chair, this is absurd. There is no trading, there is no business activity.
ERIC ABETZ: Whereabouts in paragraph 2.9 is it a requirement that you only divest yourself of private interests if they are actively engaged?
BOB CARR: I'm happy to have a look at it Senator.
ERIC ABETZ: (laughs) Yeah and come back to us on notice, that'd be good.
BOB CARR: Don't laugh in that sinister fashion.
ERIC ABETZ: Thanks a lot chair.
BOB CARR: Don't laugh in that sinister fashion. I think I've answered comprehensively the question.

Yep, it's the first time in decades the pond has ever felt a twinge of sympathy for Carr, forced to listen to Abetz cackle like a sociopath in a dime mystery novel ... or perhaps like a bantam after it had produced an exceedingly small egg.

Who could blame Carr for objecting to the sinister laugh? The immediate desire was to banish Abetz to the basement of Notre Dame to do battle with Lon Chaney ...

Chalk this first up to Eric Abetz. Sympathy for Bob Carr while listening to a Major Mitchell give him a going over with a feather plucked from a wing ...

This probably explains why in an unguarded moment, the pond then turned to 7.30, in the mistaken impression that Leigh Sales would be front and centre.

Instead Chris Uhlmann was at it again, and amazingly he did an Abetz, generating sympathy in the pond for the pompous bloviating Geoffrey Robertson in Assange legal adviser reacts to extradition verdict.

In his usual way Uhlmann bowled up some simplistic questions, and then the interview went pear-shaped:

And his prospects of - I don't know whether you can hear me. I'll keep talking. I've got something going off in my ear.

And it wasn't just Uhlmann's insipid questions going off in his ear.

Naturally when Robertson got on to the real issue in relation to Assange - the United States, its grand jury, the CIA, and the gormless Australian government, Uhlmann shut down Robertson, using the excuse of audio problems. Yes at the moment it could have got interesting, at the moment the pathetic role the Australian government has played to date could have been discussed, it was game over.

Truth to tell, given the complete uselessness of his questions, Uhlmann could just have allowed Robertson to rabbit on for another five minutes ...

That was followed by Uhlmann doing an interview with Mal Brough (Former Minister reflects on Aboriginal affairs).

Shouldn't Brough be off giving more legal advice to James Ashby?

Instead the unctuous interventionist (unctuous in the sense of having an oily or soapy feel, like certain minerals, as well as unctuous in the greasy and oily sense, as well as in the sense of excessive piousness or moralistic fervour) was given yet another platform to conduct a little bit more public rehabilitation and pre-election self-promotion, in the guise of concern for Aboriginal people, with Uhlmann tut tutting about Toomelah and bowling up a tidy set of Dorothy Dixers.

Why not watch Ivan Sen's film Toomelah instead?

That's instead of listening to yet another bout of white paternalism from Brough. Lord help the Aboriginal people if he gets back into power and is given the portfolio again, on the principle that one cock-up should be rewarded with the right to conduct another cock-up ...

There was also a piece about Abbott doing the bolt (Abbott bolt highlights perceptions of ugly politics), this time introduced by Uhlmann and reported by Heather Ewart, in which they did a bit of grave-robbing by dragging Philip Ruddock out of whatever crypt he lurks in during the day, to stoutly defend Tony Abbott. Naturally Ruddoch refused to say anything about negative behaviour:

You know the sort of defence ... Paul Keating once gave me a tongue lashing, so now we can act like guttersnipes of the lowest class and stand next to signs calling Gillard a witch. Class act.

What's worse the insufferable Ruddoch was still wearing his Amnesty badge, because he has absolutely no self-understanding or sense of shame. (And as a result back in the day the pond left Amnesty, never to return).

Remember back in 2000 when AM ran the story Ruddock stripped of Amnesty International Badge:

KATHY KINGSTON: I wrote to the minister in October and I asked that he not wear his badge when he was acting publicly as a minister, to ensure that he clearly delineated between his role as a minister and his role as an Amnesty member so that we could avoid any areas of possible conflict that may appear to give Amnesty International's implicit support.

Well in response to Abbott blathering on about a kinder, gentler polity, badge-wearing Ruddock offered up Harry Truman and if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen.

Shouldn't that have been if you want to look like a headless chook, race to get out the doors of the parliament?

Can we now understand that Ruddock, wearing his badge while acting publicly as a politician, is using his role as an Amnesty member to imply Amnesty International's implicit support for bloodletting and political brutality and nattering negativity and witch-bashing, as is the current fashion in Canberra?

Happily, the last 7.30 story was about the London Olympics, allowing the pond to switch off and retreat to a movie - there'll be no talk of the Olympics here - knowing that when the Liberals get into power, they'll go through the ABC like a pack of Epsom salts, and that will be Mark Scott's clap happy legacy. And for the first time, the pond realised it didn't matter one whit or jot, since what's left of the ABC is not much to fight about ...

So what else? Well as Fairfax journalists trudge off to a futile strike, the completely irrelevant Paul Sheehan turns up to deliver his Thursday meditation The public has a loud voice and a habit of spotting the fake.

After a bit of the bleeding obvious about Facebook, Sheehan reveals that - as an ageing grump and philistine - he's fallen for The Voice and Keith Urban.

It's hard to know whether to call it tragic or pathetic, but at the very end the man who only on Monday had written Brit trick is an insult to the system, comes out with this:

Finally, the latest results of the ultimate vote of confidence by the public - who should be Prime Minister - make for interesting reading. Julia Gillard and her opposition nemesis, Tony Abbott, have had ample time to put their case. The polls show neither has been able to win the people.
It's easy to see why for Gillard. Her natural wit and warmth fell away when she became Prime Minister. She stopped being real. She stooped low to conquer. Yet Abbott has been unable to mint this into personal popularity. His coalition has a commanding lead in the polls but the public still finds his credibility wanting.
Something is missing at the top, and on such matters the collective wisdom of the public is infallible.

It's easy to see why for Gillard, but not why for Tony Abbott?

Even as he's bashing on the doors of parliament to be let out like a recalcitrant school kid? And Ruddock is sent to the ABC to defend his childish ways by invoking Paul Keating, last in power in 1996?

Talk about a one-eyed clown, full of vituperative bile about the British disease one moment, and the next talking about Gillard stooping low to conquer, and yet still unable to mention the many negative failings of Abbott, these days bashing on the doors of parliament so he can get out to play with the guttersnipes ....

Something is missing in the commentariat at Fairfax, and the public has the habit of spotting a fake, and on such matters the collective wisdom of the public is infallible.

The collective infallible wisdom? Well surely Sheehan is a gnat and a one-eyed gadfly, yabbering on about the British disease, maligning a whole country in his attempt to malign Gillard, incapable of balance or perspective.

It would be tempting to blame The Voice but even the pond can't go that low ...

(Below: Philip Ruddock maintaining the Amnesty shame last night).

1 comment:

  1. Uhlmann is a lightweight, fast-tracked into a position that is way over his head.


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