Monday, June 04, 2012

Repent, you sandal-wearing Che-loving T-shirt wearing evil doers, repent, the hour and Gerard Henderson is at hand ...

(Above: if only the ABC was more like Mary Mackillop. Then it would know how to repent).

Now the pond usually doesn't have much time for Mark Latham - if you want a better example than former chairman Rudd of a hubristic dummy spit that trashed the Labor brand, Latham's your man - but there's an exception to any rule, and it comes when Latham indulges and treats us all to one of his Henderson watches.

Well all of those who subscribe to Crikey, because otherwise you'll find Latham's Henderson Watch: liberal with the truth behind the paywall.

Crikey might run on the smell of an oily rag, but if you'd rather shovel money down the throat of Chairman Rupert for The Australian, let's hope you get some fish along with the lies.

The excellent thing about Latham is he gets up the nose of Hendo something shocking, and this time claims he caught out Hendo in a howler:

In Friday’s Media Watch Dog (No.139) he wrote of “a fund-raising dinner for Tony Abbott’s re-election campaign in Mackellar”.

We'll have to take Latham's word for it, because now the dog has been scrubbed of that flea, though not the usual preening humourless prose.

Latham naturally makes the most of it, referring to Hendo's offer to fact check ABC documentaries, and imagining how relieved ABC management would have been to refuse the offer:

Otherwise, the public broadcaster would be airing such political masterpieces as “The Tony Abbott Story: My Life Campaigning in the Wrong Seat of Mackellar” and “Doing the Impossible: How Barry O’Farrell MLC Governed NSW from the Wrong House”.

Yes, the Bazza blue is another Hendo howler, and for good measure Latham goes on to brood about a howler involving Malcolm Fraser and Betty Fairfax, and the way Henderson suffers from acute corresponditis, the scarifying ailment that forces someone to write a post-office-full of turgid, obsessively self-serving letters.

Latham handily provides a check list of a multitude of Hendo "I do all my own fact-checking" howlers, but for those you'll have to fork over the readies. We just want to add one touching note from a Crikey reader:

You’ve got to feel sorry for Gerard Henderson. His obsessions seem to be so compulsive that I’m sure they border on the neurotic.

Indeed. Just look at the photo Fairfax uses to illustrate his missives:

Did he bite on a lemon, or nibble some alum thinking it was sugar, just before the photographer took the snap?

All the same, it does set a nice tone as we settle down read yet another bout of prattling Polonius's turgid pedantic prose, in Modern hostility to mining poses some worrying questions.

Our Polonius is always a worrier, taking on the self-appointed task of patrolling the Liberal party for heresy, revisionism, slacking, deviance, betrayal, dissent or difference in dogma. It's the sort of work once performed by the Inquisition, but as the eternally vigilant will know, the Liberal party constantly needs to be kept in line. And Henderson's the man for the job.

This week it's poor old John Hewson to feel the lash for mocking and betraying Gina Rinehart, and her desire to import foreign workers, and on the ABC of all places.

The hapless lick-spittle fellow traveller, when offered a chance to stick up for Gina, instead spoke after the cock crowed three times. Oh Peter, nee John, you cad!

When Jones expressed surprise at this response Hewson referred to Rinehart's (alleged) greed ''in relation to her children'' and added: ''I don't personally understand it; I think you have a responsibility in this country to put a bit back beyond what you've taken out.''

Right there you have a classic example of Henderson's (alleged) style. He can't ever let a point go, and by (alleged) definition, he immediately puts himself in Gina Rinehart's camp when it comes to the claims of her children. Who do talk of greed.

Is it all that odd to wonder about Rinehart's relentless accumulation of wealth? What it all means, and what purpose it serves? Even Citizen Kane spent it on quixotic philanthropic loss-making enterprises:

You are right, Mr. Thatcher. I did lose a million dollars last year. I expect to lose a million dollars this year. I expect to lose a million dollars next year! You know, Mr. Thatcher, at the
rate of a million dollars a year I'll have to close this place in sixty years.

So that's why she's investing in Fairfax. More room for Hendo! (But no mention near the column that Hendo is doing his bit for Gina in a rag where Gina is the major shareholder ...)

Never mind, it turns out that Hewson's head was turned by the sheer shock of being in the ABC in front of a hostile audience, because he later recanted and re-affirmed his belief in Hendersonian truths when scribbling a piece for The Drum.

Why the change? The answer appears to lie in the dynamic of the moment. Q&A is usually filmed at the ABC's Sydney headquarters in inner-city Ultimo. Last week's panel consisted primarily of artistic types who apparently do not like Rinehart and who underestimate the key role of mining in the Australian economy. The audience went with the prevailing view of the panel.

Truly, Mark Latham couldn't make this sort of stuff up.

Inner-city Ultimo (not to mention a hideous concrete block of a building).

Artistic types! It must be a form of neurosis, but then the neurosis becomes even more beguiling, with a hint of paranoia:

Sure, according to Q&A, the audience was made up of 46 per cent Coalition, 30 per cent Labor and 17 per cent Greens supporters. However, political allegiance is self-declared. If you are a Green Left Weekly type who wants to get into the Q&A audience, it helps to remove your Che Guevara T-shirt and sandals, put on sensible shoes and a shirt and claim to be a member of the Tony Abbott fan club.

Oh the sneaky deviant and perverts, how dare they hide their sandals and wear sensible shoes, how dare they put away their tie-dyed T-shirts! And so disrupt and pervert the balance of the audience. Oh it's so sordid and corrupt. Evidence? Data? Statistics? Personal examination? No, just feel the T-dyed vibe, see the hidden sandals in the satchel ...

Naturally Henderson has personal experience of this kind of sneakiness:

During my first appearance on Q&A early last year, I found a majority of the audience to be hostile to business in general and mining in particular. In such an environment, it's easy for someone like Hewson to go with the intellectual fashion of the night and join in the anti-Rinehart/anti-foreign workers chorus.

Yes John you slack-jawed, craven, yellow streaked, weak-backboned cowardly custard. If only you had the spine that Gerard Henderson possesses. No quisling he, no fellow traveller, no easy mark for the horde of sandal-wearers howling at the gate.

Does Hendo have any idea how weird all this sounds? Probably not.

The rest of the piece naturally pins the blame on the Labor party and that arch-Satanist Wayne Swan. Along with Gillard and Cameron.

Well the pond's not here to defend Doug Cameron and his Chinese worker bashing, or say that getting a few skilled workers to go where unskilled Australians refuse to go, but the last three pars produce some classic Henderson corkers.

It turns out that the audiences at Q&A aren't Che-loving T-shirt sandal-wearing hipsters, they're professionals!

The professional classes which seem to be over-represented in the Q&A audience often have no real experience in business and seem unaware that the mining industry pays substantial company tax and royalties, with the minerals tax to come. This revenue helps support the lifestyle of professionals on the public payroll whether as public sector employees or as beneficiaries of retirement benefits.

Yes, the entire audience at Q&A is dominated by and over-represents public servants! Why it's probably full of ABC staffers in disguise, as they snatch off their IDs and try to pass as ordinary citizens wearing sensible shoes and shirts. Greenies the lot of them!

Many in this group vote for the Greens - whose former leader Bob Brown called last June for the replacement of the coal industry. Coal is one of Australia's big export earners. Where do the likes of Brown think the money comes from that supports the lifestyle of many Greens, including the good senator himself?

Now by this point you might be wondering about how green farmers are on the Liverpool plains, or the odd person protesting at the way that the Hunter Valley (and many other formerly pleasant and productive landscapes) have been ripped up and torn apart. Is there any room at all in Henderson's braying world for a hint or a suggestion that perhaps mining should be enjoyed in moderation? That perhaps it might be nice to hold on to a few minerals for future generations to enjoy?

Not on your bloody sandal-wearing nelly.

In the early 1950s there was a degree of hostility to export-earning rural industries. Fortunately, at the time, senior government ministers did not join in the chorus. Right now the mining industry is a major factor in Australia avoiding recession, so far at least. Even so, Hewson was incapable of defending Rinehart and the employment of foreign workers during a live TV program. It was not a good sign - even though he repented.

And there you have it, in the final word: repented.

It's the arcane business of Inquisitor Henderson to roam the corridors spotting Liberals indulging in heresy, while ever vigilant and alert to the need to flay public servants, greenies, the ABC and the Labor party for their evil Satanism and anti-Rinehartism.

Why be interested in a colour photograph, when black and white will do quite nicely.

According to Latham, when he dusted up the prattling Prufrock in The Spectator, playfully highlighting some of his many errors, Hendo spat the dummy, and stopped writing for the rag.

Up until this moment it hadn't occurred to the pond what what Fairfax needs most in the world is for Latham to write a column for them highlighting Hendo's errors.

Oh yes, oh yes, and then he could spit the dummy, and spend the rest of his days focussing on his real calling, writing post office size indignant letters to the ABC and public servants about trivial matters. Along with the odd worshipful letter to Gina Rinehart.

It might be tough for ABC management and Rinehart too, but what a relief for the rest of the world ...

(Below: and now, because too much time with Henderson can be bad for a sense of humour, here's a few topics handsomely covered elsewhere, including the way Mayor Bloomberg got Jon Stewart (and the pond) to agree with Tucker Carlson, and send Colbert into paroxysms of grief. And then there was the matter of Mitt Romney and spelling, and Obama coming from Kanye, and Colbert singing the newly revised national anthem, and finally the joy of Queenslanders leaving the cockroaches behind! Oh repent ye wearers of sandals!)

1 comment:

  1. Well, things can always be worse. I did have the misfortune to read beyond the "Shame ABC, shame" headline for the dismal West Australian opinion writer, Paul Murray. True, I should have refrained for there was another sterling defence of Gina R and a rubbishing of all on the left for apparently calling her fat and ugly. Or something. Just be thankful you are not to the left of the rabbit proof fence. Or even to the West.


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