Sunday, July 15, 2012

In which the pond ferrets through chicken entrails while tilting at windmills ...

(Above: ever wondered by Sydneysiders are considered by the outside world to be clinically brain dead, insane or lost in the wilderness, the thickets and the shrubbery? Does the photo give a clue? Poor Peter Van Onselen. Didn't he once think of himself as a thinker, a contender? Now surrounded by Akker Dakker and the Devine like a pea in a very suspect Sunday Terror opinion pod).

A sampling of thoughts from the deeply black and white, simplistic, 0101, world of fearless comrade leader Paul Howes, as regularly featured in the Sunday Terror, home to some of the best columnists in the world outside Goonoo Goonoo:

Because, if Tony Abbott is the best friend of Australian workers, I'd really hate to meet their worst enemy. (here)

Because make no mistake; the Greens pose as much of a threat to working people as Tony Abbott. They just hide it better. (here)

Because, like, make no mistake, if Paul 'FUD' Howes is the best friend of Aussie workers, what better way to hide it than fill a column full of dire imprecations, and talk of threats and enemies and the way the world is a constant Stage of Origin.

There are enemies all around, and the only way to lead the average Australian worker through the Red Sea before it closes and the raging salt water comes crashing down, drowning and destroying everyone in its path is Moses ... or Paul Howes.

Yep, that's not a bad likeness. Howes just has to work on the beard and get himself a rod.

Never mind, Sunday's over now, and it's Monday, and usually that would mean Generally Grumpy Field Marshall Paul Sheehan would be on hand to tell us all that's wrong with the world.

This would usually involve explaining how workers are grasping, indulgent and indulged, spoiled welfare state bludgers inclined never to do a decent day's work, whether lazy Greeks or chaotic Celts, and as a result the world is quickly going to hell in a handbasket.

But hey, if it's all coming to an end, why not go out in style ... better a feckless adventurer than a feckless worker!

It turns out Field Marshall Grumpy Sheehan has just returned from a junket to eight countries over three weeks costing a humble A$30,840 smackeroos per person twin share, as you can read about in My plane, my way.

And the cheeky sod singled out some of the souls on the junket as terminal bores!

What did his fellow adventurers make of Sheehan, who has terminally bored readers at Fairfax with his rants about the wicked poor for years.

Probably nods of murmured agreement, looked after as they were by a chef and seven attentive, good-looking cabin crew. No uglies on the staff please, this is business class luxury and security, speeding through shabby city centres in high speed motor launches to get to lodges in idyllic paradises. Or some such thing:

A buffet dinner awaits, with ice-cold Amazonica beer and a local indigenous dance group led by a comely young woman in a grass skirt who spends a lot of time dancing with a pliant python coiling around her neck.

Comely! And working for a decent, honest living with a pliant coiled python, unlike those devious, deviant Celts and Greeks!

It reminded the pond of a recent Mitt Romney snap that's been doing the Facebook rounds:

Now that he's rested and restored, the readership is standing by, with bated breath, waiting for the next bout of doom and gloom from Field Marshall Grumpy as he explains how grasping, greedy, covetous, envious, lazy working class stiffs, chained to their clean and clear desks in old Sydney town, are ruining the world.

Meanwhile, the pond was intrigued to discover that some cynical souls in a focus group believed that Tony Abbott when he lands in power will not repeal the carbon tax.

The story was noted on Radio National (by Michelle Grattan here), but was also featured at the AFR in Voters doubt Abbott will repeal carbon tax (sorry, behind the paywall).

Once again, the punters show their innate wisdom. There are many reasons why Abbott, once he gets into power, will find it not in his interest to repeal the carbon tax, and they're set out at length here under the header Why Abbott won't repeal the carbon tax (paywall affected, google access):

Time, popularity, history and a dearth of pythons: these are the reasons why Tony Abbott will backtrack on his “blood oath” to repeal the carbon tax if he ascends to the prime ministership.

Dammit, those pesky pliant pythons seem to be keen on getting into any story.

All year the media has been abuzz with news of the Coalition leader’s plans to kill the price on carbon, but the long lead time required to tear up the legislation, Abbott’s unpopularity, a history of risk in double dissolution elections and the lack of a ‘python squeeze’ on the voting public should see the oath come to nothing.

No python squeeze allowed, not even on a comely Amazonian maiden or an ice-cold Amazon beer?

A blood oath that might come to nothing?

The notion is predicated on Abbott gaining a comfortable majority but not enough to control both houses and therefore needing a double dissolution to take out the carbon tax. As Daniel Palmer notes in the piece, a fresh election a year after gaining a first term would be brash, dangerous and just plain stupid.

Well it's arguable that no one should under-estimate Abbott's capacity for brash stupidity, but even he might pause to wonder what should be a core and a non-core promise.

And if Abbott backtracks, will the commentariat spend weeks, months and years berating him for being a Toniliar? Will there be street parades and truckies storming Canberra and Alan "the parrot" Jones squawking from his microphoned pulpit? Not bloody likely.

The scene is already being set. In recent times there's been a plethora of stories running like this one: Businesses reject Abbott's vow to repeal carbon tax.

And even the Daily Terror ran an opinion by an independent in Opposition leader Tony Abbott will have difficulty repealing the carbon tax, says Independent MP Andrew Wilkie.

Then you have the attack from the right on Abbott, exemplified by the crazed climate denialists, as can be seen in Andrew 'the Bolter' Bolt's recent piece Coalition Tony Abbott's climate plan is as bad as Labors (sorry, the apostrophe is missing in the header, and sorry the Bolter lurks behind the paywall, but you know the google drill to avoid the HUN paywall)

...guess which other party also promises a 5 per cent cut? Guess which party also plans to spend billions to make zero difference?
In fact, Bishop's attack on Labor's policy applies precisely to the Liberals': "The terrible hoax in all of this is that it will have no environmental gain."
True, the Opposition says it will cap spending on its "direct action" policies to "just" $10.5 billion by the end of the decade.
That's less than Labor's splurge, but it's as wasted and ripe for rorting, with big grants to be thrown at mad emissions-cutting schemes, from burying carbon to turning farmland into forests.
Nor is that the full measure of the Opposition's stupid waste, since it still backs the renewable energy targets that have us paying billions extra for solar and wind power.
And what difference will all this make to the temperature? Like Labor's scheme, zero.

These days the Bolter's voice is in a comment-free wilderness, and it comes from Gina Rinehart la la land, where there's no need to do anything, not even make a gesture, because after all climate science is just a fraud and a myth, and an international conspiracy involving the UN and grant-hungry scientists, and Andrew "sports writer trained" Bolt is just the scientist you need to explain it to you.

But all the same this sort of attack creates a credibility crisis for Abbott. The feeble policy free zone alternatives that Abbott and his team have devised means it would be much simpler to leave the relatively innocuous tax in place.

This wouldn't be in conflict with Abbott's earlier insights, which involved both doubting the science and proposing a carbon tax as a minimalist intervention (yes you can see him both deny climate change and advocate carbon tax in the one breath here on YouTube).

So there's Abbott waiting to be torn apart by his contradictions, with the wise punters fully expecting him to betray his 'blood oath' promise, a bit like grumpy Paul Sheehan going on a luxury cruise and complaining about the bores ...

And what do we get from the Labor party? The likes of Paul Howes spending a week in the headlines, charging about like Moses or a bore on a luxury cruise attacking the dangerous greenies ...

Actually that's more like Paul Howes charging about like Don Quixote, attacking windmills while Tony Abbott floats along free, on the breeze of his hypocrisies and contradictions.

Truly you have to be a masochist to enjoy following Australian politics, and trying to discern sensible policies in the midst of the chicken entrails.

It's one step below barracking for Collingwood or Manly ...

(Below: a recent action shot of Paul Howes clashing with a windmill, about as useful as his clashes with Andrew Bolt).

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