Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Twenty million pounds in a personal bank account, and the pond promises to alleviate poverty and disadvantage ...

(Above: as always, the pond recommends Steve Bell here, and then a dip into The Guardian's coverage of the Barclay scandal for this morning's deregulation comedy routine).

The pond has done its very best to ignore Craig Emerson's musical effort.

Naturally Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott were pompous twits about it, when the man's a legend for taking out of the shower what should stay in the shower.

One theory put to the pond more in ear-battered sorrow than in reality was that he'd switched camps, from Gillard to Rudd, and in a single solo, he'd managed to undermine Gillard and the carbon tax in a way unimaginable by a year of routine white-anting.

The pond's own theory is that Emerson was inspired to prove that he could do an even better routine than Mary Jo Fisher's legendary hokey pokey performance. Mary Jo is no longer with us, at least in a political sense ... but will this contain Emerson's spectacular lungs?

No one minds a light-hearted political moment, but is shattering the tweeters in the pond's active speakers light-hearted?

Never pond, hey ho and on we go, and the pond is anxiously standing by for a flood of opinion pieces by the commentariat explaining and justifying the latest banking scandal (Britain yet again), and how the real problem is welfare cheats, and never mind that the average dolebludger simply doesn't have the skill or techniques for such high class spectacular fraud as banks can manage.

The pond could almost do the columns by rote ... just a few bad apples, just one errant bank, internally correcting, no need for regulation, regulation unhealthy and crippling, a perfect market fixes everything, and by the way twenty million pounds in the personal account should see everything right, and people on their way to a new career.

And for all the talk of perfect markets, never a word about how people are greedy and inclined to corruption, and bankers - rather than being Arthur Lowe in Dad's Army - are these days as greedy and corrupt as any spiv, shyster or crook trying to make a dishonest, filthy rich living.

And as usual there'll be nothing about the doings of the crooks, spivs and shysters who've taken over the banking systems with a shave here and a trim there, and where's the harm, and by the way twenty million pounds in the personal account should see the pond on its way (yes, LIBOR even reaches into Australia, and the pond once had to endure much contractual blather about percentage points above the LIBOR rate).

Which leads to the pond's golden banking tip of the day. If you find your bank has been involved in the gap financing of feature films, be assured that your bank is being run by crooks, spivs and shysters who'll try anything to make a buck or three ...

Instead what's the bet that the world will be blessed by the commentariat with yet more idle chit chat about how everything is the fault of government?

Come on down "Dame Slap" Janet Albrechtsen, getting totally agitated for no particular reason about proportional representation in The proportional pathway to policy paralysis (behind the paywall, thank the absent lord).

Albrechtsen whips herself into a right old lather about a Greens/European inspired voting system she dubs PR, which kept the pond thinking "Public Relations" and "Bill Posters" is innocent ...

It turns out that Albrechtsen is terrified by the notion of participatory democracy, and poor old New Zealand. It seems left wingers, socialists, greenies, pinkos and perverts are responsible for the success of Golden Dawn in Greek politics ... yep, you can always blame the rise of fascists on liberals (didn't you know gays, Jews and commies were responsible for the rise of Hitler with their effete weakness, and refusal to muscle up?)

By a miracle of insight, not once does Dame Slap mention the first past the post British voting system, which has led to an uneasy coalition government, and currently houses the Barclays scandal, a scandal for which all three major British parties can take a share of the credit.

But she does take time out to quote Boris Johnson:

A few years ago, Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, best summed up the mess of PR pointing out that in the "50 years since the war there were 103 elections in Germany, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, Belgium, The Netherlands and Sweden - all countries that favour PR and its endless stream of buggins-turn coalitions. And how often, in those 103 elections, did voters actually succeed in producing a change of government? Six times!" Not one to mince words, Johnson revealed PR as a fraud upon voters "because it will always tend to erode the sovereign right of the people to kick the rascals out."

Shocking. That decadent Europe, and Britain standing tall and proud above the throng.

All that voting, as if democracy meant consulting the people when what's needed is a firm hand, and strong leadership, especially in the face of scandals and rascals.

Hang on a tic, Boris Johnson? Is that the same jolly chap quoted here?

Diamond is out at Barclays, but still he has an ally in the London Mayor Boris Johnson, who - in the face of some controversy appointed him in 2008 to the charitable Mayor's Fund for London.
The body, comprising handpicked members of the capital's great and good, works to alleviate poverty and disadvantage in the capital. This morning, as others deserted the ex Barclay's chief executive, Johnson said: "Bob Diamond has provided enormous time, energy and philanthropic effort to the cause of helping young Londoners through the Mayor's Fund. As far as I'm concerned, that work is set to continue." (here)

Strong leadership? Europe in ethical turmoil? Brave Britain and Boris shows the futility, and gamely throws the spivs, rascals and shysters out?

Oh yes brave Boris and Bob, they're doing their best to alleviate poverty and disadvantage in the capital, though the pond has discovered that this work is best done with twenty million pounds in the personal account ... just to relieve the anxiety and stress involved in dealing with the poor. If only they understood the complex good involved in gaming the LIBOR.

One random thought. Spain might be stuffed, but at least they can play football. Take that, Boris Johnson and Dame Slap ...

Meanwhile, if the elephant-skinned have made it to this point, why not take in the bizarre sight of Peter Costeello getting on board and into bed with Gina Rinehart in Fairfax will surely sell to Rinehart if price is right.

Never mind the ethics, just do a Woody Allen, take the money and run, and besides Gina has done wonders for the share price of the Ten Network (and if you believe that, I have a film in urgent need of gap financing).

Costello somehow believes that Rinehart will reign over a diversity of views designed to bring a wide diversity of readers, which just goes to show what a stupid, pompous ass he's become, as he grandly reveals that he wasn't one of the "eminent people" who signed the recent chain letter in support of the Fairfax charter of independence.

The pond can think of a good reason. These days he's not an eminent person, just a smirking, pandering, simpering, fellow travelling Gina Rinehart lackey ...

There's really only one reason to mention Costello, and that's to note the grand sight of Michael Kroger going off with Mark Latham to lunch, and giving the pompous ass yet another serve.

Sadly it's behind the AFR paywall but truly there are ironies upon ironies to be had in Michael Kroger reveals his hand ... and the grandest was to read Kroger moaning how it was unendurable to go to lunch and listen to Costello moan interminably about himself and his enemies, and how even Latham made for a better dining companion ...

Lastly, it seems the barking hounds are now out on the moors, with Calls for royal commission over alleged cover-up of Catholic abuse.

Will Pell permit the release of the file note which would at least support the notion that he was mislead by the three below him? If not, let a royal commission roll ... and let's look into the heart of darkness.

After all that, at last the pond begins to understand why Emerson burst into song.

But if you want to stop the pond sounding like a strangled cat that's just stepped out of the shower, there's a simple way. Twenty million pounds in a personal account, and the pond will do its level best to alleviate suffering, poverty and disadvantage.

Cross fingers and promise. Who knows, we might even spring for a meal so Mark Latham can take Dame Slap and Peter Costello and George Pell to lunch ...

(Below: and another Steve Bell to go, here. At least the British retain a sense of humour. The absent lord knows that's hard when your reading matter in the morning includes Janet Albrechtsen, Peter Costello and the doings and undoings of George Pell).


  1. Oh, DP, thank G_d for satire. At The Oz, though, a collective sphincter-tightening snap at Emerson's tiny bit of panto.
    David Rowe shows why Mirabella's days as arch political operative may be over. Not because she shunned the leper, that's the perfectly natural response to the afflicted, like, pass by on the other side of the road.
    No, as her mentors may be advising, she should have snapped out of her gut reaction, tipped Simon out of his chair, planted a stiletto in his chest and raised her fists in Victory.
    If you have Primo Levi's If This Is A Man to hand, look up his story of Elias Lindzin 141565 on p 101.
    Nothing seems impossible to him. While we barely carry one sack of cement, Elias carries two, three, then four, keeping them balanced no one knows how, and while he hurries along on his short, squat legs, he makes faces under the load, he laughs, curses, shouts and sings without pause, as if he had lungs made of bronze.
    In short, Levi's Elias is the perfect citizen for the Corporate State, no weakling he.

  2. Fishers & Slippers are on the agenda, so, recent behaviours sent me to the archives. DP, if you can dig up Karen Kissane's article on Louise Asher from 2Sep1999, you'll find this crisp excerpt.
    Then Ms Asher makes her one slip. She introduces herself to a middle-aged man who says briefly, "Labor." "Really?" she says archly.
    The woman behind him, his age-pensioner mother, stops and turns on the minister, enraged. How dare she question such a choice by someone in his position? He has schizophrenia, he's on a pension, he wanders the streets with nothing to do since the Government closed down the big public institutions, his rent has gone up again and she's had to sell her house to try to support him as well as herself, "which I'm finding damned hard!"
    Ms Asher quietly tries to protest that the Government has massively increased mental health funding, but another tirade begins on how it is nowhere near enough.
    The mother stalks off to see her son's psychiatrist. The minister retires to her chauffeur-driven car. Some gaps cannot be bridged.

    In my mind I see two blue-blood Liberal women. They are strolling the aisles at Doncaster Shoppingtown, their loud heels on the tiled floor warning the untermensch to keep their distance. Their declamations decry the quality, not to say the colour, of the hired help, and Gillard's failure to keep the lepers separated from decent, law-abiding folk.
    [Louise] chuckles ... about what a "character" that funny fellow Jeff is before lightly turning the word on its head: "You wouldn't like a leader of the state who didn't have character, would you?" Ah, yes, 'character' can be revealed in a Kabuki -like play.

  3. "... goes to show what a stupid, pompous ass he's [Costello's] become."

    Become? Surely you jest, Dorothy, he's always been a stupid, pompous ass.

  4. That's a very technical point David.

    It's true he's always been a stupid pompous ass - who could argue - but there is clear evidence that in retirement, reduced to being a columnist for Fairfax, desperate for attention, pontificating like an ex-pope, he has become even more stupid and pompous. This is not a 'unique' versus 'very unique' situation, and I would propose that as the years go by, Costello will become even more stupid, pompous and desperately irrelevant, until he finally explodes, as smirking gasbags are wont to do. It's called the "crank the stupid pomposity up to eleven" factor ... He's always been ten, but after eleven, who knows what level he'll reach ...


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