Was it only a dream, or May last year, that the pond read this solution to Sydney's second airport from Lee Rhiannon and Paul Fitzgerald in Second Airport No Saviour:
Only one possible solution remains for Sydney Airport: to close it and build a replacement airport. It would need to be outside the Sydney Basin airshed and have high speed rail connections. The site should be determined through comprehensive scientific study and broad consultation. Its cost could be partly met by transforming the current airport site into a mixed residential and employment precinct.
The Sydney basin airshed the pair linked to, if used as a basis for deciding on a replacement (not a second) airport would put the new airport further north than Gosford, further south than Campbelltown, Wilton, or further west than the Blue Mountains (try running a fast rail connection through those hills).
Well maybe Wilton would do at a pinch, it's a mere 88ks from Sydney by road, but the talk is enough to get the citizens of Wilton agitated here.
But really Rhiannon may as well be spruiking Canberra as a second airport connected by VFT, like her fellow visionary Barry 'have we got a Bazza airport for you' O'Farrell.
Repeating the sound of a meaningless drone is always a good idea, so there's Rhiannon droning away again in Albo Can't Fix The Airport Jam.
And maybe Albo can't fix the airport jam, but is he as deluded as the 'pie in the sky bye and bye' stuff that Rhiannon trots out?
It's more of the visionary same:
Overseas cities have grappled with this challenge and have relocated inner city airports to reduce problems such as air, noise and water pollution and crash risks. Hong Kong, Oslo, Athens and Bangkok have all moved their airports away from densely populated areas.
Let's just run that line again with a few handy details added:
Overseas cities have grappled with this challenge and have relocated inner city airports to reduce problems such as air, noise and water pollution and crash risks. Hong Kong (distance from downtown a mere 34ks), Oslo (45ks to the city), Athens (33ks to the southeast of Athens, 45ks to the port of Piraeus), and Bangkok (which has two international airports, Suvarnabhumi, 30ks to the east of Bangkok, and Don Muang, 30ks north of downtown), have all done the equivalent of locating their airports within the Sydney basin, and with flight paths that affect some parts of the densely populated cities.
And if we can just add, even Tokyo, with Narita located 58ks or so east of Tokyo station, and Haneda, some 14ks south of Tokyo station, would have stuck its airport inside the Sydney basin.
Does any of this bother the rhetorical Rhiannon? Nope, just a wave of the hands, and all will be well.
This requires long term planning and high speed rail linking Australia’s east coast cities. This would help reduce air traffic. Airport plans designed to deliver messages for the next election are non-solutions.
And so Sydney will have only one airport, out in the donga, somewhere past the black stump, and the Greens and dazzling Bazza are as one.
It's easy to see where this is heading. Abolish the curfews at Sydney airport and turn it into a 24/7/365 international airport. At which point, can someone make sure that Rhiannon is in the same queue as Bazza when they start forming a line for transport to the gulag ...
But enough of delusional greens and parochial Sydney problems and politicians who don't have a clue, since it seems not having a clue is an essential political skill.
Which brings us to Tony Abbott to making a grand tour to announce his grand plans while waving a simple-minded booklet/pamphlet/brochure. Whatever, just make sure it's thin and light and doesn't scare the horses and can be carried as hand luggage.
And so to the bat jet and a grand tour! (Talk about useless ways to overload crammed airports).
There Abbott is, bobbing up at shops and fish markets and workplaces, all the while donning silly costumes and pretending to actively participate in the life around him, and now we get another bloody road show.
There's no wonder the Liberals get agitated about the NBN. It seems they haven't heard of the internet, or putting their fancy policy booklet online, so anybody wanting to lose a few extra brain cells can read it at their leisure. For the few minutes it requires, with a lifetime of questions left unanswered ...
Naturally the lizard Oz was all over the idea like a rash, because it's going to be a positive "whirlwind" tour which will explain all the Liberal party policies in a nanosecond.
(No hot links, screen cap only, behind the paywall, and there it can bloody well stay).
The title alone of the 'positive message' was enough to induce nausea and gagging in the pond: Our Plan: Real Solutions for all Australians.
Yep, if you follow the title back to Liberal 'home of spin and PR' HQ, it seems moving we're really into a real year for reality. If you head off here, you will see that Mr. Abbott has:
- Real plans to get the Budget back under control
- Real plans to scrap the Carbon Tax
- Real plans to grow a bigger, stronger economy
- Real plans to help families get ahead
- Real plans to help small business get ahead
- Real plans to create more Australian jobs
- Real plans to deliver better health and education
- Real plans to strengthen our nation
- Real plans to reduce our nation to a mob of gibbering simpletons baying at the moon.
- Real plans to not mention climate science
- Real plans to forget about the NBN
- Real plans to over-use 'real' so much that suddenly the world becomes intensely surreal.
- Real plans not to spell out anything, because there's too much reality already.
- Real plans to use a catchy phrase because these days politics is as real as Macca's being a real dinkie di Aussie company.
And so on and so forth and thereby ensuring that immediately after Australia Day the suffering of long-suffering real Australians enduring the reality of each real day will really compound exponentially, like compound interest on a really big house mortgage.
The pond particularly loved the button promising "Hope", "Reward" and "Opportunity", and indeed there is the "hope" that the "reward" for suffering this whirlwind tour will be the "opportunity" to get as pissed as a parrot and ignore the whirling dervish at its centre.
The man will do anything in his lust for power, including torturing hapless punters for the rest of the bloody year. It's like having a persistent vacuum salesman turn up at the door each day, remind me that I'm doomed without a Dyson, and then offer me a real opportunity to get rid of him, by buying the bloody thing. Trouble is, a vote for Abbott means he'll hang around like a bad smell until his fellow Liberals decide to exhume the House.
Perhaps the best thing of all on the site was the grim intensity and seriousness exhibited by the gaggle assembled for the group photo:
Oh there's some real suffering. Jolly Joe looks like he's just swallowed the bit of the banana left-over after he used the rest to fix the diff in the clapped-out used car he's selling me.
And they wonder why the bulk of the electorate is cynical about politicians and their spin-meisters, and the way their tortured abuse of the English gets more and more strangulated by the day.
Yes, they really truly do, for real daddyo, hep cat and all that hippie 'it's for real man' Tony Abbott shit.
Who'd have thought, moving forward, that anyone could come up with anything more dire and offensive than that child-like mantra, repeated incessantly, 'moving forward'?
Excuse me, the pond will now go and really bay at the very real moon.
But just before we go there's time to mention the vintage form of Scott Morrison scribbling Advance the bold idea of diversity for the lizard oz (behind the paywall so life can go on as usual):
Our national anthem used to begin with "Australia's sons let us rejoice for we are young and free". We were right to change it, but what was arguably lost in the change was the celebration of the nature of the special kinship we share as Australians.
The word "sons" not only conveyed a sense of intimacy but also the notion that as Australians we are joint heirs to an inheritance with an obligation to responsibly steward that legacy.
Yes, because the word "daughters" could never ever convey a sense of intimacy, or special kinship, or a notion that as Australians we are joint heirs to a rich inheritance of sexism and with an obligation to responsibly steward that sexist legacy.
The word "sons" is so rich in patriarchal meaning, completely unlike useless "daughters" (and what were the French thinking about when they showed that naked woman holding up a French flag? Had they just dropped a tab?)
Come to think of it, women in general know nothing about a sense of intimacy or a notion that as Australians we are joint heirs to a rich inheritance.
And there you have it, out of the mouth of a clap happy intellectual babe, and watch now as all the professional non-feminist feminists in the school of Janet Albrechtsen seek to explain how this is different to the direst of Taliban thinking.
Morrison, who has made a career out of demonising the "different" and the "other" in a wild-eyed way, spreading alarums about boat people and refugees, spends the rest of the time in his piece yabbering about diversity and its joys and benefits, arriving at a wondrous place of fulsome, rich blather.
That arrival point is naturally intolerance:
We must also send a strong message that cultural tolerance is not a licence for cultural practices that are offensive to our cultural values and laws, and that our respect for diversity does not provide licence for closed communities.
You mean the pond shouldn't respect diversity, or tolerate the closed minds and closed communities of gay bashing, women-demeaning, daughter-diminishing conservatives and Liberals?
You mean the pond should send a strong message that any token cultural tolerance is not a license for the cultural practices of conservatives to indulge in acts offensive to secular values and laws?
Well there's a good start.
The pond will spend Australia Day being intolerant of Scott Morrison and his gibberish:
Parkes's notion of us being adopted sons and daughters provides a strong basis for such a post-multiculturalism approach. It takes us beyond our ethnicity, race and religion to embrace a more inclusive national identity, and asserts our obligation to honour the values, virtues and lessons of our complete heritage.
The Howard government sought to shift this emphasis of multicultural policy and adopted the term "Australian multiculturalism" to place greater focus to what communities had in common and their responsibilities as Australians. Labor has moved back towards the more traditional emphasis of multiculturalism, as practised and now strongly derided in Britain and Europe, on accommodating and promoting diversity almost as an end in itself.
Yes, somehow, quite mystically it seems, that placing the word "Australian" in front of "multiculturalism" changes everything, and prevents ordinary, common and garden decadent, decaying, wretched European and British multiculturalism from sprouting on these shores like a foreign, alien, filthy seed. A bit like calling McDonald's Macca's transforms it from an American franchise into dinkum Aussie culture ...
There's a lot more to endure - dog whistling about "myriad taxpayer-funded programs" and troublesome "discrete geographic areas" and a "post multiculturalism approach" which is a bit like post-modernism, but not quite.
Naturally there's plenty of waffle about how we must all rally around the flag and honour the legacy and the heritage, when of course one of the key legacies was the larrikin ethos that said Australians didn't have to take the crap effing politicians like Morrison love to shove down our throats ...
Just keep it real daddyo, and get back to telling the world how boat people are spreading typhoid and fear throughout the land ...
Oh and take a little time out to explain to your daughters how being a daughter can never be quite the same as being a son ...
Yep, Australia Day is looking like yet another epic blow out.
Often used by someone to describe themselves as "genuine" or "authentic". It is perhaps the most overused and generic word in current use, rendering it almost meaningless. Browse any personals advertisement, (or set of policies) and every other person (or politician) who lacks a sufficiently descriptive vocabulary will describe themselves as "real".
I am (and my policies are) for real.
Thanks Urban Dictionary.
(Below: a few xkcd thoughts on keeping it real, just for a little Friday upper after a really real Friday downer).