The pond's heart sank at the opening declamatory line from Janet 'Dame Slap' Albrechtsen's Eurozone a group of nations divided by a common currency (behind the paywall, so you can instead spend your money on that treat you've been eyeing off).
I make no apologies for using valuable space on the page today to extensively quote others.
Oh dear. And here's the pond thinking it should routinely apologise for wasting totally inexpensive and completely useless space on this page to extensively quote others, like Dame Slap advising us to note well Lord Monckton's theory that climate science is just the first convenient step to implementing a world government (black helicopters a bonus extra in your part of the world).
The remarks deserve airing. They must not be edited. They must not be paraphrased. The remarks below, from prime ministers and chancellors to EU commissioners and central bank supremos, reveal the extent to which people have been misled about the so-called European project.
Yep. In the very first par, there's an excellent tone of sanctimoniousness, righteousness, and paranoid conspiracy theory. With a "so-called" thrown in for "so-called" good measure ...
Followed, it has to be said, by abject tedium, as Dame Slap does indeed quote from anyone and everyone.
It is of course in the end just a damp squib, just another sop to that fop David Cameron, who has all the charm of a wet sock, and ironically the tirade about how Europe's all rooned comes on the very same day as reports filter in that Europe's Banks to Repay Aid Early (WSJ, may be paywall affected)
This is of course the problem when fear and fear-mongering is your stock in trade. What to do when there's a shred of light amidst the gloom?
Why go on creating panic ...
Or perhaps just ignore it, and carry on regardless, and take the side of the wet sock:
As Cameron said, national parliaments instil respect, even fear, into national leaders.
Ah yes, fear. That must mean the fear the pond feels for Nick Clegg. Hang on, hang on, can boisterous laughter at another wet sock be the same as quivering, quavering fear?
He might have added that, by contrast, EU institutions encourage isolation from and contempt for the people.
Which must be completely unlike the pond's intimacy with, and profound affection for, the likes of Sophie Mirabella, desiccated coconut Eric Abetz (competing fiercely with Kevin Andrews and George Brandis for the title of chief coconut), poodle Pyne, jolly Joe, and storming Barners, Barnaby Joyce.
Yes, the pond feels no isolation from, or contempt for such a wondrous leadership team (and there's even more waiting a mention, as you can find here).
So how to end this bit of Cameron worship? You've guessed it, in a flurry of cliches:
So far most European leaders have offered a haughty sniff at Cameron's European vision for the people for Britain. The longer-term test is for the people of Europe: will Eurocrats correct the con they perpetrated on their people so that old-fashioned democracy - and accountability - can flourish? Let us hope the answer is ja, oui, si, rather than nein, non, no.
Oh dear, this "say nein to Dr. No" stuff is catchy, almost viral.
Well the pond makes no apologies for using this useless, inexpensive space today to note the unravelling of yet another commentariat mind, by the simple expedient of quoting a little of the thoughts of Dame Slap.
It has done its British duty, warned the world of Eurocrats, and slashed a few more billion from the entitlement lifestyles of those whinging Poms who thought putting wet socks like David Cameron and Nick Clegg in power was a good idea.
Meanwhile, the pond has noted a sudden upsurge in urgent articles addressing vital matters of censorship and freedom of speech in this tortured, unhappy land down under.
It seems everyone is suffering excruciating torment at the way that shortly they're going to be hamstrung, and incapable of an abusive word or three.
No longer will the pond be able to call the Sydney Anglicans a bunch of ning nongs.
We will all have to walk around on tippy toe in socks or stockings, so as not to make a noise.
Latest in the line of these frenetic bouts of fear-mongering comes from one Kellie Connolly, whom the pond is assured was once a significant figure on Channel 9, and who finds political correctness and censorship everywhere you look, in Don't mention the war on freedom of speech,
Sadly, the pond looked high and low, and even under the bed, disturbing the cookie monster, but couldn't find a way to shut Ms Connolly up, or even indulge in a war with her blather.
Now the pond is in favour of freedom of speech as much as the next person, provided the next person doesn't happen to be Alan Jones or Andrew Bolt, but did Ms Connolly jump the shark and nuke the fridge or what, with this line:
“A step towards totalitarianism” is how Cardinal George Pell has described the proposed laws.
Um, that'd be the same Cardinal George Pell who's a key apparatchik figure in an institution which long ago reached the sublime condition of total totalitarianism? (No, not even a dime will the pond offer to the Godwin's Law swear jar).
But okay fair dibs.
The pond cackled and laughed and snorted for minutes on end at the notion that this leader of a secretive, dissembling, punitive, lying, cheating, disgraced institution should be quoted as a proponent of free speech. It was especially rich, and it meant the pond didn't have to take seriously another word Ms Connolly scribbled.
Still, the pond accepted it in good spirit, and perhaps in the spirit with which was intended, as Connolly goes through a predictable set of outrages, from poor Tim's Asian joke (if only he hadn't mentioned the Asian and just kept it to women!) through Nova Peris (though how her situation connects to the proposed new laws is entirely arcane) to Fawlty Towers (and what the proposed new laws has to do with the stupidities of the BBC is even more arcane, and in any case the pond has the uncensored DVD).
But do go on:
A friend of mine started “politically incorrect Fridays” at work. The idea is that on that day you don’t worry about offending anyone. You say what’s on your mind. Be cheeky. Anything goes, provided it comes from a good place. It has to be well meaning. And that’s the real message here. When comments come from love, from celebration, form humour (sic), they can be taken in good measure.
Never mind the typo, roll your tongue around the wondrous politically correct notion that Connolly inserted into her pantheistic cry for freedom:
Anything goes, provided it comes from a good place. It has to be well meaning.
What a complete goose.
The point about freedom of speech is that sometimes it comes from a bad place, and sometimes it isn't well meaning, and some times it's a form of double speak, like a totalitarian such as Pell decrying totalitarianism.
Connolly has just committed the very same thought crime she spent the entire column decrying.
Let's apply it to her penultimate sentence:
Debate shouldn’t be stifled, it should be encouraged. Anything goes, provided it comes from a good place. It has to be well meaning. And if it's not from a good place and it isn't well meaning, why present yourself to the office where Ms. Connolly will give you six of the best.
And now perhaps we could re-work her last sentence:
Freedom is lost one day.. one word at a time. Especially if it doesn't come from a good place and it isn't well meaning and Ms Connolly has taken a view about it.
There is of course an alternative wording to hand:
Intelligence is lost one day ... one minute at a time, sitting and watching the fear mongers do their business on commercial television. They never seem to come from a good place, and they don't often seem to be well meaning, but sure enough, they send the pond to a bad place where the pond likes to be really mean ...
Can anyone explain why The Punch continues to exist? Apart from giving the chance for the pond to waste useless, inexpensive, technologically bankrupt, hopelessly stuffed RSS failing, space quoting the vacuous thoughts of others ...
(Below: if we simply must talk about totalitarianism)