Dear sweet absent lord, does the pond feel foolish or what, and thanks for all notes bringing the pond up to speed, the acknowledgment of same delayed by Optus deciding to crash its broadband across the inner west.
The Optus The.
It turns out that David Pope is the top gun, the very best shearer in the shed, the ringer who could knock over Robert Mitchum and Jack Thompson and three hundred sheep in the morning, and still have time for an afternoon's cartooning, and an award winner to boot, as revealed in Picture of success: Pope named top cartoonist.
How narrow and provincial Sydney people are, thinking they're the centre of the known universe, when the choice is a hot contest between Tamworth and Canberra.
Mortifications, breast beating, ashes and sackcloth aside, better the lost lamb discovered than the banal bloody flock you find cartooning for the Murdoch tabloids.
But a warning, the pond only wears the cilice on odd days, and refuses to draw blood ...
Right, that business aside, here's how the pond was going to start the visual day:
(Click to enlarge)
It's been doing the Facebook rounds, and perhaps it should have been saved for a meditative Sunday, because at the heart of the absurdity is Scientology.
But the pond is feeling whimsical and confrontational, and inclined to propose that the author got it wrong, because the heart of the absurdity should have been The Australian, a cult where on a daily basis cultists can be found scribbling and going about their daily ritual abasements.
What further evidence would anyone require if they've managed to wade through the wretched diabolical Graham Richardson in The challenge that wasn't proves that God must be a Liberal voter, and right to the end (and worse might even have spent time and labored to google and break the paywall, since paying for Richo is simply a Rivkin too far).
How long is it since the attempted abortive coup? And there's Gra Gra still yammering on about it as if he's a player.
Even worse, there's the wretched Joel Fitzgibbon yammering away from the back bench. How many days since the Labor party promised it would deliver unity and strength?
Does that include Fitzgibbon blurting out lines like this?
Former chief whip Joel Fitzgibbon has joined other Labor MPs concerned about the prospect of taxing the superannuation earnings of the wealthy.
After the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, again refused to rule out such a tax, Mr Fitzgibbon feared Labor might botch the definition of what constitutes a ''wealthy Australian''.
"You can be on a quarter of a million dollars family income a year and you're still struggling".
The Herald liked it so well, they even put it under a photo of Joel Fitzgibbon:
Let's roll that around on the tongue one more time, it's as delicious as the cask shiraz with blackberry and plum overtones the pond loves so well:
''In Sydney's west you can be on a quarter of a million dollars family income a year and you're still struggling.'' (Fitzgibbon joins chorus of Labor MPs concerned about super tax, with forced video at end of link because Fairfax is also on struggle street).
Bugger the pond dead in any style you like - how they love that saying in Tamworth - you can be rolling in a quarter million of hay, 250k, an Easter bunny showbag full of smackeroos that in one year give you the paper worth of a quarter millionaire, and you're on struggle street!
You're barely getting by, you're doing it tough, you're howling in fiscal pain to the high heavens. The suffering is a spectacle piteous to behold, the sackcloth and the ashes, and the renting and the tearing, and the McMansion only contains a humble ten rooms, with billiard table but absolutely without a decent 3D movie theatre done out like Hoyts. The popcorn maker remains only a hope, a vision ...
And below that, others are doing it hard too:
''Coal miners in my electorate earning 100, 120, 130, 140 thousand dollars a year are not wealthy.''
Indeed. Tell that to the 120,000 single parents, 100,000 unemployed people with disabilities and 250,000 out of work for over two years who eke out a living on Newstart, which if you happen to be single with a dependent child or children comes in at the grand total of $537.80 a fortnight (or so it says here).
Now the pond isn't good at maths, so let's round that out to 538 and multiply it by 26, and we come - if the calculator is working properly - to $13,988 smackeroos a year, a glorious, fulsome, almost overflowing with generosity sum. Here no struggle street, no struggle street here, as Chopper was once heard to say ...
Fairfax presents Fitzgibbon's remarks in the context of Ferguson's "class war" and Crean's "trashing the Labor brand", but what it really represents is the dissident rump shooting their mouth off, and so it goes on, the internal war, plainly visible, with it being left to the Fairfax reporter to note that if elected, the Coalition would reintroduce a 15% tax on superannuation for 3.6 million people earning $37,000 or less, something like five hundred smackeroos per year for 1 in 3 workers.
But even the 'heading to 5,000' Fairfax readers who responded to the poll below the Fitzgibbon thought bubble thought he was talking through his hat
At time of writing, 71% had voted that 250k was enough to live off in Sydney (though amazingly that still left 29% thinking it wasn't enough because Sydney is just sooooh expensive m'dear, soooh exhaustiing, soooh delibiltating sweetie, oh I just don't know how I get through the day ...)
Contemplating all this, the pond wonders what use Joel Fitzgibbon serves by continuing to appear on the back bench for the Labor party, when it sounds like he should be going independent, or perhaps forming his own party, the Independent Party for struggle street quarter millionaires in the western suburbs ...
But there is of course another use for Joel Fitzgibbon, which is to take the pond's mind off Gra Gra, but duty calls.
It turns out that Richo, himself thick as thieves with the plotters and the conspirators - think of him as Lady Macbeth if you can stand the abuse of Lady Macbeth - is ready to explain how Fitzgibbon was part of the high comedy on the day:
... along came Simon Crean. He claimed he could bring six on board and the possibility of a challenge became real yet again. The door had been opened just a fraction. Some of the Rudd camp were smart enough to doubt Crean so the deal was struck that each one would go to Joel Fitzgibbon's office and pledge themselves to Rudd. As lunch approached on Thursday, only one had turned up. So by midday the Rudd forces reaffirmed the decision to take no action to bring on a ballot.
They couldn't organise a newspaper for an outdoor dunny ...
Now the pond has had its feuds with Mark Latham, but really, his smack-down of Richo was so delicious, the pond feels like running it again:
"Why don't people listen to Graham Richardson? I'll give you one good reason – he's the man that walked up to Eddie Obeid once and said: 'Here, on this platter for you, I've got a seat in the NSW upper house on behalf of the Labor Party.'
"How can the man who put Eddie Obeid into the NSW Parliament be wandering around talking about political judgment, calling the Prime Minister an idiot? The biggest idiot in Labor politics today is the man who put Obeid in Parliament: Graham Fredrick Richardson.
"I've had a gutful of the bloke who was a paid lobbyist for Ron Medich, who got into scandals about Swiss bank accounts. How can you say you're a Labor man when you've set up Swiss bank accounts? Swiss bank accounts worked for Kerry Packer.
"It's shameful that this man has any reputation, the man who set up the wheeling and dealing, 'whatever it takes' culture in the modern Labor Party. He's the bloke who wrecked the place and he walks around like he's got clean hands like Mother Teresa, knows all the numbers. All he knows how to do is put people like Obeid in Parliament ... and it's a real achievement in public life for Richardson, but 20 years after he made that decision, it is contributing to the destruction of the federal Labor government. He should crawl under the rock from which he came. (here, with the usual forced video attached, because Fairfax is on struggle street).
Well it seems that the message has finally hit home. After a long, pathetic and self-serving account of the failed coup, Gra Gra faces up to his patented stupidity, as routinely circulated on Sky radio and in the Murdoch press:
If there is a fourth loser, it is my good self. I fully expected the caucus to remove Gillard last week, particularly as the smoking ruins of the media laws cast a pall over all of them. I expected them to act in their own self-interest, and I was wrong. Had there been a ballot, it would have been close but Rudd would have been defeated. Alas, I am fallible.
Well that's a polite way to describe a goose, perhaps on the basis that goose abuse is wrong. Week after week, Richo has been stirring the possum and playing with weak minds like Joel Fitzgibbon's ...
So what's left for Richo? Could he just wander off and check his Swiss bank accounts, Scrooge McDuck style, and see if he's on struggle street yet? Or will he just crawl under the rock from which he came?
In your dreams...
What dignified rock would want to provide shelter and a home for Gra Gra?
While he was slinging the mud, Latham also had a few words for Joel Fitzgibbon:
"I know Joel Fitzgibbon well. Fitzgibbon's first instinct in public life is panic, and you saw that yesterday when he's wandering down the corridors saying, 'we've only got 31 per cent of the primary vote'. He's an amateur. He's a buffoon. He is not someone who – when I was running for leadership against Beazley – who we thought was good enough to come into our council of war.
"If Rudd is relying on Fitzgibbon, again, it just points to the fact that he's got the dregs of the labour movement with him. People like Richardson and Fitzgibbon. Fitzgibbon's second instinct in life is to blabber non-stop, on and off the record, to the media; he's addicted to the media as badly as Rudd ...
Hey Mr Fitzgibbon, the pond hears that you're suffering. We understand you're on struggle street, with that wretched Remuneration Tribunal only allowing backbenchers a base salary of $190,550. (or so it says here).
Even allowing for generous benefits and entitlements, that's barely staying alive, the wolf is pounding on the door, the babe in threadbare rags is howling, the class warfare is stripping you down to the bare bones, and there's no porritch or gruel in the house ...
Have you thought about asking a kindly rock for a home, so you can crawl under it?
Or perhaps the pond could offer you some advice on Swiss bank accounts?
They're easy to set up, and while what you can do with them isn't what it once was, they remain ever so handy. Just ask Richo, maybe he'll also help you with that Independent Party For Struggle Street Quarter Millionaires ...
And it will give particular conviction to any future speech you'll make about class warfare, what with your long-suffering class under such dire, immediate threat ...
(Below: the pond's 101 guide to class warfare, and how to have fun while conducting it).