You could have knocked the pond down with a feather when the usually reliable Mark Colvin on PM announced that there would be no Victoria Cross for Simpson ... or his donkey.
Indeed. The donkey might have been up for the Dickin Medal, but the pond had a sudden flash of Gerard Henderson spluttering into his extremely dry sherry at the decline of the ABC.
It's the stuff of nightmares, or wait, perhaps the real nightmare is Scott Morrison.
Yes, the pond is maintaining the rage, helped along by Bianca Hall, doing a little basic research for Fairfax in Few asylum seekers charged with crime.
Hall discovered that since November 2011, of the 12,100 asylum seekers released into the community, five or less had been charged with a crime. That's a rate of 41.32 people per 100k, compared to a rate of 1,896 people per 100k for the dinky dis walking without Morrison fear-mongering or vilification amongst us.
A 45 times differential.
The only pity is that Hall didn't do a little research on current politicians in trouble with the law or with parliamentary rules, Arthur Sinodinos merely being the latest in a long line of conga dancers.
Throw in recently serving politicians - that gets you the Obeid circus and NSW Labor - and the comparison would be a lay-down misere in favour of asylum seekers.
What did the gormless, cowardly Abbott have to say about the recent gutter crawling? Disingenuous deflection and dissembling:
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott rejected any suggestion the Coalition was trying to stir up community concerns about asylum seekers. ''If anyone is guilty of that, I would ask you to look at what the government has had to say recently about section 457 visas,'' he said.
Pathetic. But thanks to Bianca Hall for revealing the full extent of the vile slander and the dog whistling.
Meanwhile, the man who displaced the moderate Liberal senator for Canberra - I know, I know, moderate is a relativist conceit - one Zed Seselja, spoke up for Morrison, as reported in Seselja supports Morrison comments. Seselja is notoriously more hardcore, and so the Liberal party drifts further to the right, and all Abbott can do is call the government guilty.
Morrison, whose term at Tourism Australia, was little short of a disaster - he was sacked - has now perfected the Peter principle and failed upwards.
Anybody who wants to learn more about Morrison might well start with Jane Cadzow's portrait of him back in November 2012 under the header The watchman.
It turns out that Morrison is the sort of man who thinks speaking in tongues is mainstream Protestantism.
He also knows how to pocket the cash:
Scott Morrison's catch-cry these days is "stop the boats" but, not so long ago, he was begging people to come to this country. As managing director of Tourism Australia - a $350,000 a year job handed to him by John Howard's government after the 2004 election - he launched the controversial advertising campaign that asked the rest of the world: "Where the bloody hell are you?"
The slogan was ridiculed at home. "It fell foul of the latte elite," says Morrison. Overseas, it created confusion in some markets - the Japanese, in particular, were said to be flummoxed - but it generated interest in others. "We increased tourism revenues by $4 billion a year," says Morrison, who nevertheless got the sack in 2006, just two years into his contract.
News stories blamed his early exit on a falling-out with Fran Bailey, then the federal tourism minister in the Howard government. "I think now is probably quite a good time to say it was not a personal clash between Scott and me," says Bailey, who has since retired from politics. By her account, Morrison lost the confidence of the statutory authority's nine-member board. "They were unanimous in thinking they needed someone else to fill that role," she says. "It was deemed to be better that someone replace Scott who actually worked co-operatively with the board and the minister"...
...Bailey's version of events is backed by a former board member, who says Morrison was arrogant and headstrong, seemingly unaware that, "when you're given a request or directive, you have to take heed of it. You can't just be dismissive and do what you bloody well like."
Whatever the reason for his departure, the managing director didn't leave empty-handed: Remuneration Tribunal president John Conde reportedly wrote to Fischer to complain that Morrison's $330,000 payout was $200,000 higher than it should have been. Morrison says the sum included a performance bonus. At any rate, he quickly put the episode behind him and turned his attention back to politics. After a brutal pre-selection battle, he emerged as the Liberal candidate for Cook and held the seat for the party in the 2007 federal election.
And so on and so forth, and then at the end this sting in the tail:
One afternoon, I ask Morrison if he prays for asylum seekers. "Of course I do," he says. "I think that's part of any Christian's practice." A pause. "I'm not saying I do it every day. I'm not saying I do it every month." But occasionally, yes, he includes them in his prayers.
Morrison is favoured by Abbott, who doesn't mind the gutter crawling or the mud flinging or the enraging of shock jocks. It's in his own style, and soon enough these beasts will be slouching towards Bethlehem, with a complacent, compliant media cheering them on.
Well we can exempt Lenore Taylor from the herd because she too took up the facts of the matter, and ended Facts flee as politicians take low road on asylum:
...even in an election year when they play their politics hard, politicians can keep that debate within the bounds of responsibility. Or they can try to make their case by stoking public fears. This week Scott Morrison chose the low road. Abbott backed him. He said Morrison was doing a ''magnificent job''.
Yes, because the gutter's the place to do a magnificent job if you love fear-mongering.
If only the pond could pray, so that Morrison could be adversely mentioned in despatches, or entirely omitted, or consigned to hell, or better still, the lord devoutly beseeched to put him on a leaking boat somewhere north of Australia ...
Did we mention the media? Phillip Hudson wrote for The Punch about the state of political play under the header Shaken and stirred, Labor goes after Abbott Bond style.
The sole mention of the issue? Abbott is determined to stop the boats. Now there's a rock solid HUN reporter for you ...
Today amongst the commentariat it's time for a new round of leadership speculation
High church mass, ponce and one time publisher of the Adelaide Review, Christopher Pearson, is on predictable, tedious song in Julia Gillard's slump writes its own script (behind the paywall to help save the world)
But is it fair to mention Pearson is an Adelaide git? Is there something about Adelaide that induces gitness?
Well there's something about Pearson that's inherently ethnicist, since he and everybody else at the lizard Oz are obsessed with John McTernan:
Gillard's decision to take the advice of her Scots spin doctor, John McTernan, confirms once and for all that she is tone-deaf. It also suggests she's so desperate for a new strategy - any kind of new strategy - that this one hasn't been properly stress-tested.
What does being a Scot have to do with it? (though Pearson, who's own name sounds suspiciously foreign, could have gone one worse and said Scotch).
Well of course it's to establish that he's an outsider, a foreigner to these shores, one completely out of touch with the yearnings and desires of real Australian people. The jumped-up upstart is little better than an asylum seeker in disguise.
Once upon a time, the Scots were looked upon in Australia as the salt of the earth. Each year we gathered at the Highland Games at number one oval to celebrate bizarre rituals, and no parade down Peel Street would be complete without the sound of the bagpipes.
Sic transit gloria, now the Scots are completely out of touch with the Australian political way of life.
But Pearson is now becoming something of an amateur when it comes to biliousness.
(please compare and contrast the photos of this pair)
Enter another Adelaide git, Chris Kenny, who isn't prepared to let Gillard off so easily in Voters awake to Rooty Hill sleepover:
It would be easy to blame the Rooty Hill sleepover stunt on imported British Labour spinmeister John McTernan. He must take his share of the blame for Julia Gillard's problems - and certainly Labor MPs are increasingly using him as a lightning rod for their frustrations - but in the end she owns all the stunts she agrees to, and the patronising tone of so much of her communication must be mainly her own work.
Suddenly he's not a Scot, he's British, but since he's British Labour and a spinmeister, he's completely out of touch with western Sydney. Unlike people from Adelaide who understand it's a little like Port Adelaide mixed with Woodville, Kilburn, Alberton and Salisbury ...
Kenny has mastered the supercilious sneer, essential if you're going to be a member of the Oz commentariat, or a facile superficial twit, whichever comes first. Here's his opening par:
Last Sunday night, musing on television about how some commentators and politicians talk about western Sydney as though it were a foreign country, it never occurred to me that our Prime Minister might pack a bag this week and head there. We're yet to see whether the first bloke tags along; at least they won't need passports.
Ha de hah hah. Of course in the old days, if a Manly silvertail dared to set foot in the land of the fibros, there'd be hell to play (cf that nice little doc, The Fibros and the Silvertails, which unhappily features rugby league, but happily is refracted through a decent bout of class warfare).
Of course Kenny's opening par immediately reveals he has nothing much to offer except a snarky sense of humour (passports as a joke? how feeble) and a huge dollop of bias and prejudice.
So what will he write when that silvertail from the north shore, Tony Abbott, heads west next week?
Why naturally, he and his lycra-clad ways are at one with the aspirations of the westies ... and he certainly doesn't have a British Scot guiding him into awful faux pas, and he'd never do a sleepover, because he prefers to fly in and fly out.
What joins Kenny and Pearson at the hip is the gotcha. You see Gillard is out of touch with the people (the people being the commentariat at the lizard Oz) but if she attempts to get in touch with the people by meeting with the people, she demonstrates she's completely out of touch with the people.
Yes, Minister nailed this sort of stuff years ago, and it never ever changes ...
Of course the commentariat has been sent into a frenzy by the Liberals launching an attack ad on Kvin Rudd on YouTube, the poor person's home for political hatchet jobs, so let's conclude this Saturday's round up of pundit absurdity by giving Peter Hartcher a special Dickin medal for devotion to Kevin Rudd.
Hartcher seems determined to bring back Kevin Rudd, as he explains in Hating Kevin, loving the saviour. Gillard's walk in the wild is merely to gazump the Ruddster, but the Fairfax polling is in:
The poll asked the Rudd question squarely. It asks voters their voting intentions, then asks them to imagine Rudd as leader and asks their intentions again. It shows Labor would lose all four seats under Gillard in a dramatic wipeout. But under Rudd, Labor would win two and be within 3 percentage points of holding the other two.
Overall, the results of all the polling, when the question is put squarely, are strong enough to suggest that a Rudd leadership could be transformative. And we know the Liberals are worried.
A Rudd leadership would be transformative? Like the last one?
The funniest thing is that Hartcher spends most of his column sagely explaining how Gillard's tour of the west is an obviously cynical and manipulative manoeuvre.
Yet somehow the Labor party can unstitch everything by bringing back a triple Lazarus Ruddster, in what would be the most astonishingly cynical and manipulative manoeuvre, up there with Bill Hughes, and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.?
It's why the pond still turns to Mike Carlton - the one regret will be missing him when the paywall comes in - because after all, you've got to laugh, and he starts off Kevin postpones his walk on the water with a fine conceit:
Kevin Rudd has abandoned a celebrity tour of Sydney's western suburbs to avoid an embarrassing clash with the Prime Minister's election campaign visit there next week.
The events cancelled include Hot Autumn Night, a glittering Neil Diamond tribute show at the Rooty Hill RSL Club where he would have been the headline act, performing a medley of the star's greatest hits.
Also axed are a week as head coach with the Bulldogs for their opening NRL game against the Cowboys next Saturday, a guest role as Petruchio in the Penrith Q-Theatre's season of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, and a ''Meet the Messiah'' walkabout at Mount Druitt's Westfield Shopping Centre on Saturday morning, where locals would have been invited to kiss the hem of his garment and bring their sick children to be healed.
''Kevin is deeply sorry to disappoint so many thousands of his fans at such short notice,'' said a statement released by his office in Brisbane on Friday.
''But he has no wish to engage in a popularity contest with Julia Gillard. Talk of a return to the Labor leadership is just that: talk.''
There's more, but perhaps the finest, after a detour through the papal enclave, comes with the news that NSW school students will be taught to hunt asylum seekers in the state's national parks.
Sadly the likes of Morrison and Abbott have taken the humour out of politics - so naked is their greed and their gutter-crawling lust for power - but you've got to laugh, because otherwise after a day with the commentariat, you could spend it in tears ...
(Below: och aye, the glory days, as the H.V. McKay Sunshine Harvester Works Pipe Band welcomes Sir Ronald and Lady Helen Munro Ferguson to the Sunshine factory, 7 July 1914. Found here, where ye can pipe ye hearts away).