Speaking of 7.30 on the ABC, which the pond rarely does these days, because it's such a gormless program, riddle the pond this.
Why was Graeme Samuel hauled on to the program to discuss the new Turnbull NBN plan - yes the coalition now has an NBN plan - and identified as the former head of the ACCC? (You can find the report here).
These days Samuel is the managing director and head of the Melbourne branch of Greenhill, a consulting team. You can catch his page here, you can catch is partners here.
Greenhill is a fairly murky organisation. Here's their experience page, detailing their activities:
Now there's an internet savvy and active mob!
But if you go off to look at the work of the various partners, you get an idea of their clients, their activities and their interests.
Take its co-head Roger Feletto for example. He's advised the New Zealand government on ultra-fast broadband (Crown Fibre Holdings), and the Australian Commonwealth government on an independent assessment of the NBN, while chairman Peter Hunt had a hand in assorted Telstra sales, and if you like you can head off to the DBCDE for the executive summary by Greenhill Caliburn of its 2011 report on the NBN, here in pdf form - it starts below the fold and you need to scroll down.
The obvious point is that Samuel's current employer, Greenhill, has had consulting skin in the game in the past, and might well have it again in the future, and everything Samuel had to say on the subject should have been refracted through that awareness.
Now it's not a problem for Samuel - he didn't put up the super below his name, and it's surely up to the ABC to decide on how his interests are identified to the viewing public.
But what can be said is that 7.30 failed in its reporting. Why, for example, if they wanted to live up to the notion of a cleanskin ACCC view of things, didn't they actually get someone from the ACCC?
The result was indicative of the generally pathetic level of 7.30's coverage of the Turnbull plan. Mr. Broadband? Mr Rope a Rope.
He turned up to Leigh Sales to sell her a copper-laden Datsun 120Y, and she didn't have the first clue about why big Mal had left the fibre optic Roller back home in his eastern suburbs garage.
As any fool can tell you - even Stephen Conroy - the current Telstra copper network is an ageing dubious proposition, which will grow increasingly expensive, and which will have to be replaced, sooner than later, and the mug punters that will have to pay for its replacement will be the people who want to hook up to the Roller rather than the 120Y.
You have to admire Turnbull's audacity. Utter cheek. Call it what you like, he just had to bat his eyes at Sales and she folded like a bobbysoxer in the grip of puppy love for Frank Sinatra ...
It was pathetic, if curiously charming, and in a way made the pond understand at last the Justin Bieber phenomenon ...
Still, at last the backlash has begun. Abbott is a technological dunderhead, a broadband illiterate, unlike Turnbull, who surely knows he's flogging a lemon with a banana in the diff (Turnbull takes slow lane, but gets there first, forced video at end of link).
Naturally the hacks at the lizard Oz do their very best to put a fine gloss on it but what to say when the plan embraces various aspects of the NBN while delivering a squib when it comes to speed and future-proofing:
What humbug, what audacious humbug.
Speaking of audacity, the pond was utterly delighted to hear Amanda Vanstone and Brendan O'Neill get terribly agitated at the terrible treatment being doled out to the new manager of Sunderland Football Club, because he has "for some" "questionable political beliefs",
Yes you can hear it all in Europe Update at Counterpoint.
Oh the questionable political beliefs "for some" that might be a tad dubious? Nothing to speak off, he's just a raving extreme right wing fascist ratbag who thinks Mussolini was the ant's pants.
He has "Dux", the Latin for Il Duce, the name by which the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini was known, tattooed on his right biceps and he wrote in his autobiography that he was fascinated by Mussolini whom he described as "a very principled individual". (here)
Where's the harm in that? I mean, that business in Abyssinia was extremely principled. As was the treatment of Jews. So very principled.
Next week, Brendan O'Neill and Amanda Vanstone discuss the condescending snobbery of leftists and wonder why Nazis and black shirts weren't allowed in to live Australia after the war, and instead had to settle in South America or go work on rockets in the United States. What a terrible injustice, how dare these condescending elitists be so foppish and fickle?
Yes, let's mount three cheers for the fascists, long may they do their very best for British soccer.
Speaking of audacity, we also had to admire the performance of Janet "Dame Slap" Albrechtsen on QandA (Damn you blogger, when will you learn that ampersands exist outside HTML?)
melting in her mouth?)
It was such a spiffing idea to get a bunch of women together to discuss womanly things, like chivalry and medieval poetry and the Roman de la rose - it's all you can hope for when you let the sweet things out of the bedroom and the kitchen - and Dame Slap was right in it, getting it on with Germaine Greer, and then she delivered this amazing sisterly line:
I think it's unfortunate that feminism has become somewhat of a pejorative term...
What a side splitter, what a card, what a stand-up comedian.
Is this the very same woman who routinely uses "feminist" and "feminism" as a pejorative term, as in Foaming feminists need a good hot shower with OO7?
You know, grumpy humourless feminists daring to read farcical multimedia texts. Yes, those bloody puritanical ball-busting feminists who want to turn men into metrosexuals.
But don't think her love of 007 and her contempt for humourless feminists is just because Dame Slap likes a little bit of Bondian fantasy and kink, and imagines herself as Pussy Galore.
No, she routinely writes about Julia Gillard using the "f" word, berating her for her treacherous feminist fantasies and her feeble fake feminist rhetoric and about any other way you can attempt to link feminism with a completely and utterly failed Prime Minister, a disgrace in every way shape and form, and with her fake feminism man-made to boot!
That's when Dame Slap's not scribbling other foam-flecked fury, such as Feminists screwing it up for sisters.
And so on and so forth.
The pond thinks it's unfortunate that Dame Slap seems to have suffered a devastating memory loss, but very handy when surrounded by threatening sisters who might throw a few pejorative terms her way.
Can any of the commentariat sleep straight at night?
Not when you need to churn out weekly bouts of irrationality - along the lines of Lord Monckton getting it right about black helicopters and the United Nations using climate science to establish world government - and so we turn to today's piece, briefly, because we've spent way too much time thinking about the suffering of fascists and the unfair pejorative abuse of feminists by naughty people.
Naturally it's a fine piece of abasement, a stern piece of self-abuse, a donning of the cilice in the hope of drawing blood, as she scribbles the foam-flecked Vale the world's finest feminist:
When we first hear news of a momentous event we often remember where we were at that moment in time. When Margaret Thatcher died on Monday, I was in the wrong place. Sitting on an all-woman panel on ABC1's QandA talking among ourselves about feminism felt wrong as news came in that the world's finest feminist had passed away aged 87. Thatcher would never have gone in for such things. Feminism wasn't about chatting about women's advancement. It was something you did.
Well that's the text you can google if you want to avoid the paywall, and that done, there seems hardly any need to go on.
It seems Dame Slap has at last realised that as a paid-up member of the commentariat, she's in the word business, full of sound and fury, and signifying absolutely nothing, or perhaps diddly-squat.
But if you do read it, you'll be disappointed, because in all the oohing and aahing and ecstatic celebration of Thatcher that Dame Slap indulges in - so much verbiage, so much talk about the need to be doing, so much lack of doing by Dame Slap, because all her doing merely involves scribbling a paean of praise, a torrent of fawning words, a gushing worthy of a fire hydrant disgorging a dictionary ...
... there's not a single mention of Thatcher's finest achievement, her brief status as an uber-greenie. Not a whisper, not a murmur, not a chance of disturbing Lord Monckton (yes, he's a Lord, and so is Screaming Lord Sutch) ...
You can find that story told by others, as in The Guardian's Margaret Thatcher: an unlikely green hero? and locally in Crikey's Margaret Thatcher: a climate warrior? (behind the paywall)
Not the slightest mention, not even a hint in Dame Slap's tribute. Talk about air-brushing history the way Playboy artists deployed their skills on centrefolds.
If that's feminist doing, remind the pond to do nothing ...
Finally, as audacity seems to be the theme for the day, a special mention must go to the audacious John Howard, still denying that he took the country to war on a lie. A big, fat, juicy lie.
It doesn't seem a hard concept to grasp. Here no WMD, no WMD here. Now if you want to go to war using WMD as a justification, why not try North Korea?
You can read the denialism on parade in Howard rejects claims Iraq war was a lie, forced video at end of link, but surely Howard protests too much.
As Alexander Downer has already explained to us, the war was best for all concerned, especially the thousands killed and the millions displaced.
Welcome to the war-mongers' club, Mr. Howard. Enjoy your stay and the facilities - there's an exceptional set of dissemblers, equivocators, dodgers, parriers, fencers, hedgers and fudgers available in the lounge who can help you practise your skills while enjoying a port. And an expert assembly of actors can help you with your Stanislavsky techniques, and the Alexander technique, which will help you with your posture, sometimes affected by denialism ... .
And don't worry about the future.
No doubt Amanda Vanstone and Brendan O'Neill are standing by to remind the world what a fine principled chap you are. Right up there with Il Duce ... who never flinched from the occasional colonial adventure ...
(Below: and now as the loon pond of record, we must perforce acknowledge a passing).