Friday, April 26, 2013
Clive launching, Katter still clowning, Richo Ancient Mariner glooming, and Tony Abbott growing ... what more could you want?
Well that's enough talk of sacrifice for the moment. Let the long weekend begin, let the cars snake out of the cities and get stuck in the traffic ...
Oh wait, that was Wednesday night. Never mind, at least that jibber jabber about sacrifice is done, all the weirder when it seems that the sacrifice seems to involve drinking beer to help out VB, and attend a football match to help out Tom Waterhouse ...
So let the comedy begin.
Come on down Clive Palmer and announce you're forming a political party, and show your tremendous ability at comedy stylings by reviving the name the United Australia Party, which even in its hey day in the 1930s, was full of splitters and ne'er do wells, what with Billy Hughes doing it his way, and Page refusing to serve under Menzies and poor old Artie Fadden being poor old Artie, and after limping through the second world war, it was buried in August 1945 (and happily you can wiki the sordid and sorry tales here).
And now Clive has disinterred the bones, dug up the corpse so to speak, and is intent on dressing the corpse in a new supply of political finery.
How lucky for him the Australian electorate has an extremely short political memory and seem to have - like Clive - completely forgotten the motley bunch who sailed on the original ship of fools.
All the same, Clive shows he has the consummate skills of the dissembling Australian politician in Palmer revives Menzies' party to contest fed poll:
As to whether formation of the party was part of a push to one day be prime minister, the billionaire businessman said: ''It's up to the people to decide.
''As you know, the people of Australia elected me as a living national treasure, and that was their choice not mine,'' Mr Palmer said. '
'Whatever it goes, I think I'm prepared to do".
Whatever it goes, I think I'm prepared to do?
What on earth does that mean? Is he trying to say however it hangs, or however it rolls or Clive gathers no moss or Richo-style, whatever it takes?
Anyhoo, as we know, it wasn't the people of Australia that elected Clive as a living national treasure. It wasn't their choice at all.
It was the choice of a bunch of clowns at the NSW branch of the National Trust, who in the same fell swoop nominated Kylie Minogue, Olivia Newton-John and Dr. Karl, amongst others as celebrated in the currish Mail (Clive Palmer named a national living treasure along with Kylie Minogue, Olivia Newton-John).
At the time it produced something of an internal ruckus in the National Trust, and a lot of infighting and a lot of disclaimers"
''This is not nationally endorsed at all, this is a NSW initiative,'' said Graeme Blackman, the chairman of the Australian Council of National Trusts, speaking from Singapore yesterday after learning of Mr Palmer's inclusion.
''I am telling you, as the chairman, it is not auspiced by the National Trust nationally.''
Mr Palmer said he was unaware he had been named a National Living Treasure until The Sun-Herald contacted him yesterday. ''I'm quite surprised I got there,'' he said. ''I don't think I deserve it.''
But he said he was ''disappointed'' Dr Blackman did not endorse the people's verdict. ''It's very incredible. Whether I'm a treasure or not a treasure, you can't have a vote by the people and try to [disendorse it] … The National Trust is a sacred trust for all Australians. There is no role for any partisanship in it.'' (National living treasurer uproar)
Yes, even then Clive still thought it was the people's verdict, as opposed to a few NSW clowns intent on throwing the National Trust into disarray and disrepute.
You see, the whole thing was just a promotion for Women's Day, which organised the list and arranged for the vote using its website, and about the best that can be said for the whole affair was that it didn't involve New Idea or Cleo or Dolly.
Never mind, the pond is ecstatic. The next election is going to be a lively affair, what with Katter's Klowns up against Palmer's Pugilists, and Clive has already launched some hard-hitting blows:
''After all, it's really crazy to think that a person that's never run anything more than a tuckshop can run a trillion-dollar economy.''
Which is completely unfair. After all Joe Hockey ran the Sydney Uni SRC as president before becoming a banking and finance lawyer, and Tony Abbott ran ultramarathons and court actions against Pauline Hanson's party.
Mr Palmer dismissed comparisons with former Queensland premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen's aborted ''Joh for Canberra'' campaign in 1987.
Indeed. How outrageous to suggest two madcap Queenslanders have anything in common. Why Sir Joh completely lacked the imagination to devise a second Titanic as an elegant symbol for the new UAP.
Yep, the news made the pond's day, and quite took its mind off the commentariat, which was a good thing because there's Graham "Gra Gra" "never mind the Swiss bank accounts" Richardson wringing his hands and moaning that Budget will make Labor's awful prospects look even worse (in the lizard oz, behind the paywall so you can avoid the whole wretched thing):
I am depressed. Having witnessed the elections in NSW, Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia, I dread what is going to happen to the Labor Party on September 14. The slow-motion train wreck that the party I have belonged to for 46 years has become is a permanent fixture in my thoughts.
Labor supporters get no respite. The bad news just keeps on coming.
Indeed. The poor buggers get no respite at all, because Richo never shuts up. What never? No, bloody never ...
And now it seems the hapless Labor supporters have to suffer the sight of Richo acting like the Ancient Mariner and stopping one of three on the way to a quite cheerful and jolly wedding party, and regaling them with tales of doom and thirst and death and albatrosses ...
The latest Newspoll confirms the reality that for Labor no improvement seems possible. Having squandered the opportunity to stop the rot and avoid a slaughter by resurrecting Kevin Rudd, the caucus must now sit and watch as the electoral inferno engulfs them.
Still keening and wailing at the loss of Kevin. Refused to resurrect the messiah, and never mind that he was a tedious naughty boy ...
You have to admire a man who so comprehensively helped to fuck over the party in recent months, helped play his public part to produce the engulfing inferno, still carrying on as if it had nothing to do with him or his big yammering mouth ...
Richo spends the rest of his piece explaining how the ruined Labor party can use the economy and the GST and the need for new taxes to nail Tony Abbott and return from the wilderness.
It's a breath-takingly cynical piece of public political strategising which reminded the pond once again what a relief it is that the man who was part of the old Labor party culture is now just an Ancient Mariner holding out his palm for a few coins from Chairman Rupert while regaling all with tales of disaster.
And there was another upside in the lizard Oz today. There was poor old Dennis Shanahan brooding about Abbott's bizarrely generous paid parental leave, in Abbott must let go of his baby (inside the paywall so you can avoid brooding with him), and as you'd expect of the lizard Oz, there can't be one swallow without a flock flying in unison, and so it is that Adam Creighton is also on hand to scribble Paid parental leave will be a burden on businesses and achieve little.
You can see which way the tide is flowing in Murdoch land, and yet thus far all Abbott has offered is weasel words, saying that the scheme will depend on the state of the budget.
In fact all Abbott has been offering of late is weasel words. He produced a weasel variation on the NBN, he produced weasel words on when the Liberal party might produce a budget surplus, he weaseled his way through NSW embracing the Gonski school package, he weaseled his way through turning back the boats and staying friends with Indonesia ..
He's sounding less and less by the say like Dr No, and more like Dr. in due course, which no doubt he imagines makes him sound statesmanlike but in fact makes him sound like a weird sort of hippie.
His promises are beginning to sound like spit on a griddle, hot air when a balloon would benefit from a little pure helium, and the pond can't wait to stand under a sign saying "Ditch the bastard ... this sign in no way reflects on Mr. Abbott's parentage".
Which is why the pond so loved Mr. Abbott's final burst talking with Leigh Sales a couple of days ago:
... I also think that Australians are pretty fair-minded and they accept that people can grow if they move into a new position. I'd like to think that I have grown as Opposition Leader and I am confident that I can grow as Prime Minister should the public give me that extraordinary honour.
He can grow. Said with a simper like a cat about to eat cream, not understanding the dangers of choking on said cream.
Clue. Grow is code for change mind and break promises, promises engraved in stone with blood, or all the other carry-on nonsense clowning endured these past few years.
It reminded the pond one more time of Chance the Gardener - strange how Peter Sellers keeps springing to mind when thinking of Tony Abbott and his more rabid supporters at the lizard Oz.
Tony Abbott: Mr. Gardner, do you agree with Joe, or do you think that we can stimulate growth through temporary incentives?
Chance the Gardener: As long as the roots are not severed, all is well. And all will be well in the garden.
Tony Abbott: In the garden.
Chance the Gardener: Yes. In the garden, growth has it seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter and paid parental leave. And then we get spring and summer again.
Tony Abbott: Spring and summer and a slimmed down cheap NBN?
Chance the Gardener: Yes.
Tony Abbott: Then fall and winter and a budget in surplus?
Chance the Gardener: Yes.
Tony Abbott: I think what our insightful young friend is saying is that we welcome the inevitable seasons of nature, but we're upset by the seasons of our economy and the lack of power which means we can't break our promises in turn, just as they broke theirs.
Chance the Gardener: Yes! There will be growth in the spring! You must concentrate on growth, You must grow, just as you have grown. Growth!
Tony Abbott: Hmm!
Chance the Gardener: Hmm!
Tony Abbott: Hm. Well, Mr. Gardner, I must admit that is one of the most refreshing and optimistic statements I've heard in a very, very long time. As refreshing and as optimistic as any I've read in The Australian in recent days.
Chance the Gardener: I like to watch TV.
Tony Abbott: I admire your good, solid sense. That's precisely what we lack in Canberra ...
Apologies to Jerzy Kosinski, but what fun, what a treat.
No need for a sacrifice, not when you have Clive Palmer, Bob Katter, Gra Gra and Tony Abbott doing the rounds ...
Posted by dorothy parker at 4/26/2013 08:34:00 AM