Saturday, July 06, 2013

He's from South Australia, and he's here to help you mangle logic ...

(Above: time for the pond to dust off a favourite old mug?)

The pond knew the Ruddster was back when the fateful reference to "irregular movements of persons" fell out of the ether into the speaker of a nearby television receiver.

But it's not the mangling of English that concerns the pond this morning, it's working out who has been designated the reptile at the lizard Oz to take up the baton passed on by the departed Christopher Pearson.

It would seem Chris Kenny is the go-to man, and being from South Australia, and a worker for John Howard's government, and more particularly for Alexander Downer, and the scribbler of a book about the Hindmarsh island affair, and an actual Liberal party candidate (failed), and the man who didn't help big Mal at all, there's a tidy symmetry and a resonance, and we haven't even mentioned his fear and loathing of the ABC and an enormous capacity to scribble nonsense.

Kenny is in fine form this morning and there's a simple way to appreciate his infinite capacity to twist in the wind.

First let's compare and contrast Peter van Onselen. Having trolled for the return of Chairman Rudd, van Onselen knows he needs to have some sort of consistency. So today he scribbles:

Now you might think he's wrong about the new bunch of Labor people, but at least van Onselen's being consistent, and anyway, is it so radical to propose that the current line up of Liberals are a bunch of tired, no hoper, has beens and drop kicks, way too many held over from the Howard days, and in need of a little urgent renewal.

Coyly van Onselen coyly refuses - in Tony Abbott's silly game could cost the Coalition (behind the paywall) - to name names regarding said drop kicks that could do with a time out, preferably permanent - I've named them before, he says, fluttering his eyelashes - but it's easy enough to fill in the gaps.

And there's another point he makes:

Even though the Coalition, more so than the Labor Party, has a depth of talent worthy of a government - and all of them are willing to serve, incidentally - Abbott is playing the silly game of refusing to debate the new Prime Minister until the election is called. His shadow ministers for the most part are refusing to debate their opposites until the election is called. It reeks of fear that a square-off will show up the Coalition as an unworthy alternative government.

Which reminds the pond of another factoid that popped up in Crikey the other day:

As an election approaches, the ABC’s current affairs big guns are becoming mightily peeved that Tony Abbott refuses to sit down with them for a long-form interview. So, in a bid to ramp up the pressure on the Opposition Leader, they’re letting their viewers know about it. 
QandA host Tony Jones kicked it off on Monday by asking Coalition frontbencher Sophie Mirabella: "Can you explain why we don't see him doing long-format interviews? Why he won't do this program or Lateline or the Insiders?" Abbott hasn't appeared on the Monday night talkfest since August 16, 2010. That’s 1054 days. And 7.30 presenter Leigh Sales -- who won a Walkley for last year's Abbott grilling -- followed suit on Wednesday night. After an exclusive interview with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, Sales told viewers: "[W]e've invited the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, to join the program tomorrow night to talk us through his policies and plans. Hopefully he'll be available." He wasn't. Abbott last fronted 7.30 on April 24: 72 days ago. 
Lateline's Emma Alberici got in on the act last night, telling viewers: "In case you were wondering why Tony Abbott hasn't been on our program for some time, we’ve had an open invitation for the Opposition Leader to join us since the start of last year, but he’s so far refused." Abbott last fronted Lateline on November 30, 2011: 583 days ago. As for Fran Kelly’s agenda-setting Breakfast program on Radio National, Abbott hasn't appeared since July 2, 2012: 368 days. He last appeared on Insiders on July 8, 2012: 362 days ago. 
Abbott has been more willing to front up for AM -- where he was interviewed after the May budget -- and ABC local radio. It'll be fascinating to see if the name 'n' shame tactics flush Abbott out. -- Matthew Knott (you'll need to go to Crikey to get the justificatory links)

The obvious point is that Abbott, like the ape-like bullies the pond endured in school days, when it comes to the crunch, wants to hide in the dark like a mushroom away from the ogres at the ABC (And if that mixing of metaphors doesn't please, what will?)

Which brings us to Kenny, peddling an entirely different line:

Crocodile tears!

But there's a real problem of logic at work in this form of special pleading, putting Kenny firmly in Pearson's vacated chair, as you can read in Return of yesterday's man Rudd is no way to rebuild the road to credibility (behind the paywall) - and never mind the yesterday men and women who continue to litter Abbott's front bench. Or the yearning for a Howard era that never was, where apparently the border protection policies worked so well it was one of the reasons Howard was kicked out of power ...

You see, here's the conundrum. Kenny has spent the last many years explaining just how Labor's most experienced and skilled performers were a bunch of drop-kicks - Conroy a loser, Swan the world's worst treasurer, Gillard a red-headed deviant (quite possibly atheist), and so on and so forth. You can do chapter and verse if you like, but haven't you got something better to do on a Saturday than Chris Kenny head-kicking the Gillard government and its key figures?

It's simply not a sustainable or credible argument - if Conroy was a drop-kick when he tried to filter the intertubes, then he surely wasn't one of Labor's most experienced and skilled performers (and it took him a long time to dismount from his pony and stop tilting at that particular windmill, only to discover that the NBN roll-out was taking far too long to happen, and now we all must worship at the feet of copper).

This sort of special pleading is pathetic, like the sort of crocodile tears Abbott himself shed at a few departing Labor figures.

With Kenny, it reaches the height - or the pit - of absurdity when somehow Kenny finds a soft spot for the likes of Robert McClelland, always ready to enhance intrusions on privacy, and dear sweet long absent lord, even that union hack Martin Ferguson (has Kenny ever heard others in the party, like Conroy, roll their eyes in private about good old Marty?)

Suddenly in Kenny land the droning tedious Marty is given to offering pithy windows on the philosophical void, proving that indeed there is a use for wind bags.

And how about this?

High-profile rock 'n' roll recruit Peter Garrett, a former head of the Australian Conservation Foundation, quit as education minister and will leave politics.

Yes on any other day in the lizard Oz, that would have been written in a foam-flecked, spittle-laden way as:

High-profile deadhead rock 'n' roll dunce and wretched token recruit Peter Garrett, a former head of the despicable greenie, climate change accepting, Australian mining ruining Australian Conservation Foundation, quit as education minister and will leave politics, and what a bloody good thing that is.

But the pond's favourite, and surely the capper is this one:

Ferguson knows where the Hawke-Keating continuum should have been taking Labor but he has bailed out, along with Crean, Combet and the rest. 
It seems clear modern Labor lost its way when it turned its back on Crean.

Good old Simon Crean!

Now any readers of Christopher Pearson of long-standing will remember he was always banging on about Simon Crean. Whenever he was short of a column, he'd write a piece demanding, proposing, or insisting on the return of Crean to the leadership.

It must be something in the water in South Australia.

Yes, there's an amazing nostalgia for two leaders who proved themselves to be durable losers, Crean and Beazley. 

No wonder Kenny loves them - after all, his entire career in politics depended on Bomber Beazely routinely dropping his bundle, and handing Howard the keys to the lodge.

Anyhoo, Kenny lathers himself up into a final burst of indignation about the Ruddster revival, and the loss of Crean and Kim Beazley.

... a panoply of ALP experience has voiced its despair by walking away.

The very same panoply of ALP experience he's spent years describing as drop kicks and losers ...

And never you mind that it was actually Crean who laid himself down on the path so that the Ruddster could return ...

So what do we learn from this?

Well surely that Kenny is capable of enormous duplicity and hypocrisy.

Perhaps he's delusional and believes what he writes, or perhaps Pearson style, he thinks he's fucking with the minds of the ALP and somehow this will help Abbott gain power.

As if somehow his readers will fail to note the impossibility of reconciling years of writing about the appalling state of the Labor party, and then writing an eulogy about how the appalling loss of these appalling people is simply appalling.

Oh yes, it's classic Pearson, the sort of nonsense Pearson routinely scribbled (and on the other side, Bob Ellis).

It simply makes no sense, and it's right up or down there with Pearson helpfully explaining how the Labor party might heal or fix itself.

It must be something in the water in South Australia, but at last the pond has a credible Pearson replacement. Now if only Kenny would convert to the Latin rite ...

Okay, now the pond sees that you're hooked, that you can't get enough.

Well never mind the lizard Oz paywall, you see Kenny has his own blog, and you can access it here, and it has the wonderfully satirical heading "An unashamedly rationalist approach to national affairs".

So at last you understand that rationalist actually means foam-flecked ABC bashing, paranoia and hysteria.

Enjoy, and never let it be said that the pond is against the irregular movements of the English language ...

(Below: an old Pope for a laugh after too much time with Kenny. More Pope here, but it might cost you a Fairfax hit!)


  1. Not only is Kenny “capable of enormous duplicity and hypocrisy” but so is Greg Hunt.

    Yesterday, on ABC Capital Hill, Lyndal Curtis interviewed Greg Hunt re the Queensland Coroner’s report into the deaths of three young men who installed insulation under the government’s stimulus program.

    Greg Hunt: “It’s important to understand that yesterday the Queensland Coroner’s findings were deeply serious and profound and far reaching. The Coroner of course found that there was no planning for the electrical risk, no adequate training; that there was a direct ignorance of warnings

    Lyndal Curtis: but, but

    Greg Hunt: not just industry but from unions and from the Queensland government.

    Lyndal Curtis: But these are things that were known about, weren’t they. He didn’t come up with revelations he didn’t already know about. You’ve already talked in the past about the lack of knowledge, the lack of preparation, the risks. We’ve seen evidence of that in reports that have come out about this program.

    Greg Hunt: This was a finding with judicial status. The Coroner is an officer of the Queensland Court system. This was a judicial equivalent finding.

    Lets go back to 12 Dec 2012, shall we Greg Hunt?

    Justice Rares, a judge of the Federal Court of Australia, in his judgment in the James Ashby v Peter Slipper said the following:

    “The evidence established that Mr Ashby acted in combination with Ms Doane and Mr Brough when commencing the proceedings in order to advance the interests of the LNP and Mr Brough. Mr Ashby and Ms Doane set out to use the proceedings as part of their means to enhance or promote their prospects of advancement or preferment by the LNP, including by using Mr Brough to assist them in doing so.”

    There was no comment by Greg Hunt, or Tony Abbott, or George Brandis, or any of the other two-faced Coalition oafs about the “judicial status” of Justice Rares’ judgment. Silence was golden then. Hmmm, wonder why?

  2. Don't get the pond started on Greg Hunt, higgs boson!

    You will recall that Mr Hunt in 1990 co-authored (with Rufus Black) a university thesis entitled A Tax to Make the Polluters Pay, which interalia included this remark:

    "Ultimately it is by harnessing the natural economic forces which drive society that the pollution tax offers us an opportunity to exert greater control over our environment."

    Handily you can find it here, with a link to Scribd:

    Now the pond can understand someone changing their mind about religion or pure Marxism - after all, when a child, it's common to speak think and reason like a child, but then there's a time to put away childish things - but please explain how a Liberal market economist can put away market economics for 15,000 young things taking "direct climate action".

    The long absent lord knows, we all do strange things, but you have to think that Greg Hunt, and poor old big Mal, the man who invented the internet, are amongst the strangest of them all.

    Still, watching these wretches in action helps the pond lie straight in bed at night, so it serves some sort of purpose ...

  3. Yes DP, "irregular movements of persons", that's how it ended. More or less. The second and last news drop, a ruddy promise about an Indonesian solution, timed to hit the wires of a late Australian Friday afternoon. The alp's fair haired solution delivers again, and with SBY ramming the point home again later, the libs were routed with no comeback solution, at least for the weekend, and the ruddy solution promise and talk of it, and don't forget the Oz cattle, got repeated, and repeated, bounced around all weekend and on ... Ah, precision bombing Friday arvo timing ...

    But what was the first news drop to hit the wires featuring some more krudd just prior, not repeated by Oz msm, unremarked, unbounced, and overtaken and drowned like so many "boat people" by the artfully placed following news of the pending final solution to non-white persons of irregular movement?

    What was the solution quid pro quo?

    Indonesia got unreserved support for the TNI, and damnation unto genocide for West Papuans. Appropriately styled for its import, evoking something of Whitlam et al in enunciation (here we go again fellow lickspittles, the dead are already piling high), in its clarity for the ears it was meant for; not your lickspittle Oz ears, no, but said for Indonesian, Papuan, West Papuan, and the ears of those certain Melanesians increasingly supportive of a Free Papua.

    Non-white asylum seekers' lives, live cattle, Indonesians, Papuans, Melanesians... whatever - it's all just overseas meat trade isn't it? "Carr-rudd", it sounds as it hits the killing floor with a dead alp bounce... fuck 'em

    "Issues concerning Papua were not expected to be broached by those attending the media conference. “According to information I received, it was Prime Minister Rudd who raised the issue,” presidential spokesman for foreign affairs Teuku Faizasyah told the Post."


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