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:
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:
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.
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.
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!)