Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Reheated and recycled, these delicious cookies are for you ...

(Above: same as it ever was).

So on the continuing subject of Greg Hywood and Fairfax and impassioned editorials, yesterday this was what was headlined as top of the dial digital comment:

Maureen Dowd?

If the pond wanted to read Maureen Dowd - the pond generally doesn't - the pond would hie itself off to the home of the Dowd, The New York Times:

Whenever the pond wants weiners, of any kind, edible or not, the pond defers to the United States.

The point is that in recent years Fairfax has been derelict when it comes to its top talent, many of whom have drifted from the rag. 

The newspaper game involves a lot of stodge - the modern equivalent of shipping news - and the sultanas in the cake mix should be nurtured and treasured. 

As soon as you start importing sultanas, you've failed - The Australian is just as guilty as Fairfax in this matter, demanding payment for scribblers you can pick up for free if you could be bothered (Bjorn Lomborg anyone?) and so is the ABC, with the astonishing sight of Brendan O'Neill briefly running the alleged RN jewel in the conservative crown, Counterpoint. (Spike that man, spike him at once)

This isn't idle parochialism or jingoism, or even the sentimentalism and appeal to history of a Hywood. It's simply the reality that there is already a hell of a lot of stuff out there on the full to overflowing intertubes, and you need a distinct brand, not a recycling depot, if you're going to cut it ...

Speaking of stodge, for example, is there ever a chance that The New York Times would pick up a column by our very own prattling Polonius, and feature him at the top of the digital page?

Not if the somnambulistic, somnolent tone of this day's Chameleon Rudd keeps opponents and voters guessing.

It's yet another tedious, repetitious history lesson, in which the dissembling Gerard Henderson uses the Hawke/Keating government to beat other Labor governments around the head.

Here he is today:

Australia's two best performing prime ministers were Hawke (supported by Keating) and Howard (supported by Peter Costello). Both the Hawke and Howard administrations practised cabinet government in its established format, with all the governmental and bureaucratic constraints which this entails. The same is broadly true for the governments headed by Fraser and Gillard. The Rudd government, on the other hand, most resembles Whitlam's. The Prime Minister is a big fan of Whitlam - unlike Hawke and Keating, who witnessed Whitlamism first hand. But there is one difference between Whitlam and Rudd. The former always proclaimed his dissent from his political opponents - Harold Holt, John Gorton, William McMahon, Bill Snedden and Fraser. Whitlam was not inclined to feign conservatism. He was a conviction politician.

Here he was on 12th March 2013:

The sad truth is that Labor has run only one efficient government at the federal level since the Second World War ended nearly seven decades ago. Ben Chifley's government floundered on an ill-advised and bungled attempt to nationalise the private trading banks and was defeated in December 1949. The ALP did not return to office until December 1972. As prime minister, Gough Whitlam certainly made a difference. However, his administration was beset by incompetence. The most severe critics of Whitlam have come from the Labor side. 
In The Hawke Memoirs, Bob Hawke referred to the Whitlam government's ''fiscal irresponsibility''. In 1987, Paul Keating acknowledged Whitlam had no policy ''for dealing with inflation and unemployment''. The Whitlam government's woeful economic performance was analysed by Peter Walsh (Hawke's finance minister) in his ironically titled 1995 book Confessions of a Failed Finance Minister.

Does he have an app on his computer that allows him to scramble the copy just a little so it comes out slightly different?

Not only is the bashing of the Whitlam government tiresome, and beyond predictable - Henderson never mentions the Holt, McMahon and Fraser governments, or even poor old John Gorton when he does his rambles through history - it's replete with a standard repertoire of repetitive tricks.

Back then:

It is too early to judge the achievements of modern Labor and it would be foolish to foretell the outcome of the 2013 election.


It is foolish to make predictions.

But hey, let's channel the prattling Polonius, and talk like a fool and make some foolish predictions.

Tony Abbott is great, Malcolm Turnbull is a loser, current Chairman Rudd is a loser and is due to go down big time, Tony Abbott has wonderful policies on climate change, the Liberals are tremendously stable under Tony, and besides, did I mention I can't stand anything to do with Labor:

Rudd's tactic of fighting an election on his opponent's chosen ground may or may not work. But, win or lose, this makes it harder to understand what contemporary Labor stands for. 

Indeed. But it's easy to understand what the contemporary Liberal party stands for and that's full on, mind-numbing, brain-deadening nattering negativity.

Now here's the further point Mr. Hywood. It's not as if there aren't matters going down that are more interesting and significant than yet another comparative trawl through the Whitlam years.

There is, for example, talk of the impact of Australia's neo-colonialism on Manus island, as featured last night on 7.30, here

There is the matter of Jon Stanhope, current administrator of Christmas Island, speaking out about the loss of humanity in the land.

There's the matter of the Fijian dictatorship sounding more aware and liberal than the Australian government.

There's the refusal of the Australian government to allow access to any refugee facility, and a deliberate dehumanisation and obliteration of the individuals involved and their stories ... such that Guantanamo Bay almost begins to sound like a liberal prison ...

And then there's Tony Abbott's latest announcement, that he intends to build a portable slum, a tent city, trumping the Ruddster by being even more punitive and more ad hoc ... such that even News Corp rags felt the need to use evocative front pages to describe this policy-making on the trot:

Remember this sort of rhetoric as recent as June 2013:

"We will stop the boats and we will make a difference from day one," he said.

Yes, it would all be over in months. Three months max, done and dusted

And now Abbott's planning to build a huge new tent city slum. (Coalition proposes tent city).

Australia's very own town camp, its very own gulag, its very own ghetto, its very own apartheid township, as a way of trumping Labor's plan to do the same in PNG.

It's a race to the bottom, a race begun by the feral Scott Morrison, and Tony "invisible substance", "any lie to get hold of the precioussss" Abbott ... while the reptiles at the lizard Oz shed crocodile tears about the suffering of children ...

And what do we get from Fairfax?

Reheated Dowd and a tedious rambling amble down the Whitlam years from a man incapable of writing a coherent word about current events and current policies ...

This, this, this is your idea of penetrating commentariat scribbling which will lure the punters to part with their pennies for a digital subscription?

Oh wait, those school lunches look positively scrumptious.

Tell the pond more ...


  1. Dorothy
    Thank you for your run down on the Fairfax media it is so much fun knowing that these university trained Boof heads writing the crap they do. I might not meet their level for the use of language but I did only go to year 7 and still see the bullshit when it is written by Henderson.
    If he was so bloody good why is he now unemployed

  2. Tents? What's next, shoeboxes?


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