Friday, November 29, 2013

A day out with the lizards and the donkeys and the luddites ...

(Above: the genius of David Rowe. Go on, give him a hit here, he deserves it, and we now feel no shame talking about the poodle Pyne down below).

The pond was out and about last night, and in the usual way, while on the road tuned in to RN, if only because Gerard Henderson would be doing the same, and it was yet another way to thumb the nose at the crony commentariat.

Big mistake. Ted Mack was on Big Ideas (you can hear him here on catch up radio). Now the pond had always been ambivalent about Mack, ever since he decided that the solution to littering in North Sydney was simply to abolish public bins. As the pond was working in North Sydney at the time, the only logical equally unilateral response was to litter, and so for the first and last time, the pond became a litter bug ...

Talk about the unintended consequences of unilateral politics. But that said, it was hard to disagree with Mack's assessment of the political system in Australia, run by an unfortunate and unholy duopoly of power mongerss. It's fucked. Not just a little bit, but comprehensively, in every way Mack relentlessly outlined in detail. Sadly, Mack's solutions had the viability of abolishing litter by abolishing council-serviced public bins, and all the pond could conclude was that politics would stay well and truly fucked way beyond the pond's lifetime.

Speaking of fucked, how unhappy must be the reptiles at the lizard Oz, now that the Walkley Awards are in.

The poor old dears. All they could boast about  was a photography by Colin Murty, and reporting from South Asia, by Amanda Hodge, and sister paper  HUN's James Campbell's story about police tapes that sent Ted Baillieu packing (Colin Murty's haunting image wins top Walkley photography award, paywall affected because you have to pay to read about a few winners and lots of losers).

Time to get out those meaningless in-house awards and give them another polish.

Meanwhile, the ABC was preening and prancing and boasting, and it was just so unfair, as you can read in Walkley Awards: Joanne McCarthy wins gold, Caroline Jones among ABC journalists honoured. 

Lateline! With that softie Tony Jones sucking up to Clive! Shocking, outrageous. Foreign Correspondent! Appalling. And so on and so forth. Oh it's too much for a lizard to bear.

And dammit, there was Pravda on the Yarra, breaking out the champagne in The Age wins Walkley Awards.

Not a single mention of that bloated tick on the taxpayer hide, Andrew Bolt, and not a mention of all those amazing EXCLUSIVES the lizards deliver on a daily basis.

Is there any human bean on earth who wouldn't pause to admire, with astonishment, Hedley Thomas's amazing series of relentless scoops as he pursues his crusade against Clive Palmer.

What an astonishing EXCLUSIVE.

Sadly the pond, having signed more contracts with a confidentiality clause than had hot breakfasts (we favour muesli and yoghurt like any decent hippie), took it the wrong way. What, you mean Clive has been running his assorted business without including a confidentiality clause?

But surely it's time for the Walkleys to conjure up an award for relentless monomania in the conducting of crusades in the press. The reptiles could make out like bandits ...

Meanwhile, the pond is thinking of nominating The Jakarta Post for a Walkley for exemplary reporting on matters of interest to Australians, not to mention the odd bit of commentary, such as William Maley's The tyranny of parochialism. Or Indonesia-Australia on track, but back to square one.

Yes, it's quaint to read opinion with an almost Edwardian gentility, rather than the foaming and frothing of outraged monitor lizards hungry for flesh.

Yet you now have to go right down the page in the Fairfaxians digital edition to discover Jakarta extends bans on co-operation:

Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s hopes for a quick resumption of co-operation with Indonesia appear dashed after Jakarta outlined a road map to restoring relations that could take up to a year to implement. And Indonesian foreign minister Marty Natalegawa has again highlighted that the lack of the word “sorry” in Mr Abbott’s letter last week to the president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono may still be a stumbling block. 

Sheesh, quick, bring on a regional war with China. What's that you say, it might be hard to keep it regional...

Meanwhile, you won't see the reptiles at the Oz deliver this sort of bog standard news report:

Oh dear. Yep, it's all there in Confidential briefing: NBN unlikely to meet Coalition's deadline, with a most modest Exclusive at the top of the story by David Braue.

Braue's opening par is a model of that old style rule in journalism - lay it out in the first par, lay it out short, and hard and fast (you know, like Raymond Chandler and a gat and a girl):

The Coalition’s national broadband network model will prove inadequate for many businesses, is poorly planned and is unlikely to be completed on time, according to NBN Co’s internal analysis for the incoming Abbott government. 
Obtained by Fairfax Media, the analysis casts doubts over the timing and cost-effectiveness of the government’s proposed fibre-to-the-node model, highlighting numerous legislative, construction and technical challenges likely to blow out the Coalition’s 2016 and 2019 delivery deadlines.

There's a lot more, and while it might have been an 'exclusive' leak, any blind Freddy or Frederica could have seen that the contents were entirely predictable.

The new plans were fucked from the start. There is, for example, no incentive for anyone in metropolitan areas blessed with some kind of service (unlike the pond) to shift across to an equally clunky model offering clunky speeds through clunky copper connections.

Still, it will keep Abbott happy, because now Turnbull is tagged with Turnbull's NBN plan, and slowly, slowly Turnbull will be roasted by his folly. The man who invented the internet in Australia and all the other jovial bullshit will hang around his neck as he wrestles with the beast, while the luddite he panders to roams free and wild ...

Poor old big Mal, already forced to counter-punch and how feeble it sounded. Out of date report, blah blah. Out of date? What's that make copper?

And the reptiles at the Oz can congratulate themselves. They've kept Australia in the technological wilderness and made the world safe for Foxtel ... now that deserves a Walkley, surely there's a category for best luddite reporting, though climate science in the Oz would be a serious contender ...

Meanwhile, the pond has to gasp in awe and admiration at Poodle Pyne, so elegantly captured by David Rowe in his sensitive portrait.

Only a very short time ago, the poodle went on the record saying that the Howard model was a good starting point for his Conski proposals (we hesitate to use the word 'reforms'). Yes, he did:

TOM IGGULDEN: But Mr Pine says he's doing everyone a favour by scrapping the Gonski model... CHRISTOPHER PYNE: It's an incomprehensible mess. 
TOM IGGULDEN: ...and says things were better before Labor's reforms. 
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: The school funding model that was implemented by the Howard Government is a good starting point for a school funding model. 
 TOM IGGULDEN: The NSW Education Minister disagrees. 
 ADRIAN PICCOLI, NSW EDUCATION MINISTER: The only person I've ever heard say that the SES model is a good model is Minister Pine. (here, and we retained the Pine typos because everybody should pine for a Pyne joke).

And then as bold and as cheeky as good ship's brass, he did a St Peter, with the cock only needing to crow once:

The Education Minister said that he had defended the Howard model because it was a needs-based model. 
"But that will not be the basis of a new funding model, because we’ve moved beyond that," he said. "I've never said that we would now re-introduce the previous government's model." (here, forced video at end of link)

Yep,  using it as a good model for a good starting point  means it absolutely must now be ignored.

Why all the confusion, apart from the self-evident obvious explanation that Pyne is a bear with very little brain?

Surely it's nakedly, blatantly obvious that Pyne doesn't have a clue what he wants to do, and is making it up as he goes along, and in the short term, his only motivations are spite, spleen, revenge, and ideology, spurred along by a couple of notions:

1. Come hell or high water, and no matter what the likes of Kathryn Greiner says, Pyne will do down Gonski, irrespective whether it's a good idea to do so or not, or whether he has any sensible alternatives in mind;
2. One way or another, the rich and private schools will get more than their fair share, and in the process the farcical government funding of downright weird private schools dedicated to creationism or other forms of fundamentalism will continue apace, covered with a fig leaf of regulatory oversight, and only disturbed by the occasional scandal when the wackos crawl out from under the rock. And since Scott 'speaking in tongues' Morrison has already crawled out from a Shire rock to help fuck up the relationship with Indonesia and do over refugees, who could be surprised by that.

The preening, posing Pyne now has shifted to short odds in the race amongst the Liberal ministry to introduce the biggest cock-up in the shortest time.

No need to resort to the crony commentariat for laughs when their heroes are doing a first rate job as the vaudeville headliners ...

Oh, and in breaking news, big brave bold Joe Hockey has folded to the agrarian socialists. What a hollow sham of a Shrek donkey he is, how predictable the result, despite all his huffing and puffing and posturing and posing and bully boy talk ...

Open for business? Well only if you do it the agrarian socialist way ...

Score one for Barnaby Joyce, and nil for Hockey.

But it's great news for the cartoonists, with so many losers and flip flops thonging their way around Canberra. How to cover it all?

David Pope shows how a little snip will fix everything. More Popery here.

CBR? Is that code for how the fucked Turnbull model will deliver streaming on his third rate network?

Oh you have to laugh, except when the pond heads off to the toilet for a quiet little catch-up cry ...


  1. Snap! on Ted Mack. That's all I'm sayin', DP. As for "OpenLabor", WTF?

  2. The poodle's testing the waters. See how outrageous they can be. It'll stand them in good stead, and set the standard for next year when they start dismantling everything else.

  3. How do I love thee, let me count the ways

    1. HB, that is truly wonderful, and you did the pond a favour by venturing into the valley beyond the weird. Let's hope an excerpt gets people clicking on it madly:

      Abbott was my best friend … We talked over everything. The meaning of life, the purpose of politics, who’d win the rugby league grand final, what girls we planned to ask out, petty squabbles we might have had with our parents. [12 September 2012]

      Like Abbott, I spent some time at a Catholic seminary intending to become a priest. [22 August 2009]

      In 1977, Abbott and I drove down from Sydney to Melbourne to attend an AUS [Australian Union of Students] conference at Monash University. The AUS conference was extremely hostile for two modestly conservative boys like Abbott and me. The stench of marijuana lay heavy in the air, and every communist and Trotskyist sub-group had assembled, it seemed, its entire national membership. We found the atmosphere of the conference so uncongenial, and so threatening, that we went across the road and asked the Catholic college if we could stay there for the duration of the conference. [12 September 2012]

    2. DP, with that you must admit that Sheridan is now a kooky loopy loon

  4. Oh dear, even the Bolter isn't happy with prissy Chrissy

    1. Nice one Ian, a wag of the finger from the Bolter!

      I believe Christopher Pyne when he says Labor left its education reforms in an "incomprehensible mess".

      Trouble is, I also believed the Education Minister before the election. I believed Pyne when he said: ''You can vote Liberal or Labor and you'll get exactly the same amount of funding for your school."

      Now, after several days of Pyne spin, I don't know if the Government will break its first reckless promise or not. But it had better not.

      Or else, or else, I'll wag my finger, and drink another bottle of Grange a friend left behind the couch, as you do ...

  5. hb, that is sickening.

    1. Ian and HB - I read Sheridan piece earlier. Still queasy. How could he put his name to it. He writes like a teenage girl. I laughed at the bit about Abbott and Greg taking refuge in a Catholic college because the leftie students at Monash were too mean. I thought TA was the scourge of the campus in Sydney.

    2. Yes, Ian, I retched as I read

  6. OK, DP, RN is a good escape from the usual chit-chat and cackle, but what about Amanda Vanstone? And what about SBY's Twitter stream? You haven't been following? Well, let me give you the gist. First, since SBY tweets in Bahasa, you'll need the inbuilt translator in Chrome. A few days ago SBY was at a gig to extol the virtues of planting trees. You may think there's been a rip in the space-time continuum, since SBY went next to a palm oil junket. Yep, Indonesia is flat out ripping out forests, for its hardwood and to plant palms, and SBY salves his conscience by planting a tree or two. Makes sense, ay?
    Hang on, didn't one of our political parties try to make currency out of planting trees? Yep, the Libs.
    Like us, you may have been struggling with the very idea of Abbott sitting down with Indonesians to sign anything, especially when the agenda is drawn up by SBY and clearly intended to rub Abbott's nose in it. But, with a bit of finesse by the spin-merchants, Abbott & SBY could be seen at common purpose, as they plant a symbolic tree. What a gift to diplomacy! What's more, I can see Julie shoveling in the manure.

    1. Weird stuff Trevor, but frankly the pond struggles with the very idea of Tony Abbott ...

  7. Eeeuwgh!! HB,that Monthly article is disturbing.But then they were both Seminarians.
    Now that the circus is officially in town, all the clowns will be putting on their very best noses obviously.


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