Saturday, December 21, 2013

It's just not bloody fair, but a monograph provides the clue ...

The pond has always found that the best way to respond to life is to stamp the foot, pout, grimace, whirl the locks, and announce "it's just not fair".

A few petulant souls have remarked that this is behaviour more suited to a fairy princess or a kindergarten student, but dammit, that's just not fair.

Think of all the outrageous times, events, and circumstances where you've had to shout into the ether "it's just not fair";

The perfidious tomato versus the lugubrious avocado! It's just not fair!

What other quintessential unfairness have we got?

Uh huh. The bouffant one understands. It's just not fair.

Who'd have thought the bouffant one was a pouting fairy princess, clicking his heels three times and yearning to be in Paris, and at his late age discovering that life is inherently unfair?

Despite this inherent unfairness, there's work to be done, and when the going gets tough, the most expert hagiographers and knob polishers get going. They love the heat in the kitchen:

As Tony Abbott prepares to jet away to France for his first real, personal and private holiday in years, it's possible to think he almost regrets going. Of course he doesn't, and going was an oath written in blood but, just the same, it is a measure of Abbott's fulfilled ambition in becoming Prime Minister and his calm confidence in the job that it would be possible to think he'd rather stay and work. 
The quiet calmness he exudes, even in crisis, impresses and influences many who have come into contact with him for the first time as Australia's newest Prime Minister. (it starts that way here, but you'll need to evade the paywall to get the rest)

What? No immortal Paul Keating line? The best way to see Darwin is from  40,000 feet up in the air on the way to Paris?

Who knows if Keating actually said the line? As always, when the legend becomes fact, print the legend ...

Never mind, the point surely is to commend the bouffant one for an epic howl of pain, a cry into the wilderness.

It's just not fair.

Even those who are politically opposed or at odds over funding, such as the premiers at last week's Council of Australian Governments meeting in Canberra, come away impressed by his respectful and courteous demeanour behind closed doors. There is no shouting or bullying, last-minute agenda changes or long-winded lectures about him or his philosophy. 
There is also the clear impression that Abbott is having such fun he'd do the job for nothing. 
Yet, as we approach the first 100 days of the Abbott government since the swearing-in, which falls on Boxing Day, a sense of calm, competence or serenity in the Prime Minister's suite in Parliament House is the last image presented to the public. 
 Instead, there is continual talk of chaos, a "chaotic government", a blundering Prime Minister damaging foreign relations, a "rocky start", a cruel and uncaring government, a Liberal leadership that wants to "destroy jobs" and hates workers. 
It's a government that keeps changing its mind and breaks its election promises, led by a foreign-policy klutz and an economic troglodyte who harks back to the social and economic policies and theories of BA Santamaria and the 1950s.

It's just not bloody fair. I mean the man's an absolute bloody saint, a serene centre point while all around him are whirling dervishes, meanie and schoolyard bullies, taunting and berating him.

Why the bloody opposition's acting like a bloody opposition and giving him a hard time, as if Tony Abbott had given them some kind of hard time. And yet what's all the bloody unfair fuss about?

It is of course the fault of all the vile, filthy Fairfaxians and the cardigan-wearers at the ABC. The pond, and the Bouffant One spits on them from a height for their contemptible unfair ways:

Network Ten's Paul Bongiorno, on the ABC, described the government's handling of the Holden decision as a political hash that looked as if it were "chasing Holden from the country"; The Age-The Sydney Morning Herald Canberra correspondent Mark Kenny described the decision as "heartless"; while Laura Tingle, political editor of The Australian Financial Review, picked up on the ideological debate, saying the government was promoting an "ugly ideological divide that is escalating by the day in federal politics". 

Shocking, outrageous and just so unfair, and likely to send any bouffant one into a spin. You see there have been no mistakes, not really:

These are the government's mistakes: thinking the public recognised and accepted Labor's $1.2bn cut to school funding; attempting to get Holden to make public a decision that had already been taken in Detroit; refusing to hand further taxpayer subsidies to Holden; sticking by longstanding protocols on intelligence gathering over the Indonesian crisis; getting the debt ceiling lifted; and warning of the potential for a decade of budget deficits. Were they the equivalent of the "chaotic dysfunction" of the Rudd government, the uncertainty of the minority Gillard government and the failed undertaking of the Rudd-Gillard era?

Oh it's just so bloody unfair. But to be fair, the pond won't quote any more of the bouffant one. Not when people can have the pleasure of reading his Ginsbergian howl of pain. All we can do is commend it, commend it from the bottom of our heart, as yet another princess discovers life wasn't meant to be fair. You'll find it under the wonderfully hagiographic title Tony Abbott: model of a cool, calm and collected PM. On his way to Paris, just like Paul Keating.

But you know what? Some of these meanies and school yard bullies enjoy their very unfair work! Yes, they do, they do:

Eek, it's Prattling Polonius, and it looks as if he's spent way too long in a solarium or taken time out for a youthful, restorative spray tan ...

By now, of course, the faithful don't actually need to read Polonius. They can regurgitate everything he's got to say by rote. Yes, it's all there in Pragmatic Tony Abbott no man's acolyte - what an intrepid knob polisher our Polonius is - but could anyone be bothered lifting a finger to get behind the paywall to read this?

As the 2010 and 2013 elections demonstrated, the Prime Minister's appeal is based on suburban and regional Australia. However, most of Abbott's vocal critics come from the inner-city tertiary-educated class, plus quite a few like-minded types in the Canberra press gallery. Many in this group dislike the Prime Minister's views because they regard him as a socially conservative Catholic - an acolyte of the Catholic activist BA Santamaria (1915-98) and an agent of Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican's man Down Under. 
 In fact, Abbott is a mainstream Catholic in the Australian tradition. He is not overly religious and not at all pious. Yet, to many inner-city types, the Prime Minister's opposition to same-sex marriage and his support for the long-established secular and religious view that marriage is a union between man and a woman makes him some kind of fundamentalist.

Yep, it's those dastardly inner city types yet again, for the squillionth time. And they're just so bloody unfair.

This time it's the bloody AFR and that wretched Lara Tingle, who just get it wrong all the bloody time, they're so bloody unfair.

I have documented the re-regulation of Australia's industrial relations system over the past six years in my monograph The return of the Industrial Relations Club, which is published by the Minerals Council of Australia and available on its website.

His monograph? Does that portentous, pretentious reference remind you of anyone?

I have made a special study of cigar ashes—in fact, I have written a monograph upon the subject. I flatter myself that I can distinguish at a glance the ash of any known brand, either of cigar or of tobacco.

At last it can be revealed. Polonius is in fact Sherlock Holmes!

As for the rest, we can leave readers to read the brooding Polonius, who remains tormented by B. A. Santamaria, and his influence on Tony Abbott, and life and politics and the whole damn thing, because it's all just so bloody unfair. Why Tony Abbott's a saint, and he's an empirical one at that:

Unbeknown to many of his critics, the Prime Minister is a practical and pragmatic politician. 
His test will be whether such empiricism is sufficient to handle Australia's economic problems over the next three years.

Yes, let's not talk all that Catholic mumbo jumbo and jive, about hell and heaven and purgatory, not when we have an empirical saint in our midst ...

Knob polishers and hagiographers of the world uniteL

Oh we just had to bathe in the visionary hagiographic words of the bouffant one, just one more time ...

The very model of a cool, calm, collected, empirical modern major general ... and he sings along to Gilbert and Sullivan too ...

Meanwhile, the fuss around Tim Wilson continues, and it's just so unfair.

You see, Peter van Onselen would have been an ideal appointment, level-headed, and balanced and able to dish it out to both sides and the fact no one can see this is just so unfair, even when he pointedly heads his piece Brandis and Drefus take hypocrisy to a new level (but you'll have to dodge the paywall to read it).

For some bizarre reason, van Onselen seems to think the cool, calm, empirical Abbott government made an ideological appointment:

...for the most part finding senior practitioners to fill AHRC roles is increasingly hard to do now the functions of the commission centre around a glorified form of lobbying and public advocacy. And with this shift the likes of Soutphommasane and Wilson become ideally suited to becoming commissioners: able to hit the airwaves to mount arguments in the policy areas they have been assigned. 
The question for taxpayers is: why are we now paying for them to do pretty much what they already had been doing, at a cheaper price, when they were paid by their ideologically driven organisations? A new conservative government was always likely to counterbalance years of left-wing appointments to the AHRC with right-wing appointments of its own. 

Oh dear, is there a solution?

A strong conservative government, however, would simply have abolished the commission and saved the money. 

Ah the IPA solution!

Hang on Watson, I think the pond once scribbled a monograph on that subject.

There is nothing the AHRC does that can't be done by advocacy groups within academia, the non-government sector or even government departments. Equally, the toothless reports the AHRC produces could just as easily be done by the Ombudsman, only with much greater powers to investigate before publishing findings. 
If the AHRC has to exist at all, Wilson's appointment at least starts the process of balancing up the organisation. Were it a truly quasi-judicial body such ideological thinking wouldn't much matter, but as a body for public advocacy it certainly does.

Quick Watson, the game's afoot, we must hie off to our very model of a cool, calm, collected, empirical fearless leader ...

We'll abolish the HRC, sack Tim Wilson, and teach those bloody fools at the IPA a lesson.

What's that? That's exactly what they want?

What's that? He's on his way to France? And might soon be 40,000 feet above Darwin?

Oh sheesh, as Marie Antoinette observed, it's just not bloody fair. Give 'em bread and all they can do is yammer on about cake. Those bloody inner urban elites.

Let's hope he returns with a bloody good French clock. Just to balance all that unfairness.

And now for that monograph, as recorded in the Boscombe Valley Mystery:

Now note the eerie, uncanny resemblance, and our work here today is done Watson ...


  1. DP, we are all aware of the bromance between the Oz’s Greg Sheridan and Tony Abbott, but the Oz’s Dennis Shanahan, the silver fox with the signature light-grey suit and motley ties, seems to be making a move on his precious and cool, calm and collected PM. Only time will tell who is the Alpha male and who is the Beta male or am I mistaken and the question should be: who is Zeta and who is Eta?

  2. Ah HB, the suits and the ties. The pond wore out the tie joke and reverted to bouffant, but Zeta offers a whole new routine, and we shouldn't forget the dental fricative charm of Theta!
    There's every chance the bouffant one might be a Thetan.

  3. Tony "Magic Fingers" Abbott is the very model of a type of mainstream Catholic man who was legion around the Christian Brothers schools in the1970s and '80s. The sort of guy who spent the time that should have been spent teaching and running the school on bum-sucking the bishops and local worthies.
    Who needs competence when God is on your side?

  4. In today’s SMH, Deborah Snow reports:

    “Tim Wilson never had to apply for the job. He never had to sit for an interview, be screened by an expert panel, or undergo the rigorous weeks-long selection process that applied to the others.”


    ''He has got no relevant qualifications at all,'' a commission employee said this week. ''He has been a climate change denier, has done no law, little policy, he has an arts degree and a masters in something [diplomacy and trade, according to Wilson] but he has no technical qualifications in this field at all. I would say most of the staff are better qualified than Tim is.''
    Ben Saul, professor of international law at Sydney University, agrees.
    ‘He has no serious background in human rights, either by working in a human rights organisation or by having any relevant qualifications in the area,’ he says.”

    Who else from the IPA is equally unqualified in the claim to be an expert? None other than Chris Berg and Simon Breheny of the IPA when they appeared as witnesses to give so-called “expert evidence” before the Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications – 19/3/13.

    “CHAIR: Mr Berg and Mr Breheny, why should we give more weight to your evidence than to Mr Finkelstein's and Professor Ricketson's?
    Mr Berg : The IPA has strong views; I think it is backed by research evidence. I do not think that the Finkelstein review was as intellectually coherent as some have claimed it was, and I do not think it is the be-all and end-all of media discussion in this country. I do not know why we would raise that up to being the definitive statement on the free press.
    CHAIR: But strong views are not the basis on which to make deliberations; strong views are strong views.
    Mr Berg : Absolutely; and I would be happy to send you a copy of my book, which details at great length the evidence that we bring to bear on this discussion, which is a historical and philosophical grounding on the importance of the free press and the historical and current threats to it.
    CHAIR: Do you have a PhD in the media or something like that?
    Mr Berg : No, I do not.
    CHAIR: What are your qualifications?
    Mr Berg : I have a Bachelor of Arts and I am doing a PhD at the moment at RMIT university.
    CHAIR: In what?
    Mr Berg : In economics.
    CHAIR: So you have no qualifications in the media?
    Mr Berg : In the media in general?
    CHAIR: Yes.
    Mr Berg : I am a published commentator on all sorts of things.
    CHAIR: A commentator—
    Mr Berg : No, I understand—
    CHAIR: I am asking about your professional base. I am not asking whether you are a commentator; we know you are a commentator. Mr Breheny, what about you? What are your qualifications?
    Mr Breheny : I am currently a university student; I am studying arts and law at the University of Melbourne.
    CHAIR: Arts and law—good on you; that is great. Let us go to the issues you have raised about fairness and balance. Do you believe the press should have the right to say whatever they like? Should there be any restrictions on the press?
    Mr Berg : There are already many, many restrictions on the press at the moment, from defamation to intellectual property. There are courses that you can do in media law. Journalists have to do dedicated subjects about these sorts of things. It is a straw man to suggest that we are discussing a laissez-faire press versus a regulated press. We have a highly regulated press at the moment and the government is proposing to increase those regulations. “

    Tim Wilson, Chris Berg and Simon Breheny: three self-proclaimed experts; in what field I don’t know but they remind me of the following: “An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less until he knows absolutely everything about nothing.”

    Sorry for my exceedingly long comment, DP, I just couldn’t resist this one.

    1. It was irresistible HB and it made for an irresistible read. In particular this seems to say everything about the Murdochian press:

      Strong views are not the basis on which to make deliberations; strong views are strong views.

  5. Interesting to investigate which Australian leaders and politicians are involved with "pro-family" organisations which have supported the Ugandan laws which criminalise homosexuality. Nile? Bernardi? Family First? Mad Danny? There are a few. They should be outed.

  6. "Tony Abbott: model of a cool, calm and collected PM" - THE VERY QUALITIES ONE LOOKS FOR IN A PSYCHOPATHIC SERIAL KILLER. Shanahan, you pathetic sychophant, what exactly has this mean and tricky (albeit dumb) PM achieved so far?


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