Friday, January 31, 2014

So many frogs willing to give the scorpions a free ride ...

In this time of click bait turnover, things get lost very quickly. 

Including The Guardian's astute comparison, by implication and association, of the Abbott government with an abrasive, censorial Egyptian military dictatorship in relation to its treatment of any section of the media that dares not to follow the official government line.

Hurling around words like treachery, treason, unpatriotic and un-Australian, such talk being the first refuge of the scoundrel.

There's a downside. Suddenly, in comparison, the Egyptian military dictatorship might appear a little more moderate, a little less rabid.

Uh huh. But, but, but, you say, in billy goat protest, or at least to serve as a straw dog, what about the balanced view of the Fairfaxians?

Well, again in the interest of recording click bait turnover, here's what Pravda by the Yarra yesterday thought was an appropriate and balanced response to the latest, wearying assault on the ABC:

By golly, with balanced friends like these, who needs enemies?

But why publish Paterson at all, a rabid attack dog well known for his views, as is his corporate master, the mysteriously financed IPA?

He has after all, his own platform, the IPA Review, and they have their own website. To quote Paterson:

Australians have at their fingertips access to more news from more varied sources than ever before. Online, ever niche interest and point of view is well covered.

You see? You can just click to enlarge and read what Paterson has to say:

Here's the naked rub, the blatant self-serving self-interest:

... as private media companies continue to struggle with profitability, the continued lavish funding of the ABC only serves to undermine their business model further.

Never mind that The Age, by offering Paterson as click bait, is undermining its business model and alienating its readership further, all presumably in the bizarre notion of balance and letting all forms of eccentricity be heard.

Meanwhile, the story that sparked the storm won't go away, and good on the ABC for going back to the well again and talking to an asylum seeker, and running the story this morning on AM, as you can hear here.

Who knows what goes on while Australian ships patrol the high seas, and Indonesian waters - it's wrapped in secrecy, and the only way forward is by denials.

Was a kind of spray used on the asylum seekers? We won't deny it, but we won't discuss operational matters ...

Why it's enough to form the basis for a Clark and Dawe skit (did you know you can watch Turning Back The News Where It Is Safe To Do So online?)

Meanwhile, what do we cop from the reptiles at the lizard Oz? Why the bouffant one is front and centre, reporting for orders, and ready to portray Scott Morrison as an heroic figure:

You can read Coalition begins boat policy offensive if you can be bothered circumventing the globe or the lizard paywall, but don't worry because it's a content and investigative journalist free zone.

But it is strong on comedy. Here's a portrait of a bold, brave, crusading Scott Morrison at his finest:

Mr Morrison said he would attend the Senate inquiry seeking information on the handling of information under Operation Sovereign Borders and public access to it, although he considered the committee to be a "political stunt". 
The Coalition has been accused of excessive secrecy over illegal boat arrivals. Greens immigration spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young has said the Senate inquiry was about the "power of the Senate versus the arrogance of a government that doesn't want to be held to account". 
Mr Morrison said he would not leave officials to be "subjected to this stunt without me being there beside them to take questions".

Oh yes, he's right up there with Don Quixote, ready to stand alongside his cardigan wearers.

Heroically he's ready to take actual questions, from the fiendishly tricky, deviant and perverted greenies.

What a cosmic marvel.

And he didn't have to be as brave as Pooh, he didn't need to be brave at all:

Previously, the minister had not committed to attend the Senate committee and it was expected his representative in the Senate, Michaelia Cash, would do so.

Now he's mad, Hulk is mad as hell ...

Meanwhile, please allow the pond a personal aside, arising from the news that prime flake and fellow travelling quisling Malcolm Turnbull has decided that this is exactly the right moment to announce a review of the ABC and SBS, and never mind that another review is already in train.

Over the years, the pond came into contact with a number of federal government departments - it was the only sign there was a god determined to sentence the pond to a life of hell on earth - and was surprised at the way they conformed to stereotype.

The ATO was indeed full of grinches, who fancied they were adept at garnering revenue, though this preening self-esteem frequently led to various forms of blindness and folly; Foreign Affairs was full of toffs and eccentrics, and deserved a minister who knew how to wear a stocking; while the ABS, then based in Belconnen, was full of bean counters and cardigan wearers of the most dispirited and dispiriting kind (why they're still there to this very day).

But of all the most woeful and tragic departments in Canberra that the pond came in contact with - the most inept, inconsequential, bumbling and lackadaisical - the now named Department of Communications won hands down.

Its usefulness can be measured just by contemplating the complete uselessness of one agency in its portfolio, ACMA, which is to say the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

Now flake and prat Malcolm Turnbull has announced, in best Monty Python style, that he will unleash his very own department on the ABC and SBS to judge their efficiency.

The review, to be conducted by the Department of Communications, will focus on the “efficiency of the operations” of the ABC and SBS. It will be assisted by Peter Lewis, a former Seven West Media chief financial officer. (here)

It should be a fun time for Lewis, because no metaphor can conjure up the real implications - not even the notion of a turtle being sent to judge the speed of a turtle. Not even maths will help: inefficient + inefficient = efficiency simply doesn't work.

There is of course only one point to the review: inefficiencies will be found, and cuts will be made.

And silly old ABC management will clutch at straws:

Fairfax Media understands ABC management is hoping the review will ring-fence the broadcaster from the government's commission of audit. 
The efficiency study is scheduled to be completed by April, which makes it unlikely it will have much bearing on the budget. The minister is understood to have commissioned the study so the ABC could make the difficult decisions that have been forced upon commercial media organisations in recent years. There is a view within government that SBS is already running on an "oily rag", but that parts of the ABC's operations are less efficient.

Uh huh. Yep, SBS is truly fucked, an outpost of Al Jazeera and no meaningful new programming, and NITV is even more fucked, so let's really fuck the ABC.

Well there's a view outside government that the Department of Communications is moribund and might indeed already be a corpse, but never mind, the pond isn't taking bets on the ABC getting a slash and burn in the upcoming budget, because the odds are so short.

And if it turns out to be the quarter of a billion being rumoured in the press, it'll be more than a haircut.

In this context, the soft-gloved, smirking, smiling grovelling interview offered up by Leigh Sales to toff Turnbull verged on the obscene (check it out here and see if the pond is wrong).

The quisling Turnbull, with a smile and a smirk, will send the ABC down, though he might manage a crocodile tear or two along the way.

Remember this?

Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott has ruled out any cuts to ABC and SBS. Speaking on Election eve, he told SBS that public broadcasters will not see any cuts under an Abbott government. 
“No cuts to education, no cuts to health, no change to pensions, no change to the GST and no cuts to the ABC or SBS,” he said. 
 The news was immediately welcomed. Glenys Stradijot, a spokesperson for Friends of the ABC (Vic) said, “Friends of the ABC was pleased to hear Tony Abbott’s election-eve promise that there will be no cuts to the ABC. 
“We are gratified that the Liberal-National Coalition has recognised the respect and admiration with which the ABC is held by the Australian community. 
“Australia’s independent national broadcaster plays a crucial role in the life and culture of the country. It’s the responsibility of politicians of all political persuasions to ensure that it thrives. “The announcement that a Coalition government would not cut the ABC is good news which we had been waiting for.”  (here)

So many frogs, just waiting to give so many scorpions a ride into the middle of the pond ...

That story ended with a joke:

But does he promise not to privatise, commercialise or merge them too….?

It should have ended but does he promise to keep his promises, or did he keep his fingers crossed behind his back, because he's a lying, cheating son a bitch whose promises mean diddly squat ...

Normally the pond doesn't have problems with sons of bitches, not even when they're bastards. But it's the only polite form of words for describing a prick.

It's always the way. Time after time, the frogs line up. If you want to save money, do you bring the military back home from their completely useless endeavours in Afghanistan? Nope, just cut their pay.

If you want to reward rural folk for voting the right way, do you help them keep their cannery? Nope, teach 'em a lesson in self-sufficiency ...

If you want an organisation that allows a little truth to filter up to power, do you keep your promises? Nope,  you shoot the messenger, or at least cut off their feet and then see how they stand. Everyone loves a Black Knight sketch ...

So if you make a promise, never ever keep it, because you want people to understand that you in particular - Tony Abbott - and in general politicians, are just a lying cheating dissembling mob of arseholes who'll do and say anything to get power, and when in power, do and say exactly the opposite of what they've promised, and mutter about changed circumstances and exigencies and efficiencies ...

By golly, after all that, how about a bit of kulture to do with vows and promises for light relief?

Under the stars the air was light 
But dark below the boughs, 
The still air of the speechless night, 
When lovers crown their vows. ..

... There, when hueless is the west 
And the darkness hushes wide, 
Where the lad lies down to rest 
Stands the troubled dream beside. 

There, on thoughts that once were mine, 
Day looks down the eastern steep, 
And the youth at morning shine 
Makes the vow he will not keep. (and here, for the rest of A. E. Housman's A Shropshire Lad)

Well he's no longer a lad, but he surely is a duplicitous fork-tongued MAMIL ...

(Below: but at least it's a golden time for the cartoonists, and the golden David Rowe. More Rowe here)

Put it another way, in case you've never done a Greg Hunt and looked up The Scorpion and the Frog:


  1. Frog? Isn't that a tortoise?

  2. Oh, just saw the Wiki.

  3. The whole attack on the ABC was orchestrated so that the excellent address by James Spigelman to the National Press Club would receive minimal publicity – even by the ABC.
    As the pond shows, the aim is not just to reduce criticism of the conservatives with the glass jaws and thin skins, but to abolish all things public and have small government so that the Prime Minister and his Ministers will receive large salaries from Australians for doing little else but turn up to parliament and talk vacuously, leaving plenty of time for overseas jaunts / study tours / mixing with the famous, iron man events, cycling and weddings. With any luck, the Coalition will reduce the purpose of government to such an extent that there will be no need for a Prime Minister.
    Minister Turnbull has now proven, beyond doubt, what a weak politician he is. As for Dr Sharman Stone, Abbott has waved his blue tie at her - a symbol of hatred and defiance against female commentary - and like another woman, she too has sunk into political oblivion.

    On the issue of the taxpayer funded being answerable, apparently that does not apply to the military services or to parliamentarians, who the Abbott Coalition believe should never be open to question or be answerable for their actions. The Prime Minister sounds like the Captain of the U.S.S Codfish. As the U.S.S. Codfish was a submarine, it is an underwater matter rather than an on water matter; therefore I am able to provide a link:

  4. Spot on DP.Better that we both die than my enemy survive is the Tea-Party ideology down to it's cotton socks.
    These guys are like a horror movie with daily instalments and their only interest is looking after the 1%: end of story.Matt Taibbi(Taibblog) doe's a nice summary today of how shameless and greedy these pricks are and probably explains the neocon suicide philosophy to global warming.If we can't have it all, then no one will have anything, regardless of evidence,regardless of science,regardless of human decency.
    And Leigh Sales is just nauseating to watch.Must have an eye on a political future.Cheers,Jeff

  5. Spigelman is patronising. The country needs better men than that auditing the ABCs.

  6. Skewered them again - compulsory daily reading!

  7. So ABC local good, ABC city bad. It's all so simple for righteously right manichaeans. ABC local is simple too - ah, but it is like a free local rag of the murdocracy. Who says the Murdochabbott won't go there?

    Manichean or Manichaean, adjective: Of or relating to a dualistic view of the world, dividing things into either good or evil, light or dark, black or white, involving no shades of gray.

  8. The only thing that has surprised me about this govt is that Turnbull is as bad or worse than most of them.

    He had had me fooled. And foolish I was. I now look upon him with distaste.

  9. Unsolicited email I received from Tim Andrews


    The ABC is out of control.

    Last week’s disgraceful and unsubstantiated smears are just the latest in a radical ideological campaign by the taxpayer-funded broadcaster.

    The ABC’s consistent support of fringe big-government policies, and its consistent refusal to present balanced reporting, is a national disgrace.

    The ABC receives a staggering $1.1 billion in our taxes a year – and for what?

    It should surprise no-one that 40% of ABC journalists surveyed admitting voting for the Greens, and a further 32% for Labor.

    And can you name even a single non-left broadcaster on ABC Radio – remembering that the ABC has over fifty radio stations?

    We need to take urgent and decisive action now.

    Tweaking the ABC Board is not the solution – it’s been tried and failed.

    Re-examining the ABC Charter is not the solution – the ABC has shown it can and will ignore its charter.

    It is time for a wholesale root and branch review of the ABC and its future in Australia. And it needs to happen now.

    In an era of unparalleled media diversity in Australia, with the media bringing with it a wealth of diverse independent entertainment and news services, what role has a taxpayer funded, government run juggernaut have to play?

    Do we really need ABC music-radio dominance destroying the Australian Music scene?

    Do we really need ABC blogs crowding out independent online media?

    Do we really need a government run 24 news channel?

    The list of question goes on...

    The Federal Government needs to seriously address these issues and ask the hard questions.

    But we need your help to make them do it.

    Earlier today, Federal Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull defended the ABC – something he has done many times in the past. This is not surprising; given the high degree of support the ABC has given Mr Turnbull.

    However, as Minister for Communications, Mr Turnbull’s priority must be to the Australian people – and not to his mates at the ABC.

    We have set up a campaign for Australians to contact their MP and demand an urgent review.

    xxxx I STRONGLY urge you to visit and to join our campaign.

    At a time of fiscal crisis, the billions of our hard earned dollars that the ABC receives must be scrutinised.

    What happened last week was just one example out of thousands that proves we need a review now.

    I hope you will visit to join our campaign, and will promote it to all you friends.

    Yours sincerely,

    Tim Andrews
    Executive Director
    Australian Taxpayers' Alliance

    PS: Please click HERE to contact your MP and DEMAND an urgent review into the future of the ABC.

    1. Splendid stuff. And now, fuck Tim Andrews and the horse he rode in on ...

    2. Interesting outfit. I had a look at the website. They are very keen on free speech. For themselves not others.

      I noticed too that Tom Switzer is on their board of advisors. Young Tim mustn't be heeding the advice as the Australian Speccie which Switzer edits has an editorial expressing mild dismay at the current bullying of the ABC.

  10. Curious, And this report is from 7 - not the ABC.

    'Tongues' Morisson is strangely silent.


    A sophisticated lifeboat reportedly being used by Australian authorities to send asylum seekers back to Indonesia has washed up on the coast of Java.

    The fully-enclosed vessel discovered by Indonesian authorities was one of 11 purchased by the Abbott government in a bid to stop asylum seekers from reaching Australia, News Limited reports.

    The "unsinkable" orange lifeboats can carry up to 90 passengers and are air-conditioned, fitted with safety and navigational equipment and stocked with food and water.

    It's claimed the pod-like vessel found in a remote corner of Java had been transporting around 60 asylum seekers, who scattered into the Indonesian jungle when the vessel came ashore.

    A spokesman for Immigration Minister Scott Morrison refused to comment about the lifeboats, saying the government would not provide details about operational matters related to border security.

    Mr Morrison has previously refused to confirm reports the government was planning to buy 16 hard-hulled lifeboats to combat the practice of asylum seekers sabotaging old fishing boats at sea.

    But in mid-January, Operation Sovereign Borders commander Angus Campbell did confirm the purchase of the lifeboats, while declining to say how they would be used.

    The development alarmed Indonesian foreign minister Marty Natalegawa, who expressed concern Australia could be going further than turning boats back by potentially facilitating the movement of asylum seekers.

  11. So the Abbott Government are now officially people smugglers?

    Stick to budgies, Tones.

  12. Anon, thanks for the link. Gee, Andrews has 25000 members, or so he says. Yes he does. But then he gilds the lillies just a bit. What kind of bogan twerp could buy his nonsense. Pathetic really, take for example this lamely fallacious appeal to authority attempt in describing one of his fellows: "Patrick Michaels is a contributing author and reviewer of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007" For fuck's sake, other than the current Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) who buys this kind of neoCON shit?

  13. Anon, thanks for the link. Gee, Andrews has 25000 members, or so he says. Yes he does. But then he gilds the lillies just a bit. What kind of bogan twerp could buy his nonsense. Pathetic really, take for example this lamely fallacious appeal to authority attempt in describing one of his fellows: "Patrick Michaels is a contributing author and reviewer of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007" For fuck's sake, other than the current Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) who buys this kind of neoCON shit?

  14. It was I who received the 'ABC is out of control' email from Andrews. I have never had any dealings with them or their associates. Except that once 6 years ago I sent an email to Malcolm Turnbull.

    So it makes you wonder, who does the Liberal HQ share their email database with?

    1. That will learn ya for writing to Turnbull.

      I did once too but he is now on my to-be-ignored list after the NBN betrayal.

      He hasn't done very well in interviews either. He sounds very flustered for a silver tongue.

    2. I naively thought that you could communicate with an MP fair and square. Since then I have been deluged with Lib and associates spam. I did also email Greg Combet (at the time my local federal MP.) and received polite replies but so far no Labor spam.

      Perhaps the coalition have better marketers? It must be that Brian Loughnane and his wife Peta Credlin.
      They keep sending me stuff.

    3. Oh - and my reply to Andrews?

      Fuck off (Blair defence)


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