Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Just when the pond thought it couldn't get any tougher for the hagiographers ...
Look, it's just an internet meme doing the rounds. Who knows if it's true?
Can it really be true that the first recorded instance of the F-word in English is "fuckin Abbot"?
It was only when a reader issued a challenge to the pond that we decided to go with the flow:
Ah Katharine, you do know that I am going to have to put up with insufferable unoriginal pictures about my countries Prime Minister from the dickhead global left.
Oh dear. Why is it that on the intertubes people lead with 'dickhead' and then indulge in dickhead spelling? You see, country is a possessive in this context, dear Anaryl, so it's "my country's Prime Monster".
Never mind, the pond faithfully promises to run a couple of "fuckin' Gillards" the very moment the Royal Commission discovers that an abbot scribbled it as the first recorded instance of the F-word in English.
Meanwhile, on to more serious business and it's all starting to sound a little hollow, and only months on from September ...
For devotees of high comedy, all that's needed is a glance at the rhetoric of the Coalition's policy to boost manufacturing:
A Coalition government will unleash the economic potential of Australia's manufacturing industries by removing the shackles that are holding the sector back. (and the rest here from the optimistic world of 21/8/2013)
Who couldn't love the graphic?
Ah yes, those were the days, when action man donned the safety gear and turned up everywhere.
For devotees of high comedy, does it get any better than Tony Abbott having words with Steve Vizard?
Yep, Steve Vizard!
STEVE VIZARD: Tony Abbott, you've just been down in Geelong, what have you been doing down there for the morning?
TONY ABBOTT: Thanks Steve for that, yeah look, I've been at Ford motor plant at Geelong. It's an iconic Australian plant. It's been open since 1925 and it's one of the many major Australian manufacturers which would be at risk under a carbon tax. It's estimated the carbon tax will hit motor manufacturers' bottom line to the tune of $84 million a year and add $412 to the cost of the car. Now, with all the other problems that motor manufacturers face, why hit them with this? Now, as someone who drives a Ford Territory I know that Australian motor manufacturers can make a great product, but we've got a government who's trying to make their lives more difficult and I just wonder whether Wayne Swan, who is supposed to be visiting the Kenworth plant today is going to be upfront with people about how much harder it will be to manufacture trucks in Australia with the Government's carbon tax.
STEVE VIZARD: Frankly, do you see, the way things are going, if a clear path, another choice isn't made, can you see manufacturing, particularly if things like vehicles, cars, continuing in Australia? TONY ABBOTT: Well, I hope that it does continue and I think any government which makes it harder to manufacture cars is making it harder for us to continue to be a first world economy because without cars, without steel, without aluminium, without cement, we don't have these manufacturers in Australia, we are not really a sophisticated economy anymore. (the pond thought it was a joke, but here it is on liberal.org.au for your reading pleasure)
As for that other promise, to create a million jobs in five years?
Well everyone knew that was just a bit of bald-faced hucksterism and snake-oil selling, the moment the promise was made, and early in the new year, while everyone was down at the beach, it was debunked:
The Abbott government faces further pressure over broken promises with a new analysis showing it will fall well short of its pledge to create 1 million jobs over five years.
Despite Tony Abbott's repeated vows as opposition leader to ''under-promise and over-deliver'' in government, new parliamentary research based on the government's own economic forecasts indicates the Coalition will fall at least 200,000 jobs short.
The analysis, carried out by the Parliamentary Library at the request of Labor, was backed by a range of economists. (more here and for genuine masochists, even more at Tony Abbott's job pledge based on figures from the Howard Years).
When the tough get going, the rascally scoundrels head to water, and suddenly Tony Abbott is sounding like Wayne Swan:
Nothing that I say can limit the impact of this devastation and disappointment today (but) there will be better days in the future,' he told reporters in Canberra.
The constant focus of the government was to ensure a strong economy and that the number of new jobs outweighed the number of closing jobs, he said. (here)
This is usually sung in song form. There'll be pie in the sky, bye and bye, and you'll certainly get pie in the sky when you die.
So what's Abbott got? Well as infrastructure man, he's dedicated to building bigger and better roads, so foreign-built cars can get into bigger and better traffic jams, and he's got mining, and never mind the falling price of iron ore, and he's got the carbon tax, but since Toyota steadfastly refused to mention it, the words falling from the blathering mouth of Eric Abetz sounded like they came from beyond the valley of the timelessly weird (was it only in June 2013 that the cost of the carbon tax was put at $115 a car by Toyota? See here)
So what else has the Abbott government got?
Well at about this time, a flim flam song and dance man will turn up doing a routine about technologically advanced futurist nano innovative creatively dynamic forward looking creative nation creative state multi function polis with bells and cats ...
Once upon a time they sold monorails to Springfield and Sydney, but these days they prance about, singing a song of value add, and enhanced high end product and entrepreneurialism of the kind that would make Steve Jobs look like a black skivvy wearer.
Sure enough there was Malcolm Turnbull on Q and A last night, strutting his stuff - it being the ABC, you get your transcript here by 2 pm but genuine masochists can watch the show - the pond only did it to see what Janet "Dame Slap" Albrechtsen was wearing:
Turnbull did his very best impression of a hollow man, and unfortunately no one bothered to ask him how we might have a nano dynamic wired innovative creative economy hooked up by a third rate broadband system.
Instead the best he could manage was to splutter a bit about onerous regulation and red tape ...
Thereby confusing red tape with copper wiring and HFC cables.
It gets particularly rich when Abbott starts talking about Newcastle as an example of a city rising from the ashes. Newcastle hooked itself to the new digital economy and what did it find? Newcastle broadband speeds drop while federal government decides plan.
Yep, it's tough days and it's tough work for the hagiographers, but when it comes to allocating the blame, the reptiles at the lizard Oz know who to shaft:
It's always mystified the pond why Collier looks like someone who's swallowed the larval Hypopta agavis in a mexzcal con gusano from Oaxaxa (of course we did a Greg Hunt and looked it up here).
If it's going to be like that, then the pond blames Grace Collier and Rupert Murdoch.
Judith Stone had an even simpler explanation:
How did she open?
Good one, Justice Mordy Bromberg.
Indeed. Good one, Judith Sloan.
Then she promptly forgot about Bromberg, and turned to other causes:
There were other reasons for the Toyota decision, apart from the high cost of manufacturing in this country. The high value of the dollar has made it tough for Toyota, along with other manufacturers. The automotive retail market is very fragmented, with no model nor manufacturer commanding a large share of purchases. The company also mentioned trade agreements, both existing and proposed, in its reasons for withdrawing.
Say what? No mention of the carbon tax? She's forgotten the party line ...
And then came the gloom and the funk:
No doubt, it just looked too hard. Unless companies can earn an attractive return on the capital employed, they will up stakes and take their money elsewhere. This is what happened with Ford and General Motors Holden. Now Toyota is the final bottle to accidentally fall — although, maybe it was not really an accident.
At this point, the component industry is in dire straits.
The broader wake-up call is that unless our cost competitiveness and productivity performance improve quickly, we should expect closures in other parts of manufacturing.
But, but, but there was a man roaming the country all last year explaining how Australia was open for business and under new management.
And how, pray tell, will productivity performance fix the Australia dollar, a fragmented auto market, and those trade agreements designed to pave the way for Chinese and South Korean vehicles?
Ssssh, don't mention those trade agreements, please don't, whatever you do, mention those trade agreements.
Now about this time the pond would usually run a cynical, nasty, viciously funny cartoon from the likes of David Rowe. This sort of thing, which you can find in abundance here:
But damn it, the pond is a patriot and knows its duty.
We want to reassure stray readers that the country is in the very best of hands, with a man dedicated to working in a factory all the live long day. And remember, what you see below is just a brief and random sample.
If you google Tony Abbott and factory using image search, you can begin to understand why the overloaded, full to overflowing intertubes runs so slowly in Australia.
There's only so much big Mal's strings and sealing wax solution can deal with when it comes to magnificent pictures of Tony Abbott on the factory floor ...
And if you've got a problem with any of that, remember Marie Antoinette's famous advice. Let the peasants eat government supported chocolate!
Posted by dorothy parker at 2/11/2014 08:31:00 AM