Thursday, February 13, 2014
King Canute and the political crash test dummies ...
(Above: it amazes and delights the pond that each day cartoonists like David Pope can wake up and provide some relief for the day. More Pope here)
Those with long and deep, or even short and shallow memories will recall the grand days of "sorry", and the times when the likes of Sophie Mirabella - long gone and not missed for a day - could come out with this sort of stuff:
Calling for an "open and honest debate" on the issue, she suggested critics were trying to impose their views on dissenters. "It is a sad return to the Hawke-Keating years when anyone who did not agree with the social policies of the Labor government were hailed down as uncompassionate and ridiculed," she said.
Talkback airwaves through the Goulburn Valley and Murray River region were abuzz yesterday after Mrs Mirabella boycotted the historic apology and questioned whether any child in Victoria had been "truly stolen". (here)
There were six in the mob, some of them long gone and some of them still around, and Liberal MPs, Wilson Tuckey, Don Randall, Alby Schultz, and Dennis Jensen joined Mirabella in not appearing in parliament and thereby boycotting the apology:
In the Senate, NSW Senator Concietta Fierravanti-Wells also “abstained” from the vote on the apology, which was carried on the voices and did not involve a formal division where MPs vote was recorded. SA Senator Cory Bernardi supported the apology but later gave a speech stating he felt “no guilt” for what happened in Australia’s brief history and complained he had been “set upon by a gang of Aboriginal youths” as a teenager at the Adelaide beachside suburb of Glenelg.
Victorian Liberal Chris Pearce attended but also drew criticism for his decision to remain seated during a standing ovation at the end of the apology and for reading during the proceedings.
Mr Tuckey, who loudly recited the Lord’s prayer before walking out of parliament before the apology commenced, confirmed today he was among up to five Liberal MPs who boycotted the event.
“I am not in this house for tokenism. I went down there and prayed for those people. I put in my mind a prayer for those who seriously need help but I heard nothing today that is going to do that,’’ he told said.
And so on and so forth.
West Australian Liberal MP Dennis Jensen confirmed he also boycotted the event. “Saying sorry is not going to solve anything - it’s wallpaper,’’ he told The Australian Online. “We need to be dealing with the very real problems in Aboriginal society. For a start, you’ve got life expectancy which in WA is under 50. “There was a court case involving the Commonwealth and the finding of that, upheld on appeal, was that in the case of the Northern Territory there never was a policy of removing Aboriginal children based on race. Based on that, what are you apologising for ? “I struggled with this one. When you look at it, the federal parliament was not responsible for all the Aboriginal policy in all the states." Later, Liberal leader Brendan Nelson refused to condemn the behaviour of the boycotting MPs, arguing they had a right to their opinion.
"Every Australian has a different perspective and a different point of view on all issues," Dr Nelson said.
"The important thing for us is to respect difference of opinion." (here, behind the paywall because memories cost money).
Fast forward to yesterday and a veritable orgy of humbug - enough humbug to fill the NT or keep a factory making boiled lollies and humbusg in business for a year - and where were all the protests and the protestors?
Nowhere to be found, not even when King Canute himself promised to spend a week in Arnhem land to demonstrate that the politics of gesture will always win up against the politics of effectiveness.
But there was one loyal dissident, still maintaining the rage, or at least the doubts:
The news? Really?
No link because you surely know it off by heart. Being a black in Australia puts you on luxury street, there are whites who love to be black so they can make out like bandits, and the Bolter would just love to swap places with a black in Yuendumu - just like Dan Aykroyd did with Eddie Murphy - and live a life of fabulous indulgence ...
You know, they use their welfare cheques to attend the opera and drink the odd bottle of Grange left somewhere on the couch ...
Meanwhile, the Bolter was maintaining the rage on yet another familiar theme:
What a tiresome, monomaniacal, obsessive compulsive he is. Others still want to include the Bolter in the climate science debate, The 'pause' in global warming is not even a thing, but that's a bit like keeping a fundamentalist Christian creationist in on the discussion of the theory of evolution.
Meanwhile, the hapless stooges at the Daily Terror didn't know where to turn or what to say.
For months the rag, the least trusted newspaper in Australia, has been promising that a second airport for Sydney was just around the corner, and that Mr. Infrastructure himself - taking time off from his King Canute duties - had the matter well in hand.
The silly wannabe reptiles even ran a story last week saying that there would be an announcement this very week on the matter.
Comes the day and the hour, comes the Mr. Infrastructure man:
Jobs? Steady, got to save a little strength for the union bashing ...
And that's why the Terror is the least trusted newspaper in Australia.
Meanwhile, over at the lizard Oz, the reptiles are in despair, and chief uxorious worshipper, possible foot fetishist and hagiographer - remember A bromance for the ages - has a hand wringing fit in Hard for Abbott to govern in paralysed vetocracy. (behind the paywall to guard stray innocent readers against an attack of nausea)
In the light of the Toyota closure, how does Australia compare with other wealthy nations? In recent years our politics has moved in the wrong direction. Can Tony Abbott change that?
Uh huh. Julia Gillard managed it for a couple of years - despite Abbott attempting on a daily basis to disrupt consensus and introduce mayhem - and now King Canute and his worshippers are whimpering and saying it's all too hard?
Can he really hold back the waves and change their direction and the trends and everything and whatever? Has Julia Gillard got a spare set of balls in the cupboard somewhere?
It seems we've caught the American disease, except America is still wonderful.
We're simply too democratic. If we're going to get the trains to run on time, we need to make room for Mussolini and constitutional change!
The problem, it turns out, is that Sheridan was left alone in a room with an article by Francis Fukuyama, the man, who in ages past, in a perfectly meaningless way, announced the end of history.
Fukuyama blathered on about the decision system becoming too porous, "too democratic", and being a bear with very little brain and watching the Abbott government suffer in the Senate, Sheridan immediately decided what was needed was constitutional change aimed at the unrepresentative swill in the Senate.
Strangely, during the long years of the Gillard minority government, such bright ideas had somehow eluded Sheridan.
Of course Sheridan is a "climate change - what climate change" sort of man, and is gung ho for fracking, and warns that we could end up like India or even worse Europe and never mind where King Canute decides to holiday in Paris.
Sheridan is also a union bashing man, based on first hand experience:
In Australia, you can see this dynamic too. Can all those cafes that do open at weekends really be paying award wages? To walk through much of central Sydney on a public holiday now, except for a few tourist areas, is to see a dead city, as the insanity of weekend penalty rates keeps shops and restaurants closed and people unemployed.
Yes, what's needed is tipping as a substitute for these wicked award and penalty rates!
Then watch how the peasants would fawn all over Sheridan while serving him a coffee.
Of course you can wander through the financial sector in New York of a weekend and find a similar dead zone, as the insanity of trying to serve workers who've taken the weekend off dawns on coffee shop owners and they head off to tourist hotspots, but who's the pond to stand in the way of Sheridan's sage advice to small business.
Meanwhile, over at the Fairfaxians, hagiographer Paul Sheehan in Bill Shorten hamstrung by union ties offers up an illiberal dose of union bashing, mingled with Bill Short-term bashing, mingled with carbon tax bashing, and about the only thing the pond thought he got right in a flood of verbiage, hostility, anger and bitterness - manufactured on the spot for a most generous wage which made penalty rates superfluous - was this ...
Tony Abbott may not be the most popular new prime minister ...
Damn those useless clocks that get it right twice a day ...
And so, having wasted half the day trying to reach the airport to connect to the Indonesian connection - it's only $1600 business class to Jakarta on Garuda in a more modern aircraft than Qantas, and there's Alan Joyce's business plan at work for you as he goes about the business of shaking down King Canute and Jolly Joe and luring them into a fresh bout of inconsistent hypocrisy - the pond had simply had enough, and desperately needed another cartoon, and happily David Rowe came to the rescue with yet another reminder that there is a political purpose to crash test dummies...
(Below: More Rowe here)
Posted by dorothy parker at 2/13/2014 09:33:00 AM