Thursday, February 20, 2014

The hagiographer's work and duty never ends ...

So that's how the Fairfaxians led their digital edition.

It's an obvious angle on a story that demands attention.

But when the hagiography gets to be tough going, the genuine hagiographer gets going:

There, that's how it's gone, you ignore the story entirely, and you explain - for benefit of Indonesians - how everything is for the best of all worlds, and everything is working spiffingly well for benefit of Indonesians, and you put it right at the top of the page, with a story below about how the brave PM is standing up to cyber giants ...

Yep, you don't get to be an ingenious craven lickspittle and knob polisher without knowing all the angles on the billiard table of life.

The top of the page splash was of course an EXCLUSIVE on the digital edition, though how UN figures are the EXCLUSIVE domain of the reptiles at the lizard Oz must remain a mystery:

You see, that's how it's done, and there below, in the interests of fairness and balance, there's none of that unsavoury business of the Fairfaxians, screaming that there's blood, there's blood everywhere.

Instead you cop "We're no cannibals, Manus MP". And we all know what that means. Just when did you stop beating your wife, you cannibal ...

What a pity the government didn't seem to be up to the job of crowing about the wonders of its policies at work - perhaps it might have been thought a little unseemly just after a death dealing riot.

Unfortunately, the only ones interested in responding to the slavering, slobbering, simpering reptiles happened to be Indonesian, only given space right at the end of the story, as you'll note if you evade the paywall here :

The Australian was last night seeking a response to the data from Mr Morrison’s office. 

An Indonesian presidential adviser, former long-time foreign minister Hassan Wirajuda, yesterday dismissed the reduced flow as “a temporary phenomenon”. Dr Wirajuda’s reply suggests Canberra has a long way to go to persuade the Yudhoyono administration. 
“Yes, for a while Indonesia may benefit, because temporarily potential refugees might postpone their intention to go to Australia,” he said. “But who can guarantee that next year they will not try again, because the root causes, like conflicts, war, poverty, push people to migrate.” 
Dr Wirajuda said his experience over more than a decade of dealing with refugee flow through the region suggested the slowdown was temporary.

Silly, outrageous, shocking Dr Wirajuda.

He needs to go to a re-education camp to be reminded that conflicts, war, poverty  and etc have nothing to do with it. These are filthy rich economic refugees without a shred of decency or shame, because life in Iran and Syria and Somalia and such like is one jolly hockey sticks romp ...

Naturally the Oz wouldn't be a genuinely hagiographic news service if it the spin of the day wasn't accompanied by a member of the commentariat fronting up for service, and how lucky the readers of the Oz are to have Greg "How I learnt to love Tony Abbott" Sheridan on hand.

It turns out, if you can summon the energy to evade the paywall, and suffer yet another fit of ennui and rage, that Keeping the friendship afloat is a masterly piece of dissembling evasion, in which Sheridan explains the many reasons why Indonesia and Indonesians have for distrusting the current regime in Canberra.

Naturally Snowden cops the blame for starters, which reminded the pond that if you wanted an alternative view of the activities of Snowden - beyond the standard bleat of "treasonous traitor" - you might well read David Cole's The Three Leakers and What to Do About Them, for The New York Review of Books, outside the paywall at the moment.

After dusting up Snowden, Sheridan lets loose with an epic fit of masochism:

It strikes them (Indonesians) that this was all about Australian smugness, the desire of Australians to see themselves as morally superior. Now they believe the new policy, again, is all about Australian selfishness, that it shows a lack of Australian engagement in the region. They believe Australia has played to fear and prejudice and that we don’t care about the effects of Australian policy on Indonesia; in particular, that we don’t really care what Indonesia’s views are. This is where it links up with the Snowden issue. Australia has the power to do things, so it does them, whether Indonesia likes it or not. Similarly, they believe Indonesian views are only of importance in Australia if they reinforce one side or the other of our domestic political arguments. They also see the Abbott government’s determination on this issue as a disregard for the importance of the Indonesian relationship itself. And the fact that we constantly talk about the issue means that anything they don’t like about it is endlessly replayed in their media. 

Could a member of the commentariat be any more condescending?

Speaking of Indonesians as a collective hive mind, so dumb that the moment Australians talk about an issue, it's endlessly recycled in the Indonesian media, because, you know, feed the chooks and they will cluck ...

It's as if he wanted to illustrate the point he wanted to make about smug morally superior attitudes by being smug and superior ... as if the Indonesian media has nothing better to do than read the Australian media and replay it like a bunch of intertube bots ...

And then it gets worse:

Finally, this all plays into the Indonesian sense of victimhood. Australia stands in for hundreds of years of European misbehaviour in Asia. That is an Indonesian stereotype of Australia. 

Because you know bribing Papua New Guinea to house Australia's problems is an Indonesian stereotype. And now, let's make a genuine effort to insult the entire country:

From Australia’s point of view, many Australians see Indonesia as a nation that won’t actually do anything substantial about a shared problem, which can never take helpful co-operative action in a timely fashion, which takes offence where none is intended, which values the form of a good relationship, but which is not prepared to take concrete steps to make that relationship productive for both nations. 

So what's the real point of the piece? Well naturally it's "me, me, me" and Tony Abbott and a fit of handwringing about the way the ungrateful Indonesians simply don't seem to get it:

 In truth, Abbott is doing exactly what he said he would do before the election, and it is working. It is also benefiting Indonesia, as the numbers of people coming into Indonesia purely in order to come to Australia has declined sharply. 

And there it stands revealed, the whole thing has been a made to order, made to fit piece to reinforce, as in an echo chamber, the ostensible "exclusive" news which led the paper, and which replaced any mention of Manus Islands beyond "cannibal".

But all the same Manus Island must rear its ugly head, even in Sheridan's world:

The biggest threat to the Abbott government’s policies is just the sheer scale and complexity of holding everything together. The Manus Island disturbances are part of the serious battle of wills that the Rudd and Gillard governments so dismally failed. 
The Abbott government must mobilise whatever level of resources is needed to make Manus work properly, including in a way that respects the human rights of everyone involved. 
A failed policy would be infinitely more expensive. It would also, long term, damage the vitally important relationship with Indonesia.

At which point, the pond confesses to having collapsed into hysteria.

Maintain the rage, stick the course, battle the wills, splash the cash, and at the same time do it in a way that respects the human rights of everyone involved.

Some days the pond wonders what it must be like to wake up and look in the mirror while working as a Murdoch hack ...

But let's not end with hysteria, let's end with some good news.

Is it unseemly to dance on the grave of a failed site?

Generally no, but the pond is always happy to make an exception, at least when it comes to Menzies House.

The last post was a rabid bit of tripe about students and collectivism and students, on the 3rd February and then silence, and now this:

"There's room for everyone" runs the slogan, without seeming to realise that these loons are only fit for the pond, at the far end where the quacking and the loon calls can drift off into the breeze without disturbing anyone ...

And now, just to remind everyone that it's business as usual with Indonesia, the Daily Terror also ignored Manus island, and came up with a most creditable cover:

Only in Murdoch la la land ...

And so to sweets, and a serve of the soggy suet pudding that can never become a souffle:

It's a reminder, if one was needed, never to go to a raving ranting one eyed ideologue for a grasp of economics or any useful insight into the challenges faced by manufacturers confronted by a world economy.

Fortunately there are alternatives. You could for example read Alcoa contradicts Joe Hockey on reasons for smelter shutdown (forced video at end of link):

... in a statement a company spokeswoman confirmed ''the carbon tax was not a factor in the decision''.
Yep, in the usual Bolter way, reality has nothing to do with it. If ever you want a man to argue black should be white ...

The thing that titillates the pond is what will happen when in due course the carbon tax is abolished, and climate change continues on its slow and steady way, and manufacturing in Australian remains under the hammer, and Abbott and his motley crew will have to stand in the full glare of the sun and deliver the goods ...

Which inevitably brings us to a genuine sweet, a David Rowe cartoon, and more Rowe here (and don't forget to check out David Pope, who for this day only before it shuttles down the gallery, gives Thompson and the ALP a really rotten apple serve here.



  1. re. the Tele splash about a Sydney woman caught up in another drug saga. As the ABC pointed out the woman is actually a New Zealander, and her only claim to being a 'Sydney woman' is that she lived here for a few months whilst back-packing.

    1. thanks for the tip Anon but really you're not going to get work at the Terror letting the facts get in the way of a very distracting and handy story. Manus Island? Where's that?

  2. 'The thing that titillates ... is what will happen when in due course the carbon tax is abolished' by the Coalition in collusion with Palmer's coal mining party. Full glare of the sun, indeed.


Comments older than two days are moderated and there will be a delay in publishing them.