First up, thanks to a copy of the lizard Oz purloined from an airline lounge - never ever pay for a Murdochian product is the first rule of the pond - it was revealed that the reptiles still claim to be the "heart of the nation".
There it was, as bold as brass:
It's gone missing online and the pond was lulled into a false sense of security.
As Shakespeare sort of said:
Haven’t they proven themselves to be a great villains—slandering, scorning, and dishonouring all that's good and decent in the world? Oh, I wish I were a man! They pretended that they were objective balanced reporters until the moment they were caught publishing sundry prejudicial, biased reports, and then—with public accusation, blatant slander, pure hatred—Oh God, if only I were a man! I would rip their hearts out in public and eat a tasty morsel of each ...
If the reptiles are the heart of the nation, then the long absent lord help the nation.
But let's not use the moment to give the Fairfaxians a free pass. Today, in his usual bout of union bashing - the day that you see Paul "Magic Water" Sheehan rail at corruption in the banking and finance sector might be some time coming - Sheehan drags Julia Gillard through it all more, yet the best he can offer in Julia Gillard back in spotlight over links to unions is guilt by association.
Along with this sort of cant and sanctimonious righteous humbug:
I have never questioned her claim that she was duped by unionists who used her legal services to engage in fraud. I do not question that claim now.
Of course it's humbug. Sheehan wants to throw mud at Gillard. Sheehan wants the mud to stick. Sheehan shows every sign of being one of those humbugs to be found in Bunuel's Belle de Jour:
Oh okay, it's a somewhat tenuous link, but truth to tell, the pond can only start Mondays so often being confronted by Sheehan before thinking of some fun things, and a Bunuel movie is always more amusing than Sheehan (yes, you remember the mud scene, surely you remember the mud)...
Sheehan was doing the same thing on the ABC, and that led to the same sort of cautionary humbug hypocrisy from the Bolter here:
(Note: Julia Gillard denies any wrongdoing and says she did not know how her then boyfriend, AWU official Bruce Wilson, used the slush fund she helped to set up through giving legal advice.)
Why the note? Why the cowardly custard knows the laws of defamation still apply.
But the note, the cant, the humbug, is only inserted so the smears and the innuendo can be rolled out.
It's another reason the pond has stopped watching the ABC. You never know when Sheehan or another member of the rabid right might turn up, as the ABC does its best to match Ten on its march to become the Faux Noise downunder.
But Sheehan is terrible television talent. His pallid demeanour and his reedy whining voice are an immediate turn off. Why the pond would rather watch Karl Stefanovic and Lisa Wilkinson. No, scrub that, just bring the gun and we'll end it now ...
Well the hagiography continues apace as the knob polishers dutifully go about their business:
And there's that bloody 'heart of the nation' sign as the reptiles carry on campaigning for the Bolter's right to be offensive, and as bigoted as he likes ...
(click to enlarge, but you might need a towel to handle all the slavering and the slobbering)
By golly the forelock tugging is a class act.
Julian Clarke: "Lachlan is one of the best strategic thinkers I've known ...."
Because you know the Ten network right now is such a raging success ... why the shares are on the rise right now thanks to the Golden Touch of the Murdochians ...
Which brings us the best dose of sanctimonious righteousness and humbug for the day, and naturally it's the editorial at The Australian.
Now there's a tricky line to walk here, but if you've ever been asked to walk in a straight line by an officer of the law, you'll know how to do it.
First up you have to remember that the March in March was a total flop and a failure and a matter only for satire of the Tim Blair kind.
Why speak of the noodle Blair, he's at his very satirical noodle best this very day in A day in the life of a trainee activist.
Yes the March in March was a noodle or so the MSM assured the world.
And it was studiously ignored, with a righteous level of humbug, as explained by Jacqueline Maley in March in March: Two sides to the story we didn't run.
As Maley explained, the presence of a couple of loons carrying signs was sufficient for the entire march to be given the black out treatment.
The peculiar attitude was explored by Media Watch, which inter alia, made this point here:
Well, yes. But one look at this picture from News Corp’s Herald Sun, and you can see the media had little choice
Because Tony Abbott delivered his speech to that rally standing in front of two now notorious signs: Ditch the Witch and Ju-liar, Bob Brown’s Bitch.
You could hardly ignore them or black them out, especially on TV news.
Another big difference is that Mr Abbott and other senior opposition politicians were supporting the protesters.
Had Bill Shorten spoken up at the March in March the anti Abbott placards would have been a much bigger story. Especially if he had been in front of these signs. But of course he was not.
Cue the lizards, today, with Hypocrisy writ large as Labor targets Speake.
Yep, Speake ...
The heart of the nation doesn't give a flying fuck about typos anymore. It's about on a par with the pond, which routinely is shocked and appalled at how much the pond's NZ subs miss as they do their spell-checking.
But do go on because the pond is a tad short on its daily dose of righteous indignant sanctimonious humbug:
This time a year ago the Labor Party and its eager supporters in the media were focused on the evils of misogyny and the apparent decline in the standard of public debate. On the ABC and in the Fairfax media they insisted loudly, indignantly and repeatedly that any and all criticism of Julia Gillard’s prime ministership had been deliberately amplified because of her gender. And they pointed to a handful of placards at an anti-carbon tax rally — that read “ditch the witch” and slandered Ms Gillard as “Bob Brown’s bitch” — as evidence that public debate had become ugly and brutish because of Tony Abbott’s aggressive leadership of the opposition. While Mr Abbott was unwise to appear in front of these signs, we always said those claims were overblown. The nasty signs and vicious online assaults against Ms Gillard were inexcusable and worthy of condemnation. But, sadly, they were no more and no less than many prime ministers before her had endured.
Yes, harden the fuck up Julia Gillard. Everyone cops it, and you copped it, but don't go crying in the spilled milk.
Now, we are left wondering whether much of that political outrage, especially from Labor, was confected. Because surely people agitated by words like witch and bitch would be equally appalled at seeing signs demanding people “Kill Abbott” or likening his party to Adolf Hitler’s Nazis or abusing him with T-shirts emblazoned with the three-word slogan “F. .k Tony Abbott”. Yet despite these signs appearing in growing numbers in public, on social media and supported by more protesters than those who held aloft the anti-Gillard signs, they seem to have been greeted by the Left with approving silence. Their condemnation or approbation seems to have been either very discreet or totally absent.
Oh indeed. Shocking. Why what can be said?
The nasty signs and vicious online assaults against Mr. Abbott were inexcusable and worthy of condemnation. But, sadly, they were no more and no less than many prime ministers before him had endured. Like Julia Gillard. But hey she had to harden the fuck up, while poor Tony is just a softy, a warm, cuddly creature, so vulnerable and open to hurt.
And now let's go cry in our spilled milk and moan about the Fairfaxians and the ABC.
There are two things to note here: the way the lizards keep chewing over old wounds, scratching and clawing at the scars, making them fresh and bloody, weeks, months, years after the slight was endured, and the suffering began; and the naked partisan nature of the editorials, which always manage to exude a most peculiar odour of hypocrisy, dressed up as hand wringing righteousness.
You can either think of the editorialists as angry cows chewing at their cuds, or as being like a fox caught in a trap gnawing at the leg as a way of getting free ...
But what's all this about? Well it's actually a bit of false conflation. You see, back in the day, the reptiles would insist that Julia Gillard had to be judged by the job she was doing, and not invoke talk of misogyny and sexism.
Now that Bronnie has come under attack, it seems it's all because she's a woman, and so we must talk of misogyny and sexism, and not worry at all about judging her by the job she's doing.
Here's how that's done:
And as for misogyny, we have heard constant re-runs of that line of attack since Mr Abbott found room in his cabinet for only one woman.
Oh the lizards finally noticed:
But do go on:
Yet the woman Mr Abbott moved from his inner circle to preside over the parliament as Speaker, Bronwyn Bishop, has become the focal point of opposition angst. In a system where partisan Speakers and disaffected oppositions are the norm, Labor has attempted to vent its woes upon Ms Bishop. Certainly, she appears to relish her opportunity to lord it over her former political foes. But most Speakers have. In fact, Labor zeroed in on Ms Bishop and declared its mistrust on the day she was appointed, disregarding any need to first see how she fared. The manager of opposition business, Tony Burke, who led last week’s attacks on her, used parliament’s opening day to compare her to a witch. “People have remarked today about this being reminiscent of the Harry Potter novel,” he said, “in which they all returned to Hogwarts and found that Dumbledore was gone and Dolores Umbridge was in charge of the school.” Mr Burke certainly would have taken umbrage at such a slight against Ms Gillard. But now the rules seem to have changed.
The pond has absolutely no idea where Tony Burke got that idea from:
As for charges of bias and incompetence - the pond has absolutely no idea where that came from either:
But here's the thing. It wasn't just Labor that noticed the way Bishop was behaving. Peter Van Onselen, a genuine, certified reptile, bona fide heart of the nation, noticed it back in November 2013, here. The pond enjoyed the prophecy so much we made a copy:
And it hasn't got better since, as Van Onselen predicted, and he returned to the theme on 22nd March with Bronwyn Bishop's role as speaker in federal Parliament is becoming a circus:
Nobody in this country seriously expects our Speaker to act with the impartiality of the British Speaker. In the UK, the opposition — by convention — doesn’t run a candidate against the Speaker in order to ensure they can rise above the partisan contest.
Australia being Australia, if an opposition committed to such a strategy you could imagine party tacticians selecting a marginal seat MP for the Speakership.
But surely Bishop should at least provide the occasional glimpse of balance?
I wrote a column in November lamenting her poor performance after just two weeks in the chair. My fear was that she wasn’t likely to improve. In fact, she has gotten worse.
Bishop throws Labor MPs out of the chamber with gay abandon. She regularly shuts down points of order before even hearing them. She enters the partisan debate, throwing quips and smirks into the equation in a way that should be beneath the Speaker. And she rarely if ever rules against the government on anything.
Before Bishop took up the position, several Liberal MPs told me that they thought it was a mistake to give it to her because she’d make herself the story. But there was little MPs could do about her appointment: Tony Abbott wanted to dump her from the ministry and offering Bishop the Speakership was the only alternative he’d accept (the pair are close).
Never mind that tradition dictated that MPs, free of a prime ministerial directive, are supposed to choose the Speaker.
If government MPs want parliament to be taken seriously, not to mention the way the government treats the parliamentary process, they should have a quiet word to Bishop to lift her game. Or perhaps the PM should.
Now if the editorialist at the lizard Oz wanted to lift his or her game, attention would have been paid to Bishop's activities and competence, instead of relying on a Tony Burke joke about Harry Potter as a way of getting out of jail, while indulging at the same time in a little hand-wringing sanctimonious righteous humbug ...
If that rag's the heart of the nation, then the nation is surely fucked ...
Here's the photo used to illustrate Van Onselen's story:
Now what was that Harry Potter joke again?