Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Welcome to the nineteenth century, courtesy Sir Tony Falstaff and his minions ...

Of course ... of course ... it's on everyone's lips, and the pond was swept back into the great days of Queen Victoria and The Punch and prophetic visions ... (and you can go there by heading off to Project Gutenberg here).

The point of course is that the recent behaviour of the royal mandarin Abbott must be a delight and pleasure, and a search for comedy.

Greg Barnes on 7.30 (you can relive the horror here) had exactly the wrong reaction. While the saturnine and bizarrely sun struck David Flint looked like a cat engorged on cream - but refused to do the decent Cheshire thing and fade away - Barnes sounded genuinely angry.

But there's genuine absurdity to relish. Like the ineffable Brandis attempting with all due solemnity to explain that 'knights and dames' were a domestic version and nothing to do with empire and monarchy, as if Abbott wasn't a monarchist, and as if Abbott wouldn't be making a recommendation to the Queen for future appointments.

Thanks to a correspondent, the pond became aware of the ineffable stupidity of that pompous prat and twat Malcolm Turnbull attempting to reconcile the irreconcilable here, which is so delicious we reprint it in full:

As a former Chairman of the Australian Republican Movement many people have asked me whether I regard the Prime Minister's surprise decision today to reinstate Knights and Dames in the Order of Australia as a slap in the face for republicans. 
It is important to remember that Mr Abbott's decision is not without precedent. The Order of Australia was established by Gough Whitlam's Government in 1975 without Knights and Dames, but in 1976 Malcolm Fraser's Coalition Government established the orders of Knight (AK) and Dame (AD) in the Order and they remained there until Bob Hawke's Labor Government effectively abolished the ranks following their election win in 1983. 
It is also important to remember that views about Knights and Dames in the Australian Honours system have not been driven by attitudes to the republic. Bob Hawke was not calling for a republic in 1983 and of course John Howard, a staunch monarchist, did not reinstate Knights and Dames during his time as Prime Minister. Attitudes to Knights and Dames have in my view been largely a function of how Australians regard honours and titles generally. 
As far as republics are concerned, most countries have an honours system and many of them have an order of knighthood. The Republics of France and Italy not to speak of the Republics of Peru, Argentina and Guatemala all have orders of knighthoods in their honours system. And so if a Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur can be a loyal defender of the French Republic and if a Cavaliere di Gran Croce Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana can be a patriotic citizen of the Italian Republic, Australian republicans should not lose too much sleep over the Prime Minister's decision today.

Now there's a supine, forelock tugging, lickspittle abject wanker of the first water working his magic ...

The question remains then, why do we now have sirs and dames rather than a Chevalier de La Region d'Honneur Australie?

As for hapless quisling Quentin Bryce, remember the shock and the anger amongst monarchists when she dared to say "And where perhaps, my friends, one day, one young girl or boy may even grow up to be our nation's first head of state."? (relive the moment here)

Some republican, and because of the family connection, short circuiting Bill Shorten can't have any fun with Abbott attempting an inside run at becoming the next warden of the Cinque Ports.

It helps explain the canniness of the Abbott ploy. He has a sir instead of a general as GG, and an allegedly republican immediate past GG donning the most tragic bauble.

As always, the pond reverts to George Orwell and Animal Farm for an explanation:

The stupidest questions of all were asked by Quentin, the white mare. The very first question she asked Snowball was: "Will there still be sugar after the Rebellion to establish the Republic?" "No," said Snowball firmly. "We have no means of making sugar on this farm. Besides, you do not need sugar. You will have all the oats and hay you want." "And shall I still be allowed to wear ribbons in my mane and call myself Dame?" asked Quentin. "Comrade," said Snowball, "those ribbons that you are so devoted to are the badge of slavery and British imperialism. Can you not understand that liberty is worth more than ribbons and a risible title?" Quentin agreed, but she did not sound very convinced.

Apologies to Orwell, but at least the pond avoids such issues by favouring basic Puritan black ...

Sadly, things didn't work out well for Quentin in Animal Farm:

As winter drew on, Quentin became more and more troublesome. She was late for work every morning and excused herself by saying that she had overslept, and she complained of mysterious pains, although her appetite was excellent. On every kind of pretext she would run away from work and go to the drinking pool, where she would stand, foolishly gazing at her own reflection in the water and murmuring to herself Dame Quentin, Dame Quentin, while donning the ribbons of her Dameship. Quentin refused to learn any but the six letters which spelt her own name and the letters needed to form the sentence "there is nothing like a Dame". She would form these very neatly out of pieces of twig, and would then decorate them with a flower or two and walk round them admiring them, while singing out loud with surprising ferocity, vigour and joy:

There is nothin' like a Dame, 
Nothin' in the world, 
There is nothin' you can name 
That is anythin' like a Dame! 

More apologies to Orwell, but forget it Jake, did you imagine a genuine certified monarchist would change his spots?

And if you voted for Tony Abbott, welcome to the nineteenth century.

Which brings the pond to a different grievance. While settling down to serve out time and get to the Tuesday night double bill of Air Crash Investigations, the pond couldn't help but note the lead story on ABC news, whereby the reporter advised the world of the nineteenth century Doppler Effect.

This made as much sense as talking of the seventeenth century law of motion, or the seventeenth century of planetary motion. Then came a reference to the information in the black boxes reaching their limit by thirty days. But it's not the information that's limited, it's the locator signal that expires in around a month's time. The flight recorders for Air France 447 were recovered some two years after the crash, and the data were able to be downloaded.

And these two howlers led the major news bulletin on the hour on the major ABC channel.

Oh come on, you say, the pond is being silly.

Nope, not as silly as dumb journalists in search of a really dumb angle:

No, you can't play it, it's a screen cap, but if you want to learn about 19th century scientific theories at work, head off to ABC news here.

Meanwhile, with a bit of luck you might hear a plane, a train or a car on the move, or the pond's favourite - roadside warning bells changing pitch and fading as you pass them on a train - and discover that strangely the 19th century scientific theory is also a twenty first century theory.

So this is what happens at the ABC when you have a clap happy in charge, and standards woefully deteriorate, as Murdochians and rabid Bolters nip at the heel ...

Speaking of the Murdochians - as fine a bunch of bigots as can be found in the land - it seems it's not just letter writers from Monarto that get a little editorial tweak and polish, even when it's the chief hagiographer and knob polisher diligently going about his duties:

Uh huh. Well done bouffant knob polisher.

But then if you read the actual piece with the actual title Fighting for freedom of speech eerily similar to a defence of bigotry, (behind the paywall because you have to pay for free speech), you find these remarks top and tail:

Bombarded with accusations in question time yesterday that the Coalition was promoting bigotry and “dog whistling” racism, Tony Abbott looked on the defensive over the amendment to the Racial Discrimination Act...

...But the government’s first full day of fighting for freedom of speech looked more like a defence of bigotry.

Yet in Chris Mitchell's world, instead of giving the splash a line like "Prime Minister Abbott on the defensive", the sub plucked the bit about 457 and a pamphlet in the South Australian election to highlight Labor's double standards.

But here's the point. Labor paid a price for the way it behaved in relation to 457, and if the pamphlet is in breach, then let the court action flow (this might prove tricky - Top Liberals at odds over 'racist' Labor pamphlet targeting South Australian candidate Carolyn Habib).

Of course if Abbott and Brandis have their way, talk of court action in cases of overt racism will quietly fade away ...

What else? Well that twit Tim Wilson seems to think he still belongs to the IPA and can scribble furiously for the reptiles:

But why should the pond have to wend its way past the pricey gold bar the Murdochians require, in order to read the thoughts of a public servant, and thereby aid a public servant aiding a failing Murdochian business model?

How does he get around it? Here's the tag at the end of the piece:

Tim Wilson is Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner. These comments are made as an individual statutory officer.


Well let's ignore the reality that the whole of Wilson's piece is the standard burst of IPA guff aimed at degutting the law while blathering about social activities as the way forward, and never mind any of the power imbalances involved between an agitated private citizen from Monarto and the reptiles in Murdoch la la land.

Let's concentrate on that Wilson explanation of his "individual comments", and use a document issued to the Queensland public service as a guide (it's a MS Word document, so no link, you'll have to google it):

A conflict of interest issue is defined by the Public Sector Ethics Act 1994 as a conflict between a person’s private interests and the person’s official duties. 

The statute establishing an office or the terms of employment will describe the official duties. On occasions a statute will recognise that an individual is appointed to represent the interests of a particular group. This can modify what would otherwise be the ambit of the official duties. 
In the area of conflict of interest perception is all important. The established test is an objective one, namely whether a reasonable member of the public, properly informed, would feel that the conflict was unacceptable. Essentially it means that such reasonable member of the public would conclude that inappropriate factors could influence an official action or decision. 
Because the test is an objective one, it matters not whether you as an individual are convinced that with your undoubted integrity you can manage what would otherwise be an unacceptable conflict of interest. The test does not permit you as an individual to be a sounding board. You must step back and objectively assess what a reasonable member of the public might think. 
It is well known that there are dangers in being a judge in one’s own cause. For this reason you should not hesitate to seek the advice of your peers or supervisors and to keep firmly in mind that the Integrity Commissioner is available to give confidential advice on conflict of interests matters to statutory office holders. 
There is nothing wrong with being placed in a potential conflict situation. Every statutory office holder has private interests. The important thing is to be able to recognise the potential for a conflict of interest and to manage it appropriately. Failure to do so can lead to drastic consequences in the field of public perception. 
Private interests are those interests that can bring benefit or disadvantage to an individual, or to others whom they may wish to benefit or disadvantage. These include personal, professional or business interests of the statutory office holder, as well as the personal, professional and business interests of those associates, including family, friends, rivals and enemies. 
Private interests can be pecuniary, or non-pecuniary. Pecuniary conflicts arise through actual or potential financial loss or gain. Non-pecuniary interests are those that occur through personal or family relationships, or involvement in sporting, social or cultural groups and associations. 
 Examples of private interests include (inter alia):
 (4) A person’s relationships influence or appear to influence a decision, recommendation or advice that person may make or be a party to making. 
 (5) A person’s strongly held personal convictions which may make it difficult or appear to make it difficult for the person to make an impartial decision, recommendation or advice. 

Indeed. Well as a reasonable member of the public, the pond thinks that Wilson actively lobbying for the government to enact the wishes of the IPA and the Bolter, lobbying, crusading and carrying on a public campaign, courtesy of the reptiles at the lizard Oz, makes it extremely difficult for Wilson to avoid (5):

 (5) A person’s strongly held personal convictions which may make it difficult or appear to make it difficult for the person to make an impartial decision, recommendation or advice. 

Sadly the public service is now as fucked as the ABC when it comes to objectivity and impersonal impartial advice ... with Wilson behaving like a lobbying arm for government activities ...

Never mind, just as we've reverted to nineteenth century scientific theories, we're now well on our way to nineteenth century English politics:


  1. Replies
    1. Under The Grand Pooh-Bah-Pom Abbott of Warringah Rules shall those already benighted cop it a second time? For example may Sir Rupert of Murdocracy, SMOM, pre-eminient climatologist, get an Oz gong too, or must it stop at him being favoured only by Pooh-Bah decrees and dubbed as "a great Australian"? And what of fellow Pooh-Bah-Pom Lord Sir Christopher Walter Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, Knight of Honour and Devotion of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, surely a climate scientist of such pre-eminent service to this country in the struggle to deal with climate change should be, but shall he, can he be gonged? Membership List of the Knights of Malta

  2. With all this jousting going on at least Tony Burke is one politician displaying a sense of humour

    1. The royals wave, good-bye suckers, and hello now four pensions.

    2. Or hello five?

  3. Bryce continuously made home state headlines as the butt of ridicule during her time as labor appointed Queensland Governor. She haplessly bounded from one pompous parody of privilege to another. All her staff except her husband with his own snout in the trough left her. There were continuously revolving staff doors, and repetitious government house budget crisis over vice regal spending and tastes. A large liability for a minority Beatty government at times.

    Beatty and federal labor republicans got themselves a plan to lower respect for the institution of the governorship general, and thus sabotage the monarchy, and, and, and thus bring on the republic. Beatty had himself a nifty plan to get rid of headache Bryce, and to stick one to his old enemy Rudd from the Goss days.

    Great days! PM Rudd, with a Beatty plan, what could go wrong?

    Bryce behaved, and toed the line is what. In Canberra the pickings were rich enough, the position grand enough, and a government house bureaucracy under a bicameral scrutiny experienced enough to satisfy and silence the bitchin' dame.

    Ha, ha, ha, a Beatty labor plan, just like the making of Lord Mayor Campbell Newman, eh? A Rudd labor plan, just like the making of PM Tony Abbott, ha, ha, ha, or, or, he , he, or Bill snorten, ha, ha, ha, keep 'em coming.

  4. I believe it's now only on Pandora:

    Not forgetting Sir Turnbnull:
    •We will for the first time do a fully transparent cost-benefit analysis of the National Broadband Network, to find out the quickest and most cost- efficient way to upgrade broadband to all areas where services are now unavailable or sub- standard. This is the cost-benefit analysis Labor didn’t do before committing to spend tens of billions of dollars on the NBN.
    •We will roll out super-fast broadband using whichever is the most effective and cost efficient technology and we will use existing infrastructure where we can.
    •We will roll it out faster to high priority areas.
    •We will end billions of dollars of wasteful spending

    What number review is he on now? What was wrong with the previous three or four reviews he's had to date?

    1. Thank the long absent lord the pond is not the only one maintaing the rage at Lord Haw Haw of Woollahra

  5. The Revised Standard Version of the Gospel according to St Andrew.

    The News Limited board and managing director Julian Clarke are in breach of their statutory obligations for not sacking columnist and opinion-meister, Andrew Bolt...

    As early into his reign over his columns and blogs — which, under truth-in-media, should have been retitled “The anti-ABC watch and promotion of racism-in-media” — as last October, he had already outed himself… in a soft interview, promoting his own (non-News Ltd) book, "Still Not Sorry."

    Discussing the News of the World hacking scandal in the UK, Bolt said that what had finally “cracked it” was the revelation that the paper had not hacked into the phone of a schoolgirl who had gone missing and was subsequently found to have been murdered, Milly Dowler, but was a mere aberration of a few bad apples.

    (The Guardian reported on 4 July 2011 that Scotland Yard had discovered Dowler's voicemail had been accessed by journalists working for the News of the World and the newspaper's private investigator Glenn Mulcaire.[44] The paper also reported that, during their ongoing investigation into that newspaper's phone hacking activities, police detectives discovered journalists had deleted some messages – potential evidence – in Dowler's voicemail box because it was full, thus freeing up space for new messages, which they could listen to. The deletions misled family and friends into thinking that Dowler was still alive. It subsequently emerged that the messages were in fact deleted automatically by Dowler's phone, although her phone had still been accessed by journalists)

    While the original claim made by the Guardian newspaper that Milly Dowlers' phone had been hacked by Murdoch employees, and subsequently found to be true through the Leveson Inquiry, it became clear that the messages were almost certainly accessed and used for sensational stories by News "journalists"…

    At no point in the interview did Bolt point out that the original story turned out to be right. He left uncorrected his false statement that the News of the World appeared to have done nothing wrong…

    It was blindingly clear that he was obsessed — negatively — with the ABC, Fairfax, The Guardian and any negative covergage of Sir Rupert Murdoch (an American).

    He should have been sacked then. He has to be sacked now.

    What Bolt's defenders so often overlook is that the News Corps is consumer-and billionaire-funded and has a moral and professional duty to be balanced.

  6. DP - Am I getting to be an old fart?

    I remember when crisps were called crisps .

    "Smiths - the tastiest crisps in town."

    Now apparently ther are called 'chips'.

    But now this has morphed to 'fries'. If you want to piss off a spotty MacDonald's employee, drive in and ask for 'chips'. They say "do you mean fries sir?"

    The answer is "No, I mean chips."

    They usually know what it means, defying their Yank indoctrination. Are they backsliding Scientologists?

    But the best is the ":KR Darling Downs" ad.

    There was a little pig doing a dance she sang "KR, KR Darling Downs."

    Do you remember?

    1. Sadly Anon, we don't remember (but then along with Miranda we don't remember the inn or the tedding or the spreading or the straw for a bedding and the fleas that tease in the high Pyrenees) but we do sympathise with your plight at attempting to speak plain English to a MacDonald's employee, hired on the principal that they should look like the burger flipper in The Simpsons.
      The pond can't remember the last time it was inside a MacDonalds, but does proudly recall that one of its stores was driven out of King street in Newtown. Boycott them Anon, and see how they like those crisply fried surrender monkey chips ...


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