Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Never mind for whom the bell extols ...

(Above: the Sydney Morning Herald on 6th September 2013. Trust? Is that a deposit in Switzerland?)

It is, it should go without saying, all the fault of Tony Abbott.

Much as everything once was Julia Gillard's fault.

If preening bigots can parade their prejudices, why should anyone be surprised when TV executives and billionaires go the boffo boofhead bash?

In fact, in conservative circles, it seems it was just a manly bit of fun, boys settling everything with their dukes. A bit like the old days in Tamworth when the pond's manager relative at Maguires invited patrons to step out the back.

No doubt it's how things will be sorted out with Indonesia ... just go the old biff and teach them a lesson and enough of this blather about diplomacy.

There's also a fair bet that the rising illiteracy in the land can be sheeted home to Abbott:

Thuggish acts extol a price?

What on earth does that mean?

Verb 1. extol - praise, glorify, or honor; "extol the virtues of one's children"; "glorify one's spouse's cooking" (here)

Then shouldn't it read:

Thuggish acts praise glorify, honor and glorify one's spouse's cooking for a price, for most

No doubt Sheehan - who broke early to crucify David Gyngell in David Gyngell threw his weight around with James Packer (forced video at end of link), without once wondering why the billionaire thought going the biff was the way to respond - wasn't responsible for the header.

He was too busy going the verbal biffo but for the pond it was a verbal assault of the first water, way worse than "the world is fukt" meme that Fairfax gave to the world.

And still they keep coming at Fairfax, lickspittles and craven coat tailers:

So now it's okay for politicians to lie and cheat and make false promises on their way to power. Uh huh. And naturally it follows that once in power it's okay to lie and cheat and make false promises.

That's the thinking of Mark Kenny in Deficit levy: Tony Abbott's broken promise on tax is in the national interest.

That's how widespread drinking the kool aid is these days, just prior to the Jonestown budget massacre.

Let's see how that headline logic works.

Promise not to reduce funding for the ABC. Must be broken in the national interest and to teach the deviates a lesson.
Promise not to reduce funding for SBS. Must be broken in the national interest and because who cares?
Promise not to reduce funding on education. Must be broken in the national interest, because we need students working three jobs and give them a debt that wipes out their first decade of working life.
Promise not to change pensions. Must be broken in the national interest, and besides the old farts should be chained to the wheel for longer and made to work harder. There's nothing like digging a fence post hole or shearing a sheep at 69 to keep them all hale and hearty.

Well it helps explain why a meme is now doing the rounds on the full to overflowing intertubes:

Of course in recent days all sorts of odd bods have come out of the nooks and crannies to point out that Tony Abbott's feeble attempt at class warfare will have minimal effect - and impact on the national budget and so the "national interest" - and you don't get an odder assortment of bods than the likes of Amanda Vanstone, Peter Costello, Peter Reith and John Hewson.

Meanwhile structural reform and serious boondoggles - like the way the rich are rewarded even more in the area of superannuation - disappear over a distant hill.

The pond particularly enjoyed the cut of Sinclair Davidson's jib offering a response to Mark Kenny's red bellied black snake crawling ways:

SINCLAIR DAVIDSON, ECONOMICS PROF., RMIT: My view is very similar to Milton Friedman's dictum that there's nothing more permanent than a temporary government program. So I think this temporary program, this temporary tax is going to be with us for quite some time....
SINCLAIR DAVIDSON: Without a doubt in my mind whatsoever, this is a broken promise. Mr Abbott promised before the election, he gave absolute assurances, that the tax burden would be lower under a Coalition Government than it was under the Labor Government. 
 This is his moment that Ms Gillard had when she stared down the camera and said, "There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead." This is exactly what Mr Abbott is doing. Ms Gillard never survived from that moment and I think Mr Abbott faces that same problem. Politically it is a disaster for him.

The pond was almost prepared to forgive RMIT's hideous street frontage. Almost. There's some things where Prince Chuck and the pond must make a united stand.

But Davidson was just getting wound up:

SINCLAIR DAVIDSON: Politicians, who are the people who got us into this budget problem in the first place, should have the kind of incentives to get us out of this problem. And, for example, you could have a rule whereby while the budget is in deficit that their salaries get cut by 50 per cent and they remain at that level until the budget is back into surplus. (all here, and more)

Well at least an efficiency dividend! Say ten per cent a year, and a broken promises swear jar which sees a $10,000 fine for each lie ... that'd put Abbott up to a cool $250k, but no doubt he'd charge it to expenses as a cost of doing political business ...

Never mind, it's all in the national interest, which is why Australia's doing its very best to help and lead the way in confronting the issues and challenges involved in climate change.

Ah, that's how easy it is to lie, and the likes of Mark Kenny wants to encourage the lying.

And there are denialists willing to trade off on Kenny's idle kool aid chatter:

In reality, the voters don't have any choice at the moment, all they've got is polls, and the polls suggest a "pox on both houses" response, with the greenies and the PUP buffoons picking up the poll rewards.

Meanwhile, the fuss over a minor protest at the ABC's Q and A continues to resonate.

Now first the pond has a confession.

The pond would usually rather have all teeth extracted and dentures installed than watch five minutes of the show. Accordingly, the pond didn't actually see the offending demonstration:

AUDIENCE CHANT: No cuts! No fees! No corporate university! No cuts! No fees! No corporate universities! No cuts! No fees! No corporate universities! 
TONY JONES: OK. AUDIENCE CHANT: No cuts! No fees! No corporate university! No cuts! No fees! No corporate university! 
TONY JONES: Well, thank you. We had a little musical interlude there, while we get democracy back on track. OK. Apologies to the Minister. Apologies to everyone on the panel. Apologies to the wider audience watching. That is not what we want to happen on this program. That is not what democracy is all about and those students should understand that. However, we do see that passions are raised by this all over the place. We’ve got a video question on this equity issue. It’s from Lachlan Hunter in Bruce Rock, Western Australia. (and the rest of the stupidity here)

Say what?

That is not what democracy is all about and those students should understand that.

What a fop Tony Jones is. It reminded the pond of an old Cathy Wilcox cartoon:

So much for any attempt to protest in a democracy, and as if to confirm that Tony Jones was a complete and utter fop, today Dame Slap has chipped in and given the recalcitrant students a right smoting.

The students were rude and rowdy, and juvenile, and boorish, and through it all, the heroic Christopher Pyne was composed and polite ...

Now that's high grade quality kool aid ...

And if you can be bothered evading the paywall to read the rest of planet Janet in Feral students a textbook case of why reform hard, it gets even funnier.

There's a silent majority meme, even though the polls suggest that majority is a chimera:

... those who foot the bill for benefits have less at stake because the costs of a particular benefit are spread across a much larger group of taxpayers. Hence, this larger group tends to keep paying without making much noise. And, when they do support reining in benefits, their applause for change is never as loud as the screams of protest against change.

But what about those broken promises?

Every cut to spending will unleash sustained and highly emotional protests testing the resolve of voters and Abbott government MPs. The task of Hockey and the Prime Minister is a herculean one. They confront not just the problem of concentrated benefits and diffuse costs, but also the wider problem of cutting widespread benefits where everyone feels some pain. 
These perennial problems have been exacerbated by Abbott’s critical miscalculation at the last election. He made the mistake of not trusting voters enough. When he made a series of blanket promises not to cut spending to everything from the age pension to the ABC, and not to increase taxes, he assumed ­voters were too stupid to understand what is needed to repair the budget to protect Australia from future economic shocks.

But actually the issue of reform isn't herculean, nor should it just be a matter of spending cuts, and the problem isn't that Abbott assumed voters were too stupid to understand the need for spending restraint.

He assumed he could lie his way to power, and that voters would be too stupid to notice.

And now the likes of Dame Slap and Mark Kenny and Maurice Newman are so stupid they think voters will cut the government some slack (should that be slap?), and all will be well because it's being done in the national interest and for the very best interests of everyone.

At which point the pond heaves a sigh of relief that it's student days are long behind it, and gives a shrug of pity for the way the system screws the current crop of students. Sorry guys, it's called the cross generational screw, and you're the ones in the need of the KY jelly ...

It reminded the pond of that first episode to the HBO comedy Silicon Valley, where one of the characters is offering $100,000 to people who agree to drop out of college

That evening, Richard attends the TED talk with Big Head, and listens to Gregory expounding on how “Gates, Ellison, Jobs, Dell” — billionaires and visionaries all —dropped out of college. 
“Silicon Valley is the cradle of innovation because of dropouts. College has become a cruel expensive joke on the poor and the middle class,” says Gregory. The talk enrages a bearded academic in the audience so much that he denounces him and walks out — but it gives Richard an idea. He approaches Gregory after the talk and threatens to go back to college if the latter won’t listen to his startup pitch. “Do not do that!” cringes Gregory. “Work at Burger King! Go into the woods and forage for nuts and berries! Don’t go back to college!” (you can get the rest of the pilot re-cap here)

Of course nobody denounced the academic for shouting back at the speaker and then storming out of the TED speech - they seem to have a different idea of democracy at work in the United States - but you can bet your bottom dollar if poodle Pyne has his way - backed by the likes of Dame Slap - your average Australian student will be better off flipping burgers, or foraging for nuts and berries in the woods.

And that'll conform to Tony Jones' idea of democracy.

Or as Paul Sheehan might say, Never mind for whom the bell extols, it extols for thee ...

Which brings us to the pond's contest for the silliest header and splash:

Close to losing? Oh let the pond extol such an epic piece of fudgery ...

Now please, that's more than enough for the day, time ladies and gentlemen please, the pond must head off to check out the little ones having a bogan biffo bash up in the backyard as we learn the joys of hating bludgers and ne'er do wells and students and special interest groups, as if the pigs and the farmers are really out there with the farmyard animals ...

And so to the only signs of sanity in this brutal world of well off dog beating up well off dog ...

(Below: more David Pope here)

And a reminder that First Dog continues at the Graudian, here, though he seems a little lost in its wild and woolly expanses:

Yep  there's Tony Jones' knockdown democracy for you ...


  1. Bolt works himself up into a righteous racist lather and quotes approvingly from an article in the World Net Daily.

    "Beware the nation of tribes"

    Does he even know what the WND is? Goebbels would be proud of them.

    1. The Bolter routinely proves his credentials as a reader and follower of extremist ratbaggery. But what else can you expect from an extremist ratbag? Dropping into his pages is liking stepping into a cesspit, and a strong constitution is required. You're braver and stronger than the pond ...

    2. I have an Italian friend who hasn't quite grasped the nuances of English. He called such dickheads 'bagrats' which I think is apt.

    3. After reading Gay Alcorn's interview with Bolt, I was perplexed. Bolt argues he's against tribalism of people by race. That we should look for the individual qualities that unite, rather than divide us.

      Yet all he does is create tribes within our community:
      Left vs Right
      Warmists vs Sceptics
      Conservatives vs everyone...
      Migrants/Refugees vs "Aussies"

      His whole business model is to scare his demographic that the "others" will take what they have - so they need to be fearful and protective against these tribes.

      I used to think his was a public persona - but I now believe he's drunk his own kool aid

  2. You've got it again. It's safe enough to ignore the rants of Dame Slap and the Magic Water Boy. But Mark Kenny (on the same side as his cousin, but without the stupid) and Lenore Taylor are relatively sane. And both seem to be blissfully unaware of what they are saying and where it leaves them.

    Kenny claims the Deceit Tax is for the public good. Certainly as it has been watered down in attempt to staunch the public bleeding (2% levy on those earning +$180,000 I'd heard at its latest attempt) it might actually be of some use. But that ignores the entire mantra of Abbott's attacks over the previous 3.5 years and his assurances that he would never do anything like that, or at least not without taking it to an election first.

    The trouble is, where does this leave Kenny and the rest of the Press Gallery on the slack they cut Gillard? There was never an explanation of the whole Gillard statement that she did want an ETS for carbon; that she didn't actually form a majority government and had to cut a deal with other interests, nor that she actually delivered pretty well what she promised except that she had a fixed price in the start-up years. It was questionable whether it was a broken promise at all, with such a changed political landscape, and it was certainly never a lie, which Abbott, the Liberal Party and the Jones- Bolt push got away with claiming. What sort of press gallery never calls out this dishonesty?

    And is Lenore dinkum when she says that Abbott's close to losing trust? "Losing trust"? He never had it to begin with. The press gallery allowed Credlin to gloss over that with daily stunts on how good he was on a bike or in a fire truck or visiting a pie factory to foretell doom on the carbon tax. It was always a bullshit TV cameras-style charade and he was never called for it, never called about avoiding questions or running away from press conferences.

    I have to conclude that they were in some sort of a coma, befuddled by the Rudd whispering on the one hand and the Abbott lies and stunts on the other. How else could they have missed the significance of the Misogyny Speech? The false alibi, provided by Taylor herself, was that the public missed the "context" of the speech. Well, the press gallery certainly did - the public, less so.

    The fact is, the press gallery was a major contributor to the mess we are in, as much as Rudd's malice, Abbott's lies and the Murdoch-Singleton propaganda.

    1. The pond wishes it could disagree with a single word, Gorgeous Dunny, but not a single word could we find.

    2. Knob polisher supreme or knob decorator? Kenny nailed his colours to Tony's mast (so to speak) when he berated "the left" for "not getting" Abbott. Since then he has been going though contortions to maintain his "narrative" despite the PM fulfilling the worst fears. His botched diplomacy has been called "sure footed"; His broken promises have been called "an epiphany"; worse: he has been shown to be the empty vessel which the IPA has filled. Kenny needs to explain exactly what "the left" got wrong in their predictions. If you don't vote for a party based on their promises, what is it you are voting for?


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