So that fatuous fop, Jolly Joe Hockey, doesn't like windfarms and wind turbines:
“Can I be a little indulgent? I drive to Canberra to go to parliament and I must say I find those wind turbines around Lake George to be utterly offensive. I think they’re a blight on the landscape.”
Now Hockey can be as fatuous and as indulgent as his foppery demands, and the pond won't even wonder why he prefers to drive to Canberra rather than catch the Shinkansen built by the much mourned Barry O'Farrell (and isn't he gathering a flock of Liberal companions around him in retirement).
But by a strange coincidence, only last weekend, the pond was driving around Lake George, noting that at last a little water had crept into the green fields, and admiring the wind turbines in the distance.
What a grand sight they made.
Then, after a visit to the dismal heart of Canberra - well at least there were the galleries, though the pond mis-took the re-built entrance to the National Gallery for an Incas catacomb - it was off to Braidwood to the bakery for some good old-fashioned bread, and a detour via the exotic world of Captain's Flat.
It never occurred for a moment to the pond that the wind turbines were "utterly offensive", however you approached them.
What, the pond wonders, does Joe Hockey think of aeroplanes?
Since he's the man who led the charge for Sydney's second airport. Does he find them "utterly offensive"?
Does he mock them and make fun of them?
Not the spruce goose! Wash out your mouth with soap Jolly Joe ...
The pond has always been astonished at the sight of apartment blocks soaring into the air. What marvels they are.
One of the reasons the pond is pleased there'll always be an airport at Mascot is that the pond will still be routinely able to sight one of these lumbering apartment blocks taking flight ...
Now you can get lynched speaking this sort of heresy around Newtown, and most likely there'd be a tar and feather party rustled up around Badgery's Creek.
But if you grow up in a country town, some things always astonish. Like a wind turbine, which cranks up the resonance of the good old Southern Cross windmill to eleven.
In fact, once the pond gets started on new technology - steam trains, bullet trains, computer chips - an entire day can be wasted.
Oh the good old days when a steam train became a lost symbol of progress:
(you can watch that 1974 film on YouTube here)
It seems when Jolly Joe contemplates this sort of stuff, he turns into an eighteenth century romantic with naturist tendencies, blathering like a Rousseau about the natural man.
And now it seems that Jolly Joe has availed himself of what Rousseau termed the "compensatory vice".
Which is to say that the wanker, the comic masturbator, seems determined to use his aesthetic prejudices as a guide to national policy:
Asked by Jones why the government was “chasing Thai and Chinese-subsidised wind turbines down the road with a chequebook”, Hockey pointed out that government support for businesses, as well as individuals, was under scrutiny.
“When I say we’ve seen the age of entitlement, that applies to business as much as it applies to the rest of us,” he said.
Hockey also indicated that environmental agencies would be facing the budget axe. (and more here)
Yes, yes, and open cut mines are being closed tomorrow, and all mining that scars the sweet earth will be halted, and cities will be turned into furrowed fields, and the lamb will lie down with the sword which is turned into the plough, and it seems what was long suspected - Australia has yet another fuckwit for a Treasurer who can't think longer than a nanosecond when exposed to a microphone and Alan Jones - is actually true.
And sssh, whatever you do, don't mention climate science or global warming. They've been abolished by government fiat, along with all the government departments that deal in such sorcery and witchcraft and religious beliefs.
What a stupid man Jolly Joe is. And just to keep the sexes even and balanced, what a stupid woman Pru Goward is ... (here)
In response to jolly Joe, The Graudian ran a series of snaps headed The beauty of windfarms - in pictures, and what a fine set of snaps they were ...
Oh sorry, not that sort of thing. This sort of thing:
Meanwhile, over at the lizard Oz, the reptiles have begun to have what sounds like a profound change of heart.
Peter van Onselen set the tone, with the illustration crossing a liar, liar pants on fire with a Pinocchio nose:
But then van Onselen has always fancied himself as a quasi-reptile.
The real shock came with a couple of other reptiles. Even the chief knob polisher and hagiographer was sounding a little stern:
But the real shock came with a Chris Kenny mea culpa:
It started off with Kenny sounding like he was writing Abbott's obituary:
Abbott will go down in history as a legendary warrior who turned around the fortunes of the Liberal Party, destroyed two prime ministers (one of them twice) and reclaimed government within four years of taking the party leadership.
Already he's writing him up so he can write him off?
Oh the bitterness and the hand-wringing and the tears.
Regrets? Kenny has a few:
Seemingly unassailable for at least two years out from the poll, Abbott knew this was his last chance as leader and the Liberals always feared a return to Kevin Rudd might play Labor back into the contest.
So they eliminated every possible barnacle to smooth the path to victory.
They promised the paradox of painless repairs to a budget they argued was in crisis.
The carbon tax would go, but the compensation would stay; the Gonski education funding package would be matched; the National Disability Insurance Scheme would be delivered with the same funding and timelines; there would be no health cuts; defence spending would increase; the ABC and SBS would be spared; a generous wage-based, six-month paid parental leave scheme would go ahead, part-funded by a company-tax levy; and apart from that there would be no new taxes or tax increases.
This sounded too good to be true.
And because Labor has so spectacularly promised surpluses but delivered record deficits, the excuse of turning up to find the cupboard surprisingly bare was never going to cut it.
Abbott and Joe Hockey knew the order of their fiscal dilemma, especially after the Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Outlook.
So if they wanted room for broader cuts or tax increases they had every opportunity to level with voters before the election.
Oh the wailing and the gnashing of the teeth and the gloom and the sobbing:
The tax hike shouldn’t hurt the economy and certainly won’t hurt the budget, but it will damage the government’s credibility.
And this is not unfortunate just because of the passing political implications — increasing cynicism about politics, boosting the stocks of anti-politician populist Clive Palmer and creating ructions in the Coalition — but because of the profound consequences for the nation’s reform agenda.
In promising to keep his promises, Abbott has forestalled some major reforms until after the next election.
Of course while Abbott has promised to keep his promises, the one promise he is certain to break is the promise that he will keep his promises.
Which is why Kenny sounds so gloomy when looking into the crystal ball:
Abbott and Hockey need to get through their first budget with a clear message detailing significant fiscal reform and maintaining faith with the electorate.
That is not going well so far.
It seems an unplanned early leak about the tax proposal ruined their strategy: the plan was to outline the audit commission proposals first and then argue that a tax increase was needed to ensure the budget burden was shared by the rich as well as the poor.
Yet the national reform task is not really to share a burden, but rather to fix the budget, decrease reliance on government, increase personal responsibility and stimulate growth.
“Sharing the burden” is more of a political ploy — important though that may be — than a fiscal requirement. Abbott and Hockey could still get to their ambitious, medium-term reform destination in their second term.
But, as the Irishman said when giving directions, I wouldn’t be starting from here.
Is that all that's left?
A defamatory stereotypical joke about the Irish?
But it did remind the pond of a conversation overhead last weekend on the road to Canberra:
“Could you tell me the way to Canberra please?” asked Jolly Joe Hockey as he sat in a rest area contemplating the ugly, deviant, filthy wind turbines, and marvelling at the wonderful way that the federal government had determined the best way to remember VC winners was to honour them with male and female toilets and a place where tourists could take snaps of the filthy, wicked wind turbines.
”Certainly sir,” said a man who looked like an Abbott and clearly had the brains of a monk. If you take the first road to the left you'll go past the election promises… no still that wouldn’t do, you wouldn't be finding them useful, would you… drive on for about four miles then torn left at the crossroads, and you'll be finding the rabid ratbag report we prepared to soften up the public… no that wouldn’t do either…”
The Abbott scratched his head thoughtfully. “You know, if I was going to a re-election campaign in Canberra I wouldn’t start from here at all. You know those wind turbines look bloody good when you step out of the VC approved toilets”
Or some such thing, and no need for an Irish joke, not when you have clowns running the show.
So how's the 'share the burden' rhetoric going to go down?
Happy birthday Jolly Joe, here.
How thoughtful of the family to chip in to buy you a windfarm.
As usual, David Pope manages to join together the prevailing memes of Joe Hockey's profound stupidity, and wind power, and more David Pope here: