Sunday, May 18, 2014
Truffling on this trifling truffle Sunday ...
It takes the Sunday Murdoch tabloids to do a hard hitting expose of the federal government.
Oh wait, that's the wrong headline, that's the trailer for a new network Nine show, about a vile bully and a pair of young lovers running wild and free.
Here's the real headline:
There's the usual stuff, people hate the budget and the Abbott government - the pond was surprised and astonished to hear the news - and this bit of nonsense:
Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s threats to call an early election are believed to be “serious”, according to senior government sources, if Mr Palmer turns the Senate into a circus. (All that and more thanks to the Terror here).
But the government's already a circus, and it didn't take many months for the clowns to upstage the trapeze act.
Abbott's entire strategy, as pitched to the nervous nellies on their way to losing their seats, is to reassure them, tell them to sit tight, and sweat it out for a couple of years until the next required election date, and she'll be right, an economic miracle will bloom, and the anger will dissipate and everyone will have forgotten and forgiven, and in the immortal words of dumb Australians everywhere, she'll be right mate. (Not that it worked out that well at Gallipoli).
As soon as you read talk of a double dissolution, switch channels or ditch the commentator. They're mug punters who believe what Abbott says he might do, as opposed to looking at what Abbott has just done, as the best guide to what he's planning to do.
It's the sort of tripe peddled by the lizards at the reptile Oz as they faithfully regurgitate their master's voice:
Oh stay, it's the hounds of hell, a trio of hardened hardcore harridans.
If you bother to circumvent the paywall to read David Crowe's piece, here, you'll cop this sort of bluster from Abbott:
“I’m not saying the Coalition would necessarily get a majority in the Senate although you never know if there were an election on the issue of who runs the country — the government or independents in the Senate,” he said.
“But certainly, this lot of independents would be unlikely to keep their seats if there was a new election.
“And I think in the end they will sit down with the government and work out a way of getting this legislation through.”
A majority? He might not score a majority in the Senate?
That from a man whose government would surely lose the lower house according to all the current polls, including the one in the Sunday Terror? And to hell with the Senate ...
What's amazing is that anyone would swallow the lies of a natural born liar, and a bully who's accustomed to threats and bullying as the best and only way of getting his way ...
As for the impact of the threat? Well it had the buffoon in fine form:
Mr Palmer has predicted a bold, new direction for Australian politics where his party has a majority in the lower house and he is prime minister.
The mining magnate has dared Prime Minister Tony Abbott to call a double dissolution election if he cannot pass the budget and says the Palmer United Party will run in every lower house seat and can claim victory.
“Our members think there should be an election straight away,” Mr Palmer told Fairfax Media.
“They are ready and standing by.” (and more posturing and strutting at Fairfax here. Clive to run for PM? Surely some sub chortled as they came up with that one).
And there's the problem for the head clown. It's hard to play the buffoon when there's a buffoon ready to point out what a clown the head clown is ...
That's why Bill Shorten could, in his budget reply, strut and pose and demand that Abbott bring an election on, taunting Abbott in the same way that Abbott taunted Gillard while in opposition.
Yes, bring it on, bring it on.
The more Abbott plays this brinkmanship game, and parades his nattering negativity, and the poodle Pyne berates students, and struts his persecution complex and paranoia, the more Abbott will destabilise his government, and make it look like it's lurching from crisis to crisis - an art form he's already perfected in the few short months he's been in power ...
That's why, with the greatest respect, the pond thought Laura Tingle had jumped the shark and nuked the fridge, when a few days ago she wrote Don't dismiss the double dissolution theatrics (outside the AFR paywall for the moment).
She swallowed the kool aid whole:
Conventional wisdom, as the Coalition’s poll position has deteriorated, has been that Tony Abbott would have to have rocks in his head to contemplate a double dissolution election in the wake of the rise of the minor parties and Clive Palmer.
But senior government figures believe Abbott’s DD threats are completely serious.
Legislation to reform Senate voting is imminent, for starters, and will pass with the support of the major parties. And they argue there is more powerful incentive at play in the whole DD theatrics.
In 2008 a new Labor government and a prime minister enjoying stratospheric personal approval ratings also made dark threats about a DD over budget measures.
The magnitude of the threat to the budget was somewhat different – with the Coalition blocking $22 billion of measures. But the realpolitik was almost identical.
The Rudd cabinet had resolved (in what looks rather bitterly ironic in retrospect) to make no concessions to the Greens on anything but instead consign the minor party to irrelevance.
So the government pondered the DD threat, not just seeking to capitalise on the weakened state of the opposition but also to insist that it would not be dictated to by the Greens.
Tony Abbott watched and learnt.
Government ministers who have dealt with Clive Palmer for years believe what will drive his approach in the Senate will not be policy but opportunities that allow him to look like he is running things.
They see this as simply intolerable and say Abbott would rather go to a DD poll and lose some of his margin than be perceived as driven by Palmer, as Labor was perceived to be driven by the Greens after 2010.
Many people might have dismissed Abbott’s DD talk this week. Coalition staffers may have been gobsmacked to hear Abbott’s chief of staff Peta Credlin declare that this was a budget she would take to an election. But this is really just the first shot across the bow of the Palmer juggernaut.
Sorry, and with the greatest respect (the pond usually enjoys Tingle's insights), she's just swallowed the lumpy gravy with nary a moment's pause to contemplate the lumps in her argument.
Let's just unpick it a little. Did Rudd or the minority Labor government ever really get serious about a DD? No, Rudd backed away, and it would have been the end of everything for Gillard.
It's all very well to talk about 'realpolitik' but the real politics is that while the polls are running the way they are at the moment, and Abbott's government is looking drunk while in charge of the vehicle, all the DD guff is just part of the theatrics and the politiking,
What gives it away? What explains Tingle's trip to Jonestown?
.... senior government figures believe Abbott’s DD threats are completely serious.
Oh pull the other one. She believed what the liars said they believed.
And never mind that this is a party of notorious, proven liars who will say and do anything to stay in power ...
And so talk of it being intolerable to negotiate with Clive Palmer is just so much hot air ...
You see, these politicians are just settling in to their stint enjoying their own little age of entitlement, as explained by the Sunday Terror:
Treasurer Joe Hockey wined and dined world financial leaders at the G20 conference in Washington at a celebration that cost taxpayers $50,000 to fly out celebrity chef Shane Delia.
The extraordinary cost of the April G20 dinner has been revealed just days after Mr Hockey handed down a brutal Budget that could cost some families up to $5000 a year as a result of cuts to family payments and increased medical costs.
On the menu at Mr Hockey’s dinner was barramundi, Victorian wagyu beef, WA truffles and a “eucalyptus ice” dressed up with Tasmanian leatherwood honey. Despite declaring “the age of entitlement is over’’ in the Budget, Mr Hockey’s own Treasury department paid the TV chef to fly business class and airlift truffles from Australia to Washington DC last month.
The pigs snuffled into truffles while explaining how the age of entitlement was over and shedding their crocodile tears while puffing on their fat cigars ...
And the capper?
A spokesman for Mr Hockey said the dinner represented “excellent value for money."
Excellent value for money!
So brazen, so naked, so insouciant, so shameless, and clearly with nary a thought about the pond's special swear jar reserved for references to George Orwell and Animal Farm.
It turns out that Hockey is now an international tabloid joke, here, what with the Daily Mail wanting to bring its special brand of gutter tabloidism down under:
Is the 'age of entitlement' back ALREADY?
It's a silly question of course. It never went away for jolly Joe and the rest of the clowns.
Watch the cartoonists have fun with this one. It'll make a splendid pairing with jolly Joe's exploding cigars.
It's lucky that it came after First Dog had already decided to casually and cruelly defame chicken salt:
Yeah nah First Dog, it's 'let them snuffle truffles' (but if you missed, and want, his defamation of chicken salt eaters, it's here).
So what's left? Well the pond would love a DD, but the pond isn't a mug punter, having watched bullies threaten this sort of caper for decades. There have only been six in federal history, and the last was back in 1987 (or so doing a Greg Hunt tells the pond, here, which means you can't be that sure of the facts in the way can be sure that Hunt's Green Army is a waste of money, and his determination to ruin Tasmania is currently in ruins, and here's hoping his determination to ruin the rest of Australia also lies in ruines).
Instead all we can hope for is that the buffoon inflicts much pain on Abbott and his cronies, and soon enough, they'll be lifting their snouts from the truffles to recite a verse along with King Lear:
You do me wrong to take me out o' th' grave.
Thou art a soul in bliss, but I am bound
Upon a wheel of fire, that mine own tears
Do scald like molten lead.
In the meantime, all the pond can come up with is a repeat of an image that is going to be very familiar for the next few years:
Posted by dorothy parker at 5/18/2014 07:58:00 AM