Yes, there's Tony Abbott, PM, brought to the world by The Australian and splashed all over NITV.
Did the pond mention we have the reptiles at the lizard Oz to thank for bringing Mr. Foot in Mouth to the world with yet another agile display of linguistic depravity?
Okay, enough with the sponsor's message already. If you want to back a dingbat, buy the Oz.
The pond has now had the pleasure of analysing the "unsettled ... scarcely settled" matter in more detail, with an actual viewing of the tape (look at it here if you can be bothered getting past the advertisement).
It's Abbott himself who gives the game away ... you can see, in that nanosecond moment, Abbott's sudden realisation that he's said "unsettled" and he mentally says to himself, quick, arse-cover time, and in a micro-moment, he tries to recover and blurts out "scarcely settled". Then "oh fuck, have I really covered my arse", quick, better fling in "great south land".
Now all sorts of people have come to Abbott's defence, advancing all sorts of explanations, some worse than the original faux pas, like the notion that Aboriginal people were "nomadic", so of course the country was unsettled.
But actually the verbal slip makes Abbott human, one of the George W. Bush school of foot in mouth politicians who are routinely guaranteed to delight.
The pond recognises the syndrome - the pond has regularly managed to offend people with slips of tongue and casual remarks that prickly, offended people take far too personally. But there is a difference between the pond and the wabbit in the headlights - Abbott is PM of Australia, and these days the only creature the pond routinely offends is the neighbourhood cat Greymalkin, and he shows no sign of caring ...
The real collateral damage isn't to Abbott, it's to Warren Mundine. Fancy having to call the man you've hitched your wagon to as being prone to silly, stupid and bizarre remarks. What does that say about Mundine, forlornly, apologetically hanging around with a bizarre man, attempting to deflect his silly and stupid remarks, in the hope of getting some other droppings from the powerful. It gives a new definition to easy political opportunism and forelock tugging, and never mind the price ...
In reality, Abbott is just staying true to his core nature - the slip of the tongue is always revealing of attitudes (try it on, accidentally let slip that you think the Bolter and little Timmie Bleagh are fuckwits ... see how it sounds just right).
Abbott is a genuine Rhodes scholar, and if you do a Greg Hunt on Rhodes, here, you'll be reminded that Rhodes wasn't just a rabid colonialist of the British imperial school, but also a profound misogynist ...
I contend that we are the first race in the world, and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race...If there be a God, I think that what he would like me to do is paint as much of the map of Africa British Red as possible...
Indeed, and while we're at it, let's settle that other damned unsettled country ...
Rhodes was a woman hater too, and never married, and Queen Victoria even dared at one point to ask him point blank whether he was a woman hater. Of course he denied it, but he allowed no woman in his country house, "Groodeshurr", in the suburbs of Cape Town, at least until he allowed his sister on the premises (or so the Reading Eagle advised here in 1902).
The shouting and the hullabaloo will settle down, and this Abbott gaffe will pass into history, but the certainty is that there will be another, until the Liberal party decides he's too high risk, and pluck his feathers and turn him into a duster, the fate of all politicians ... but in the meantime, he makes life easy for a pond that always welcomes loons inclined to the silly and the bizarre.
Abbott also leads an accident-prone government - every time he manages a moment of folly, there's George Brandis or another stout-hearted trooper like Scott "speaking in tongues" Morrison ready to top it.
This makes the job of the knob polishers and hagiographers an onerous 24/7 duty, but still they turn up, like the loyal Murdoch reptiles they are and do their duty.
The weekend lizard Oz always brings out the best in them. Look, there's prattling Polonius, still doing the rounds, though these days he never ever makes it to the digital splash of doom at the top of the front page.
No fickle finger of gold-dusted fate for Polonius, as he prattles on about the ABC, defending the indefensible:
Yes, and as rabid right wingers, they'll make rabid right wing assessments, and ensure the process remains heavily politicised and shrouded in a cloud of fug and hysteria. That is all.
These days the pond passes by in silence. Even Chris Mitchell knows there's no point paying attention to the rat hiding behind the arras, though he scuttles about a couple of times a week...
But hark, there's a form of insidious treachery afoot in the camp, a note of dissension:
Yes, foot in mouth disease makes the budget a tough sell, and on a daily basis, the Abbott government is inclined to look and sound foolish, and do either foolish or downright mean, ill-spirited things that inspire fear and loathing.
If you were inclined that way, you could argue that it was a government in constant crisis, and will be more so, when it has to negotiate with the Senate. Whatever skills Abbott and crew have, they don't seem to feature amiable negotiation.
And this is where the rubber hits the road for the reptiles. As a correspondent to these pages noted, they now have to align a government inclined to crisis, with a country, which ipso facto, must also be in crisis. The Abbott crisis is a crisis we all must share.
Yes, the reptiles now have a severe case of Chicken Little syndrome. There's no talk of Gallipoli and Kokoda and the Somme and all the rest of the guff, toughing it out and lifting the load.
Instead there's just a frenzy of head-exploding fear mongering of the first water, because the only way to hide Abbott's gaffes is to contend that the country is crashing and burning. It's the Tea Party come down under ...
And a most peculiar form of masochism.
The pond first noted that portentous, pompous Paul Kelly doing his Venus in furs routine a couple of days ago, and wouldn't you know it, he's at it again today:
Yes, yes, the sky is falling, and we'll all be ruined said Hanrahan, and for the love of god, someone please pass Tony Abbott's PPL scheme so the age of entitlement and the freewheeling ways of the freeloading leaners can continue.
Yes, that's the reason you see The Australian plastered all over the wall behind the headless chook Abbott as he stuck his foot in mouth.
They organised the conference, at which apparently - the pond wasn't in attendance - the end of the world was announced.
So does the pompous portentous Kelly spend a single word pleading with Abbott to abandon his commitment to the PPL, seeing as how the sky is falling in and we're shortly to be ruined? Or tell Joe Hockey not to sound like Albert Speer on a visionary infrastructure junket? (Hah, the swear jar is really full)
No, not a whit or a jot, and instead the pompous ass imagines himself at the centre of the national debate:
Their government has a cause and they radiate a sense of purpose. Yet their conversation has yet to strike a persuasive chord with the public. “The age of reform has not ended in Australia,” Abbott told the conference dinner. “It has only been interrupted and is now beginning again. Strongly. Purposefully. And I believe effectively.”
Abbott said he wanted to address the critique of the political system made by the author in The Australian on Wednesday — that politics was in malfunction and it was uncertain whether a reforming PM could succeed any more.
“It’s a question many of you may have pondered especially over the past few weeks,” Abbott said. “It can only be answered with a decisive ‘yes’.
Oh dear, maybe Australia is in crisis.
The foot in mouth man taking a pompous ass Chicken Little seriously, as he purports to club both sides of the aisle, only so in reality the forelock tugging for Abbott and co. can continue unencumbered ...
Do the reptiles really believe the sheep can be so easily herded, when aroused by talk of alarm, doom and disaster?
Well yes, they do, as you can discover by reading today's lizard Oz editorial, which, as it happens, is free and outside the paywall, and so all you do is reward them with a click ...
The header says Our politics is in crisis, the community deep in denial, because the reptiles dare not say the truth: Abbott is in crisis, and the community doesn't give a flying fuck ...
The funniest, or perhaps most obscene thing, is the way Chris Mitchell, or his anonymous automaton, trade off on the good old days when The Australian was much less inclined to be rabid and ideological and full of hate and bile:
As a reformist newspaper for 50 years, we have campaigned for a nation that is freer, smarter, richer and always true to its best democratic ideals. We have championed policies that promote prosperity and opportunity, for all Australians, based on individual liberty, the spirit of enterprise, free markets, low taxes and small government. Often, we’ve been a lone voice, out of kilter with the fashions of the moment. When political leaders have emerged to offer paths to prosperity, we have supported them. When the governing class has lost its way, we have prodded, chastised and maintained a consistent voice to promote the national interest.
The pond's resident psychiatrist would have a field day with that text, so full of paranoia and self-righteousness is it.
If anything, it reads like one of those Victorian newspapers where the editorialist always sounded like they had a pineapple up their bum (that's Cecil Rhodes' Queen Victoria the pond hastens to add, not Denis Napthine's Victoria where the budget can only run to cucumbers - oh yes, thanks again to the reader who provided the link to John Oliver's YouTube rant and interview here).
Well the pond will have to leave you to read the rest of the fear, hysteria and panic-mongering on your own, but here's a guarantee. You'll be rolling jaffas down the aisle before you finish, or you'll be climbing on the roof and jumping, in a bid to end it all.
Oh golly, can't the pond just run a little more righteous paranoia of the first water?
As our eminent editor-at-large Paul Kelly argued the other day, Australia’s political system is in malfunction. “The trajectory of Australia’s relative decline right now seems set with the nation in denial of its economic challenges and suffering a malaise in its political decision-making — signalling that a country that cannot recognise its problems is far from finding their solution,” he wrote. In a scorching critique that struck a deep chord with readers, Kelly zeroed in on the manifestations of this crisis: a culture of complaint, the decline of self-reliance, the belief that any hardship is the fault of government, a political system that bids for votes by promising government can solve even more problems and a media that mirrors the narcissism and short attention span of the age. Our politics is noisy, destructive and consumed by self-interest, and Kelly believes we’ve lost the art of collective self-improvement. The upshot is that a reforming government cannot triumph, given the shift in the system and the malign culture against needed change.
Translation: It seems the general populace refuse to be as fucked in the head as the rabid ideologues and fear-mongers at the lizard Oz.
And so on and so forth. At bottom, it's all about fear, which served Abbott so well when he was leader of the opposition.
You can even get a whiff of the hint of fear that maybe Clive and his troops will teach the Oz a payback lesson for its relentless campaign against the Pupmaster and his puppettes ... by making Abbott dangle and swing in the breeze and do deals to survive ...
So all the lizards can offer is a double dollop with cherry on top of fear and failure and doom and gloom and disaster, as if the fate of the Abbott government is inextricably linked to the fate of the country. And if he's not given a go, to implement a woeful set of policies, without need of the art of negotiation and diplomacy and regard to others, we're all doomed:
The Prime Minister vows to get his budget passed and that, faced with the difficulty of delivering the right long-term policies, he would not sulk but “work harder to bring it about”. At present, he is hostage to the worst aspects of our political and policy dysfunction. Yet, as he did in opposition, Mr Abbott must seize the agenda and refocus his dialogue with the Australian people. If he can’t do that, our stumble to decline continues.
Newsflash. Life will go on without Abbott, or his government, though the pond will miss his stumblebum ways, though pensioners, the young, the differently abled, non-Anglos and the unemployed might not share the nostalgia.
The Australian will continue to stumble into decline, partly for what it is, but also that's because the internet is what it is. That's the way it goes in this Buzzfeed age.
There will be ups and downs, swings and roundabouts, and no doubt the odd cataclysm. But if there is, it'll remind us all just what a hill of beans has got Paul Kelly and the paranoid editorialist at the lizard Oz worked up and running around like headless chooken Littles.
If it's all so fucked, why are we indulging in a PPL? If it's all so fucked, why the splurge on infrastructure and Joe Hockey's dreaming?
You can't have it both ways, but Kelly, the Oz, Abbott and Hockey want it both ways, or more to the point, only their way.
So you'd have to be fucked in the head to swallow this unsettle tripe, designed to unsettle this unsettled land ... or worse still, spend money on the reptiles at the Oz so they can be paid to fear monger.
Chooken Little did it for free, and so should they ...
And now to another form of humour, with First Dog in fine form, but first a little history.
The photo below took the Twitter world by storm, in particular because of the logo for Border Force on view, which was deemed a Photoshopped fraud, seeing as how it was so obviously deeply Starship Troopers/Darth Vader fascist:
Naturally the likes of Buzzfeed couldn't resist, asking whether it was more Darth Vader or Hunger Games peacekeeper here, complete with requisite list.
Now the pond is still inclined to think it must be a joke.
Surely anybody with half a brain would have looked at it, and said, hey, maybe we should go an abstract logo.
Unless maybe it was Scott "speaking in tongues" Morrison doing a visual to match the verbal skills of Abbott ...
Meanwhile, the comedians and the cartoonists have had a field day, including First Dog, and more First Dog here (and click to enlarge):
And that's why this government is fucked and why the reptiles at the lizard Oz simply don't get it.
Every day a new gaffe, every day a new joke. It might well be that the country keeps Abbott around just for the laughs ... in which case there really will be a crisis.