Tuesday, August 19, 2014

In which the pond contemplates some cash in the paw, before brooding about kids on Nauru ...

Another day, another outrageous thought bubble offering from the chief of the snout in trough men ...

It's all there in the Graudian story quoting Tony Abbott attempting to pin the blame on the Labor party, and it's already wafted off into the digital ether, but the pond wanted to pause, to celebrate and savour the rancid flavour of the offering ...

Questioned on talkback radio about the damage the revelations were doing to the Liberal party, Tony Abbott said: “The problem was that the former state Labor government, because of a predicament it found itself in, introduced laws banning donations from developers.”

Uh huh. So there's your excuse when caught speeding or doing an illegal park.

The problem is that a bunch of politicians, caught in the predicament of deaths from speeding and the urban crush of parking demands, introduced laws banning speeding and limiting parking ...

Put it another way. Morality is anything you can get away with ...

Actually the problem is the people, who should have known the laws, breaching the laws.

It now turns out that the problem didn't just belong to Labor, though the long absent lord knows just what a deep appalling problem it was for the Labor party - it just took the matters in Liberal Newcastle to turn up to make the fiasco of Labor Wollongong seem like a Sunday picnic.

What Abbott did was seek to absolve people on the basis of suggesting the laws weren't needed, yet the nexus between corruption and property developers is well established and on both sides of the aisle.

The pond first became aware in an adult way of the notion of corruption when a mayor of Tamworth made out like a bandit, developing a hillside area of town, with council used to facilitate his dream development. Then in South Australia the pond always had a soft spot for an in-the-know Liberal minister, who used his advance knowledge of arterial road developments to make out like a bandit. Fast forward to Marrickville and the Labor mayor who littered the council area with dodgy developments ...

And in that short history, the pond has skipped over the notorious fate of Juanita Nielsen, the green bans, and that brown paper man Robin - call me tough guy Robert - Askin ...

You can ADB Nielsen here ... and while you're at it, look up property developer F. W. Theeman here.

Those were the beehive days, but the drones have never left the honey.

While other states and towns have had their share of property development-related corruption, Sydney has always done it best - well at least until Newcastle mounted the latest challenge.

So it's hardly surprising that Abbott would lead with an excuse already lead by the Newcastle mayor at the eye of the storm.

Here's Abbott:

“Who exactly is a developer? That can sometimes be a difficult question. [They] also introduced legislation to limit the total amount of donations and political parties need to raise money,” he told 2GB on Monday morning. 

Fudge and obfuscate.

And here, thanks to the Newcastle Star is the mayor:

Asked about his knowledge of electoral rules that ban developers from making donations, he said he did not regard himself as a developer. 
‘‘Jeff McCloy does not lodge development applications,’’ he said on three occasions. ‘‘I have 33 companies and not all of them are prohibited donors. Any donations in my mind were legal because they were coming from Jeff McCloy and not from a company that lodges development applications.’’

This from a self-confessed ATM machine who used to hand out cash in envelopes in the comfort of his Bentley ...

It reminded the pond that Abbott himself had in the past played fast and loose with parliamentary allowances and entitlements, and didn't see much wrong with personal benefits to his family.

It should, once again, have been a simple lay down misere.

Abbott could have deplored what had happened, promised to clean up the Liberal party, and promised ongoing vigilance against corruption in the state, a determined fight to keep Sydney a bit straight, unless a Packer needed an approval.

Instead the pond began to think dark thoughts of him tripping off to a mate's wedding at taxpayers' expense.

Those dark thoughts should have lain dormant, but Abbott seems in the grip of a Scottish tongue or haggis disease.

He eventually got around to addressing the issue, but in such a belated and grudging way that he just confirmed the pond's worst suspicions. Here was the first effort:

“I think it’s right that political parties have to go to the public and seek support that way rather than just being able to rely solely on the taxpayer."

But, but, but, billy goat, Sydney is a notoriously corrupt town, has been since the Rum Corps, and property development and developers are at the heart of the corruption - ever since rare land has become more precious than rum or wool.

And both sides of the aisle have at times fallen for the siren song of the brown paper bag, or the more modern envelope with internet address ...

So let's not conflate going to the public for money with going to property developers for some cash in the paw.

Okay, the pond pleads guilty. We are intimately aware of a party which donated money to a political party, and what do you know, got a favourable outcome in relation to a development issue.

Fancy that. After all the dissembling, Abbott finally got around to that grudging concession:

And plainly, some people have cut corners. It’s quite possible some people have broken the law and if that’s the case, whatever party they’re in, they should face the consequences.” Abbott said the revelations of Icac were a “very bad look” but he and the premier, Mike Baird, wanted to clean up the NSW Liberal party. 
 “I think this whole question of donations does need to be looked at again, but in terms of the Liberal party itself, what we need to do is to ensure that it belongs to its members, not to factions,” he said.

And what's the betting, given the tenor of this interview, that one of the plans involves watering down the donation laws, so that the public, aka property developers, can frolic and offer cash into the paw to politicians without the let and hindrance of interfering ICAC types?

Because, you know, industry unions consorting with industry types to build really crappy apartment blocks in the heart of the city - so badly done that they didn't even meet fire standards and cast their owners into a world of pain - is one thing - provided you only blame the unions - but politicians consorting with property developers offers an honest way forward ... or at least a tidy little earner as cash in the paw ...

Is there any wonder that in the pond household, Forget it Jake, it's Sydney town, is a favourite expression, trotted out at least once a day? A pox on both their houses ...

And now for the most sickening front page of recent times, and that, for the Daily Terror, is saying something:

They're Labor's child detainees?

Where has the the Liberal government been since its election on the 7th September 2013? That's almost a calendar year in which the children became Liberal child detainees ... and remarkably you have to read right to the end of the wretched story that Tongues won't be helping out the 300 children on Nauru and Christmas Island ... you know, the Liberal child detainees ..

So what's to celebrate in Scott Morrison, alleged speaking in tongues Christian, being dragged kicking and screaming towards releasing a few children ...

The Terror editorialist didn't know how to reconcile the tough guy stuff with the soft cop routine, and the the comments section was full of the usual racist hysteria. The pond would rather link to a garbage dump in Cambodia ...

Luckily, it has absolutely nothing to do with the news that Scott Morrison to appear before inquiry into children in immigration detention, Immigration minister will face Australian Human Rights Commission Inquiry on 22 August and give evidence under oath?

And the forelock tuggers, knob polishers, hagiographers and servile lickspittles are trying to dress this up as a sudden outburst of humanity?

The government’s own statistics – obtained by Guardian Australia in a leaked report – show the rate of self-harm in detention soared six times between the introduction of mandatory offshore resettlement last July and January this year. 
The minister also responded to a damning submission to the inquiry written by a group of Save the Children workers on Nauru, which documented in forensic detail the “systematic violation” of child asylum seekers rights. 
“The minister notes the allegations made in the anonymous submission. The subject matter raised in these allegations is very serious,” a spokeswoman for the minister said. “The [immigration] department is working with Save the Children and the government of Nauru to determine the veracity of these anonymous claims and to what extent they are credible or relate to current practice.” 
Guardian Australia understands the minister’s office had already been briefed on a number of the cases documented in the submission, which include allegations of sexual, physical and verbal assault against children.

There's a lot more - and links at the Graudian piece - and it's all going to be given a going over this Friday, and then the Terror's hypocritical crocodile tears about "won't someone think of the children" will be revealed as pandering of the first water. It's amazing that they have enough subscribers to allow them to hire someone to copy the Minister's self-serving press release and turn it into a front page ...

By Friday of course that front page will be blowing in the breeze, and thank the long absent lord the policy has nothing to do with negotiations over the budget, or the likes of John Madigan pointing out what a heartless bunch of bastards currently make up the federal government - lordy lordy even Heather Ridout thinks their domestic measures are ideological and far too harsh.

So let's take a measure of their humanitarian impulses in relation to imprisoned refugees - yep, it's still on, as you can read in Australian government plans to send refugees from Nauru to Cambodia.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison hit back at critics of the arrangement, saying Cambodia was a signatory to the UN Convention on Human Rights and resettlement should not just be a ticket to the first world. 
“(They) seem to believe that resettlement should be confined to first-world economies — an economic upgrade program rather than a safe-haven program,” Mr Morrison said.
But refugee advocates and human rights groups doubt Cambodia is up to the task. The country struggles to feed its own people, almost 40 years on from the genocide that killed two million people under the Khmer Rouge, a regime from which thousands fled as refugees. 
Thirty kilometres from Siem Reap — the tourist gateway to the ancient Angkor Watt temple — is Anlung Pey village. Next to the village is a rubbish dump, home to 300 people. Fifteen rubbish trucks arrive daily. The smell is gag-inducing after 20 seconds. Yet dump dwellers and their children spend up to 14 hours a day fossicking for recyclable plastic bottles and tin cans to earn $2 a day, the average wage here. 
They even scavenge by torchlight at night and eat rotting food leftovers. The alternative might be starvation.

Go on Terror, put that on the front page. Liberal children in Nauru sent to heaven in Cambodia ...

Yep, there it is, deal for refugees expected very soon.

That's the actual header: Abbott government beefs up staff for 'Cambodian solution', and doesn't that use of the word "solution" have an eerie echo of times long lost?

Will Scott "tongues" Morrison pay any attention to Cambodia not suitable for any refugees as he pursues his final solution?

Probably not, which makes the Terror's attempt at its front page "the government is thinking of the Labor children", with kid shots, even more nauseating ...

Morality is anything you can get away with, and the Terror as a publication would sully a Cambodian garbage dump ...

Oh for a little light relief, and thankfully Rowe is to hand, and there's more Rowe here:

Yes, given the choice between tears and laughs, it's better to go with the laughs because at some point the tears will flow.

Ah yes, more Pope here, and thanks to the UK Mirror, the best and worst of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival jokes, here.

But even here there's outrage! Where's Tony Abbott's best Edinburgh joke, which has amused everyone far and wide and was celebrated by First Dog? (And for the first bit of this cartoon, head off to the Graudian here).


  1. Is Rowe referring to The Adjustment Bureau?


  2. Roboshark!
    Yep, the Daily Telegraph is well past jumping mere sharks, definitely onto Robosharks.

    Poor Sir David Attenborough - on the front page. At first glance, I thought that was Bolt.

  3. Isn't Tongues a nasty piece of work? He's giving a press conference claiming how humanitarian he is by releasing detained children (but not those on Nauru).

    Meanwhile the Guardian has this disturbing exposé.


  4. John Oliver on the Ferguson riots, police brutality and racism.


  5. As always,there is rarely a better way to start the day than with a dip into the Pond. Lovely.
    Pope's national insecurity gave a great belly laugh.
    Regards property development,here in Melbourne(Glen Eira),under our new C110 legislation,it's like a contagion of fear. One person sells,then next door sells and bingo,within a month you have 5 adjoining properties sold within that month and a week later a giant paddock ready to rise.I presume it is the same all over the city,with many of the developments nothing but blue-board slums.
    Yes Minister always said that planning and development was the only portfolio worth having.Well,yes indeedy! Everyone wants a Bentley.You can get so many more brown paper bags in that massive boot.Cheers.

  6. Wasn't it thoughtful of Clive, DP, to roll out a distraction for the LNP? Much flapping of tea-towels, endless repetition. Funny, I thought xenophobia was the default position.

    1. OK, I get it now. While Ministers have been flat out slapping Clive, Jacqui Lambie has simply upped the ante. In case anyone thinks those two represent Govt policy, Abbott et al now have an excuse to grovel up to China. Hang on, that's everyone *except* Abbott. Abbott, Shinzo Abe's best mate.

  7. Let me be clear, let me be perfectly clear on this: MY government will not let a moral compass interfere with a business compass. We are open for business, if you want morals, there is always the part of Scotland I referred to earlier this week. Let me be perfectly clear about this.

  8. There is dumb, dumber and there is dumbest

    Here is an example of dumbest


    "The Communist Chinese military capacity and level of threat to the western world democracies is at an unprecedented and historical high"......."The price of liberty is eternal vigil".

    Oh, ffs.

  9. Oh noes, the Uppities are back at it again, in Augustus...Black Pete is just a bit of fun for the Netherlands, right? Wrong.


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