Saturday, August 09, 2014

In which the pond is shrouded in fog, the real parrots are unnervingly silent, while the screeching Murdoch parrots are up to their usual mischief ...

(Above: a handy Twitter guide to all things Murdoch in The Daily Rupert, here)

What a dung hill, what a dung heap the dung throwers at the Daily Terror have built for themselves.

Yes the rag has even managed to attract attention and notoriety in Boston, as you can discover by reading Australian Newspaper Learns How Not to Use Boston Marathon Victim Photos.

You can also read the story at Crikey here, though it's paywall affected:

The Tele dedicated two whole pages to Carlton’s sacking and his abuse of readers; we wonder how many column inches they’d spend railing against The Sydney Morning Herald if it was to photoshop a bombing victim in such a way.

And the Graudian has it here.

We won't soil the pond with the photos, but is anyone going to be sacked, or suspended, or resign?. Say the reptile at the head of the dung heap, who is in charge of the dung throwing?

Of course not.

Throwing dung just means occasionally you have to say you're sorry, and you knew nuffink and someone else did it and it wasn't your fault. You know, the Bart Simpson defence ...

Of course the pond could have provided a link to the Fairfax coverage, but this is Mike Carlton memorial day at the pond.

Sorry John Birmingham you just don't cut it. The pond is aware that, if one falls, another always takes their place, but this is Saturday memorial day, and the pond has no time for quislings.

Instead why don't we link to New Matilda? Oh sure Fairfax broke the latest angle on the story:

But New Matilda covers it quite tidily here, and besides they broke the original story, and besides their version has all the details the pond needs to know. Like this:

“If you are going to put a budget out there and say you all have to do it tough, you have to lead by example,” Mr Kyriakidis is quoted as saying.

Ah the smell of hypocrisy to add to the smell of the dung ...

And besides New Matilda also has this story:

Yes, it turns out here that Noel Pearson allegedly likes to say "fuck" a lot, and in colourful ways and with variants, twists and pikes, and is reported as telling Nigel Scullion to fuck off ... (here no asterisk, no asterisk here at the pond, pretty much like Chopper's cash).

Why the big deal? After all the pond routinely tells people like Optus - yes they've finally admitted they had a problem in the Camperdown area - to fuck off.

But this one is poignant on Mike Carlton memorial day, done down by the reptiles for telling people to fuck off:

Ironically, it’s The Australian that has played a major part in lifting Pearson’s profile. Pearson has been a long-standing columnist with the publication, and is still listed on the site as an opinion writer. The Australian has awarded Pearson its ‘Australian of The Year’ honour on several occasions, including in 2014. 
That honour was bestowed despite The Australian earlier publishing an explosive story revealing lengthy details about Pearson’s occasionally abusive exchanges, which included calling bureaucrats “white c*nts”, throwing water in the face of a journalist who asked him a question he didn’t like, and regularly abusing politicians and journalists.

Yes, it's fuck off for some and oh just fuck off for others ...

Meanwhile, it's not just a boycott from the pond that Fairfax is facing. Turns out the Islamics are out and about and talking a boycott too ...

Oh dear, caught between a rock and a hard place.

Go on John Birmingham, write about that ...

Now some might have the impression that New Matilda is dull, deadly earnest and much too sincere. But they do show a sensa huma:

And they run stories that have an eerie echo of the pond's point of view:

That one here starts off:

If you want your News Limited, then grabbing a copy of The Weekend Australian is a great place to start.

Indeed, indeed. And on this Mike Carlton memorial day, the pond suddenly remembered it wouldn't be a Saturday without limited news:

A hundred years? 

Why the first crusade rolled out in 1095 thanks to Pope Urban II (Greg Hunt it here) and Christians have been in crusade mode ever since. Oops, sorry, it's only those wicked foreign devils who believe in religious wars and indulge in jihad ...

What an admirable way to quieten fears and cast oil on the waters and terrorise the natives and gear them up for a thousand year Reich led by Tony Abbott and his fearless minions ...

As for the rest, there's yet another bout of hand wringing and heart tugging from that pompous ass Paul Kelly:

Translation: things are pretty crook for Tony Abbott and his mob, and not just in Tallarook ... (never mind, we luvs ya, Tallarook and Jack O'Hagan too ...)

Look, you can read Kelly if you like, here, if you can be bothered getting around the paywall, but the real rub comes in public view in the second par.

You see even Kelly can't pretend it's about the political system being mired in malfunction. It's about how fucked Tony Abbott is:

Abbott is governing yet he is not persuading. So far. As Prime Minister he seems unable to replicate his success as Opposition leader: mobilising opinion behind his causes. The forces arrayed against Abbott, on issue after issue, seem more formidable than the weight the prime minister can muster.

It doesn't occur to Kelly that this might be because Abbott couldn't tell metadata if it was prying into or biting him on the bum, or that ASIO was indeed interested in retaining details of web behaviour as part of the thousand year crusade ...

While he tries to set the agenda, it is stolen by his opponents. This week is a classic in the genre: cracking down on murderous Australian jihadists as a nation­al security PM should have been a political gift for Abbott. Yet for three days the debate was all metadata, not safety from terrorists. The government’s message was lost.

Yes how silly for anyone to care about the metadata. Oh look a boogeyman ...

Kelly runs through a catalogue of government muck up and then offers this immortal line:

The lesson is obvious: the system rewards the negative. The case for change is harder to carry.

Coming from a rag that spent years in relentless negativity, that's rich. Really rich.

And the pond should care that the master of nattering negativity now finds himself mired in nattering negativity?

Even richer is Kelly's willingness to join the pond in Freudian analysis:

In an embarrassing slip, Abbott, interviewed by the ABC’s Michael Brissenden about his backdown on free speech and other possible retreats, said: “I know what you’re doing here. You’re trying to say that nothing is certain, nothing is constant, that all is in flux, that the current government is as bad as the Gillard government. We’re not.” 

Yet Abbott had drawn the link with Gillard while denying it. In fact, Abbott is struggling to deliver on the style of government he pledged: an adult government of consistency, traditional cabinet process and “no surprises’’. 

Yes, it's a problem, especially as Abbott is showing all the signs of being worse than Gillard at devising coherent, sensible policies and strategies, and negotiating and achieving consensus around them. Somehow Kelly thinks this is a systemic issue:

Is this possible any more? Is that model incompatible with the real-time media cycle? This penetrates to the heart of the former Labor government’s demolition.

But the system has always been adversarial. It is possible to negotiate with minor parties and rivals and achieve outcomes. If you've got the brains and the skills. And finally Kelly has to admit it:

If reform is harder, it is equally true that blunders from Abbott, Hockey and Brandis dot their pathway. It was a blunder to exclude Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull from the decisions by cabinet’s national security committee on new counter-terrorism laws. Abbott should manage Turnbull by being inclusive, not exclusive. It was silly not to use Turnbull’s expertise. 
Given that the NSC was making a decision on data retention that Brandis later had trouble explaining, Turnbull’s exclusion was counter-productive. Labor’s Chris Bowen seized the chance to argue that the Abbott cabinet was dysfunctional, an exaggeration but a neat political blow. Sound familiar?

Finally the pontificating pompous portentous blowhard is coming to realise that the reptiles invested everything in a false god, one made of straw and with feet of clay.

Yet in the end after much musing, what does the blowhard offer to Abbott for advice?

Shorten said Labor feared “a new internet tax” on all Australians if internet providers must pay for the data-retention measures. His second concern was that millions of Australians might be treated “as if they’re potential criminals”. Labor, as opposition legal affairs spokesman Mark Dreyfus signalled, will have trouble with any reverse onus of proof to charge such foreign fighters. 
Abbott needs to use this issue to rediscover persuasion.

Which in a nutshell, is as good an explanation of why the Abbott government is fucked, and the advice it's getting from pompous blowhards is fucked ...

It's all about persuasion? It's not about devising George Orwell's 1984? It's not about wide-ranging, intrusive surveillance? It's not about using a sledge-hammer to crack a walnut. It's not about exorbitant expense? It's not about eavesdropping on anyone and everyone?

Remind the pond again of the size of the immediate perceived problem?

In truth, Abbott’s position remains strong here. There are 150 Australian citizens fighting abroad who pose a terrorist threat on return.

150 deranged Islamics and that's how the reptiles and the Abbott government propose to tackle the problem? In the process completely forgetting their jibber jabber about freedom and liberty and the rest of the Tea Party guff?

It's not  just about rediscovering the art of persuasion. It's rediscovering the art of policy-making and not just falling over in a fainting fit because the reptiles announce a hundred years war with the Islamics.

That ploy is so naked, so pathetic, so obvious, the fear mongering so contrived and blatant. It's the security forces and the military that want the war, and the moola it brings. And they have the cheek to talk about fat cat climate scientists ...

Do they really think everyone will swallow the Murdoch kool aid ...

But wait, there's more:

Yes even the bouffant one is now filled with saucy doubts and fears. It turns out, if you read the bouffant one, that it actually is as bad as it looks, and you just have to look at the bouffant one's opening gambit for proof:

Do go on:

Whether that was what Brissenden was thinking is immaterial; Abbott’s utterance put the thought that many people were thinking into words from his own mouth. It was a bad mistake: there is nothing more powerful for a politician to do than to put words to what people are thinking.

Oh do go on, bouffant one, chief knob polisher and hagiographer in days of yore:

As well, cabinet ministers and MPs are becoming alarmed and complaining about cabinet process and damaging leadership paranoia. The last points were dangerously relevant to the parallels being drawn with the early, but largely ignored, dysfunction of the Rudd office and cabinet.

Uh huh. Naturally there's a black cat, and potent spells at work, and that means a witch.

Come on down Peta Credlin.

Which ironically enough, brings us back to that cesspit of dung throwers, the Daily Terror:

In hindsight, it is evident the NSC in-principle decision on metadata should never have been disclosed, officially or unofficially. The report in The Telegraph, which all MPs assume was a result of a political leak, prematurely and inaccurately exposed a policy that didn’t exist. 
It put the focus on metadata and killed the positives of the other counter-terror measures. 
The Prime Minister’s office was sanguine about a leak from the secret security committee but went in hot pursuit of the leaking of the cabinet blow-up. 
Turnbull’s complaint about not being included may have been seen as a hissy fit but it could have and should have been avoided by including the Communications Minister in consultations after the NSC decision and before any public announcement. 
Cleaning up in hindsight is no substitute for putting forward well-formed policy, with the best personnel, based on uncluttered foresight.

And that's from the regime's hagiographer and knob polisher in chief! No idle systemic excuses there ...

But wait, there's more, there's also a set of steak knives:

And who might that pragmatic minister be? Remember, there's a set of steak knives going ...

The Poodle Pyne?

Warning. Steak knives offered by the pond are novelty items, for entertainment purposes and social gatherings only. They do not cut paper, or education policies, or say sensible things, but they can be used in comedy routines ...

And there you have it on this Sydney Morning Herald free Mike Carlton memorial day ...

Sorry John Birmingham, nothing personal, but who needs you for comedy? The pond is so awash in comedy that returning were as tedious as to go o'er ...

But does this mean giving up on Pope as Sydney is shrouded in fog this morning, and the parrots are eerily quiet, and as the rest of the country is shrouded in a different kind of fog, of the kind you can find emanating from Eric Abetz?

Of course not, this Pope is a Canberra lad, and we can link to the innocent Canberrans here shivering in their nought degrees pyjamas (and make sure you catch up on yesterday's train cartoon, which went missing in the malfunctioning gallery):


  1. In the true spirit of whack-a-moll, this government can roll out daily incompetence and befuddlement over a business week without needing to call on Greg Hunt.
    Truly, there has never been anything quite like it.
    The splash page of dead tree Saturday Paper today is nicely frameable. The title is "The Madness of King George", and first para commences "An outsider during the Howard years, George Brandis is at the centre of this government, and at the centre of its follies." Nice and factual from Sophie Morris today. Should be useful as a conversation starter at LNP breakfasts round the country.

  2. I read somewhere a very long time ago, I think in the old Matilda mag, that News Ltd was very good at knocking down politicians it opposed, but very bad at building up the ones it supported. Same old story here.
    In other news they posted another massive loss, which was also higher than expected. Maybe that is why Cater and Albrectsen both have new, better subsidised jobs- rats and sinking ships, eh?

  3. "Do they really think everyone will swallow the Murdoch kool aid .."

    Well DP, I have to say even inside jack at the oz seems to be on the kool aid or just up there in twilight zone

  4. A great piece... and comprehensive outline of this government's failings. The only unfortunate thing is that it will date very quickly as this government continues to find new and interesting ways to stuff things up, screw people over, and let people down.

  5. Brandis wrote about Abbott's early years in Quarterly Essay 48 (2012), correspondence in response to 'Political Animal'. The last paragraph says as much about Brandis as it does about Abbott.
    "There is one particular memory of Tony Abbott at Oxford which sticks in my mind, as fresh as if it had happened yesterday, although it was thirty years ago. It was the summer vacation of 1982. I was heading off on a trip through Russia, and I knew that Tony had just been there. We ran into one another on the High Street one morning and chatted away. I remember saying how much I was looking forward to seeing the Hermitage Museum in Leningrad and various other cultural treasures. He looked at me sceptically. I asked him what he had thought of the Soviet Union. "Mate," came the reply, "mate, it doesn't have a single redeeming feature.""

  6. On Judith Wrigtht, Radio National has a treasure in their Poetica segment, an interview with Wright's daughter, Meredith McKinney.


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