Tuesday, September 09, 2014

In which the pond fellow travels with the cardigan wearers as the drums of war sound, before heading off to a refreshing swig of kool aid with the reptiles ...

It's not news to note that the Murdochians, and especially the tabloids, have been on a war footing these past few months, conducting a jihad on domestic Islamics and urging on a crusade against fundamentalists abroad.

The pulps are full of the drums of war ...

Even so, the pond watched, gob-smacked, Media Watch last night, and while you can iView the show here at the moment (this link will expire), the pond feels like going over the story, exhuming it one more time, even though the story is now a week old.

In short and in brief, this man ...

... wrote a story that was given a big splash in the Currish Snail and in other Murdoch papers:

The details of the story were denied by anyone and everyone involved - US and Australian defence forces alike - and the story was changed and modified and reduced - you can look at Media Watch for the agonising unfolding of the story in detail - until finally it came to this. A retraction ...

... which suggested the story had all the legs of a snail.

But here's the thing: how does the mealy mouthed retraction in any way measure up to the front page splash?

How does being exposed on Media Watch - with due credit to that program's ratings - in any way constitute an effective reprimand? Though it has to be said, it constituted a remarkable insight into the standards embraced in modern Murdochian journalism and it helps explain why the Murdochians fear and loathe Media Watch drawing attention to their astonishing failings...

Meanwhile, the Murdochians do their best to degut the Australian Press Council, so there's no point going there. Nor any point in complaining about all the other jihads - like the Terror's relentless crusade against bicycles and Clover Moore ...

Which leaves the pond in its usual position - determined not to give a cent, a dime, and certainly not a dollar to the Murdoch machine in whatever guise it appears ...

Hang on, hang on ...

Why that looks like a bargain, and so cheap too ...

Meanwhile, for sheer unmitigated cheek, who could go past Tony Abbott's attempt at a statesmanlike assertion that the Ashby-Slipper matter was part of a squalid, sordid, miserable period in our national life … and that is now all in the past (here in The Graudian).

Tell that to Julia Gillard fronting a Royal Commission about whom she fucked and what she did for the man decades ago. It's all up for grabs for decades in the future, and at any time on the whim of a future government, a Royal Commission can now be called to conduct a vendetta - which is to say make a professional and legal quest for truth - on any of the sordid matters currently doing the rounds in this government.

And on the evidence there's already plenty to look at.

Yes, it's all there in Peta Credlin emails to Liberal Party donor reveals 'cash for questions' link, forced video at end of link, wherein the Fairfaxians earn their keep, and cover the matter in detail, with perhaps the most extraordinary revelation being Credlin's notion that she had no problem with the email correspondence being released.

Nothing to hide here. Just doing deals with the sponsors and helping them out.

It seems payment for access to power, and payment to influence policy decisions, and payment to determine the sorts of questions the Leader of the Opposition might ask in parliament are all fair uses of cash in the paw, or cash in the Free Enterprise Foundation bank account.

And then at the top of the digital page came this one:

You can read that one under the header Barry O'Farrell wooed developer while it funded his researcher, forced video at end of link, and it reminded the pond how a federal ICAC would be a very handy complement to the work done by the state ICAC, which inter alia provides a handy guide to corruption here:

While it can take many forms, corrupt conduct occurs when:
  • a public official improperly uses, or tries to improperly use, the knowledge, power or resources of their position for personal gain or the advantage of others 
  • a public official dishonestly exercises official functions, improperly exercises official functions in a partial manner, breaches public trust or misuses information or material acquired during the course of his or her official functions 
  • a member of the public influences, or tries to influence, a public official to use his or her position in a way that is dishonest, biased or breaches public trust.

Indeed. Thank the long absent lord that forking over cash to shaft a public policy dealing with a matter of substantial public concern, involving climate science, is just playing the game of politics ...

And so to reptile watch, wherein the pond looks at the cavorting of the kool aid swilling reptiles at the lizard Oz.

Naturally the bouffant one, supreme knob polisher and hagiographer by appointment to Tony Abbott is appalled that anyone would still want to look at the Ashby-Slipper matter, not when there's the pressing matter of what Julia Gillard did for her squeeze decades before:

Oh yes, be careful what you become in pursuit of what you want, or otherwise you might become a slime pit slithering through the gutters of vile abuse.

Oh wait, that's Tony Abbott, so it's okay ...

And lordy lordy, look at this! Dame Groan cracking a joke:

It's fair to note that the broad expansive smile on Dame Groan's lips indicate the quality of the joke ...

Here she is in knock down slapstick comedy mode, all gaiety and smiles:

What else?

Well there's a learned discourse from Kevin Donnelly on the matter of teaching young failed, flailing plebs how to read:

Indeed, indeed.

In the pond's day, a good lick of the cane was enough to whip malcontents and dissidents into shape. Why the whisk of the bamboo through the air, or the sweet sound of leather on backside, or the scarring shudder of steel rule on tiny upturned palm was enough to ensure a good reading lesson was had by all.

What's that Mr. Shepherd, why are you salivating and foaming and frothing at the mouth?

The pond was reminded of this inherent truth by an expert guide on educational matters:

"What would you, as you've been involved with this for so long, describe as the best punishment you can come across even if it is one that has gone away?" asked 2UE host Justin Smith. "I'm not alluding to the strap here. I don't think you would ever resort to that. You would never advocate bringing that back surely?" 
Dr Donnelly responded by saying, "Well" followed by a pause – an answer that surprised Mr Smith. Dr Donnelly continued: "I grew up in Broadmeadows, a housing commission estate in Melbourne, and we had a Scottish phys-ed teacher. 
"Whenever there were any discipline problems he would actually take the boy behind the shed and say, 'We can either talk about this or you can throw the first punch'. 
"That teacher would probably lose his job now but it was very effective. He only had to do it once and the kids were pretty well behaved for the rest of the year." 
Dr Donnelly went on to say "those days are gone". But questioned further on the merits of corporal punishment, he said: "If the school community is in favour of it then I have got no problem if it's done properly. 
"There are one or two schools around Australia that I know where it actually is approved of and they do do it. I'm sure they only do it very rarely." 
Dr Donnelly contrasted corporal punishment with "time out" zones which he said do not work because children can relax and avoid class work. 
Dr Donnelly has previously attracted controversy for designing an anti-smoking program funded by tobacco company Phillip Morris for Australian and New Zealand schools. He also questioned, in a book published in 2004, whether gay, lesbian and transgender teachers should teach sex education in schools. (here)

Indeed, indeed, a punch up behind the shed, the sweet singing song of the cane, and an end to any notion that students should be allowed to relax and enjoy life, and soon enough they'll all be ready to read the Murdoch tabloids and soak up the kool aid ...

Why it didn't do Tony Abbott any harm, did it?

By golly, the pond should be pitching that idea to the Federal Government.

Is there a ticket seller in the house so the pond might gain entry?

Thanks for the tip, Mr Rowe, and that's as close to that sequel Nightmare on Parliament Drive starring Freddie 'knives for fingers" Abbott, as the pond has ever dared to get. Perhaps that musical next door featuring that nice man might be more to the pond's taste.

More Rowe here, but what has that naughty poodle done? Oh for a Murdoch tabloid rolled up to teach that naughty poodle a lesson ...


  1. Sometimes I think it's all so simple that the actual point is missed in the analysis & comment.
    The Libs can, their opponents can't.
    They regard this as self evident, take no care & are surprised on the rare occasions when this attitude gets them in trouble.

  2. First class piece today, DP. The Dogs of War via News Ltd tabloids was an excellent exposure of the fraud used to try to drum up support, or at least loosen reluctance, to go to war.

    And Abbott's comment on Ashbygate that it is all old news now even links in with it. In Iraq II, as it became increasingly clear that WMD stash was all lies and that the War and the Occupation was less than the triumph of rose petals envisaged, George W Bush stated that it was time that we all "moved on". GWB is the leader Abbott most resembles, certainly on idiotic utterances and incompetence. So it is understandable if he should try a similar tack.

    It's not a great deal of comfort to Ms Gillard when apparently two decades is apparently not sufficient time to exploit her dud choice then of a partner. Even today after countless News Ltd and Fairfax 'exposures', hate radio smears, even the once-respect ABC News and Current Affairs joining in the chase, an hour-plus 'any questions' Press Conference and a trumped-up Royal Commission with not credible witnesses ... it is apparently not enough. Sheehan and his Fairfax colleague had to have one last smear before her time on the witness stand.

    It barely matters that the attempt to get her will fail, nor that she is more than a match for all these ugly smear merchants. It's a level of vindictiveness which should not have happened in public life. I can see the reason for it and it is not entirely obsessive hatred.

    Even if, as expected, it fails it is hoped that enough mud is raised so that her era of leadership is still looked on as chaotic and crooked, and not held up too closely against the shambles in government we are getting now.

    1. There'll never be an end to the smearing and the nudge nudge wink wink innuendo GD, which is why the smears and the nudge nudge wink wink about the rough Brough and the poodle and the whole sordid business should be trawled over for the next twenty years ...

  3. The powerful have techniques to move people to action, paying them a wage is one way but it tends to be expensive on its own. Appealing to fears, desires, hate and even things like principle ideology and moral superiority are very effective ways to bring the cost of action down.

    On one hand I agree that criminals should be stopped, I don't have love for ISIS, but I also acknowledge that the circumstances that spawn crime culture in the first place need to be addressed, and generally I find the ruthless ambitions of a few create the circumstances of many; economic Dictators are not completely innocent of directly or indirectly furnishing conditions around the world, including hotbeds for extremism like the Middle East.

  4. I've followed First Dog's advice and uploaded some wrinkled old photos of myself just so I can delete them.



    1. Who on earth or Mars or the moon is Heidi Klum? But a lovely cartoon, and yes, load as many photos as you can ... you can't be too careful these days. The pond always recommends a complex password ... 1234 is particularly tricky because absolutely no one thinks of it.

  5. You have to wonder if any of those lackeys employed at the Murdoch rags, ever proudly say that they work there...you know, like when you are young and just qualified and got your first decent job...you like to brag a little that you are working for this or that organization or international company....but I wonder how many young journo's would openly announce that they work for Murdoch ?......With his reputation for having so many criminally charged people on his payroll....it would be like you had just joined the Cosa Nostra!

  6. "“There are a range of measures that will be needed to tackle the ISIL movement and the military component is only a part of it,” Mr Abbott said."

  7. Here's Ol' Dave Irvine, spy chief, chatting away to Leigh Sales in a most reassuring manner. It's alright for him, he'll be in permanent cardigan-wearing mode when he retires soon. But who will replace him to scare us shitless with upgraded terror alerts? I can think of no-one better than Brigadier Sheridan. Greg travels 1st Class and has Roop and several other national leaders on speed-dial. He has chewed the fat with Cheney and boot-scoots with Putin. How about it, DP? Will you be rooting for Greg to issue the next Code Red?

    1. Oh yes, oh yes DD, panic and fear and loathing, and a first class seat. Now about that Chairman's Club membership and let's talk a deal ...

  8. The nonsense news this evening is that Irvine is 'thinking' about raising the terror threat level. That's news? Maybe he's thinking about lots of stuff, but that doesn't make it newsworthy.


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