Wednesday, September 10, 2014

In which the pond looks for a fair poll and a fair go, and only finds a terrorist called Carbon ...

Yes, there it is on the front page of the reptile rag - Majority back increased role in Iraq: Newspoll (behind the paywall but you know how to google).

The opening par by Phillip Hudson showed how the trick was done - conflate humanitarian aid and weapons and ISIS militants ....

The result?

Three out of five Australians are in favour of the federal government providing humanitarian aid and weapons to forces opposing Islamic State militants, as Tony Abbott holds open the option of going further with increased military support.

But what's this?

Yes, head off to Crikey and read Essential: voters disapprove of Iraq venture, and it's not helping Abbott (paywall affected):

Voters on balance disapprove of Australia’s intervention in Iraq and strongly oppose any Australian military role if requested by the US, today’s Essential Report shows.

The figures are pretty much clear cut, and the sample size comparable, so why the difference? Cue Bernard Keane's explanatory note:

The results contrast markedly with the results in today’s Newspoll, reported in The Australian, which showed strong support for intervention. However, Newspoll asked a different question to Essential, who referred to Iraq, whereas Newspoll’s question mentioned ISIS twice, and included reference both to humanitarian aid and weapons, meaning respondents couldn’t support humanitarian aid and not military assistance.

Yes you frame the question the way you want, to get the question answered the way you want, and that's the art and science of polling, done reptile way.

It's the old 'when did you stop bashing your partner?' routine. Who'd be against humanitarian aid? Who on the other hand would favour Australia picking sides in a civil war and heading off to do it all over again, no lessons having been learned ...

As that pompous dullard Paul Kelly noted this morning, without the slightest trace of irony in relation to another matter:

Yes asking the right question is part of the drums of war and the drums of fear that have been copping a fearsome pounding in the Murdoch press of late.

This suits Abbott - he likes the sheep to live in fear, and fear and nattering negativity were the distinctive features of his time as opposition leader.

It's perfectly possible to live in fear of terrorists and fundamentalism, but truth to this is the staple diet of right wing fear mongers, shock jocks and the rabid ideologues who wouldn't half-mind if a crazed Islamic did a little damage in Australia. It'd be just as sensible to live in fear of the shock jocks and the Bolter and all the other rabid ratbags who thrive on conflict, hate and fate ...

Luckily, the pond already has enough to fear - like driving in the streets of Sydney surrounded by people in the grip of road rage, or wondering what might happen the next time the pond drives through Rozelle, or most bizarre and dangerous of all, dealing with the condescending sneers and supercilious lips on view should the pond dare to set foot in Mosman or the eastern suburbs.

We keed, we keed.

So, speaking of asking questions, what else are the reptiles up to today?

Well James Allan is still banging the drum for 18c, though it's a muffled and pitiful sound these days, though a few might care to exhume Coalition's backdown on repeal of section 18c is shameful just for the fun of Allan in the grip of an extended, petulant, sulking fit.

Yep, the reptiles couldn't even be bothered to drag a snap of Allan out of the files, preferring to describe him as """.

The pond has often wondered why the reptiles bother with a digital splash which looks like someone has jumped into the Comic Sans shallow end of the pool ...

Never mind, gone, it seems, are the bold and brave and heady IPA days of Allan launching Andrew Bolt: Freedom of Speech in Australia (careful of their paranoid linking devices).

Now all that's left is whining and moaning and keening.

The pond recommends that Allan hold his nose and keep his mouth shut, and see if he can turn blue before the Abbott government decides to deliver on the IPA dream ... why he might give that blue man show a run for its money ...

Luckily today is also the day that the Caterists get a chance to saunter out and sit themselves on the hot rock - so many pleasures, so little time - and deliver the usual nonsense, ostensibly designed as analysis, but actually designed to prove that Caterists are bears of very little brain.

As usual, the splash is deliberately, provocatively misleading:

Google around the paywall if you must, but Cater's effort is surely one of his most shallow and pitiful, designed, it seems to engender sympathy for his ignorance, as he expounds on how To be fair, Labor party needs to explain its pursuit of 'fairness'.

To be fair, though Cater shows no sign of a need for it, at least this time the Caterists admit they're dim-witted dodos of their times:

One way or another, the ship must be turned around. Fiscal discipline must be restored, regulation reduced, the labour market must be flexible, and tax and welfare must be reformed. Yet the fairness doctrine demands more public spending, greater regulation, a centrally controlled ­labour market, extra taxes and higher welfare. Can Shorten explain, for the slow-witted among us, how this is going to work?

Slow-witted? Irony or the first decent Caterist insight?

You'd think, at this moment in time and given Shorten is in opposition, the slow-witted amongst us might be asking just how Tony Abbott's fucking up of the budget, the economy and sundry other matters, was working out for the Caterists and the reptiles, but of course these are questions none dare ask, at least not those who drink daily of the Chris Mitchell kool aid lodged in the office water cooler ...

The pond was tempted to leave it at that. It is, after all, not fair that the long absent lord deemed that the Caterists must be the slow-witted amongst us, but of course as a cunning troll, the Cater also rabbited on about the concept of fairness, and how fairness was only a recent part of the Labor party brief.

Yes he did, he truly did:

Labor has experimented with other self-descriptors — compassion, social inclusion, sustainability and even on one memorable occasion “the party of low taxation” — but none of them has held as doggedly as fairness. “Fairness is a fundamental Labor value and it is one we do not share in any form with the conservatives,” Rudd wrote 12 years ago. 
Surprisingly, this supreme Labor value is of relatively recent origin. It was not acknowledged by Ben Chifley in his 1949 election campaign address, nor again in 1951. There was nothing on fairness in Doc Evatt pre-election speeches in 1954, 1955 and 1958 and zilch from Arthur Calwell in 1961, 1963 and 1966. 
Gough Whitlam would not have a bar of it in the five elections he fought, nor Bill Hayden in 1980. Bob Hawke was the first to use the word, though not as the single defining value, just one among many, such as justice, ­tolerance, dignity and security ...

Now there's a fuck witted, simpleton literalist in action.

It's as if the cry "fair go" had never resounded in Australian history, yet it took only a nanosecond for the pond to be reminded by a letter written by Tom, a Queensland shearer, back home to his mum and dad in April 1891, which inter alia discussed the new Wolseley shearing machine, a set price per sheep shorn and this:

We've been on strike for four months now. I'm living in a tent at a striking workers' camp in Barcaldine with about 4000 other shearers. We get our daily rations and do drills (bit like the army). The police are always watching. Some of the union leaders who stood up to the government have been taken away to St. Helena's Island. Poor blokes - they just wanted a fair go for us shearers ... (here, in primary school history for Caterists)

They just wanted a fair go, which helps explain why the Abbott government's attempts to sabotage the poor, the aged, students and the unemployed have alienated so many who have been fed the 'fair go' mantra for so many years ...

For further reading, perhaps the Caterists could revert to Australia - the land of the fair go ...

The Australian term fair go is iconic and resonant in Australian history and Australian English. It emerges with its current meaning (an equitable opportunity, a reasonable chance; even-handed treatment) in the shearers’ strike of 1891 which saw the defeat of the unions but the subsequent birth of the Australian Labor Party. The history of the term charts a period of Australian history that covers the rise of unionised labour, workers’ rights, Labor governments, and the perception of Australia as an egalitarian society – a ‘workers’ paradise’. In recent years the fair go has become a contested term – one that can be claimed by all Australians regardless of wealth, background, or political persuasion. So the current debate in Australian politics over an entitlement to a fair go is as much a debate over claiming the values and history associated with the term as it is with redefining the term in an Australia vastly different to the struggles of shearers in the late 19th century.

Which no doubt helps explain why the Caterists are so keen for a fair go for mining billionaires, bankings, financiers, the big end of town, Gina and Rupert Murdoch ... but strangely not for Clive or his dinosaurs ...

But enough of the dim-witted Marie Antoinettes currently disguised as the Caterists ... if they want to keep building an inequitable society, let's see how a fair guillotine goes ...

Sadly, they seem simply incapable of understanding that if, as John Howard did, you push inherent unfairness too hard, as in Work Choices, you might well end up on the outer, as John Howard did, and with Kevin Rudd in charge, and look at the good it did, because soon enough there's Tony Abbott and Jolly Joe back to bugger up the joint in fine Kev style.

Better at least to show some understanding of the concept of fairness, than act like a patrician Jolly Joe substituting a cigar for a decent French cake ... but then the Caterists must make their living as they can, and if you freely admit to being slow-witted, that means you must be bound for a right wing think tank, living off the sponsorship of the rich, who love their poodles to bark the right noises ...

In short, there's not much point debating or discussing all this, or the extraordinary Caterist capacity to misrepresent Australian history by routinely looking at it through the wrong end of a telescope.

In the end, if a man confesses to being slow-witted, it's best just to agree and move on ...

And with that, the pond is still salivating at a different poll, in the matter of the Scots and the English.

Now the pond has no fish in this pond, or dog in the fight, unlike Tony Abbott, lining up on behalf of the British empire ...

But there are some wonderful ironies to hand, not least all the right wing ratbags and zealots who've spent the past few years howling about Europe and demanding that the UK cut all ties with the continent ... only to get agitated, in a most unseemly way, when the Scots talk of doing the same thing to the English, as they did in those glorious days when they aligned with the French in the hundred years war ... Ah, the auld alliance ... (and please explain by what right the English thought they should run Bordeaux? Because they had a nice appreciation of a cunningly drinkable wine?)

What to do, what to do?

Yes, get the Queen to intervene. Damn fine set of breeders, and right now with a right royal filly at work. Should set those damned uppity Scots straight ...

But wait, we do have a dog in the fight, thanks to Tony Abbott's intervention on behalf of the British empire ...

Now why would that be? Why would he be telling the Scots what to do?

Yes to the pond's delight, the birther conspiracy surrounding Abbott has hit the mainstream press.

Oh sure it's mocked by Cam Smith in The Graudian, with Show us your citizenship: why the Tony Abbott 'birthers' want to believe, but look at the stunning evidence he's produced. 

And what's more, he's put his name to the startling discoveries:

Newry? Isn't that northern Ireland? Isn't there clear cut evidence the beast slouching all over the place started his journey in London? Oh never mind, it's probably just a technicality:

Oh Scotland, brave Scotland, Australia suffers like you under the yoke of British imperialist aggression, almost as bad as being run by a Kenyan socialist and right up there with the suffering of the English under Brussels-based bureaucrats ... how can we all secede and join a party dedicated to drinking tea?

Would you like a ticket to join the tea party? 

David Pope shows the packages on offer, and as always more Pope here:

Oh fair go. This is a pond dedicated to slow witted loons ... naturally there's a gap between reality, science and Tony Abbott's Australia ... look, over there, a terrorist. Called Abu Bakr al-Carbon ...


  1. Scotland- no dog in that fight either- but the conservitari seem to be running the line that English control and dominance will be swapped with ( the horror!) EU dominance!
    It doesn't seem to have sunk in that many Scots seem to actively prefer that idea...

    1. Yes GlenH the contradictions are awesome and therefore amusing, and it will all work out how it will, but the genie is out of the bottle, and if the UK now thinks it can leave Europe, it can expect the Scots to mount another push to leave the UK. Meanwhile the fear mongering is amazing to behold, and as per GD below, the pond believes it's all thanks to Tony Abbott's intervention ...!

  2. On manipulating the polls, the Yes Prime Minister explanation

    I do admire your patience in trying to educate Nick Cater on Australian history. I'm surprised he hasn't understood the advantages it would give him when writing a book about Australian traits. Though perhaps being slow-witted and being paid to serve Mammon, he is more comfortable in his ignorance.

    The Scottish Independence ballot has come to be quite exciting after Abbott's intervention led to a spike in support of the 'Yes' outcome. No doubt Cameron's dire warnings and his own Abbott-like credibility is adding to that momentum. If Yes gets up, it may well be Abbott's finest achievement of his time in the leadership.

    Not that I particularly care. I am more like John Mortimer in finding the Scots, like the Canadians, somewhat uncomfortable to get close to. The ones I've known in days past take an ambivalent position. They make a strong case for independence and how they've been dudded by the Poms, while also being rather proud to be part of the British Imperial glory when at its peak.

    I just like the mischief of the whole process.

  3. Good Leunig in The Age this morning.

  4. Gillard's performance at the Royal Commission yesterday was masterful. The whole vindictive farce was a fishing expedition which caught nothing.

    Now I'm looking forward to a Royal Commission in two years time into Abbotts dual-citizenship cover up, and the concerted evidence to hide the evidence from public scrutiny, even to the extent of withdrawing documents from the public domain.

  5. Johnson's quotes on Scotland - always worth a read. And remember his friend Boswell was a Scot, so old Sam is just winding him up.

    1. :), though it has to be said that Johnson did it with such persistence about Scots and women that the old windbag has to be judged both an ethnicist and a misogynist of the highest water. If that's just winding up, then the old coot deserved a kick in the balls from Boswell, instead of besotted worship ...


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