Friday, September 12, 2014

In which sundry cockatoos squawk about security, the Daily Terror sorts out the Islamics, and Crowe eats crow ...

(Above: the pond loves its photo montages and its sulphur crested cockatoos, and not just the ones that have made it to the top of the political tree, and with security uppermost in the pond's mind, what's needed is a fearless leader singing the right song, and more Leunig here)

The pond isn't an expert on terror, except for the terror of opening the digital pages of the Murdochians, at which point the pond is always transported into an ecstasy of fear and loathing ...

But even the pond thought it unusual that at the very time everyone in government seemed to be on the same page as to a high terror alert - be alert and bloody terrified - the federal plods announced that they were abandoning Hobart, and the local plods took a view (Tasmania Police to seek review of federal police pullout from Hobart Airport if terror alert rises).

Even more peculiar were the excuses offered for leaving it all in the hands of the local plods:

In a statement today, the AFP said any changes to the terrorism alert system would not affect its decision to withdraw from Hobart Airport. 
 It said the airport did not receive any international commercial flights and passenger numbers were substantially less than other major airports. 

So all that talk of returning jihadists and domestic threats was so much bumph?

The AFP said it had considered whether a federal police presence was needed within the predicted threats. 
After considering all those issues the AFP stated that any potential changes to the National Terrorism Public Alert System would not affect the decision to withdraw. 
It said factors it took into account included improved airport security screening and hardened cockpit doors, and it believed Tasmania Police could provide appropriate presence and response.

Why didn't they just put up a flashing neon light saying "Hey terrorists, looking for the weakest link? Think Hobart ... an information service provided by your friendly AFP".

Yep, it's another classic mixed message from the federal government. Be terrified, but if you live in Tasmania, just wear sunnies ...

It became so obvious a piece of monumental stupidity that the Man himself had to make reassurances:

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has assured Tasmanians the withdrawal of federal police will not make Hobart Airport vulnerable to a terrorist attack. 
The decision to remove 27 federal police officers from the airport came as a $22 million budget cut. With ASIO considering raising Australia's terror threat level from medium to "high", independent Denison MP Andrew Wilkie has warned the airport could come under threat when AFP officers leave. 
Also Tasmania Police want a review of the pullout if the terror threat alert is raised. 
But speaking in northern Tasmania this morning, Mr Abbott defended the move and insisted Tasmania would not become a soft target. "I am confident that the state and Commonwealth authorities are working together to ensure that the terrorist threat in Tasmania is no worse than elsewhere in our country," he said. 
"You will also find national security being taken very, very seriously by this Government." 

Except of course when it comes to money and staffing because everyone knows funny little Tasmania is of no consequence:

 Mr Abbott said it was appropriate for Hobart Airport to be protected by state police. 
"International airports are federal police responsibilities and domestic airports are state and territory police responsibilities. 
"So all we're doing is what is normally done in this country when it comes to airport policing." (here)

No doubt international terrorists on international databases, and intrastate terrorists of interest to the AFP, will appreciate this fine departmental distinction, and behave appropriately and with courtesy.

And then came further high comedy from the AFP which saw plastic explosive end up in the hands of Cessnock police, having made its way there courtesy of an innocent passenger - truly you couldn't make up the events in Police apologise for leaving plastic explosive in suitcase at Sydney airport.

Terrorists is us ...

What else? Well the pond would just like to do a roll call of honour, and where better to look than the Daily Terror.

For heroically and tirelessly maintaining the rage, a joint nomination goes to Akker Dakker and the bully:

What? You don't expect the pond to read drivel every day of the week? Besides, there's another contender.

Judges, the envelope please, drum roll please, and the winner is:

Yep, those fabulous armchair generals at the Daily Terror have got it all worked out, as you can read in the fabulous editorial Cut it from the top and IS will wither.

Never mind complexity or difficulty. A bit of bombing will sort the buggers out, and we'll bomb the lads back to an appreciation of the joys of civilisation. It's just a few wild cat heavy hitters running around like bloody bandits, and the rigorously trained Iraqi army - thanks to the advanced training methods of the United States, deployed over many years - have already taught the roughnecks a lesson or two.

A sustained level of heavy air strikes, led by the US with support from Australia and many nations throughout Europe and the Middle East, should be enough when combined with Iraqi and Syrian ground troops to halt IS advances.

Syria? So Assad's back inside the tent?

Should be enough? Hmm, time to dust off an old banner?

And how about a speech?

“Officers and sailors of the good Japanese submarine, Import OO1 - oh you did such an honourable job in Sydney during the war - my fellow Australians, major combat operations have ended. In the Battles of Iraq and Syria, thanks to the strategic advice of the Daily Terror, Australia, and its allies, including the United States have prevailed.” 

Yes, the pond is available at any time to scribble the rest of the speech. Should be just a few weeks before we're rolling into Baghdad as victors and the looting can begin.

So what else?

Well it seems the reptiles were mortified to discover that Helen Dale nee Darville nee Demidenko was a Hayek lover and so amongst the righteous, and so David Crowe today has had to retreat from his original story which went out into the world as Literary hoaxer signed up by LDP.

Look there it is on the right hand side of the front page:

Online, that header magically turned into the much more discreet Helen Dale, known once as Helen Demidenko, to advise key federal senator (inside the paywall because you have to pay to be discreet).

But clearly Crowe was shocked and shamed by Paul Sheehan having a go at him, for ignoring the senator's embargo, "much to the senator's chagrin", which gave Sheehan the chance of establishing Dale's and Leyonhjelm's regulation hating, libertarian, right wing credentials (here in the Canberra Times).

Oh the shame, to be out-righted by a man scribbling for Fairfax.

So today came the full recanting in Helen Dale could prove to be a smart choice for David Leyonhjelm's LDP (behind the paywall because it costs to deliver storms in teacups).

Suddenly the hoaxer turns into an acclaimed novelist:

Acclaimed novelists are not the usual recruits you find in the offices of Parliament House, where hundreds of policy advisers do the grunt work of everyday political life. So when Helen Dale signed up as a senior adviser to David Leyonhjelm, the Liberal Democratic Party senator who shares the balance of power in the upper house, the first remark from observers was never going to be on her undoubted skills in law and philosophy.
Dale is not your usual novelist — although acclaimed she certainly was, both before and after readers discovered her identity two decades ago, when she published her debut novel under the name of Helen Demidenko.
Her novel, The Hand that Signed the Paper, won The Australian/Vogel Literary Award, the Miles Franklin and the gold medal of the Australian Literature Society for its portrayal of a Ukrainian family that sided with the Nazis during World War II. That success became a literary scandal, however, when it emerged Helen Demidenko, supposedly born to a Ukrainian family, was actually Helen Darville, the child of English immigrants. 
There is no end to the controversy over that time — academics still write about it, just as books still appear on the Ern Malley affair — but those who praised the story before the revelation could hardly rescind their praise afterwards. All novels stand or fall on their own merit, distant from the tales told about their authors.

Take that Paul Sheehan.

By golly you can't out-libertarian a libertarian like Crowe!

Yet the dispute over the literary past should not shroud the view of the political present. What is happening within the LDP has become more fascinating because of Dale’s appointment, but her decision is not the only factor at work.

The rest is a pumping up of Leyonhjelm, his party and its policies, as superficial and as banal as all the other anti-regulatory, anti-government rants in the lizard Oz, but still with no answer to the pond's question as to how lead was removed from petrol - by dint of federal government law and regulation, or the lead taking a libertarian walk on the wild side ...

Does Crowe have the faintest notion how pathetic he sounds? What a grovelling forelock tugging piece he's provided?

Probably not. The professionally supplied Chris Mitchell kool aid has a powerful numbing effect.

And so to a bit of mourning.

The pond often wondered what happened to Bill Leak. From the cartoons that turned up on the front page of the digital lizard Oz, he'd stopped being funny. These days the pond never bothers, and not just because they're small and designed to lure punters into the morass of a subscription.

This drift into the world of the unfunny has happened to others - Patrick Cook went very strange, and ended up on ABC radio yammering on about how detestable the ABC had become.

Yesterday in Crikey, Guy Rundle provided a cruel kind of epitaph for Leak:

Inside the mind of Leak. Well, it had to happen eventually. Bill Leak, Chris Mitchell’s latest wind-up toy, now has a Twitter account devoted to eksplayning his drawn-to-order cartoons. Not necessary, you might think, since Leak’s work increasingly resembles “Kelly”, The Onion’s deliberately shit right-wing cartoonist. But it seems there are some who don’t get some of Leak’s more strained analogies, even when David Pope supplies the panel that unaccountably dropped off in the editing process. Surprisingly, the first tweet of “Bill Leak Explayned” didn’t read: “Pissed cartoonist falls off balcony, breaks brain; thus moves to News, draws the party line, fed with zombie cucumber” — which would have made all the rest unnecessary. (here, may be paywall affected)

How soon before Leak ends up like Larry Pickering, chasing Gillard down the valleys of the moon, or the wretchedly uninspired Zanetti, trawling his pathetic trade in suburban rags?

The only plus to the story?

Well if you follow one of the links, you can get a fine dose of The Onion's editorial cartoons, tagged here, and featuring work that really should be given a run by the reptiles.

Forget Colbert, Oz dudes. He's off to mainstream late night shows. Instead embrace the onion in you, and don't forget a little garlic:


  1. My nomination, admittedly in a strong field, would go to Ackers for his ironic header about "Gillard forgetting who her friends used to be." For that certainly occurred with Ackers from the days when he was affectionately known as "Hanoi Piers".

    Meanwhile Abbott has as usual got his historical quotes arse about. He has applied the old Howard Fridge Magnet stunt as, "Be alarmed, not alert." That seems to be the only reason for removing security from Hobart Airport while allowing a case of explosives to be shipped around the country.

    In days of old, long before the current Reagan deregulation "help yourselves, guys" attitude to corporate greed, swindlers of other people's money used a technique known as "Round Robin". Through a whole series of dummy companies money was shifted from one to the next just as creditors started to close in.

    Abbott seems to be doing similar now. As a political disaster such as the Budget starts to engulf him, he quickly shifts to another scene such as search and rescue of MAS planes. Now as the hollowness of his vindictive Royal Commissions is exposed for all to see and people start to question the cost during a supposed austerity era, he quickly moves on to another digression. Even News Ltd has trouble keeping up.

    First they started to turn on those going over to fight and joining in jihads. Turns out the first two targets went over to fight against ISIS. Never mind. Quickly wheel out ASIO to raise the terror alert. Trouble is, even with the Tele shouting about them being at our gate it doesn't sound the least convincing.

    The whole country seems to have taken on a pathway like MH370. We don't know who, if anyone, is in charge nor where we're going.

  2. The ah ah, um, um Prime Minister. Why can't he string a single sentence together properly.

    "Eh. ah, um um, I made a modest donation (that is I gave $20....") and now we are all under immediate threat from terrorists!"

    Eh ah um...

    Can we at least have a PM who can speak English.

    (And don 't mention the budget.)

    1. And Shorten goes arselicking. "The Prime Minister and I are partners..."

      Oh yeah.

    2. Maybe he could call it a "Unity Ticket".

    3. Agree Anon,pathetic performance.Soon as I saw that little effort I took them off my mail list.Should have done it 6 months ago.Trying to remain glass half full is so hard these days.
      That said,as someone on twitter noted,if he hadn't,he'd have been photo-shopped on the daily turd standing next to Bin Laden tomorrow morning.Sad days in Oz.

    4. More like 'unity toilet'.

    5. Anon 2.52 - the press conference could not be endured.

      Every word was followed by long ums or ahs. Every sentence started with ''look', another infuriating habit. I brace myself for responses beginning with 'Look, er'. If he gets three words out in a row you know that they are to be instantly repeated.

      Imagine having to sit through his sermons if he had become a priest? He would have cleared the pews.

  3. Help! I just saw a woman wearing a veil at out local train station (She may have been a nun, but those are dangerous too, so we must shoot them).

    And then I saw a black man walking down my street! Shoot him, please!

    The Crisis and Response Team, must help! They are Vigilant!

    Please pray for protection to Frs Bolt, Ackernann, Devine and Albrechtsen. And ring the police if you see any fertiliser..

    God save the Queer (sorry, Queen).

    1. Apologies to Pyne. Not that I'm suggesting anything, but you know, Poodles will do anything to shag your leg.


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