But this one was a doozy.
Top of the digital page ,courtesy the reptiles of the lizard Oz:
It had the pond rolling around on the floor.
It was perfect in every way. The gold bar, the EXCLUSIVE, the faithful portentous and pompous hack, Paul Kelly, transcribing the thoughts of the media robber baron on the matter of inequality ...
The pond's immediate thought was to wonder whether the nonsense had made it to the front page of the tree killer edition of the rag.
It had, it had:
The caring billionaire!
So how does the caring billionaire propose to fix things:?
The significance of his nine-page speech is his argument about the limits to both monetary and fiscal policy and the imperative for a new approach based upon the need “for government to get out of the way”.
Mr Murdoch called for: labour market reform; lower and more competitive corporate taxes; a crackdown on multinationals — naming Google — for not paying taxes where they make their profits; a rethink on excessive bank regulation, warning “you would have to be mad to join the board of a bank these days”; and recognition that high taxes and over-regulation were damaging economic growth and the public interest.
Yes, because lower taxes, and labour market reform stripping rights from workers will really fix that inequality thing, and as for the long suffering board members of banks... oh the charity and the pity and the kindness ...
I mean, right there, you have a keen and deep understanding of the suffering of the masses. You'd have to be mad to want to join the board of a bank these days ... there they are, dragging themselves off to work, with barely enough cash in paw to cover the required corporate dress of sackcloth and ashes ...
Oh it's pitiful, the suffering of board members, the inequality, the unfairness, the plain injustice and wrongness of it all ...
Luckily Chairman Rupert was able, in a fair, unbiased way, able to pinpoint the precise source of the problem of unfairness that litters the universe:
The chief of News Corporation, ultimate owner of The Australian, told European and US leaders in the intimate setting of the dinner that many of their policies were a “tremendous disincentive to innovation and risk-taking”. He confronted them saying high taxes and overregulation “goes to extremes in many European countries and several US states”.
He said an “easier” problem to tackle was that posed by Google in Australia. “Google harvests nearly $1 billion annually in Australia — by pirating the copyrights of local taxpayers,” Mr Murdoch said. “While I am sure they are not the only offenders, as the chairman of a company that is continuously financially wounded by that piracy, I feel quite justified in calling them out by name.”
Yes, it's piracy that causes all the unfairness. How can Foxtel shear the sheep in a seemly, tidy way if the sheep are off frolicking with pirates?
And there you have it in a nutshell. If only News Corp could gouge the punters without the likes of Google getting in the way, fairness and equality would be restored throughout the world ...
Provided of course that crazy corporate taxes were reduced, and governments could just piss off - especially that dreadful David Cameron - so that there'd be no need for any pesky, irritating regulations of the kind that led to the News of the World disaster ...
The funny thing is, the more Murdoch moves closer to the grave - the ultimate apocalypse that afflicts us all - the more he's become apocalyptic in his thinking. Take this tweet of a month ago:
Well it's as coherent as the blather faithfully transcribed by portentous Paul Kelly, but what's interesting is the schizophrenia - the reference to elites, as if Murdoch wasn't part of the billionaire elite - and then the fear, of a backlash, which takes on a paranoid Marie Antoinette hue ...
Don't target me, comrades, I'm not one of your 'leets ...
Meanwhile, it's business as usual. Alarums and fears:
Yes, because Republican wave will surely revive equality throughout the land, and if not overnight, then certainly within a week.
Meanwhile, the real work remains to be done. Sow's ear, silk purse.
Now you don't have to read Anne Summers' Tony Abbott's Team Australia entrenches inequality alone to discover the sow's ear, because she might be accused of bias.
You might just prefer to listen to the great man himself:
"in the end, we have to be a productive and competitive society and greater inequality might be inevitable". (Tony Abbott's vision of society as a market)
Yes, you know things are getting weird in the joint when even the utterly gormless Peter Hartcher could scribble Joe Hockey's budget beyond the Australian concept of fair. (forced video at end of link).
As for that inequality? 'Missing' figures show poor are hit.
And so on and so forth. Any one from Tony Abbott down agrees that his budget and his policies are designed to enhance and improve and widen inequality, and to punish the poor, just so bank board members don't have to suffer in ways that would be too hideous, disturbing and unsettling to contemplate ...
Which is why on a daily basis the reptiles at the Oz go diligently about their business, turning that sow's ear into said silk purse.
Let's see what's on offer today:
Yes, it's a sympathetic study of the visionary Abbott, that Tenterfield saddler fresh from delivering his epic Tenterfield address right up there with Sir Henry Parkes' Tenterfield oration (you can Greg Hunt that one here, but watch out for walri that might have strayed up from Antarctica).
What's astonishing is the bald-faced way that Shanahan attempts to present Abbott's transmutation from gutter brawler to statesman:
Abbott’s own appeal is for all Australians to consider what must be done about the health, education and tax systems into the future and to do so maturely and not simply yell at each other.
“I hope that just for once it might be possible for us in this parliament, one side and the other, the national government and the state and territory governments to have a mature debate rather than a screaming match,” he said.
What? Like this?
Well bugger that for a joke. When you're dragged into the gutter, it's not so easy to get out.
But do go on:
Abbott is not announcing a proscriptive policy, a surprise plan or an emasculated tax review: he wants to start the debate as the federation and tax white papers develop.
Philosophically, Abbott has always been keen on federal-state reforms, although he’s changed his view along the way. He’s right to put the big idea ahead of the retail politics.
But even on the politics of the issue, Abbott may find conducting such a debate and addressing such reforms gives his government a definition and a destination that appeals.
Yes, it's just more wretched forelock tugging and apple polishing and shameless abasement at the feet of Mr. Inequality.
This sort of blather is of course a distraction from more immediate issues. Like the budget and its burden, like the 'reforms' to health and education and all the other proposals designed to punish the poor or the unemployed or the powerless ...
Even Shanahan, diligently polishing the apple, had to note the bleeding obvious:
As a Prime Minister leading a first-term government that is in disproportionate political trouble, Abbott has staked out a large claim on reforms just as Howard did in 1997 in similar circumstances with the GST proposal.
The Abbott government’s momentum on reform through the commission of audit was checked politically by the West Australian Senate election re-run and there will be problems as Victoria, NSW and Queensland all go to the polls with incumbent Coalition governments.
But sensible approaches from Colin Barnett and Campbell Newman yesterday suggest Abbott has time, now that he’s started the debate, to flesh out his ideas next year.
Campbell Newman? He's a dead duck walking ...
Time for a first-term government in disproportionate political trouble to flesh out its ideas, which will inevitably lead to a suggestion that GST be increased and widened?
Truly, it couldn't get any funnier, could it?
What else have the reptiles got to offer?
Well there's the Caterists trashing Whitlam:
Yes, like universal health care and free education and an end to conscription and the right to die in Vietnam for armchair generals ...
And then there's an urgent plea for the right to universities to be able to gouge all-comers:
See how it's all about "catering to needs". Just don't mention the price tag for the catering, especially if you want fish eggs with that ...
And then there's just pure, sublime, undiluted, barking mad nonsense:
Oh not the black helicopters and the world conspiracy of a one-world government again ...
So how did Newman get past the door bitches and into the party?
Why he's Tony Abbott's business advisor, and that's the sort of paranoid advice Mr. Inequality gets in his bid to run a mature debate about the future of the federation ...
Barking mad. So there's your mature debate. A screaming match about a one-world government.
And remember, this is where we came in.
The pond will now revert to the floor for another burst of hysterical laughter.
This might put the pond in the company of Clive Palmer, but the day Tony Abbott becomes a statesman, that's the day the senate joins the pond and Caligula in voting a horse's ass as emperor ...
(Below: thanks to Master Marles, and David Rowe, and more Rowe here, the pond might go sailing with as fine a ship of fools as has ever graced the ocean's waves. Aye aye, me hearties, ahoy on the poop deck of policies)