So the Currish Snail is at it again, substituting Photoshop for insight and political analysis.
Is there something in the water in the deep north? Well it can't be the fluoride polluting the precious bodily fluids ...
Are they in a fierce war to become the worst tabloid in Australia, even worse than the Daily Terror or the NT Nausea? So where's the croc in the Photoshop?
Every day the pond contemplates the level of political commentary, and its presentation, in the Murdoch tabloids, and it feels like being swept back in a time warp:
When you read the actual story, if anyone can be bothered, and lordy it's a big bother, there's actually nothing of substance:
It's an easy smear, with the header saying it all, Outlaw bikies aiming to ride with Clive Palmer's Senate inquiry into the Newman Government.
Talk to a few bikies and never mind what the actual inquiry might achieve and whether it will even land, and then come up with this simple storyline:
It's an easy enough tactic:
Both Mr Palmer and Senator Lazarus have emerged as heroes of Hitler and the violent SS gang that the Weimar republic police have spent years battling to bring under control ...
Now the pond has always thought of Palmer as a buffoon, but he's a cunning buffoon, and only mad north by north west, and he once worked for Joh Bjelke-Petersen, and that strutting bantam Campbell Newman is a direct descendant, in word and deed and legislative action of Joh, and where oh where were the media in this long and sorry history?
Why being fed like the chooks they were and are, and Greg Stolz wins the 'chook of the week' award for this shameless beat up ...
And it wasn't without fierce competition within the Currish Snail.
An honourable mention has to go to wretched, hapless Renee Viellaris, for faithfully reproducing Erica's bizarre predictions in Senator Eric Abetz says Senate inquiry into Newman Government will hurt economy.
Now it's to be expected that Erica would make wild-eyed accusations, verging on paranoid hysteria, but the real skill is to present the rhetoric with a straight face:
“(Opposition Leader) Bill Shorten needs to either reverse Labor’s decision to support the outrageous and unconstitutional inquiry into the Queensland Government or explain to the 70,000 unemployed Australians who will have their prospects of employment trashed by this grubby deal why Labor has deserted them.
“The deal will also wipe out more than $160 billion of cumulative real GDP revenue gains (out to 2025) from the states and territories.”
Yes, yes, and the sky will fall down, and Chicken Little will be crushed by the falling clouds.
Well played Renee, and wear your "junior headless chook of the week" award with pride.
It just goes to show the dangers of holding inquiries.
Does this explain why Australia is stuffed?
The pond enjoyed Bernard Keane's analysis of the sordid inquiry fever in Crikey, Should Labor have backed Clive's War on Campbell? (paywall affected):
Launch a couple of partisan royal commissions, perhaps? Try to humiliate the former prime minister, Julia Gillard, by dragging her into the witness box to answer vague and unsubstantiated allegations of wrongdoing 20 years ago? Conduct yet another inquiry into the Home Insulation Program after the multiple inquiries that have already been conducted?
Maybe they could get Trevor Morling to have another crack at Centenary House.
Uh huh, and meanwhile the pond understands that these assorted inquiries have wiped billions off the real GDP revenue gains, and will cost at least 70,000 jobs, and that's before we even begin to contemplate the sums pissed against the wall on lawyers ...
Inter alia, Keane concluded that Labor should play at the level of the Abbott government:
There's one problem with this - nobody's managed to find Bill Shorten's actual genuine certified spine - but a bigger problem is whether the Murdoch media needs to get down on the side of one of the gutter players, with Photoshopped nonsense, and an infinite capacity to sound like a mindless parrot reciting - or is that regurgitating like an owl with a pellet? - the nonsense spouted by the Ericas of the world ...
The end result is that the Currish Snail currently looks like a propaganda rag of the lowest Mad magazine ratbag kind, a throwback to the Joh era ... and isn't there enough of that already doing the rounds?
Oh dear. Why does he always open his mouth like a catfish?
Meanwhile, that hopeless futtock, Malcolm Turnbull, destroyer of community television, and wrecker of genuine broadband in Australia, has found himself in yet another pickle.
It was the reptiles that set the hare loose in Federal cabinet considers plan to split up and sell off NBN - sorry no link, that would lead to a begging letter from the paupers of the press - by revealing what everyone has known for a long time ...
The planned fate for the full to overflowing intertubes is to sell off the pipes and make it the private sector's problem and haven't Telstra and Optus done so wonderfully well over the years ...
Oh just choke on the irony.
Why is it an own goal for the fatuous eastern suburbs fop?
A newly released, Coalition-commissioned analysis recommends that NBN Co be split up and its transit, satellite and fixed-wireless network — along with the obligation to subsidise unprofitable bush areas — sold off.
Yep, they commissioned the report, and now they're running helter skelter ... and then the pompous prat put his foot in it by flying a verbal kite:
But nobody paid attention to the warning, and everybody picked up on the disaggregation angle, hardly surprising given the way Medibank private is going ...
So now the foolish fop has to run around explaining that he didn't want to distract the management, in the process doing as fine a bit of distracting business as could be imagined ...
How stupid does it get?
“It would prevent assets consumers have paid for (including the copper in HFC areas) from being prematurely scrapped, instead harnessing those assets for the benefit of end users,” it said.
If parts of the NBN were divested, it would be possible for Telstra or Optus to step in as buyers and compete on an infrastructure level with NBN Co.
Oi vey (that's for any stray Dover Heights or St Kilda east reader), they're still going on about the joys of copper, because HFC is useless?
Well they're both bloody useless in Camperdown ...
But what really got the pond going was the sort of accompanying rhetorical nonsense, about trusting the government to ensure a level playing field:
The report recommends any potential buyers of NBN Co’s assets be subject to stringent regulatory imposts, including the structural separation of the retail and wholesale arms to prevent new owners from favouring their own operations.
Should the government reject the breakup of the NBN’s networks, the report said the company should be subject to greater and more onerous regulation to promote infrastructure-based competition.
In line with the recently released Harper review of competition policy, the Vertigan panel recommended replacing the competition regulator with a newly created industry regulator to oversee the pricing of access to telecommunications networks.
Stringent regulatory imposts?
Like the ones in the delivery of electricity and gas?
Trust big Mal to sort it out?
He couldn't organise a crowd sourced chook raffle using Skype ... what with the way the connection keeps dropping out ...
In all of this, one of the key underlying problems is the subsidy to the bush, delivered to the agrarian socialists by the Labor party - god knows why, there were no political gains in it for them - which now torments the hard-headed economic rationalists ...
Meanwhile, almost on a daily basis, big Mal manages to outrage the pond, which is a pretty big achievement seeing, as a blog, it's the duty of the pond to match the Murdochians in excessive daily outrage and paranoid hysteria ...
Here's big Mal in The Conversation's Turnbull leaves door open to break up NBN Co, (no begging reptile letter at end of link), talking about the same report:
“Breaking up NBN Co would distract its management and delay the provision of high-speed broadband to all Australians,” Mr Turnbull said in a statement.
Stop right there. Just stop it, you wanker. Cease and desist. Or go blind, for all the pond cares ...
You see, we have our "high-speed" network already. It's the HFC draped off the power poles that big Mal has deemed to be good enough for the rest of the pond's life. And it's aging, useless, and wretched ...
So what's proposed will happen to that?
The panel also recommended the hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) network, crucial to the Abbott government’s multi-technology mix NBN plan, be owned and managed by an organisation other than NBN Co.
It's crucial? It's already owned by Optus (and Telstra). And it's singly and jointly useless.
So where's the fucking life support?
Finally the pond is disturbed to notice that Tony Abbott is disturbed.
It wasn't so long ago that he confessed to feeling threatened by gays and now he's threatened by clothes ...
Of course the pond is routinely threatened by anyone wearing religious insignia ... that's the lot of secular humanists consigned to hell by every crazed true believer of whatever faith is in the vicinity (you can imagine the shock the pond experienced to hear that US evangelicals deemed Jimmy Carter a secular humanist).
The way the pond gets around its fear of penguins is to count them ... within the space of a week the pond has sighted at least five penguins, in full regalia and as bold as brass. Perhaps it's something about the new Pope that has brought on this shameless ostentatious wearing of the cloth ...
All that said and done, what good did Tony Abbott think he was doing by confessing he's confronted by a form of attire?
As with others, the pond finds the sight of Tony Abbott - especially in his budgie smugglers, which pose a threat to national security - confronting, and, especially in the matter of the budgie smugglers, threatening ....
But the pond lives with it.
What's the real point of the god whistling and giving comfort to fundamentalists like Cory Bernardi and George Christensen and Peta Credlin and Jacqui Lambi?
Well it's to stir the pot along, and maintain the fear and keep the discussion in the safe turf of clothing, rather than contemplate real issues, such as domestic violence.
Yes right at the moment people are routinely dying at the hands of others in domestic settings, and all Abbott can talk about is feeling confronted and having anxiety attacks about the security system at cowards' castle.
It got to the point where the Fairfaxians felt the need to point out the differences in the confronting clothing, so Abbott could be confronted in knowledge rather than in abject ignorance (Tony Abbott expresses support for parliamentary burqa ban, but colleagues do not, forced video at end of link).
And so the country is reduced to a discussion of clothing choice, while Abbott goes about the business of waging an uncertain war with uncertain outcomes on pensioners and the budget ... oh that's right, and in the middle east too ...
Just don't expect any of that to turn up Photoshopped on a Murdoch tabloid near you anytime soon ...
Take it away, Tandberg and Rowe, and more Rowe here.