(Above: Liberals point the finger at Abbott? Not the pointy finger that stoppeth one of three?)
So you can imagine the pond's panic, fear and alarm.
It was all done and dusted by 10.35pm, speeches made, luminaries gone, a final toting of the board, and lights out.
Thanks to the ABC and Antony Green, the pond had dined to the point of bloated Python on political junkiedom. Not another chocolate mint, please ...
Brave Denis Napthine tottered into the darkness, and the pond could almost hear the sounds of The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down playing in the background.
Now let's not conflate state and federal issues. As the clever Kevin Andrews explained, the Victorian result had absolutely nothing to do with the federal sphere. Sure Tony Abbott was so toxic, they kept him in the closet, while dragging a moth-eaten John Howard, the smell of naphthalene flakes lingering, to lend a helping hand
Sure Bill "zinger" Shorten hung around to bask in reflected glory, like a sometimes remembered phantom limb, and sure the campaign had conformed to the first rule of politics. When the men are on the nose, send in a woman, and so Julie Bishop valiantly stumped the stumps in a bid to staunch the bleeding.
Now like clever Kev, the pond is deeply conservative, so much so that the pond thinks everyone should have the chance and the right to get married, even the ones that know not what they do, so what joy to see the barking mad fundie Christians get a what for, and clever Kev rear up like a startled horse at the thought that barking mad fundie Christians had anything to do with him ... (so long Geoff Shaw, no doubt the upper house will now be the source of rich comedy).
But here's the thing that got the pond agitated.
Forget the toxic Tony riff.
What if the electorate has developed a taste for blood? What if a fickle electorate, running wild and free, suddenly realises governments can be sent to the knackery after just a short term? What if the spirit that led the cavalier Victorians to dump a one term government, was a virus that could spread like wildfire? What if it was no longer an oddity and an exception, with idle talk about it being the first time in well over half a century, and even then the only precedent the result of treacherous tykes doing the split? What if it was now the new reality?
What if one trick, three word slogan Tony became a one term Tony?
Oh l'horreur, quelle horreur ...
What if the pugnacious one's reaction was to bully and demean the Victorians for striking out on their own? What if his budgetary belligerence led to even more hostility?
Of course the pond knows the solution, and it's even more urgent now. There's little doubt the campaign to replace Abbott with that brave little hoofer, Julie Bishop, will gather tremendous momentum.
Remember the golden rule! When the men fuck up, send in a woman to sort things out and put some order in the kitchen.
Now a few will object. Sure, it's unlikely that the gormless Liberals, toads in slowly warming water, will have the instinct to leap from the pot in the way an average sensible toad could manage.
And of course there might be some alarm at the notion of a woman assassinating a sitting PM, and so becoming a PM by elected party ballot, rather than by popular vote.
Oh we all know the derision that once caused in the commentariat, but the pond sees it as a lovely, post-modern and ironic aesthetic symmetry.
Fear not the art of a good plot, fumbling Liberals. Besides, who can imagine Bill "zinger" Shorten standing under signs saying "Ditch the witch" and "Rupert Murdoch's bitch"?
Meanwhile, all the brave lobbying, all the valiant attempts of the Victorian branch of the Murdochian empire was for naught. The HUN reptiles had laboured in vain.
No doubt there will be many excuses, and explanations offered, but already others are echoing the HUNsters:
Forth, if all this was't bad enough, Tony Abbott added further lead to Napthine's saddle bags. Abbott almost certainly severely damaged the Liberal brand in Victoria. The perception of Abbott was one of incompetence, unfairness and dishonesty. Small wonder state Labor campaigned hard to remind voters at every opportunity that Napthine and Abbott are on the same team. (as it appeared in Fairfax here).
Forth, as in the Firth of Forth, and the mighty Forth bridge that crosses the Firth of Forth?
Oh you NZ subs, always seeking ways to give the pond joy and reassure the pond that its own typos are but the way things are in this post-modernist world ...
But back to brave Jules. Her presence was noted, and a certain absence also likewise (and more here):
The baby gambit! Commissioning a ship while the barnacles took down Denis?
What a brave lass, and never mind that some might want to call her barren! Come on down Bill the Heifer Man .... Good on you unproductive old bull David Farley ...
And where was Tony Abbott, so adept at caring for babies? Likely the punters would have feared for the child's life ...
Just remember the symmetry of the post-modern aesthetic irony ...
So how vicious will the in-fighting and the blood-letting get? Well if you read the Terror here, it could be getting ugly.
Any other words?
The Prime Minister’s decision to hike petrol taxes during the Victorian campaign enraged Liberal colleagues and the messy debate over whether or not the GP fee was dead dogged the campaign.
As senior Liberals traded blows over the $7 GP co-payment, Victorian Treasurer Michael O’Brien admitted last night Joe Hockey’s first Budget was a factor in the election outcome.
The result was “a shocker’’, according to Liberals, and would send a chilling message to the government.
But Mr Abbott’s supporters have hit back at Mr O’Brien, accusing him of being lazy and “bellowing’’ over the GP mess.
One senior Liberal claimed Mr Hockey “went off his tits’’ about the Prime Minister’s office briefing journalists that the policy was to be dumped.
In an extraordinary personal attack, one minister said Mr Hockey was a sook. Another senior Liberal said the federal Treasurer was “erratic’’ because he was either “full bottle or on holidays, and there’s nothing in between’’.
Confirming the worst-kept secret in Victorian politics — that state Liberals are furious with the Abbott government over the GP tax and other measures — Mr O’Brien said the media focus was increasingly on federal issues: “There’s no doubt the impact of the federal budget blew us off the front page,’’ he told Sky News.
Labor strategists have confirmed the Prime Minister emerged as a negative for the Liberals in focus groups — including among Liberal voters.
A Newspoll-Sky exit poll of voters found 46 per cent cited the federal Budget as a significant issue in the state campaign.
Labor leader Bill Shorten lampooned the Prime Minister for failing to campaign in the state, on the orders of the Napthine government. “I think everyone knows that wild horses couldn’t drag Tony Abbott to Victoria,’’ he said.
Wild horses? Is that a reference to that Rolling Stones' song?
I watched you suffer a dull aching pain
Now you've decided to show me the same ...
Meanwhile, it's on for young and old, as the Fairfaxians take up the chant of "kill the beast, kill the beast".
Eek, it's a hapless premier in the grip of a bear hug:
With friends like that ...
And Kenny had a lot more to say here, including but not limited to:
....this has been the palimpsest election - one where pre-existing state factors have been all but scrubbed or paled to be over-written with sexier federal issues. Even the hotly contested issue of the East West Link has been mired in the federal sphere with much of the money coming from Canberra and Tony Abbott letting it be known that the billions committed would not be available for re-deployment on public transport if Labor were to win.
For the hapless Napthine government, this federal focus could not have been more inconvenient. Why? Because it started behind and then weathered some of the least favourable background conditions at the hands of its hamfisted federal colleagues. Canberra's ill-timed restoration of federal fuel excise rises early on (via regulation because he cannot pass it in the Senate) and the woeful mismanagement of the GP co-payment issue in the last critical days of the campaign were major embuggerances to Denis Napthine's pitch - no question.
In a state with the highest mainland jobless level, and where the federal government was already synonymous with insensitivity over Alcoa, and the automotive industry, the charisma-challenged Napthine option has struggled for an independent voice and been damned by association. And Napthine's risible incapacity to "educate" Tony Abbott, as Victorians might see it, has merely made things worse.
Embuggerance? So Mark Kenny's a fan of the 120 Days of Sodom?
Never mind, when it gets this dark for the embattled, tortured conservative, naturally the pond turns to the world's leading climate scientist to set things aright:
Oh he's such a supportive lad.
But why is there joy in reading this?
Well in saying so, and reading the runes this way, the Bolter is saying that the Victorian Liberals have been, are and will be fucked.
Yes to redeem the unpopular Abbott, who must change, the Bolter must call the Victorian Liberals stupid, timid and bland, and responsible for their own stupid loss.
This will put the Victorian Liberals in an excellent mood to fight for Tony Abbott in the upcoming federal election ...
No, there's only one solution, and the pond has proposed it.
It will be a slow burner - it will take another six months - but eventually even the Bolter will look up from his intense climate science studies to realise the obvious.
Who is that blurred out figure on the left? Oh never mind, yesterday's man, a loser and a drop kick ...
What, you think Peter "let loose the hounds, Smithers" Reith might be wrong, here, back in July?
Look, there he is again:
A faceless blur, of the kind that caused Eliot such consternation:
“Who is the third who walks always beside you?
When I count, there are only you and I together
But when I look ahead up the white road
There is always another one walking beside you
Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded
I do not know whether a man or a woman -
But who is that on the other side of you?”
Ah well, there will be blood, there must be blood. It will be a slow burner, but burn it will and suddenly old Bill's Macbeth will seem like a casebook study. First a desperate man consults the witches:
FIRST WITCH: When shall we three meet again? In thunder, lightning, or in rain?
SECOND WITCH: When the Victorian hurly-burly’s done,
When the Victorian battle’s lost and won.
THIRD WITCH: That will be ere the set of sun.
FIRST WITCH: Where the place?
SECOND WITCH: Upon the Canberra heath.
THIRD WITCH: There to meet with one term Tony.
FIRST WITCH: I come, Graymalkin Napthine!
SECOND WITCH: Paddock Peter Ryan calls.
THIRD WITCH: Anon.
ALL: Fair is foul, and foul is fair
Hover through the fog and filthy Canberra air.
Sure enough the desperate man consults the witches, gets all sorts of devious advice, and misleading prophecies, and clutches at straws, as confused souls are wont to do, but then sweeping in from right of stage comes a startling figure, thickening the plot and helping it to rise with added gluten:
The raven himself is hoarse
That croaks the fatal entrance of Abbott
Under my battlements. Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full
Of direst cruelty. Make thick my blood.
Stop up the access and passage to remorse,
That no compunctious visitings of nature
Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
The effect and it! Come to my woman’s breasts,
And take my milk for gall, you murd'ring ministers,
Wherever in your sightless substances
You wait on nature’s mischief. Come, thick night,
And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell,
That my keen knife see not the wound it makes,
Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark
To cry “Hold, hold!”
Even before the result came out, the reptile coaches were out in force, including the bouffant one, offering advice and helpful hints:
Yes, it's all myth and optics, but it's also real and challenging.
And they wonder why the one trick pony, always up for a three word slogan, sounds a little confused when he goes on outings ...
And then today came news of another weak, back-tracking, vacillating decision by a government that's in full scale retreat, in a state of confusion and chaos, attacked on all sides, and lacking the red badge of courage:
Let there be blood ...
Mama, take these guns away from here,
Mama, I can't shoot them anymore,
I feel a dark cloud coming over
So poor, so dark It feels like
I'm knockin on the heaven's door