Saturday, December 06, 2014

In which the lamenting Torytariat continue to make the pond redundant ...

The pond is mortified.

For a long time the pond has referred to the lizard Oz's chief member of the knob polishing, forelock tugging Torytariat (yes, it is a word, don't blame the pond, blame Jonathan Green and his shockingly uncapitalised use of it here) as "the bouffant one" ...

And then last night this Tamworth-looking lout, this galah with a flapping cockie's comb, hovered into view on Lateline last night - further evidence here ...

In that segment, everybody was busy handing four out of ten to the Abbott government (and when they could remember him, four to zinger Bill), which was about what you'd expect from journalists talking to journalists as old rope stocking filler ...

Yes, it's end of year time, when everyone delivers their verdict on the year's performance, and it's a sombre, sobering affair.

Of course you'd expect the sort of assessment on hand at the Fairfaxians courtesy Michael Gordon's Prime Minister Tony Abbott is feeling the heat after a 'ragged' year:

A horror year?

Well the best thing about the story is the recycling of some vintage Tanberg, which you comes as a package you can clip as a souvenir of the year. Here's a sample:

Indeed, it seems those bloody climate scientists are everywhere and can even be found lurking in the NSW government, as you can discover at the ABC here ...

But look, everyone knows that the Fairfaxians and the ABC have single-handedly undermined the Abbott government, and it's all their fault.

Well at least if you believe in the tooth fairy, Santa Claus and the reptile editorialist at the lizard Oz ...

But in saying that, right at that moment was when the pond began to sense that the pond was drifting into irrelevance and redundancy ....

Because these days the reptiles are doing all the work of the pond, cheerfully and with a savagery and barbarity way beyond the pond's humble ambitions.

They've gone feral, and no amount of shouting "get around behind" seems to be able to turn them ...

Now bear with the pond. This will involve extensive sampling and quotation, but you should catch the drift soon enough.

Let's start with the bouffant one. Sheesh, sorry, it's a Pavlovian reflex (yes the pond's been catching up on Drool in The New Yorker, currently outside the paywall).

Just look how neat he seems in his photo, and how bloody minded in his views:

The pond almost stopped reading at that first line:

Tony Abbott's transition from opposition leader to Prime Monster has failed ...

WTF? This is the chief spear carrier ... and he's calling the PM a failed transitioner?

There's more if you google, but it all got psychological and while the team coach did his best, the cocky was sounding subdued by journey's end:

Since becoming Prime Minister Abbott has tried to tone down his aggression, but a slew of frontbenchers this week were happy to see him become more combative towards the Opposition Leader. Dutton, Christopher Pyne and Hockey all dipped in to help. 
This is where the psychological hangover from opposition has hampered Abbott since he became Prime Minister. 
His single-minded intent on winning government through personal discipline and relentless repetition of key political messages also led to a rigidity and control that buried his personality. On becoming Prime Minister he has had troubling assuming the mentality and authority of the role. 
At the end of an epic press ­conference on Monday that was designed to put him on the front foot politically and provide clear air in the media fight, Abbott conceded voters might not “support” his decisions at the next election and on Thursday night said the voters could take “their revenge” at the election. 
These are the words of someone who still can’t seem to believe he is Prime Minister. What he must do is use his office and undoubted powers of persuasion to convince people to support him, not to sit back fatalistically and await judgment. 
With the truckloads of advice, public and private, hostile and friendly, coming at Abbott and Credlin, there is no doubt they are aware of the challenges confronting them and have started to address them. The appointment of former Howard adviser, ambassador to the US and financier Michael Thawley as the new head of Prime Minister and Cabinet is seen from within the Prime Minister’s office with relief and from outside as an opportunity. Thawley is highly regarded by Abbott and seen as a “better fit” as a departmental head; his remit is to refocus the public service and reshape the form of advice going to the government. One of the Abbott government’s complaints and excuses for some lacklustre performance has been that the public service has been cowed and abused by the incessant demands of the Rudd government and needs to become a powerhouse again. 
But unless there is a speedy improvement in the communications from the government, more use of diverse voices, a lighter burden carried by Credlin and an assumption of authority from Abbott, all the public servants in the world won’t help.

Sheesh, it's up to the cardigan wearers, suffering slashing and burning, to save the day?

And Abbott is starting to sound like Woody Allen in search of a psychiatrist?

Oh wait, is there a better metaphor? How about that other illustration for the bouffant one's story by Eric Lobbecke?

Oh no, not Gilligan ... not a half hour sitcom which made My Favourite Martian feel like Shakespeare ...

And things kept getting worse, and the pond could feel that the reptiles were determined to do the pond down, and if took getting rid of Abbott to do it, why they'd do it ... first of all by cultivating and fomenting the trench warfare currently going down between jolly Joe and Gilligan, and whacking it on the front page:

There you go, with the trench warfare splashed at the top of the digital page too, and it's an EXCLUSIVE because loose lips have flapped, like a dunny door in a Tamworth dust storm, and Crowe is crowing doom:

There's more if you care to google, but the point is that the reptiles are stirring the flames ...

Of course it was the Oz editorialist that declared that Abbott should consider dropping Hockey and installing Turnbull, but that's the way the white-anting begins ... eating away with innuendo and snidery, and rumours, and rumours of rumours ... as if anybody's incapable of remembering what they've actually read in the rag ...

And it didn't end there. That notorious subversive, Peter van Onselen, was also prattling away:

And so on and so on ...

Yep, it's a diabolical situation. Dead wood waiting for a bushfire, but sssh, please don't mention climate science.

And it's all Abbott's fault ...

Could the metaphors get any more dire?

From Gilligan to cheese-eating surrender monkeys?

Oh sure Creighton was busy blaming the unruly Senate, but still, there's a danger in that sort of trashy splash ... people might assume Creighton's doing a van Onselen ...

And then there was the reptile editorialist in all his or her anonymous raillery ...

And so on,  and if anyone cares, it's outside the paywall here, but the rot starts at the top?

Tony Abbott's a fish and his head is rotting ...?

There's no doubt about it, the reptiles are brooding about the Abbott government in  a way that verges on the grotesque.

Oh not another comparison to the chairman Rudd - chairperson Gillard years ...

It got so the pond was desperate, pleading, almost begging for reassurance.

Thank the long absent lord, there was one member of the Torytariat who'd had a double shot of kool aid this morning:

The entire nest of reptiles in strident upheaval and uproar, and it's just a few hiccups?

But okay, that's just the bromancer and it doesn't count ... true love and starry starry eyes looking at starry starry skies and how you suffered for your sanity and how you tried to set them free, by increasing government surveillance, and all that ...

They would not listen, they're not listening still
Perhaps they never will ...

Yes, that's how bad it's got for the pond. Quoting Don McLean lyrics ... but the bard does seem to capture the surly mood of the reptiles.

And so the Abbott government has dragged the pond, the reptiles, the entire country to a dangerous abyss ... where Don McLean evokes the state of the national psyche ...

But let's look on the bright side. The pond rates the desperate contortions of the reptiles and the Abbott government a ten out of ten ...

Suddenly we've shifted from Tony Abbott showing his skills like this:

To the reptiles turning into this sort of slippery feral gang torturing the man hailed as a super hero:

Okay, that's enough culture for the day, from Don McLean to the plastic elastic ...

The pond might now be redundant, the reptiles might be triumphant, but at least the pond can relax over Christmas while the reptiles continue to beaver away, getting agitated and disturbed about the smell of rotting fish ...

First up we'll be rushing off to the shops to get this special Xmas CD, as promised by Leunig here:

The Murdoch singers!

The Torytariat captured digitally, and to hell with Bach, perhaps a copy will be sent into space as a sign of the advanced civilisation we've become ...

But wait, there's more. The pond is looking forward to a bonus for the new year, and it isn't just the extra DVD you get along with heaps of country music classics that aren't available in stores:

The story's here, but McClymont evoked fond memories of the good old days of the Swiss bank account man, who now serves out his time scribbling for the Murdochians:

The former powerbroker suffered a financial setback after a prolonged legal battle with the Australian Tax Office over a $2.3 million tax assessment from profits in a Swiss bank account. 
Mr Richardson claimed that the funds in the Swiss accounts were a gift from his close friend, the late disgraced stockbroker Rene Rivkin. 
He reached a confidential settlement with the ATO in 2010. A few weeks later it was revealed that in 1994 Mr Richardson had sent $1 million from his Swiss account to a bank in Beirut. The Beirut account was operated by a close associate of Mr Richardson's friend Eddie Obeid. Mr Richardson told the authors of He Who Must Be Obeid that he didn't recall the transaction but if he did transfer the money, "It was under the instructions of Rivkin". 
In July this year Mr Richardson and his friend Danny Meares, of Danny's Seafood fame, bought the Watermark Restaurant on The Strand in Townsville for $3.6 million. 
Mr Richardson, who introduced Mr Meares to the deal, owns 10 per cent of the purchasing company, Farnorth Properties. 
In September Mr Richardson, who works as a political commentator for News Corp and Sky News, used Twitter to post a photo of himself celebrating his 65th birthday at his new restaurant with the Mayor of Townsville, Jenny Hill. 
Mr Richardson did not return Fairfax Media's call.


  1. Graham Richardson at the NSW ICAC? Too good.
    I view the 'insider wisdom' of 'Richo' as something akin to the medical advice given by a malignant carcinoma.
    I recall a photograph taken of Richardson and Alan Jones sitting on either side of Tony Abbott, at a Sydney Swans game.
    Their hands were hidden under rugs, and Tony was doing his tongue-flick thing.
    It looked like a leering goanna flanked by two toads.

  2. Dot - they will put you out of business at this rate! You are correct to feel restive.

    I have only glanced at the Oz and Harold Hun today but I am struck by the tone (now there is a word with new meaning) of the headlines.

    Whisperers to the Oz are bleating that Credlin is too controlling.

    The Little Paper's informants are trumpeting their support of Credlin and her 'formidable intellect'.

    Two camps? Or maybe folk with a mouth in both camps.

    Miss Pity Pat

  3. Tony Abbott's "natural (bovver boy) instincts" are described in great detail in his book Battle Lines - I am right, you are wrong so take this fistful of knuckles - as caricatured in the cartoonist that parodies him as Popeye.

  4. And if you work from the proposition that the Abbott gang in opposition weren't really 'incredibly disciplined', didn't really turn into an effective opposition in just one term, and weren't really the best opposition evah!, then everything they are now makes sense - really.

  5. "At the end of an epic press ­conference on Monday that was designed to put him on the front foot politically and provide clear air in the media fight, Abbott conceded voters might not “support” his decisions at the next election and on Thursday night said the voters could take “their revenge” at the election.
    These are the words of someone who still can’t seem to believe he is Prime Minister. What he must do is use his office and undoubted powers of persuasion to convince people to support him, not to sit back fatalistically and await judgment.'
    No, these are the words of somebody who doesn't believe these words.

  6. Extract from the thoughts of Dennis:
    "Thawley is highly regarded by Abbott and seen as a “better fit” as a departmental head; his remit is to refocus the public service and reshape the form of advice going to the government."
    'Refocus' and 'reshape' - blimey, that strikes an eerie and ominous clang.


  7. Julia Gillard was certainly prescient in her advice: 'don't write crap.' How Crowe can write that garbage with a straight face is beyond me.

  8. Jayzus - the Government expects the bureaucrats to suddenly pull their flabby arses out of the fire? They're desperate - and delusional. As a former long-time cardigan wearer who had the good fortune to retire not long after the current mob arrived, I can report that with the exception of some of the modern, politically-appointed Departmental Secretaries and Deputies, the public service takes a politically neutral stance and tries to implement the policies of the government of the day, regardless of how absurd or impractical those so-called "policies" may be, or how starved the Service is of resources. But the Public Service subsists on tea, bad coffee and the occasional stale biscuit, not on Kool-Aid - it knows that a fucked proposal is a fucked proposal, and that all the turd-polishing in the world won't make it workable or acceptable to the general public. Having a Head of Prime Minister & Cabinet or any other agency who can be relied upon to constantly nod their head while saying "Yes Minister Yes Minister Yes Minister" won't change that, and will do nothing to bring about any magical change in the Government's fortunes.

    1. Yeah, yeah, but just you try telling Peta-Tone that. There are none so deaf, blind and moronic as those ...

  9. "Torytariat" is definitely a most worthy addition to " The Loons' Bib Book Of Slanguistically-Correct Jargonese".


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