Monday, December 01, 2014

In which the pond looks at the shock waves, the fall out, the after shocks and a few delicious ironies as we journey down de Nile ...

The spectre of a one term government ...

Panic in the north ... toads flustered and flailing ...

And the bony fingers point in one direction ...

And how did the panicking northern reptiles chose to finish that story about pleading, panicking, begging Noddy's tribe of no hopers?

The Napthine Government became the first Victorian administration in 60 years to be bundled out after just one term in office on Saturday, and the “Abbott effect” was considered a factor by both sides. 
Mr Abbott visited the campaign just three times and on one visit, a Napthine staffer was recorded saying “oh s---” when the pair staged an impromptu embrace for the cameras.

Now a visiting alien might not understand that exclamation, so please allow the pond to exclaim "oh shit".

But steady, no need to panic.

The deep north always gets toey about the peculiar ways of the Mexicans south of the border. As always, the pond turns for reassurance and comfort to the world's greatest climate science.

Say sooth, Bolter:

Oh shit ...

As usual, you can rely on the barking mad Bolter to give Abbott exactly the sort of advice that will exacerbate Abbott's situation:

Is this, too, familiar to Abbott’s Liberals, who have ditched their promise to restore free speech, shied from workplace reform, bowed to the global warming gods and pledged to entrench race-based division in our constitution by recognising people with some Aboriginal ancestors as the “first” Australians? 
Yes, elections are won in the middle, not by pandering to your party’s extremists. But Liberal parties without the guts or wit to stand for Liberal values neither dismay their enemies nor inspire their friends. If they can’t even get the economy ticking they look weak.  
I can’t be too harsh on Abbott. He faces a spiteful Senate that blocks him at almost every turn. 
He, almost alone of his ministers, is also trying to sneak in conservative changes, including his admittedly unconvincing knighthoods. 

Dear sweet long absent lord, unconvincing knighthoods is the best the Bolter's got?

But the rest? Ask the trembling ministers now whispering that even this government is too Right wing and needs to move even more Left. Ask those now wondering whether they wouldn’t be better off under someone who won’t startle horses.

Uh huh. Check out the story the reptiles are running at the top of the front tree killer page:

Oh dear, he's not trying to drag the monarchists into his attempts to entrench race-based division in our constitution by recognising people with some Aboriginal ancestors as the “first” Australians, is he?

Why that's certain to send the Bolter into a racist fury.

What next? A free vote on gay marriage?

Surely Abbott wouldn't be whispering that his government is too Right wing and needs to move even more to the Left? Yes, he is, he is!

Incidentally, where do the reptiles get their mug shots of Abbott?

Do they have to make him look like a surly, aggro boofhead? Even more than he usually seems? He's not even allowed to crack a smirk?

Never mind, things are grim in Abbott land so perhaps that's why even the file photos make it look like the PM was posing for a police camera ...

These past few days that dangerous leftie Peter van Onselen has been all the rage in Facebook circles with his odious comparison of Tony Abbott to former Chairman Rudd and Chairperson Gillard:

On and on the dangerous leftie was allowed to ramble, and in space, oh cruel irony, provided by the reptiles:

Privately, members of the real Team Abbott (not his office but his parliamentary line-up, including his frontbench) have long criticised their leader’s decision to play the “rule out” game on SBS the night before the election. It gave Labor the same footage Gillard gave Abbott when she appeared on Network Ten on the eve of the 2010 election. It is a delicious irony. 

But nothing can be done to reverse that state of affairs now. At issue instead is how Abbott lifts himself and the government out of a quagmire of his own making. I’ll tell you how he won’t do it: by continuing to deny the undeniable; by defending a defence minister who has said he wouldn’t trust Australian shipbuilders to build a canoe when they are completing three destroyers for him; by refusing to reshuffle his frontbench as Rudd refused to do in his first term because he thinks leaving dead wood in ministerial positions avoids the appearance of chaos; by maintaining a centralised command-and-control structure where loyalty to Abbott’s office sidekicks matters more than ability; or by letting his office leak to the media an intention to dump the Medicare co-payment, only to then announce that it is looking at passing the policy via regulations instead of legislation. 
Misleading journalists is almost as bad as misrepresenting exchanges with them. And a government should always be prepared to put legislation it ideologically believes in before parliament, even if the Senate rejects the proposed laws. 
Labor made the mistake of withdrawing legislation it thought would be defeated in parliamentary votes. There is nothing wrong with Abbott’s government putting its legislation before a Senate that knocks it out. 
A good government can sell difficult policies. Howard’s government did it when amending Paul Keating’s industrial laws in his first term, and when legislating the GST in its second term. The Hawke and Keating governments did it ahead of multiple elections they won in the 1980s and 90s, all while modernising the Australian economy. 
The political times in which we live require governments to embrace difficult decisions to set Australia up for the Asian century. Reform and free trade must be understood, sold to voters and ultimately legislated. 
All the good work done by Trade Minister Andrew Robb in securing multiple free trade agreements won’t matter politically for the Abbott government if the PM can’t get his act together. 
After little more than a year as Prime Minister, the question is already being asked: is Abbott up to the job?

Delicious irony? Is Abbott up to the job?

The spectre of a one term leader even before the Victorian election result raised the spectre of a one term government ...

Steady. This is no time for panic. Stout hearts, stern hands steer the steadying ship through the rocky seas to the safety of the shore ...

Surely now, the dust settling in Victoria, the reptiles will be manning the pumps, the angry white males will be singing a chorus of hope?

Shaky ground? Aftershocks. Oh shit ...

But stay, there's certain to be a strong message of support from that desiccated coconut, Henry Ergas. Surely old Henry will plug the hole in the bucket ...

Et tu, Henry, and with a bizarrely barnacled illustration? Oh merde ...

What else?

Oh dear sweet long absent lord ...

Surely there's still one rusted-on, faithful, knob polishing forelock tugging reptile still hanging around the kool aid laden water cooler? There is, there is:

What's remarkable is that the reptiles are giving that bit of uxorious excess away for free - no fickle gold bar blocking the way. As it's only seven short pars of supportive drivel, the natural response of the pond is not to provide a link ... quelle merde.

Even stranger, the very same day the reptiles decided to gold bar their brooding editorial.

Happily, the reptiles are ready to restore the faith and apportion the blame, and so balance the dangerous leftism of the likes of Peter van Onselen:

Tony Abbott’s opponents have been quick to blame him for the defeat. The Prime Minister is unpopular with many Victorians and the result is a worry for him. It shows voters are now less inclined to give first-term governments that struggle time to find their feet a second chance. But much of the blame for this result lies with former premier Ted Baillieu and defeated Frankston MP Geoff Shaw...

Move along folks, nothing to see here. Everything's under control, everything's in order, just regional issues ...

Mr Abbott has also been decisive in his first year. He has fulfilled key promises to stop the boats, scrap the carbon and mining taxes, legislated for direct action against climate change, clinched vital free trade agreements in Asia and done well internationally. 

Yes, he's a man of action. His government has been abused by the UN for its treatment of refugees, he's adopted a completely useless direct action scheme to solve a problem he doesn't believe in, and his government has negotiated free trade agreements which in time will be revealed to be as useful as the free trade agreement with the United States. And that's before the treachery of the TTP is unveiled ... and that's not just the consumer lobbyists run here, they're here at too.

Never mind the polls, feel the width. But what's this?

One of his major problems from the Victorian result, however, is that exit polls showed the two issues which most influenced voters on Saturday were health and education. Federally, the Coalition is struggling in these portfolios because of its inability to sell its message about the need for spending restraint to a sceptical electorate. Its inability to secure a Senate passage for major planks of its May budget is looming ever larger as the time draws near for framing next year’s budget. 

Oh shit. The poodle Pyne struggling to explain why students need to be in debt for half their life?Abbott's struggling to explain why the no name health minister is trying to destroy the health system? And budget blow-out time draws nigh as jolly Joe prepares to sell his snake-oil one more time?

What could go wrong?

Hello, is that the kool-aid company? Can you send a year's supply double strength to Holt street in inner 'leet hipster Surry Hills? The reptiles are running low in energy, are listless and unhappy.

And does that 'catch of the day' bonus hot rock still apply?


The pond sees they've sent in brave Julie Bishop to explain on RN this very morning why everything is for the best in the very best of possible worlds, while the men cower behind her apron as she cleans up the kitchen?

And she's still spruiking the seven dollar co-payment, and the medical research fund, so that the price signal isn't contributing to the budget crisis, the emergency that's about to be revealed as a catastrophe, but is contributing to medical research? And sssh, don't mention that generous PPL ...

Yes, she sounds like she still had a drink of kool-aid each morning to start the day ...

Is it time for Ms Bishop to be given the top job, so that the final drama of the Rudd-Gillard days can be enacted? Oh delicious irony ...

And now, please allow the pond to conclude with a genuine Bill Shorten zinger, alas too late for Micallef:

One upon a time I thought de nial was a river in Egypt ...

Oh shit ...

And so to David Rowe's final word on teh Abbott, as dangerous as a plague of rabbits, fruit flies, or cane toads, and more Rowe here:


  1. Good laughs all round today, DP. Tony Abbott reckoned anyone thinking of starting up nuclear power generation here should not "expect a government subsidy". How many ways could the IPA direct the traffic around that tiny hurdle?


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