Charting the follies and hypocrisies and backflips and broken promises of the current federal government is a never-ending challenge, and a never-ending story, so the pond thought it might start by linking to the latest story about the F-35, which can be found in full here.
It will be recalled that John Howard himself was directly responsible for abrogating standard tender processes, and going against defence advice back in 2002:
ABC TV Four Corners reveals that John Howard as Prime Minister signed Australia up to the F-35 development program in a secret deal with the American manufacturer Lockheed Martin in a Washington hotel ten years ago.
“In June 2002, just around the corner from the White House, at the Willard Hotel, he sat down with representatives of Lockheed Martin. At this secret meeting, John Howard signed up Australia to the JSF program.” (here, and the Four Corners show here).
Cost of this folly? Well the bill's not in yet, but how about ...
There's more in that story here, but this'll do, this'll do:
"A single Air Force F-35A costs a whopping $148 million. One Marine Corps F-35B costs an unbelievable $251 million. A lone Navy F-35C costs a mind-boggling $337 million. Average the three models together, and a 'generic' F-35 costs $178 million," Wheeler wrote.
Yes, if you ever get to see one of them flying, imagine it as Fort Knox with wings ...
So where's David Johnston and a decent quip when he and it are needed?
Like couldn't order a box kite, couldn't order a hot air balloon, let alone build one ...
Not that the Labor party is exempt from charges of mishandling this long-running folly. But at least Tasmania will be pleased as it looks like it will be the best place to locate the F-35s.
As for that desert heat? Well as the joke ran in Weir's Gallipoli when Archy ended up in the desert:
Archy Hamilton: We don't stop them there, they could end up here.
Camel Driver: And they're welcome to it.
And so to the litany of backflips, double deals, conceits, hubris and outrageous gambits.
The most obvious one is the complete and utter shamelessness of the two hundred million ripped from foreign aid and given to what Abbott once dubbed Bob Brown's bank on an international scale.
There's just one problem with David Pope's cartoon on the subject, and more Pope here:
Yes, it's the notion that Julie Bishop is a little mouse sitting under a bereft Xmas aid tree, while the nasty Grinch does his Scrooge thing.
In reality, Bishop is front and centre on this breath-taking hypocrisy, and has set the scene - for a very cheap entry fee - for much tub-thumping and hectoring and lecturing:
Abbott's Bob Brown jibe was the least of the backflips:
"We would certainly not spend our foreign aid budget on climate change programs," she said at the time. (more at Fairfax here).
The laggard denialist government now gets a chance - after a cynical manipulation of the foreign aid budget - to abuse others, and threaten to withdraw from any global schemes, and never no mind the singular failure of the Abbott government to do more.
The Daily Terror was horrified and even felt the need in an editorial to berate the back-flippers doing their flip flop thongy thing:
Of course it was outrage from an extreme right wing megaphone - who knows what Alan Jones makes of all the betrayals - but it's a rare government that can unite far left and far right in outrage.
Strangely, the reptiles at the lizard were so impressed by this strategy, and never mind the hypocrisy, that they put it on the front page:
Yes, shift all the blame to China and India, and meanwhile, the devious white-anting can proceed apace ...
Is there any upside?
Well yes, the Bolter is so dumb, he seems to think that Bishop and the rest actually believe that they're taking serious steps on a serious matter ...
The Bolter is outraged at the betrayal, and concludes his update here ominously:
Whoever is handling Abbott’s media strategy has had the kind of success that will kill this government stone dead by the next Budget if repeated.
The Bolter is currently on something of an hysterical warmist roll - a more recent headline celebrated "the tyranny of the warmist few" - which naturally leads to jokes about the dumbest of the denialist few, a cruel outcome for possibly the world's foremost, most distinctive and distinguished climate scientist ...
Well there's the bizarre and pitiful spectacle of the poodle, encapsulated in the headline, Christopher Pyne begs PM Tony Abbott to save ABC TV in Adelaide.
The poodle's feeling the electoral heat, and so thinks nothing of pork barrelling, and never mind that outsourcing ABC production and facilities to the private sector has been going on for yonks, and never mind the concluding remarks in that story:
In his efficiency study into the ABC and SBS, former Seven West Media chief financial officer Peter Lewis found: "The large television production studio [in Adelaide] is rarely used. TV production demand currently consists mainly of internal documentaries and one-off specials."
The ABC closed down its Hobart television production studios in 2012.
Yes, efficiency is a good thing, except when its NIMBY. The poodle is now a national joke, and for those who came in late to this story, New Matilda has an excellent collection of responses to the pathetic pyrrhic poodle petition here.
Well today Paul Sheehan sinks the boot into Peta Credlin here. It's a typical effort by Sheehan, lurking in the shadows of the camp fire, and then after everyone else has had a go, rushing in like a jackal to feast on the spoils ...
But it's another voice in the Torytariat ranks explaining how the federal government is a profoundly dysfunctional one, so beggars must take their pleasures as they find them ...
And then came this, from the Abbott government's most wretched bit of out-dated dead wood:
The gormless wimp is issuing a clarion call for unity, which in reality is a clarion call for others to get their paws of the seat his bum is warming?
If you can be bothered wading through the story, here, it's clear this barnacle doesn't want to go anywhere, no matter how hard the scraping.
But at the very end Andrews delivered the right sort of joke:
Mr Andrews issued a warning to his colleagues, urging them to stay "united [and] disciplined" as the Coalition ends its first full year in government.
"My only message to anybody who wants to hear, is to repeat what Benjamin Franklin told his fellow revolutionaries: 'If we don't all hang together, we'll all hang separately'."
Yes, these wretched revolutionaries, radical luddites one and all, ideological zealots disguised as moderate conservatives, deserve to be hung, but if they hang together like bats in the belfrey, they might just avoid a hanging ...
When asked if he thought Liberal MPs were "hanging separately", Mr Andrews replied that "the Prime Minister said himself 'we're a bit ragged'. That's a reasonable observation."
The jackals of the Torytariat are howling at the moon, and that's the best Deadwood Kev can come up with?
Never mind, as always, when seeking the pulse of the Torytariat hordes, the pond rushed off to the reptile editorialist at the lizard Oz.
It turns out that the reptiles regard the $200 million manoeuvre as a political masterstroke, as you can read in Style rules over substance in global climate theatrics (outside the paywall), provided you aren't easily susceptible to attacks of nausea.
Bizarrely the reptiles seem to think pillaging foreign aid for a cheap ticket at the table isn't some form of global climate theatrics, but instead is a solid example of down under dinky di substance over style ...
Uh huh. Well you wouldn't expect any difference between the editorialist and the form of news presented on the front page ...
But just how cynical and manipulative can a devious, deviant reptile sound?
Well for that, you just have to turn to Seeking the sensible centre:
There are many, many laughs to be had courtesy this piece, but surely the biggest and the strangest one is that the reptiles have the first clue as to what might constitute a sensible centre ...
Though there's a fair argument that the reptiles urging Abbott to avoid the advice of the urgers on the far Right is the best hoot of all ...
This from a rag full to the gills with rabid members of the commentariat, where your Dame Slaps and your Kennys are always screeching?
Wouldn't it have been simpler for the editorialist to say, PM, please stop reading the lizard Oz, it's distorting your sense of reality and your policies ...
Oh yes, and while you're at it, don't read or buy the Daily Terror and the HUN, since they too are full to the gills with rabid members of the Torytariat, who now spend their days accusing you of treachery, hypocrisy and back flipping ... in a class now all your own ...
Oh it's happy days, and meanwhile, David Rowe has produced a zinger, and as always more Rowe zingers here:
Is it just the pond or is Rowe now reaching a kind of Goya level of intensity in his portraits of Abbott and his government? You know as cannibalism reaches new heights in Canberra and the Torytariaat continue to eat their own ....