Sunday, January 25, 2015

A good year for uglification and derision ...

(Above: the Currish Snail in top hero worship form this Sunday. Sorry, the pond provides no anti-nausea tablets and while regretting any induced nausea, disclaims any responsibility or liability, as these belong solely to the lickspittle editorial team at the Currish Snail).

While ensconced in RPA, the pond had the bizarre experience of listening to a full broadcast by Alan Jones, on matters relating to the Queensland election ...

The pond had never actually heard Jones before - taxi drivers were routinely asked to switch to anything else on the radio - yet here was Jones lashing out at Newman, accusing him of lying on various matters, and using a reader's letter to explain that no, he wasn't a card-carrying member of the ALP. (As if anyone wondered ...)

And since then, the war with Newman has gone from the absurd to the surreal, with Newman resorting to the coward's castle of a legal action for defamation.

Others have jumped into the fray, notably that prime fuckwit Derryn Hunch, who called Jones a bitter old queen ... while using the old trick of explaining how some of his best friends in the theatre-ah were gay.

But then the human headline has never had much of a tonal clue, just an ego always in attention-seeking mode. There are many other ways to abuse Jones - the pond has deployed more than its fair share - but traducing queens in general is a typical gambit available only to bogan fuckwits.

As for the rest of the Queensland campaign, Newman has shown all the desperation, style and grace of a cornered rat, which is why he must be grateful for the sort of hagiography routinely offered by the Murdochians.

You have to go elsewhere for the ongoing comedy:

The Queensland Greg Hunt!

Yes you can Graudian the story here, but here's the punchline:

Asked if he had any specific evidence, Newman responded: “I can say it again if you like.” 
“You’ve got a smartphone there right now, try it, try Googling CFMEU bikie links and see what comes up. There’s a report when I looked at that by an ABC journalist reporting on a senior Victorian police officer talking about the infiltration of the CFMEU and the linkages between the bikies,” he said.

Google it! Google the evidence!

What's worse, the pond suspects that Newman is such a dropkick, he doesn't even begin to understand his ineffable stupidity.

Not to mention that this sort of cheap, idle smear comes from a man who carries on the finest traditions of the Joh Bjelke-Petersen era ...

Who knows if the magician's art of distraction will work, but it's fair to say that Queenslanders will no doubt end up with the government they deserve ...

Meanwhile, the pond also missed out on much fun in the federal sphere.

Only now, after days devoted to catching up on reading, does it seem that Abbott has been judged a terminal case, and for the next year, the crows of the press will keep picking at the carcass.

The pond can't begin to count the number of pieces discussing the terminal state of the government, such as Paula Matthewson's Signs of mutiny on the Good Ship Abbott, and Voters forgive leadership change, but not disunity.

There are any numbers of questions to be asked, most notably how long Peta Credlin will last, what sort of crisis will precipitate Abbott's final stand, when will 'counting the numbers' become a daily news item, and who will put up their hand, and have a realistic chance of making the coup happen?

Alternatively Abbott might stagger on to the next election, get a trouncing and be evicted, or stagger into a new term with much reduced numbers, with Abbott voted down at the first meeting of the sore, sorry and bruised victims of his negativity ...

No matter how it happens, it guarantees a fine year of fun for political junkies, and whatever happens, Abbott is on the irretrievable slide that sees political peacocks turn into tomorrow's feather dusters.

Everything Abbott now does is tainted, which is why as soon as the federal government announced that it was going to hold an inquiry into industrial relations, the first response of many disbelieving readers was that they were going to have a go at the minimum wage.

In that sort of context, the triumphalism of the reptiles at the lizard Oz is exactly the sort of response the government didn't need:

Time to bust workplace myths?

Put it another way. Time for the Murdochian harlots and prostitutes to spend another day dying on their knees working for the man, rather than standing free on their feet ...

It's wonderfully ironic, because the Abbott government, courtesy of this inquiry, has posted another letter bomb to itself, with the results due in good time for the next election.

And so the rustlings and murmurs grow louder, and more and more revolve around Abbott.

You'd expect the Fairfaxians to run with things like G20 bill still rising as Tony Abbott accused of hollow words, and Abbott government appointments to Australian Multicultural Council come under fire, and the quiet desperation on view in PM's courting of back bench 'a planned move':

Concerned Liberals will welcome a clearer enunciation of policy goals, but Mr Abbott's decision to list his best cabinet performers, while leaving out his Treasurer, is likely to raise eyebrows, given the central role of economic policy in the government's story. 

One long-serving Liberal said it was "pretty obvious" that voters did not like Mr Abbott and were "waiting with baseball bats" for the chance to vote against him. 
The MP, who has not spoken before on this subject, cited a recent Morgan opinion poll showing just 14 per cent of voters nominated Mr Abbott as preferred prime minister, behind the most favoured Mr Turnbull and then Ms Bishop. 
"That's worse than any prime minister in 20 years, including Paul Keating, Julia Gillard, and Kevin Rudd," the MP said, before adding, "Gillard did not get that low at any point. 
"Even among committed Liberal voters, Tony's support is just 30 per cent. Fundamentally, they don't like him," the MP said.

It's not just that they don't like him, they don't trust him, and so now every policy initiative is looked at through glasses coated with a lavish layer of scepticism, doubt and fear ...

Even the reptiles are starting to murmur, and some are sounding as left-wing as Alan Jones (who'd have thought anyone could type those words?).

Cue that dangerous leftie Peter van Onselen. Take a look at the illustration, the meme of the joker in the pack of cards, and then contemplate the rest of van Onselen's analysis (click to enlarge each of the segments below as required):

The sort of comments you'd expect from a low-ranking backbencher, not a newly minted prime minister

Now let's do a word count:

Cheap politics, irony, in a quagmire of his own making, broken promises, squibbing the task, looking decidedly messy ...

Does it get any better?

Nope, it's got worse,  with open laughter and derision. 

What sort of class is van Onselen running?

The Mock Turtle went on. “We had the best of educations . . . Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with, and then the different branches of Arithmetic — Ambition, Distraction, and Derision.” 
“I never heard of Uglification,” Alice ventured to say. “What is it?” 
The Gryphon lifted up both its paws in surprise. “Never heard of uglifying!” it exclaimed. “You know what to beautify is, I suppose?” 
“Yes,” said Alice, doubtfully: it means—to—make—anything—prettier.” 
“Well, then,” the Gryphon went on, “if you don't know what to uglify is, you are a simpleton.”

Yep, it's looking like a fine year for uglification and derision, and with a bit of luck, the pond will be around to see the final curtain.

It's bizarre, of course, that van Onselen is only now discovering that Abbott is being mocked, a veritable mock turtle. 

But what he means to say is that now Abbott is being more generally mocked, by his own back benchers, by his rivals, and not just by lefties and greenies, but even, oh how could it get so far and so terminal, by scribblers even in the lizard Oz.

But why wouldn't you mock this mob? From Joe Hockey carrying on about 150 year olds, to Campbell Newman flailing about while the ghost of Abbott hangs in the air like a pale shroud, or a fiery fireball, every day is a circus, or perhaps a game of five hundred, where it's always open misere and the joker somehow ended up in the hand....

While away, the pond missed most of all the political cartoonists, and so to a celebration of the return of David Rowe, and as always more Rowe here:


  1. What a fuckknuckle is Van Onselen - a purported Professor of Political Science, who couldn't spot that Abbott was a dog before politics, a dog throughout his political career, arrived at the Prime Ministership because the unique period well suited a dog as Opposition Leader and is now surprised that he has remained a dog as PM.

    If he and 99% of the Canberra press vanished tomorrow, would we be any less well informed! I pity his students, what insight he must deliver unto them.

    1. I agree Rob. Abbott's performance should not be a surprise, an effective press would have done the research and asked the hard questions before he became PM. They gave a flawed man an easy ride into the lodge with hidden agendas and no clear policy beyond what he doesn't like - ABC, Medicare etc. Now they are surprised? Besides a few like Tingle they should be ashamed of their performance, it is worse than Abbott's. A private individual with few resources like Loon Pond has more insight.

    2. and where is Michelle Grattan? She loves leadership speculation; I can't imagine why she isn't back at work writing her trite tripe with extra servings of bias for her Tony.

  2. Time to grab a giant packet of jaffas, I'm sure Abbott & Newman would be grateful for any distractions. For example, C Pyne doing his Graham Norton impression.

  3. I see the ABC is reporting that a former bikie confirms that members sent funds to the LNP Et tu Brute?

    And Austen Taysish has sold out to Subaru for his Australiana sketch - now being used in bowdlerised form to sell cars. Where's pack Billabong? Trying to platerpuss, and whose gonna Mount Isa and where can Marsu pee, Al??

    Mind you he has been a dickhead for some time.

    1. He could have worked-in Iron Knob (SA) and Wattanobbi (NSW.) There's also Chinamans Knob (Vic) and Cock Wash (SA). And don't forget Mount Buggery (Vic)

  4. Paul Keating may have been wrong on many occasions but on ABC Radio on 16 March 2010 he predicted this:

    “If Tony Abbot ends up the prime minister of Australia... I mean you have got to say ‘God Help Us...GOD HELP US’...truly an intellectual nobody. No policy ambition... I mean is that all there is?”

    Van Onselen with considerably more information at his disposal and time for reflection has taken over 1100 words to inadequately express what Paul Keating did in 35 prescient words.


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