(Above: and more David Rowe here).
There was sweet bumbler Barners, bumbling in from Tamworth, onetime centre of the known universe until they elected the bumbler to bumble for them, and in his sweet way he urged everyone, including the pond, to move on, to forget it, while giving the odd Australian salute.
Ah sweet nostalgia and memories. Look, there he is, in a spot the pond knows so well, giving it to those pesky Tamworth flies:
Barners was at his Palin-esque incoherent best, betting any number of his personal houses that we'd be all moving along, and delivering this sort of splendid insight:
BARNABY JOYCE: Yes, and the thing I like about Tony Abbott - and I've said this before - it's sometimes the mistakes that prove the authenticity of the person. And I want the authentic. I want the person who I believe is real because when they're authentic, you can trust them. We could easily grab someone from central casting and they'd have the right looks and say the right things, but when the time came to chop your toes off, that's exactly what they'd do. I'd rather the authentic, I'd rather the real and I get that with Tony Abbott.
On and on he rambled in his bumbling, ridgy didge 'chop your eyeballs out' way, and if you missed it, you can find it online here, and what a desperate world it is for 7.30 these days, when all they can get to turn up is bumbling Barners, offering this message:
Pre-nominals and post-nominals and what happened at an Australia Day award ceremony will be lost in the fish and chip wrapper where it belongs.
But the pond couldn't let it go, not just yet, and neither, it seems could the rest of the media, not if this morning's headlines count for anything. This from the AFR:
And this from the rest of the Fairfaxians:
Mark Kenny had two stabs at the story - Liberals weigh up leadership options - was one, with a change of leadership now being actively canvassed, and the other yet another hectoring sermon about how Abbott must do better, Abbott's choice: change or face the axe.
More coaching from the sidelines, more explaining how Abbott has to change.
But it wasn't just the Fairfaxians having a go. For the umpteenth time, the anon reptile editorialist at the lizard Oz had a few points to make, along much the same lines, with the frustrated coach shouting from the sidelines like a parent at a ten year old making a mess of the game:
Can you believe that sort of 'do gooder' drivel?
Total failure in class to date, must learn more quickly, must open up dialogue with Oz editorialist teacher. Must lead robust public debate by example.
And so on and so forth. As if the 'personal indulgence' doesn't actually cut to the heart of the monarchist man who deeply believes in all the Catholic and monarchist and climate denial and science bashing kool aid he's been swallowing since childhood.
And then there was the question of the Bolter. The pond had gone to bed wondering whether the Bolter's promise to eviscerate Abbott would turn the next day into a fudge.
And indeed it was an artful fudge, with even the illustration artful, evoking as it does Abbott as a supplicant to the all-powerful bitch from hell who makes him do the weird things he does:
Yes, there's mistress Credlin dressing down master Abbott.
And then came the artful fudge, along the lines of better the totally useless devil you know, than the devil lurking in the woods, the very same justification Abbott has been using.
I might be a dropkick, he's been arguing, but do you want to re-live the Gillard-Rudd feud? Presumably on the basis that if Abbott is given the flick, rather than doing the decent John Gorton thing, he'll do a carefully orchestrated imitation of a psychopathic former Chairman Rudd.
Blackmail by a sociopath!
To support the argument, the Bolter deployed a hearty dose of three word slogans, the hint of the forelock still in play and ready for a tugging:
See, on the big calls on which livelihoods and even lives depend, Abbott has actually been right.
He stopped the boats — which Labor swore couldn’t be done.
He scrapped the punishing carbon tax — which Labor falsely claimed would save us from global warming.
He started to rein in the exploding Budget deficit — which Labor recklessly created and won’t help fix.
On other issues, too, Abbott has been ahead of almost everyone else likely to replace him.
He called out Russian President Vladimir Putin for backing the Russian separatists who shot down MH17.
He has helped lead the fight against Islamist extremism.
He is cutting red tape, trying to raise the pension age, and is starting to urge workplace reform.
As always, it's impossible to argue with mindless stupidity and simplistic three word slogans, and what followed was more of the same, only this time bashing Labor with the same sort of nattering negativity that Abbott made his speciality while in opposition.
But then the Bolter raked over the coals once more, and the embers flickered to life, and it was yet another warning that Abbott must hoe to the right wing extremist way, or suffer the consequences:
So there you go Barners.
Tony Abbott is on notice. Both the Fairfaxians and the Murdochians now feel free to hector and lecture him, and every policy move will now be refracted through the question of cabinet collegiality and consultation. His PPL scheme is now but a dream, and some might even begin to examine once again the policy incoherence, which led to a price signal ostensibly to help fix the ailing budget instead being deployed on a grandiose medical research scheme.
Any further stuff-ups of this kind will be given ruthless examination - it isn't long to the next budget, highly likely to be as bad as the last one - and given Abbott's form, it seems most unlikely that somewhere down the track he won't manage to put his foot in it.
We've already got an idea of how Abbott fumbles under pressure. Remember this?
Yes, if you don't mind enduring an advertisement, you can relive that hilarious "you're not saying anything Tony" moment on YouTube here.
If Abbott has a dummy spit like this, or another brain spasm, or tries on yet another policy clearly aimed at denuding the poor and enriching the rich, it will set off the electronic graffiti, and now what's left of the mainstream media will join in and run with the hounds with a wild yahoo ...
Can Abbott change his spots? Not likely. He was always best as a boofhead attack dog, he's never shown much capacity for grace, his best years were as a fiercely negative opposition leader, and he's routinely promised to change and consult ... until the next failure to change and consult comes along ...
It's been a glorious train wreck in government, and it's likely to keep on going that way ...
Oh one last thing. Special kudos to the HUN for digging up this story, a simpering mix of colonial condescension, mixing racism with a put down of Abbott, in the quest for clicks and quaintness:
There's a lot more, but sorry no link, clicks only egg them on. You won't find the same sniggering in the HUN about Anglicans and Catholics and their straw gods ...
Meanwhile, there's an election in Queensland.
At the very moment that Annastacia Palaszczuk passed on the simplest of questions, the pond realised that the deep north was doomed, and it would surely get the government it deserved, though perhaps without Campbell Newman at its head.
Never mind Queenslanders. Where would desperate, alienated Sydney-siders be without the odd state - let's not forget Tasmania - to laugh at?
Cue First Dog, and as always, more First Dog here, and good luck tomorrow Queenslanders. The pond has a lucky rabbit's foot to sell you, and it's likely you'll need it ...