The pond is having a difficult time keeping up with all the clarifications, apologetic talk of misspeaking, and epic flip flop backflips with grand pikes.
Some of them involve simple cases of distilled essence of hate and bigotry, mixed with a generous dose of senility, as with the evasive attempt by Fred Nile to dress up his bile as a matter of a "misspoke".
Nile is a familiar enough figure - the Christian, who in the guise of love, goes about spreading hate, except that there's a fair bet that in his old age, Nile won't even attempt the sort of redemptive change of course that Ian Paisley embarked on in his later years.
Nile's outburst attracted the usual sort of attention his psyche demands - an editorial, Man up, Fred Nile, your time has passed, and Sean Nicholls furiously scribbling Fred Nile's latest outrage shows why his time should be up (with forced video).
The "should" in that header gives the game away:
Nile, who turned 80 last September, is facing re-election on March 28 and is likely to be returned to the upper house for another eight-year term. (It is highly likely he will hand over his seat to his younger wife Silvana Nero sometime during the next four years.)
Yep, it's not just the Clintons and the Bushes who know how to do nepotism.
What you need, in NSW, along with the hatred and the bile, is complete and utter shamelessness, and Nile has that in spades, and so he'll hang around as long as he can ...
And the lord god, She said, keep the seat warm and keep it in the family.
Then there was the curious case of Chairman Rupert and his attempt at clarification.
It's a prime example of how thumb and finger can lead the senile into deeper and deeper waters, and all that's needed is a simple 'compare and contrast' of the Chairman's recent essence of twittishness to see how it happens (yes, such a thing, the state of twittishness, exists, though maybe not in the English language).
First came the nakedly obvious statement of collective guilt, and when challenged, the ritual invocation of political correctness:
Then came the attempted clarification:
What's remarkable here is not the convolutions as to what was said and what was meant, since that's too obvious.
What's really remarkable is that the twittering twit has some 553K followers. This goes to show how many people will turn up to goggle at and marvel at the sight of an Ozymandias actively dismantling his own statue, so that in due course all that will remain is a shattered visage:
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
My name is Murdoch, King of Misinformation, deceptions and lies:
Look on my words, ye mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away ...
Speaking of lone and level sands, as you do when contemplating federal politics, the most epic clarification and back flip came with the latest changes to health policies, and what an admirable sight new Health Minister Sussan Ley made as she dressed up eating humble pie as putting her stamp on her ministry.
Naturally the pond has an explanation for the catastrophe that passes for a federal government, and especially all the blather about six minute medicine.
This springs from a deep Liberal party suspicion that doctors and their managers are gaming the system, and that GP clinics are little more than brothels, getting the johns in as quickly as possible, using them to relieve the federal government of precious funds, and then kicking the johns out the door.
Now some doctors were upset by this view - as it happened, on the day the back flip took place, a pond representative attended the local clinic and learned of its GP's views on the whole sordid affair.
It's fair to say that this usually placid if harried man was in a state of high agitation, verging on outrage, along with swearing never to vote Liberal again.
Yes, the Abbott government had managed to alienate its loyal and one time devoted constituency.
But it's easy enough to see why a Liberal government would think of doctors as low class hookers gaming the system.
You see, Liberal politicians (let's not forget Labor) are used to gaming the system, and their allowances and stipends. After all, books and bookcases and bottles of wine (forgotten or remembered through the dregs) are great talking points for your average federal and state politician, from ministers and premiers down ...
And so everywhere around them they see gamers and fraudulent abusers of the system ... on the principle that it takes a poacher to spot a thief ...
Now it's true that the pond's mother in her later years knew the Australian Medicines Handbook from back to front in deep detail, and would head off to the nearest doctor, doctor shopping on the way, to conjure up a wondrous mix of drugs, but it was, in its own way a form of therapy and a distraction, much like stamp or butterfly collecting. She also happened to be genuinely sick and dying, but that's another matter, and sometimes it only takes six minutes to know that death is knocking at the door...
The reality is that most doctors, and their patients, don't embark on matters of health with a cynical desire to rort the system.
Never mind, the crucial matter here is how to present the gigantic back flip as an insightful desire to consult with all the relevant stakeholders.
How in short to turn this Pope cartoon (and more Pope here) ...
... into this sort of congratulatory front page:
Well played reptiles, well played reptiles David Crowe and Sarah Martin, and well played lizard Oz:
See how far you can move from a jellyfish blubbering all over Sussan Ley to a new man determined to remove the roadblocks that were erected by ... the Abbott government in its initial budget folly?
What was most wondrous was the way innocent members of the government - some ministers among them - were still doing the media rounds just before the epic back flip - explaining and supporting the old, now abandoned policy.
Even as they tried to present the new policy as considered, with consultation the cry, Crowe and Martin managed to bell that cat:
Yes, it's half-baked, half-assed policy making on the run, with poor old Campbell Newman no doubt getting agitated at a state backlash.
Even the reptile that scribbled the Oz editorial was wringing hands in despair:
The problem appears to be a familiar one for the Abbott government — mistakes in the policy detail and its public advocacy. We are witnessing yet another messy fumbling of worthwhile reform. Only yesterday Tony Abbott defended the co-payment on radio, describing it as a “difficult decision” that had to be made to make Medicare sustainable. Yet his Health Minister dumped it the next day.
Who knows what's going on, but the pond feels privileged to have a seat in the circus under the big tent, watching the clowns do their backflips.
A giant thong! What a terrible comedian, but how useful a giant thong-wielding bogan for the perfect flip flop ...
How desperate has it got? Well the very same editorialist came up with this as the concluding par:
Let’s hope the AMA offers some constructive ideas and a workable plan is forthcoming. If policy reform is well constructed and advocated it will be accepted by voters. A shambolic approach helps only the naysayers.
Roll that one around on the tongue again ... Let's hope the AMA ...
Yep, it's now up to the AMA to come up with some constructive ideas, because the Abbott government seems to be all out of everything, except an abundant supply of confusion and chaos and back flipping and hand wringing.
Well there'll no doubt be plenty of back-flipping and hasty explanations by all the conservative commentariat blathering about 18C and the right to free speech, as they reconcile the Pope's thoughts with their own rhetoric:
Pope Francis said there are limits to freedom of expression, weighing in on the side of those in France and elsewhere who say Charlie Hebdo's cartoons of prophet Muhammad went too far.
"You cannot insult other people's faith," he told reporters on Thursday aboard a plane taking him from Sri Lanka to the Philippines as part of his Asian tour. "You can't make fun of other people's faith," (here at Fairfax, with the usual forced video attached).
What, there should be a law about it?
Oh dear, there goes the pond's chance to make fun of all those people who have faith in St. Tony, St. Rupert, St. Bolter, St Dame Slap, St. Prattling Polonius, St. Eating Crowe and humble pie, St Christopher with Mitchell medal, and all the other loons in the worst kool aid swilling cult the pond has seen in many a millennia ...
But there are still brave cartoonists willing to insult the faith, like the intrepid Moir (and more Moir here):
Oh come on Mr Moir, Tony Abbott as Bill Murray, and long before Bill turned grump in St. Vincent?
That's not going to fly. What about some yam what he yam?
Si. Oui ...
Finally let's not forget the only genuine image of that Paris march. No Photoshopping by fundamentalist Jews required, or half baked idle chatter about how the sight of women might sully the sacred moment and desecrate the memory of the martyrs ... (yes the barking mad actually were reported saying it here, showing how fundamentalist Jews and Islamics have a lot in common).
(here for the source)