Monday, February 02, 2015

Abbottalypse Now ...

That's the way one wag treated the PM in Fairfax's rolling coverage of the Queensland debacle and the consequent fuss.

As a chicken! 

Though as a reader kindly noted, the chicken looked pretty grumpy emerging from a Coptic church:

Kinda shifty and surly looking, with a touch of haunted, but as a result, if it isn't about leadership speculation, the pond isn't interested.

Happily, if you are interested in leadership speculation, that's all you can find. 

Even in Murdoch la la land yesterday the header was provocative, if misleading:

They were quoting Nick Xenophon, but you'd never have guessed from the splash.

And then there were the comedians doing their bit for electronic graffiti:

As for the rest, it was wall to wall weeping and raging and fear, fear, fear, as the smell of the ballot box wafted through the nostrils of nervous backbenchers like napalm in the morning:

And then there came the reptiles:

And what a stirring there was in the nest of the reptiles of Oz:

Oh there were all sorts of fingers in the pie, gravely talking of warnings, like the desiccated coconut who had enthusiastically endorsed the whole agenda:

Et tu Henry? But what about the asset sales, and the leasing, you goose?

And behind him tramped the usual rabble with signs, and portents and warnings:

There were a few who held out hope, or offered signs of support, and naturally the PM's Singapore man, his bro, his bromance brother, was front and centre:

Oh fan the flickering flame boys, flame the flickering flim flam man ...

But as always the best comedy line came from the Oz editorial:

Roll that one around on the tip of the tongue.

Savour it on the back palate, let it infuse the entire mouth:

We must not yield to the lethal power of negative politics.

The pond contends that this is the finest line the editorialist has ever come up with.

Though perhaps this concluding line is even more richly comical:

When renegade conservatives like Clive Palmer and shock-jock Alan Jones join with Labor to run a populist campaign against a reforming government, Labor benefits. Mr Shorten could also ride a wave of populist opposition into government next year. But Australia cannot afford to succumb to the destructive force of negative politics.

Shocking, as opposed to the sophisticated, nuanced and sbutle insights of the Murdochian press:

Populist? Moi? Negative? Moi? Never, just a jolly jape amongst chums ...

As always, the Oz editorialist made for some fine reading, with some tears, and tearing of sackcloth, and wild distribution of ashes:

Yes, never mind the steep learning curve Newman embarked on, determined to alienate as many areas of Queensland society as he could manage in a single term.

But on with the lamenting:

Oh the lost opportunities, the failures and the flops, and never mind the rosy-tinted spectacles the cheer leading reptiles, high on the kool aid, had offered for as long as possible, and are still trotting out when space allows.

What do do?

When in doubt repeat the three word slogans, and bemoan a few weak spots:

The Prime Minister is right that voters want competent government and that elections are not a personality contest. The problem is that in the eyes of many voters, his government has not always been competent. It has, since late 2013, been unpopular. It is encouraging that Mr Abbott said he is determined not to become “another weak government” and conceded there were lessons to be learnt from the Queensland election. The Abbott government has achievements such as stopping boats of refugees undertaking dangerous journeys to Australia to seek asylum. It has repealed the carbon and mining taxes. It has successfully concluded free trade agreements with China, Japan and South Korea. But there are nagging doubts about the Prime Minister’s judgment. The strange decision to award a knighthood to Prince Philip destroyed any hope Mr Newman could cling to government. It was an indulgence that underscored Mr Abbott’s blind spot when it comes to the monarchy. It damaged the conservative brand, disrupted the Queensland election campaign and took the focus off Labor’s lack of policy credibility.

In a final par, the reptile editorialist translates the woes of Abbott and Newman into an Australian wide disaster, when it might be suggested it's simply a disaster for the reptiles and other assorted cheerleaders, and for the motley tribe currently in power.

But no, a disaster for American citizen Rupert is automatically a disaster for Australia.

Over in Fairfax land, the news was much the same:

Et tu Hartcher? After the years of hope?

But the pond's favourite moment - since it's the krazed kommentariat that forms the pond's beat - came with Paul "magic water man" Sheehan wringing his hands, and keening and moaning:

A few highlights.

It takes singular skill to point out that the carnage is all the fault of the public, and absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the leadership on offer:

Now the public, according to the polls, wants a fifth prime minister removed in seven-and-a-half years, and an 11th major leadership change in 11 years. 

If the past is prelude, Prime Minister Abbott is going to be engulfed by the churn. His polling numbers are as bad as any leader's since polling started. He was expressly asked not to appear during both the Victorian and Queensland elections, while the Leader of the Opposition was ubiquitous. 
His conduct before the Queensland election was obtuse in the extreme. Exit polling in Queensland found Abbott was a factor in the disintegration of support for Premier Campbell Newman and his government. It was confirmed to me by a Liberal strategist that this election was not simply a parochial result. It was a violent electoral swing, with Abbott's unpopularity in the mix. 
Gone are the days when a party would stick by its leader as Labor stuck by Arthur Calwell from 1960 to 1967, until he had lost three elections (1961, 1963 and 1966) and turned 70.

Arthur Calwell! Yep, gone are the days of stupid, but not gone are the days of stupid commentators somehow seeing something noble in obdurate stupidity ...

It is of course all the fault of social media:

On a deeper level, the carnage is a sign of our intense immersion in social media, giving society a collective attention deficit disorder. Everything is faster now.

Yes, it's all too fast for the old man - waiter, some magic water, quick - and if you pay attention to the Abbott follies, why you're suffering from a collective attention deficit disorder.

But the finest flourish came at the end, with this hysterical introduction of Christians and lions into the discussion:

And the people are leaning into the amphitheatre and giving Abbott the thumb's down. Death. 

Death? Retiring on a handsome parliamentary super scheme to don your lycra and ride your bicycle and write columns and otherwise turn into a pesky gadfly is death?

But that's the way Sheehan sees it. Democracy as a kind of lynch mob. And hapless Tony Abbott is going to be engulfed by the mindless lynch mob churn. Never mind if Abbott's been beyond obtuse, it's all the fault of the mugs gathered around the Furphy water wagon.

But do go on:

We are seeing a culling of leaders in an incessant and carnivorous news cycle that is chewing up people who took a path to public office that is much harder and more dangerous than carping from the sidelines. Newman, a former Army major, went into battle with big policies and acted on them. He didn't seek to be parachuted into a safe seat. He died in electoral battle honourably and he departed honourably. "This is the end of my political career", he said on election night. In his TV appearances on Sunday he even seemed relieved. I don't blame him.

Yes, yes, indeed, and many readers will remember Paul Sheehan's immensely sympathetic enconiums, tributes and warm glowing praise for Julia Gillard on her retirement.

The pond can't seem to locate them right now, and some might claim that Sheehan, during the Rudd and Gillard years carried on like a necromancing doomsayer, delivering all sorts of bile in the most bilious way imaginable ...

You can read the rest of Sheehan here if you're tired of hitting your head with a hammer ... and if you want carping from the sidelines and a relentless inability to see beyond a goose mourning an honourable electoral warrior, after having spent years slipping verbal swords into the backs of other electoral warriors.

Sheehan, in his writing, has all the grace and dimensionality of a Manly or a Collingwood supporter.

Schadenfreude ... it's so hard to escape its gravitational pull.

But enough. Time for the pond to steal away into the day, and leave the mourners to their bewilderment, and their collective mourning and the sackcloth and the ashes ...

Soon enough there will be a speech to pour over, offering entrails, runes and tea leaves, and a question time too, as if in one hour, anyone could turn around what has been building for years, and will go on imploding until the next election.

There's just time to note David Rowe celebrating Tony Abbott's press club speech, as if one speech could make or break what has long been broken, with a nicely grotesque image (and more Rowe here).

Strangely it seems to involve the nattering negativity which so upset the reptiles:


  1. In the photo of the Abblott scurrying across the thoroughfare, I couldn't help but notice that the two shave-head seedies in the shades and sharp suits look a lot like those two bad-arse twin-brother assassins out of 'Breaking Bad'. I wonder if Tony's heavies have stainless steel skulls on the toes of their boots.

    1. Oh, nice one, Raven. Abbott does look a bit like Gus Fring - in his last appearance, coming out of the remains of Hector's room.

  2. I thought that Abbott looked decidedly hunted in that photograph which led me to the non PC thought that it couldn't happen to a more deserving chap. Shame on me, shame!

  3. This morning on ABC TV Scott Morrison refused to discuss the government's disastrous polling and said: "we were voted in to stop the boats, get rid of the carbon tax and..............".

    Give it a rest!

    1. Yes, Scott, but what have you done for us lately? That stuff may as well have happened in the 1950s.

  4. Well done today, DP. You must be fully recovered now, to deliver such a brilliant piss-take of the shills. That is very good news to Loon Pond fans.

    It appears that The Australian has yet to jump ship, but seems reluctantly resigned to its fate of being unable to save Tones. Why they should want to save such a dumbo is the mystery. Even a puppet doesn't have to be that stupid, albeit fitting in with the owner's erratic whims may take one in that direction. Ergo Bolt and Devine.

    It seems as if they've got quite reckless with the Koll-aid consumption.

  5. I remember back in the '80s in Blighty when Eddie Shah began the long slow castration of Fleet Street by introducing desk-top publishing and computerised type setting, that estimable publication Private Eye had a regular column celebrating the moaning whingers who couldn't come to terms with new technology. It was called "New Technology defeats Pissed Old Hack.

    Seems a fitting description today for those like Magic Water who decry the rise of social media.

    1. Will be interesting to see if The Great Leader can beat the record he created with his last speech at the Press Club - pre election .

      That speech was riddled with 20 barefaced lies an 8+ half truths and all went unreported by the so called journalists in the MSM , including the ABC .

      How do you tell when Tony Abbott is lying ??
      His lips are moving.

      Yeh , I know it's an oldy but !!!!!!!!!

  6. "Sheehan, in his writing, has all the grace and dimensionality of a Manly or a Collingwood supporter."

    That is most unladylike Dorothy! Where or what is Manly?


    1. Oh Danno Danno, me bucko, me boyosaurus, even the pond can pick the difference between a coathanger and a boofhead needing one, and be aware that Tony Abbott lurks in Manly and that the doofus is currently the number one ticket holder at the Manly Sea Eagles rugby league club, a game played by thuggees and miscreants, and to Thomas Keneally's great shame he supports the club too, blotting an otherwise impeccable set of liberal credentials.

      You should know of these things, because it explains the way and the how of Abbott's approach to politics. A finger up the bum and a fist to the balls in the scrum, in what the pond understands is pro forma before getting on the piss and urinating in the streets ...

      Ah Sydney town, old Sydney town, not so far from the days of rum ...

      The pond will now return to reading Jane Austen, as is right and proper ...

  7. And for another dose of US loons, Huckabee (a potential Republican runner at the next election) likens gay marriage to "offering a Jew a bacon-wrapped shrimp".

    And a 3 year old found a gun in mum's handbag and promptly shot his mum and dad.

    1. If only his 2 year old sister had have had her own gun: She could've taken him out and saved the day.... Just ask loony Libertarian pro gun Senator Leyonhjelm

  8. There we were, being assured by the Lizards on Saturday over 11.00am coffee that all was well for the LNP in QLD. Not 12 hours later, another proposition by the Lizards was a smoldering pyre. As referenced above (or below perhaps), it must be a nerve-jangling existence pumping out the bilge each week, wondering how long their nincompoopery will be funded. "The Listening PM" was one of their best yet.

    Fast forward Monday morning AM - Scott Morrison: "The Australian government is doing a good job. The Australian government has the respect of the Australian people."

    How's that "listening" thing working out LNP?

  9. I see your health is all but returned, DP. A most enjoyable read!..Poor beast ; Tony...How does that poem go ? :

    " so much depends

    a red wheel

    glazed with rain

    beside the white
    chickens. "

  10. The biggest loser from Saturday is the Murdoch Media.
    Murdoch score so far,
    Victoria, a duck.
    SA, a duck.
    Queensland, a golden duck.
    NSW, yet to be played.

    Prediction, Could be a whitewash.

  11. Dorothy, I'm very sorry to inform you the "Loon Pond" has been rejected.

    I'm sure you are as devastated as I am.

    1. Thanks for the tip Anon, the pond's lawyers have been notified of this outrageous infringement on copyright, and we have called in Burkie from Roadshow as a consultant, though it might be a tad tricky explaining how the pond gets to see some shows a little earlier than the theatres allow. (Has anyone else noticed that Inherent Vice isn't due in the cinemas until early March?)

      That said, at least the miscreant had the decency to label the Abbott government as certifiable loons, along with the chattering classes that infest Murdoch rags.

  12. Thanks for the tip, Anon. A good read even if it doesn't spell the end of our beloved blog.

  13. When a politician gets desperate and starts pleading, you know she/he is for the chop.

    Abbott's NPC speech is an embarrassing disaster. "Labor, Labor, Labor's fault! Trust me, on jobs, the economy. You elected me! Please, please trust me!"

    What a dork. Newman redux.

  14. Irresistible, statesman-like delivery of the same speech has been delivering for years. Not a shred of vision or understanding.

    That's saved him, no shadow of a doubt.

  15. "Sure, party rooms or caucuses choose leaders but once they've gone to an election, things have changed. It's the people that hire, and frankly it's the people that should fire," said Abbott.

    Dissolve parliament and you will find out, Tony. I know what you're thinking.

    “Will I get fired if I call an early election, or not?”

    Well, to tell you the truth, Tony, in all this excitement, I've kinda lost track myself. You have to ask
    yourself one question: "Do I feel lucky?"

    Well, do ya?


    In an early sign that some on Tony Abbott's backbench want more changes from the Prime Minister, the LNP member for the Brisbane-based seat of Bowman, Andrew Laming, has called for knights and dames to be abolished from the Australian honours system.

    Mr Abbott today announced he had removed himself from the process of selecting knights and dames under the Order of Australia, but that's not enough for Mr Laming.

    "Today's announcement has failed to address the concerns and feelings of the electorate at large," he said in a statement.

  17. Bingo mark down a bit shortened here, as the captain actually did trot out "Margie and the girls".

  18. I didn't play Bingo today. Clicker-ty Clicks.

    The caller sends me to sleep.

    I scanned the transcript though and saw that one of the old lines he put out there for another trot was the one about Australians winning the lottery of life. It is too, too much.

    It has been claimed that he wrote the speech himself. I wonder if he showed it to others in a spirit of consultation and collegiality.

    Miss pp

    1. I suspect not, Miss pp, and you've rather put me in mind of:

      I wonder about the love you can't find
      And I wonder about the old listening line
      I wonder how much going have you got
      And I wonder about your friends that are not
      I wonder I wonder wonder I do

      Rodriguez - I Wonder

  19. The captain's choice ignorance of "electronic graffiti" shown here: Hey Qld LNP? Blame Joan for your shock #QldVotes result

  20. "And the people are leaning into the amphitheatre and giving Abbott the thumb's down. Death."

    1. The world is burning, South Australia, Victoria, and Queensland are lying in ashes, and nationally the lyingnastyparty isnt doing well anymore either. But one person isnt giving up...

      No fucking way at all that Turnbull
      should laugh up his sleeves in the end!
      No, this rough Brough guy! I capitulate not! I never capitulate!
      Well, I never! There, there, Peta. Yes, we won't capitulate!
      No, fear not, we still might even win the war!
      Think so. I'm still quite confident.

      Begging your pardon, Walter Moers

  21. Abbott thinks he is a King..hence the be-knighting of a fellow potentate...all the captai...sorry ; DECREES!...the regal appointments without consultation...Abbott is ruling by decree and his "courtiers"..the entire LNP. machine is fucked!


Comments older than two days are moderated and there will be a delay in publishing them.