Thursday, February 26, 2015

And now the straw clutcher clutches at berries ...

(Above: and more David Rowe here).

It was everything every sensible reptile had a right to fear.

The fiendish, gloating Fairfaxians on the long march, gloating like a bunch of Fu Manchus.

There were the eastern suburbs chardonnay latte socialist set getting their pearls into a twist:

And look, there was Peter Hartcher bleating about the wonders of big Mal:

Oh it was full of cheap shots, low blows and haymakers about a punch-drunk pugilist:

And how did Hartcher end up? That somehow Abbott preferred to be a boof head basher of women, because that's what Abbott's always done to women in public office, and in the process he'd managed to miss the bleeding obvious, politically advantageous point to be made:

Abbott missed it because he is too busy with the politics of protecting his position, shoring up the right wing of his party, his Praetorian guard against the horde of angry Liberal backbenchers who want to remove him. 
As he was when he criticised Muslim leaders for failing to denounce the so-called Islamic State. Yet these leaders are the same people that the former head of ASIO, David Irvine, saluted: "We should thank them and continue to work with them," he said. 
In contrast to Abbott, Turnbull said in September that people who attack the Muslim community were dividing the country and "are doing the terrorists' work". 
So long as Abbott is preoccupied with appealing to the 30 per cent of the voters who live on the conservative side of the Liberal party, he will continue to antagonise the other 70 per cent of the country. It's about the shortest of short-term survival. It's no way to win an election. It's no way to run a country.

And then there were the latte sipping socialists sitting by the muddy Yarra:

And there was an editorial no less, a thundering that the attack on Triggs was an Abbott stitch-up.

The government's complaints are concocted nonsense. In any other context, such slippages would be excused once clarified. This government, though, whips them into a conspiracy of mock-horror proportions then tries to induce her to quit. All the while, the commission's report is shoved aside. Indeed, the chairman of the Senate committee, Liberal Senator Ian Macdonald, contemptuously declared he has not, and will not, read the report – an appalling abrogation of his responsibilities. Rarely has a federal government engaged in such a vicious, politicised campaign to demolish the integrity and professionalism of a statutory officer. The Prime Minister's enthusiastic participation in this tawdry episode greatly diminishes the standing of his office. 
Senator Brandis says he wants the Human Rights Commission to focus on "projects that actually mean something to the mainstream of Australian people [and] will make a material difference to their lives". His proposal highlights how fundamentally out of touch this government is with issues of human rights, because it is not mainstream Australians who are at risk. It is those at the margins who cannot speak for themselves, the young and disadvantaged, minorities and non-Australians (such as asylum seekers), who most need their human rights secured.

And so on and on. The pond was sickened to the core at the way the insolent chardonnay swillers could now, so cheekily, so insouciantly, flip the finger at the fearless leader, who was only doing what he always did ... take a woman up a dark alley and give her what for ...

Of course there's always Paul "the magic water man" Sheehan trying to person a lonely, defiant rabid right wing outpost, willingly giving up his chocolate and sourdough time - is there no sacrifice the magic water man won't make to join in the bashing? - but surely things would be different in reptile Murdoch la la land>

And naturally the pond can always rely on the Bolter, ever ready to bash up women and Islamics. Oh his fealty to his lord sometimes brings tears of joy to the pond's eyes, to see such servile, abject abasement. Such relentless forelock tugging, it sometimes reminds the pond of other male activities ...

No, no, that's the easy path, the feral ratbag right wing commentariat, the 0.3% of the 30%. What about the broadsheets?

Oh dear:

Well there's nothing to see in the bouffant one's piece, and everybody knows that van Onselen is now a certifiably crazy left wing ratbag - he's an academic don't you know.

But there seemed to be a weary resignation at the heart of the bouffant one. He didn't attempt any knob polishing, and he spent an unseemly amount of time quoting zinger Bill  talking about a bully pulpit, not a pulpit for bullies. After all, what sort of loon would talk about beltway politics, as if suddenly Northbourne Avenue had been airlifted to Washington DC?

The bouffant one seemed withdrawn and sullen,  attempting just to report the fight, but the way the aged, tired knob polisher did the job, it seemed that zinger Bill had outpointed the pugnacious, punk-drunk, boofhead ,pile-driving pugilist ...

Then there was this, as cheeky as you like, and outside the usual whirling digital splash of doom, as bold as brass amongst the most treasured news stories of the digital day:

 Oh dear.

More big Mal from the cawing Crowe, while Savva, it seems, is still on her one woman crusade against Credlin.

This time she reached back deep into the gossip rubbish bin to recycle another negative story:

And so on:

The trouble of course, is that Abbott now folds on Credlin, he may as well go with her, and take jolly Joe with them as they head off over the horizon.

To sack her would be seen as the ultimate act of weakness, the rope a dope actually a dope on the rope and ready for a knockout blow.

As a result, Abbott is now between a rock and a hard place, and each time he attempts to be the hard man - because that's all he knows - he outrages the other 70% who wouldn't mind a little more policy, and a lot less of the bullying, the anger, the hostility, and the desperate shoring up of the bunker's walls ...

None of it is new. This just in from the pond, as seen in the Sydney Morning Herald, 14th November 1969:

It took Gorton a lot longer to fall than it's likely it will take Abbott, but what fun the death spiral in the sky makes for lovers of rocketry ...

Meanwhile, the pond has to admire the excellent work of the key tabloids. Desperate to ignore all the fuss, they've tried to whip up an alternative form of hysteria:

Of course all this does is remind punters of the fatuous stupidity of Tony Abbott insisting that the bottom line was that companies shouldn't poison their customers, as a way of getting the government out of doing anything about it - a position so fatuously stupid that even Barners himself felt the need to suggest that improved food labelling laws might be useful.

How did Abbott respond to the situation? With mealy mouthed fudges, and free enterprise alarmism:

...Mr Abbott said the government must apply “careful judgment” about imposing any new regulation on business, lest it drive up prices.  
“What happens is from week to week the composition can change because at different times of the year things are available in Australia (and) at other times they’re only available from overseas. 
“If we’re going to have constant supply of the kind of things we need, the composition of the product might change on a batch by batch basis. 
“Yes government has a role but business has a role too because the last thing we want to do is load on so much more regulation, so many more criteria that the price goes through the roof.” (behind the lizard Oz paywall, but you know how to google like Greg Hunt).

Uh huh. Gibberish of course, as if packaged and tinned food doesn't already contain labelling ... fudged, deceptive, meaningless labelling, but labelling all the same. And thus far, thanks to the duopoly supermarkets prices haven't gone through the roof, though the same can't be said for some suppliers who've been forced to go through the floor:

So what do you know? 

This very day, Abbott has folded, and acknowledged that there will be changes to labelling laws. While in the same breath explaining how the new regulations will be part of the government's regulation reduction program ...

There's the quintessential problem of a stupid man who can't recognise the politics of politics. It takes an enormous stupidity to be second guessed by Barners and the National party and Murdoch tabloids ... but Abbott has managed  it ...

And now the pond would like to close in a parochial note, thanks to the Fairfaxians and Roads Minister Duncan Gay predicts Newtown 'nirvana' if third stage of WestConnex is built (with forced video).

Can the pond just politely observe that Duncan Gay is a fuckwit?

The pond has observed councils destroy the shopping strips in Norton Street Leichhardt and comprehensively devastate Glebe Point Road, to the point where it took years to stage a mild recovery.

The state government is now intending to pour a flood of traffic into Newtown, with nowhere to go except join the Newtown crawl during peak hours, which will no doubt in due course see King street turned into a kind of inner west Victoria Road. The clearway will be extended, the shops will wither, the pedestrians will go elsewhere. Even now the pond has to admire the foolhardy hardiness of the young who dare to sit in open windows listening to the roar, and inhaling the smell of the traffic ...

The fuckwitted Gay, who really doesn't have a clue, outdid Chris Bowen, and that's saying something when it comes to figures:

In the interview, which aired on Tuesday night, Mr Gay could not tell Channel 7's Lee Jeloscek how many cars were expected to use the WestConnex, how many cars used the existing M4 and M5 motorways, and how many exhaust stacks would be needed for the project. 
"I don't feel that hot about getting one wrong," Mr Gay said, at a press conference in which the Baird government promised an extra $300 million over 10 years for road improvements in southern Sydney. 
"No one is caning me worse than I'm caning myself on that because I missed an opportunity to put a message out," he said.

Yes nobody briefed the goose, or the goose couldn't remember its lines, because after all the only job description known in the state by both major parties is "hand over huge sums of money to developers", preferably on useless projects like cross city tunnels and hugely expensive rail lines to the airport, so that the developers can make out like bandits, then socialise the losses ...

Ah well, never mind, the pond has a great idea. Let's just legislate to make it illegal for anyone under 22 to own or drive a motor car.

After all, if they can't be trusted with government assistance money, which should be handed over to their parents, why should we trust them with a vehicle?

Sometimes the stupidity is so thick in the air, the pond finds it hard to breathe ...

Maybe it's in anticipation of the new smokestacks, or  maybe it's just the avgas and burnt black carbon from the aeroplanes passing overhead, but deep down the pond suspects the main source is the political class, now reduced to three word slogan stupidities ...

And now just for a variation, a few Dysons, and more Dyson here:


  1. Yep, all the Australian press have rounded on the government's relentless bullying of the Human Rights Commission for no good damn reason. And as well they might.

    What's that?

    Oh, not ALL of the media it would seem. There's a notable exception. As you say, it's been a thrilling year so far, and one could understand flag bearers for the bullies starting to tire a little. The bouffant one has empty barrels. Time for a series of articles focussing on the evils of the ABC I would suggest. That should make all the other problems shimmy away in a trice.

  2. Just ask Big Mal about the timeline for that so-called "90%" reduction. It had been started by Labor, and most of the reduction occurred since November last year, when Triggs's report was received by the government.

    They were so shit-scared of its contents they thought they'd better pull their fingers out and do something about it.
    Mal's just riding the waves of convenience. I still don't trust the man - would you??

    1. No, especially not if the NBN is his calling card.

    2. Andrew Elder not a fan either

    3. I don't know why anyone would ever have 'trusted' big Mal. He's never really accomplished anything of his own. Ok, yes, he did a bit of 'high power' lawyering, but that was it.

      Otherwise, he got very lucky with the company he keeps which took him into an ultimately highly profitable, and eminently saleable, Oz based web startup. And that's it, folks, that's it.

      And he has just been a "whatever it takes" careerist ever since (eg Godwin Grech).

      So I ask again: why would anyone ever have 'trusted' him ? He simply lacks the brains and the guts to be a real standalone doer.


    Seems Brandis will be spared a criminal investigation because the Sec can't locate his notes. Now where have I heard that defence before?

    The author of that SMH piece writes: 'It isn't widely known, but (parliamentary) privilege is about far more than encouraging witnesses to speak freely'

    Maybe if he were doing his job properly it would be more widely known.

  4. Brandis' look of love for Triggs

  5. Looks like truth doesn't matter anymore. MP Jim Chalmers suspended from Parliament for calling Abbott a pathological liar.

  6. Senator WONG: So there was a specific senior role that the Attorney mentioned to you—
    Mr Moraitis : Correct.
    Senator WONG: that the government would consider giving to Professor Triggs.
    Mr Moraitis : A senior role, given her legal skills and the respect for her legal skills.
    Senator WONG: If she resigned?
    Mr Moraitis : No, it was not put in those words.
    Senator WONG: What were the words?
    Mr Moraitis : I did not use the word 'resign'.
    Senator WONG: No, all right. I am asking you: what were the words?
    Mr Moraitis : I said what I said in my statement and what I just said now. There were essentially three points that I was asked to make. One was that the Attorney had lost confidence in Professor Triggs as chairperson. He retained significant goodwill towards her and had high regard for her legal skills. In that respect, he was asking me to formally put on the table or mention that there would be a senior legal role, a specific senior role, that her skills could be used for.

    “He was asking me to formally put on the table or mention that there would be a senior legal role”. Surely Abbott understands the authority of a statement when the word “formally” is used.

    1. Not when, as so memorably noted today, you're a professional liar.

  7. Abbott may go next week

    Then we will have not the ego, or the id, but the superego

  8. Hi Anon,

    I imagine that there is some very delicate and cautious manoeuvrings occurring in the Liberal Party right now. The mating techniques of hedgehogs would be a very good analogy.

    Both Turnbull and the Liberal Party power brokers know from the polling that he is probably the only chance they have to cling onto power. Bishop being a deliberately barren woman would be too unsettlingly similar to the "Lady Macbeth" of Labor, Julia Gillard. The uber right wing would like Morrison but the public have already seen what he is capable of doing to disenfranchised fugees and are unlikely to feel confident that he wouldn't dish out the same treatment to them. The Morrison Humanisation Program needs to run quite a considerable period.

    So it's Turnbull as saviour.

    The problem is policy. Turnbull will most likely want to wipe out a lot of the unpopular policies floated by Abbott and bring in a lot of feel good stuff that doesn't scare the electorate. The Liberal power brokers however don't want any real change to the current policies just better "salesmanship".

    Both sides I currently expect are playing chicken. Turnbull will want more autonomy from the IPA agenda that the Mining and Big Business sponsors are demanding. The socially conservative right of the party will want guarantees from Turnbull that he won't suddenly declare Australia to be a transsexual republican paradise.

    Turnbull wants to be seen as a swing back to the centre (if he actually believes in this I don't know), the question now is how far the party room are willing to go along.

    Abbott is a dead man walking, that's a given. The question now is how far the LNP are willing to lurch back to the centre and it's a very long journey.


  9. Abbott has a tattoo in a secret place on his has been altered since he became now reads..."Death Before Dissonher "

  10. Bookshelves Brandis' metadata retention proposal requires Telcos to delete such data after 2 years, but there is no such requirement for agencies accessing and copying the data, they can keep it forever and store it on say local police station computers.

    And various Australian police forces have a history of misusing, leaking and manipulating data on individuals, as detailed in this article and links from The Register.

    "The problem with keeping data in police computer systems, perhaps forever, is that there is a long history of police services misusing their access.

    It's depressingly easy to find that there exists a litany of such cases. Here's a sample:

    In 1994, this report by Greenleaf, originally from Privacy and Policy Law Reporter enumerates charges against NSW police officers and private investigators for “data trafficking” after an Independent Commission Against Corruption investigation;

    Later the same year, the same source gives us “Thirty police obtain young woman's details”, “Police disclose address to stalker”, “Complaints sustained in 44 cases”, and “Two police officers face charges” (for abusing access to the COPS computer system.

    The culture did not end: The Register can locate, without excessive effort, abuses of access to police computers in Victoria here and here; in Queensland here and here and here.

    In Western Australia, the abuse was more direct, with police this year convicted of bugging a woman's car to see if she was cheating on one of them.

    WA Police also suffered an “improper access” case in 2014.

    In 2014, an Australian Federal Police officer was arrested for giving “official AFP information to a member of the public”.

  11. Replies
    1. Anon, from your first link: "This move in the New Zealand tax mix from direct to indirect taxes has meant growth and competitiveness in industries and rising standards of living."

      Sure, and 30% of the desperate NZ workforce are displaced and in Australia taking jobs and lowering pay and conditions here because..?

      Perhaps this is meant as a joke, like that oldy of Muldoon's who observed that movement of the dopiest kiwis from NZ to Australia lifted the IQ of both countries?

      All bullshit.


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