Sunday, March 01, 2015
In which, it being Sunday, the pond broods about Tony Abbott, leadership, disposable serviettes, litanies, and Kyrie Eleisons ... with a bonus Mass for the departing ...
The reptiles just can't help themselves.
This day it's the Sunday Terror which slipped in a front page story on the impending leadership spill.
By the time it hit the digital pages later in the day it had lost its EXCLUSIVE tag ...
...as if anyone except a barking mad reptile lover thought it was EXCLUSIVE news that Julie Bishop might throw her hat into the ring (and thanks to that correspondent who updated the pond on the betting on the show ponies currently on parade, ready for an SP plunge).
What was more fun was to see all the keening and the wailing, the mourning and the crying, the sackcloth and ashes that littered the pages of the Terror, as their tabloid commentariat dropped the plot and the bundle.
Actually ... Miranda the Devine clearly suffers from the same delusion as Tony Abbott, who somehow thinks that the gift of the Premiership comes directly from the people rather than the party room ... actually .... sweet 'hang a greenie from the nearest lamp post' Devine ... could we just pause to note that it won't be "we" who'll be tossing out Tony, though if the pond had the chance to pay, 'we'd' pay a handsome price.
The "we" will be the Liberal party room ... and you can't hang that "we" on the pond ...
And what is it with toasters? At least they do a decent job until they cark it. The pond pays no attention to cricket, but surely there was an omen in Abbott watching Michael Clarke return, and the Australians went down like toast falling to the ground on the buttered side ... talk about a loser watching losers ...
Yes, it turns out that the only way to enjoy the Terror toons is to laugh at the headlines, and once again Akker Dakker came to the party:
Knifing Tony is only going to hurt us all? Keeping a bumbling angry macho bullying boofhead in office is in the national interest? And we're all going to feel the pain of his passing? As if the pond mourns the loss of Billy McMahon or Chairman Rudd?
It's impossible to imagine writing that sort of kool aid gibberish unless you happened to have the skills of the brothers Grimm, and were interested in political fairy tales ...
And then there was Claire Harvey:
What's she got against disposable serviettes?
The pond's had a damn sight more useful service out of its disposable serviettes, and a lot more sense, especially when you consider the serviettes never proposed a medical co-payment, not to bring the budget down, but to piss it against the wall helping fund medical research which would no doubt have been a boondoggle for political mates.
And then a year after all sorts of carry on, to head off to New Zealand and hint that maybe the co-payment idea was dead, not as a policy back-flip to match many other epic back-flips, but just as a way of saving the good old personal bacon.
Why the pond's had a lot more intelligent discussions with disposable serviettes, and it's reached scintillating, Wittgensteinian heights with a paper cup, than it's ever had listening to the macho man strut his three word slogans ...
Was the nation better off without Billy McMahon and Sonia of the split dress?
Damn right, but we can expect a lot more of this hysterical moaning and weeping in the days ahead, as their crusader lad eventually mopes off into the sunset.
Here's hoping he's got enough disposable serviettes to tend the bleeding from all the cuts and open wounds ...
Damn useful things, those serviettes ... and you can mop up all the political horseshit and the chunderings of the barking mad reptiles to boot ...
But why all the tears which seem to suggest that tissues are also more useful than a bully boy PM?
Well in the same rag Samantha Maiden gives a hint:
Uh oh. Now how's that going to go down?
There's the darling of the eastern suburbs going out with a man who attends a "speaking in tongues" fundamentalist church ...
As for the future?
Well the Fairfaxians have that at the top of the digital page:
What's interesting about Tony Wright's story Party room appears to have already decided Tony Abbott's fate is the way the recitals in it have taken on an almost ritual religious air.
It's what Catholics call a litany, and it will be well known to Abbott. You can Greg Hunt it here:
The frequent repetition of the Kyrie was probably the original form of the Litany, and was in use in Asia and in Rome at a very early date. The Council of Vaison in 529 passed the decree: "Let that beautiful custom of all the provinces of the East and of Italy be kept up, viz., that of singing with great effect and compunction the 'Kyrie Eleison' at Mass, Matins, and Vespers, because so sweet and pleasing a chant, even though continued day and night without interruption, could never produce disgust or weariness".
Of course it's not the same Litany for Abbott. No Kyrie Eleison of the kind you find in Haydn's Nelson Mass.
No rather it's now a long list, a frequent repetition, of crimes, omissions, failings, foibles and fuck ups:
...the problems swirling around Abbott have become so numerous the arguments for retaining him - principally, that he brought the Coalition back to government after six years, slaying the Labor administration in the doing of it - no longer balance the ledger for most of his colleagues.
South Australian Liberal MPs are appalled at the government's failure to offer a clear future for Adelaide's naval shipyards; moderates are taken aback by the ferocity of the attack on Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs; a leaked letter from the party's treasurer, Phil Higginson, accused the party of allowing a conflict of interest because federal director Brian Loughnane was married to Abbott's chief of staff, Peta Credlin.
Even more seriously, Higginson caused alarm among big donors to the Liberal Party when he declared he had been unable to get adequate information about the party's funds from Loughnane. Abbott didn't help himself when, having faced down the party room revolt that threatened to spill the leadership, he promised no retribution - and then sacked his chief whip, party elder Philip Ruddock. Much of the steam has even gone out of Abbott's best last plea - that the Coalition could not allow itself to replay the fatal leadership chaos of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd years.
But now, the mere words "changing leaders" cause Labor MPs to fall about laughing, and Abbott's ranks can do nothing but stare into space.
"Tony said the people elected him and it's only the people who should decide whether he stays," a NSW backbencher told Fairfax. "But it was the party room that elected him as leader. It will be the party room that decides."
Only the when and how remain elusive.
Which explains all the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth this meditative Sunday as the reptiles begin to adjust to a new reality, and we await the arrival of the next paper serviette ...
The added delight? The more that the Liberal party delays the slaughter, the more stories that will flow, the more speculation will flood the press, the more the government will be rendered impotent and policy stricken. And everyone will be laughing at every further foible and fuck-up ...
There's nothing like a degutted, riven Abbott in the morning to set the pond's nostrils a-quivering with pleasure ... unless it's the sight of tormented reptiles ... dropping inane stupidities like Miranda the Devine with this one:
The first question voters will ask is why? What has Abbott done wrong that such a drastic step is required?
All we really have is Prince Philip’s gong.
The silly goose. She hasn't learned her litany ... and instead delivers this sort of tripe:
His innate humility and self-restraint mean he doesn’t blow his trumpet enough.
Equally, his stubborn loyalty to his besieged treasurer and chief of staff seems suicidal.
Ah, so there were other things to add to the Devine litany. Now for more fairy floss:
But as he stoically endures attacks from friend and foe, and fights valiantly for redemption, a grudging appreciation of his strength of character may emerge.
A political leader unwilling to dump loyal liabilities to save himself is frustratingly unpragmatic, but uncommonly admirable.
So, if Abbott’s colleagues allow him to survive to the next election, he will have achieved a miraculous resetting of politics, back from cynicism to virtue.
Calling Brothers Grimm, is that the hotline for Brothers Grimm central?
What about the portly Akker Dakker who clearly shows a taste for corpulence-inducing pleasures?
Well the preening, portly, portentous fat owl of the remove is worth a screen grab:
Oh one time self-confessed drug user and physician, is this talk of a case of wine and a little more food a tad too personally?
There's plenty more Akker Dakker, but the pond can't do spoilers all the time.
Naturally he resorts to the first resort of the scoundrel, which is patriotism, national security, Islamic terror, and all the rest of the flag-flying that Abbott and other armchair generals routinely deploy, while cutting the pay of those who actually have to go out and risk getting their heads shot off:
Abbott wants to make the nation safe from the terrorists who use such terms as cloaks and shields to protect them from scrutiny.
He admires those who enlist in the armed services or work in national security.
So what about the pay?
No, just more blather:
His critics prefer phony docudramas that make the security services look foolish. They claim that flying the national flag is racist.
He thinks it has served the nation well in times of war and peace and is a reminder of the sacrifices made by men and women of past generations so that we and our children and grandchildren can enjoy freedoms envied by others in a nation that is admired by all except those who are filled with self-hate or bent on the destruction of civilisation.
So what about the pay? No, just more blather:
When Abbott recalls the citizenship pledge to commit to “Australia and its people; whose democratic beliefs I share; whose rights and liberties I respect; and whose laws I will uphold and obey” and says “this has to mean something,” his enemies fall over laughing. They have more in common with the 50 or so Islamic associations and more than 40 prominent Muslims, including most of the usual well-known activists and legal-aid recipients who signed a declaration claiming the Abbott government demonises Muslims in Australia, their organisations and their leaders.
Wrong time for that litany, fat owl of the remove.
The nation needs security, both physical and economic. It needs certainty.
The bed-wetting whiners agitating for change can offer little but shrill denunciations, petulant complaints and recourse to the failed Labor practice of political assassination.
Uh huh. Well you'd get more certainty and security using a disposable paper serviette to wipe the patriotic spittle and the hysteria from your lips ... and you could mop up the bed-wetting at the same time, because it seems that the Liberal party is full of it ...
Which brings us to the last treat of the day ... Claire Harvey, having dreams of tanks rumbling down Anzac parade at the demise of chairman Rudd, and talking of paper cups and disposable serviettes.
But what do you know? Claire has her own litany, and it's quite long. An excerpt:
On the surface, the rebelling Liberals — and Abbott’s critics — say they’re fuming about the decision to knight Prince Philip, or the mishandling of the Gillian Triggs affair. They say it’s all about the way chief-of-staff Peta Credlin runs things: she speaks sharply to senior parliamentarians, vetoes staff selections, forces advisers to live in Canberra, overrides ministers’ views.
What rubbish. All those are completely irrelevant to this government’s problems.
The real problem is policy — and they just can’t admit it to themselves. When backbenchers go home to their electorates, they are getting smashed by constituents, but it’s not about knighthoods — it’s about $100,000 university degrees, about $5 GP charges, about debt taxes.
This government has scared the voters who endorsed its promises to be a “safe pair of hands, the adults back in charge, no surprises” team.
How? By attempting to introduce revolutionary change in major policy areas without warning. Their greatest error, in my view, has been to woefully underestimate Australians’ dual attachments to Medicare and to the prospect of affordable education for their kids.
It doesn’t matter how often the government has tried to reassure voters that pensioners and kids will be exempt from a Medicare “value signal”; ordinary Australians aren’t stupid and they regard universal healthcare as a right.
They know a tax when they see it, and they know it might be $5 this year, but it’ll be $45 by the time the kids finish primary school.
Similarly, they hear about enormous university fees and they don’t think about wealthy families who can certainly afford to pay more, they think about the prospect their own kids will be crippled by debt.
But plenty of conservatives cannot admit this reality to themselves, so they have to find other reasons for their demise. Credlin rationing of the office teabags, or whatever. It’s a lesson for managers everywhere: You only get away with being a disciplinarian if the whole team is winning...
In some ways, they were too successful for their own political good: the boats stopped, the carbon price went and the mining tax never eventuated. Then they just stopped talking about all that and decided to find other ideological battlegrounds like, ooh, Medicare. And university fees.
It was the Young Liberal platform writ large, and it was way too surprising for voters who just wanted Canberra to go away for a while and let them get back to the footy.
Ready for those tanks?
Well maybe not the tanks Claire, but what a fine litany, and a disposable serviette will do for the time being.
Big Mal will make a nice one, he's already disposed of the NBN, or perhaps Julie Bishop ... so piquant to see a woman dispose of a sitting PM, eh?
But enough of litanies. While the pond has been compiling this treasure of fish and chips wrappings, it's been listening to Haydn's Nelson Mass.
It's on offer at YouTube, and the pond offers it as a litany, not just to Lord Nelson, but to the man who presided over pay cuts to the armed forces while telling the military how much he loved them.
It runs thirty eight and a half minutes, but hey, it might just come in handy for Tony Abbott in the next few weeks ... it starts, you see, with a Kyrie eleison ... or lord have mercy ...
Well the long absent lord might have mercy, but what about the Liberal party room? Who giveth and taketh away ... and have their own litany ...
Knock yourself out with the Haydn, Bolter baby and the rest of the Murdoch reptiles, and remember disposable serviettes will remove any traces of that Grange from your lips ... (and by the way the clip below flows into a serving of Haydn's The Creation, or it did for the pond, though the sound is unfortunately distorted and needs to be played at a lower level).
Posted by dorothy parker at 3/01/2015 10:23:00 AM