Monday, March 02, 2015

In which our very own Bernie plans his very own Gettysburg Address, or perhaps just a spectacular set of back flips ...

(Above: Rowe with a lovely portrait of the king resting after his labors, attendants waiting, watchful and eager to be helpful, and more lovely Rowe here).

The pond is vigilant but hopeful.

The signs are good.

You see, the pond don't know where it - or the professional latte sipping chattering classes - would be if this day the grim reaper came calling on Tony Abbott after a dose of salmon mousse, or perhaps just another day of epic bungling and foot in mouth disease ...

There are many wider scandals afoot in the world. Think of the state of Russia, think of the mess in the middle east, think of still calling the middle east 'the middle', as if somehow things were still relative to a British view of the world ...

None of it matters, not up against the fate of the sleeping king.

The reptiles at the lizard Oz are wildly excited.

It seems there's signs of life, and a series of epic policy backflips will result in a new world, a new era, a transformation as exciting as Michael Bay doing another Transformers' movie.

Yes, there's hope. Sure he might have poisoned policies, sure he might have been profoundly inept, dropping mercury in ears, murdering his party's standing, but things are on the move. He's reformed, changed. He's done his time.

Already the news about the intergenerational report is sounding tremendously good. Somehow we're now to be optimistic. Everything's ship shape. The last very successful budget put the ship of state back on the road, and certainly didn't leave it at sea.

The disasters have been fixed, there's a positive side to aging, everything is looking tremendously peachy keen and fine ...

And so we enter the era of the high class backflip ...

Of course there are still snarks and doubters, saucy fear mongers of the Fairfax kind, strutting out and about this Monday mourning:

Weekend at Bernie's? Isn't that a comedy about a corpse?

As for Paul Sheehan's piece, notice how they're treating the commentariat these days?

Do you know what's thirteen of the funniest things a meerkat's ever done, and who's that other man with PM potential?

Well the pond's not going to stand for any of that nonsense.

Here's a spoiler.

The mystery man in Paul "the magic water man" Sheehan's world is ... drum roll please maestro .... Scott Morrison ...

Inter alia the pumping up of Morrison, not a new phenomenon, and astonishingly presented as a fresh insight by Sheehan, included this sort of wondrous stuff:

Morrison is the son of a policeman. He attended Sydney Boys' High, is not wealthy and thus not a class-war target for Labor. He is also free of wishful thinking and waffle about the internal threat presented by Islamic extremism.

Uh huh. Not a word about Scott Morrison attending a barking mad fundamentalist "speaking in tongues" Christian church ...

Very few have paid attention to this - you can read stories like Scott Morrison at Shirelive in locales like The Monthly - but the professional chattering classes have run dead on it.

Here's the rub. Unless Morrison is an astonishing hypocrite, he actually believes all this stuff:

Yes, there it is, the gift of speaking in tongues ...

No wonder he takes a firm view of those heretical Islamics. He's fundamentally as barking mad as they are ...

Though an ability to speak in tongues certainly comes in handy in politics ...

Or so Sheehan thinks:

Events are also breaking Morrison's way. He has established a reputation as an excellent administrator. He is already shaking up the giant Social Security portfolio after just two months on the job. He is a forceful performer in Parliament. He delivered the most difficult election promise of the Coalition, amid a blizzard of abuse and lawfare. 
Crucially, Morrison can shape and deliver a complex narrative in simple terms. On big policy changes, he can take the electorate with him in explaining the need for reform.

Yes, you just need to speak in tongues, and blather a lot ... and a simple mind like Sheehan can suddenly understand things ...

But enough of Sheehan, since his main aim in the piece is to urge against any action being taken against Abbott - with jibber jabber about collective hysteria - and since only a few minutes in his company brings grim reminders of what a first class fool he is, as he confesses that in January he was hailing Turnbull as the coming man, and now that's conventional wisdom, he feels the need to jump ahead of the pack yet again ... not understanding that all his jibber jabber is just more of the drip drop that keeps the destabilisation of Abbott running on a daily basis ...

Meanwhile, it was Peter Hartcher's job to explain the Fairfax poll figures in a way that kept the leadership speculation on the boil.

Wouldn't want to let a change in the polls stop the endless speculation and so Hartcher sets forth on his task with vim and vigour and movie metaphors in PM Tony Abbott's 'positive' poll shows he's a dead man walking (with bonus forced video):

The claim that Abbott might be able to recover also overlooks the big historical finding of today's poll. 
On 10 positive leader attributes, the poll finds Abbott's ratings are "all negative, all at historical lows," reports Elgood. 
Worse yet, Abbott rates lower on eight of the 10 than all four of his immediate predecessors. 
When he moved a censure motion against Julia Gillard in 2011, Abbott said: "We have a Prime Minister who is both incompetent and utterly untrustworthy." 
Today's poll shows that Australia finds Abbott to be less competent and just as untrustworthy. 
By his own criteria, Abbott is a worse prime minister than Gillard. "It's hard to see his way back on these numbers," concludes Elgood. 
The evidence of the poll is that Abbott's is the prime ministership from the Weekend at Bernie's. 
The people propping up his prime ministership may be proclaiming it alive and well, but today's poll results show that the electorate knows otherwise.

Worse than Julia? Not Julia Gillard!

Hallelujah, let the leadership stories continue apace ...

And so in a very kindly move this morning the AFR let Laura Tingle out from behind the paywall to keep the ferment fermenting.

Yes, Voter views of Tony Abbott's views are devastating is more of the same, and look how anxious he looks about it in the accompanying snap:

Oh the cruelty as that infernal woman gets another run:

The question is: what is driving voters' views of the leaders? One view prevalent in Parliament House last week was that voters may have already been taking a leadership change into account – resulting in better party figures. Another argument is that, while they don't like Tony Abbott, the prospect of a change of government or a change of leader still alarms them. 
Whatever the truth of any of these arguments, the Fairfax/Ipsos poll drives home the extent to which Tony Abbott's dominant position over Malcolm Turnbull among Coalition voters has faded in recent months – from a 17-point lead to just an eight-point lead. 
This reflects the party-room dilemma: Turnbull's support base has grown. But it is not clear it has grown enough to assure him of a persuasive party-room leadership vote and a subsequently united party. 
Yet among voters more generally, Tony Abbott is now the third most preferred Liberal leader, with Turnbull's stocks with voters even higher than they were previously and Abbott's deputy Julie Bishop now also eclipsing the Prime Minister as preferred leader. 
Malcolm Turnbull's standing with voters on the key questions of grasp on economic policy and competence is close to twice that of the Prime Minister. 
The fact that Mr Abbott now even trails Julia Gillard on questions of competence, economic policy, trustworthiness, and strong leadership – all issues on which he relentlessly challenged her credentials – must be particularly galling and show just how much trouble he is in.

Why are they all harping about Julia Gillard?

What's it all mean?

Is Tony Abbott now considered some kind of girlie man? Or even worse, a girlie who couldn't compete with a real girlie?

These are gender-bending questions which only confuse the pond. No wonder Abbott's looking so anxious, what with that big red emergency button just behind him waiting to be pressed ...

And so to the reptiles of Oz, and David Crowe, and the signs of life and hope:

Thank the long absent lord for that.

It seems that the pond can keep hoping for that visionary day when Tony Abbott will win a Nobel Prize, or perhaps devise an equivalent to the Gettysburg Address, or perhaps just embark on a spectacular set of pathetic back flips designed to save his miserable skin ...

And jolly Joe, who couldn't sell a used car in style, will set it all going by explaining that a new optimism has gripped him to the bottom of his mendacious soul ... and everything is in control as the intergenerational report rumbles into view ...

And to think some cruel people wanted to snatch these pleasures away from the pond, and the professionally paid chardonnay swilling conservative commentariat ...

Time for a celebratory cartoon from Alan Moir, and one from old timer Petty, and remember the Fairfax cartoonists are available as a collective here.

Just ask yourself where would these cartoonists be without Tony Abbott? Sullen, bitter, resentful, perhaps unemployed ...

Instead thanks to our Bernie down under, their days are filled with smiles, laughter and joy ....


  1. In the meantime the scaremongering continues with SkyNews reporting:

    “Under the $18 million plan to be announced by Justice Minister Michael Keenan, schools considered at high risk of a terrorist attack or ethnic violence will receive taxpayer-funded guards and cameras.
    Half of the 54 schools earmarked for the upgrades are Islamic and Jewish, 29 are in NSW and 15 are in Victoria.
    It will be the first time the federal government has paid for security guards at schools.
    It follows a decision by the Prime Minister to no longer give 'suspected extremists' the benefit of the doubt by authorities, after the release of the report into the Sydney siege.”

    Yesterday, upon the stair,
    I met a ‘suspected extremist’ who wasn't there.
    He wasn't there again today,
    I wish, I wish he'd go away...

    When I came home last night at three,
    The ‘suspected extremist’ was waiting there for me
    But when I looked around the hall,
    I couldn't see him there at all!
    Go away, go away, don't you come back any more!
    Go away, go away, and please don't slam the door...

    Last night I saw upon the stair,
    A ‘suspected extremist’ who wasn't there,
    He wasn't there again today
    Oh, how I wish he'd go away...

    1. It's an old saw, but nonetheless true, that extremists need each other to flourish, and so it is with this government. And the more they beat the drum, the more extremism they will produce, until the country ends up in a feral right wing gulag Bolter Murdoch Faux Noise la la land. But your poem tells us that, and the pond thanks you for it ...

  2. Are those emojis, or just a bunch of old lemons?

  3. I think 'the last very successful budget' was Labor's, wasn't it

  4. Penny Wong has moved to censure George Brandis over treatment of Gillian Triggs and Abetz defends the indefensible

  5. Ed Husic ‏@edhusicMP

    Democracy in action: #dataretention report tabled in House of Reps & apart from Chair, Dep Chair & Govt Whip, no extra debate permitted

    5:13 PM - 1 Mar 2015

    The government and opposition hold hands as they stomp over our privacy. Far from a democracy. Time for a revolution.

  6. Why all the harping about Julia Gillard?...Last time I looked, I see there were 62,000 copies of "My Story" sold in 2014...I don't know how many sold this year, but I would say that translates to a tad more than a passing interest in the politics of her time..and I would even go so far as to say that with the associated numbers that attend her every public appearence, there is still a lot of support and sympathy for Ms. Gillard...The vainglorious fools in the ALP right, coupled with the effwits in the MSM. failed to grasp the notion of the time for change in Australian politics and with their sabotage, we have been flung back to a kind of ancient history politics where patronas potestas is seen as the norm!...Those "Cardinals" who thouroughly screwed-up on the Rudd thing ought to , if they had half the gumption required to be a true believer, go fall on their sword and open the party for a new generation that is neither traitor nor bludger!

  7. Brandis censured over Triggs. He should resign. He would not agree I suppose. But if the Labor party was in government and Mark Dreyfus executed his duties in such an outrageous biased manner and was censured then Brandis would climb Mt Kosciosko and from the top scream for Dreyfus’ resignation. So, George, do us a favour and resign. One last point: leave the books and the bookshelves. Remember we’ll be watching. It’s just security. You know about security, don’t you George?

    1. Perhaps he is waiting for a offer of an equivalent job?

    2. GlenH, You mean an equivalent "role" which is not a job according to Abbott, Brandis and Bishop et al.


  8. So here you have it…first there was “the word”…: Subsidiarity…This is what Abbott and the Catholic League are aiming for… THIS is the end game.

    1. (Roman Catholic Church) (in the Roman Catholic Church) a principle of social doctrine that all social bodies exist for the sake of the individual so that what individuals are able to do, society should not take over, and what small societies can do, larger societies should not take over
    2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) (in political systems) the principle of devolving decisions to the lowest practical level.

  9. What's the point of Gorgeous George's metadata bill? Surely 5 eyes has been snooping on whatever they want for ages?

    1. We have been using metadata, as it seems to be called these days, for many years and we use it on a targeted basis, so we are not out there exercising mass surveillance … but we use it very frequently. We use it as frequently as any of us in the old days used to go and look up a telephone book. But we don’t have telephone books in the same way for all of this sort of stuff and yet we need this kind of information. Now if you are going to ask me for a warrant every time I have to go and look up a telephone book… with three or four or five pages of justification … then not only is Asio going to come to a halt but all the law enforcement in Australia is going to come to a halt,” Irvine said."


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