(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.
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 ....