Wednesday, March 11, 2015

On the road to nowhere with the car industry and crow eaters and difficult blacks and a man still afflicted by foot in mouth disease ...

(Above: David Rowe on desperate people in desperate times doing desperate things, and more Rowe here).

What an outrageous, misleading, duplicitous, hypocritical headline it was ...

$900m tune-up, you pathetic, tragi-comic, gullible crow eaters?

Naturally that misleading headline led to fallout, though you won't find a hint of it on the front page of the 'Tiser today.

Instead you have to head off to other rags to get some real reporting on the matter, and what a surprise, it turns out that the ploy to make a little cheap publicity off a bill stuck in the senate quickly came unstuck:

There's more at Fairfax under 'This is an own goal'but yesterday was a wonder to behold as the amount available and likely to be spent fell from $500 million to $100 million, and maybe less, certainly not more, and all of of dubious benefit, and unlikely to prepare sacked workers for new jobs.

But what's most compelling about the Fairfax story is the way that outraged ministers have begun to leak again:

Two ministers, who asked not to be named, immediately criticised Mr Macfarlane, with one saying he "hadn't actually done anything". 
That minister said Mr Macfarlane, who has been a minority advocate of industry assistance within the cabinet, had essentially placed a barnacle back on the ship of government - a reference to the Abbott government's recent moves to scrape off unpopular policies and reset the government's political agenda. 
"This is an own goal. It is complete incompetence," that minister said. 
"We won the war [on industry assistance] but Macfarlane was an unhappy general," the minister continued in a clear reference to the losing fight Mr Macfarlane led in the early days of the Abbott government to keep Holden and Toyota manufacturing in Australia. 
A second minister said while about $100 million through to 2017 would be spent, the rest would still be realised as a saving even though the government had abandoned legislation to axe the scheme in the face of a hostile Senate.

So the dries are unhappy, and the wets realise it was a furphy, a cheap trick attempt to pump up the volume on an empty gesture.

Naturally it immediately produced flack from all sides. So what did the captain say about it?

Mr Abbott said there was nothing unusual about the process when asked it if was another "captain's pick". 
"There is nothing unusual, nothing unusual, nothing irregular about the decision not to proceed with the legislation not to repeal this particular scheme," he said. 
"The decision not to proceed with the repeal legislation is a perfectly sensible one, given the situation in the Senate."

Actually the decision to pretend that some $900 million was going to flow to the car industry, and bail out South Australia might have been regular and usual ... if we mean by regular and usual a spectacularly silly and incompetent gesture and back flip which was actually just a belated acknowledgement of a senate reality...

The pond has been listless of late, what with an insatiable appetite for spectacular nincompoopery, and Abbott treading cautiously and failing to deliver, but this was a joyous return to form.

And look at the splendid juxtaposition that arose as a result in reptile la la land:

Well indeed. A $100 million help is surely less than a $900 million help ...

But then came this even wittier juxtaposition:

Frankly the pond couldn't believe the choice of words when first reading about the use of 'lifestyle choice', though there it was as bold as brass in The Graudian:

It's up there with other spectacular Abbottisms.

Was it only in November 2014 that Abbott declared terra nullius all over again?

During a breakfast for British prime minister David Cameron in Sydney this morning, Mr Abbott made a speech about infrastructure and noted the "extraordinary partnership" between the two countries since the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788. 
"As we look around this glorious city, as we see the extraordinary development, it's hard to think that back in 1788 it was nothing but bush," Mr Abbott said. 
"The marines and the convicts and the sailors that straggled off those 12 ships, just a few hundred yards from where we are now, must have thought they had come almost to the moon. (ABC here).

Almost to the empty, desolate, barren, devoid of human life moon ... just like those comical Martians:

And now, in the Graudian here, this:

Abbott told ABC Radio in Kalgoorlie that Barnett was right to shut down the communities if the cost of providing services outweighed the benefits. 

“What we can’t do is endlessly subsidise lifestyle choices if those lifestyle choices are not conducive to the kind of full participation in Australian society that everyone should have,” Abbott said during a visit to the historic city on Tuesday.

Now the pond has a limited understanding of the black understanding of country - Tamworth is not the pond's dreaming - but at least the pond understands that it's real and meaningful to indigenous people.

To call it a lifestyle choice is risible, demeaning, and shows a grotesque lack of understanding and sympathy, and this from a man who routinely pretends he's the first Prime Minister prepared to do something to assist black Australia (please explain SBS, just why you've decided to cut the black news service from NITV. You really are determined to fuck that channel over aren't you, despite all the promises made).

There are many other ways he could have phrased it, but to talk about lifestyle choices is as quintessentially insulting as declaring Sydney was just bush, with not a human insight - just lots of flora and perhaps some fauna, some of which might have been black ...

Naturally there was a reaction, and the pond particularly enjoyed the offering by film-maker Rolf de Heer in Fairfax here.

"It's so inappropriate that it's laughable," de Heer told Fairfax Media after the awards. "It shows such ignorance that he has no right to be the prime minister of Australia... 
...A fired up De Heer said that to make those comments about the residents of remote communities was "profoundly misunderstanding" of Aboriginal culture and economic reality. 
"It's hypocritical that our Prime Minister pretends to be the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and has so little understanding of what it is to be on country and that there is no choice involved," he said.

There's more at Fairfax, but the pond has a lifestyle choice available to Aboriginal people.

Move away from your frequently dry remote communities, move into a town camp or a shanty town, get on to the grog, get on to welfare, get profoundly unhappy, indulge in domestic violence, and get to thank Tony Abbott for your lifestyle choice ...

Has there been a more tone deaf PM in a portfolio he allegedly loves, caring about people he allegedly understands?

Not in the pond's living memory, not with such a consistent track record of clunkers ...

But at least we're back in business, with Captain Foot in Mouth at work, and so there's more, much more to note - for example, last night even Peter Costello on 7.30 felt the need, ever so politely, to point out that jolly Joe was barking mad, or at least forgetful:

LEIGH SALES: You mentioned earlier that the current Treasurer, Joe Hockey, has floated the idea that young people could be allowed to dip into superannuation to help buy their first home. Do you support that idea?  
PETER COSTELLO: Well, look, this idea has been around for a long time. Every generation thinks it invented the wheel. We went through all of this back in the mid 90s. We had a look at it. We decided - because we thought superannuation should be for retirement savings - we decided not to allow superannuation to be available for housing. This Government's going to look at it again: fair enough, things may have changed. But I think they will come to the same conclusion as we did: that if you wanted to top up people's retirement, if you wanted to save the Government money - and it has that dual purpose - then you probably won't allow people to draw down on it for housing.

And Abbott has managed to alienate the more rabid side of Indonesian politics:

Well yes, send the refugees and Australia will re-settle them in style, provided you end state murder ...

The pond was always given to dreaming, just not Tamworth dreaming ... and certainly not Manus island dreaming ...

Happily however today is Dame Slap day, and thank the long absent lord, Dame Slap is on hand to slap some sense into pesky, demanding blacks, unwilling to stand on their own feet and make sacrifices for the country and for their PM.

Yes, she actually headed it Let's ask not what my country can do for me.

Stray pond readers are invited to undertake the challenge of making it to the end of the column, and pointing out assorted Dame Slap idiocies.

Those who note it has the fatuous child-like tone of that infamous letter, 'yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus' will be marked down, because the pond got there first.

Ditto those who point out this is exactly what you might expect of a comfortably well off white woman living a sheltered, well paid lifestyle thanks to Chairman Rupert will be marked down because it's the pond's duty - and easy work - to point out the bleeding obvious.

But with a bit of luck there will be someone who earns a pond 'matehood', though if that's anything like the 'matehood' that Tony Abbott awarded to John Booth, as celebrated by Media Watch in The missing tale of political biffo:

Bennelong would be rolling in his grave.

Here's a possible portrait of the real Bennelong, except that his wiki claims he was a senior man of the Eora people in the Port Jackson area, except of course that's nonsense, because we all know that Port Jackson was just full of bush and looked a lot like the moon ...

 Mate of Bennelong? Oh go wash out your mouth with your lifestyle choice of soap.

A joke award by a joke PM, with taxpayers paying for the joke, a frivolous antic by a man trying to forget his Sir Dukedom.

Which is why Dame Slap is so funny:

It perhaps doesn't occur to Albrechtsen - comfortably well off - that it's only the well to do that can afford to be volunteers and to do charity work and head off to the ball to dance all night for the poor. The rest of the poor buggers are struggling to put food on the table and roof over head.

But this sort of inane Ayn Rand rhetoric is the stock in trade for Republicans (yes, what a bunch of traitors that mob is), and members of the reptile Murdoch class, and you can see where Albrechtsen's nicely supered future leads. If you want women's shelters, cut pensions and teach the old buggers a lesson.

And so on:

In a perfect world, in her old age, and just like Ayn Rand, Albrechtsen would end up on welfare, under an assumed name, so that all might mock her righteousness, and her failure to walk a mile in other people's shoes ...

Never mind, the pond already has a good idea of the rightful role of government, thanks to the adults being in charge.

It's to do a back flip on support of the car industry, attempting to score cheap points with a futile, useless gesture, and it's to berate the pesky blacks for wanting to live in the country they were born in, when they might be better off on the grog and on welfare in a town camp.

Oh WTF, it's time for a Pope cartoon, and more Pope here:


  1. That pathway to the constitutional amendment to recognise first peoples just got abbottised.

  2. Dead tree edition of the Lizards today features a LARGE advertisement taken out by Gr 8 Universities suggested that cutting funding to universities as proposed by Her Majesty's govt in the Senate would be a very DUMB thing for a SMART country to do.
    Large red button for the readers to push as well.
    Let's see you lot have that much fun with the on-line edition!
    Thankyou Mr Mitchell and Mr Murdoch for making the forum available to propagate common sense.

  3. Minister of the government’s Linguistic Unit, Malcolm Turnball, has defended the statement by his lord and master, Tony Abbott, that the government should not “endlessly subsidise lifestyle choices if those lifestyle choices are not conducive to the kind of full participation in Australian society that everyone should have”.

    Mr Turnball said the comments should not be turned into a "let's-give-Tony-Abbott-a-belting occasion".

    That’s it then, foot-in-mouth Abbott is once again saved by swelled head Turnball.

    Sorry, Noel Pearson, but your verbal clip-around-the-ear that Abbott’s comments are "hopeless," "disappointing," and "disrespectful" is therefore inadmissible.

  4. Lifestyle choice? 70,000 years? Sounds like ethnic cleansing to me!

  5. Costello speaking as usual out the side of his mouth while sucking on the public tit can't talk about super retirement savings. As treasurer he immediately did away with the then already legislated SG rising to 15%. He froze it, thereby lowering low income earners' final super balances by hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    Costello and vampire banker David Murray with teats firmly in mouth having a go at jolly Joe? Aided by fawning Ticky Fullerton ( at 6:35), and Leigh Sales? FFS, pond.

    Mandated low income earners' super exists mainly to offset the system costs of high income earners' super provision. Without it being locked in the super costs to high income earners would be sufficiently great that as Cheating said they would put their money elsewhere other than super. It's a nice earner for the feds and the wealthy.

  6. "Volunteerism".

    I still recall the glint in Howard's eye when he attempted to move into the slipstream of the Sydney 2000 volunteer mode.

    He saw it then as a genuine salve that could be massaged by a government into a fiscal savings opportunity. It was a stupid idea then and it remains the same when Dame Slap hauls it out in March 2015.

  7. In defence of the crow-eaters, I might point out that THEY have and have had a very successful Labor govt for many years...the testament to it's success can be seen by the number off cranes that swing over the city skyline building worthy public infrastructure.

  8. Back flips? Didn't take QLD Labor long to flip on coal and the reef. Adani is happy about the 'new' deal they've bought even before parliament has convened. The dear leader, Ms Alphabet? What can I say? What I did say, like father like daughter...

    NSW Labor if elected will flip in like manner on Big Coal. Guaranteed. Maybe parliament would get to sit first there though. We'll be history before we know it. Hang on. No people, no history - no worries.

  9. Abbott does it yet again, telling Alan Jones today that the UN is relying on the bizarre testimony of a few left-wing human rights activists to criticise Australia's treatment of refugees claiming we torture children. Jones replies yes, the socialists just love making up an opportunity to bash Australia.

    And I just pulled up behind a car on the way home with a big sticker on the back windows "White Australia, love it or leave it!" Sounds like it was written by Abbott.

  10. Lifestyle choice? FFS. Words fail me. Nice to see our surly, arrogant, economically illiterate, mean-spirited failing premier out west rush to support the comments; I wish I could be sure that fellow sandgropers would vote the cnut out of office but I've met too many for whom Colin and Tony are just saying what they are thinking

  11. Let's not forget that the 'lifestyle choice' label is not Tony's was used by Howard in reference to asylum seekers.

  12. More lifestyle choices:


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