Thursday, June 04, 2015

In which the pond contemplates grains of sand ... and discovers very small grains of sand and not an oyster pearl of wisdom in sight ...

Yes, at last a parliament has stood up and done something useful, or at least accurate, and the Graudian celebrated here.

But think of the workload the NSW upper house has lumbered itself with ... there's the motion decrying the Bolter as a dingbat of the first water, and then it's on with processing the entire Murdoch commentariat, and then there's the Australia-wide world of shock jocks. And that's just for starters ...

Worse, would it be so onerous and burdensome a chore that the parliament would have to resort to intemperate language? M'luds, I move that Miranda the Devine is not just a waste of space and thanks to Murdochian old fashioned business practices, a tree killer, she's also an exemplary fuckwit.

Carried officially and unanimously ...

What's that you say? Mx is dead? Let there be dancing in the streets ...

So the grains of sand run through the hourglass of time in what passes for the premier state ... at least on the number plates.

Wasn't it William Blake who said ...

To see a World in a Grain of Sand 
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, 
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand 
And Eternity in an hour.

Indeed, Billy and you can indeed see a world of fuckwits in the NSW Labor party ... they make grains of sand look like philosophy majors ...

How stupid can you get?

Well Luke Foley did his dim-witted best by bursting into print in the Daily Terror, furiously scribbling below an epic header.

You can find the story here, paywall permitting, but here's the header:

Yes, it's cars, cars, cars in Foley land, as Foley launches into a defence of NSW Labor for getting rid of Sydney's first light rail network, those naughty car killers, back in the 1950s.

So where does it lead, you ask? Well to this quintessential par:

...what has been well ­established for more than a century is that a George St tram is about as clever as a monorail. 
This point was not lost on the expert panel the current state government appointed to oversee infrastructure in 2011. Under former premier Nick Greiner, Infrastructure NSW provided researched analysis on how CBD congestion could be alleviated.

Then the parrot goes on to parrot Nick Greiner's lines about public transport and a bus tunnel, as if no one's checked up on Brisbane and the latest Newman-gifted policy to blight the land of the toads ...

So now Foley thinks Greiner - a fierce opponent of public transport of all shades and hues - is some kind of guru?

What next? Foley makes a solid case for smoking?

Remember that rationale, drug pushers, when next you front the beak ...

Meanwhile, how does Foley guarantee that the NSW ALP will never get a vote from the pond?

... opting for trams down George St is like opting for a vintage typewriter to do your accounts. You might win a couple of “retro” style points from the hipsters, but it’s hardly the most practical ­option.

Oh just fuck off with the hipster abuse already. And then there was the apocalyptic Berlin Wall chatter:

After construction starts in October Sydney can ­expect some three years of major disruption and, beyond that, decades of worsening CBD congestion. 
The east of the city will be cut off from the west. Christmas and Boxing Day sales will sink. Commuters will have to leave home earlier and arrive home later.

We'll all be rooned, said Foleyhan.

And it didn't get any better when the pond read Fairfax's Why NSW Labor backflipped on George Street light rail (forced video at end of link):

Asked why it had taken until 2015 for the party to back the bus tunnel idea, Mr Park said: "I'm the transport spokesman since 2015 and it's my job now to bring forward a fresh set of eyes. 

"I won't speak for what previous people did but I will say that reviewing the documents, discussing it with stakeholders, I honestly think, and I think to be fair some people in government think, that the best way forward is to have a serious reconsideration of what we do in terms of light rail."

Now there's no point reviewing what Labor failed to do about infrastructure while pissing money against the wall on panem et circenses such as the Olympics. That's done and dusted, and the city continues to suffer, but the notion that the CBD of Sydney can have buses shifted underground so people can still keep driving cars around the streets is city planning about 1950s style ... when Labor got rid of the trams.

And so you get to see grains of stupidity in a world of sand, and the pond is now stridently anti-Foley and anti-Park. No, not parks, the dingbat Park.

Every so often the pond thinks about moving back to Melbourne. It's a civilised town, with a lovely tram network, and a tendency to wear black and where's the harm in that, and the only thing that stops the move is the winter. Maybe there's going to be an upside to the warming ...

What else?

Well today that other dingbat Paul Sheehan leads off with this in today's Fairfax outing:

Where's the NSW parliament when an urgent motion is needed? Preferably with flushing sounds from the foley track ...

Actually, Mr Sheehan, if you thought that about the Irish vote, you're more deeply stupid than the pond realised.

You probably thought, as I did, that last week's same sex marriage referendum in Ireland was carried by an overwhelming 62 per cent vote majority in support of changing the constitution. 

No ... we ... didn't ...think ... as ... you ... did ... because that's not thinking.


In fact, only 34 per cent of the adult population voted in support of the measure. There are 3.52 million Irish citizens of voting age, and 66 per cent of them did not vote "yes". Two-thirds of the adult population either voted "no", or did not vote, or did not register to vote. 

So the ones that didn't vote get lumped in with the no vote and the failed to register?


I did not see that mentioned in any of the media's coverage. The reporting, I think, deliberately created the impression that almost two-thirds of the Irish voted in support of gay marriage, when in fact two-thirds did not vote in support of gay marriage.

Stop right there.

There can be only one explanation for Sheehan's befuddlement and confusion. He relies on Fairfax for his news ... and right now the Fairfax rags are vying with the ABC to see who can be the worst in the land, being too dumb to see that the Murdochians are still streets ahead and maybe they should try a little quality for a change and a blessed relief.

Anywhere else it was possible to find a simple statement of the key figures. as here:

There's plenty of other places you can get the details, but Sheehan seems so confused, the pond thought perhaps only big print and a picture would help him.

So what's the real point of Sheehan's befuddlement, as he belatedly comes to realise that Ireland employs voluntary voting, and that many people therefore don't bother to rock out to vote? (Is it a lack of stalls selling lamingtons and doing sausage sizzles?)

Why has he chosen to side with the lefties who use exactly the same arguments to propose that David Cameron now presides over an illegitimate government? You know, because only 66% of voters turned out, which means one third didn't vote in favour of David Cameron ... and if you lump that in with the votes for all the other parties, why he should barely have a seat in the house ...

Of course it's only to generate further confusion, a holding of the line, and yet another shot at the group think of orthodox hipsters:

This is an issue dominated by a passionate minority and it has become an increasingly hectoring minority, with a loyalty test that you must pass if you wish to maintain social acceptability. A similar "group think" fever took hold in the media's coverage of the executions of two Australian citizens in Indonesia earlier this year. 
The gap between advocacy and reportage disintegrated, and it is happening again. Last week, on a panel on Sky News, I was discussing same sex marriage when a co-panellist who said anyone who did not support gay marriage was "brain dead". That pretty well sums up the gathering orthodoxy. This new orthodoxy is devoid of irony about intolerance in the name of tolerance, or contempt for the religious beliefs of a millions of people, or treating a millennium of cultural tradition as if it were suddenly a discredited, narrow-minded blight on social justice. 

Yep, it's Sheehan in fundamentalist Taliban mode. Won't someone think of the rights of the jihadists and the Westboro Baptist Church and so on and so Mormonishly forth ...

Don't you just love it when ratbag conservatives in love with orthodoxy start moaning about orthodoxy?

Now in the usual way, for fear of being truthfully labelled, Sheehan also dissembles and equivocates:

Like most people in Ireland, and most people I encounter in Australia, I do not hold a strong view on this matter. I can see the obvious merits of change but also some problems. I will be comfortable with the decision of the people, whichever way the vote goes.

Yep, Sheehan wants a referendum:

But that's the problem, the people may not get a vote. To not follow the example of Ireland, and hold a referendum, would be a missed opportunity...  

...Rather than politicians seeking to make capital over the definition of marriage, Australia would do well to follow the Irish example, and hold a referendum. Let the collective wisdom of the Australian public be the deciding factor. Let the people decide.

And let the homophobes stir up the homophobia, long just below the surface in a country which favours ritualised male bum sniffing as a superior sport ...

In the same way that the Bolter wants a chance to kick the blacks all over the place about any changes to the constitution.

But why a referendum?

It turns out that even Tony Abbott isn't as stupid as Sheehan, and that's what passes as a considerable achievement in these Fairfaxian days:

A referendum on marriage equality would amount to a “big opinion poll” as parliament would still need to create laws to enable same-sex partners to marry, according to a constitutional expert. 

In the wake of the historic Irish vote in support of same-sex marriage, Professor George Williams told Guardian Australia parliament would need to authorise any referendum and the result would not allow any bypass of parliament. A majority on the floor of parliament would still be required to enable same-sex laws. 
“You could hold a referendum if you wanted but only if parliament authorises it,” said Williams. “In which case it would be a plebiscite, or essentially a big opinion poll.”  
His comments came as Tony Abbott all but ruled out a referendum on same-sex marriage because he said referendums are only required for a proposal to change the constitution. 
 But the prime minister, who is opposed to same-sex marriage, suggested MPs in favour have to decide whether to bring a vote to parliament. 
“Referendums are held in this country when there is a proposal to change our constitution and I don’t think anyone is suggesting the constitution needs to be changed in this respect,” Abbott said. “It’s up to members of parliament who are eager for change to decide whether they want to bring it forward.” (more at the Graudian here).

So what's Sheehan's real point? Well it's fortuitous that Nick Greiner's name turned up earlier because it's exactly the same tactics as those employed by big tobacco.

Spread confusion, sow saucy doubts and fears, propose different and needless activities in the hope that inertia will take hold, and things can be delayed and nothing will happen, while all the time proposing that you're happy with any changes that might come.

And all this spun from the notion that people didn't understand what went down in Ireland and that people are as dumb as Sheehan pretends to be about the absence of compulsory voting in Ireland, Britain and many other countries ...

What a nasty, furtive, deceptive man he is ...

And so, since the pond is tired of looking at grains of sand being peddled by Fairfax as thinkers, it's time for a relieving dose of papal infallibility, thanks to Pope, with more Pope here:


  1. DP - I'm sure all here (and of course your noble self) will proudly support First Dog's National Media Dickhead Day.

    1. Yes indeed but the pond is a tad unhappy that the holiday has transformed from being the Bolter is a dickhead day to a national media dickhead day. What did the Bolter do to deserve this downgrading of his status points?

  2. The inner Brisbane below ground bus stations and tunnels connect to busways that lead a good way rapidly well out of most of the inner suburbs. Newman's underground cross river BaT project was connected to a related parties property scam/windfall. The Brisbane CBD doesn't have much of a rail subway like Sydney does...

  3. Two blogs in two days Dot!

    I DO hope this means you're feeling better.

    1. What s/he said, DP.

  4. Five in five days, actually. Well done Dot! Makes my day, everyday.

    1. Feeling the oats GH, but we should pay due respects to the reptiles who each day make our day, and do it more cheaply than ordering in a supply of kool aid.

  5. The Townsville Bulletin has reported that one of the Labor candidates for the federal seat of Herbert in sunny north Queensland has urged branch members to vote for him because he is ... drum roll please ... a man.

    Yes, I’m serious. According to the Bully, Mark Enders has reasoned he should get the nod over his two female challengers because a “male-male” dynamic would be better suited against the LNP’s Ewen Jones at next year’s federal election.

    Apparently ladies from our north are no match for The Ewen.

    The pitch by Enders says people should vote for him because:

    - I work in public health;
    - I’m a health care worker; and
    - I’m male.

    You’d think point two would be implied by point one but I suppose it puts some distance between point one and point three, which is really your main point, but perhaps you want to obscure your main point in the event that the recipient of your email is of the gender deemed too delicate to to take out The Ewen.

    1. Oh keep the Queensland stories rolling, please ... what with North Coast Voices sadly in recess, the pond needs more northern stories and the further north the better. The pond was so inspired we dialled up the Townsville Bulletin here:

  6. Replies
    1. But not so complicated that the K.I.S.S.-off principle cannot simplify caseloads: "He also said his decision would be subject to judicial review although only to ensure that the process was legally conducted by the minister and that such a review would not go to the substance of the case itself."


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