Friday, June 26, 2015

In which the pond gets personal with big Mal and says farewell for the moment as Melbourne in mid-winter calls ...

(Above: the pond has no idea of the provenance of the above image but thanks the correspondent for forwarding it, combining as it does a natural disaster and the Catholic Church's attitude to useful birth control devices).

Dear Malcolm,

I hope you don't mind the familiar first name. We once talked and though you wouldn't remember, you were even then the convivial, scheming and ambitiously self-aggrandising ponce you've stayed true to ever since.

But now you're a little longer in the tooth, have you ever wondered at your legacy? You are, at the moment, participating in the most hate-filled, fear-mongering, divisive and offensive government in many a decade.

Do you imagine that by participating, you ameliorate and soften the blows, and help provide good governance?

That's the sort of logic that sustained the quislings and the participants in the Vichy government.

Have you ever wondered what you will do when you turn, as inevitably happens to roosters, when the political feather duster calls, to post-political life?

Will you become a Malcolm Fraser, driven by guilt further left than many lefties, trying to expiate your many political crimes while in office?

Will you do a Bob Hawke and turn to business, and perhaps do deals with dictatorships such as the one in Burma, while applying a peg to nose?

Will you become a wan angry letter-writing aesthete like Paul Keating and assist in producing abominations like Barangaroo, and its mighty casino complex?

Perhaps you might turn into a Gra Gra and start scribbling for the reptiles and become a Swiss bank account loving reptile television personality?

Or will you, irony of ironies, become a resident wet at the ABC, like Amanda Vanstone, and blather on about various matters, knowing that your words are now irrelevant and useless, and that what you did in office will be your true legacy?

One thing seems certain to the pond. You have spent your time facilitating this government, in the hope that at some time the crown will slip from the current king and you will be able to snatch it up and put it on your own head.

But the odds are extremely high that you will never wear the crown. All that you have done - debasing the NBN, consorting with climate denialists, assisting with the ruination of education, promoting foreign adventurism, fellow travelling with gay haters, and now launching a vicious assault on the ABC - will have to stand on their own, without any redeeming gestures you might have been able to apply if you had become king.

Instead you will be known as the man who would be king, and who sold his principles for a mess of thick, tasteless pottage, and in the end, you will be judged for having committed many very, very serious errors of judgment.

No doubt you will have plenty of time to reflect on all this. Perhaps you could share your wisdom, acquired too late in life to be useful, with Bill Shorten, another man whose ambition vastly out-vaulted his integrity and his ability.

yours in sorrow,

The Pond

And now, since the pond is off to Melbourne, this will be the last post for a number of days, depending on how well the pond survives the culture shock. Melbourne in mid-winter? And they wonder why it's called loon pond ...

Silly delusional Melburnians, some of them Billists, and just as aggrandising and self-promoting as big Mal:

Yes, there's a lot more at Fairfax here, and that's where interstate rivalry gets you, somehow thinking that biggest is best, when all it means is a terrifying urban sprawl of a limitless kind which the pond will shortly be driving through, marvelling at the jungle horror.

The prospect is even more terrifying than the agitated reptiles at the lizard Oz.

The reptiles were up to their old and predictable form this day. Look big Mal, $330 million for the castle you will never rule in:

Ah, the good old days of Versailles still live and walk amongst us ...

And look big Mal, down there at the bottom of the page, a headline you've helped promote, you've helped deliver:

Is that fully sick or what?

Of course online they've shortened it a little, but look how they dance and mock at the notion of free speech. How remote, how lost was that campaign about 18C:

Yep, you won't find any jokes about the reptiles routinely allowing extremists of the right wing hack kind to litter their pages with vile rhetoric and outrageous claims, because you see, like an eastern suburbs ponce, it's the devine right of bolting Murdochians to be as outrageous and extremist as they can, and no one should mind.

Never mind, the pond dutifully followed the link to Gra Gra - well it's easier than locating the average Swiss bank account - and found a lot of hand-wringing and worrying about the children, before these two concluding pars:

As feeble and as pathetic as ever, but whoah, Mallah. Have you thought about using the pond as your agent? We'd have to insist on 20% because of all the Murdochian-inspired death threats, but we could make a fortune flogging your interviews to the Murdochians as the resident mad Mallah ....

But now for a special treat. You see big Mal the hapless dumb Victorian Liberals - too dumb really to be allowed to conduct a chook raffle, let alone a decent fund raising - really belled the cat, and revealed the genuine reasons for the current hysteria:

Scurrilous, outrageous, pathetic, nakedly obvious, but the special treat is that the AFR has for the moment let Laura Tingle step outside the paywall, and so the hoi polloi can read The Coalition has found that fear is a powerful weapon against Labor.

Now that header might seem like the bleeding obvious, but with big Mal also playing the fear game, it's good that there's an alternative read, instead of having to endure yet another round with the reptiles.

Regarding the Victorians, amongst whom the pond will shortly be, though happily not cackling Victorian Liberal geese doing their hysterical chicken little routines. Can geese be chickens? Where can you park an ostrich at the climate change talks?

Do you have a sense of apparent irony big Mal?

How does it feel to be part of a government that has relentlessly used fear and fear-mongering as its primary tactic?

Terrorism bingo!

Was there ever a more tragic photo op, misusing and abusing national security than that very recent effort?

But you're one of the players, big Mal, of terrorism bingo.

Now look the pond in the eye. Are you man enough to admit it? For heaven's sake, man, face it, the poodle is your colleague!

Or are you too wrapped up in your quisling, facilitating lifestyle, still yearning for the crown that will never come your way?

Look at the photo above. You're not in it, but you're just out of shot, because, you see, you're one of the mob standing behind the fearless leader saying you've got his back, and as a result, you look and sound as pathetic and as tragic as any punter running their coins through the slot machines of life ...

Aren't you supposed to be one of the adults? Do you know what the child is doing when you turn your back?

Have you taken a look at today's Pope cartoon? And remember, you can look through his back catalogue at his gallery here...

And so with a yippee ki yay, the pond is off to Melbourne:


  1. One of your best Dorothy.


  2. Rug up for Melbourne: the full layered experience.

  3. It's depressing, all so fucking depressing. I thought I was sufficiently insular & cynical to handle where this is going but I'm not.

    1. Hi Anon,

      You're despondency is understandable but bear in mind that is all this fear, uncertainty and doubt that Abbott is generating is literally his last throw of the dice.

      By every other metric his government is failing. The economy is struggling, unemployment is rising, the budget is a failure and business optimism is flat lining and there is absolutely no leadership by this very limited man on any of these issues.

      Abbott can keep hitting the panic button again and again but it will only dilute the response. He's toast


    2. Oh, if only it were as you believe, Anon to Anon. But it isn't, truly it isn't. There's two factors:

      1. Billy Shorten'in is rapidly becoming unelectable. Anything connected with today's private fiefdom unions is unelectable - and rightly so. Shorten is simply a grifting careerist.

      2. The experience of the Democrats in good ol' USA shows quite clearly that lots of people will happily vote against their own best interests if one of the parties can push all of their social verity buttons - like the GOP can in the USA and the Libs can in Aus. By the trime of the election, Abbott will be easily returned.

      And since under DiNatali, the Greens are going the Democrats (Meg Lees) or the Lib-Dem Clegg route into oblivion - ie forming the delusion that they are a 'real party' - there'll be no balancing influence to counter the fear and loathing generated.

    3. Hi GrueBleen,

      Your two points are depressingly very valid.

      However my take on the situation is that Abbott and the LNP are peddling a hypothetical threat in the form of Islamo-fundamentalist terror along with a dash of bigoted racism that Australia is being overrun with asylum seeking furriners.

      These are both strong motivators in the electorate especially when the MSM are pushing the message but they are still hypotheticals and will be overshadowed by real events such as economic downturn and the fear of unemployment, basically anything that hits the electorate in the hip pocket.

      In the short term Abbott's fear mongering will gain him some time but his governments economic mismanagement will be their downfall.

      I do heartily agree with you about Shorten's pathetic act as Abbott's little echo. I once had the opportunity to observe the denizens of the Qantas Lounge at Canberra Airport on a Friday afternoon. There were a lot of suits and power dressed ladies whom I assumed were either lobbyists or political staffers but there were also a lot of fat bearded blokes in jeans and checked shirts (often with braces) who I assumed were union executives.

      I watched both groups guzzle the free booze and pile their plates with nibbles and could think of nothing else but the end of Animal Farm.


    4. Sorry, DW, I completely overlooked your signature line first time.

      But again, all I can say is I just wish it was as you say, but experience shows me that people can ignore any amount of reality, even seriously nasty reality, in favour of what "the buttons" bring to them.

      Nobody has been using the term much of late (it was quite beloved of John Quiggin, and even favoured by Paul Krugman at one stage), but we are amidst a veritable plague of epistemic closure. And we have never, ever known how to combat that.

  4. Oh, if only the government could control things like terrorist attacks; then the Opposition would be able to openly ridicule their latest attempts. Unfortunately for Labor, they have assessed the risk as being unacceptable.

    What if an attack occurred after Bill laughed at Tony???

    Bite the bullet, I say. Your chances of being trampled in the rush to appease fear are much greater than the chance of being taken by surprise by an attack on home soil.

  5. That Pope is a ripper.
    May I second your thoughts on Mal, and add gusto? He is very, ... very right up himself.

  6. A superb letter, DP, matching in its own way the efforts of Pope and Rowe.

    This government has been a travesty brought on by the complicity of the MSM and big money. Most ministers are vulgar barbarians with barely more competence than Dutton. But the saddest cases are Hunt and Turnbull because most would consider that they knew better but still went along with it all. Quisling, at the risk of the swear jar, is an apt description. Though your letter raises some interesting points and perhaps Mal really only talked the talk. Certainly getting sucked into that Greche thing says little for his judgement.

    Morrison is a cynical opportunist, with marginal more cunning than the rest, but I doubt he can bring anything useful to government. Bishop gets into less trouble than most of them, but still seems to be a superficial weather vane. And that's it!

    Enjoy your winter sojourn in Melbourne, DP. I live in an even more disagreeable weather spot in Portland. Though I've never been to Normandy, the bleak descriptions of it by Du Maupassant and Hugo allow me at Portland to imagine how it is. Still, it does have great natural beauty. And I am evacuating myself in late July for a few weeks in England and America. i'll try to keep up, and post occasionally.

  7. It's a beautiful sunny day in Melbourne town today. Sparkling! Enjoy.

  8. I flocked to Melbourne, once.
    Then I flocked off back home.

    Enjoy your break :)

  9. You're being very kind to Mr Mal

  10. "You are, at the moment, participating in the most hate-filled, fear-mongering, divisive and offensive government in many a decade." - -

    The most, DP? What say, three decades? Past or future? Never say never, but, what say, in time everything old is new? To wit:

    Martin Tenni states that the Fitzgerald Inquiry was a significant factor in his decision to retire.




    1. But along came Citizen Mutton riding in on.. 16. The end of an era, 1987–1989, Queensland Parliament, 1957–1989

      "...To disguise the ignominy for Labor (losing the Merthyr by-election 13 May 1989), the assistant state secretary, Wayne Swan, attempted to distract media criticism by trying to talk of a ‘three-party preferred’ outcome—a nonsense concept. When Bellino (bi-election candidate crime boss Gerry Bellino, who had been named in the terms of reference establishing the Fitzgerald Inquiry) lost his deposit, he announced ‘it’s been a long, hard campaign, and I have come to the conclusion that I’d rather be called a crime boss than a hypocritical politician’ (Courier-Mail, 15 May 1989) ..."

      In various replies, Cooper insisted that he was aware of rumours about ministers being charged, that the ministers were presumed innocent until proven otherwise and that Callinan (Tony Fitzgerald's senior counsel, Ian Callinan QC) had not briefed cabinet, but added ‘if the people who have been sent letters requiring some form of explanation have sought legal advice, I say good luck to them’ (QPD 1989:vol. 313, p. 1437).

      The Opposition Leader managed one last salvo against the government in a matter-of-public-interest debate on 17 October 1989. Goss zeroed in on the recent performance of the government, stating:

      The future of this State hangs in the balance. Today I propose to sum up the past and also point to the future under the next Labor Government. Mr Speaker, in what is to be the last week of this Parliament I am reminded that you and I and many others were first elected to this place six years ago this month. I am reminded of—and I want to quote from—my first speech in this place, which I think summed up the legacy at that time of 26 years of National–Liberal Government and still today accurately sums up the legacy of 32 years of conservative Government. I said—‘Queensland is a State of great wealth, rich in both natural resources and talent, yet impoverished in its system of government and the way in which it provides for its people. With each passing year, powerful interests accrue more power, and patronage and favouritism increase—at the expense of the living standards and freedoms of average Queenslanders…We have not seen “government of the people, for the people, by the people”; we have seen government for the benefit of Sir Robert Sparkes, Sir Edward Lyons, Sir William Allen, Sir Charles Holm and “Sir” Fred Maybury, who is six weeks too late [because imperial honours had just been removed]. They are the persons who have derived the benefits from the administration of this State’…

      In six weeks’ time, the wheel of history will turn a full circle as Queenslanders see and realise, as the polls are reflecting, that they have the capacity to change this State for the better…The people of this State can see the wide and dark shadow full of guilty secrets that has been hidden behind the closed doors of Executive Government and behind the doors of the bunker in which the deals are done and the strings are pulled…The National Party–Liberal Party legacy is a betrayal of trust. (QPD 1989:vol. 313, p. 1441)

      The speech was not rebuffed by any great oratory. ..

      On the final day, a revised Criminal Justice Bill was introduced incorporating further suggestions from public submissions and was read three times and passed in the day’s sitting. In the last hours, Cooper’s valedictory address noted that Ted Row, Bill Glasson, Peter McKechnie, Martin Tenni and Gordon Simpson from the Nationals’ side were retiring from the Parliament ...

    2. The 1989 election campaign: floods of gays, clean out the rats…

      After the failed bid to delay the state election, via a proposed referendum, Premier Russell Cooper nominated 2 December as the date of the election; it was with some apparent reluctance that he called the election after such a short time at the helm (Gold Coast Bulletin, 24 October 1989, p. 1). The eventual date he chose was no accident. Seventeen years earlier to the day, Gough Whitlam’s Labor Party had come to power in Canberra...

      Heralding in a generational change, the conservatives selected two of the youngest candidates ever to stand at a state election. Lawrence Springborg (The Borg), described in the media as a ‘21 year old farm labourer’, ran in the prized seat of Carnarvon (vacated by Peter McKechnie) for the National Party, while the Liberals’ preselected eighteen-year-old Peter Dutton to run against ALP stalwart Tom Burns in Lytton (see Sun, 30 October 1989). Although Springborg, who would come to lead the Nationals in 2003 (& 2015), was successful in his election to the Parliament, Dutton not surprisingly failed in his first bid for a seat, but was to win the federal seat of Dickson for the Liberal Party in 2001..."

  11. Obama's eulogy may not be your thing, DP, but it probably shits Abbott & his doleful gang, and everyone from Roop down at News. Look out for favourable mentions, there won't be too many. Reminds me of Matt Santos.

  12. DP,
    Be afraid, very afraid, not of Melbourne, but of the Demonocracy that Tony Schicklgruber will try to foist on us after the looming terrorist attack (confected or not).
    Melbourne is a very nice place at the moment, apart from a few nutters like Das Bolter, but at least we don't have to put up with the likes of Anal Jones and Ray Handonit.

    1. Nusra Front, Nadj Province, Gone Postal, and other IS (formerly AQ)-connected local geopolitical entities are coming for governments all over the World. If the Australian Government remains resolute and chants 'Death Cult' loudly enough and waves red-white-n-blue flags often enough, we'll keep Australians safe by drawing Daesh's attention away from unconfirmed reports of our sorties and extrajudicial killings in Syriana. Huzzah.

  13. Well, DP, Malcom read your letter and went on QandA to prove you right in less than ten minutes.


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