Thursday, June 11, 2015

Send in the clowns ... oh heck, just send in Jolly Joe, he'll do ... isn't it rich, losing his timing in his clowning career ...

(Above: fierce competition amongst cartoons today for best cartoon, with Rowe producing this offering and more Rowe here).

It's such fun to see Jolly Joe shoot himself in the foot that the pond feels the need for a recap:

Jolly Joe:
Mr Hockey said with the official cash rate at 2 per cent, "that's readily affordable — more affordable than ever."

 Jolly Joe revised:
"Housing is very expensive and I understand that. Look, I totally understand that." "When you're committing so much of your wage to your mortgage, it's a big ask, with all the other pressures in life. "Yes, it is difficult for first home buyers to get into the market, there's no doubt about that."

 Jolly Joe belligerent:
Treasurer Joe Hockey has urged first home buyers to get “a good job that pays good money” if they want to enter the property market.

Now Tony Abbott is stuck with the genie blimp, riding the spurting phenomenon through the air, so he tries to sound soothing:
Even as a cabinet minister, sometimes it’s hard to pay a Sydney mortgage and I know over the years I’ve earnt a lot more than the average person. “I’ve got three daughters, all of whom at some point soon either are getting into the housing market or are looking to get into the housing market. So I know what it’s like.”

So even being a cabinet minister isn't good enough for the Sydney property market? Being a cabinet minister puts you on struggle street?

So getting a good job means promotion to PM? And to hell with the rest?

Lordy lordy. So how weird is it in Sydney?

Deeply concerning ...Yes, I am concerned about Sydney. I think some of what's happening is crazy - Glenn Stevens, RBA.

So Glenn Stevens is one of Jolly Joe's clowns? Cue Kudelka's entry:

Don't worry, they're here, floating blimp-like in mid-air.

Now it's indisputable that some parts of the Sydney market are crazy.

Not more than two blocks from the pond on the very same road, and within the last month or so, one house went for $1.7 million and another for $1.5 million, and a couple of years ago these nondescript 3 bedroom houses wouldn't have cracked a million. Now the top price might have been a developer looking to knock down the house and put up a couple of townhouses or apartments, but that too is part of the madness and the bubble.

As for secure jobs, the whole point in the marketplace in recent years has been to destroy job security. These days many more people are employed as freelancers - contracted say by a dollar company, set up by you so you can serve at the leisure of your employer, and have your contract terminated at seven day's notice. There's knockdown security for you … and forget any benefits, unless you pay them yourself.  The pond is intimately acquainted with that format, but another example from a different sector: the pond has a skilled doctor surgeon friend who lurches from contract to contract, too scared to commit to the Sydney property market because of job insecurity.

Do any of the lawyers and ponces in the federal government have any understanding of how the labour market works these days? Probably not.

Of course the icing on the cake has been the recycling of the story of Jolly Joe looting his parliamentary allowances to make a motza in Canberra real estate, and then pretending that it's an arms-length transaction because he's paying rent to his wife.

Let's run a couple of not too far-fetched scenarios. Greece exits the EU, Europe catches the flu, America and China sneeze, and you're over-leveraged in Sydney, and bingo, wham bam, the town drags the rest of the country into recession.

How about Daesh managing to set off a dirty bomb in a major European city or (less likely because harder) a US city? The European markets panic, and drag down the others, and you're over-leveraged in Sydney, and wham bam, you help drag the rest of the country into recession because the rest of the country isn't looking too flash anyway (You'd have to be a clown not to pick up on the assorted signals).

Now these and other events might not happen, but let's not pretend that markets are rational. They're deeply irrational, and bubbles will pop, and no matter the continual incessant humbug about domestic terrorism, the economy remains the main game.

Sure, 2008 might not return in the near future, but the point about economic management is that it involves risk management. Abbott and Hockey spent years in an ill-advised way talking down the economy and after the fear-mongering got them to power, with an equal amount of stupidity, they now talk up the economy in ill-advised ways, because they're desperate to hold on to the sweet lifestyle.

They've now helped construct an economy where safe investment in bonds or the short term money market is meaningless, and shares and housing are the areas that attract investors. Pity the poor self-funded retirees wanting a quiet life, and so on with the speculation ...

The pond happens to be socially liberal but economically conservative, and it's painful to see the clowns currently in charge of the economy go about their business, fudging and failing at every mis- step they take and every verbal goof they make.

But the only way Jolly Joe will go is if Abbott goes with him, and so the pair continue to prop up their mutually tottering edifice.

Luckily for the government, the tabloids have been distracted by stories of twins and murder, but the reptiles of Oz have gone full frontal:

What's funny is the way that the reptiles, after a long and rambling discourse on housing in Australia, doubled down on sounding like Jolly Joe and thereby managed to sound just as offensive.

Yep, it's in the editorial pages that you find the inner Sydney Surry Hills elites at their hipster best:

Jolly Joe could do with a touch of empathy as he makes out like a bandit on his living away from home allowance?

That's jaffas down the aisle scribbling of the first water.

In short, serfs, you're better off, stick with your two hour commutes to work, dream The Castle dream, scrape and struggle, and admire how hard it's been for a cabinet minister to get by on a Sydney mortgage, and gasp at the skill of a Treasurer building a real estate portfolio thanks to the taxpayer ...

And remember anything else is faux Twitter outrage.

And there in a nutshell is why the pandering, servile Murdochians are a danger to themselves as well as to others. 

For the reptiles of Oz to continue to trot out the line that Hockey was right about the need to get a secure job makes the pond hunger for the next downsizing in the Oz's newsroom ...

But there must be an upside in this debate, and this day it comes from Niki Savva who, while of a conservative bias and disposition, clearly can't stand the bumble-footed, addle-headed Hockey. 

Here's her opening flourish, with illustration that plays on Jolly Joe's used car salesman spiv image:

The good thing about a rhetorical question without a question mark is that it leads to an obvious answer. Bumbling Jolly Joe is a shoot-from-the- mouth danger to himself and others. Naturally Joe has been copping some helpful advice on Twitter at the hash tag adviceforjoe:

Back to Savva, as the whispering campaign against Jolly Joe cranks up again and Scott Morrison looms on the horizon:

Ah there's nothing like the sight of a member of the commentariat wringing her hands in the morning and tearing her hair out. It's up there with the smell of napalm. Put it another way:

And so to Savva's final flourish:

Hockey took care of that!

And indeed he did. The chattering classes have been chattering about Hockey and what fun they've been having.

Is there an upside? Of course there is ...

And so to David Pope for a wrap-up, and as always more Pope here:

Well the pond declares the cartoon competition a tie. Who could quibble about such fine efforts when everybody's having such good fun?

And for anyone who's made it to this point - well done - so how about a First Dog as a bonus?

More First Dog here of course, but this one manages to get across a number of points about getting a decent secure job in what's the more nauseating aspects of the Abbott government. 

You still won't be able to live in a house in inner Sydney and you might not be able to live with yourself, but hey, in the spirit of grasping, self-serving Jolly Joe, it's a living:


  1. Whinge time.

    I'm a self-funded retiree and thought I was doing Australia a favour by providing for myself and not being a burden on the taxpayer. My super is modest and by doing the maths (yes, thanks to the Wyndham Scheme managed to get a pass in Maths for my School Certificate) worked out that I could self-fund my retirement for the next 10 years if I set my returns at just above the age pension (depending on the market of course).

    But being self-funded I am not entitled to any of the perks those damn pensioners get (like rebates and reductions on many things from medical bills to cheap haircuts and a discount on beer at the local RSL). I do get a Seniors Card from the generosity of NSW, so can travel all around the degradation that is Sydney for only $2.50 a day, and I can visit Tamworth by train once a year for a few bucks.

    But in 10 years when my Super has run out, I will be throwing myself on the mercy of the age pension.

    Such is life! Maybe Nitchske has the answer.

    In the meantime The Pond keeps me sane and hopeful that one day the world may return to sanity. SXo keep it up DP

    And who is this quote from?

    "But would you kindly ponder this question: What would your good do if
    evil didn't exist, and what would the earth look like if all the shadows
    disappeared? After all, shadows are cast by things and people. Here is the
    shadow of my sword. But shadows also come from trees and living beings.
    Do you want to strip the earth of all trees and living things just because
    of your fantasy of enjoying naked light? You're stupid.”

    1. You can enter the paradise of Tamworth once a year and still you complain?

      But seriously, the pond knows and feels exactly your pain when it comes to the way self-funded retirees are now being forced into the dodgy hands of the banks' financial experts in search of more than interest, and being ripped off, or simply forced on to the aged pension ...

  2. If you want to live on the moon, you have to get a rocket.

  3. I'm going in hard, and early, DP, on 'Awful and noisy': Tony Abbott slams wind farms during interview with Alan Jones, with "tilting at windmills". Though, the "awful and noisy" deserves a nudge, too, as it may well fit the Goose-who-rents to a tee.

    1. Each day a new delight UC, and so today the pond paused to celebrate the age of steam

  4. Bond has a new rival. Agent Hamilton from the Swedish secret squirrel stuff. He gets off to a good start by murdering his girlfriend,

    It was made with the cooperation of the Jordanian Film Commission, so there are mandatory inclusions of Jordan,for no apparent reason. And the PLO are the good guys. And the CIA are the baddies.

    Actually good fun. And watch the blue eyes

    1. What a good and strange link. The pond missed that one, being busy watching the Scandinavian soap The Legacy, but we should warn potential viewers that the session expires on 22nd June 2015.

  5. Homeless, and Smokin' Joe's the rain maker? Uh-oh, cripes.


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