Sunday, July 26, 2015

In which the pond decides to meditate this Sunday with the bromancer ...

Hmm, thanks to the reptiles of the lizard Oz, we have the chance to look at the thoughts of Comrade Sheridan, clutching his little blue book, containing the thoughts of Chairman Tony.

The dear sweet considerate reptiles put it outside the paywall, and strangely didn't label it an EXCLUSIVE, though like many other stories, they have merely seized the chance to EXCLUSIVELY reprint a story easily found elsewhere... provided you're prepared to waste far too many shekels on a lickspittle fellow traveller ...

But first we have to make a choice.

Do we go with Tony Abbott in epic J'accuse Dreyfus mode, thereby encouraging the notion that a thuggish boofhead oaf was more than a lick of Kiwi boot polish on the shoes of the great Emile Zola ...?

Or do we go with Tony Abbott's sun god, a demonic fundamentalist Catholic warrior who would have been a noble contributor to the Inquisition if he'd had half the chance?

Well played reptiles to provide both options. 

It helps when reading articles such as Tony Abbott has morphed into Bob Santamaria:

It took a long time, but Bob Santamaria’s finally done it - we’ve got our first ever DLP Prime Minister. There’s no other way to describe someone who rips the guts out of education yet finds money for a school chaplaincy program; for a person who eviscerates payments to single mothers but still has a few bucks left over for family planning. This Budget marks a waypoint on a long march to possess the soul of the Liberal party. It’s intellectually incoherent: cutting services to all listening to a special interest group. 
And this is its weakest point. The claim is that this is somehow akin to John Howard’s first budget in 1997. It’s not. That was good to business and established the country for decades of growth. This, by contrast, is a flabby effort that reflects its self-indulgent craftsmen. It genuflects, grudgingly, towards everything discovered since the 1930s but the Catholic mafia (Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey, Kevin Andrews, et al) have demonstrated convincingly that they can shape government in their image. Indulgence available upon application; see the padre. 

Indeed, indeed, but before we move on from this Sunday meditation on these warriors for Christ, please allow the pond to get out a white feather and wave it vigorously:

During World War II Santamaria gained an exemption from military service. In 1972 Arthur Calwell, a leading Catholic Labor politician, confirmed that Santamaria had 'dodged' war service after Mannix had approached him to gain the exemption. When asked, Calwell stated "I want to put the record straight because apparently the Department of Defence cannot find any of the records, nor can the Department of Labour and National Service." Santamaria and two other men (Maher and K. W. Mitchell) were, argued Mannix, "members of the Secretariat of Catholic Action and that their work was equivalent to that of a minister of religion." Calwell said 'I regret my part in it... I want the country to know that these three men who have been pestering and opposing and demonstrating against the Australian Labor Party for the last 30 years were people who dodged military service'. He reflected on the Vietnam War and noted that all three supported it and "conscription of men for military service", adding "I regret that these people who benefited from our generosity did not beget any children who went out to fight in the war in Vietnam. Their sons were exempted, all of them, because they were employed in reserve institutions as were their fathers."Santamaria denied the allegation that he had ever sought an exemption and stated that 'if Mr Calwell repeated his statement outside of parliament he would take appropriate action'. Calwell moderated his statements regarding Maher, but not on Mitchell or Santamaria. In May 1972, previously missing records were found confirming Calwell's version ... (you can Greg Hunt the references here).

Move along people, nothing to see here, you won't find many politicians, of any stripe, with a military record. It's a lot easier to conscript others - country boys and the urban lumpenproletariat -so that they can get on with the business of being warriors for Christ.

And so let the inquisition begin:

This is always the way of boofhead, thuggee, oafish provocateurs of the disingenuous kind. 

Use a sense of grievance and entitlement to first of all malign Glen Campbell for syrupy goodness - boofhead thuggees hate The Sound of Music as well as hapless nice Glen - and having lathered up a sense of indignation, righteousness and rage, head off to the pictures looking for trouble, with the droogs ready for a bit of the old ultra violence.

Or at least heckling and disruption of the childish kind:

Frankly if anyone stopped the pond from watching a movie, by way of heckling or other carry on, all bets are off, and it doesn't matter whether the content's Battleship Potemkin or Triumph of the Will.

Talking movies are for the privacy of the lounge room; politeness dictates if you're in a public screening and you don't like the show, you get up and discreetly leave.

And what was the point that was made, and would have led to the pond wielding a heavy clog? Well, surely the point was that boofhead thuggees just love a bit of the provocation and the violence it produces (something the pond will remember when Sheridan gets on to talking about Sir Tony, who'd never punch a wall, and his gallant, courtly, knightly attitude to women),

The pond remembers both sides in student days - vulgar, noisy, screeching mynah birds, the plague of student life - and one of the reasons that the pond decided the Catholic push were just a bunch of wannabe Francos ...

But let's go on with the trouble-makers making trouble, aka brave Christians against the world in a new crusade, with former military policemen for protection:

Yep, branch stacking is that easy.

Let's just do a Greg Hunt on that term:

In Australian politics, the term branch stacking is used to describe the act of recruiting members for a local branch of a political party for the principal purpose of influencing the outcome of internal preselections of candidates for public office. It has become controversial in Australia after several inquiries or contests which received mainstream attention, and most political parties now have clauses in their constitutions which allow "head office" intervention to resolve alleged stacking, with penalties for those who engage in it. Branch stacking itself is legal under Australian law, but some activities like providing false information to the Australian Electoral Commission can be prosecuted as fraud. (Greg Hunt it here).

Of course branch stacking is usually seen as a Labor party sin, but as Liberal Club stacking demonstrates, it's an art learned and easily abused by adolescents in quest of power.

And so to some further tormenting of Saint Tony as he fought for truth and fundamentalist Catholicism, and in the process, perhaps there's time to do a little Freudian analysis:

There, you see. The sidekick, the Sancho Panza to the tilter at windmills, Don Tony, for a moment suffered the delusion that he could be the leader, el presidente, and was soon enough slapped back into his proper place, which was to act as apologist, a forelock tugger ready to reassure us that he knew the real Tony Abbott, and he certainly wasn't a braying ass in a movie theatre.

Which brings us to the most important work of the apologist and explainer:

But here's the thing Sancho. You are accusing Ms Ramjan of bad faith, and of telling a lie, you're just using weasel words in the way you go about it, perhaps in fear of a defamation action.

Let's remember. How many backed down? 

Now the pond wasn't there, and in that case, the discreet response is simply to admit that you didn't know what happened, not to blame what's said on memory loss or confusion or fallibility or fling around words like "good faith" when the intent is to display bad faith ...

As for the rest, what you've written to that point, attempting a character reference - he was too noble to have done such a thing - has been nobbled by your portrait of a braying ass in a picture theatre, ready to use his rugger bugger skills on the lefties ...

That's the point at which the apologia gets risible:

Oh dear, "animal spirits". So that's what wall punching gets called these days?

But do carry on as if you're in a carry on movie:

Oh please, please, please, please, not the all day sucker, wouldn't hurt a fly, butter melts in his mouth routine:

So it was in student days, and so it was later ...

And now drum roll please, as we build to the punch line:

He joined the ALP?

So what does that tell us? Well perhaps not what Greg Sheridan thinks ...

But it confirms what the pond has long argued, which is the propensity and capacity for the true believers to switch sides, provided that the other side offers a similarly rabid and hard line outlook on life.

Scratch a Maoist, and not far below the surface, you'll find a fascist, and vice versa.

Scratch the hippies and the lefties selling scented candles, and you're not too far away from rabid capitalists - it always perplexed the pond how the lefties it knew somehow managed to amass a quite presentable amount of worldly goods, and sometimes even a Swiss bank account.

Scratch a hard line rabid religious fundamentalist of the Catholic kind, and you're one step away from a rabid angry atheist, or vice versa. And scratch members of the two major political parties in this country, and you'll find they're not so far removed from each other, because it's always been a club, and as the concept of professional politicians has grown, the easier it's been to share attitudes and the perks of office. (Come on down, Bill Shorten ...)

The pond blames it on the era of relatively free education. While some used their free time profitably in university - listening to music, reading literature, smoking dope, fornicating like cats - the political class conducted tribal wars of total irrelevance to most attending university. Student politics came with the luxury of time, an indulgence fomented and overseen by senior ideological warriors who needed their puppets on campus ... like the Catholic church, which at the time still had money and clout and even now can see its warriors running the country ...

When all most students wanted to do was watch a movie in peace and quiet and discover their thoughts about the world and get on with the business of living.

Instead there was always the hectoring and the badgering and the wall thumping ...

And now the fuckers are trying to excuse their inexcusable behaviour, snouts deeply in the trough, while they keep doing it to the whole country ...

What else is left, apart from slightly hysterical laughter, and more Moir here.


  1. "...Tony picked me up in his purple Leyland P76..."
    And THAT, I would say, says it all..There are some sins that even God will not forgive..

    1. Yep,that was the one that poked me right in the eye. Would love to know who the clever soul who sold it to him was.

    2. Oh come on, it's an Australian classic, a major example of Australian style, and shows what made the country great, and if you swallow that, the pond's got a Morris Marina to sell you ...

    3. Well you COULD fit a 44 gallon drum in the boot.

    4. For me it's the dismissal of Galveston. Jimmy Webb's lyrics are far from saccharine, they're deeply anti-war, and it seems neither Popeye or the Bromancer learned a damn thing from them.

  2. As for extracts, we prefer Promite. Nope, nope, nope. Socks to be paired.

  3. I rest my case that Loon Pond is probably the best political blog in the country. Thank you DP for a superb Sunday meditation on what results when the hapless adolescent allows his mind,his only true possession,to be stuffed into a mold.
    '"the Pond decided the Catholic push were just a bunch of wannabe Francos".... You sure got that right DP.

  4. Dorothy, you are absolutely right about how easily extremists change sides. Indeed many a neo-con was a youthful Marxist. I encountered one in my own life when I caught up with an old friend who had been a hard-core socialist. Fast forward a couple of decades and this man turned up as a member of the Birch Society. The zealotry remained intact.

    Funny how some middle-aged folk like to bang on about their youth.

    Some people never grow up.

    Miss pp

    1. Ah youth,Miss pp. I'll bang on anyway. As a 15 yr.old angry anti-establishment catholic in the mid 60's,I had the great pleasure of often sitting in the company of a very wise old Tasmanian establishment family woman, her husband,a quietly devout 5th generation Irish seafarer whose family's beginnings was luring vessels onto the rocks to loot their cargo's, and their Russian immigrant next door neighbor Boris, who had spent the greater part of his life in a Russian Gulag, all sitting around watching Santamaria's Point of View.
      There were some pretty strong points of view in that ordinary working class living room,but never once did anyone think about punching walls. I think poor Tony has unresolved history issues,probably other issues as well no doubt, but as romantic and warm-hearted that Greg would have us believe Tony is, Gahhh!, nothing will change the facts of history of Tony and Greg's great adventure.They is what they is.

    2. Thanks for the link, Anon.

      It always amuses me when people think Abbott is son-of-Santamaria. I think if Bob were alive today he would not recognise TA as his successor on economic and social justice grounds.

      In his late years Santamaria said on a number of occasions that he fought Communism because the battle was close at hand but that he always knew that unbridled capitalism was the real enemy of civilized society.

      Miss pp

    3. On that we are in complete agreement Miss pp.
      Nonetheless, it seems to me that with some matters,the more things change,the more they seem to stay the same,at least at this present time.Stumbled across this today.

  5. Oh dear, what a tale - the genesis of a great journalist; found out he was nothing in the political stakes when his great mate won those hallowed positions in student politics ahead of him and nobody wanted him so he just had to go on with his writing so he could afflict us all with his regular moanings - like some character, vaguely at the side of the stage, not quite a Polonius (his place has already been taken), no someone else - a Chekhovian character perhaps ( or do we need to go to Brecht?) - it makes me muse, and greatly amuses me, especially when he appears so illiterate - 'a huge quantity of music cassettes"? - surely a huge 'number', not quantity? Didn't he learn anything at school?

    1. Yeah,,he learnt literal affliction(Hon.), which has become addictive.His life has become meaningless,he is in pain.He needs to be put down.

  6. Lordy DP, those were a couple of hard slogs that you set for us yesterday! “Thug Love” read like the dull memoirs of some minor military figure, greatly exaggerating the significance of every obscure skirmish in which he participated, turning a routine exchange of fire into a vital battle for civilisation itself. Reading “Fifty Shades of Puce”, on the other hand, was like wading through a vat of low-cal jelly and custard, sickly-sweet and loaded with toxic article sweeteners.

    The only question is how which one will be the first to hit the remainder shops. Not that I’d buy either, even if they we're 10 cents copy in the Reject Shop.

    BTW, that’s the second time I’ve seen that “Adventure Island” anecdote from Pyne; he tastelessly used it when speaking on the death of Gough Whitlam. The last I heard of one of “Adventure Island”’s main actors and scriptwriters, John-Michael “Hollywood” Howson, was a couple of years back when he was suspended from a Melbourne radio station for making comments on the Gillard Government that were deemed too offensive even for talk radio. Perhaps Chrissie could take him on staff as a speechwriter? I’d imagine that the constant refrain of his AE character, Clown - “I can’t remember!” - could be quite useful for a Government Minister.

    1. Whoops, sorry - that should have been "artificial sweeteners"!

  7. pitifull Sheriden on the Drum waxing lyrical about Tony Abbott.The smell of unrequited love hNGING THICK IN THE AIR

  8. pitifull Sheriden on the Drum waxing lyrical about Tony Abbott.The smell of unrequited love hNGING THICK IN THE AIR


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