Friday, August 14, 2015

Chaos in the land, and rough beasts slouching towards Canberra and the reptile coach is in despair ... quick, more kool aid at three quarter time ...

(Above: and more Rowe here).

Another major crisis hits the Abbott government. How does the Currish Snail rise to the challenge?

Only in Murdoch la la land, and it's not just the balloons that are full of hot air.

But's wonderful times for anyone who takes their government spotting seriously, and the Fairfaxians are on the case - at least in the tree killing editions, while the online versions continue on their link bait, headline-trolling, tawdry ways:

Even the lizards of Oz feature it at the top of the page:

Oh sure, alarmism still dominates, but there it is at the top of the page.

And the Abbott response has been a suitably Bronnie Bishop, 'we will fight them on the beaches, on the cliff tops, and wherever else the indefensible can be defended for far too indefensibly long':

Tony Abbott has stood by Dyson Heydon as Labor and unions called for the royal commissioner to be sacked for perceived bias over agreeing to speak at a Liberal event.

But the AAP report the reptiles faithfully reproduced - tragically they must rely on AAP for a substantial amount of their daily news these days - had a lovely irony at its tail:

Senator Brandis, when he was shadow attorney-general, delivered the inaugural Sir Garfield Barwick address in 2010, the funds from which also went to the Liberal Party. 
He claimed over $1000 in taxpayer expenses to attend the event.

And speaking of Gorgeous George, there was that delicious headline, George Brandis slaps down Scott Morrison over proposal to hold same-sex marriage referendum. (with forced video).

This is probably the first time in recorded history that the pond nodded approvingly at Gorgeous George having something sensible to say:

...Senator Brandis, the country's chief law officer, said on Thursday: "A plebiscite is plainly the appropriate method were we to resolve this matter by a public vote. 
"You only have a referendum to amend the constitution and there is no doubt whatsoever that no amendment to the constitution is necessary were the Parliament to proceed down this path.

Morrison is a fool, but a dangerous one, and perhaps some in the party are realising that to replace an inept, ideologically rabid fool with a dangerous, ideologically rabid one might not constitute progress.

Meanwhile, the pond is astonished by a major achievement of the Labor government.

It has managed to reduce the usually staid Laura Tingle to the status of a foam-flecked ranter.

Not content with observing that we are being governed by idiots - how to argue? - Ms Tingle let fly at the AFR under the header Whatever happens now, the royal commission is crippled:

Judges always have to appear impartial. But in an exercise which has been under attack from one side of politics for being a political witch-hunt, and which the other side of politics has been gleefully quoting for political points, the bar is even higher. 
That the event has been advertised with Liberal Party banners, that the man writing to Justice Heydon about it on Wednesday, Gregory Burton, is a mooted Liberal Party candidate, that he was reassuring the Justice that there would be "no party attribution" on the publication of his speech, that it was not a fundraiser "as such", "although of course people will disclose it if they go over the state donation limit", all suggests the Justice should have seen, and ultimately could see, the problems in his appearance while still sitting as a royal commissioner.

And so on:

Labor – and the trade unions – now have all they need to dismiss the legitimacy of the royal commission and take a much more aggressive approach to resisting it. 
The cunning plan to have a royal commission into trade unions to attack Labor's links with unions (while not having to talk about the politically difficult issue of industrial relations) joins the list of tactical disasters exploding around the government.

But stay, Tingle is by definition a Fairfaxian and so is morally corrupt, devious and tainted, at least if you look at the world through the weird kool-aid infused glasses handed out at the Surry Hills bunker.

So what does an A-grade, fully certified reptile, the bouffant one, have to say on the matter?

Uh oh, and other, lesser reptiles were also on hand to offer a view:

Once again the reptiles were reduced to a combination of harried chief coach and cheerleader - a job, the pond understands, is currently roughly equivalent to being a Carlton or an Essendon supporter (oh yes Victorians, the pond was once interminably asked which team it supported, and the reliable answer was whichever's the most amusing, and strictly for the good of the game).

Discipline and belief. Take the ball up the guts, do the hard yards, yadda yadda ...

So how does it stand in the third quarter, bouffant one?

A feeble defence - it's too substantial to shut down - and a damning, almost Tingly conclusion. Well at least the pond enjoyed a Tingle running down its spine ... because whatever happens now, the royal commission is crippled.

And so to the team coach, as the players gather in a huddle around, hot and sweaty at the break, kool aid in one hand, a reviving orange in the other, and listen to the rant:

Wonderful stuff. Three quarter time and the team is stuffed, badly trailing, and losing on every part of the ground, and all they have to do now is take the ball up the guts and do the hard yards! Come on team, come on:

Wandering off the reservation. Indians! Dangerously uppity blacks!

Even though big Mal had faithfully promised to vote against gay marriage, and even though big Mal's blog is now routinely assaulted by angry commenters railing at the gibberish he spouts defending the indefensible, as may be discovered by his attempt to defend his indefensible destruction of the NBN here.

Is there some point in the season when the coaching staff realises that they've got a dud team they'll never be able to craft into winners, and so the important, urgent work of transferring wealth from the poor to the rich will never move at the desired and expected pace?

Poor things, how to coach if it's like this?

Well after a hard game, the pond loves to relax, and enjoy the massage and feel the Tingle:

Perhaps with a dose of Taylor:

And then an exotic tang, where even an American comic with a number of major turkeys to his name sounds like he might make a better attacking forward:

And then there was the judge, oh send in the judge:

Indeed, indeed, never trust a meme to be precise, but isn't it interesting that French Cj, Gummow, Hayne Crennan and Kiefel JJ constituted the majority of the High Court, and not other learned judges.

As always, thanks to AustLii, the pond refers anyone interested to what was actually said by the learned judges in the matter of PGA v. the Queen, wherein may be learned many interesting things, not least Hale's treatment of Bracton's view of 13th century concubinage.

And for the more particular views of Heydon J, might the pond respectfully submit that you do a text search for Heydon in this pdf here, for a summary of the most learned judge's most learned views.

Yes, Mr Bumble, we already know your view ...


  1. Hi Dorothy,

    Sorry to be a pedant but the CM headline is factually wrong, the balloons are filled with Helium not hot air!

    Not only do they cause environmental damage by spreading bits of plastic all over the place but it's a criminal waste of Helium, as we are running out of this Noble Gas for which we have much better uses.


    1. A figure of speech, DW, but you may read it as saying the Currish Snail's full of hot helium ...

  2. Good morning, DP - what a wonderfully entertaining week in politics it's been! Many thanks for your ongoing commentary.

    I'm a bit concerned, though, that the Reptiles' current Kool-Aid intake just isn't doing the job. Some of News Corp's Finest (I use the term advisedly) even seem to be expressing twinges of doubt about the Government, and Tones in particular.

    What can be done? Put them on an intravenous Kool-Aid drip? Get them snorting the stuff in its original powdered form? Perhaps they need to call in this fellow as a special consultant:

    1. An IV of kool aid! It's the perfect solution.

  3. "Labor has succeeded", Dennis? No, I think the LNP brought that one upon themselves.

  4. Heydon on the importance of appearing to be fair:

    “It is fundamental to the administration of justice that the judge be neutral," he had written.
    "It is for this reason that the appearance of departure from neutrality is a ground of disqualification … because the rule is concerned with the appearance of bias, and not the actuality, it is the perception of the hypothetical observer that provides the yardstick."

    If Heydon is a man of principles he should resign by 11am this morning.

  5. Another captain's call gone wrong (TURC). Who'd have thought? Abbott is more accident prone than Billy McMahon, a man who was more Liberal than Abbott ever could be.

  6. I'm actually feeling a little sorry for Tones, but only a little bit.
    He did everything the IPA and Australian wanted him to and its blown up in his face. And now they are blaming him for the general stupidity of their ideas.


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