Friday, August 28, 2015

In which the pond turns over some News Corp square eggs and worries about the super coach and the team captain ...

Given it's a Friday, it's a big day at the pond.

Yes Virginia if you keep on putting things off and off, people will speculate, think bad thoughts, wonder, feel bemused, and contemplate the fluff in their navel.

Speaking of fluff, the pond was delighted by this little set-to:

Seems serious enough and a good basis for a story:

Yes, it was all over the intertubes, but not for the reason that might have been expected, and quickly enough came a retraction, a rebuttal:

And if you went looking for the original story, you came across this bit of whimsy:

Well the pond didn't look under the couch, but we did look at the Twitter account of the man who got dudded:

So that's what a goose looks like, a real live, keyboard-pounding goose, and still in the employ of the HUN. Why, he's the sort of square egg man who might turn up in a Carl Barks' comic:

The HUN, home of square eggs and the Bolter ...

And yesterday afternoon, the pond broke a rule and read Jack the Insider, and was rewarded with the most remarkable bit of hagiography imaginable. See if you can make sense of this desperate sequence of thought bubbles:

The pessimists would point to the fact that the Abbott government has not won a Newspoll for 16 months. The closest it has come is 49-51 in the wake of the federal budget in May. Most recently, the polling across an average of the major polling companies is 46-54. That shift indicates that the people are still listening. They may not like what they hear — but they are still listening.

Now Jack likes to imagine that he doesn't drink the News Corp kool aid, that he's a sensible, rational observer, but to see hope and a listening audience from a shift to 46-54 is beyond the valley of the bizarre.

But like everyone at News Corp, Jack has turned football coach as the end of the season approaches.

It's looking grim for the club most likely to end up as wooden spooners:

There is no plan, no narrative, no policy framework or architecture and, worse, no one with the willingness to communicate squarely to the people. 
It is like watching the worst excesses of the Rudd government. Indeed it would not surprise me to hear Abbott was working on his own children’s book. 
The Abbott government went into the 2013 election with a second-term agenda, deferring big-ticket reform items like tax and industrial relations reforms beyond its first term of government. That second-term agenda is now lost without a trace. If you find it, give the Prime Minister’s office a call. To add to the government’s woes there is no prospect of an early election with the polling as bad as it is — and that means a third budget. The headline figure will reveal a deficit more than double that when Labor was hurled out in 2013. Spending has increased, revenues are plummeting. Budget management rather than an emergency is real but the government’s handling of it suggests a confected crisis. 
One of Abbott’s worst verbal clunkers was his statement that good government started on February 8 — the day of his ‘near death’ experience. Plainly it didn’t but, to paraphrase Mark Twain, talk of the government’s death remains an exaggeration.

Don't worry. That's the sort of rousing oration coaches apparently give at half time. You know, you're all a bunch of loser girlies. If you don't pull up your socks, and take the ball up the guts, we'd be better off having a quota for girlies. Not that a quota would be justified. You losers and dropkicks have been selected on your merits, and look where that's got us ...

And you'll notice there at the end that Jack began the subtle switch to positive coaching which is required once you've delivered the spray and the dressing down ...

,,,to paraphrase Mark Twain, talk of the government’s death remains an exaggeration.
There is still hope but it must be joined by conviction. 
There is no better time for a cabinet reshuffle. Place the government’s best performers into major portfolios where they will be front and centre in the public eye. Scott Morrison to the Treasury, Josh Frydenberg to Immigration, Mathias Cormann to Employment, Sussan Ley to Defence, Christian Porter to Finance, Bruce Billson to Employment. Let those who have tried and failed tell their stories walking. Shake it up. 

Poor Jack. The pond understands that the Tigers, apparently a thugby league team languishing at the bottom of the table and likely wooden spooners, have just told their captain to hit the road.

But not Jack. No, the captain still gets to stay and make his picks, and incidentally, as a pond reader noted, lie to his colleagues.

Yes, how funny was that and the poodle so indignant and prim and proper:

“Well I haven’t talked about the private dinner with the prime minister and there were only three people at the dinner and I remember who the other two were because it wasn’t that long ago and I’m not going to talk about that dinner or any other private discussions I have had with the prime minister because that would make it hard for us to have a trusting relationship, so, no, I don’t do that,” Pyne said.

And so on and so forth, and you can Graudian it here.

And who were the three at the dinner? Well if you believe this reptile photo ...

So would Jack get rid of a notorious leaker and liar, who's bad for team morale?

Nope, instead we get the usual folly about how the team can be pulled together because of the superior powers of the coach, making solid steel out of malleable clay:

Be bold. Dust off that second-term agenda and take tax reform — not a summit on one, not a promise to think about it, but hard policy — to the people that includes tax benefits to low- and middle-income earners. 
Whatever changes need be made must be made quickly. The prevailing view that the same methods that weren’t working in the past might work in the future is just plain dumb. 
If Tony Abbott continues with that approach, there will come a time when people really will have stopped listening and then someone is going to have to come along and blast him out of his chair.

And what do you know, this very day the diligent team shows they've imbibed the kool aid and are having a go ...

Have a go tax cuts?

It's a joke, right, Jack?

You see, the pond was listening back when they were talking about an apocalyptic budget emergency of an astonishing dimension, up there with that San Andreas movie ...

How did the coach deal with that one? That's right:

Budget management rather than an emergency is real but the government’s handling of it suggests a confected crisis. 

Gobbledegook! Make that man a News Corp super coach!

Now they're talking about everyone getting a tax break and everything, China meltdown and likely recession, will be hunky dory?

Sorry, Jack, you're a loser coach of a loser team, and your failure to sack the captain is a big reason you're such a loser.

Better get into the kool aid in a big way, because you're going to need it. You forgot to tell your team to stay focussed ... and if it is such a dire budget emergency, then surely that needs attention, rather than pandering to voters as if they were a bunch of sucker johns ...

If it's a confected crisis, who did the confecting?A confectionary company?

And finally the pond was pleased to see big Mal out and about, doing what is know known at the pond as doing a Jack, which is to say defending the indefensible:

Which naturally led the pond to get out an old Pope:

Still as true as the day it was first published ...

And that naturally led to another Pope, published this day, and you can find more Pope here:

Cruel but more than fair Mr Pope, and the pond thinks much less of Ms Gillard for it ...


  1. From memory, the remote Andean location in that classic Carl Barks "Donald Duck" story is called "Plain Awful". A rather appropriate description of both News Corp and Tony's Sideshow Alley (I don't think I can bring myself to call it a government any longer).

  2. From memory, Anon? What a splendid memory you must have!

    I vaguely remember Unca Scrooge swimming in money. I always thought that must be very uncomfortable.

    1. Heh; I'll have to admit to a 50-year love of the works of Cark Barks - even if I had no idea who he actually was for the first 20 years, since his work was uncredited! One of the geniuses of the comics world.

      As for Scrooge - well, just how he managed to swim like that was his secret. I like to think that even he would be disgusted by the current Liberal Party, who seem more akin to the Beagle Boys in terms of skill and intelligence.

    2. Hmmmm I've been thinking Gyro Gearloose, Anon.......

  3. I must commend you Dorothy to having the internal fortitude to read Jack the Insider. His blokishness and affectations of being 'one of us 'though more literate' was analogous to having a digital rectal examination for the prostrate - painful, demeaning and ultimately outdated.

  4. Jack the Insider flags both Mathias Cormann and Bruce Billson for Employment. Is this some sort of CabinetDome, where two men enter, one man leaves? If so, Billson looks a bit of pudding, so my money is on the Cormanator.

    "Bust a deal - Face the wheel"? Sounds like it was written by Tones' three-word-slogan supplier...


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