Let the good times roll ...
Bron voyage and a joke about sacrificing the bishop is the best the Murdochians have got?
And what's this "At last she's gone", as if the Murdochians were in on the game from the start, and couldn't wait to get rid of the Bishop, whereas the reality was that it was the Fairfaxians did all the heavy lifting at the start, and were also there for the kill:
Yes, that's a better headline. What was startling was just how sad and strained Abbott was looking when he announced he'd killed his metaphorical mother. Like a figure in a Greek tragedy, albeit yet to reach any kind of catharsis ...
Never mind, the way Abbott bungled, mishandled, then went to ground in the crucial week leading up to the sacking - call it a resignation if you will - will become the stuff of political legend.
And meanwhile let the hounding continue, so that an ongoing examination of the books leads to the same humiliation and legal suffering Slipper endured. Not that the pond has time for Slipper, but the need for an aesthetic balance, the quest for the golden mean, should ensure that the scandal hounds Bishop and Abbott for months to come. Because it's not just the system, it's the individual and the ethical and moral capacity of the individual to follow the guidelines already to hand, in spirit as well as letter of the law.
And we know how that turned out.
And what heavy lifting it now leaves the reptiles to do.
Already the work is under way. Malcolm Turnbull wasted endless minutes on AM this morning enduring questions about Bronnie before spruiking jobs, jobs, jobs for the NBN, and all that did was remind the pond of its seething resentment and the absurdity of the current roll out, and now they're pissing more money against the wall on more jobs to roll out a second-rate infrastructure ...
But it was the reptiles of Oz that were favoured with all the juicy tips and optimistic bits of boon doggling:
Ignore the bits about Bronnie - and the enormously stupid Ergas proposing that Bishop required a quicker exit, which is a bit like the pond writing how when the sun comes up, the light comes into the world ...
Below all that, the funeral rites, you can see the busy reptiles doing their level best.
There's the NBN, and big Mal is out and about everywhere - not just AM - talking up his second rate system, which will require massive re-configuring even before its first iteration is completed, and endless blather about jobs, jobs, jobs, and now a hint that the government might have folded on the matter of the ship-building in South Australia. Perhaps the poodle is feeling the noose a little too tightly around the neck.
And there was the bromancer, sagely explaining how the bold and brave Aussies stood up to Obama himself on the matter of the TPP.
Which rather ignores the question about why the government was so heavily committed to negotiations which were never primarily about trade, or the sugar industry or diary or cattle or the rest of it, but were seen by the Americans as a way of fortifying their intellectual property rights in a number of fields while giving away as little as they could manage in relation to actual trade.
It's been a classic fuck up and that foolish fop Andrew Robb did his best to peddle the nonsense for years - was still doing it this very day - and now the reptiles have to wheel out the bromancer to explain how Abbott himself snatched victory from the jaws of defeat ... by walking away from a deal that Robb was still pumping up all week as just within the government's grasp.
Yep it's getting tougher and tougher for the reptiles, and now let the boon doggling and pork barreling begin ... happy crow eaters, to be blessed with the munificence, because, after all, they're entitled ...
Now please allow the pond to examine how the reptiles deal with the funeral rites of Bronnie as an example of their tireless work:
A more accurate transcription would be, "good dog, slow to heel, but at least now you've remembered, when it comes to loyalty, who your real master is ..."
Then comes the obfuscation, what we might call the de-Slipperisation of the situation:
Four days ago, Mrs Bishop ruled out resigning — a position that became increasingly untenable as yet more evidence emerged of her extravagant, if permitted, use of entitlements. She will continue as the member for Mackellar, but it has been an ignominious end to her speakership. For Mr Abbott and the Coalition, her resignation should staunch much of the political fallout over her arrogant use of entitlements. The more contentious of these might or might not have fallen within guidelines. Department of Finance inquiries are ongoing. But as backbenchers confronted by angry constituents over the winter recess have told Mr Abbott — and as the Prime Minister has effectively conceded — Mrs Bishop’s conduct fell far short of public expectations.
Because going to a colleague's wedding is clearly important official business ...
Let's have a refresher on travelling allowances for Ministers, which by extension are a pretty good guide to helicopters and which explains why politicians construct phoney official government business so they can attend a wedding with clear conscience:
There's a lot more here.
Back to the reptiles, expressing hope. There's a little light spanking with a lettuce leaf, as the reptiles boldly note that Bronnie was blatantly partisan but "appeared dignified" - no doubt because the reptiles think that their blatantly partisan ways still allow them to appear dignified, as opposed to looking like a bunch of angry old white males going red in the face shouting about climate science and halal food:
Loyalty to a longstanding friend and party stalwart such as Mrs Bishop was clearly important to Mr Abbott. Another of his mentors, John Howard, would have moved against Mrs Bishop sooner. In his first term, Mr Howard chopped or accepted the resignations of seven ministers, parliamentary secretaries and his key adviser when they fell short of his code of conduct.
And then there's the notion that Abbott will reform himself ...
Better late than never, Mr Abbott faced the fact that his government would continue bleeding support, and that it would be unable to cut through on substantial policy areas, until the unwelcome distraction created by Mrs Bishop was resolved. Starting with tomorrow’s cabinet meeting in Adelaide, where major announcements have been scheduled, Mr Abbott must now focus on re-energising the government and concentrating on economic and other major policy areas.
Yep, by boondoggling and pork barrelling ... starting with ships, ships, ships for Australia ... preferably using coal, coal, coal ...
And why not finish off with a bit of special pleading and exceptionalism and entitlement to entitlements:
He can also point to the much-needed entitlements review as evidence of a lesson learned the hard way. Politicians work long hours and travel long distances. Relatively, they are poorly paid for the time they put in. They are entitled to be compensated for legitimate travel and other expenses. But controversial grey areas need to be better managed and, crucially, community expectations met.
The age of entitlement is dead. Let the age of legitimate entitlement begin ...
And luckily Rowe has returned in the nick of time to bless the new understanding of legitimate entitlement (and more Rowe here):
And now, since a piece about Abbott and Bronnie and the reptiles is by definition a piece without substance, a shadow, a wraith, lets finish by noting that a heretic has dared to speak out:
The story about the column is here, and the column's here.
Amen to that, but ooohhh, doesn't that wind turbine look ugly as we whisk past it in our chauffeured car ...