Saturday, November 07, 2015

Featuring a liberal sprinkling of reptile fairness dust ...

(Above: and more excellent Pope here).

Having developed tremendous agility itself in the last few days, it was no surprise to the pond to see the reptiles flock in a pack to discuss the issue du jour. How they wheel and turn in unison like starlings.

Forget the attacks on star chambers like ICAC and the love for star chamber Royal Commissions, forget the amount of money wasted on persecuting Julia Gillard and Bill Shorten - even if he is extremely guilty of the crime of attempting to dance - the siren song this day concerns the best and the cleverest way to keep shifting money from the poor to the rich ...

They were all at it, beavering away, though a few were also wringing their hands with incipient anxiety ...

Well there's only so much the pond can take on a Saturday, and Dame Groan has been banned, and the pond is so over Ergas's impression of desiccated coconut, and pompous Paul Kelly is even duller than a prattling Polonius, and forget the oscillating fan and the bouffant one, and besides, when it comes to the crunch, it's always better to look into the heart of darkness, the Oz reptile editorialist, where the master of the marionettes lurks and sets the agenda:

Needs time?

Well we know who this editorial is addressed to. The Bolter has, on any given day, accused Malcolm Turnbull of inordinate waffle and being a consummate waffler, and has even gone so far as endorsing Graham Richardson - Graham Richardson is right - which makes the pond wonder if they share Swiss banks - approvingly reprinting slabs of Gra Gra, in This GST plan just looks like a tax grab.

Somehow that bit about needing time reminded the pond of the immortal Lee Marvin saying "Lady, I don't have the time", having already plugged the craven, corrupt, criminal Ronnie Raygun, in a role that suited Reagan down to the ground.

But the reptiles have hitched their wagons to the waffler, and so comes this poignant extended plea for time:

Now this might be seen as a one-off pleading for Malware, but on the very same day, there came the very same pleading from, of all reptiles, the dog botherer, and at a length which suggests that, like his former master, the dog botherer likes a good waffle.

This will test the patience of those who refuse to read the gobbets, but hey nonny no:

Is it possible to imagine anything more tediously silly? As if the things that bind Mosman and Woollahra - real estate and decent shopping - aren't stronger than a little tedious water ...

Only a croweater could be so demographically dense, and so the irresistible metaphor becomes a floundering folly for the rest of the piece.

Of course what the dog botherer is really about is reconciling his own need to embrace some kind of more moderate path, and hence the tedium of the waffle, which is roughly equivalent to sharing some space with him on a psychiatrist's couch.

Of course he'll fling around a "love media" to establish his tough, he-man credentials, but it's the moderates that win out:

Now the pond has got into trouble in the past talking of schizophrenic effects of the Jekyll and Hyde kind, but surely this is a wondrous and deft balancing act, what with the public appreciating the Abbott's many successes, and there being talk of his strengths, while at the same time, proposing that the party room was more moderate than Abbott for virtually the entirety of his reign.

And so, by the end of the blather and the waffle, the dog botherer ends up in exactly the same space as the reptile editorialist:

So Malware's just a new figurehead? But the agenda's the same ... and the conservatives have done the hard yards but there needs to be increasing moderation, reflective of public attitudes.

This is subtle astute comedy writing - who else could write of Tony Abbott as a kind of necessary ballast, and see it as a form of praise?

1. heavy material, such as gravel, sand, or iron, placed in the bilge of a ship to ensure its stability. "the hull had insufficient ballast" 
2. gravel or coarse stone used to form the bed of a railway track or the substratum of a road. 
"a thick layer of railway ballast"

Thick, coarse, heavy material in the bilge? Well indeed ...

Meanwhile the wags of twitter have been digging through what was said and done by the coarse ballast team and came up with this from John Hewson:

You can find that back in December 2014 in How John Howard's tax cuts undid his protégé Tony Abbott.

Simple really, and now the game's afoot in the reptile pages to work out how to keep imposing it on the less well-off ... and a regressive GST increase should be a nice starter ...

Meanwhile, all this talk of ballast hanging around like an albatross around the neck reminded the pond of another excellent Pope cartoon, albeit with a winged keel:


  1. So, it's "Bye bye, Ben". To whom will Roop turn, then?
    Anyway, DP, you may have misread the tealeaves - the case for the settled agenda is sealed by deployment of "Conservative commentators". A mere figment that it only requires two of them.
    You know, I'm starting to believe that Abbott's 3-word slogans were too long. How about "Tax cuts!!" as a sure-fire campaign winner? That's Agility for you.

  2. Oh dear. It seems that some of Dr. Ben's co-religionist aren't very happy with his stance on Islam, same sex marriage and the ordination of women.

    'Your anti-Muslim rhetoric is not only ironic, but also immoral. I can assure you that it is not in line with our faith tradition. Our sacred texts call us to love our neighbour as ourselves—this includes our Muslim neighbour. I implore you to be a better representative of our faith community. You could start this weekend by visiting a local mosque and engaging in peaceful dialogue with our Muslim brothers and sisters.'

  3. Fairness? Pah! After the Friday night fizzer letting Bib off the hook, we are deprived of EricA all cock-a-hoop.

    1. Surely the first wave of News Corp "There are questions still to be answered by Shorten..." articles must be ready to roll out tomorrow?

    2. "There are questions still to be answered by Shorten..."
      News corp Sharri'nism?

    3. The Bolter:

      And while Shorten may indeed have acted legally, did he act properly?


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