Monday, February 22, 2016

In which the pond celebrates Abbott celebrating the achievements of the Abbott government, past and future ...

Now on this day of troubled polls, and uncertain policies, and talk of DDs, and fluttering futtering agile Malware futility, it would have been exceptionally remiss of the pond not to notice the valiant attempt of the wall puncher to stay in the public eye ...

First up, the obvious question. Are the reptiles choosing wisely with that hero shot of Abbott in demonic glare mode? 

Couldn't they find a more engaging, human snap, one which invites the readership to bond?

Oh okay, maybe not, maybe it's too hard, maybe the smouldering, glowering, grim, 'in your face', you 'lookin' at me punk?' glare is the right one ...

But now it's on to the text, which the pond could write in its sleep. 

We must be ready to shirt front someone, we must be ready to punch a wall, we must be ready to do violence. We must tackle China, we must destroy Putin, we must be at war in the middle east... and with a decent set of gimmicks so that real warriors have the best set of toys with which to pose ...

Oh okay, the pond is just delaying the moment, but that's because there's really only one point to the read.

How many times will "Abbott" be referenced, preferably in a third person way, as might the Queen or some royal?

You know, some idle chatter about the "Abbott government", in some preening, boastful, desperate way designed to enhance the memories and burnish the legend ...

Now the pond confesses to being a tad disappointed with this beginning. 

Oh sure there's the requisite war-mongering, and the 'be alert and be alarmed' words of wisdom, and the boots on the ground mantra, and the need to be ready to shirtfront Putin and to crash tackle China - perhaps a coathanger would be better? -and to take out the caliphate, with a follow up stiff arm, since even at this very moment the caliphate threatens to swamp Newtown, but where was the Abbott hagiography?

Must try harder, must do better ...

Oh that's much better, each of the last three pars has an Abbott reference, including a very cute joke about Abbott-proof fencing.

Now the pond must commend this agile student, always on the hop, but there are further areas for improvement. For example, surely the header could have read "Why the Abbott government beefed up defence ... and why we need to follow Abbott, in maintaining the beefing-up of defence."

Sure, it's a little prolix, but how else to stand on a wonderful shirt-fronting, onion-munching record.

And it's always wise to introduce the key theme in the opening paragraph, before enlarging the argument and then re-stating it in the conclusion.

Then the opening lines could have read "It's good that ministers have been told to stop spending because the Turnbull government has a spending problem, not a revenue problem, unlike the Abbott government, which had no problems at all. The forthcoming, reconstructed Abbott government will demonstrate that the solution to spending problems is to spend more on defence by importing goods from manufacturing countries - Japan please ready your subs, United States please get the Malware ready - in a way that uniquely avoids a spending problem ..."

The niceties of the argument can then be teased out in the body of the text.

The pond suggests that in future exercises, the writer be diligent and make a point of mentioning Abbott or the Abbott government in the key entry points ... even the splash would have benefited from a little humour, such as "We need to beef up Tony, so here's his beef about beefing up defence."

The pond has always found that politicians who deploy this deprecating sense of humour and sharp wit will eventually be returned to government leadership ... witness the invigorating sense of humour always on display in Chairman Rudd ...

Oh dear, did clicking heels and speaking of the former Chairman result in this?

But no, the pond can't be bothered going there this day ... those who want their fill of the dog botherer can find it ... and they can snigger as much as they like at the sanctimonious Kenny rabbiting on about editorial standards as if he had the first clue what they might be or what they might mean ...

Others who can remember Chris Uhlmann writing for the reptiles as if he's the ABC's political editor, rather than expressing personal views, can chortle and marvel at the dog botherer's line about those at the ABC "who understand their roles, try to keep their politics out of their work and impose high standards of editorial integrity..."

Sheesh, if that were the case, why would anyone at the ABC be allowed to have anything at all to do with the Murdochians ...?

And so to a couple of cartoons and more cartoons here.


  1. "And it's always wise to introduce the key theme in the opening paragraph, before enlarging the argument and then re-stating it in the conclusion."

    Oh wau, DP, that takes me back about 30 or so years to when I first started to do formal presentations at work. Apart from mastering MickeySoft Powerpoint (the secret of success is giving good slide), the most useful was the advice to:

    1. Tell them what you're going to tell them
    2. Tell them
    3. Tell them what you've told them.

    Or, as it has been said: "What I thrice repeat is true !"

    1. Ah GB, et tu? So much suffering, so many memories ...

    2. Mais oui, moi aussi.

      But should we entertain the juniors with hoary tales of how their elders (well, this elder, anyway) did presentations in the days before Powerpoint and laptops ?

      On quarto sized transparent plastic slides that were done up with multiple coloured pens and displayed on an overhead projector. Oh the joy of writing up all those slides longhand printing and then doing up the charts and illustrations by hand too.

      Just like a day at kindergarten.

  2. GB, thirty years ago, you are a young fella.

    1. Indeed I am, s3, indeed I am - but I have at least made my three score and ten.

      Mainly though, I was a late starter - didn't even get into serious IT (or ADP or EDP as it was then called) until after I'd turned 30. There was a lot less ageism then :-)

    2. I didn't know IT existed 40 years ago GB!

    3. Well that's because it didn't, mate, it was ADP (or EDP if you were in the private sector). And the ratio of ADP to IT is about the same as the ratio of a Model T to a Porsche.

      That was in the days of "mainframes" that had way less computing power and memory (ram and permanent) than your average smart phone. But still, we ran the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme by collecting data on local minicomputers, transmitting it to Canberra over leased lines then unloading it to 1600 foot tape reels and walking the tapes over to the mainframe for processing.

      Oh, them were the days.

  3. Ms Pond and fellow "loonies"
    I am struggling to understand the process being suggested for the selection of Senators in the next election.
    If we are to have optional preferential voting above the line, why not just do away with above th eline voting and have optional preferential voting below the line.
    The argument that voters will have control of their votes in above the line voting is fallacious as any vote for the major parties selects Senators in the order the party selected the candidates. There is no way to give (for instance) Sen Brandis no vote if the liberal party is selected. The only way to ensure Brandis is notgiven your vote is to go below the line (which of course us pedants do as a matter of course).

    1. In short, why have a line at all ?

      In any case, the existing system can actually do what I understand they're proposing: if, above the line, you fill in 6 or 7 genuine selections, then it simply doesn't matter what order you number the rest because, provided your 6 or 7 'serious' choices contains a major party (or two) your selections will all have been allocated long before they get to your last few choices. So just number serially from top left every box you haven't already numbered.

      But then, I wouldn't really know, because I always number every box below the line so I can give the vote checking monitors a job of work to do: checking that I have uniquely and serially numbered every box. Oh how I enjoy the thought ...

    2. The pond shares your sublime perversity GB ...

    3. The numbering every square was a very perverse idea, designed to disenfranchise less literate and non-English-speaking migrants. I saw it at its worse as an ALP scrutineer in the 70s. So many informal votes from those intending to follow the ALP ticket, running out of steam at about preference no. 26 with still about 20+ to number. The intention was clear. The Bankstown Rash attempt to flood the Senate ballot paper in NSW undoubtedly denied Gough his 6th Senate seat (which he might still have got but for a quirky way they did the preferences) which would've given him a majority in both houses.

      I admire your intentions, Gruebleen. The highlight of my scrutineering, which even got a laugh from the returning staff when I pointed it out among the 'informals' was a paper filled in perfectly in every square but with letters instead of numbers. It read, "fuck all politicians'.

      Tell me, GrueBleen, you're not by any chance the poster back in the early days of Poll Bludger who was known as Blue Green?

    4. Strange when you consider, GD, that compulsory voting in Australia was introduced almost exclusively by the right. Nice touch with the letters though.

      I have to confess that no, I've never posted on a blog called Poll Bludger. I wonder if your Blue Green took his name from the same place I took mine (see Nelson Goodman).

    5. Bugger Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum!

      You want 'em to work? You want 'em to weep? And you want your own optional preferential vote to cut 'em out? Then vote below the line using a modified Langer style vote saving method.

      Selecting in order, say, only 12 preferred candidates I usually go: 1,2,3,4,5, ... 11,12,13,13,14,...n

      You may prefer: 1,2,3,4,5, ... 11,12,14,...n

      These methods are the easiest way to cast a valid modified Langer style vote for the Senate below the line. Number your preferences as far as you want, make a single simple "error", then finish numbering all candiates sequentially to the end.

      Further, if wished you may also mark your preferrence above the line if, say, you're unsure of the validity of your modified Langer style vote below the line. Call it insurance. The vote marked below the line must be first counted and checked for validity by a returning officer. If found to be invalid then the voting preference expressed above the line on the voting paper is counted and if that's found valid then this above the line vote must be accepted.

      Shhh, Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum made it illegal to tell you this about electoral law. Pass it on.

    6. Thanks for the Albert Langer reminder, Anony, it's been a while since our very famous 'prisoner of conscience' was seriously acknowledged.

      And yes, if I recall rightly, you have broken the law by describing the Langer vote, and we've probably broken the law by reading about it. But I thought they'd actually stuffed it by allowing some number of gratuitous errors in a ;below the line' vote and the intent was to allow for even more (only a couple, I think, but still more).

      Unfortunately, I now can't definitively remember whether I ever did cast a Langer vote; I think I did, but memory is fallible and self-satisfying imagination is hyperactive.


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