Some Questions

Will there be full body searches on Opera House opening nights? Why not?

There are terrorists already at work in Australia, ASIO says so. The Prime Minister says so. How shall we stop them?

Well, the way we stop them at Parliament House. We will go through the pockets and purses and orifices of everyone going to a football final, a rock concert, a Labor Party conference, Opera in the Park. We have to do this. The danger is too great. Well, isn’t it?

The Abbottites’ inability to join any dots, finish any sentence, follow to its conclusion any line of thought, is evident in these fool new laws.

If you went to Syria when Assad was the bad guy and you try to come back, you do twenty-five years. If it was to go to a family wedding, to be best man for a cousin, and the cousin is anti-Assad, you get twenty-five years. If you go as a medical volunteer to Gaza, you are Hamas, and a terrorist, and you get twenty-five years. If you fight, though, for Netanyahu and kill children, that’s okay, you can come home.

If you go to Donetsk, and talk at a family funeral to a cousin who is pro-Russian, you get twenty-five years. If you say ‘I agree with Putin’ at a Strathfield backyard barbecue in a Russian accent, you get twenty-five years.

What is all this shit?

More Australians have been killed by bikies than terrorists. More have been killed by backyard pools. Seventeen thousand each year are killed by cigarette salesmen, like Nick Greiner and Paul Hogan. The last active ‘terrorist’ on our soil was Ned Kelly.

Give me a break.

…There is a lot of terrorism going on here, in fact. Brutal men pursuing their ex-wives. Priests threatening buggered boys with hellfire if they do not submit. Scott Morrison threatening Tamil children with the torturers of their grandfathers and cousins, or sex slavery in Cambodia. Terror-ism is what it says: striking fear in the heart of the listener, saying do it my way, punk, or horror follows.

Exactly what Abbott is doing. Our Chicken Little-in-Chief.

I invite contributions.

The Three Worst Things the Liberals Did Yesterday (43)

A six year old girl charged Morrison with kidnapping, child abuse, untreated illness and institutional torture, and some people on Nauru rashly complained of rape, oppressive boredom and being offered gentler treatment if they provided guards with oral sex. Morrison said he was proud of this, his record on Richo & Jones, and swore he would continue his present policy of serial wog enslavement, or Temporary Protection Visas, as it was better known, till the boats stopped coming, though they had stopped coming, thanks to his genius. Asked if he thought that not letting young men work for ten years provided the devil with idle hands, he said he hadn’t thought of that.

Abbott said he would go to war in Iraq whatever parliament said, if he was in a sanguine mood that day. Ten years after his hero Howard swore the Weapons of Mass Destruction would soon be found in a sandhill, and eleven years after Bush’s ‘Mission Accomplished’ moment, he said there was work to do, God’s work to do, fending off the heathen in the field of Armageddon, and he knew the Australian people were keen to send further slouch hats into needless death by bombardment and beheading in the fourth lost war in the Middle East in a century. It would show what Team Australia was made of, he babbled. It would show the adults were in charge. The nickname ‘Chicken Little-in-Chief’ stuck to him like glue.

Brandis accused the ABC and Fairfax of opressing Christians, Catholics, bigots and Jews. The Catholic Church especially, he said, had been for centuries a champion of freedom of speech, since the earliest days of the Spanish Inquisition, and these recent attacks on its God-given rights to protect behind the Confessional Oath eight thousand Australian pedophile priests was an attack on liberty itself. Fairfax and the ABC should be prevented from saying these things, he added, in freedom’s name. He was given a scotch and told to go back to the makeup room and have a good fucking look at himself. If Lord Mordor looked back at him, it was time, perhaps, to return to rehab.

Abbott lawlessly spent on a jet flight to a private function thirty thousand dollars of the the taxpayers’ money. This was thirty times the amount Slipper spent on those cabs and rare wine that ruined him. He was pleased with himself, and while boasting about it at a party meeting was attacked by a man called McDonald with a chair.

It was four times the amount Craig Thomson was run out of parliamènt and gaoled for.

Abbott kept grinning, hoping no-one would make the comparison.

And thus concluded one more day of the worst free-elected government in more than a thousand years of democracy, since that system’s foundatiin in Iceland, in 934.

How To Fix The Budget, Fairly Simply

Take, as a one-off,1.5 billion from each of the four big banks and 1.5 billion from Gina Rinehart, thus reducing the deficit by 7.5 billion.

Cancel the PPL and give every woman with a new baby 30,000 dollars, thus saving 2.5 billion.

Cancel the fighter-bomber, thus saving 3 billion this year, 3 billion next year, and so on. Among other things, it can’t fly.

Deny the superannuation write-off to the very rich, thus saving 4 billion.

Put a 3 percent GST on food, thus saving 8 billion.

This will bring the deficit down to 2 billion. It is likely, though not certain, the economy will improve, and the deficit will be one billion.

Next year, spend a billion less on Gallipoli nostalgia and looking for MH 370, and balance the Budget.

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (42)

Abbott still would not say after six weeks if he was discontinuing the Royal Commission into Child Abuse. Some said it was because of p68 of the Duffy biography, implicating (some said) himself, in a college cover-up; others merely because it was getting closer to Pell, his father confessor, currently hectically clawing back money for the Pope, who needed it to pay off several hundred buggered choirboys and the relatives of suicides currently writhing in Hell. Paying good government money to impoverish Mother Church was not, in Abbott’s view, an option when it could be better spent searching three oceans for bits of a crashed aeroplane and a dead Black Box, half a billion thus far.

Nor would he say why he cancelled the travelling Anzac show, in this the hundredth year of the commemoration of our boys’ pointless decimation on the wrong beach in the Dardanelles on a sacred national day plus eight months of bungled battle thereafter. Some said it was because he was not an Australian, and adopted Australian citizenship only when it would get him to England as a Rhodes Scholar, hopefully never to return. Some said he was merely stingy, dumb, insensitive and innumerate, as always, and believed, as he once said of war in general, ‘shit happens’.

Peter Reith, a Liberal voter, praised Pyne for saying he would stop, with extreme prejudice, university researchers from curing cancer. He said the twenty billion medical research fund should be cancelled also, lest cancer be cured that way, with money that was borrowed, an ‘utterly unacceptable option’, in his firm, crazed view. He doubted, he said, ‘that Keynesian stimulation works’, though it beat back the GFC in 142 countries recently. He said we would be much better off if we brought back WorkChoices, divide the nation and ruin the economy more cruelly and maliciously. Fairfax published this nonsense, and paid him, probably, six hundred dollars for it.

Abbott claimed those Syrians who flew home to save their old mums from Assad’s bombardment were terrorists until they could convince him otherwise. He said they would be gaoled for terrorism, and so would their mums, for twenty years if they dared come home from Syria. He was then reminded he was against Assad, like Obama, and said he wasn’t. He was for Assad, he pleaded. Aren’t I? He was then told by a flummoxed minder he was against both, they were ‘both bad guys’, he himself had said this loudly last September, a date beyond the reach of his memory. He screamed that he would gaol both, whomever they fought for. Fuck the lot of them. They shouldn’t be fighting for anybody. Nobody should go to Syria to fight for anybody. For anything. For any cause. He was then told the Anzacs had, and he said ‘Yes, but that was years ago.’ He looked in the mirror, howled like a banshee, cursed his Creator, ran round the block, did eighty-eight push-ups and inadvertently put his thumb in his eye.

Colin Barnett, a Liberal voter, was told by Moodys he couldn’t have his triple-A any more. He was the third Liberal Premier, after Newman and O’Farrell, in teo years to be so punished for financial incompetence. The federal government, under Abbott and Hockey and Sinodinos and Cormann, still had its triple-A despite the ‘debt and deficit disaster’ it allegedly inherited from the ruinous innumerate monster Wayne Swan.

Hearing he might sue them, they abruptly stopped saying ‘disaster’.

Morgan Yesterday, Newspoll Today

Morgan showed Labor’s raw vote up 0.5 percent, on 38.5, and down 0.5 percent 2PP, on 55.5. Among states they were 55.5 percent 2PP in NSW, 57.5 in Victoria, 50.5 in Queensland, 51 in WA, 57.5 in SA, and 56.5 in Tasmania. The Coalition’s unchanged raw vote was 37.5, the Greens down 0.5 on 10.5, Palmer (after the China outburst) down 1 percent, on 4.5.

Morgan rings mobiles, and asks minor party voters what their second preferences are.

In age groups 2PP, 18-24 year olds voted 64 percent Labor, 25-34 year olds 64.5, 35-49 year olds 60.5, 50-64 year olds 50.5. Those over 65 voted 45.5 percent Labor, 54.5 percent Coalition. Three of them died while you were reading this.

None of this will be mentioned by the Blessed Fran Kelly this morning, though Morgan got the result dead right last time, and the time before. She will however rejoice at the Newspoll, which does not ring mobiles, nor ask what the minor parties’ preferences were, preferring to guess, and had Labor with six hundred thousand fewer votes on 51, and the Coalition with six hundred thousand more votes on 49. ‘Coalition closing gap,’ the p1 headline shouts, though it has has Shorten regaining seven hundred thousand votes as Preferred Prime Minister after saying he was not a rapist. Abbott in this category is shown to have lost a quarter of a million votes, and the p6 headline saying ‘Coalition closes on Labor as budget slump passes’.

It’s important Fran report both polls, not just the inaccurate one, but of course she knows what she likes. It would be good too if Newspoll, whose boss is Murdoch, said what three states the Coalition was ahead in, and what three age groups.

Abbott’s figures, 36 satisfied, 55 dissatisfied, indicate, like Morgan, he is behind in all states. Shorten’s figures, 39 satisfied, 40 dissatisfied, uncommitted 21, show he is moving ahead.

I urge Premier Andrews to investigate Newspoll for fraudulent, mendacious practices in December, as a first priority.

Certain Housekeeping Matters (125)

Christine has been banned for life. This was because of her graceless, insensitive defence of the loathesome child-torturing criminal Morrison and her unfounded contempt for Gillian Triggs.

With a better English style she might, like Frank, have survived.

I will attempt, overnight, an obituary of the great, or near-great, ‘Dickie’ Attenborough.

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (41)

Pyne said he would cut all money to research in universities, thus stopping cancer being cured here and driving our Einsteins, Oppenheimers, Salks, Changs, Hollowses, Hawkings and Floreys overseas. He said he would do this if he wasn’t allowed to charge students one thousand times as much as himself for their degrees, at a time when they would also have to pay ten times as much as him for their houses. ‘We’ll fix your wagon,’ he is said to have said with his usual genial spleen, ‘the class war is back, and we’re winning.’

Miranda Devine, a Liberal voter, called for the sacking of Gillian Triggs for daring to compare detention centres with prisons. She did not say what the difference was, but so vehemently insisted this poor woman was a blithering, fatuous incompetent (she dared to suggest a link between child suicide and the prospect of lifelong encarceration) that she was roundly applauded by a second Liberal voter, the Agenda compere Mark Kenny, who, I am confidently informed, does not fuck dogs, goats or dormice except when it is safe to do so. Both commentators are employed by Rupert Murdoch, the shrill, cuckolded co-founder of the Tea Party and boastful mentor of W, Akerman, Bolt and Sarah Palin.

Tony Abbott suggested he might join Iraq War 3 — or Armageddon, as it is called in the Scriptures — without consulting parliament or the Australian people. His hero, John Howard, had caused Iraq War 2 and its killing or displacement of six million educated people, including all the dentists, and Abbott was keen to emulate or even better this vast, blood-deluged achievement of his prating, hag-ridden, shrunken, squawking predecessor. He saw no reason to ask our permission to put at risk our grandchildren’s and great-grandchildren’s lives (it was estimated the war would last perhaps three hundred years), nor put it to a referendum, or even a Newspoll, because, look, look, these were heathens at work, killing Christians, and this was wrong, wrong, wrong. And he planned Operation Kill The Heretics with his fellow foaming fundamentalist Morrison over Guinnesses and silent prayer at the Steyne.

Morrison, facing charges that he assisted in the escape of two white murderers and the bashing with clubs of sixty heathens and the shooting of one and the throat-slashing of one, went as usual to his church and spoke in tongues while his fellow-parishioners looked at him sharply. Child abuse was unpopular with some of them, and in the Puberty Blues Memorial Twig-Lashing Sauna they planned his excommunication. Others in adjacent steam-rooms planned his deselection.

Cormann in his dulcet Nazi-dentist baritome said he would, by God, ‘raise taxes’ if Labor did not let him raise taxes — the co-payment, the petrol levy, and so on — in this Budget, the sort of taxes he liked to raise. He agreed he would have to get the Senate to let him do this, and they wouldn’t. Abbott, stepping in, said no, they would lower taxes, not raise them, and agreed the Senate would not let them do this either. But it was the thought that counts.

And so concluded another day of the worst free-elected government in the history of our form of democracy, founded in Iceland in 934.

Why Abbott Can’t Hack It As Prime Minister

The thought that Costello might come back (backroomers are begging him to) puts Abbott’s leadership deficiencies in a spotlight like no other.

Unlike the beaming former Treasurer, he seems indecisive. He seems inarticulate. He seems shifty. He seems likely to go back on his word. He jumps like Chicken Little from crisis to crisis, panicking, and gets it wrong, pretty often. He said ‘after the crime, the cover-up’ of MH 17. He doesn’t say that any more. He said he’d found MH 370. Four months later he’s still looking, in three oceans, for bits of plane and a dead Black Box. Why? He is for the right to be bigoted in April, against it in July. He loves his sister, but believes she wil burn a billion years for the abominable sin of cunnilingus. He is against child abuse, but spoke up for the child abuser, John Nestor. And so on.

‘Havering’ is a good Celtic word that describes what he does, a kind of jumpy, agitated two-bob-each-way, don’t quote me, for Christ’s sake don’t quote me.

He also suffers from what others have called The Las Vegas Syndrome. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Whatever room he’s in, he says what they want to hear, and then he goes on to another room, and says something different, what they want to hear. He never believes he’s being recorded, and what he says will be on ABC radio the next morning. Thus he tells Japan he admires the’skill’ and ‘honour’ of their wartime accomplishments, though most of those were slaughters, mass rapes, enslavements and exemplary beheadings. He’s amazed when the Chinese — who remember the Rape of Nanjing — object to this. He doesn’t believe they were listening. He thinks they ought not to have been listening. He thinks he’s not important enough to be listened to. He doesn’t believe he’s Prime Minister. He’s just a shifty, havering candidate, surely.

And the net result is people don’t believe him. He never delivers in what he’s promised. Where are the MH 17 bodies? Where is the MH 370 Black Box? Where is the cancelled Schoolkids’ Money? We’re still getting it. Should we send it back? Do we pay the seven dollars, or what? What is going on here?

He’s like a 50s crooner who’s turned up without his Big Band. The band is coming, he assures the audience. Meanwhile, I’ll do these bird imitations I’m good at. This is the budgerigar.

We expect more of a Prime Minister than this. We’d like to know, for instance, what side we’re on in Syria. We’d like to know who killed Reza Barati, and when we’ll see him in the dock, the way we’re seeing, night after night, Oscar Pistorius in the dock. We’d like to know what’s going to happen to the fifty Tamil children Morrison kidnapped, messed about, and hopes to sell as slaves to Cambodia. We’d like to know if the children on Nauru will be there for a hundred years. We’d like to know if the children on TPVs will be ever able to work, or go to university, or if they’re slaves too. We’d like to know if he’s abolishing, as Pyne threatens, all research in our universities.

The truth is, he doesn’t know these things. He’s not used to having to have policies he’s settled on himself, decided on as Leader. In the past, he did what Howard wanted. And he opposed what Gillard did. The idea of deciding himself, fine tuning himself, what part of the Billionairesses’ Baby Bonus should alter, or be cut back, or be scrapped, is beyond him. He’s not good at that sort of decision. He’s not good at decisions at all. Credlin makes his decisions. He just looks at the headlines, and yells ‘The sky is falling!’ And then havers, dithers about what happens next.

And it’s too late now for him to begin to seem calm and dignified and decisive and commanding, like a leader. Like a Prime Minister. He’ll never get there now.

And he’s cactus. He’s a dud. And the people sense it.

He’s last year’s news. And the news has turned sour. And the game is up.

Discuss.

And he’ll join soon the severed heads of Brandis and Andrews and Hockey and Sinodinos and Abetz and O’Farrell and Baillieu and Buswell and Hartcher gnawing the basket.

And so it goes.

Certain Housekeeping Matters (124)

For those who would like to read it I have completed my essay on beheading.

I recommend Peter Fitzsimon’s essay on Pell in the Sun-Herald this morning.

I am doing a piece on Letters From Iwo Jima on Ellis Gold. It will accumulate overnight and be finished, perhaps, by tomorrow morning.

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (40)

John Elliott, thought to have embezzled sixty million dollars but let off on a technicality, offered himself for the seat of Hawthorn. But Jeff Kennett, who sold off three hundred and ten schools to property developers, and had been rancorously discarded as leader of his Party thrice, was thought by some a better candidate. The resigning member, Ted Baillieu, was among the property developers he sold off the schools to. The criminal tendency in the Liberal Party was thus emphasised, as it had been lately in New South Wales.

And in Tasmania, where Will Hodgman said he would give back thirty million thieved from pensioners by Abbott, who promised not to do so. He would do this by sacking teachers and nurses and thus provide a balanced Budget in six years not three, as he had falsely promised.

Abbott hoped to advantage himself by inviting Muslims into ‘Team Australia’, but many detested the divisiveness of that concept. A team was picked by the captain, it was said. Was he the captain? Was he a good one?

They noted his tendency to say two things and do both. He said he would marry a pregnant girl, and did not. He said he would be a chaste priest, became an unchaste priest, then left the priesthood altogether. He said he would keep and cherish Gonski, then abolished it. He said he would keep helping and succouring the disabled, then, by redefining ‘disabled’, tiptoed away with their promised money. He said he had found MH 370, then said he hadn’t, and spent half a billion continuing to look for it in three oceans.

He accused Putin of shooting down MH 17, a plane with Australians on it, and said this monster would be ‘brought to justice’. But then he invited, or did not disinvite, him to Brisbane, and did not join a trade boycott of him, continuing to sell him uranium, a substance used in the production of weapons of mass destruction. He had joined the condemnation of Assad, a bad man who had slaughtered two hundred thousand of his own people, but now was on his side.

Muslims faced with a team captain as shifty, mendacious and bloodspattered as this were inclined, albeit a little nervously, to tell him to go fuck himself. He said he ‘perfectly understood’ how they felt, and wrote their names down.

Malcolm Fraser, for seven years a Liberal Prime Minister, called ‘divisive’, ‘counter-productive’ and ‘terrible’ this Prime Minister’s Team Australia ‘nonsense’. ‘If I were still a member of the Liberal Party,’ he said, ‘I would be distraught’. He was the fifth Prime Minister, or Leader to have left the Party. John Gorton, John Hewson, Martin Hamilton-Smith and Fraser were noisier about it, Sir Robert Menzies, who founded the Party and in his last years of crippled senility voted DLP, more secretive.

The total number of years served as Prime Minister by these eventual mutineers was twenty-six. The total number of years the Liberal Party was in power federally was thirty-nine. Which meant for two thirds of its time heretics were in charge of it.

A Prediction

Peter Costello will ascend to the Senate, and be appointed Treasurer round October 15, in a last-ditch effort by Abbott to ward off the Turnbull Risorgimento. Costello will then conspire the overthrow of Abbott, and a Victorian seat in the House.

A new round of ‘Who’s on first?’ jokes will occur.

Costello will be Prime Minister by March.

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (39)

At the Inquiry Scott Morrison said ‘detention’, into which he proposed to lock up children on Nauru for a hundred years, was nothing like ‘prison’, and shouted at Gillian Triggs and frightened her. Asked if he was ill-treating children, he said yes but only to stop other children from drowning. Those who had not drowned he proposed to torture in revenge for their success in not drowning. He called this a ‘humanitarian response’.

It was an odd form of reasoning, like saying randomly waterboarding some motorists would deter other motorists from driving carelessly, or cutting off the hands of some children would stop other children masturbating. That what he, as their guardian, was doing to the eight hundred children in his care, to wit, driving some of them to madness and all of them to thoughts of suicide, was child abuse was not asked; nor was his arrest for this called for by the frightened women he railed at with all the ominous confidence of an obergruppenfuhrer.

His performance was keenly watched by Contrarians compere Kristina Keneally, a former Labor voter who now both looked and sounded like the usual kind of smiling blonde fascist you see on Fox News, and, after saying he had ‘not put a foot wrong’, did not put it to air. Some broadcasters initially did, but by Lateline had cut all the hydrophobic bullying out of it lest it put off even more female voters and those young children who might be unsettled by the relish with which he boasted of torturing captive children, and ‘giving a voice’ to tiny corpses at the bottom of the sea.

Ted Baillieu, a former Liberal voter forced out of his Premiership by the feral fundamentalist mad rooter Geoff Shaw, enraged his successor and predecessor Napthine by resigning his seat fourteen weeks before he was due to recontest it, and set a lot of flummoxed upended backroomers at each other’s throats. The only accurate poll, Morgan (it rings mobiles) had his former party on 42 and losing twenty-two seats. This was better, however, than the national figures, which showed the Abbottite Insurgency retaining only three seats, and Palmer gaining twenty.

Peter Hartcher called ‘a jumble of nonsense’ Palmer’s policies — which included free universities, admitting or rejecting asylum seekers in forty-eight hours after flying them to Cairns and letting old women go to the doctor for free — and a ‘convoluted babble’ his attack on China for shooting accountants in the back of the head with a single bullet in front of cheering crowds, a policy Hartcher approved. Widely known as ‘Malvolio’ because of his lofty, sneering deportment and bizarre dress sense, this austere sententious bore now seemed very like his Twelfth Night namesake railing against the Bard’s equivalent fat man, Sir Toby Belch, for staying up after midnight eating, dancing and singing noisily.

Nudging lunacy, Hartcher suggested Abbott and Abetz do a deal with the Greens, who could double their numbers in a Double Dissolution, he said, but would never, ever seek to do that. They would prefer, he knew, to keep the global warming denialist Abbott (‘Hellfire is all the global warming I need’) in perpetual power. He knew it made sense.

Abbott said the voters had ‘no appetite’ for a Double Dissolution. A Fairfax poll showed 96 percent of them wanted one urgently.

And so concluded another day of the worst free-elected government in eleven hundred years of democracy, with no end in sight.

Lines For Scott Morrison (12)

In order to stop children from drowning, we must imprison those children who have not drowned, and torture them.

You know it makes sense.

In Seven Words

What side are we on in Syria?

In Thirty Words

The underlying suspicion in the minds of most of the voters, subconscious or not, is that when Joe Hockey abolished the car industry, he didn’t know what he was doing.

Lines For Scott Morrison (11)

There will always be a cost. But it is better that some children go mad and kill themselves than that they drown by accident at sea. It is desirable that as few as possible come here. Those that have drowned have brought down the number, happily, of dead children on my watch. Those that suicide would further reduce it. And I will give them reason to suicide for as long as it takes to bring down that number.

I will carry out that policy.

I will bear that burden.

And so, by God, will they.

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (38)

George Pell, a Liberal voter, claimed never in his seventy-four years to have seen a priest in ‘sexual difficulty’; this condition was news to him. He compared priests who buggered choirboys after charming their parents with truckies who, in petrol stations, pick up loose women and have sex with them in the front or back seats of their throbbing vehicles. In each case consent is involved, he insisted. The buggered choirboys were not the fault of the Church, he emphasised, nor of its intense, crazed cult of priestly celibacy. These things were separate from each other, he swore. And he, anyway, had never observed any priest so inclined. It was news to him. What was intolerable, however, entirely intolerable, was Mother Church being made to pay any more than eighty thousand dollars for a ruined soul now, after suicide, burning in Hell. Eighty thousand dollars was too high a price to ask, he asserted. That amount of money was better spent on a Pope’s bejewelled vestments, or half the yearly wage of the Papacy’s chief banker, himself.

Pell had been hearing Abbott’s confessions on Skype, lately, and was working round the clock.

Abbott claimed we would all undergo beheading soon, if we were not fucking careful. He ‘reached out’ to the Muslim community (in the Blessed Fran Kelly’s calm, caressing phrase) and asked them to reverse their previous policy of applauding decapitations and say that in some cases this capital penalty was inappropriate. He wanted Muslims in ‘Team Australia’ confessing, like him, to Pell also, and bicycling like him through snowfields and wearing bikinis like his daughters; and, like the rest of Team Australia revering Don Bradman, Elle MacPherson, Rolf Harris and Simpson’s donkey. Otherwise he might think they were out to behead us all, which was inappropriate, and unseemly, and not, he asserted, the typical act (as a rule) of a good Aussie bloke, or sheila.

‘Australia’s worst Treasurer, Wayne Swan,’ railed an editorial writer in The Australian, a Liberal-leaning paper. In this he differed from the judges of an award Swan got, as ‘the world’s best Treasurer’, and his record of keeping Australia out of a pulverising world recession that 182 other countries had succumbed to. ‘He never understood the big picture,’ the unhinged young writer continued. ‘He wrote hollow screeds in The Monthly. He idolised Bruce Springsteen. He embraced a neo-Marxist mentality.’ He called on Shorten and Plibersek to disown and scorn this mild-mannered saviour of their country. It made all the sense in the world.

This young fool remained unsacked throughout Friday morning. But he had told Rupert what he wanted to hear.

His organ The Australian had lost 27 million in 2012-2013, it was revealed, to Rupert’s annoyance, by Fairfax whom Rupert sought to sue, an intelligence as unwelcome as Wendi’s impregnation by Tony Blair, and it was not going, by heck, to stop now. Clearly the blithering nonagenarian despot who had lost that much money in a year knew more about economics than the World’s Best Treasurer, who had saved his native country from recession, and he could rightly disdain him hereafter as a complete know-nothing, a waste of space, a fiscal nong. For one more day, Wayne Swan did not sue five hundred people who had used the phrase ‘debt and deficit disaster’ for 350 thousand dollars each.

Brad Hazzard, a Liberal Minister, forbade the smoking of cigarettes in the prisons of New South Wales. He hoped by this measure to increase the suicide rate in these facilities, and thus save his Treasurer money. It was certain he would succeed.

Propaganda Studies (6): And, For My Next Trick…

What Abbott has been attempting lately is what might be called a daily scramble to change the subject. Operation Bringing Them Home. Threatening Putin. Denouncing an independent Scotland. Praising the cross-benchers. Denouncing Clive Palmer. Declaring there is no Budget emergency after all.

His latest wheeze is Team Australia; and how, as George W Bush might have put it, you’re either with us, or you’re with the terrorists. It’s probable, though the competition is large, that this is the most idiotic thing he’s said in a fortnight.

It came a day before Melbourne was named the world’s most liveable city. It’s the world’s most liveable city because it’s — probably — the world’s most successful multiculture.

Melbourne people think of themselves as Macedonian Australians, Greek Australians, Italian Australians, Croatian Australians, Sudanese Australians, Chinese Australians, Korean Australians, Japanese Australians, Pakistani Australians, Tongan Australians, Filipino Australians, Arabic Australians, and so on. Scottish Australians. Irish Australians.

And none of them think of themselves as Team Australia. It’s an insult to their nation of origin, or their parents’. He’s saying take off your kilt, take off your hijab, you’re Australian now. Put on this nose cream. This bikini.

It’s an American concept, of course. Team America! is an American rallying cry. It applies to a nation more divided, more sundered, more split, more troubled, more warllike along ethnic lines than any in history. Various mafias crowd American history, and American miniseries. Roots. Boardwalk Empire. The Sopranos. The Kennedys. The Molly Maguires. Miami Vice. Hawaii Five Oh. Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee. The Godfather. Chinatown.

But Australian history is not much like that. There are few gang wars that are ethnic in their borders. We’re not like that.

And Abbott, as usual, has mistaken the country he’s in. He’s a man who believes Muslims will fry in Hell, and he’s inviting them into his team. And they, quite rightly, see this as a threatening gesture. Abandon your culture, your national tendencies, adopt mine. Ride bikes. Confess to Pell. Try on the priesthood, then shuck it off.

He truly doesn’t know how strange he is, how repellent some of his beliefs. No raped woman should abort the result. No woman, not even his sister, should marry a woman. When the vote is 70 percent against him, he’s not for turning. When it’s 90 percent against him, he’s not a team player. He’s just a little crazy.

Most migrant groups see him this way, all atheists, all agnostics, and, oh yes, all Muslims. Every one of them.

And he’s inviting them into his team.

‘The Mad Monk’, he used to be called. A disaster in the making, Costello predicted.

And, one year in, we see, and see every day, how true that is.

Palmer Teflon: How He Does It

It’s my belief that the Palmer, Greedy Racist Madman episode is already over. And there’s a reason for this.

Palmer is teflon. It’s a rare but not unknown quality. Combet had it; McKew; Bob Brown; Tony Windsor. It’s likely Plibersek has it. Geoff Gallop. Steve Bracks. John Button had it. It’s to do with people believing you do not have evil intentions.

The way he does it is by saying exactly what he thinks. And most of what he says is logical, straightforward, sincerely felt, succinct and sometimes wise. Though now and then he gets angry.

And the voters understand that. They also understand, and this is important, that he didn’t say anything about China that wasn’t factually defensible. He said ‘mongrels’ in the same way Keating said ‘unrepresentative swill’ and Hawke said ‘silly old bugger’. It was amusing, fiery, diverting, and, by Tony Jones, deliberately and genially provoked.

And it will not be a talking point by Sunday. Any more than when he said Wendi Deng was ‘a Chinese spy’. His tendency to fulminating outburst is an eccentricity, like Bob Carr’s steel-cut oats and arduous exercise, and the Prime Minister’s Iron Man races and charity bike rides and old-fashioned terminology when discussing women.

He remains an authoritative figure, admired by Al Gore, who has a terrific wit, a capacity for hell-bent intellectual decision and, oh yes, oh yes, the balance of power.

And he’s mad as hell and he’s not going to take it any more.

And eight hundred thousand Queenslanders agree with him. And a good few West Australians and Tasmanians.

Which means he’ll have the balance of power for fifteen years at least.

And we’d better get used to that.

Hadn’t we.

On Beheading

Queen Elizabeth I, an English hero, beheaded her female cousin. Henry VIII, a popular English monarch, beheaded two of his wives. William Shakespeare, a popular playwright, beheaded no more than eighty of his major characters, including Macbeth, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, Buckingham, Hastings and twenty-four of Titus Andronicus’s sons. Charles Dickens, a popular novelist, beheaded his most admired character, Sidney Carton. The Simpsons, a popular television series, beheads in its Halloween specials eight or nine people a year, and in its subseries Itchy and Scratchy hundreds of others. The Simpsons is watched by hundreds of millions of children. And no complaint has been laid. Beheadings occur routinely in Game of Thrones. And no complaint has been laid.

Why then all the fuss? Why especially profess such shock at airbrushed images in which there is no horror at all and serve only, I guess,, as Rorschach blots or shadow-puppet silhouettes of imagined beheadings or severed heads? Is this a convenient political fabrication, like, say, the nationwide shock when Clive Palmer called Wendi Deng a ‘Chinese spy’ (she possibly was, Rupert Murdoch for a while thought she was, and so did Dame Elisabeth) or when David Hicks admitted meeting Bin Laden? Why was the same shock not evinced at the killing of the wife and infant son of a Hamas leader for the crime of living with him in his house? Is there something about beheading that’s more disgusting than, say, smothering under a pile of Gaza rubble during an air-raid and hearing your mother call for you?

Is there something about beheading? I suspect there is. The stories of lips forming the words ‘I am innocent’, and fallen heads in baskets gnawing the wickerwork for hours ring true in most minds, and Polanski’s memorable image of the living head of Macbeth looking at the jeering crowd which, on the end of a spear, his point of view speeds past and through was especially convincing to my generation, and so was the news in Bolt’s great play that Sir Thomas More’s daughter Margaret Roper took his head home and kept it with her for the rest of her life, and the cry ‘Not my head!’ of Messalina in I, Claudius.

It was unwise of ISIS to do this, maybe, maybe; though it is unlikely London will be bombed for it even though a well-known Englishman wielded the knife, and the threat of it will daunt, I think, America from entering Iraq War 3. But…but…

It’s interesting what can be fanned inti a furnace of national rage and disapproval, and what cannot. Abbott referrung ti the sexual attractiveness of one of his candidates was supposed to have ruined him, and her, but it did not. Jackie Lambie referrng ti an unseen young man’s ‘lunchbox’ was suposed to have impelled her immediate resignation from the Senate, but it did not. Netanyahu traumatising have a millin children and killing four hundred of them was thought likely to have ended his Prime Ministership, but it did not. Rolf Harris’s long-ago tampering with four unpenetrated girls was not thought necessarily likely to result in gaol time but it got him, at 84, the term of his natural life.

And beheading a handsome American, and threatening others? Wil it cause Iraq War 3? Will it amass in Syria US troops defending Assad? Well, you never know. It might. Or it might not.

As Lord Hastings winningly said in Richard III on his way to the block:

I prophesy the fearfull’st time to thee
That ever wretched age hath look’d upon. —
Come, lead me to the block; bear him my head:
They smile at me who shortly shall be dead.

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (37)

On a day when a video of the beheading of James Foley was broadcast, Scott Morrison failed to say why he had let two white Australians who had bashed in Reza Barati’s head go free, and why they were still at large somewhere in Queensland. And what their names were, and what they looked like, and how long he had kept them on full pay before permitting them to tiptoe out of the country and thus evade the Niugini police and capital punishment, lately reintroduced. Morrison agreed the Foley beheading was ‘a world-changing moment’, but the Barati head-bashing on his watch was a matter of small importance, he reckoned, and so were the sixty prisoners injured, not all of them gravely, in an all-night riot his dumb-ass words had provoked. He had told the Manus Island prisoners they would never live in Australia but might spend eighty years on Nauru, a horrible place, and was surprised when they reacted violently.

Tony Abbott, who had attacked Scotland on the weekend, saying its people were deficient in ‘freedom’ and ‘justice’ and outraging its Prime Minister, who had called him a ‘fewking udiut’, attacked Clive Palmer for attacking China, a country whose main paper had called Julie Bishop a ‘complete fool’. He hoped by this to make friends again with China, who thought him as big a fool as his Deputy, and, by denying they did what they did, which is shoot accountants in the back of the head in front of a soccer stadium with a single bullet they then ask the corpses’ mothers to pay for, keep them buying Australian farms and houses at excessive prices and ruining our economy, a noble purpose he had lately, gamely fixed upon.

He was pleased to have this ‘irrational outburst’ of the now unjolly fat man diverting headlines from his Budget, and the failure of his ludicrous adipose greasy Treasurer to get any of its major policies through, and to ridicule and bully the one man he needed, really, truly needed, to win over to his way of thinking in the coming days. He hoped by saying this man was ‘threatening the Australian economy with irreparable historic ruin’ he would achieve his goal of unified purpose in the Senate and three more months of his teetering Prime Minishership, now unlikely.

Nikki Savva, a Liberal voter, used the words ‘gaffes’, ‘glitches’, ‘grovel’, ‘self-flagellation’, ‘slap the Treasurer around the ears’, ‘Crisis? What crisis?’, ‘dire’, ‘not panicking yet’, and ‘the government’s inability to articulate its reason for being’ in an article on the selling of the Budget with which she hoped to cheer Abbott up, or perhaps bring him down. Andrew Bolt, a Liberal voter, said ‘there is small hope of any deal other than one so mutilated that they won’t be worth the bother — like, say, a $3 co-payment that applies to almost nobody’. Alan Jones, a Liberal voter, ripped into Campbell Newman as a mad undermedicated liar whom everyone in western Queensland now proposes to murder if he comes near them.

Every Liberal attacked Palmer for endangering trade with a big, valued customer though Abbott and Bishop had ended trade with Russia by yelling blue murder and wrecked relations with Indonesia by bugging their leader’s phones and not saying sorry and got India into a snit by proposing to sell them child slaves and Niugini by blaming their people for murdering Barati. No-one said Clive had said anything that was incorrect, only that he had been intemperate in his language, as Abbott was when he accused Putin of ‘a deliberate act of evil’ that seemed now to have been perpetrated by some airborne, drunk Ukrainians.

Morrison admitted encouraging some Syrians to go home and risk decapitation like Foley because ‘they weren’t welcome here’ and they might drown in the way here, and he was concerned they should not take that risk. Life under the fundamentalist, crucifying Caliphate was safer, surely, he said firmly.

And so concluded another day in the worst democratic government in the more than a thousand years since that system’s invention in Iceland in 934.

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (36)

Hockey, who well knew he must win Palmer’s vote on some at least of his policies to save himself from professional extinction, nonetheless accused him of ruining the country. Clive had listed some facts about China at the top of his voice on Q&A which many who agreed with him (like, say, Gerard Henderson) thought undiplomatic if unarguable. Abbott, who had called China’s historic foe Japan ‘our principal ally’ and congratulated them on the ‘skill’ and ‘honour’ with which they raped Nanking, warned Cabinet that the Chinese leadership was so gullible and childlike that they could not distinguish in a month of Sundays between a petulant outburst of incensed name-calling and an intent to make World War on 1.3 billion people who currently commanded the world’s wealth; and they should be talked to gently, soothingly. No, of course you don’t have capital punishment. No, your justice system is unimpeachable. No, you don’t want trade advantages. Why would you. Julie Bishop who upbraided your leadership in front of cameras will call round soon and settle you down. Call her Nursie.

Morrison, on trial on Friday for abusing thousands of children, decided to let 157 of them go free in the care of parents who were not allowed to seek legal jobs for around eight years and must join, in secret, like wetbacks the slave economy. In this way he hoped to show he was a good fellow. These 157 would get these advantages because they arrived in a leaky boat before July 23 last year. The thousand who came after, and indeed before, and their three thousand family members, would suffer imprisonment on Nauru for a maximum of a hundred years or tremendous disadvantage as child whores of both genders in Cambodia. Any suicidal tendencies these children showed in their first hundred years of their encarceration would prove they were mentally unfit to come here, and ‘call Australia home’.

This applied to Syrians he was encouraging to join the quarter million of their compatriots lately slaughtered in that country. They might meet in the Transit Lounge other Syrians he was allowing to come here on the grounds that Syria was unsafe to be in. He saw no contradiction in saving some Arabs from a massacre, and sending others back into one. It was important, in his reckoning, to reduce the number of heathens now on earth. In accordance with this principle, he would take none from Gaza. There were limits to his charity. He prayed though, in tongues, for their suffering heathen souls, at present bound for hell.

Unmoved by Morrison’s generosity certain Muslims refused to meet with Abbott and thank him for demanding they join ‘Team Australia’. ‘Team Australia’ meant you forsook your ancient ways and behaved like Abbott, running semi-naked on beaches or in lycra hurtling through snowfields on bicycles or, if you were women, wearing plunging necklines and discussing orgasms on TV panel shows. If you didn’t like Team Australia, he asserted, you could fuck off home to Syria.

What looked like the beginning of World War 3 overwhelmed the acreage where the dead of MH 17 lay unrecovered. A hundred Commonwealth Policemen slummocked round the Kiev Raddison toasting them intermittently in champagne. They were costing the taxpayer forty thousand dollars a day and deepening Hockey’s deficit, but who the hell wasn’t. The search for Mh370 was costing two hundred thousand a day, but, of course, the dead took precedence over the living in Abbott’s world view, and a vain search in two hemispheres and three oceans for them took precedence over everything.

In a flash of political brilliance, Baird punished two Liberals by disfranchising forty thousand others, and Souris joined him, disfranchising fifteen thousand Nationals. By this they hoped to convince four million voters they were good fellows, and, though their party organisations were corrupt from head to toe, they would be acclaimed for feeling sorry about it. This was the method by which they would climb back, they knew, from electoral catastrophe; that, and privatising everything. They were of sound mind, and regular churchgoers. They were the men of the future.

Morrison greeted warmly the arrest of two black murderers and the escape of two white ones. He was pleased to learn also that twenty violent men who had cut the throats, shot the backs, though not fatally, and clubbed the heads of sixty blameless humans would not be prosecuted. All had been in his employ on the night of the massacre and continued in the months afterwards to draw pay for menacing and threatening those prisoners they had not put in hospital, and those who had come back from hospital, on a nightly basis. This threatening and menacing and clubbing and shooting were a part of the ‘necessary deterrent’,Morrison confidently asserted, of those refugees from genocide he wanted to send back into it.

And so concluded another day of the worst free-elected government in the thousand years of Western democracy since its foundation in Iceland in 934.

S&M Fights Back

Morrison ‘released’ into urban slavery 157 children he had for eighteen months traumatised, to a life on the streets with humiliated parents and siblings and little food and invited our congratulations.

He then revealed he had let no more than eighteen murderers and attempters of murder get away in the eight months since the night of the crime, instead of putting them in handcuffs the following morning. And invited our congratulations.

He did this to lessen the impression, when he came before the inquiry on Friday, that he was a child abuser. His plan to sell off fifty children to the horrors of Cambodia (forced marriage, child whoredom, sex slavery, lousy schooling, a language nightmare) would be announced on Thursday. And he had the impression this would do him some good politically.

The level of his madness has yet to be measured, but his healthy, beaming demeanour suggests he las lost touch with reality.

Abusing children, covering up murder, inciting riot, cyberbullying and terrorising innocents at sea are not a good look, but he is fond of these things.

And he invites our congratulations.

Propaganda Studies (6): The Palmer Method

(First published by Independent Australia)

On last night’s fine, rare, important Q&A it became plain why Clive Palmer is the best political TV interviewee currently on our screens. He understands what the Liberals have long understood, that to win you must use crime, death, numbers, and love of country in your cause, and do it plainly and succinctly. That he is more plain and succinct than any politician now performing is due partly to his training in what I would suspect is the Dale Carnegie school of public speaking, partly his own rogue affable native talent. But the ingredients of his method are worth noting.

Like the Liberals, he brings death into it. He says the six-month no-pay punishment of the unemployed will cause youth suicide. There is no argument against this, just as there is no argument against the suggestion that drowning at sea is a misfortune we should try to prevent, a highly successful tory argument Labor got sucked into, for want of an alternative.

He also uses numbers plainly and plentifully, the way the tories do. The money we are spending is a billion dollars a month on the interest of what we owe, and this is too much, they argue, powerfully. Clive says we are spending twelve percent of our national income dealing with debt and the OECD average is seventy-three percent, so we aren’t in any trouble, and this is even more powerful. He alone, I suspect, is the reason why we as a nation no longer feel we’re in any sort of crisis, that the ‘debt and deficit disaster’ Abbott babbles about is a libellous untruth.

He says, correctly, we are criminals in our dealings with children, on Nauru and Christmas Island, the which, in these post-Rolf Harris days of regret and apology, is not a good look. And he uses the phrase, ‘what’s best for all Australians’, a lot when asked what’s in it for him. He uses plainly, as Howard did, the Patriot Card. and he seems to do it sincerely.

He uses, too, his variant on the Keynes Defence, ‘when I find my opinion is wrong, I change it. What, sir, do you do?’ He asked, wonderfully, last night, why Tony Jones had been for so many years so rigid in his beliefs.

His greatest features are a nice voice and an ability to get to the point, and through it, eleven syllables before you expect him to. His defence of his Chinese dealings, ‘I’m telling you that was a lie, and I’m suing them for it, they’re mongrels, they’re Communists, they shoot their own people, they have no justice system and they’re trying to steal Australia’s wealth,’ or words to that effect, was thrilling in its danger and brevity.

It was a tremendous contrast to the somnolent parsonical method of Warren Truss, not so much spin, you might say, as tailspin, and his word-wasteful protests that things may not be as they seem, there may be exceptions, like to the forty-job-applications-a-month rule in country towns.

It is worth noting that only Truss, Bishop, Abbott, Hunt and Dutton are visible now. Hockey, Abetz, Andrews, Brandis and Morrison have gone to ground, and the waspish gremlin Pyne appears infrequently.

Is this a government on its last legs? There is a sacrificial moment coming, surely, soon. After three ghastly Question Times, Hockey may go, or may be pushed. Bishop may then move against Abbott, and somebody dull like Dutton or Hunt come through the middle.

What seems slightly more likely, I think, is that Palmer, who has everything to gain, will reject ninety-five percent of the Budget and advise an election. He can actually argue persuasively that he is the decisive man in this parliament, and the GG therefore must heed him. Not even a rejection of Supply, or the threat of it, may be needed. And the GG may comply, as Kerr did on Fraser’s advice in 1975.

It will be an interesting historic moment, after which the result is known. The Coalition left with ten seats, Palmer with twenty, the Greens five, and Labor one hundred and fifteen.

I will write more in these Propaganda Studies of the use of death and numbers, what we used to call ‘blood and treasure’ in political success. Going to war, as Howard did in 2001, brings success. ‘There will never be a Labor Budget surplus, never ever’ did too, a sly use of grim numbers implied and stretching into a faraway bankrupt future. Palmer pointed out that the US has had fifteen Budget surpluses in sixty years, yet it drives the world economy. That too is successfully using numbers.

Maybe Labor will get around to these classic tactics eventually. They’re not too hard to learn.

And, after that, as Palmer shows, winning will be a doddle.

J’Accuse

(From Dalì)

Lines for Julie Bishop (forcefully delivered while fighting back tears of rage and compassion)

It is time for Team Australia to act and with one voice regarding this brave unwell Australian who has endured four years of harassment and intimidation by the authorities in the UK, Sweden and the USA.

It is time for Operation Bring Him Home, and we will be redeploying all our AFP and other personnel to London to make the arrangements. I will be calling in the representatives of Sweden USA and the UK for urgent discussion.

I accuse the Swedes of intransigence for refusing to conduct its interrogation of Julian in London, a common practice of Swedish and other police within the EU. I accuse the Brits of abandoning legal principle and issuing extradition orders without any existing charge – a right which has subsequently been enshrined in legislation requiring charges.

I accuse the USA of covertly preparing legal charges against Julian, which have not been made known to him, and which may be the subject of extradition requests once Julian is in custody in the supine jurisdiction of Sweden, which has so clearly exhibited its malice toward him.

I accuse the Swedish prosecutor, Marianne Ny, of breaking EU law by withholding from the defence exculpatory evidence in theSMS texts by one of the women, and of deliberately ignoring the fact that evidence handed in by the other woman to back her claims – that the condom was deliberately torn during sex- is fake because it has not one scrap of DNA – male or female – on it. The prosecutor has known that fact since 25 October 2010.

I have studied the four SMS texts which have been quoted word for word (in the original Swedish and including date/timestamps) in a legal affidavit submitted in September 2013. Also there are a number of people – George Galloway is one – who have claimed to have copies of 22 of the SMS.

I have yet to see any evidence that there was any coersion involved at all. One woman explained that Assange “let go and got a condom” as soon as she actually verbalised that that’s what she wanted. The other woman explicitly stated that she did not verbalise any objection to unprotected sex: “I couldn’t be bothered to say anything”. Both stated explicitly that the sex was consensual. Both have explicitly stated, one on Twitter, one in the SMSs which the prosecutor is withholding from the defence that they were not “raped”.

I will not rest until these aggressive regimes abide by their obligations to human rights and legal justice, and until we have our citizen out of harm’s way so that he can answer his accusers in a fair process, without being exposed to the might of third parties with unrelated agendas.

I will now hand over to Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, who will head Operation Bring Him Home.

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (34)

Changing tack, Abbott said young men could go overseas and fight for evil causes in Fiji, Somalia, Iran, Israel, Sri Lanka and Syria in the uniforms of those tyrannies but not for ‘terrorist organisations’ like the IRA, Mossad or the FBI. It was ‘perfectly legitimate’, he said, though on Sunday he had called it a heinous treason, to massacre children in Gaza or enslave them in Cambodia so long as you did it ‘legally’.

The latter was still on the agenda of Scott Morrison despite Alistair Nicholson on Lateline in tears alleging Cambodia was unsafe for anyone, and children he sent there would be routinely raped, kidnapped, sold off as child brides or child prostitutes and given fatal diseases and poor schooling. Morrison was attracted by this option and pursued it with vigour diplomatically hoping for a deal within days.

Abbott invited into ‘Team Australia’ those prepared to abandon their cultures and religions. Much the same offer had been made to the Yazidis by ISIS who, when they would not take it, crucified and beheaded many and buried some alive. Abbott more mercifully threatened them with twenty-five years in gaol, twice that served by sex killers, while Morrison, an impelled patriot, preferred to imprison them for a hundred years on his own special Devil’s Island, Nauru.

The Mayor of Newcastle, a Liberal voter, quit after calling himself ‘an ATM’ for whatever MP wanted a bribe from a property developer, a duty he performed selflessly, with no thought whatever of personal gain.

Abbott said he wasn’t sure what property developers were, but he was, on the whole, in favour of them. They bought Joe Hockey twenty thousand dollar lunches, gave expensive Grange to poor Barry O’Farrelll, and had ‘greased the wheels’ of the Liberal Party since the dawn of time. That the Labor Party had outlawed their donations was a grave miscarriage of parliamentary procedure he would certainly abolish illegally, by federal intervention, as soon as he was able. Up till then there was the option, of course, of calling yourself a ‘property developer’s brother’, or husband, or nephew, and sending twelve thousand dollars to Campbell Newman, who would send it back to Joe.

Assange, Latest

6.52 pm

I will put up on Ellis Gold my account in The Year It All Fell Down of the situation in 2011 of Julian Assange.

An interview still happening suggests he will be out of the Ecuadorean Embassy soon, but not, he says, because of his heart-and-lung problems and high blood pressure, as the Murdoch press is now baying. He is healthier than that.

8.20 am

It may be a year yet before he is out. A new law saying no person not charged with a crime can be extradited for it is now in force in the UK but does not, bizarrely, apply to him.

He didn’t seem to have lung cancer, and his formidable, familiar calm voice (John Hargreaves? Richard Roxburgh?) encased grammatical sentences memorably.

He’ll be on our minds for a while yet.

A Prediction

Scotland will win its independence on September 18 by a margin of 52.2 to 47.8.

A poll now showing the stick-with-England numbers down to 52 means, must mean, the momentum is going Salmond’s way.

I had the impression after Sunshine On Leith and the Commonwealth Games Opening Night that this could happen.

After Abbott’s dumb-ass intervention, I am sure.

The Last Days Of Joe Hockey (4)

The Liberal Party, whose purpose is the enslaving and swindling of the lower orders and the kicking back of government contracts to its mates, is in some trouble with ICAC of late, and may not survive its days in court.

Since it’s probable all the NSW Liberals got money, not all of it large amounts, from property developers and one of these is Joe Hockey (you could eat with Joe for twenty thousand dollars and enjoy his conversation) it is probable, though not certain, that the Party may not win many seats not on the North Shore in March and Joe may have to resign his seat, or even go to gaol.

This makes tomorrow a pivotal moment in the Party’s history. Tony Abbott, who is in the adjoining seat, Warringah, and admires on his morning jog the Manly landscape of new-built skyscrapers, ferry-wharf shops and seabound yachts, may be implicated too. And, after that, things could tumble down very quickly.

The difficulty is the Liberal Party is, and for a long time has been, built on a redefining of corruption. It is called ‘pro-business’, which means if business donates, it gets those licences and tax breaks it needs to to increase its profits and embellish its lifestyle in Gstaadt and Monte Carlo. The Liberal Party stands for nothing else.

It pretends to be the vigilant protector of the nation — from boat people, home-grown terrorists, atheist counsellors of schoolchildren, the Trotskyite cabal at Fairfax, the traitors in the ABC, the opponents of the live meat trade, the huggers of trees, and so on. But it’s actually there to make money for very rich people by taking, or enabling the taking of it, from the poor.

And this keeps coming out in ICAC, day by day.

Joe has, in the last week, like a fool, helped show that this is the case. Having killed the car industry, which was costing the government money, with a single sentence last November, he said last week not many people use cars, or not for very long. And he thereby showed he didn’t know or care much about ordinary people, while his biography unveiled his own vast wealth — his farms, beach houses, taxpayer-bought flats and annual millions from Babbage, the expert banker, his mentor; and some secret filming of his cigars, champagne and waltzing on the corpses of the poor on Budget night, ‘the best night of my life’.

He may think he can regain his mana after this, his gravitas, his ebullient, beaming, chubby charisma, but he is wrong. It is certain he is done for, and possible he will go to gaol.

After that, the Liberal Party will vanish, like the Democrats after the filming of their leader groping some women. It doesn’t take much.

It doesn’t take much.

And so it goes.

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (33)

It was revealed that Abbott had lately proposed to hasten the end of the world by abolishing the emission reduction target for 2020 so ‘more coal can be burnt, more quickly’. The world would immolate anyway when Christ returned, the Prime Minister, a Gibsonite Catholic, reasoned. Asked if the ‘perception’ that he had broken eighty of his promises was a problem, he beamed, shook his head, and said there was ‘no case to answer’.

Morrison spoke in tongues, and, emerging from his wooden church, responded to the refugee crisis in Iraq and Syria by reducing by half the number of refugees we would take in, letting in some Christians but sending all Muslims to Cambodia. He profoundly hoped he could get these heathens off to the Killing Fields before his arrest for crimes against humanity, likely any day now. He did this with some reluctance because, as he pointed out, the Christian groups he was now letting in would burn in Hell, and it seemed uneconomic to delay the day of their pitchforking into eternal flame. But… he was a loyal foot-soldier, and the torture of the innocent in two hemispheres would continue as ordered by his Leader, a Catholic, who would burn in hell also, he grimly allowed, and not a minute too soon.

Mathias Cormann added his Schwarzenegger profundity to the selling of the Budget. He said he was ‘in conversation’ with a number of Senators who utterly imposed the totality of his bizarre and punishing policies and was confident he could change their minds. It was thought by some commentators that this proffering of a man with the charm of a Nazi dentist as their most plausible negotiator was a sign of the Liberals’ inner calm and confidence. If he failed, they reasoned, they could put up Barnaby Joyce, or Bill Heffernan, or the four-foot sado-Thatcherist Bronwyn Bishop, and scare the bejesus out of them.

Alex Salmond, the Prime Minister of Scotland, called Abbott a ‘fewking udiut’ for prophesying an independent Scotland would be an enemy of justice and freedom. Abbott’s hero John Howard had similarly blithered that ‘if Obama is elected, al-Qaeda will rejoice,’ he noted, and further noted that the Scottish families Bruce, Menzies, Fisher, McEwen, MacMahon, Fraser, Whitlam, Dunstan and Shorten had not, thus far, torn down freedom or burned down justice in an independent, federated Australia now in its hundred and thirteenth year, although another Australo-tartan clan, the Murdochs, were a bit of a worry.

David Marr said Abbott was ‘very cunning’. He had by his repulsive Anglophilic intervention (his father is an English dentist) made a free Scotland a certainty now and thereby strengthened the Tories’ hold on England, or the Greater London County Council as it soon would be known. The Free Welsh and Yorkshire Now! movements prayed Abbott would attack them likewise.

He was a laughing-stock the world over, and so evidently sinful and brain-damaged two Popes were praying for him, publically, and privately asking Pell, his Confessor, to tell; tell all.

And so concluded another day of the worst free-elected government in a thousand years of democracy since that system’s foundation in Iceland in 934.

Lines For Robbo (1)

He calls what he did yesterday ‘atonement’. And what he did was to punish two Liberals by disfranchising forty thousand Liberals.

This is like bombing St Mary’s Cathedral to punish two child molestors.

It shows the grasp of arithmetic this former Treasurer has. A good bit like Joe Hockey’s.

Neither of them can add, and neither of them knows what he’s doing.

Propaganda Studies (5): Why The Abbott Adventure Failed So Very Quickly

The story so far.

Abbott’s commander-in-chief impersonation is faltering, Hockey is wallowing in failure, Morrison widely suspected of crimes against humanity, Abetz a joke, Pyne thought mostly a piece of arrogant shit, Julie Bishop not in bad shape, and the daily Sydney ICAC slaughter making it certain the Liberals will lose by April Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, and absolutely certain they will lose federally whenever an election is held, by a margin of ten to fifty seats.

It’s worth asking why the Liberal Party, in office, has proved vulnerable for this sort of thing.

It’s to do, I think, with how the party defines itself, and what it allows itself to do.

The Labor Party makes things: the Snowy, the Opera House, the Adelaide Festival, broadband, the rebuilt houses for the disabled, the railways and great stadiums for the Olympic Games. The Liberal Party refuses to make things. And it defines itself, pretty much, as a rooter-out and punisher of crooks and swindlers. The dole bludgers. The people smugglers. The undetected domestic terrorists. The crooked unionists. The defaulting students.

And the difficulty is the voters don’t care as much as they do about punishing people any more. They’d rather see things built, rolled out, unveiled, and fireworks over the Harbour celebrating new things made. They want a government to give them things, not parading villains under a gallows and shouting threats at foreigners through a megaphone at sea.

It’s fundamental. The party is out of date. And this leader, who believes his sister will burn in hell, and no homosexual should marry, and global warming nothing to worry about, is out of date also.

This year in particular, when the abuse of children has become unpopular, it is out of date to be tormenting them with two toilets for two hundred schoolkids on Nauru, or failing to condemn the slaughter of them in Gaza. That they should be punished for being born Tamil, and not getting here sooner, is particularly obnoxious this year.

And as the refugees come in from Northern Iraq, it will seem amazing that this was the year when our refugee intake came DOWN by forty percent.

Punishment doesn’t work any more. It’s over.

And so is the Liberal Party.

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (32)

Abbott outraged every Scot in Australia and twenty-two million of those in Scotland, the US and Canada by saying the nation of Robert the Bruce, Rabbie Burns, Lord George Murray, Miss Jean Brodie, Deborah Kerr and Billy Connolly should not be a nation, never ever. His fellow feral Papist Mel Gibson, who had played the disembowelled martyr William Wallace with vigour and passion, rang to curse him all to hell, ‘you ignorant foocking ten-pound Pom’, in vowels he had retained from Braveheart, an Oscar-winning acclamation of the Free Scotland jihad growing daily more popular in the Former United Kingdom.

Abbott said, ‘Mate, I’ll call you back,’ and turned his attention to outraging the Jews, the Irish and the Russians.

Anyone who sympathised with the terrorist Netanyahu, he decreed, and went to Israel to fight in his army, or, like Mark Regev, to tout for it would be arrested when they returned to Australia. Those who went to Mt Scopus, a known hive of Zionist fury, would not be allowed to leave. This applied also to those with an IRA grandfather currently planning a Galway honeymoon or a day at the Hurling and anyone who donated to this terrorist cause after 1921, when terrorism was co-invented by Michael Collins; and Croats, Palestinians, Tamils and Acehans too numerous to mention.

‘Lately, also,’ he added, moistening his lips, ‘it has become essential that all Russian loyalists of that aggressive outlaw state be prevented from going back there, or returning here, and desirable they be gaoled if they do because of their complicity in the shooting down of MH 17, on the recovery, care and keeping of whose corpses I am spending hundreds of thousands of dollars a day, denying these monies correctly to Aborigines, who have revolutionary tendencies and histories of tribal plaintiveness like the Jews, the Scots and that horrific insurgent pub band The Dubliners.’ Shaking their heads, his now drunk minders calculated he had lost three hundred thousand votes in under seven minutes.

Responding to this, his fellow Christian body-building buddy Baird proclaimed no Liberal would would contest two ‘safe’ Liberal seats on the Central Coast now vacated after the criminal tendencies of the Newcastle Twenty had been publicised by the smh, a daily Trotskyite pamphlet bent on restoring anarcho-Leninism to that notorious filthy city. ‘We can find find no candidates not in the pocket of property developers,’ Baird explained. ‘We even approached the virtuous lame Labor martyr Combet to switch parties and run for us, but we did so alas in vain.’

He called hiis new no-candidate policy ‘an atonement’. This meant, when translated, he would punish two bad Liberal voters by disfranchising forty thousand blameless ones. He was hailed by Gerard Henderson, a salivating Papist and late-blooming Abbottite, as ‘a Solomon come to judgment’.

The Murdoch media continued to urge the gorgon-eyed warrior-queen Julie Bishop, aka Ms Fluffy, to become Prime Minister immediately. It was thought her gender, lack of children, lack of a husband, appalling dress sense and inability to choose which side we were on in Syria would not impede her imminent uplifting, by Christmas, to the Lodge which she would share with an elderly West Australian male billionaire she shyly would not identify.

It was thought as well she might change the name of her Party, now as unloved in this federation as the ebola virus and in the Central Coast no longer daring, like Oscar Wilde’s gay circle in the 1890s, to speak its name. ‘The Lightfoot Lovelies’ was considered and rejected.

Tony Abbott slept briefly on a descending aeroplane, then awaking declared no Australian beheading people in the Middle East would continue to get the dole. ‘This will bring down significantly the number of beheadings in that benighted region,’ he concluded happily on the tarmac, beaming. Once home he birched himself, rode fifty miles on a Speedwell, confessed on Skype to Pell his masturbatory thoughts, prayed his lesbian sister would mend her ways, put on his Nivea cream, read five words of Brideshead Revisited and slept soundly.

And so ended one more day of the worst elected government in the 1,090 years since democracy’s inception in Iceland in 924.

Making Babies

When Kristina Keneally said yesterday she was against ‘commercial surrogacy’ she did not recall that her hero, Jesus, was produced in this way. A thirteen-year-old girl was ‘chosen’ by a commanding alien, Yaweh, to quicken in her womb and bring to term and bear in a stable and raise in another country, Egypt, a baby of whom her aged husband, Joseph, was not the father, one whose purpose was other than carpentering, the family trade.

It is in this precise way that many future Australians are bred in Thailand, and raised in Australia; or were. It is now more difficult for us engender legal citizens in this way.

I cannot for the life of me see what is wrong with it. Wet-nurses for millennia have done similar work. Kindergarten teachers spend such lengths of time feeding and soothing little children. So do nannies; grandmothers; adoptive parents like those who relieved the cuckold Abbott of his presumed responsibility; foster parents; orphanage administrators; the paid government thieves of Aboriginal children; and so on. Don’t they. Haven’t they.

No adultery is involved, a space is rented, an income needed by a Third World family provided, on which they might then have, and keep, a child of their own.

Uncommercial surrogacy is far more immoral, surely. It would mean that one such Third World family would starve, or not be able to support a more comfortable existence.

It is likely that the twenty Tamil girls Scott Morrison is sending to Cambodia will find employment in this field, very soon — a better option, surely, than child prostitution.

I invite argument on this.

Kristina Keneally, a Christian feminist, should study more closely the foundation of her faith.

Or perhaps you disagree.

The Last Days Of Joe Hockey (3)

Joe is uneasy because his chief money-raiser is coming before ICAC on Monday and may say which of Joe’s North Sydney Forum guests, each paying twenty thousand dollars for lunch, was, is, or has represented in the past a property developer. Taking money from property developers in NSW is against the law and has caused the resignation thus far of eight MPs from the Party and Sinodinos from the Ministry and may cause, or behove, Joe’s resignation also.

This may help Abbott a bit, who could then say he will have no part in this criminal document the Budget and he was asking his new Treasurer, Turnbull, to present a less grasping, more Keynesian document for consideration by a Senate which preferred free universities, free medical care and child minding.

It may be why Abbott yesterday appointed himself ‘chief salesman’ of the Budget, now forty billion dollars short of a picnic and looked a bit happier. The man he beat unfairly to the leadership, according to Joe’s book, was now no more.

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (31)

Joe Hockey denied, tears streaming down his face, that he was indeed the Kirribilli Vampire — such urges, he swore, were now far, far behind him — and such ‘evil in my heart’ as he had harboured then towards the lower orders had been lately dissipated by his good, cleansing work in these last six months redistributing wealth to rich women like his wife Melissa for the hard, honest toil of having babies in luxury hospitals. The ‘evil in his heart’, he said, was no more. He said ‘apology’ and ‘sorry’ twelve times and sniffled a bit and dabbed his eyes with a kleenex.

This left open in most minds the question of whether he knew what the fuck he was doing. If he didn’t know who drive cars and who ride cows to work in country towns, and he thought ‘equal’ the sixty thousand paid for one baby and the nought paid for another (some babies are more equal than others), and fifteen dollars a better sum than seven to charge an ailing invalid octogenarian female for going three times a week to the doctor for her prescription, what did he know? He claimed he had intense compassion for the less well off, like, say, his bombarded relatives in Gaza, but hadn’t once spoken up for them. Intense compassion? Nah. He bit his nails down to the quick, and looked up to see his wife gazing coolly at him. Then both of them looked away.

The Liberal Party’s last literate urger Peter Hartcher praised Julie Bishop for ‘staring down’ both Putin and China like the Gorgon of ancient legend. She demanded the Russians disarm and leave to slaughter their insurgent allies in Ukraine and was unfazed, he said, when Putin stopped buying our meat. She also stared down the larger monsters Kerry Stokes and James Packer by letting US troops ‘rotate’ through Darwin, thus incensing China; who, however, had not yet punished us in any way, though Stokes and Packer feared they would very soon. He thus claimed being punished for our policies and not being punished for our policies were an equally good thing, and under Abbott and Bishop we were now ‘the plucky country’; though in his two thousand words he said nothing about the slaughter of Joe Hockey’s relatives in Gaza and how Bishop had batted not an eyelash in revulsion at this nor Netanyahu’s likely status as a war criminal arraigned before the Hague and refusing to go there because it was full of anti-Semites. Plucky on some things, we were craven on others, it seemed, and Hartcher warmly approved of both cross-eyed approaches by a strong, decisive woman he had come to adore.

It was terrible to see Malvolio’s great mind so seduced and indentured by the cause of this loathesome, shrinking, friendless Party even after his cousin, Chris Hartcher, the eminent Central Coast criminal, had left it in disgust.

Rupert Murdoch, a Liberal voter, decided Julie Bishop should be Prime Minister, and instructed his lashed and grovelling mind-slaves to provide this outcome by the Equinox. And so it was begun.

It was noted by some of them that the Asbestos Beauty, as she was known in the West, might inconveniently coincide with the Mr Fluffy investigation which would show a Liberal Prime Minister killed, or foreshortened, four hundred thousand Australians by unleashing mesothelioma on Canberra and Queanbeyan and some Sydney suburbs despite urgent advice he not do so, in what became known as a ‘slow Hiroshima’ of tiny particles occasioning death, after decades, in unwarned householders.

But Murdoch, a Canberra resident at the time, did not know this then, and wished not to know it now, and therefore decided Julie, who was nice to him when in New York last, should be Prime Minister eftsoons, in his lifetime, preferably, before Christmas at the latest. Even thus he advised John Howard into the Iraq War, which killed or exiled four million souls and lately enflamed a thousand-year holocaust of tribes and religions, and did not, as he predicted, bring petrol prices down.

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (30)

Abbott flew to the Emirates to pose with some soldiers and found he wasn’t welcome. Booking them into a thousand-year war in Mesopotamia without consulting them or any historian had, as it proved, annoyed their wives, who had heard wars in that region sometimes incurred fatalities, like the quarter million innocents lately dead from gas and bombardment in Syria, a country our Anzacs gamely liberated in 1917, and they had moreover hoped that their uniformed, long-absent husbands would live to be a hundred, not twenty-four and would acquaint themselves with their grandchildren, if any.

He calmed them by saying it was okay, it was okay, they would only be rescuing ten thousand bombarded Yasidis from crossfire on a vast parched mountainside lately besieged by crucifying fanatics and they would be home by Christmas. Then he heard Obama had called the whole thing off. ‘But look, look, look, we haven’t,’ huffed Abbott, ‘we’ll keep up the rescue till the mountain is bare, whatever the cost in dead, mutilated and beheaded Anzacs, we’ll stay the course.’ He grinned for the cameras in a slouch hat beside three appalled sarmajors and flew to Sydney.

There he found another Liberal MP, Garry Edwards, had resigned and was facing imprisonment, like eight others including $inodino$. His fellow Manly beach jogger and muscular Christian Mike Baird swore blind over Guinnesses in the Steyne he had received not a dime from any developer, cross my heart, though the party’s donations were alack so structured that everybody did. He looked up nervously at the harbourside skyscrapers around him, the local member, then in a whisper discussed Joe Hockey.

This beaming stomach-stapled Palestinian fool, he told the aghast red-eyed warmongering Prime Minister who did not need this, had claimed the poor don’t drive cars, or, if they have one, not very far. And though his abashed rural colleagues, heads in hands, screamed that nurses, baby-sitters, apple farmers, newspaper deliverers, mothers of schoolchildren, carers of disabled cousins and home pizza delivering bikies drove long miles and cried poor and though the amount they were being slugged was forty cents a week his champagne, cigars, office dancing and Fiji winter holidays had irritated some old whingers who could barely afford a milk shake and a cheap night at the movies and thought him a spoiled rich innumerate greaser who shouldn’t be in his fucking job, he was keeping this nonsense up, and still insisting he was right, I have the figures here in front of me, look, look.

The twenty colleagues who would now lose their seats in country Australia came after him too, and Abbott looked vaguely across the pub at Turnbull, who looked at his fingernails. Turnbull could add, it was widely thought, Abbott told Baird in confidence, and Joe would fail plasticine in Playschool. Abbott went over and bought his grim usurped rival and foe a drink with umbrellas in it, and began to negotiate.

Word came in that children were being tortured on Morrison’s watch and he would have to explain himself. Rape, tiny quarters, unsoothed suicidal tendencies were mentioned, two toilets for two hundred children outside of which little girls might be tampered with by moonlight, and so on. The sentence of a hundred years in a concentration camp for those who came last August instead of last June seemed immoderate to some, but what would they know.

Morrison, amazed by these complaints, continued to negotiate the enslavement of fifty Tamil children with Cambodia, in former killing fields now used for child prostitution, a promising work option for the prettier children of both genders. No more refugees, he swore, despite genocidal wars in the Middle East and Africa would come to Australia where there was no room for them, not even in Bob Katter’s electorate, as fertile and large as Great Britain. We would take, in fact, ten thousand fewer this year than last year, he decided. That would teach these heathens to dream of Bondi Beach and calling Australia home. He took off his hair-shirt, birched himself, prayed in tongues for the souls of five dead immolated Gazan children currently burning in hell, read with relish a chapter of the Book of Joshua and slept soundly.

The Last Days of Joe Hockey (2): An Exchange

Geoff

From the first word ‘poor’ he tripped. So removed is he from the real world, he has forgotten, or never learnt the art, of speaking to the camera or microphone as if it was an imagined person sitting right there. Who but a fool would ever call someone poor to their face? Who would remind them of it?He is a smug dullard beyond redemption, as they all mostly are.

Dalì

In 1998, Hockey went back to Bethlehem with his father, who was born there in 1927.

Here’s how Joe describes that visit, in a 2012 speech to the Islamic Council:

As you can imagine, it was an emotional journey for us both.

When he left war torn Palestine back in 1948 as a Christian educated 21 year old, he swore as he crossed the Allenby Bridge over the grand Jordan River that the land he was born in had no future for a young man.

So 50 years later as we walked amongst the refugees in Gaza and then Amman, my father sadly had his youthful anxieties confirmed. A new generation of young Arabs shared his despair that they had no hope, they had no voice, they had no freedom and so they had no future.

These words tell me Hockey is no sympathiser either with the creation of the State of Israel, which prompted his father to abandon the land of his fathers after or with Israel’s continued policies of oppression occupation and encroachment, which have robbed generations of his people’s hope voice freedom and future.

They also tell me he can never lead the nation:

- if he remains silent about the fate of his forefathers and his people, he proves the contention that he is utterly disconnected from the lives of others, regardless of the weeping moaning and lip-trembling televised performances he is wont to indulge in – therefore he is not qualified to lead a people;

- if he joins the multitudes that are not so disconnected, and gives expression to the criticism he buries in the personal travelogue he first shared only with the Islamic Council in pursuit of votes, he will receive the full frontal denigration and wrath as befell Mike Carlton and Michael Leunig when their opinions fell short of subservient devotion to the prerogatives of a foreign government whose policies they criticised – he will be made an unelectible anti-semitic pariah.

I hope Joseph Benedict’s father, Richard, reads this, and what Bob has been writing, and takes his son back to walk again amongst the refugees in Gaza and then Amman, to talk with them and to live with them a while. Who knows what may come of such contemplation among the ruins of a once proud productive and happy race?

Mark Ferrari

Two of the best politians in recent years “Funnily enough” come from both major parties. What made them good was their basic understanding of the Australian people. Both enjoyed cricket which requires patience, tactics and startegy mixed with natural ability for the game. Bob Hawke and John Howard who by the way had a long innings. Joe on the other hand funnily enough is yet to score.

Geoff

Best implies good and I can’t let you have that with John Howard. I’d give you successful and lucky. He diminished our tribe greatly. He told us we were mean scared little people, when he could have said the opposite. We will be diminished for a very long time. He also gave us a very large private debt problem so his economic reputation is ill deserved. Fuck you with regard to John Howard.

Pedro

It’s not only that, it is also;
The cigar. The dancing in his office to “This will be the best day of my life” on the night of the budget. The ill timed release of his book. And there’s more. This from the Liberal friendly Murdoch media. http://www.news.com.au/national/joe-hockeys-most-cringeworthy-gaffes-as-he-tries-to-sell-the-budget/story-fncynjr2-1227023999923
I bet Joe will admit he didn’t think the job will be this tough.

Doug Quixote

The entire phoney edifice on which the conservatives build their house of cards is the concept of “aspirational”. That if you “poor” poor fools vote for us, we will create (eventually) conditions in which you too can become wealthy.

Reality should never be allowed to crowd in upon the aspirational, lest they wake up to the manipulation and vote for those who might, if allowed, redistribute the wealth of the nation from those who have too much to those who have too little.

Joe Hockey occasionally has attacks of truth, and says what they all know to be true. It is in a way what marks him as a human being amongst a collection of ministers, several of whom are pathological liars, several are chancers who know the truth and deliberately lie, and a few who seem to actually believe their own propaganda.

The psychopathic will often find their way to the top in politics and big business, for they have no regard for anyone else but themselves.

The political process in Australia has usually weeded out the psychopathic, since to get to the top they had to follow a career path with preselections, selection by their peers, promotions by their leaders over several years. But it seems of late that this weeding out process has failed. It may be a function of media, the 5 second grab and the like. A topic for another time, perhaps.

As for Joe Hockey, he probably won’t fall any time soon, because he is one of this Keystone Kops government’s better ministers. Frightening, is it not?

allthumbs

The first documented case of terminal hubris.

I shall miss him.

The Last Days of Joe Hockey (1)

(First published by Independent Australia)

It is possible, I think, that nobody much yet understands the enormity of what Joe did when he said what he said about the poor not having cars, or driving them very far.

For Joe is the man deciding the nation’s priorities in the coming decade. And he has no idea, it seems, of what the nation is like. What they care about. What they think is important. What they need. What they would like to have, and own, and keep.

Many, many single supporting mothers drive, in the regions, their child ten miles to school, then turn around and drive fifteen miles to their place of work, in a filling station, or a dentist’s surgery. Many, many young men in the regions live with their working class parents, and drive thirty miles to the university. Many other young men deliver fruit from a farm to a marketplace, or bread from a bakery to shops in three or four towns.

He didn’t get this. He didn’t know. And he decided, in his dim, woolly way, how these country towns should run. He decided that most of the adult people in them should be slugged another dollar or two, or more, a week for their petrol. And he said these people didn’t exist.

This means a loss, overnight, of ten or twelve percent of the National Party vote to Palmer, Muir, or Labor. It means the Coalition cannot win now. Because they don’t know what they’re doing.

The last federal treasurer not to have brought down a single Budget was Jim Cairns in 1974-5. Thirty-nine years later, Joe will join him in fiscal oblivion. Every Palmer cross-bencher senses they can win hugely any double dissolution held before Christmas. Labor senses this too. And as more and more Liberal MPs head for gaol in New South Wales – nine so far, including Sinodinos – and it seems more and more that the Liberal Party is just a racket, an ATM that rewards developers for dodgy donations of sums as small as twenty thousand dollars — some of which went to Joe for his North Sydney lunches — the more the Labor party will be tempted to join, ‘in the national interest’, Palmer’s plan that Supply be blocked and an election brought on. Or that the Senate simply advise an election. Or that the Leader of the Opposition does, as he did in 1975.

Joe suffers from what may be called the ‘funnily enough’ syndrome. It comes from the lifelong schoolboy debater’s desire to never lose an exchange. Funnily enough, the poor are better off when they pay more taxes. Let me tell you why. He cannot lose any encounter. He mustn’t lose any exchange. He has to win every move, every skirmish, every small battle, bugger the war.

Though very effective on the floor of the House for his first eight months as Treasurer, he is now, I think, the worst politician, tactically, since Snedden, who famously said, funnily enough, we won the election. We just didn’t get enough votes to form government.

He couldn’t surrender, he couldn’t yield, a basic, simple point: that some costs fall heavily on the poor. A tax on food. A tax on petrol. A tax on petrol that raises thereby the price of food.

He didn’t get that. He didn’t even get that.

And he has no future now.

He’s cactus.

Quiz Time (91)

My already immortal oration, In Defence Of Fisher Library, was hailed by witnesses as one the best ten speeches of this millennium in English, and can be read for a dollar on Ellis Gold.

Are there nine better speeches? What are they?

I emphasise the millennium began on January 1st, 2001.

A Prediction

It is almost impossible Joe Hockey will be still in his job on Thursday, September 18. It is likely Turnbull will replace him, or Dutton, or Hunt, or Frydenberg, and Joe will resign from Parliament.

I will consider my wealth, and offer odds on this on Monday or Tuesday.

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (29)

Hockey threatened a far worse Budget than the one he could not get through, which would not get through either, and denied, once again, that the lower orders had cheap rusty cars in which they drove hundreds of miles in quest of the jobs he had lately taken away from them, in the car manufacturing industry, for instance, for which there wasn’t a need any more because no-one could afford cars any more, he had it on good authority. He lit up a cigar, told his wailing Gaza relatives to fuck off and had a breakfast champagne.

Angus Houston, a Liberal voter, said he had the body parts of only eighteen Australians, but he would come back in a year’s time for the other nineteen, if he could find them in a malodorous battlefield containing another hundred dead bodies and a lot of sturdy sunflowers. He regretted that he could not stay longer, nor spend any more his ten thousand dollars a day in the Kiev Raddison whose vodka martinis and big-breasted waitresses, most of whom seemed to be Ingrid Bergman, he was becoming by night accustomed to. He was not saying goodbye to all that, he decided, just auf weiderzein; auf weiderzein, sweetheart; and he concluded over a fiery drink with an umbrella in it beside a heated pool asplash with nude lovelies that there was indeed an agreeable quantity of money for him in this Abbott government, and its Houston-we-have-a-problem reflex, and its Chicken Little grab-bag of cockamamie foreign policies, and he would make himself available for it, hanging around like this in flash overseas hotels and frowning for the cameras and shaking his head and reaching for a drink, till he was a multi-millionaire.

Abbott announced he would allow five thousand Christian refugees to jump the queue, displacing five thousand Muslims. It was ‘only fair’, he said. Competing Gazans daily facing slaughter were ‘unsuitable’on religious grounds and ‘not in the national interest’.

A book came out showing forty thousand Tamils had been murdered in northern Sri Lanka, a region now entirely safe for the children in Morrison’s care to go back to. Morrison however was hoping to sell them in a job-lot to Cambodia, where child prostitution would offer job opportunities unavailable on Nauru, the prison they would otherwise go to for a hundred years, at enormous expense to Australia. Better they find honest work in their new home, and save us money.

And so concluded another day of the worst democratic government in the history of that system since its foundation in Iceland in AD 934.

Joe Hockey

Joe Hockey, dead a week ago, is now a twitching corpse, politically speaking. Anything he says now is either suspected or derided, and it seems he knows nothing about simple arithmetic. Yes, fifteen dollars to go to the doctor is a lot to ask of an old woman. Yes, two hundred dollars a week for six months is a lot to take from a young man. No, this is not a ‘debt and deficit disaster’, it is a bump in the road. Yes, it was wrong to bid Holden to fuck off out of Australia. Yes, we could do with a car industry. Yes we could. No, poor people do drive cars. They drive them round the regions, looking for jobs.

This man is not so much a disaster as a dill. He truly cannot add. It is a serious fault in a Treasurer.

Worse, he has nothing to bribe or threaten Palmer with. Palmer can add, and he knows a Double Dissolution would give him eight seats in the Senate and four in the House, and would do so before Christmas. What can Joe say to that? Please?

He also shown himself to be a dill by staying silent over Gaza. Some of his cousins will have been killed there by now, and he is pretending it isn’t happening. He said he was ‘proud of my Palestinian heritage’ a year ago during the campaign, and though four hundred children have been shredded, children of his bloodline, he is saying not a word. He should be advocating they be brought here as refugees, and he is saying not a word.

No voter can trust a man like that. He is dead in the water. He no longer has any chance of being Prime Minister. He no longer has any chance of retaining his seat. A Double Dissolution by October would finish him.

Or perhaps you disagree.

Lauren Bacall

Her smoky contralto was achieved by screeching on a mountain for an afternoon. Her fame derived from a line that promised oral sex. Like Bogart she was better, more impactful, more present, in black and white. In widescreen technicolor romances, and musicals, she was just another broad.

Her boyfriend when she was eighteen was Kirk Douglas, a nice Jewish kid from the neighbourhood. Her first post-Bogart ‘romance’ was Frank Sinatra. More on Ellis Gold.

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (28)

Abbott said he was in a Cold War with the country that had not shot down MH 17, though it was at war with the country which did. He would ‘bring the murderer to justice,’ Abbott swore, provided he was not Ukrainian. He then vowed he would not join America’s new war in Iraq, but restrict himself to ‘humanitarian aid’. This aid did not, however, include accepting any Christian refugees fleeing crucifixion, beheading and being buried alive. They would be treated as ‘illegals’ and sent to Cambodia, a welcoming place for those beginning new lives, especially in the field of child prostitution. Morrison, denying he existed, flew to Cambodia to sort it. Asked how his new deal differed from slavery, he said slavery was an ‘on-water matter’ he was forbidden by someone called Angus to talk about, and he always did what Angus told him to.

Joe Hockey bought a Chinese meal for Clive Palmer, and afterwards over port, cigars and panda’s gonads imagined he might, just might, accept, say, a co-payment imposed on the comfortably off, but not on the old or ill or impoverished. Clive played him along, and after sixteen hours came crashing down on him like a ton of kiwi fruit and said, beaming happily, ‘sucked in’. This left Joe with no Budget at all, pretty much, and looking like the silliest fat man since Oliver Hardy; cracking hardy, you might say; and smiling broadly, sincerely and sweatily, the way he does when thwarted.

He had some more champagne over breakfast. Then he said on radio higher petrol prices would not disadvantage the lower orders much, because none of them had a car. He lit another cigar, had a champagne morning tea and looked amazed when some ute-driving farmhands and commuting students called him ‘insensitive’. His surviving Hockadoodledooney relatives in Gaza put their heads in their hands, and winced as another bomb fell on a neighbour, and wished that he would call.

Two Liberals, Owen and Cornwell, resigned from parliament and prepared themselves for imprisonment for bribe-taking. This left Baird, the Premier, with two inconvenient byelections, a probable swing of fourteen to eighteen percent against him, and the certainty that Robbo, of all people, would be Premier in March, and his tall stern father Bruce had been right to advise him to stay the hell out of politics. Then, after a night of prayer and self-flagellation and a morning run on the beach he prepared himself for imprisonment also. Or else a highly embarrassing day in court. How many criminals did you knowingly employ? the beak might ask, over half-moon spectacles. No, no, count them. Count them.

A federal swing like that in Stafford, quite likely now, or so some jaded Pymble spinmen gloomily computed, would leave Abbott with three seats, not including his own.

The bells tolled with an iron dullness for Abbott and his kind. He ended the day uncertain if he would go to war or not; or, if in Syria, on what side. He had lately condemned a man for beheading an Assadite, and said he would go by heck to gaol for it. He also said any pro-Assadite would go to gaol too by heck; and any anti-Assadite, like Doctors Without Borders, Red Cross or Tim Costello, had better fucking watch it.

He then in a snit signed up his enraged fellow-countrymen to a thousand year war in Greater Mesopotamia, prayed a bit for the soul of the sensuous heretic Lauren Bacall, imagined her puckered lips for a while, refrained from touching himself, and slept.

Robin Williams (1)

(From Glow Worm)

This is what I posted yesterday afternoon when I heard the news on the car radio:

‘Perhaps Robin Williams found it all too much. Another loss.

A gifted man who brought humanity to everything he did with humour. And the other way around.

I loved his eccentricity and barely controlled, soaring word play.’

Not an obit which I’d rather leave to others.

Many creative people use opiates, stimulants or hallucinogens to ease their lives, not just their misery, and Irving Berlin is a good example. Freud was another user.

Is it the substances themselves that contribute most of the damage, or the personality of the users? I suspect it’s the latter.

As Gore Vidal once said, declaring a ‘war on drugs’ is as useful as declaring a ‘war on dandruff’. I don’t believe using drugs should be a criminal offence, but there is too much corruption and money washing around for there to be any kind of meaningful debate.

Correction

I apologise to both Simon and John Birmingham for suggesting each had such a scumbag brother, wrongly.

Christian Kerr, who pointed this out in Strewth today, correctly and selflessly, has not yet however challenged any one of my fourteen assertions in these last three weeks that Abbott’s is thus far the ‘worst democratic government in world history, since that system’s foundation in Iceland in AD 924′ — which means, must mean that he agrees with me.

He should clarify this with his editor Col Allen soon, as his job I would guess depends on it.

He wrongly stated also, the young fool, that my readership is dwinding. I average about 5,100 hits a day, whatever that means. This time last year it was about 1,200.

A payment of twenty thousand dollars by the end of business on Friday will absolve his tight-fisted monarch, Murdoch, from a legal-and-libel bill of five hundred thousand dollars, which might then come out of his wages.

Eighteen thousand perhaps, and a Guinness.

Certain Housekeeping Matters (124)

Anyone wishing to write an obit of Lauren Bacall I will publish here. And I will do one too.

Quiz Time (90)

Who was Lauren Bacall’s first boyfriend? Who was her cousin? Which of them survived her? Where did she get that smoky, wolverine, butch-baritone voice?

Certain Housekeeping Matters (123)

My speech today, written overnight, In Defence Of Fisher Library, will go up soon on Ellis Gold. I invite a response from Klondike Rob, who may be touched by it.

I invite anyone who is keen to do an obit on Robin Williams to send it in, and I will publish it here also. If more than one arrive, I will publish them all.

I found him a troubling figure (Peter Pan grows up, and becomes, like Don Draper, a Madison Avenue advertising man? Really?) and did not know till yesterday how afflicted he was by drugs. It’s always drugs, isn’t it. Seymour Hoffman. Heath Ledger. Judy Garland. The economy of Mexico. The family business of the Karzai brothers. The ruin of the educated American middle class. Irving Berlin had heroin brought each morning to his luxury New York apartment, and lived, not writing music much for thirty-five hears, till he was 102.

And so it goes.