Italics gone.

Certain Housekeeping Matters (162)

This is a letter from Dali, which I am publishing in full. I agree with all its contents.

Hi Bob,

Below the line I have set out a matter which I think has become quite a disruptive distraction for many long time dedicated TT’ers, and which I suggest is better dealt with in its own thread.

The text below contains formatting tags, which will convert the relevant words to italic or bold, for clarity, as long as you cut and paste it with the tags preserved.

I leave it with you, and will abide with whatever you do or don’t do.

Love to everyone at the hacienda.


Dear Bob,

On May 16, in the thread “The Thirty Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (256)” you banned Adam for life for lying. You told him you “do not publish liars”.

Many months ago, the blogger Claire expressly called me a liar, and a plagiarist, and continued to reiterate her libel through a protracted exchange of posts, until she was finally forced to concede that she was in fact expressing an opinion she had formed. She wrote “Right or wrong, on the evidence before me, I think you plagiarised and tried to magic dust your way out of it. That’s my opinion. Many don’t share, some do, but that’s my opinion.”

I acknowledged her concession and left it at that, warning that if she ever repeated the slur without mentioning that it was her opinion, I would remind her of her concession.

More recently, Claire reiterated her slur again, and I did what I warned I would. She relapsed into her original position, saying : “It was plagiarism. Not an opinion at all.”

Yesterday, she included in a post that I “post only to breathe life into the Lie ”, and I replied as follows:

You, however, persist in your unflagging and unproven accusation of a Lie.

Here’s a simple proposition which might bring your prosecution to a formal and final end.

This blog has a host who has repeatedly and forcefully proclaimed that he “does not publish lies”.

You could not be more convinced than you are that I have lied, and that you possess all the evidence and logical argument you need to establish that I have lied.

My simple challenge to you is to have the courage of your convictions, and report me to the host, advise him of my lie and urge him to take whatever decision he feels is required.


Claire did not take up my proposition, but has continued to repeat opinions that I am a liar, a plagiarist, and ‘morally dubious’. These are lies which have been published on the blog over many months now.

I am not asking that you again ban Claire as you have in the past. It doesn’t seem to me to be an appropriate or effective remedy for the appearance of all the lies she has written about me.

I am asking you, as the host, to consider dealing with this as a discrete Certain Housekeeping Matters thread, and to consider inviting Claire to respond in a form of words along the following suggested lines:

“Whereas I have made express statements and allegations from which it would be reasonable to infer that has published lies on Table Talk, and has published material on Table Talk of which he is not the author with the intention to deceive the reader into accepting it as his own work –

I now acknowledge that all statements and allegations I have made are merely subjective opinions of mine based on assumptions of mine; and I now retract each of those statements and allegations, and will refrain from raising the same in future; and I unreservedly make full apology to Dalì, to the Host of Table Talk, and to the participants of Table Talk for making those statements and allegations.”

Bob, may I in closing express once more that I believe this is a unique forum in which politics film and theatre are discussed and debates as nowhere else; that Table Talk’s greatest strength, its no-holds-barred freewheeling character, is what brings this noisesome circus crowd together every day from around the country and beyond; it is also its greatest vulnerability, as it is an open and revolving door to passing miscreants and determined saboteurs.

Making it a biblical-sized bugger of a job for you, for which I thank you daily. Sun on your face, hoary warrior, wind at your back, and stride on. Love to you and yours.

Abbott’s Latest Madness: J’Accuse

Tony Abbott has lately said if the five children of Tara Nettleton come home with her they will be seized, taken from her, and given to other people to raise while she does time, twenty years perhaps, in prison. These people they will be given to will not be their grandparents, other Nettletons. Their crime, and hers, is too great for that.

It is difficult to grasp how mad this is. Their crime was to go with their father on a journey to Syria, where he joined a war against a detested regime, Assad’s, on the side of a brutal insurgent force, DAISH. that now holds an area the size of Britain, widening every day, and has famous ghastly methods of conquest, beheading and the like.

The children committed no war crimes. Nor did Tara Nettleton, their mother. She has decided her husband’s choice was wrong and mad, and she wants to escape from the danger he has put her in, and her five children in, as many a sad, fraught, imperilled wife, like Rosie Batty, has done before her.

And Abbott has said she cannot do that. She has made her bed, and she must lie on it. If she comes home, she must face a decade in prison, with her five children taken away from her, however much they want to see her, live with her, cuddle up to her at night. Their fate, like that of the Stolen Children, has been decided. They will be punished for having a good mother, who cares for them, and a father who is probably crazy.

Why is the Prime Minister doing this mad thing? He is making a judgment, upon scant evidence, pre-empting trial by jury, or any proceeding of the Family Court, that will traumatise five children and may wreck some of their lives.

What, precisely, have these children done wrong? Like the Stolen Children, it seems, they were born to an unsuitable family. But what have they done wrong?

It is unlikely we will ever find out, because DAISH will have read the papers, and if they can find them will execute them. They will crucify them perhaps, as a lesson to other backsliders.

And Tony Abbott has wished this on them. And he has done so deliberately.

It is important to emphasise how mad he has become. He lets children starve at sea. He lets children suffer assault and rape on a South Pacific island. He refuses to let many children’s parents earn an income in Australia. He is behaving like a crazy sadist, and he does not know what he is doing.

He should be held down, sedated, and taken into care.

Or at least be made to explain to Rosie Batty what he thinks he is doing, and to listen to what she says in return.

Or am I wrong about this?


The Forty-One Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (262)

Abbott said infant children who accompanied their father to Syria would ‘suffer the full fury of the Law’ if they dared come back and it were better they were decapitated in their ill-chosen country than do twenty years in Goulburn in a cell shared with Ivan Milat.

‘A crime is a crime is a crime,’ he emphasised, ‘and it does not matter how old the criminal is: a breastfeeding baby is equal in the eyes of my Law with Osama Bin Laden, and will be treated with equal severity.’ Asked if he was just ‘exporting his problems’ as he did his fiancee’s infant son to Western Australia in 1979 he said ‘What else do you do with them? It’s what I always do. Out of sight is out of mind. Besides, more Australians have died at war in Syria in a year than in Afghanistan in thirteen years, and it’s important these numbers be improved. The family in question has five children, and that’s a start.’

Shorten asked Abbott to allow his people to vote their conscience on gay marriage; and Abbott said it would take a long, long time for his party room to ‘establish an agreed spelling for “yes”, a year or two perhaps, during which I might talk my sister, the shirt-lifter, out of going to Hell for her loathesome perversions, and Reg Livermore might find Miss Right and settle down. I therefore ask the Opposition to give me two more years, by which time I will have had an election, and gone back on all my promises, as I always do.’

Baird tried to stop the Lindt Cafe inquiry asking why the mad Man Monis was out on bail at the time of the infamous massacre. ‘If they do that,’ he said, his big eyes watering, ‘it will be noted he had assaulted forty-nine women, murdered his wife and gone off his medication after being diagnosed by one doctor as a schizophrenic and by another as a crazy blithering murderous fool with his own religion-and-massage-parlour, and my legal people moreover let him out, and might thus have unleashed the equivalent of Godzilla into Martin Place, and this in turn might…just…possibly…just…possibly…have constituted a danger to half a million people, the which in turn…might…have been judged by some to have been remiss of us.’

His shoulders began to heave. ‘And if this is found out,’ he blubbered, ‘if this is found out…oh God…I may not get through this. I may not get through this.’ A field of flowers appeared miraculously behind him, and his vote went up to just over a hundred percent, the way it does, and he smiled again, beatifically.

Joe Hockey said he ‘couldn’t be bothered’ with gay marriage, he was ‘too busy’ thinking about the Budget, which after the tampon adjustment, was ‘haemorhaging money’. ‘What’s next?’ he asked. ‘A Ridsdale Tax on the Catholic Church? Ten dollars for every act of child abuse? A hundred dollars for every choirboy suicide? That could send the Papacy broke. And then I’d be excommunicated.’

Ridsdale, a Liberal voter, said he ‘couldn’t remember’ if he had shared digs with Pell for ten years or not. ‘I was preoccupied,’ he said, ‘with my busy social schedule. Making new friends after losing old ones took up most of my week.’ Pell, immured in the Curia, said he barely knew him. ‘Ten years is a short time in Church politics. We’ve been up to no good for centuries. We’ve been covering up mortal sins for millennia.’

Abbott was criticised for ‘visiting the sins of the fathers upon the children’ when he said he would imprison five infant Nettletons for going with their father to Syria. He said, ‘It’s in the Second Commandment. It’s what good Christians do. If these kids choose a father like that, they deserve every last decade they spend in prison.’

Told by the kids’ grandmother they’d be executed soon, if he didn,t let them come back, he said, ‘Well, that solves that then.’

After a stiff scotch Brandis told Senate Estimates that he found it ‘a matter of small importance’ that the mad Man Monis , then on a charge of murder, had asked his office if it was all right if he contacted Caliph Ibrahim, the head of ISIS, and offered him his help in blowing up the world. ‘We get this kind of enquiry routinely,’ he said, ‘every day of the week, and we try to provide whatever help we can.’

And so it went.

Ridsdale Observed

10.44 am

It’s remarkable how good a witness he is. Clear, succinct, grammatical, apparently honest; remorseful. No gay inflection. A plain, deep, working class voice, like Tony Barry’s or Bill Charlton’s.

It is clear, or it seems clear, that an unceasing demon possessed him, and it was the Church’s fault, not his, that he was allowed to do the damage he did.

11.01 am

His first offence was with a ten-year-old boy who had wet the bed. He took into his bedroom, washed him, gave him new pyjamas, took him to his bed and fondled his penis but did not masturbate him. It was closeness he wanted; intimacy.

He went to Confession for a long while after his adolescence and ordination but never admitted to anything sexual, for fear of having ‘my priesthood taken away’.

11.06 am

Bishop O’Connor sent him to another parish, and warned him not to do it again or he would ‘lose his priesthood’, a fearful thing in his world view. He only ever wanted to be a priest. It was his calling.

11.35 am

His ordinariness is a big worry. Like others who do not think homosexuality is a ‘lifestyle choice’ or a disease that can be cured by aversion therapy or counselling or Bible study I do do not think that knowledge of what is right and what is wrong is an impediment, or much of an impediment, to men who behave as this poor lonely sinner did: compulsively, repeatedly, over decades with many tiny, whimpering partners. They have no choice.

It is reasonable that such a man might have an electric bangle on his leg, and this would deter him. It it reasonable male whores might service him. It is preposterous, useless, that he suffer chastely in prison, or be masturbated there by other lost souls, as a PUNISHMENT for what he did in the days of his freedom, long ago.

It is certain he should have been reported, and arrested, sooner; and young lives preserved from his impelled predations, and the suicides that followed. But his imprisonment now, in his eighties, makes no sense at all.

12.27 pm

Pell has arisen. He walked with Ridsdale to the courthouse, but it was his lawyer, not he, who suggested this photo opportunity occur. They spoke on the walk, but not of his crimes, or of what Pell might say to the court in support of him. He had no friendship, as such, with Pell. He saw him at meetings.

It seems, and there is no reason to doubt this, that his secrecy was total, and Pell may not have known, as his other housemate Paul Belgiorno, then a trainee priest, did not know; as a wife asleep beside her husband knows nothing of his adulteries, Belgiorno argued forcefully on Insiders, nor he of hers; and so it goes. More to come.

Abbott: A Question Of Gross Incompetence

It will be remarked by historians how incompetent Abbott was at tyranny.

He claimed he had ‘stopped the boats’, and when thousands of stateless Rohingyas were found floating off Malaysia, he continued to claim he had; refused, moreover, to obey the UN and the Pope and take some of them in.

He allowed the rapists of children to continue their dark work on Nauru, though some of the children attempted suicide, claiming it was ‘Nauru’s business’ what the police did about it (nothing, so far), and let twelve of Reza Barati’s murderers, one of them a white Australian, go free.

He refused to speak to the frantic female hostages of Man Monis, alleging he was ‘too busy’. He cancelled the money that would have saved Luke Batty, and made his mother Australian of the Year, and cut off her money again.

He agreed with the ethnic cleansing of a hundred and seventy Aboriginal communities, but proposed no place where the exiles would go next.

He sent the Australian army into a war it was bound to lose. He proposed to dig up the dead of another lost war, Vietnam, at a cost of hundreds of millions but left the widows and sisters to find a grave to put them in.

He spent a billion dollars on a search in three oceans for a downed plane and in a year found nothing; and promised to spend another billion searching; what for was never established.

He threatened to ‘shirtfront’ Putin, and ended cuddling koalas with him.

His most recent tyranny, however, stripping citizenship from certain Australians, has been the stupidest of all.

If a dual citizen Australian-Kurd, for instance, serves as a nurse on the side of Kurds fighting ISIS in Kurdistan, she will be stripped of her citizenship and get twenty-five years in gaol if she comes home, or beheaded by ISIS (probably) if she stays.

He imagines driving an ambulance, binding wounds, stretcher-bearing, inoculating children and comforting widows are war crimes and should be punished worse than rape-and-murder, with twenty-five years’ encarceration, away from the nurse’s children, or any chance of engendering others.

He has proposed as well that a seven-year-old could be deprived of his citizenship if he tries to come home, and beheaded by DAISH or crucified if he stays.

…He has proposed, too, though Minister For Women, that women should be punished for menstruating, and men rewarded for sexual intercourse, by putting a GST on tampons and removing it from condoms. This has annoyed many women, like his previous decision to punish them for breastfeeding, and calling ‘double dippers’ and ‘rorters’ those who prefer to bond with their child in the first six months of his life and not go back to work after one month at Woolworth’s.

The mind boggles at how badly this tyrant is doing. He lately described the Opposition Leader as ‘the Prime Minister’ and the Opposition as ‘the government’ in Question Time, thus hinting that he, an ex-boxer, is suffering now from dementia pugilistica, like Muhammad Ali, and will be a similar sad, shuffling figure in ten years or so.

Will he last out the financial year? It is unlikely. It is likely he will be found to have wrongly defended a paederast, John Nestor, and be condemned by a Royal Commission for getting this creep out of gaol. It is likely he will vote against gay marriage, and be rolled by his party when that law is enacted.

It is likely he will be found to be our most ludicrous figure, very soon, and be so derided by the world’s commentators when he is expelled, in August, from the Lodge.

Or am I wrong about this?


The Meaning Of ‘Terrorism’

It is hard to discover, lately, what ‘terrorism’ actually is.

It sounds very much like what an abusive priest, nun or Salvation Army major does to a captive child. Torment him into a state of constant fear, and make him do unnatural things.

It embraces, surely, what Luke Batty’s father did to him and his mother, Rosie. It includes, how can it not, every ex-partner on an AVO.

Yet Abbott today tried to say it included fighting on one side or the other, as Orwell and Hemingway did, in a foreign civil war.

It would include any soldier who fought in Vietnam on the losing side, the South, and then came home.

Under the legislation, Australian veterans of that war should go to gaol for twenty-five years.

It includes, apparently, nurses and ambulancemen.

This may be the first attack on such people in world history.

This idea of Abbott’s, which proclaims anyone who assists a ‘death cult’ by talking favourably of it, or giving it money, is a ‘terrorist’, or a ‘friend of terrorists’, gets weirder every minute you think about it.

By this definition, those who were once on the side of the IRA — who in prison starved themselves to death, the way a ‘death cult’ would — and this included a hundred thousand Bostonians, deserved, then, twenty-five years in gaol.

Why not now?

…Why not now?

I mean, is there a statute of limitations on ‘assisting terrorism’, the crime? Was there a time when Bin Laden, if he had lived that long, could no longer be arrested for encouraging and funding the attack on the towers on 9/11?

Why, then, are IRA supporters walking free? It was Michael Collins after all, an IRA operative, who invented terrorism. Terrorism of the sort that blows up the cars of politicians, and shoots policemen in their marital beds. He invented it.

It is clear, now, or am I wrong, that this legislation is bizarre.

It is one more crazed example of this weird Liberal government’s obsession with ‘thoughtcrime’.

You don’t have to do anything, you don’t have to hurt anyone, you just have to think about it.

Like a man preaching hellfire for sodomites.

Should he get twenty-five years for that? How many years should he get?

Is threatening hellfire terrorism? What else is it?

The worst of it is what Matthew Gardiner is being threatened with. Twenty-five years for helping as a medico, as an ambulance worker, the right side; the one fighting against, not for, DAISH.

As Abbott gets madder and madder he seems more and more to the wide world like George W Bush. Putting troops into wars that cannot be won and imprisoning volunteers who fight on that same side.

He is becoming the most ludicrous figure in our history.


The Forty-Two Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (261)

‘Now that the inquiry has shown Man Monis to be not a terrorist but a nutter,’ Abbott told the nation, ‘and this brings the number of Australians killed by terrorism on our soil down to nought in a hundred years, I have added 1.2 billion to the money spent on our urgent fight with this invisible enemy, and asked Phillip Ruddock, who let almost all of the Tampa refugees into our country and made them citizens, to seek out other refugees, call them terrorists and ask them to go away, as stateless persons, in small wooden boats heading nowhere.’

Ruddock thanked his Prime Minister, whom five months ago he had tried to overthrow, for ‘letting me back into the persecution business, which I greatly enjoy although in past years it sorely divided my family, and caused my daughter to leave the country and rain down curses on my head on British television. I hope that she will choose, after this, to return home soon and spit on my grave. It will be my solemn task before then to ruin other families, dozens of them perhaps, brown and heathen families with little children, as I am seventy-five years of age and thwarted and rancorous and five feet two, and consequently in the mood.’

Closely questioned, the brain-damaged Abbott, a former boxer, said the terrorists would not be put in prison but ‘beyond the Pale’, a mysterious shimmering region at present occupied by Cardinal Pell. Asked if Pell should come home to Ballarat and ‘face the music’, he said ‘No, I can skype my confessions to him round the clock as he rarely sleeps now.’ Asked if child abuse by priests was a ‘form of terrorism’ and if not what else is it, he became confused, began to sweat on his upper lip, and after a few minutes’ gibbering was allowed to hobble away with his clenched hand on the giantess Credlin’s shoulder, given her ‘special tea’ and ‘settled down’.

On Q&A Joe Hockey agreed that women should not be punished for menstruating, though in Palestine, where his mob came from, this had been his family’s practice for eight thousand years, and the GST moreover should come off ‘tampons’, implements he had just heard about whose details, he said, ‘disgust me, frankly.’ Twelve hours later Abbott disagreed with him, saying it was none of the Federation’s business what its citizens paid for ‘unexpected bleeding’; it was the states’ business, he said, to ‘clean up the mess’, which, he had heard from his daughters, ‘occurs infrequently’; and, to the best of his information, ‘no-one menstruates in the Australian Capital Territory.’

Shorten and Plibersek said they would bring gay marriage to parliament on Monday. The brain-damaged footie jock Abbott whose daughters, wife, sister and mother were in favour of it, confessed in a skype to Pell that some of his best friends were homosexuals but he mustn’t look like a pillow-biter himself and what could he do? ‘Whip the party,’ Pell said, a small tremor in his voice, ‘within an INCH of its life and become the only western leader to seem a fool. You are God’s fool, Anthony, and here his voice darkened slightly, ‘and in another life I might have married you.’

His face disappeared from the screen and there were sounds of struggle, then an abstract image and a buzzing noise that persisted unpleasantly. Abbott put his haggard face in his hands and cried out in his extremity, ‘Let this cup pass from me, oh Lord!’ Credlin brought him her ‘special tea’, but he cast her roughly aside and unflipped a can of Guinness. He then remembered what nation brewed it and flung it away and sobbed, uncontrollably. Pyne came in and patted his cheek and looked wistful and unflipped a second Guinness and a Boddington’s for Abbott, and they sat silent for a while, former Catholic choirboys, pondering the future.

Figures provided by NATSEM showed average families three or six or nine thousand dollars a year worse off under Hockey’s Budget and Hockey, jeering, said the figures did not take account of the number of jobs that would be created when growth returned, within months, to the way it was in the Boom years. His own figures, however, showed unemployment going up, not down; this and the money, no more than 960 dollars a week, he was getting from the taxpayer and giving to his wife, who was renting similar quarters to ther MPs for similar amounts of money, made him seem the biggest ‘rorter’ and ‘double dipper’ in our nation whose own ‘age of entitlement’ continued unimpeded.

Experts agreed that the ‘Surge to Abbott’ had abated, probably, and he looked, again, as creepy, mendacious, and crack-pated as he had when acclaiming a decade ago as his only begotten son a product of his cuckolding, and trying to ban the morning-after Pill the following year, or asserting this year he had ‘stopped the boats’ while thousands of abject Rohingyan fugitives floated in monsoon seas without a country, or drinking water, or food.

He continued to insist he had ‘stopped the boats’ as recently as last week and said ‘Nope, nope, nope’ when asked by the UN, and the Pope, to take these these foundlings in. ‘I sent away my only begotten son,’ he is said to have explained to Pyne as he sipped his Boddington’s, ‘or what I thought was my only begotten son, three thousand miles away from his mother whom I refused to marry. Why would I want other men’s sons coming here when I never had one of my own? Stop the boats! Stop the boats!’ Pyne beamed unconvincingly, and looked at his watch.

It was wondered whether it was brain damage, or some incipient burgeoning neurosis, that made him as mad as this; but, whatever it was, poor devil, he was daily shaming his country, and all his colleagues were beginning to notice this, and beginning to plan, within mere days of his second Budget calamity, his overthrow.

And so it went.

The Hockey Family Swindle

The enormity of the swindle by Joe Hockey, his wife and his father of the Australian taxpayer dwarfs anything Thomson and Slipper did, or were thought to have done, by, thus far, an hundredfold.

Thomson is said to have misused seven thousand dollars, Slipper a thousand dollars, of, respectively, unionists’ fees and taxpayers’ money in, respectively, seven years and a couple of months.

The Hockeys in a mere two months have outscored their dual total.

Joe pays 320 dollars a night to his wife Melissa each night he sleeps in a Canberra house that she owns jointly with his father Richard, four nights a week, on average, when Parliament sits, five when he is preparing a Budget in that city.

If he spends 120 nights a year in Canberra she gets, from the taxpayer, 38,400 in that year. If he spends 150 nights a year in Canberra she gets, from the taxpayer, 48,000 in that year.

Either figure would allow her to put a deposit on a Canberra flat which another MP would pay off for her in five or seven years, with taxpayers’ money.

38,400 a year is 738 a week the taxpayer adds, each year, to the Hockey family income.

This is 39 times the sum that Slipper was drummed out of politics for.

It is wrong the Hockeys should get away with this.

They should be made to appear before Senate Estimates, to pay the money back, and serve six months in prison.

Or perhaps you disagree.

Certain Housekeeping Matters (161)

By a technological miracle that I cannot hope at my age to understand, a good recording of Orators can now be heard on Ellis Gold, and subscribers will be hereinafter able to hear other sound performances of this and that as I put them up: recitations by myself of the winning limericks and the Primates poems; a re-performance, by me and Annie, of the letters we read aloud at the Writers’ Festival; conversations with eminent persons like Les Murray, Barry Jones, Michael Kirby, Jackie Weaver; and future performances of The Gielgud Memorandum, The Word Before Shakespeare and the Bob Carr show The Jet Lag Monologues; and some songs I have co-written over the years.

Ellis Gold still costs only a dollar a week, or fifty dollars a year. It may offer, soon, some mornings, the equivalent of an hour-long radio interview show like Late Night Live.

The Thirty-Two Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (260)

Abbott, hungry for corpses again, added to his ‘death cult’ some cadavers he would fly back from Vietnam and, at a cost of millions, rebury in Australia in eighty-eight State Funerals. The cost of this would come out of abolished Aboriginal communities, cancelled help to the disabled, and to mothers who preferred breastfeeding their babies to slitting the throats of chickens for Colonel Sanders. ‘Like the blood-fuelled big road machine in Mad Max 4, I need my daily gallon of blood,’ he said, ‘from corpses however elderly. This rush of blood, whooeee, makes me feel…so much better.’

He made no mention of it having been, a lost war, an unjust war, and one in which three million people were killed and eight million made mutant by Agent Orange. He proposed to bring back no Vietnamese bodies whatever to rest in peace near their relatives, something their relatives would like, only white ones. Or that each three corpses’ retrieval would cost enough to keep a small theatre going, on the interest alone, for a thousand years. Or if it was more worthwhile looking after Aghan War veterans now homeless and gibbering on the streets. No way, he said, I prefer the dead. The dead don’t talk back at you, or ask for more.

His dementia pugilistica kicked in at the start of Question Time when, within ten seconds, he called Shorten ‘the Prime Minister’ and, within ten minutes, the Opposition ‘the government’. Asked if six thousand less dollars a year was too great a punishment for a million households accurst by his Budget, he said, incorrectly, he had ‘stopped the boats’ and the Labor Party having started them in in 2008 was ‘really unfair’. ‘I’ll tell you what’s fair,’ he said, ‘getting people off welfare into work! Like we are!’ Told unemployment was going up, not down, he said, ‘They’re wrong! It’s going down!’ Asked if people working in Australia should receive Australian wages and conditions, he shrieked like a crazy man, ‘That’s your union mates talking! Your crooked union mates!’ Their bizarre rejection of slave wages, he ranted, was what was causing job losses everywhere. ‘Slave wages, that’s what we want, slave wages!’

Joe Hockey denied he was ‘rorting the system’ by dropkicking three hundred and twenty dollars a night of the taxpayers’ money to his wife in rent for the house that she and his father were paying off in Canberra. Eighty thousand a year were going from Treasury therefore to his family who were ‘investing it in real estate’, like the house in Canberra. ‘It’s rent!’ Joe shouted. ‘It’s rent! Otherwise I’d have to sleep in the street!’

A man in the Q&A audience averred with grimness that the ‘age of entitlement’ was not yet over. Joe, brain-damaged by his anaesthetist, some said, during his bungled stomach-stapling and suffering now from what is known as ‘dementia anaesthetica’, blissfully saw no wrong in thieving from the nation fifteen hundred dollars a week and giving it to his wife, a millionaire, and his father, a greedy old Armenian fool who made a fortune out of real estate in North Sydney back when he had all his marbles. ‘This is a family Budget,’ he said, ‘and this is my family.’

Dutton ‘mercifully’ did not expel a little boy from Australia for being sick, and was warmly praised by Fran Kelly, a Liberal voter, for this ‘saintly backflip’ and his ‘born-again Christian values’. Dutton swore he would not let any Rohingya children through, though, not one, and the Pope, who wanted him to, could ‘go fuck himself; or fuck George Pell if he was nearer.’

Baird began to legislate his selling of the poles and wires before an inquiry into whether this was a good idea had been completed, and the Blessed Fred Nile, whose figleaf the inquiry was, swore blind while standing naked in the Upper House that he might not pass it any more. Baird had hoped to sneak it through before another inquiry showed he had caused by his hectic ramshackle mismanagement of the Lindt Cafe siege the needless deaths in a hail of bullets of Monis, Tori and Katrina and it hounded him into oblivion, like O’Farrell, for, like most state Liberals lately, ‘fucking up an important detail, and ruining everything’.

He therefore needed a position post-politics on the Board of the thieves of the poles and wires, or similar, and he might not get it now, because Fred wouldn’t let him sell them. He was looking nervous and blubbering into a mirror, ‘We will get through this; we will get through this’ three times a day, and coming out of the toilet, some said, ‘looking awful’.

Lieutenant General Bottral, a Liberal voter, told the Senate that forty-two Vietnamese men, women and children whom his goons had kidnapped at sea and returned at gunpoint to their native tyranny had been questioned, some of them, for under an hour and none of them asked if they had been tortured in the land they were fleeing or not.

Asked if they’d been tortured since he delivered them back at gunpoint to the furious Communist police state that was ‘keen to see them again’, he said he had ‘no idea’.

Barmy Barnaby let it be known that his ‘target for tonight’ Johnny Depp will be doing ten years if he ever comes back here, thus killing forever the Queensland film industry. Depp’s dogs, he added, ‘will be put in a mass grave, alongside three thousand slow-moving greyhounds.’

And so it went.

Mad Men: An Appreciation

‘It both showed truly the first, feminist counterblast against the gropers, the one-night standers, and the casting-couchers, and the dark heart of their oppressors. And it showed as well the convulsions that followed the Pill, the John Kennedy murder, the Black revolution, the rise of television, and what might be called the Age of Alimony on American and world affairs.’

More on Ellis Gold.

Certain Housekeeping Matters (160)

The Ellis-Brooksbank monologues, a notable hit at the Writers’ Festival, is up on Ellis Gold.

I am two-thirds of the way through my big piece on Mad Men, and will put it up on Ellis Gold on Monday morning.

The Twenty-Nine Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (259)

Miranda Devine, a Liberal voter, said that though Pell was wrong to walk alongside him to his trial he did not know, and never knew, that his roommate Ridsdale had raped eighty boys while they were living together for ten years in their home town, Ballarat. He was ‘not curious’, she said, to ‘find out why he was so often out after sunset and why his underpants were bloodstained most nights when he came home looking furtive, and it was ‘evil’ of the ‘latte-sipping atheist elitists of Surry Hills’, she said, to suggest he should have been.

Peter Fitzsimons, a Liberal voter, complained that Pell, a Liberal voter, was now third in charge of the Catholic Church and had not yet been stood down from that high position though he had caused ‘several suicides’ and averted his eyes from, oh, a thousand sexual crimes in his home town Ballarat in the thirty years he lived and worked there, and heard confessions.

Julie Bishop said the two thousand children in boats off Malaysia were not children at all but ‘unemployed persons in impertinent quest of jobs for which they were ill-suited’, and they should go back, she said, ‘to legal oblivion and torture in Myanmar, their native country’; and the captains of the ships they were on, moreover, were habitual donors to DAISH and fellow-travellers, therefore, with terrorism, and sponsors of it, and ‘worse than Bin Laden’, and the two thousand children, therefore, had no right to live anywhere.’

Ban Ki-Moon said otherwise and Abbott, in the daily tightening grip of dementia pugilistica, said ‘Australians are getting sick and tired of being told what they should do by the United Nations, the Indonesians, the Malaysians, the Filipinos, the Enlightenment philosophers, the American President and the Pope — who were each of them, he said, ‘such a long, long way from ever understanding what the horror of two thousand immigrant children would bring to our country, and its ageing population, who do not need their services as carers, or as future doctors or teachers or slaughtermen or test cricketers.’ If drowning children were wrong, he added, ‘there would have been a specific commandment against it in Moses’ decalogue, written in letters of fire on Sinai stone four thousand years ago, and, of course, there is not.’ His new three-word slogan, ‘Drown the children’, was ‘catching on in Europe,’ he announced, ‘and will soon be accepted policy world-wide.’

Ireland, a Catholic country, embraced gay marriage and Abbott, a Catholic with a gay sister, trenchantly refused to. ‘She will burn in Hell for a billion years,’ he declared sympathetically, ‘alongside all filthy sodomites and the choirboy-suicides they got to in their early years. And my gay mate Christopher Pearson, who co-wrote Battlelines, and no more than eighteen million Popes, Christian Brothers and their savage accomplices the nuns.’ Asked if Putin was on the right track, he said, ‘Absolutely! What rippling, bare-chested muscles! What homophobic laws! He can put his boots under my bed any time! Oops.’

A great number of Rohingya corpses were uncovered on the Thai border. It seemed they had been massacred by people smugglers whom Abbott and Morrison had ‘put out of business’ with their ‘tough policy settings’ on ‘border protection’. Morrison prayed in tongues in Cronulla for their souls. Abbott reproved him, saying, ‘It’s too late, they’re burning in Hell already, alongside the atheist Nash and the sodomite Pearson, and the Hillsong fanatic Andrew Chan. But at least they didn’t die at sea. Rejoice; rejoice; be exceeding glad; our policy is working. The boat people are dying on land, not sea, as we have long intended, and the horror of them going to school here, and excelling at cricket, and graduating as doctors, and practising in remote country towns, is being, thank God, averted.’

‘I’m a Hillsong fanatic,’ said Morrison calmly, and put both thumbs with vigour in his leader’s neck.

Andrew Bolt, a moron, said ‘the government’s turn-backs have worked’ (you can’t make this stuff up) though thousands of Rohingyas on boats or in shallow graves suggested that the people smugglers were the more impelled. ‘If we give sanctuary to some Rohingyas,’ he argued, ‘we’ll be sure to get more, and many will drown on the way.’ Better they stay stateless, persecuted, bereft of a career or money to raise children on, the moron said, or implied, better they die at sea.

The Lindh Cafe siege inquiry prepared to find out why Abbott was ‘too busy’ to speak to the frantic hostages and why Baird’s goons shot Katrina Dawson twenty-four times after Monis was dead and why his friend Mamdouh Habib was not let in to ‘talk him down’ and save everybody in there.

Bambi steeled himself, squared his shoulders, and with big watery eyes told his image in the mirror, ‘We will get through this. We will get through this.’

And so it went.

A Note On The Writers’ Festival

Tomalin, Grenville, Watson, Korval and Cassidy were very, very good in the sessions I went to on Thursday and Friday, and they should be experienced in ABC replay if you know the technology.

The Town Hall dialogue of Richard Flanagan was extraordinary, despite the apparent early drunkenness of the gushing interlocutor.

The best for me so far was Michael Frayn with Tom Wright, an interviewer (and fellow playwright) of acuity and penetration, a small classic of informed conversation on the variant meanings of theatre not likely to be equalled in our lifetime.

I will put up on Ellis Gold the letters that I and my wife will read to each other this afternoon at 4.30.

The Perfect Storm That Is Consuming Tony Abbott

(First published by Independent Australia)

Tony Abbott is in a perfect storm of bad confluent events that may, in the next few weeks, do for him.

Starving women and children on the high seas are begging for his help; he is telling them to come in the ‘front door’ though for Rohingas who are citizens of no country there is no such thing. His confessor Pell has been shown to have been the direct cause of several suicides and Abbott has said he has ‘answered those questions’. He has in the past defended Peter Hollingworth, the paedophile-protector, and John Nestor, the paedophile, and has not apologised for these errors of judgment to the traumatised and the deceased. Employees of his Minister, Morrison, have been shown to have concealed paedophile rape and he has arrested none of them and called any mention of it a ‘Labor-Green witch-hunt’.

He has committed twenty-six billion dollars to a dodgy fighter-bomber that so far cannot fly and by the time it is delivered will be obsolete. He is considering a Japanese submarine that, in the age of drones, will be of no use to anyone. He has doubled the deficit, and ruled out addressing the cause of it, tax-free superannuation incomes, tax-free churches and tax-dodging global companies who take our money overseas. He has joined Hockey’s ‘war on breastfeeding’, calling nursing mothers ‘double dippers’ and ‘rorters’.

He is refusing to free up the vote on gay marriage, though Ireland, today, will embrace it. He is refusing to abandon Pyne’s hundred thousand dollar degrees. He will if re-elected abandon the ‘schoolkids money’ and cost some families two thousand dollars a year. He has cut the money that would, if it had been better targeted two years ago, have saved Luke Batty’s life. He has by his cuts made probable the ethnic cleansing of a hundred and fifty Aboriginal communities in Western Australia. He is refusing to take back repentant ISIS volunteers, though they would help wonderfully his campaign to ‘deradicalise’ disaffected Muslim adolescents. He has said they will get twenty-five years if they come back, and has invited them to stay and be decapitated or crucified by DAISH.

On top of this, or because of it perhaps, he is showing signs of mental instability. His latest ‘drown the children’ policy, refusing even temporary sanctuary for those foundlings of the sea, those frantic fugitive people who, like the Israelites of Moses’ time, and the Jews of Nazi Germany, have no civil rights in their own country, and his assertion that it would be ‘irresponsible’ to save them, though a United Nations law of the sea obliges him to, indicates a decaying mind, and the ‘dementia pugilistica’ theory of his recent posture, gait and verbal error is no longer a joke. There is a kind of tornado storming through his mind that might, in a while, consume him.

A perfect storm.

It is to be hoped he will be displaced before then. He is a danger to himself, and his nation.

The Twenty-Two Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (258)

Showing further signs of pugilism-related brain damage Abbott said ‘Nope, nope, nope’ to his international obligations to help refugees fleeing tyranny across stormy oceans. Widodo, laughing, waved a circling finger round his left ear saying ‘Not well in his mind.’ Abbott’s father confessor Pell was accused of having ‘known since the seventies’ of abused children still suiciding after decades whose assailants he knew about then and did not report to police then or later. ‘I didn’t think it was any of my business,’ he testified.

The Royal Commission said it would look into child abuse on Morrison’s watch in ‘detention centres’ on the mainland where suicide attempts by prepubescents were, they’d long heard tell, ‘quite frequent’ though not always fatal. Calling this investigation a ‘witch hunt’ Abbott, panicking, prepared for a snap election before he was overthrown after being fingered as an ex-priest and by paedophile-detesting voters thereafter derided. His testimony moreover in favour of Nestor the kiddie-fiddler seemed, in thus context, and in the context of the imminent life imprisonment of his father confessor, to some of his advisers ‘a political difficulty’; as did page 68 of the Duffy book which suggested a thirty-eight-year cover-up of crimes against minors he and some frocked friends including Nestor did not report to police. Morrison prayed in tongues that this cup would pass from him and moisten the lips, perhaps, of Dutton, his long dim successor as Pirate-in-Chief.

Asylum seekers must not hereafter, Dutton decided, mention on arrival if they’d been tortured or not. This, he said, ‘would facilitate our sending them back to their torturers with a clear conscience’. Four asylum seekers who were to be flown to Cambodia were flown to Darwin instead, where they haggled for greater and greater amounts of money they might take into that hellish country, along with five comfort women each and a free set of steak knives, and whether or not they might be accompanied by the camera crew of Struggle Street and share in the profits when their adventure was broadcast on BBC.

Growing visibly crazier, Abbott said ,’We have stopped the boats, and if we take in any of these people they’ll start up again.’ He was told they had started up again, and he said, ‘Not our boats, we’ve stopped our boats, these are Indonesia’s boats.’ Told nearly all our boats came from Indonesia, he said, ‘These are not the right boats, we’ve stopped the right boats, these other eighty boats are irrelevant.’ He was led away looking haggard, given Credlin’s ‘special tea’ and ‘settled down’.

It was going badly for him, Credlin in a ‘pillow-talk’ phone call told her husband and co-conspirator Loughnane three motel rooms away. What with Pell’s plain guilt, she said, Ley’s refusal to collect a billion dollars, Indonesia threatening war, the soup queues doubling in Elizabeth, Holden sacking hundreds prematurely, Hockey’s figures proving to be nonsense, ISIS conquering half Syria and cremating peerless Christian murals in Palmyra, Andrews refusing to give him back a billion dollars, Ireland acclaiming gay marriage, and no-one but Barnaby wanting a knighthood on the Queen’s Birthday, he was in a ‘perfect storm’ that might consume him utterly, and he wasn’t sleeping and his mind was crumbling and his morning jogs pursued sometimes by red-fanged spectral demons in black cowls yelling ‘Papist wanker! Go back to Pommieland!’ and brandishing scythes in a threatening manner.

Julie Bishop said the boats wouldn’t stop till Burma mended its ways and the Buddhists there were nicer to the Rohingas whom they were currently in concentration camps and burning boats exterminating as a species, and Abbott shouted, ‘The boats have stopped!’ and she shouted, ‘No they haven’t!’ and Credlin told her to ‘Leave the room, bitch!’ and their year-long shouting-match resumed. Abbott put his thumbs in his ears and prayed for sleep.

The US claimed the submarines the Japanese were building for Abbott were ‘obsolete’ and any fighter-bombers in any future war ‘a useless fucking joke.’ Hockey cancelled his inquiry into iron ore prices after eighty-eight venture capitalists seized him by the throat and talked to him with soft persuasiveness.. Twiggy swore ‘I will have my revenge!’ at any camera crew that came near him.

And so concluded another day of the worst free-elected government in human history since the invention of democracy in its present form in Iceland in AD 934.

And so it went.

The Morrison Countdown

Whatever else they do, the starved and screaming children on the boats off Myanmar have shown how vile the Abbott government is, and how for a hundred, five hundred years historians will see them.

They may not suffer politically, just yet. They may not face the International Criminal Court, ever. But they cannot climb out from under the pile of sewage that is daily falling down on top of them while other jurisdictions demonstrate what mercy is, and maritime law.

For starving a child at sea is not clever. And averting one’s eyes while he is buggered on land is not honourable. And boasting that we ‘stopped the boats’ when scores of them, with thousands on them, toss and plunge off Asia is a blithering untruth.

It was thought Scott Morrison was a ‘success’ in his portfolio a few weeks back, a ‘can-do man’, a ‘problem-solver’ who might be Treasurer, even Prime Minister, soon. It is now clear he is a collaborator in a series of tortures, rapes, harasments, kidnaps and traumatisings of children that will shame his name in history.

This would not have occurred had the latest ‘boat turn-backs’ been in our jurisdiction. But now, because there are, in several seas, a number of  boats that cameramen can get to, unforbidden by Morrison’s and Dutton’s goons, we have at last the images of what has been happening for fifteen years: people in anguish, pleading for their lives.

How long will it be till Morrison is forced to stand down, and forced to answer Senate questions on his serial criminality? Months? Weeks?

A clue might lie in how long it will be before that other concealer of child abuse, Pell, is allowed to work at the Vatican, or he seeks to avoid extradition to his home town Ballarat, to answer charges there.

I would not yet lay odds on it, but I suspect it will be around September, when Abbott, too, might be displaced.

The Thirty-Eight Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (257)

Barnaby praised Vietnamese slaughterhouse workers for treating our cows even worse than he would have treated Depp’s dogs. ‘They provide a role model in applied cruelty to those obedient Asians we have inspired more than somewhat in recent years by drowning and buggering refugees,’ he said, growing puce in the face. ‘It is the next stage of what I like to call The Abbott Way.’

Abbott said he feared if we sent them no more cattle the Vietnamese might turn back the boats we turned back in their direction, for ‘processing’ in their prison system, one that hanged people, and leave us ‘treading water’ diplomatically. ‘They might remember us killing three million of them,’ he predicted, ‘and refuse to eat our T-bone steaks.’

Abbott then said he wouldn’t pay any money or send in any navy personnel to speed eight thousand starving refugees out of stormy oceans to the Philippines where nice Catholics in grimy houseboats would look after them. ‘Better they die in great numbers,’ he said. ‘It will teach the people smugglers, and the Greens, a lesson; and reduce, of course, the Greens’ vote in the future, by five or six votes for every drowned person who does not therefore have children.’ Asked if he thought it a pity these children would not be born, he said, ‘But what’s the point? If they were born they’d just cost us money, and live to be a hundred and then go to Hell.’

It was said that Abbott’s confessor Pell had ignored, or thought imaginary, the buggering of choirboys by one of his priests. He had not known either, he alleged, of the buggering of two million other choirboys in the previous twelve hundred years, nor of young friends of his when he was a boy in Ballarat. ‘I was inattentive, I suppose,’ he is said to have murmured. ‘A mate of mine claimed I would not have known if a Bondi tram were up me till the bell rang.’

Abbott said he would continue to confess to this good, grave, rubicund stately man, currently in charge of cooking the books at the Vatican, as he, Abbott, had ‘nothing to hide’. In saying this he ignored page 68 of his official biography and his defence of Nestor, the paedophile, and his ‘purity’ in a speech in court some compared to Oscar Wilde’s that got him out of gaol.

Pell, who grew up in Ballarat and spent ten years as a priest there, was likely, some said, to become ‘the Curia’s own Rolf Harris’ within a week or two. He had no memory of offering a bribe to the nephew and seductee of Ridsdale, ‘The Beast of Ballarat’, a colleague and friend of this handsome large well-spoken protector of buggers-in-frocks for, oh, three decades, maybe more.

He had a clear memory, however, of God calling him out of grade football and into the priesthood and being acclaimed ‘the next Pope’ from time to time by those of sluggard wit and shrivelled brain like Gerard Henderson or Miranda Devine. It was hoped he might ‘plea bargain’ for ten years less in chokey by sharing Abbott’s confessional secrets: who he, as a trainee priest, had fucked and how old they were, and so on. It was also thought he might seek sanctuary in the Sistine, and sit gibbering and shivering and toping brandy under The Last Judgment and translating Battlelines into Latin until he was dragged out shackled into a Jesuit hospice and there put down.

Cormann denied he was in favour of an inquiry into iron ore prices though he swore he was five days before. ‘I leef een Vestern Owstryelia’ he emphasised, ‘nert Plennet Erzz. Zey do zings deefferently zere. End zoa eet tykes a vile for ein dumbkopf bloaw-een like meinzelf to verk owt veech beellionaire eez Terp Derg zat veek and vot mein conzequent feescal pheelozophee eez.’ Hockey and Abbott had made the same backflip, and $inodino$ snickered at their discomfort on Skynews.

Richo on that same channel said Abbott had stopped the boats, a big lie, though throngs of them were bobbing about in a fulminous typhoon off Malaysia and hundreds of children baying for cups of water, and added that Shorten in his Budget speech had ‘signalled no cuts to expenditure whatever’ though he had announced twenty-three billions-worth of cuts to expenditure, and Conroy told his former factional ally to go fuck himself.

Pell in a fraught midnight statement swore blind he had not, never ever, sought to bribe, to the best of his recollection, the younger Ridsdale to keep mum about having been overfrequently buggered by his uncle the Beast of Ballarat and thus ensure another decade of sodomy, anguish and suicide in that benighted diocese. Asked what he did say he replied, ‘I can’t remember. It was all…so long ago.’

Bookies laid five to four on Pope Fran firing him by June the first, and Pope Emeritus Benedict refusing to hear his detailed confession since ‘I may not have that long to live.’

And so it went.

Recommended Viewing

Gordon Hill this morning read a document as moving and, in its way, as beautifully written as any in our language, by Bunyan, Thoreau, Orwell, Ackroyd, Mantel, Flanagan.

It dealt with his enslavement, abuse and torture by priests and nuns, one of whom as punishment pulled out some of his teeth, in his infancy, childhood and adolescence, and the unstifled nightmares eating away at him still in his eighth decade, and his work for thirty years with discarded children and the putting back together of their souls.

It is very, very good. And it could become hereinafter a high school text, an audition piece for acting students, or one third of a performance evening , like the ones I do, of three such memoirs in pub theatres, libraries and writers’ festivals in the next hundred years.


The Nauru abuse inquiry did not continue today. Such were the questions raised and not answered yesterday, Sarah Hanson-Young explained, that Immigration would need more than the two hours allotted to organise the euphemisms for the crimes of which they and Morrison were plainly guilty, and they would assemble again in a week or so.

It is certain Morrison will be destroyed by their testimony, as Pell will be by the testimony coming out of Ballarat today, however Immigration spins it.

The dates alone will do for him. What did the Minister know, and when did he know it? What action did he take?

He is gone for all money.

I would ask bookies’ odds on his ruin by November.

The Morrison Effect

It seems we may not now watch the Senate’s question of Morrison’s people at Immigration about his knowledge of buggery and blowjob-trading on Nauru when he was Minister.

This Police State censorship of significant political information should trouble all of us.

Our shackles are tightening.


Ellis Gold Poetry Competition (2)

It seems that no-one much likes the ‘Ancient Morrison’ task. It might be better if another challenge were were substituted.

An alternative National Anthem, to the tune of ‘Advance Austrlalia Fair’, or ‘There Is A Land Of Golden Skies’, or ‘I Am, You Are, We Are Australian’, or ‘I Still Call Australia Home’.

The words must fit the tune exactly.

Certain Housekeeping Matters (159)

I will begin on Ellis Gold a longish meditation on Mad Men tonight. It may be a few days before it is up, or I may publish it in segments. In the meantime I recommend Helen Razer’s thoughts on it, which are excellent.

The Thirty Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (256)

Morrison praised himself for improving the conditions in which rape and blowjob-trading were made ‘much easier’ in the Nauru ‘facility’ during those fourteen months when he was in charge of it. Asked if anyone was arrested for any crime on his watch he said, ‘That’s a very impertinent question. Go bite your bum.’ Asked if he regretted anything at all that had occurred in that infamous South Seas hellhole during his loathesome imperium he said, ‘Only not throwing Save The Children off it sooner.’

Transfield administrators before the Senate amazed their questioners by knowing absolutely nothing of what had happened in the time of their administration — power failures, complaints of sexual assault, mould on the tents, who, most days, erased the video records of heinous crime — in the twenty months for which they were paid 1.2 billion dollars, or 52 million dollars a month, or 13 million dollars a week for their services, any day of which would keep a small theatre company going for a thousand years on the interest alone. Though there were twice as many guards as internees, these underpaid good selfless men had absolutely no idea, it seemed, of what their guards did there. Asked if their male guards had access to the female showers at night one said, ‘I’ll have to take that on notice.’ He doubted, though, if there was ‘any established process’ by which he might find out.

Abbott said any remorseful adolescent who wanted to come home from Syria and discourage other adolescents from going there would be put in gaol for twenty-five years if he ever dared show his face in his native country again. ‘Unlike that of Chan and Sukumaran,’ he said, ‘his repentance, and his future good works, will reap no forgiveness whatever from me. In this particular matter, Jesus of Nazareth was wrong, and I spit in the face of His trenchant heresy.’ Told the young man would now be lined up and shot or beheaded on an ISIS video he shook his head and murmured, ‘Shit happens.’ There followed a twenty-eight second silent stare, and Mark Riley ducked for cover. Michelle Grattan silently mouthed the words, ‘My hero.’

Clearing his throat, Abbott then praised those countries presently drowning and starving children and women on the high seas in monsoons for ‘following my fine example. Every country has the right to decide who will drown in their waters, or eat each other while awaiting rescue in a continuing typhoon, especially those stateless plaintive persons, Rohingas and the like, who should have stayed behind in the tyranny of Myanmar and copped sweet their lifelong persecution.’ Asked what might happen to them when the Acehans ran out of food for them, he shook his head and murmured, ‘Shit happens.’ There followed a fifty-second stare, and everyone ducked for cover.

Word came through that Australian cows were being struck on the head with sledgehammers and suffering sudden death in slaughterhouses in Vietnam. It was thought by some that this was wrong, but it was thought by others to be wrong also, and worse in some cases, that three million Vietnamese humans had been killed, and six million Vietnamese babies born mutant with short arms or legs, in a war without good purpose Australia sent teenage conscripts into and had not won and had not yet apologised for. Human life, as usual, meant little to the Abbottites, who were still spending tens of thousands of dollars a day looking for drowned passengers of MH370 but not one penny on living children soon to drown or starve or be eaten by their fellow passengers off Myanmar. ‘Better five thousand children drown, or be eaten,’ Abbott said, ‘than people smugglers make money; or, indeed, that the children grow up happily and fruitfully here and become doctors and teachers and nurses in remote and outback regions that need them sorely. Better they die at sea.’

S&M began to sweat as members of his former department, Immigration, who did not like him, prepared to tell the Senate whether or not he had known about child rape and blowjob trading in his facilities and bidden them shut up about it. Transfield and Wilson Security had yesterday refused to say what dates they had known about it, protecting him, because any date at all would implicate him in a cover-up of serious crime, but was not certain public servants, who did not like him, would protect his arse also. He knew the Senate could order his arrest if he refused to appear in front of it, and his imprisonment at their pleasure, and this must slow his present rush to the Lodge, and he prayed, in tongues, that this cup would pass from him, and enough liars would assemble, perjure themselves, and assure his preservation, and his upward trajectory into immortal earthly glory.

The Philippines President, Aquino, said he would take in the eight thousand starving, thirsting, miscarrying and screaming refugees and look after them, and thus proved Abbott was, in his words, ‘a murderous mad cunt, without precedent in this region in this century.’

And so it went.

Recommended Viewing

I commend the Senate inquiry into Nauru on APAC, and the responses by the Transfield ‘service providers’ whose language resembles the prose of Kafka, or, worse, Phillip Ruddock.

I will put up on Ellis Gold from time to time transcripts of their sinuous evasions.

In Seven Words

Prime Minister, have you stopped the boats?

After Ramadi

It is worth noting what the fall of Ramadi means.

It means more and more teenagers will flock to the ISIS cause and fewer and fewer Iraqi soldiers fight with vigour for the Shi-ite gangsters who for ten years looted Baghdad and drove the entire professional class into exile.

It means more soldiers will desert, more armies fall back, more territory be captured, more women be forced into ‘marriage’ with the victors.

It means more money will flow to DAISH oil wells that can be spent on tanks that will reconquer Mesopotamia, blow up the classic ruins of the Biblical world, and on drones that in time attack and immolate the Vatican, the National Portrait Gallery, the Louvre.

These are the consequences of George W Bush, who thought an invasion by thirty-two Christian nations of a secular Muslim state whose Vice-President was a Christian was a good idea, and Abu Ghraib’s horrors a good propaganda tactic for our side. It was a tactic that lost him, and us, that lost our side, all moral influence in the Middle East, perhaps forever.

This means in turn we must choose, or not, a war with a million Western soldiers on the ground in Syria on the side of Assad, a bigger monster than Saddam, a war that still might be lost, if we are not to surrender an area the size of France to a regime as vile as the Nazis.

What are we to do now? Commit to a big war, though America won’t? Fight a big war, with a quarter of a million conscripts, on our own? On the side of Iran and Assad, who are disliked everywhere?

Or…get the hell out of there? And hope DAISH and its cruelties over time grow unpopular in the Arab world, and it crumbles after ten or twenty years?

The latter would be wise, I think.

If we don’t want drones shooting up the Opera House.

Today’s Morgan

Morgan shows Labor on 51, the Coalition on 49 two party preferred, and the result ‘too close to call’. Labor leads in only Victoria and Tasmania, and in all age groups except the 51 to 64 and the 64 to 100, but the Coalition lead among the oldies is enormous.

I can see no reason why this is wrong.

It is to be hoped this is a ‘sugar hit’ only, and the electorate will revise its view when it becomes clear how badly off working families will be after  January, 1917 — six thousand dollars a year, some say — and when the boat people crisis becomes, in the voters’ view, an Abbott-led world calamity.

And we will see what we shall see.

Today’s Ipsos and Newspoll

The numbers on both Ipsos and Newspoll were, by the look of it, crookedly achieved.

Both rang during Shorten’s speech respondents who were not watching it. Both rang only landlines and not mobiles, which younger voters favour. Both rang only those at home on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, mainly octogenarians. Newspoll ‘adjusted the sample to reflect population distribution’. You bet they did. Newspoll nonetheless showed Labor way ahead.

Ipsos showed a tie. To understand how they did this — give Labor four hundred thousand fewer votes than Newspoll — one must look at their fool methodology. As I understand it, their machines rang eighty thousand people of whom 1403 took the call. These were people prepared to talk to a machine — the old, the mad, the loveless, the paranoid, the paupered, the resentful, society’s grumps and invalids, on three nights when half the adult population were out of the house, in cinemas and restaurants, their mobiles with them, unrung by by either pollster.

This poll can be disregarded. Its methodology predicted in 2013 that Swan, Rudd, Clare, Bowen, Burke and Dreyfus would lose their seats; for this reason alone they should be disqualified and investigated — and their CEO, probably, imprisoned for criminal fraud.

Both surveys got Queensland wrong by two percent. Both methodologies got the UK wrong by three percent; that is, two million votes.

It is no longer acceptable to ring landlines only. It makes no sense whatever. Discuss.

The most crooked element of the crooked Ipsos method was the ringing, and I ask them to deny it, of ten thousand respondents WHILE Shorten was on his feet or while his ideas were being discussed by pundits in the hours afterward. This meant those not interested in what he had to say, i.e. Liberal voters, or what others thought of it, i.e. Liberal voters, were the ones who took the call, and said they were voting Liberal.

How many of these respondents were there, two hundred? Three hundred?

I accuse them of thus confecting, criminally, lies. And I ask Fairfax to sack them as their pollster.

The Twenty-Nine Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (255)

Abbott praised the countries who had turned round boats with dead women and children on them ignoring the screams of the starving survivors as ‘my and Scott’s disciples, votaries of the New Maritime Order’, and Morrison, speaking in tongues, prayed for the dead children’s souls. ‘I will meet them in heaven,’ he explained to his fellow Shirelive parishioners, ‘and they will know who I am.’ Told by his parson he would not, they would go, as heathens, to Hell, he said, ‘Get out of my liver.’ Ghosts appeared at his bed-end that night as usual, pointing at him.

Joe Hockey lied to Cassidy, swearing he hadn’t said ‘Yes, it is’ when Oakes described breastfeeding mothers as ‘frauds’ though the videotape showed he had, and many Liberal backbenchers, their faces in both hands, hoped this was just a bad dream. Many Sunday pundits in their columns gawped with disbelief and crossed themselves with unusual solemnity. A ‘partial assassination theory’, involving Joe’s anaesthetist during his stomach-stapling, grew in credibility and it was thought the poor, perspiring, brain-damaged fatty should be ‘pensioned off’ and in a secure and padded North Sydney Forum facility given a pocket calculator and taught the rudiments of Monopoly and showed once a day The Wolf Of Wall Street to get ‘his brain back up to speed’ in time for his return to politics in, oh, 2030.

Abbott approved the encirclement with an electronic band of the ankles of Barnaby Joyce. This device would give him an electric shock whenever he said ‘Bugger off’ or ‘The world’s sexiest man’ and light up his nose. It was a measure, Abbott assured the National Party room, that was ‘long overdue’ and would ‘save the economy billions.’

After a stiff scotch Brandis proposed that he would decide what art was, and in what form it would come to this country if it came at all. He seized half the budget of the Arts Council and set aside billions for the promotion of ‘Bingo studies, Monarchist revue, and a new show called ‘Snedden, The Rock Opera’. He planned as well, he confided, a remake in the Tasmanian mountains of The Sound of Music, with Bronwyn Bishop as the Mother Superior singing ‘Climb Every Mountain’ with an impressive soaring contralto, and Mathias Cormann , whose ‘accent was excellent’, as Baron Von Trapp the fertile widower. It was thought Sophie Mirabella might play Maria but Brandis decided she was ‘not a plausible virgin’.

Abbott surprised the nation by funding in Perth a medical school with no pupils. The AMA called this ‘moronic’ and ‘no more than what we have come to expect from a Captain Chaos off his medication on a dull Sunday afternoon.’ Asked where the pupils might come from, Abbott said, ‘I dunno, the boats off Malaysia are probably full of them.’ Joe Hockey reproved the AMA for calling Abbott ‘Captain Chaos’. ‘That title,’ he huffed, ‘belongs to me.’

Twiggy Forrest, a Liberal voter, said iron ore he was pilfering from Aborigines should be awarded by the government a higher regulated price. ‘If it stays this cheap,’ he said, ‘our ethnic cleansing of two hundred and seventy Aboriginal communities from minerals-rich locations will have been in vain.’

Scrutiny of Joe’s budget by Standard & Poors astounded and appalled its expert Manhattan invigilators. He had put in, they noted, moneys from last year’s Budget that did not get through the Senate, money, in short, that did not exist, and had said Boom-level receipts would return within eighteen months; which was ‘like predicting,’ they said, ‘the oceans would rise ten feet by 2020.’ Joe’s triple-A rating would be withdrawn, they hinted, by August or September.

Fran Kelly, a Liberal voter, acclaimed an Ipsos poll showing the Government and the Opposition line ball at 50-50, and ignored a Newspoll showing Labor eight hundred thousand votes ahead. Michelle Grattan, a Liberal voter, mentioned the second poll, and Fran told her to ‘shut up’.

Children continued to starve to death on the high seas and be eaten by adult survivors. Abbott called this Boschian spectacle a ‘jolly good show’ which would ‘teach the people smugglers a lesson’. Morrison, his elbows in front of his face, murmured, ‘Father, forgive me, for I knew not what I did.’ He was depressed for a while; then he had a cup of Credlin’s special tea, cheered up, and returned with vigour to his ‘war on breastfeeding’.

And so it went.

Recommended Viewing

The Insiders item on Barnaby Joyce and Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Canine Calamity, is among the funniest such works in human history, and its devisers deserve, already, a Lifetime Achievement Oscar for it.

Ellis Gold Poetry Competition

A poem in at least fifteen verses whose first four lines are:

‘It is an ancient Morrison,
And he stoppeth one of three,
He spake in tongues his tale of woe
With wild looks, rapidly.’

Deadline Tuesday, July 1.

The best three entries will get a free copy of The Ellis-Leak Almanac, a CD of Orators and an invitation to lunch with Bob Ellis at a mutually convenient place and time.

All entries whose rhymes are not embarrassing will be published on Ellis Gold.

The Albrechtsen Moment

Janet Albrechtsen said yesterday that Abbott and Hockey might not last and if they did not the big winner, by August, would be Scott Morrison.

With her usual inability to see a bare arse pumping turds in her face, she picked the week when Morrison ruined himself to say how well he was doing.

He called breastfeeding mothers ‘double-dippers’ and slashed by six thousand dollars the average income of working familes every year after 2016. This is enough for a South Sea Cruise, and they can’t even dream of that any more.

He also saw exploding in his face the big lie that he had ‘stopped the boats’.

On boats to the north eight thousand people fleeing tyranny and brutish economies are starving, weeping and occasionally killing each other in fights over scraps of food. Two or three hundred have died in a week.

And, obedient to the Morrison Doctrine, no nation is letting them in; except, for the moment, the Acehan Province of Indonesia, the one the tsunami devastated and a kinder world than ours helped out. Their hands are out to these other foundlings of the sea. They are good people.

Morrison, however, has not apologised for the big lie that the boats have stopped, nor said if he would favour taking in starving children and miscarrying women, even as detainees, even on our Devil’s Island, Nauru, even for a month, or a week.

Given this lack of remorse he is the more likely, now, to be arraigned for his crimes against humanity at The Hague. These include his facilitation of the escape of Reza Barati’s twelve murderers from justice, and of the several buggerers of small children and blow-job traders with frightened virgins whom he knew about and would not investigate, lest white Australians be among them.

Albrechtsen, whose beauty, stupidity and cruelty are part of a not unpleasing package (Rhys Muldoon would still whang her, he assures me), has this time, alas, goofed seriously.

She has identified a man standing hooded on a trapdoor with a rope around his neck as our nation’s imminent saviour and the monarch of us all. She has imagined he was enlarged by last week, not spifflicated. Not shrunken to the size of a mouse turd.

Let her fate be similar to his.

Let her take the blindfold, the hood, the prayer book and the drop.

And all the trumpets sound for her on the other side.

The Economic Consequences of Barmy Barnaby

(First published by Independent Australia)

The consequences of a government minister threatening to kill a film star’s dogs – and fining him, in effect, half a million dollars for bringing them in – will do more to damage our country than any decision taken since our participation in the WMD war.

It shows we are, or seem, in Patrick White’s words, ‘a convocation of rustic clowns’. It has damaged us as much as the 1925 Monkey Trial damaged Tennessee.

It should be remembered that Barnaby is our Deputy Prime Minister ‘heir apparent’. It should be remembered he is a religious lunatic who hates gay marriage and could not, while Shadow Minister For Finance, distinguish millions from billions. His face grows puce on occasions and his high blood pressure pills may be some part of the cause of his occasional bursts of dementia.

What, one may ask, are the economic consequences of Barmy Barnaby? Half a million of Depp’s dollars will not, for certain, be spent here. It is likely that this, his fifth film here, will be his last. It is probable that other film companies — Chinese, Indian, British, German — will think twice, and think very carefully, before filming here. It is probable overseas investment in Queensland will go down by one tenth. It is possible tourism to Queensland – in an age of great storms and floods in that region, and planes buffeted by high winds – will come down by twenty percent.

So Barnaby’s effect on our economy is as deleterious as Black Saturday; or Ash Wednesday. He is a veritable remorseless malignant tsunami whose legendary ignorance, affirmed world wide, will do as much harm to our image overseas as the Mississippi lynchings did to the Old South in 1955.

What is to be done with this hectic, beetroot-coloured oaf?

A poll in his seat of New England measuring his chances against a resurgent Tony Windsor would be a start. A caucus meeting of National and NLP members and Senators that flings him out of the leadership would help. A Jon Stewart special on his hundred worst gaffes would then obliterate him, as a serious figure, from our national history.

These measures should be put in train immediately.

In Two Words

Barmy Barnaby.

The Twenty-Five Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (254)

Hockey called ‘scammers’ those employers who had taken him at his word, and refused their underlings maternity leave pay because they could not now, Joe said, like ‘rorters’ double-dip, like ‘fraudsters’ double-dip; and they were ‘scammers’ if they believed him when he said they couldn’t. ‘Why would they believe me?’ he whined. ‘I never do.’ He thus wound up to one hundred percent the numbers of people insulted by his, and Morrison’s, ‘war on breastfeeding’.

Galaxy, a Murdoch facility, said the Liberals’ votes had gone up, and the nation rocked with laughter. Dutton saw the boats had not stopped, and eight thousand refugees, including women and children, were starving and thirsting to death on boats that had been ‘turned round’, in the popular Australian way. Obama demanded he take them in. He imagined his trial at The Hague for procuring the needless deaths of hundreds of children, and covered his long dim face with his hands.

Shorten offered to discuss with Abbott ways of bringing taxes down. Abbott, haggard, said this was impossible, it was not his bag, ‘it’s not what I do’, he was about problems, not solutions, and it was ‘a dirty trick’ of Shorten to have suggested it. The Murdoch press said the Budget, which would leave, in a while, most families six thousand dollars a year worse off, was ‘greeted by cheering, champagne-popping crowds overjoyed by its generosity and fiscal wisdom’, and had ‘turned the corner’ for Tony Abbott, now ‘as popular as Charles De Gaulle on VE Day’. The cross-bench of the Senate said they wouldn’t pass any of it.

John Ellis, a Liberal voter, was arrested for flashing, and it was thought his employer Malcolm Turnbull would not now as a consequence be Prime Minister, as if one thing prefigured another. Barnaby Joyce seized Johnny Depp’s two dogs, and flung them on to an aeroplane crying, ‘Bugger off to California!’ amid international awe and amazement and ridicule. It was thought someone had ‘fucked up his medication’. The odds on him being National Party leader, ever, and Deputy Prime Minister, ever, climbed to eight hundred to one.

Janet Albrechtsen, a Liberal voter, praised S&M for having ‘fixed up the biggest policy failure this country has seen. Under Labor 50,000 people arrived by boat in six years, and now, thanks to Morrison, eight thousand — in only one week — have been marooned at sea, a Morrison policy triumph.’ She said Joe Hockey had ‘no credibility’ and Morrison’s ‘upward trajectory’ from ministry to ministry was the story of the week. ‘His war on breastfeeding,’ she declared, ‘was a masterstroke.’

Peter Dutton proposed to revoke the citizenship of Matthew Gardiner, a hero of the Kurds who had been briefly at war against ISIS last year, as this proved him to be ‘an agent of terrorism’ unfit to be called an Australian. The twenty-five years he was supposed to have spent in prison for his evil activities (tending war-wounded women and children) were quietly cancelled. Fighting against ISIS, or DAISH as it is also known, was apparently popular, and Dutton hadn’t been told. He put his long dim face in his hands.

Johnny Depp spent half a million dollars flying his dogs home, two hundred Australians lost their jobs on his film, and Hollywood decided not to make films very often in Queensland any more. Barnaby acclaimed this ‘happy outcome’, calling two weeks in quarantine for the dogs an ‘unacceptable option’. Clive Palmer called him a ‘fucking idiot’ and thus secured his Gold Coast seat, which he could hold now for the rest of his life if he wanted to, and asked that ‘Barmy’ Barnaby resign from all his positions. A poll showed that if Tony Windsor stood against him, as he didn’t last time, in New England he would win with ninety percent of the primary vote. Experts asked to investigate ‘Barmy’s’ sanity said his brain had certainly shrivelled, but this was true too of most LNP voters who had spent twenty years in the sun in Queensland, the ‘barking sarmajor’ Campbell Newman being a ‘prime example’.

Eight thousand innocents continued to starve on the high seas. Regional leaders praised Scott Morrison for having ‘led the way’ to this ‘desirable policy outcome’ of a ‘watery Auschwitz’ which would, hereinafter, bear his name.

A gay couple, one of them dying, flew to New Zealand to be married. Peter Dutton said he was ‘uncertain’ that they would be let back in.

And put his long dim face in his hands.

And so it went.

Certain Housekeeping Matters (175)

My review of Michael Cooney’s The Gillard Project is up on Ellis Gold.

I will review A Royal Night Out in that space before the end of the day.

Dog Day Afternoon

(First published by Independent Australia)

Morrison’s war on breastfeeding and Barnaby’s war on Depp’s dogs have made impossible an early election, I would think, or any arrangement that will get more than half the Budget through the Senate. It is likely, now, that Abbott and Hockey will not survive past August; and it is worth, at this stage, asking why.

Morrison’s hatred of nursing mothers may derive, or not, from his own wife’s many miscarriages and his deranged and sad assertion that the deceased unborn would meet him in heaven, and know who he was.

To me it seems wrong of him, though, to have cursed as ‘rorters’ nurses who have negotiated a lower wage plus twenty-six weeks of baby-bonding; and idiotic of Abbott to have extended this libel to female soldiers headed back into danger in Iraq. It bespeaks in both of them an instinctive contempt for the normal urges of womanhood and motherhood (best instanced when Abbott abandoned his pregnant bride-to-be and sent her child away to Perth), and it is likely, not certain, that many, many conservative-leaning women will not like this very much, and the female gender in this country will next year vote six to four against the Liberals and erase, perhaps, that once-respected party from our history.

Barnaby’s weird war on Depp’s dogs, however — ‘turn back the dogs’; ‘the war on terrier’ — looks to some of us even more interesting, and even more calamitous for the Coalition, than any other thick-witted act of theirs in this past awful year; because it has made us look, to the rest of the world, like muddy Dogpatch peasants, bearing pitchforks and red noses, a rowdy lynch mob unlike any since the knuckle-dragging primates of Dayton, Tennessee, during the Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925.

I ask you to look carefully, if you will, at what Barnaby might have done, and said.

He could have – oh yes – let it be known that Depp had breached the law; but he could have colluded with him before then a deal by which the glamorous miscreant paid a five thousand dollar fine and put his dogs in a sterile facility near his Gold Coast house where he could visit them after filming. Or he could have arranged that the dogs be examined, and cleared of disease, and Depp apologise for what he had done – unknowingly, probably, not having brought dogs here before — which caused at any rate no harm to any Australian, man or beast, and say he would not do it again.

Instead, he has let it be known that billions of Hollywood investment is tremendously unwelcome here, and Somalia, perhaps, or the Maldives, or Fiji, would be a better place to film Pirates of the Caribbean VIII, IX and X. He has made us, unlike any other previous Australian figure, ridiculous and contemptible. His choice of the phrase ‘bugger off back to California’ will affirm, for hundreds of millions, the provincial-knucklehead image of Australia in that episode of The Simpsons.

And it’s worse than that, I fear.

For if Depp chooses not to comply, and he is arrested and his dogs put down, it will end all American investment in Australian movie facilities, all British, and all European, Canadian and Chinese film investment here. It will cost us, literally, hundreds of billions of dollars.

It is to be hoped, I suppose, that Depp complies meekly and flies home.

It is impossible to imagine he will come back.

The Twenty-Eight Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (253)

Morrison’s war on breastfeeding continued, in many radio broadcasts of his rancorous tones that grew hourly more hectic and, some considered, hydrophobic. It lost the Liberals fifty votes a minute but he seemed proud of it, somehow. ‘Women,’ he asserted, ‘should spend no more than a fortnight bonding with the newborn before they went back to slitting hens’ throats in a Colonel Sanders facility from midnight to dawn, or dawn to dusk, a significant duty for which they were, under God’s law, far better fitted than wide-eyed baby-talk with uncomprehending nappy-soilers.’

Abbott was asked to apologise for calling new young mothers ‘rorters’. He said he wouldn’t, because they were. The haemorrhage of Liberal voters went up to a hundred a minute. He was asked if it was better for a new mother to spend eighteen weeks with her new baby, or six months. He said, ‘The Australian taxpayer will not tolerate six months! It’s more than Scott Morrison ever got! Or Barnaby!’ and laughed winningly. The vote-leakage went up to one hundred and fifty a minute. Asked if pregnant female soldiers deserved six months with their newborn baby before they went back to work under hostile fire in Iraq, he said ‘Of course not! Who do they think they are? Heroes? I don’t think so. They’re bound to die there anyway, so it’s better the babies don’t get to know them.’ The number of lost female votes went up to three hundred a minute.

Showing senility, Bronwyn Bishop ruled out of order a Bowen question on a consequence of the Budget. ‘All questions on the consequences of the Budget are hypothetical questions,’ she said, ‘and therefore out of order.’ Burke said all questions must therefore be out of order, and she said ‘Faugh!’, and threw out Wayne Swan for calling one Minister a liar after having refused, yesterday, to throw out Abbott for saying the same thing of Plibersek, Shorten, Macklin and Bowen.

Then she stood on the Speaker’s Table; and a strange light fell upon her broad uplifted luminous Tongan countenance. ‘Pray tell Mr De Mille,’ she said quietly, ‘that I am ready for my close-up.’

It was feared she had lost the last of the rest of her marbles; but it was also feared by some that Abbott had too; and, come to think of it, Morrison; and Pyne; and Barnaby.

This was in contrast to Mathias Cormann, who deftly dealt with the panic that seized him and his leadership after it was revealed by wicked persons that he and his wife had ‘double-dipped’ and ‘rorted the system’ of maternity leave payments just like those felonious nurses. ‘I vos jerst ferloawing owders,’ he said, and raised his right hand in a familiar way, ‘in ze seestem zat previled et ze time. Verever mein fuhrer vos gerwing, I ferloawed. Ven he favoured revowding big pregnant bellays, I ferloawed, and did also, collecting merch mernays for ze groaweng foetus. Ven he cheenged, and chose instead to keeck zose bellays, I obaydientlay did also. It vos lucky my dear vife geev bairth to ow dowter in time, in ze first phase of hees medness and nert ze second.’ Those who could understand what he was saying applauded vigorously.

Shorten gave the best Budget reply speech in eighty years and Abbott and all his ministers declined to be interviewed about it. Leigh Sales, a Liberal fellow-traveller, interviewed Shorten and interrupted his every sentence asking ‘Where’s the money coming from?’ When he listed where nineteen billion was coming from, she said ‘But the deficit’s thirty-five billion.’ Shorten said it was seventeen billion till Joe got to it, and she changed the subject.

Barnaby continued to menace the helpless Yorkshire Terriers of Johnny Depp, who he swore would be seized, held down and lethally injected not shriving time allowed within twenty-four hours, despite the sorrowing protests of ‘the world’s sexiest man’ who seemed oddly attractive to him. ‘If the United States do not accept them,’ the turnip-faced loon grimly thundered, ‘they will be stateless, and therefore slaughtered in mid-air.’ Asked if he knew that doing this would ruin the Queensland film industry forever, he blinked and said, ‘What film industry?’

His deadline was ‘a world record,’ he boasted. ‘The successive stays of execution of Chan and Sukumaran added up to ten years overall. Mine was three days, max. A world record.’ He offered to ‘smother the dogs, myself.’ Tony Abbott, rattled, promised them a State Funeral. Johnny Depp said he would come to it, wielding a scimitar, with two hundred Pirates at his back.

Fran Kelly, a Liberal voter, praised Morrison’s war on breastfeeding and claimed Shorten had not said where the money was coming from. Shorten told her, twenty-one billion of it, and she said, ‘But where’s the money coming from?’ He told her again and she kept extruding the same fool question in her kindly Doris Day inflections, bewildered. His repeated, accurate, mild, searching answers came as a shock to her. Had she been wrong voting Liberal all her life? Was the Birthday Ballot a mistake? The Vietnam War? Would the WMD, now, not be found? She became confused in her subsequent questioning and addled in her grammar. RN’s token Trotskyist James Carleton, brewed her, with narrowing eyes, a cup of tea.

And so it went.

From Struth, An Anguished Response

In The Australian this morning, under the title Apocalypse Postponed, James Jeffrey wrote:

‘Few blogs can be compared to the dramatic roller-coaster of opera, but Bob Ellis’s Table Talk is certainly one of them. On Tuesday, while many were focussed on budget matters, Ellis was waging war with a reader called ‘”Dr Liz”.

Many tough words were meted out, one reader even copping a stern invitation to indulge in an activity more typically requiring (at least) two people. On it went. “Dr Liz has refused to apologise, and this blog is at an end,” Ellis said, a message that appeared in more than one iteration.

‘Happily, it turned out that Ellis’s prediction of his blog’s demise was incorrect, or at least premture. As Ellis later blogged, “Dr Liz has apologised, and I apologise to her for what I said. She is not a moron, nor is she a destructive bitch….And the blog is back.”

‘Nevertheless, Strewth’s reporting of the end has elicited from Ellis a splendidly precise demand that Strewth hand over “30,000, in a brown envelope, by close of business Friday, and a weekly case of Guinness for the next two years”. If only more people were so reasonable.

‘Ellis tells Strewth,”(The blog) was resurrected late yesterday after the pleadings of many respondents and a rush of money to Ellis Gold (the subscriber-only section). I ask you to correct this, and apologise abjectly, or suffer the full majesty of the law. It is surprising how many acts of libel you achieved in only 44 words.”

‘We don’t think we’re imagining the faint tinge of admiration in that last sentence.’

The Strewth Untruth

James Jeffrey in Strewth wrongly said this blog is at an end, and I had closed it with the words ‘Go fuck yourself.’

I find these two untruths defamatory, and will test them in court.

Thirty thousand dollars, in a brown envelope, by close of business Friday, and a weekly case of Guinness for the next two years, will prevent this ruinous action.

I emphasise that my son is a lawyer.

The Blair Affair

I find to my surprise Tim Blair has not sent me thirty thousand dollars and apologised to me in his column for saying I was always wrong in my predictions which I plainly am not, as I set out in these pages yesterday.

I will sue him now for three hundred and tweny-five thousand dollars, or whatever the current maximum sum is, for his demonstrable malicious mendacity and his attempt to ridicule, shame and ruin me.

A sum in excess of one hundred thousand dollars will prevent this happening.

Tomorrow, it will be one hundred and fifty thousand dollars.

He should phone me, soon.

I emphasise that my son is a lawyer.

In Twenty-Two Words

How will the free market cure the second earthquake in Nepal?

If it can’t do that, what is the use of it?

The Thirty-One Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (252)

‘You can’t tax your way to prosperity!’ Joe yelled at the House, though this was precisely what Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Austria, Holland, Germany, Canada, Argentina, Venezuela, New Zealand, Great Britain, Norfolk Island, France, Australia and the US (till the 1980s) had done in the past. He then announced new taxes: on backpackers, tourists, foreign companies, online overseas purchases and all those parents who would not get the Schoolkids Money any more, and all those foreigners whose aid had been slashed to the bone in a year of cyclones and earthquakes and civil wars. He came out warmly against, and also in favour of, new taxes, both at once, like a true perspiring fathead would. ‘The glass half full!’ he blithered, and both Tim and Peter Costello put their faces in their hands.

He seemed also, like many innumerates, not to realise that money shovelled at some Australians in tax cuts is money thieved from other Australians in slashed benefits, or cancelled wages for building submarines. He kept charging, because he was fond of it, the hundreds of billions extra the next generation would pay now for their uni courses and for the 457 workers on slave wages who would keep Struggle Street underemployed and punching out their relatives and manufacturing Ice in fibro garages and the further half billion he would spend in the next fiscal year on the search for MH 370 in three stormy oceans, and the twenty-three billion on a fighter bomber that thus far wouldn’t fly.

Julie Bishop did not complain when eleven billion, cut from overseas aid, ensured the deaths of a million children. ‘We need the money to look for the corpses of MH 370 in three oceans, or the sharks in which they are embedded,’ she said of the ‘death cult’ she and Abbott had lately confected, ‘and a museum to our glorious slaughtered dead in France. As Jesus once said, let the living fend for themselves, go beg and busk, you low life sluggard poor, it is our godly task to acclaim with expensive monuments the deceased.’

She refused to give any more money to Nepal, now rocked by a second earthquake. ‘The money we have given them already could buy Malcolm Turnbull’s back yard,’ she boasted, ‘and that is surely, surely, surely enough.’

The cuts to Indonesia would prevent a quarter of a million of their children being vaccinated, it was revealed. This, she explained, was due to the execution of Chan and Sukumaran, and the Abbott-Bishop Death Cult’s First Commandment, ‘One hundred and twenty five thousand eyes for an eye.’

Fran Kelly, a Liberal voter, upbraided Chris Bowen for not releasing all of Labor’s policies now, forthwith, eighteen months before the election. ‘It is incumbent on Labor,’ she intoned, magisterially, ‘to tell all, years out, and on the Liberals the day before. That is what being us, The Ruling Class, means.’

In scenes unprecedented since Roman times the House went into uproar after it was shown that Morrison had called ‘rorters’, and Hockey ‘fraudsters’, certain Melbourne nurses who had agreed to a lower wage and eighteen weeks’ maternity leave. Abbott, screeching and tearing his thin hair, called this a ‘lie’ and ‘verballing my ministers’ and Pyne forbade the tabling of transcripts of them saying it. Eighty thousand women quickly planned to sue the two ministers three hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars each, a sum of $27, 625,000,000 they could ill, some experts reckoned, afford. Abbott, whose desertion of a pregnant bride and her foetus was well known, was already famed for having called Julia Gillard ‘sexist’ and having been monstered by him in a now immortal exchange that in 2012 went viral on YouTube across the planet and made him less popular than Bluebeard, and this was one more mark against him; and it was thought he had lost more than a quarter of a million women voters in twenty minutes, and he might have to consider his position within the hour.

Morrison, on his feet, in his usual foam-flecked manner yelled that what these nurses were doing was ‘unfair’, and a squandering of taxpayer money comparable in its villainy with the lavish excesses of Marie Antoinette, and deserved if not guillotining a severe talking to, and it became clear by his third sentence, delivered in English and not in his usual language, Tongues, that he had hours, not weeks, in his job, and his next job would not be Treasurer.

Three boat people agreed to go to Cambodia, one with ten thousand dollars in his kick. The responsible Minister, Dutton, grew alarmed when he heard the camera crew of Struggle Street was going with them.

Struggle Street ended after having revealed a Christian parson who had saved the souls of a hundred boys, probably, and rescued them from short, ugly lives of drugs and petty theft, and deaths by oversdose in prison, had all his money cut off by Joe a day before, an act which ensured a thousand more needless deaths in Mount Druitt, an outcome the Liberals were, Joe said, ‘committed to’.

Walid Ali noted on The Project that one person had been killed here by terrorism in a hundred years, and two a week, sometimes, by domestic violence, thirty-six this year. Yet four hundred and fifty million more had bee added to Joe’s fool Tueday Budget to fight the former, and nothing more, not a brass razoo, to fight the latter. Malcolm Turnbull, wincing, said when he was PM, in July, he’d sort it.

Branaby Joyce unexpectedly threatened to kill Jonny Depp’s two little dogs, Boo and Pistol. If, after two days on Death Row, they did not ‘bugger off back to California’, this turnip-faced moron fumed, he would personally seize them at gunpoint, physically grapple with Depp, an accomplished Kendo wrestler and swordsman, and ruin the Gold Coast film industry, costing Queensland a billion dollars, by gaoling for a year ‘the world’s sexiest man’ for non-compliance and murder, of course, his dogs. The Nationals’ vote plummetted to three percent, and Barnaby heard a curious loud throbbing in his head.

And so concluded another day of the worst free-elected government in human history, since the invention of democracy in its present form in Iceland, in AD 934.

The Limerick Competition On Ellis Gold

The subject of the first limerick should be a figure of the Right — in politics, religion or the media. The deadline is July 1. Another subject will be set for a second competition, whose deadline will be August 15.

For the same deadlines there will be a competition for a short poem on the subject of Love, and a second short poem on Lust, in rhymed verse like that of my monthly Primates Poems, though not necessarily in that rhythm or that rhyme scheme. Poems with really bad rhymes will be disqualified.

All submissions will be printed on Ellis Gold, and readable nowhere else.

There will be three winners in each category. Each will get a lunch at Macchiavelli’s or an equivalent restaurant in another city, where he or she will pay for the meal they eat, and a free DVD of my (co-written) Ben Chifley play, A Local Man, and a free CD of my latest reading Orators, and a free copy of The Ellis-Leak Almanac.

A further competition, like The New Statesman competition, in which the contestant writes on a particular subject in the style of a particular famous author, will be announced soon.

Certain Housekeeping Matters (173)

Dr Liz has apologised, and I apologise to her for what I said. She is not a moron, nor is she a destructive bitch. And she can, if she wishes, respond unhindered, within the usual rules, hereinafter.

And the blog is back.

The ‘S’ That Ended Table Talk

I would have let through Liz’s big lie, ‘John Howard walked all over Kim Beasley’ had she spelled correctly ‘Beazley’, a Labor surname known by the nation since 1945.

But she not only said of the man who won back eighteen seats from the Liberals and four hundred thousand more votes than them that Howard ‘walked all over’ him, she also failed to spell the name of the party saviour, a friend of mine, whom she was so ignorantly and unjustly deriding.

It was the act of a moron, and I said so.

She then called me a misogynist and compared me with Luke Batty’s murderer; and, in a later exchange, claimed to have drowned my Jewish grandmother in her bath; a ‘joke’, she called it, with the jovial humour of a Himmler or Streicher.

I said I would apologise for the ‘moron’ if she would apologise for calling me a murderer, and she refused to.

It was the ‘s’ that started it ; and Dr Liz that ended it.

And it’s a pity.

Signing off.

Certain Housekeeping Matters (172)

Dr Liz has refused to apologise, and this blog is at an end.

Ellis Gold will continue, and its price by Christmas will double.

See above.

Certain Housekeeping Matters (171)

My fight with Dr Liz has aroused a lot of respondents now withdrawing their Ellis Gold payments.

My inclination is to end this blog now.

To prevent this, Dr Liz can apologise for calling me a misogynist child murderer, and I will apologise for calling her a moron, and she can come back in.

I want this from her, or I am out of here.