The Thirty-One Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (289)

Word spread that Abbott had gone mad. By forbidding any minister to go on Q&A forever he stopped, first, Barnaby touting his beloved agricultural policy and then Joe selling his corpse of a Budget. His office quickly said it wasn’t forever, and it was only until the ABC completed its inquiry into itself, in twelve weeks’ time, that all of his ministers would boycott that channel. Barnaby immediately appeared in the Press Club, on that channel. Turnbull said he was ‘undecided’ as to whether he would go on Q&A next week, before the inquiry was completed. His own inquiry had found Q&A had done nothing wrong, and boycotting it was a ‘silly idea’. This was an act of mutiny unreported on Skynews, but noted by those backbenchers likely to lose their seats.

Ipsos showed forty of them would. And it was an Ipsos taken before the enormity of the gay marriage fuckup had sunk in. Seventy-two percent of Australians wanted it, and Abbott said there was no way he would even discuss it. Barnaby said every baby deserves a father, and those babies without a father should not be born. Penny Wong responded with vigour to the proposed extermination of her two daughters. They’re here, already, she said. What do you propose to do with them? Send them back to the IVF? More and more it seemed the Cabinet were espousing eugenics, and their minders became worried.

At the Press Club Barnaby praised cruelty to animals. Hens should be locked up, he said, pigs beheaded, cows branded, and bludgeoned to death in Vietnam lest the free market shrivel with kindness and wusses get their way. Animal liberationists he denounced as ‘thieves, burglars, stalkers and bearers of disease, whom in my day my father shot for trespassing.’

He told the Press Club that if he’d gone on Q&A he would have been sacked. ‘That’s life,’ he said, ‘you take it on the chin.’ In his mind his thumbs thrust into Abbott’s windpipe and his marmoset face grew purple, the way it does. He threatened to kill a woman who asked if he wanted Truss’s job. ‘There are no Killing Seasons in the National Party,’ he said. ‘We wait for our leaders to grow old and useless and die. I give Warren four months.’ More to come.

Lines For Tony Jones

The Prime Minister has said Q&A is biased and Paul Murray Live is not. He has forbidden the Deputy Leader of his coalition partner, Barnaby Joyce, to tout his policies on Northern Australia here tonight. He seems to think he will suffer some infection if he sits at this table, and defends his ideas.

He thinks that Q&A’s procedures, which Malcolm Turnbull’s inquiry said were fine, were those of a ‘lefty lynch mob’ who were not on the side of Australia.

He has adopted what might be called the Mugabe view of democracy. He wants it guided, in a very familiar way. It is a way we have seen in South America, Africa, the Caribbean and Fiji.

I call on him to appear alone on Q&A and justify himself. He can choose two thirds of the audience, and the leaders of other parties, one third.

I urge him to do this. Should he do it he will show himself before the nation to be a hectic, ramshackle fool, and hasten his exit from politics. Or that is my present view.

I ask him to respond to this invitation without delay.

Today’s Newspoll And Ipsos

Newspoll has worked hard to get the results it has got this week. There were 9 percent ‘uncommitted’. The preferences were redistributed not as they are but as they were in 2013 when it was thought that Abbott was telling the truth. It rang no mobile phones. It rang landlines on Thursday, Friday and Saturday when no-one young was at home.

And it thus achieved a tie, 39-39, on preferred Prime Minister, which Ipsos called 43-39 Shorten’s way.

Ipsos’s overall figure, with Labor on 53 on Saturday, is in the ballpark. But it has got much, much worse for the Coalition since then. Abbott has forbidden the  Liberals, the party of individual conscience, to go on Q&A and speak their conscience there. He has threatened the ABC with impoverishment and mutilation, though it is twice as popular as the Liberal Party, in even Liberal seats like Pyne’s, where he would be voted out over it.  The Abetz and Joyce views on gay marriage — that it will stop Asians buying our cattle and encourage teenagers to fuck marsupials — show the government to be, in the old phrase, a ‘bunch of ratbags’, and there is no party, or government, or opposition, that comes back from that assessment. They are not sane. They do not return.

Ipsos interestingly shows Labor ahead in NSW, by 51-49, Victoria by 58-42, in Queensland 53-49 in WA 50-50, and in SA 49-51, an always winning margin in that state. It refrains from saying what percentage of women favour Labor, and what age-groups do. This was because the already composed and set up Fairfax headlines, bad week for Shorten, would have been ill-served by revealing the truth, that 67 percent of the under 25s or thereabouts prefer Labor, 62 percent of the under 35s, 56 percent of the under 50s, 57 percent of the women, and so on.

It does show, though, Shorten leading Abbott as preferred Prime Minister by 46-36 in Victoria, 48-38 in Queensland, 45-36 in capital cities, and tying with him 41-41 in the regions. It also has him leading Abbott 39-35 on ‘trustworthy’ and 59-30 on ‘has proven grasp of social policy’. And, oh yes, by 52-45 on ‘competent’.

And we will see what we shall see.

Acropolis Now (2)

Tsipras has asked if you want a century of poverty, beggary, emigration, depopulation and misery and the Greeks astonished the Germans by saying no. And what a surprise that was.

And the Germans will be scared now, and may accept, say, a debt payment pause for a year and a forgiveness of thirty percent of it thereafter. The can will be kicked down the road, and in five years’ time…Grexit, then, maybe. Or not.

The euro was a rotten idea. It would have been okay if there has been, say, a deal that allowed one tenth of the printed money to be drachmas, marks and punts, or whatever, this currency able to be adjusted up and down in times of crisis. But no, the Germans wanted a Fourth Reich, and got it, and here we are.

It’s actually…not as bad as it might seem. The grapes still grow on the vines and go to the winepress. The fish come out of the sea. The tourists still sit, as usual, in the waterside cafes of the islands in bright sunlight. These things can be bargained for, in IOUs, or glass beads, or roubles or shekels. Ways can be found.

It will mean, though, an aged population. The young people will emigrate, as they must, to wealthier countries.

But Tsipras is a hero. He has played brinksmanship and won. He has shown what cowards politicians are in these focus-group-driven days. The figures were seventy percent the other way five days ago. And he argued his case, and he won.

And we will see…what we shall see.

Abbott’s Crazy Line In The Sand

It may be dementia pugilistica. Or it could be a cunning plan, my lord, to force the haughty Turnbull out of Cabinet.

Turnbull’s report shows Q&A did nothing wrong. Abbott’s response is to ban all Ministers from being on it. Barnaby has obeyed. Malcolm has not yet said if he would.

So: another captain’s call, in the party of individual conscience, and another assault on our democracy, the most recent a law gaoling doctors who report bad hospital conditions and child rape, by the craziest man elected to high office since W.

He may, this time, have pushed Malcolm too far; or not. But it’s a bad day for him to have done it, when Ipsos shows him trailing Shorten as preferred Prime Minister and losing an election by a million votes, and most accounts of Zaky Mallah showing him to be harmless, useful, benevolent and gravely slandered by Steve Ciobo who threatened him, effectively, with death.

It was a bad week too, with gay marriage marriage triumphing in America and eighty-two Truss-Abbott MPs against it, and one of them asserting it leads one to swiving koalas, which in turn convinced many voters that this lot is, in the old phrase, ‘a bunch of ratbags’, and nothing like the functioning adult government Abbott said it would be; and the Prime Minister’s own sister beseeching him, on television, to bring it on.

And it was a bad month, with Indonesia saying relations with us were at an ‘all time low’ and Dutton being caught people smuggling, and covering up the whoring of children on Nauru.

And so on. It is a line in the sand, and it’s been drawn by a weird, hectic, ramshackle figure unlike any in our history, with little dignity and no narrative line. And he may be mad, or emotionally crumbling, or else cunning to an excruciating degree.

But it isn’t working. He’s a million votes behind. And if Malcolm defies him, he may be doomed.

And we will see what we shall see.

Terrorism Scorecard

It is a hundred years and one hundred and ninety-nine days since an Australian was killed by terrorist attack in Australia.

When, at last, another death occurs in this way it will be noted here.

Lines For Alexis Tsipras

In the early 1940s Germany killed or caused the killing of thirty million people and the crippling, maddening or financial ruin of a hundred million others. In the late 1940s it was rescued, its debts forgiven, from economic oblivion, in what was known as the Marshall Plan. In the middle 1950s it was rescued again from recession and most of its further debts forgiven by kindly foreign powers who gave it, then, the means and encouragement out of which it became, again, a successful industrial power.

Greece committed no such war crimes, nor moved with such rapacity and villainy against other peoples, nor such merciless firepower.

Yet we are told now Greece cannot be helped, nor its debts forgiven, nor even reduced, by of all people the Germans whose moral debt is greater than any since the time Genghis Khan.

I am therefore declaring war on Germany, effective after a referendum next Sunday, and will commence hostilities on Tuesday week if the relentless unforgiving Angela Merkel does not agree to the following terms: that Germany pay a fine of a hundred million euros for every Greek whose death was caused by Germany in World War 2, this number to include Greek Americans and Greek Australians, and those Greeks living in other Mediterranean countries.

She can write this debt off against our debt, or accept the resumption of World War 2.

The Twenty-Nine Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (288)

It was revealed that Julie Bishop had lied to the House, and should resign. She had said a crucial communication had not been shown to her, and it was.

It was to do with Man Monis asking Brandis if it was all right to contact ISIS, and his office of slim young men saying it was. Had it been noticed by these insipid handsome fools that contacting ISIS was against the law, Man Monis would have been arrested, and not have transfixed the nation in the Lindt Cafe, or killed Tory Johnson with a bullet to the head or incited the killing, by ardent fuckwitted police, of Katrina Dawson with twenty-two bullets or bits of them after the ‘terrorist’ was already deceased. He could also have been stopped, perhaps, if Abbott had taken his call, or those of two frantic female hostages. He was ‘too busy,’ he said. And so two people died. He, too, had lied about the Man Monis letter, and, under Westminster rules, should resign.

Though he would do nothing like this, of course, of course he wouldn’t, the shadows were closing in on him, as calls grew for him to ‘get out of the way’ of global gay marriage, and his caucus numbers showed he tactically could not. Even if his firm belief that sodomites fry forever in Hell could be somehow rescinded — and he had a track record of abjuring long held beliefs, like how he should marry Kathy Donnelly if he knocked her up — it was thought by $inodino$ and other numberspersons that he could not hold his position, or hold it for very long, if he dared allow a conscience vote, or even the discussion of a conscience vote, or even the discussion of a discussion of one, in a party room whose numbers were heavily against it, and would tear him down if he tried it on.

An Honour Roll of those who had died waiting to marry was proposed in Table Talk, a blog widely read by homosexuals. Abbott had abolished gay marriage in the ACT on its fourth day in November 2013, and the numbers since then of the ‘glorious dead unwed’ were growing.

Turnbull’s people showed the ABC had done nothing wrong, Zaky Mallah remained unarrested and widely admired as an anti-DAESH campaigner (‘a jihadist for peace,’ the Murdoch papers had lately, proudly called him) in Lakemba and elsewhere, and Steve Ciobo was said by lawyers to have broken the anti-terrorism laws by making a public, violent threat, and might soon be arrested in his home state, Queensland, and put in the slammer for two years, sharing a cell perhaps with Dutton, the people smuggler.

Abbott was made to pose in uniform by some Americans, recalling the ‘Mission Accomplished’ moment of George W Bush, which he was too brain-damaged, some said, to remember.

The dollar fell to the lowest it has been for thirty years after word got round that Joe was an idiot, and his country moving in the direction of a Failed State now his second Budget was in carnage and his leader a ludicrous figure on the world stage and his Cabinet colleagues a hive of mumbling and fidgetting fundamentalists who believed, in some cases, that homosexual marriage would encourage teenagers to fuck marsupials.

It was revealed Tim Wilson, the nervous neo-fascist dipstick promoted above and beyond his intellectual capabilities to Human Rights Commissioner by Brandis, who fancied him, spent last year 77,363 dollars on ‘travel and expenses’ on top of his 332,000 wage and 40,000 accommodation allowance, which added to his wallet 1231 a day which the taxpayer gave him for his arduous work writing things on an envelope with a pencil once a week and appearing on television. On that medium he said that freedom of speech should not be extended to Tony Jones if he was going to be ‘snide’ all the time, or to Q&A if it was going to ‘chase ratings’ with ‘gotcha moments’ unlike any other news panel show in history.

The 449,362 a year he earns from thus enfeebling democracy could support in frugal comfort fifteen disabled persons or twenty of their carers for that same period. ‘What do you expect me to do?’ he said of his 15,000 dollar taxi bill. ‘Never leave the office?’

You can’t make this stuff up.

The near half million thus spent on this greedy dill by us, the people, meant there was no Disabled Commissioner any more; no ‘helpline’ calls for Aborigines in prison; nor, indeed, many beds for women fleeing domestic violence, eighty of them each day, in refuges now so crowded that it was lately said that getting a bed in a safe house after being bashed by one’s drugged or drunken husband was ‘like winning the lottery’.

The government clearly had its priorities right, with a million spent every year on planes with no people in them on the way to pick up ministers in Cairns or Perth and ten million on refurbished offices and three hundred thousand on accommodating Joe Hockey in a house his dad and wife owned and indeed a half billion, and rising, they were still expending on looking for MH370, no skerrick of which had been found in three oceans in a year and three months of corrupt and fruitless navigation. Great wadges of money were being spent on war museums and none on shellshocked, suicidal soldiers home from Afghanistan and screaming in their sleep..and so on.

Julie Bishop said she hoped the corrupt ramshackle junto now fracturing Nauru and covering up each day the buggering of children by its creepy police would ‘abide by the rule of law.’

Barnaby said if we have gay marriage here, our neighbours will think us ‘decadent’. One of these neighbours, Malaysia, has locked up its Leader of the Opposition for nine years for’sodomy’. We must retain the respect of these people, he said, lest they think us bad or sinful people. We must do what they do. Or they will not buy our cattle.

You can’t make this stuff up.

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

And we will see what we shall see.

A Thought

We should start up an Honour Roll of those who died waiting for gay marriage to occur, at last, in this country.

We could put it up on a website and add names to it every month.

It could start, if need be, with those marriages enacted and cancelled in the ACT by Abbott in 2013.

In Thirty-Three Words

Apparently the ABC did more wrong letting Zaky Mallah utter one true sentence live on air than Brandis’s office letting Man Monis free to kill two people.

You can’t make this stuff up.

Notes From The Sydney Film Festival (5)

15.

Not since the best of Merchant Ivory — The Remains Of The Day that would be, or Howard’s End — has there been a film about English class and sensibility as good, and suspenseful, as Far From The Madding Crowd. Inheritance, property, wealth and what fire and storm may do to them (and a bad marriage, and a mutinous moon-maddened sheepdog), it gives us an era truly, in its raw rural poetry, as Topsy-Turvy did in its grimy urban prose.

Carrey Mulligan is as good as you might expect — more Olivia De Havilland than Audrey Hepburn these days — as Bathsheba Everdene, unexpected heiress of a Dorset farm and its village and local crises. Three men come after her, all unsuitable, one, Garbriel Oak, because of his peasant lineage, another, William Boldwood, because of his age, and the other, Frank Troy, a soldier with Byronic lusts and bedroom cruelties, a gambling addict jilted at the church (he believes) by Fanny Robbin, who turned up late at the wrong address, a girl he obsessively dreams on, punishing other women in his way.

How she negotiates the shoals of these nuptial temptations — there is no sex before marriage, no trying out — absorbs a good deal of the story, not all.

We are shown, with magnificent, brooding, storm-twisted solemnity, how landscape and character in Dorset are intermingled. Gabriel is like one of its grey rocks, Boldwood like one of its proud trees, unflinching, battered, resurgent in his hopes for a dashed wooing’s renewal. We are shown the celebrations — candlelit barn dances, the songs of love’s prime wasted millennia old (and it must be remembered how well Mulligan sings), and the English reticence that thwarts love at its first upspurting and never lets it out of its trousers for that would be unChristian, unseemly.

It also shows how little time, in such an era, there was for actual wooing. A proposal follows a meeting, pretty rapidly. The pitch is what property I have, and the life I can offer you, this house, this cook, a piano. ‘I already have a piano,’ she says. The audience also gets how difficult the choices are. None of the men is exactly ideal. None is truly known. One, Frank, is bolder, bidding her meet and kiss him in the wood, and she does, and he gets her, and he marries her, and proves a cruel, perverse (perhaps) exploiter of her wealth and femininity, in grand public shows and gaming tables. Gabriel, her shepherd now (after losing all when his dog drove his sheep over a cliff), is always watchfully present, sometimes hopeful, sometimes ready to leave for America.

Matthias Schoenaert gives a performance of wonderful, proud stillness as Gabriel Oak. One feels he is the sort of man that has been around since neolithic times, in the smoky caves of our progenitors, respectful, watchful, potent, capable of the necessary murder when the time comes. Michael Sheen as Boldwood is the thwarted, proud rich man, his weak face shrewdly bearded and simmering with defiance, who cannot believe, yet cannot deny, his ardent, spirited quarry’s reasons for rejecting him. Tom Sturridge as Frank, the redcoat soldier, so much the man of his time (when the British Army eventually forebade polo as it ‘encouraged bankruptcy’), a warrior without a war, a knight without a Grail, seeking danger and mischief in the petticoats of the gentry, their dice games and hunt balls, spoiling for a fight, any fight, or any dare. More to come.

Terrorism Scorecard

It is a hundred years and one hundred and ninety-eight days since an Australian was killed in a terrorist attack in Australia.

When, at last, another death occurs in this way it will be noted here.

Recommended Viewing

Moir today in the smh.

The Zaky Story So Far

(First published by Independent Australia)

It is now clear Q&A did nothing wrong, and Abbott’s demand that ‘heads should roll’ was unjust, and he should apologise for it. Zaky had been in a Q&A audience twice before, had physically attacked no-one, not shouted from the audience, nor held up a banner, nor thrown a shoe. He had been on two other channels, had been interviewed by newspapers and magazines and on radio and was well known to Anne Aly as a useful anti-DAESH counsellor of troubled youth.

It is also clear that Steve Ciobo behaved very badly, and what he said was the equivalent of what Zaky, long ago, said of the men from ASIO. He threatened an Australian citizen with kidnapping, expulsion, exile and the danger of death overseas.

He libellously said Zaky ‘got off on a technicality’ when he had served his time for a small offence and been found innocent of a larger one, encouraging terrorism, and he said that if he’d had his way this full Australian citizen would have been thrown, illegally, out of the country. And a case could be made that he, too, should serve time in prison for a violent, published threat to an innocent man.

…The Abbott government is now in uproar, and showing itself to be what older voters would recognise as ‘a bunch of ratbags’. Cries of ‘polyamory!’, ‘whose side are you on?’, ‘a Pandora’s Box!’, ‘the DAESH death cult is coming after us!’ and ‘no Asian nation has gay marriage!’ give one the impression of a nut religion speaking in tongues of eternal hellfire for sodomites and Muslims, or a racket like Scientology.

It does not seem any more that they know what they are doing. Abbott’s denial that there are cuts to education, Hockey’s cry ‘get a good job’, Morrison’s redefinitions of disability, Dutton’s paying of people smugglers to dump kidnapped children on a reef, Brandis’s new law gaoling doctors who report the buggery of children, Pyne’s two hundred thousand dollar degrees, Barnaby’s attacks on Johnny Depp’s dogs, Truss’s dim assertion that gay marriage is a ‘second order issue’, bespeak a Cabinet unable to prioritise, think logically, or add.

And this is becoming known. Abbott’s Prince Philip initiative, and his weird claim that the ‘death cult’ DAESH is more dangerous to our civilised life than Luke Batty’s father or Phil Walsh’s son, and the eighty acts of domestic murder our women suffer every year, and the spending of a billion on the one, and bugger-all on the other, shows a mind now on the crumbling edge of craziness, not just ‘out of touch’ with the Australian people, but not even on the same planet.

It is hard to see what we can do about this mob of ructious nutters, who are having, lately, a ‘Duke of Edinburgh moment’ three times a week.

We would usually advise: ‘Be alert, but not alarmed.’

But it is worse than that, much worse.

Or perhaps you disagree.

Certain Housekeeping Matters (268)

Mark Ferrari called me a moron and I banned him for a week. He responded by banning himself for life. I asked him to come back. He said he would if I apologised.

I now accept his self-banning.

It was over my mentioning Phil Walsh’s son. In his view I was the only journalist on earth who could not do this today. He was a subject that consumed the Australian media. Yet Mark said I must not mention him. He sought to censor what I might say on my own blog.

Who the fuck does he think he is?

Just asking.

Propaganda Studies (9): The Rove ‘Shock Horror’ Tactic

(First published by Independent Australia)

It probably comes from the Karl Rove book of tactics. And it involves a pretence of shock, and a public declaration that there has never been anything like it, ever before. Last week it was when it was discovered that Bill Shorten had professed his loyalty to Julia Gillard three days after that loyalty had grown wobbly. Peacock, Howard, Costello, Turnbull and Abbott had done this before him, Beazley, Latham, Rudd and Gillard. They had said they were ‘a hundred percent’ behind their leader Howard, Peacock, Howard, Downer, Nelson, Turnbull, Crean, Beazley, Beazley and Beazley. But we were told, last week, hand on heart – by Abbott, Pyne, Bolt, Reith, PVO, David Speers – that this had never happened before. Never ever. Shock horror. What a unique villain he is.

Last week, also, we heard the appearance of Zaky Mallah on Q&A was appalling, unprecedented, and grounds for selling off or starving the ABC. Not because of what he said on the show, but what he had written when he was nineteen, and had served his time for, that he would like to kill some men from ASIO. It was unprecedented, we were told, that such a man should be on Q&A, and that he had not been frisked for weapons before he was let in.

But Alan Jones had also, lately, been on Q&A. And he had threatened the life of Julia Gillard. He had said she should be towed out to sea and, in a sugar bag, thrown over the side. Steve Ciobo had been on the show on the same night. And he had spoken, a few days before, of ‘slitting her throat’. Chopper had been on the show, and he had actually slit the belly of a friend, and written about it in his book.

It is to be presumed that had Norman Mailer, who stabbed his wife, appeared on the show, there would have been no complaint. Or Roman Polanski. Or George W Bush, who illegally killed with firebombing and street-fighting a hundred thousand people in Iraq.

It was a near-run thing with Zaky. What he said was unexceptionable: it’s people like you, and the things you say, that make young Muslims want to join ISIS. But he had threatened to kill someone, not meaning it, thirteen years ago, and a few weeks ago had expressed his lust – ‘gang bang’ is not rape, it’s consensual, and frequent in the motel rooms of football stars – for a couple of female journalists whom he named.

Part of the trick is to quickly conceal what was actually said, and go into other details: how he was let in, what else he had said. With Peter Slipper it went quickly from his rorting of money – of which he was proven guiltless – and his office harassment of a male, of which he was proven guiltless, to what he had said — ‘cunts in brine’ — in a private communication to a friend. For this vivid phrase he was hounded from office, made mad and ruined. The word ‘cunts’ was said to be a new word in the world, though it was old as Chaucer and a staple of English, Irish and American literature for eighty years. And Australian drama also, as in the first words of Don’s Party, ‘G’day, cuntface’.

The feigned shock is the trick. And then the concealment of what was actually said, or done.

Let us imagine Malcolm Tucker was a real person – and I have met one of the men, John McTiernan, he was based on, and he amusingly described his former boss Gordon Brown as ‘a cunt, but he’s a cunt’s cunt”– and he, Malcolm Tucker, was accused, accurately, of violent threat and bad language, and he was told he could therefore never, ever, ever appear on Q&A because of that, as John McTiernan has. How stupid that would be.

Zaky Mallah, meanwhile, remains at large. He drinks coffee in Lakemba. He advises disaffected young Muslims not to join DAESH, and is commended by Anne Aly for doing so. No warrant is out for his arrest, no ASIO agent is following him, or photographing him, or recording his phone calls. For he, Zaky Mallah, has served the cause, he has provided the Karl Rove Moment, and he is no longer of interest to his persecutors.

It is as though he had never been.

In Twenty-One Words

Phil Walsh’s son has killed more Australians in Australia in the last twelve hours than terrorism in the last hundred years.

The Terrorism Scorecard (15)

It is a hundred years and one hundred and ninety-six days since an Australian was killed by a terrorist act in Australia.

When, at last another death occurs in this way it will be noted here.

Australians killed by domestic violence in the same hundred years now exceed four thousand. This is half the number killed on Gallipoli.

The Moment Abbott Unravelled Forever

The question has been raised in these columns of Abbott’s ‘Duke of Edinburgh Moment’ and who else in his party, or his Coalition, has had one.

Eric Abetz is lately, clearly one such dill. He has suggested we shouldn’t have same-sex marriage because Asians don’t, that it will lead to ‘polyamory’  (which a hundred million Asians practise, or believe in), and that those who are not with him should resign, forthwith, the Ministry. Christopher ‘I’m the fixer’ Pyne is another. And Barnaby ‘Boo and Pistol should bugger off back to California’ Joyce another.

But it’s worth noting also here, I think, on top of such comparisons, that Abbott himself has added another Prince Philip moment of his own.

It was cumulative this time, and occurred over three days. It was an aggregation of idiotic statements in rapid successive order. He said that ‘heads must roll’ at the ABC, two days before an eminent Egyptian was beheaded. He asked ‘whose side are you on?’, implying the ABC was a nest of traitors. And when America embraced gay marriage he said that America was another country, they do things differently there, and we should never seek to follow their example. And he said ‘the DAESH death cult is coming after us.’

It was a quadruple-bunger that blew, at least, his thumbs off. It showed, like the ‘Sir’ Philip announcement — on Australia Day — that he didn’t know what he was doing.

For twice as many people support the ABC as support the Liberal Party. Beheading is an ill-chosen threat in recent times. Gay marriage will come, whatever he says about it. And Chicken Little politics are getting outmoded. More Australians have been killed in Australia by Phil Walsh’s son than by terrorism in a hundred years. And there you go.

Two Duke of Edinburgh moments are more than the electorate can abide, I think, from this hairy stammering klutz whom they never liked much and were lividly embarrassed by when he told world leaders to ‘speak from the heart’. And he will fall pretty soon, after his party tops him or he calls, and loses, an early election.

It’s good, in a way, that his doom will be sealed by gay marriage. It was already a strain that he believed his sister will fry in Hell, and rejected her entreaties to show her mercy in this life on Earth. It was foolish that he said it should be an all-party, non-partisan matter, and then said, when it became so, that he didn’t have any time for it.

The irony is that his side would win, if it were brought on now in a conscience vote, and it is his curse that this would make it, then, an election issue he would lose on; that even if he won it would not go away.

All these things must be playing on the minds of his colleagues now.

And the clock is ticking, and one way or another he is gone.

A New Competition

It occurred to me today that Abetz had a ‘Duke Of Edinburgh Moment’ when he said ‘Pandora’s Box’ and ‘polyamory’. Pyne had one when he said ‘I’m a fixer’. David Johnston had one when he said ‘couldn’t build a canoe’. Joe had two, when he said ‘poor people don’t drive’ and ‘get a good job’. Abbott has about three a week.

I invite respondents to submit other moments from the Liberal or National side of the parliament. I will work out some prizes for the greatest number submitted by a single person that seem to me reasonable choices.

I will announce the limerick winners in a few days, and arrange the prizes.

The Thirty-One Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (287)

‘Though it would take no more than a day to discuss and enact it,’ Abbott said of gay marriage, ‘and cost no more than the paper it was printed on, it is time and money this nation cannot afford. The eighty million spent hounding Gillard, Rudd and Shorten, however, and the half billion seeking MH 370, and the two million pursuing and shaming Q&A, and the ten million redoing our offices, show a government better focussed and prioritised than any since Federation. The two million Australians we will agonise by thwarting their nuptial happiness can wait. Let them groan and heave and pine for their stifled honeymoons a year, a decade longer.’

Asked if he would apologise for abolishing same-sex wedlock, then already in force, in the ACT in 2013, he said, ‘I have no memory of having done this.’ Asked if he applauded the US Supreme Court decision he said, ‘I have no specific knowledge of the deliberations of that institution and I will have my office get back to you.’ He then punched the air for a moment, yelled ‘Ah am de greatest!’, and ran on the spot. Credlin got him in her familiar headlock and dragged him off the stage.

Turnbull was a little surprised to be asked by his old friend Abetz to resign from Cabinet, for, in the latter’s words, ‘consorting with pansies in Kings Cross more often than was healthy for him’. He was surprised, too, to hear the new word ‘polyamory’ which meant, as he understood it, ‘fucking animals with cloven hoofs and pouches in whatever orifices presented themselves while they slept.’ He was on the whole against this practice, he said, though Abetz, in well-forested Tasmania, might have more opportunity for it. He was especially repulsed by congress with Tasmanian Devils but said, ‘Oh well, if it’s Eric’s taste, so be it.’

Abbott’s sister Christine, whom over most Christmas dinners he genially calls a ‘muff-diving shirt-lifter bound for a billion years in Hell’, urged him to bring on a conscience vote and ‘get it over with’ lest it become a damaging election issue before year’s end. But it turned out that Abbott and Credlin were planning an early election, in August or September, and they feared a conscience vote would be won, before then, by the Hellfire Faction, and gay marriage would then become a damaging election issue anyway. The Hellfire Faction, seventy-eight votes, morosely began to wonder if the Muff-Diving Faction, twenty-four votes, might in due course split from the party, or threaten to; and it seemed, one way or another, that Abbott might not, easily, survive as Prime Minister after August, even if he was sane. He was, however, barking mad, and was well known across the world to be so, and was lately having what was known as a ‘Duke Of Edinburgh Moment’ very frequently these days, sometimes twice a week.

Miranda Devine, a Liberal voter from the Hellfire Faction, said on Skynews the poll figures were wrong, and the seventy-two percent of Australians who supported gay marriage were more like thirty-two percent, and the Labor Party was ‘unelectable’.’ This in spite of Morgan showing them winning back every seat which Abbott had taken from them and Essential showing Shorten leading Abbott by 56.3 to 43.7. It was noted that she also believed Christ’s mother, who had five children, died a virgin, and the eating of God’s flesh on Sunday was a good idea. It was for insights like these that she was richly praised by the Murdoch channel, and wonderfully rewarded with a quarter of a million or so a year for two days’ work a week; and her dizzying beauty, of course, now fading.

Some interested pundits began to number the ‘Duke Of Edinburgh Moments’, not just of Abbott but his team. Barnaby saying ‘It’s time that Pistol and Boo buggered off back to the United States.’ Abetz evoking a ‘Pandora’s Box’, which called to mind an image of blackbirds flying out of an open vagina. Joe saying the best way to a house in inner Sydney was ‘a good job that brings in a lot of money’. Dutton wanting the power to banish without evidence or criminal proceedings anyone who displeased him. Abbott alleging that paying salt-water thieves to dump kidnapped children on a storm-lashed reef was okay with him, it was ‘by hook or by crook’ one turned back the boats, and the boats had stopped, he assured us, though more were in perilous voyage than at any time since Dunkirk. Abbott saying, last Saturday, ‘the DAESH death cult is coming after us’. Pyne, before that, saying, ‘I’m a fixer’.

These utterances indicated, to some observers, and to perhaps no more than eight million voters, that they didn’t know what they were fucking doing. That they were a bunch of whackoes, many of them homophobic. Innumerate fundamentalist dipsticks not yet caressed, at least in the present century, by any touch of human sympathy. A chaotic scrum of psychopaths. A bunch of ratbags, as the old phrase is.

And so it went.

Terrorism Scorecard (14)

It is a hundred years and one hundred and ninety-five days since an Australian was killed by terrorist attack in Australia.

When, at last, another death occurs in this way it will be noted here.

The Thirty-Four Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (286)

Julie Bishop said she had ‘no way of confirming’ Reece Harding was dead. ‘That news, phoned through to his father, may have been a practical joke,’ she explained. ‘What I can confirm, however, is that if he had survived and come home he would have been flung in gaol for twenty-five years. Although the death cult DAESH must be destroyed, and urgently destroyed, it is wrong to fight against it voluntarily. For that crime one gets more than twice that which one would for the rape and murder of a child.’

Abbott asked God to bless his new Border Force, who immediately went on strike. A mixture of Customs and Immigration, the new force would be ‘massively protected,’ Abbott said, by what he called ‘a condom of national secrecy. Anyone who sees them abusing children, or offering naked young women hot showers for blow-jobs, and says they have seen them do this, will go to gaol for two years for revealing classified information.’ Two hundred doctors, nurses, teachers and social workers immediately put their hands up, yelled out various crimes, and defied him to gaol them. ‘Oops,’ he said, and scrambled around for something else to talk about. ‘Let us pray,’ he said, and solemnly bowed his haggard, brain-damaged head.

Michael Thawley said China should ‘get off the earth, and not presume they have, or have had, or will have, a global role.’ Julie Bishop said he had meant this ‘in the friendliest possible way.’ Abbott disagreed with this. ‘No, no, no,’ he said, ‘on the contrary. China’s attempts to seize islands which are rightly mine, mine, mine!, in the South China Sea will be met, in the coming perilous months,’ — and here he lit up and waved a cigar — ‘with the armed might of Border Force and I confidently expect that in the near future, with God’s good grace, we will have a small, but growing, regional war with the Yellow Devil by Christmas.’ PVO described this statement, interrupted when Credlin dragged her employer off in a headlock, as ‘a little over the top, but we can see where the Prime Minister is going.’

Eric Abetz condemned the US Supreme Court as ‘a pack of Trotskyist radicals’ and said his home state, Tasmania, must lead, in troubled times, the counterrevolution against ‘the plague of sodomy which led in times past, as is well known, to the fall of Rome and has lately infested America, Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, Canada and Pitcairn Island. Tasmania, he said, had been a past proud example, ‘as is Uganda today’, in its gaoling of consensual perverts up till 1986, and their kicking to death in Port Arthur, and, indeed, before that, its extermination of Aborigines, an enfeebled species, and its replacement by many, many Hodgmans.’

To Abbott’s surprise two Queensland backbenchers, Gambaro and Entsch, proposed a gay marriage bill, co-sponsored by Labor and the minor parties to be made law in a conscience vote by mid-August. ‘This cannot be!’ Abbott yelled. ‘Many, many backbenchers’ bills have come before this parliament, but none, almost none, have been considered!’ Words were then exchanged with Entsch, who asked his leader to apologise for having with his abolition of gay marriage in the ACT in 2013 impeded the progress of world civilisation, and bareknuckle fisticuffs followed. Entsch, a big, old, burly crocodile-shooting man, had one thumb on Abbott’s throat and another in his eye, but Credlin, a larger, fitter person, got him in a headlock, dragged him off and ‘settled him down’, as she calls it, with a cup of her ‘special tea’.

Cory Bernardi told Fran Kelly that a tiny minority, ‘a mere three billion people’, supported gay marriage but they had been seduced into this crazed heretical belief by ‘a determined cabal of Satanic propagandists’. Asked if the Liberals, who had proudly believed, in times past, in its members voting their conscience, should vote their conscience in this case also, he said’ Not until they have been comprehensively re-educated.’ Fran asked, gulping, ‘How…re-educated?’ and he said, ‘We have studied the methods of Pope Sixtus V, who invented waterboarding, and these, plus those of the Spanish Inquisition, will inform our deliberations.’

Zed Seselja said no marriage that did not produce children was worth sanctifying, nor no marriage that did not have both a mother and a father. Though this meant all deliberately childless couples, or those that had been, like Ben Chifley’s, disabled by gynaecological catastrophe, or those where the husband had been killed at Gallipoli, or, like Clive James’s father, in a plane crash coming home from the war, which would rule out a quarter of all heterosexual marriages in the twentieth century from this young idiot’s new bizarre definition, he persisted with it, saying he had been ‘verballed’ when it was quoted back to him accurately by Nick Champion, his bemused opponent.

Abetz on the same programme, AM Agenda, warned that gay marriage would ‘open a Pandora’s Box’ to polygamy, a vile practice espoused by Mohammed, the prophet Abraham, and King Solomon the Wise, who, oops, had, oops, a thousand wives…let me read that again. Rallying, he declared, throwing down the gauntlet, that those uppity sneaky pansy Liberals who disagreed with him on this entirely trivial question should forthwith resign from the Ministry and, indeed, from the Party. Asked if this included Turnbull and Frydenberg, Entsch and Pyne, he hissed, ‘Don’t verbal me, sunshine’ (you can’t make this stuff up); then, clearing his throat, expressed his lasting gratitude that the Catholic wing of the Liberal Party could now, with the assistance of its principal donors the Mafia, enforce its point of view.

More and more it seemed the Liberals, the party of individual conscience, did not know any more its arse from its dildo and would soon, with the hourly aid of Abbott’s twitchy dementia pugilistica, rip itself apart.

And we will see what we shall see.

What Joe Did Next

It is worthwhile asking what Joe will do with his money. Three years’ worth of the average wage, or nearly, and tax free, if I’ve got that right, it could be used as a half-deposit on a house in Canberra, which MPs paying 250 dollars a night in rent could pay down in a year or so, thus proving ‘the age of entitlement’ for this fattest of fat cats continues.

He could put it out at interest, and bring in, oh, two hundred dollars a week and with this pay down some part of his kids’ private school fees.

Or he could give it to charity.

But Joe doesn’t like charity. He prefers ‘hard workers’ with a ‘good job’.

One wonders, though, if he has made any money out of this at all. He lost four of his five libel suits, if I’ve got that right, and must now pay his legal fees, and may be out of pocket from the whole adventure.

He’s also lost whatever credibility he had when asking the people to ‘make sacrifices’. His income, this last fiscal year, is around three quarters of a million dollars, his wife’s around ten million dollars, and he is contributing none of this to the disabled children, or battered wives, or wind farms, or saving the Barrier Reef, as Obama and Attenborough would like him to.

He is also under suspicion of having received money from the Mafia. Unwittingly, no doubt, unwittingly. Oh yes, unwittingly.

Can there have been a less sensitive Treasurer in our history? Can there have been one more personally dangerous to the Liberal Project than this Armenian Palestinian Maronite rich-born stomach-stapled whingeing oaf?

Just asking.

Terrorism Scorecard (13)

It is a hundred years and one hundred and ninety-four days since an Australian was killed by terrorist attack in Australia.

When, at last, another death occurs in this way it will be noted here.

Recommended Viewing

Mediawatch, last night.

In Seventeen Words

What charity will Joe give his winnings to?

Suggest the ‘friends of Dutton’ people smugglers’ defence fund.

In Sixteen Words

Joe earned eighteen hundred dollars a day in this last fiscal year. Was he worth it?

The Twenty-Eight Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (285)

Joe incensed the nation by getting two hundred thousand dollars he could buy another Canberra flat with, and rent at 280 dollars a night to other Liberal or National MPs, from a libel suit against Fairfax. He got it for a headline, Treasurer For Sale, but not for the pendant article, which he said was ‘motivated by malice and spite’. Yes, it was indeed motivated by malice and spite, the good judge said, yet he found it to be entirely factual, and the North Sydney Forum to be, well, an over-generous gush of money to the local member, Joe Hockey, from rich dinner guests who might now and then be mafia. ‘He is a man of integrity,’ the judge summed up, ‘most likely on the take.’

The award increased his income, this fiscal year, once you add in the travel and restaurant money, to around three quarters of a million dollars, or eighteen hundred dollars a day. During this same fiscal year he had doubled the deficit, said ‘poor people don’t drive’ and ‘get a good job’, which showed he was worth every penny.

Julie Bishop said our relationship with Indonesia was at an ‘all time high’, disagreeing with Indonesia, who said it was at an all-time low. She seemed to think it was no problem that on our payroll were Indonesian people smugglers, now in gaol in Indonesia, who might cop a plea and grass on us, as co-kidnappers of innocent children who were dumped on a reef and imperilled by storms and sharks after being harried at gunpoint out of a legal journey to New Zealand which was no business of ours. Nor did she mention the tens of millions of dollars which the genuine refugees we send at gunpoint back to them will cost the Indonesians in the next ten years. She seemed surprised to learn ‘these people’ need food and shelter, and such things cost money. ‘I imagined,’ she said, ‘they lived on air.’ Her old lover, Ross Lightfoot, who believes Aborigines descend from a different sort of monkey than human beings, applauded this insight. ‘That’s my girl,’ he drooled in his nursing home.

She was further dismayed to hear that Baird was buying back two thousand asbestos-stuffed houses in Queanbeyan and Sydney and destroying them as health hazards. Long known in Western Australia as ‘Princess Mesothelioma’ for her decades of defence, in court, of that state’s evil asbestos moguls, she feared this news might affect her preselection, which seemed, in this context, less likely. ‘She stands on the graves of men whom she refused money to while they coughed themselves to death,’ her opponent said, movingly. ‘She told one of them, famously, “Just because you’re dying doesn’t mean you get to the head of the queue.”

‘That’s my girl,’ drooled Ross Lightfoot in his nursing home.

You can’t make this stuff up.

The US Ambassador John Berry said America was currently ahead of Australia on gay marriage and therefore, by logical extension, ahead of Australia on human rights. Abbott replying spiritedly said, ‘This shirt-lifter and I will occasionally, like civilised people, disagree on some things. But I have the knowledge, which he does not, I have the deeper, sadder, profounder knowledge that he will fry with other sodomites for a billion years in Hell.’

The US President, Barack Obama, agreed with David Attenborough, the eminent elderly expert on pretty much everything, that the Earth now faced no greater challenge than Tony Abbott. ‘He criticised me for praising the Barrier Reef,’ Obama recalled. ‘He said it was none of my business. He said I should fuck off out of his region and never come back.’ Attenborough slyly averred that recent studies by young people in his Institute had shown that it was just possible that Abbott, Dutton and Barnaby Joyce were descended from a different strand of Great Ape than the rest of us, a peculiar, apocalyptic species that was, in his phrase, ‘nostalgic for extinction’.

Abbott warned China to stay out of the South China Sea, ‘or’, he said, ‘you’ll have me to deal with.’ He prowled up and down with his knuckles dragging on the carpet asserting with ardent emphasis that the South China Sea was ‘my sphere of influence’, and until he found MH 370 in it, or oil, or uranium, he would not, never ever, tolerate any other Great Power going near it. ‘Ah am de greatest,’ he added obscurely, throwing punches at the air. Watching film of him doing this, David Attenborough agreed with one of his young students that this was, indeed, a species he had till then believed extinct, but… ‘life is full of surprises.’

Evidence was proffered of ‘clusters of suicide pacts’ among small children peeped at and fingered and offered lollies for blow-jobs by sniggering guards on Nauru, and the thwarted efforts of some doctors, nurses and social workers — and an eminent person called Gillian Triggs — to make this known. Deeply concerned when he heard this, Abbott passed a law through both houses of parliament on a single day that any person who henceforth reported such things to Dutton’s department, or Brandis’s department, or Sarah Hanson Young, would go to gaol for a minimum of two years. The offenses against children, the legislation added, were ‘a matter for the Nauruan police who have committed them, and none of our affair.’

You can’t make this stuff up.

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

And so it went.

In Eight Words

What did Zaky Mallah say that was wrong?

In Twenty-Four Words

It is eight days since his heinous offence and Zaky Mallah still retains his Australian citizenship.

This government is piss-weak on terrorism. Discuss.

Today’s Newspoll

Today’s Newspoll has been suppressed, and in its place is a mendacious collation, redistributing preferences not as they are but as they were in 2013, when it was thought Tony Abbott was telling the truth, and ringing no mobile phones, from the last nine months of fraudulent Newspolls, achieved by a method now discarded.

These show Labor leading 55 to 45 in the capital cities, and trailing 49 to 51 in the country, and Shorten leading as preferred Prime Minister 41 to 37 in the capital cities and trailing 37 to 41 in the country, which means he is leading overall.

This is awful news for the Coalition, meaning it will lose about fifty seats it now holds, but it’s clearly better than what last weekend showed, after ‘heads must roll’, ‘by hook or by crook’, ‘whose side are you on’, and ‘get a good job’. Or what ReachTEL showed on Saturday, Shorten leading as preferred Prime Minister 56.3 to 44.7.

The Zaky Mallah Shakedown

(First published by Independent Australia on Sunday)

It was wise of the ABC to have rebroadcast this particular Q&A. It showed that Mallah said two unremarkable things, both true, and Ciobo reacted like an authoritarian martinet, threatening him with death, or something close to it. What happened after that did Abbott a lot of damage.

Abbott demanded ‘heads should roll’ and Dutton that the ABC be deconstructed and reassembled from the ground up. Mark Scott said this was not North Korea, it was Australia. Hinch on Sky Agenda supported him: we’re here to be agin the government, he said, not to be its mouthpiece. We’re journalists, that what we do. He said this on Sky Agenda.

All over, this threat to the ABC went down badly. Eighty-eight percent of people say it does a good job. Twice as many people support it as support the Liberal Party. Seventy-eight percent don’t want any part of it changed. Many noted Abbott’s praise of it – on the floor of the House, hands beseeching the heavens – for The Killing Season. This was ten days ago. And they note now his preference that it be mutilated and reassembled.

Some thought it utterly contradictory that he did not arrest, or decitizenise, Zaky Mallah or threaten to. To some it seemed he wasn’t serious about it, he just wanted to screw the ABC.

Every few days it becomes clear, or clear to some of us, that Abbott is a bit mad. A week ago he said paying people smugglers to smuggle people into a country they didn’t want to be in was fine, whatever it takes, by hook or by crook. Yesterday he had to cobble up a new law into being because his detention policy was illegal, and he had to make it legal retrospectively. A while back he knighted the Duke of Edinburgh. On the Queen’s Birthday he didn’t knight anybody. Last Saturday he found himself cursed by the Pope for his views on climate change. This Saturday he will wake up to the news that gay marriage is legal everywhere in the United States, though he believes his own sister will burn in hell for her ‘lifestyle choice’ which he, Andrew and Morrison find an abomination.

And this has been another mad-dog reaction, to an utterly unremarkable statement, that if you threaten Muslim kids with eternal exile, as Ciobo just did, they’ll turn against you. That was all Mallah said. That was all.

And because he said it Abbott wants ‘heads to roll’ at the ABC. He doesn’t want to do anything to the ‘terrorist sympathiser’, put him in gaol or anything, just wreck the careers of the holders of his microphone.

An honest poll on Monday would show Abbott behind Shorten again, as preferred Prime Minister. If Morgan addresses this question, which it usually doesn’t, we would get that answer. If it is asked by only Newspoll, the dishonest poll, we will see Abbott way ahead, and the party vote 50-50. On Morgan, the accurate poll, it will be 55-45, Labor’s way. This is greater than any margin at any election since 1931.

Critical to this latest Abbott cock-up is Turnbull’s august reaction to it. Asked if he thought heads should roll, he said, amusedly, ‘I will choose what metaphors I use, and the manner in which I use them.’ This lofty regal response showed he was getting close to the numbers, I think, and a move against Abbott would happen soon, and this was why he and Credlin were in a flurry of new rumours of an early election, in July perhaps, before the parliament reassembled, an election he is bound to lose.

He is bound to lose it because he opposes gay marriage, rewards people smugglers, covers up the buggery of children, is cutting the money to the disabled, wants to end public education, is at war with the Pope, wants to hobble the ABC, believes five tiny Nettletons should be punished for assisting terrorism, ‘whatever age they are’, and shows himself, every three days or so, to be a fumbling nutter.

And we will see what we shall see.

Acropolis Now

Commentators are always amazed when the obvious happens. This week, in Greece, it is unfolding as it always had to. Would the Greeks cop fifty years of skimped living and fifty percent unemployment? Of course not. And here we are.

And it’s not as though it’s unprecedented. Japan and Germany ended the war bereft and shattered, their debts forgiven, in what amounts to a Year Zero, and went from there. Iceland couldn’t pay its debts, defaulted, scrambled, abolished its bank and got over it. So did Mexico. Australia went through a devastating Depression and by the fifties was doing well.

What will happen in Greece? Well, they’ll print money, collude with Putin a value for it, pay their public servants with it, and their doctors and nurses, nationalise a swag of disintegrating industries, grow vegetables and sell and eat them, make wine and export it, and…get on with it. By 2017 they’ll be doing well. The tourists will come back, their island holidays will continue, their tours of Delphi. Their harbourside coffee shops and fish restaurants will flourish, as before.

What will happen to the EU is a different question. Other countries will leave the euro. The UK, in a referendum, will leave Europe. The whole fool experiment will bust up, leaving Germany weakened, Spain strengthened, Russia looking terrific, Ukraine a colony, Scotland printing its own money, Merkel, Hollande and Cameron in the dustbin of history.

It would have been better if everyone in Lehmann Brothers had gone immediately to gaol and all countries had their debts halved. But there you go.

Tsipras is a hero, the Dubcek of his time.

There will be statues of him for a thousand years.

A Bet

I will offer a thousand to one that Fran Kelly will not mention, tomorrow, the Morgan Poll showing Labor, on 53.5 percent, achieving a majority of thirty-eight or forty seats; and that she will quote any Newspoll, if it comes out, that shows a lesser figure, with glee and satisfaction.

Today’s Morgan

Morgan has Labor on 53.5 percent, two party preferred, down 1 percent from a fortnight ago. Such a vote would give Labor a majority of thirty-eight or forty seats.

Labor is ahead in every state — South Australia 57 percent, Queensland 54 percent, New South Wales 53.5 percent (the result perhaps of the housing crisis and Hockey’s response to it), Western Australia 53 percent — except for Tasmania where the vote was 50-50.

Women favour Labor by 55.5 percent, down 1.5 percent from last time, and men 52 percent, up 0.5 percent from last time.

62 percent of eighteen-to-twenty-four year olds favour Labor; 62 percent of twenty-five-to-thirty-four year olds; 56 percent of thirty-five-to-forty-nine year olds; 52 percent of fifty-to-sixty-four year olds; and only 42.5 percent of of the over sixty-fives, three of whom died while you were reading this.

It is probable Labor lost some skin from the showing of The Killing Season and the raillery and mockery that followed it. But it is very likely that skin was regained, or most of it was, when Hockey said ‘get a good job’ and Abbott, admitting paying people smugglers to assist him in the kidnapping on the high seas of children and their dumping on a reef near Indonesia, which did not want them, said ‘by hook or by crook’; when the Pope said climate change was real, and urgent, and should be looked to; when the USA affirmed gay marriage as a human right and Abbott said Australia is different; and, oh yes, when Abbott threatened that ‘heads will roll’ at the ABC because of one sentence uttered by guest on a live programme unscripted.

It indicates that the Coalition cannot, now, win an election, early or late, under Abbott’s leadership.

The Final Argument

If Zaki Mallah should not be allowed on Q&A then every copy of Mein Kampf should be taken off every shelf of every library in Australia.

Also every copy of Lolita, American Psycho, Dr Jeckyll And Mr Hyde, The Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion, Fifty Shades Of Grey and Myra Breckinridge.

Or perhaps you disagree.

Certain Housekeeping Matters (267)

Havana Liedown has re-emerged, and before I could get to them published certain libels of me and a number of big lies about the Labor Party.

I have decided to let him continue to do this for a month, and on August 1 obliterate his correspondence retroactively.

He may be surprised how much, in hundreds of thousands of dollars, these allegations will cost him.

The Fifty-Six Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (284)

Karen Nettleton revealed she had been for nine months trying to get her five grandchildren, who were in danger of crucifixion, home from Syria but the Commonwealth Police, after four months, said they couldn’t help her. Peter Dutton, the first free-elected mandrill in a western parliamentary democracy, whooping and scratching himself and clinging with prehensile toes to a parking meter, the way he does, said she couldn’t come to him either, it were better she contacted the Commonwealth Police. Julie Bishop, beaming, said the children’s crucifixion by DAESH was ‘not a serious foreign policy concern’, and until it was established their father was dead she would make no move to help them; and, if they were crucified in the meantime, ‘well, shit happens.’ Her adoring Malvolio, Peter Hartcher, mixed her a third martini and brushed with tremulous lips her thin green feline fingernails.

A Newspoll was suppressed. A ReachTEL poll on Saturday showed Shorten leading Abbott as preferred Prime Minister by 12.4 percent, or 1.8 million votes. Troy Bramston, lately labelled ‘the smirking tapeworm in the anus of the Labor Party’, said Abbott was ‘on the way back’ and would easily win an early election.

Abbott said he was against gay marriage, though the USA, the UK, Ireland, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand were for it now, and he ‘in no way regretted’ abolishing it in the ACT in 2013. Pyne and Turnbull said it should be enacted urgently, lest they have to go to election, in bisexual suburbs, defending their leader’s medieval view that it was ‘an abomination, incurring a billion years in Hell.’ Cory Bernardi said ‘the wedlock of sodomites would lead to bestiality’, as it had already, he alleged, in New Zealand.

Sophie Mirabella, a voluptuous Mediterranean beauty who had been thought by some to have ‘assisted’ in the redrafting of her demented longtime lover’s will to favour herself and impoverish his children, was reselected for Indi, an electorate where she was famed for this legendary dirty deed — reminiscent, David Stratton said, of ‘the plotlines of both All About Eve and Double Indemnity’. She swore she was ‘humbled’ and ‘repentant’, adjectives not wholly convincing to Tony Windsor, who had called her a ‘cruel, vengeful, dominating bitch’ in his highly respected memoir, and promised she would, this time round, ‘see at least one constituent per year in my next term of office.’ Many cabinet ministers who had defrauded the taxpayer to fly to her big fat mafia wedding were ‘overjoyed’ to see her back.

The Calabrian mafia was found to have assisted some Liberals into federal parliament, ‘out of the goodness of our hearts, comprende,’ their Griffith spokesman Salvador Corleone swore, ‘with no thought of any reward or, how you say, kickback.’ He denied that one of these was Steve Ciobo, ‘a man of extreme probity, so extreme we have had to come around and talk to him quietly about it.’ Ciobo denied being Italian, locked the door and crawled under the bed.

Zaki Mallah continued to walk free, buy coffee, greet admirers. Though a manifest danger to the nation and its womanhood, George ‘Soft Cock On Terrorism’ Brandis did not arrest him, nor admonish those Channel Nine executives who gave him, last week, a platform on its website, and the Commonwealth trembled in its shoes. In a tremendous punitive response, the charismatic Alan Tudge refused to go on Q&A, and the chronic blithering Murdoch yes-person Nick Cater, and horror filled the corridors. They thought for a moment of substituting Bob Ellis, but wiser heads prevailed.

Tudge had appeared in front of a sign saying ‘ditch the witch’ and claimed not to have known it was there, though dozens of similar signs were in his line of vision on a hill in Canberra observed by the nation on fourteen channels. Asked if Alan Jones’s proposal that Gillard be towed out to sea and thrown overboard in a sugarbag was a perhaps unacceptably sexist act of treason and terrorism, he said there was ‘no comparison’; Mallah had proposed to gang-bang two lady journalists; murdering a detested female Prime Minister was, in comparison, ‘an entirely acceptable suggestion by a respected community leader whose essential inner benevolence no-one could misunderstand.’

You can’t make this stuff up.

Abbott amazed the world with a speech he gave in Singapore. Believing, the way he does, or the way he tends to, that ‘what happens in Changi stays in Changi’, he said Australia had no regrets, no enemies, and a history of slavery, mass murder and ethnic cleansing it could be rightly proud of. Several hundred Aborigines proposed to meet his returning plane and point the bone at him. Credlin got him in her usual headlock and dragged him off the stage. ‘He gets like this sometimes,’ she told a translator. ‘A little over-excited.’ He had a steadying brandy, then came back to tell his audience that the death cult DAESH was coming after them too, every one of them, tomorrow. ‘You can run,’he said, ‘but you can’t hise.’The suave son of Lee Kuan Yew moved his finger in a circular motion round his left ear subtly and winked at reporters.

In what proved to be a very fine Q&A it was shown that though Zaky Mallah had been praised by Paul Kelly’s paper The Australian as a ‘jihadist for peace’, Paul thought he should have been dragged in handcuffs gagged from the studio. He praised him for his good work deradicalising Muslim youth, and said he must never, ever get a microphone again. He then warned Jones that the ABC would be abolished if he, Scott or Philip Adams were not, soon, publicly decapitated. ‘A necessary blood sacrifice,’ he murmured, ‘is needed to soothe Tony Abbott, who is mad as a gagged marmoset and kicking the furniture.’

He then referred, movingly, to his deity, who proved upon inspection to be Rupert Murdoch. Tim Wilson, a gibbering idiot, said everyone was entitled to his opinions but he would fight, fight, fight, to the end of time to prevent Zaky expressing his, however virtuous, to anyone at all. Asked if Zaky should be in gaol he said, ‘That’s typical of your snideness, Tony Jones, your slimy camp sneering nastiness, and I hate you, I hate you, and I… break wind in your general direction.’ Lawrence Krauss the eminent cosmologist said Steve Ciobo was an ill-tempered fascist moron but not quite, happily, as deranged as the hell-threatening pulpit terrorist and homophobe Fred Nile.

A Four Corners revealed that Russell Broadbent, xxxx, and Amanda Vanstone were underpaid Calabrian mafiosi.

Greece defied world capitalism, and the stock exchange teetered, and it seemed, pretty much, that Europe was doomed.

And so it went.

The Terrorism Scorecard (13)

It is a hundred years and one hundred and ninety-four days since an Australian was killed by a terrorist attack in Australia.

When, at last, another death occurs in this way it will be noted here.

Today’s Newspoll

There is no Newspoll today. This indicates the figures are so dire for Abbott (‘heads must roll’; ‘by hook or by crook’; ‘the death cult DAESH is coming after us’) that Rupert, or Chris Mitchell, has ordered they be suppressed.

ReachTEL, meanwhile, shows Shorten, on 56.3 percent, leading Abbott, on 43.7 percent, as preferred Prime Minister. This gives him 1.8 million more votes than Abbott, whom the Murdoch outlets have acclaimed as being ‘on his way back’.

The always accurate Morgan Poll has Labor, on 54.5 percent, leading the Coalition, on 45.5 percent, by 1.25 million votes, a greater margin than any achieved by any Australian government since 1931.

Discuss

Bill Shorten’s dealings with the capitalist bosses were much worse, and much more criminal, much more vile, than Tony Abbott’s dealings with people smugglers.

Discuss.

That’s what the Liberals are running on. Good luck with that.

And they think they can win with it.

Oh boy.

Discuss.

The Terrorism Scorecard (12)

It is a hundred years and one hundred and ninety-three days since an Australian was killed by a terrorist act in Australia.

When, at last, another death occurs in this way it will be noted here.

A Prediction

It may prove that ‘heads must roll’ will line up with ‘whose side are you on’ and ‘nope, nope, nope’ and ‘by hook or by crook, whatever it takes’ and the ‘Sir’ Prince Philip debacle as one of Abbott’s biggest propaganda mistakes and the honest polls will show it tomorrow, or soon.

The Big Lie poll, of course, Newspoll, due out tonight, will show Labor on 49 and Shorten trailing Abbott by 12 percent. But Morgan, which always gets it right, will have Labor on 55 percent, or similar, more votes than any party has got at election since 1931. And Ipsos will show something in that vicinity.

I think this because of the support the ABC has got, in letters to the editor and elsewhere, and Turnbull’s fumbling of Cassidy’s questions as to what the fuck he thinks he’s doing. There’s an overhang as well of Abbott’s dealings with people smugglers, and Dutton’s refusal to go after the rapists of children. And, yes, the illegality of the whole detention system, in force up till now, till the law was retrospectively changed on Thursday.

We will see what we shall see. But it’s pretty likely Abbott’s ‘khaki election’ strategy isn’t working.  More Australians have died in Australia from police tasering in the past six months than by terrorism in the last hundred years; four, that is, just four, from tasering, and none in the past hundred years from terrorist attack.

And people aren’t entirely mugs.

And they were starting to think that Abbott was crazy.

And when he said ‘heads will roll’, they knew he was.

In Twenty Words

How can Alan Jones not be guilty of encouraging terrorism? He incited the Australia Day race riots on Cronulla Beach.

The Terrorism Scorecard (11)

It is a hundred years and one hundred and ninety-two days since an Australian was killed by a terrorist act in Australia.

When, at last, another death occurs in this way it will be noted here.

Notes From The Sydney Film Festival (4)

13.

From a famous, long running play, Last Cab To Darwin tracks the journey of Rex, a seventyish cab driver with a complicated love life who has never thus far left Broken Hill, across the Outback to Darwin where he hopes to be euthanased in the first phase of that noble experiment. A group of his drinking chums, left over from Wake In Fright, attempt to argue him out of it, his tempestuous black lover/next door neighbour Polly (Ningali Lawford-Wolf), who shouts at him a lot, is pleased to be left his house then displeased when it fills up with her crazy methylated relatives, and…the road movie begins, about forty minutes in, and then…

Michael Caton’s performance is sublime, of course, with bits of Chips and Finchy to it, and some of the usual suspects — xxxx — as his mates as raw and brash and colloquially exact as you might expect…but…

…Jacki Weaver, in a probably expanded role, as the rattled euthanasing doctor (she dare not do it till the law is passed, and some psychiatric experts say she can), is weirdly made up, unsettlingly American, disruptive, neurotic and undermotivated, and it may be, it just may be, a fault in the writing (by Reg Cribb and Jeremy Sims, otherwise magnificent), or the makeup or the narrative line that left…some of us unsatisfied.

It was the world premiere, and Caton and the producer Greg Duffy joshed for a while too long, not very funnily, before we saw fifteen minutes of Cremorne Orpheum promos and then the film, long already, started at nine. It may have been that, or some fault in it, or Jackie’s makeup, that made me want it over.

Well worth seeing, but…a bit disappointing. The direction by Sims, after Beneath Hill 60 our best director ever, was very fine.

And so it goes.

Lines For Tanya Plibersek (16)

It’s time the Nettleton children were brought home. It’s dangerous over there.

Lines For Tony Abbott (22)

If you’re a terrorist, we don’t want you back. Better you stay there, beheading innocents in Grenoble.

Recommended Viewing

Cassidy versus Turnbull on Insiders.