The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (16)

On hearing from Gillian Triggs that children on Nauru went mad and attempted suicide, Scott Morrison sent fifty more there, in secret, by night, under cover of the news of the massacre of children in Gaza, hoping nobody would notice. He called them IMAs (Illegal Maritime Arrivals) though they had landed nowhere and had breached no territorial waters and had been kidnapped at sea, sailed in circles, brought to Cocos, a tropical island, then to Cocos, a blistering desert, by his agents, who then attempted to traffick them like traded slaves to some Indians, who would not take them if they did not want to go. Morrison then threatened they would go back to their torturers in Sri Lanka, an act, some said, of cyberbullying, though others called it more straightforwardly ‘terrorism’.

In Israel, Pyne praised the slaughter of children in a UN shelter, calling it ‘firm action’ and addingbin his familiar nancy shriek that we, Australia, were ‘on the right side’, that is of the blitzkrieging sado-Zionists who had lately revolted the civilised world. Thus ‘radicalised’ in the Middle East, it seemed for a time he might be arrested and imprisoned on his return to Adelaide, where a Labor government could now, under bizarre new terrorist laws, put him in the slammer for twenty-five years.

Tony Abbott said he found ‘abhorrent’ the abandoning of a baby in Thailand, one of twins. He spoke with feeling, having himself abandoned and banished a baby boy he thought was his in 1978, and sent him away to Perth, far from his mother Kathy Donnelly, whom he failed to shotgun marry in a Catholic church he had already booked, and invited hundreds to. More to come.

Hello Jerusalem

An Australian citizen has lately travelled to the Middle East and been radicalised there. He may be arrested on his return.

His name is Christopher Pyne. Applauding the recent slaughter of sleeping children in a UN shelter, he told a Jerusalem audience he, and Australia, approved of this ‘firm action’.

Australia, he said, was ‘on the right side’ and ‘in this fight’ alongside Israel, however Ban Ki-Moon might beweep the ‘shame’ of killing children.

Australia was a ‘good friend’, not a ‘fairweather friend’, he emphasised, incorrectly, forgetting our abstention in the UN in the matter of the rectitude of ‘settlements’ in East Jerusalem, and we stuck by the Zionist thieves and murderers ‘in tough times’.

It was thought he would not return. If he does, he will, most experts assess, get twenty-five years.

Propaganda Studies (5): ‘Showing Restraint’

The word ‘restraint’ means, I suppose, killing three sleeping children in their beds, not fifteen; or levelling twelve family dwellings, not forty. What else can it mean?

Like ‘minimising civilian casualties’ (ninety, not five hundred), it is a jumble of thoughts unique to us post-Judeo-Christian agnostics who cannot accept Moses’ commandment Thou shalt do no murder, and feel we must, we really must, murder children and women from time to time, to keep face.

We are the barbarians now; and Hamas, with their firecrackers, infrequent suicide bombings and air-raid shelters the Israelis call ‘tunnels’ and blow to bits, are the martyrs now. Hundreds of millions of Muslim children will hear at bedtime the story of these days, and resolve to die, if need be, in the thousand-year jihad that is to follow, surely, on these lunatic, Netanyahu, bellowing, slaughterous days.

And so it goes.

Notes On The Holy Land In Time Of War (3)

(From Dali)

The origins of the death-struggle between the palestinians and israelis are so infused with and confused by ancient superstition, myths and fictions, that it is with some surprise that I now find myself contemplating those very things.

Perhaps, in my defence, I have a strong sense that all rationality has been sucked out of the algebra of this conflict, and only the gibberish of scriptural slaughter remains; that, and abraham’s knife.

And Tisha b’Av.

Tisha B’Av (“the ninth of Av”) is the annual fast day in Judaism which commemorates the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem and the subsequent exile of the Jews from the Land of Israel.

The day also commemorates other tragedies which occurred on the same day, including the Roman massacre of over 100,000 Jews at Betar in 132 CE. Instituted by the rabbis of 2nd-century Palestine, Tisha B’Av is regarded as the saddest day in the Jewish calendar and a day which is destined for tragedy.

The Jews were expelled from England in 1290 on Tisha b’Av.

In 1492, Queen Isabella and her husband Ferdinand ordered that the Jews be banished from Spain. The edict of expulsion was signed on March 31, 1492, and the Jews were given exactly four months to put their affairs in order and leave the country. The last day was—the 9th of Av.

In 2014, Tisha b’Av is between sunset August 4, 2014 – nightfall August 5, 2014. The end of the three-day truce would have fallen on this anniversary of the destruction of both temples in Jerusalem.

I miss my logic and rationality. Badly. Cavemen and religious neanderthals terrify me, especially when they have nuclear missiles wrapped in tattered scrolls, and live among the ruins of the slaughters they are about to commemorate, and possibly about to repeat.

Notes On The Holy Land In Time Of War (2)

(From George)

The writing! The words! The future!

The blowing up of the heart of Gaza by Israel’s weapons of mass destruction is the blowing of the heart of Israel itself.
Once there was a heart there. Once people from all over the planet roamed its streets, once its citizens could roam all over the planet with their heads high. Once, despite its ugly beginning, non-Israelis would give them the benefit of the doubt.

Now, while their bombs and tanks and sniper rifles blow up the heart of Gaza, her people, her babies – her sleeping babies, as Ban ki-Moon called them- her mothers and fathers, her farmers and her teachers, her doctors and her nurses, the kind smiles on their face, these same bombs and tanks and weapons of mass destruction are also and at the same time, blowing up the souls, the hearts and heads, the smiles on the faces of all of Israel’s citizens.

These weapons, the Israelis will realise in time, are double edged swords. Life rolls, one era upon another, and this era, the era of weapons and of killing for the Israelis will, like the beautiful cows and the beautiful stalks of wheat of the Old Testament, be eaten by the ugly cows and scorched by the east wind.

These weapons are not the instruments of peace but of war. They will not bring abundance but famine.

With these guns, Israel is doing its own writing on the wall: Mene, Mene, Teqel, Upharsin: Your kingdom has been weighed and measured and divided and is at an end.

Notes On The Holy Land In Time Of War (1)

5.30 am

Watching al-Jazeera and the changing stories — a young man blows himself up; a firefight ensues; a soldier is captured; for this heinous iniquity, hundreds must die — I’m reminded of the Yiddish word chutzpah, and how many infants, lately, it’s killing, and what it means. Enthusiastic, optimistic cheek, is one way of describing it.

A good example is when Jesus of Nazareth, a revolutionary claimant to the throne of Israel, was crucified and his followers changed their story. He wasn’t a claimant king at all, they said, he was a dead-but-resurrected spiritual Messiah, currently in heaven, but due back soon. He died, in fact, but not for long, for our sins. And, nineteen hundred and seventy-nine years later, this nonsensical change-of-story born of chutzpah persists. He never wanted the crown at all. He wanted to wash us, in his blood, clean of our sins. If we say okay to Him, we get eternal life.

And chutzpah, too, is powering the massacre in Gaza. Kill sixty of our soldiers, fine, Israel shrugs, but capture one, unthinkable. For one captured man, three hundred children must die. When told they have hundreds of Hamas-supporters in prison, Israel splutters, ‘But they are terrorists!’ Chutzpah.

Enhanced, it is a kind of madness. Protracted, it flares up into a kind of genocide; boutique genocide, you might call it.

What happened here, by the look of it, is that Israel put some fine print on the truce. We will continue to ‘clean out the tunnels’, they said, but only those tunnels under Israel, they would not go under the border into Gaza, into the tunnels under Gaza, no way. But they did. And a young man blew some of them up. And there was a firefight, and one young Israeli man was captured.

Chutzpah then kicked in, leaving the US, as always, cheering on a massacre; much as they would cheer on, say, the assailant at Sandyhook.

How long can they get away with it?

Taking a prisoner of war is worse than killing children in their beds, we now are told. And many more children, rightly, will pay for this heinous crime, and pay with their lives.

I will write more later. Were Bob Carr still Foreign Minister, he would be convening a meeting of the Security Council, which Australia now chairs, and sorting it, if that were possible, sorting it out. Julie Bishop has been in a hotel in Kiev, pretending to be busy, really busy, in another theatre of war. She has made no comment on this, the big story, the greatest moral challenge of our time, in two weeks, two weeks of slaughter, of massacred innocence, of Armageddon rehearsal.

And, as always, this Government is twenty years, thirty years, behind the movement of history, picking through corpses already dead in another country, searching for corpses already eaten in the Indian Ocean.

It’s another kind of chutzpah, I suppose, Abbott chutzpah: lie, cheat, damage, kill, damage and kill the weak, the children of the weak. They are learning, this week, many lessons, eyeless in Gaza, you might say, while the children scream and die and the mothers weep and the grandmothers cry up to the heavens for mercy, silence, a moment of peace.

God willing.

And so it goes.

In Forty-Two Words

How many years on Nauru have these 157 Tamil refugees been sentenced to? Is it in excess of ninety years? What are they charged with? What were they told they were charged with? Why were they not allowed to see a lawyer?

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (16)

Ignoring the deaths of sleeping children bombed in a UN schoolhouse by a terrorist regime, Julie Bishop continued her mad quest for dismembered bodies in a war-zone. They might give ‘clues’, she said, to their murderers’ connections, though everybody already knew who they were, including Clive Palmer. They were Russian-armed Ukrainian rebels, he said, mistakenly targeting innocents, the way Israelis do daily. She was not daunted, she said, by the landmines and germ warfare each side said the other side was up to, in the vast area she and some coppers were now combing, an area the size of Marrickville, including several bombed and burning villages; nor by the many dozens of consequent Ukrainian body parts that might be taken home to Australia by mistake. Nor did she announce the boycott of any Russian goods, in the way the rest of the known world lately had. The mass murderers must be kept sweet, she explained, until she knew for certain who they were.

Tony Abbott applauded Twiggy’s idea of taking all money from the unemployed lest they spend some of it on beer, and giving them in place of it food cards, marked ‘not valid in Aldi’. A man who has lost his job at Alcoa, say, tomorrow, say, Twiggy and Tony gamely declared, could never drink again, however much he felt like it. It was quickly pointed out that someone might shout him a beer. And Twiggy, a Liberal voter, said this vile practice should be policed, and everybody who shouted a beer to a jobless man however inadvertently should be taken away in handcuffs and made to assist the fuzz with their enhanced enquiries. This was better, he told Abbott in an amplified undertone, not realising the PM was miked, than openly advertising his true purpose, which was to persecute Aborigines for ever having been born.

Weeping witnesses said children covered in vomit and fecal matter on arrival in Nauru were treated badly thereafter and grew mad and cut themselves a lot and banged their heads and drank detergent. The witnesses were doctors, nurses, and the like, who had been told by Morrison’s people that they mustn’t let any of this be known; they must rewrite it, so it sounded more like Boy’s Town, starring Spencer Tracy. They said one boy had been raped. The Morrison people said the rapist was ‘doing a good job under difficult circumstances’ and so were the other persecutors of parentless, suffering, sick children unable to understand what was being shouted at them by big brown men holding hypodermics.

Bob Ellis listed three hundred foul deeds of ‘the loathesome criminal Scott Morrison’, who did not sue.

A quarter of a million more dollars were spent on two wild-goose chases for the detritus of Malaysian Airways, spread over an eighth of the globe, some said, though others reckoned the figure at closer to three hundred thousand dollars. A similar sum would be spent on the morrow.

Clive Palmer threatened Supply. He did not agree with the States being forced to privatise everything they owned, and proposed a mini-budget or a Double Dissolution. Abbott, chuckling, said this threat of extinction, like Climate Change, was over-rated. He would ‘settle Clive down’ over a Chinese meal and a Guinness. Easy pickings.

Plans grew apace to overthrow him, and replace him with Hockey or Bishop, or the dark horse Peter Dutton, who now dressed, looked and sounded like a wit-challenged Paul Keating.

A new Abbott epithet was put about: ‘Couldn’t get a corpse to a funeral.’

In The Beginning, The Word

(First published by Independent Australia)

In a film called The Exterminating Angel by Louis Bunuel, a dinner party of intelligent, sophisticated people find themselves unable to leave a particular room. No physical obstruction prohibits them, no armed guards, no electronic barrier. They are fearful, that’s all, inexplicably fearful, of going through that door.

It is a parable of Catholic belief, and why so many stay in it. But it is also appropriate, I think, to the West Wing of the White House, and the words they dare not use, in that linguistic prison, about Israel and Gaza. Last night they got as far as ‘unacceptable’. It was ‘unacceptable’, they said, that ‘innocent civilians’ be killed in UN safe-houses in crowded Gaza. They did not say ‘children’, or, as Ban Ki-Moon said, ‘sleeping children’, the game-changing phrase of our time. They did not say ‘children’. That would have been immoderate, even improper. Unacceptable.

Strange when we consider how much power these few extra words, if used, might have. If Netanyahu were now called a ‘terrorist’, or worse, an ‘arguable war criminal’ by the White House, he could not survive as Prime Minister. If they said ‘We do not see good cause why we should continue to supply this violent regime with weapons of mass destruction’, there would be a two-state solution within a year.

And it is doubtful, not certain, that the Jewish vote in Florida and New York would be much moved against Obama in the gubernatorials later this year if he, or his people, said it. They too are scared that Bibi is killing Israel already, and they want him stopped, and the Zionist Project to survive his hydrophobic bellicosity. They want Bibi stymied too.

It would save twenty thousand lives, and enrich and prosper, over time, two million lives, in Gaza, the West Bank, East Jerusalem. It would bring back tourists to the Middle East. It would civilise, over time, Hamas. It would civilise, over time, the Knesset.

And it only takes the words.

Certain Housekeeping Matters (115)

My adjacent piece The Worst Three Hundred Deeds Of The Loathesome Criminal Scott Morrison should have a wider audience. I urge all who agree with me to put it out on Facebook, or whatever it is you do.

He is our wickedest official since Governor Arthur, and should be hunted down, arrested, and, in Abbott’s quaint phrase, ‘brought to justice’.

In Six Words

Mark Regev is a terrorist; discuss.

The Worst Three Hundred Deeds Of The Loathesome Criminal Scott Morrison

He sent children to their deaths in Sri Lanka. He drove two young men to burn themselves to death, and another to attempt to. He caused a riot on Manus in which sixty young men were brutally injured, one with a cut throat, one with a bashed head who died of it. He covered up this murder, and let one of the four murderers escape. He continued to employ the other three, and did not ask any questions of any witnesses. He continued to employ, or to allow his agents to employ, the other twenty or twenty-five head-bashing thugs.

He kidnapped on the high seas one family in their own boat, burnt the boat, locked up the one hundred and fifty-seven people on it and scared the fifty children by taking their fathers away from them. He took away the medication of a three-year-old girl who then had fits. He sent back to their torturers a family fleeing Sri Lanka.

He said, wrongly, that he had ‘stopped the boats’, concealing those that still kept coming, which he boarded, burnt and sank, and those that came via East Niugini and Thursday Island, Green Island, Rottnest, on pearling luggers to Broome, successfully to Australia, disgorging their customers in secret. He tried to send back to execution a fifteen-year-old stowaway.

He called ‘wimps’ and ‘surrender monkeys’ those who wanted to treat children better. He called Gillian Triggs an incompetent judge of what drives children to try suicide. He denied he had caused some children to poison themselves, cut themselves, bang their heads against the furniture. He said he ‘prayed’ for refugees ‘every night’. He believed, however, that murdered Muslim children burned in Hell immediately. He believed Tony Abbott, and most of the Cabinet, would burn also, and thirty million Australians, already dead, were currently burning too.

He made no offer to Gazans, dying every day, to come here with their children, three of whom died while you were reading this. They may be refugees, but they were not welcome here. A hundred years on Nauru for them if he caught them heading here, he threatened, with no time off for good behaviour. This was in Australia’s national interest. They must pay, for the rest of their lives, for daring even to think of coming here. They are not our kind.

His hydrophobic loathing of ‘heathens’, or what the poet called ‘the lesser breeds without the Law’, was reflected in those missionary Christians and aggressive settlers who in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in North and South America killed, with extreme prejudice, one hundred and sixty million ‘Red Indians’, Incas, Cubans, Eskimos, and captured black African slaves. He is a bad, bad man, but he is not unprecedented.

He has been at it thus far only ten months, but he is keen to do as much damage to heathen humanity as his office, illegally and secretly empowered, lets him do.

He should be removed, arrested, arraigned, imprisoned and punished, very soon.

Lines For Mark Regev (1)

We will stop killing your children when you disarm. And you blow up your air-raid shelters. And abolish your Hamas leadership. And deliver them to us in chains.

And, oh yes, allow us to execute all our kidnapped prisoners.

Trust us. We will keep our word.

Your few surviving loved ones will be perfectly safe.

Perfectly safe.

No, I am not a terrorist.

You are.

And we do not negotiate with terrorists.

Go away.

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (15)

Abbott said he did not want to ‘provoke’ any of the ‘players’ in the current Russo-Ukrainian War and his vow to ‘bring to justice’ the evil murderers of thirty-seven Australians was therefore on hold. So was his promise to ‘bring home the bodies’ for cremation, since landmines might blow up the searchers, providing more bodies to bring home for cremation, in hot summer weather that attracted flies.

Julie Bishop accused the Russians of being unhelpful. She was only asking them to stall a big war, provide a ‘corridor’ as big as Marrickville and stop people under bombardment in burning homes from defending themselves for, say, six weeks, so she could look for corpses, or bits of corpses, in those eight square miles, a much more important priority than Ukrainian liberty or Russian pan-Slavic hegemony over its historic subjects, blood cousins and serfs. Bringing bits of bodies home for cremation was much more important than this great movement of history. And, along prescribed pan-Abbottite lines of not provoking either player, she said the Russians were a pack of bastards.

Scott Morrison swore no children on Christmas Island were sick, or trying to kill themselves, and Gillian Triggs, who was ‘not a doctor’, could not possibly know if a child who said ‘I want to kill myself’ was in any way mentally unsettled or pessimistic. He refused to say if he had ordered the orange boats to take fifty weeping children back to India where they might be beggared, bride-burnt, prostituted or raped and hanged from trees, or if the Navy had mutinied, and told him to go fuck himself. These were ‘on-water matters’ which Angus Campbell had told him not to reveal. And he, an obedient Minister, would never, ever say what was going on, since ‘national security’ depended on it; and on not saying why it did.

He stopped Hanson-Young from seeing the children, and the children from seeing their lawyers or ringing them, and threatened them with a hundred years on Nauru as punishment for being born, quite recently, in Sri Lanka, and sailing on their fathers’ boat through international waters towards their promised land, New Zealand. Though they had committed no crime, he said, they would get a hundred years.

The bill for the day for not searching for bodies, and entombing one hundred and fifty-seven pesky Tamils, was three hundred and five thousand dollars. It would be that much tomorrow, and the day after; and, after six months, enough to upgrade, refurbish and build tennis courts in a hundred public schools.

That Is The Question

(From Dali)

Ask yourself this.

If a squad of Hamas fighters, through a tunnel or some other stratagem, managed to infiltrate one of those israeli settlements in the West Bank that have been condemned by 158 out of 166 nations in one vote, and 160 nations out of 171 nations in a different vote, in the UN;

If that squad had brought with them a cache of rockets and began firing them from the houses of the settlers whom they had locked in the basements – some 380 israeli men women and children;

If those rockets were almost all intercepted, and the three or four that weren’t injured 4 or 5 israelis;

Would Netanyahu issue the order to IDF planes and tanks to rain down armament on the settlement in the name of self defence, and blame the deaths on Hamas for sheltering brhind them?

And would he have the same 83% of israelis supporting him in killing 380 men women and children to take out 28 fighters?

I wish someone would ask him.

Propaganda Studies (4): Big Brother Bibi

Soon there will be five hundred children killed in Gaza, five thousand injured, five hundred thousand traumatised, and Kerry dare not even use the word ‘disproportionate’. The White House, daringly, has said they are ‘concerned’.

Bibi has us foxed. He says a man sleeping in his own bed among his own children is ‘hiding in the civilian population’ and though he is an elected MP deserves to die because of some opinions he holds. He is guilty of Thoughtcrime and must, like Winston Smith, die for it. He says this man is deluded if he says bombs that fell on kindergartens came from Israel. They might have been Hamas rockets, incompetently exploding.

Bibi has us foxed; and half-believing, I think, that when there is a truce all the dead children will come back alive again. Then they will be killed again in the next ‘incursion’ and come back alive again.

This is not true. They are dead forever, and will not grow up, marry, and have children of their own. He is killing children, little children, forever, and asserting that because he is doing this inadvertently, while aiming at other people, this is entirely acceptable, and it’s Hamas’s fault anyway for thinking the way they do, and defending their country with rockets, and refusing to disarm. And whoever does not agree with this, whoever does not agree with this, my friend, is an ‘anti-Semite’.

There has not been such propaganda since the show trials under Stalin. He is calling on duly elected MPs to admit their error, and embrace their execution.

He is a bad, bad man, and should be arrested and put on trial in an international court.

My father was a Jew, and I say this.

I don’t want to be a bore, but the killing has to stop.

Morrison, The Final Days

It is now desirable that Scott Morrison be psychologically investigated. Nothing that he said to Sarah Ferguson suggests anything other than hectic self-delusion, fervid paranoia and life in a parallel universe.

He said Gillian Triggs’s assertions that children were sick, biting themselves, banging their heads and drinking poison were mistaken. He said Tamils fleeing torture in Sri Lanka and transiting through India were ‘economic refugees’. He said that though he had burnt their boat, and thus taken off them every penny they had, they might welcome the chance to go back to India and lifelong poverty. He said they would ‘never, ever’ live in Australia, unlike another Tamil, Kamahl, even though they were fleeing torture, and a regime the Canadian Prime Minister thinks capable of genocide.

He is guardian of the fifty children whom he has been, by the look of it, abusing. He locked them up in a windowless cabin, took their fathers away from them, denied them toys and an education, and phone calls to their grandmothers. He has threatened them with a hundred years on Nauru, and forbidden a Senator to see them. He has forbidden their lawyers to see them, or talk to them on a phone. He has no right to do this. He’s refused to say if he tried to send them on orange ‘lifeboats’ back to India and dump them on a beach there. He has not yet denied, but he will, that the Navy mutinied.

It is reasonable Palmer, Labor and the Greens informally ask that his sanity be investigated, and the GG consider this course of action.

It’s time.

Morrison Agonistes

SARAH FERGUSON: I’m joined by the Immigration Minister, Scott Morrison. You’ve said variously this week that these people are economic migrants. How did you determine that?

SCOTT MORRISON: People who are Tamils in India are not subject to persecution as a result of their Tamil ethnicity, and that is, I think, widely understood. It’s certainly my understanding of it and it’s certainly the assurances that have been provided by the Indian Government. I mean, the UNHCR themselves have recognised that India has provided a safe haven for Tamils for decades.

SARAH FERGUSON: Just a moment. I mean, there are plenty of people we accept as refugees who come through transit countries. You have called these people economic migrants.

SCOTT MORRISON: Well, I think they are, Sarah.

SARAH FERGUSON: Have you heard their cases for asylum? You’re aware that they’ve all made cases.

SCOTT MORRISON: Sarah, I think the suggestion that Tamils fleeing India allegedly because they’re being persecuted in India because they’re Tamils just, I think, doesn’t bear up to the international experience and the recognition of the Indian Government’s provision of safe haven to Tamils in India for a very, very long time. Frankly, I think it’s quite offensive to India, Sarah.

SARAH FERGUSON: I’m just – actually, I’m just a little bit confused there and I think – well, I think actually I’m a little confused and I suspect therefore the audience is confused. Why are their claims for persecution necessarily about their time in India? Those claims may just as well apply, or far more likely, in fact, apply to their lives in Sri Lanka. Now what do you know about them that enables you to assert so clearly that they have no claim for persecution from their time in Sri Lanka?

SCOTT MORRISON: Sarah, I have made no comment in relation to Sri Lanka. I have made a comment in relation to them leaving India and my comment’s in relation to them leaving India. And that’s why I’ve been working with the Indian Government to come to an arrangement where many of them who have been resident in India for a very long time could be considered for return. Now, they may well have wished to return to India rather than the other options that are on the table here, which is obviously offshore processing.

SARAH FERGUSON: Now do you think that anybody listening to you during this week would have heard anything other than the Immigration Minister asserting that these people are economic migrants?

SCOTT MORRISON: Well I can’t speak for what people hear and think based on the reporting this week, Sarah. I couldn’t possibly do that. My position, I think, has been crystal clear. People have left India and the suggestion was that people were being persecuted in India, and my simple statement was is that’s obviously a nonsense.

SARAH FERGUSON: But you’d be well aware now from the evidence in your own case in the High Court that they’re making asylum claims and that some of the claims refer to, as I understand it, their lives in Sri Lanka, not in India. So would you like to take the opportunity to amend that statement?

SCOTT MORRISON: No, I – there’s no need to amend the statement. I’m simply saying the people saying they’re being – fleeing persecution in India – remember – and those comments have been made by their own lawyers this week, asserting that it’s possible that this could be the case. Well I just don’t think that bears out with the international experience and it certainly doesn’t bear out with India’s track record of how they’ve treated Tamils in India. That’s why we’ve been working to provide the opportunity for people to go back to India. Now there’s an opportunity to do this under the arrangement we’ve come to with the Indian Government.

SARAH FERGUSON: Just while we’re on that, Indian Government, just briefly, will the Indians accept forcible returns?

SCOTT MORRISON: Well the first step is: will they agree to meet with consular officials? Now the normal process is that no consular official can be forced on an individual, and if they’re receiving advice, whether it’s from lawyers or advocates or others, to refuse that, then they will be passing up the opportunity to potentially return to India where they were safe. Now, if they choose not to do that, then that’s a matter for them, and it could be possible that all of them may choose not to speak to Indian consular officials, and in so doing, they will pass up an opportunity to – potentially to be reunited with their families in India.

SARAH FERGUSON: I think people would be very confused with Sri Lankans sent to see – or having Indian officials sent to see Sri Lankans. But let’s move on because there are some other topics to cover here.

SCOTT MORRISON: Well, no, no, no, Sarah, you’ve raised that point, so let me address it. They’ve been living in India, the vast majority of people on this vessel, for a very long time and they have family in India and so what I have done…

SARAH FERGUSON: Do you know that the majority of people on this boat – you are asserting that they have lived in India for a very long time, the majority?

SCOTT MORRISON: That is our understanding of who’s on this vessel. Now, we are providing an opportunity for them to go back to India and they could make that request to Indian consular officials over the course of the next week. Now, if advocates are telling them they shouldn’t talk to consular officials, then I question whether they’re acting in their best interests…

SARAH FERGUSON: All right, let’s move on.

SCOTT MORRISON: … because they will pass up that opportunity. It is rare for India to concede bringing back someone who was not a citizen. Now they’re prepared to do that, they told me, for humanitarian reasons, and if advocates are going to deny them that opportunity, then where they end up will be very much a consequence of that decision.

SARAH FERGUSON: They were at sea for a very long time. Why didn’t you just take them straight to India?

SCOTT MORRISON: Well, we were working towards that objective.

SARAH FERGUSON: And did India say no?

SCOTT MORRISON: We discussed three options with India.

SARAH FERGUSON: No, did India say no?

SCOTT MORRISON: Well, let me tell you what we discussed with India. We discussed three options. One was that they could be taken to India, where that process which I’ve talked about, their identity and so on, could be assessed. That was not accepted by India. It could also be done on the ship and that was logistically difficult to get Australian Indian consular officials to that ship, and so in those circumstances, we chose to do it this way. Now, we’ll see how it goes. But if the outcome of this is that no-one chooses to talk to Indian consular officials, then the Government’s policy is very clear and they will go to offshore processing and that’s where their claims will be assessed. They will never, ever be resettled in Australia and that will be the outcome and nor will they ever be able to probably ever go back to India again.

SARAH FERGUSON: Was there any attempt to take them to India on orange life boats?

SCOTT MORRISON: Well, I don’t discuss those sorts of operational matters, Sarah.

SARAH FERGUSON: Well, in this case, it’s not like a normal on-water matter.

SCOTT MORRISON: Well it was very on-water.

SARAH FERGUSON: We’re talking about potentially a much longer journey. Were the orange life boats a consideration in this case? It’s passed now.

SCOTT MORRISON: The Government always considers all of our operational options that are available to us. We work through a methodical process …

SARAH FERGUSON: But does that mean you did consider the orange life boats?

SCOTT MORRISON: Well, I always reserve those options to us, as does Lieutenant-General Campbell. But when and where and how we do those things, they’re operational matters.

SARAH FERGUSON: So how far were you prepared to send people on those orange life boats? This is a very different scenario to sending people back to Java.

SCOTT MORRISON: Well, Sarah, you’re now getting into operational details, which you know is not Government’s policy to discuss, based on that advice I have from Lieutenant-General Campbell.

SARAH FERGUSON: Just to go back to the principles at work here, the bottom line is that you made a decision, I think, on 1st July that you were going to send these people back without finding out whether they had an asylum claim. That breaches the basic principle of international law. Are you comfortable with that?

SCOTT MORRISON: Well, Sarah, I reject the assertion you’ve just made. You’ve just asserted that I was seeking to take them back to Sri Lanka based on your own argument before that they were fleeing Sri Lanka from persecution. The Government has made – the Government has made …

SARAH FERGUSON: I beg your pardon. I’m actually going on what the Prime Minister …

SCOTT MORRISON: Well, hang on, you asked the question. You might let me finish it.

SARAH FERGUSON: Well let me just tell you – you said on my own assertion; it’s actually not. I’m quoting Tony Abbott, the Prime Minister, who said, “I would expect most of the people on that boat to go back that their countries of origin,” plural, so presumably that included Sri Lanka. Did it?

SCOTT MORRISON: Well what he was referring to was the place from where they’ve come from and the origin of that voyage was India. Now …

SARAH FERGUSON: “Countries” – he said “countries of origin”. Did you – let me just make the question very clear, Mr Morrison: did you consider sending them back to Sri Lanka?

SCOTT MORRISON: There was no attempt during the course of that past month, there was no discussion with the Government of Sri Lanka about people on that voyage going back to Sri Lanka and I’ll tell you why: that voyage did not come from Sri Lanka. It came from India. People were living in India or had transited through India and there is an opportunity for them to return to India, if they choose to speak to Indian consular officials, and if they choose not to do that, I assume on the advice of lawyers and advocates and others, and why they would do that against what is possibly in their best interests, others would have to explain.

SARAH FERGUSON: Let me just move on. The Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs says that virtually all of the 174 children on Christmas Island are sick. Children are self-harming, biting themselves, banging into furniture, swallowing poisons. How can this possibly be justified?

SCOTT MORRISON: Well, I don’t believe that’s true, for a start. Under this government we’ve reduced the number of children in detention by almost 35 per cent. The number of children on Christmas Island has dramatically reduced by over 60 per cent. Under this government, we’ve funded children going to school in detention. On Nauru, we’ve funded the establishment of facilities, including schools …

SARAH FERGUSON: That – actually, as you are aware, that wasn’t my question. You’re saying that Gillian Triggs is making up the evidence about the sickness of children?

SCOTT MORRISON: I don’t think there is evidence of the claim that the high – the Human Rights Commissioner has made in the way that she has made it. These are difficult environments and appropriate care is provided by our people. I think they’re quite sensational claims that have been made. She herself is not a doctor and we have medical people who are there who provide that care on a daily basis.

SARAH FERGUSON: All right. Just very briefly, because we need to clear this up before we go. So there’s no confusion over the orange boats; you did consider the use of the orange boats to return those asylum seekers to India?

SCOTT MORRISON: Sarah, I’m not going to let you put words in my mouth. What I am saying is the Government reserves its right to exercise any and every option that we choose is in the Australian national interest. And that is always my position. I haven’t commented specifically on the matter you’ve referred to because that’s not my practice to do that.

SARAH FERGUSON: Scott Morrison, thank you very much indeed for joining us.

SCOTT MORRISON: Thanks, Sarah.

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (14)

Abbott decided not to bring Putin in shackles to Darlinghurst Court on a charge of mass murder, because he needed his help. He wanted, in the middle of a shooting war,  an area the size of Marrickville where unarmed police could prod the shrubbery and find Australian corpses, as distinct from Ukrainian corpses — which looked a fair bit like Australian corpses — in the blasted rubble of five towns and bring them home for cremation in ten or eighteen towns Down Under, before the summer heat did further damage to those that had not been consumed by animals or robbed of trinkets and passports by frightened impoverished refugees from slaughter.

In order to do this he had to be nice to Putin, the mass murderer. He said he wouldn’t be joining any economic blockade. Putin, like most of the world, judged him a lunatic. Obama was puzzled, to say the least, that he had, in this new Cold War, defiantly, or mistakenly, joined the other side.

Angus Houston’s coppers, meanwhile, were unable, again, to visit the ‘crime scene’ owing to bombardment near the Raddison, where they were drinking beer and assuring their wives, on mobiles, that no, they were in no danger despite what Abbott was saying hourly on the radio, in his newly assumed capacity of Chicken Little-in-Chief, of how little chance they had of coming home alive.

And so another day passed of the worst democratic government in world history since the system’s foundation in Iceland in 930.

Before its end, Scott Morrison had found ‘shocking’ and ‘unacceptable’ a charge by several dozen churchmen that he was a child abuser. He saw no harm, he said, in locking up children, taking their toys, taking away their fathers in handcuffs and hinting they might be killed and promising, at best, a hundred years among birdshit on Nauru idly dreaming of a better life. This was not child abuse, he said, however mad the children were getting and however many had attempted suicide. And if it was child abuse, there would be less of it soon, when fifty of the abusees were safely back in India.

The clergymen suggested he would be better employed elsewhere, and, like Rolf Harris, out of the vicinity of children, and any power he might still have to determine or disorder their lives.

Joe Hockey rejected Standard&Poors’ triple-A rating saying it would be gone soon if his Budget was not passed in toto. It involved nearly everyone being thousands a year worse off, and young people seeking work as whores or toilet cleaners forty times a month, and forty million applications to small businesses being processed every six weeks, thus lessening ‘red tape’ and giving a ‘work ethic’ to cripples, drug takers and the mentally disturbed. If they make thirty-nine applications that month, not forty, he swore, they wouldn’t get the dole for seven months, not six. Drug-muling seemed an excellent alternative in comparison to this, and many embraced it.

What Emma Alberici Did Next

Emma Alberici behaved very badly last night, and I suggest she be suspended for a fortnight without pay and asked to consider her position.

She told a man whose people were being slaughtered that if they built air raid shelters they should be killed. She said if they totally disarmed, and stopped digging tunnels, Israel would kill no more of them. She accused him, as Joe McCarthy might, of secretly working for Hamas. She seemed to assert that people who did not agree with Israel should be killed, and their children also.

While she was doing this, all the electricity was cut off in Gaza. Babies in humidicribs died, old people on the operating table died. People were fired on by battleships at sea, a sea in which they were forbidden to go fishing.

She seemed very angry that this man, his own family members being fired upon, disagreed with her. She seemed anti-Semitic. The Arabs are a Semitic people. It seemed to me she had drunk the Netanyahu kool-aid, and was sorry she had done so.

I ask her to debate me, anywhere.

In Ninety-Six Words

My friend Akram al-Basri showed me his children’s photos, and explained how his mother had been killed by Hamas for ‘collaborating with the Israelis’. For a time he was allowed to stay in Australia with his uncle. Then he was sent back to Gaza, where he was killed, and so was his brother. His wife tried to come here with the children, and was refused. She was ‘not a genuine refugee’.  She is under bombardment tonight. It is still night in Gaza.

Will Amanda Vanstone, an ABC employee, apologise for sending him back?

Just asking.

Joe Sets Us All Right

Joe Hockey just said on PM that requiring young people to make forty applications per month would get the ‘most hungry’ into jobs, and Big Business’s view that the plan was ‘nuts’ was wrong.

Joe seems not to know what young people are like. They are in the throes of self-definition, like Hamlet, and would like to be rock stars or computer design billionaires or top models and to say that, FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE, they must clean toilets, wipe the bottoms of old men, or manage drooling lunatics through their shriekings after midnight, is to insult them at their heart, at the heart of their self-definition, their self-esteem. Hearing this, they are more likely to snort coke or sell it, beat their girlfriends, whore them, or end as drug mules hanged in Malaysia.

You do not do this to young people. To be on the dole is shame enough. To say they must now, if paid well, become whores and risk AIDS or suck off truck drvers parked at petrol stations — which is what Joe is saying — is to lose their vote, and their parents’ vote, forever.

Joe, a Palestinian, is acting more and more like a suicide bomber. He can’t get ANY of his Budget through, and, like Hitler blaming the Jews and seizing their property and locking them up, he is kicking in the crutch an entire generation who have some self-esteem, and like the Jews will not surrender their culture.

And he cannot survive many weeks in his job. He is dead as hal-al mutton and he knows it. And he is planning his revenge.

He is even saying Standard&Poors don’t know what they’re talking about when they say our economy is in good shape. It’s in bad shape, he whines, I said so.

What a fucking nong.

Or perhaps you disagree.

Latham Sets Us Right

Mark Latham, a political staffer turned MP turned Leader, said people like himself must be denied preselections hereinafter. Unionists. Apparatchiks. Heredity party ‘princes’. People who led ‘normal lives’ must be let into parliament: shearers; farmers; teachers; lawyers.

Yeah, well. This would have ruled out, in past years, the unionists Curtin, Chifley, Hawke, Mick Young, Bacon, Combet, Shorten; and the Labor princes Ferguson, Crean and Beazley. It would have ruled out the ‘staffers’ Emerson, Albanese, Gillard, Plibersek, Rann, Swan, and Rudd.

What is he talking about? He is the Leader who didn’t think the tsunami worth talking about, or leaving his holiday for, and bizarrely believed that he not Beazley could win in 2004. He wrote a book called ‘Civilising Global Capital’ ten years before the GFC showed how dumb-ass an idea that was, which I urged him to rename ‘Housetraining The Crocodile’. He’s the one who cut Gough Whitlam, who gave him his education, his first job, his imprimatur, his enthusiastic encouragement, his lifelong love, out of his life. This is the hulking bully who harassed Gillard on the street in 2010 and cost her, maybe, three seats. The is the idiot who cost us three years of power by thrusting himself, at forty-two, into a leadership he was unprepared for, and too drugged-up, ebullient and self-pitying to do sensibly.

It’s moderately important that he go fuck himself.

Or debate me any time, anywhere, on any subject whatever.

Julie’s Numbers

Julie Bishop has given five million dollars to Gaza, that is, one hundred dollars per dead or injured person, or enough to rebuild fifteen dwellings, though fifteen thousand have been destroyed.

She meantime spends two hundred thousand a day in her stalled search for ‘clues’ and burnt bits of bodies round MH17, and has spent thus far half a billion looking in three oceans for MH 370, for what purpose it is not clear.

These expensive quests for purposeless ‘evidence’ of things past at a time of ‘economic emergency’ may make some of us ask why the dead are worth so much more to them than the living. Spare bits of corpses on a war-torn crash site, it seems, are now worth dying for, and spending billions finding among other corpses, but money for schoolkids an intolerable extravagance. Why is this?

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (13)

Morrison called ‘surrender monkeys’ those like Sarah Hanson Young who did not want, like him, to put fifty children on Nauru for eighty or ninety years and never let them leave it — to get an education, or a job, or a spouse, or visit relatives in India. He put them in the meantime into a desert concentration camp, soon to close, and wouldn’t let them see their lawyers, and called a ‘stunt’ Hanson Young’s plan to visit them and ask how they were doing. He welcomed, however, visits from Indian bureaucrats who might now separate thirty Indian-born children from their parents and take them ‘home’ to Pondicherry to become child whores or street beggars or small businesspersons far from their grieving mothers, fathers, and elder siblings. He did not say why he had burnt their boat, and would not compensate the owners for this bizarre piratical assault on voyagers threatening no-one, anywhere.

Peter Van Onselen said India was not a signatory to the UN Convention that one does not persecute refugees and logically the High Court must now stop them going there. What we must do therefore, said PVO, is withdraw from the UN Convention. He did this on his show, and was not arrested for advocating terrorism, an oversight perhaps.

Peter Slipper, the man whose vote elected Tony Abbott, was told he might get five years for spending nine hundred dollars on cabcharges to wineries. This was nine thousand less than Abbott illegally spent on air fares to book launches of Battlelines, his manifesto, in 2009. But he paid it back in time, or rather his publisher Louise Adler did, and grew very snaky with him when he did not pay her back, so that she lost money on the book. Though Abbott, Brough, Brandis and Pyne had wrongly called Slipper a ‘workplace sexual harasser’ of a trembling thirty-four year old male, James Ashby, and could be sued by him for 350 thousand each, as could eighteen Murdoch journalists and five or six shock jocks, Slipper, grown mad and suicidal, had shown mercy on them. It was remarked that Abbott wrongly spent six hundred dollars flying to Slipper’s wedding, and paid this back too, and so avoided five years in gaol.

Murdoch’s Daily Telegraph published a morphed photo of Slipper as a ‘dirty rat’ and a Newspoll alleging Abbott was now as popular as Shorten, and his government on 46. The Morgan poll, an honest one — it rings mobiles, and redistributes Palmer as its respondents want, not as they used to — had them on 45.5.

Warfare round the MH 17 crash site caused Australian police, again, not to go there. Their presence, and Julie Bishop’s, in the area, cost a quarter of a million dollars that day. Abetz meanwhile announced that anyone under fifty who lost their jobs would not get the dole for six months, a saving of fifty thousand dollars a day. So a search for bits of the dead in an area as big as Marrickville full of bits of other dead people was more important than the misery of living breadwinners and the welfare of their children in towns that were dying, as always.

The amount spent searching for MH 370 in an area as big as Queensland hit half a billion.

In Five Words

Is Gaza a crime scene?

Four Questions

If one of the jobs going that day is a sex worker must she take it? If she’s a virgin must she take it? Will she lose the dole if she knocks it back? Why not?

Lines For Scott Morrison (8)

What’s to fear in India? Bride burning? A mere bagatelle. Being raped and hung from a tree? A walk in the park. Two hundred million young men competing for your job? What a wuss you are. Life in misery? Join the club. Sleeping in the street? Boo hoo.

Get real. Toughen up. Take your medicine. Go home.

You’re lucky I didn’t send you home to Sri Lanka. I’ve sent hundreds. Not all of them are dead. Not all of them are dead.

But they learned their lesson.

Lines For Julie Bishop (4)

We must send in unarmed police to bring to justice rocket-firing Russian swine, and if any are killed, send in other unarmed police to avenge them who, if they are killed…(contd p94)

Gore Vidal

The Gore Vidal film, The United States Of Amnesia, shown on ABC last night, was superb in every way. I have put up on Ellis Gold my 1997 piece on him, after spending bits of a week with him when he came to Sydney, and Bob Carr’s memorial of him in his book.

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (12)

Abbott was surprised to find his plan to send armed soldiers into an an area beset by three disorderly armies unpopular. Told it could be dangerous, he ordered a hundred unarmed policemen currently drinking brown ale in Putney to go into mortal danger to seek bits of burnt cloth and body parts which Abbott thought sacred and worth dying for, carrying no weapons. The three disorderly armies then started shooting at each other on the ‘crime scene’ and even the policemen stayed in Putney. The soldiers asked if they could go home now please, and Abbott thought he might put them in police uniforms and send them unarmed into the war zone as well. Housed in London, the soldiers and policemen were costing a strapped Hockey Budget eighty thousand dollars a day

To distract the nation from this, Abbott announced he was reintroducing slavery. Called ‘work for the dole’, it required men with teenage children completing high school to leave their towns and work in other towns in demeaning jobs for little money, and teenage girls to apply for forty jobs a month for six months in return for no pay whatever, not even their bus fares to interviews. It is to be presumed that if there was a legal job in prostitution services available they would have to take it. It is not known, though, if she must accept work as a whore on a ‘trial run’ basis, or if she was a virgin she would be required to take it, working for nothing, the way you do, until she was ‘up to speed’. It is also not known if a forty-five year old woman applying repeatedly for work as a low-paid prostitute knowing she would not get it because she was fat and ugly would be thought to be ‘cheating the system’ and denied the dole thereafter. The deputy minister for slavery, Hartsuyker, did not say how this new plan would ‘reduce red tape’ along lines of Abbott’s ‘red tape bonfire’ celebration of a month ago.

Nor did Hartsuyker say if ‘work for the dole’ included army service in the new war, if it came, in East Ukraine.

On Insiders it was warmly asserted that Abbott had ‘retrieved his Prime Ministership’ by the strength and decisiveness of his plan to ‘go in, get the cadavers, and get out’. This had impressed all the world, they said. He also ordered our diplomats to get the fuck out of Libya, now beset by a ‘resurrect Ghadafi’ insurgency keen to kill everybody.

Morrison spoke in tongues, and his pirates brought 157 black people to a cage in the desert from which all cameras and phone calls were banned, though no-one could say what harm they would do. It was thought that Morrison, plainly guilty of child abuse, would be imprisoned more comfortably in Sydney or Goulburn, pending investigation of the four or five hundred children who had suffered psychological harm or death while under his protection.

Abbott said no more about ‘bringing to justice’ Putin or any of his accomplices who had deliberately shot down 37 Australian tourists because of the evil in their hearts.

Notes From The Sidelines Of History

If heaven exists it must resemble the Labor Conference in Sydney Town Hall. The high architecture; the pipe organ; the aged faces grudgingly applauding show ponies they hate; the pies and sauce and coffee; the Mars Bars; the sausage sandwiches; the raffle winners picked by Johnno, now in his thousandth year and moving papally through the throng with his threatening twinkle, his pork pie hat, his walking sticks and secret handshake.

And, once again, raw passionate speeches from the best and brightest of our time. If you seek intellectual heft, youthful talent, divine forgiveness and envious comradeship, seek it not at the High Tables of Oxford or Yale; nor on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange; nor on any opening night of any Olympics: go to Sydney Town Hall in July round Whitlam’s birthday in any year, and open your ears and your mind and exhult in what you hear.

Shorten’s Hockey line, ‘a conservative Treasurer, whose charmed life has robbed him of charity; and, I might say, judgment’, was a stand-out but eleven hundred others were in the league. Carr’s two speeches, on Gaza and himself, proved august and measured and stirring as any by Lincoln or Clarence Darrow. It’s good to hear the English language frogmarched into oratory, the slogans and anthems and war-cries of a century transformed into punchy, rugged, insatiate verbal glory. I wish this happened every month, and an ongoing miniseries of it were sold each year at the ABC Shop for twenty dollars. It is a high leap of the heart for a fair-go nation, every time it happens, and it should be acclaimed and empowered. More later.

Lines For Bibi Netanyahu (3)

The children of Israel have a right to defend themselves. The children of Ishmael do not. They are heathen filth, fit only for slavery, rape, and the ceaseless unsleeping service of our bodily needs. And it is meet, as the prophet Isaiah noted, that we dash the heads of their little ones against the stones. The blood of our ancestors cries out for us to do this frequently, every two years or so. And to those who say our ancestors were also their ancestors I say, ‘Watch it, sunshine. We know where you live, and possess sufficient helicopter-gunships to reduce to flaming rubble the house your great-great- grandfather took twenty years to build in five minutes; on a clear night, maybe three.

Some would say this is not an adequate basis for domestic and foreign policy in a proud free Middle Eastern democracy, role model for the fussy vigilant civilised world. And to them I say, as we used to say in the alleys of my home town, Philadelphia, to cowering and pleading and bleeding old ladies, ‘You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.’

Next year in Gaza! And the year after.

Until there is no Gaza at all.

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (11)

In a move reminiscent of nineteenth century slavery, Scott Morrison sold thirty-seven black children to the Indians; or, it was whispered, paid the Indians to take them away. But the Indians would take only some of them: those Indian-born, unlike their parents, who wept when hearing they would now be parted from them. These parents, S&M swore, would never live anywhere, not even in his desert concentration camp, which was closing; and that would teach them a lesson.

The High Court then, to his surprise, told him selling people was wrong, parting parents and children was wrong, and scaring the bejesus out of infants for five weeks on end on the high seas was child abuse. They considered what they would do with him, and what period in chokey, comparable with Rolf’s, they would sentence him to.

Abbott, meanwhile, said what he was doing would ‘send a message to the people smugglers’, though none were involved; the boat was their own, and they were sailing nowhere ‘illegal’, only New Zealand, when Morrison, a parrot on his shoulder and a loud-hailer to his mouth, had kidnapped them for no good cause at sea. Fearing forty years in prison for crimes against humanity on top of the child abuse, Morrison prepared himself to babble and pray in Shirelive Church, whose communicants had begun to put up two crossed fingers when he approached.

(The boat his captives came on was boarded, stolen, looted and burnt at sea, and some government advisers were worried that this act of purposeless war might be frowned upon by the UN.)

Abbott continued to spend hundreds of thousands on soldiers drinking brown ale in Putney and Cosgrove and Houston enjoying top accommodation in Amsterdam, stepping out occasionally to murmur prayerfully over a misassembled corpse, whose nationality was uncertain. Abbott was criticised in Europe for proposing to send armed troops into a foreign battlefield by agreement with a government that did not exist, after a bloody affray in their parliament in which four noses were broken and everybody moodily abolished themselves, to go there in order to look for corpses already in Amsterdam, or eaten by wild dogs, crows and bears, in an area as big as Armidale, sending soldiers there within two months who were currently drunk in Putney; and to get them there on, he said, Malaysian Airways, the only service that still flew there, adding this was a joke. The Europeans laughed briefly, then warmly called him ‘nuts’.

Chris Davis, a Liberal, or, as they call it up that way, an LNP, lost Stafford, or contributed to the loss of Stafford, by the biggest margin in Queensland history and immediately joined the Labor Party. He generously offered to stand against Campbell Newman, and thus presumably preserve him in Ashford, a seat he was otherwise bound to lose, by the assiduous application of his wondrous proven incompetence on Labor’s behalf. The Labor Party told him to go fuck himself.

Campbell Newman, now repenting his every policy and apologising on the street to everyone who went past him, became more and more like a homeless person or a Buddhist monk lately fallen on irreligious times. He knew he was set to become only the third PM or Premier in Australian history to lose his own seat, and against that day was making a grovelling fool of himself, the way one does. He considered seeking work in the High Command of the imminent invasion, Gallipoli-style, of East Ukraine, but Tony Abbott told him to go fuck himself.

Tony Abbott, meanwhile, noticed a thousand Gazans had been unjustly killed, and vaguely approved of this. ‘Israel has a right to defend itself,’ he said, or is said to have said, in Confession to Pell on Skype, ‘but Gaza does not. The people there are heathens and beyond redemption whereas the Jews, as my friend Mel Gibson, the eminent Catholic thinker, has informed me over a few jars, will join the True Church at the latter day and in a subsequent battle, Armageddon, fought against Putin the King of the North, will die in their millions as the whole Earth burns but be resurrected soon after that and join us Catholics in heaven singing Holy, Holy, Holy on the Sea of Glass; and that is the basis of my foreign policy for the foreseeable and prophesied future.

‘ The corpses I am retrieving from Ukraine will overfly the slaughter in Gaza, and not look down.’

Gaza: The Figures

(From Dali)

As of 16:42 GMT, Gaza health ministry confirms death toll of Palestinians in the Israeli offensive in Gaza has increased to 848. More than 5,694 have been injured since the operation began.

Here are the numbers announced by the ministry:

Out of the 848 dead, 40 were elderly (20 males, 20 females), 600 were adults (518 males, 82 females) and 208 were children (138 males, 70 females).

Out of the 5,694 injured 230 elderly (108 males, 122 females), 3685 adults (2573 males, 1112 females) and 1779 children (1126 males, 653 females).

So, 208 dead children and almost 2000 children injured. How is this not a war crime?

And Benjamin Netanyahu said that Hamas represented another type of “Islamist extremism, violent extremism that has no resolvable grievance” adding: “Hamas is like ISIL, Hamas is like al-Qaeda, Hamas is like Hezbollah, Hamas is like Boko Haram.”

OK then, Israel is like Hitler’s Germany, Israel is like Hussein’s Iraq, Israel is like Qaddafi’s Libya.

Where does that get us Bibi? You’re not looking after Israel, you’re stuck in the bog of a fucked concept. Lying helps I guess.

Recommended Reading (2)

Mike Carlton in the smh today. Very, very fine.

The Only Question Worth Asking

How many children has Scott Morrison sent back to Sri Lanka? How many have been killed?

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (10)

Abbott concluded a deal with the Kiev government, which immediately resigned. The deal provided a hundred policemen who would sit in London drinking brown ale until sent for. These would be joined, he swore, in a month or two by ten or fifteen young men in slouch hats with machine guns who would go with them to an area which the government that did not exist did not control and protect them from Russian rockets, delving bears and falling Boeings. Kiev swore in turn they would have a new government in a month or so, and it would then proclaim which side they were on, and shoot all dissenting traitors. Till then no uniformed Australian would be allowed on the ‘crime scene’ which Abbott insisted must be urgently searched lest ‘tampering on an industrial scale’ take place and fingerprints, for instance, on shattered wineglasses be erased in the four or five months before his gallant Anzacs, whistling and fondling their lethal weapons, got there.

He called this uncovering and reassembling of clues and corpses a ‘humanitarian mission’ which did not, any more, alas, involve ‘bringing to justice’ Vladimir Putin in shackles to Darlinghurst courthouse. ‘We just want to bring home our dead,’ he said, near tears. In months, he swore. In days, Julie Bishop swore, contrarily. ‘The adults are in charge,’ PVO exulted; he was held down by Ross Cameron and sedated.

Bishop revealed she had not yet cut a deal with the rebels, whom she had lately called mass murderers. She was astounded these evil men had not returned her calls.

Though the ‘crime scene’ was called ‘unguarded’, ‘chaotic’ and ‘subject to daily looting’ by most reporters, who had no great problem sauntering around it, Abbott and Bishop swore they were in control of it, or soon would be in control of it, or rather in a queue of many firm, determined, vengeful nations who were also in control of it. They were worried insufficient body parts would be found to approximate thirty-eight Australians after dogs and bears had delved for them in the warm long summer months when the Anzacs and policemen were drinking brown ale in Putney and awaiting orders. ‘The adults are in charge,’ exulted Andrew Bolt. Tony Abbott looked around, through authoritative rimless glasses, for a helpful headline or a friend.

This proved to be not Scott Morrison, who was in big trouble in many latitudes and jurisdictions. Having kidnapped thirty-seven children and one hundred and twenty adults on the high seas, stolen their boat, their walllets and their mobile phones, forbidden them lawyers, translators and primary educations and having, for the period it would take to sail to England, sailed instead in circles round the Arafura, telling the High Court meanwhile ‘these people’ had no right to live anywhere, the baffled and maddened S&M felt suddenly obliged to take them, not to where they were going, New Zealand, but to a desert concentration camp in Western Australia where, with any luck, no reporter could photograph them. ‘They will never live in Australia,’ he foamed helpfully, knowing this was not his decision, and making the whole world wonder what he had against them.

This turn of events made nonsense of his frequent boast that he had ‘stopped the boats’ and made us wonder how many boats, indeed, had set out lately and how many Tamil children he had sent to torture, death or inconvenience in Sri Lanka (known by Canada as the seventh circle of Hell) in breach of our UN obligations and, not that it matters, the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount. It also meant the Court could find him guilty of child abuse and put him in the slammer (to judge by the number of children involved) for twenty or a hundred years.

Facing down these difficulties with his usual hydrophobic resolution, S&M swore that his persecution of these photogenic infants would continue, they could not have their phones or teddy bears back, or the company of their fathers, and the best they could hope for was imprisonment for eighty or a hundred years among birdshit on Nauru. He was immediately applauded by PVO as ‘Abbott’s most successful Minister’.

Malcolm Turnbull amiably accused Joe Hockey of dementia or lying. Sure, he had ruined Joe’s life, he affably admitted, by recontesting the leadership he had just resigned and beating him by one vote, Joe’s own, on the first ballot unexpectedly. But, hell, he wanted to be Prime Minister too, and both of them, both of them agreed it was important they kept the maniac Abbott from attaining the crown. And both since then had sworn, the way you do, that he was now to their surprise a very fine fellow indeed, archangelic in his commanding radiance and their love for him exceeded the love of woman, and they would never, never now think for even a moment of overthrowing him, whatever their common wet dream Credlin has lately advised, and however close he came, in poll after poll, to rendering the Party leprous, odiferous, moribund and laughable.

Tanya Plibersek said the twenty million spent on sailing one hundred and fifty-eight refugees in circles round the Arafura had been ‘all about Scott Morrison’s ego’. Mark Kenny, gasping, said this was the most spiteful thing he had ever heard.

His Finest Hour

The ‘strong and admirable leadership’ Abbott and Bishop have shown, according to the smh editorial, begs the question, ‘against what opposition?’ Shorten has assonantly echoed their every press release. Obama has marched in lockstep with their paranoid bellicosity. Not even Jacqui Lambie has come out in favour of killing tourists in mid-air. They each have hinted Putin should be denied the joys of Brisbane if it proves he killed thirty-seven Australians with malice aforethought and then attempted an alibi. They have threatened with Commonwealth Police a war-zone raining bodies from the air. Joint funerals of promiscuously mingled body-parts have been attended by two of our foremost generals. There have been daily Prime Ministerial statements on how the body parts are doing and how soon, in calendar months, the bereaved might see and cremate them.

But they might be overdoing it, rather. Bishop, sensing the drift of the wind, last night asserted it might be ‘days, not years’ before the corpses are reassembled and flown home and ‘reunited’, whatever that means, with sad siblings and fiancees. And Abbott has backed away from his ‘persecuting Putin’ initiative of last Friday. He knows full well he will come willy-nilly to Brisbane, and shake Tony Abbott’s hand.

And this will show, as this last week has, that nothing like ‘the adults’ are in charge; a coven of squawking Chicken Littles seems nearer the mark. Tony Abbott, the Chicken Little-in-Chief, seems unable to get a corpse in a coffin, properly labelled, within three months of its murder. In this way, the Murdochists proclaim, he has shown himself a true world statesman.

It is to be wondered, however, how long this numbering and naming of corpses, their embalming, refabricating and searching for clues, and their scores of separate onerous funerals will stay interesting. The thirty-seven children whom Scott Morrison has lately driven mad may more intrigue the television audience hereafter. The living have a future, the dead, it has proved, a more limited one. Abbott’s obsession with the latter, after spending half a billion dollars on a passionate search through several oceans for MH 370, may with his morbid picking over of the broken bits of this latest ill-lost Boeing win fewer friends than he is counting on.

I may be wrong about this. The western suburbs mày hail him as a Churchill, come to judgment.

And we will see what we shall see.

Recommended Reading

Waleed Ali’s piece in the smh today is worthy of George Orwell, and should be read.

The New Philippics

Hamlet, Brutus, Willie Loman, Hedda Gabler, Gig Young, Van Gogh, Socrates, George Sanders, Antony, Cleopatra, Stephen Fry, Mohamed Atta, Michael Hutchence, Petronius and the swaggie from ‘Waltzing Matilda’ contemplated or committed suicide and none of their doctors was delicensed. Hemingway, Hart Crane, Mishima, Sylvia Plath, Brian Epstein, William Inge and Hunter S Thompson topped themselves while possessed of no fatal illness and none of their GPs was punished in any way.

I myself have failed to prevent seven friends from killing themselves and no inspector of police has come after me.

No suicide these days, moreover, is illegal. No failed suicide goes to gaol. It is the subject of the two best known texts in our literature, ‘To be or not to be’ and ‘Waltzing Matilda’, and it is well known in many cultures. In ancient Rome and medieval Japan it was thought a noble thing. Among some Buddhists, burning oneself to death for a cause is still applauded. To be a suicide bomber is an ambition of a hundred million young Arabs and five million Tamil Tigers, who invented it. In England, suicide missions like the Dam Busters and the Cockleshell Heroes and the Great Escape were acclaimed by royalty, nobility and commons alike. Racing car drivers still are. The serially suicidal Jack Brabham was knighted for it.

So what is all this shit about Nitschke? He is no more guilty than Brutus’s friend Strato, who held the sword he ran on, or the solemn visiting disciples who did not seize Socrates’ hemlock, and dash it to the floor.

Give me a break.

To Be, Or…

‘I advised Prince Hamlet that it was his choice,’ Phillip Nitschke said. ‘If it be not now, yet it will come, I said. I told him he was a thirty-year-old adult, and if he had good reason not to have a sword-fight with the brother of a dead girl he had impregnated and caused to drown herself after stabbing his old father through an arras, he should not accept the challenge. “The readiness is all,” he said. And I said, well, it was his decision. He was over twenty-one. And the rest is history.’

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (9)

In what may become known as his ‘Archduke Ferdinand moment’, the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, swore to protect the remains of thirty eight Australians by putting fifty Australians in mortal danger. ‘The silliest strategic move since the bulletless charge on the Nek,’ said the esteemed historian, Trevor Wilson. Antony Beevor, author of The Second World War, compared it, unfavourably, to Anzio. ‘We did not send in eight thousand policemen to retrieve six thousand dead soldiers from Anzac Cove,’ said Rob McLachlan, the overweight Bathurst-based Gallipoli scholar. ‘We Scots-Canadians call that throwing good money after bad.’

‘The forty-eight million dollars this purposeless search will cost before Christmas,’ Sir Peter Cosgrove, a former soldier, is said to have said in a secret memo, ‘would be better spent on counselling the bereaved, or building a cenotaph at Mascot.’

‘Eet eez not as zo zere weel be any usefool eveedonz on ze crash site,’ said the Dutch forensic expert, M. Hercule Poirot. ‘From ze Black Berx we weel know if anuzzer plane shot eet down, or attracted fire from ze ground. From retrieved hand-towels, nuzzing.’

When asked how many missing dead fingers were worth risking World War 3 for, the clearly abashed Prime Minister would not be drawn. ‘Vladimir Putin asked if he could send in troops too,’ he said, moistening his lips and changing the subject, ‘and I told him where to get off. What do you think this is, I said to him, Russia? “Yes,” he said. Bloody cheek.’

It was noted that another plane might fall on his ‘diggers’. If that occurred, he said, ‘we would send in another army to retrieve their smashed and sacred bodies. And if they, in turn, died in their scores on duty, we would send…we would send in…’

Mr Abbott was led from the room, babbling and weeping, by a Ms Credlin, a very tall woman, who then, some said, winked at one Joe Hockey, who smiled broadly.

…Peta Credlin, quoted as having said Joe Hockey was ‘head and shoulders’ above any other leadership aspirant including her former employer Malcolm Turnbull and her husband Brian Loughnane, provoked a swarm of backbenchers to extol Tony Abbott as little short of the Archangel Gabriel in his wisdom, valour, physical beauty and probity. His leadership in getting bits of humans to Amsterdam had amazed and inspired the world, they cried, with a strategic brilliance comparable with George Patton’s dash to the Elbe. They predicted forty more years of his leadership, subsequent elevation to the House of Lords and early canonisation, then went out and drank heavily.

Scott Morrison failed to sue Sarah Hanson-Young for having called him a ‘child abuser’. This followed Gillian Triggs’s account of twelve new mothers on suicide watch being unable to put their babies down in ten-foot-by-ten-foot aluminium boxes immuring eight other people in summer heat and children with no ball to play with. If true, it meant any Sydney policeman could arrest him and put him on eighty times as many charges as Rolf Harris, which might then get him logically three hundred years in prison. It was clear the High Court thought he had assisted in the killing of other Tamil children dragged off other boats into the arms of their families’ torturers and found his lack of remorse contemptible. His failure to sue Hanson-Young, or admonish her, was an admission (‘Silence gives consent’), some thought, of his guilt.

Abbott’s repeated emphasis of how long it would take to reassemble mutilated humans and reunite them with their anguished relatives at various crematoria began, after five days, to show signs of incipient insanity. Among those aware that he also thought that most of them would burn, as Protestants, in Hell, he seemed insincere and bizarre; they thought Joe Hockey, perhaps, a preferable alternative Prime Minister. This was until they learned they could have had, a year ago, the excellent Greg Combet, and they went out and drank heavily.

A plane went down in the Algerian desert, and Abbott offered to assist with eighteen Australian parking policemen the French Foreign Legion in ‘securing the site’ from ‘contamination’ by ‘marauding Tuaregs with something to hide’. The commanding general of the French Foreign Legion, Georges Clouzeau, told him to go ferk himself.

MH17: An Exchange

Hemingway13

It might turn out that the real meaning of ‘Called to account’ will constitute a similar consequence to the compensation paid by the Ukraine government to the families of 78 victims in the 2004 accidental downing of the Siberian Airlines flight by a Ukraine military missile over the Black Sea a fair distance from Ukrainian territory (airplane was closer to Turkey during peacetime.)

Also this meaning of “called to account” eventuated, after an indecently long delay, when America paid “ex gratia” funds to victims’ families for the USS Vincennes’ 1988 accidental downing of an Iranian Airbus. Despite attempts by Pres. Reagan to claim it was an act of self-defence, the 290 deaths were finally compensated for during Clinton’s presidency. Reading the Wikipedia summary, one is struck by how closely the current Machiavellian American and the current Murdochian Australian responses to the Malaysian Airlines tragedy is a grim echo of the USA’s over a quarter century ago:

“The Vincennes had entered Iranian territorial waters after one of its helicopters drew warning fire from Iranian speedboats operating within Iranian territorial limits, after the helicopter violated the Rules of Engagement by getting too close to the speedboats. The United States officially claimed that the Vincennes was acting in self-defense in international waters at the time of the incident; subsequent disclosures would show that the Vincennes had entered Iranian waters and then initiated a skirmish with the Iranian coastal patrol vessels which had posed no threat to it.”

“…….the airliner was making IFF squawks in Mode III (not Mode II used by Iranian military planes), a signal that identified it as a civilian craft, and operators of Vincennes mistook for Mode II. According to the United States Government, the crew incorrectly identified the Iranian Airbus A300 as an attacking F-14A Tomcat fighter, a plane made in the United States and operated at that time by only two forces worldwide, the United States Navy and the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force. The Iranian F-14s had been supplied by manufacturer Grumman in an air-to-air configuration only and had no known anti-ship capabilities.”

To quote Mark Twain yet again, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”

Hugh Weiss

The day after the USS Vincennes’ downed the Iranian Airbus, Hem I was scrambling on to the then once weekly flight from BKK to Hanoi. The plane was an aged Tupolev TU34b still sporting the glass nose from its previous life as a Soviet maritime reconnaissance / bomber. In those days Hang Kong Vietnam didn’t allocate seats, so it was the quick & the dead. If you didn’t get one, wait until next week & run faster.

In the scrambled I ended up grabbing a seat beside a round faced bloke with an afro & a little pencil moustache. As I sat down, two big blokes in the seats behind jumped up to grab me but my new mate signalled them to sit back. My seat companion was apparently a VIP who’d been been boarded earlier. We started chatting about the news & story on the front page of the BKK Nation. Seemed a pretty decent, well educated, rational bloke. No political rhetoric or dogma.

As it happened John Button was leading the first trade mission to Vietnam & we all ended up in the Foreign Ministry guesthouse. Down in the foyer just before dinner, I was talking to a couple of Aussie when my flight mate & his entourage came down the steps & he came over for a chat. After a few minutes A convoy of bloody great Russian stretched limos turned up, one with a Libyan flag on its pole.

My little mate turned out to be the Libyan Defence Minister, in Vietnam to acquire a couple more plane loads of air defence weapons one of my Vietnamese contacts reported later. If you’ve worked out the timing, Hem, that’s about 18 months after Reagan sent the F-111s in to bombed Gaddafi’s palace after deciding he was behind that nightclub bombing in West Berlin.

These recurrent ‘incidents’ which end up being the basis for political hairy chestedness, accusation & counter accusation, followed by acts of knee-jerk retribution have a long history. The Yanks & Poms always claim to have definitive evidence. History usually ends up telling another story.

At least on this occasion, the US seems to be agreeing MH17 was an accidental shoot down & they’re indicating there was a basis for the error. That tells you a lot about how much the global power balance has changed since Iraq & the GFC. I get the feeling the last remaining war mongers are TAbbott & McCain.

Frank

I keep thinking about what a little old Ukrainian woman said to a sniffing reporter, after a corpse fell through her roof and landed in her lounge room.

“It was the day it began raining humans.” she was reported to have said.

Flat endless fields of sunflowers waving in the summer sky and above, quite suddenly, it began raining humans.

Richelieu II

A brilliant summation of Abbott’s and Liberals use of this event for their own propaganda and polling means. The ABC has run this propaganda line for the government for the past 7 days, yet the Liberals will still accuse of it left wing bias and call for its privatization. Good luck ABC it doesn’t matter what you do the Liberals will try to destroy you.

Helvi

Sick making…

Dali

And now the Governor General Sir Peter is flying halfway around the world to greet a plane (hasnt it already arrived?) transporting the body remains to the morgue in Amsterdam.

At what stage does Abbott’s hunger for personal kudos and political shamanism become ghoulish abuse of his own people?

Will there be a funeral parade in each capital city, 21 gun salutes and Mayoral speeches, with special appearances of the weeping Abbettes wearing white with “It might have been me” in red across their not bad looking breasts.

Do these innocent people and their families deserve the added injury of being dragooned into the political service of a sinking politician’s final moments on stage? The line between dignity and respect on the one side, and pomp and pastiche on the other is not so fine that Abbott can get away with this sham.

Shame on him, and shame on his pitiless breed.

A12 yr old vision impaired girl wrote to him to plead that the $175k grant to paralymic sports be reinstated after Hockey cut it, got this response:

“”I congratulate you on taking an interest in your system of government,

“We are a great country and a great people. One day it will be the responsibility of you and your generation to lead our country.”

I guess he was busy rehearsing his grief, while the inner politician was whispering ‘i love the smell of napalm in the morning’

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (8)

Abbott was shown to have colluded with Murdoch, but hidden from his party, his catastrophic Millionairesses’ Pregnancy Bonus before he announced it without consulting them. ‘Sometimes it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission,’ he chuckled pleasantly at the time. Its consequence, the likely destruction of his party and the axe murder of Joe’s Budget and career, he judged a small price to pay for his whimsy. It was approved after all by Credlin, who was keeping her eggs in his fridge, and that was enough for him. It would cost his party eighty seats, but hey ho, shit happens.

A report said all the children on Christmas Island were now mentally ill, and many mothers on suicide watch, in part because their babies had no floor space to crawl on. The children had been made mad by having no schooling whatever, and nothing to do. Widely called ‘child abuse’, these conditions were commanded by Morrison, our nation’s Child Abuser-in-Chief.

He was in India, where government officials responded with shock and loathing to his proposition that they take back from him the Tamils he had kidnapped on the high seas, and pay for their upbringing, care and old age. Morrison, amazed that he no longer has anyone to sell slaves to, may have to commit some sort of hari-kiri before the victims of his piracy arrive, acclaimed, in the High Court to testify against him.

Abbott meantime swore that he would leave no stone unturned until every sacred fingerbone of the Australian dead had been brought home for cremation. Two further planes were shot down over the crime scene, adding further dead to it, while his people dug up a field as big as Bathurst for vital clues, and Angus Houston earned five thousand dollars awaiting for two hours with sombre dignity whatever Australians had been thus far exhumed, though thirty were still missing.

It is not yet known what Abbott will do if any of his ‘diggers’ are killed by neighbouring gunfire. Declare war perhaps, on some country that is hopefully smaller than Russia.

Certain Housekeeping Matters (114)

I’ve completed my review of McDonagh’s Calvary, one of the best films ever made, on Ellis Gold. Those who do not wish to know what happens in it, should not read it.

Quiz Time (84)

In what film did James Garner glory in his cowardice before D-Day? Who was his co-star? Who wrote it?

Propaganda Studies (3)

‘Brought to justice’, a meaningless phrase much used in the comic books of the 1940s, was picked up last week by Julie Bishop, then quickly replaced this week by ‘called to account’.

This was because it had proved that ‘brought to justice’ was nowhere near as meaningless as she had first thought it was. It turned out to imply, in this case, that we hang Vladimir Putin, or bring him before a firing squad, or lock him up in The Hague for a minimum of twenty-five years. Or that we treat in this way some drunk teenage gunner for his part in what proves to have been an accident.

Now it is clear it was an accident, and airline officials and EU officials were equally responsible for it, she has reduced the ferocity of her language, wisely. ‘Called to account’, her new phrase, means no more than ‘interrogated, found wanting and spoken to severely’, not judicially killed. Not kidnapped by an SAS crack squad parachuting into the Kremlin and dragged in manacles to a show trial in Darlinghurst, which is what the rabid hyperbolist Abbott foolishly promised last Friday.

This leaves me to wonder what Angus Houston-we-have-a-problem is doing there, and what above two thousand dollars a day he is being paid for. Bringing someone to justice? No. Delving the cornfield for spare bodies? No. Loading corpses onto Qantas, two by two, and bringing them home? No. Praying over them? No.

I think what he’s doing is providing his name, that’s all, and its happy echo of Apollo 13, to an exercise in Abbottist propaganda, operation homebound feelgood, Biggles brings them home, Tony and Julie sort the Russkies, as he did when he was looking for MH 370, an unended soggy search which has cost us Australians half a billion dollars thus far and bids fair to cost us a billion more.

Abbott’s desire to wrap himself in the flag and the needs of the dead gets creepier every day. Why spend a billion dollars on a watery convocation of corpses that might be spent on living schoolchildren, two thousand dollars, say, on each of a million of them? Yet he is fighting like a scorched muskrat to take their money away; and spend it sauntering around the bottom of the Indian Ocean looking for scattered hunks of Boeing.

It is a good bit like the medieval reverence for the relics of the saints, and the selling of their pickled fingers and ears for a purse of gold in the fond belief that they will reduce one’s time in Hell. Abbott, who may be described as a Gibsonite fundamentalist papist fool, is unconsciously continuing this habit of his forefathers, and should be asked to stop.

Let the dead bury their dead, our Saviour shrewdly advised.

We have seriously better uses for our money.

Two Questions

What is Angus Houston being paid?

What is he doing?

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (7)

Tony Abbott said, ‘After the crime, the cover-up,’ not stating what the crime was. He committed Australian troops to armed participation in a civil war in Europe, then changed his mind. He seemed uncertain whether Putin had ordered a mass murder or merely supplied lethal weapons, like Martin Bryant’s gunsmith, to irresponsible people. He seemed surprised when the refrigerated corpses went to Holland, not Angus Houston, who therefore had little to do but potter about a cornfield looking for burnt bits of cloth and fingerprints. He promised a long agonising wait before the dead would all come back, then found a hundred of them were missing. He beseeched Angus Houston to dig up an area the size of Armidale and find them quickly, hiring extra shovels if he had to, lest wild dogs pre-emptively devour them, and so deprive him, the GG, and these glorious dead of a photo opportunity in the Federation Chamber.

Morrison told the Court that if refugees were captured in a particular part of the sea, they couldn’t live anywhere. Though himself the legal guardian of thirty-seven kidnapped children, he separated them from their fathers, terrifying them, denied them an education, and allowed them only three hours a day in sunshine, presumably without their fathers, who the sobbing toddlers probably fear by now have walked the plank. The High Court said it was worried about these children being so long at sea and Morrison was amazed and affrighted. He let go a fifteen-year-old stowaway, whom he had previously called ‘not in the national interest’ and ordered back into torture in Somalia, hoping thereby to show he was a good fellow and avoid, if he could, imprisonment in The Hague.

Joe Hockey’s book revealed he wanted the Budget to be crueller, and called Abbott a wimp for keeping the old age pension and allowing disabled bludgers any money at all. The book revealed he was mocked as a kid for being a fat wog, and ‘gave as good as he got’.

Which he still does, by the look of it.