Closing Time In The Burnt-Out Casino

Is the Liberal Party coming apart? Does it have a future? It would seem, in the last three days, to be disintegrating, fast.

A new Premier is forced to moot new rules that forbid it to raise money in the developer-kickback way it always has. Abbott is proposing to tax the rich, but his caucus won’t have a bar of it. Marshall has failed to win the unloseable in South Australia, and Napthine in Victoria, already ten percent behind, seems as corrupt as Hartcher, Obeid and Sinoodinos. Palmer has thieved three of Newman’s members and three of Giles’s, and Hodgman, lately triumphant, is already behind in the polls.

All this would matter less if the Liberals’ core values were something more than advantage to their donors and plush jobs when they retire. But we do not see that kind of Liberal — Fraser, Peacock, Hewson, Chaney, Puplick, Hamer, Killen, Collins, Brogden, Georgiou, Troeth, the elder Baird — any more. What we have is the Looters’ Party, individually scrambling in a pile of gold bars with their feet on one another’s noses. It is closing time in the burnt-out casino, and the chip supply has dwindled.

A good deal of it is Abbott’s fault. A twister and a shirker, a slippery fellow addicted to fibs, erasures and rewrites, he cannot hold a belief in his head for a day without dropping it as he scrambles over the fence with the Dogs of Truth pursuing him.

And his followers are frantic. They were not told what he was to say last night until he’d mooted it in the papers, any more than he told them he was knighting Howard, and Howard wriggled out of the honour like the cat resisting Pepe Le Pew.

This is a functional madman, a loaded dog, and they don’t know how to contain him.

In the next few days he will be spoken to severely, and he will not listen.

And we will see what we shall see.

Leave a comment ?


  1. “Howard wriggled out of the honour like the cat resisting Pepe Le Pew.”

    Now, THAT’S funny! :lol:

  2. If it is Peta who speaks to him severely, he will listen.

  3. Apart at the seams.

    The ICAC counsel assisting was moved to say that “there is no suggestion that the Liberal Party is corrupt”

    Such a statement is usually taken to mean the opposite.

    Isn’t it juicy?

  4. This is what you get when prime ministers think they are elected presidents.

  5. Abbott was never going to be a secure and appropriate choice as PM, but the party’s heirarchy were scared of Turnbull and their dislike of this much more appropriate former leader led to their second choice. Tony got the job by default. Your description of him is difficult to contest.

  6. Don’t squib it like too many of our media are wont to do – call a spade a shovel and a fib a lie. The English language needs all the help it can get, and that dog Abbott needs to hear unadorned and unequivocal truth.

  7. The Libs have got themselves into a pickle alright, their leader is a lunatic and the preferred alternative seems to be intolerable to half the party plus one. This obsession with the budget, as if it will be the event climax of the year and the cure-all for all the nations problems, shows a government bereft of ideas.

  8. I read the list of names of past Liberal stalwarts with a vague sense of grief. Even as I railed and rallied against them in my youth, there was also a respect for, or at least an acknowledgement of, their serving an altruistic purpose.

    Howard was the bridge over to the dark side, on the banks of which these jackals drool. They guard the toll for those who seek to cross, and ferry their mates across for the exclusive barbecue.

    Fortunately bridges do burn, and one day it will be just the Troika of Abbott Credlin and Loughnane left over there among the half eaten sausages and broken glass, sunbaking naked and bleary-eyed.

    Keep a close eye on Minchin would be my tip.

    • Dali: Here’s an odd and paranoiac thought = (well, paranoia is no stranger or oddity to me) -. What if the libs/cp are deliberately loading themselves up with compliant dolts, so that the party power, influence, strategies become increasingly narrowed into the hands of the few?
      I give you in evidence several NSW central coast mps, outed in ICAC, sponsored by the party, with a background of failed apprenticeships – house painters, etc. The coalition were not looking for brains when they backed and endorsed them. So what were they looking for? Grateful yes-men?

  9. Abbott a loaded dog, yes, it makes perfect sense, you could see it on Malcolm’s crestfallen face on the now infamous, ABC night of slander.

    Malcolm could do no better than roll out his (copper) razor wire, anything to keep something between himself and the ill fated canine.

  10. All who agree that The Troika is a most apt metaphor must strive to ensure that it gains wide currency.

  11. MH370 has been found in the Sea of Bengal.

    The supposed blackbox pings picked up by searchers in the Indian Ocean likely the work of a lurking British submarine.

    A perfect little Tampa pantomime played out to give the LNP plenty of free press during the rerun of the Senate elections for WA.

    Hook. …line. ….and sinker. Silly bugger Australians sucked in again.

  12. Once upon a time, long long ago, 1990 to be exact, I was in dire need. Not unusual in the rural world, actually. A prospective employee presented himself, claiming that he had once worked for the Frasers.

    Being rather out of my mind at the time, I rang Tammy Fraser to ask about him.

    She answered, with courtesy. She sought more info from her husband and rang back with it. She rang again when I was away and spoke to my children and rang back again to speak with me. She could not have been kinder or more helpful.

    It is this basic respect for nobodys, which is what I am, which impresses and influences me, and seems to have become a rare, indeed almost irrelevant aspect today..

    • On the other hand, John Howard reminded me of venal little schoolboys that I had known. Sly, slimy, cunning: knowing how to ingratiate themselves and align with the powerful, although weak themselves. I despised them in primary school, loathe them now. I always saw the essential weakness that was their core. Changing alliances and opinions at the drop of a hat, according to what was advantageous.

      Malcolm Fraser – John Howard is like
      Ghandi – Madonna.

      • Of course caning boys was commonplace then and often quite vicious. A smart boy needed a strategy.
        Which government finally pulled the plug on this appalling practice?

        • dunno, but I hade the cane bent round my quivering butt a few times :wink:

          • Like many men you minimize the outrage, the offence, the brutality against their boyish self, chris hunter. Part of being a man, wasn’t it. huh? That grown men had the right to bash boy children?

            As a female onlooker, I still feel traumatised.

            Get real. This was an offence. it was outrageous. It was criminal. It was appalling and damaging to generations of men, and we see that now, going on and on and on.

            • Aren’t I supposed to be traumatised?

            • I was caned at school.

              Never did me any psychological harm.

              Never felt traumatised.

              Walked out with my head held high, even with tears in my eyes.

              I was a hero to my peers.

              I never squealed on my mates.

              Never gave the teachers an inch of satisfaction.

              We used to pretend it didn’t hurt.

              I don’t remember which government outlawed corporal punishment at school.

              I suspect it was the Libs due to Felicity’s overt claims.

              Annoying women are never wrong and always get the last word in. Discuss..

              • “Never did me any psychological harm.”

                You vote Liberal don’t you?

                I rest my case.

              • Funny, Frank, weren’t you at a Rc school? Generally sexual kicks from kiddies came from a bit of the old sadism in public schools, a less overt form of pedophilia than in the RC. Same thing, of course.

              • I was strapped in primary school, had one teacher who had a variety of straps, one was a barbers strop heavy to wield and you would feel your hair lift and part as the breeze of its passing came down upon the palms of your hands. And then a pink raw leather thin strap that reached a greater velocity with lesser effort with a flick of the wrist and left a sting as opposed to robbing your hands of all their blood.

                Never flinched, never cried and FIK is right, where do we learn that macho bullshit so early?

                I remember there were a couple of boys, effeminate types who flinched and cried and we laughed and ridiculed them and I still flush red with embarrassment on thinking of my boyish cruelty and disrespect and asinine asides.

                Head held high, no tears, no dobbing, marching as if to war, compliant full of false childish pride.

                • Oh yes, we lads know it, us baby boomers born in fair isle (cardigan) times, shorts and sandals, the bible and a good honest larrup of arse leather.

                  At college we had a gym teacher who had two canes. One more like a club, short and bruising, I forget its name, and the other, Betsy, the thin whipped cutter, likely to bring blood through our white cotton gym shorts.

                  This man was a triple cross country champion of New Zealand and he lined you up meticulously, bent over against the wooden wall, and then with a few quick, adroit steps, belted into you with aim of driving you straight up the wall.

                  When my time came I chose the club and I ran straight up the wall, defying gravity, in front of the thirty or so boys assembled to witness the ritual.

                  Where was this? Oh, Nelson College c early sixties.

                • My heart goes out to you, stoic, brave little children, brutalized beyond imagining today.

                  Why was it considered normal, then?

                  My father went to Military School where degrading punishment was the norm.

                  Fortunately, he grew up to be a kind, gifted man who painted lovely pictures and never laid a hand on his children.

                  Such is life.

  13. Bob, that’s among your best.

    I printed it, took it over & read it to my dear old mum. Her comment “Hear, hear, Thank god there are still men like Mr. Ellis!”

    • Good old mum. Bob deserves a right of reply, nothing less than a gig on Q&A will do.

      Are there any in the Liberal party who would dare to tango with Bob? Would Abbott allow it is more to the point.

      • We’d have to get Tony Jones down & gag him.

        The prince of smartarse interjection derails many an argument the right doesn’t like.

  14. This article is part of the real reason Murdoch’s henchmen take any opportunity to denigrate our Host.

    Wear it as a badge of honour.

  15. Yes its all falling apart for the lying Liberal filth party.

    Hopefully once they are defeated and gone they’ll be replaced by a more centrist party that removes Thatcherite economics from our body politic forever.

  16. ‘A loaded dog’ gets me Mr Ellis. As does ‘he scrambles over the fence with the Dogs of Truth pursuing him’. Thank you.

  17. ‘Poem on His Ascent to Hell’ (Pat Bruce)

    The winter washes in like it always
    And we are awash with hypocrisy
    Because it is the only game in town,
    Take away the Commissions,
    Take away the corporate,
    Take away the ‘credentials’
    And what are you left with?
    A deceit of the highest order
    And broadest magnitude that
    No Magna Carta can tilt;
    This thin pungent air, Van Gogh’s sunflower’s wilt
    Aside all lame expression of half-hearted glee
    That does not demand of the populus, financially…
    The sky is falling yet the sky we were wrong to save,
    We are told;
    To price the sky was just too bold;
    Better to impost to resuscitate a being that never lives
    But grows (we are sold) if you are not feeling the blows
    Then you must be well off, or soon to be extinct:
    For a raise in the share price, the electorate just blinked,
    Better to go down in the water, than to raise one’s head in truth,
    Best to trust the earthly levy, than the one that bore no proof.

  18. *amend last lines:
    “Better to fall down with the tide, than to raise one’s head in truth,
    Best to trust the earthly levee, than the one that bore no proof.” ~

  19. I liked the thread starter.
    It has an synergy relative to a new John Quiggin thread I was reading about Campbell Newman and the New command or feudalist thinking abroad amongst our so called leaders, the New Sanhedrin, if youlike.

    Unnaccountably, my mind wonders back to QA and a young preppie couple, so starry/fish-eyed at the profundity of their new Goddess, the Tabloid editor with the funny name.. big sister, incarnation of Anne Coulter, we love you..

  20. “[It's clearly] Abbott’s fault. A twister and a shirker, a slippery fellow addicted to fibs, erasures and rewrites . . . ”

    He needs a good thrashing!

    To chris hunter, allthumbs, Frank, none of you mentioned why you were strapped, whipped, caned and belted? Where are the stories behind these floggings?

    Violence against children is easy if an adult is so-minded, for whatever pretext he chooses. They’re an easy target and don’t usually fight back, and so I’m pleased the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is doing its thing, and I hope people are brought to account.

    Apologies in advance, nobody’s forced to read this stuff.

    Floggings… another perspective.

    Memories of the early years are hazy, but it was less than ten years after war’s end and my father’s madness had ebbed somewhat, or so I’m told. What he’d seen on the railroad was off-topic and forbidden to be asked about, and in my mind’s eye, the young boy’s memory is of him brooding solemnly, seeming to dwell in a dignified sorrow born from experience and witness.

    So here’s the paradox.

    After witnessing and experiencing years as a Japanese POW you would have thought that he’d be anti-violence, but he wasn’t; not violent per se, just believed in corporal punishment if required.

    An early memory. My brother and I were set to with pail and knife and instructed to sit on the lawn and cut the weeds out. I’m about 4 maybe, a child, a daydreamer and escaper and I’m lost again, at some point, fascinated by the bees in the clover and the loveliness of it all, the hum and buzz of these yellow and black creatures that sting, ‘be careful’, I said, ‘be careful’, and the warmth of the sun on my skin and the bright clear beautiful blue sky that made my eyes squint when I looked up to sneeze, and the schism that opened up inside, after he moved up behind me, his four year old son, and kicked me, I was a football for a moment and I flew a metre or so through the air before the goal was scored.

    What madness drives a man to behave in such a way? I hope I never know. I’ve never reconciled how the image of a young child not busily digging weeds out of the garden could provoke a man, a father no less, to indulge in such damaging behaviour.

    He was, I must say, a good man crippled by his experiences and a failure as a father, in that particular sense of the word.

    He whipped me with a poplar branch when I was under 10, I can’t remember why but I remember him cutting the branch of the Lombardy poplar and stripping the twigs, deliberately and silently and seriously and not in any overt display of anger but rather as it it were a punishment that had to be delivered, such was the heinous nature of the crime. I was belted, strapped, by him at 15 for writing pornographic poetry about my mate’s sister, it was the last time bar once more that he hit me. The last time was with his fists, and the only time he did that.

    He contributed much to my distrust of mankind.

    There were others too…

    The schoolteacher named Payne who caned me at six for using school ink to sign my name on a boy’s cast, and again a year later after a fabricated story about a stolen KitKat saw me, the guilty party, and a friend I used as part of the story both caned for a scrap that never happened.

    The housemaster when I was sent off to boarding school, the only person I ever kept alive a sense of wishing evil outcome to, he who caught two of us out of bed and between dormitories with pillows at hand to engage the enemy, he who lurked silently like a moray eel and flashed his spotlight on us hapless 10 year-olds and took us to the Masters’ Room and stood us against opposite walls and ran from side to side like a madman with flailing leather slipper for twenty minutes, thrashing our poor arses. I wanted to kill him, when I thought of him in later years, but then I heard he dropped dead in the middle of a game of tennis. I met his wife some years after he died, at a club in suburbane Adelaide, and I was tempted to spoil her canapé and tea with tales of her no-doubt beloved husband and his sado-sexual obsession with thrashing young boys, but I desisted. Poor form and all that…

    At that college I was caned for possession of firecrackers in the prep school, and two years later in the high school for letting off a penny-bunger in a classroom, and also for skidding on the cricket wicket, inadvertantly, and gouging the turf.

    I was belted across the face by Polonius, my high school maths teacher, his arm fully extended and swung with force, bam, the bastard, no sense of humor, couldn’t see the joke the dumb bastard, the drawing pin on my best mate’s seat and I’m gonna tell him before he sits on it but Polonius spies it before I say the words and I’m whacked, the nasty bastard… bam, his maths book smacking me so hard I’m almost knocked off my feet, cop that, smartarse.

    I should have been caned over Chrome Dome, our bald Geography teacher who was a pathetic failure as a teacher and classroom manager and oblivious to my striding to the front while he paced from side to side across the room and sticking a notice on his back that said, ‘I am a fool, Kick me’, to the hilarity of the classroom of students. A passing teacher entered and dared the offender to own up and I did and was summarily removed and in short order was having a metre rule waved at me and being asked to say why I shouldn’t be being belted by this waddy.

    And so it goes…

    And that same teacher, the one with the waddy, with his wise ways and his knowledge of my home situation was the one who spared the rod to spoil this child, for he took me into the bush and taught me to pay attention to plants and birds and animals and to be sensitive to the life around me, and he gave me an escape from my burdened home.

    I don’t, to tell ya the truth, see a great deal to endorse in thrashing kids. Show me someone who says it’s a better thing than, say, loving kindness, and I’ll show you someone who’s so blind that their eyes can’t see.

    • Good morning Canguro,
      Why are you up so late writing?

      You slip through that portal and who knows where you end up.
      Sitting on a lawn pulling weeds.

      A wonderful story.

      Your father again.
      Think kindly of him Canguro; who can ever know the horrors that passed before his eyes?
      No man alive should see everything in the world.
      He would have preferred to pull the sun from the sky and extinguish it between his wet fingers than hurt his son,
      but found the former not possible.

      Think kindly of him.


      Late 70’s early 80’s suburban high school.
      Caning was as common as the meat pies in the school canteen, as common as the scores of smokers gathered in the bottom oval, as common as the blue biro ink that adorned the forearms graffitied with boys names and love hearts, unicorns and fairies..a simple prefiguration.
      We were beaten by the Aussie boys because our surnames confused and frightened them.
      By about 15,16, we had gathered into a ferocious, unforgiving, pack and were never touched again.
      Except by the cane and those pitiful men who thought to retard our growing self reliance.
      It fell on our young fingers constantly during those last few years and L. and I had the dubious honour of being the first seniors ever caned.
      We took it without a tear, and gritted our teeth till our jaw locked.
      Sometimes a blood blister would pop.


      Anyway, it was my son’s birthday yesterday. The night previous we were lying on our backs staring at the ceiling and contemplating the mysteries of the world when he broke off and we had this exchange:
      Yes son.
      I can’t wait to turn 8.
      Why’s that son?
      Because when you’re 8 there’s so much more that you can do than if you’re just 7.


    • Canguro,

      I had a similarly disturbed war veteran father but it was my stepmother (my mother died at 31) who was the real arch villain regarding crazy disciplines, my brother and I even had to sleep in bed a certain way, that is facing the wall, whispering was strictly policed.

      Physical punishment, beatings, food deprivation were a regular part of our lives and my parents were eventually reported to welfare much to their embarrassment. My father was furious and when our family received a reduced return of Xmas cards one year he blamed my brother and I for the malicious spreading of rumours. We hadn’t of course, villages get to know all about this shit.

      With regards being belted by the PE instructor at Nelson College. My crime on that day was not to bring my togs and towel to school. My knee was bandaged due to a bicycle accident and because I couldn’t swim whilst healing I didn’t bring them from home (private board). Not good enough – no excuse.

      I was strapped and caned all through my school days by a variety of psychopaths masquerading as teachers. Throw in the post Vietnam (veteran) experience and I would probably qualify for a Phd in suffering. So be it.

      We were the war children, many of us ongoing victims. The art of course is not to re-inflict the PTSD/brutality of that post Victorian period on our own children. I have not.

      Despite the uphill battle during childhood the war is officially over – for this household.

  21. Sadistic adults, wreaking their wrath on small children.

    Boys tend to cop it more, perhaps. When we arrived in Australia, we had to live with my devout Aunty who insisted that my sister go to the local Catholic primary school. So it was my sister who copped it from the frothing, demented nuns: among several creative punishments, made to kneel on dried beans for hours, for not being able to recite the Catechism in English … and too terrified of going to hell to speak about it until years later.

    The stories are all redeeming. Thank you for sharing them.

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