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Newspoll Versus Morgan: The Criminal Tendency Of Murdoch’s Numbers

In its most audacious fraud in many a long year Murdoch’s Newspoll showed Abbott’s government gaining half a million votes in a fortnight, the fortnight when he insulted the Irish, the Jews, the Aborigines, the United States and the Senate, backflipped on auto manufacturing and lied about submarines, and Pyne in a crazy shrieking outburst swore he’d sack seventeen hundred scientists if the Senate did not agree to pauperise all future students by Tuesday, and when they wouldn’t do that weirdly chirped, ‘I fixed it.’

A simultaneous poll by Morgan had Labor with seven hundred thousand more votes, on 56 percent, than Newspoll’s 51 percent. When Paul Bongiorno noted this contrast, Fran Kelly threw him out of the studio.

Morgan always gets it right; in Queensland, it said, correctly, 49.5 for Labor and ‘too close to call’. And, however Newspoll dresses up its mendacity — preference flow as in 2013; numbers ‘weighted’ to reflect the population distribution; 9 percent ‘refused’ or ‘undecided’ excluded — it can only be guilty, this week and often, of criminal fraud.

For it is not likely that the Coalition gained half a million votes while Pyne behaved as madly as he did last week; while Abbott said Shorten was like Goebbels and deficits for sixty years were ‘not so bad, considering’; while the Moss Report revealed that blow-jobs for marihuana had become the currency of Nauru and children were suiciding the, and S&M told pensioners they would get less money hereafter, and for the rest of their lives, precisely when they needed more.

But, like the Emperor’s new clothes, we are told by Col Allen there was no harm done Abbott that week, that fortnight, and the preposterous headline, TURNAROUND TONY, was thereby improbably, miraculously affirmed. And Abbott won back half a million votes. Does anybody believe that? Of course not. The emperor, O’Shannessy, is naked.

And the fact, pretty much, is what the Morgan Poll said it was: that the Coalition, in Pyne’s daftest week, and Abbott’s and Hockey’s most shamed one, lost three hundred thousand votes which it might not get back. And, were an election held on Saturday, Labor would gain fifty or fifty-two seats, and the Greens two or three. And no amount of shonky twisting and wrestling and mangling of numbers will get those lost votes back.

And so it goes.

ReachTel/Murdoch Tasmanian Figures False, As Always

Cheating as always, ReachTel finds 47.4 percent of Tasmanians voting Liberal, 23.6 percent Labor, 18.2 percent Greens and 6.7 PUP. Machines rang landlines on Thursday, late shopping night, while the Debate was proceeding, and got those uninterested in it, and not on a mobile, and not preparing dinner, or still at work, or driving home, and, sure enough, these underoccupied nonagenarians favoured the Liberals.

Similar machine-Thursday-landline polling in August by Lonergan, ReachTel and Galaxy had Rudd, Swan, Clare, Burke, Bowen, Dreyfus and Albo losing their seats.

Adjusting accordingly, therefore, along lines of their past error, and noting how well Gidding did in the Debate, and her support last night for a reopened asylum seeker ‘facility’ in Tasmania, I predict the result next week will be Liberals 35.2, Labor 33.4, Greens 20.5 and PUP 10.9 and a Giddings-McKim government, commanding 14 seats, formed by April 10.

That the poll would be taken DURING the Debate is a measure of Skynews’ frantic mendacity. Any later and the one in four undecided would have begun to decide.

It is time, surely, time these criminals were charged with fraud, and Murdoch immured in Port Arthur for the term of his natural life.

Murdoch, Tottering

On Sky News tonight Abbott’s first six months was trenchantly assessed by…his sister. She said she couldn’t for the life of her think of anything he’d done wrong except, maybe…just maybe…not having enough women in his ministry. The host, Chris Kenny, said Scott Ludlam saying he was a racist (no, he didn’t) and a homophobe (doesn’t want gays to marry, looks like he is) and going after unions (always has) was wrong, and a scandalous way to talk of our Prime Minister, he should show more respect, we all should show more respect…

No Labor figure was invited onto this programme, this half-birthday party, only a glumly tongue-tied Jack The Insider, itching to say more, showing how scared Murdoch’s getting lately. He does not any more have a dissenting voice on this show lest the landslide rumbling down on the government this week turns into an avalanche. After NDIS, Gonski, Broadband, Holden, Ardmona, Manus, Qantas, and now the WorkChoices ghost who walks and, oh yes, the cold war with Indonesia, the audible contempt of China and the UN saying we’re like North Korea sometimes there is no, repeat no, Abbott good news and Rupert, fingers in ears, is going la, la, la as any cult leader tends to when archangels don’t front and the seas don’t part, on schedule.

It must be hard for PVO and Kieran Gilbert and Kenny, who are not without intelligence, to endure the contempt of their peers and look forward to gaol terms like Rebekah’s but they must, like Faust, I suppose, take the rough with the smooth.

It will take a while but Newscorp by 2050 will seem as ghastly and silly as the Ku Klux Klan.

And so it goes.

The Twenty-Eight Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (235)

Brandis considered gaoling for twenty-five years Matthew Gardiner, a Labor voter, for fighting on the right side in Syria — twice as long, that is, as one gets for raping, torturing and killing a child — while simultaneously pleading that two drug dealers, Chan and Sukumaran, go free. In a similar moral confusion Dutton allowed Saeed Hassanloo, an Iranian refugee, to starve himself to death, for the heinous crime of wanting not to be persecuted in Teheran, and craving instead a good life in a free country, Australia. ‘He should have been dead two days ago,’ a doctor said. ‘The damage may be irreparable now.’

Newspoll showed Abbott as popular as leprosy in Western Australia, as AIDS in South Australia, and as ebola throughout the larger Commonwealth. In the wake of his party’s win in New South Wales it seemed he was looking at, probably, a loss of sixty seats if the 55 percent Newspoll gave Labor was adjusted upward to include mobile phone owners to 56.5. This would ensure the extinction of the Liberal Party within five years.

Rupert Murdoch, a Liberal voter, was shown to have stolen 2.25 billion from the Australian taxpayer in the past ten years. This would keep two hundred small theatre companies going for a thousand years on the interest alone.

The smh in its editorial cursed the Abbott government for refusing any money to the survivors of child abuse. This contrasted to the three billion given by Ireland, a smaller country, to its buggered choirboys and incestuously ravished farm girls. Calculated at the same rate, it was shown Abbott owed 4.3 billion he was not paying up, for fear perhaps he would be called as a witness of certain events on page 68 of his biography by Duffy.

The dying Hassanloo in grief took food and saved, for the moment, some last few meagre shreds of his one life on earth after Dutton cruelly moved his brother and carer two thousand miles from his death bed side. His advocates grudgingly noted he was now a Christian and a convert like the mad Scott Morrison to Hillsong, and he feared worse persecution for that in what Abbott once called ‘the Axis of Evil’ and had shown pretty clearly he would rather die than go there. Dutton told Fran Kelly, ‘We send back Christians to their deaths also now, in what you must agree is a fair-go, equitable, Aussie way. We are not prejudiced whom we kill after we decide who comes here, and the circumstsnces in which they come. And if they choose to kill themselves here, well, that’s their decision.’

He sent back sixty children to Nauru, a country the size of Glebe now known to be thronged with child rapists who had not been, thus far, arrested or questioned though it was well known who they were. He boasted that these lucky children would not be any more ‘imprisoned’ on Nauru, but ‘at liberty’ very soon in those few acres where the scum they had accused of assaulting them might lurk, and then come after them and kill them, and their mothers, raping them before they did so.

Fran asked him if he would send them back before the island was safe to be on, and he warmly, then sadly, then hysterically said he would, of course he would. He seemed for a moment in doubt but insisted, through tears, that by thus endangering blameless children he was assuring ‘the Australian way’. Shaking with mirth, James Carleton made him a cup of tea. Across the world Julie Bishop’s new application to be a member again of the Security Council was greeted with derisive laughter. ‘They are savages, these Australians,’ murmured Ban ki Moon, wiping his eyes, and falling into laughter again. ‘They have not even sacked from their employment the twelve men, some of them white Queenslanders, who murdered Reza Barati. Talk about laugh.’

George Williams, an expert on immigration law, told Alison Carabine a man who rescued his mother from an ISIS-held city in Iraq or Syria would be gaoled if he brought her here for twenty-five years and she would be ‘settled’ on Nauru until her death in forty years’ time and not be allowed to see her son, the hero, again. This, he also noted, was ‘the Australian way’.

Talk about laugh.

George Brandis said the matter of Matthew Gardiner was ‘in the hands of the Darwin police’ and he could not, would not, must not, dare not, could not possibly comment. He implied he might seek to commute his twenty-five year sentence for fighting on the same side as our Diggers against the ‘death cult’ DAISH, to, say, twenty-three years. Or even twenty-two.

And so it went.

What Happened In New South Wales

Some thoughts about last night, which I will add to as they come to me in the next hours and days.

Luke Foley was elected by the Lindt Cafe siege, and the coincidence that Robbo had spoken up for Man Monis, a constituent. This was a few days before Christmas. Had Luke arrived in August, there would have been time for us to have got to know him, and to have been attracted by his incisive and plausible way of speaking in rivetting, cogent sentences persuasively.

Why Labor stuck so long with Robbo baffles me. Why they elected Robbo astounds me. He both looks and sounds like a small-time gangster.

On top of this Luke lost a week of his mere twelve weeks as Leader to the dual distractions of Malcolm Fraser and another weird air crash, and it was the last week of the campaign. It was the week when Baird’s connection to a crooked Chinese company should have been the big recurring headline, or his friend Abbott’s theft of billions from New South Wales which he gave to Western Australia.

Stategically, Labor erred in following the focus groups and asserting, like them, that Baird was a ‘good bloke’. He could have been portrayed as a lethal incompetent whose goons shot Katrina Dawson thirty-two times, a bumbling klutz who wouldn’t let Man Monis talk to the Prime Minister, and come out, sated, with his hands up. They could have emphasised his opposition to gay marriage, his years as an inflamed fundamentalist preacher in America, his obliteration of TAFE and his lame pathetic echoing, in all things but border protection, of the punishing policies of his constituent, friend, fellow Christian and fellow Manly beach-jogging fascist athlete, Abbott.

They erred in not using the true argument against privatisation, which is that you pay your electricity bill, and the money comes back to you, in nurses and schoolteachers and ambulance drivers and firemen. Your money comes back to you. But if you privatise the electricity your money goes to China, and you never see it again. They could have said simply also, ‘In the next ninety-nine years, the poles and wires would have earned a hundred and twenty billion dollars. And these dumb clucks are leasing them for twenty.’

They could have answered the ‘L-plate Luke’ charge — that he was inexperienced in government — with the simple answer, ‘So was Barry O’Farrell’. Or ‘So was Nick Greiner.’ Or ‘So, when he became Treasurer, was Mike Baird.’

It wasn’t all their fault, of course. Luke was deliberately sabotaged by the ABC, who lit him like Vincent Price in The House of Wax in the crucial encounter in the parliamentary library (Why the parliamentary library? Why not a studio?) and by Chris Uhlmann who kept interrupting him. On the day before the election, he was shot side on and given two minutes, and Baird was shot front on, and given four. You could not see Luke’s eyes, a classic trick of diminishment known to every film school student. You saw Baird’s eyes, his best feature, very prominently.

The assault on him by the Murdoch papers needs no reiteration. At one point he was pictured greenface in a koala suit, and Baird in a racing driver’s glamorous costume, for the day when it was proposed he would bid for the Grand Prix, before it was discovered he couldn’t. At all times by all the media Labor’s anti-privatisation reasoning was denounced as ‘the biggest scare campaign in Australia’s history’. So the fairly mild-mannered statement, ‘If you vote Liberal, your electricity prices go up’, outclassed and outweighed, apparently, ‘the downward thrust of China’ and ‘Russia’s finger on the nuclear button.’

Labor is currently seven seats away from government, if you assume the Greens and the Independents would come in with them, and of course they would. They will pick up two more on the pre-polls, East Hills and Monaro. That will leave them five seats away.

They could have got these five seats, probably, had they heeded some of the ideas I sent to them. Foley’s office assured me were being passed on, but they probably weren’t.

One was a TAFE lottery; easy enough to understand. It would have awarded a half-million dollar first prize now and then, and banked ten million that funded new TAFE courses and kept the fees low.

One was putting back the Casino-to-Murwillumbah rail line. This would have won Tweed Heads.

One was putting a dining car on each of two trains from Katoomba to Central, one on each of two trains from Wollongong to Central, and one on each of two trains from Newcastle to Central, and charging ten percent more for the tickets in those trains. This would have taken hundreds of commuter cars off the road, and with ‘Breakfast Special’ and ‘Cocktail Hour Special’ and ‘Late Supper Special’ journeys brought more people back to public transport.

Another was threatening to pass a law that would bring down all rents on all small businesses by one third; ten percent this year, ten percent next year, ten percent the year after. This would be favoured by ninety-eight percent of the voters, and release tens of billions into other parts of the economy, employing more young people and keeping more small businesses open, like the shoe shop in Avalon that was being charged, before it closed, three thousand dollars a week.

Another was adding Verity Firth, not yet in parliament, to the Shadow Ministry, as Jodie McKay was, and Luke Foley. This would have won Balmain.

Would these ideas have won five more seats in the commuter suburbs and the Far North Coast? Of course they would.

The difficulty with Labor is, as always, limited ambition, hypochondria, and stinginess. Government is always four years away, and we shouldn’t rush, and we shouldn’t spend too much on advertising lest we waste it. Five hundred dollars more would have kept Verity Firth in Balmain in 2011, and we lost Balmain. But hell, we saved five hundred dollars.It’s a two term strategy, comrade. Best wait a bit. Best wait a bit.

How did we get here from there? Most of the blame lies with the Obeid-Tripodi-Roozendahl faction, who sacked Rees when Labor was on 45 percent and made sure that, under Keneally, we lost with 36 percent. A fair bit lies with Martin Ferguson, who, like Obeid, Tripodi and Roozendahl should now be expelled and shamed. He was in a Liberal Party ad, for fuck’s sake, and was a lobbyist for coal seam gas. He has no place in the Labor Party, any more.

Some of the blame lies with Rees, who could have displaced Robbo in the last year and, as a former Premier and a cleanskin, cut Baird to ribbons after ten of his MPs resigned under clouds of corruption. He could like Foley have found another seat, and returned to power universally applauded.

And a lot lies, of course, with Kevin Rudd. Had he merely consulted, and not been a self-embellishing twerp, and let the factions choose, in the Labor Party way, who would be in the ministry, and had he taken advice from some Labor Party seniors and grandees — McMullan, Debus, Faulkner, Kerr, Carr, Beattie, Wran, Keating, Whitlam — and some of the bright new ministers and parliamentary secretaries — Combet, Roxon, Plibersek, Shorten, Clare — he would now be in his ninth year of power. He chose instead to act like a frivolous, sneering tyrant, and here we are.

And so it goes.

And here we are.

Today’s Galaxy

Galaxy is usually accurate in the last days of a campaign. And it has Labor on 45, two party preferred, this morning.

But its presentation is different this time. It gives no ‘refused’ or ‘undecided’ figures. It does not say if its preference flows are as they were in 2011 or as they were yesterday. It does not say who the ‘others’ are, how many are PUP, how many are Christian Democrats, how many what might be called Windsor Independents, and so on. It does not factor in most Independents’ opposition to coal seam gas, or the sale/rent of the poles and wires, or Fred Niles’ opposition to the above.

It does not say, crucially, what difference ringing on landlines means. It usually favours the Liberals by 1 or 1.5 percent, because nobody under twenty-five has one, and most people under forty are out of the house.

So it’s not hard to see Labor’s base vote being 36 percent, and to add to that, as preferences, 10.5 of the Greens’ 11 percent, not 8.2 percent as they would have have been in 2011. That gets Labor up to 46.5 percent, two party preferred. And there are 10 percent more ‘others’ after that. A mere 2.5 of that 10 percent would show Labor winning.

We are told that Baird is on 53 percent as ‘preferred Premier’. And he may well be on that; Campbell Newman was on 49. It may be so. But we are not told why that figure is 10 percent less than it was a month ago and why his popularity continues to go south.

It may well be that Galaxy is right, and Labor will pick up only 15 or 16 seats and Baird’s teflon popularity will conquer all, in even those ten seats his corrupt MPs resigned last year.

But no party has ever won an election after privatising anything (Keating, Kennett, Kerin, Keneally, Bligh) nor promising to privatise anything (Napthine, Newman). And it may just be that the ‘mother of all scare campaigns’ has worked, and people don’t want their money going to China instead of staying here and buying hospitals and schools.

I find Foley’s optimism infectious. A lot of Independents will defeat a lot of Nationals, and there may be a hung parliament, and interesting times ahead.

Or…the Murdoch entity Galaxy may be lying in its teeth.

The Dead Perrett Scratch

Janine Perrett revealed on Skynews two nights ago how Malcolm Fraser groped, importuned and sexually assaulted her in and outside a cab in New York in 1986.

He was not around to deny it, though his wife Tamie was, and will be aggrieved I think to be told about it twenty-nine years later, just before the State Funeral, where friends will either ask her about it, or not ask her about it, and turn their eyes away in geriatric, womanly, mortified sympathy.

It is possible, just possible, that it did not happen, or what did happen was malignantly magnified. It is not likely a world leader would grope so unattractive a girl.

It is entirely possible he had a drink with her, and saw her protectively to a taxi, and kissed her cheek. It is very, very unlikely he would have gone further.

There is for a start the cultural thing. In Memphis, the girl was an American, and would not have known who he was. Would he so expose himself (as it were) to a media-savvy ambitious Australian ugly bitch who could ruin his middle-fifties and his marriage with a squib in the smh or a published story in The Nation Review? It is very much to be doubted.

What is more likely, I think, is a Murdoch plot to shrink the great man’s reputation posthumously, and so head off the allegations, soon to surface in Fraser’s interviews with Robyn Hughes, embargoed until after his death, of Murdoch’s central part in the Dismissal.

And so it goes.

The Thirty-Six Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (230)

Jackie Kelly, a former Liberal minister and Howard protegee, was portrayed as a crazed kamikaze pilot on the front page of The Daily Telegraph after she preferred Labor in a pivotal seat, Penrith, and opposed a threatened airport at Badgery’s Creek. TREACHEROUS EX-LIB MINISTER PREFERENCES LABOR IN CRAZY BID TO BLOCK BADGERY’S AIRPORT: KAMIKAZE KELLY, the headline ran, and a Warren Brown cartoon pictured her as a ‘turncoat’ and an editorial accused her of ‘disloyalty, treachery and vengeance’.

This emphasised, some said, the affrighted Murdochists’ rising Foley-panic in the home stretch of what seemed now like his unexpected win or near-win in New South Wales after Baird was caught red-fingered in the bed of Communist China, to whom he had promised control, for a century, of our electricity. He called Foley’s mention of this ‘a desperate distraction’ and, over his usual hot chocolate in the Lindt Cafe wept, ‘We will get through this. We will get through this.’

No such front page berated Martin Ferguson, the Labor Iscariot who attacked in Baird commercials Foley’s mild-mannered view that our electricity money should stay in Australia and be spent here on teachers and nurses. He was ‘to be praised,’ the Telegraph said, ‘for so gravely hurting his party; to wit, the Labor Party.’

In the smh, Tim Dick asked Bronwyn Bishop to resign. She was tremendously unfair, he noted, having booted out 319 Labor members and only 5 Liberal or National members, and having yesterday called a question on the debt-to-GDP ratio ‘not much of a question’ before disallowing it. To this Burke, objecting, said, ‘It is a brand new precedent if answering questions is now optional for ministers.’ It was, in fact, the first such ruling in a house of parliament in over a thousand years of democracy and a symptom of her burgeoning condition, dementia.

Geoff Winestock, a Liberal voter, called ‘racist’ Foley’s opposition to the Chinese, the Russians, the French or the Irish owning our electricity, and approvingly as well quoted Andrew Constance’s harsher judgment that it was ‘a racist rant’. AC did not go so far as as to call Foley a ‘self-loathing Paddy’ or ‘a bog Mick fathead’ or ‘a Papist pig’, though Luke, his wife and children were of Irish descent, but he came close. He bayed as well for laws banning unions from taking out advertisements in a democracy. ‘That,’ he grouched, ‘is taking freedom too far.’ He then after two whiskies abruptly bellowed ‘Je ne suis Charlie!’ and was assisted from the room.

Shorten asked Abbott to join his plan to build our next flotilla of submarines in South Australia in collaboration with whatever foreign company supplied the best deal and the best design. Abbott, who had last year voiced his admiration for the ‘skill’ and ‘honour’ with which the Japanese had sunk the Manly Ferry in 1942 (you can’t make this stuff up) was having none of this. He said, or hinted, he had already a handshake deal with our traditional beheaders, the Japanese, and Shorten was a fool to imagine he would change his mind. Thousands of jobs would go, and South Australia’s economy be ruined, but he would stand by this handshake, he implied, lest he suffer dishonour and be obliged to commit hari-kiri, as decent men must when placed in such a position.

Many thousands of those who were sexually abused as children were assured by the Abbott government they would not get any money, ever. It would involve too much complicated investigation, it was explained to them, of, say, how much a cheap feel was worth, and how much repeated buggery, and how much a year of enforced blow-jobs occasioning later suicide, or a life of drug addiction and early death. And besides, Abbott’s old school Riverview might not have the spare money to pay for lawyers for fifteen years, nor the tens of millions in compensation the traumatised litigants might then be awarded. And that would never do. ‘It’s important St Ignatius be spared the expense,’ Abbott is said to have said, ‘and Christian forgiveness go first, as Our Lord requires, to the vilest of men. These are my old acquaintance, and they deserve my careful attention, lest their evidence incriminate any more of my old acquaintance. This I believe.’

Andrew Laming brought flammable black liquid into the Federation Chamber, thereby making nonsense of the hundreds of millions expended on parliament ‘security’, and rubbing it between his hands appeared about to daub it on his face and, in the manner of Al Jolson, sing ‘Mammie’ blackface and then explode. Bronwyn Bishop made him say sorry, and suspended him from the House for twenty-four hours. He was the only Liberal thus treated under her tyrannous rule, though ten or twenty or thirty Labor members had been so shamed. News of her habitual injustice became known across the world, and her desire to resemble Margaret Thatcher, thought further evidence of her senility.

A plane crashed in the French Alps after nine minutes of radio silence, killing everyone on board, including two Australians. Abbott for some reason did not accuse Putin of blowing it up, nor threaten to ‘shirtfront’ anyone who might have blown it up, nor divert Australian soldiers from Syria to search precipitous mountains for two blackened Australian corpses, nor announce an interdenominational State Funeral in a Melbourne Cathedral nor a National Day of Mourning for these glorious dead. He did, however, continue to spend tens of thousands of dollars a day on a search in three oceans for MH 370, to find the which might take as long as the fifty years he was now prepared to take to get us back into Surplus.

He didn’t care. He wasn’t there to save money any more, he had gamely announced this a week ago. He was there to proudly run up bills and borrow money from the Chinese to pay their enemies the Japanese to build a new harbour and then twenty submarines with specifications they would keep from us lest we were ever in a shooting war on China’s side and they needed to capture and brandish the weaponry. He was there to proudly run up bills on social services likewise, as his mentor BA Santamaria would have wanted. ‘Seven acres and a mule!’ he began to shout randomly, and was quickly assisted from the chamber by two big Maoris and given by Credlin her ‘special tea’ and ‘settled down’.

And it was Turnbull’s voice not his that was on the final robocalls to undecided voters in New South Wales, lest voters recall who, amazingly, was indeed Prime Minister.

Other robocalls began to popularise a new pun, ‘Reds under the Baird’, referring to Baird’s unadmitted Communist Chinese connections.

And so it went.

The Twenty-Seven Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (228)

Cheating, Skynews showed only part of the ‘Star Wars’ Pyne sketch, omitting his beaming pleasure in the garrotting of a rival by the iron grasp of Darth Vader. Cheating, Murdoch published only the notional ‘two party preferred’ of a Galaxy Poll of some suburban seats, omitting the raw votes achieved by Labor, the Greens, the Independents, the Christian Democrats and PUP, lest they show Foley nearing, or nudging, power. BY A BAIRD MARGIN was the Daily Telegraph headline, showing Labor gaining ‘only’ 10 percent, not the 12 percent they might win with, forgetting thus the great Fred Daley nostrum, ‘When the swing is on, it’s on.’

Howard called Abbott ‘the comeback kid’, believing he would he would win back the 1.3 million voters he had lost, a world record, in only four months of power, and failed to win back thereafter.

Cheating, Ipsos-Fairfax rang octogenarians on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, and asked them to talk to garrulous machines. Eighty thousand of them did not, 1223 did, and they preferred Baird to Foley by 56 to 27, and the Coalition to Labor by 54 to 46. Those under forty were not contacted, being out of the house or on mobiles. Its margin of error of 3.1 percent, would see Foley Labor on 49.1 percent in a hung parliament, or winning narrowly. The Foley mantra, ‘Sack Baird, and sack Abbott free of charge’, might put him over the line.

Morrison restored the money he had taken from Rosie Batty and her kind, which housed and assisted women fleeing the violence of an angry husband or a mad ex-boyfriend. He refused to apologise for the violence, on his watch, against other women on the island of Nauru, and those on Christmas Island he had cyberbullied into aborting their children by shrieking ‘You will never live in Australia!’ on their radios and televisions till they booked the operation. He was sure none of this ever happened, and put his face in his hands.

He spoke in tongues on Sunday as usual, and came out of his prayers refreshed by a new, uplifting rush of Christian kindness. He resolved to kill fewer people this year than last, and even fewer next year. Another battered wife died while he prayed. He babbling beseeched the Deity to reduce by days, even months, her imminent millennia in hellfire. He had changed, he had changed, he was a good man now, and hour by hour he was proving it.

Hockey indicated he would cut money for the battered wives of the Solomon Islands, and Julie Bishop slumped in her seat and pulled a foul face that was emphasised and magnified in replays in the following hours. She was ropeable, and Cormann swore there were ‘noa sach plarns, or if zere were zey occurred ven I vos nert avike.’

A Morgan Poll came out indicating a 2.5 percent swing, federally, to Labor. It was almost certainly to do with Pyne, again, attacking the future of smart skint students and threatening to abolish scientific enquiry in Australia and sack all our Nobel Prize winners if he did not get his way. If the swing were duplicated in New South Wales, it might put Labor on 50 percent, and winning easily on Saturday.

It proved that Andrew Constance was trying to sell the electricity to China, or to a big billionaire of that nationality. This outraged what might be called the Hanson Cluster in the Western Suburbs and would, it was thought, if emphasised in television advertisements in the next two days, ensure Luke Foley was elected on Saturday. It seemed more and more that ‘Bambi’ Baird had run out of luck and his dad Bruce was dead right when he warned him, ‘Stay out of politics, son, you’re too dumb for it.’

Q&A came on, and a question about coal seam gas achieved such vast applause from an Easter Show crowd that it soon became very clear that every seat now held by the Nationals was likely to be lost on Saturday, and the 28 percent swing in Ballina was probably typical, not exceptional, because of a farm-gouging and water-fouling issue that was primal, frightening, basic and blood-deep. And it may well soon be so that the party of Sir Earl Page and the party of Sir Robert Menzies might both be extinguished soon, and the future of the bush belong more, in times to come, to men like Tony Windsor than singed bluenosed bandicoots like his loathesome successor, Barnaby.ll

Headlines emphasised the hatred of Julie Bishop for Hockey, the fat and greasy conniver of the increased persecution of the bashed women of the South Pacific. She pondered a Spill at tomorrow’s party meeting. As Deputy Leader she could bring on a Spill unassisted, and be, she imagined, she dared to imagine, Prime Minister by noon. She could then sack Joe and make Frydenberg Treasurer; and Abbott Ambassador to Kazakhstan, where his Borat-like behaviour would go unremarked. She could banish Pyne and Bronwyn to the back bench, make Turnbull Speaker…These heady thoughts overwhelmed her. She had a steadying gin. And then she had another. Immortal longings flowed in her. She began to make phone calls.

And so it went.

Today’s Galaxy And ReachTEL

As I suspected, a fairly honest Galaxy due out yesterday was held up, tweaked and fudged, and then revised and, let’s put a name to it, forged. Its actual figures were erased (Labor?  Greens? Independents? Nationals? Christian Democrats?), which may be a world first, and a figure, 54 percent to the Coalition, plucked — you might say — out of thin air.

An honest poll would say how many respondents there were, and what age groups and genders voted which way. An honest poll would say how many Greens and Independents there were, and how many of these groups this year were likely to ‘exhaust’, how many prefer the Liberals compared with 2011, how many go again to Fred Nile. An honest poll would say how many of the respondents were over sixty — only landlines were rung, amazingly, on, amazingly, Cheap Movie Night, Late Shopping Night, and Wednesday — and how many voters, those under thirty for instance, did not have a landline, and never would.

An honest poll with those figures would be on the front page, not page 4 beside a vast headline, LIBERALS REVEAL BIG PLAN TO SAVE THE SICK. It would say who the preferred Premier was, and by what margin, compared with a month ago, he was preferred, and how many this month approved his performance, and how many disapproved.

This Galaxy does nothing like that, nothing that is normally done when a poll is published; because, perhaps, the CEO David Briggs refused to put his name to it in fear of a shaming public trial and eventual imprisonment by Foley, Palasczuk, Andrews or Weatherill or their Attorneys-General for criminal fraud after he, or a Telegraph employee, or Col Allen maybe, changed the sample from, say, 925 to, say, 825, eliminating 70 Labor voters, the way you do.

It does show, however, that ‘over 40 percent’ (43? 45? 48?) don’t want privatisation; that is, ‘over 40 percent’ of them who are on landlines and are home on Late Shopping Night, and Cheap Movie Night; and 35 percent are less likely to go to the Liberals because of Abbott being a cunt, however likeable his beaming beach buddy Baird seems to be.

The figure which Murdoch’s man Col Allen is frantically concealing is, I would guess, 49 percent to Labor, or 50.

…In another part of the forest, ReachTEL, which always favours the Liberals by 3 or 4 percent (its method — of making octogenarians talk at length to machines instead of watching Micalleff — had Rudd, Swan, Clare, Burke, Bowen and Dreyfus losing their seats in 2013) shows, nonetheless, Labor on 52.2 percent, two party prefered, in Ballina after a 28 percent swing to it, because of its policy of opposition to coal-seam gas (43 percent of the electorate oppose it, 29 percent would like to see the farmlands gouged, and 17.6 percent are ‘undecided’); Labor winning Newtown comfortably with 56.5 percent against the Greens, on Liberal preferences; and Strathfield narrowly, with 50.8 percent.

Adjusted in the usual way, the Strathfield figure would give Labor about 54 percent, and that same swing elsewhere would threaten, this week, all the Liberal gains in the Western Suburbs. This narrow lead may then well widen, or not, after Pyne’s war on science becomes more execrated, and Morrison’s approval of the rape of children in his care more loathed, and Abbott’s boast of no more surpluses for forty years more ludicrous; and so on.

It seems likely, though not certain, that Labor will win on Saturday, with 46 or 47 seats.

And so it goes.

The Twenty-Eight Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (227)

Abbott, echoing the last lines of Some Like It Hot, said ‘Institutions aren’t perfect’ in response to a report revealing harassment, abuse, a form of prostitution and child rape on Nauru, and he shrugged as he added, ‘Things happen’, much as he once said ‘Shit happens’ of green-on-blue murders in Afghanistan. It differed, though, from his previous assessment, ‘Another Labor stitch-up’, when Gillian Triggs had reported similar deeds and his call for her to resign for having brought the matter up.

Of the trade of marihuana for blow-jobs, breast-exposure for longer showers, the buggery of children and the certainty that none of the culpable men would go to gaol he said, ‘I have complete confidence in the service provider, Transfield’, and was initially pleased that the death of his enemy Malcolm Fraser and the subsequent nationwide tsunami of praise for him had overwhelmed these awful crimes for a day or so. But he was thereafter annoyed to find that the headline scandals recurred, and people still found rape of children interesting though it happened offshore.

A ReachTEL poll showed a 28 percent swing to Labor in Ballina, where coal-seam gas was unpopular, and a tweaked and massaged Galaxy poll, the Murdoch-funded survey that was 3 percent wrong in Queensland, showed Labor on 46 but actually, after deciphering, on 49, probably, and winning, probably, though not certainly, government on Saturday. Foley announced interest-free loans for community housing, a popular idea, and another poll showed Jodi McKay, a corruption fighter, narrowly ahead in Strathfield. On average there was an 11 percent swing to Labor across the state, and despite the Murdoch ‘hate koalas, hate them’ front pages, it seemed Foley’s desire to prevent their extermination was winning some supporters. People were voting early in great numbers, indicating a Labor win.

Baird continued to call ‘a stunt’ Labor’s revelation of his crime of altering a report disfavouring privatisation to one approving it. He thus joined $inodino$ and Hockey and ten sacked Liberal MPs in the dock defending in the court of public opinion an impression of corruption, and he looked increasingly frantic, like a Peking Duck observing the chef’s approaching cleaver, as the big day neared. ‘We will get through this,’ he sobbed in the Lindt Cafe. ‘We will get through this.’

John Howard, a Liberal voter, said Bill Shorten, the auteur of NDIS, and the chief salesman of Gonski, ‘stands for nothing’. Nikki Savva, a Liberal voter, said all that people wanted to talk about on their doorsteps was what a cunt Abbott was, and how dearly they hated privatisation, and Baird was probably therefore likely to lose at least twenty seats, if not twenty-five, and government. Malcolm Farr, a Liberal voter, called Pyne a ‘nut’. A ‘Star Wars’ Pyne sketch occurred on Insiders, the funniest, some averred, in world history thus far. Farr said Pyne’s wild cry ‘I fixed it!’ was like Napoleon calling his retreat from Moscow ‘a slap in the face for the Czar’.

Baird at his launch hugged Abbott, and lost twenty thousand votes. He then hugged Howard, and lost twenty thousand more. Foley, enjoying himself, offered ‘two for the price of one’: if you overthrow Baird on Saturday, you automatically lose Abbott also on Monday free of charge. Octogenarians talking to ReachTEL machines, however, gave Baird a 54 to 46 lead in Monday’s Ipsos the same as Newspoll, a bit of a worry. It was possible, just possible, that Foley was not yet quite well known enough, and he would score only 48, and narrowly lose, and so it goes.

Pyne with a smug look told Chris Kenny (who does not fuck goats unless it is safe to do so) that he would continue, yes continue, to bring before the recalcitrant Senate his deranged policy of student daylight-robbery, and he would talk to the ‘ferals’ nicely about it, and he would buy them cups of tea, and he would send them chocolates and roses, and he would threaten them with the loss of their seats, and he would win them over somehow, and make them, somehow, embrace his wild, fuck-headed notion like a teddy bear in Brideshead. He looked, for a while, pretty mad. He then for some reason violently denied that he had said ‘I’m a fixer’, and immediately after he had done so watched with a dazed smile himself up on screen saying it, in the now viral item on Insiders, as famed already and as widely beloved as the parrot sketch from Monty Python.

It was entirely possible, some worried medicos assessed, that Pyne had early Alzheimer’s. The fury, the venom, the rage, the denial, were as much part of that sad ailment as the beaming, cloth-headed, oblivious forgetting.

It was further believed by many observers, though of course not all, that the Pyne university ‘cunning plan’, outscoring all others, was what the Abbott government was now most hated for: the Little Fixer’s bizarre desire to pass on to each member of the next generation not thirty thousand dollars of our debt, as Hockey charged, but a quarter of a million dollars of our debt, and the threatening of all scientific enquiry should the next generation not fork over that vast amount. This, above all, it was thought, was the smile on the face of the jackal, the drool of the rabid dog, the munch of the Pyne-faced tapeworm, which they had of late most come to abhor.

And so it goes, and went.

The Twenty-Nine Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (224)

Abbott said Labor would have got Australia to ‘Greek levels of debt’ if they had won the elections of 2013, 2016, 2019, 2022, 2026, 2029, 2032, 2035, 2038, 2041, 2044, 2047 and 2050 despite their manifest economic incompetence over those thirty-five years — during which they did not, for some reason, change their policies, and were somehow re-elected anyway. He then said the Budget would be back in surplus ‘in five years’ (Joe put his fat face in his fat hands) and the next one would be ‘dull and boring’ and contain further attacks on the universities, the old, the jobless young, the boat people and the next four generations paying three million dollars, including interest, for their houses. ‘And if that’s not dull enough for you,’ he shrieked, ‘watch out for 2016.’

He called the Senate crossbench ‘ferals’, then said he actually meant Labor and the Greens. Jacqui Lambie called on Pyne to resign from the Abbott ministry. Aware that he would utterly kibosh Baird by saying it, Pyne promised he would ‘try again’ to impoverish future generations with his infamous unregulated ever-inflating fees for university courses. The Sydney Western Suburbs were amazed to hear it, as they were to hear he would sack, if he found himself again in a steaming snit, seventeen hundred scientists, including some Nobel Prize winners.

Baird admitted changing a bank’s report from privatisation being ‘bad for the state’ to privatisation being ‘good for the state’ and thereby committing a fraud on the electorate of Madoff proportions he could go to gaol for. Pyne, hoping to do Baird even more damage, said he would fine all universities millions if their graduate students didn’t pay their HECS loans back, even if those graduates didn’t have a job — in the arts, for instance, or in the CSIRO which Abbott was bent on abolishing — to pay their loans back with. It began to be rumoured that Murdoch, who started out in Adelaide, had in those far-off days recruited the high school student Pyne as a midget Soviet spy, and he was striving still to bring down capitalism by doing the most unpopular things he could think of, every day.

Abbott abolished the parliament of Norfolk Island, whose democratic rule since 1792 had been, he said, ‘a failed experiment, like democracy everywhere’. This measure was compared to Yeltsin burning down parliament in 1993, and shooting the duly elected parliamentary representatives as they staggered out of the flames. He protested in his defense that it was ‘the only election promise I have kept’, but this caveat was not appreciated by the disfranchised peasant residents, many of them descendants of Fletcher Christian, who in an emergency meeting of their crumbling parliament called for his guillotining, in their quaint, old fashioned, eighteenth century way.

Morrison tried to lower pensions, and every three years decide by how much, but the ‘feral’ Senate crossbench wouldn’t let him. Lazarus said traumatising old people every three years was cruel, but he guessed Morrison, torturer of children and pregnant women and everywhere nicknamed ‘S&M’, was used to that. It was the twelfth major Budget policy to go up in smoke since May last year, but Abbott, who said, ‘What would you do?’ at Question Time to Shorten, flagged they would all be back next May, distressing the nation, and losing even more votes for the Coalition. This was if Abbott lasted that long, and was not ‘guillotined’ on April Fool’s Day after a Foley victory.

Abbott let it be known that if moves were made against his leadership he would call a Double Dissolution as a result of which sixty-five MPs and twenty Senators would lose theit seats and leave the Liberal Party ‘in the dumpster of history’. Some, however, thought they had an ‘outside chance’ of winning with such a counterpunch, others that those who predicted such an outcome ‘had to be on crack’. A third group feared that if, indeed, a DD worked, and Abbott like Netanyahu pulled off a surprise result, ‘we would still have Tony as our Prime Minister, and Credlin as our Perpetual Horsewoman of the Apocalypse, and the very thought of such an outcome was too, too hard to bear.’

An Australian, Sulman Rahman, was killed fighting the ‘Death Cult’ ISIS, on the same side as the Australian soldiers there, assisting the Kurds, who gave him a hero’s funeral.

Julie Bishop let it be known that if he had come home alive, he would have got twenty years.

By midnight, Abbott was pleased to learn an Australian had been killed in a terrorist act in Tunisia, and he now had grounds to send, on April 25th, an ANZAC force to war in that country.

And call a Double Dissolution.

He rubbed his hands together, chuckling.

And so it went.

And so it went

The Thirty-Eight Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (223)

Abbott was called a ‘focking eedjut’ by the Irish Prime Minister, Enda Kenny, in what Tom Keneally called ‘the least friendly message from Ireland on St Patrick’s Day in world history.’ Abbott, said Enda, had wrongly alleged the Irish got on the piss, wore green, and sang ribald songs in mid-March, ‘an unspeakable calumny’ for which he should be, Enda added, tottering a little, ‘thumped’. It was a measure, some said, of how closely Abbott was observed these days, and vigilantly excoriated whatever the fock he did.

Showing signs of hydrophobic madness, Pyne, his face puce, acclaimed himself as ‘the fixer’, though Shorten, asking what he had fixed, achieved no answer from him. Lazarus, ‘the brick with eyes’, threatened to ‘break him like a twig’ if he ever sent him chocolates or flowers again. Asked by reporters if he would take his policy of ‘university degrees at infinitely increasing prices, forever’ to a Double Dissolution, he blinked, and blanched, and said no, no, no, no way, no way, he had all his life ‘depended on the kindness of stangers’ and he was ‘sure there was one out there somewhere, someday, somewhere’, and batted his eyelids attractively. Plans were rapidly hatched to take the crazed little ponce into care, and a veteran butterfly-catcher was hired to entrap him at midnight and take him struggling away.

Julie Bishop announced she would spend billions ‘deradicalising’ Muslim youth in the next two decades, a much more urgent priority than rescuing and feeding the smashed and grieving survivors of the Vanuatu tempest, for which she had set aside ‘thirty-eight cents per Australian taxpayer, no more than that,’ she proudly announced. ‘It’s important we get ‘these things in perspective,’ she told the House. ‘By spending five billion deradicalising Muslim youth we may prevent four white Australians being blown up in Martin Place. By spending five million assisting presently starving Vanuatuans, we will ensure three hundred of them die, or perhaps five hundred, and this will in turn ensure the next generation despise us, as colonial oppressors, or bad neighbours. It is important we put what Ross Lightfoot might call the nignogs in their place. We have to look after our own people. Those lesser breeds whom God has chosen to obliterate, we should help on their way.’

Jacqui Lambie hobbled out of her sickbed and voted against Pyne’s bill, and ‘the little fixer’, as he affectionately dubbed himself, did a goosestepping tapdance round her as she hobbled out, and later shrieked a rap-song of his own composition to the parliamentary parking station, where Kim Carr threatened to run him over. It was thought by some he had become insane, though others more intimate with him explained, ‘He’s always like this, in these mad March days.’ Fran Kelly, a Liberal voter, warmly supported his deranged position, yelling at Kim Carr that ‘tomorrow belongs to him!’ till James Carleton, a good man, took her away and gave her a cup of tea. The butterfly-catcher stalked Pyne in the predawn hours while he took his run, and as he skipped by planned his next pursuant move, breathing calmly.

The Daily Telegraph wittily nicknamed ‘Luke Foliage’ the New South Wales Labor leader who, they warned, might actually win, and thereafter advantage koalas and native forests, a terrible thing to do. ‘LOONEY ALLIANCE!’, cried a front page headline beside a fabricated photo of Foley greenface in a koala suit and, on page 13, an Andrew Clennell story, Koala-Cuddler Foley Finds It’s Easy Being In Bed With The Greens. Luke Foley Turns Himself Green For St Paddy’s Day, he added winningly, on page 5. Greens are bad people, said the editorial. They are against uranium mining, think Fukushima a misfortune, oppose like 87 percent of Australians privatising electricity and ‘want to flood Campbelltown with koalas’.

This redefinition of koalas as ‘vermin’ was thought by some of the Murdoch insiders a ‘courageous’ editorial line and not necessarily a wise one but…’Gee, well, oh boy, what Rupert wants, Rupert gets’, glum, overworked Col Allen muttered, shaking his head, ‘even in his present, drooling dotage.’ Some thought his Chinese wife’s affair with Tony Blair, a two-faced mad-eyed Labour turncoat, had unhinged the poor old man. Others thought it was the revelation, lately suppressed by his fairweather ally Cameron, that he had been lifelong, inadvertently, a Soviet spy. Mere senility was not, it appeared, the actual explanation. It might be to do with the imminent centenary of his father’s greatest scoop, Gallipoli, The Fuckup. What had he done to equal this? The Hitler Diaries? Squidgiegate? The gulling of Bush, Howard and Blair into a calamitous lost war in Iraq? His fifty-five year service to the Soviet Union? His uplifting, in this cause, of the crazed hellcat, Thatcher? He wasn’t happy, that was certain. And he was taking it out on koalas.

Miranda Devine, a Liberal voter, said in her column that an atheist upbringing led children to jihad and suicide bombing. She was thereafter surprised to receive from some of her readership dissenting tweets and rancorous fulminations against her Christian faith. ‘Belief in God is an admission of mental incompetence,’ one said. ‘Religion is an illness,’ said another, ‘get well soon.’

Religion was a very good thing, Devine insisted, and almost any kind of religious impulse ‘on the side of the angels’. She made no connection between, say, a Catholic upbringing and pederastic priests who bugger children who later suicide after men like Archbishop Wilson refuse to believe their stories and empower the buggers to go forth and bugger again. It was atheists who were the evil ones, she insisted, atheists, who were, as a rule, the cause world-wide of terrorism. Not religious folk at all.

This woman gets in excess of three hundred thousand dollars a year, or one hundred and fifty dollars a word, from the koala-hater, Rupert Murdoch, who thinks her beauteous, Godbothering fascism ‘worth every penny’.

And so it goes.

The Forty-Eight Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (222)

Pyne after saying he would sack seventeen hundred scientists if he didn’t get his way said suddenly he wouldn’t, and scientific enquiry could now continue in Australia, albeit for only another year. Though any other Minister in the Westminster system would at this point have resigned, he was made of stiffer stuff, and he turned up jovially at Question Time and with beaming pink face acclaimed his own ‘deft manoeuvre’ and compared himself with Attaturk and Winston Churchill, two Gallipoli monsters he rather admired, a mere month from the centenary. Speers and The Choirboy covered their faces with their hands.

Abbott agreed to exempt journalists from his latest assault on free speech. Brandis implied this meant only ‘Murdoch journalists’ and others, like bloggers, would suffer the magnificent fury of the law. Credlin’s new nickname, ‘the Horsewoman of the Apocalypse’, was quoted a few times prior to the Four Corners program, House of Cards, which revealed it was the Liberal Party Treasurer Phil Higginson, a witty sackee, who had coined it. Julie Bishop, in her current radiant Joan of Arc mode, took credit for there being no Australians killed in the Great Vanuatu Storm, and promised five million dollars, less than the price of Malcolm Turnbull’s house, to that wrecked wet roofless archipelago in its worst wild weather extremity in a thousand years.

A Galaxy showing the Baird Coalition on 54 proved to have been half taken on Thursday night, when nobody young was home, on landlines which nobody young has, and to have redistributed all the Independents’ preferences to the Liberals, including those who lately voted for Windsor and Oakeshott, and those who listened to the furious anti-fracking Labor voter Alan Jones. The actual count, the expert Bob Ellis calculated, was Labor on 49, and winning narrowly, and Baird with his feet sticking backwards out of a glad-bag muttering, ‘We will get through this. We will get through this.’

Widodo continued to refuse to take Abbott’s calls. Word was out that Abbott’s people had been bugging him, as they had his predecessor, and were now blackmailing him, and this was why the drug dealers Chan and Sukumaran were still alive. He had been instructed to keep them alive, it was guessed by the smh, ‘until Abbott’s popularity improved.’ If they died before then, Abbott would reveal what he knew, or cause others to reveal it, and thereby ruin his political career. It was a plausible theory, given what Abbott, the dirt-filer, had done to Hanson, Kernot, Slipper, Thomson, Ettridge, Oldfield and Gillard. He was, it had been long known, a filth-sniffer from way back, and Widodo had lately discovered how diligent his lip-smacking prurience and burrowing nose had been.

The Four Corners revealed that it was Bob Santamaria’s Orwellian espionage unit the NCC that had written and posted the tsunami of affectionate letters in support of Abbott that had engulfed the Liberal MPs’ offices after the Spill, the ‘near-death experience’ that had pretty well cornholed his leadership. The NCC said he was worth preserving because he had ‘stood up for’ traditional marriage, and would not permit a conscience vote on gay marriage in the parliament. The NCC had served in the 1950s as a kind of secret police, and Abbott was once a supporter of their political wing, the DLP, and seemed at times to be that still; and to be, if the Widodo story was true, still practising their skulduggery, in the manner of their eminent predecessors, the Spanish Inquisition.

On Q&A Joe Hockey said, amid national derision, that he was ‘very reluctant to take money away from people’. A roar from the audience reminded him he had taken money, in hundreds of millions, from the ABC and SBS. But he had tried as well, of course, to take tens of billions from unemployed youth, scientists, teachers, nurses, doctors, old women going to the doctor and old age pensioners who owned houses in Sydney; and, more successfully, from tens of thousands of public servants he had caused to be sacked in every capital city. He seemed at a loss to explain how he had forgotten all this, upstirring old rumours that a maladministered anaesthetic during his stomach stapling had injured his brain.

He defended negative gearing, which had tripled house prices and ruined the economy because, he said, ‘if you do away with it, rents go up’. This proved to be wrong in every town but Sydney in 1986 and invited the simple solution of rent controls which he would not consider, this being ‘too easy’. He smiled a lot, and was charming, and his famous golden complexion was flawless, but he ended the evening with no credibility left. His case against Fairfax was going badly too. It now seemed the judge might agree that he was corrupt on the day, or very near the day, when he brought down his Budget.

Pyne was called ‘the incredible shrinking Minister’ by the Liberal voter, Fran Kelly; and Abbott, on the Four Corners report, ‘the worst Prime Minister in our history’, cravenly submissive to his gargantuan dominatrix Credlin, who seemed as vengeful and power-mad as the late Augustus’s consort Livia. He was thought by many a focus group member, the smh glumly reported, ‘an incompetent idiot’.

The Greens signed a preference deal with Labor in New South Wales, making it likely that no Green voters would ‘exhaust’ as they had last time, and swings of 25 percent on the North and Central Coast and the Armidale-Tamworth area were now on the cards, as never before, and a Foley victory near certain.

And so concluded another day of the worst free-elected government in the history of democracy since its invention, in Iceland, in 934 A.D.

Today’s Galaxy

Galaxy, which was 3 percent wrong in Queensland, today predicts that Labor will get 46 percent, two party preferred, in New South Wales.

46 plus 3 is 49, and 49 is enough for Labor to win with, in New South Wales where much of the Liberal vote is tied up in the northern suburbs, and the northern beaches, of Sydney.

Galaxy is wrong for the usual reasons. It rings no mobile phones, only landlines, though many, many people under thirty do not have landlines. It rings on nights when few people under forty are at home. It rings at hours when older people are more likely than younger people, or young parents, or middle aged people, to be home in any numbers. It redistributes Independent preferences, and ‘exhausts’ them, as they were in 2012 before Abbott had trashed the brand name and ten Liberal MPs were forced to resign their seats by ICAC snoopers and prodders. It does not, like Morgan, simply ask what those preferences are.

In this case, it claims that though Labor is on 36, and the Greens on 10, and the ‘Others’ on 10, there are none, absolutely none, of the ‘Others’ preferring Labor. It does not say how many of the ‘Others’ are PUP, how many Windsorite Independendents (there would be about a hundred thousand of these), how many Alan Jonesite anti-frackers, and so on. We are simply told that either all of the above prefer the anti-TAFEist, pro-fracking party, or twenty percent of the Greens do. Either of these propositions is ridiculous, but there is Andrew Clennell, proclaiming it gospel, the way he does.

In this way Galaxy gives what Murdoch, its principal customer, wants to receive. It uses the method which in 2012 saw Romney winning easily, and Newman’s LNP winning easily this year in Queensland, and the Liberal Opposition last year in South Australia winning office easily after twelve years of Labor. Its purpose is not prediction, but the creation of a feeling of ‘inevitability’ that gets the flaccid constituent wearily voting for the ‘winning team’.

The bookies, who are rarely wrong, were gulled by this method in Queensland, and were made to pay out at seven to one to those few who bet on a hung parliament, or Labor forming government. They are more wary this time, and in some scenarios are offering odds on Labor on five to one. This figure will come down in the next few days.

It goes without saying that Newspoll and Galaxy are occasionally dishonest — why else do they have CEOs? — and slavishly serve the will of Murdoch, even to the point of suggesting Campbell Newman ‘has a chance’ of retaining his seat.

And so it goes.

The Thirty-Eight Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (221)

Pyne said he would sack seventeen hundred scientists and so turn Australia into the Dayton, Tennessee of the present millennium if the Senate did not pass his plan of ‘limitless fees for universities, forever’. He told Cassidy he was proud of this ‘cunning plan’ and it was Labor’s ‘debt and deficit disaster’ that had made it necessary, alas and alack, to abolish all scientific enquiry in his native country until the end of time. A lifelong Catholic fundamentalist weirdo from what is widely recognized as ‘the Mel Gibson wing of the Church Militant’, he seemed again at one with Pope Urban VIII’s attack on Galileo Galilei, an earlier scientist whose views were inconvenient in the way that the climate-changers of the CSIRO today were inconvenient, and equally determined they be excommunicated from Abbott’s neo-medieval order of ‘seven acres, a mule, and Barnaby Joyce riding it, and yodelling, as Bob Santamaria, peace be unto him, decreed in his wisdom in 1952′, and thereafter sent into exile in ‘heathen America’ for the term of their natural lives.

Cassidy told him there was no way the Senate would let this nonsense through, and Phil Coorey said it would take ‘a stake through Pyne’s heart’ to stop him repeatedly trying to get it through. ‘He’s a determined little fucker,’ Coorey added, in his dry, rude way, ‘and mad as a cut snake.’

Baird was shown to have defrauded of their just compensations a number of female victims of crime, one who was gang-raped, and he slapped himself on the wrist and moistened his big brown eyes and swore it would never happen again. Hinch had invited on his new show the rape victim Katrina Keshishian and she did well, showing Baird to be a cruel untrustworthy swine. It was wondered how soon the Lindt Cafe hostages would say the same thing, after he refused to let Muslim negotiators in to beseech Man Monis to mercy, or to broadcast the small-time terrorist’s small-time demands and thereby calm him down, or let the Prime Minister talk to him and thereby calm him down. It was also wondered what he would pay Katrina Dawson’s family, given how niggardly he had been with Keshishian.

James Paterson, a Liberal voter with the blond, pale face of an adolescent Caligula, agreed with Albrechtsen and Chris Kenny that everyone should sell the family home and live in a lesser place in their seventies, eighties, nineties and noughties in a town far from their friends and never, never, never get a penny in old age pensions though they had paid taxes all their lives in the belief they were getting one. They should thus disinherit and impoverish their children, they eagerly went on, and learn to live on dog food in their late eighties, or work in Bunnings till they dropped. This was after Cormann had told them, ‘Dere eess noa vye, ebsolutelee nooa vye, we will mek oald parsonss sairl ze femmily homm, any moar then ve vill invade Mesopotamia, oops.’

Baird rang Kershishian late at night, said she was right and he was wrong, and scores of millions would go now to crime victims he had thieved it from, and after that fell to sobbing, ‘We will get through this; we will get through this,’ the way he does, checking his tears in the mirror, and refusing money to the Lindt Cafe hostages his rogue cops had shot with two hundred bullets inadvertently. A day later, an ABC news broadcast from Lismore Bowling Club showed he had lost three National seats he had planned to gouge for natural gas, and perhaps two million elderly persons who now believed, because of Cormann’s imperfect pronunciation, that they would have to sell the family home and live on dog food in cardboard boxes on Ballina Beach in their nineties. Baird was amazed to find, as Kennett, Keating, Kerin, Keneally, Howard, Bligh, Napthine, Abbott and Newman had before him, that ‘bad policies lose votes.’

The Murdoch papers concealed all polling of voter intention in New South Wales, the way they do, because, some said, that polling they had done showed, and massively emphasised, that following Hockey’s abject backdown on car manufacturing, Morrison’s brazen assault on the rate at which in future old age pensions would be upgraded, Abbott’s ‘lifestyle’ justification for ethnic cleansing and land theft in Western Australia, and the alliance of farmers, Nationals and Greenies on coal seam gas, Luke Foley was ‘winning in a walk.’

Murdoch proved to have been some sort of Soviet spy. The files on this were concealed by David Cameron, a Liberal supporter, and locked up in hugger-mugger for twenty more years. ‘In twenty more years,’ Cameron said, by way of explanation, ‘Rupert may be too old to put in gaol.’

And so it went.

The Twenty-Five Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (220)

The 7.30 Leaders Debate, visually cheated to assist ‘Bambi’ Baird, was nonetheless narrowly lost by him after he could not say where he would get his money from if the Upper House vetoed, as it was bound to, his sale of the poles and wires, or too low a price was offered for them. Peter ‘Malvolio’ Hartcher, besotted by Julie Bishop and girt in form-fitting yellow stockings, called Abbott ‘a continuingly dismaying symbol of disunity’, and ‘a demoniser in the service of the basest of politics’ who was ‘disqualifying himself from the leadership of a successful country of immigrants from every nation, race and religion whose future depends on unity and harmony.’

‘Bibi’ Netanyahu, a Liberal supporter, seemed set to lose power in the Holy Land. It was thought his murder of four hundred children last June had something to do with it, and the pulverising of a great, proud Biblical city which would take a hundred years to rebuild. It was guessed if he lost he would face the International Criminal Court and fume in the slammer for twenty years.

No picture of Baird, the racing driver, graced the front page of the Telegraph today like yesterday, his cunning plan to steal the Grand Prix from its rightful owners having exploded overnight.

Four ‘accidental terrorists’ who had gone to Syria to fight Assad and now feared ISIS would behead them and wanted to come home were told by Abbott that if they even thought of this they would get twenty-five years in Long Bay; better they be executed online, crucified perhaps, and their parents bewail them and their younger brothers blow up parts of Sydney in revenge.

The smh touted Foley as a man who might, now, displace Baird as Premier in two weeks, so well was he performing on the campaign trail with sensible, costed policies like more nurses, more paramedics, and a new underground railway to the imminent airport in Badgery’s Creek. The Liberals’ ad continued to attack him without showing his picture. If his face became known it was likely they would be ‘cactus’, or so their in-depth research revealed.

It was not known yet what damage Abbott’s plan to ‘ethnically cleanse’ remote Aboriginal communities in Western Australia and seize their holy ground and their sacred sites and mine them for bauxite and aluminium and iron would do to their chances in the East but it was thought by some observers that this latest blithering idiocy rivalled ‘Sir’ Prince Philip and the selling off of the submarines to our traditional beheaders the Japanese and his fellow Godbothering Manly body-surfer Baird would suffer for it on March the 28th.

Abbott appeared on Skynews at 4.15 and submitted to an interrogation by an unfriendly Paul Kelly and Greg Sheridan, whom he was at uni with and who told him he was a ‘nice guy’ uneasily more than once. He looked edgier and creepier than usual, heavily made-up and rigorously hairdressed, apprehensive and apologetic (‘to the best of my human ability’, he said more than once) and unpleasantly smirking, as if he had just got wind of a Julie Bishop-led spill on Tuesday and feared his days were well and truly numbered, and the next one, tomorrow, was the Ides of March. He squirmed, he wriggled, he tried to be cute, he pleaded; it was a repellent, yet somehow disarming performance from what seemed a dying man. It was clear the whole thing had been got up at a moment’s notice at his behest by men who were well and truly sick of him and did not think him any more worth prime time, and so relegated him to ‘the Saturday matinee’ time slot like the Hollywood has-been he was fast becoming.

In The Australian, Pamela Williams wrote a piece on Credlin as damning, some said, as one of Demosthenes’ Philippics. ‘If she was Abbott’s Praetorian Guard,’ she wrote, pursuing a classical analogy, ‘she was also his Achilles heel.’ She wrote of Credlin upbraiding Cabinet ministers at one end of a long table while Abbott sat meekly silent at the other end of it, referring to her now and then as ‘the boss’. She was, Williams said, ‘a gatekeeper with a cleaver’.

There had not been in a Murdoch paper an assessment so contemptuous of a Liberal Party kingmaker since the last days of Billy MacMahon. ‘And so it goes,’ she concluded, in imitation of a past commentator. ‘If the narrative was about a new adult government, that message remains on hold.’

The Minister for Reconfigured Mercy, Scott Morrison, worked out a way of paying old age pensioners much, much less without upping the age at which they got the old age pension. It was adjusting the pension in line with inflation, an always dodgy calculation since it did not, for instance, include house prices or rents, and not, as now happened, adjusting it in line with the average male wage or the CPI, whichever was greater. Asked if he was indeed by this measure striving to pay pensioners much, much less, he denied it, the way he does, and fell to speaking in tongues and was thereafter difficult to comprehend.

And so it went.

The Thirty-Seven Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (219)

Abbott again begged Andrews to build the East-West, and take his money for it, a billion dollars, please. Andrews said he’d promised his voters he wouldn’t, and, in his view, a notable contrast with Abbott’s, he should keep his election promises. Andrew Constance, the New South Wales Treasurer, a Liberal voter, said electricity prices would come down for ninety-nine years, but after that ‘there was no guarantee’. That was if Fred Niles let him sell, or lease, the poles and wires. Fred said he wouldn’t, leaving Baird with no money to keep his promises with.

Baird said he’d snatch the Grand Prix from Andrews, and posed in a racing driver’s scarlet suit on the front page of The Daily Telegraph. Many pages of this organ featured Baird, and only a small sneaky sliver, at the bottom of page 2, the page nobody reads, Luke Foley. Luke was promising cheaper rego and five hundred dollars for tools to trainee tradies, the which if it were known would win him the Western Suburbs. But Murdoch made sure it was not seen. Les Allen kept it invisible on page 2. This is what the Murdoch people do. They cheat.

So did Chris Uhlmann, a Liberal voter, who in the Debate kept interrupting Foley and let Baird speak unencumbered. So did the studio director, a Liberal voter, who when Foley was doing well cut to a side shot of him, and made sure the front shot had a vertical bar beside his face, which diminished what he was saying. Foley nonetheless narrowly won because Baird couldn’t say why his friend Tony Abbott had taken away billions from health and education, and wasn’t friend enough to give any of it back.

Turnbull toured Queensland, and was there acclaimed by Andrew Laming and Wyatt Roy, likely voters for him in the leadership Spill on Tuesday. It seemed more and more likely that Bishop, the Deputy, would bring it on. Editorialists were still reeling at Abbott’s mistaken labelling as ‘lifestyle’ forty thousand years of occupying holy ground.

Jake Bilardi died on Wednesday in a suicide raid, a form of capital punishment Abbott had no problem with. Yet he waited, sleepless, in his lonely bedroom for Widodo to return his call. Widodo was not keen to do this, lest this hairy klutz then talk to him for more than twenty seconds. Widodo did not wish to spend three hundred million dollars feeding and accommodating two Australian heroin pushers for sixty years, nor did he wish to feed and accommodate three Indonesian heroin pushers for four hundred million dollars through a similar period, and this seven hundred billion dollar expense was not attractive to him.

Nor was Bishop’s offer of three hundred million dollars for the heroin pushers of the first part which a subsequent administration would cancel; by Wednesday, probably. And whatever Abbott said, in his hesitant, havering, lip-smacking, lunatic way, of what Allah might in this case have preferred, peace be unto him, and what Mahomet might in a Koran sub-clause have hinted, mate, Widodo took no pleasure imagining. He would rather, on balance, never talk to this wittering fool again. There would be another in his place on Tuesday, surely. And he, or she, might have a better offer. We will take ten thousand refugees, maybe, plus two Australian drug-runners, and send back the three hundred boats we have stolen from you, or pay to replace them.

Following his New Year Resolution of ‘one goof, at least, a day’, Abbott offended the entire Irish nation and its multiplying diaspora by raising a green tie and saying it was a tie, and it was green, and this was the one day of the year when it was okay to be Green, ho ho, my little joke, and saying he was sorry couldn’t be there, on St Patrick’s Day, in Sydney, where he lived, or entertain any Irish at Kirribilli, but he felt like a Guinness, he felt like a Guinness, he felt like a Guinness or two, or three, ho ho, in the patronising manner of his ancestors, the English, for seven oppressive centuries of persecution, exploitation, famine, slave wages, bad jokes and genocide. ‘He has made more enemies than Cromwell,’ said a staggering drunk at Circular Quay, ‘and eff oi get moi hands on his t’roat oi’ll focking morrder him.’

The Liberal Party continued to put to air an ‘L-plate Luke’ ad against Foley, modelled on the ‘L-plate Latham’ ad of ten years ago which included, however, no photo or drawing or animation of Luke Foley. It was said their research showed that every time Luke’s face was seen, he won more votes. So they did the first ad of its kind in world history, of the ‘invisible enemy’. It was voted by experts ‘the worst advertisement, thus far, in human history, a Louis the Fly commercial which concealed the existence, and the appearance, of Louis the Fly.’

Baird’s bid for the Grand Prix was shown after five hours to be a hopeless idea, after Eccleston’s people said Victoria had it until 2020, and, if they wanted it, until 2025. Baird, who had already promised millions for a glamorous hot-shot campaign committee who would plan the brazen theft, was regarded by all who heard of it, including the entire Western Suburbs, whom it was aimed at, a fucking fool.

Lots of ‘accidental terrorists’ who had gone to Syria, become disillusioned by the lifestyle of the Death Cult and wanted to come home and be normal Aussie kids again were told by Abbott that if they did they would go to gaol for twenty-five years, that is three times as long as the rapist-murderer of a child. Please let us come home, they begged, or ISIS will behead us. No way, said Abbott, no way.

And so it went.

The Twenty-Eight Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (215)

Poll Puts Baird Ahead Two-To-One, a mendacious Telegraph headline asserted, over news that Channel 7 viewers called the debate 56-44 for Foley, and a ReachTEL showed Baird winning with 53, a figure which, deciphered, would put Foley, probably, line-ball on 48.5. The two-to-one was a vote of the ‘undecided’ audience, chosen by Murdoch’s grovelling pollster Galaxy, which gave fifty votes to Baird, twenty-five to Foley and twenty-five to ‘undecided’; a nice way of saying ‘a tie’.

Foley said if the poles and wires were sold off, electricity prices would go up, but Baird swore they wouldn’t. ‘I’ll put in a clause,’ he said, ‘requiring the purchaser not to put up the prices. For ninety-nine years. And I’ll send him a stiff note if he does.’ Much of the audience held their sides and rocked with unstifled laughter.

Abbott cursed the United Nations for saying we tortured people. ‘They should praise us,’ he railed, ‘for sending people back into torture who might otherwise have drowned — as hundreds did under John Howard while the Navy watched regretfully the SIEV-X sinking with all hands. Any level of torture is worth it, here or in Sri Lanka, to avoid those horrific drownings.’ Asked if that included the torture of children, including midnight buggery, he said, ‘Of course. Of course. You bet it am. Better some be buggered on land than others drown at sea. You bet it am.’

Joe Hockey, suing Fairfax, said his father had ‘cried’ when he saw a headline, ‘TREASURER FOR SALE’, which he had feared, poor man, was accurate ‘after fifty years’ acquaintance with my creepy fat cheating dumb son,’ the old man grieved. It wasn’t true, Joe whined. It wasn’t true. There was a perfectly logical explanation why Sydney property developers would pay twenty-four thousand dollars to eat yum cha with the current serving Federal Treasurer, some of them more than once, ‘but I can’t think, just for the moment, what it is.’

It was believed by some backroomers that the court case was an ‘inconvenience’, nineteen days out from an election, for Premier Baird, eleven of whose MPs had been forced to resign their seats and resign, sometimes, from their party, apologising tearfully, after ICAC had loftily accused them of ‘corruption unequalled since the days of the latterday Borgias’; one of them his former leader O’Farrell over a pen he didn’t use, and a bottle of wine he couldn’t remember drinking.

Abbott encouraged Muslim women to dob in their sons and send them to gaol for twenty-five years if they found them dabbling, online, in ‘the wrong religion’. ‘Every honest mother in Team Australia would unhesitatingly do this to her son,’ he said, his eyes growing wild, and his locution hectic, to an audience in Perth now fearful of their lives, or his. Reminded we were on the side of Charlie Hebdo, and free speech, and free speech included religious doubt in adolescence, he became suffused with an uplifted inner light and abruptly shouted, ‘We will now have The Two Minutes Of Hate!’ He was quickly taken away and ‘settled down’ with Credlin’s ‘special tea’.

He then came back shouting, ‘Block your ears! Just block your ears! Don’t listen to the Death Cult! Don’t listen!’

You can’t make this stuff up.

Peter Dutton said everyone in Goulburn Prison should speak only English hereinafter. This meant Arab grandmothers unversed in that language could not speak to their grandsons at all, after travelling hundreds of miles down to see them, but only, presumably, wave at them. Asked why the fuck this was, Dutton said, ‘The grandmother might be communicating terrorist plans to her jihadist grandson, or he his to her.’ Asked why the conversations could not be recorded, and translated later, Dutton shrieked, aghast, ‘By then it might be too late!’ Asked how this rule could be enforced, he said, ‘We seize the grandmother, and beat her, if she does not comply.’

Voted ‘The Worst Health Minister In World History’ by the AMA, he was now thought by experts the second worst Immigration Minister in world history, and gaining on Morrison fast.

Julie Bishop told Germaine Greer she was unwise to bare her nipples in her earlier years, and seemed glad she had no children, who might else hinder her mobility as Foreign Minister, ‘like,’ she implied, ‘the fecund, housebound, lactating incompetent, Plibersek.’

Marcia Mikhael, a Lindt siege survivor, cursed Baird’s rogue cops for shooting her two hundred times, and said the army would have handled the whole thing better, and faster. She thought of suicide a good deal now, after nightmares in which she was paid less money. She awaited, she said, with interest, the Coroner’s final assessment of Baird’s incompetence, due out a few days before the election, in which Foley was leading narrowly already, and gaining by the hour.

$inodino$ told Alberici he had voted in the Spill to get rid of Abbott, but since then he was ‘listening more’ to his backbench, who were likelier now to interrupt him in flagrante and tell him what a lying shit he was. He would probably last, the old sly numbers man assessed, as long as his poll numbers were okay for him. A Newspoll came out immediately showing him losing fifty seats.

And so it went.

The Thirty-Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (214)

On Skynews Joe Hockey showed evidence of brain damage by maladministered anaesthetic during the recent removal of ninety percent of his stomach, some doctors agreed. He said by 2050 ‘we would be all better off’. This included the one quarter of youth now unemployed, and probably unemployed then. It included those still paying off their 1.5 million dollar mortgages. It included those, in millions, replaced by a machine. It included women denied help by the government and murdered by their husbands.  He further added that Labor’s ‘debt and deficit disaster’ had not stalled Australia’s ‘record growth’, the second highest such growth in world history, ‘a record we should be proud of.’ He changed ‘debt and deficit disaster’ to ‘debt and deficit legacy’, to be on the safe side.

His policies, now on hold, could have balanced the Budget by 2020, he swore, but he was maybe ‘moving too fast’ and maybe 2050 was a better date. ‘In that year,’ he seemed to be saying, ‘I will be only eighty-five, and still Treasurer.’ Paul ‘Mogadon’ Kelly and Peter ‘the Choirboy’ Van Onselen looked upon his beaming daft sweaty fat visage amazed at his fucking cheek.

‘Bambi’ Baird said he would sell off the poles and wires only if Alan Fels said he could. It was entirely up to Alan, he added, to forego a huge wage and resign if he didn’t. He refusedto say if a subsequent Premier could sell the other half. It would depend on who it was, he said. He seemed surprised to hear that Keating, Kerin, Kennett, Keneally, Bligh and Newman had all lost office after privatising things, or saying they would, and that he might also suffer this common Australian comeuppance on March 28. He took thought, and changed the name of his planned crime to ‘asset recycling’ and, because it was only 49 percent, said he would ‘only put it in a little way’. Power bills would come down if he just did this little weenie sell-off, he promised, though in South Australia they doubled.

Foley promised to give back the money Abbott had taken off bruised women like Rosie Batty, the Australian of the Year. Bambi blinked, and went near tears. ‘We will get through this,’ he blubbered. ‘We will get through this.’

Claire Harvey, a Liberal voter, said she refused a kiss to a pederast when young but was ‘flattered’ to be offered it. She said, though, that Ian Paterson, a Liberal voter, was wrong to cover these things up in Knox for thirty years. Children have rights these days, she asserted, ‘and it’s a better time to be a child’ — looking forward to Pyne’s quarter million dollar degrees and paying three million including interest for a barely adequate house with wages from a job that he or she could lose at any time.

Abbott promised Bambi two billion dollars if he sold off the poles and wires. This equalled the two billion he wasn’t giving Daniel Andrews any more to build the East-West Freeway. When Foley won, and refused it also, he could spend it on looking for MH 370.

He continued to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars a day looking for MH 370 in a deep, tossing ocean the size of Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia put together. ‘It might take centuries,’ he is said to have boasted, ‘but it’s important we cover up for our ally, the US, who inadvertently shot it down off Diego Garcia. Billions are needed, I know, but they can be found — by denying the dole to teenagers for six months and forcing them to accept work fellating truck drivers parked in petrol stations outside of country towns. MH 370 forever!’ he shouted, ‘and I mean forever!’ He had to be ‘settled down’, by Credlin’s special tea and ‘deep massage’.

Baird was utterly defeated in a debate with Foley which Les Allen had stacked with ‘undecideds’ chosen by roving thugs from Galaxy, a loyal Murdoch entity. During the proceedings two Daily Telegraph propagandists, Devine and Clennell, accused the Opposition Leader of ‘sixteen years of corruption’ though he had entered Parliament only six years ago and immediately sought the expulsion of the criminal Ian McDonald. Every exchange went badly for Baird, a Worm showing Foley gaining on most issues crawled across the bottom of his face, and a vote, somewhere, was taken. The compere told the TV audience that Baird had won, but it soon proved Foley had, and the numbers were not revealed at the time, nor published anywhere for a day thereafter. Murdoch, bellowing down the phone, sacked seven persons, and the Ipsos ReachTEL poll of eighty thousand New South Welshpersons of whom a thousand took the call showed, after it was deciphered by the expert analyst Bob Ellis, Labor winning in a walk.

And so it went.

The Fifty-Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (213)

Rejoicing suffused most Labor insiders when Malcolm MacKerras predicted a Baird victory. Wrong 92 percent of the time, the daft old popinjay had this time failed to note that Tweed Heads, Ballina and Lismore were gone already though on margins of over 20 percent, and National seats were at risk everywhere because of coal seam gas plus Alan Jones plus poles and wires, and Abbott was killing the Liberal brand in the western suburbs.

Baird wept a good deal in public, the way he does, and switched his emphasis to law and order, then found Knox when run by his fellow Christian Ian Paterson was a nest of pederasts he might now have to imprison, and some of his own teachers at Kings were on a further suspect list he might have to testify against, including in a former generation Alan Jones. Nobody moreover much liked his part in the shooting with six bullets of Katrina Dawson, now a national saint, and the involvement of eleven of his MPs including O’Farrell in various levels of heinous corruption, and the many, many greyhounds being executed weekly for not being fast enough. It seemed likely, though not certain, that the Liberals, the Nationals, the LNP and the CLP were now doomed to extinction and many of their rising stars like $inodino$, Abbott, Hockey, Morrison, Brough and Pyne bound soon for gaol after Premiers Foley, Palaszczuk, Andrews and Weatherill set up Royal Commissions to probe their various local iniquities.

Desperately, the Murdochists tried to pretend Abbott, now 57, was a changed man who, after going back on the co-payment, the Billionairesses’ Baby Bonus, the submarines, the ABC, SBS and his reduced assistance to Aborigines and battered wives like Rosie Batty could be trusted never to change his mind again. ‘He’s changed,’ they asserted. ‘Though older than Julius Caesar ever got to be, he’s beginning to learn the rudiments. He’s learned his lesson. He’s changed. And he’ll never change again.’

He will however ‘have to persuade the public,’ Paul Kelly droned, that ‘our best days are ahead of us’ if we ‘live within our means’; that is he can get us back into surplus in the lifetime of Wyatt Roy’s great-grandchildren if the weather doesn’t get any worse and ISIL doesn’t buy any long range drones and blow up Martin Place and St Mary’s Cathedral and Kirribili House and Joe stays in office till he’s a hundred and fifty and no-one gets the old age pension till they’re ninety. The political alternative, that taxes go up by two percent, and five percent for the very rich, and interest made from superannuation isn’t tax-deductible would be, the old bore continued, ‘disastrous’.

On the same page Dennis Shanahan praised Abbott for going back on thirty of his broken promises including sending the New Anzacs off to conquer Mesopotamia on reduced pay and calling Peter Dutton ‘dead, buried and cremated’ and thus showing he was ‘less dogged’ and ‘more flexible’; a year, perhaps, too late. The senile Gerard Henderson did not appear in his usual space and it was rumoured that ‘a disgusted nun’ at St Vincent’s had turned off his life-support after he had, for the fifth night, confessed in a groaning dream his oft-consummated love for ‘Bob’ and ‘Dan’ and their frequent threesomes in the 1950s and there would be ‘a quiet cremation’ attended by ‘his three friends’.

…This rumour proved false. Gerard turned up alive on page 17 accusing Mark Scott of being a board member of Knox and there concealing ‘a nest of pederasty’ whilst his heathen organisation, the ABC, had gone after George Pell, ‘one of the best known Australians’, for concealing pederasty in scores of Catholic buildings in Australia over two millennia. ‘This is a double standard,’ he railed. ‘Pederasty has been covered up for thirteen hundred years in various Catholic institutions but in Knox, alas, for only thirty. I call on Chairman Jim Spigelman to apologise for this disproportion in his predecessors and yes, yes, yes, overthrow the Protestant slimeball Scott at the next board meeting.’ Spigelman, a Jew, answered wittily that ‘Mine is not an Apostolic succession.’ It is rumoured that Gerard had at this point a ‘small but significant cardiac episode’ and the nuns thereafter had been ‘doing our best to keep the poor man comfortable, but ah, begorrah, he’s fading fast.’

Warren Truss denied his government was calling off the search for MH 370 after not finding anything in three oceans in a year of relentless underwater probing and shovelling. ‘The half billion we’ve spent was worth it,’ he said, ‘and we hope, in the next year, to spend half a billion more.’ Asked if he believed that it was in fact a US fuckwit on Diego Garcia who had shot it down in mistake for a Russian missile, he said, ‘Well, that’s the first I’ve heard of it. But Tony never tells me anything. Excuse me, won’t you, I do believe that it’s time for my afternoon lie down.’

Laurie Oakes, destroyer of Whitlam and Gillard, said leaks like the ones that he had been for fifty years famed for must now stop and Abbott must be given ‘several months at least’ to regain the two million voters who hated his big lies, policy twitches, needless wars, apparent ongoing adultery and patches — like Prince Phillip’s new title — of stark lunacy. He then praised Hockey for dumping those policies that would have got us back into surplus in two decades, not five, at the same party meeting where he conclusively proved the need for them, and cursed as ‘fiscal suicide bombers’ Howard and Costello for squandering on tax cuts for the middle class good money when we had it which we could surely use now, and spend on maintaining a civilisation.

ReachTEL showed a swing to Labor of 18 percent in the Northern Territory.

And so it went.

Today’s Ipsos and Newspoll

Ipsos machines rang 80,000 voters, 1400 of whom did not hang up, on landlines which 12 percent of voters do not have, on summer nights when few under sixty were at home, and showed the Coalition on 49 and ‘closing’; that is, losing twenty-four seats not fifty.

The Palmer votes, redistributed to the Liberals, were 2 percent of this figure, and 6 percent of the ‘others’, as they were in 2013. But Palmer now favoured Labor, and the coal-seam gas threat in the regions moved many Independents’ preferences away from the Coalition. Adjusted accordingly, this meant Labor was on 55, probably, close to what Morgan, the always accurate poll, showed last week, to wit, 56.

Newspoll, a Murdoch-driven pack of lies, with data ‘weighted to reflect the population distribution of NSW’ (you bet it was), rang landlines also, and redistributed preferences in the same ancient way, and admitted ‘a maximum sampling error of 3 percentage points’ (you bet it did). Nonetheless it showed Labor ahead 45 to 36 on health, 46 to 36 on education, and 37 to 24 on climate change, indicating, in NSW, a probable narrow Labor win, or something close to it.

This outcome was supported by John Black, of Australian Development Strategies, who in The Australian recalled Newman’s LNP being on 53 at this stage in his election campaign and on 49 when he lost government three weeks later, and his seat. Black predicted a hung parliament and a Labor-Green coalition government on March 28.

These polls nonetheless prevented a challenge to Abbott this week, which helped Foley mightily. A ‘send a message to Abbott’ campaign was now in order.

A late Ipsos ‘adjustment’, not in the papers, asked Green, Independent and Palmer voters, what their preferences actually were — now, not in 2013 — and then showed Labor on 52 percent, with 130,000 more votes than the headline.

And so it went.

The Forty-Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (209)

Newspoll, the inaccurate one, showed Labor on 46 in New South Wales. Redistributing Green preferences and Independents and Christian Democrats as they were in 2011 and not as they are now, leaning more Labor’s way, and ringing only landlines though no-one under thirty has one, and cravenly obeying Murdoch’s fumed commands on Skype, Newspoll reduced an election-winning 49 to 46, and did so before the Debate, in which Baird said there was ‘no Plan B’ for finding the money the Upper House won’t give him, and their permission to sell the poles and wires. The accurate poll Morgan showed Labor 0.6 percent away from winning only four hours before.

No apology for the headline ‘WE NEED YOU, TONY!’ appeared in the Daily Telegraph. There occurred instead in The Australian an editorial demanding Abbott stay on. ‘He can change for the better,’ it explained (you can’t make this stuff up), though ‘his personal flaws are at the centre of the present dysfunction.’ The ‘aggressive, tight, commando-style approach’ that worked well in Opposition was now at the heart of the Government’s ‘crumbling’, it went on, ‘and if he cannot fathom the true nature of his problem, he is doomed.’ Time was running out for him, it concluded, and ‘gestures just won’t cut it.’ He must sever himself from Credlin, sack Hockey, make Turnbull Treasurer, give up ‘three word slogans’, have a ‘mature debate on economic reform’, and ‘make a better fist of basic politics.’ If he does all that, he can stay on forever, and be Prime Minister in 2031.

You can’t make this stuff up. PVO (the Choirboy) advised in detail Malcolm Turnbull, his enemy, on what he must now do: give up gay marriage, embrace the Monarchy, develop the North, befriend his assassin Andrew Robb, make S&M Treasurer, keep Julie Bishop though she ratted on him last time as Deputy, make Craig Laundy Chief Whip, and put the accused embezzling bribe-taker $inodino$ in charge of policy. Turnbull must listen to this fine man, the Choirboy blithered, and accompany him, if need be, to gaol and share his cell.

You can’t make this stuff up.

S&M called ‘political bed-wetting’ his allies’ efforts to make him Treasurer, and a Daily Telegraph editorial bade them leave ‘the bickering and backstabbing to Labor’; then, in what I suppose was a farewell bicker and backstab, swore Triggs was ‘partisan’ and she must ‘walk the plank’. Please, please, don’t let Bambi lose, it gloomily, soulfully added. Don’t shoot Bambi. Please.

Jokowi said Abbott had lied about their conversation, and he he was not ‘carefully considering’ a pardon for the drug dealers. Abbott went to the cricket in Auckland and watched Australia being ignominiously beaten by New Zealand. Abbott’s Confessor Pell, a Liberal voter, was upbraided by the Pope for ‘extravagance’. Abbott hinted he might drop the GP co-payment altogether, and planned with Keys a war with a foe that might crucify and behead a good few Diggers, and mightily lose any battle they fought without a million US grunts at their back.

Baird said Abbott would be ‘welcome’ in his campaign, though internal Federal ructions were ‘never helpful’.

Abbott lost 120 votes an hour through Saturday, and Baird in osmotic sympathy lost 80 of them also, Antony Green calculated. ‘Labor has no Plan A,’ Bambi bleated; though ‘not privatising anything’ might count as one, some said, and restoring TAFE, and health funding, and universities. Like Abbott he did not realise the Liberals’ adventure was ending, and, like the UAP and the Democrats, was already pretty much in history’s dustbin with its feet sticking up, and would never be seen again, like Nooman’s LNP, and the Katter Party.

And PVO (the Choirboy) who a year ago said the Australian map would be soon ‘all blue’ was looking now at a red Queensland, a red New South Wales, a red Victoria and a red South Australia and considering the hourly shrinking limits of his future. He might serve, perhaps, more fruitfully hereinafter, as a disc jockey in Broome. Or a born-again junior cleric in the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the faith he came from.

Time slowed down, and the nation went into a stretched long moment of suspense, as it did in the last three overs of the cricket in Auckland, and for once the sluggardly epithet ‘slow-motion train wreck’ seemed appropriate.

And the questions multiplied. What would Joe Hockey, backbencher, do? What would Bronwyn Bishop, backbencher, do? With what unctious, lavish, dim-witted kindnesses would Morrison, Treasurer, strive to woo the Senate? How would Julie Bishop like her demotion to Minister for Women, and the mutinous, ropeable Turnbullite Wyatt Roy his sudden ascension to Foreign Affairs? Would Bronwyn get her own show on Skynews, alongside Hinch? Would Abbott upgrade himself, at the last moment, while resigning, to the House of Lords?

Or would he call a Double Dissolution, and like Samson bring down the whole shebang on his own head?

What would become of us all?

And so it went.

The Twenty-Nine Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (208)

Ray Hadley, a Liberal voter, cursed Gillian Triggs for ‘getting political’. On the same page Simon Benson, a Liberal voter, said ‘everything is political’, including, it seemed, the repeated anal rape of children undefended by their Minister and guardian, Scott Morrison. On this one page we saw an instance of the swelling moral confusion of the Liberal Party.

Joe Hockey, the Liberals’ lame-duck Treasurer, foreboded a ‘good news Budget’, which would miraculously emerge, he said, from the addled egg of a ‘debt and deficit disaster’ and ‘the mess Labor left us’, made worse by the Senate’s intransigence; a good news Budget, he said, poof, shazam, out of nowhere.

Tony Abbott, the Liberals’ lame-duck Prime Minister, proposed a ‘new ANZAC force’ instructing in Iraq a few hundred fearful Shi-ites how to take Mosul, a great city, in the biggest battle since Berlin ’45, which it took in that year five million Russians to subdue, against an enemy that would behead and crucify them and reduce with jackhammers to chunks of marble the beautiful winged lions of Assyrian antiquity. Paul Murray agreed with Abbott that this was a good idea, though eighty percent of Australians were revolted by it, and several Anzac miniseries, about a campaign in which more men died than in Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Dresden put together, suggested they were right to be.

Abbott would be out of the country for the weekend, during which it was predicted his vote would drop to ten.

The Liberals’ lame-duck Education Minister, Christopher Pyne, told Albo, who laughed uproariously, that next Tuesday’s Spill would not take place. Fran Kelly, a Liberal voter, agreed with him, it was a ‘media-driven beat-up’, she insisted, and it would not take place. Laura Tingle, an objective commentator, said no, it was voter-driven; on doorsteps they were railing against Tony Abbott, lividly. There was a ‘policy debacle’ every other day, she added, and the leadership issue was ‘almost incidental’ to the rage across the continent against a man most thought ‘a mad, forgetful cunt’.

Michelle Grattan, a Liberal voter, said Julie Bishop had ‘fucked up’, or words to that effect, by first denying an offer had been made to Triggs and then telling the House one had. This under Westminster rules should occasion her resignation, but we were, as one wag said, ‘under Mugabe rules now’; and it seemed that she, not Turnbull, might be herself PM by Tuesday afternoon.

Luke Foley debated Mike Baird in the Olympic Stadium, and was doing so well that the broadcaster, Skynews, pasted over his face a wide shot of Maoris dancing in a threatening manner at a tired and blinking Prime Minister in another latitude and country, an image that persisted for seven minutes; Murdoch cheats, discuss, he knows no other way. Despite this, Foley routed the apelike, twitching, gloomy Baird, who amazed his minders by admitting he had ‘no Plan B’, and he did not have the numbers to get his privatisation through the Upper House, and without his privatisation he had ‘no money’. He would not be drawn on whom he favoured, his good friend Abbott or his testy acquaintance Turnbull, as the nation’s next leader, or whom he was betting on. He was incensed with Abbott, he blithered, for cutting twenty-one billion out of health and education in New South Wales, and said he was ‘trying every day’ to make him change his mind. Good luck with that, Foley said.

Channel 7 revealed there were now ten Ministers who wanted Abbott to go. Julie Bishop called any rumoured plan to disgorge him from the leadership, like a bad oyster, ‘a hypothetical question’. She seemed narked that it was Turnbull, not she, that had the numbers. All observers agreed that he would be rolled, and possibly she, on Tuesday morning, if he did not step down by then.

A Morgan Poll (the accurate one) came out showing Labor within 0.6 percent of winning New South Wales. This was taken before Foley creamed Baird (Mr No Plan B) in the first of two debates. It showed Baird had lost 140,000 votes in the previous two weeks, and, hour by hour, while Abbott stayed in office, was losing more.

In New Zealand Abbott was asked if this was his last overseas tour as Prime Minister. He looked wistful, and said the Prime Ministership was the gift of the people AND the party room, and for as long as that glad gift was his, for as long as he was possessed of it, he was ‘getting on with the job’.

And so it went.

Today’s Newspoll

We are told by this Newspoll that four hundred thousand Labor voters went over to the Liberals in the last fortnight. Do you know any of these people? Can you name, dear reader, even one?

This was the fortnight when Abbott attacked Gillian Triggs and threatened the Indonesians, when he was cursed by the Lindt hostages for not taking their calls, when Baird’s vote fell sharply and Palaszczuk was sworn in as Premier of Queensland, a state that Labor was expected not to hold again till 2025.

Do you know any of these people? Can you name even one? The reason you don’t, and can’t, is that poll, that Newspoll, has been…oh yes…contrived. Let me, wearily, once again, tell you why.

It was taken on landlines, which twenty percent of all voters don’t have any more, on a hot weekend, when only octogenarians were home. It rang no mobiles, and texted none. Fewer and fewer people under forty have landlines. Even fewer use them. The difference, according to Morgan, which gets elections right, is about 1.2 percent more seeming votes to the Liberals than actual votes. Morgan got Queensland right. Newspoll got it wrong.

Next, it redistributes Palmer’s, and Katter’s, and what might be called the Windsor Independents’ preferences the way they were in 2013. Katter and Palmer now favour the ALP. The Windsor Independents now favour them a little more. This difference adds 1.5 more percent to Labor’s numbers.

These two factors mean Labor’s primary vote goes up to 41, and the Coalition’s down to 35. And this means in turn the Liberals’ vote is about 28. This is very low.

On top of this is the ‘sampling error’ of 3 percent. Let us imagine that this was 1.8 percent the Liberals’ way. This puts the Liberals’ vote down to, probably, 26.3 percent.

These figures, though, depend on those phone calls made on a hot weekend to octogenarians by Newspoll, Murdoch’s engine of measurement. These craven statisticians said the LNP was ‘bound to win, with a reduced majority’ in Queensland; and the Liberals out right in South Australia. It is now saying, not that it matters, that Abbott is ‘arrogant’ (77 percent) and trails Shorten by 30 to 62 on health and 33 to 53 on education, yet ‘cares for people’ (55 percent). Arrogant, hopeless on health, yet ‘cares for people’. Really?

These figures make no sense at all. And it is wrong for Fran Kelly to quote them, though they got Queensland wrong, and never quote Morgan, which got it right, every fortnight of her life, and never, ever question them.

It is time she were investigated for bias, and, if guilty, replaced by Jonathan Green or James Carleton.

She would be sure to get a place on Skynews the day after.

The Twenty Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (204)

In Question Time Abbott said, or rather shouted, ‘You just can’t trust Labor with Australia’s defences!’ He had repressed, it seemed, or in boxing-induced brain damage omitted to remember, that Labor had won World War 1, and World War 2, and the Gulf War, while the Liberals had lost the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the twin debacles Iraq and Afghanistan where the killing continues today at a rate that outscores, even now, those wars’ beginnings and had never won a war in their history. They had also, lately, failed to find, at a cost of a half billion dollars, MH 370 in three oceans or to drive the Russians out of the Ukraine or stop a hundred DAISH jihadists raised here from continuing to collect, while over there, beheading infidels, our social services. He was cutting these social services off very soon, he assured us. Very, very soon. Trust me. Very, very soon. It was wrong, he added, that our tax dollars funded terrorism. You bet it am.

Earlier in the day, he had called a press conference. And at this press conference he said, in effect, ‘In the past hundred years, one Australian has died on our soil from terrorist activity. This is one four thousandth of the number of women and children killed by violent ex-husbands and brutal fathers in that same period of time, and it is a number we will not tolerate. We will spend a billion dollars, or more, making sure this number does not, ever — never ever — swell to two. And we will cut by half the miserable pittance we have already foolishly spent on failing to help Luke Batty, and his mother Rosie, the Australian of the Year, and four thousand like them, avoid murder at the hands of their close relatives, their life partners, their one-night stands. We’ve got our priorities right! And so have the New South Wales Police, who have killed, in the past three months, four times the number terrorists have killed in a hundred years! Let’s hear it for the New South Wales Police! Hip hip!’

Seven ministers who voted for Abbott in the Spill said they wouldn’t vote for him now. This if added to the South Australians he betrayed with the submarines meant the anti-Abbott vote was 49, three short of overthrowing him and putting Turnbull in. The Liberal Party Treasurer, Phil Higginson, said he would resign if either Credlin or Loughnane — who, he had just discovered, were married to each other — did not pack up and leave, and he did resign. Abbott called him ‘a storm in a teacup’ and Paul Bongiorno said, ‘Well, it’s a pretty big teacup’.

Newspoll, fraudulently, said the Coalition had picked up four hundred thousand Labor votes in Abbott’s worst fortnight, though no-one could name even one of these changelings, and it seemed, once again, that Murdoch, once again, had done what he always does, to wit, give the Liberals ‘paradoxical’ good figures (Simon Benson in The Daily Telegraph called them ‘miraculous’) when they seemed to be going down for the third time.

Fran Kelly, a Liberal voter, rejoiced at the good Newspoll, and effusively told Plibersek, in her liveliest champagne-breakfast manner, that Shorten was doing it all, all wrong, though he still led Abbott by 43 to 38 as better Prime Minister and had led him for a year, a world record. Some thought it was time Fran’s sanity was investigated but others said, ‘Nah. She’s just keeping her job.’

Keeping up his New Year Resolution of ‘one goof, at least, a day’, Abbott cursed most Muslim leaders for ‘not being anti-Muslim enough’ in his National Security speech while praising Assissi, who had locked up Greste, and Abdul Razak, who favoured Sharia Law, as ‘freedom lovers, my kind of heathen, good Muslims, hip hip’; and later, in Question Time, admitted he had indeed planned a shooting war with Russia, the country which had won World War 2 by killing in pitched battle twelve million of its own folk and burning Germany to the ground, in order to retrieve some corpses whom the, oops, Ukrainians had shot down in a wheat field near Donetsk. This raised the number of goofs, this day, to four, which his party room, head in hands, called ‘about average’.

TONY BACK IN THE GAME, The Daily Telegraph said, in the font in which it had bayed WE NEED YOU, TONY eighteen months ago.

And so it went.

The Twenty-Eight Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (201)

Seemingly unable to grasp what ‘innocent under the law’ meant, Piers Akerman, a Liberal voter, called Hicks a ‘foul piece of scum’ who ‘ticked all the boxes for the latte lovers in need of a frisson of danger’, and ‘an avowed anti-Semite too’, and that ‘innocence’ was not ‘true innocence’ in his deep Christian view. He, Akerman, thus exposed himself as a serial cyberbully liable to five years’ imprisonment under a Foley or an Andrews government, and a widely detested serial slanderer who owed Hicks three hundred and forty thousand dollars, plus costs, that Murdoch might not, in his dotage, be any longer keen to pay.

Julie Bishop, a Liberal voter, told Abbott he had ‘fucked up her chances’ of saving Chan and Sukumaran by threatening Widodo with ‘retribution’ if they died. She had nearly organised a trade of ten people smugglers for two drug smugglers, certain insiders whispered, when Abbott, aka The Loaded Dog, said what he said.

Morrison, aka Mr Cuddles, proposed a great proportion of baby sitting costs would be paid by the government to those who needed this, but said it would ‘have to come out of other things.’ Labor said he had better give back the billion dollars they had cut from child care first. It was possible, however, that a deal might arrived at, and Hockey would have to resign. But…he was going anyway.

Abbott, hearing their were storms and floods in Queensland and the Northern Territory, flew immediately to Tasmania, where there weren’t, and there, on a hillside, said we were being ‘played for mugs’ by terrorists, whom he would combat henceforth with fiercer and fiercer laws. Reminded that beheading people was already against the law, and so was blowing them up, and holding them hostage, and speaking harshly against another group of people, he said, ‘Go fuck yourself.’

On Skynews, Cameron and Keneally asked Sam Maiden, a Liberal voter, if Abbott would survive until the next election. She frowned and opened her mouth, and the studio director immediately cut to storm news in the Northern Territory, and she was never able to answer. ‘A little voice in my head,’ Cameron explained, ‘said I mustn’t ask that.’

Andrews announced that the Swedes, who had offered to build the whole thing for twenty billion in Adelaide, would not be allowed to make an offer, but the Japanese, who would charge twice as much and build the submarines elsewhere, yet allow some spare parts to be made here, were ‘on the list’. It was essential, he implied, that our ‘traditional beheaders’ get all our money and spend it in countries other than our own, because of the ‘skill’ and ‘honour’ with which they had sunk the Manly Ferry in 1942, an achievement close to Abbott’s heart. It was the biggest contract in our history, and a nod and a wink and a lie was the appropriate way to deal with it, Abbott decided. ‘What is needed now,’ he said, nodding and winking, ‘is a captain’s call.’

Sharri Markson, a Liberal voter, said Hicks ‘should spend the rest of his life in gaol’ and what he went through in Guantanamo was ‘nothing like torture’. He had ‘trained with an army that wants to kill us,’ she fumed, and he deserves everything he gets. Her rule of thumb would put away for life most of the original winegrowers of South Australia, and many an elderly Japanesre restaurateur, and many a Cabramatta Vietnamese. Hicks’s lawyers added her name to their list of those he could sue for three hundred and forty thousand dollars, plus costs. And Chris Kenny, who egged her on.

And so it went.

The Twenty-Four Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (199)

Barnaby Joyce, an LNP voter, cursed those Greens and ‘animal activists’ and ABC reporters who filmed rabbits, piglets and a baby possum being pursued and eaten by greyhounds owned by criminals and so trained, illegally, and so used, illegally, in their loathesome, bloodstained quest for tens of millions of dollars. The rabbit-abusers were lawless men, he admitted, but so were their pursuers, exposers and whistle-blowers, and they should be ‘ashamed of themselves’. It was Barnaby who in similar vein cursed Sarah Ferguson for her documentary on the cruel cattle-slaughterers of Indonesia, whose ‘privacy’, he said, had been ‘violated’.

Morrison swore, and swore, and swore again that the government were not putting the family home in the assets test of people who sought the old age pension. This was after Hockey’s office admitted they were ‘considering it’. It would mean that those who had bought in Paddington, say, for three thousand pounds in 1963 a tenement now worth 1.7 million dollars would never, never get the old age pension though they had worked as a nurse and a brickie for forty-five years and put their two kids through university. This was ‘not on our agenda’, said the man who said he had ‘stopped the boats’ though two had set out in December, ‘trust me.’

‘He’s lying,’ said Hockey, ‘trust me.’

Miranda Devine, a Liberal voter, accused of ‘flagrant self-promotion’ Malcolm Turnbull, a Liberal voter, who ‘shot himself in the foot,’ she hissed, ‘with self-love’ and ‘lost it’ on Q&A on Monday. This followed her previous attack on Abbott and an email, probably, from her evil, crumbling, senile guru Murdoch threatening to halve her wage. Though Abbott had lost the affection of three million Liberal voters he retained that of Murdoch, it seemed, for at least a few more days, and he would gain a well-paid gig on Skynews when he was overthrown on Thursday next, or probably Monday, by a party room now heartily sick of his ‘goof a day’.

His new nickname, ‘The Loaded Dog’, took hold.

It used to be ‘Mr People Skills’.

Tim Wilson, a Liberal voter, said Gillian Triggs had written an excellent report on the buggering of children on Manus Island. Asked if he agreed with his Prime Minister that it was a ‘blatantly political stitch-up’, he said he would not say what private discussions he’d conducted with his committee or his leader. Asked how thirty-two cases of child sex abuse was a matter for ‘private discussion’, he smiled broadly and said, ‘Go fuck yourself.’

It was revealed that Jamie Briggs, a Liberal voter, planned soon to overthrow the government of Norfolk Island, and deprive its two thousand people of their democratic independence much like General Galtieri with a like-sized population in the Falkland Islands in 1981 prior to a shooting war between Britain and Argentina on Goose Green and other sacred killing fields. There were protests from its one hundred and forty-years old government, which predated Australia’s, and had been the first on earth to give women the vote, in 1898, and had only sometimes been part of the Australian Federation, belonging at different times to the United Kingdom, New South Wales and a fiend called Turton.

‘A state of war now exists between us,’ said a member of that government, Alice Adams, on Radio National at 3.40 pm. Abbott replied that he ‘had no more territorial demands’, and ordered our gunships prepare for ‘on-water matters’ which he was ‘powerless to detail’; and referred our nation’s defence to ‘Sir’ Angus Houston, presently celebrating his ‘knighthood’ in an Amsterdam cathouse where, at an earlier hour, he had called Tony Abbott a ‘fucking idiot’ for ‘making me invade Indonesia.’

Sussan ‘Bubbles’ Ley said she was contemplating a ‘multi-tiered co-payment system’ for doctors’ visits, then hiccupped, wriggled her nose and said she wasn’t. ‘Excuse me, won’t you,’ she added, ‘I just need a teensy-weensy little…lie-down,’ and began to snore. The widespread rumours of ‘magnum champagne breakfasts’ for this new Minister were, her office, hiccupping, claimed, ‘exaggerated’. She drank two bottles of Veuve Clicquot a day, they admitted, plus ‘assorted cocktails, spirits and vintage white wines with meals’, but ‘nothing before 9 am.’

Abbott reminded Widodo of the billion our country had given his country at the time of the tsunami, and his office, bridling, said he ‘didn’t respond well to threats’ and it was said he had put his navy on Red Alert. Abbott’s ‘one goof, at least, a day’ New Year Resolution had once again been affirmed.

His second goof, in Queensland, where he was extremely unwelcome, and citizens turned away and vomited at his approach, was to announce he would charge the nation four hundred million dollars to spy on it, recording its ‘metadata’ but not reading its private emails. This sum would keep fifty small theatres going for a thousand years on the interest alone, or build eight hundred special dwellings for the disabled every year, or keep Holden in the country, and therefore every auto company, for the next ten years. ‘It’s worth it,’ said Abbott. ‘It’s worth it. We spy on you, and you pay. And you pay up big. We spy. You pay.’

And so it went.

The Forty-One Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (194)

Chris Kenny, a Liberal voter, said Gillian Triggs was a bad person, and her finding that 232 children had been abused, 32 of them sexually, and 102 had hurt themselves or contemplated suicide, was worthless. This was because she had started her inquiry in 2013, not 2012. Though she looked at nine months of the Labor government, and nine months of the Coalition government, and found abuse in both administrations, what she had done, he said, was a ‘stitch-up’, aimed at harming Morrison, a blameless person whose torture of children was in the national interest.

For some reason Kenny thought the number of children imprisoned was the salient thing, not what was done to them in prison. Two thousand treated well outweighed two hundred treated badly. And cases of child-rape should not be investigated, he emphasised. It seemed to some that Kenny was a friend of pederasts, like Peter Hollingworth, the sacked Governor-General, and he should likewise be sacked for defending, however cunningly, perverts.

Baird, who lately said all the children should be let out, was in a fix. Would he support his constituent and fellow muscular Christian Manly beach-jogger Abbott in calling for Triggs, a merciful women worried about self-harming infants, to be sacked, or not? Liberal MPs were cursing Abbott all over. His goofs were up to four a day.

Richo, a Murdoch employee, said Abbott was ‘heavily into self-delusion. He believes in his own perfection. He believes that, along with the Pope, he has been divinely invested with infallibility. When you are that good it is impossible to be a liar and break promises: this is the real explanation for why it has taken so long for the PM to utter a syllable of contrition to a nation well aware of his failures.

‘Abbott is addicted to his belief in his own perfection so much that, like other addicts, he can’t admit to the basic problem and thus can’t take remedial action. Now his mates are readying themselves to do some remedying of their own.’

Like Murdoch, he said Credlin must go, ‘and she must go now — Murdoch or no Murdoch. Her position is now untenable.’

Piers Akerman said too that 32 cases of the sexual abuse of children should be ignored. This was because there were fewer children in prison now, ‘fewer than 200′. He said Triggs, who herself had a mortally ill daughter who took a while to die, was ‘a laughing stock. She should resign.’ The children she advocated help for should, he reckoned, ‘go to buggery’; or words to that effect.

Following his New Year Resolution of ‘one goof, at least, a day’, Abbott, catching up late Friday, sacked Phillip Ruddock, forty-one years an MP, from his role as Chief Whip. This followed Ruddock with his expression and body-language hinting that Abbott should not have brought the party meeting forward by a day to save his skin. He did not sack Peta Credlin, and it was thought he would follow his recent bad Churchill imitations with an imitation of Edward VIII abdicating, and speaking in a poignant broadcast of ‘the help and comfort of the woman I love’.

Springborg asked if he could be Acting Premier till Ferny Grove was decided, and the Governor, Paul De Jersey, told him to go fuck himself. He then asked Palaszczuk to form a government, the first female state leader to do so from opposition. No apology was forthcoming from Newspoll for saying the LNP would win easily, despite figures in front of them saying the opposite, and showing Palaszczuk to be the preferred premier. Though the disputed candidate’s numbers in Ferny Grove would have made no difference, Springborg, now a four-time loser, considered challenging the result, and the two Katter Boys, promised big things, urged him on.

Baird, looking fraught — because, perhaps, his police in two months had killed four times as many innocent people as terrorists — appeared beside Abbott, also looking fraught, and not too matey, at a Sydney function. Rudd, also present, was more popular than both of them.

Hockey kept saying there would ‘never, ever’ be a surplus in his lifetime, not even if he lived to be 150, the way people do these days, or so his research informed him. We would owe a trillion dollars by 2037, he said, hoping thus to engender hope in a tottering economy. Asked about the worst employment figures in thirteen years, he said they would have been even more dire under Labor.

Pyne tried to sell his punishingly expensive university degrees in a public meeting. Protesting students were pepper-sprayed in the eyes, and screamed a good deal, and poured milk on their faces. He was on their side, Pyne beamed, unconvincingly.

It was revealed that Brandis’s people had asked Gillian Triggs to resign, the first such unconstitutional persecution of a human rights leader in the Free World since J. Edgar Hoover went after Martin Luther King in the 60s. She told them to go fuck themselves.

Julie Bishop threatened to remove our ambassador from Indonesia if the boys were executed. This was a probably foolish move. By making it shè risked provoking Widodo to expel all the asylum seekers presently festering in his country, and in gunships and battleships and ocean-going ferries deliver them, guns blazing, to Christmas Island.

And so it went.

The Thirty-Six Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (191): Restored

Turnbull stopped on his morning walk to subtly suggest he would seize the Prime Ministership if the party room was in the mood for him. Abbott had earlier, in predawn darkness, interrupted his jog to say he supported Joe Hockey, ‘of course I do’, and he had not connived, as the Murdoch papers reported, any compromise deal to make Malcolm Treasurer. Malcolm seemed to say he would vote against the spill but a certain glint in his eyes implied he was for it. He was against, though, a Monday caucus meeting; it would better serve his cause if Abbott were humiliated in Question Time — his last Question Time, it was now predicted — before the vote was taken.

Janet Albrechtsen said Abbott should stand down now, today. Abbott let it be known he would bring the meeting forward, to Monday, 9 am. Paul Kelly with his usual delphic tedium said the numbers were moving Abbott’s way. Josh Frydenberg claimed Abbott has a ‘people’s mandate’ to do the opposite of what he had promised, and should not now be criticised for not having done what he promised, and could he have a cup of coffee please.

Finding the exact wrong words and licking dry lips Abbott said, ‘We cannot reduce ourselves to the level of the Labor Party in dragging down a first-term Prime Minister’, not realising how piss-weak that gerund, ‘dragging down’, made him look. The Whip, Phillip Ruddock, said Abbott had abruptly and unconsultatively told him the meeting would be on Monday, not Tuesday, only minutes after Turnbull had praised him for holding it on Tuesday and giving thereby members more time to work out what they were thinking, and the vote would be taken, ‘with no discussion’, at 9.05 am. This demonstrated, the bitter old sell-out darkly hinted, the Prime Minister’s new ‘collegial’ modus operandi. Teresa Gambaro, bucketing the ‘new Abbott’, said ‘we cannot govern the country through belligerence and hubris.’

$inodino$ said the Monday meeting decision was ‘disappointing’. Off his meds, Andrew Robb averred that ‘We have the ideal unity ticket, Tony Abbott and Julie Gillard.’ In what may soon prove to be her last column, Miranda Devine called Turnbull ‘divisive arrogant, lacking judgment’, had a gin, and then proclaimed, of the man her guru Murdoch now most hates, ‘There’s nothing wrong with Abbott that a change of Treasurer, new confidantes, and an extra dose of humility can’t fix.’

Turnbull arrived at his charitable function and said, for the first time, the leadership was the gift of the party and if that leadership were vacant, he was up for it, and described Abbott’s date-change as ‘a captain’s call’. These three well-chosen words meant Abbott’s Prime Ministership had twenty-two hours to go and Hockey, Andrews, Cormann, Frydenberg, Robb and Bronwyn Bishop had, poor lambs, no future.

$inodino$ said he would vote for the spill. Hockey railed against his persecutors, and called on every Cabinet Minister who wanted a spill to resign. Brandis, near tears, begged everyone to come to their senses. Piers Akerman said a Malcolm Turnbull Prime Ministership would be ‘like a Kevin Rudd Mark II on steroids’.

In Queensland, Palaszczuk won her forty-fourth seat, and government, and the newly appointed, or reappointed, provincial drongo Springborg lost, as Leader, his fourth election on, this time, only his second day in office. Two Lindt Cafe documentaries showing how dishonourably Baird and his police behaved (they shot Katrina Dawson six times, and would not let Habib negotiate with his old friend Man Monis, nor Abbott speak to him on the phone) were seen by large, appalled audiences, many of them swinging voters. The bookies’ odds on Abbott fighting the next election as Prime Minister fell to 2.90, and Turnbull fighting the next election rose to 1.36.

An Ipsos poll showed Foley Labor on 47 percent, 1 percent less than Carr won with in 1995, a number that by a kind of magical realism was changed in the smh to 43 percent, and showed Labor in worsening trouble. In Bob Ellis’s view Foley Labor would win easily, after a campaign that emphasised the eleven Liberal MPs whom ICAC suspected of criminality, and the eighteen rounds Baird’s fool fuzz fired after Monis was dead. Abbott told Uhlmann he might lose his job tomorrow, and this, after only sixteen months of power, could be, ‘a chastening experience’.

By midnight Newspoll, showing the Coalition on 41 percent two party preferred, had sealed his fate.

He would not get even eighteen votes, and might not stand, as a consequence, for his own vacancy.

And so it went.

The Thirty-Six Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (191)

Turnbull stopped on his morning walk to subtly suggest he would seize the Prime Ministership if the party room was in the mood for him. Abbott had earlier, in predawn darkness, interrupted his jog to say he supported Joe Hockey, ‘of course I do’, and he had not contrived, as Murdoch reported, a compromise deal to make Malcolm Treasurer. Malcolm seemed to say he would vote against the spill but a certain glint in his eyes implied he was for it. He was against, though, a Monday caucus meeting; it would better serve his cause if Abbott were humiliated in Question Time — his last Question Time, it was now predicted — before the vote was taken.

Janet Albrechtsen said Abbott should stand down now, today. Abbott let it be known he would bring the meeting forward, to Monday, 9 am. Paul Kelly with his usual delphic tedium said the n….

It seems I’ve been sabotaged. If anyone has the other six hundred words, on Facebook or anything, could they post them in the letters page, so I can put them up again?

The Thirty-Eight Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (190)

Her face blank as a Trojan funeral mask, Julie Bishop heard Abbott, in front of her, declare their joint story was ‘no Game of Thrones’, having  with termagant fury ‘distanced’ herself from his proclamation of their ‘unity ticket’ the night before. He seemed a bit more fraught than he had on Monday when he told the Press Club ‘I’ve just broken two more promises; trust me.’ He even, with perspiring botox, claimed he would allow a secret ballot, in which he would get, at best, twenty votes.

Murdoch pundit after Murdoch pundit, Liberal voters all, bayed for his blood. PVO called him ‘a dead man walking’. Grace Collier compared him to the second, abusive husband of an already battered wife. Chris Kenny applied to the present crisis all of Dylan’s words in Desolation Row. ‘They’re selling postcards of the hanging, the circus is in town’. Gerard Henderson, amazingly, defending Abbott, said he had ‘stopped the boats’ though two came in December, and again attacked Cate Blanchett for thanking Whitlam for her education, something he swore she did not deserve. It was thought by his hospice nuns he ‘lived in a world of his own’, and was not now long for this one, in which they changed on the hour his rectal tubes and prayed for his soul.

Greg Sheridan, amazingly, said the Liberal Party had overthrown a leader in power only once, when Billy MacMahon displaced Gorton in 1971. He refused thereby to acknowledge Fadden replacing Menzies in 1941; Menzies replacing Hughes in 1944; Holt replacing Menzies in 1965; Gorton replacing McEwen in 1967; Willis replacing Lewis in 1975; Fahey replacing Greiner in 1992; Olsen replacing Brown in 1996; Kerin replacing Olsen in 2001, Napthine replacing Baillieu in 2013; Baird O’Farrell in 2014; Adam Giles Terry Mills in 2013 and Giles and Willem Westra van Holthe replacing each other in 2015 on one long silly Monday.  It was ‘not the Liberal way’, this bearded, fuming klutz went on. It was not the Liberal way. He had a scotch and thought about things.

He then declared it was the Liberal way after all, and it was time, high time, that a game of thrones of sorts at last occurred. He listed Abbott’s ‘five really fundamental mistakes’: broken promises, bullying dominatrix, media incompetence, self indulgence, and failure to listen humbly to advice. He urged on him ‘sincere repentance’ and said the three million former Liberal voters he had disgusted might swing back to him.

Paul Kelly said events overseas were killing osteo-Hockeynomics and threatening Australia with ‘a century of deficits’ and the ‘the Liberal Party are walking blindfold into the certainty of unknowing policy change’, meaning they would have to go back on everything they had promised or threatened in order to survive politically hereinafter. For this imminent Big Somersault, he mused, Turnbull would be a better advocate and persuader than his fellow lawyer and Oxford man, Abbott.

In a thoughtful afr piece Laura Tingle recalled Rod Cameron, the pollster, having said that Abbott was ‘unelectable’, in part because his passive aggressiveness put off women, in part because he was ‘extremely inconsistent’: you didn’t know what he was going to do next. This led, she said, to the ‘trust deficit’, which, after his many policy changes, was killing him of late politically. ‘He is the most centralised, least consultative leader ever,’ one of his colleagues said. ‘If he makes a political blunder, he doesn’t even clean up afterwards. If he makes a mistake, he just digs in.’

Lawrence Springborg became, again, Leader of the LNP in Queensland, a faraway country of which we know little.. Still only forty-six, he had lost, already, three state elections while in that accurst position, to Beatty, Beatty, and Bligh. His new Deputy, Langbroek, had been larely Leader also, and he, Springborg, had been his jealous Deputy, till Langbroek foolishly claimed he kept a teddy bear from his student days, ‘like Sebastian in Brideshead Revisited’, and Nooman was rapodly recruited to ‘man up’ their party’s limp image; and now their positions were, aha, reversed.

Nooman was in and out of Queensland state politics in a mere thousand days. He had been offered, however, it was revealed, the federal seat of Indi, in rural Victoria, which Mirabella lost after certain buffeting rumours that she had swindled a demented ex-lover out of his property, by guiding his hand as he signed his will, or signing it herself, in a scenario some said ‘rivalled Double Indemnity’. ‘It is important,’ local organisers are said to have said, ‘we return criminality to Indi, where it has been missing, sadly, for a whole sixteen months.’ Nooman was ‘flattered by the invitation,’ he said, and considering it.

No apology appeared on the front page of The Daily Telegraph for a previous front page, WE NEED YOU, TONY!, in September 2013, just an ABBOTT VS TURNBULL bare-chested boxing collage based on Rocky, using other people’s chests.

John Birmingham pursued the boxing metaphor (‘the blow landed, with a sickening wet crunch’) to the borderline of tedium, and concluded, ‘Abbott, like the vanquished Campbell Newman, is not just a bad leader. He leads a bad government.’

Abbott begged Bishop not to go to a long-arranged charity brunch with Turnbull on Sunday morning. She said she was going, and he could go fuck himself.

And so it went.

The Thirty-Eight Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (189)

It was revealed that Turnbull and Abbott had a head-to-head on their government’s future and Turnbull was ‘underwhelmed’ when Abbott repeated his Press Club speech at him: I’ve just broken two more promises, vote for me. Adam Giles accused his police chief of plotting a ‘coup’ against him, and it was thought the Administrator might ‘do a John Kerr’ and sack him, this time, good and proper. In Queensland, the LNP planned to thwart the will of the people by disqualifying the duly-elected Member for Ferntree Gully from sitting in the house and by his vote making Palaszczuk Premier. His electors would be disfranchised, and Springborg would be Premier, at last, at last, the conspirators cackled. At last.

In a fine piece Waleed Ali compared Abbott with Newman, and said it was only partly his presentation that made him so loathed, it was also his first Budget, the most self-destructive and self-revealing document since Roger Casement’s Black Diaries. ‘The electorate grasped,’ he wrote, ‘the underlying values of the government’s maiden offering, and found it repugnant. It still does.’

And in what may prove to have been a game-changing cri de coeur Abbott’s blond bromance Mark Kenny wrote in the smh: ‘Leaders can weather periods of unpopularity, as long as they enjoy the respect of their colleagues. Tony Abbott has lost both.

‘How did it come to this, in the space of just seventeen months? The sober, mature government promised by the Coalition since 2010 has descended into farcical levels of uncertainty, suspicion and backbiting.

‘A Prime Minister who has never been particularly well-liked has become Ground Zero of a ferocious backlash against harsh policies and personal frolics embraced as if he had limitless political capital.

‘The heartland is bleeding. Tony Abbott said this week his door was always open and he always encouraged MPs to approach him with feedback. They know firsthand this is nonsense. Getting past his Chief of Staff is proving too big a hurdle, and their patience is exhausted…’

And so on. If any piece made certain a Turnbull imperium as early as Tuesday, it was this one. It was Abbott’s ‘Et tu, Brute?’ moment, plain for all to see.

Then fall, Caesar…

Michelle Grattan called on Abbott to resign. Phil Coorey said there was no way he will, ‘they never do’. Nikki Savva said the party rules require an open vote on a spill, a secret ballot on the leadership. Barrie Cassidy said there would be a spill. Christopher Pyne said if there were a spill, he ‘hoped’ Abbott had the numbers to survive it. Abbott told Alan Jones he wasn’t expecting a spill. Peter Reith said the move for a spill, and the numbers for a spill, would ‘ramp up’ over the weekend. Richo called on Credlin to resign, in accordance with the wishes of his obergruppenfuhrer, Murdoch, with whom he coincidentally agreed.

‘It could have been worse,’ said Wayne Haylen. ‘He could have made the Queen a Dame.’

Pyne got off a plane, and immediately contradicted himself on Skynews. He didn’t think there would be a spill, he said, he didn’t want a spill, he didn’t want a leadership change, he didn’t want any trouble, he’d been misinterpreted, he was tired and foolish, all he wanted to do was ‘get on with the job’ of ruining the future lives of poor-born students wanting a university degree and Americanising education everywhere, as God intended.

Abbott commanded Daniel Andrews to break his election promise and come in with him on the East-West Link and thus enrich with billions a number of corporate Liberal donors to the party cause. Answering questions about his leadership, he said he was ‘collegial’ and ‘consultative’ and he would still be Prime Minister in a week; and there wouldn’t, he was certain, there wouldn’t be a spill.

Luke Simpkins and Don Randall said they would move for a spill of both leadership positions on Tuesday. Abbott said they had a perfect right to do this, but it risked the Liberals looking like a pack of whackheads, like the Labor Party. Looking like a pack of whackheads, meanwhile, the LNP in Queensland and the CLP in the Northern Territory scrambled to find a leader that would last more than twenty hours, with increasing despondency. Abbott said ‘It’s me and Julie against the whack-heads! A unity ticket! Me and Julie!’, a little prematurely perhaps, as it seemed he hadn’t asked her if he could do this, and she was ropeable.

Don Cameron said he was hopeless, and he wanted Turnbull, and he wanted him now. Andrew Robb, who has a history of depression and wrote a book about it, said he detected a ‘whiff of conspiracy.’

A ReachTEL came out saying a million more people would vote for the Coalition if Turnbull led it, and would not vote for it if Abbott continued in his present position. If ever there were an instance of push-polling, this was it. A number of machines rang eighty thousand octogenarians and their carers on landlines, avoiding mobiles, and found, at last, two thousand who would talk to them, six hundred thousand mischievous Labor voters. They reflected, however, some shift in the electorate, and worsened the mood of twenty ministers, who were not certain they would still be ministers on Tuesday afternoon, and two thousand of their staffers.

And so it went.

The Thirty-Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (187)

Barnaby blamed on ‘the full moon’ the instability in the Northern Territory, Queensland and Canberra. Joe said he feared that he and his party would be ‘thrown out’ after ‘chaos’ that was ‘a carbon copy’ of the last four years of Rudd-Gillard-Rudd. Cormann said ‘Leebor had noaw plan and ve haf a plan for jerbs, jerbs, jerbs, jerbs’ to replace, he said, the quarter of a million jobs poor Joe snuffed out in the auto-and-related industries in a single haughty sentence on the floor of the House. Like Newman, Joe had thrown away power within two months of gaining it, by sacking thousands of people. Try as he may, he could not persuade very many people to like being sacked for the common good, to sacrifice their happy lives for the happier lives of others. He was amazed they should be so selfish.

Abbott and Baird boycotted the Town Hall funeral of Tom Uren, a very dangerous occasion. Though there were three former Prime Ministers in one row, a former Deputy Prime Mnister, a former Premier, a former Deputy Premier, a Booker Prize winner, a wharfies’ choir, and a hundred and eighty political and show business notables in various parts of the room, there was no security. One informed observer, Bob Ellis, brought in three objects that might have been bombs in a brown hessian sack, and a thousand ill-kempt people with beards and beer bellies got in without showing invitations. Any one of them could have been an underpants bomber. Historians present were astounded that seven weeks after the Lindt Cafe Siege, in which police had shot a hostage six times and she died, there were no precautions in an auditorium that contained, oh, two hundred famous people, ten of whom might have been seized and beheaded on television in prime time. Was Baird taking the terrorist threat seriously? It seemed not. And this eight weeks from an election. What a dill he was. He was asked if Abbott would appear in his campaign. He said he wasn’t sure.

Kennett called Abbott’s present crisis ‘terminal’. $inodino$ said his support, like Brough’s, was ‘not unconditional’ and there might be a new Prime Minister, comrade, on Tuesday. Miranda Devine, a Liberal voter, howled, ‘Bring me the head of Peta Credlin!’ and briefly looked like a vampire before she sucked her teeth back in. Kerry Chikarovski, a Liberal voter, said both Abbott and Credlin should stay on. PVO said, ‘Not both, surely.’ Murdoch had given him permission to do this, or possibly orders. Josh Frydenberg assured Leigh Sales that Abbott had learned his lesson, and his three million lost voters would ‘come back to him in no time’.

Word came through that Turnbull didn’t have the numbers yet, and he was beating his forehead with his fists, and this meant Abbott might, for the moment, a thousand curses, survive. If he followed Giles’s example and threatened an election, he would certainly survive. Any election he called now would lose him forty seats, including, probably, Joe’s, Morrison’s, Malcolm’s, and Julie’s. Maybe even his own.

At Tom Uren’s wake Wayne Haylen said, ‘It could have been worse. He could have made the Queen a Dame.’

Uhlmann was aked how Abbott was doing lately, better or worse than yesterday. ‘Better till round 5 pm,’ Uhlmann said, ’till $inodino$, a respected figure, put him on notice.’ This meant, he said, or grimly implied, he was doomed, and had days, not weeks.

Greste arrived in Brisbane, ten hours after the last appeal of Chan and Sukumaran was denied by an Indonesian judge. This meant Bishop would get the credit for the salvation of one Australian, and Abbott the blame for the death by firing squad of two others, mere days afterwards.

Peter Wellington said, or implied, he was going with Labor in Queensland, giving Palaszczuk the premiership by the narrowest of margins. This meant it would have gone the other way if Abbott had knighted, say, Steve Waugh, or Noel Pearson, or Geraldine Doogue, or Noni Hazlehurst, or Tim Flannery, or Judy Davis, or John Clarke, and the LNP would have won two more seats. It meant, too, that a majority of Australians would be living, as of next week, under Labor rule, this though it had been universally thought by all the pundits only a year ago that all the states would soon be blue, not red.

But it could have been worse. He could have made the Queen a Dame.

And so it went.

The Twenty Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (185)

Peter Greste began to fly home, and Julie Bishop, in Martin Place, announced this. She would wait on Abbott’s Press Club tapdance, she hinted, and then say when she would bring on a spill.

D-DAY, said the Daily Telegraph headline. ABBOTT ON THE ROPES, the smh howled. ABBOTT REELS FROM QLD DEBACLE, said the afr. Even The Australian, with PM FIGHTS FOR HIS POLITICAL LIFE, appeared a little gloomy.

Paul Kelly, a Liberal voting piece of Faustian filth, said Turnbull as PM, Bishop where she is, and Morrison as Treasurer was the go, and a ‘turn back the banks’ policy the way forward to a balanced budget in, oh, 2090. But it wouldn’t happen, he said. ‘Abbott and Hockey will fight. They have a lot to fight for.’ The party would be ‘smashed from within,’ he said, and ‘crack wide open,’ and ‘might return to its pre-December 2009 chaos,’ using the ‘c’ word about the Liberals for the first time, clearly with Mephistopheles Murdoch’s permission.

Greg Sheridan differed. Abbott was ‘still the best man to lead the Liberal Party,’ he blithered, ‘and could easily, easily win back the three milion voters he’s lately lost by better explaining his policy of brutal reform.’ All he has to do, he blithered, ‘is to apologise for everything he stands for, and say he now stands for something else.’ He then admitted he was at uni with Abbott, and pleased when he became president of the Students’ Council on his ‘second try, after stuffing up the first one’, thus proving him ‘the kind of wild idiot who deserves a second chance, like Alec Baldwin in State And Main.’ What he must do, he insisted, is ‘pledge tougher budgets and an end to the age of entitlement,’ but do it…more charmingly.

Simon Benson, who went to school with Bill Shorten, said some MPs were saying Abbott ‘could be beyond recovery’, but ‘half of them were crazies… disappointed because they didn’t get promoted.’ He was ‘against a leadership change,’ he added. ‘ Five Prime Ministers in five years was the kind of spectacle that would ‘propel Australia onto the stage of unstable democracies and make us the Greece of the Pacific.’ Abbott and Hockey’s plan, to make us ‘the Mexico of Asia’ was, he said, ‘the better one.’

Lying, Troy Bramston, long known as ‘the smirking tapeworm in the anus of the Labor Party’, claimed John Howard ‘won a mandate to introduce a GST in 1998′, though he got three hundred thousand less votes than Beazley, who opposed it, and he, Howard, ‘did not shrink from challenges’, though it cost him his seat, and the Abbott Liberals must do likewise, lest the ‘monumental challenge’ of a triple-A credit rating and the second best economy in the world ‘quite overwhelm us’. He then offered to shout the bar, but his fellow drinkers turned away from him, frowning. ‘He smells like a tapeworm,’ one said, ‘or an Abbott supporter.’

Laura Tingle, an objective observer, said, ‘Whatever Abbott does now, it will be too late.’ Phillip Coorey, an objective observer, said the knighthood decision, opposed by nineteen million Australians, may have cost, on Saturday, the LNP three seats which it needed to form government.

In South Australia there was a 6 percent swing in a ‘safe’ Liberal seat, caused in part by the ill-judged gong, to a government already thirteen years old. ‘The mood is toxic,’ said Clem Macintyre of the school of politics at the University of Adelaide, and the Sir Philip foolishness ‘an own-goal’.

Abbott appeared at the Press Club in a blue tie and botox with heavy makeup over his liver-spots and said, in effect, ‘Look…I’m in my fifty-eighth year, and I’ve lived a year longer than Julius Caesar and it’s time, it’s time, I think, I understand, to learn things, things a kindergarten child should know. I’ve listened, I’ve learned, and I’ve acted, and my acting is…so bad, three million people who voted for me don’t like me any more, and prefer Bill Shorten as Prime Minister.

‘But…that’s life; I take it in the chin; or, on occasions, I break Joe Hockey’s jaw. I warn you, though, I’m not quitting for any reason; I’m not going anywhere. If you want me out of here, you’ll have to take me out in a straitjacket.’

Forty MPs in danger of losing their seats, as forty Queensland MPs did on Saturday, applauded glumly, and evinced their disappointment that he had not with a broad sharp scimitar committed hari-kiri and bled on Laurie Oakes and Joe Hockey, weeping, beheaded him. ‘He’s got six more months,’ the pundits said. These were the same pundits who said Labor would win twenty-five seats, no more, in Queensland, and Nooman might hold on in Ashgrove. Abbott had, in fact, eight or nine more days, or possibly four.

On Q&A Wayne Swan spoke magnificently and showed why he was once thought a leadership contender. Barnaby Joyce kept calling ‘chaos’ a government, Gillard’s, that passed 497 laws, failed to pass none, and earned a triple-A rating from all three international agencies. Swanny considered suing him, and then, as he does, thought better of it.

Pauline Hanson won Lockyer, bringing down the number of likely LNP seats to forty. Labor would win forty-four or forty-five.

In the Northern Territory, the NLP sacked Adam Giles, the first Aboriginal First Minister.

And so it went.

The Twenty Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (184)

Gerard Henderson, a Liberal voter, said Queensland was ‘one of the world’s most successful democracies, with remarkably little serious corruption’; this after the Moonlight State, and Joh winning with 25 percent. Rob Borbidge, a Liberal voter, said Labor’s ‘union mates’, and their refusal to countenance privatisation, meant they couldn’t, now, ‘fall over the line’ in Queensland, and Campbell Newman would retain his seat.

Jane Prentice, a Liberal MP, said Abbott must do well at the Press Club on Monday, or lose office. Brough ‘considered’ running against him.

Labor won government with the biggest swing-back in world history. Palaszczuk revealed that the people didn’t want privatisation, and threw out anyone — Keating, Kennett, Kerin, Bligh, Newman, Baird — who tried it on. Kroger, a Liberal voter, kept saying saying the LNP would ‘get to 45, you mark my words’, after swings up to 28 percent against that party.

Galaxy showed Abbott preferred as Prime Minister by 27 percent, Shorten by 44; and Abbott ‘approved’ by 27 percent, which meant nineteen million Australians didn’t like him. It showed the Coalition on 43 percent, and losing forty seats.

Nooman bowed out of politics, and called ‘necessary’ the sacking of midwives, fire-fighters, lifesavers, nurses, teachers and civil servants and the ruining or disruption of a hundred thousand adjacent lives and ‘my hard yards’ the desolation he brought to so many others. He admitted he was ‘passionate, passionate for Queensland’, and it was said of him by Dennis Atkins that if he were alone in an empty room he would ‘pick a fight with himself’.

Turnbull instructed Americans on the qualities of leadership, none of which he saw in Abbott. Asked when he would roll him, he said, ‘He has my support. I am loyal to him, as he was to me.’ Julie Bishop said ‘He has my support’ also, leaving out like Turnbull the locution, ‘my full support’.

Miranda Devine, a Liberal voter, called Abbott’s giant Nubian body-servant Credlin ‘Stalinist’, and the government ‘trapped in the unreal bubble of Canberra, in which the Nubian decides who sees Abbott and what advice he receives.’ She applauded ‘my boss, Rupert Murdoch’ for demanding ‘the crazed giantess walk the plank’. Samantha Maiden, a Liberal voter, under a headline, PM TO FACE POLL RUIN, quoted MPs who said, ‘If he can’t succeed, all bets are off.’ Xenophon said he would be gone by Friday.

Rose Batty, the Australian of the Year, cursed Abbott to his face for ‘shutting the door’ of social services that would, if open, have saved her son Luke’s life. ‘What do you expect me to do?’ Abbott is said to have said. ‘Cut money to pregnant millionairesses?’

Abbott’s office announced he was cutting money to pregnant millionairesses; then, hearing his gagged howls in the toilet, nervously added, ‘but not this week. Later. Later.’

Islamic State beheaded another Japanese. Rumours began that Greste would soon be set free. If he was, it was likely Julie Bishop would take credit, and initiate a spill on Tuesday morning. If she didn’t, it was agreed Brough, assassin of Slipper, would serve the cause as a ‘suicide bomber’, moving a spill and standing against him.

And winning, perhaps. Brandis said the Cabinet was ‘unanimously, determinedly and strongly behind the Prime Minister’ while PVO rocked with suppressed laughter, and Paul Kelly tried to look dignified. ‘Catastrophic, shocking, unimaginable’ were words backbenchers used to describe the Queensland result to Uhlmann, a Liberal voter, and Abbott as ‘terminal’. ‘They hope he will simply resign,’ Uhlmann said, ‘and Bishop and Morrison, who are friends, fall in behind Malcolm Turnbull, a known and trusted handsome face whom some Labor voters have affection for.’ Turnbull got on a plane, cursing the latitudes, and worked the phone.

Angel Lopez, a Spanish party leader, proposed a ‘maximum wage’ to roaring crowds, and it seemed he would soon be Prime Minister of that accurst and hobbled country. Angela Merkel said there was ‘no way’ she would forgive Greece’s debt. Tsipras threatened to fine her a million dollars, plus interest, for every Greek killed by a German in World War 2, and write off the debt that way. She said she would not submit to this ‘blame game. Everyone who died opposing the Fuhrer deserved to. Oops.’

Chris Kenny, who, I am reliably informed, does not fuck goats unless it is safe to do so, asked Josh Frydenberg how soon the ‘dream team’ Turnbull and Bishop would replace Abbott. Frowning, Josh swore that the Liberal Party had never ever, since its foundation by Robert Menzies in 1944, overthrown a leader in his first term of office, never ever. He had forgotten, apparently, O’Farrell eight months ago; Baillieu eighteen months ago; John Olsen in 2001; Dean Brown in 1995; Mike Ahern in 1987; Tom Lewis in 1974. And if there was anyone plotting to overthrow Abbott, he added, it was news to him.

Hinch, a Liberal voter, called Abbott a ‘dead man walking’ and demanded he provide proof that he was not a dual citizen, British-and-Australian, and therefore in the Lodge illegally. If this were so he would have to give back the five million dollars he had earned as a politician, plus interest.

And so it went.

Up Close Newspoll

Interesting what lies, under Murdoch’s direction, Newspoll tells, and what truths it inadvertently lets through.

Under ‘Rest of Queensland’, for instance, it shows a swing to Labor of 11.1 percent, from 22.9 to 34. To win government, it needs a swing of 12.4. In Brisbane the swing is 9.6, from 32.4 to 42.

But ‘others’, including Palmer, are on 14, and Palmer, allegedly, on 3. That 3 in preferences will go to Labor, making the swing to Labor 14.1 in the country, and 13.6 in the city.

This is enough to win by. On Newspoll’s own figures.

The lies are in other columns. Newman is supposed to be ‘Better Premier’, by 43 to 42. But 58 percent are dissatisfied with him, and 35 percent satisfied. And 38 percent are satisfied with Palaszczuk, and 40 percent dissatisfied.

These figures make no sense. 58 percent are dissatisfied with Newman, and 40 percent with Palaszczuk, and Newman is preferred Premier? Come on.

According to Newspoll, KAP is on 2 percent, PUP on 3, and ‘others’ are on 9. Are any of these ‘others’ preferring Campbell Newman? Who are they? There might be 2 percent.

If you add all these ‘others’ together, and KAP, and PUP, and you mix in the alarm all feel that Newman will lose his seat, and you don’t know whom in the LNP you’re voting for, you get Labor on 37, plus 6 from the Greens, plus 2 from the KAP, plus 3 from the PUP, plus 7 from the ‘others’, minus, say, 2.5 percent that ‘exhaust’, and Labor is on 52.5, and comfortably in government.

This comes from Newspoll, which does not ring mobile phones.

Make that 53.5 percent.

‘When the swing is on,’ Fred Daley used to say, ‘it’s on.’

Galaxy, ReachTEL, Newspoll: The View From Thursday

Taken before the Debate, ringing landlines only and maldistributing preferences as if Palmer still favoured Newman, Galaxy and Newspoll, both paid for by Murdoch, each have Labor on 48. Not 48.1 or 48.2 or 47.9; 48. Both of them.

They nonetheless agree that Palaszczuk campaigned better than Newman, Palaszczuk is the preferred Premier, and Newman will certainly, certainly lose his seat. This makes the 48 an impossible result, and a Murdoch lie.

And it means — I think — that the result would have been, on Thursday night, before the Debate, as Morgan indicated, Labor on 50.5. But then the Debate occurred, and added, probably, 0.3 or 0.4 to Labor and made the result…line-ball.

It is doubtful the headline will encourage a vote for the LNP. It might. But it is more likely, given that Newman won’t be there on Sunday, to encourage a ‘protest vote’, for Green, Labor, Katter or Palmer.

ReachTEL is a contemptible operation, ringing on landlines only those lonely people who like to talk to machines, that is, no-one under sixty-three, on late shopping night, those not shopping, or not at work, or swimming, forty thousand of whom hang up. By this method it was predicted, in 2013, that Swan, Rudd, Clare, Burke, Bowen and Dreyfus would lose their seats, incorrectly. By this method it was shown, then, that ReachTEL is at best a worthless exercise, at worst a corrupted one.

It also has Labor on 48, not 48.1, or 48.2, which would normally indicate the Labor vote was 52.5.

It won’t be as big as that. The Palmer commercials will affect the result, and so will the Debate, and the final shakedown is likely to be — I think — Labor 42, Palmer 2, Katter 2, Wellington 1, and ‘others’ 2. And LNP 40.

This may not be so. The hatred of Newman is a big factor, the early nervousness of Palazczuk, and the certainty, now, that Newman is gone and his successor not named or described or assessed.

But this is the…likely result.

And we will see what we shall see.

The Thirty Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (183)

Barnaby Joyce told Leigh Sales, ‘If Tony Abbott was your dentist, with his implements in your mouth, would you trust him to drill your teeth without anaesthetic? I would.’ Leigh blenched, repressing flashbacks of past oral discomfort, and gulped while he added, feverishly, that the Sir Philip controversy would be ‘long forgotten next year and wrapping fish; like Edward’s abdication speech’.

Essential showed Labor on 51 in Queensland on Tuesday night. It assumed Clive Palmer would give his preferences to Nooman, who is suing him. This meant the score was, probably, 54-46 and Palaszczuk would win comfortably.

Steve Ciobo said he favoured reducing the wages of those who work on Sunday. In Queensland, a tourism state where lots of people do, two more seats were lost, thanks to this, by the LNP.

In New South Wales the Attorney-General, Hazzard, was accused of ‘heavying’ a fellow parliamentarian and ‘offering bribes’. This made him the eleventh Baird-Liberal MP widely thought corrupt, and bound soon for ICAC humiliation, hari-kiri and reviled and drunken retirement on the Central Coast. Baird was nonetheless ‘bound to win the election, what a success he’s been,’ PVO said miserably, wishing he had some other job, whilst his cranky senile employer, Murdoch, pursued Abbott with fire and sword.

The inquest into the Lindt cafe deaths noted that Baird’s police, an inexpert bunch, had shot Katrina Dawson six times and killed her. This coincided with grief from Brazil about Roberto Curti being tasered to death with extreme prejudice by that selfsame crazy mob of rogue Sydney wallopers, who suffered no punishment for this, not even a docked day’s pay. Experts on siege situations in the armed services, it was noted, were available to deal with Monis and were not asked to do so, by Baird the responsible officer, and boofheads allowed to storm in and fire eighteen shots after he was dead and wound four innocents, killing one, a mother of three.

Would her family receive compensation? How could they not? Would it come from Hockey or Baird? A difficult question.

John Hewson, a Liberal voter, said Abbott was ‘daft, out of touch, ill-intentioned, stubborn, intermittently insane and bound to stay on as leader. Who else is there?’ he added. ‘Me?’

Campbell Newman, a Liberal voter, threatened on air to sue Steve Austin, a Brisbane broadcaster, for having accused him of ‘being in the pocket of Big Coal’ and breaking his promise not to devastate Acland, Alan Jones’s home region, fine farming land foul-hearted polluters would soon gouge. He would get the same treatment Jones got, Nooman fumed, and ‘you will regret what you just said, you mark my words, I will sue you down to your socks.’ He was subsequently unable to spell ‘Palaszczuk’, though she had been his rival for two years and ten months. He didn’t go in for much reading, his minders explained.

Lying, Essential Polling, a Murdoch entity, said Labor and the LNP were ‘neck and neck’ on 50-50 in Queensland. But it was meekly revealed on page 5 of the Australian, under a tiny headline, that Labor was on 51 this week, the 50-50 figure being an average of the last three weeks. This meant the anti-Nooman swing, 13.2 percent and continuing, would see Palaszczuk, probably, Premier by midnight Saturday, or 1 am Sunday. Bob Ellis, an esteemed commentator, so predicted in his blog. He was the first in the nation to do so.

Joe Hockey said there had been ‘fourteen thousand jobs lost in the coal industry in Queensland in the last two years’ and ‘without Campbell Newman there would have been even more. So vote Campbell Newman! And number only one square!’ He was seized by his minders and wrestled out of the room. Every time he emerged from a period of enforced silence, they told him, he said something stupid. ‘Nonsense,’ he replied, lighting up a cigar. ‘I’ll be Prime Minister by Tuesday afternoon.’

Bob Katter Junior sued the LNP, and put an injunction on them, for having said he was ‘colluding with the ALP in an evil masterplan to rule Queensland in coalition with them and the Greens after Sunday’. No such arrangement had even been discussed, he said. It seemed less likely, though, that he would now be in a coalition with the LNP, whom he was suing.

Abbott said his Philip foolishness would be judged in any pub a ‘stuff-up’, but he had a strong plan and a strong team of strong talents who owed the strength of their strongness to their strong captain, himself. Asked why he always changed his mind, he said, ‘Because that’s what a strong man does. He takes it on the chin. A good captain; a bad captain’s pick.’ He became confused, and was led away and ‘settled down’ by Credlin, with ‘deep massage’.

It was wondered by some how Credlin, a republican, who had bitterly opposed his first knight and dame, could be blamed for this one, which he had clearly, secretly, snuck by her in the dead of night. It was thought by others that the Australia Day knighthoods occurred to him in the early hours of January 25th, and he offered gongs to Houston, who said yes, and Janette Howard, who said no, and to Judy Davis who said no, and to Richie Benaud, and Roy Masters, and Noni Hazlehurst, and Jeannie Little, and then in frustrated fury asked the Queen what to do, and she said, ‘Oh, give it to the corgis. Or Phillip.’

Lying, Juia Baird, the sister of Mike Baird, and like him a Liberal voter, said Labor and the LNP were 50-50 in the Essential Poll, when she knew full well it was 51-49 Labor’s way. Lies and lies and lies and lies continued, though it was clear that it was End Time for the Liberals everywhere, and there was no way back.

And so it went.

The Thirty-Two Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (182)

Andrew Bolt, a Liberal voter, called the Sir Prince Philip decision ‘very, very stupid’ and ‘potentially fatal to the leadership of Tony Abbott’. ReachTEL showed him on a 22 percent approval rating, the lowest for a sitting Prime Minister thus far in world history, and Labor beating the Coalition by 54 to 46, though Morgan’s figures were 56.5 and 43.5. 70 percent of Australians, that is, seventeen million people, thought it was a rotten idea.

Miranda Devine, a Liberal voter, demanded Peta Credlin become a ‘sacrificial lamb’, echoing her furious, monarchy-despising employer and guru, Rupert Murdoch. Nikki Savva, a Liberal voter, said Abbott was ‘not up to it, and might never be up to it’. ‘It will be Malcolm Turnbull,’ said Paul Sheehan, a Liberal voter. Warren Brown, the Daily Telegraph cartoonist, showed Abbott in a clown suit. Cormann said Abbott had his ‘full support’. Graeme Morris told Murdoch to ‘back off’.

ReachTEL also showed Newman losing Ashgrove by 54 to 46, an increased margin. Worried commentators complained there was ‘no obvious successor’ as Premier on Sunday. Antony Green began to toy with the possibility of a Labor win — if they pick up some of the provincial seats, he mused, where Alan Jones was influential, they might just ‘creep in’. It was noted by experts that ReachTEL always favoured the Coalition, its method having predicted, for instance, that Rudd, Swan, Clare, Burke and Dreyfus would lose their seats. This meant Newman might get only 40 percent in his, and Palazczuk, probably, romp in as Premier on Sunday.

The Lindt cafe siege inquest began. It quickly established that police bullet fragments, ricocheting, killed Katrina Dawson and wounded three other hostages though not fatally, and that Monis wounded — and killed — only one person, Tori Johnson. This raised the question of the Prime Minister’s cowardly decision not to talk to, and soothe, if he could, the noisy terrorist who only wanted that conversation and a flag and a bit of publicity, and Baird’s decision not to let his friend Mamdouh Habib talk to him, talk him out of there, perhaps, or any available Muslim community leader.

Credlin doubtless urgently told both leaders how to spin it. It is not certain they took her advice, or even heard her out. She was not, all agreed, ‘the flavour of the month’ any more. ‘She’s as tall as CJ,’ one staffer said, ‘but not as intelligent.’

Tony Fitzgerald, a Queensland hero, said Campbell Newman’s government had, with its legal reforms and corrupted hidden partnerships, brought Queensland to a ‘new low’. Nooman said he had always admired Fitzgerald, but he was ‘wrong, dead wrong, this time’. He refused to say who, if he lost his seat, as was now certain, might replace him as Premier. Then he said, ‘Palaszczuk. It’s me or Palaszczuk. Who has no plan. No plan. And I have a plan. A strong plan.’

Labor released its costings and there seemed to be nothing wrong with them. David Speers, gulping, emphasised Palaszczuk’s ‘enormous gaffe’ on radio that morning when for want of coffee she said ‘Pass’ when asked what Australia’s GST rate was. Nooman and Seeney kept bellowing that a ‘hung parliament’ would be as ‘disastrous’ as the one which under Gillard proved the most successful, and passed more good laws, than any in Australian history. ‘We can’t have that,’ Nooman yelled. ‘We can’t have that.’

He cancelled his campaign trip to the North and hung round Ashgrove, offering millions in bribes to his constituents and chittering, ‘Strong plan, strong team, strong plan, whooee.’ The money spent on his seat, around a hundred and twenty million, was more than all the money spent by his government on the five surrounding constituencies.

Essential Research Polling showed Labor and the LP both on 50 in Queensland. Essential always understates the Labor vote, and wrongly redistributes, like Newspoll, the preferences of the ‘others’, which means a Palaszczuk victory, if she doesn’t stuff up the final debate with Nooman tomorrow, on Saturday night.

PVO said he didn’t believe it. ‘That can’t be right,’ he said. ‘That can’t be right.’

Neither Speers nor Paul Murray mentioned this catastrophic polling in their subsequent programs.

And so it went.

What The Bookies Say

The bookies are showing Labor ahead or highly competitive in thirty-seven seats, competitive in eight, and ‘others’ certain to win four seats. And the LNP ahead, or way ahead, in forty.

A hung parliament seems…likely. But, as the Jones and Murdoch interventions filter through, and Newman’s ‘vote for me or else’ threat comes to court, an outright Labor majority is possible also.

And so it goes.

The Thirty-One Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (181)

Peter Wellington took Newman’s ‘Vote for me, or else’ threat to the Electoral Commission, asking that they arrest and imprison him for this crime before Saturday. Julie Bishop flew to New York, and over dinner asked Rupert Murdoch if she might now, or soon, become Prime Minister, drinking champagne and smiling prettily. Abbott, haggard, rang backbenchers round the clock to ‘settle them down’ and made no public appearances where reporters might ask him questions.

His award of a knighthood to Prince Phillip was compared by some to Caligula making his horse a Senator. Janet Albrechtsen, a Liberal voter, called it an ‘own goal’ and added, peculiarly, in Latin: ‘Caput ex ano extrahe.’ This meant, she translated, ‘a head in close proximity to a backside.’ And then, more understandably, ‘This is Tony Abbott’s annus horribilis’, explaining that ‘annus’ in this case meant ‘year’, not ‘rear’.

Miranda Devine, a Liberal voter, said it didn’t cost billions or kill people, but his choice showed Abbott was ‘nuts’, ‘in denial’, and ‘facing an existential political challenge’. If, ‘in a year in which he was supposed to have pushed the reset button,’ she said, ‘and there are rumbles from his party about changing leaders, you know there’s a problem.’

Hinch called it ‘the stupidest thing I ever heard’ and, disagreeing with Paul Murray, said it would bring Abbott down instantaneously. It showed comprehensively what the GP-fine-backdown had only hinted, that he didn’t know what he was doing. ‘If he’d been travelling well, it’d have been an inconsequential eccentricity, loveable and forgiveable,’ Hinch added. ‘But he was already travelling badly, and it showed him with the utmost vividness to be, well, barking mad.’

Kennett said, ‘You talk about Team Australia. But you take no care at all of Team Liberal.’ He suggested Nooman, and even Baird, might lose office because of him.

Abbott had a press conference and stood by his choice of a fuddled nonagenarian social-climbing Greek over three hundred more qualified Australians, but said he had ‘learned his lesson’ and he ‘ wouldn’t do it again’ without ‘consulting widely’. Asked if he consulted Credlin before committing this latest lunacy, he ruefully licked dry lips and, lying in his teeth, said he hadn’t. It was agreed by all present he was ‘gone for all money’, within months for certain, but, if Nooman’s gang lost government on Saturday, within a week or so.

Rupert Murdoch, a Liberal-favouring tweeter, said Abbott should sack Credlin, or, if he didn’t, ‘she must do her patriotic duty and resign.’ She was a ‘proven patriot,’ he added, and would do, he was certain, ‘the right thing.’ Abbott dismissed his contribution as ‘electronic graffiti’. In Murdoch’s New York apartment, Julie Bishop raised her fourth glass of champagne. Miranda Devine, a Murdoch mind-slave, said Credlin and Abbott had ‘been together too long’, and they should ‘experiment with other partners.’

The High Court, four of them Liberal voters, said by a margin of four to three that Morrison’s piracy, kidnap, encarceration, defamation and child abuse of Tamils fleeing slaughter in Sri Lanka was legal though it breached our UN obligations and made us a world pariah. ‘Mugabe rules are now Australian rules,’ the first draft of their judgment is said to have read. ‘And we will decide who is a human, with human rights, and who is not, and who is a genuine refugee, within twenty minutes, and who is not, and we can change those definitions each time Abbott, Brandis, Bishop, Morrison and Dutton rewrite the law. We await each redraft with tingling, roused excitement, and we expect three more versions of the law by May Day.’

Pyne said Dawkins agreed with him that university degrees should cost a quarter of a million dollars. No, said Dawkins, they should stay the way they are, the envy of the world. Pyne said he would ‘write a letter to Bill Shorten’, inviting him to ‘sit down and discuss the terms of his total capitulation’. Kim Carr said the nation thought his reforms were ‘toxic’ and he should get used to it. ‘You’ll be a pariah dor the rest of yoir life. Just lie back and enjoy it.’

Dutton called a press conference, and revealed the boats were still coming. Some were subjected to what he called ‘take-back’, that is, a voyage at gunpoint into the custody of the Sri Lankan navy, who would then assure you of imprisonment, torture, death or impoverishment and work as child prostitutes at ‘home’.

Lots of ‘genuine refugees’, moreover, would never be released, Dutton said, in even PNG, because ASIO thought them, for some reason, a ‘security risk’, and likely, perhaps, to blow up grass huts and behead photo-journalists in that country. This imprisonment of men and women fleeing persecution in a tropical hell-hole for life, along with their children, an Auschwitz-like outcome, Dutton called ‘something we’re working through’.

And so concluded another day in the life of the worst free-elected government in over a millennium, since democracy in its present form was first invented, in Iceland in AD 934.

The Thirty-Two Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (180)

Abbott’s mad Prince Phillip caper caused concern among his colleagues. ‘No political radar,’ they said, ‘Politically naive.’ ‘Really, really out of touch.’ Xenophon said the Duke had gongs aplenty already, and it was like ‘giving Bill Gates an abacus’. Murdoch, a hater of monarchy, printed a list of the Prince’s gaffes (‘Do people trip over you?’ to a man in a wheelchair) and it was noted that a ninety-two-year-old Australian who actually deserved a knighthood, Tom Uren, died the same day. A survivor of the Burma Rail, and the Nagasaki A-bomb, he had paid his dues. Phil had merely married up.

It was also noted that Rose Batty, champion of punched wives, had been deprived by Napthine and Abbott of money and support that could have saved her from her brutal, bipolar husband, and her son Luke from death at his hands in front of helpless witnesses, and her.

‘Sir’ Angus Houston, a Liberal voter, who had failed to find MH 370 after a billion-dollar search in three oceans, and failed as well to find out who shot down MH 17, or found out it was the Ukrainians , perhaps, and kept it dark — at rather less expense — was modest about his achievements. Not the least of these was being thought ‘sexy’ by Julia Gillard, another ‘captain’s pick’ that was, at the time, contemptuously derided. He was reputedly incensed that his knighthood had been ‘devalued’ within two hours by it having been coupled, and equated, with that of a ‘jumped-up fancy-man, Phil the Greek’.

Across the nation, it was clear that Abbott, now widely thought mad, could not long survive as Prime Minister. Across the world, this latest foolishness was compared with his ‘speak your heart’ adjuration to the world’s leaders and his abuse of Obama for liking the Barrier Reef. A Senate motion, long mooted, to ‘investigate his sanity’ was likely to get through. Campbell Newman, harassed by questions about him, was likely to lose office, and Andrew Clennell, of The Daily Telegraph, now reckoned Luke Foley might just get up as Premier in March in New South Wales.

Julie Bishop said more ANZACs would be fed into the meat-shredder of Afghanistan. ‘Our sacrifice will continue,’ she said serenely, ‘even until the end of time.’ A thousand Afghans were dying a week, more than at the height of the war, she noted, ‘and it’s important we add more Australians to the total.’

The worst snows in ten thousand years fell on New York, convincing some doubters that climate change was real. New York papers, agog, said, ‘Aussies Appoint Queen’s Husband A Knight!’ Jon Stewart prepared his one-liners. Most foreigners were helpless with laughter.

Some, not all, of Abbott’s ministers professed ‘full confidence’ in him. It was thought by party insiders he would be rolled if Nooman lost, say, thirty seats and his own. If Palaszczuk won outright however…these were uncharted waters; and might mean Costello, say, being called back into the leadership to save the situation by contesting, say, Kelly O’Dwyer’s vacated seat, which used to be his own; or Howard put into Abbott’s vacated seat, Warringah. Or Abbott in panic advising an election, and losing sixty seats across the nation.

Cormann wouldn’t say if he agreed with the knighthood. It was the Prime Minister’s call, he said, ‘and my job is to get on viz ze jerb of claining erp the dibt and dificit diserster that Leebor lift behaynd’. Barnaby, not a Liberal, implied it was a fool decision, and said plainly ‘all such awards should go to Australians, and not to undeserving foreigners, like Nelson Mandela.’ Nooman said it was ‘a bolt from the blue, and I disagree with it.’ Andrew Laming, a Liberal, said, he disagreed with it, but he disagreed with the monarchy also, ‘so don’t get me started’. Turnbull, tempted, waited in silence for the moment, if it came, to kill, not wound, and seize the crown.

David Lipsom of Skynews said there were no plans to immediately overthrow Abbott, just a feeling of ‘total despair’. Peter Reith said he always knew Abbott’s dumb-ass knighthoods would do him serious damage eventually, ‘but not as soon as this’. He chuckled ruefully, remembering when he was Deputy Leader, and a potential Prime Minister. Then he remembered Children Overboard, and his enemy Angus Houston, now, dad-blast him, knighted also, who had brazenly contradicted his fool story and sped him out of politics, and fell grumpily silent thereafter. Why didn’t he have a knighthood? he wanted to know.

Breaching caretaker convention, Tim Nicholls lined up for immediate sale to foreign corporations entities round Cairns that employed thousands of locals. Nooman kept saying, ‘You vote for me, or you don’t get any money.’ Both of these actions were against the law, but, hey, this was Queensland, and they do things differently there.

Peter ‘Malvolio’ Hartcher, back in yellow stockings on Agenda, was asked by Speers who, ‘if Tony Abbott fell under a bus’, would replace him. Quivering with lust, he fell to singing ‘O Mistress Mine’ and when told to stop said, ‘Julie Bishop, light of my life and fire of my loins. Who else?’

Leigh Sales asked Chris Uhlman, a Liberal voter, how long Abbott had before he was rolled. He said about nine months. The answer, of course, was nine days.

And so it went.

The Twenty-Seven Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (179)

In line with his ‘all girl’ policy of awards this year, Abbott was going to give a knighthood to Sarah Palin but was persuaded to give it instead to the Danish-Greek-German-Scots nonagenarian Phillip who, at 93, he said, had ‘waited long enough’. No-one had waited that long for a royal exhaltation, he added, since Khufu, Pharoah of Egypt, in BC 1862.

It was pointed out that an Australia Day award should go to an Australian citizen and Abbott said ‘Nonsense. He’s no less Australian than I am,’ referring to his own British citizenship, as yet unrevoked, which put a legal cloud, it was argued, over his Prime Ministership. Some commentators thought this belated Royalist manouevre was to ‘get up Shorten’s nose’ after that worthy’s fine speech, ‘Obama standard,’ some said, in favour of a Republic. Abbott, it was remembered, had written a book on the Monarchy, which was launched by his coreligionist Les Murray and remaindered in 1994.

Rupert Murdoch, who hated the royal family, and had famously tried to put Prince Charles in the madhouse, was appalled at the news, and quickly determined to rid himself of ‘this itching hair-shirt, Abbott’ as soon as he could find a compliant, republican successor.

Nooman continued saying that ‘Queenslanders, wherever I go’ were telling him Palaszczuk was a bikie’s moll but would not say which Queenslanders. ‘That’s for me to know,’ he crowed, ‘and you to find out.’ Brandis continued to threaten Matthew Gardiner with life imprisonment for ‘doing what no Australian ever does, that is, fight on the right side.’

Syriza, running on an ‘anything but Hockeynomics’ policy, won power in Greece. Hockeynomics, its leader Tsipras argued, had caused 25 percent unemployment, 50 percent youth unemployment, and the eviction, starvation and financial ruin of thousands of old people and small businesspersons, and any continuance of ‘the Australian way’, he feared, would make things even worse.

The swing was 16 percent, similar to that which now seemed likely in Queensland, where ‘the little Colonel’, Nooman, had wrought such widespread devastation with his bizarre, sadistic austerities. ‘He even sacked midwives,’ appalled Queenslanders wept. ‘Has there been a tyrant like this since Cleomenes?’

Australia’s Governor-General, ‘Sir’ Peter Cosgrove, a Liberal voter, boycotted Australia Day and flew out of the country to attend, with bowed head, the obsequies of the late King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, head of a state that has no women drivers or film industry and beheads, now and then, adulterous princesses in the public square and cuts, every day, the hands off pickpockets, and to emphasise the fellow-feeling he had, as another head of state, with this arousing barbarity.’The regime I represent, and rule,’ he is said to have said to the assembled funeral, ‘has lately ennobled Phillip Guelph-Battenburg-Schleswig-Holstein-Furtwangler-Windsor, a direct descendant of those Plantagenet fratricides who routinely murdered their relatives, one with a red-hot poker up the arse, but usually by your milder method, beheading. May our many punitive likenesses continue.’

Adam Giles, a Liberal voter, called Phillip’s knighthood an ‘April Fool’s Day joke’ and Abbott a ‘tosser’. Peter Van Onselen, a Liberal voter, called it a ‘bizarre distraction’. Paul Cameron, a Liberal voter, put gaffer tape over his mouth. Campbell Newman, a Liberal voter, refused to talk about it. Unnamed Liberal backbenchers called it ‘stupid’, ‘gobsmacking’, ‘dunderheaded’, ‘a political misjudgment’ and Abbott ‘evidently suicidal’. Shorten said he’d thought it first a hoax. Paul Murray asked why it had not been bestowed on any of the thirty living Australians of the Year. Bob Ellis published a hundred more deserving names: Barry Jones, Barry Humphries, Noni Hazlehust, Fred Chaney, Clive James, Tim Fischer, Margaret Throsby, and so on. Fifty more were added by his respondents: Michael Kirby, Shaun Micalleff, Dawn Fraser.

It was thought the Prime Minister had taken leave of his senses; or, perhaps, as a former boxer, he had become, like Muhammad Ali, in his middle fifties, demented, and must surely soon be made to shuffle off into decorous retirement in the front bar of the Steyne. It did not look good for him. The very survival of the Liberal Party seemed now at stake.

PVO, despairing, said Palazsczuk might win. Clive Palmer said Nooman might sell off the electricity to the Chinese, who would greedily, then, put power bills up, as they had in South Australia. Nooman said he would only talk about ‘creating jobs’. Palaszczuk said he had sacked twenty-four thousand people, midwives, fieries, lifesavers, nurses, doctors and thereby ruined or disrupted or interrupted or distorted a hundred thousand lives, in a state with only 1.2 million voters. This was 8 percent of them, and they had as many sympathetic neighbours.

Bookies had Labor ahead in thirty-eight seats, competititive in ten, and needing only forty-five to form government unassisted; Nooman in his seat, probably, though not certainly, gone.

The times they were a-changin’.

And so it went.

Newman’s Chances

(First published by Independent Australia)

Only Sarah Palin has run a campaign as crazy as Campbell Newman’s. It may well be that Murdoch will save him. Certainly the ‘undecided’ People’s Forum voters were a help. But, after yesterday, when he told Toowoombans vote for me or else, the democracy is up for sale, his task is harder now. Is there a Queenslander left who admires him? I doubt it.

Most startling is the lead over him Palaszczuk has in the latest Newspoll as preferred Premier, 46 to 36. This, for a female Opposition Leader, has only one precedent in world history, that of Aung San Suu Kyi. It derives from Newman’s ‘little sarmajor’ personality: shout, shout, and keep shouting, and the cowed, shuffling conscripts will do what you say.

It is likely that he lost this election, as Bligh did hers, within weeks of his victory. The first thing he did was abolish the Premier’s Literary Awards, thus saving each taxpayer one cent a week. Arnie Schwarzenegger abolishing the Oscars would have shown similar cunning. The awards cost about four hundred thousand dollars. The tourism generated by them in that weekend would have covered it. If it didn’t, the remaining half cent a week per taxpayer was not too big a cost.

This was at the start of his administration. And now, at the end of it, we have what must be called The Toowoomba Declaration. It’s up to Paluszczuk, not me, he said, to prove she’s not a bikie’s moll, and if you want any money spent here, vote for me.

It was corruption writ plain and large: this democracy is for sale, and any big lie will do.

But it is probable he lost the election -– if he did –- a good deal before that. It was when he sacked the first midwife. Better some babies die than we squander this money on these interfering harridans, he was saying. Better some babies are never born.

Ellis’s Third Law, ‘The first sign of incompetence is charisma’, is worth remembering here. The charismatic man does not listen, and consequently never learns. Newman in the Forum talked three-quarters of the time, nearly always boastfully, sometimes charmingly. But he ended up, after all that blather, in an excruciating capitulation to principles enunciated by Tony Fitzgerald he had earlier denounced. He denounced them because he did not, earlier on, read and consider them. He was too busy talking, laying down the law.

It is a little hard to predict, with ease or accuracy, what exactly will happen on Saturday. Thirty-six seats are a lot to win, and the last pro-Newman commercials may have some effect.

But it is not as if he, like Howard, had twenty years of ministerial and shadow ministerial experience at his back when he was first uplifted. It is not as if the LNP is an old party. It is a new party, which has lost at least 10 percent since its huge landslide, with many, many broken promises, and a hundred thousand disrupted lives, to defend or ignore.

It is not as if they did well. Unemployment is up, many prices are up, the doctors, nurses, police and legal officials are in uproar, and an adjacent Abbott government is threatening old people — and there are a lot of old people in Queensland — with various gradations of impoverishment.

And Newman, yesterday, said vote for me or else. One is reminded of Woody Allen saying, in Sleepers, ‘Give us what we want or the nose gets it.’

He may get there. But no-one will vote for him gladly, or trustingly. The bookies have him losing his seat, and it takes a special kind of politician, like Howard, to do that.

One who is out of touch, and proud of it.

And we will see what we shall see.

‘The People’s Forum’: A Debriefing

There were no friendly cutaways to audience members while Newman spoke, and no unfriendly cutaways while Palaszczuk spoke, especially among women, and the Newspoll, out an hour later, showing a 16 percent swing in three regional seats — echoing two byelection swings of 17 and 12 percent — to Labor, and a Palaszczuk ‘preferred Premier’ score of 46 to Newman’s 36 and 18 percent ‘uncommitted’ — showed how comprehensively defeated Newman was.

Speers, however, said he won, though his last three minutes was the most disgraceful performance in a Debate since George HW Bush denounced Crocodile Dundee and bayed ‘Not the Simpsons! The Waltons!’ in 1992 while Clinton watched amazed.

And this showed Speers to be a bought man — no big news there — who is in danger of losing his position soon after Murdoch switches, desperately, to Labor — or Turnbull — on February 2nd.

And so it goes.

The Eighteen Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (177)

Daniel Meers urged Liberals not to join the game of ‘pass the parcel’ that had characterised the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd years and said ‘calm, methodical members of the coalition know Abbott remains the best option’, while his Newscorp colleagues held their sides suppressing laughter.

‘Abbott deserves more time,’ he added. ‘There will be no change to the PM in the foreseeable future’ (including, it would seem, the twenty-third century) and the coalition must ‘end the game and get on with the job.’ Several cartoonists in the building wept with laughter, and refused this dumb-bum’s beer shouts in the pub for days thereafter,

Newspoll showed a 16 percent swing to Labor in Cairns, Ipswich West and Keppel. Repeated across Queensland, it would leave Nooman with thirteen seats, not including his own. The sampling, though, of only two hundred respondents on landlines per seat, was utterly unreliable and might indicate a bigger swing than that.

David Speers meanwhile proclaimed that Nooman had ‘won’ the Debate, in which he failed to explain why he would not reveal who his donors were and refused to sign up to Tony Fitzgerald’s vision of a fair democracy, and why he kept saying, with a snigger, that ‘bikie money’ was funding the ALP. It was remarked what a sad Faust Speers had become after a year of sounding calm and reasonable on Agenda now that it was certain Murdoch would shift his editorial policy to supporting Labor and fire all who had advised against it, with extreme prejudice, on Monday, February 2.

In line with this imminent alteration Dennis Shanahan, a quondam Liberal voter, spoke of that party’s ‘poor salesmanship, prevarication and infighting’; and, as well, ‘that caged panther’, the Billionairesses’ Baby Bonus, ‘lurking in wait for the opportunity for a murderous attack’. He added there was ‘no chance’ of Abbott standing down because ‘there might be a Tampa or a 9/11 coming to rescue him soon’.

He should, however, get rid of Credlin, he advised, ‘and hire some other dominatrix. She has performed the dread role of sadistic Livia to his enfeebled Augustus,’ he added, showing off his erudition, ‘for far too long. She should accompany her lawful wedded husband Loughnane to Canada, and save the party a whole mess of suppurating poison consequent on her round-the-clock attachment to the increasingly haggard Prime Minister.’

Abbott said ‘Australia will soon be a second rate nation, thanks to my efforts’; then, altering his expression, a task widely thought more difficult since the maladministered Botox in his forehead leaked poison into his brain, claimed this to be ‘Shorten’s fault’. Nooman wholeheartedly agreed. ‘He shouldn’t be in Queensland,’ he squawked, attractively. ‘He should be back in Canberra, surrendering to Tony’s demands. And apologising, while he’s up, for spending all that money on Australians which could have gone in billions to our traditional beheaders, the Japanese.’

Asked if he agreed that penalty rates should go, he said, ‘Yes, a job is more important than what you are paid for it. A job for a penny a day is better, much better, than no job at all. And a penny a day in some professions is far, far too much.’ He then threatened that local communities who didn’t vote for his local member would not get the benefits he promised them, they could ‘go to buggery’. His minders hurried him out of town, to the next motor-mouth disaster. Sick of him like everyone else, the latest Skynews blonde reported that Palazczuk was ‘way ahead as preferred Premier, by 46 to 36, a margin that, for a female Opposition Leader, was unprecedented in all human history, except for, recently, Aung San Suu Kyi.’

Abbott rang up every backbencher he could think of, begging for another chance. ‘Changing leaders never works,’ he pleaded. ‘Look at Rudd and Gillard.’ He was told it worked fine when Hawke replaced Hayden, when Keating displaced Hawke, when Olsen displaced Brown, when Bracks displaced Brumby, when Rudd displaced Beazley, when Barnett displaced Buswell, when Weatherill displaced Rann, when Bligh succeeded Beattie, when Baird displaced O’Farrell, and…well…Abbott undermined and harried and successfully knifed and usurped, by one vote, his leader Malcolm Turnbull; it worked well then, didn’t it? Abbott was aghast, hung up the phone, and went to the toilet for a while, to think about things.

And so it went.

The ‘People’s Forum’: A Preview

Lying, Galaxy has chosen a hundred ‘undecided voters’ for the ‘People’s Forum’ tonight.  Since there is no-one undecided about Campbell Newman, they will just have to settle for a hundred who like him.

As always with these exercises, David Speers will stop Palazsczuk from talking directly to Newman, asking him why he tells all these lies, declaring this intervention to be ‘out of order’. The cameras will show Newman big in the frame, Palaszczuk smaller, and the sound from his microphone more audible than hers. When she speaks at any length, we will see not her but a cutaway of forty-two ugly audience members chewing gum and looking malignant, for thirty or forty seconds, and thus lose attention, as we are meant to.

These were the methods by which Murdoch cut down Gordon Brown in the second UK Debate (the only one Skynews was allowed to stage, direct and edit) in 2010; and later disadvantaged Gillard in Rooty Hill.

It is why Liberal leaders will appear in no other forum, and accept no other interlocutor. It is called Murdoch Cheating, and it has a long history of contemptible success.

And…we will see what we shall see.

The Fifteen Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (176)

Campbell Newman sued Alan Jones for calling him a liar. Speaking faster than an Irishman, Jones with asperity explained it was because Nooman had sworn to him, ‘face to face, face to face, in my own house’, that he wouldn’t gut and eviscerate his Acland heartland, then did. Nooman said he was ‘spreading Labor lies’, and denied the taxpayer was funding his lawyers. He was amazed the press kept wanting to talk about it.

The US declared David Hicks innocent of all charges. He had now, after suffering three years in solitary, several months of torture, and five years of cowering in a blazing bright, freezing cold prison cell, harassed by loud music and fearing for his life, the clear option of suing Downer, Howard, Akerman, Andrews, Henderson, Bolt, Devine and Ruddock for libel, and requiring an apology from Abbott on the floor of the House. Howard, hearing of this, said he was ‘well, yes, embarrassed, but he’ll never get a penny out of me.’ Gerard Henderson, who had called him ‘a trained heathen killer’, was quaking in his boots.

An inquiry ordered by Abbott proposed the end of the minimum wage, and lower pay on Sundays. These measures resembled WorkChoices, the ‘dead, buried, and cremated’ political calamity that had cost Howard government, and his seat. Abetz said it might never happen, but ‘if it does, it will be after we run with it, at the next election. And win,’ he added, sweating. ‘And win.’

Laurie Oakes, a Liberal voter, boasted of truncating the Whitlam golden age ‘by at least five years, ho ho,’ and wrecking Gillard’s chances of majority government by publishing leaks from Rudd and others of things she said in the privacy of Cabinet. ‘You can’t consider the consequences of your actions,’ he said, ‘you’re a journalist, for fuck’s sake, and your first obligation is to…not the truth, but the deadline, and the headline. And the sensation, ho ho. And the money. Ho ho.’ It was widely thought he had ruined the nation, and was for some reason proud of it.

Abbott begged Widodo not to shoot two Australian drug dealers, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. He did not threaten to withdraw our ambassador. If he had, it is likely Widido might have expelled from his shores, in a number of gunboats, all asylum seekers wanting to come to Australia, and invited our navy to fire on this approaching armada near Christmas Island. But Abbott, as he usually is these days, was quaking in his boots, and frightened of any macho posturing whatever.

Baird then surprised the nation by beseeching Abbott to be fairer to boat people and to take more of them in. This was partly due, some observers reckoned, to his vulgar post-Canadian Christianity, partly to his father Bruce’s advocacy of this line through the Howard years, which cost him Cabinet office. Abbott, abashed, replied that he would take none of them in, as Morrison had advised him they were heathens, beyond even Bambi’s missionary zeal. Baird, as he was wont to, burst into tears.

He sniffled in explanation that he was worried about ‘unsettling reports’ in the media about the events in the Lindt Cafe. A number of scarred survivors were being paid, for competing narratives, loads of money to reveal what actually happened, exaggerating if need be. It seemed the police had shot six of them, but only one fatally. Strategically placed Murdochists were decrying them for ‘profiting from another’s misfortune’, thus repudiating a century of Murdoch warfront correspondents and two thousand five hundred years of reportage beginning with The Peloponnesian Wars and including Fitz’s books on Gallipoli and Kokoda, and demanding they either breach their contracts with the broadcast channels, or give the money to charity.

Cheating, Galaxy chose for the People’s Forum eighty-two Newman voters and twelve Palaszczuk voters, called them ‘undecided’, broadcast a Debate in which Nooman, rabbiting on till even Speers could stand him no longer, lost comprehensively, and three ‘objective commentators’ from The Courier Mail declared that he had ‘clearly won’ and Speers, ruefully, fearing unemployment, allowed that he had, though thirty-four of his supporters, disgusted by Nooman’s hydrophobic mendacity, voted against him or claimed in misery they were still ‘undecided’, resulting in a score of 48-26-26. A mutinous Newspoll out an hour later had Labor on 56 in three seats, currently held by the LNP, in regional Queensland, presaging a Nooman loss of fifty seats including his own, and Seeney’s.

And so it went.

The Palaszczuk Prospect: A Prediction

Murdoch, unusually, has published a piece, and an accompanying poll, that shows Labor might win in Queensland.

By Graham Young, of On Line Opinion, it shows the LNP on 42 percent, Labor on 37, Greens on 7, and ‘others’, including Katter and Palmer, on 14 percent.

‘Ninety percent of Green voters,’ he notes, ‘say they will preference Labor, and ten percent say they will exhaust, while of the other minor party voters, thirty percent will favour Labor, twenty-nine percent the LNP, and forty-one percent will exhaust.

‘This would make the election almost exactly 50/50.’

…Adding those figures up, though, gives Labor only 47.5 percent, and the LNP only…46.06, the others having ‘exhausted’.

It gives Labor 1.5 percent more than the LNP, Murdoch for ‘almost exactly 50/50′.

These figures were garnered, however, before the full force of the Alan Jones counterblast, and the full stupidity of the twenty-dollar-fine-for-going-to-the-doctor fiasco registered everywhere, and nearly cost Abbott his job.

It was a poll, moreover, that was taken only on landlines, in the Christmas holidays, among people not out of the house, in their seventies, eighties and nineties, and only 609 of them, an insufficient sample.

If these factors added only one percent to the Labor vote, and 95 not 90 percent of the Green vote went in preferences to Labor and did not ‘exhaust’, and 35 not 30 percent of the ‘others’ vote went to Labor and did not ‘exhaust’, it would bring the Labor vote to…49.5 percent, and the LNP vote to 43.5 percent, and a clear majority for Palaszczuk.

Is this possible? Well…14 percent for others, and 7 percent for Greens, add up to fifth of the electorate; and, as in Hanson’s time, a quarter of the electorate in Queensland can suddenly ‘bolt’, and hobble both ‘major’ parties.

And if, as the poll shows, 43 percent of the ‘others’ do want a hung parliament, and will vote strategically to get it…anything can happen.

One thing, though, that CAN’T happen is a Campbell Newman-LNP victory.

And…I’m calling it. Labor on 49 or 50, and a clear majority for Labor, or an alliance, like Beattie had, of Labor and Peter Wellington.