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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.

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, and there on a hillsaide 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 Steve 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.

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (174)

Chris Uhlmann, a Liberal voter, in anguish alleged most MPs who had ‘sounded out’ their constituents over the Christmas break now felt Abbott was ‘terminal’ and he would have to go. Baird, shovelling soil beside Abbott at a function, said sorrowfully he wouldn’t ‘need his services’ in the coming New South Wales election.

Alan Jones told Richo, and an abashed and beaming Palaszczuk, that Nooman ‘couldn’t be trusted with the fresh corpse of my grandmother’ and that he had ‘lied to me, lied to me, brazenly, brazenly, shamelessly, shamelessly, in my own house’ about his intentions in the Darling Downs. Nooman lamely called him a ‘bloke from the south’, forgetting Jones grew up in rural Queensland and he, Nooman, in Tasmania.

Polls were taken and withheld by Murdoch. The bookies had not moved, but the ‘no more privatisation’ message was clearly cutting through and the unthinkable was being thought, that Nooman was friendless, mistrusted, resented, loathed and by most sentient humans despised, and his ‘strong, strong, strong’ mantra was pathetic, and he would lose both his seat and his imperium, and old women would spit on him in the street. And he had spent a hundred and twenty million on his electorate, Jones noted, waspishly, ‘a world record amount, worthy of Mugabe’, to no avail.

Dutton told Leigh Sales that the ‘sixty-eight ringleaders’ of ‘non-compliance’ on Manus, lately clubbed, dragged out and hospitalised, had themselves been ‘fashioning weapons’ but couldn’t say what weapons those were. He said they had better get used to life imprisonment for the foul crime of setting out on a journey in July not June, or else fly home to execution in their country of origin.

Asked how many had been ‘resettled’, he couldn’t think of any. These things take time, he pleaded, though on some boats many refugees’ fates were decided in twenty minutes, and anyway eighteen months, the time between Dunkirk and Pearl Harbour, wasn’t very long, not very long at all. He already looked haggard and buggered and burnt out and was talking, as Ruddock once did, of ‘inappropriate behaviour’ (starving oneself to death) which would not achieve an ‘unacceptable outcome’ (seeing one’s wife and children again) because ‘our borders must be protected’ (though from what danger — hard-working farmers and teachers? — he couldn’t say); and burying the better half of himself in evil for his Party’s sake, in order to win and keep the ‘hate vote’, as it was called, on the ‘dark side’, as the Liberal Party was now known.

Obama came out for socialism, calling it ‘middle class economics’, and Hockey put his face in his hands. He then advocated ‘free community colleges’ — the equivalent of free TAFEs — and CHEAPER university degrees, and Pyne began to whinny, and locked himself in the loo.. The Police Union said Nooman, who was running on ‘law and order’, had lied to them too and ‘couldn’t be trusted with a disembowelled pit bull in a fridge in the morgue’ after he promised them danger money he didn’t give them, for risking their lives after midnight; ‘Not a penny,’he shrieked, ‘not a penny. Sucked in!’

Murdoch published a poll and an article suggesting Palaszczuk Labor was on 47.5 percent, two party preferred, the LNP on 46.05 two party preferred and the other votes ‘exhausted’. This made a hung parliament likely, and a Labor victory possible. It was taken on landlines before the full enormity of the Alan Jones counterblast went seismic round the regions and his core constituency, the coppers, called him unambiguously a lying cunt, and was probably therefore understated by 2 or 2.5 percent. One pundit, Bob Ellis, called the election for Palaszczuk. The bookies thought not, but agreed there was no way Nooman would retain his seat.

7.30 revealed the corrupt arrangements of Joh’s Moonlight State were back, and unidentified businessmen could pay a fortune to eat with Nooman, or Seeney, or Springborg, or John Howard and rub their tummies and adjust the government’s policies to their financial advantage. No-one from Nooman’s government commented; and the odds on his party winning began to plummet precipitously.

And so it went.

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (172)

Joe Hockey said people will be living to a hundred and fifty soon, and they should be pre-emptively punished for this. Asked if he had ‘blown his stack’ when Abbott, in his absence, tried on his fool idea of a twenty dollar fine for anyone who presumed to go to the doctor and left the surgery nine minutes later, he said he ‘didn’t want to discuss it’. It hadn’t happened, he swore, it was gossip, it hadn’t happened, but if it had — which it certainly hadn’t — he didn’t want to talk about it. All government decisions were ‘unanimous’, he said, and had a pre-breakfast gin, and a soothing Cuban cigar. Shorten called it ‘his Sarah Palin moment: I can see Russia from my house’, but it resembled more closely, some thought, David Johnston’s ‘Hiawatha canoe moment’, which did for him altogether: thus departed David Johnston, in the glory of the sunset, in the purple mists of evening, of the south-west wind, Keewaydon,’ and so on, as the new poem went.

Did Joe have a future? There was growing evidence he didn’t. Every time he came out to bat, as it were, he scored a duck, and groaned aloud as he trudged back to the pavilion. He had as much future as ninety percent of his stomach, now in a fridge labelled ‘surplus to requirements’; a fair description, some said, of Joe, these days, himself.

Julie Bishop, looking a good bit like the late Hatshepshut in recent years — or as if, some said, a vampire had sucked out her Botox — ‘wasn’t ruling out’, she said, ‘recalling our Ambassador to Indonesia’ if Widodo at any time soon put two Australian drug traffickers, chained and gagged, before a firing squad as he planned to. This would leave Widodo, a non-Charlie Muslim, with the vengeful option of arresting and shooting twenty or thirty of Morrison’s scavenging seadogs for having ‘people smuggled’ genuine refugees back into Indonesia by moonlight in orange boats last year without his permission, an act of invasive war in recent centuries, he judged, against which there was no appeal. He meantime shot to death two women, among four men, on the weekend to show he wasn’t kidding.

Seven hundred refugees rioted in Manus, preferring death by bashing now to living in PNG with heathen cannibals hereinafter, and the Acting Prime Minister, Truss, said ‘It’s hard to know what’s going on up there’. Asked why he didn’t let in reporters with videocameras, he said, ‘It’s none of my affair.’ Asked why Reza Barati’s murderers were still ‘administrating the facility’, he said, ‘I don’t know anything about that. Oh dear, I think it’s time I had my afternoon lie-down. Excuse me, won’t you.’ As he snored, a hit squad of Reza Barati’s murderers went in with clubs and chains and ‘resolved the situation’, with a ‘minimum of casualties’.

Murdoch read keenly, and quickly erased all cross-Queensland polling, though local surveys in significant electorates showed numbers flowing, surging, deluging, towards Palaszczuk. Nooman erased the word ‘privatise’ from his jumpy, buoyant, crack-pated speeches. It was a word Queenslanders hated, he had found. Alan Jones attacked him for ‘undermining’, literally, his heartland, west Queensland. He looked more and more, as he strutted and squawked and flapped his short arms, like a character in Chicken Run. David Speers returned in Skynews Agenda despondent at how dire it looked for Abbott of late, and Graham Morris, downcast, said surely, surely, Nooman, the strongman, with his strong policies, and his strong team, wouldn’t lose. He wouldn’t lose, would he? Surely?

And so it went.

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (171)

Julie Bishop boycotted Newman’s campaign launch, and it was thought that Hockey, Pyne, Abetz, Andrews and the Queenslanders Dutton and Brandis would not be coming either. A Galaxy poll in selected seats foreboded a wipeout in the north and big trouble in the south-east and a likely hung parliament or a Palaszczuk victory. A baby refused to cuddle Nooman who was bathed in sweat and repetitive and shouting, obscurely, ‘a one and a half billion dollar black hole!’, quoting his Treasurer.

Albo, noting the hottest year since the Ice Age, said the Liberals ‘put ideology before common sense’ and extreme weather events, thanks to Abbott, were increasing exponentially by the week. Abbott continued to be on holiday, after begging Widodo not to shoot two Australians. Many survivors of the Lindt Cafe siege queued up, wondering who should bag Baird first, and/or Abbott, who had refused to help them.

It was felt the Liberals were not good at protecting us from anything. Firing squads, climate change, Egyptian encarceration, Vladimir Putin, murderers on bail were coming for us in great numbers and Abbott was ‘on holiday’ and Bishop feebly defending Israel, our enemy’s enemy, in its fight with the ICC, and simultaneously asking the Muslim world for favours. It was unlikely Hockey would put his head above the parapet again, in any forum including Question Time, and very likely Josh would replace him soon, or Turnbull.

That was if Abbott survived. Several pundits thought that…well…not the twenty dollar fine for going to the doctor, but his panicked cancellation of it under furious backbench pressure, showed a leader in terminal trouble. He proposed to have on Team Australia Day millions of patriots singing in wild chorus ‘Advance Australia Fair’, a widely detested song, and a march-past and fly-over in the Mugabe or Ceaucescu manner and this would rouse the nation behind him.

After only 497 days, it had gone so bad for the Liberals. Behind in every state, and scorned by most of the civilised world, it was clear they didn’t know what they were doing, and Abbott had become, as Costello predicted, ‘a catastrophe as leader’.

Nooman had spent, it was reported, a hundred and twenty million dollars on Ashgrove to no avail. The billion Abbott was giving foreigners to find MH 370, Christ knows why, was bearing no fruit. Nicholls, in cash-strapped Queensland, would spend, if elected Premier, a billion on a new government building.

In New South Wales Garry Edwards, MP, was expelled from the Liberal Party and Bart Bassett, MP, prevented from running for Londonderry after ICAC probes besmirched them, and nine other serving parliamentarians, with varying whiffs and mutters of corruption. It was hoped that ‘Cleanskin’ Bambi Baird, though mired himself in Katrina’s killing and the release of the monster Monis on bail, would somehow stem the swing against the Liberals that had brought Labor, even under Robbo, to the brink of power with 49 percent, in Ipsos’ view. No poll had thankfully come out since Foley’s acclamation, nor would it if Rupert Murdoch, an influential person, had his way.

A baby girl killed by police was mourned and buried. It was noted that NSW cops had killed three times as many innocent humans as ‘terrorism’ in a mere month. No ‘Je Suis Katrina’ march, however, was thus far planned in Martin Place or Macquarie Street.

For the sixth week the prizewinning Liberal voter Kate McClymont refused to investigate the Lindt Cafe. ‘It would serve no useful purpose,’ she is said to have said, ‘to rake over now the old, dead coals of a case that has been, for so long, blessedly, thankfully closed.’ But more would come out, she promised, about that vile misspender of five thousand dollars, Craig Thomson, and the malevolent sexual monster Bob Ellis; watch this space.

Sharks appeared off Manly beach, home ground of the hairy jogging muscular Christians Baird and Abbott, despite their prayers. Refugee insurgents on Manus expelled their prison guards, and in a violent day-long siege attracted world attention to their cause, that of seeing their wives and children once again, something Dutton called ‘a preposterous demand’. PUP launched their campaign, calling in potent commercials Nooman’s plans and record ‘rubbish’. Nooman launched his campaign, the small, ugly smile on his face reminiscent of that of a cult leader two days after the world failing to end. Only Truss was up on stage with him, and behind him fifty faces visibly mortified by his incompetent loss of twenty seats or, maybe, forty.

He warned against a ‘hung parliament of Katter, Palmer and Labor’ whose threat he compared with the present Senate, which had thus far saved us from the co-payment and Pyne’s quarter million dollar university degrees. ‘We can’t have that,’ he said. ‘ We don’t want that. We need a strong government. With a plan.’ He then disgusted his audience by saying, ‘We made the trains run on time!’ Images appeared in the minds of his aghast remaining disciples of Nooman hanging up dead by his heels in chains like his role model, Mussolini.

And so it went.

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (170)

Lying, Newspoll said Newman was ‘neck and neck’ with Kate Jones in Ashgrove, over figures that showed her on 53 percent, after ringing only six hundred landlines on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, not those with mobiles out shopping or swimming or at the pictures, which would make it 54 percent. After this, the ‘margin of error’ of 4 percent might make her score…well…oh dear…58 percent.

On page 2 it was revealed that Jones led Nooman by 52 to 44 as ‘better local member’. And it seemed she would get what she got in 2009 pretty much, 56 percent, and Newman would lose the seat. On page 2 also Sean Parnell, a Liberal voter, said glumly Tim Nicholls might well be Premier in two weeks’ time.

Palaszczuk meanwhile had given a speech, well concealed on the least read page of The Australian, number 2, in which she said she would progressively pay off the debt — twelve billion in the next decade — by not selling anything, nothing at all, and using one third of the income from the entities not sold, 600 million a year, to restore some jobs which Nooman had abolished, to fund the tourist industry, save the Reef, and so on, and two thirds to pay off what was owed. This was massively plausible, and good economics, and therefore concealed in all the Murdoch media.

Experts announced this last year was the hottest since the Ice Age, and so cast doubt on the Prime Minister’s judgment that ‘global warming is a whole lot of crap’. Abbott was elsewhere in trouble with Brough, a Howard high-flyer he had not promoted, over his twenty dollar visiting-the-doctor fine, which Brough said he would denounce were it not cancelled, which it was. Sufficient backbench numbers existed, it seemed now, to sack Abbott or make him stand down; so Brough, perhaps — or Dutton, or Bishop, or Robb, or Ley, or Turnbull, or Josh Frydenberg — might replace him.

This would not occur before January 31, the date of Nooman’s ruin, and the forming of a Nicholls or Palaszczuk government after negotiations with Katter, Palmer, and Pauline Hanson.

Abbott refrained from offering his arse to Widodo, as he had to Windsor, but, near tears, beseeched him to refrain from shooting two Australian drug dealers before the Nooman election lest it cost him whatever shreds he had left of international credibility. ‘I’ve spent a billion not finding MH 370,’ he is said to have moaned, ‘cuddled a koala with the Antichrist, doubled the deficit, disgusted with my impertinent banality the leaders of Europe and enraged every doctor on this continent; and, worse, Mal Brough. Just give me this one, Joko. I’ll make it up to you, I swear. I’ll never send back into your waters a half-drowned refugee again.’ Widodo stared at his skyped image impassively. What a strange little person, he thought.

Galaxy showed Labor winning Queensland. ‘Swings of up to 12 percent in the state’s southwest,’ it was reported by The Brisbane Times, and ‘similar swings’ in those north Queensland seats which had last time voted KAP, meant there would be, probably, 40 or 50 less LNP seats by February 10. Nooman, wiping oodles of sweat from each fraught square inch of his tiny bald head, announced an extra fifty billion for obese children who might like to try cricket, and seemed more strident with reporters than usual. He said it was ‘a choice’ between the ‘chaos and incompetence’ of a Labor government which had delivered nine surpluses, and his ‘strong team’ which would, after sacking twenty-four thousand nurses, midwives, firemen, lifesavers and civil servants, ‘create jobs.’

The Galaxy poll was for Channel 9, and came out at 1.05 am. The Murdoch media made no mention of it; and concealed, probably, in deepest hugger-mugger a similar finding by Newspoll. If true it meant an easy Foley win in New South Wales, and Canberra chaos until Abbott walked, or was overthrown. It might mean the end of the Liberal Party, or its redefinition under Turnbull.

And so it went.

The Three Worst Thing The Liberals Did Yesterday (168)

Saul Eslake said Abbott’s promise of a million new jobs in five years would not be met. ‘The difficulty,’ he is said to have said, ‘is the quarter of a million old jobs abolished by Hockey when he ended auto manufacturing, the thirty thousand abolished by Johnston when he ended submarine building, and the twenty-five thousand nurses, midwives, lifesavers, firefighters and civil servants sacked by Nooman. The Liberals’ view that jobs growth begins with sacking hundreds of thousands doesn’t…add up.’

The price of oil halved. Rents, however, relentlessly went up. You could rent a shoe shop in Avalon for three thousand dollars a week and go broke in six months, or even four. The McLure Review told Morrison you can’t scare the disabled into working, the jobs aren’t there. Three hundred detainees on Manus Island refused to eat. More each day sewed up their lips. Dutton continued sobbing, with his face in his hands, and refused to come out of the bathroom.

The NSW Coroner, Michael Barnes, said an inquest into Katrina’s killing would occur next month, in the lead-up to the NSW election. A Lindt Cafe customer, Marcia Mikhael, wanted ‘a six-figure sum’ to ‘tell; tell all’. She it was who on a Monis video begged Abbott to save them, and was aghast when he wouldn’t. Baird asked Abbott for millions to compensate the ‘Chocolate hostages’, but got no reply.

Abbott attended the Prime Minister’s Eleven cricket match, refused to bat and pretended, with some success, he knew some details of the game. It was thought his new twenty-five dollar fine for going to the doctor would lose Nooman every seat he won in 2012, and Baird every seat O’Farrell won in 2011. ‘Somye old women go three times a week for their prescription,’ experts explained, ‘and will now have to euthanase their Pekingese to afford this. Two thirds of them used to vote Liberal, and they won’t, any more,’

The extinction of the Liberal Party like the UAP, Liberal Reform, the Communists and the Democrats was now a possibility. Baird and Nooman were amazed that ‘Tony hates us so much he sneaked this in, like a Grinch, at Christmas.’

Albrechtsen, breasts heaving, asked Howard how he felt about causing the deaths, displacement, insanity and economic ruin of six million people, and he said, ‘Well, embarrassed. But I do emphasise that Tony, George and I acted, in concert, on advice we then thought reliable, that Saddam would not use his atomic bombs on us, but hide them in the sand.’ Asked why he had lied about the Children Overboard, he said, ‘It wasn’t a lie. I sincerely believed some mothers would feed their suckling children to the sharks. My mother, for instance…’ Then he grew quiet, and changed the subject.

Nooman cursed Abbott openly for the twenty dollar fine he planned to impose on old women going to the doctor. Sussan Ley, back from her holidays, squealed and attacked the furniture and ‘took the whole thing off the table’, she said, thus saving, perhaps, the Liberal Party from immediate extinction and Nooman from electoral wipe-out on the 31st. She said, however, that ‘measures would have to be taken’ to make Medicare ‘affordable and sustainable’. Merely lifting the Medicare levy from 1.5 percent of annual income to 1.75 percent of the income of the ‘poor’ and 2.5 percent of the income of those on 150,000 a year, and 3.5 percent of those on 500,000, did not occur to her. But then, she was new to the job, and a fucking fool.

Murdoch kept on insisting Nooman was ‘gaining ground’ in his flagship The Courier Mail but never said why or how. A page 1 headline yelled, feebly, ‘Business Leaders In No Doubt: Newman On Right Track On Asset Sales’, and had the readers of The Australian, now down to double figures in Queensland, and single figures in Victoria, in a flapping, squawking fury of dissent. Privatisation was hated everywhere in the world, not least because it never worked (train crashes usually followed, or power bills doubling), and the headline persuaded them that this was what he, Nooman, was up to. He said it wasn’t so; it was a ‘ninety-nine year lease’, but it was widely thought he lied.

Widodo proposed to shoot two Australians for drug trafficking some years ago. Julie Bishop, who had just praised the magazine Charlie Hebdo for ridiculing the Holy Prophet Mohammed, unaccountably failed to persuade this genial, modernising, tractable Muslim not to do this — in the same way, some thought, as she had lately failed to persuade, after acclaiming the mass murderer Netanyahu for his slaughter of four hundred Gaza children, the Egyptian President Fattah Abdel el-Sisi to release Peter Greste, an Australian who had criticised his regime. A poll showed her lagging behind Malcolm Turnbull as preferred Prime Minister, by 26 percent to his 36; though she was well ahead of Abbott, who was on 14; the lowest score for a sitting Prime Minister in human history.

And so it went.

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (167)

Janet Albrechtsen, a Liberal voter, stood up for our right to bully nine-year-old Muslim girls as ‘Mohammed’s whores’ in the playground and shove their heads down toilet bowls. ‘This is what Charlie Hebdo means,’ she said, and cited the unjust conviction of Andrew Bolt for saying ‘Some girls just aren’t black enough’ in his influential column in the Herald-Sun as a ‘shame on our nation’.

‘John Howard wants 18C abolished,’ she added, with heaving bosoms, breathlessly, ‘and so do I. Tony Abbott is a lily-livered fraud,’ she went on, flexing lips unaccountably tempting to Rhys Muldoon, ‘for backing down on this issue. A jelly-back! A coward! Are you with me? Are you with me?’ A ‘Je Suis Janet’ march up George Street was planned, and has thus far attracted fourteen enthusiastic disciples.

Her hundred-hour interview with John Howard continued on Skynews, whose viewership during its initial broadcast reached, to Murdoch’s amazement, double figures. Howard said he ‘felt a fool’ for putting on a bullet-proof garment in order to address a crowd of paspalum-chewing Bob Katter lookalikes in Western Queensland in May 1996, but felt he was right not to criticise, ‘even for a minute, even for a sentence’, Pauline Hanson when she first spoke up against the yellow hordes and thus let her gain eleven seats in Queensland, and thus ensure fifteen years of Beattie-Bligh-Labor.

‘It was a wise decision,’ he said, ‘as was, indeed, my enthusiastic determination to wage unflinching war on Iraq and thus cause the murder, displacement, insanity and ruin of six million souls. Six million is a figure that appeals to me.’ Albrechtsen’s parted lips and heaving bosom added interest to a conversation, now in its fiftieth hour, that was elsewhere thought by aghast academics ‘more tedious than the reflections of Charles Pooter in Diary of a Nobody.’

Baird proposed to increase the rate of one-punch murders in Kings Cross by letting violent drunks enter nightclubs after 1.30 am. This was nothing to do, he declared, with the two hundred thousand smackers the Liquor Industries had contributed to his party’s last campaign. ‘It is because a number of bloodhouses have closed,’ he said, ‘and men with tattoos and eye-patches nostalgic for the good old days would like to see them open again, and free-for-alls between transvestite Ice addicts with meat-cleavers resume in that legendary district.’ Told that violence had come down by a third since the early-closing law was enacted, he said, ‘What has that to do with it? We’re talking about gangsters losing money, and having less to advance to the Liberal Party. Oops.’

A million Queenslanders woke up an hour early and blamed Campbell Newman. This was because their mobile phones had switched over to Summertime — a season Queensland does not recognise — and the crazed, punctuality-mad, runty, bald sarmajor had not prevented this. It was all of a piece, some said, with his early surprise election during their holiday hangover, the first in January in Australia since 1913. His rating dropped by two percent, making him the least approved Premier or Prime Minister or President in world history.

Palaszczuk asked who would be Premier if he lost his seat? He refused to say, and, looking haggard and shrivelled, claimed he was only just starting work on a railway line that would open four years after he lost his seat. ‘Trust me,’ he pleaded. ‘Trust me.’

Shorten said he would oppose and overthrow in the Senate the new twenty-dollar co-payment for a doctor’s visit, and Palmer, Lambie and Xenophon said they would too, debating this in the Upper House in early February. This meant voters in Queensland would be talking of nothing else on January 31; and the LNP would on that day be in big, big trouble, and might achieve as many seats as Labor did in 2012.

Three hundred asylum seekers on Manus, where Reza Barati was bashed to death with a rock,went on a hunger strike. Three sewed up their lips, and one swallowed a razor blade. Peter Dutton, lately voted by thousands of doctors ‘the worst Health Minister in the last thirty-eight years’, found himself, to his amazement, Minister for Immigration, and as likely as Morrison to go befôre the International Criminal Court for kidnap, illegal detention, child abuse and piracy. He squared his shoulders, straightened his tie, then put his face in his hands and wept uncontrollably.

And so it went.

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (166)

Andrew Clennell, a Liberal voter, advised Baird to ‘just ignore’ Luke Foley and he would go away; he did this on page 13 of The Daily Telegraph. On page 1, however, there was a headline acclaiming Foley for his aim, if elected, to cut by two thirds all tax on all bets on horses, and, on page 2, praise for his ‘can-do attitude’ by the selfsame self-loathing Andrew Clennell. Rupert Murdoch, an hereditary problem gambler, will have demanded he write this, and change the paper’s vote, mayhap, to Labor. Clennell drank whisky, and hoped it would go away.

NSW police killed three times as many people, in the past month, as terrorists, it was revealed after Bowral coppers tasered to death a recovering drug addict who was making, his brother said, ‘good progress’. Baird begged Abbott for millions to compensate those Lindt Cafe customers his goons had wounded or killed lest he have to do it himself, with money he didn’t have. The Dawson family were planning to sue him for wrongful killing, it was rumoured, and he was frantic.

It was thought some Sydney police were snorting more Ice than was beneficial to them or the larger community. No Royal Commission, though, Baird swore, would investigate why a plan to shoot Monis before he killed anybody was not proceeded with, and a plan they called ‘an eye for an eye’, to shoot him after he killed somebody, was preferred. Or why he had not been sniped by available army experts fifteen hours before. Or ten. Or seven. And why they waited till he was tired and irritable and murderous, and did not send in anybody — an imam, Mamdouh Habib, Tony Abbott — to talk to him.

No ‘Je Suis Katrina’ march against the NSW police has yet been planned. It was suggested to Baird, and it left him sobbing. ‘We will get through this,’ he blubbered over his cornflakes. ‘We will get through this.’

Nick Cater, a Liberal voter, called for the punishment of all Muslims for the events in the Lindt Cafe. Like punishing all Catholics for their co-religionist Hitler’s massacres of tens of millions, and all Jews for their co-religionist Netanyahu’s massacre, last June, of three thousand Gazans, and of all Chinese for their occasional killings, in mere hundreds, of Muslim Uigurs in their various small towns for exercising free speech in the past ten years, his plan had flaws. So did his call for the 18C debate that Brandis had summarily trashed to ‘start afresh’. ‘We all have the right to be bigoted,’ his first draft is said to have said, ‘all, that is, except for the swarthy, hook-nosed Muslim infidel. Oops.’

‘The bracing challenge for the Abbott government this year,’ The Australian editorialist wrote, ‘is to implement remedial action where last year there was discord and failure.’ ‘Kicking the can down the road to our children,’ he forcefully added, was very, very wrong. Better, far better, to charge them a quarter of a million for their degrees rather than, oops, sixty-four thousand for their degrees and the national debt in toto; a quarter that is of what Abbott was charging.

He further called Shorten ‘Chauncey Gardiner’ for suggesting Australia, stimulated, might soon enjoy ‘growth’. He then in gloom admitted there was a lot of growth, dad blast it, after the fall in the dollar and the price of petrol; a lot of growth. This was clear proof, he concluded, that Bill didn’t know what he was talking about. Growth and lower individual expenditure wouldn’t do it. How could they. The figures added up, but Rupert wasn’t interested in figures. ‘All of Thatcher’s figures were wrong,’ the great man tweeted, ‘but what a triumph she was.’

Cheating, Abbott ensured that all who went to the doctor for under ten minutes would pay twenty dollars for it. Under the new sadistic provisions, doctors would not bulk-bill, and could not afford to. This elevation of the threat to old women and cripples from seven dollars to twenty dollars ten cents per visit, costing sixty dollars a week to some old women, meant Newman would lose Queensland, which was full of retired oldies, and Baird nearly all old New South Welshpersons, who were skint.

Both Baird and Newman were foaming with rage.

The AMA voted Dutton ‘the worst Health Minister in Australian history’.

And so it went.

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (165)

The Daily Telegraph concealed a Galaxy showing Labor ahead in New South Wales. Of 832 voters, it reported, 57 percent said Robbo was right to resign, 23 percent said he was wrong, and 20 percent were uncommitted. No other finding of the poll was published, indicating Foley Labor will win, or come close.

Police admitted to killing Katrina Dawson, and some were angry they did not ‘go in sooner’, and an ‘eye-for-an-eye’ plan had been adopted, of ‘do not kill Monis till he kills one of us’. They waited seven minutes after his first salvo of gunfire for him to do this. They then burst in, killed him, and fired twenty or so more rounds, killing Katrina; and in their initial reports claimed Monis, not they, had killed her.

It was revealed as well they wouldn’t let Muslim leaders talk to him, or Tony Abbott either, thus increasing his frustration on this, the last day of his life, and making him more likely to kill people.

Terrified by Newspoll’s fabricated figures showing his party winning, and him losing his seat on the 31st, Campbell Newman announced 26,000 new apprenticeships, to make up for the 24,000 firemen, midwives, nurses, lifesavers and civil servants he had sacked two years ago. He would pay for these, he said, by privatising the electricity, a policy that loses all governments office wherever it is attempted in the whole wide world but he thought was ‘worth a try’.

Yesterday’s fabricated Newspoll showed Newman, sacker of nurses, ahead, somehow, on ‘Health’, by 41 percent to 36. This was done by adding a category, ‘someone else’, and also ‘uncommitted’, to the mix of parties on that question. The ‘someone else’ was probably a Green, and would add, by the look of it, 8 percent in preferences to Labor, putting them ahead by 3 percent, which is where they would be in an election. ‘We have not BEGUN to cheat,’ chuckled Murdoch in America, before his nightly sedation. ‘You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.’

Bowral police amazed no-one by tasering another drugged young man to death, his capital crime being this time stealing hamburgers, not biscuits. ‘It hadn’t occurred to us that tasering plus Ice kills people,’ one of them said. ‘Well, we know now.’ NSW police this week, it was noted, killed more people than Monis, the other being a little child they ran over in a playground. They then admitted killing Katrina Dawson. No inquiry, Baird insisted, would be called, no way, into why they were so fucking mad or if they took Ice themselves; they were doing ‘a first rate job’, he babbled. He then refused a memorial plaque in Bowral to another slaughtered innocent. ‘We will get through this,’ he added, wet-eyed. ‘We will get through this.’

Truss considered quitting, then glumly filled in for Abbott (who had ‘gone on holiday’, it was laughingly asserted) in Queensland, where he came from, and where Abbott was now ‘toxic’, according to his closest friends. He had thought of ‘Marching for Charlie’ in Paris with other world leaders, but Credlin feared the French would shoot him for having lately beseeched Europe’s leaders to ‘speak from the heart’, something they had not done since early Roman times, and bade him stay home. Book into the Steyne perhaps, reread Brideshead Revisited and eat steak and chips and drink Guinness with Baird in the back bar, and talk of the death of God, till a bushfire arrived they could fight, heroically, side by side.

Morgan showed Labor winning, federally, in Queensland with 54 percent, a swing of 18 percent from the September election last year. They needed only a 10 percent swing to win the state election. This looked pretty likely. It was not thought Newman was more popular than Abbott. He was already losing his own seat, and it was possible Queenslanders hated him even more (though this was a hard ask) than the current Prime Minister. ‘He’s more than toxic,’ said Nooman’s closest friends. ‘Leprosy, herpes, Cory Bernardi and ebola, put together, are more popular these days than the Little Sarmajor. I wish, I wish, he’d go away.’

In the middle distance, he spat on a child. They averted their eyes.

And so it went.

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (164)

Rupert Murdoch, a Liberal voter, said Muslims must take responsibility for the murderous jihadists they had ‘failed to re-educate’. This echoed his previous opinion that the Catholic Church must take responsibility for the Holocaust after a Catholic, Adolf Hitler, had ordered that crusade against ‘the evil Jew’. ‘Hitler was not excommunicated,’ he wrote at the time, ‘and the entire world-wide Catholic Communion was therefore complicit in his genocide.’ He was thought a damn fool then, as now.

Murdoch then commanded his propaganda engines Galaxy and Newspoll to print the opposite of the truth, to wit, that in Queensland Labor was leading with 52 or 53 percent; and lo, it came to pass. Some confusion, however, attended the enactment of this directive. In Newspoll, Katter’s party got 1 percent, in Galaxy 3. In Galaxy, Palmer’s party was on 3, though ReachTEL, on Tuesday, had it on 6. If it were indeed 6 the score overall would be 50-50. If KAP were on 3, it would be 52 Labor’s way. Newspoll’s sampling, moreover, was, at 801, surprisingly low, nay, suspiciously low, and it rang only landlines, though no-one under thirty has one, and everyone under fifty was out of the house, swimming or at the pictures with their children.

And what it was actually flagging by Palaszczuk’s approval, up 4, and her rating as Preferred Premier, up 3 to 38, versus Newman, down 2 to 42, was Labor ahead on 52 or 53. It seemed there were young mutineers in the Murdoch machinery, wanting to get the truth out, or hint at it.

Morgan, the accurate poll, would be out on Monday, probably; showing, probably, Labor, 2PP, on 53 or 54, having rung on mobiles the young voters who detested Newman for sacking twenty thousand midwives, nurses, firemen, lifesavers and young married civil servants. No analysis accompanied Newspoll’s bizarre contradictory figures, only a meek acknowledgement that Newman, of all people, was winning. After bookies agreed he would lose his seat, they kept the reason for this paradox deathly quiet.

Both Murdoch and Fairfax revealed that Katrina Dawson had been killed by a police ricochet. It was likely such ricochets had wounded three other hostages. Why they shot Monis many, many times, ‘twice in the head’, was not explained; nor was a picture of his shattered skull published; nor any account, yet, by surviving eyewitnesses, of what the fuck the rogue policemen thought they were up to in the nine minutes of deathly quiet between Monis’s first shot and his second. Nor what their opinion of Tony Abbott was after he refused to help them, get eight of them out by chatting, harmlessly, to the terrorist on the telephone; nor of Baird when he did not let Monis’s friend Mamdouh Habib in to reason with him, urge him to stop it, let these women go.

Though much was known of the three sieges in France four days ago and two days ago, nothing much was known of Martin Place four weeks ago. This was the Liberal Way: these were ‘on-chocolate matters’ which could not be discussed, for reasons of national security.

Some refugees Morrison had locked up for five years were released by Dutton: they were not, after all, a threat to anyone, ASIO backtracking decided, and they were free to go. They could sue Morrison for millions now. Forty more were in Villawood, two of them women, awaiting a similar ‘recall to life’, and court cases that would enrich them also, after libel actions against S&M, who had implied they were terrorists, in interview after interview, after praying for their souls.

Pyne spent eight million dollars, enough to keep two small theatres going for a thousand years on the interest alone, touting his proposed impoverishment of university students. He got his own degree free, and his house for eighty thousand. His view was they should spend two million dollars more on these advantages, and he thought he could persuade them, with advertising money, in millions, of the wisdom of this unappealing sacrifice of the next forty years of their lives.

Baird proposed a ‘permanent monument’ in Martin Place to Katrina Dawson, whose death he had done a good deal to cause. His minders boggled at his blithering stupidity, then had a hot chocolate, laced with whisky, at the Lindt.

And so it went.

After Two Polls, A Queensland Prediction

(1) Wednesday’s ReachTEL poll, properly deciphered, shows Labor easily winning Queensland on January 31.

Its published result is 50-50, but it is based on the 2012 distribution of Palmer, Green and ‘other’ preferences, which favoured Newman more than they would now. Labor on 38.1 plus Green on 7.6 plus Palmer on 6.3 plus ‘other’ on 7.7 would add up, probably, to Labor on 52.5 two party preferred, LNP on 47.5 and a comfortable Palaszczuk majority.

And it could be more than that. Only landlines were rung, and only those respondents willing to talk, on Tuesday night, to a machine. A similar methodology in 2013 had Rudd, Swan, Clare, Burke, Bowen and Dreyfus losing their seats. Add in even a 1 percent sampling error to this, and the Labor vote is on 53.5, two party preferred.

To the question, ‘Do you think the LNP has done enough to deserve re-election?’, 33.2 percent of 18-34 year olds answer yes, 34 percent of 35-50 year olds, 39.6 percent of 51-65 year olds, and only 54.8 of over 65 year olds; 38.3 percent of men, and 33.5 percent of women.

More importantly, only 34.3 percent of regional people think it does, and 52.2 percent think not. This means, pretty much, that the LNP ‘heartland’ is gone, voting, possibly, Palmer, or Hanson, or Katter. These three parties command between them 14 percent, and the Greens 7.6 percent. On ReachTEL, which so comprehensively underestimated the anti-LNP vote in 2013..

Which points to Labor on 53.

(2) Today’s Galaxy is, I suspect, a not unusual instance of Murdoch fraud. It shows a 1 percent vote for Palmer, a hundred and fifty thousand less votes, that is, than his party got on ReachTEL on Tuesday; and a paradoxical gain for Palaszczuk as preferred Premier, up 6 percent to 38, with Newman on only 42, a figure no leader has won with in a century.

Deciphered, this probably means, distributing Palmer preferences more to Labor than they were in 2013 federally, 51.5 percent to Labor two party preferred, and a narrow Labor win. As usual, the respondents were on landlines, octogenarians at home on cheap movie night and on midsummer nights when the young and the middle-aged were still at the beach. The ‘mobile phone factor’ then brings Labor’s vote up to 53 , and a clear win on the 31st.

If, of course, the ‘Queensland factor’ is not also in play, This won Hanson eleven seats, defying all the polls, in 1997, and 25 percent of the vote. It could perform a similar trick this time for Palmer; or Katter; or (even) Hanson. The present 13 percent for ‘others’ shows a good deal of this (they can’t be all Cunningham nostalgics), as do the 5 percent ‘uncommitted’, a hundred thousand people.

Galaxy has a good record of accuracy on election day; but, before then, plays funny-buggers in a famous, practised Murdoch way, as the Fox News polling did in 2012, showing Romney ahead, or competitive, in the USA.

It’s important Labor people don’t take his latest fraud seriously. If Palaszczuk is now 3 percent up on where she was last time, when Labor’s vote was 50, then it’s likely her party is too.

That’s 53 percent. And my call for election day.

If Morgan shows otherwise, I will reconsider,

And we will see what we shall see.

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (163)

Lying, The Daily Telegraph editorial said ‘Dark Horse Foley Faces Uphill Battle’ though it had printed on an earlier page a Galaxy showing Labor, on 46, two percent away from government, in a poll that called the landlines only (and no-one under thirty has one) of those not out swimming or shopping or cinema-going last Tuesday and Wednesday night — a difference, probably, of 2 percent, and enough for Foley to win government by.

Sri Lanka overthrew its tyrant and thus made it likely that Abbott, Bishop and Morrison would be implicated in his war crimes against Tamils, some of whom S&M had sent back to be tortured or killed after their kidnapping by his pirates, and a rapid assessment of their suitability as refugee immigrants that lasted, sometimes, only minutes. He, and they, would be called before the ICC soon, it was now likely, and condemned by that world body.

Newman begged Abbott to stay out of Queensland, and it seemed he might not turn up for the funeral of eight murdered children in Cairns to speak of the hope this tragedy brought to all Australians, the way he does. A fabricated Galaxy poll showed Newman gaining  3 percent but losing, curiously, 3 percent to Palaszczuk as preferred Premier, and Palmer getting only 1 percent though ReachTEL showed him on 6.5, and the LNP losing its regional heartland to Labor, and Newman losing his seat, like Howard, after only two and three quarter years in parliament. It gave some Liberals hope that Murdoch would stick with them till January 31st; but, after that, if Newman lost, along with the LNP, all bets were off.

Gerard Henderson, a Liberal voter, said there was ‘no causal relationship’ between the unemployment, in France, of youth with Arab surnames and their propensity to terrorism; that terrorism, he said, was because, and only because, ‘the jihadists all hate freedom of expression, the heathen swine’. Gerard, who hates the freedom of expression of those who mock his deity Jesus, whom he eats on Sundays after drinking his blood, seemed a little flummoxed when defending Le Pen and her anti-Semitism, saying she was not like her father and hated Jews ‘only slightly’. He said jihadists proposed to establish an Islamist state in Australia, and we should be ‘very vigilant’. ‘Poor soul,’ his hospice nurse whispered. ‘I fear he’s not long for this world.’ She crossed herself and removed his bedpan, sighing.

Janet Albrechtsen, a Liberal voter, said after many, many days of interviewing her wizened, compassionate, magnanimous, short-arse hero, ‘John Howard does not dwell on the past, he concentrates on the future.’ This may have been because he helped cause, in the past, an unjust war that killed or displaced six million people — and is killing fifty a week even now — on the basis of some forged, enfeebled evidence of atomic bombs that Saddam Hussein, he thought, was concealing in the sand and not using on his enemies. In the past too he lost, somehow, his own safe seat, and he didn’t like to think of that. He favoured the Birthday Ballot too, the abolition of Medicare, the sacking of Utzon, and boycotting the Olympics because they were in Moscow. He didn’t like to think of any of that.

‘Howard’s legacy only grows stronger,’ the silly woman said. She did not mention what that legacy was. Denying IVF to lesbians? Giving Doug Moran the mortgages of the houses of the demented? Killing all seven Bakhtiyaris? Saying there would ‘never, ever’ be a GST, then claiming a ‘mandate’ for it with a vote of 48 percent? The choice was very large. It was wondered if this long-necked, beautiful woman believed a word of what she was writing. This mattered very little to Rhys Muldoon. He was keen to fuck her still, poor man; poor man.

Malcolm Mackerras, an enduring fool, who has been wrong in ninety-two percent of his election predictions, published a Queensland ‘Pendulum’, and predicted Labor, on 46 percent, would win twenty-nine seats, and the LNP, on 54 percent, fifty-five seats, that Newman would lose his seat, and Springborg be Premier by February 3.

He made one pundit, Bob Ellis, tremendously certain Labor would win easily.

And so it went.

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (161)

Terrorists killed some cartoonists, journalists, editors and police in Paris and drove away shouting ‘God is great!’ in a stolen car. Within minutes, there were eyewitness statements on television. In Sydney, by contrast, a terrorist had killed a hostage and fell in gunfire that killed another hostage after a day-and-night-long siege and international attention, but there were no eyewitness statements for three and a half weeks.

On orders from some government agency, the dramatic events of sixteen hours were being suppressed, it seemed, in all media. It was wondered why this was. That the PM had refused to talk to the terrorist, though begged to by two female hostages? That the terrorist’s wife was with him, and had got away? That a sniper had a clear shot at him, and Baird forbade it? That the terrorist, guilty of several crimes, in Iran and Australia, had been for fifteen years on an ASIO retainer? That Katrina Dawson’s family was waiting for a money settlement, from the government whose dumb-arse people had killed her? It was hard to say. Only one thing was certain: Kate McClymont would not be looking into it. She was a Liberal voter.

Abbott was in the Middle East, but refused to go Egypt to plead for Peter Greste. He flew instead to the Adelaide Hills, and talked there not about the bushfires, and how his climate change stance in the light of them was ludicrous, but of the events in Paris, which he said ‘could happen in Australia’; and would happen, he hoped, very soon. He then advised the public to forget he had said that, and ‘carry on as usual’, and ‘not encourage the terrorists’; the way he does.

The bookies had Campbell Newman losing his seat, despite the three thousand dollars per constituent he had spent on it, using taxpayers’ money. And it was wondered by the voters who the fuck they were voting for. Murdoch columnists were quiet; and only Gary Johns, once a Labor MP, dared a prediction.

Newman would lose his seat, he said, and the leaderless LNP win government. This was because a swing more than ten percent was ‘unthinkable’. There had, though, been a seventeen percent swing in two byelections. ‘Unthinkable,’ he repeated, counting his Judas money, which he has for a decade now.

It was pretty clear Murdoch would switch soon. In The Daily Telegraph, there was praise for both Baird and Foley — ‘the next generation’, they were called by Christopher Brown — lest Rupert morph overnight into a born-again Foleyite, and famed heads roll.

Abbott fled the Adelaide bushfires and within three hours ‘turned up’ in the SCG commentary box overlooking the final Test. He was a better sledger than batsman, he matily admitted, and said he became a ‘cricket captain and social secretary’ when he was ‘up at Oxford’ because it meant he could drink beer in the pavilion when other Poms (and he remains a Pom) couldn’t do so in the local pubs. ‘The safest place for a glass of beer,’ he said, ‘was behind the stumps when I was bowling.’ The ABC bade him please go away, and he obediently, snickering, heh heh, did so. They with difficulty contained their revulsion, and returned their attention to the game, which India immediately began to win.

Abbott said those who had lost everything in bushfires could have, with no strings attached, a thousand dollars. With this they might, say, buy George Brandis a meal with expensive wine, and, after talking to him for an hour or two about the brave new Australia where billions more would be spent by him on ‘anti-terrorist vigilance’ and none on bushfire prevention, go back to the motel and shoot themselves.

And so it went.

Campbell’s Gamble

(First published by Independent Australia)

Newman’s move is a tremendous cheat, of course – many, many people, in particular students, will not get on to the electoral rolls by Saturday; a goodly number are not even in Australia – and it may well keep his party in power. But it’s possible it won’t, and it’s worthwhile reasoning why.

The LNP is a new party, and this is only its second outing. There was a fourteen percent swing to it, three years ago, and there’s a thirteen percent swing away from it now, according to Galaxy, a Murdoch poll. But it’s likely the swing is greater than that. A Bjelke-Petersen is the figurehead of another cashed-up conservative party. A Katter is running elsewhere, and Pauline Hanson herself, and the federal Senate is investigating Newman’s criminality. It’s unlikely those Senate findings will go unleaked.

There is also the matter of the people Newman sacked – nurses, firemen, public servants – after saying he wasn’t going to. Given the million voters that Abbott lost by a similar turnaround swearing jobs would be safe, and savaging the ABC, SBS, the universities and the submarine factories – it may well go harder with Newman, who has an uglier personality.

It is certain, pretty much, that Newman will lose his seat. And this poses a difficulty: Who, then, are the voters electing? Springborg, maybe. Seeney. Who knows?

It is Labor’s habit to imagine they ‘won’t quite make it’, in an election that, properly managed, could be a shoo-in. ‘Too many seats to win’ sounds like a convincing assessment, but only for a while, until you realise Palmer can win ten seats, Katter eight, Hanson two, and this leaves Labor only…seventeen to win if they are to form, in an uneasy coalition, a government that may last a year or so. Seventeen is not that hard. Twenty-five is not that hard.

We will know more when the Morgan Poll comes in. It is accurate; and it has lately shown Labor, federally, to be on 54.5, two party preferred, in Queensland. Though ‘two party preferred’ is next to meaningless in a state with five parties as plausible contenders, it is an indication.

It is an indication of how unpopular the tory parties are, especially after the world’s hottest year, and a ‘climate change is bullshit’ Prime Minister upbraiding Obama, of all people, for bringing the subject up.

And it is hard to see how Campbell Newman is more popular than Abbott. Which means, under normal conditions, 53 or 54 percent, two party preferred, for Labor on January 31.

Let us hope, sincerely hope, enough Labor voters get on to the rolls by Saturday.

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Abbott flew to Baghdad, avoiding bushfires in his adopted country which he might be unwelcome at, and was in that near-failed state made welcome, ‘as the leader of another near-failed state’ and allowed to watch, on television, the neighbouring nation ISIL boast of its balanced Budget and booming economy, and show what a peaceful city Mosul was, and what a gruesome sadness it was that America’s allies controlled only one percent of Syria, and various Muslim tyrannies the other ninety-nine.

It was thought Abbott had to be anywhere but Australia, every sub-group of whose population he seemed to have alienated, the disabled lately, by making them seek paid employment while dying of cancer if they wanted to keep their pension. Like ISIL’s policy of forced marriage, it seemed to many commentators ‘unjust’.

He found this out by spending four hundred thousand a month on ‘media research’ — polling, focus groups, reading the smh — and one hundred and seventy thousand dollars on a pamphlet, The Little Book of Labor Waste, for which was found scant readership. ‘Training programs’ were also funded, at hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, in ‘lean thinking’ and ‘clear conversations’. Two hundred and seventeen spin-doctors were thus employed, and one hundred and ninety-seven PR staff, some of them part-time, at Defence. Millions and millions and millions finding out what most of us learn from Radio National. Money, by God, well spent.

In Iraq, Abbott said he would spend on the needy in that country money he was taking from the needy at home. Hockey would announce soon if some of this came from the money not spent on compensation for the gross and baffling events in the Lindt Cafe. It may not have been, Hockey thought, a ‘terrorist incident’ after all. The victims might get no money from me at all, he concluded; then he grinned, unwinningly, and lit up a cigar.

Abbott claimed he was not in Iraq to ‘pick fights’ with the decapitating, crucifying, sex-enslaving ‘death cult’ ISIS, but to incite them into something more lurid, more apocalyptic, than a mere chocolate shop siege. Where were they when he needed them, in suicide vests under fireworks on New Year’s Eve blowing up thousands of WASPs in Circular Quay? Why had they not seized and beheaded Morrison as he sang in a Hillsong massed choir? What was wrong with these people? Why could they not be provoked? Andrews cowered behind him, like a meek titmouse at a bear-baiting. It was all going so, so wrong for both of them.

In Afghanistan, for instance, the Taliban declared their victory over the US, which had, in some confusion, just pulled out, declaring victory also. Abbott, in even more confusion, said he might add more Diggers to Iraq. This, after all, was where the real danger to Australian life and property was, not the Adelaide Hills. He had not been to the Adelaide Hills, of course, for fear of meeting Christopher Pyne there, and having to pose beside him at a Save The ABC rally, but he had, now, been to Baghdad, and he knew what he was talking about. His own camera crew made him seem more convincing, and asked him no confronting questions. They would be fired, of course, if they did.

Campbell Newman, noting he would lose his own seat in an unparallelled calamity if the election were held on schedule, decided to hold it within the Christmas holidays and the week after, when, hopefully, bushfires, tornadoes, floods and cyclones would distract the electors, and the relentless obedient Murdoch journalists, from his venemous, hydrophobic incompetence. Labor, perhaps, would be caught unawares.

And so it went.

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Lying, Piers Akerman called ‘the totally discredited Labor governments’ and ‘the woeful depravity of Labor’s fiscal failure’ an economic record that saw Wayne Swan acclaimed as ‘the world’s best Treasurer’, and six years of government that, unlike one hundred and eighty-eight other countries, avoided recession.

He admitted, though, that ‘a one-term Abbott government’ was now a possibility, because of ‘an electorate far more volatile than it has been in past decades’, and he, Abbott, ‘must explain why the revenue estimates are being downgraded much more dramatically than was thought necessary.’ He must gather the Cabinet around him in whispered hugger-mugger, Piers advised, without the presence of the noisy hellcat Credlin, lately nicknamed ‘Madam Lash’, and this time as ‘first among equals’ admit he, Abbott, is ‘not the suppository of all wisdom’ any more, if he ever was, a laughable unlikelihood, Piers meekly assessed. He should instead ‘model himself on King George V and Ronald Reagan’, who had with ‘broadcast Christmas sermons schmoozed their nations into ruinous periods of total bankruptcy which they cunningly, mesmerically called “walking tall”‘.

Piers then had a stiff pre-breakfast scotch, and a good lie down, till Murdoch rang him, asking what the fuck he thought he was doing.

This Murdoch, a hater of monarchy since the Queen had denied him, thrice, a knighthood, had meanwhile proffered a headline, ‘Forced To Have Sex With Andy: Palace Denies Duke Slept With Teen Slave’, which bagged that august bejewelled institution once again; and then, clearing his throat and hedging his bets, racked up two pages in praise of Luke Foley, a ‘family man’, and a ‘born leader’, with a ‘photographic memory and an obsession with sport’; though, alas, in his one time roommate Albo’s grim disgusted words, ‘an Easts supporter. It is quite sad.’

This was further evidence, in some views, that Rupert was ‘on the turn’ and apprised by recent accurate Newspolls that Labor would ‘shit it in’ on March 28 in New South Wales, and this he felt was a train he had better get on, before it left the station.

Abbott did not turn up at the South Australian bushfires lest he be blamed for them. He had called global warming ‘bullshit’, after all, and for five years made war on the Carbon Tax which, everywhere on Earth but here, was combating it. He seemed like a kind of planetary firebug, and was despised as well for ending auto and submarine manufacture in that state, and his shutdown of certain ABC studios there, Adelaide facilities so popular Pyne had beseeched him to keep them on. Pyne, it was agreed, would lose his seat, and that state would never again have a Liberal government, his
party having won only two elections legitimately in eighty years.

Cormann said Labor would, if they did not come to heel, ‘charge our children twenty-eight thousand dollars each’ for the ‘unpaid debts of this generation’. Far better, he swore, to charge them a quarter of a million dollars, not forty thousand, for their degrees; nine times the sum, that is, that he was railing against as being ‘unfair to our children’. He was ‘planning next year’s Budget already’, he admitted, since Joe could not be trusted anywhere near it, and it would be ‘full of goodies’.

John Grayson, who has terminal brain cancer and two years to live, was told by Morrison’s people he must constantly seek work, or lose his Disability Support Pension. He must report to employment agencies at Newcastle and Charleston each week, rather than, as he would prefer, visit his loved ones and say his goodbyes before he becomes bedridden. It is not known what employer would hire a man in his condition. He is a qualified engineer.

The famed hydrophobic sadist Morrison made no comment. He was speaking in tongues in Caringbah.

And so it went.

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A Newspoll showed Campbell Newman’s LNP losing 33 percent of its primary vote in Queensland. This, however, was an underestimate, based on homeloving octogenarians indoors and answering only landlines in the summer months and a redistribution of Palmer and Katter preferences favouring, as they do no longer, the LNP.

It put the parties at 50-50 two party preferred; but the more likely result was 54-46 favouring Labor, and Newman, with whom 51 percent of octogenarians were dissatisfied and 11 percent ‘uncommitted’, losing his seat. ‘His problem is tone, and overreach,’ wrote Michael McKenna, invisibly, on p2 of The Weekend Australian. ‘It didn’t help that Newman also faces a scare campaign over a massive privatisation plan he is taking to the election at a time when the state has the highest jobless rate in the country.’ The headline, further evidence, in some eyes, that Murdoch was on the turn, was ‘Punch-Drunk Campbell’s Fight For Survival’.

Another headline, on p11, ‘Sinking Feeling As The Liberal Brand Loses Its Grip On Market Share’, over an article by John Ferguson, Mark Coultan and Andrew Fraser, emphasised this. Even Newspoll had Labor on 60 percent in Victoria, and ahead in almost every state. ‘The Coalition vote has collapsed in five states,’ they groaned, ‘and leads Labor on a two-party-preferred basis only in Western Australia’, though Morgan, the accuurate poll, had Labor on 52.5 in that state and Barnett massively trailing McGowan as preferred Premier.

It was to be wondered if Abbott had a ‘mandate’ for anything any more, with Pyne certain to lose his seat, and a million more voters wanting Shorten as Prime Minister than Abbott, and 60 to 80 percent detesting his principal policies.

Another policy just announced, cutting money to homeopathy, herbalism, acupuncture and massage, affected perhaps only 1.8 million votes but lost Abbott all these without exception and forever. He seemed determined to lose each small group in turn until there was only Big Business left and it was wondered when, and how long ago, he had begun to take leave of his senses. ‘At Oxford,’ a contemporary suggested, ‘where the head-battering he suffered as a Boxing Blue laid down the foundation for his present sadistic mania, growing, it seems, by the hour.’

Commentators began calling Julie Bishop ‘his natural successor’, though she was a year older than he, unmarried, childless, cross-eyed, belligerent, over-fond of champagne, and politically leprous since her defence, long ago, of mesothelioma as nothing to get fussed about. The logical conclusion, that the Liberal Party was falling apart, as its predecessor the UAP did in 1944, did not occur to many of them, except Peter Reith, a former Deputy Leader, who warned them doom was imminent in a speech in his party’s high temple of greed, the Crown Casino. Tony Abbott was not’lifting a finger,’ he charged, ‘on industrial relations and job creation.’

Bushfires assaulted two Labor states, Victoria and South Australia. Credlin ordered Abbott to deny he had prayed for this. Many editorialits called this ‘the last year of the global warming denialists’. It had been, probably, the hottest year since the Ice Age. Minute by minute the Liberal vote melted away. Luke Foley, in Sydney, seemed certain to be Premier by March 29. Labor, in Adelaide, seemed likely to hold South Australia for fifty years. In the worst fires since Ash Wednesday, a once great party was burning away to nothing.

‘And when they are gone,’ Kim Beazley said, ‘who will mourn for them?’

And so it went.

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Lying, Martin O’Shannessy published a Newspoll showing Barnett and Labor 50-50 in Western Australia. It omitted PUP altogether, redistributed Green preferences as they were in 2013 when some were still trickling over to the Liberals and rang, in the summer months, only those Menzies-voting octogenarians still indoors on landlines and no-one under forty.

It nonetheless showed McGowan preferred as Premier and more people satisfied with his performance, that is, 48 percent, than Barnett, on 37. Andrew Burrell, a Liberal voter, attributed this to Troy Buswell’s ‘drunken rampage in his ministerial car through the streets of inner-city Subiaco, and an ensuing controversy over an alleged cover-up’, and the Finance Minister Dean Nalder’s corrupt admixture of ‘his private business interests with his ministerial duties’.

The 50-50 result had been the same, O’Shannessy eccentrically alleged, since April, and has not altered even when WA lost its triple-A rating. It was a poll, an expert said, ‘magnificent in its defiance of the actual figures’.

John Howard ‘rebuked’ Obama for speaking up in favour of the Barrier Reef, which was ‘none of his business’, the old fool proclaimed, and ‘relied on misinformation’. This was a kinder assessment than when, in 2007, he had said ‘al Qaeda will be cheering on their candidate, Obama’ and openly preferred as President the moose-shooting drongo Sarah Palin. ‘This is no indication John Howard is senile,’ a Liberal insider explained. ‘He ‘s always been like that.’

In further signs that Murdoch is on the turn, a Bill Leak cartoon showed Abbott mistaking ‘barnacles’ for oysters and ‘biting off more than he can chew’ and a Daily Telegraph editorial calling Baird’s privatisation-led proposed expenditure on roads a ‘splurge’, and praising as ‘on the right track’ a Luke Foley leading, now, ‘a more realistic and viable Labor Party’ to victory in March. Clearly Newspoll was showing, secretly, as Morgan was openly, Labor winning easily and the Liberals retaining six or seven North Shore seats, and little more.

Julie Bishop astounded the world by suggesting Greste ‘serve out his sentence’ in Australia; spend, that is, six years in Goulburn Prison among hairy tattooed bikie rapists or, like David Hicks, get out early after being proved innocent. This alerted those Arabs not yet aware of it to her stupidity. Her vote on Palestine had been, of course, moronic, and likely to stir up teenage terrorism in Australia. ‘She is our finest recruiter,’ a member of IS is said to have said. Her enemy, Credlin, lately known as ‘Madam Lash’, proposed her demotion, and Abbott listened keenly.

His plans, meanwhile, to save his fellow daft muscular Christian Baird from extinction proceeded apace. There would be a march of Afghanistan war veterans, Abbott decided, on Saturday, March 21, and a NSW election on Saturday, March 28. The march would be disfigured by many arrests of teenage ‘terrorists’ thought to be wearing underpants-bombs near the Cenotaph (and the Lindt Cafe) in Martin Place. Helicopters with searchlights would probe certain suburbs that night, and a ‘terrorist masterplan’ headline blaze through the Sunday papers, and occupy all media space till election night. It was a plan much like Howard declaring war on late Sunday night, and calling an election on Monday afternoon, in 2001. It had worked before. ‘Busy idle minds with foreign wars,’ as Shakespeare’s Henry IV on his deathbed advised Prince Hal, was wisdom Abbott learned well at his master’s knee. It had worked before.

And it might work again.

No New Year knighthoods were announced. Nor would there be on Australia Day, though the Faustian midget Phillip Ruddock pined for one, as did the Transylvanian weirdo Nick Greiner and Sinodinos, prior to sentencing. Australia’s ruler, Credlin, had forbidden any more. Abbott, though, on the day if his imminent resignation, could appoint himself to the House of Lords.

On Australia Day, perhaps.

And so it went.

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A small plane went down off Tasmania and Abbott was narrowly prevented from pledging a billion dollars to search for a year for its corpses. The billion dollars he was spending on the search for MH 370, MH 17 and now QZ 8501 was, Credlin murmured, ‘quite enough’. Morrison continued to cut twice that sum from the disabled, the unemployed, and the old and sick and was amazed the Senate cross-benches wanted no part of this. ‘The dead take precedence over the living,’ he insisted, ‘it’s in the Old Testament, my bedside reading. We build monuments for the dead, with the slave labour of the living, as in Moses’ time. Let my people sweat!’ He then fell to speaking in tongues, and laughing a lot, inscrutably.

Abbott begged radio listeners not to put back Labor, calling it a ‘surrender’ to the villains who had deliberately put us into deficit, ‘half the deficit we’re planning. Any deficit they can do, we can do double.’ Asked if Hockey would ever bring down a surplus, he said, ‘Not unless he’s a centenarian, heh heh heh.’

John Ferguson and Michael Owen, Liberal voters, warned under a headline, ‘Coalition “Faces Rout” In South’, that the Coalition would lose, now, four seats in Victoria and four, including Pyne’s, in South Australia, thus reducing their twenty-five-seat majority to nine in those two states alone. But Owen and Ferguson made no mention of the nine seats Labor would gain, on Morgan’s figures, in New South Wales and the eight in Queensland, giving Labor a twenty-five seat majority, or the three in Tasmania and the four in Western Australia which would make its majority thirty-nine.

It was clear from the placement of the story that Murdoch was in Gethsemane begging his deity, Moloch, ‘Lord, Lord, let this cup pass from me’, prior to solemnly, shruggingly, switching his media support to Labor. He might not do so, some experts thought, if Turnbull were installed immediately. But it would be a near-run thing. Akerman, Albrechtsen, Onselen, Henderson, Bolt and Blair did not appear in any of his morning papers, and were thought to be negotiating their exit packages while they still had time.

Alan Jones, a Liberal voter, was after nine years made to pay ten thousand dollars for vilifying Lebanese males on the radio. It was calculated by statisticians that he earned that much in two hours and seven minutes of broadcasting, and six months in Goulburn prison among tattooed bikies would have been a better penalty. Or, since his offence involved an incitement to terrorism on Cronulla Beach, twenty-five years.

Bits of QZ8501 began to be found, and floating bodies, within forty hours of the plane’s disappearance. This raised the question of why the fuck we were still looking for MH 370 in the same waters, and why not a life raft or a cocktail shaker had been sighted in eight months although a billion Australian dollars had been spent on the search. Why, indeed, no-one had yet asked the Americans did their gunners on Diego Garcia shoot it down and their soldiers ‘clean up’ the crash site, on land or water, and swear the Malaysians to silence. And who, indeed, was being paid in hundreds of millions to conduct the search in the wrong oceans, and if any of them were Australian. And, if not, who in Australia was getting a kick-back. What Minister of the Crown. David Johnston, perhaps. Or Julie Bishop.

Those hundreds of millions of Australian dollars, some commentators thought, could have been better spent on the living: Australian soldiers’ orphaned children, for instance, or better houses and home care for the disabled, or university fees for the disadvantaged. But Abbott’s Cult of the Dead, and the way he sought Australian corpses across the globe, and made a big fuss about ‘bringing them home’, was evidence in some eyes of his fanatical Papist insanity, and made him, in some expert views, ‘a suitable case for treatment’. But others merely thought him what is known in journalism and in law as a ‘fire chaser’, one who will predate on any human catastrophe for political, or monetary, gain.

Julie Bishop said it was not her fault Peter Greste was not released from his foul Egyptian prison cell on the first anniversary of his encarceration. By cheerily predicting this happy outcome, she had merely intended to ‘cheer his relatives up’, she said. She denied it was anything to do with her silent consent to the slaughter of four hundred Arab children in Gaza, just over the border, during the negotiations. That was ‘an entirely unrelated matter,’ she said.

Faced with the imminent horror of dinner at the Lodge and watching the fireworks with the Abbotts and talking with John Howard about Don Bradman over inferior curry, Mahendra Singh Dhoni , the Indian captain, resigned from world cricket. It was, he said, ‘a near run thing.’

And so it went.

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Rupert Murdoch, a Liberal voter, showed signs of switching to Labor with his headline Coalition Dives But ALP’s Joy Limited, over poll figures showing Labor on 54 percent for much of last year and lately winning more votes, two party preferred, than any party, federally, since Labor in 1943. ‘Based on the preference flow at September 2013′, it said, when PUP and some Greens favoured the Liberals (a difference Labor’s way of 1.5 percent), it showed Abbott was the least liked Prime Minister in our history, with 35 percent satisfied with him, 55 percent dissatisfied, and 10 percent ‘uncommitted’.

Stefanie Balogh, a Liberal voter, spoke of ‘older, middleclass, Protestant, Australian-born voters…losing their jobs and taking it personally.’ Phillip Hudson, a Liberal voter, wrongly called Abbott the ‘second shortest serving Prime Minister after Joseph Cook.’ He was/is the fifth shortest serving Prime Minister after Forde, Page, McEwen and Cook, with the fifth, MacMahon, coming up fast behind him, as Billy was inclined to do.

Gerard Henderson, a Liberal voter, summarised the year without an attack on Bob Ellis for the first time in this millennium. Usually called by GH ‘the false prophet of Palm Beach’, Ellis this year, alone in the nation, got the SA election right, and less remarkably the Victorian, plus half the Oscars and the Booker Prize, an outcome Gerard sneered should be overturned.

He further chose to abuse Cate Blanchett for alleging she had had a ‘free education’. It was not a free education, he fumed, ‘taxpayers paid for it’; and even if in her ‘false, retrieved memory’ she herself had not paid for it, someone else had, and she was lying if she said she hadn’t paid for it, although in fact she hadn’t. It was explained to him in soothing tones by his hospice nurse that though Cate would pay in taxes for some part of her children’s education, and her parents had paid in taxes for some part of hers, to her it was free, it was a gift. ‘Bah humbug,’ he cried, as the needle went in, ‘unless all her teachers taught her for no wages it was not free!’

He further praised the coal industry ‘whose taxes fund the artistic community’, and cursed Richard Flanagan for saying coal made him ‘ashamed to be Australian’ because it was asphyxiating life on earth. Shame on him, yelped Gerard, as unconsciousness descended. His column failed to reveal his own rorting of the GST that year and the five hundred thousand dollars he paid himself and his wife for their part in a ‘charitable organisation’.

For the twelfth day Kate McClymont, a Liberal voter, failed to investigate the strange death of Katrina Dawson, and the Prime Minister’s part in prolonging the siege. ‘These questions are not in the public interest,’ she stoutly averred,’ compared with the far more disgusting actions of Craig Thomson and Bob Ellis, human fiends I was pleased to ruin with evidence lately, alas, proven false.’

Daniel Meers, a Liberal voter, said Abbott was ragged, exhausted, fucking up, and ‘running on empty’, and begged him get out of his sight and hearing till Australia Day. ‘This horse needs to win some races,’ he summed up, ‘otherwise it will be sent out to pasture permanently.’

It was thought Abbott had erred in making the cruel Scott Morrison Minister for Social Mercy and not sacking him when he declared ‘total war’ on the disabled. It was noted there were 800,000 who claimed to be disabled, and two and a half million who now and then looked after them, and this 3.2 million were 27 percent of the electorate, enough to make or break a government, and Morrison in three sentences had lost them all.

This left Abbott with perhaps four million votes out of thirteen million and bound for a more seismic loss of office than Whitlam’s in 1975. There seemed no way back from this apart from, say, securing Malcolm Fraser a Senate seat and awarding him S&M’s ministry. He was so sedated, however, by Credlin’s rubdowns and adjacent personal services that he did not think there was a problem.

There was, though, a big one. Jacqueline Maley illustrated the size of it, and the enormity of the female gender’s detestation of him, with a poll showing, say, that women favoured his policy on ‘border protection’ at 26 percent and men at 40 percent; on the economy at 16 percent and men at 29; and on ‘community and social services’ at 12 percent and men at 17. She did not note that 17 percent approval for social policies meant 83 percent of men disapproved of him in the area that touched them very closely.

At this rate, there would be no Liberal Party anywhere in Australia by 2017.

And so it went.