Monthly Archives: September 2014

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (73)

Four million train journeys traversed Australia unpoliced; thirty-eight million in the last seven days, unpoliced. Football finals occurred. No halfbacks were seized and beheaded live on Sixty Minutes. Lisa McCune sang Hello, Young Lovers to nine thronged Opera House audiences, unpoliced.

And no Australian died from terrorism, anywhere on our soil. More Australians died from one-punch attacks in Kings Cross in the past five months than from terrorism in Australian cities in the past ninety-nine and a half years. More died in that near-century from spider-bite; from slipping on soap in the shower; from death by misplaced dildo; by fast bowling in beach cricket; by crocodile, stingray, bushfire, pecking magpie and infarct while enduring fellatio. Tens of millions of dollars were spent nonetheless on invading in predawn helicopter-thumping raids a single pimpled suburban youth unguilty of any crime in any jurisdiction. ‘We are rooting the terrorists out,’ Abbott proclaimed,’ ‘wherever they are hiding, and killing, by Christ — on suspicion — those who look sideways at us over full black beards. This is the Liberal way. It is criminals we are after, not Muslims, however much they look like each other. Shoot first, investigate later. If he looks like a Muslim, you never know. This is the Liberal way.’

A Senate committee chaired by a Liberal found the Liberal policy of starving for six months under-thirty-year-olds who do not accept jobs as whores and slaughterhouse workers ‘contrary to their civil rights, and their human rights, as defined by the United Nations.’ Abbott, cackling, riposted in the House, ‘We don’t belong to the United Nations, except when we agree with what they are proposing, which is almost, Madam Speaker, ha ha, never.’

He was acclaimed by PVO, whose fool idea this was. ‘We don’t need the United Nations,’ the Choirboy grinned, ‘when we have the guidance of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, my birth religion, which has all the answers. Let me read some precepts to you.’ Abbott, a Catholic, tersely replied he would go to Hell, and fisticuffs were threatened, then postponed, and interfaith prayers essayed, which Andrews, a meek sadomasochistic Presbyterian, sombrely joined. Morrison entered speaking in tongues and a theological ruckus ensued which big Maori security men concluded with nightsticks and Rugby tackles, and then, after toasts in Morrison’s Cambodian champagne and broken glasses, performed a haka, which Abbott’s giant Nubian body-servant Credlin ‘much enjoyed’, she said, while cradling her punch-drunk employer’s bleeding unconscious head, the way she did fairly frequently these days, and clapping along.

Abbott, regaining consciousness, returned to the House and swore he would hunt down and persecute not only terrorists but those who gave them aid and comfort and financial support, with new menacing laws that would be, by God, retrospective. Asked if this included the notorious torturers of Abu Ghraib, whose methods ‘terrorised’ a billion Arabs, Iranians and European Christians, and their influential supporters Rumsfeld, Bush and Cheney, he said, ‘That wasn’t torture, that was “enhanced interrogation”. I get worse from Credlin every Friday midnight, by appointment. She’s a big strong girl.’

He then proposed to give posthumously five million dollars to the four young men Rudd had with roof-batts deliberately killed. This ensured that Bernie Banton’s relatives and wheezing fellow-sufferers would ask a similar sum. The which annoyed more than somewhat Julie Bishop, aka PMT, or Princess Mesothelioma, who had argued in court for ten years they should get nothing, nothing at all, till James Hardie relocated their moral obligations to the Dukedom of Thule, well out of the reach of debt collectors. ‘It’s a tactic,’ she fumed to Peter Hartcher, ignoring his yellow stockings. ‘He’s keeping me out of the leadership by accusing me of complicity in the cover-up of a quarter of a million agonised, blood-coughing, prolonged, unendurable deaths. It’s not even half that number. Not even half. I’ll fix his wagon. I’ll fix his wagon.’

‘Darling,’ murmured Malvolio, besotted by her gorgon stare. ‘Is there anything I can do to…assist you? In the smallest way?’

She looked at him with revulsion, but kept smiling. ‘There is something,’ she said, appending a warm shimmer to her frozen smile.

Now read on.

Certain Housekeeping Matters (132)

No-one calls themselves ‘Balmain Trendy’.

Banned for life.

Certain Housekeeping Matters (131)

Salty Sea Dog is a ‘concern troll’ and banned for life.

Today’s Newspoll

Murdoch has demanded one of his ‘funnily enough’ Newspolls, and O’Shannessy in fawning obedience fabricated the pro-LNP figures.

Though Campbell Newman would lose his seat, he says, his new party the LNP would get 54 percent of the vote. Eighty thousand people have changed their minds, he says, in the last week or so and think his party a better thing than he is. Of course they do.

The poll was done by interviewing 1132 people on landlines over three months, 280, probably, at a time — an always inaccurate sample — of those at home to take the call; octogenarians, mostly, or the terminally sick. No PUP voters are listed, though ‘Others’ and Katter attract a quarter of a million more votes than they did in 2012. These have been redistributed, mostly, to Newman, whom Palmer and Katter detest, and have said so.

The poll, of course, of course, and this is not news, is a criminal fraud, and I ask Premier Palaszczuk to charge him with it after her election on April 18.

A fair indication of when Newspoll is lying is when it’s on page 2, the least read and least accessible page of the paper.

If the figures were true, and landline people voting the same way as cellphone people in a climate, Queensland’s, where everybody under fifty is mostly out of doors, the PUP and Katter preferences, now probably favouring Labor by 70 percent, would still put Labor on 51 percent, not 46, as they are now, ‘based on the preference flow in March 2012 state election’, before Newman and Abbott showed their bloodied fangs. But, of course, the actual Labor vote is — probably — 37 and the two-party-preferred vote 56, a wipeout for the LNP, and a Big Lie is needed to conceal this, lest the swing in Stafford of 18.4 percent become in the public mind what is now thought normal by those people, old and middle-aged, who for fifteen years voted Beattie and Bligh Labor.

If the poll were honest, there would be a Palmer figure in it, of 16 or 17 percent (the actual figure is 20 or 21); but this, of course, would give Clive publicity, momentum, stature, profile and moral force. If it were honest it would not show 24 percent ‘uncommitted’ on who the Premier should be. Is anyone ‘uncommitted’ on Campbell Newman? Any Queensland-bred human now living? Give me a break.

Fraud, fraud, fraud. And gaol, gaol, gaol for O’Shannessy.

Or perhaps you disagree.

Propaganda Studies (9): The ISIL Moment

It is worth asking why the ISIL/homegrown terror scare with which Abbott sought to restore his fortunes has lately, quickly, shrivelled away to nearly nothing.

It is due, in part, I think, to the New York Subway terrorist scare that was put about by the Iraqis and swiftly proved to be nonsense. It was due in part to the football finals, from which no famous quarterback was seized at half-time and beheaded live on Sixty Minutes. It was due in part to the advances on the Turkish border that showed the ISIL army not being ‘beaten back’, nor ‘degraded’, nor deterred by the  bombing, and the expert advice that a boots-on-the-ground force of maybe two hundred thousand might, in ten years, make some difference before we once more pulled out and lost, once more, a region in which we are, after Abu Ghraib, despised. It is due in part to thirty-eight million train journeys in Australia in the last week that were unpoliced.

But mostly, I think, it was due to the first skirmish of this war, in a carpark in Endeavour Hill, being so ordinary, dull, sad, and so…unscary.

A young man was unsettled by something a policeman said to him, and lashed out with a knife, and was killed. He was not frisked for the knife. He was not known to have plotted anything much, except the unfurling of a flag in a mall, and the getting of a bride from Afghanistan where his uncle, a martyr, had been lately killed by the Taliban, and where Morrison would not let him go; for a bride or anything else. He was not thought to be dangerous; and he died.

He was employed, a TAFE student, and seventeen. And he didn’t fit the model of a terrorist at all. Just a kid who had toyed, for a moment, with a big brave cause, in the way adolescents do.

And they couldn’t pretend, not even for a minute, they had thwarted a ‘grand plan’. They couldn’t find a group he belonged to, a cell, a conspiracy. Or any evidence, thus far, that he didn’t react in a kind of instinctive, animal self-defence, to a raised voice, or an ill-phrased threat, or a drawn gun, or a fired one.

They didn’t question anyone at his funeral. They didn’t arrest his parents or siblings. The wounded policemen said they felt sorry for him. And they were sorry they killed him.

And so it dwindled away to an ‘incident’, and, worse, a ‘tragic incident’.

And the fear… flagged. And the question now, as in New York, is what all the fuss was about. And why the fuck we are fighting, in Iraq, again in Iraq, another unwinnable twenty-year war that cannot without soldiers, and trillions, be effectively fought against an army that soon will have the equipment to bomb the Vatican, and the Louvre, and Westminster Abbey, and the urge to.

Like the search for MH 370, half a billion dollars and counting, and the quest for the dead of MH 17, never to be completed, Abbott has blown this high-bugling paranoid moment also. And soon he will be shaking Putin’s hand, and looking a goose.

The numbers have not moved his way in Victoria or South Australia. It is clear that Newman will lose his seat. Two byelections in NSW will go tremendously against the Liberals, and by December 1 Labor will have Victoria back.

That is ten weeks away. And the sands are running out for Abbott — and his party — fast.

Everywhere. Or am I wrong?

And this ploy, this mother of all ‘scare campaigns’, has not retrieved him.


Today’s Two Polls

Today’s Newspoll showing Labor in South Australia on 51 (translation: 53) and today’s Essential showing Labor in Victoria on 52 (about right) means Abbott will be in a panic this time next month and looking atremble at certain losses in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, no power ever again in South Australia (where the Libs have won legitimately thrice in a hundred years) and an even-money chance of losing Western Australia in two years’ time.

Baird will have lost thirteen members by then, to scarpering retirement and ICAC shaming, and, to judge by the latest Essential showing Labor on 47 (they win with 48) and likely, above the normal swing, to pick up three Central Coast and Newcastle seats, which the widening ICAC penetrations the new Premier, Robbo, will then encourage to entangle also, after Sinodinos, Abbott and Hockey, and leave the Liberal Party, probably, as smashed in New South Wales as in Victoria and South Australia and the LNP extinguished from history. And PUP, perhaps, engorging itself on its remains.

And we will see what we shall see.

Propaganda Studies (8): Reaching Out and Cracking Down

A ‘crackdown’ means, roughly a speaking, ‘a small but well-justified massacre’, as in ‘crackdown on militant Uighurs’ or ‘crackdown on Tibetan dissidents’, which we Australians currently, sombrely approve.

The interesting thing about it is the implied approval; it’s like ‘a rap on the knuckles’ by a schoolteacher, firm but not cruel; appropriate; well-deserved. In other millennia it would have been called a ‘surgical strike’, or’incursion’ or even ‘pogrom’. Like ‘collateral damage’ or ‘on-water matters’ its purpose is to cover up unjust violence, or murder, as Morrison does most months, to Fran Kelly’s girlish aroused approval. ‘Cracking down’, like S&M sex, has a whiff of pleasure to it.

‘Reaching out’ is a loathesome phrase, implying racial or intellectual inferiority.

One ‘reaches out’ to Aborigines, Native Americans, Muslims, disabled children, Gypsies, the Palmer United Party. Abbott doesn’t ‘reach out’ to Shorten, but he might to, say, Yudhuyono, or Yunupingu, or suffering Tamil children on Manus Island.

It is a relic of the age of slavery. You ‘reach out’ to your slaves, beseeching them to Christianity, and thankfulness for their God-given lot. You include them in your prayers.

It is a disgusting phrase, employed by the master race — the Israelis ‘reach out’ to the ‘moderate elements’ in the PLO, but not to Hamas who are ‘terrorists’, fit to be bombed into flying chunks of meat in the beds they share with their children — but not by the underclass they tyrannise. You ‘reach out’ to a timid collaborator, as the Nazis ‘reached out’ to Vichy France. You ‘reach out’ to an unplaintive Untouchable; to a cringeing leper; to a self-mutilated beggar in Calcutta. You ‘reach out’ to people you are slowly killing.

It should never be used again.

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (72)

‘We may be at war within days,’ Abbott said after limping heroically out of his aircraft at Fairburn, ‘on the side of a government that lacks, as yet, a Minister for Security and an army that doesn’t run from battle, and has already lied to Washington about bombs on a New York subway — as did Chalabi, one of its ministers, in former times about Saddam buying Yellowcake and amassing WMD under sandhills he never used — and on the side of Assad, who has murdered a quarter of a million of his own people and would quite like to murder some more…because, ah, well, because…well, we are being asked to by the same Pentagon “experts” who believed in the Yellowcake and ruined sixteen million lives with no good result, and because, ah…well…because we like to go on missionary wars we always lose when America tells us to. We will now sing “Waltzing Matilda” and “Over There” and “The Halls of Montezuma” and offer, humbly, a prayer of thanks for John Howard who gave us this wrecked Iraq we must now repair.’

Asked how he would pay for the first thousand years of this war and the care and keeping of eighty thousand eventual traumatised and mutilated veterans and their widows and children, he said, ‘It is wrong to raise these questions at a time, like this, of national emergency when, so far, no deaths have occurred at the hands of terrorists and women in burqas are being abused and spat on, unfortunately, for reasons I can’t imagine, by members of Team Australia who got my message wrong. That message was that ISIL were against God, but we mustn’t upset, or punch, or kill any local heathens because of their vile Arab relatives since they, the locals, would go to Hell for certain anyway.’

Asked if he had found MH 370 yet, he said, ‘That question is just soooo…last March.’ He would eventually spend a billion dollars on the widening search in a quarter of the world’s oceans, he said, for a clueless plane with a dead Black Box, then give it away.

David Johnston ‘spent time in Iraq’, as James Carleton delicately put it, uncertain of who he should talk to and if he could trust a word they said. They wouldn’t say if they were on the side of the Kurds, or Assad, or the Shi-ite Ayatollahs of the Former Great Satan Iran, or whether, if Iran atomic-bombed the ISIL enclaves of Syria, this was a good idea, or illegal, or worse. Was it a war crime? he asked in fear, and they said with a shrug, ‘God willing.’

They wouldn’t tell him where the border was, or how you could tell, and if they, ISIL, fled over it, he, Johnston, could hotly pursue them, or bomb the shit out of their women and children in that vicinity. He took a cab, ducking shellfire, to the Former Green Zone, had a sauna and massage-with-relief and drank single-malt whisky past midnight, yearning for Perth, the way you do.

Fran Kelly, a Liberal voter, described Scott Morrison as ‘Tony Abbott’s most successful Minister’. James Carleton had her by the throat, till Michelle Grattan, a former lady wrestler, unclasped his twitching fingers and the Leni Riefenstahl of Radio continued her dread career of acclaiming each morning Abbottite evil with a smile like Doris Day.

Certain Housekeeping Matters (131)

Sam Spinney has been banned for life.

Never On Sunday

I have purposed to do no more Worst Things on Sundays hereinafter; and I will do tonight instead, and tomorrow morning, if I live, some film and book and theatre reviews, the first of Josh Lawson’s The Little Death, on Ellis Gold, and put up another tranche of The Capitalism Delusion; and a chapter, perhaps, of The Ellis Laws, to be published by Penguin on October 15, a perfect ‘stocking-filler’, I am told, with a fair-to-middling chance of becoming a world bestseller and earning me millions. You never know,

It’s possible Morrison, after the broken champagne yesterday, and his insensitive purchase of four child whores for ten million dollars each, and his threat if they refuse the honour of a hundred years on Nauru, may be shamed and smashed and ruined by the end of the week. But it is also possible, so mad are the present winds of war and prejudice, with the whole world jumping at shadows, he might be Prime Minister instead.

It gets pretty scary, old friend, from here on in, if we live. And so it goes.

It’s Time

Morrison has now caused four deaths and a considerable number of attempted suicides, fifty or so by children, and he is beginning to annoy me. It is wrong that this child-abusing, cyberbullying slave trader remain in office and continue killing, however unintentionally, people he has first kidnapped and then tormented, and crowed about in parliament.

It is time the Senate moved, and with an inquiry investigated his crimes and his sanity, and discovered, if possible, how many more children were killed or tortured when he sent them back, against their will, to Sri Lanka.

It’s time,

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (71)

‘THEY will decide who comes to their country,’ Morrison said, ‘and the amount of champagne which they then buy with the forty million I hereby donate, with no strings attached, to their corrupt economy in gratitude for their acceptance of these child sex slaves whom nobody else would unaccountably take, and a free set of steak-knives and some poker chips valid at Crown Casino.’ Thirty-eight glasses of champagne then smashed as a drunken waiter fell over, and Peter Hartcher acclaimed S&M’s ‘diplomatic dexterity’.

‘The Cambodians have taken (a) forty million dollars,’ Malvolio wrote admiringly, ‘and (b) five people. This money, lent out at interest, will be forty-three million before the five people turn up, gagged and handcuffed, of their own free will, in 2016. They will use the three million to care for them in grimy suburbs at the edge of the city, dispose of the other forty million on urgent personal needs, like gambling debts and diamond bracelets for their wives, and not take any more immigrants thereafter.

‘Scott Morrison has therefore shrewdly adapted,’ the good man continued, ‘his own hydrophobic priorities to those of the region, and awarded an administration famed for its crookedness millions they might then, if they win at roulette, expend on a better quality of champagne, plus trickle-down funds, of course, to the people-smugglers of South-East Asia — whom, let’s face it, Scott needs to keep coming to give him a purpose in life, and his Government that semblance of resolution, cruel malice and dauntless racism with which they might win the next election.’ Inferior champagne was then supplied in plastic glasses with plastic straws and Morrison had his first drink and fell down senseless soon after.

Gerard Henderson, a Liberal voter, claimed no World War 1 British generals were ‘donkeys’ and no Australian lives were wasted at Gallipoli. ‘The war to end war was successful in every way,’ he wrote in his new blog, ‘and Australia’s victory in the Dardanelles, which got the boys home by Christmas, 1915, and Churchill into Number Ten by 1917, has never been questioned before, and this crazed leftist Coulthart who asserts the Great War had a down-side is beneath the contempt of every living Santamarian, like myself, of which there are at least two, including the present Prime Minister.’

Reminded that Santamaria opposed that War in its entirety as did his guru Archbishop ‘Dan’ Mannix he sobbed, ‘I know, I know, and I loved him for it.’ He was assisted to his wheelchair by his concerned cross-gartered apostle Peter Hartcher, and given a restorative brandy. ‘You haven’t heard the end of this!’ he howled, as the room emptied. ‘Men call me mad, but I know what I know!’

A little girl, perhaps the hundredth, attempted to kill herself on Nauru after having heard she would have to ‘freely choose’ between prostitution and early death in Cambodia, a place whose language she did not speak, or a hundred years of birdshit-smelling jobless marriageless boredom on Nauru, a fast-dwindling South Pacific bankrupt hellhole, before its imminent inundation. She thus ehhanced Morrison’s champagne hangover, his first of any kind.

He could not understand why she felt this way. ‘I am offering her a brand new life in a developing country,’ he said, ‘with tremendous possibilities of wealth and influence as a gangster’s moll, and this is how she rewards me. I will pray for her soul.’

He entered, holding his head, a gambling den, his first, and lost ten thousand dollars in an hour, fell down babling in tongues and woke in what seemed to be its morgue.

Propaganda Studies (7): The Story So Far

The Liberals aren’t doing this very well.

If they were serious they would have arrested every young man at Numan Haider’s funeral and asked him if he was a terrorist. They’d be searching the backpacks and briefcases of every young black-bearded man on every suburban train.

Most terrorist attacks are on trains, for obvious reasons — you can leave a device in a suitcase on a train, and detonate it remotely — yet day by day no trains are searched, and Parliament House is for some reason flooded with coppers. No Parliament House has undergone a terrorist attack since the first Guy Fawkes Night in 1605, yet this myth of an imminent explosion in such a place continues. And more obvious places, like the Harbour Tunnel, the Opera House on an opening night, the Art Gallery during the Archibald judging, St Mary’s Cathedral during Christmas Mass, Opera in the Park, the Sydney-to-Surf Race, go unpoliced.

The reason is, the Liberals aren’t serious about it. They only want to give an impression of being on the case, of being the party that better protects us when we’re in danger, though Labor has won three wars, the Liberals lost four (Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan) and helped start one so disastrous the world will never recover from it; the WMD war, that is. And they’re so bad at protecting us they let a man dressed as Osama Bin Laden get into the vicinity of George Bush’s hotel.

They’re looking for their ‘Falklands Moment’ like Thatcher in 1982. They want a faraway war they can be praised for, and a ‘Gotcha!’ headline they, and Murdoch, can brandish down the ages.

And they want, like W, traitors here at home, and a proclamation — ‘You’re either with us, or you’re with the terrorists’ — that divides, and upsets, and revolts, and frightens the world.

They’re wrapping themselves in the flag, as frantic rogues do when nothing else they is working. ‘Patriotism,’ as Dr Johnson famously noted, ‘is the last refuge of the scoundrel.’

But even this tactic is failing them, and hour by hour they’re looking sillier.

Or am I wrong?

Some Thoughts On The Present Emergency (3)

One way to solve the present problem of young men wanting to behead Tony Abbott would be to give them, or some of them, jobs. A law requiring that there be two bus conductors on each bus per day, with preference given to young Muslim applicants, and three attendants at each parking station per day with the same proviso would reduce by twenty or thirty percent the ‘idle hands’ the Devil, Terror, finds work for.

It might be too early to tell. But it seems to me the Great Distraction that Liberal Head Office was hoping to win back votes with is not going all that well any more.

Abdul Numan Haider was neither foreign-born nor a young man ‘radicalised’ by jihad-fighting overseas. He was a middle-class Hazara, nephew of an Afghan eminent person lately killed by the Taliban, pursuing his studies, restless, and in need of a wife — a boon Scott Morrison wouldn’t let him fly to Kabul to bring back home to Endeavour Hill, for some dumb reason he hasn’t yet explained. This was what ‘radicalised’ him, and caused, by the look of it, the wounding of two policemen and his own early death, at eighteen.

Abetz’s threat to starve him for six months if he was jobless may have radicalised him too. It is radicalising millions.

It is fruitless wondering why, oh why, do young men go this way, go against our ‘way of life’, when this ‘way of life’ won’t let them work any more, earn money, leave home and marry a wife. Any form of National Service, or Green Corps, or government-paid work in the homes of old people would reduce dramatically the propensity of randy, beer-disdaining, undereducated young men to blow up the Opera House or decapitate on Pitt Street Alan Jones if they can find his neck. It has not been said, but the cause of much of what is presently feared is unemployment, as it has been for centuries the cause of most crime.

And there’s not much terrorism anyway. The Haider stabbing is the first ‘terrorist’ act by an Afghan on our soil since January 1915. It is the first ‘terrorist’ act by any group of any tribe or religion since the Hilton Bombing, an unintended ASIO cock-up that killed a garbageman in 1978.

Since 1978 there have been sixty shark attacks, eight deaths by backyard pool drowning, twenty-two by spider-bite, and, oh yes, 36,800 by car accidents, and no wars declared on spiders, pool-merchants or General Motors — until Hockey told Holden to go away last year, and they did.

What we are seeing, in short, is what we used to call ‘a beat-up’.

Let us have done with it, find some way to occupy idle youth, and get on, as the Prime Minister gamely suggests, with our ordinary lives.

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (70)

Barking and grunting and beating his bare, hairless chest Lord Greystoke-Bigot-Smythe, aka George Brandis, announced that any journalist who reported anything about him would get five years. His new body-servant, James Ashby, aka Earl Bartleby-Mussels-in-Brine, soothed him with unguents and cocktails as he went into a muck sweat shouting that he alone could save the nation from terrorism, by methods requiring the abandonment of all civil rights achieved since Magna Carta. ‘One,’ he screamed, ‘all emails and previous communications since the invention of Morse Code will be read by me. Two, any communication referring to me will be banished into Outer Cyberstace and the cheeky Communicator put in the stocks. Three,’ and here Bill Heffernan, aka Lord Pachyderm-Ululate-Cowshite-Brown stopped his heart with a single blow to the chest and medics rushed in to remove what seemed to be his corpse from the chamber. James Ashby followed the stretcher muttering, ‘Damn.’

‘The fifty children who have so annoyed me,’ said Morrison, in another place, ‘will be given a choice of whoredom and death by transmissible disease in Cambodia, or boredom and pointlessness for ninety years on Nauru. They will never, ever see Australia. They took me to court, and gave me a hard time there, and this is not forgiveable.’ He said, however, that twenty-three thousand other terror suspects would be admitted, and, after slaving in horrible climates on pitiful wages for three and a half years might hope to call Australia home. ‘Their wives, of course, will not be able to join them,’ he simmered, ‘or their ageing sick mothers. What do they think this is, Bush Week?’ His new policy, Operation Bush Week, would offer twelve-year-olds jobs in slaughterhouses but only the faintest hope of high school or university.

‘Those who were born here,’ he added, ‘will be called Illegal Birth Canal Arrivals, and sent back to where they didn’t come from.’ Asked when this might occur, he said, ‘At weaning.’ Asked who might instruct the prepubescent survivors of his Brave New Order in slaughterhouse technique, he said, ‘Jacqui Lambie.’

David Cameron, a Liberal voter, said he would bomb only Iraq, never crossing a Syrian border that did not exist, or upsetting Assad, the slaughterer of a quarter of a million of his own people, ‘for whom, he said, ‘I feel some sympathy. He, after all, had to put up with the Arab Spring, as I did with the Scottish Impertinence, and I know the panic he feels, from time to time, at the thought of the loss of his jewelry.’ He would strive to smite Assad’s enemies, and expunge them from history, but only when they had crossed what he called ‘a line in the sand’.

Cameron Houston, aka ‘Problem’, a Liberal voter, identified as a dead terrorist a live child in the smh and The Age. The child, affrighted and weeping, would not thenceforth go to school. This further stupidity brought into doubt, some said, the Liberals’ judgment altogether, after their failure to find an aeroplane as big as a city block in three oceans, and their bungling efforts to bring thirty dead bodies home from a sunflower field in a war zone at a cost of a hundred million dollars, and their willingness at any time to admit or state the truth. Morrison, for instance, had said there were no more boats coming, then revealed he had turned back sixty-two. He also said he would ‘redefine’ what the UN Refugee Convention meant, as if it were the Book of Revelation. Brandis thought joining a men-only club of barking chest-thumping sodomites cast no doubt on the state of his mind, as would, say, Pyne dressing up in Nazi leather and singing ‘The Horst Wessel Song’ in Adelaide Mall.

Abbott told Uhlmann he did not ‘currently’ plan to bomb the shit out of Syria nor keep this up for more than a hundred years. He was ‘awaiting instructions,’ he havered, from the ‘Pentagon masterminds’ who had, last time, through the Surge, Shock and Awe, and the sacking of the entire Iraqi civil service and all of the soldiers whom they let keep their weapons, helped cause the present apocalyptic debacle and would know, he was sure, what move to make next. He told the UN that ISIL was a ‘murderous death cult’ who had, thus far, beheaded nearly half as many contrarians as Bloody Mary, a favourite saint of his, but would catch up soon, he was sure.

‘Australia will be a good global citizen,’ he then insisted, ‘which means we will do nothing about global warming. That is in God’s hands. And if that Muslim terrorist Obama thinks otherwise, and I know he does, he will have me to deal with. John Howard called him a friend of al-Qaeda, and I campaigned against him, I preferred the Mormon, and he’d better fucking watch it, sunshine, I’m an Oxford fucking Boxing Blue.

‘Our light on the hill, our light on the hill,’ he continued, while Ban ki-Moon clutched with old, thin hands his thunderstruck face and Ben Chifley turned and growled in his grave, ‘is nothing to do with wind-farms, or solar panels, or water-powered cars, or free universities, or child care, it’s do with pulverising ragheads in a faraway country of which we know little, as, in a different age, my role model, Richard the Lion Heart, a good, good Catholic, like Ben Chifley…’ He was wrestled to the ground by three big black bald men, and delivered gasping and smirking into the custody of Credlin, his giant Nubian body-servant, who ‘settled him down’ in her now traditional manner.

Asked how long children born on Nauru would stay there if they didn’t ‘freely agree’ to go to Cambodia in the first months of their life, Morrison said, ‘A hundred years.’ Asked how long they would have to stay in Cambodia if they freely chose to go there, he said, ‘A hundred years; but it’s likely they would die of AIDS or street violence in thirty.’

And so concluded another day in the vast, ongoing, heart-wrenching tragedy of the worst free-elected government in the 1080 years since Democracy’s foundation in Iceland in 934 AD.

Recommended Reading

Elizabeth Farrelly in the smh today is excellent, as usual, and I commend her offering to your attention.

In Nine Words

If Catholicism is not a death cult, what is?

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (69)

By midday Abdul Numan Haider was being described, like Lee Harvey Oswald, as, simultaneously, a ‘lone wolf’ and ‘part of a worldwide conspiracy’: a mad young man whose ‘radical’ teenage playmates had evilly transformed him into a ‘terrorist’. The probable explanation, that Scott Morrison had driven him to it, was not explored.

For it turned out his parents, made anxious by his increasing twitchiness, had decided he should fly to Kabul and in Afghanistan find a bride and be thereby ‘settled down’, but Morrison wouldn’t let him go. He posed a risk, said S&M, to the democratic leadership of Afghanistan, whoever they currently were, and was best left unimprisoned and unremarked in Endeavour Hills. Desolate, randy and vengeful — and eighteen — he decided to kill Abbott, whose movements he studied, and unwisely, perhaps, displayed the ISIL flag in a shopping mall. This alerted the coppers to his ‘terrorist propensities’ and they asked him down to the station to ‘have a chat’. He came with a knife, stabbed two of them and was shot, most probably in the head, and so died unquestioned, and uninformative.

A bullet to the leg would have served as well. But his death, like Oswald’s, would allow hereafter many decades of ‘conspiracy theories’ to flourish and proliferate. That he was a bit mad, and randy, and in need of a wife, and Morrison had thwarted him was not considered, nor was Morrison reproved for having, the way he tends to, wrecked yet another life and ended thus a fifth young man with his threats, bombast, injustice and tongue-babbling Shirelive craziness.

Addressing the UN Abbott said all terrorists embraced a ‘cult of death’ and should be bombed to shit by all us life-affirming nations. He thus condemned as bizarre death-worshippers the ‘terrorists’ Mandela, Guevara, Begin, Ramos Horta, Michael Collins, George Washington, King David of Israel and Robin Hood, and irritated the French whose ‘terrorist’ Underground were national heroes. He condemned as well his own faith whose Crusades, Inquisitions, beheadings, burnings at the stake, reverence for the finger-bones of dead saints, and presiding symbol, a whipped and crucified young man, had been thought a death-embracing religion until now. By Christ’s death we were all saved, and by our martyrs’ cruel, blazing deaths under Nero’s downward thumb made better sorts of people. Abbott himself, a ‘happy cannibal’, ate Christ’s flesh — living, and quivering, he was told — each Sunday in Manly, but called this recurrent bloody ritual ‘life-nourishing’ and ‘rich in protein’.

Ban Ki-moon told the UN there were more refugees, now, than at any time in world history, and Morrison doubled his determination that he wouldn’t take any, and said he was flying to Pnomh Penh to ensure that fifty Tamil children he particularly disliked would grow up, if they survived, in abject language-challenged whoredom-tempted unschooled poverty. These children, he fumed, had taken him to court, and stopped him sending them back to their cousins’ torturers in Sri Lanka, and he didn’t like that. He didn’t like that at all. Well, Pnomh Penh, and the Killing Fields, would have to do. He was applauded by PVO as a ‘prince of tactical politics, a Solomon come to judgment, and a future Prime Minister for sure’.

Morrison then had an eight-course breakfast with Clive Palmer, and changed his mind. Some refugees henceforth could work, he told a bewildered press conference, in prescribed provincial hellholes, and enjoy Medicare and a local school, but no-one currently on Manus, like the fifty Tamil children whom he wanted to punish severely, and no-one would be settled here permanently, even if they were born here. They would be sent back to Syria, Gaza, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Fiji, Somalia, Sri Lanka and West Irian, and murdered there if necessary, after three years, or in some cases five, this he had sworn, in tongues, on a Shirelive Bible, an inflammatory document acclaiming capitalist resolve.

Australia, furthermore, would ‘re-interpret’ what the UN Refugee Convention meant, adapting it, as the times required, to a trade in slaves. Asked if he would go to gaol next month, he replied, ‘I don’t plan that far ahead.’

Lines For Peter Slipper (3)

I am suing Christopher Pyne, Tony Abbott, Mal Brough, George Brandis for calling me, wrongly, and maliciously, guilty of an act most civilised people think akin to rape, or attempted rape.

I am advised that defending themselves against this charge is futile, and will cost each of them three quarters of a million dollars if it goes to each of the likely courts of appeal.

I will therefore accept, out of court, three hundred thousand dollars from each of them, and apologies from each of them on the floor of the House and the Senate.

I will also sue thirteen journalists for the same offence.

Propaganda Studies (6): ‘Moderate’

We are told that Saudi Arabia is a ‘moderate Muslim state’ though it has beheaded more women, in the past six months, than ISIL. We are told that Israel is a moderate state though it has killed in the past three months 450 children, and Hamas, which is called ‘terrorist’, has killed no more than two Israeli children in twenty years. America is supposed to be ‘moderate’ though it killed, or prenatally mutilated, six million people in Vietnam and Cambodia and assisted into paupered exile four million Iraqis including all the dentists.

The words ‘moderate’ and ‘extremist’ are, in short, big lies. There are no demonstrators’ war cries, ‘What we want? Moderation! When do we want it? Now!’ It is not moderate to declare, as Tony Abbott does, that homosexuals will fry a billion years in Hell. It is not moderate to call Putin ‘pure evil’ for shooting down by mistake, if he did, or some of his friends did, an aeroplane over a war zone.

‘Extremist’, likewise, has no meaning if no-one proudly says, ‘I’m an extremist. Let’s hear it for extremism, world wide!’ It is a ‘boo’ word, a bogeyman word, that means no more than ‘dirty nigger’ did in times past. Or ‘heathen savage’. Or ‘unrepentant sinner, accurst of God’.

It should be put in the bin, along with the words Don Watson derides and abhors.

Or perhaps you disagree.

Lines For Albo (87)

If police aren’t safe from people they already think are terrorists, who is?

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (68)

A fifth young man died as a result of Morrison’s bullying. Only two had burned themselves to death, though a third had tried to. One had died of untreated septicaemia after Morrison’s people had refused him hospital treatment for a week, and Morrison had refused his parents permission to visit his bedside. Another was bashed to death after Morrison told a crowd of his fellow-prisoners they would never, ever live in Australia. This latest was being, it is said, thrown out of Australia on Morrison’s orders though his numerous Afghan family was not. Happily, he was shot dead before all this came out, and his possibly useful information on coming terrorist atrocities lost forever.

Morrison said you could go to the Hajj, and stone Satan, and so on, as usual in Mecca, but you couldn’t discuss politics there; and if you came back you would have to prove you hadn’t, if you ever wanted to see your children again. Though it was difficult to prove you hadn’t discussed politics in Saudi Arabia, where many people did, S&M said, ‘Well, tough. Find a way, or you’ll never see your children again.’ Asked who would look after the children, he said, ‘I don’t plan that far ahead.’

Cory Bernardi proposed that Australian women go bare-breasted henceforth, lest some ‘falsies’ contain lethal weapons — small guns, knives, corkscrews, or shoe-sized nuclear weapons — that might imperil the common weal. Told to appear thus in a public place was against some religions, he said, ‘Public safety must come first.’ Asked if that proposal included nuns, he said, ‘I’ll have to take that on notice.’

Morrison sold into slavery, and probably sexual slavery, in scarred, impoverished, war-smitten Cambodia, fifty children he had lately traumatised by sailing in circles in the Indian Ocean for a number of weeks in June, children he separated from their fathers, denied an education and kept cooped up, scared and sombre in windowless rooms without toys or diversions, children the High Court wouldn’t let him send off to misery in India or death in Sri Lanka.

He particularly disliked these children, who, by their very existence, and their poignant survival, and their beautiful brown faces, alerted the world to his record of child abuse, a crime in most jurisdictions, and he pointedly prayed for their souls, in tongues, every week in his church, knowing they were bound for Hell, as unrepentant heathens are, and hoping to speed them thereto forthwith and post-haste in the former Killing Fields of Cambodia. He hoped to Christ no journalist would guess who his targets were, and Bob Ellis, for one, wouldn’t tell them.

Brandis introduced into the Senate legislation that sentenced to life imprisonment anyone who travelled overseas to, for instance, help speed the Arab Spring in 2011, or help win the Six Day War in 1967, or help Scotland gain independence last week, or anyone like Joe Ramos Horta who had lived in Parramatta while planning to overthrow the government of Indonesia. Seeking to overthrow a government, however tyrannous, like that, say, of Putin in Crimea or Assad in Syria, would henceforth put you in the slammer for as long as Ivan Milat.

Asked if this applied to those who campaigned for a free Quebec, or an independent Cornwall, or Isle of Sark, or Aldeney, or Lord Howe Island, he said, ‘They are scum. And those who fought for an independent Western Austraia, North Queensland or Tasmania in the twenties, seventies or nineties will suffer the full force of the Law.’ He sipped his margarita, licked off the salt, and leered enigmatically. His new body-servant, James Ashby, refilled his glass and awaited further instructions.

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (67)

Pyne spent 30,000 dollars, thirty times what Slipper will go to gaol for, on a trip to Europe with his wife. Their blithe and shameless purpose was to watch two heads of a death cult, Popes John Paul II and John XXIII, being ‘canonised’; that is, being sped to Heaven, a faraway country of which we know little, where vegetarian lions and lambs, it is said, frolic together on the greensward and a virgin mother of a slaughtered God pleads for the souls of sinners round the clock; ‘cheap at the price,’ Pyne asserted, beaming boyishly. For Pyne and his fellow feral Papist Mel Gibson, the separation of church and state was ‘a mere bagatelle, a typo in the Constitution’; and he would spend as much on watching well-dressed choirboys sing Hallelujah, he said, as he would, as Minister, he gloated, on the better sort of unindicted Catholic schools. ‘It’s taxpayers’ money,’ he said. ‘That means it’s mine. Mine. Mine.’

Brandis agreed not to torture people, but would not say what ‘torture’ meant. Being kept naked and cold in a bare cell and being forced to hear, at full volume, John Howard’s Anzac Day speeches without ceasing was still, he said, ‘permissible, and comes under the label, “enhanced patriotic submission to Team Australia”, and is not quite actual torture occasioning the actual risk of death, but it’s in the neighbourhood.’ He was miserable at not being able to waterboard Arabs any more, and was seen weeping and drinking margaritas in his office, and murmuring ‘right to be bigoted’ in his sleep.

Abbott on the floor of the House announced that freedom would have to be abolished in order to preserve it. Full-body searches of Jacqui Lambie would occur on a daily basis, he said, winking, and the intermittent wrestling to the floor in mid-caffe latte of Peter ‘Malvolio’ Hartcher, whose mode of dress was now declared ‘an incitement to terror, and, in some legal views, an act of terror in itself’. His scarlet serpentine codpiece, cross-gartered yellow stockings, and Robin Hood-style green perky hat had aroused, he declared in his own defence, the ‘passing erotic interest’ for a time of his only love Julie Bishop, but he had not yet ‘cannonaded, bombarded, boarded and sunk her’. She had not yet, alas, he whispered hoarsely in further timid explanation, ‘had greatness thrust upon her’. PH is no longer thought, it is said by some, a ‘serious journalist’, let alone a strategic thinker.

Andrew Wilkie said John Howard was plainly guilty of ‘conspiring mass murder and then effecting it’ and should do twenty years after being tried and shamed in The Hague. It was a truth so self-evident that no attending journalist said a single word. Howard, however, said he had been ‘embarrassed’ by his part in the death of six hundred thousand people and the ruin of sixteen million, and ‘uncomfortable’ at the mistake he had made, to wit, that Saddam Hussein had H-bombs he never used. ‘I’m uncomfortable,’ he said, ‘and this blush you see spreading down to my neck is surely punishment enough.’ The craven Bolt and PVO and Mark Kenny applauded him for this, declaring he had ‘suffered enough’ and cursed Ludlum, Wilkie and Milne for ‘raking over old coals.’

Martin O’Shannessy, a Liberal voter, released a Newspoll showing sixty thousand Greens had changed their votes to Liberal because they ‘so approved Abbott’s new war against the ragheads, after Howard’s two lost ones. This time, the Greens gamely swore, the enemy of Climate Change, our new Green hero, Tony Abbott, will surely get something right.’

Kevin Andrews, lying, said his plan to starve young married men for six months was parallelled in New Zealand where such young men were were starved for one month, ‘to teach them a lesson’, get them evicted, and starve their babies too, as God intended.This proved to be false, and New Zealanders to be decent human beings, who do not persecute, as he wished to, innocent people for the barbarities of their former employers. ‘I do not resile from one word I said,’ the abject, snivelling Presbyterian sadist responded.’ If I lied, and lied to Parliament, for which I can be expelled, I did it, Christ help me, for a good cause.’ Asked what that was, he said, ‘Getting us back into surplus by 2100. Or even sooner.’

Bombing the crap out of Syria began, by a new, formidable, pared-down, multi-faith Coalition Of The Barely Willing, who in air raids blew into flying chunks of meat what was left of the Arab Spring. Among the new alliance were the Saudi Arabians, who like to behead once a month an adulteress in a public square. Shocked to learn that ISIL beheads white male Americans, a different thing altogether, they agreed to bomb the crap out of someone else, Khorazon, known opponents of ISIL, ‘to teach these non-beheaders a lesson’. Abbott applauded their ‘change of heart’, piously declaring that heaven rejoices more at one beheader who bombs the crap out of another beheader and himself gives up beheading than a thousand non-beheaders who continue to behave in a socially acceptable manner. Told that Saudis will continue to behead all women thought ‘unfaithful’ to ‘husbands’ with four discardable wives, Abbott said ‘oops.’ Added if he, too, would bomb the crap out of Syria, he said, ‘No way.’

And so concluded another day of the worst free-elected government in the history of democracy, a system invented in 934 in Iceland.

Propaganda Studies (5): Degrade

‘Degrade’ is a new word in the vocabulary of war.

It means ‘do damage to the enemy, delay his rate of conquest, and limit the extent of his victory’.

It means ‘losing, but giving a big, impactful impression of trying to win’.

It is a useful word for a country, the USA, that has thus far lost eleven wars — Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, Chile, Nicaragua, Iran, Somalia, Lebanon, the Cold War, Iraq 2 and Afghanistan — it likes to pretend it won.

It is no longer about winning any more, since we’re no good at that. What we do is ‘degrade’.

Today’s Morgan, Tomorrow’s Newspoll

10.45 pm

Morgan showed, correctly, Labor on 54.5, up by 0.5, after Abbott declared war on a number of countries and proposed the torture and shaming of a hundred thousand Muslim women he suspected of not much wanting to appear topless on Manly beach as part of Team Australia.

In an hour or so a Newspoll will show Abbott, war leader, ahead of Shorten as preferred Prime Minister and Labor and the Coalition both on 50. It will show Abbott has warmed the nation with his threat of beheadings in Martin Place and the bombing without end of those Syrian children not already bombed or gassed by Assad.

I ask, again, that O’Shannessy be arrested by Premier Andrews for fraud and put in the slammer for seven years, less if he reveals that Murdoch told him to change his figures.

8.05 am

It’s 49 to the Liberals, not 50, in Newspoll. Otherwise as I predicted.

Once again, only landlines were rung, disproportionately favouring octogenarians and excluding all young people out drinking on Friday night. Once again Palmer’s preferences were not asked, just guessed, and awarded the wa way they were last year when they more greatly favoured the Liberals and would not now. One again, a fabricated Preferred Prime Minister figure ( three million Australians ‘uncommitted’? really?) for our Chicken-Little-in-Chief; admired, apparently, for shouting ‘beheading! beheading! beheading! on every suburban train!’

Morgan is correct, and O’Shannessy a criminal who will soon, I hope, be gaoled.

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (66)

‘The Prime Minister, alas, is  under arrest,’ said Brandis. ‘He gave terrorists detailed instructions, as recently as last Friday, on how to detain and behead a suburban commuter. He emphasised how easy it was. This level of encouragement of a specific terrorist act will be outlawed on Monday, and retrospective to Friday, and beyond.

‘All public servants, moreover,’ he sipped his margarita, ‘will be able to torture non-public servants in specific ways, and go unpunished. They will be able to keep a man in a turban awake and cold and naked for fourteen days. The will be able to cause the miscarriage of a woman in a burqa by saying she will not see her husband or children again. They will be able to delay medical treatment, as some did to Hamid Kehazael, till a sick Iranian dies of septicaemia on Manus. This now makes legal the escape from punishment of the child abusing provoker of murder Scott Morrison, and retrospective.’

Asked by Uhlmann what caused all this, he said, ‘There have been no terrorist incidents on Australian soil since January 1915. And it is my purpose to not let a hundred years go by without either provoking one, or fabricating one. Our government has no chance of survival on a detested Budget harming everyone and ruining the nation solely. We must summon up a great wave of primal fear, and blithering anti-Semitism —for Arabs are Semites also — and make, as I advocated in April, bigotry legal again.

‘I am, moreover,’ he said, and Uhlmann quaked, ‘ordering the arrest of Angus Houston and the hundred so-called “Diggers” who went to a war zone, near Donetsk. Their spurious explanation that they were there to look for bodies is one they will have to prove. They were clearly assisting, in my view, the overthrow of the legally elected Kiev government, in a bloodless coup which happened simultaneously.

‘Any Jew, moreover,’ he said, and Uhlmann flinched,’ and I’m not being bigoted here, any Jew who goes to Jerusalem, allegedly to pray at the Wailing Wall, but actually, like Mark Regev, to propagandise for a terrorist state, or fight for it, will be hunted down, captured, extradited and given twenty-five years. In solitary. Naked. Without books. And very cold.’ He licked the salt off his drink.

There was a silence. ‘Does not inciting terrorism,’ Uhlmann said eventually, very quietly, ‘include what Scott Morrison did on Manus Island? Telling them they would never get out? They would never get to Australia? They would never see their wives, their children again?’

‘Do you imagine,’ and here the quivering Brandis quaffed the last pint of his margarita, and reached for another, ‘I am planning by this NOT to imprison Morrison? He is my rival, in Cabinet, for the crown of Chief Torturer And Next Prime Minister. Do you think me a dill? Do you think I came down in the last SHOWER?’

John Howard said it was on ‘the best available evidence’ that he and his Godbothering cronies Bush and Blair killed fifty thousand children and ruined sixteen million lives in a war caused by forged evidence and forbidden by the UN. Asked why the UN’s man Hans Blix swore he had not found anything much when Shock and Awe immolated Baghdad and burned the famous Library, Howard said, ‘We knew he was fibbing and we would find, soon, buried beneath a sandhill a hundred atomic bombs Saddam had neglected to use.’ Asked how he felt now, he said, ‘It seemed like a good idea at the time, like the Twist.’ Asked if he would apologise to the twenty million surviving victims of his lunatic misjudgment, he said, ‘My conscience is clear. I was misinformed, as Bogie was in Casablanca. I knew not what I did. The dog, you might say, ate my homework.’

And thus concluded one more day of the worst free-elected government in the 1180 years since the foundation of democracy in Iceland in 934.

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (65)

In Cairns Hockey said Putin would be welcome in Brisbane. Though a neo-Communist mass murderer in charge of a police state who had lately, Julie Bishop thought, shot down a plane containing thirty-seven Australians, illegally annexed the Crimea and bloodily invaded our ally Ukraine, he had been in the past a good customer for Australia’s prime rump and its uranium which he turned into atomic bombs with which he last week threatened the West in a new world war, it was thought a good idea to accept his presence in Jimmy’s-on-the-Mall and the nearby Fitness First where he and Abbott, a kindred spirit, might work out side by side on the bar-bells.

‘We have a lot in common,’ Abbott said. ‘We are both body-building foes of human rights and friends of public nudity. I believe I can do business with this man. Australia is open for business and this five-foot, strapping love-child of Stalin and Bronwyn Bishop is, in my view, an ideal customer for Australian red meat. As to the thirty-seven Australians he lately killed in an act of evil unprecedented in human history, albeit inadvertent, well, ah, well, ah, we should let bygones be bygones and look to the future, not the past.’ Asked if he stood by his previous determination to ‘bring him in shackles to Darlinghurst Court, and in solitary confinement through frequent bouts of waterboarding to twenty-five years in Long Bay gaol,’ he said, ‘Well, that was in another context, and times change. Over a rare rump steak at Jimmy’s and a brisk walk up the Mall and a refreshing swim in the Shark Aquarium in the Peter Beattie manner we can, I believe, though I cannot guarantee, sort our several differences and become good friends.’

Abbott was told by a jumpy young minder he had the wrong citizenship and could no longer be Prime Minister. ‘I look to Vlad’s example in that case,’ he said, glancing across the heated pool at the near-nude Credlin, who nodded. ‘He was constitutionally unable to succeed himself, and he sorted the constitution at gunpoint, and so will I.’

Fran Kelly, a Liberal voter, compared the spotlit helicopter-thudding thousand-man SAS raid on a single pimpled youth in Guildford with ‘Shock and Awe’, and called it a ‘brilliant anti-terrorist act of assertive bare-chested Prime Ministerial virility’. Reminded by Cassidy that ‘Shock and Awe’ was itself a terrorist act — an illegal bombing raid on an entire undefended city — and one of the biggest since Hiroshima, she said, ‘Yes, but it showed the terrorists the hunky, hairy, lovely, muscly man they were up against’. It was thought she referred to Abbott, lackey of Putin, a universally derided boneless wonder still uncertain which country the US would let him invade (playing ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ and jelly-bombing small running naked girls) and deeply afraid at all hours of the night of annoying Assad in the smallest way. ‘We will invade his country only at his invitation,’ he forthrightly declared, ‘and bomb only those he wishes us to.’ It was called his ‘Road To Damascus Moment’ by journalists, falling about with laughter.

Tim Blair, a Liberal voter, said in The Sunday Telegraph ‘Bob Ellis’s predictions are always, always wrong. If you want the truth, go always, always to the opposite of what he says.’

Invited by five lawyers to make 350,000 dollars out of this big-toothed, wild-eyed, yapping dunderhead, Ellis said, ‘I’m thinking about it. He will not have noticed my correct predictions, nearly always within three seats, of Australia 1972, Australia 1974, UK 1974 (March), UK 1974 (September), NSW 1976, NSW 1978, Australia 1983, Australia 1984, NSW 1985, Australia 1987, Australia 1990, Australia 1993, NSW 1995, Queensland 1997, Tasmania 1997, Victoria (famously) 1999, Western Australia 2001, South Australia 2002, NSW 2003, South Australia 2006, NSW 2007, Australia 2007, the United States 2008, South Australia (famously) 2010, Australia 2010, NSW 2011, the United States 2012, and South Australia (famously) 2014, nor of my prediction of the margin by which Abbott would win the leadership (two votes, one disputed), famously, in 2009 when every pundit was picking Hockey.’

‘He was right, of course, about me being wrong about Scotland, a faraway country of which I know little, but wrong about me in general, as the above thirty-one examples of my almost eerie prescience demonstrate. I ask him to apologise in his column by Tuesday. If he does not I will settle for 150,000 in cash, in a brown envelope, delivered by noon Friday to the garden bar of the Newport Arms, which I will squander on my son’s mortgage, and a trip with my wife to County Galway, Connemara, Stratford-on-Avon and the Isle of Skye.’

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (64)

Julie Bishop told the United Nations it would be nice if Putin betrayed his friends, disarmed them, and let them be tortured and killed by those they had lately displaced, invaded, and bombed the crap out of. Putin, the most powerful man in the world, dictator and brutal ruler of eleven time zones, would surely obey her, she assured her awestruck audience, when he came to Brisbane and she spoke to him firmly but kindly. She was regarded as a lunatic by many attending nations: the French, for instance, who compared her proposal to Churchill cutting off all help, which he did not, to the French Underground in World War 2.

She then complained that the bodies on MH17 had not yet been ‘brought home’. This outweighed in her mind the quarter of a million killed, thus far, by ISIL and Assad in Syria, the five hundred children killed in Gaza, the displaced six million Iraqis, Kurds and Tamils and the six hundred North Africans lately drowned while fleeing tyranny. We have to bring these thirty-seven bodies home, she railed, and irrelevant wars were getting in the way of her stated, implacable, holy objective. Peter ‘Malvolio’ Hartcher was proud of her again, and in yellow stockings paced beneath her hotel room and on a lute played love songs and bravely, feebly attempted to sing them up to her.

Abbott threatened the entire nation with beheading, swearing this had nearly happened to him. Men bearing scimitars and full black beards would no longer be allowed, he decreed, into Parliament House, or suitcases with nuclear devices in them. He encouraged terrorists to use simpler methods, which he outlined. ‘All you need,’ he said, ‘is a knife and a phone and a friend. Go for it.’ He was thought to be remarkably even-handed to have thus encouraged evil men in their evil purposes, and scared the bejesus out of old women travelling late at night after shift-work to distant suburbs and walking home in pale moonlight through lonely, echoing streets where pit-bull terriers wheezed and screeching possums copulated in the roofs of unsleeping bungalows.

Bishop refused to walk five yards to a UN conference whose aim was to save the world from storms, lightning strikes, tornadoes, the drowning of cities, the end of all animal species including the human race and its eventual fiery immolation. She had more important things to talk about, she said, like ‘bringing them home’. She flashed a fervid, cross-eyed glance at Peter Hartcher, whose embellished codpiece quivered as hope and engorgement grew. Five more months of grovelling flattery, he guessed, would achieve his heart’s desire.

It was revealed that Morrison had kept Hamid Kehazael away from medical help for a week of septicaemia and thus ensured his brain death and the turning off of his his life support after not letting his parents come to his bedside because, he said, ‘they were unsuitable recipients of even a one-day visa’ in his usual firm, implacable, righteous way. Lawyers thought him guilty of ‘murder by neglect’ as one would be when one had not fed, for instance, a starving, chained and screaming child for a week, and thought he might be justly imprisoned for it; but they did, as usual, nothing about it. ‘S&M is licensed to kill,’ said one of them, ‘and we’d better get used to it.’

In the Northern Territory, a new Cargo Cult sprang up in some Aboriginal communities. They believed, quite irrationally, that Tony Abbott would come back. It was compared by Biblical scholars to a similar illusion among the early Christians, that within a single generation, Jesus would return. Apprised of this, the Prime Minister’s office issued a statement that they might not be waiting two thousand years, but they shouldn’t get their hopes up.

The Ultimate Scare Campaign

(First published by Independent Australia)

Shouting ‘fire!’ in a crowded theatre is frowned upon in most societies, and thought an example of a limit on freedom of speech we can all agree on. Tony Abbott did something far, far worse yesterday. He told an entire nation they could be randomly beheaded at any moment.

He then told us to calm down, and behave as if he hadn’t said it. He added to the usual terrors female shift-workers endure on late night buses, late night trains, and the long walk from a railway station home at 1.30 a.m., the ultimate horror of having your head cut off.

He did it by adding the word ‘random’: by not even implying, but saying straight out that you didn’t have to be famous, or politically connected to a particular cause, or a prominent member of a particular faith. You could be an ‘innocent bystander’, beheaded.

He then said it was very easy to do. All one needs, he said, is a knife, and cell-phone, and an accomplice with a car.

Is this responsible? Is it the act of a nation’s leader, or a cyber bully? It seems to encourage terrorists, implying they can’t be easily detected, and it doesn’t matter who they kill.

Forty-six people, Australian people, died from cigarettes yesterday, none from decapitation. Three or four motorists will die this weekend, in car accidents. Before Christmas, two young men will die in pub brawls. ‘Domestic’ terrorism will occur, a father kidnapping and threatening his estranged wife or children once or twice this fiscal year. I will bet a lot of money no-one will be beheaded, here in Australia.

It is because it is not a very Australian thing to do. People who live here don’t do that sort of thing, and thereby imperil their families, and the livelihood of their parents, brothers and sisters. It is a long way from the battlegrounds of Baghdad, Mosul, Gaza, Donetsk, where such ‘terrorist’ things do happen lately, incidents in war.

And this is why it hasn’t happened in ninety-nine years and nine months here, since the Battle of Broken Hill in January 1915. It is not a particularly Australian thing to do.

And frightening old women with it is, I think, unbecoming for a Prime Minister. And possibly illegal, as it ‘encourages the terrorists’.

If the Prime Minister were serious about it, the two big football games this weekend would have been cancelled, and the opening night of The King And I. If he were serious, there would be random body searches of Middle Eastern women entering the Sydney Art Gallery. Most art galleries, given ISIL’s hatred of art, would be closed for six months.

But he isn’t serious, he’s making mischief. He’s lost most of the policy battles of his first year, and he’s thought a joke by many people, by many others a disgrace, and he’s embarked on the biggest ‘scare campaign’ in our history, since the Yellow Peril.

He’s become what I call the Chicken-Little-in-Chief. And he shouldn’t, any more, be given the time of day.

And he should be asked to resign by his colleagues (as Alex Salmond was a few hours ago), or by the Senate, or by a poll of public opinion.

He’s blown it.


The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (63)

‘You may be taken off a suburban train and beheaded,’ Abbott said, licking dry lips. ‘There will be no armed guards on suburban trains. Please carry on as if I had not just said this. Carry on with your normal life.’

‘We knew for five months of the plan to behead Tony Abbott,’ said Brandis, sipping his margarita and looking round the room, ‘and of course did nothing about it. We knew if we waited, all would be well, and the proposed murder, if enacted, would be good for us politically. Please carry on as if I had not just said this. Carry on with your normal life. If you look in any way alarmed on suburban trains, the terrorists will have won.’

‘We will make life even more miserable for those entering Parliament House,’ Abbott said, ‘after hearing that for eighteen years Bob Ellis has brought in a Swiss Army Knife undetected through Security, and not beheaded anyone, the smartarse. Throughout the entire Howard Era, we waited for him to try his arm. That’s how vigilant we were. I befriended him, and with many affectionate phone calls checked his movements, claiming he was a great writer. That’s how across the terrorist menace we were, and I was. Trust us. Trust us. Trust me.

‘It is clear eight million adult people want to kill me,’ he continued, licking dry lips, and looking round the room, ‘but, happily, seven million of them are women, who are usually unarmed. So I go about my business as if I had never said this. I jog, and bike-ride, and surf. I eat with property developers at the Steyne. I attend at known and regular hours St Barnabus’s Church, and there eat the Body of Christ in order to annoy any Shi-ite assassin who wanders in with a Swiss Army Knife and a beard like Jesus and a nose daubed with sun cream. I want my daughters not to be alarmed that I said this. They should appear in bikinis, an abomination unto Allah, on Manly Beach unguarded, and near naked, unashamed and unafraid, among hundreds of Muslim tourists throughout the summer.’

‘We know what we’re doing,’ said Brandis.’ We will guard Parliament House but not the Art Gallery or the Museum or the Shirelive Church in Sutherland, where terrorism’s most furious foe Scott Morrison babbles in a trance once a week and is unaware for twenty minutes who else is in the room. It is clear they would not come for him there. They would strive to come instead through Parliamentary Security with, like Bob Ellis, a Swiss Army Knife and a greater certainly of success.’

On his new blog Gerard Henderson defended the Ku Klux Klan. They were never as bad as ISIL, he said, though their policy of genocide was ‘unfriendly to Blacks’. They did not ‘control most parts of America,’ he said, though their eight elected Senators determined, for a while, what laws were passed in that country. He further claimed Mike Carlton was ‘down in the muck again’. He had got there by tweeting ‘I don’t drink gin’. Gerard called this Henderson big lie, his infamous libel, ‘irony’.

He acclaimed the illegal ‘settlements’ in Palestine, echoing Simon Schama, and said Australia was not ‘dull and boring’ in the 1950s, and he was ‘appalled’ Clive, Barry, Germaine and Bob Hughes found it boring. ‘How could it be?’ he said. ‘I lived here, and dined each week with Bob Santamaria. The wonderful thoughts he had. Fourteen acres and a mule. Tony Abbott infiltrating the Liberal Party and subverting the nation. They were exciting times.

‘I never, of course, appeared on Bandstand, doing the snares with Johnny O’Keefe, but I occasionally watched it in a radio shop window on the way home. Those who thought the era, in other countries, of Mailer, Steinbeck, Amis, Osborne, Bellow, Elvis, Nabokov, Shirley Abicair, Kubrick, Martin and Lewis, Alec Guinness, Perry Como, Our Miss Brooks, the Goons, Doris Day and Fidel Castro was in any way superior, or more exciting, when we had Ken G Hall and Eric Baume, are just fantasising. The taxpayer-funded ABC puts round this kind of leftist furphy all, all the time, in the vain hope of diminishing, shrinking, shrivelling the international stature of myself, Sir Frank Packer and Archbishop Mannix, the key personalities of that era world wide. I adored that era. It is my spiritual home. It is where, sweet Jesus, I belong.’

Scare Campaign

I spoke last night at a dinner in Harris Park full of passionate Muslims. In the audience were Bob Carr, John Della Bosca, John Robertson, Deb O’Neill, Sam Dastiyari, the Palestinian Ambassador, the Indian Consul, and various fervent advocates of the PLO and the Labor Party.

Fifteen hours before, helicopters had thudded over a household thought to be involved in the planning of a beheading. Five days before, we had been put on a ‘terrorist alert’, a ‘red alert’, higher than that of America.

Yet where was the security here? A former Foreign Minister mingled chatting with with brown-skinned Muslim strangers, any one of whom could have pulled a gun, and taken him away for decapitation. A future Premier arrived unguarded. Where was the security? Where was the motorcade of vigilant sharp-shooters? Where was the random cavity-search of the guests?

Nearby, the trains came to Harris Park. There was no visible phalanx of police targeting, and searching, men with big beards. There was no device for detecting knives, or guns, on those who boarded the train.

Yet we were told a planned beheading of a random stranger had been known about for four months.

Talk about ‘scare campaign’. Talk about ‘scare campaign’.

If there any truth in it the Prime Minister would not have ridden a bike in those four months, nor jogged on a beach without helicopters full of sharp-shooters hovering and thudding above him. The Attorney-General would not be allowed without an armed guard into the theatre. The Prime Minister’s daughters would not be allowed to attend college lectures, or go shopping.

Talk about ‘scare campaign’. Talk about ‘scare campaign’.

The difficulty Abbott has is in convincing us the ISIL ‘terrorists’ use only knives. In Iraq it is known they use guns, and tanks, and grenades. Yet Abbott, this morning, let a million people get on trains unguarded. How dare he do this?

If the terrorist threat were real, the coming football finals would be cancelled. Every other schoolbus would be cancelled. One train in three would not arrive.

What are we talking about here?

Talk about ‘scare campaign’.

Suddenly, there is money to do all this. Where did it come from? Is there not a ‘deficit crisis’ we must answer? Where did all this money come from?

Talk about ‘scare campaign’.

Abbott has been searching, desperately, for his ‘Tampa’ ever since he became less popular than Shorten. He proposed war against Russia. He proposed war against ISIL. He has put up a law that proposes the torture of men with full black beards. He has talked of ‘Team Australia’. He has vilified Putin, and spent half a billion looking for bits of a plane in three oceans, and forty million ‘bringing them home’, or failing to. And this, we are told, has nothing to do with his plight, as a detested, mistrusted, imperilled leader with a stinking Budget no-one will pass.

Pull the other one.

Talk about ‘scare campaign’.

Talk about ‘scare campaign’.

A Prediction

Four things make Scotland hard to call. One is the expatriates, overwhelmingly Yes, can’t vote, for some reason, and there’s a tidy few of them. One is the sixteen and seventeen year olds can, and will be overwhelmingly Yes too. One is the women, scared of losing household income, are fervently, and perhaps growingly, No and some of them are concealing it. One is the biggest turn-out in Scottish history.

My inclination, as in Australia, is to add 1.5 percent to the 49 the Yes is getting on the landlines because the young people, in summer, are rarely at home. And because they are, like here, on mobiles overwhelmingly, and many do not have a landline, as the older people still do.

But I am not certain at this distance. The 1.5 percent could go the other way.

Deep breath.

A narrow Yes, perhaps not known for days, while the votes come in through bumpy seas from the islands.

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (62)

‘Our war is not with ISIL,’ Abbott told a heap of slumbering war-painted Aborigines, ‘but with the Arab suburbs of Sydney.’ There, he said proudly, ‘boots-on-the-ground operations commenced in the early hours of this morning. It is our belief that some of these eighteen thousand infants, lactating women and young men we in darkness arrested and handcuffed to Hills Hoists were planning to go off to fight ISIL in Syria, and of course they cannot do that; our soldiers cannot do that, and nor can they. For even thinking of it,’ he continued, warming to his theme and running on the spot through red rising dust, ‘they will be bankrupted, dispossessed of their houses, aggressively interrogated and put in solitary confinement for periods of up to twenty-five years.’

Asked under what laws he was doing this, he said, ‘Future laws. Which will be retrospective.’ He puffed, stopped running and began to do one-armed pushups. ‘Asked why fighting for the ‘goodies’ against the ‘baddies’ in Syria was such a bad thing, he said, ‘Take me. I’ve never fought for the goodies in my life. I hardly know any goodies. Most of my luncheon companions are property developers.’

The snoring heap of war-painted tribesmen — ‘corroboreed out’, the phrase was — did not stir. Abbott put on a slouch hat, and Crocodile Dundee moccasins and RM Williams high boots, and, so garbed, soon boarded a plane that would take him to an aerodrome where eight hundred awestruck Diggers, encouraged by his mighty Churchillian stammer, would soon, on his orders, fly without fear into a war zone, and, on his orders, not make war there, never ever; especially in Syria where baddies were fighting both ISIL and Assad and should be ‘discouraged’ from doing so. Asked by his fawning blond mind-slave and bromance Mark Kenny what form this discouragement would take, he said, ‘Air strikes by fighter-bombers on kindergartens in the usual way, and the phosphorous-bombing of naked running little girls, but only on this side of the border, in Iraq.’ Told by a flummoxed Kenny that ISIL was mostly in Syria, he said, ‘That’s what I’m saying. ISIL must be protected; from the fanatical anti-ISIL terrorists of Guildford and Lakemba. They are being locked up; and, after twenty years in solitary, may change their ways, and learn to love a death cult, as I do.’ Crossing himself, he spoke warmly of ‘Abu Ghraib South’, a facility already under construction in Hyde Park, near the Cenotaph.

Scott Morrison said he had ‘stopped the boats’, and listed sixty-four boats that had come, at a rate of two a week, in this calendar year. Asked by Uhlmann how they had been ‘stopped’, when they were still coming, he said ‘The price of liberty is eternal mendacity, and this is the policy that’s working.’ ‘Mendacity?’ said Ulmann. ‘It’s working,’ said Morrison. ‘We’ve sent genuine refugees back to their torturers when it was safe to do so and lying about where they’ve gone and that’s a policy that’s working. Trust me.’ ‘How can I trust you?’ Ulmann asked. ‘Try harder,’ S&M replied.

Uhlmann asked him how many of the Tamil infants whom he had sent back to Sri Lanka were still alive. He said it was an ‘on-water matter’ which his dominatrix Angus would not let him reveal. Asked if he minded people, in their millions, calling him a murderer, he said, ‘It is a badge I wear with pride. Like my role model Bashr al-Assad, peace be unto him, I do what is necessary. To preserve the sanctity of my position, awarded me by Allah.’ He spoke in tongues for a while and Ulmann, a Liberal voter, put his head in his hands.

Breaking his 312th promise in a year, Abbott chose not to go back to the Emu Dance and the Pearson Acclamation in the monsoon-washed Red North as he swore he would yesterday and flew south-south-west with his body-servant Credlin, still fetchingly face-painted with white and red spots and wearing an arrangement of gumleaves over much of her firm tall upper body, attentively serving him camomile tea, to Duntroon, to confer with some aghast and mutinous generals. On the way an urgent email came through from PVO revealing that he was, alas, pretty much, an illegal immigrant into Parliament House and Morrison could arrest him for pretending, on a false passport, to be an Australian, when his dual British citizenship disqualified him from being both PM and MP.

Morrison rang him and, whispering rapidly, told him he would have to vacate his parliamentary seat and pay back the 3,722,000 dollars he had earned from politics and the 822,000 he had spent on travel, accommodation and food in the last nineteen years; or, on the other hand, he could simply resign his seat for ‘health and family reasons’, and cede the Prime Ministership to him, the feisty rabid foward-thinking S&M, who would thereafter pardon him after he apologised to the nation on the floor of the House for High Crimes and Espionage under the Immigration Act and he would hear no more about it after serving four months in Goulburn Prison, sharing a cell with Milat, and converting to Shirelive to save what was left of his soul.

Cory Bernardi called for the police to rip the Burqas off women wherever they found them. Like his previous insistence that nuns under forty wear topless garments in the summer months, his call was resisted.

Some Thoughts On The Present Emergency (3)

(First published by Independent Australia)

It is worth asking who ISIL are. They are not interplanetary aliens; they are not invading vampires; they do not come from another tribe, with another language, or brandish an unfamiliar religion. They are home grown, and taught by Americans, and us, how to fight with imported weaponry.

Some were tortured in Abu Ghraib; many were sacked, outlawed, and persecuted by Bremer and Maliki; many saw brothers, cousins, gassed by Assad. They have lived through Shock and Awe, the Surge, the Phased Withdrawal. They have seen the corrupt, incompetent Malikite military thieving billions owed to bureaucrats and soldiers. They have reasons for their savagery. They did not arrive, like mushrooms, overnight. They have a history.

And it is worth asking too if the Americans, who killed forty thousand of their children, will be welcomed back by the Iraqis to the smoking rubble of Baghdad, where the current Malikite ‘coalition’ killed fifteen thousand more of their children (my estimate) and twenty thousand of their women, and sixty thousand, in war and peace, of their young men — more than all the Australian dead in World War 1 —will be welcomed back as allies and saviours. And if Australians, who look like Americans, will be welcomed also.

Let us imagine invading Indonesians killed two hundred thousand Australians, obliterated parts of Sydney, including the Town Hall, the Art Gallery and St Mary’s Cathedral, occupied New South Wales and Victoria for ten years, instituted Sharia Law and went away. Let us further imagine a vengeful Christian insurgency commanded by, say, Tim Costello, rose up and conquered an area of land as big as Victoria, killing and mutilating the corpses of the Sharia heathen fanatics they opposed and killed in battle, skirmish and hot pursuit.

Let us imagine the Indonesians then came back, with a ‘coalition of the willing’ from Pakistan, Somalia, Libya and Saudi Arabia supporting them and a vast and thundering armada of ‘humanitarian’ helicopters, drones and fighter-bombers. Let us ask how we would feel then, and whose side we would be on, and how welcoming we would be of the returning Indonesians, and their allies.

It takes no great intelligence to make this comparison. Nor to realise that, if we kill and torture enough people, they become our unforgiving enemies.

But it was the same sort of lunatic thinking that imagined, not so long ago, that Americans entering Baghdad would be greeted with streamers, champagne and kisses in 2003. The Baghdadis well knew their middle class jobs and pensions, under Jerry Bremer, would be gone soon, and their mortgages would not be paid and they would be out on the streets fighting other beggars for shelter in cardboard boxes. And that, under al-Maliki, neighbouroods of Sunnis would be slaughtered, and their mosques burned. They could see the future, and the Americans could not.

The same people can see the future, now, too, and the same Americans cannot. Neither can Tony Abbott, who believed, with Howard, the WMD would soon be found, beneath a sandhill somewhere, and all would be well.

He’s as big a lunatic as that.

And so it goes.

Some Thoughts On The Present Emergency (2)

One wonders how many days or hours will pass before Abbott finds himself in a moral tangle again. He’s already said our war, which is not a war, it’s a ‘humanitarian rescue operation’, will not cross the Syrian border — though there’s no such thing any more, it’s all the widening Caliphate now, and the hills are alive with crucifixions — since no Syrian, logically, requires humanitarian aid, or rescue, from crucifixion, beheading, forced conversion, being buried alive, does he. Well, does he? He can’t, he’s across the border.

He’s already discovered the group Obama wants to arm is one which ASIO think are terrorists, and should be bombed into flying chunks of meat, as terrorists deserve, pre-emptively, now, now. He’s already been informed of anti-Assad-anti-ISIL idealists who want to come home to Australia, whom he must, if he is fair dinkum, imprison. And he’s already caught Morrison trying, even now, to send back genuine refugees to Syria.

He’s in a moral tangle already, isn’t he. And if, as Shorten wants, some Australians begin to feel some refugees from Iraq and Syria, some genuine refugees from genuine horror should be allowed to come here and be given visas and work and schooling, what is he to do? What if some of them are poor fools Morrison sent back? What if some Gazans want to come here too? What then?

Because he has no priority other than getting to the next frantic lie — we must ‘bring them home’, we must search three oceans for MH370, there will be no cuts to education, I’ll only put it in a little way — he will not be well prepared, I think, not well prepared at all, for the basic moral question, why should schoolkids be robbed of shoes and outings and racquets so Diggers can go with jet fighters, mortars, grenades and bombs to Iraq to blow up other kids, collaterally, there?

And where, indeed, is the money coming from?

And is it being well used, as that other billion was, the billion we spent looking for WMD under sandhills, where they weren’t, and never had been?

Because he has the attention span of a gnat, and the moral memory of a whisky priest, Abbott will stuff up soon, I think, and lose in his flurry the esteem of even his new beloved, the beautiful, manly Mark Kenny, in a flash. And then where is he to go? Into explaining why a war without end must be paid for by old women going three times a week to a doctor? By saying it doesn’t have to be paid for, we’ll owe the money to China for three hundred years?

Hard going, old friend. Hard times for Tony.

Our Chicken-Little-in-Chief.

And so it goes.

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (61)

Abbott said it was fine with him if Australians shot Australians in Syria. It served them right, he said, for joining the Australian army in the first place. He re-emphasised that Mark Regev, ‘a terrorist propagandist’, would be arrested if he came home to Melbourne, and justly punished there. He went to the Middle East, after all, and learned evil ways there, and should be therefore denied his ‘right of return’, or put in the slammer for twenty-five years if he dared come home — to a Mount Scopus reunion, or whatever.

He then, surprisingly, said no Australian ‘grunt’ would go to Syria. This war with the Islamic State would stop, he said, at the Syrian border. Told there was no Syrian border, just an Islamic State the size of Britain (or Britain until next Thursday) which overlapped the former border and much of Mesopotamia, greater in size than the Empire of Nebuchadnezzar, King in Babylon, peace be unto him, he said, a little snippily, ‘These are my decisions, as Commander-in-Chief, on the limits of this war, which is not a war, it’s a humanitarian intervention, and it’s not a humanitarian intervention until Obama, whom I campaigned against, orders me as Commander-in-Chief to go in there with guns blazing.’ Told the Governor-General was Commander-in-Chief, and a soldier of more executive experience than he, Abbott sipped more kava and chewed his witchetty grubs-and-cornflakes thoughtfully. ‘It’s a humanitarian invention on behalf of God,’ he murmured, almost to himself, ‘guns blazing.’

Fran Kelly then rang, and asked him, annoyingly, if young Australians fighting on the right side in Syria would be arrested and imprisoned when they came home. He warmly agreed they would. ‘It is wrong for young Australians to go to the Middle East and fight violently for any cause,’ he said firmly. Asked if that included the Anzacs and the Lighthorsemen and the Rats of Tobruk, he choked on his grubflakes and hung up, distractedly. He undressed, put on warpaint and prepared himself to dance in a corroboree, dressed as a cassowary, like Hugo Weaving in Priscilla, and thought of other things. His giant Nubian body-servant Credlin, dressed as a magpie, looked at his firm sunburnt anorexic torso coolly, then looked away.

A Liberal voter, Mark Kenny, whose winter-warmed affection for Abbott surpassed, some said, the love of women, predicted in the smh that his hairy, slouch-hatted, mandrill-gaited hero would win a ‘khaki election’ in 2016 for certain, for certain sure. ‘Rivetted by his masterful vision,’ he wrote, ‘of a war without soldiers that stopped at a border that didn’t exist, and the inspirational mid-term decapitation of twenty Australian schoolgirls who did not convert from Christianity and embrace, in Strathfield, the hijab, Sharia Law and clitorectomy, a grateful nation, stirred by his wisdom, good looks, hairy shoulders and appealing stammer will ensure absolutely that he storms back into government, as Churchill did in 1945, with an increased majority…an increased majority…let me read that again.’ He sighed, had a moment of dispirited self-loathing, repeated, ritually, ‘my cousin does not fuck goats’ five times, drained his Guinness, then, recovering, beamed at a photo of Abbott semi-naked on Manly Beach and the particular configuration of his stomach-hairs. He knew it was hopeless, but he dared to dream.

Abbott, noting with some surprise his war would cost money, abruptly cancelled the income he promised Rudd in his first days as Prime Minister. Though Rudd had given jobs to Downer, Nelson, Costello, Fischer, Vanstone, this was different. ‘No more money for Protestants!’ he suddenly screamed, as the noise of the clicking increased and the didgeridoo cadenzas probed the dusty moonlight and he feared, as his fingers clutched his eyes and ears, he was not in his perfect mind. On the other side of the campfire his giant Nubian body-servant Credlin, stained with ochre, looked through rising and falling knees at her crazed employer, contemptuously.

Certain Housekeeping Matters (130)

Phill has been pardoned, after many spoke up on his side, and will now suffer a ban of one month, and be back, if he wishes, on October 16.

Historian, a piece of Liberal filth, can howl in outer darkness for all eternity.

In Twenty-Eight Words

Who is David Cameron kidding?

He just said Scotland, if it asked to come back, would be told to go away and never darken his door again.


Ellis Gold Alert

My friend Sir Donald Sinden is dead, and I will put up on Ellis Gold an appreciation of him soon. I will also do reviews of Begin Again, Felony, A Most Wanted Man, The West Wing, Utopia, the Wharf Revue, Macbeth, the new biography of Roy Jenkins and the memoirs of Combet, Swan, and Gillard.

This I have sworn, and will deliver.

I beseech all who would like it to come to The Jet Lag Monologues, co-starring Bob Carr, me, Brandon Burke and Terry Clarke at Gleebooks, 6 for 6.30 tomorrow.

Yesterday’s Morgan

Morgan, accurately, shows 54 percent of Australians want this war in Iraq, 62 percent of men, 46.5 percent of women. But 59 percent of 18-24 year olds don’t want it, 52.5 percent of 25-34 year olds, 42 percent of 35-49 year olds, 41 percent of 50-64 year olds, and 46.5 percent of over 65s, some of whom have experienced war in the 1940s.

54 percent approved sending 600 troops to Iraq. Had it been 6000, the votes would have been lower. Had it been 600 turning round each year for ten years, it would have been the other way.

After the first Australian death, it will be 50 percent. After the first Australian beheading, 45.

It’s probable, not certain, support for this new war has peaked. Once it is more widely known that our ally Saudi Arabia beheads women in a public square and that we are against the monster Assad as well as the monstrous ISIL, his foe, and vaguely supporting some undefinable ‘Oppositionists’, fragmented along tribal lines, who cannot win against either, and once we see, or avert our eyes from, the beheadings of twenty children who do not ‘convert’ after we refuse to stop the war to save them, the numbers will plummet to Vietnam levels, pretty quickly.

And so it goes.

Certain Housekeeping Matters (129)

Phill and Historian have been banned for life.

Phill accused of me of lying about my experience of war and wanted a cripple kicked to death in gaol and Australian soldiers forgiven for killing children. It may be just me, but I find these brutal opinions hard to publish.

Historian is a Liberal staffer and can go fuck herself.

The Return

‘The torturers of Abu Ghraib are back, and this time they’re here to help us.’

‘Remember how scared they were of Iran? Now they’re on their side.’

The Arabs have a long memory and the Americans none at all. The Arabs remember Shock and Awe, the burning of the great Library, the levelling of Babylon and the ruined lives of six million Iraqis of the professional class — and the killing, maybe, of two hundred thousand children — and do not want the Americans back for any reason, in any cause. ISIL seem mild-mannered compared with them. They have killed, thus far, one hundred thousand fewer of their children than the Americans did, and they were mostly the spawn of Shi-ites, the corrupt and murderous mosque-burning zealots and mobsters the Americans put in power.

And we are going back in, it seems, unquestioning, the Surge having failed, into another Mesopotamian Holocaust whistling ‘Waltzing Matilda’. Why?

It is odd, though not uncharacteristic, that the Liberals have not yet looked at the ‘Homeland’ politics of this. We are inviting the ‘home-grown terrorists’ Brandis fears, to behead Peter Hartcher live on Channel 9. And how, if that happened, would that be helpful to any cause? We are inviting every ‘terrorist’ in Syria to behead, on television, a thousand successive Christians who do not convert, some of them children. Good idea, is it? Why?

The Liberals do not understand that Australians regard the words ‘war’ and ‘the Middle East’ with horror and loathing now. We shot our horses there after taking Beersheba. We lost the best of our gene pool at Lone Pine. We lost the best of the rest of it in Tobruk, Benghazi, El Alamein, Crete and Kandahar. We lost all our friends there after Shock and Awe and Abu Ghraib. We became a laughing-stock after not condemning Israel’s phosphorous-bombing of kindergartens. We railed against the genocidal Assad and now think him a fine fellow. We ‘trained’ what became ISIL and believed our job was done.

And we are talking now, even now, about being back in there, shooting children and apologising, for the next twenty years.

And this is why Tony Abbott lost, oh, five hundred votes yesterday. And will lose three hundred more every day for the next month or so.

No-one wants to be there. No-one has a hunger to be there, in the Middle East, killing people, and losing good men, for no good reason, and no result, where we have lost so many good men (and horses) before.

Or perhaps you disagree.

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (60)

Abbott declared war on a nation that didn’t exist, in support of a nation that didn’t exist, ate witchetty grubs, and felt good about it. He knew Aussie ‘battlers’, whom he’d just deprived of their schoolkids’ money and their secure old age, and their jobs in all the industries he’d just abolished, would be happy to spend, on a war we took ten years to lose, a hundred billion more to restart it, and lose it again, the way you do. He knew that beheadings would begin in Strathfield soon, or Geelong, or Snowtown, and this would turn opinion his way, in favour of endless war, a hundred years’ war, perhaps, in a region, the Middle East, in which, at Gallipoli, Beersheba, Damascus, Tobruk, Alamein, Benghazi, Baghdad and Kandahar we’d lost the finest flower of our gene pool and chalked up only two hard-fought and costly bloodstained victories. He knew they’d be really keen on that, and the busloads of beheaded Shi-ite children in Lakemba, airbrushed on Channel 9, which would surely follow hard upon his valiant, leaderly courage, in this, the first weekend of World War 3; never such innocence again.

He ate goanna, and felt his life had been affirmed. He drank more kava, repressed some flashbacks and, tottering to his feet and quoting Churchill, said in harsh, rasping vowels, ‘I knew I had been walking with destiny, and all my past life had been but a preparation for this hour, and this trial. I fell asleep, and had no need for cheering dreams. Facts are better than dreams.’ A tribal elder tried to point the bone at him, but was wrestled to the ground, escorted away from the campfire, and given more kava to ‘settle him down’.

Editorials compared his actions to those of Oscar Pistorius. ‘Like that other legless, muscular drama queen,’ Paul McGeough wrote, ‘he prematurely ejaculated at a door that was closed, and found himself, a moment later, both weary and unhinged, and bereft, unsurprisingly, of sympathetic female company.’ It was thought no army wife, lately pleased to have her young, firm husband back from Kandahar, would be keen to see him off so soon, weeping, to Iraq and receive, next year, his head back in a box. But Abbott knew she would gladly and proudly bear that burden, for Team Australia’s sake. His giant Nubian body-servant Credlin looked at him through the campfirelight briefly and coldly, then turned away and did her nails. Tribal elders rendered, with clicking sticks, Reg Lindsay favourites past midnight, opening and closing their knees.

Brandis said bombing their relatives in Mosul would not ‘increase the likelihood’ of them beheading Australians here. ‘They’re already evil, evil,’ he said, ‘and they’ve been evil enough to do it for months, without a reason. They’re just evil, and strapped with bombs. I want nobody to be alarmed,’ he added. ‘They should get on and off trams and trains, and go to the theatre, as if I’d never said Boo to them. No, I wasn’t kidding. Beheadings. Australian beheadings. Coming soon, to a suburb near you.’ He became distracted, finished his brandy alexander, and was assisted by very big men with shaven heads to the toilet. He came out of it rapidly, pursuing a well-dressed James Ashby, as he was wont, in better days, to do.

Abbott claimed bombing Mosul was ‘an essentially humanitarian strategy’ and he wouldn’t do anything like that unless the Americans, the levellers of Babylon, asked him to. ‘It’s not really a war,’ he said, in the same tones as men of his generation would say ‘I’ll only put it in a little way’ to their fellow Catholics on moonlit excursions to Manly Dam. ‘It’s a threat of war. A dress rehearsal.’ A premature…getting off at Redfern. Those were the days.’

He refused to say where he would find the fifty billion dollars to bomb and cleanse and subdue and rule a site the size of Britain — or Britain as it was before next Thursday — and convert four million crucifying Sunnis to Christian values and his preferred Santamarian agenda of ‘twelve acres and a mule’. ‘If we can hold off the Dread Day of Surplus till 2100,’ he said, ‘and sell off, as a job lot, our dairy farms and universities to China, declare war on China and with Japanese nuclear submaries “degrade” them, and repudiate, post-war, our two trillion dollar debt to them…’ He was taken away by his giant Nubian body-servant Credlin and her husband Loughnane into their three-person pup-tent, injected, and ‘settled down’.

And so concluded one more day of the worst free-elected government since the foundation of democracy, in Iceland, in 934 AD.

Lines For Tony Abbott (22)

How do you stop a man from cutting off the head of a man in his captivity, when he’s in the mood to do it?

How do you threaten him? How do you bribe him? How do you kill him without killing his captive?

How do you… negotiate…with a…terrorist?

We’re in this war to find out.

Certain Housekeeping Matters (128)

I am putting up on Ellis Gold, progressively, my book The Capitalism Delusion which deals, in part, with the rent-and-house-price crisis that is currently whiteanting the world economy. And I will do, soon, I swear, some theatre and film reviews also.

I ask you to forgive me for being so obsessed with politics.

Leave Off With With Holocaust Already: Rivka Hartman’s The Handkerchief

I could be wrong about this, but what I saw last night at the Holocaust Museum, an unrehearsed reading called The Handkerchief, seemed to me to prefigure a play on the world stage as good as the best of Arthur Miller, though not, of course as good as the best of Tony Kushner, the finest English-language playwright in three centuries.

It deals with six generations of Jews, and a tremendous survivor, Gitl, who is a dominating scold, undiminished by suffering, and useless, blithering progeny, though 116 years old. In this role Elaine Hudson (whom I described to her face as ‘the best thin actress now working’) seemed to me, last night, to be better than Callas in Medea and Streep in Sophie’s Choice, and there you go.

The story goes from a Polish town like Anatevka in Fiddler On The Roof through, inevitably, Auschwitz to, inevitably, Bondi, and the tyranny and secrecy of Gitl, who is the Jewish Mother From Hell. We see the kind of meek husband she chooses — Morris, a sorrowing schmuck — and the kind of daughter she harries into banal rebellion — Miriam, the vapid freeloving hippie filmmaker- and Miriam’s daughter Sandalwood, a drug-addicted stand-up forever falling down in mid-performance, picking up stray fucks in rehab and transmuting family pain into wisecracks; and how motherhood redeems, or does it, each of them.

Robbie MacGregor plays a number of shambling schmendriks, plus an Auschwitz guard and Hitler, and is the only man on stage, among four feisty threatening women. Taylor Owwyns, who reminded me of Bette Midler, is very fine, fiery, amused and self-pitying as Sandy (Sandalwood), drying out, knocked-up and suicidal, and Anne Tenney superb as Miriam aged twelve, eighteen, thirty, forty and sixty, with a tender, focussed, intimate presence we remember from television that like, say, Emily Mortimer, draws and holds the audience’s sympathetic attention quietly and surely.

The story circles round the mystery of Dvorah, Gitl’s dead daughter, killed in Auschwitz, whom she never, never talks about. When we finally hear what happened, a fate both ordinary and searing, we begin to understand what makes a genial monster like this both immense and incurable. She is the stuff of legend, magnetic, bossy, stoic, a living wound, well into her second century, determined the story must continue, the traditions must be maintained,  the story, the story, the story must be told. Raised atheist, and unbelieving still in an afterlife, there is no afterlife but your daughters and their fecundity, she scrubs and cleans and curses each speck of dust, and puts pinholes in the contraceptives to help the fecundity along.

Madeleine Withington (Anne Tenney’s daughter) is very good, if under-used, as various  infant children, including Dvorah, and John Grinston (his face like a wood-carved medieval saint) surprisingly effective as the reader of the stage directions — emphasising the lack of accents, and how important this is, and he is right to so. The laughs come anyway, but vaudeville Yiddish flamboyance is not, this time, the reason why they do.

The play’s climax is inadequate, the title disastrous, and it needs an interval. The staging which requires a lot of back projection, whole experimental movies of great complexity, will be expensive. No cast changes are needed; this is ideal. The writer, Rivka Hartman, whose last play, Wanting, about computer dating, is as good as Ayckbourne, Coward or Simon, with a glimmer, sometimes, of Stoppard. But this is different.

It is a classic that, with a slight rewrite, will storm, I believe, Off-Broadway, and thereafter conquer the world.

Abbott’s Pistorius Moment

It is strange Tony Abbott thinks it a good idea to answer a beheading by sending in six hundred troops. All that will happen is more beheadings, in Strathfield perhaps, or Longreach, and a falling away of any support there still is for a war already three times lost.

Soldiers’ wives will hate the idea. Traumatised veterans will detest it. Crippled veterans will demonstrate against it. No general likes it. No historian thinks it makes any sense. What is he doing?

It is possible he has gone mad. He has certainly, as Paul McGeough says, jumped the gun, as Pistorius did, on hearing a noise in the dark. For ISIL was created by Maliki sacking, persecuting, torturing and killing Sunnis. And we are going in again on Maliki’s side again, or the side of his ‘coalition’, to torture and kill more Sunnis. We are committing troops to do so before anyone else does. Is this wise? Is this wise?

Abbott, mad or not, sees only an image of his resolution, in a slouch hat, restoring his political fortunes with a kind of Gallipoli Fever in its hundredth year. But people already battered by the GFC and the death of the car industry and the submarine industry and bits of the manufacturing industry all over the shop and a Budget that makes no sense won’t want a war of any kind. They certainly won’t want a costly one. If they do, I’ve not heard anyone saying so. Being revolted by a beheading is one thing. Saying Australians must die to stop it, sometimes by further beheading, live on Sixty Minutes, is another.

McGeough’s piece is good reading. He says what Abbott has done is a calamitous mistake. It’s showing the Arab states they need do nothing. They can sit on their hands and let us fight their war for them.

Our Chicken-Little-in-Chief, I call him, sometimes or Premature-Ejaculator-in-Chief. He has earned both sobriquets lately, and dug himself a spare grave.

Some Thoughts On The Present Emergency

It’s a while since Reagan funded rockets that, in outer space, would shoot down other rockets in outer space, put up there by Russians for reasons he could not clearly specify, and spent hundreds of billions of dollars trying to do so. It was thought then modern wars would be fought in this way. Now we know this is wrong.

Modern wars are fought by kidnappers, who, on the internet, threaten with beheading western journalists who, before their decapitation, applaud their executioners, defame their native lands and scare the shit out of western leaders who know there is no way they can fight this.

My Committee for the Prevention of the Beheading of Peter Hartcher notwithstanding (see below), this method may come, I fear, to Australia soon.

It requires very few weapons. The entire arsenal can be purchased for a couple of hundred dollars. And millions can be made from the threat, if the target is right, from his wealthy relatives, workmates and fellow citizens, the threat of the young man’s execution.

And this is ‘asymmetrical warfare’. On the one hand, trillions spent on submarines, drones, bunker-busters and helicopter-gunships, and billions more on boots-on-the-ground ‘pacifying’ suicidal jihadists who strap bombs on their fourteen-year old daughters, and the hamburgers Halliburton bravely brings through contested space to the boots-on-the-ground. And, on the other hand, an image of a head coming off a handsome American hero, who has just denounced America, calmly.

It is now impossible, I think, for this method not to prevail, if the beheadee is a citizen of a democracy. No Prime Minister can survive ten, seven, five such public decapitations of eloquent, calm young men. He has to come to terms. He has to ‘negotiate with terrorists’. And he loses office if he does, and he loses office if he does not.

Letus imagine the next young man is a Scottish doctor-without-borders who looks like James McAvoy. Let us imagine David Cameron is told he must, by Wednesday, pull out of the war on ISIL or this good doctor dies, in the usual way, on television. Let us imagine David Cameron says, ‘We do not negotiate with terrorists’, and the young man’s head comes off at midnight, eight hours before the polling stations open on Thursday. Will Scotland leave England then? Of course it will.

It is no accident, old friend, that the severed heads of ‘traitors’ put up on Tower Bridge to be eaten by worms and pecked by crows deterred, for centuries, subsequent revolutionaries. It is no wonder Mary, Queen of Scots died in this way, and, as a direct result, her son became the King of England, an act of Union that, with a couple of rancorous intervals — and the beheading of her grandson Charles — persists unto his day. It is no wonder Saudi Arabia, the world’s most secret society, decapitates women and children and its luxury-fond, unrueful Princes are reverenced by its people. It is no wonder the shrunken heads of his defeated foes adorned the belt of a warrior in Niugini, a warrior-king.

Is there an answer to this fearsome, proven way of making war? This WMD for which there is no anti-aircraft gun to take it out of the sky? This formidable broadcast image as frightening as Moses, wreathed in fire, holding up the Ten Commandments, carved in stone?

Don’t think so.

Perhaps you disagree.

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (59)

The head of Abbott’s church, Pope Francis, said we were currently in a World War and wondered if this was a good idea. Abbott said he should keep his bib out of matters which, as God’s representative, did not concern him, and pledged we would die in our millions, if need be, in the coming Armageddon against Putin, the King of the North, whom he would arm with as much uranium as he had money to buy.

He raised the terrorism danger level to Red Alert, higher than that of America where thirty thousand people died by gunfire every year but not, thank heavens, in acts of ‘terrorism’, or not very often. Though ‘Terrorists’ had effected 9/11, killing 1820 Americans and some foreigners, only 350,000 Americans had died by gunfire since then, 800,000 in road accidents, 42 in backyard pool drownings, 22,500,000 from cigarettes, and one shot by Dick Cheney, who believed him at the time to be a duck. But these things posed no actuarial danger, Abbott insisted, and ‘terrorism’, which had killed 3,221 Americans in 238 years, was the real and pressing national peril, more so here than there. ‘Eighteen people have died by terrorism on Australian soil in only 226 years,’ Abbott boasted, ‘which puts the American total in the shade.’ Asked how many Australians had died here from terrorist atrocities in the last ninety-nine years, he answered, ‘None. And that’s why we’re bound to see some soon. It stands to reason. Trust me.’

And some Reds under the bed, he murmured, there had been a tidy few of them. He proposed therefore to reclassify Putin as a Red, and to refuse to shake his hand in Brisbane. That would teach him a lesson, he beamed, and convince him to give back the Crimea, stop shooting journalists and give Europe all the gas it needed, at half price.

Abbott, praised by Murdoch journalists as ‘a world statesman’, was gaining traction and stature, they said, by the hour. He had lately encouraged Australian teenagers not to go to war in Syria, and encouraged them to come home quickly, quickly, to their worried families, and threatened them with twenty-five years in the slammer if they did. This was acclaimed by his newly beloved bromance Mark Kenny as a ‘laudably balanced approach to a complex moral question, the carrot and the stick, worthy of the late King Solomon of Israel, peace be unto him’.

Two young Logan men, meanwhile, who had been found fighting on the right side, against both ISIL and Assad, as Obama recommended, in the Middle East would suffer, Brandis thundered, ‘the full severity of the Law.’ Anyone who left Australia to engage in a civil war overseas would be severely punished, he railed, with whips and scorpions, upon re-entering ‘their homeland, Australia’, after their spiritual infection by alien theocracies overseas. Mark Regev began to shake in his shoes.

A newly formed Committee for the Prevention of the Beheading of Peter Hartcher (CPBPH) met in secret, and afterwards emailed Malvolio beseeching him to dress more soberly. ‘Your current garb of cross-gartered yellow stockings,’ they said, ‘makes you an easy target, and constitutes a danger to the nation. It is likely a rocket attack on you will take out a hundred awed pedestrians around you. The scarlet serpentine codpiece should be likewise left at home.’ Hartcher protested that Julie Bishop had asked to see him so adorned, in a letter composed in her ‘own fair hand’, but agreed to adapt his mode of dress to ‘modern contingencies’. He arrived at the smh in a Spiderman suit and was tackled and held down by Security.

Abbott called ISIL ‘a death cult, not a nation’. Though he himself on Sundays ate the body of Christ, a brutally executed prophet whose death redeemed mankind, and acclaimed on various days of the year the mutilation and murder of ‘saints’ he duly revered for their ‘sacrifice’, and a Church long funded by the auctioning of the body-parts of ‘martyrs’, he thought a ‘death cult’ like ISIO unacceptable, and cursed it all to Hell, and recommended it be bombed and hacked and immolated, like Hiroshima, till it raised no more its heathen voice on earth.

Pistorius Postcript

The good judge has found Pistorius careless with firearms and negligent of the safety of his beloved in a moment of unjustified but understandable panic. She has let him go free on bail and prepared herself to free him for good under certain conditions in October. His beloved’s relatives are cursing this, and demanding the State waste further millions appealing this decision, though the State will not. And it is worth, I think, saying the following, however murmurously.

It would not be good if this hero of cripples were beaten to death in gaol or caused to suicide there. It would be wrong if either of these things occurred. It would be as wrong as the kidnapping by able-bodied men of the crippled FDR and his torture on television by jeering Nazis who then flung him off Mount Rushmore to his death.

It is important that a man who had incomplete legs and bettered himself and ran in the Olympics be not locked up till those legs were were no longer capable of running competitively. Whatever he did in a moment of inattention, he is a hero. It would be like turning off Stephen Hawking’s voice-machine because he had said, after eight Guinnesses, something sexist or racially inappropriate.

You do not take away the tools of a genius, whatever else he has done. You should not take away Einstein’s pencil and notepad because he was complicit in the invention, and dropping, of the atomic bomb.

Pistorius has ‘suffered enough’. He has killed, inadvertently, the beautiful woman he might had children with, beautiful, healthy children. He has howled at himself in rage for five hundred days and nights. He has suffered for his sin. He has suffered greatly, and will for the rest of his life, in the watch hours of the night, as he did in the years of his childhood, crippled, persecuted, mocked and trying to better himself, be a ‘normal person’.

Masipa, a black woman from Soweto, knows about suffering. She saw, as a child, the massacre of her neighbours. And she will hear the witnesses, patiently, and let him go. She will dress up her mercy in many admonitions and many imposed obligations on him to serve the community in his future years in particular, testing, punishing, humiliating ways. But she will let him go.

This is my prediction.

And I let it stand.