Monthly Archives: May 2015

Abbott In Terminal Trouble

Abbott has no idea how unpopular he has become, and how much damage his sister has done him.

She and all gay people will remember how, a week after he became PM, gay marriage was enacted in the ACT, and his government took it to court, and threw it out, and joyful couples had their marriages rescinded in the first days of their honeymoons, only eighteen months ago. And they will greet his claim that he now wants the parliament to ‘own’ the new laws, though it was his government that overthrew them, with a measure of contempt.

The law will be proposed in the House tomorrow, and his numbers will vote it down. It will be proposed in the Senate soon after, and will go through. He will then propose a committee of enquiry into issues that have been argued world-wide for twenty years, promising a conscience vote by Christmas. And the howls of rage of the men and women of Australia will be heard around the planet.

And his own party will move against him.

Or am I wrong?

Thirteen Thousand Arguments Against The Dutton Plan

Martin Bryant still has his Australian citizenship. So does David Hicks, Julian Assange, Robert Hughes, Rolf Harris, Adrian Bayley. The five hundred men who menaced and murdered their wives and ex-girlfriends in the last eight years still have theirs.

The boys who set bushfires, acts of terrorism comparable with 9/11, in the past ten years are Australian citizens still. So is the man who set the fires of Ash Wednesday.

A hundred priests and nuns and Salvation Army majors who terrorised children and caused some to suicide went to their graves as Australian citizens, and so will Gerald Ridsdale. Ten thousand clerics who threatened children with hellfire, and what is that but terrorism, died or will die Australian citizens.

And Dutton says a hundred Muslim teenagers who have hurt no Australians deserve to be stateless, and suffer beheading by DAISH if they want to repent and come home.

How stupid is this, and how cruel.

And how lacking in homework.

Abbott’s ‘Caligula Moment’

(First published in Independent Australia)

Thirty-seven backbenchers are openly in favour of Abbott revoking the citizenship of anyone he or Dutton declares is a friend of terrorists, and about four Ministers: Dutton, Abbott, Morrison, Cormann. The total, forty-one, argues fifty-three or fifty-five, a majority of the caucus, want Abbott gone. This figure is likely to expand.

Revoking someone’s citizenship, without a trial, a jury, a lawyer, a day in court, is like the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld process of ‘rendition’, sending problem citizens overseas and letting foreigners treat them as badly as they choose to, out of sight, out of mind, in Guantanamo, or Syria, or Kazakhstan. It is the exact opposite of what Julie Bishop did for Peter Greste, and for Chan and Sukumaran: try to rescue them from trouble overseas. Instead of rescuing them from trouble overseas, this policy pitches them directly into it. Anyone who is a ‘friend of terrorists’ can be treated in this way. In the past it could have been a supporter of Gerry Adams, or of Nelson Mandela, or Menachem Begin, or Brendan Behan. Applied retrospectively, it still could be.

Julie Bishop hates all this, and it was she, surely, that leaked to her good friend Hartcher the confidential dialogue in Cabinet that she hopes will undermine her leader and allow her soon to replace him.

It is not hard to see why she has done this. Her surprise when he, without warning, without consulting her, his deputy, abruptly announced an indefensible fascist policy on the anniversary – pretty much – of Magna Carta, exposing her to shame and mockery and revulsion wherever she henceforth travelled, was too great and contemptuous an insult of her personally for her as Minister and Deputy to abide. It was exactly like the Myanmar colonels depriving the Rohingyas of any civil rights or the Karzai brothers dispossessing and disfranchising the Hazaras; or – yes– the American South the Negroes, who could not vote in that region till 1965.

Worse than that, Abbott was, is, planning to do it to children also. Enraged by five tiny Nettletons wanting to come home, he said, ‘It doesn’t matter what age you are, if you break the law, you take the consequences. A crime is a crime is a crime.’ Or words to that effect.

It is worth noting how cruel he has been, thus far, to children. He has let them be molested on Nauru, saying it’s a ‘local responsibility’ which local police should investigate, it’s none of his business what happens over there. He has let them starve in boats off Malaysia, saying it would be ‘encouraging people smugglers’ to rescue them. He has sentenced some of them, the ‘liberated’ ones, to ninety or ninety-five years on Nauru with no hope of a good school or a good job or a good marriage, a mile or so from the unarrested men who raped them, or offered them drugs and hot showers in return for blow-jobs. He has told hundreds of them they will ‘never, ever’ live in Australia. He has encouraged their mothers to abort their siblings, and some of them have.

In his own life, Abbott banished what he believed was his only begotten son to Western Australia, desolating the baby’s mother, Kathy Donnelly. He has tried to deprive young mothers of six months of the dole. He has refused to pay new babies’ grandmothers to look after them, while their mothers go out at night to work.

He defended a choirboy-fiddling priest, John Nestor, and is friends with his confessor Pell, the august tormentor of the bereaved parents of molested children who suicided. When it comes to hurting children, Abbott has form.

How much longer he will be allowed to behave as madly as this is an open question. His ‘Nope, nope, nope’ to letting repentant teenagers come home, and tiny Nettletons come home, from Syria and Iraq, and his threat to imprison the mother, and foster out the children to ‘caring Catholics’ may have been the moment when he seemed too mad to be put up with any longer.

Or it may have been the moment when he tried to sneak through a provision, as Menzies did in our McCarthyist era, that a single Cabinet Minister can ‘declare’ a person to be a terrorist (or in Menzies’ time a Communist) and deprive him of his liberty, his property, his passport, his native identity, his homeland, without a call to his lawyer, without a day in court, without a jury, without evidence, without a verdict, without a sentence. That may have been the moment.

It was his ‘Caligula moment’, in my view, and the assassins are gathering. And Julie Bishop is one of them.

And we will see what we shall see.

Certain Housekeeping Matters (164)

I am reviewing Sport For Jove’s The Merchant of Venice and the BBC miniseries Wolf Hall in the next day or so on Ellis Gold.

I will monitor the developing Abbott/Bishop donnybrook-and-coup throughout the day in these pages. It seems to me extremely unlikely, but what would I know, that Abbott will survive, and extremely probable the numbers dividing Turnbull and Bishop are only one or two.

Insiders this morning will be instructive.

The Galactic Stalkers: Alex Gibney’s Going Clear: Scientology & the Prison of Belief

(From Dali)

This newly released documentary is directed by Alex Gibney, who kept the title of the 2013 bestseller by Lawrence Wright on which the documentary is based. I haven’t read the book, but there are strong indications that Gibney has incorporated very recent material, which may not have yet surfaced in time for the book.

I had never learnt much detail about Scientology, just a general awareness that it was steeped in secrecy and controversy, that its status as a religion was considered as an aberration, and that Tom Cruise and John Travolta were high profile members. And yet, I have a distinct memory of an incident which in retrospect makes me think I had once put one foot on the threshold of a life in the cult that it is now seen to be.

I received my secondary education on the fringe of Melbourne’s CBD, and spent seven years traversing the city to get to Flinders Street Station using every possible permutation of routes over the chessboard that is Hoddle’s grid, from St Patrick’s cathedral to that of its religious competition at St Paul’s opposite the railway station. One hot and splendid summer afternoon in 1963 or ‘64, I was descending the steep hill that brings Exhibition street to its end at Flinders street, and was approached by a young man outside a building, twinkling eyed and smiling like the sun. He asked something like “Come in here for twenty minutes and you’ll learn more about yourself than you’ll ever learn on your own in a hundred years. It’s free.”

Of course, I was intrigued and followed him in. He told me to sit down while he went to get someone. I had my back to the window to the street, and suddenly heard a tapping. I turned around to see my schoolfriend grinning and pressing a softpack of “Stuyvies” against the glass, and I rushed out to join him. My new-found attraction to the sot-weed had saved me from the Prison of Belief of the documentary title. My disconnection from the Prison of Belief whose education I was yet absorbing would not be that long behind.

To these two Prisons, we can now add ISIS, to form a triangle of cults which enslave their respective adherents and remove them from the critical mass of intellectual inquiry and creative exploration on which not only the ascent of our species, but perhaps its very survival, depends.

But first, observe L. Ron Hubbard’s insidious, powerful, wealthy and clandestine cult, The Church of Scientology. “Going Clear” uses footage of interviews with LRH, as he is often referred to, testimony of his first wife, army records and other primary sources to portray a deeply paranoid and self-obsessed fantasist who managed to seduce, dupe and control almost anyone he targetted. We learn that he began as a penny-per-word writer of science-fiction for a range of pulp magazines, and that he still holds the Guinness Book of Records for most books published, and that much of the tenets of Scientology are lifted directly from stories he’d invented years earlier. You learn that he decided very early on that the best way to amass a great deal of money, and to keep it all from any government was to start a religion.

You learn that as cult members ascend up the ladder of the organisation, paying many thousands of dollars for all the required courses, more and more of Hubbard’s imagined universe is revealed, each fragment of ‘secret knowledge’ more weird than its precedent. As one former high ranking member puts it, “if people were told this bullshit at the start, no-one would ever join.”

According to LRH, 75 million years ago, a powerful alien arrived on the planet Earth (known at the time as “Teegeeack”). Named Xenu, he was the dictator of the “Galactic Confederacy”, and he brought billions of his people with him to this planet, which even those millions of years ago was exactly like 1950’s USA, with people, houses, office buildings and cars. Yes it did. And guess what, Xenu dropped his billions of fellow aliens into volcanoes from his spacecraft that looked like an airplane, and destroyed them with hydrogen bombs. Yes he did, and they all became destructive ‘thetan spirits’ which enter the bodies of every human at birth causing spiritual harm, which, guess what, can only be removed by paying for more courses. Et cetera.

“Going Clear” (in Scientology, freeing yourself from all these thetan spirits), interviews many very articulate high-ranking former members who have not merely escaped the cult, but have become extremely active in seeking to dissuade people from joining and in fact bringing the whole dangerous and now global organisation down. They even make a blatant pitch to Tom Cruise and John Travolta to wake up and get out, and a more subtle nod to Nicole Kidman who would obviously be a great source of damaging information.

There is much more in the two hour documentary about the cult’s nefarious, illegal and coercive methods, and many questions answered, so I urge everyone to see it, keeping an eye on how cunningly Scientology mimics traditional religions, which on the one hand enables them to pose as one and avoid paying taxes, and on the other to deflect criticisms which could just as well apply to Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Are Xenu, Lucifer, Xitan and Azazel not in the same demonic line-up?

Which brings me to ISIS. And pondering the imponderable phenomenon of middleclass school girls from Britain, Europe and elsewhere, intelligent professional men and women, all submitting willingly to the grooming and radicalising which draws them in, to never be seen or heard again, except in the sickeningly humdrum selfies and tweets or grotesquely macabre execution music videos.

I wonder, after seeing “Going Clear” whether the secret passage into the labyrinthine puzzle that is ISIS might be entered by an analysis of the mind of LRH, the techniques used by the functionaries and agents of the cult, and the control systems developed and enforced by LRH’s tyrannical successor David Miscavige, whose own niece escaped the Prison of Belief and wrote a scathing book she chose to call ‘Beyond Belief’.

I commend “Going Clear” not as mere entertainment or exposé, but perhaps also as a tool to probe the forces against which we are at present merely flailing in some subterranean collective panic.

Recommended Reading

Peter Hartcher in the smh.

It’s dynamite.

The Twenty-Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (264)

Chris Kenny, a Liberal voter, called Mark Dreyfus ‘grubby’ for having asked why Brandis had not had the common sense to save Katrina’s and Tori’s lives. It was wrong of him to bring up a preventable act of terrorism with the responsible Minister, Kenny implied, who had ignored his own Red Alert for three long months before the subsequent, and consequent, massacre. Sharri Markson, a Liberal voter, said there was ‘no way’ the Lindt murders would have been prevented by putting the murderer in gaol. It would have ‘happened spontaneously anyway’. The fault, she said, lay elsewhere. It was another Liberal Attorney-General that, oops, had let him out of gaol, oops, where he could, oops, let me read that again.

Chris Kenny said Julie Bishop had ‘hit Mark Dreyfus out of the ballpark’ when she shrieked that Labor ministers, including Dreyfus, had got letters too from the monster Man Monis. She did not say what these letters were about. Did they hint of murder, or contacting DAISH? Of course not.

Peter Hartcher, a Liberal voter, took note of Abbott’s plan, on the eight hundredth anniversary of Magna Carta, to abolish its provisions. He himself henceforth, he proposed, or his Minister, Dutton, could deprive any citizen of his citizenship and leave him nowhere to live, or her; including the infant Nettletons. He or Dutton could do this — we will decide who stays here, and in what prisons they pace out their days — if the citizen thus abolished had committed no crime, but merely looked sideways in a suspicious manner.

In an unprecedented revelation, the lovelorn Malvolio printed word for word the Cabinet conversation leaked to him by his taunting unattained beloved Olivia, Julie Bishop, in a perfumed envelope sealed with a loving kiss. In it Barnaby said, ‘I would need proof. That’s what courts are for.’ Malcolm Turnbull said, ‘A person’s citizenship is of enormous importance, intrinsic to themselves. Take me. The only people who’ve been in Australia longer than my family are Aboriginal. Are we seriously saying some minister could take my citizenship?’

In thus embracing the fuhrerprinzip, some thought, and the fascist commandment that whatever the Leader preferred was automatically law, Abbott echoed Richard Nixon when he told David Frost, ‘If the President does it, it’s legal. Or that’s my view. Some people, no doubt, disagree with this view.’

These Cabinet minutes, usually not released for thirty years, indicated, Malvolio thought, a serious move now on against Abbott’s leadership, in part provoked by his insanity. ‘This is a shambles,’ Turnbull said when told there was no discussion paper on this bizarre attack on Magna Carta. There seemed no way, with a leak of this enormity, and this hostility, that Abbott would long survive.

In a further sign of dementia pugilistica, Abbott said gay marriage, which he did not want, since it occasioned hellfire for a billion years, should be ‘owned’ by the full parliament, not by one party. Told it would be voted on, and therefore ‘owned’, by people of all parties, he said, ‘It’s not the same. I’m against it, and therefore my party has to own it. I, the fuhrer, have spoken, and my party must oppose me, or I will come down on them like a ton of bricks.’ Three more votes fell to Turnbull, who was ropeable and fuming, and making plans, and five more to Julie Bishop.

The Parliamentary Budget Office predicted deficits of a hundred billion dollars, totalling a trillion, in each of the next ten years. A Crikey article suggested Hockey would be sacked in the next week and ‘Mad Dog Morrison’ thereafter confect a substitute Budget, praying in tongues for guidance.

The Taliban took back Uruzguan, which wounded and dying Australian soldiers had secured and held for ten years, proving their sacrifice worthless, and began raping and murdering the newly educated schoolgirls there. Enthused by this, Julie Bishop urged ‘war, ever more war’ on Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, the Maldives, Papua New Guinea and Myanmar, war against the daily triumphing ISIS, in the hope, her experts calculated, of ‘another hundred years of pointless bloodshed in the proud, Anzac way.’

Mathias Cormann said on Agenda, ‘I voz alweez onder ze imprashon merridge vos betveen ein men und ein vooman but…ven mein furhrer chenches heez maynd I do laykvise, und eet mye be permassible hereorfter zet he merry ein mernkay eef ze party nombers goa zet vye; or eefen, for owl I keer, merry Cory Bernardi.’

‘The Affair Of The Leaking Tampons’ may have done for Joe Hockey, some worried commentators averred, since he had gravely offended those Liberal grandees who had called menstruation ‘a lifestyle choice’ in those years after thirteen when pregnancy was a viable alternative option. It was wrong of Hockey, a Catholic, to imply that contraception was forgiveable, the mostly Papist ministry and backbench thundered, and he should quickly reclassify vaginal bleeding as ‘looxury!’ or forthwith resign.

Laurie Oakes, a Liberal voter, called ‘a shambles’ and ‘a fiasco’ the Cabinet meeting in which most ministers, to their surprise, had learned that universal fascism was being enacted in Australia on the following day, and the new Dutton-Abbott law overthrowing Magna Carta had already been leaked to a newspaper. ‘Issues involving national security,’ the Great Cham decreed, ‘are too important not to be scrutinised. In the media. In parliament. And, very definitely, in cabinet.’ And Mark Dreyfus, he emphasised, had not been, as Julie Bishop shrilled, ‘contemptible’ in raising one of them.

And so it went.

Brandis/Monis: A Reflection

The Brandis/Monis malfunction is either a hinge moment in our politics or a big missed opportunity for Labor.

For it showed they don’t believe in their own Red Alert. And every scare they drum up is false. And every billion they spend on ‘national security’ is wasted.

It showed, too, that Monis was not a terrorist. He was a troubled man with a mental illness, on and off his medication, like other men who pursue their ex-wives, kidnap their children, chain themselves to the gates of Parliament House, ring up and rave late at night on provincial radio.

Monis was not a terrorist. Which means there have been no terrorist fatalities on our shores in a hundred years, and billions, probably are being wastefully spent on pretending there will be. Thirty times as many Australians have died from red-back spider bites as from terrorism on our soil in the twentieth century. Twenty times as many from backyard pool drownings. Forty times as many from sharks and crocodiles.

And the Monis letter and what happened to it show Brandis and his people know this, and pay scant heed to any evidence, whatever it is, of terrorist intent. Because they are not serious about it. They are not serious about wanting to root out home-grown terrorism. They only want, now and then, to drum up a headline about it. They are political operators of the worst sort, and deserve the contempt of the nation.

This propaganda malfunction should be enough to ruin them. But….there are headlines about Fifa, and Rinehart, and gay marriage, that quickly shift the story down the page, and the moment may pass soon and it may cease soon to be explosive, destructive, terminal as an issue.

No-one said the obvious: that if Brandis’s people had shown any common sense, Katrina and Tori would be alive today. That a provenly unstable man on a charge of assisting murder who is requesting permission to make contact with the king of the terrorists, the head of a death cult we are at war with, is worth investigating. That in letting him slip through, they did the wrong thing, and they didn’t do the right thing, and there is no excuse for having been so careless, and no forgiveness, and all in the office who read the letter should be sacked for it, and one or two go to gaol for it, and Brandis made to resign his ministry.

Tori and Katrina would be alive.

Has the moment passed? Probably.

And we will see what we shall see.

In Eleven Words

They didn’t believe their own Red Alert. And so Katrina died.

Certain Housekeeping Matters (163)

I will be putting down sound versions of some of my verse and some of my thoughts on film and theatre, when I am taught the technology, on Ellis Gold.

A good recording of The Gielgud Memorandum will be on sale soon as a download for $4.95, and a good recording, hopefully, of The Jet Lag Monologues which Bob Carr, Terry Clarke, Simon Burke (hopefully) and I will be doing on Sunday June the 7th at 6.30 pm to climax the Bellingen Festival. Anyone who wants to come to it will be charged thirty dollars, or twenty-five dollars for students and pensioners, at the door.

Two days later Orators (with Monroe Reimers, Andrew Sharp, Mark Connelly, Bill Charlton, Jeremy Sawkin and I) will occur again at Gleebooks, 6.30 for 7, twenty-eight dollars with two glasses of red, or twenty-two for students and pensioners. A sound version of it currently up on Ellis Gold will be taken down soon and a download made available for $4.95.

At some time in the next two months an Ellis Conversation Hour will be begin to be ‘broadcast’ on Ellis Gold, once a month, initially, then once a week.

And so it goes.

Recommended Reading

Waleed Ali in the smh tomorrow.

The Brandis/Monis Letters: The Shakedown

Hard to overstate how bad the Monis/Brandis letters are for this government.

They were thought to be doing ‘national security’ well. They delved Ukrainian meadows, gouged oceans, dragged Arabs out of their suburban beds, sent troops to fight ISIS, planes to bomb them, warned adolescents they would get twice what you get for murder if you joined them. And it seems, now, they don’t know what they’re doing; and they never did. They didn’t believe in their own Red Alert; and they never did.

They could have stopped Monis, who was begging to be arrested, two months before. They could have sent in Habib to ‘talk him down’ on the day. They need not have shot Katrina Dawson twenty-five times after he was dead.

And all they can do now is accuse Labor of ‘playing politics’ with a ‘national tragedy’, one that would not have happened if they had heeded their own ‘Red Alert’ and looked into the record of a crazy man on a charge of murder wanting to contact the Bin Laden of today.

They have lost all credibility, in the only area where they still had any. Asked if they would do it again, this very idea was called by the shrieking Pyne a ‘hypothetical question’ and ruled by Bronwyn out of order.

It’s a Fawlty Towers error, with bloodspattered consequences, and the Dawson and Johnson families could sue them for it, for culpable neglect. And what could they do if that happened?

Robbo wrote a reference for Monis, and resigned because of it. Brandis told him it might be okay to send messages to the head of DAISH but he couldn’t say for sure. And he should resign too, and apologise to the bereaved.

Or am I wrong about this?

Don’t think so.

And the net effect in my view is that Abbott is back where he was four days after the Prince Philip debacle, and Turnbull, again, is roving the halls and counting numbers.

The Twenty-One Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (263)

Julie Bishop said it was wrong to say Brandis might have prevented the Lindt Cafe massacre and did not. Though true, she said, it was ‘playing politics’ with a ‘national tragedy’ to say it was and it should never, ever be mentioned again by anybody. When she was asked if Brandis’s people would do the same thing again Pyne shrieked that this was a ‘hypothetical question’ and therefore ‘out of order’ and Bronwyn warmly agreed.

You can’t make this stuff up.

Very quickly, the Liberals lost all stature when it came to a question of ‘national security’. The billions they had squandered on war museums, crashed planes, thieved metadata and hounding Muslims out of bed in the small hours of the morning seemed wasted now as Tori and Katrina’s families planned to sue the drunken fool Brandis and his eighteen slim-hipped young body-servants for lethal neglect and Abbott added billions to the espionage budget of a mob of Maxwell Smarts who did not know a Caliph’s arse from a Cardinal’s elbow.

Miranda Devine, a Liberal voter, said Julie Bishop had ‘wiped the floor’ with Mark Dreyfus, an impertinent Jew who did not deserve, she said, the prefix ‘the Honourable’ (you can’t make this stuff up) and Paul Murray, a Liberal voter, disagreed fairly mildly saying Brandis’s people might have prevented a triple Christmas murder and like idiots didn’t. Miranda, backtracking, said if anyone should go to gaol for this entirely avoidable calamity it was the fuckwits in Baird’s ministry who let out of gaol an unmedicated psychotic on forty-nine charges of sexual nuisance and one of assisting murder who had written, moreover, foul letters to war widows and been told not to and persisted. Then she backtracked again, saying Labor should be ashamed of itself, the uppity Jew Dreyfus especially, whom Monis had written to three years ago ‘on another matter’. You can’t make this stuff up.

Joe failed to produce any modelling that contradicted Labor’s assertion that his second fool ramshackle Budget made the average family four, six, or nine thousand dollars a year worse off and would force them to move to another town in their millions thus disrupting Australian society. Morrison said no-one under twenty-five who got the sack would be in any difficulty for the month he was denying him any money to live on — just when he needed it most — because he could ‘go home and stay with his parents, four hundred miles away, who would be glad to see him.’ This included young fathers with a wife and two children for whom there would be ‘ample room’.

Baird pushed through the ‘leasing’ of the poles and wires, sacrificing two hundred billion dollars in the next century but making eight billion now, in the Lower House. In the Upper House, bereft of his figleaf, Fred Nile stood naked beating his chest like King Kong and swearing it would not get through. Downtown Sydney would be ruined, Baird then grinning announced, by the digging-in of a tram line which nobody wanted where a bike lane used to be, which everybody wanted. ‘We will get through this!’ He yelled, beaming. Luke Foley put his face in his hands.

A near-human ancestor of Barnaby Joyce was found dead in Africa. It had a big jaw, ground its teeth and talked too much, experts reported, and was ‘bad friends’ with ‘Lucy’, the mother of humankind. Barnaby ground his teeth when John Hancock, a descendant of the prognathous proto-human Gina Rinehart, rang him and held the phone away from his ear while Barnaby shouted and bellowed, the way his forefathers did at Lucy. Archeologists called Barnaby a ‘separate species’ and his continued existence ‘a miracle’.

Abbott’s lesbian sister said he had given her his permission, tapping the side of his nose, to ‘marry by Christmas’. This would ensure she would ‘burn in hell for a billion years,’ he said genially, but not if she ‘repented on her deathbed and asked George Pell’s forgiveness.’

Gerald Ridsdale seduced little girls too, he admitted, in a room he shared with George Pell, who was ‘oblivious of his doings at that hour’, believing he had dreamed them, repeatedly. Daniel Andrews said Pell should fly in from Rome and ‘justify his ignorance’ especially to John Ellis, whom he put through legal hell for ten years for ‘speaking the truth to power’, as the saying is, and making him, John Ellis, pay court costs in millions. The thousand little males and females ruined by his housemate Risdale were, Pell said, ‘news to me. The Pope heard more about some of them in Brazil than I did in the next bed; with divine help, of course.’

Dutton let a little girl and her mother he was sending for ninety years to Nauru to stay for a while in Brisbane, where mental health care was better and unpunished buggering rapists fewer. ‘But don’t get any ideas,’ he told the abused and aching little girl. ‘You won’t be able to work here if I let you stay, or go to university. My patience is not limitless.’ The little girl’s Scottish lawyer then sued him for two million dollars, the first of three hundred such actions he hoped to settle out of court by August.

And so concluded another day of the worst free-elected government in world history since the invention of the present form of democracy in Iceland in AD 934.

And so it went.



Italics gone.

Certain Housekeeping Matters (162)

This is a letter from Dali, which I am publishing in full. I agree with all its contents.

Hi Bob,

Below the line I have set out a matter which I think has become quite a disruptive distraction for many long time dedicated TT’ers, and which I suggest is better dealt with in its own thread.

The text below contains formatting tags, which will convert the relevant words to italic or bold, for clarity, as long as you cut and paste it with the tags preserved.

I leave it with you, and will abide with whatever you do or don’t do.

Love to everyone at the hacienda.


Dear Bob,

On May 16, in the thread “The Thirty Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (256)” you banned Adam for life for lying. You told him you “do not publish liars”.

Many months ago, the blogger Claire expressly called me a liar, and a plagiarist, and continued to reiterate her libel through a protracted exchange of posts, until she was finally forced to concede that she was in fact expressing an opinion she had formed. She wrote “Right or wrong, on the evidence before me, I think you plagiarised and tried to magic dust your way out of it. That’s my opinion. Many don’t share, some do, but that’s my opinion.”

I acknowledged her concession and left it at that, warning that if she ever repeated the slur without mentioning that it was her opinion, I would remind her of her concession.

More recently, Claire reiterated her slur again, and I did what I warned I would. She relapsed into her original position, saying : “It was plagiarism. Not an opinion at all.”

Yesterday, she included in a post that I “post only to breathe life into the Lie ”, and I replied as follows:

You, however, persist in your unflagging and unproven accusation of a Lie.

Here’s a simple proposition which might bring your prosecution to a formal and final end.

This blog has a host who has repeatedly and forcefully proclaimed that he “does not publish lies”.

You could not be more convinced than you are that I have lied, and that you possess all the evidence and logical argument you need to establish that I have lied.

My simple challenge to you is to have the courage of your convictions, and report me to the host, advise him of my lie and urge him to take whatever decision he feels is required.

Claire did not take up my proposition, but has continued to repeat opinions that I am a liar, a plagiarist, and ‘morally dubious’. These are lies which have been published on the blog over many months now.

I am not asking that you again ban Claire as you have in the past. It doesn’t seem to me to be an appropriate or effective remedy for the appearance of all the lies she has written about me.

I am asking you, as the host, to consider dealing with this as a discrete Certain Housekeeping Matters thread, and to consider inviting Claire to respond in a form of words along the following suggested lines:

“Whereas I have made express statements and allegations from which it would be reasonable to infer that has published lies on Table Talk, and has published material on Table Talk of which he is not the author with the intention to deceive the reader into accepting it as his own work –

I now acknowledge that all statements and allegations I have made are merely subjective opinions of mine based on assumptions of mine; and I now retract each of those statements and allegations, and will refrain from raising the same in future; and I unreservedly make full apology to Dalì, to the Host of Table Talk, and to the participants of Table Talk for making those statements and allegations.”

Bob, may I in closing express once more that I believe this is a unique forum in which politics film and theatre are discussed and debates as nowhere else; that Table Talk’s greatest strength, its no-holds-barred freewheeling character, is what brings this noisesome circus crowd together every day from around the country and beyond; it is also its greatest vulnerability, as it is an open and revolving door to passing miscreants and determined saboteurs.

Making it a biblical-sized bugger of a job for you, for which I thank you daily. Sun on your face, hoary warrior, wind at your back, and stride on. Love to you and yours.

Abbott’s Latest Madness: J’Accuse

Tony Abbott has lately said if the five children of Tara Nettleton come home with her they will be seized, taken from her, and given to other people to raise while she does time, twenty years perhaps, in prison. The people they will be given to will not be their grandparents, other Nettletons. Their crime, and hers, is too great for that.

It is difficult to grasp how mad this is. Their crime was to go with their father on a journey to Syria, where he joined a war against a detested regime, Assad’s, on the side of a brutal insurgent force, DAISH. that now holds an area the size of Britain, widening every day, and has famous ghastly methods of conquest, beheading and the like.

The children committed no war crimes. Nor did Tara Nettleton, their mother. She has decided her husband’s choice was wrong and mad, and she wants to escape from the danger he has put her in, and her five children in, as many a sad, fraught, imperilled wife, like Rosie Batty, has done before her.

And Abbott has said she cannot do that. She has made her bed, and she must lie on it. If she comes home, she must face a decade in prison, with her five children taken away from her, however much they want to see her, live with her, cuddle up to her at night. Their fate, like that of the Stolen Children, has been decided. They will be punished for having a good mother, who cares for them, and a father who is probably crazy.

Why is the Prime Minister doing this mad thing? He is making a judgment, upon scant evidence, pre-empting trial by jury, or any proceeding of the Family Court, that will traumatise five children and may wreck some of their lives.

What, precisely, have these children done wrong? Like the Stolen Children, it seems, they were born to an unsuitable family. But what have they done wrong?

It is unlikely we will ever find out, because DAISH will have read the papers, and if they can find them will execute them. They will crucify them perhaps, as a lesson to other backsliders.

And Tony Abbott has wished this on them. And he has done so deliberately.

It is important to emphasise how mad he has become. He lets children starve at sea. He lets children suffer assault and rape on a South Pacific island. He refuses to let many children’s parents earn an income in Australia. He is behaving like a crazy sadist, and he does not know what he is doing.

He should be held down, sedated, and taken into care.

Or at least be made to explain to Rosie Batty what he thinks he is doing, and to listen to what she says in return.

Or am I wrong about this?


The Twenty-Nine Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (262)

Abbott said infant children who accompanied their father to Syria would ‘suffer the full fury of the Law’ if they dared come back and it were better they were decapitated in their ill-chosen country than do twenty years in Goulburn in a cell they might share with Ivan Milat.

‘A crime is a crime is a crime,’ he emphasised, ‘and it does not matter how old the criminal is: a breastfeeding baby is equal in the eyes of my Law with Osama Bin Laden, and will be treated with equal severity.’ Asked if he was just ‘exporting his problems’ as he did his fiancee’s infant son to Western Australia in 1979 he said ‘What else do you do with them? It’s what I always do. Out of sight is out of mind. Besides, more Australians have died at war in Syria in a year than in Afghanistan in thirteen years, and it’s important these numbers be improved. The family in question has five children, and that’s a start.’

Shorten asked Abbott to allow his people to vote their conscience on gay marriage; and Abbott said it would take a long, long time for his party room to ‘even begin to establish an agreed spelling of “yes” — a year or two perhaps, during which I might talk my sister, the shirt-lifter, out of going to Hell for her loathesome perversions, and Reg Livermore might find Miss Right and settle down. I therefore ask the Opposition to give me two more years, by which time I will have had an election, and gone back on all my promises, as I always do.’

Baird tried to stop the Lindt Cafe inquiry asking why the mad Man Monis was out on bail at the time of the infamous massacre. ‘If they do that,’ he said, his big eyes watering, ‘it will be noted he’d assaulted forty-nine women, murdered his wife and gone off his medication after being called by one doctor a schizophrenic and by another a blithering murderous nutter with his own religion-and-massage-parlour, and in spite of this my legal people let him out, and might thus have unleashed into Martin Place the equivalent of Godzilla, and this in turn just might…just…possibly…might…have constituted a danger to half a million people, the which in turn might…just…might…have been judged by some to have been remiss of us.’

His shoulders began to heave. ‘And if this is found out,’ he blubbered, ‘if this is found out…oh God…I may not get through this. I may not get through this.’ A field of flowers appeared miraculously behind him, and his vote went up to just over a hundred percent, the way it does, and he smiled again, beatifically.

Joe Hockey said he ‘couldn’t be bothered’ with gay marriage, he was ‘too busy’ thinking about the Budget, which after the tampon adjustment, was ‘haemorhaging money’. ‘What’s next?’ he asked. ‘A Ridsdale Tax on the Catholic Church? Ten dollars for every act of child abuse? A hundred dollars for every choirboy suicide? That could send the Papacy broke. And then I’d be excommunicated.’

Ridsdale, a Liberal voter, said he ‘couldn’t remember’ if he had shared digs with Pell for ten years, or not. ‘I was preoccupied,’ he said, ‘with my busy social schedule. Making new friends after losing old ones took up most of my week.’ Pell, immured in the Curia, said he barely knew him. ‘Ten years is a short time in Church politics. We’ve been up to no good for centuries. We’ve been hiding mortal sins for millennia.’

Abbott was criticised for ‘visiting the sins of the fathers upon the children’ when he said he would imprison five infant Nettletons for going with their father to Syria. He said, ‘It’s in the Second Commandment. It’s what good Christians do. If these kids choose a father like that, they deserve every last decade they spend in prison.’

Told by the kids’ grandmother they’d be executed soon, if he didn’t let them come back, he said, ‘Well, that solves that then.’

After a stiff scotch Brandis told Senate Estimates that he found it ‘a matter of small importance’ that the mad Man Monis , then on a charge of murder, had asked his office if it was all right to contact Caliph Ibrahim, the head of ISIS, and offer him his help in blowing up the world. ‘We get this kind of enquiry routinely,’ he said, ‘every day of the week, and we try to provide whatever assistance we can to whatever incendiary nutter is keen to do Australians harm.’

And so it went.

Ridsdale Observed

10.44 am

It’s remarkable how good a witness he is. Clear, succinct, grammatical, apparently honest; remorseful. No gay inflection. A plain, deep, working class voice, like Tony Barry’s or Bill Charlton’s.

It is clear, or it seems clear, that an unceasing demon possessed him, and it was the Church’s fault, not his, that he was allowed to do the damage he did.

11.01 am

His first offence was with a ten-year-old boy who had wet the bed. He took into his bedroom, washed him, gave him new pyjamas, took him to his bed and fondled his penis but did not masturbate him. It was closeness he wanted; intimacy.

He went to Confession for a long while after his adolescence and ordination but never admitted to anything sexual, for fear of having ‘my priesthood taken away’.

11.06 am

Bishop O’Connor sent him to another parish, and warned him not to do it again or he would ‘lose his priesthood’, a fearful thing in his world view. He only ever wanted to be a priest. It was his calling.

11.35 am

His ordinariness is a big worry. Like others who do not think homosexuality is a ‘lifestyle choice’ or a disease that can be cured by aversion therapy or counselling or Bible study I do do not think that knowledge of what is right and what is wrong is an impediment, or much of an impediment, to men who behave as this poor lonely sinner did: compulsively, repeatedly, over decades with many tiny, whimpering partners. They have no choice.

It is reasonable that such a man might have an electric bangle on his leg, and this would deter him. It it reasonable male whores might service him. It is preposterous, useless, that he suffer chastely in prison, or be masturbated there by other lost souls, as a PUNISHMENT for what he did in the days of his freedom, long ago.

It is certain he should have been reported, and arrested, sooner; and young lives preserved from his impelled predations, and the suicides that followed. But his imprisonment now, in his eighties, makes no sense at all.

12.27 pm

Pell has arisen. He walked with Ridsdale to the courthouse, but it was his lawyer, not he, who suggested this photo opportunity occur. They spoke on the walk, but not of his crimes, or of what Pell might say to the court in support of him. He had no friendship, as such, with Pell. He saw him at meetings.

It seems, and there is no reason to doubt this, that his secrecy was total, and Pell may not have known, as his other housemate Paul Belgiorno, then a trainee priest, did not know; as a wife asleep beside her husband knows nothing of his adulteries, Belgiorno argued forcefully on Insiders, nor he of hers; and so it goes. More to come.

Abbott: A Question Of Gross Incompetence

It will be remarked by historians how incompetent Abbott was at tyranny.

He claimed he had ‘stopped the boats’, and when thousands of stateless Rohingyas were found floating off Malaysia, he continued to claim he had; refused, moreover, to obey the UN and the Pope and take some of them in.

He allowed the rapists of children to continue their dark work on Nauru, though some of the children attempted suicide, claiming it was ‘Nauru’s business’ what the police did about it (nothing, so far), and let twelve of Reza Barati’s murderers, one of them a white Australian, go free.

He refused to speak to the frantic female hostages of Man Monis, alleging he was ‘too busy’. He cancelled the money that would have saved Luke Batty, and made his mother Australian of the Year, and cut off her money again.

He agreed with the ethnic cleansing of a hundred and seventy Aboriginal communities, but proposed no place where the exiles would go next.

He sent the Australian army into a war it was bound to lose. He proposed to dig up the dead of another lost war, Vietnam, at a cost of hundreds of millions but left the widows and sisters to find a grave to put them in.

He spent a billion dollars on a search in three oceans for a downed plane and in a year found nothing; and promised to spend another billion searching; what for was never established.

He threatened to ‘shirtfront’ Putin, and ended cuddling koalas with him.

His most recent tyranny, however, stripping citizenship from certain Australians, has been the stupidest of all.

If a dual citizen Australian-Kurd, for instance, serves as a nurse on the side of Kurds fighting ISIS in Kurdistan, she will be stripped of her citizenship and get twenty-five years in gaol if she comes home, or beheaded by ISIS (probably) if she stays.

He imagines driving an ambulance, binding wounds, stretcher-bearing, inoculating children and comforting widows are war crimes and should be punished worse than rape-and-murder, with twenty-five years’ encarceration, away from the nurse’s children, or any chance of engendering others.

He has proposed as well that a seven-year-old could be deprived of his citizenship if he tries to come home, and beheaded by DAISH or crucified if he stays.

…He has proposed, too, though Minister For Women, that women should be punished for menstruating, and men rewarded for sexual intercourse, by putting a GST on tampons and removing it from condoms. This has annoyed many women, like his previous decision to punish them for breastfeeding, and calling ‘double dippers’ and ‘rorters’ those who prefer to bond with their child in the first six months of his life and not go back to work after one month at Woolworth’s.

The mind boggles at how badly this tyrant is doing. He lately described the Opposition Leader as ‘the Prime Minister’ and the Opposition as ‘the government’ in Question Time, thus hinting that he, an ex-boxer, is suffering now from dementia pugilistica, like Muhammad Ali, and will be a similar sad, shuffling figure in ten years or so.

Will he last out the financial year? It is unlikely. It is likely he will be found to have wrongly defended a paederast, John Nestor, and be condemned by a Royal Commission for getting this creep out of gaol. It is likely he will vote against gay marriage, and be rolled by his party when that law is enacted.

It is likely he will be found to be our most ludicrous figure, very soon, and be so derided by the world’s commentators when he is expelled, in August, from the Lodge.

Or am I wrong about this?


The Meaning Of ‘Terrorism’

It is hard to discover, lately, what ‘terrorism’ actually is.

It sounds very much like what an abusive priest, nun or Salvation Army major does to a captive child. Torment him into a state of constant fear, and make him do unnatural things.

It embraces, surely, what Luke Batty’s father did to him and his mother, Rosie. It includes, how can it not, every ex-partner on an AVO.

Yet Abbott today tried to say it included fighting on one side or the other, as Orwell and Hemingway did, in a foreign civil war.

It would include any soldier who fought in Vietnam on the losing side, the South, and then came home.

Under the legislation, Australian veterans of that war should go to gaol for twenty-five years.

It includes, apparently, nurses and ambulancemen.

This may be the first attack on such people in world history.

This idea of Abbott’s, which proclaims anyone who assists a ‘death cult’ by talking favourably of it, or giving it money, is a ‘terrorist’, or a ‘friend of terrorists’, gets weirder every minute you think about it.

By this definition, those who were once on the side of the IRA — who in prison starved themselves to death, the way a ‘death cult’ would — and this included a hundred thousand Bostonians, deserved, then, twenty-five years in gaol.

Why not now?

…Why not now?

I mean, is there a statute of limitations on ‘assisting terrorism’, the crime? Was there a time when Bin Laden, if he had lived that long, could no longer be arrested for encouraging and funding the attack on the towers on 9/11?

Why, then, are IRA supporters walking free? It was Michael Collins after all, an IRA operative, who invented terrorism. Terrorism of the sort that blows up the cars of politicians, and shoots policemen in their marital beds. He invented it.

It is clear, now, or am I wrong, that this legislation is bizarre.

It is one more crazed example of this weird Liberal government’s obsession with ‘thoughtcrime’.

You don’t have to do anything, you don’t have to hurt anyone, you just have to think about it.

Like a man preaching hellfire for sodomites.

Should he get twenty-five years for that? How many years should he get?

Is threatening hellfire terrorism? What else is it?

The worst of it is what Matthew Gardiner is being threatened with. Twenty-five years for helping as a medico, as an ambulance worker, the right side; the one fighting against, not for, DAISH.

As Abbott gets madder and madder he seems more and more to the wide world like George W Bush. Putting troops into wars that cannot be won and imprisoning volunteers who fight on that same side.

He is becoming the most ludicrous figure in our history.


The Forty-Two Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (261)

‘Now that the inquiry has shown Man Monis to be not a terrorist but a nutter,’ Abbott told the nation, ‘and this brings the number of Australians killed by terrorism on our soil down to nought in a hundred years, I have added 1.2 billion to the money spent on our urgent fight with this invisible enemy, and asked Phillip Ruddock, who let almost all of the Tampa refugees into our country and made them citizens, to seek out other refugees, call them terrorists and ask them to go away, as stateless persons, in small wooden boats heading nowhere.’

Ruddock thanked his Prime Minister, whom five months ago he had tried to overthrow, for ‘letting me back into the persecution business, which I greatly enjoy although in past years it sorely divided my family, and caused my daughter to leave the country and rain down curses on my head on British television. I hope that she will choose, after this, to return home soon and spit on my grave. It will be my solemn task before then to ruin other families, dozens of them perhaps, brown and heathen families with little children, as I am seventy-five years of age and thwarted and rancorous and five feet two, and consequently in the mood.’

Closely questioned, the brain-damaged Abbott, a former boxer, said the terrorists would not be put in prison but ‘beyond the Pale’, a mysterious shimmering region at present occupied by Cardinal Pell. Asked if Pell should come home to Ballarat and ‘face the music’, he said ‘No, I can skype my confessions to him round the clock as he rarely sleeps now.’ Asked if child abuse by priests was a ‘form of terrorism’ and if not what else is it, he became confused, began to sweat on his upper lip, and after a few minutes’ gibbering was allowed to hobble away with his clenched hand on the giantess Credlin’s shoulder, given her ‘special tea’ and ‘settled down’.

On Q&A Joe Hockey agreed that women should not be punished for menstruating, though in Palestine, where his mob came from, this had been his family’s practice for eight thousand years, and the GST moreover should come off ‘tampons’, implements he had just heard about whose details, he said, ‘disgust me, frankly.’ Twelve hours later Abbott disagreed with him, saying it was none of the Federation’s business what its citizens paid for ‘unexpected bleeding’; it was the states’ business, he said, to ‘clean up the mess’, which, he had heard from his daughters, ‘occurs infrequently’; and, to the best of his information, ‘no-one menstruates in the Australian Capital Territory.’

Shorten and Plibersek said they would bring gay marriage to parliament on Monday. The brain-damaged footie jock Abbott whose daughters, wife, sister and mother were in favour of it, confessed in a skype to Pell that some of his best friends were homosexuals but he mustn’t look like a pillow-biter himself and what could he do? ‘Whip the party,’ Pell said, a small tremor in his voice, ‘within an INCH of its life and become the only western leader to seem a fool. You are God’s fool, Anthony, and here his voice darkened slightly, ‘and in another life I might have married you.’

His face disappeared from the screen and there were sounds of struggle, then an abstract image and a buzzing noise that persisted unpleasantly. Abbott put his haggard face in his hands and cried out in his extremity, ‘Let this cup pass from me, oh Lord!’ Credlin brought him her ‘special tea’, but he cast her roughly aside and unflipped a can of Guinness. He then remembered what nation brewed it and flung it away and sobbed, uncontrollably. Pyne came in and patted his cheek and looked wistful and unflipped a second Guinness and a Boddington’s for Abbott, and they sat silent for a while, former Catholic choirboys, pondering the future.

Figures provided by NATSEM showed average families three or six or nine thousand dollars a year worse off under Hockey’s Budget and Hockey, jeering, said the figures did not take account of the number of jobs that would be created when growth returned, within months, to the way it was in the Boom years. His own figures, however, showed unemployment going up, not down; this and the money, no more than 960 dollars a week, he was getting from the taxpayer and giving to his wife, who was renting similar quarters to ther MPs for similar amounts of money, made him seem the biggest ‘rorter’ and ‘double dipper’ in our nation whose own ‘age of entitlement’ continued unimpeded.

Experts agreed that the ‘Surge to Abbott’ had abated, probably, and he looked, again, as creepy, mendacious, and crack-pated as he had when acclaiming a decade ago as his only begotten son a product of his cuckolding, and trying to ban the morning-after Pill the following year, or asserting this year he had ‘stopped the boats’ while thousands of abject Rohingyan fugitives floated in monsoon seas without a country, or drinking water, or food.

He continued to insist he had ‘stopped the boats’ as recently as last week and said ‘Nope, nope, nope’ when asked by the UN, and the Pope, to take these these foundlings in. ‘I sent away my only begotten son,’ he is said to have explained to Pyne as he sipped his Boddington’s, ‘or what I thought was my only begotten son, three thousand miles away from his mother whom I refused to marry. Why would I want other men’s sons coming here when I never had one of my own? Stop the boats! Stop the boats!’ Pyne beamed unconvincingly, and looked at his watch.

It was wondered whether it was brain damage, or some incipient burgeoning neurosis, that made him as mad as this; but, whatever it was, poor devil, he was daily shaming his country, and all his colleagues were beginning to notice this, and beginning to plan, within mere days of his second Budget calamity, his overthrow.

And so it went.

The Hockey Family Swindle

The enormity of the swindle by Joe Hockey, his wife and his father of the Australian taxpayer dwarfs anything Thomson and Slipper did, or were thought to have done, by, thus far, an hundredfold.

Thomson is said to have misused seven thousand dollars, Slipper a thousand dollars, of, respectively, unionists’ fees and taxpayers’ money in, respectively, seven years and a couple of months.

The Hockeys in a mere two months have outscored their dual total.

Joe pays 320 dollars a night to his wife Melissa each night he sleeps in a Canberra house that she owns jointly with his father Richard, four nights a week, on average, when Parliament sits, five when he is preparing a Budget in that city.

If he spends 120 nights a year in Canberra she gets, from the taxpayer, 38,400 in that year. If he spends 150 nights a year in Canberra she gets, from the taxpayer, 48,000 in that year.

Either figure would allow her to put a deposit on a Canberra flat which another MP would pay off for her in five or seven years, with taxpayers’ money.

38,400 a year is 738 a week the taxpayer adds, each year, to the Hockey family income.

This is 39 times the sum that Slipper was drummed out of politics for.

It is wrong the Hockeys should get away with this.

They should be made to appear before Senate Estimates, to pay the money back, and serve six months in prison.

Or perhaps you disagree.

Certain Housekeeping Matters (161)

By a technological miracle that I cannot hope at my age to understand, a good recording of Orators can now be heard on Ellis Gold, and subscribers will be hereinafter able to hear other sound performances of this and that as I put them up: recitations by myself of the winning limericks and the Primates poems; a re-performance, by me and Annie, of the letters we read aloud at the Writers’ Festival; conversations with eminent persons like Les Murray, Barry Jones, Michael Kirby, Jackie Weaver; and future performances of The Gielgud Memorandum, The Word Before Shakespeare and the Bob Carr show The Jet Lag Monologues; and some songs I have co-written over the years.

Ellis Gold still costs only a dollar a week, or fifty dollars a year. It may offer, soon, some mornings, the equivalent of an hour-long radio interview show like Late Night Live.

The Thirty-Two Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (260)

Abbott, hungry for corpses again, added to his ‘death cult’ some cadavers he would fly back from Vietnam and, at a cost of millions, rebury in Australia in eighty-eight State Funerals. The cost of this would come out of abolished Aboriginal communities, cancelled help to the disabled, and to mothers who preferred breastfeeding their babies to slitting the throats of chickens for Colonel Sanders. ‘Like the blood-fuelled big road machine in Mad Max 4, I need my daily gallon of blood,’ he said, ‘from corpses however elderly. This rush of blood, whooeee, makes me feel…so much better.’

He made no mention of it having been, a lost war, an unjust war, and one in which three million people were killed and eight million made mutant by Agent Orange. He proposed to bring back no Vietnamese bodies whatever to rest in peace near their relatives, something their relatives would like, only white ones. Or that each three corpses’ retrieval would cost enough to keep a small theatre going, on the interest alone, for a thousand years. Or if it was more worthwhile looking after Aghan War veterans now homeless and gibbering on the streets. No way, he said, I prefer the dead. The dead don’t talk back at you, or ask for more.

His dementia pugilistica kicked in at the start of Question Time when, within ten seconds, he called Shorten ‘the Prime Minister’ and, within ten minutes, the Opposition ‘the government’. Asked if six thousand less dollars a year was too great a punishment for a million households accurst by his Budget, he said, incorrectly, he had ‘stopped the boats’ and the Labor Party having started them in in 2008 was ‘really unfair’. ‘I’ll tell you what’s fair,’ he said, ‘getting people off welfare into work! Like we are!’ Told unemployment was going up, not down, he said, ‘They’re wrong! It’s going down!’ Asked if people working in Australia should receive Australian wages and conditions, he shrieked like a crazy man, ‘That’s your union mates talking! Your crooked union mates!’ Their bizarre rejection of slave wages, he ranted, was what was causing job losses everywhere. ‘Slave wages, that’s what we want, slave wages!’

Joe Hockey denied he was ‘rorting the system’ by dropkicking three hundred and twenty dollars a night of the taxpayers’ money to his wife in rent for the house that she and his father were paying off in Canberra. Eighty thousand a year were going from Treasury therefore to his family who were ‘investing it in real estate’, like the house in Canberra. ‘It’s rent!’ Joe shouted. ‘It’s rent! Otherwise I’d have to sleep in the street!’

A man in the Q&A audience averred with grimness that the ‘age of entitlement’ was not yet over. Joe, brain-damaged by his anaesthetist, some said, during his bungled stomach-stapling and suffering now from what is known as ‘dementia anaesthetica’, blissfully saw no wrong in thieving from the nation fifteen hundred dollars a week and giving it to his wife, a millionaire, and his father, a greedy old Armenian fool who made a fortune out of real estate in North Sydney back when he had all his marbles. ‘This is a family Budget,’ he said, ‘and this is my family.’

Dutton ‘mercifully’ did not expel a little boy from Australia for being sick, and was warmly praised by Fran Kelly, a Liberal voter, for this ‘saintly backflip’ and his ‘born-again Christian values’. Dutton swore he would not let any Rohingya children through, though, not one, and the Pope, who wanted him to, could ‘go fuck himself; or fuck George Pell if he was nearer.’

Baird began to legislate his selling of the poles and wires before an inquiry into whether this was a good idea had been completed, and the Blessed Fred Nile, whose figleaf the inquiry was, swore blind while standing naked in the Upper House that he might not pass it any more. Baird had hoped to sneak it through before another inquiry showed he had caused by his hectic ramshackle mismanagement of the Lindt Cafe siege the needless deaths in a hail of bullets of Monis, Tori and Katrina and it hounded him into oblivion, like O’Farrell, for, like most state Liberals lately, ‘fucking up an important detail, and ruining everything’.

He therefore needed a position post-politics on the Board of the thieves of the poles and wires, or similar, and he might not get it now, because Fred wouldn’t let him sell them. He was looking nervous and blubbering into a mirror, ‘We will get through this; we will get through this’ three times a day, and coming out of the toilet, some said, ‘looking awful’.

Lieutenant General Bottral, a Liberal voter, told the Senate that forty-two Vietnamese men, women and children whom his goons had kidnapped at sea and returned at gunpoint to their native tyranny had been questioned, some of them, for under an hour and none of them asked if they had been tortured in the land they were fleeing or not.

Asked if they’d been tortured since he delivered them back at gunpoint to the furious Communist police state that was ‘keen to see them again’, he said he had ‘no idea’.

Barmy Barnaby let it be known that his ‘target for tonight’ Johnny Depp will be doing ten years if he ever comes back here, thus killing forever the Queensland film industry. Depp’s dogs, he added, ‘will be put in a mass grave, alongside three thousand slow-moving greyhounds.’

And so it went.

Mad Men: An Appreciation

‘It both showed truly the first, feminist counterblast against the gropers, the one-night standers, and the casting-couchers, and the dark heart of their oppressors. And it showed as well the convulsions that followed the Pill, the John Kennedy murder, the Black revolution, the rise of television, and what might be called the Age of Alimony on American and world affairs.’

More on Ellis Gold.

Certain Housekeeping Matters (160)

The Ellis-Brooksbank monologues, a notable hit at the Writers’ Festival, is up on Ellis Gold.

I am two-thirds of the way through my big piece on Mad Men, and will put it up on Ellis Gold on Monday morning.

The Twenty-Nine Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (259)

Miranda Devine, a Liberal voter, said that though Pell was wrong to walk alongside him to his trial he did not know, and never knew, that his roommate Ridsdale had raped eighty boys while they were living together for ten years in their home town, Ballarat. He was ‘not curious’, she said, to ‘find out why he was so often out after sunset and why his underpants were bloodstained most nights when he came home looking furtive, and it was ‘evil’ of the ‘latte-sipping atheist elitists of Surry Hills’, she said, to suggest he should have been.

Peter Fitzsimons, a Liberal voter, complained that Pell, a Liberal voter, was now third in charge of the Catholic Church and had not yet been stood down from that high position though he had caused ‘several suicides’ and averted his eyes from, oh, a thousand sexual crimes in his home town Ballarat in the thirty years he lived and worked there, and heard confessions.

Julie Bishop said the two thousand children in boats off Malaysia were not children at all but ‘unemployed persons in impertinent quest of jobs for which they were ill-suited’, and they should go back, she said, ‘to legal oblivion and torture in Myanmar, their native country’; and the captains of the ships they were on, moreover, were habitual donors to DAISH and fellow-travellers, therefore, with terrorism, and sponsors of it, and ‘worse than Bin Laden’, and the two thousand children, therefore, had no right to live anywhere.’

Ban Ki-Moon said otherwise and Abbott, in the daily tightening grip of dementia pugilistica, said ‘Australians are getting sick and tired of being told what they should do by the United Nations, the Indonesians, the Malaysians, the Filipinos, the Enlightenment philosophers, the American President and the Pope — who were each of them, he said, ‘such a long, long way from ever understanding what the horror of two thousand immigrant children would bring to our country, and its ageing population, who do not need their services as carers, or as future doctors or teachers or slaughtermen or test cricketers.’ If drowning children were wrong, he added, ‘there would have been a specific commandment against it in Moses’ decalogue, written in letters of fire on Sinai stone four thousand years ago, and, of course, there is not.’ His new three-word slogan, ‘Drown the children’, was ‘catching on in Europe,’ he announced, ‘and will soon be accepted policy world-wide.’

Ireland, a Catholic country, embraced gay marriage and Abbott, a Catholic with a gay sister, trenchantly refused to. ‘She will burn in Hell for a billion years,’ he declared sympathetically, ‘alongside all filthy sodomites and the choirboy-suicides they got to in their early years. And my gay mate Christopher Pearson, who co-wrote Battlelines, and no more than eighteen million Popes, Christian Brothers and their savage accomplices the nuns.’ Asked if Putin was on the right track, he said, ‘Absolutely! What rippling, bare-chested muscles! What homophobic laws! He can put his boots under my bed any time! Oops.’

A great number of Rohingya corpses were uncovered on the Thai border. It seemed they had been massacred by people smugglers whom Abbott and Morrison had ‘put out of business’ with their ‘tough policy settings’ on ‘border protection’. Morrison prayed in tongues in Cronulla for their souls. Abbott reproved him, saying, ‘It’s too late, they’re burning in Hell already, alongside the atheist Nash and the sodomite Pearson, and the Hillsong fanatic Andrew Chan. But at least they didn’t die at sea. Rejoice; rejoice; be exceeding glad; our policy is working. The boat people are dying on land, not sea, as we have long intended, and the horror of them going to school here, and excelling at cricket, and graduating as doctors, and practising in remote country towns, is being, thank God, averted.’

‘I’m a Hillsong fanatic,’ said Morrison calmly, and put both thumbs with vigour in his leader’s neck.

Andrew Bolt, a moron, said ‘the government’s turn-backs have worked’ (you can’t make this stuff up) though thousands of Rohingyas on boats or in shallow graves suggested that the people smugglers were the more impelled. ‘If we give sanctuary to some Rohingyas,’ he argued, ‘we’ll be sure to get more, and many will drown on the way.’ Better they stay stateless, persecuted, bereft of a career or money to raise children on, the moron said, or implied, better they die at sea.

The Lindh Cafe siege inquiry prepared to find out why Abbott was ‘too busy’ to speak to the frantic hostages and why Baird’s goons shot Katrina Dawson twenty-four times after Monis was dead and why his friend Mamdouh Habib was not let in to ‘talk him down’ and save everybody in there.

Bambi steeled himself, squared his shoulders, and with big watery eyes told his image in the mirror, ‘We will get through this. We will get through this.’

And so it went.

A Note On The Writers’ Festival

Tomalin, Grenville, Watson, Korval and Cassidy were very, very good in the sessions I went to on Thursday and Friday, and they should be experienced in ABC replay if you know the technology.

The Town Hall dialogue of Richard Flanagan was extraordinary, despite the apparent early drunkenness of the gushing interlocutor.

The best for me so far was Michael Frayn with Tom Wright, an interviewer (and fellow playwright) of acuity and penetration, a small classic of informed conversation on the variant meanings of theatre not likely to be equalled in our lifetime.

I will put up on Ellis Gold the letters that I and my wife will read to each other this afternoon at 4.30.

The Perfect Storm That Is Consuming Tony Abbott

(First published by Independent Australia)

Tony Abbott is in a perfect storm of bad confluent events that may, in the next few weeks, do for him.

Starving women and children on the high seas are begging for his help; he is telling them to come in the ‘front door’ though for Rohingas who are citizens of no country there is no such thing. His confessor Pell has been shown to have been the direct cause of several suicides and Abbott has said he has ‘answered those questions’. He has in the past defended Peter Hollingworth, the paedophile-protector, and John Nestor, the paedophile, and has not apologised for these errors of judgment to the traumatised and the deceased. Employees of his Minister, Morrison, have been shown to have concealed paedophile rape and he has arrested none of them and called any mention of it a ‘Labor-Green witch-hunt’.

He has committed twenty-six billion dollars to a dodgy fighter-bomber that so far cannot fly and by the time it is delivered will be obsolete. He is considering a Japanese submarine that, in the age of drones, will be of no use to anyone. He has doubled the deficit, and ruled out addressing the cause of it, tax-free superannuation incomes, tax-free churches and tax-dodging global companies who take our money overseas. He has joined Hockey’s ‘war on breastfeeding’, calling nursing mothers ‘double dippers’ and ‘rorters’.

He is refusing to free up the vote on gay marriage, though Ireland, today, will embrace it. He is refusing to abandon Pyne’s hundred thousand dollar degrees. He will if re-elected abandon the ‘schoolkids money’ and cost some families two thousand dollars a year. He has cut the money that would, if it had been better targeted two years ago, have saved Luke Batty’s life. He has by his cuts made probable the ethnic cleansing of a hundred and fifty Aboriginal communities in Western Australia. He is refusing to take back repentant ISIS volunteers, though they would help wonderfully his campaign to ‘deradicalise’ disaffected Muslim adolescents. He has said they will get twenty-five years if they come back, and has invited them to stay and be decapitated or crucified by DAISH.

On top of this, or because of it perhaps, he is showing signs of mental instability. His latest ‘drown the children’ policy, refusing even temporary sanctuary for those foundlings of the sea, those frantic fugitive people who, like the Israelites of Moses’ time, and the Jews of Nazi Germany, have no civil rights in their own country, and his assertion that it would be ‘irresponsible’ to save them, though a United Nations law of the sea obliges him to, indicates a decaying mind, and the ‘dementia pugilistica’ theory of his recent posture, gait and verbal error is no longer a joke. There is a kind of tornado storming through his mind that might, in a while, consume him.

A perfect storm.

It is to be hoped he will be displaced before then. He is a danger to himself, and his nation.

The Twenty-Two Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (258)

Showing further signs of pugilism-related brain damage Abbott said ‘Nope, nope, nope’ to his international obligations to help refugees fleeing tyranny across stormy oceans. Widodo, laughing, waved a circling finger round his left ear saying ‘Not well in his mind.’ Abbott’s father confessor Pell was accused of having ‘known since the seventies’ of abused children still suiciding after decades whose assailants he knew about then and did not report to police then or later. ‘I didn’t think it was any of my business,’ he testified.

The Royal Commission said it would look into child abuse on Morrison’s watch in ‘detention centres’ on the mainland where suicide attempts by prepubescents were, they’d long heard tell, ‘quite frequent’ though not always fatal. Calling this investigation a ‘witch hunt’ Abbott, panicking, prepared for a snap election before he was overthrown after being fingered as an ex-priest and by paedophile-detesting voters thereafter derided. His testimony moreover in favour of Nestor the kiddie-fiddler seemed, in thus context, and in the context of the imminent life imprisonment of his father confessor, to some of his advisers ‘a political difficulty’; as did page 68 of the Duffy book which suggested a thirty-eight-year cover-up of crimes against minors he and some frocked friends including Nestor did not report to police. Morrison prayed in tongues that this cup would pass from him and moisten the lips, perhaps, of Dutton, his long dim successor as Pirate-in-Chief.

Asylum seekers must not hereafter, Dutton decided, mention on arrival if they’d been tortured or not. This, he said, ‘would facilitate our sending them back to their torturers with a clear conscience’. Four asylum seekers who were to be flown to Cambodia were flown to Darwin instead, where they haggled for greater and greater amounts of money they might take into that hellish country, along with five comfort women each and a free set of steak knives, and whether or not they might be accompanied by the camera crew of Struggle Street and share in the profits when their adventure was broadcast on BBC.

Growing visibly crazier, Abbott said ,’We have stopped the boats, and if we take in any of these people they’ll start up again.’ He was told they had started up again, and he said, ‘Not our boats, we’ve stopped our boats, these are Indonesia’s boats.’ Told nearly all our boats came from Indonesia, he said, ‘These are not the right boats, we’ve stopped the right boats, these other eighty boats are irrelevant.’ He was led away looking haggard, given Credlin’s ‘special tea’ and ‘settled down’.

It was going badly for him, Credlin in a ‘pillow-talk’ phone call told her husband and co-conspirator Loughnane three motel rooms away. What with Pell’s plain guilt, she said, Ley’s refusal to collect a billion dollars, Indonesia threatening war, the soup queues doubling in Elizabeth, Holden sacking hundreds prematurely, Hockey’s figures proving to be nonsense, ISIS conquering half Syria and cremating peerless Christian murals in Palmyra, Andrews refusing to give him back a billion dollars, Ireland acclaiming gay marriage, and no-one but Barnaby wanting a knighthood on the Queen’s Birthday, he was in a ‘perfect storm’ that might consume him utterly, and he wasn’t sleeping and his mind was crumbling and his morning jogs pursued sometimes by red-fanged spectral demons in black cowls yelling ‘Papist wanker! Go back to Pommieland!’ and brandishing scythes in a threatening manner.

Julie Bishop said the boats wouldn’t stop till Burma mended its ways and the Buddhists there were nicer to the Rohingas whom they were currently in concentration camps and burning boats exterminating as a species, and Abbott shouted, ‘The boats have stopped!’ and she shouted, ‘No they haven’t!’ and Credlin told her to ‘Leave the room, bitch!’ and their year-long shouting-match resumed. Abbott put his thumbs in his ears and prayed for sleep.

The US claimed the submarines the Japanese were building for Abbott were ‘obsolete’ and any fighter-bombers in any future war ‘a useless fucking joke.’ Hockey cancelled his inquiry into iron ore prices after eighty-eight venture capitalists seized him by the throat and talked to him with soft persuasiveness.. Twiggy swore ‘I will have my revenge!’ at any camera crew that came near him.

And so concluded another day of the worst free-elected government in human history since the invention of democracy in its present form in Iceland in AD 934.

And so it went.

The Morrison Countdown

Whatever else they do, the starved and screaming children on the boats off Myanmar have shown how vile the Abbott government is, and how for a hundred, five hundred years historians will see them.

They may not suffer politically, just yet. They may not face the International Criminal Court, ever. But they cannot climb out from under the pile of sewage that is daily falling down on top of them while other jurisdictions demonstrate what mercy is, and maritime law.

For starving a child at sea is not clever. And averting one’s eyes while he is buggered on land is not honourable. And boasting that we ‘stopped the boats’ when scores of them, with thousands on them, toss and plunge off Asia is a blithering untruth.

It was thought Scott Morrison was a ‘success’ in his portfolio a few weeks back, a ‘can-do man’, a ‘problem-solver’ who might be Treasurer, even Prime Minister, soon. It is now clear he is a collaborator in a series of tortures, rapes, harasments, kidnaps and traumatisings of children that will shame his name in history.

This would not have occurred had the latest ‘boat turn-backs’ been in our jurisdiction. But now, because there are, in several seas, a number of  boats that cameramen can get to, unforbidden by Morrison’s and Dutton’s goons, we have at last the images of what has been happening for fifteen years: people in anguish, pleading for their lives.

How long will it be till Morrison is forced to stand down, and forced to answer Senate questions on his serial criminality? Months? Weeks?

A clue might lie in how long it will be before that other concealer of child abuse, Pell, is allowed to work at the Vatican, or he seeks to avoid extradition to his home town Ballarat, to answer charges there.

I would not yet lay odds on it, but I suspect it will be around September, when Abbott, too, might be displaced.

The Thirty-Eight Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (257)

Barnaby praised Vietnamese slaughterhouse workers for treating our cows even worse than he would have treated Depp’s dogs. ‘They provide a role model in applied cruelty to those obedient Asians we have inspired more than somewhat in recent years by drowning and buggering refugees,’ he said, growing puce in the face. ‘It is the next stage of what I like to call The Abbott Way.’

Abbott said he feared if we sent them no more cattle the Vietnamese might turn back the boats we turned back in their direction, for ‘processing’ in their prison system, one that hanged people, and leave us ‘treading water’ diplomatically. ‘They might remember us killing three million of them,’ he predicted, ‘and refuse to eat our T-bone steaks.’

Abbott then said he wouldn’t pay any money or send in any navy personnel to speed eight thousand starving refugees out of stormy oceans to the Philippines where nice Catholics in grimy houseboats would look after them. ‘Better they die in great numbers,’ he said. ‘It will teach the people smugglers, and the Greens, a lesson; and reduce, of course, the Greens’ vote in the future, by five or six votes for every drowned person who does not therefore have children.’ Asked if he thought it a pity these children would not be born, he said, ‘But what’s the point? If they were born they’d just cost us money, and live to be a hundred and then go to Hell.’

It was said that Abbott’s confessor Pell had ignored, or thought imaginary, the buggering of choirboys by one of his priests. He had not known either, he alleged, of the buggering of two million other choirboys in the previous twelve hundred years, nor of young friends of his when he was a boy in Ballarat. ‘I was inattentive, I suppose,’ he is said to have murmured. ‘A mate of mine claimed I would not have known if a Bondi tram were up me till the bell rang.’

Abbott said he would continue to confess to this good, grave, rubicund stately man, currently in charge of cooking the books at the Vatican, as he, Abbott, had ‘nothing to hide’. In saying this he ignored page 68 of his official biography and his defence of Nestor, the paedophile, and his ‘purity’ in a speech in court some compared to Oscar Wilde’s that got him out of gaol.

Pell, who grew up in Ballarat and spent ten years as a priest there, was likely, some said, to become ‘the Curia’s own Rolf Harris’ within a week or two. He had no memory of offering a bribe to the nephew and seductee of Ridsdale, ‘The Beast of Ballarat’, a colleague and friend of this handsome large well-spoken protector of buggers-in-frocks for, oh, three decades, maybe more.

He had a clear memory, however, of God calling him out of grade football and into the priesthood and being acclaimed ‘the next Pope’ from time to time by those of sluggard wit and shrivelled brain like Gerard Henderson or Miranda Devine. It was hoped he might ‘plea bargain’ for ten years less in chokey by sharing Abbott’s confessional secrets: who he, as a trainee priest, had fucked and how old they were, and so on. It was also thought he might seek sanctuary in the Sistine, and sit gibbering and shivering and toping brandy under The Last Judgment and translating Battlelines into Latin until he was dragged out shackled into a Jesuit hospice and there put down.

Cormann denied he was in favour of an inquiry into iron ore prices though he swore he was five days before. ‘I leef een Vestern Owstryelia’ he emphasised, ‘nert Plennet Erzz. Zey do zings deefferently zere. End zoa eet tykes a vile for ein dumbkopf bloaw-een like meinzelf to verk owt veech beellionaire eez Terp Derg zat veek and vot mein conzequent feescal pheelozophee eez.’ Hockey and Abbott had made the same backflip, and $inodino$ snickered at their discomfort on Skynews.

Richo on that same channel said Abbott had stopped the boats, a big lie, though throngs of them were bobbing about in a fulminous typhoon off Malaysia and hundreds of children baying for cups of water, and added that Shorten in his Budget speech had ‘signalled no cuts to expenditure whatever’ though he had announced twenty-three billions-worth of cuts to expenditure, and Conroy told his former factional ally to go fuck himself.

Pell in a fraught midnight statement swore blind he had not, never ever, sought to bribe, to the best of his recollection, the younger Ridsdale to keep mum about having been overfrequently buggered by his uncle the Beast of Ballarat and thus ensure another decade of sodomy, anguish and suicide in that benighted diocese. Asked what he did say he replied, ‘I can’t remember. It was all…so long ago.’

Bookies laid five to four on Pope Fran firing him by June the first, and Pope Emeritus Benedict refusing to hear his detailed confession since ‘I may not have that long to live.’

And so it went.

Recommended Viewing

Gordon Hill this morning read a document as moving and, in its way, as beautifully written as any in our language, by Bunyan, Thoreau, Orwell, Ackroyd, Mantel, Flanagan.

It dealt with his enslavement, abuse and torture by priests and nuns, one of whom as punishment pulled out some of his teeth, in his infancy, childhood and adolescence, and the unstifled nightmares eating away at him still in his eighth decade, and his work for thirty years with discarded children and the putting back together of their souls.

It is very, very good. And it could become hereinafter a high school text, an audition piece for acting students, or one third of a performance evening , like the ones I do, of three such memoirs in pub theatres, libraries and writers’ festivals in the next hundred years.


The Nauru abuse inquiry did not continue today. Such were the questions raised and not answered yesterday, Sarah Hanson-Young explained, that Immigration would need more than the two hours allotted to organise the euphemisms for the crimes of which they and Morrison were plainly guilty, and they would assemble again in a week or so.

It is certain Morrison will be destroyed by their testimony, as Pell will be by the testimony coming out of Ballarat today, however Immigration spins it.

The dates alone will do for him. What did the Minister know, and when did he know it? What action did he take?

He is gone for all money.

I would ask bookies’ odds on his ruin by November.

The Morrison Effect

It seems we may not now watch the Senate’s question of Morrison’s people at Immigration about his knowledge of buggery and blowjob-trading on Nauru when he was Minister.

This Police State censorship of significant political information should trouble all of us.

Our shackles are tightening.


Ellis Gold Poetry Competition (2)

It seems that no-one much likes the ‘Ancient Morrison’ task. It might be better if another challenge were were substituted.

An alternative National Anthem, to the tune of ‘Advance Austrlalia Fair’, or ‘There Is A Land Of Golden Skies’, or ‘I Am, You Are, We Are Australian’, or ‘I Still Call Australia Home’.

The words must fit the tune exactly.

Certain Housekeeping Matters (159)

I will begin on Ellis Gold a longish meditation on Mad Men tonight. It may be a few days before it is up, or I may publish it in segments. In the meantime I recommend Helen Razer’s thoughts on it, which are excellent.

The Thirty Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (256)

Morrison praised himself for improving the conditions in which rape and blowjob-trading were made ‘much easier’ in the Nauru ‘facility’ during those fourteen months when he was in charge of it. Asked if anyone was arrested for any crime on his watch he said, ‘That’s a very impertinent question. Go bite your bum.’ Asked if he regretted anything at all that had occurred in that infamous South Seas hellhole during his loathesome imperium he said, ‘Only not throwing Save The Children off it sooner.’

Transfield administrators before the Senate amazed their questioners by knowing absolutely nothing of what had happened in the time of their administration — power failures, complaints of sexual assault, mould on the tents, who, most days, erased the video records of heinous crime — in the twenty months for which they were paid 1.2 billion dollars, or 52 million dollars a month, or 13 million dollars a week for their services, any day of which would keep a small theatre company going for a thousand years on the interest alone. Though there were twice as many guards as internees, these underpaid good selfless men had absolutely no idea, it seemed, of what their guards did there. Asked if their male guards had access to the female showers at night one said, ‘I’ll have to take that on notice.’ He doubted, though, if there was ‘any established process’ by which he might find out.

Abbott said any remorseful adolescent who wanted to come home from Syria and discourage other adolescents from going there would be put in gaol for twenty-five years if he ever dared show his face in his native country again. ‘Unlike that of Chan and Sukumaran,’ he said, ‘his repentance, and his future good works, will reap no forgiveness whatever from me. In this particular matter, Jesus of Nazareth was wrong, and I spit in the face of His trenchant heresy.’ Told the young man would now be lined up and shot or beheaded on an ISIS video he shook his head and murmured, ‘Shit happens.’ There followed a twenty-eight second silent stare, and Mark Riley ducked for cover. Michelle Grattan silently mouthed the words, ‘My hero.’

Clearing his throat, Abbott then praised those countries presently drowning and starving children and women on the high seas in monsoons for ‘following my fine example. Every country has the right to decide who will drown in their waters, or eat each other while awaiting rescue in a continuing typhoon, especially those stateless plaintive persons, Rohingas and the like, who should have stayed behind in the tyranny of Myanmar and copped sweet their lifelong persecution.’ Asked what might happen to them when the Acehans ran out of food for them, he shook his head and murmured, ‘Shit happens.’ There followed a fifty-second stare, and everyone ducked for cover.

Word came through that Australian cows were being struck on the head with sledgehammers and suffering sudden death in slaughterhouses in Vietnam. It was thought by some that this was wrong, but it was thought by others to be wrong also, and worse in some cases, that three million Vietnamese humans had been killed, and six million Vietnamese babies born mutant with short arms or legs, in a war without good purpose Australia sent teenage conscripts into and had not won and had not yet apologised for. Human life, as usual, meant little to the Abbottites, who were still spending tens of thousands of dollars a day looking for drowned passengers of MH370 but not one penny on living children soon to drown or starve or be eaten by their fellow passengers off Myanmar. ‘Better five thousand children drown, or be eaten,’ Abbott said, ‘than people smugglers make money; or, indeed, that the children grow up happily and fruitfully here and become doctors and teachers and nurses in remote and outback regions that need them sorely. Better they die at sea.’

S&M began to sweat as members of his former department, Immigration, who did not like him, prepared to tell the Senate whether or not he had known about child rape and blowjob trading in his facilities and bidden them shut up about it. Transfield and Wilson Security had yesterday refused to say what dates they had known about it, protecting him, because any date at all would implicate him in a cover-up of serious crime, but was not certain public servants, who did not like him, would protect his arse also. He knew the Senate could order his arrest if he refused to appear in front of it, and his imprisonment at their pleasure, and this must slow his present rush to the Lodge, and he prayed, in tongues, that this cup would pass from him, and enough liars would assemble, perjure themselves, and assure his preservation, and his upward trajectory into immortal earthly glory.

The Philippines President, Aquino, said he would take in the eight thousand starving, thirsting, miscarrying and screaming refugees and look after them, and thus proved Abbott was, in his words, ‘a murderous mad cunt, without precedent in this region in this century.’

And so it went.

Recommended Viewing

I commend the Senate inquiry into Nauru on APAC, and the responses by the Transfield ‘service providers’ whose language resembles the prose of Kafka, or, worse, Phillip Ruddock.

I will put up on Ellis Gold from time to time transcripts of their sinuous evasions.

In Seven Words

Prime Minister, have you stopped the boats?

After Ramadi

It is worth noting what the fall of Ramadi means.

It means more and more teenagers will flock to the ISIS cause and fewer and fewer Iraqi soldiers fight with vigour for the Shi-ite gangsters who for ten years looted Baghdad and drove the entire professional class into exile.

It means more soldiers will desert, more armies fall back, more territory be captured, more women be forced into ‘marriage’ with the victors.

It means more money will flow to DAISH oil wells that can be spent on tanks that will reconquer Mesopotamia, blow up the classic ruins of the Biblical world, and on drones that in time attack and immolate the Vatican, the National Portrait Gallery, the Louvre.

These are the consequences of George W Bush, who thought an invasion by thirty-two Christian nations of a secular Muslim state whose Vice-President was a Christian was a good idea, and Abu Ghraib’s horrors a good propaganda tactic for our side. It was a tactic that lost him, and us, that lost our side, all moral influence in the Middle East, perhaps forever.

This means in turn we must choose, or not, a war with a million Western soldiers on the ground in Syria on the side of Assad, a bigger monster than Saddam, a war that still might be lost, if we are not to surrender an area the size of France to a regime as vile as the Nazis.

What are we to do now? Commit to a big war, though America won’t? Fight a big war, with a quarter of a million conscripts, on our own? On the side of Iran and Assad, who are disliked everywhere?

Or…get the hell out of there? And hope DAISH and its cruelties over time grow unpopular in the Arab world, and it crumbles after ten or twenty years?

The latter would be wise, I think.

If we don’t want drones shooting up the Opera House.

Today’s Morgan

Morgan shows Labor on 51, the Coalition on 49 two party preferred, and the result ‘too close to call’. Labor leads in only Victoria and Tasmania, and in all age groups except the 51 to 64 and the 64 to 100, but the Coalition lead among the oldies is enormous.

I can see no reason why this is wrong.

It is to be hoped this is a ‘sugar hit’ only, and the electorate will revise its view when it becomes clear how badly off working families will be after  January, 1917 — six thousand dollars a year, some say — and when the boat people crisis becomes, in the voters’ view, an Abbott-led world calamity.

And we will see what we shall see.

Today’s Ipsos and Newspoll

The numbers on both Ipsos and Newspoll were, by the look of it, crookedly achieved.

Both rang during Shorten’s speech respondents who were not watching it. Both rang only landlines and not mobiles, which younger voters favour. Both rang only those at home on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, mainly octogenarians. Newspoll ‘adjusted the sample to reflect population distribution’. You bet they did. Newspoll nonetheless showed Labor way ahead.

Ipsos showed a tie. To understand how they did this — give Labor four hundred thousand fewer votes than Newspoll — one must look at their fool methodology. As I understand it, their machines rang eighty thousand people of whom 1403 took the call. These were people prepared to talk to a machine — the old, the mad, the loveless, the paranoid, the paupered, the resentful, society’s grumps and invalids, on three nights when half the adult population were out of the house, in cinemas and restaurants, their mobiles with them, unrung by by either pollster.

This poll can be disregarded. Its methodology predicted in 2013 that Swan, Rudd, Clare, Bowen, Burke and Dreyfus would lose their seats; for this reason alone they should be disqualified and investigated — and their CEO, probably, imprisoned for criminal fraud.

Both surveys got Queensland wrong by two percent. Both methodologies got the UK wrong by three percent; that is, two million votes.

It is no longer acceptable to ring landlines only. It makes no sense whatever. Discuss.

The most crooked element of the crooked Ipsos method was the ringing, and I ask them to deny it, of ten thousand respondents WHILE Shorten was on his feet or while his ideas were being discussed by pundits in the hours afterward. This meant those not interested in what he had to say, i.e. Liberal voters, or what others thought of it, i.e. Liberal voters, were the ones who took the call, and said they were voting Liberal.

How many of these respondents were there, two hundred? Three hundred?

I accuse them of thus confecting, criminally, lies. And I ask Fairfax to sack them as their pollster.

The Twenty-Nine Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (255)

Abbott praised the countries who had turned round boats with dead women and children on them ignoring the screams of the starving survivors as ‘my and Scott’s disciples, votaries of the New Maritime Order’, and Morrison, speaking in tongues, prayed for the dead children’s souls. ‘I will meet them in heaven,’ he explained to his fellow Shirelive parishioners, ‘and they will know who I am.’ Told by his parson he would not, they would go, as heathens, to Hell, he said, ‘Get out of my liver.’ Ghosts appeared at his bed-end that night as usual, pointing at him.

Joe Hockey lied to Cassidy, swearing he hadn’t said ‘Yes, it is’ when Oakes described breastfeeding mothers as ‘frauds’ though the videotape showed he had, and many Liberal backbenchers, their faces in both hands, hoped this was just a bad dream. Many Sunday pundits in their columns gawped with disbelief and crossed themselves with unusual solemnity. A ‘partial assassination theory’, involving Joe’s anaesthetist during his stomach-stapling, grew in credibility and it was thought the poor, perspiring, brain-damaged fatty should be ‘pensioned off’ and in a secure and padded North Sydney Forum facility given a pocket calculator and taught the rudiments of Monopoly and showed once a day The Wolf Of Wall Street to get ‘his brain back up to speed’ in time for his return to politics in, oh, 2030.

Abbott approved the encirclement with an electronic band of the ankles of Barnaby Joyce. This device would give him an electric shock whenever he said ‘Bugger off’ or ‘The world’s sexiest man’ and light up his nose. It was a measure, Abbott assured the National Party room, that was ‘long overdue’ and would ‘save the economy billions.’

After a stiff scotch Brandis proposed that he would decide what art was, and in what form it would come to this country if it came at all. He seized half the budget of the Arts Council and set aside billions for the promotion of ‘Bingo studies, Monarchist revue, and a new show called ‘Snedden, The Rock Opera’. He planned as well, he confided, a remake in the Tasmanian mountains of The Sound of Music, with Bronwyn Bishop as the Mother Superior singing ‘Climb Every Mountain’ with an impressive soaring contralto, and Mathias Cormann , whose ‘accent was excellent’, as Baron Von Trapp the fertile widower. It was thought Sophie Mirabella might play Maria but Brandis decided she was ‘not a plausible virgin’.

Abbott surprised the nation by funding in Perth a medical school with no pupils. The AMA called this ‘moronic’ and ‘no more than what we have come to expect from a Captain Chaos off his medication on a dull Sunday afternoon.’ Asked where the pupils might come from, Abbott said, ‘I dunno, the boats off Malaysia are probably full of them.’ Joe Hockey reproved the AMA for calling Abbott ‘Captain Chaos’. ‘That title,’ he huffed, ‘belongs to me.’

Twiggy Forrest, a Liberal voter, said iron ore he was pilfering from Aborigines should be awarded by the government a higher regulated price. ‘If it stays this cheap,’ he said, ‘our ethnic cleansing of two hundred and seventy Aboriginal communities from minerals-rich locations will have been in vain.’

Scrutiny of Joe’s budget by Standard & Poors astounded and appalled its expert Manhattan invigilators. He had put in, they noted, moneys from last year’s Budget that did not get through the Senate, money, in short, that did not exist, and had said Boom-level receipts would return within eighteen months; which was ‘like predicting,’ they said, ‘the oceans would rise ten feet by 2020.’ Joe’s triple-A rating would be withdrawn, they hinted, by August or September.

Fran Kelly, a Liberal voter, acclaimed an Ipsos poll showing the Government and the Opposition line ball at 50-50, and ignored a Newspoll showing Labor eight hundred thousand votes ahead. Michelle Grattan, a Liberal voter, mentioned the second poll, and Fran told her to ‘shut up’.

Children continued to starve to death on the high seas and be eaten by adult survivors. Abbott called this Boschian spectacle a ‘jolly good show’ which would ‘teach the people smugglers a lesson’. Morrison, his elbows in front of his face, murmured, ‘Father, forgive me, for I knew not what I did.’ He was depressed for a while; then he had a cup of Credlin’s special tea, cheered up, and returned with vigour to his ‘war on breastfeeding’.

And so it went.

Recommended Viewing

The Insiders item on Barnaby Joyce and Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Canine Calamity, is among the funniest such works in human history, and its devisers deserve, already, a Lifetime Achievement Oscar for it.

Ellis Gold Poetry Competition

A poem in at least fifteen verses whose first four lines are:

‘It is an ancient Morrison,
And he stoppeth one of three,
He spake in tongues his tale of woe
With wild looks, rapidly.’

Deadline Tuesday, July 1.

The best three entries will get a free copy of The Ellis-Leak Almanac, a CD of Orators and an invitation to lunch with Bob Ellis at a mutually convenient place and time.

All entries whose rhymes are not embarrassing will be published on Ellis Gold.

The Albrechtsen Moment

Janet Albrechtsen said yesterday that Abbott and Hockey might not last and if they did not the big winner, by August, would be Scott Morrison.

With her usual inability to see a bare arse pumping turds in her face, she picked the week when Morrison ruined himself to say how well he was doing.

He called breastfeeding mothers ‘double-dippers’ and slashed by six thousand dollars the average income of working familes every year after 2016. This is enough for a South Sea Cruise, and they can’t even dream of that any more.

He also saw exploding in his face the big lie that he had ‘stopped the boats’.

On boats to the north eight thousand people fleeing tyranny and brutish economies are starving, weeping and occasionally killing each other in fights over scraps of food. Two or three hundred have died in a week.

And, obedient to the Morrison Doctrine, no nation is letting them in; except, for the moment, the Acehan Province of Indonesia, the one the tsunami devastated and a kinder world than ours helped out. Their hands are out to these other foundlings of the sea. They are good people.

Morrison, however, has not apologised for the big lie that the boats have stopped, nor said if he would favour taking in starving children and miscarrying women, even as detainees, even on our Devil’s Island, Nauru, even for a month, or a week.

Given this lack of remorse he is the more likely, now, to be arraigned for his crimes against humanity at The Hague. These include his facilitation of the escape of Reza Barati’s twelve murderers from justice, and of the several buggerers of small children and blow-job traders with frightened virgins whom he knew about and would not investigate, lest white Australians be among them.

Albrechtsen, whose beauty, stupidity and cruelty are part of a not unpleasing package (Rhys Muldoon would still whang her, he assures me), has this time, alas, goofed seriously.

She has identified a man standing hooded on a trapdoor with a rope around his neck as our nation’s imminent saviour and the monarch of us all. She has imagined he was enlarged by last week, not spifflicated. Not shrunken to the size of a mouse turd.

Let her fate be similar to his.

Let her take the blindfold, the hood, the prayer book and the drop.

And all the trumpets sound for her on the other side.

The Economic Consequences of Barmy Barnaby

(First published by Independent Australia)

The consequences of a government minister threatening to kill a film star’s dogs - and fining him, in effect, half a million dollars for bringing them in - will do more to damage our country than any decision taken since our participation in the WMD war.

It shows we are, or seem, in Patrick White’s words, ‘a convocation of rustic clowns’. It has damaged us as much as the 1925 Monkey Trial damaged Tennessee.

It should be remembered that Barnaby is our Deputy Prime Minister ‘heir apparent’. It should be remembered he is a religious lunatic who hates gay marriage and could not, while Shadow Minister For Finance, distinguish millions from billions. His face grows puce on occasions and his high blood pressure pills may be some part of the cause of his occasional bursts of dementia.

What, one may ask, are the economic consequences of Barmy Barnaby? Half a million of Depp’s dollars will not, for certain, be spent here. It is likely that this, his fifth film here, will be his last. It is probable that other film companies — Chinese, Indian, British, German — will think twice, and think very carefully, before filming here. It is probable overseas investment in Queensland will go down by one tenth. It is possible tourism to Queensland - in an age of great storms and floods in that region, and planes buffeted by high winds - will come down by twenty percent.

So Barnaby’s effect on our economy is as deleterious as Black Saturday; or Ash Wednesday. He is a veritable remorseless malignant tsunami whose legendary ignorance, affirmed world wide, will do as much harm to our image overseas as the Mississippi lynchings did to the Old South in 1955.

What is to be done with this hectic, beetroot-coloured oaf?

A poll in his seat of New England measuring his chances against a resurgent Tony Windsor would be a start. A caucus meeting of National and NLP members and Senators that flings him out of the leadership would help. A Jon Stewart special on his hundred worst gaffes would then obliterate him, as a serious figure, from our national history.

These measures should be put in train immediately.

In Two Words

Barmy Barnaby.

The Twenty-Five Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (254)

Hockey called ‘scammers’ those employers who had taken him at his word, and refused their underlings maternity leave pay because they could not now, Joe said, like ‘rorters’ double-dip, like ‘fraudsters’ double-dip; and they were ‘scammers’ if they believed him when he said they couldn’t. ‘Why would they believe me?’ he whined. ‘I never do.’ He thus wound up to one hundred percent the numbers of people insulted by his, and Morrison’s, ‘war on breastfeeding’.

Galaxy, a Murdoch facility, said the Liberals’ votes had gone up, and the nation rocked with laughter. Dutton saw the boats had not stopped, and eight thousand refugees, including women and children, were starving and thirsting to death on boats that had been ‘turned round’, in the popular Australian way. Obama demanded he take them in. He imagined his trial at The Hague for procuring the needless deaths of hundreds of children, and covered his long dim face with his hands.

Shorten offered to discuss with Abbott ways of bringing taxes down. Abbott, haggard, said this was impossible, it was not his bag, ‘it’s not what I do’, he was about problems, not solutions, and it was ‘a dirty trick’ of Shorten to have suggested it. The Murdoch press said the Budget, which would leave, in a while, most families six thousand dollars a year worse off, was ‘greeted by cheering, champagne-popping crowds overjoyed by its generosity and fiscal wisdom’, and had ‘turned the corner’ for Tony Abbott, now ‘as popular as Charles De Gaulle on VE Day’. The cross-bench of the Senate said they wouldn’t pass any of it.

John Ellis, a Liberal voter, was arrested for flashing, and it was thought his employer Malcolm Turnbull would not now as a consequence be Prime Minister, as if one thing prefigured another. Barnaby Joyce seized Johnny Depp’s two dogs, and flung them on to an aeroplane crying, ‘Bugger off to California!’ amid international awe and amazement and ridicule. It was thought someone had ‘fucked up his medication’. The odds on him being National Party leader, ever, and Deputy Prime Minister, ever, climbed to eight hundred to one.

Janet Albrechtsen, a Liberal voter, praised S&M for having ‘fixed up the biggest policy failure this country has seen. Under Labor 50,000 people arrived by boat in six years, and now, thanks to Morrison, eight thousand — in only one week — have been marooned at sea, a Morrison policy triumph.’ She said Joe Hockey had ‘no credibility’ and Morrison’s ‘upward trajectory’ from ministry to ministry was the story of the week. ‘His war on breastfeeding,’ she declared, ‘was a masterstroke.’

Peter Dutton proposed to revoke the citizenship of Matthew Gardiner, a hero of the Kurds who had been briefly at war against ISIS last year, as this proved him to be ‘an agent of terrorism’ unfit to be called an Australian. The twenty-five years he was supposed to have spent in prison for his evil activities (tending war-wounded women and children) were quietly cancelled. Fighting against ISIS, or DAISH as it is also known, was apparently popular, and Dutton hadn’t been told. He put his long dim face in his hands.

Johnny Depp spent half a million dollars flying his dogs home, two hundred Australians lost their jobs on his film, and Hollywood decided not to make films very often in Queensland any more. Barnaby acclaimed this ‘happy outcome’, calling two weeks in quarantine for the dogs an ‘unacceptable option’. Clive Palmer called him a ‘fucking idiot’ and thus secured his Gold Coast seat, which he could hold now for the rest of his life if he wanted to, and asked that ‘Barmy’ Barnaby resign from all his positions. A poll showed that if Tony Windsor stood against him, as he didn’t last time, in New England he would win with ninety percent of the primary vote. Experts asked to investigate ‘Barmy’s’ sanity said his brain had certainly shrivelled, but this was true too of most LNP voters who had spent twenty years in the sun in Queensland, the ‘barking sarmajor’ Campbell Newman being a ‘prime example’.

Eight thousand innocents continued to starve on the high seas. Regional leaders praised Scott Morrison for having ‘led the way’ to this ‘desirable policy outcome’ of a ‘watery Auschwitz’ which would, hereinafter, bear his name.

A gay couple, one of them dying, flew to New Zealand to be married. Peter Dutton said he was ‘uncertain’ that they would be let back in.

And put his long dim face in his hands.

And so it went.