Monthly Archives: June 2015

The Thirty-Two Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (278)

Abbott amazed the world by saying he didn’t care if Australian terrorists beheaded, blew up, crucified, shot in the back of the head or forced into unsuitable marriages innocent Kurds, Turks, or Syrians, just so long as they did it ‘over there’ and not here, because foreigners, of course, were expendable, and Sydneysiders weren’t, and if these monsters tried to come home he would cancel their passports and they would have to stay there and behead and crucify and rape young female innocents for ten or twenty years more. And these bad people couldn’t be Australians any more, never ever again. And that would show them. That would show them. Wouldn’t it.

This he called being ‘tough on terrorists’ and the New South Wales Liberals acclaimed him for it, in a standing ovation. ‘Look how tough I was with Putin,’ he shrieked and grinned. ‘I cuddled koalas with him. But he knew what I was thinking. He knew. This I call the Abbott Doctrine. You cuddle koalas with conviction! With Iron Man conviction!’ Roars of acclamation followed, but some who were there assembled, huzzahing and stamping their feet, wondered quietly if you would buy a used car from this man.

Pyne proposed to end public schooling. He found it ‘outrageous’, he said, that future generations should get what he had enjoyed, a free university education preceded by eight years of kindergarten in which ‘I formed my philosophy of life. You seize the sandpit, and kill anyone who tries to get in there with you.’ He furthermore called ‘impertinent’ those who reminded him of his promise to keep Gonski, and not change a word of it, nary a jot nor tittle of it. ‘This old-fashioned idea of keeping promises has got to go,’ he prissed. ‘Promises are there to be made, and that’s it. They’re like Joe’s first Budget. They have no meaning. No meaning whatsoever.’

Joe’s Budget had vanished beneath the radar. When last heard of, it promised a surplus sometime in the lifetime of his great grandchildren, more housing investment opportunities for Melissa, which taxpayers would fund at the rate of two hundred and eighty dollars a night, and an inquiry into how best not to tax billionaire superannuees, never ever. It was thought best not to talk of any of this, just national security. National security was thought by at least two members of Cabinet an urgent priority, since no deaths by terrorism had occurred in Australia since January 1, 1915, and ‘if one doesn’t happen soon, we’ll have to give Rosie Batty the money.’ More to come.

The Terrorism Scorecard (5)

It is a hundred years and one hundred and eighty-seven days since an Australian was killed by a terrorist attack in Australia.

When, at last, another death occurs in this way it will be noted here.

Greece, Tomorrow

It will be interesting what happens in Europe in the next few days.

The question of ‘what money is’ will arise as never before.

Can Greece print a drachma, value it, print a lot of it, and with it pay down their debt?

This is pretty much what China did in the 1980s. Its self-valuation is why it now pretty much, rules the world.

And if Greece can, why can’t Ireland? Scotland? Spain? Uzbekistan?

Is money no more than an agreement, a nod and a wink, a finger tapped on the side of the nose, between friends or allies? The success of hundreds of billions in forged currency, sold on the streets in the Soviet Union throughout the 1980s would suggest it is.

And if so, what then?

Greece, of course, could dodge the bullet by fining Germany a hundred million euros for every Greek person killed by the Wehrmacht in World War 2. Would Germany pay it? Would they prefer world chaos? Would they prefer a new war with Greece? They might.

What is more likely is Tsipras will do a deal with Putin tomorrow, allow him to pay down some of the debt and give him naval bases, air bases, and financial entities in the Peloponnese in return. A sort of Lend-Lease for our time.

It’s pretty likely this will happen, and the Germans and the Belgians and the IMF look like gooses when they get the news of this, a new Cold War, of which they have just lost the first big battle.

And we will see what we shall see.

Abbott, Turnbull and the Pope

(First published by Independent Australia)

It’s a little hard to judge these things. But it’s likely, not certain, that Abbott won’t be Prime Minister by Friday, and Malcolm Turnbull will.

Malcolm I’ve known since 1973, Tony since 1994. Malcolm is furious, and Tony, from what I know of him, is breaking up and like an iceberg cascading into the sea. Malcolm is daily proclaiming what the Constitution is, and bemoaning the difficulty he is in convincing the Cabinet, or some fraction of the Cabinet, of this. He is looking I think for a cause to resign, tempt Julie Bishop into a Spill, and win the leadership on the second ballot.

I say this because Abbott has become, of late, the political equivalent of the Loaded Dog. You can’t take him anywhere. Just this week, he has insulted and enraged Indonesia, who may break off relations soon, by cutting off aid money to them, and then sending expensive refugees, who want to be in New Zealand, into their care. He’s bribed some people smugglers, and imprisoned others for ten or twenty years, erratically. He’s chosen the eight hundredth anniversary of Magna Carta to erode its principal provision, of trial by jury before the gaoling or banishment of any citizen. He’s said Bret Walker advised him to do this, then after Bret said he hadn’t, claimed ‘Bret changed his mind’. He’s let a breastfed baby begin to die.

He’s said that Labor is ‘rolling out the red carpet’ for terrorists, though Labor wants to arrest and imprison them, and he wants them to stay in Syria, flinging bombs at our side, or in Iraq, flinging bombs at Australians. He cannot any longer say anything in Question Time that is not an exaggeration, or a lie.

And he’s now in conflict with the Pope, on what another eminent person once called ‘the greatest moral issue of our time’. The Pope wants to save the Earth, and Abbott doesn’t care about it. He thinks Big Coal is Australia’s future, and wind farms are noisy and ugly and should never have been encouraged. In this he is in disagreement with six billion people, most of the world.

It’s unlikely he won votes with any of these measures or utterances. Morgan, the accurate poll, already had him losing forty-five seats. And it’s likely if he takes on the Pope he will lose five more.

Can Abbott survive the week? Well, Howard hung on for nine months, when similarly detested, in 2007.

But this was mainly because Costello dared not strike when he could have had the leadership easily. And Howard had full coffers he could lavish on the middle classes. And Howard was never so intellectually despised.

It’s different now I think. Abbott is a figure of fun on American television, and at most Asian embassy parties. He’s lifted all protective tariffs, destroyed the car industry, and thrown the local economies of every country town to the wolves. He’s brought down Budgets that offend his base, the old, his last bastion, the old, and promises no surpluses in his lifetime. He abolished gay marriage in the ACT, and now wants it to be ‘de-politicised’.

And the ‘dementia pugilistica’ theory of his behaviour has gained credence.

And now the Pope is coming after him.

It may be he can get through next week. But the forty-five MPs who will lose their seats if he stays on will be thinking hard.

And we will see what we shall see.

The Terrorism Scorecard (4)

It is a hundred years and one hundred and eighty-six days since an Australian was killed by a terrorist attack in Australia.

When, at last, another death occurs in this way it will be noted here.

After Charleston

It’s fairly easy to solve.

A law forbidding any male under 26 to own or carry a gun.

Random arrests, a six month sentence, a five year sentence for re-offenders.

Any woman able to carry any weapon, at any time or place.

The Terrorism Scorecard (3)

It is a hundred years and one hundred and eighty-five days since an Australian was killed by a terrorist attack in Australia.

When a further death occurs, at last, it will be noted here.

In Charleston, South Carolina, nine people were killed by a terrorist yesterday.

Eighty-eight people are killed by gunfire in the US every day.

When it comes to gun violence, we are not in the league.

When it comes to terrorism, we haven’t yet got started.

Notes From The Sydney Film Festival (3)


In landscapes as impressive as those of Lawrence of Arabia, at a time when Lawrence’s raiders were at work in the sandhills, two Bedouin brothers, Theeb and Hussein, assist a British officer across a heinous desert and find themselves under fire at a water-hole and scrambling for their lives in a series of darkened caves. A prolonged echoing gunfight ensues; the officer and Hussein are killed; Theeb, who is about fifteen, confronts a romantic-looking wounded enemy (like Howard Keel in The Desert Song) who, shrugging, says, ‘Get it over with. Kill me.’ And he cannot.

A wary comradeship follows; a perilous journey with the one surviving camel in which either may kill the other, towards Damascus through territories commanded by their common tribal enemies; a bonding; theological quarrels; an arrival. And then…

Structured like a Western, it probes the deeps and sorrows of family loyalty and hundred-year-long tribal wars in cultures as old as Abraham while trains, at last, creep across the horizon and munching dromedaries no longer know who their owner is.

An extraordinary work of anthropology, history and character-under-pressure, it is called Theeb, was co-written by Naji Abu Nowar its director, and stars Jacir Eid, Hussan Mutlag, and Hussein Salameh. And it should be seen.

Recommended Viewing

Paul Collins and Gerard Henderson on Lateline.

The Thirty-Nine Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (277)

‘The Pope is not infallible, oops,’ Tony Abbott said after Pope Francis noted ‘the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor’ and urged swift action on climate change as ‘a moral imperative’.

‘He’s out of touch,’ Abbott went on. ‘He’s been too long locked up in the slums of Brazil to see the big picture.’ The Pope, responding with rapid spleen, called him and his kind ‘an immense pile of filth’. To this Gerard Henderson, a lofty Christ-munching Liberal voter, called the Holy Vicar ‘just another latte-sipping lefty wastrel of public money’ and joined Abbott in beseeching Pell, their father confessor, to set himself up as Anti-Pope in Avignon and there denounce all scientific finding ‘since a hundred years before Galileo’.

Jeb Bush agreed with this. ‘This greasy wop had better keep his fat fingers out of my family’s oil millions,’ he said, and he lost the Latino vote including his wife’s in thirty seconds. ‘We know where he lives. And we’ve got the drones to blow him up, and his wanky Sistine teashop, whenever I feel like it. And the snipers to shoot him when he comes staggering out of the flames.’

Fran Kelly, a Liberal voter, continued to allege it was wrong for Bill Shorten to strike deals with employers when he was a union leader and it was his job to do just that. She was particularly shocked that some deals were good for everyone concerned. It was not his business to get good outcomes for everyone, she said, he must have been up to something. She continued to do this for fifteen minutes in a voice of breathless awe.

Turnbull amazed his colleagues by saying what they did should be constitutional. It was a thought that had not struck them lately. They had been kidnapping children, cyberbullying young men into burning themselves to death, assisting twelve murderers to escape justice on Manus, making sure a breastfeeding baby on Nauru should get no breast milk or shelter from the rain. The idea of behaving well, let alone constitutionally, was alien to them. Most of them were Catholics, and incensed that the Pontiff wanted to save the planet when they proposed to destroy it, a noble plan that would advantage some venture capitalists for a decade and a half before the seas rose and engulfed it. This policy was thought by Fran Kelly to be ‘excellent’, and she giggled a little at the thrill of it. Paul Collins, without much hope, shook his head as he prayed for her soul.

Abbott said Labor was ‘rolling out the red carpet’ for terrorists coming home to Australia, where Labor proposed to put them in gaol. It was better they prosper in Syria, Abbott grinned, where their side was winning, and murder Kurds untroubled by his interference. He wanted to be of help to terrorists, as he did to people smugglers. He would do everything he could to sustain them in their business model.

It was a long time since he had been thought by anyone to be sane. His nickname ‘the Mad Monk’ was twenty or twenty-five years old. His manic jogging, frequent beach nudity, attack on the morning-after Pill, undiminished trust in Vatican Roulette, his begging of his daughters to stay virgin, his threatening of his sister with hellfire, his public embracement of a bastard offspring who was not his own, his mistaking yesterday of ‘Turnbull’ for ‘turnbacks’, his weekly Christ-munching and nightly skyped confessions to Pell the paedophile protector were onrolling evidence of his dementia pugilistica, as were his grinning goofs in parliament on what seemed a daily basis: ‘you bet you am’, ‘the suppository of all wisdom’. It seemed he might be on some drug. Or maybe it was just the hubris of the intellectually diminished.

Turnbull roved the corridor frowning. Maybe he had the numbers, or maybe he did not.

Bret Walker said Abbott had lied about him and asked that he apologise. He had lied about him to parliament, a resignation offence, it was wearily noted, but…everything he said in parliament these days was a lie or an exaggeration or a malapropism and every lie was a sign of dementia and we maybe shouldn’t trouble our pretty little heads about this any more, it was just his way. What amazed Bret Walker, though, was how he claimed that he, Bret, had said the exact opposite of what he had actually said and then added, ‘Bret, I guess, has changed his mind.’ This was a lie so big that Bret seemed, when speaking of it, enflamed enough to make plans to stalk Abbott on his morning Manly jog and knuckle him.

It was thought by certain historians that when it came, all in all, to being ‘weak on terrorism’ Abbott was even weaker than George ‘Soft Cock’ Brandis. When Monis asked to talk to him he said he was ‘too busy’. When two female hostages, frantic, had begged to talk to him, he said ‘I am a busy man.’ When Putin the terrorist had shot down a plane and killed some Australians and turned up to be ‘shirtfronted’ in Brisbane, he cuddled a koala with him. He forgave the terrorists of Manus when they bashed and stabbed and shot and stomped on sixty-two people and killed one and then tiptoed away whistling, unsacked, unadmonished, unreproved. ‘These are matters for the PNG police,’ he said. ‘It’s nothing to do with me.’ And he snickered unattractively.

He had become, some said, the sneakiest, creepiest jellyback ever to shake his limp fist on television and with his other hand holding his limp cock say huskily, ‘You bet you am.’

Turnbull, a converted Catholic, said he was sure that Abbott, a cradle Catholic, would obey the Holy Father’s injunction to ‘love the Earth’ and ‘love the poor’ and thus abandon his anti-environment lunacy and save his soul.

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

And so it went.

Recommended Viewing

The latest Clarke & Dawe.

The Limerick Competition

Many of the entries were ill-rhymed and sluggishly-rhythmed, but some were very good indeed.

These included:

Phil Kelly on 11/05/15 at 6.35 pm.

Agent 99 (on Abbott) on 17/05/15 at 8.43 am.

Peter Brown (in a Hawking voice) on 18/05/15 at 9.27 am.

Peter Brown (on the Pope) on 21/05/15 at 6.16 pm.

Peter Brown (on oil) on 21/05/15at 6.16 pm.

Anon on 24/05/15 at 11.15 pm.

Don Quixote (on Abbott) on 22/05/15 at 2.18 pm.

There was a fine ‘Ancient Morrison’ from Quixote also, and an excellent alternative National Anthem to the tune of Waltzing Matilda from Chris Hunter on 2/06/15 at 5.22 pm.

I will sort out four limerick winners, one of whom is clearly Peter Brown, print them, and send them the offered prizes, a copy of The Hewson Tapes and A Local Man, and an invitation to lunch at Macchiavelli’s or a similar restaurant in Brisbane, Melbourne, Newcastle, Bowral or whatever, at which we go dutch.

The best entry, on Bill and Monica, proved to have been from another competition, in America, fifteen years ago.

Chris Hunter will get a special prize, yet to be decided, for his anthem.

Certain Housekeeping Matters (266)

I will from time to time add reviews of good films, and there are many of them, to Notes From The Sydney Film Festival (2) as I remember them and have time to set them down.

A Prediction

Abbott has had a big press conference about the North, with Truss, Robb and Barnaby Joyce at his side, proposing billions in aid to that region.

It is likely this is a diversion from his quarrel with Malcolm Turnbull, who may in the next few days overthrow him.

Turnbull thinks it is wrong that Dutton, now famed as the first free-elected Great Ape since early Neolithic times, should decide who should be castrated of their citizenship without a jury trial, a conviction and a judgment of the sort that has been since Magna Carta the approved way of doing things in a Westminster democracy.

It is likely, though not certain, that Turnbull will resign over this, and with Bishop’s collusion strike at the leadership and win it, sack Hockey and put another Budget quickly together and call an August election he might win.

There would not, otherwise, have been this massive change of subject, and the fear in Abbott’s eyes.

Greek Love Revisited

In the next few days it will become apparent that the ‘euro crisis’ lately festering round Greek debt is a Friedmanite sado-fantasy and will spell the end of that fool economic theory forever.

Greece will leave the Eurozone, borrow some roubles, print some drachmas, agree with Putin what their value should be, and then pay back, with fresh-printed money, their aggro German creditors who will have to take it or leave it, or declare war once again on Greece, a foreign policy that went badly last time.

Tourism will return to the Greek antiquities and pleasant islands and their harbourside coffee-houses because of the new, cheap exchange rate, and all will be well.

It will not be well, though, for the Eurozone, an unjust fuckwitted sado-monetarist dungeon whose inmates will make a Great Escape from it in a year or so. And Britain will be shown to have been wise to not join it.

And so it will go.

And we will see what we shall see.

In Twenty-Six Words

DAISH agents have killed no Australians, ever. Yet they are called the most dangerous people, ever.

Abusive Australian ex-husbands kill a woman a week. Discuss.

The Terrorism Scorecard (3)

It is a hundred years and one hundred and eighty-four days since an Australian was killed by an act of terrorism in Australia.

When a death at last occurs in this way, it will be noted here.

The Thirty-Eight Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (273)

It became known that a boat had made it to Ashmore Reef, Australian territory, thus showing the boats had not been stopped, and people on it were kidnapped, imprisoned, put on two other boats, given insufficient petrol, ended up crowded on one boat, and shipwrecked on a reef off Roti, where wads of money were seized by the police from some fishermen bribed by ‘certain Australian persons’ to sail the wrong way. Some boat people were interviewed and photographed by the ABC and told this story, the same story that Indonesian police had told earlier. The Senate required Dutton to show documents confirming or denying the story and Dutton, grunting and scratching himself, refused to, and crawled under the table chittering and took off his shoes. It was thought he would not long remain in parliament after scientific evidence had emerged that he was ‘genetically not human, but a member of an adjacent species’, one that shouted, waved its elbows, grew purple in the face, suffered chronic constipation and whooped noisily each month when defecating.

It was not established why any person should be intercepted on his way to New Zealand, and sent forcibly to Indonesia, where he did not want to be. Nor was it established why Indonesia should look after him. Abbott shouted he would ‘do anything, within the law, to stop the boats, and keep them stopped,’ even those that were not headed here, and send them instead to a place and a culture unfamiliar to them.

Plibersek asked Julie Bishop if she was sorry now that she had said, two weeks ago, that people smugglers’ money was funding terrorism, now that it was known that some of this money had come from Australian taxpayers. Bishop riposted wittily, ‘God, I hate your hairdo!’ The government benches rocked with laughter. Robb signed a treaty allowing China to end all manufacturing in Australia except what China did itself with imported Chinese slaves. Abbott praised him for this. ‘It’s good for Australia,’ he said, ‘it’s good for China, ‘it’s good for humankind. And also, heh heh, Peter Dutton.’ Brandis was surprised to find himself under investigation for seizing half the money for the Arts and giving it to his nancy mates. He invoked the Nuremberg Defence, ‘Goebbels did it, why can’t I?’, but the Senate came after him anyway.

Di Natale signed an agreement with Abbott that an inquiry would ‘look into’ taxing egregiously wealthy superannuees two hours before Abbott, in the House at Question Time, said ‘No superannuation money will ever be trousered by me in my lifetime.’ Told he was being played for a mug, Di Natale said, ‘Don’t worry, Abbott’s got weeks at best in his job and Turnbull, his successor, will do the right thing on superannuation, you wait and see.’ He then signalled that no other part of the Budget would get through and chuckled attractively. An odour of ‘dead man walking’ thereafter attended Abbott wheresoever he went, and his colleagues’ faces fell when they caught sight of him. He had started making ‘captain’s calls’ again, lately concealing from Cabinet what the Solicitor-General had advised, that the Dutton Amendment, allowing that Minister, while whooping and scratching himself, to ‘decitizenise’ anyone in his line of vision whose smell annoyed him, was unconstitutional. And the numbers grew for Turnbull hourly.

Abdul Maliq Mollah, a Rohinga, asked why he had been stopped in international waters and with sixty-seven other asylum seekers on their way to New Zealand taken by a bribed captain back to Indonesia. Nazmul Hasan, a Bangla Deshi, agreed they were in international waters — he had looked at a navigational machine that confirmed this — when Dutton’s pirates had kidnapped them, which as he understood it was against the law of the sea. Di Natale asked Brandis if this was true. ‘An astonishing question,’ Brandis expostulated. ‘The only people we bribe are criminals and their account of it cannot be trusted.’ Asked if it was true, and the kidnapping had taken place, he said, ‘The government does not comment on operational matters.’ Asked who would get his Arts money, he said, ‘These are operational matters also.’

The Pope denounced Tony Abbott, and his confessor Pell, for their views on climate change. It was rumoured that Pell, incensed, now planned in hugger-mugger to set himself up as anti-Pope in Avignon and there denounce all science since Galileo, and the ’round earth heresy’ which would occasion, under his primacy, excommunication. Alarm spread through the Vatican that this nutter was in charge of their money.

A baby girl born in Australia but not, for some reason, an Australian citizen, began to die in Nauru, in cold, in rain, in a leaky tent , when her frantic mother could no longer breastfeed her and she refused to imbibe the infant formula. It was thought by the whooping and scratching primate Dutton that she deserved this fate because of the date when she was engendered by people who thought they might have a future in a better country, Australia.

It was proving one of the worst countries in the world.

The Terrorism Scorecard (2)

It is a hundred years and one hundred and eighty-three days since an Australian was killed by an act of terrorism in Australia.

When such a death at last occurs it will be noted here.

And So It Went: Ferguson’s The Killing Season (2)

Ferguson’s masterpiece continues ferocious and fair — and superbly paced, narrated and edited as the first act was — and does no harm, as it happens, to the Labor Party. It presents a number of good, smart people in a difficult situation, and the different, conscienceful, anguished ways they reacted to it.

The difficult situation was Rudd’s paralysis. More exhausted than he knew, he came home from a near-triumph in Copenhagen, believing it a tremendous defeat, and was in no emotional shape to bring on a Double Dissolution he would else have won easily, and had long been the government strategy. Faced with this, various people — Burke, Arbib, Feeney, Farrell, Bishop — asked Gillard to prepare herself for a dread sudden moment that might soon occur. Gillard stuck with Rudd and then, on the day of the coup, with fierce reluctance did what she had to do.

There is nothing evil, or reprehensible, or inappropriate, or even unusual in this. Similar caucus movements preceded the downfall of Churchill, Thatcher, Howard, O’Farrell, Greiner, Chikarovsky, Brogden, Beanland, Buswell, Brumby, Baillieu, Newman. When a leader has ‘lost it’, he is often, not always, replaced. Howard was not. Abbott may be,

What is evident is the decency of all involved. Burke on the one side, Albo on the other, Swan and Gillard in the middle, want only what is best for the party and the country, and will therefore stop an Abbott Prime Ministership, which they fear will be as calamitous as the one we now see, in any way they can. In the mix of all this, Bill Shorten is nothing like the principal conspirator, more a facilitator of numbers the Burke Arbib push want.

It will do him no harm. No significant extra harm was done to Rudd either. He had the bad luck to go without his precious legislation to Copenhagen and be — therefore, perhaps — narrowly defeated there. His despondency followed; an illness; an ill-considered backdown on climate change; a couple of bad polls; after which his carapace of righteousness made him unreachable; and so it went.

He may or may not have won the election. It is not certain he would not have broken down in the middle of it. The night of the long knives was hasty, ramshackle and too long uncertain; Gillard’s speech ill-judged (‘lost its way’); but she would have won easily had not the vile toad Oakes, who had already brought down Whitlam and was proud of it, and persecuted Kernot into oblivion, published Cabinet leaks that diminished her and rattled her campaign; and had she not said ‘the real Julia’; and had she kept the parliament sitting till November.

It’s a good story, and a great documentary, by our best television reporter, and it should be seen.

The Terrorism Scorecard (1)

It is a hundred years and one hundred and eighty two days since an Australian was killed by an act of terrorism in Australia.

I will update this figure every day until a fatality, at last, occurs.

The Thirty-Four Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (272)

Phillip Ruddock said it was cheaper to pay people smugglers to turn round than take in genuine refugees and shelter them. Told it would be even cheaper to shoot the refugees and the people smugglers and steal their boat and sell it in Cairns, he said, ‘It’s not all about the money. It’s also about defeating Labor.’ Told the money we saved this way would be paid, in hundreds of millions, by the refugees’ principal carers, the Indonesians, he said, ‘Well the comfort is, they’ve got less money now, we’ve reduced their aid.’

Asked in Question Time why he disagreed with himself, Dutton said, ‘At least we had the guts to stop the boats.’ Told rewarding smugglers for punishing refugees was widely thought to be wrong, by well over seven billion people across the world, a significant majority, he said, ‘Watch it, sunshine. I’ll soon have the power to take away your citizenship, and I’ll do it too.’

Abbott celebrated Magna Carta, which said no man could be deprived of his citizenship without a fair trial. Asked about this contradiction, he said, ‘This is another millennium, and I’m in charge of it. Beep! Beep! Arriva! Arriva!’ His madness made frantic the Ministers behind him, who stopped their ears.

Ipsos said Abbott would lose thirty-five seats, Morgan fifty. Newspoll, a Murdoch entity, only twenty-five. It alleged that only 3 percent out of 12 percent of Independents favoured Labor. The actual figure was 7.5 percent, and brought the Labor vote correctly, to where Morgan said it was, 54.5.

Ross Cameron said no Australian would care how the boats were stopped, just so long as they stopped coming. Richo said they hadn’t stopped coming and he, Cameron, was a piece of filth. What you are doing, he said, is like paying bikies not to deliver Ice, and to take it back to Perth please, instead of putting them in gaol. He grew very red in the face, and seemed about to knuckle Cameron as the titles rolled. Paul Murray, bewildered, said he too was under the impression that paying human scum taxpayers’ money to commit vile crimes was ‘possibly morally dodgy, in, er, some contexts’, but he might of course be mistaken, and he would await with interest overnight instructions on what his latest ramshackle, blithering twist of conscience should be.

On Q&A Brett Walker said he never dreamed the Liberals would do this, deprive a citizen of his citizenship without a trial and a conviction. Bronwyn Bishop said they were doing it to ‘keep the people safe’. Gillian Triggs said the torture of children was wrong. Noel Pearson, a Liberal voter, said it wasn’t that many children. Bronwyn Bishop said Gillian Triggs should go into politics if she wanted to talk about human rights. Human rights was none of her business. Triggs said on the contrary, it was what she was paid to look into. Bronwyn said, ‘Well, it’s the first I’ve heard of it.’ Paul Bongiorno on RN said he was amazed that a Speaker, who was supposed to be impartial, should speak in this way to a defender of liberty on Magna Carta day. She was not impartial, he said, and her existence on earth was ‘regrettable’.

Asked if Abbott saying ‘by hook or by crook’ meant money had been paid to people smugglers Mathias Cormann said, ‘Zeez are on-vorter mudders eet ees our prektees nert to comment on. Eet meye vell bee zat Rudd und Gillard peyed smagglers to drown cheeldren arlso, but I vould nivva, nivva, nivva zeye zat. Nivva ivva zeye zat.’ Asked if his government drowned chiioren, he said, ‘Zees eez an in-vorter mudder I kennut pozziblee comment on.’

The Vice-President of Indonesia, Jusuf Kalla, said bribery was wrong, and Australia shouldn’t do it. He may well have thought kidnapping children was wrong too, and dumping them on a reef, but he didn’t say so. Abbott was amazed this person existed. In his psychotic panorama of the known world, there were no dissenting voices. Arriva! Arriva! Beep! Beep!

Fran Kelly, a Liberal voter, quoted with warm approval a Newspoll that had Labor on 51 and once more concealed an always accurate poll, Morgan, which had them on 54.5. It was the hundred and twenty-first Morgan she had concealed. It was a poll whose very existence annoyed her.

Julie Bishop said Indonesia should look to its own borders, and drive back women and weeping children into the prevailing typhoons. Told there were fifteen hundred islands in that country, and a quarter of a million miles of coastline, she said, ‘They should try harder.’ Told we had taken away half their aid money, which made it harder for them to anything, she said, ‘Go fuck yourself’, and sulked into her gin, which her yellow-gartered Malvolio, Peter Hartcher, topped up with vermouth and lemon rinds and murmured a sonnet to her crossed eyes, lovingly.

Widodo, shaking his head, said, ‘Another Australian crazy person. What do they put in the water down there?’

‘Asylum seekers,’ Jusuf Kalla quipped, and the Cabinet roared with laughter.

Some scientists declared their genetic studies had shown that Barnaby Joyce and Peter Dutton were descended from another branch of monkey than ‘Lucy’, the mother of humankind, and their thick-browed furry-knuckled ancestors had waged several wars on her and her kind. Their common tendency, to loud furies, puce faces and constipation, were shared, the experts noted, ‘with few other beings currently present on Earth, most of them, alas, in Queensland.’

And so it went.

And we will see what we shall see.

Today’s Morgan

Labor is on 54.5 two party preferred, but on the second week it was obviously more than this.

The base vote was ALP 37.5, Coalition 37.5, Greens 13.5, PUP 1.5, KAP 1 percent, Independents/Others 9 percent.

57 percent of women prefrred Labor, 51.5 percent of men. 67 percent of those under 24. 59.5 percent of those aged 25 to 34. 59 percent of of those aged 35 to 49. 51 percent of those aged 50 to 64. And only 43.5 percent of those over 65.

In Victoria Labor scored 62, in Tasmania 57.5, in NSW 50.5, in SA 55.5, in Queensland 51.5 and in WA only 47.

This result would deprive the Coalition of fifty or fifty-four seats. It’s probably one more percent than that now, which would mean they would lose sixty or sixty-two seats, and have only twenty-eight left.

This is the accurate poll.

And so it goes.

A Word To The Wise

It’s worth noting how, in the Murdoch Age, the only political tactic that reliably works is the smear of criminality.

Peter Slipper was said to have sexually harassed, in the office, a male staffer, and he lost his seat. Craig Thomson was said to have spent half a million stolen dollars on whores, and he lost his seat. Mike Rann was said to have sexually used a waitress and lost, sixteen months later, the Premiership. Don Dunstan was accused, in a memoir, of homosexual favouritism, broke down, and left office.

Turnbull wrongly accused Swan and Rudd of corruptly using a second-hand ute and lost office in the backwash of his mistake, after Godwin Grech was found to have forged an email.

And it has taken Labor a while to realise there are votes in the same sort of smear. In the criminality of Abbott, a defender of paedophiles, and of Morrison, an assister of murderers, and, yes, Dutton, whose agents had peeked at Hanson Young in the shower, and, yes, paid money to people smugglers to send fugitive people in leaky boats to Indonesia, which did not want them.

Criminality is a ripe and foetid pool of disgusting Liberal tendency. Abbott’s friendship with Pell, the Rolf Harris of the Curia. Hockey’s crooked arrangements with his landlady/wife. Pyne’s two ‘dates’ with Ashby. Brough’s framing of Slipper. Brandis’s hateful pursuit of Triggs for doing her job, and his attempt to bribe her into another. His kindly response to Monis, the mass murderer. Abbott’s abandonment of his pregnant bride. And so on. A smear a week will be useful to the cause.

The Greens have been doing it for a while. They have mentioned the children Morrison and Dutton let be buggered on Nauru. They have mourned Reza Barati, and cursed his twelve murderers, still at large, and the Minister, Morrison, who let them go. They have noted the tortured children, and the women bullied into abortions, on Christmas Island. They have said traumatising children isn’t fair.

And the Liberal vote is going south because of this. Because the Greens have plugged away, correctly, at the Liberals’ criminality.

It’s worth noting, comrades, that the obvious works.

And we will see what we shall see.

The Lesser Breeds

(First published by Independent Australia)

For those who care about these things it’s worth considering just how much the Kipling concept of ‘the lesser breeds without the law’ infuses and governs Tony Abbott’s thinking, and much of his public utterance.

He says he won’t, and mustn’t, reveal if he is bribing people smugglers or not, because this would be telling the enemy what he is up to, and they, the enemy, mustn’t know what he is up to.

In this, he proclaims his belief that the smugglers won’t talk to anybody. That they don’t have mobile phones, or ipads, or access to Facebook, or to a public phone or a post office, and they wouldn’t, without his permission, without his express imperial permission, pass on to their cousins and uncles and high school friends the glad fresh news of how to make money safely in the people smuggling trade, and not go to gaol for it.

This belief I believe is racist, or ‘otherist’, or ‘heathenist’, as I like to call it: the belief that obedient darkies lack the power of speech. They are mere chittering jungle animals who know little, and learn little, and never talk about it.

It presumes the same lack of speech in the asylum seekers also. Though many of them have a tertiary education, a mobile phone, a degree in computer science and relatives in Australia or their home countries they are in touch with, it is thought they will keep his on-water methods secret if he wishes them to. These are the methods – piracy, kidnap, bribery – which have ruined their lives thus far. Of course they would. Why wouldn’t they?

This attitude goes beyond the bizarre, and approaches the insane. Abbott continues to say he has ‘stopped the boats’ while six thousand people in boats mass around Malaysia. How is it they are stopped?

They are still coming. He certainly turned back one boat, by bribing its captain and crew, but it was going to New Zealand, which would have welcomed, we are told, the people on it.

He kidnapped, or assisted in the kidnapping of people bound for New Zealand, which wanted them, and sent them to Indonesia, which most emphatically did not want them. Indonesia would have to spend four million a year looking after them, for the next thirty years perhaps, and most emphatically did not want them.

It is pretty clear that piracy and kidnap, including the kidnap of children and pregnant women, is against the law in most countries (except, one imagines, Islamic State), and in the cold clear light of Magna Carta requires any public official, however highly placed, to go on trial for it, and, if convicted, go to gaol for it. Bribery is also a crime in most jurisdictions, and in China is punished by a single bullet to the back of the head, and attracts imprisonment in a hundred and sixty countries.

But…the racist attitude of Abbott and Bishop and Morrison and Dutton proclaims, insanely, that this law does not apply to them.

It is as near to the cry of ‘I am Napoleon!’ from an old-fashioned madman as any we have lately heard.

Today’s Ipsos

Today’s Ipsos poll bodes much worse news for the Coalition than first appears to be the case.

There is a margin of error of 4.6 percent in New South Wales, 5.3 in Victoria, 5.9 in Queensland, 9.1 in South Australia, and 7.9 in Western Australia. They might put Labor on 54.6, 62.3, 55.9, 60.1 and 59.9 in those states. This would leave the Coalition with about twelve seats.

Its robocalling method is dodgy also. Few people want to talk to a machine, and eighty thousand this time refused the call, and it could be asked how sane, and how old, are the fourteen hundred who took it — on landlines, on nights when everyone under forty is out of the house. In 2013 this method predicted Swan, Rudd, Bowen, Clare, Burke and Dreyfus would lose their seats. And this was wrong.

It shows, though, 68 percent in favour of gay marriage, 86 percent of those under 25, and Abbott in an impossible position therefore. His backbenchers will not allow him a conscience vote. And any election would bring him down on this issue alone.

It also shows 80 percent of Sydneysiders think a first home now unaffordable. Joe’s fool statement, ‘They must be affordable, people are buying them’, has dashed, forever, all hope that he will be taken seriously, ever again.

The Ipsos figure, 53 percent to Labor, two party preferred, is 54.5 when Independent voters were asked who they would prefer, now, this year, not who they preferred in 2013. This, plus the overall margin of error, puts Labor, perhaps, on 57.1.

No federal government has won by this margin since 1931.

Is it all over for the Coalition? Probably.

And we will see what we shall see.

Notes From The Sydney Film Festival (2)


In grey post-Communist drabness a boy is beaten up in a parking lot, comes home cut and bruised, sleeps, gets up late, is listless and incommunicative for an hour or so. Seeing his wounds his plump overattentive irritating mother demands he go to the hospital with his father, a burly, taciturn, sombre busdriver. They are not keen, but they go anyway. The X-rays show nothing. He stays in his room sketching, texting, refusing food, sometimes phoning his high school girlfriend. Then he is found prone by the bathtub. His condition is serious. His parents get him to the hospital, negotiate its bureaucracy, sit, wait…

The film has no music and only one close-up. The performances are realistic and quiet, and suffused with that Croatian stoicism in which anger simmers. It is shot like a Bresson, overheard rather than enacted. It is a very, very fine film.

And it deals with so much of what we see today in every modern society. Kids cut off from their family by the new technology. An only son, a worried, nagging mother he won’t talk to. So much he won’t talk about. And the fear that all of us have when seeing him off to Kings Cross, or Schoolies’ Week, that we may not see him again.

The story has more to it than this. It looks at hospital bureaucracy, understaffed and run ragged, listless, uncaring police procedure, and the impossibility of a legal punitive response, in a post-religious world and a degraded, third world, black-market society. He was a schoolkid, so was his assailant, it’s none of our affair. Another bureaucracy might handle it, maybe. Go down the road

It’s called These Are The Rules, and the auteur, Ognjen Svilicic, said afterwards it was based on two stories he saw in the newspaper. The mother and father, played by Emir Hadzihafizbegovic and Jasna Zalica, convey a stifled, underpaid lifetime in a country smashed and rended by a civil war they never speak of, with eloquent sullen equanimity. It should be seen.


One of the most upsetting non-war films I have seen, though The Magdalen Sisters comes close, and In The Valley Of Elah, A Second Chance deals, with biblical force, with a stolen baby, what most of us would think a justifiably stolen baby, and some shattering sudden horrors that follow.

Andreas, a promising young detective (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) with a stressed wife and a restless baby son, is called to a domestic, and comes upon a jobless, wife-beating drug addict, and his battered addictive wife, whose baby son is covered in shit. The family court allows them to retain the baby and Anders’s baby dies, and his now mad wife won’t let him, or anyone, take the corpse away from her and threatens to kill herself if this happens. He sedates her, takes the corpse, and while the addicted couple sleep, swaps the dead baby for theirs and takes it home to his grieving angry wife. She doesn’t want it, this is not her baby, she threatens suicide again, then she seems to begin to accept it, breastfeed it, and…well, I shouldn’t reveal what happens.

Anders Thomas Jensen wrote it, as he did that other biblical masterpiece Brothers, and Susanne Bier directed both. The performance are astonishingly good (the star of Brothers, Ulrich Thomsen, superb as Andreas’s drunken co-detective, comrade, and eventual nemesis), and the tragic impact (this is domestic abuse, this is addiction, this is post-natal depression, this is the modern world, there are things that nanny-state government has no answer for) breaks through the cellophane, and grabs you by the throat.

This is a fine, fine film, and it should be seen.


One woman in five in American colleges is sexually assaulted, and few, for a long time, have complained about it, either to police or their campus authorities. This is changing, and the counter-revolution is growing, and the university establishments cowering before the public evidence of the new twentysomething feminist wave, much of it in this film.

It is called The Hunting Ground. The girls in it are startlingly beautiful, or most of them are, often in a fresh, WASP, Meg Ryan way, and though the stories they tell, some involving being secretly drugged at ‘mixers’, are pretty horrific, it seems more…fictional…and, well, homogenised, peroxided, manicured, than the subject seems to demand. As propaganda, I suppose, this is a good move; but…

Most interesting, in a way, is what it tells us about male culture in America: the football jocks with fathers in the military, or the prison system, or the rodeo circuit, to whom girls are just pom-pommed playthings. And onen is reminded of the Playboy bunnies in Apocalypse Now, and what this tells us of that culture, and how little has changed, in forty-eight years. One also recalls Of Men And War, and the he-man locker-room culture in it that for most of its life lives apart from women, and meets them only for sexual relief and procreation, and relates to its friends — in the locker room, the encounter-group, the prayer group — with leering, carnal boastfulness.

I have a problem with this film, though everything it is true and proportionate and stirring and, in its way, incendiary. It does not deal with the culture, the society, the national history, the sweaty underpants, the group-masturbation in summer camps, that made college boys this way. And it should, I think.

It is directed by Kirby Dick, and very, very informative, but incendiary only, I think, at a more distant level than it should be.

The Forty-One Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (271)

Sliding into idiocy, the small but perfectly formed Mark Kenny, long an Abbott bromance, chided his lost love Tony for his flirtation with people smugglers, then praised him, again, for ‘stopping the boats’. He did not realise that the boats had not stopped. Thronged with six thousand people they were clogging the seas round Malaysia. Paid with Dutton’s money they were chugging back to Indonesia. How many more had come, and been ‘turned back’ with bribes in this way? It was not known. Had the boats stopped? It seemed not. The latest, intercepted three times, was only last week. But Kenny, an idiot, parrotting Abbott, said they had.

Expert opinion, assessing the evidence, deduced that Dutton would, must, go to gaol for people smuggling, and Morrison for assisting Manus murderers and bullying young men into burning themselves to death in Geelong. Dutton was thought the stupidest public official since Neolithic times. He had with a song cursed a woman, Sarah Hanson Young, for complaining that she had been peeked at, saying this was a lie and she was ‘notoriously unreliable’. It was immediately found to be true. He joined Brandis in cursing Gillian Triggs for having revealed the maltreatment of children on Manus, saying this was ‘none of her business’ and demanding she resign.

The Indonesian foreign ministry called ‘a new low’ the bribes paid to Indonesian fishermen to kidnap people bound for New Zealand and drop them on a reef off the isle of Roti, one of them a beastfeeding mother. Bishop and Dutton said the bribes hadn’t been paid, though photographs of the piles of banknotes were taken and published and the Roti police chief said they had, and sixty-four refugees. Abbott, yapping, repeatedly said in different interviews he would ‘do what it takes’, ‘by hook or by crook’ to’ ‘stop the boats’, and he had stopped the boats, though boats with six thousand people on them were presently massed around Malaysia and the greatest movement of peoples since World War 2 was occurring round the planet on land and sea. No commentator, though, said the boats had not stopped, the naked Emperor had said they had and it was their duty to agree with him, and no commentator spoke of the money it would cost Indonesia to look after these sixty-two people for the next twenty years or what Widodo, in this context, would think of the aid money Abbott had cut to his country.

Fran Kelly, a Liberal voter, said we would ‘probably never know’ if money had been paid to the people smugglers or not, by naval personnel who kept stacks of American backnotes on their vessel for that purpose. It was as if the Indonesian police had no way of investigating it, and the refugees had no power to speak of it, and the police chief of Roti, who had confiscated the money, was lying about where it came from. Liberal voters are like that: they imagine the lesser breeds have no way of knowing anything, or building anything, or fighting anyone with anything but clubs and spears. Nobody on the programme spoke, moreover, of the unfairness of some people smugglers getting twenty years in Australian prisons and some getting seven thousand Australian dollars to take home and feed their families, or of the unfairness of burning the boats of one group and sparing the boats of the other. Nobody asked how often this happened, and how many boatloads had been thus treated in the past year. Nobody asked if it was legal, or how it could be, since it breached all the international laws on the the assessment of refugees, the kidnapping of children, and the pushing out to sea in leaky boats of wailing, pregnant women and their little children, and how this looked to the world, and, to, yes, the civilised coast guards of Lampedusa and Miami, who fished pleading fugitives out of the sea and gave them food and shelter onshore because it was the decent thing to do.

Abbott’s insanity increased through Friday, as he repeatedly asserted he could not say, never ever, if he was offering bribes to people smugglers or not, because if they knew we were it would encourage them. In this he assumed that the people smugglers did not talk to each other, or to their neighbours, or display on Facebook the wads of money Dutton’s uniformed fools had lately lavished on them. He believed he could keep that secret, and everything secret, and he could get away with anything, including, once more, insulting Widodo with expensive new human burdens and humiliating Bishop, his deputy, who wanted his job, by not letting her know that he was in league with criminals and water-thieves, and by keeping Hockey, the most ludicrous Treasurer in world history, who he somehow believed could easily convince the buffeted nation that he knew what he was doing, that he could add, and prioritise, and decide who was deserving of three or four thousand more dollars a year.

And so it went.

And we will see what we shall see.

Recommended Reading

James Massola in the smh, page 25.

Peter Hartcher, page 26.

Editorial, page 37.

The Thirty-Two Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (270)

Abbott said we should join a twelve hundred year long war of Shi-ite and Sunni on the Shi-ite side and with five hundred or a thousand Australian soldiers win it in a year or so. Told that this new war might take another thousand years and need a million soldiers he said, ‘Whatever it takes. By hook or by crook. Any cost is worth it. The Death Cult is coming. The terrorists cannot be persuaded. We must fight the terrorists. We must fight them on the beaches, and in the streets.’ Told there had been no deaths in Australia by terrorism in a hundred years and six months, he said, ‘Don’t trouble me with details. Pray take your quibbles to our military maestro, our Field Marshal Montgomery, Kevin Andrews.’

Dutton meanwhile had decided to go against Abbott’s advice and not fight people smugglers, but persuade them, and he gave one captain two hundred thousand dollars to take his customers to Indonesia. He denied it, of course, but Abbott owned up to it, or almost, on 2GB, saying, ‘By hook or by crook, whatever it takes, whatever it takes to deter the people smugglers, we’ll do daily. We’ve stopped the boats, we’ve really stopped them, and we must keep on stopping them, every day.’ Told the money would not deter them but attract them, like flies to a honey-pot, he said, ‘Don’t trouble me with details. Pray take your quibbles to our Orde Wingate, Scott Morrison.’ Morrison was found under his house, his toes in his ears, speaking in tongues. ‘I am no a homophobe!’ he shouted. ‘And sodomites will burn a billion years in Hell!’

Word of Abbott’s insanity spread wide across the known world. It was recalled he had defended an already convicted paedophile, Nestor, spoken up for the paedophile protector, Hollingworth, abolished the car industry, tried to abolish the morning-after Pill, nearly abolished wind farms, knighted the Duke of Edinburgh, acclaimed his daughters’ virginity, commended the Japanese for the ‘skill’ and ‘honour’ with which they had sunk the Manly Ferry, abandoned his pregnant bride at the altar, embraced as his only begotten son an agawp sound man engendered, as it turned out, by his cuckolder, and nightly confessed on skype to Pell, a vainglorious fraud in a dress whom the Pope was about to excommunicate for crimes against children. And it was thought when he bade his Cabinet ‘Come to Jesus!, he might be soon for the loony-hutch, and speaking in tongues in a shared cell with Morrison.

Indonesia considered arresting Dutton and Morrison for people-smuggling, and asked Brandis if they might be extradited, and face various serious charges that might occasion a firing-squad. Brandis said he was a believer in Magna Carta, and habeus corpus and the rest of it, but he disapproved on the other hand of the shooting of white Australians, and he would ‘think about it’.

Ruddock, who used to accuse boat people of being terrorists who had kidnapped the children with them, was asked if he found ‘an abhorrent act’ or ‘a shameful act’ the millions paid to people smugglers to go home, and said he wasn’t sure it had happened, and if it had it was an ‘on-water matter’ he couldn’t talk about it, ever. If it had, Don Rothwell, an expert, said, the government will have breached international law, and Annastacia Palaszczuk, daughter of a refugee who had come by boat, thought for a while of arresting Dutton, a Queenslander, and putting him away for twenty years among other people smugglers, who might not like him.

The High Court noted that the new Dutton law allowing himself to ‘name’ an Australian a terrorist though no court had done so was like the law Menzies proposed in 1951 by which two Ministers could ‘declare’ any person they chose a Communist and put him in gaol and seize his property, a law the High Court swiftly struck down, and implied it would strike this one down too.

Fifty businesses including McDonald’s and Twitter, came out for gay marriage. Abbott maintained that his sister would fry in Hell for a billion years if it was allowed, and it was to preserve her from this fiery fate he was disallowing it, so that if she repented on her death-bed a life of sinful sodomy and shirt-lifting and said some Hail Marys and crossed herself she could join him and Margie and Peta and Pell and Pyne in heaven, where they could ‘keep an eye on her’.

The Governor-General, ‘Sir’ Peter Cosgrove, wondered how much longer he could tolerate a gibbering madman as his Number Two when he had the uncontested constitutional authority to remove him at any time he chose and ask Mal Brough, say, a former soldier, to form a government, and ‘really begin to kick heads’, and begin the war with Indonesia the times demanded.

And so it went.

And we will see what we shall see.

Notes From The Sydney Film Festival


Michael Ware’s Only The Dead has a narration, written and spoken by him, as good as Michael Herr’s in Apocalypse Now. It speaks of the dark places of the heart which his craving for war led him into, and one particular night we witness close-up when he realised he didn’t care, any more, if he lived or died.

This is an astonishing film, by the kind of vulture-hero we have seen at work in the last eighty years — Koestler, Steinbeck, Pilger, Herr, O’Rourke — serving up, with relish the scalded howling naked children and heaven-clawing pregnant women that now fill up great parts of our retrieved memory.

Made from an archive of tapes he in trauma neglected to look at or burn for five or six years after he came back from war for good, it tracks, with precision, self-mockery and unflinching pain — and one of the great editing jobs in all cinema — a descent into Hell at the climax of which, in real time, we watch a young man dying, untreated by the Americans, who declare him dead already, in the first Battle of Ramada, which we see at some length in its horror, boredom and fury.

Ware’s intense diagonal face and wild grey eyes grow older as we watch, and the larrikin Aussie wide boy he started out as evolves into a matchless historian, the enormity of what happened to Iraq — the tribal savagery Saddam had brutally stifled bursting forth volcanically while America, constantly unresourced with soldiery waiting to be attacked, not knowing which approaching child is their enemy — unfold over bombarded fruitless years before us. We feel at the end of the film like veterans ourselves, shattered souls who will never be the same again.

If Abbott’s new law gets through Mick Ware will get twenty years. He embedded himself with Al Qaeda-In-Iraq, the progenitors of ISIS, and filmed them firing at night at the Americans. He accompanied them, and by his presence encouraged them. At one point he was dragged out of his car by one faction of them and was about to be beheaded when another faction, intervening, and claiming he was on their turf and their property therefore, saved his life. He did not leave the war at that point, he was hooked on it. And so it went.


Becue-Renard’s Of Men And War is a remarkable companion film to Mick’s. In territory like In The Valley Of Elah or The Best Years Of Our Lives it deals with a dozen shell-shocked veterans talking to each other in a bare hospital room, and in the gardens and surrounding landscape of the Pathway Home in California, and to a patient older psychiatrist who is trying to keep them alive. They shout at each other, storm out, and seem sometimes to want to murder each other, or their scared families, whom we meet as well on home visits and a Christmas party. All have seen a death close up; all have survivor’s guilt; all are messing up their marriages or distressing their parents or unnerving their baby children. All know well what the problem is: sleeplessness, and unquenched flashbacks, and malapportioned medication and a paralysing desire to go to their bedroom and fester there, and never come out again; a convinced belief that happiness, even the smallest fragment of happiness, is beyond them.

All the men give the equivalent of Oscar-worthy performances of dialogue as good as Arthur Miller’s. All of them are strong and big, film-star-handsome and possessed of resonant baritones and beautiful wives. One looks exactly like Howard Keel, another like Sidney Poitier, another like a young, gay George Bush. They all belong to a proud male culture and were raised unaware, pretty much, of women’s issues or American politics post-Obama or how it was the Iraqis resented their country being immolated because of weapons they didn’t have by thirty-two Christian countries who didn’t understand them. One of them suicides before the film’s end. One of them marries his long-time, thirty-eightish girlfriend. We see another struggling to relate to his eccentric infant daughter. One comes close to losing the best wife a man could have. One we realise, very late, is blind. Few documentaries are as good as this, and it should be seen.


Sherlock Holmes is in Hiroshima seeking among radioactive rubble Smoky Ash, a plant that may restore his memory; he wants to set right Watson’s romanticised account of his last case, whose tragic outcome sent him into retirement, bee-keeping in Kent hear the white cliffs of Diver. Mycroft, Watson, Lestrange and Mrs Hudson are all dead; he is ninety-three and losing words every day. This Smoky Ash, perhaps, may retrieve his memory of a woman he loved, or did he; or kill him, perhaps, with its radioactive properties. His assistant, Roger (Milo Parker), a vigilant little boy of ten, bestirs him to complete his memoir. His housekeeper Mrs Munro (Laura Linney), widow of an RAF pilot blown out of the sky on his first mission, wants to accept a job in a private hotel in Portsmouth housekeeping, with Roger bootblacking. Holmes fears he will die alone.

Hiroshima, 1946; London, 1920; Kent, 1946; the first foothills of senility; flashbacks over thirty years. Who else but Ian McKellen — or Christopher Lee, sadly and suddenly now unavailable — could play this role? It is an astonishing experience, gratifying, arousing, engaging, in every wisp and soupcon of its lush and layered unfolding. It gives us ‘Englishness’ as reflectively as any poem by Betjeman or any play by Coward or any film like Chariots of Fire or The Theory of Everything that shows landscape, twilight, eccentricity, evensong, pleasure and sorrow and our finest hour in equal, poignant measure. It paints its colours, and salutes its village architecture, its beehives and brass bands and Spitfires, and passes on.

For those born after 1870 Holmes has become, like Biggles, Jeeves and King Arthur, a once and future presence we expect to shimmer back into life when beleaguered England needs him. The Benedict Cumberbatch version is as valid as the Basil Rathbone, the Nicol Williamson, the Christopher Plummer, the Robert Stephens, the Jeremy Brett, the Peter Cook and, yes, the Robert Downey Junior. He is a part of all who have a hint of English blood, like Christopher Robin, or Winston Smith, or Charlie Chaplin. Now, as Seward said of Lincoln, he belongs to the ages.

It is called Mr Holmes; the script is by Jeffrey Hatcher, the direction by Bill Condon, who made Gods and Monsters. Xxx as Holmes’s old love — he did but see her passing by — magically cast and conceived. It is a joy for old and young, and should be seen.


A true story, Tigers, tells of Aamin (Emraan Hashmi), a salesman who finds the pharmaceutical company he worked for, a global affair, is killing babies with its ‘infant formula’, goes after them, nearly accepts a bribe but is persuaded by his wife and father not to, and provokes thereby such legal doubt that a German TV programme about him and the shrivelled babies of Pakistan does not go to air and millions of babies die. Directed by its co-writer Danis Tanovic in a jovial-everyman style that resembles Ron Howard’s, it has an impact like A Separation and leaves one in a welter of warm despair, some of the shrivelled-baby footage is from 1989, some from 2013; the story continues.

Suffused with the crowded familial buoyancy of the Subcontinent, much missed in his long years in exile in Toronto street-hawking doughnuts and driving taxis, it shows how much Aamin gave up, in truty, to be a good man, a whistleblower, and how few of us would emulate him: for seven years his wife unimpregnated, his parents dying, his children growing up without him. It is a fine, fine film and it should be seen.


Among the best films ever made, or so it would seem, an hour afterward, by a serial hyperbolist like me, The Pearl Button, a meditation on water, its place in the cosmos (it came in comets; it made us), the Disappeared of Pinochet’s Chile, and the exterminated indigines of Tierra Del Fuego (naked near the South Pole, with faces like Japanese), it stretches the limits of the mind, and the spoken word, and images of unbelievable mountain and coastal beauty beyond what one would have thought.

Hunted and killed like Tasmanians, there are only three of the bloodline left, still possessed of the language, and they demonstrate it for us, and we see old images, filmed in the 1930s of their water-crossings to Patagonia, a mythical place of mist and gods like Valhalla.

An unmissable film, and one I shall forget I suppose like all things in a year or two. The director/writer is Patricio Guzman, a genius of cinema to put alongside Eisenstein and Riefenstahl, and there you go.


The Vidal/Buckley film The Best Of Enemies yields more pleasure than one would expect. Not only the famous clashes in 1968 (‘Crypto fascist’; ‘Listen, you queer’), but the meditations each wrote about it (Kelsey Grammer voicing the one, John Lithgow the other), the three year court case that followed (Gore in his essay called Bill a secret sodomite, and on him based, in his historical novel Burr, one John Le Touche Clancy, a well-spoken bugger of farm boys) and svelte slim biographies of each of the titans, which included Gore’s loss of the love of his half-sister Jackie Kennedy through his hatred of Bobby, and home movies of Bill and Ronald Reagan, both saggy-breasted, surfing together.

Vidal is like Don Dunstan, facially and vocally, and Buckley the spitting image of Oskar Werner, who was Jules in Jules Et Jim. There’s an incendiary speech foreboding revolution by Gore in Ben Hur tediously shouted by Chuck Heston, and a prophetic scene (about ‘selling the image of the image’) from The Best Man, starring Henry Fonda in a role, William Russell, an Adlai Stevenson type, whom Ronald Reagan had begged, in a lean year, to be allowed to play till Gore forebade him saying, ‘He’s not plausible as a politician.’

We see each in his middle age and then his old age reflecting, obsessively, on the event. Gore would show ALL the debates to guests at Ravello, ‘like Norma Desmond,’ one said, ‘in Sunset Boulevarde.’

It was put together by Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon, and shows, too, what television ‘debate’ has become, on Fox News and similar these days an overlapping rant of nutters and blondes, and mourns that brief shining moment when it was clear, astringent, eloquent and reasoned. And so it goes.

More to come.

The Forty Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (269)

The Pope’s man Saunders said the Pope’s man Pell, a Liberal voter, should resign, and the Pope said bishops who in their deliberations ignored abused children for twenty years should cop the blame for this, and for some of the consequent suicides and parental misery. Pell ‘considered’ suing his colleague, and Pell’s friend Abbott by his silence indicated he supported this attack by this maniac on the Vatican since he was his, Abbott’s, confessor, and the keeper of some dangerous secrets who, if the Inquisition waterboarded him, might inconveniently reveal them.

Phil Coorey called ‘stream of consciousness’ Hockey’s mode of sweaty, smiling speech (he had lately said house-seekers daunted by the highest prices in world history should ‘earn more money’) and some Liberals quietly howled for his replacement by Morrison, the pirate, kidnapper, assister of murderers and, it was lately thought, people-smuggler.

It was noted that Morrison and his successor Dutton had paid people smugglers to ‘turn back the boats’ and take people seeking a life in New Zealand at gunpoint to Indonesia. This made them, legally, people smugglers themselves, and liable for ten or twenty years in prison, and the Commonwealth Police considered, gulping, their encarceration. It was worse for Dutton who had kidnapped people on the way to New Zealand, which might have taken them, and paid criminals to take them to Indonesia, which did not want them, and could not afford to look after them for eighty years, the current likely period, at a cost of twelve million a year.

He had kidnapped also a baby born in Australia and therefore, logically, an Australian citizen, and sent her to Nauru, an under-serviced hell-hole without, for instance, an adequate obstretician, for a period of exile of at least a hundred years, as punishment for her choice of mother. It was thought that in this Dutton, the one MP not to have joined the Apology for stolen children, was behaving typically, and was showing himself, lately, to be the most obnoxious Minister since Federation and the stupidest public official since Magna Carta.

Defying Magna Carta George ‘Soft Cock On Terrorism’ Brandis urged that Gillian Triggs be denied a judge and jury and be thrown out of office because he did not like ‘the cut of her jib’. She had abused her position as Human Rights Commissioner, he said, by raising the subject of human rights, which was ‘not within her competence’, in Australia, Nauru and Indonesia. ‘If Good King John had known such a woman would result from Magna Carta,’ he said, while sipping a breakfast scotch, ‘he would never have signed it.’ His eighteen adoring slim-hipped young assistants, who were ‘sleeping over’, applauded him in their pyjamas with vigour and affection, and uncorked a breakfast magnum of champagne.

Nikki Savva, a Liberal voter, said, more or less, ‘You can’t take Joe Hockey anywhere.’ Calling him, alongside Abbott, ‘yet another loaded dog’, she compared his half-billion dollar stuff-up on tampons to the night when John Hewson ‘could not explain how his proposed GST would affect a cake’. His denunciation as ‘clowns and fools’ of those who, like himself, assessed with gloom the faltering economy displayed, she said, a divided mind. ‘Yesterday, armed with pooper scooper and tissues,’ she added vividly, ‘the Treasurer accused critics of playing the man as he tried to clean up the clutter of messages from the day before when we were informed that a) fraudulent foreign investors had pushed up house prices, making them less affordable for Australians; b) the fact that houses were selling showed they were actually affordable; and c) if people weren’t buying it was because they couldn’t afford them because because they didn’t have good jobs that paid good money. Clearly.’ To this Phil Coorey amusingly added that Joe saying houses were not unaffordable because they were being bought was ‘like saying Ferraris are not unaffordable because people buy them.’

Odds against Joe bringing down the next Budget fell to 1.02 to 1. Glenn Stevens said we should go into deficit, astonishing Abbott and Hockey who had promised to be in surplus, with apocalyptic urgency, ‘sometime this century’. We needed to spend on roads, rails and ports, Glenn said, lest we become by 2020 ‘the Mexico of Asia’.

Abbott, who is fifty-seven, said he had not paid off his house yet, after twelve years of ministerial salary and perks, and his equally innumerate daughters were ‘terrified’ of their imminent mortgages, and he and Joe must be therefore trusted with the nation’s finances. Asked what he sad done with the 120 thousand dollars he got from suing Bob Ellis if not pay off his house, he said, ‘That’s for Pell to know and you to find out.’ Pell said the facts were ‘appalling’ and he would take them to his grave.

Abbott told Alan Jones, who agreed with him warmly, that wind farms were ‘ugly’ and ‘noisy’ and ‘superfluous to our needs’ and ‘Big Coal is the planet’s future’. He added, amazing the world, that he was glad he had tried to abolish the money that was going to alternative energy, and if John Howard were alive today he would regret every penny he had put into that resource. It was thought that in thus declaring himself to be the biggest idiot in charge of a country since Caligula, or Idi Amin perhaps, or Jim Jones or David Koresh, he was showing his aroused affection for Alan Jones, who had in the absence of Pell become in some sense his Father Confessor. Stroking the left side of his pink plump rehabilitated face Jones beseeched his haggard new disciple to bring in gay marriage, and Abbott, groaning, wrenched himself out of the studio and, chundering, beat his fists on the toilet mirror until they bled. ‘It’s true!’ he howled. ‘It’s true! I’m one of them!’

Scott Morrison awoke from a nightmare and shouted in tongues, disturbing the neighbours, ‘Sodomites will fry a billion years in Hell! And I am not a homophobe!’

And so concluded another day of the worst free-elected government in human history since the invention, n its present form, of democracy in Iceland in AD 1034.

On The Idiocy Of Joe Hockey

There is now no chance an Abbott-Hockey government will seek re-election in 2016; or 2015. It is just possible Abbott will be ‘on the ticket’. It is certain Hockey will be vanquished, abolished, extinct by this year’s end.

This is because he is an idiot, and is seen to be, by almost all the electorate. His assertion that ‘poor people don’t drive cars’ drew many to the hypothesis that he didn’t know what he was talking about; and his latest view, that ‘Sydney houses must be affordable because they’re still being bought’, and the way moreover to get one was to secure in your twenties a high-paying job, is evidence, probably, of brain damage during his stomach stapling by a conspiracy of anaesthetists.

Or…there may be another explanation. It’s possible, just possible, that he’s a typical fat migrant whinger, rich-born, rich-schooled, rich-wed, unathletic, resentful, charmless and mentally second-rate, who cannot abide being bested in an argument, and always has to answer back. Instead of saying, sometimes, ‘yeah, fair enough’, he feels deep in his bones he has to yell ‘but the opposite is true!’ before he knows what his next sentence is.

67 percent of the under-25s are already voting or preferring Labor. That number will be up to 75 percent after a few more days of talkback about Joe being ‘out of touch’. This means, must mean, no Liberal government can win, or even come close, with Joe Hockey in it.

I will lay odds on this.

What might he have said, or done, instead? Well… he could have proposed a tax encouragement of twenty-year leaseholds at half the price of inner-city houses now. He could have said he would legislate that no house rent in the wealthier suburbs be ever again over nine hundred dollars a week, and any landlord who charged more than that would go to gaol. He could have proposed that any property left unoccupied for more than three months would accrue to its owner, every week, a fifteen hundred dollar fine. He could have cancelled negative gearing as of July the first this year.

He could have declared that henceforth no inner-city tenement could be bought for more than eight hundred thousand dollars. He could have announced that the government was buying, in a Keynesian move, fifteen hundred two-bedroom flats in the inner cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisband, and renting them for two hundred and eighty dollars a week to nurses, emergency service workers and schoolteachers who worked in the vicinity.

But no, he chose merely to advise ‘Marry rich, like me!’ or ‘Become a stockbroker!’ as his solution to the worst danger to our economy, and our society, and the next four generations of our children, since 1929.

That’s how much of an idiot he is.

And why he can no longer be trusted as a manager of our nation’s money, and why he has to go.

How It Was: Ferguson’s The Killing Season

Sarah Ferguson’s The Killing Season is perfect so far: swift, lucid, fair, stirring, suspenseful, with Combet saying ‘fuck’ and cursing Rudd with justice, and exactly what Abbott and Hockey did not want to see. It shows Rudd/Swan/Gillard /Tanner triumphing over the world economic crisis, saving three hundred thousand jobs and keeping Australia, unlike other country, out of recession, and Ken Henry saying how much smarter they were than him.

It was a government more tested and shrewd than the current bunch of wackoes, however unfairly it was attacked for three percent of its school halls, and a roof-batts scheme that was locally, fatally, rorted.

It shows, too, what I have long suspected, how attractive Gillard was before Tim got to her hair. Short and orange, it made her face look plumper, sexier, more female, kindly. What he did to it, changing length and colour daily and ageing her by twelve years, was, as it turns out, an inadvertent act of assassination by a drongo.

And it shows how foolish Rudd was not to let the unions, who had with their money and brilliant campaigning elected him, and McKew, who had wrecked Howard by forcing him to stay in Bennelong, into Cabinet as all previous Labor leaders — Beazley, Crean, Hawke, Whitlam, Curtin — would have done. And how unlike Labor was his arrogating to himself the power to choose his ministry. And how unlike a Labor leader — bureaucrat, diplomat, prissy power-hugger, a character out of Yes, Minister — he was.

And how foolish he was not to have displayed his piano-playing, which never did Heath or Nixon any harm; consider how much help Clinton’s saxophone was, Dunstan’s tap-dancing, Beazley’s singing with guitar ‘The House Of The Rising Sun’. Rudd playing piano and singing Gilbert and Sullivan in duet with Leigh Sales would be still Prime Minister now and not what he is, a Labor pest as regretted as Blair, or Billy Hughes.

Ferguson is the fairest and most unflinching reporter of our time. I will watch the next episodes with great interest.

The Twenty-Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (268)

Abbott gave no knighthoods to anyone, having been advised by his masseuse Credlin not to give one to Pell, his confessor, until his many crimes against suicidal children had been ‘sorted by the courts’, nor to his friend Hollingworth, the paedophile protector, as ‘he had one already’.

Dutton was denounced in the smh by Dick, a lawyer, for proposing to end democracy. Triggs was denounced by Dutton for trying to preserve it. How dare she, as Human Rights Commissioner, he railed, have a view on human rights, and what Indonesia thinks of our record on them? Compared by many commentators with Rumsfeld, Mugabe and Eichmann, Dutton ascended quickly into the demonology of everyone to the left of Cory Bernardi and was thought by historians to be ‘already more hated than Morrison’, not least for empowering peeping-toms to photograph Hanson-Young in the shower.

Fran Kelly, a Liberal voter, said it was the duty of government to ‘step in’ and prevent Muslim children being ‘groomed’ for ‘the dark side’ by ‘extremists’ online. She did not reflect on her own religion, Catholicism, for nine hundred years grooming children for the dark side of pederastic fondling and so provoking thousands of adolescent suicides, which it was government’s duty, now, according to her logic, to ‘step in’ and ‘prevent’. She did not, being a fatuous cloth-head, understand that doing this, abolishing religious freedom on the eight hundredth birthday of Magna Carta, was not a good look. She then twice called the Rudd/Gillard miniseries ‘The Killing Fields’, thereby subconsciously accusing two Labor leaders of genocide in Asia. It was not thought this evidence of early senility warranted her sacking, however. ‘Look at Tony Abbott,’ Mark Scott said, ‘He’s worse.’

Fran talked also to a man called Hamish of the possibility that ISIS might be on the verge of developing chemical weapons, as if they were cavemen discovering fire. She did not note that ISIS, who were Saddam’s colonels, staff officers and bureaucrats, had used chemical weapons on Kurds in the 1980s, thirty years ago, and had not forgotten how to make them. She thus repeated the WMD nonsense of 2002, as a loyal Howardite fuckwit would: we must ‘step in’ before the ‘dark side’ invents the wheel. ISIS meanwhioe conquered Libya.

Hockey said house prices in Sydney were okay if you had, like Melissa, a millionaire’s wage. Laundy said they were ‘pricey, but affordable’, whatever that means. It was like saying beetroot were good and healthy for those they did not poison. Abbott, whose house cost him round 170,000 and was paid off by him suing Bob Ellis and Random House fir 130,000, said they were, at 1.5 million ‘easily affordable’.

Darren Chester, a National, came out for gay marriage. Phillip Ruddock, a Liberal, said he was against it. Scott Morrison, a Liberal, speaking in tongues, said just because he believed sodomites would burn a billion years in hell didn’t mean he was a homophobe. Peter Reith, a Liberal, said it should not be ‘politicised’ (though Abbott as his first act as Prime Minister had revoked gay marriage in the ACT) and should go to plebiscite, where it might, like the Republic, narrowly lose. Many, many backbenchers warned Abbott not to go near it, or they would overthrow him as they did Turnbull in 2009 for his impertinent, heretical belief in global warming. His sister on Q&A said he had promised he would bring it in by Christmas, and come to her wedding.

An ABC show, The Killing Season, featured Ken Henry saying Rudd and Swan were smarter than him and had saved the nation from ruin, and the phrase ‘debt and deficit disaster’ was a pack of lies. Labor’s vote went up by two percent. Julie Bishop swore ISIS were ‘scavenging in fridges for radioactive materials’. ISIS took over Yemen.

Pell planned to make himself anti-Pope in Aquitaine, and wall himself up in a mountain fortress where the Ballarat coppers couldn’t get to him. Daniel Andrews made plans to take him out with a drone.

And so it went.

In Thirteen Words

Was there, is there, video by Wilson Security of Hanson Young in the shower?

The Forty-Two Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (267)

Following his old rule of ‘one goof, at least, a day’, Abbott said peeking at Sarah Hanson Young in the shower was his way of ‘looking after her’. Andrew Bolt said she was a ‘national disgrace’ for having complained about it. Peter Dutton, lately acclaimed by the AMA as ‘the worst Health Minister since Federation’ and lately bidding fair to be the worst Immigration Minister, said she always got her facts wrong, though the relevant company, Wilson Security, said one of their employees had ‘gone too far’ and had been ‘admonished’ for ‘exceeding his brief’.

The offence, that of spying unasked on a member of parliament, was a species of treason and had years in gaol attached to it, but Abbott merely cackled and told the beautiful nude Senator to ‘settle down’ while she called him a ‘creep’.

The friend of Pope John Paul II, Tariq Aziz, died after twelve years of wrongful imprisonment for having hidden weapons of mass destruction, atomic bombs and the like, which did not exist, and losing an unjust war that killed or exiled six million of his fellow-citizens. A literate Maronite Catholic Arab like Joe Hockey’s father but speaking better English, he adored Agatha Christie and Raymond Chandler and was distraught when the Americans did not bring him any reading matter. He was not hanged, it was thought, because he was a well-spoken Christian and resembled Walter Pidgeon in his later years. But he was not offered a TPV by his fellow Catholic Abbott, nor even a posthumous apology by that smirking worthy since he was ‘distracted’, it was said, by Hanson Young’s nude beauty and looking at the photos and did not ‘get round to it’. Asked if he had agreed with the Pope when he said Aziz should be released, he said, ‘The Pope is not infallible, oops.’

Sensing there were votes in attacking admired women Dutton demanded Gillian Triggs apologise to the world for having said Indonesia disliked receiving at gunpoint sobbing fugitives who had set out in leaky boats for Australia, a preferable destination, with sickly babies at their breast and ten dollars to spend on their family’s future. This was utterly untrue, the long dim Queensland copper said, they loved it, they loved spending billions a year on anguished captives uniformed Australian pirates foisted upon them, and ‘this woman is a disgrace’. His swelling status as our worst Immigration Minister ever notched up a bit and the Guinness Book Of Records quickly listed him as ‘the worst Minister For Immigration And Relocation since Adolf Eichmann’.

Peter Fitzsimons, a Liberal voter, said Abbott, who held dual citizenship, had been illegally an MP for twenty years and owed the taxpayer eleven million dollars for his wages and benefits and a million dollars at least in interest. The little boy whom Dutton refused to treat approached the hour when he would lose the use of his arm. It was found his attack on Gillian Triggs was unfactual and his assertion that she has upset the families of Chan and Sukumaran a barefaced lie and she, not he, was owed an apology, and at least three hundred and forty thousand dollars for his libel of her.

Julie Bishop said DAISH would soon be ‘developing poisons’ like chlorine if we did not bomb them to extinction by the end of the fiscal year. That they could buy such things already with their black market oil money, which brought in billions every week, from North Korea or Kazakhstan or rogue retired CIA assassins did not occur to her. In her eyes DAISH was a basement full of Trots in Glebe or Newtown. In reality it was a country as big as France with more tanks than Rommel, an admired health care system, dozens of working municipalities and a seasoned bureaucracy run by the sacked civil servants of Saddam Hussein. Experts noted how much these ‘poisons’ resembled the ‘WMD’ of twelve years ago, sheer fabrications we went to war over, bizarrely asserting they would not be used in battle against us, but hidden under a sandhill by Saddam ‘for a rainy day’.

The Greens released modelling which proved that over a billion dollars a year could come off the deficit were we to end negative gearing now and this would bring house prices down and young people could afford to have children, and a life, again, as their parents and grandparents did. Hockey said this was ‘utter nonsense’ and ‘without negative gearing my mother, who for a time owned half of North Sydney, would have barely made her first billion, and my wife Melissa the banker, who owns the house I rent in Canberra, oops.’

And so it went.

The Fifty-One Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (266)

Abbott refused to send to gaol for two years, as the law requires, the leaker of the donnybrook in Cabinet of himself and six Ministers; refused as well to show the Opposition what his ‘de-citizenising’ legislation was. He did not say if it would involve the imprisoning of Michael Ware, who was for a time embedded with DAISH, and filmed night battles against ‘our side’.

Dutton spent ten million dollars each, enough to support them in Toorak for a hundred years, on four kidnapped refugees he sent off into enslavement in a van in Cambodia. The ten million, indeed, could supply each of them with three hundred thousand dollars a year, a Cabinet minister’s wage, for a thousand years on the interest alone. He counted this ‘money well spent’.

Hockey, lying, denied forecasting the highest unemployment rate in twenty years, though that is what his Budget papers did, gamely asserting that his own forecast was ‘utterly untrue’.

Abbott stopped searching for a plane shot down by the Americans near Diego Garcia in the wrong three oceans. He had spent half a billion on it, found nothing, not a cocktail glass, not a shoe, and counted it ‘money well spent’. The search would continue, he announced, ‘in fewer oceans for another year, but nowhere, nowhere, nowhere, Madam Speaker, nowhere else.’

Dutton refused to help a small boy, whose legal guardian he was, with a dangerously broken arm to medical care in Australia. He tried to send him and his family to India and leave them there, but was sprung by the media. The boy’s arm worsened, and would soon be crippled. And Dutton made no move to help him.

Alex Hawke, lying, said there had been ‘no spending on infrastructure for twenty years’ before O’Farrell took over New South Wales. He omitted the Olympic Games of 2000, widely hailed as the best in two thousand six hundred years, which involved a lot of infrastructure, and highways, railways and stadiums built by the Carr Government, a Labor entity. It was a big lie as big, in its way, as the WMD, and worthy of the obergruppenfuhrer of the ‘Christian fascist wing’ of the NSW Liberals, Alex Hawke.

The worst trade figures since 1951 came through, and Joe called them ‘a mere bagatelle’. Julie Bishop waited until Question Time was over, then revealed George Brandis had deceived parliament, a sacking offence, by saying Monis’ letter praising DAISH had gone to the authorities when it had not, because of a ‘bureaucratic error’. Brandis, already nicknamed ‘soft on terrorism’, swore Abbott was worse, refusing to take the Lindt Cafe hostages’ repeated, frantic phone calls claiming he was ‘too busy’. Tori and Katrina’s relatives were enraged to find the question of why Monis, a rapist and murderer, was out on bail was beyond the remit of the State Coroner, who had better things to discover than why the justice system in New South Wales was a total failure and had done so on the orders of Baird, his employer. ‘We will get through this,’ wept Baird at the shaving mirror. ‘We will get through this.’ A field of flowers appeared miraculously behind him.

Baird abolished ethics teaching in schools in order to palliate the senile Fred Niles and get his vote for the ‘leasing’ of the poles and wires, which he wildly alleged would bring in thirty billion dollars not eight billion, for ninety-nine years instead of the two hundred billion they would routinely earn innthat time frame. Foley hinted he would cancel the lease when he gained power, since the abolition of ethics was too high a price to pay for it.

A champion basketball player broke with rocks some windows of the Lindt Cafe, a vile act Baird compared with the dynamiting of the Buddhas of Bamiyan, and he was taken away by some typical simian Sydney police, held down, and tasered to death.

Indonesia criticised Dutton for kidnapping sixty-two storm-smitten fugitives from tyranny and dumping them in Indonesia and not showing mercy to them. ‘The quality of mercy is not strained,’ said Indonesia. ‘It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.’ Dutton said that kind of thinking was ‘all well and good for the ignorant oriental nignogs of Batavia, but it was not, believe me not, the Team Australia way.’

Abbott kept saying that anyone who raised a knife or a gun to the Australian way of life did not deserve to be a citizen, and Rosie Batty said this was a good rule but it must include all men who beat and killed their wives, whose damage to Australia was ten thousand times worse than ‘terrorism’ which had not killed anybody in Australia for a hundred years. Abbott asserted it was the thought, or the ‘thoughtcrime’, that counts, and grew stranger and stranger in his utterances as his dementia pugilistica took hold on his shrivelling brain, claiming Shorten was against his de-citizenising of dual-nationality enemies of the state, though Shorten kept saying within minutes he was for it. Dreyfus said this de-citizenising was in the law of the land anyway and had been since 1948 and needed no further legislation. ‘It is against the law,’ he said, ‘to go to war with your own country, and it is not news that we punish it. We have done this for sixty-eight years.’ Abbott said this just showed Labor was against it, and ‘soft on terrorism’. Dreyfus noted Labor had won three wars, and the Liberals lost five, and invited him to go to buggery.

DAISH began beheading Taliban, an act inspired, some said, by the infamous, mutinous Cabinet ‘leak’ in Australia, whose fratricidal bloodthirstiness DAISH found ‘very sexy’ and stirred them to widespread decapitation of their former ‘blood brothers’. Pyne, the leaker, claimed he wasn’t the leaker, though his motivation, in a rust-bucket state bereft by Abbott of submarines, automobiles, an ABC studio, Playschool and gay marriage, was crystal clear. He had to get rid of Abbott or he would lose his seat, which he had held since his late teens and had ‘gotten used to.’

It was proved by investigators that Alan Jones was in charge of Liberal Party policy, and eccentric, bizarre and hydrophobic in the measures he chose to embellish, which Abbott cravenly and slavishly agreed to, whatever they were.

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.

The Morrison/Dutton War Crimes (4)

Morrison cyberbullied some pregnant women, swearing their imminent children would ‘never live in Australia’, and three of them consequently had abortions. He did not seek to prevent the deaths of these unborn children, of which he was, at the time, the legal guardian.

The Morrison/Dutton War Crimes (3)

Morrison ensured the twelve murderers of Reza Barati were not imprisoned, and the twenty or twenty-five injurers of sixty detainees, one with a bullet, one with a knife, were not imprisoned either.

It is said he arranged the safe passage of two white murderers to Queensland.

In Thirty-Nine Words

The Liberals had five leaders between November 2007 and December 2009. It is likely some sharp words were exchanged between the usurped and their usurpers. Why then does what Rudd said to Gillard, and with what asperity, matter?

In Fifty-Nine Words

There is a form of terrorism called domestic violence which kills a hundred people a year, whose prevention gets almost no funding from government. There is another form of terrorism, which has killed no resident Australian in a hundred years and five months, whose prevention gets billions each year from government. Surely this imbalance is wrong, and costs lives.

The Dutton/Morrison War Crimes (2)

Morrison cyberbullied some resident refugees, swearing they would ‘never be Australian citizens’, and two young black men in their twenties burned themselves to death in Geelong.

The Dutton/Morrison War Crimes (1)

Dutton’s pirates boarded a boat on its way to New Zealand, kidnapped forty-two people, including three children, and sent them at gunpoint to Indonesia, which very much did not want them.

They had no right to do any of this, and risked armed hostilities with Indonesia.

In Fourteen Words

Soft on terrorism? You mean like those pussies in the office of George Brandis?

More Arguments Against The Dutton Plan

It has been pointed out that any Vietnam card-burner would lose his citizenship if the Dutton Law came in, even now.

Any anti-Vietnam demonstrator, in fact, and there were hundreds of thousands of them, showed that he or she was on the side of the Viet Cong ‘terrorists’ and against ‘Australian values’ when those values included birthday-balloted conscripts coming home suffused with Agent Orange and having mutant children contentedly in the suburbs, like patriots.

And those who protested against the Iraq War — Simon Crean for instance, Mark Latham for instance, Bob Brown, Christine Milne, Natasha Stott-Despoja — could lose their citizenship even now for having favoured the ‘fugitive terrorists’ Uday, Qusay, Saddam, and Chemical Ali against ‘the Winston Churchill of our time, George W Bush’,  in Gerard Henderson’s lush affirming phrase, could lose, and lose in their millions, Australian citizenship too if Dutton thought they were dodgy fellows whose published words encouraged ‘Australia’s enemies’ in time of war. And David Hicks is obviously still in the gun. He pleaded guilty to ‘assisting terrorists’, didn’t he. And Mohammed Haneef, who gave them his sim-card, didn’t he. Terrorist sympathisers all; millions of them; millions.

And Michael Ware, who embedded himself with al-Qaeda in Iraq, the progenitors of DAISH, and watched them fire on ‘our side’in night battles he filmed. How can he stay an Australian citizen?

It is unlikely Abbott will survive this foolishness. The leaker, Pyne, has been a Turnbull man for a long, long time and has long resented the hundred thousand dollar degrees he has been stuck with, Pyne who got his own degree for nothing, and resented even more the lost submarines and the lost ABC studios in Adelaide which may cost him his seat.

He is smart enough to know that Abbott is a ‘loaded dog’ you can’t take anywhere, whose friendship with Pell, the paedophile protector, and with Nestor, the paedophile, and with the youth-abusers of St Stephen’s who remained his friends (page 68 of the Duffy book) is politically lethal and cannot but engulf him in the next few months.

Pyne is the leak, and Abbott knows it, and his ‘come to Jesus moment’, aimed at his fellow fundamentalist radical Catholic Pyne, who will have got that message, loud and clear.

And we will see what we shall see.

In Seven Words

Why is Martin Bryant still a citizen?

Certain Housekeeping Matters (165)

On Ellis Gold is a summary of a miniseries I was not permitted to make on Rudd and Gillard. The ABC said there was ‘no public interest’ in that storyline.

I am still available, with my perpetual co-writer, Stephen Ramsey, to complete the writing of it.

The Twenty-Eight Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (266)

Abbott rejoiced in the ruin of a million lives by saying he was pleased to see house prices, presently the highest in world history, going up even further in Sydney and Melbourne. Dismay flooded through Treasury which thought house prices a national calamity. Told of people eighty dollars a week worse off, he said, ‘If Labor gets back in, they’ll bring back the Carbon Tax!’ Asked where the sixteen million dollars to Cadbury’s in Tasmania would go now Cadbury’s was closing the factory, he said, ‘If Labor gets back in, they’ll bring back the Carbon Tax!’ Asked what he would do about young couples locked out of the housing market and unable to afford to have children in this lifetime, he said house prices must continue to go up, and the Leader of the Opposition just didn’t ‘get it’. Asked if he agreed with his own Treasury chief, he said, ‘This is a bank account thief! This is a bank account thief!’ of the Leader of the Opposition.

You can’t make this stuff up.

The nation began to grapple with an unusual difficulty, a Prime Minister who had become insane. He spoke of a ‘come to Jesus moment’, inviting his Cabinet to repent their sins, and to cease telling people what he had said, as this was ‘just not on’, and would result in the mass sacking of all of them and a duumvirate of himself and Credlin, his body-servant and masseuse, in charge of all ministries. Many ministers wanted him to be taken urgently, discreetly into care and sedated until Bishop returned from overseas and seized his imperium in a ‘bloodless coup’. There was no precedent for this situation except Woodrow Wilson’s terminal mental illness and his new wife, at his bedside, running the country.

Julie Bishop said she would send in Australian troops to die vainly in another mad lost war in the Middle East. ‘The Iraqi army walking away from Ramadi proves,’ she said, ‘that the present gawky scared conscripts now being cut to pieces in the suburbs of Baghdad are not up to the task, and Australia and the Iranian theocracy, peace be unto them, will provide, after twenty-four years of debacle, an efficient, conquering army.’ Asked if this new force would take back Ramadi sometime in the present decade, or the next one, perhaps, she looked at the questioner with scrornful crossed eyes and said, ‘Do not insult me with hypothetical questions.’

She confirmed that a donnybrook between herself and the Prime Minister had been won by herself, and ‘the lunatic idea that he could revoke the citizenship of Tim Costello for assisting foreigners will need to be discussed by the Australian people for at least three weeks before I am Prime Minister, and close it down.’

Jaimie Briggs said the coming ABC show The Killing Season would demonstrate that ‘Bill Shorten can’t be trusted’. This contrasted with Tony Abbott who had broken eighty-two promises in eighteen months, and one big one, when he walked out on his pregnant bride in 1979.

Jaimie said also that Australians cared only for national security, not those laws of the United Nations we were signed up to, forbidding the statelessness of any person. We should break those laws, he said, if we felt like it, and the United Nations could ‘go to buggery’. Within half an hour Malcolm Turnbull was attacking this notion, and, in a fine off-the-cuff speech some compared with Sir Thomas More at the execution block, defending the rule of law against those who, like Abbott, Dutton and Briggs, would overthrow it. ‘The genius of democracy,’ he said, or words to that effect, ‘is that though they who win a majority in a free election get to rule for a while, they cannot become a tyranny, because they too are are subject to the rule of law, which protects the minority who did not vote for them, and those who come across the seas our boundless wealth to share.’

He also said the Dutton laws were unnecessary as laws in place since 1948 did all that already. It was agreed by all present that this was the first hand grenade over the parapet in the coming War Of The Succession between him, the Great Pretender, and Julie Bishop, the Lightfoot Lovely, for possession of the Lodge, by which time Abbott would be no longer Prime Minister. He would be out of Parliament, pundits predicted, by Christmas, and by April Fool’s Day asserting what a good fellow Pell was at his trial for protecting hundreds of perverts and refusing to say what Abbott had murmured to him in Confession.

Shorten moved that Abbott’s small business legislation be pushed through and Tony Abbott, calling this a ‘stunt’, disallowed it, and lost a hundred thousand small business votes in thirty seconds. It was thought the men in white coats with a straitjacket would be coming for him soon, and Bronwyn be borne away kicking in a sugar bag.

A hotline for suicidal Aborigines was de-funded by Abbott, and an increase in the number of deaths was expected ‘soonest’.

And so it went.

Today’s Newspoll

Like other Newspolls this one bases its preference flow on the 2013 election, when PUP favoured the Liberals, and what might be called the ‘Windsor Independents’ were more likely to, and when it was believed that Abbott would not harm SBS, the ABC, NDIS, Gonski, health care, schools and universities, or book us into another war in Iraq.

Like other Newspolls it rings only landlines on those nights — Friday, Saturday, Sunday — when few young people are at home. It does these things deliberately so as to enlarge the Coalition’s vote and please its employer, Murdoch, not ringing mobiles, ever, or texting them, as Morgan does, Morgan which always gets it right.

Even with these tricks, though, it can get the Coalition to 48 percent, two party preferred, where it loses thirty or thirty-two seats and government. The actual figure is 54.

The second scoreboard, showing preferred Prime Minister, Abbott 41, Shorten 37, is a lie. It claims 22 percent, that is three million people, are ‘undecided’ between them. It is impossible this should be so.

These figures constitute, as usual, a gaolable fraud, and I wearily ask the authorities to make the necessary arrests.