Monthly Archives: August 2015

The Sweet Sad Ballad Of PVO

One the privileges of my illness is the time it has allowed me to watch, day after day, and night after night, the moral immolation of Peter Van Onselen.

A rural Jehovah’s Witness who fought his way out of that blood-refusing madness into university and intellectual respectability and a much-praised history of the Liberal Party; and then a whole lot of money in a Faustian bond with Murdoch, he has now, head in hands, called on Dyson Heydon to resign or be sacked, and will echo soon his own pleas, in February, for Abbott to go away, go anywhere, but please, please go away.

Van Onselen (whom I have nicknamed The Choirboy) is the worst of men, brilliant but wedded by greed and ambition to the Sean Hannity-Karl Rove-Tea Party agenda, and personally charming enough to dine out with Crabb and Muldoon and Richo.

In the next weeks, as his handsome features alter into the picture of Dorian Gray, and then a homeless person, and then an Ice addict, it will be interesting to see who still talks to him.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses will, of course, and at some point he may go home, and become a preacher for them, and wonder if, indeed, all this was a dream.

Abbott Dwindling: The Final Days (1)

Morrison in a press conference this morning said gay marriage was a peripheral issue and the Coalition would concentrate on the things the people judged important: jobs, domestic violence, Ice, and stimulating the economy.

He made no mention of the new war on DAESH in Syria, the war on those agents of DAESH who were perverting Muslim teenagers, the war on Zaky Mallah, or those ABC executives who were not on ‘Team Australia’.

He seemed to have abolished National Security as an issue, though a billion more dollars were to be spent on it, and embraced domestic violence, though money had been cut from it.

There is a truly significant alteration of emphasis in government policy and shows a rejection, with Abbott, of the Abbott paranoid agenda, which is not, clearly, getting through to the suburbs where boat people and Ice score big among the ignorant punters.

Today’s Ipsos

The Ipsos actually shows Labor on 56 and Abbott needing to win back a million votes to survive wth a 2 majority. This is the worst result for any party since Federation, and would lose Abbott his own seat.

As with Newspoll, the Ipsos headline is a cheat. 46 is what the Coalition would get if those who vote Independent dispersed their preferences as they did in 2013 when they thought Abbott was telling the truth on his policies. Asked how they would disperse them now they gave him 44. Why the 2013 figure is used by anyone is a good question. The only answer is ‘to have a headline better for Abbott’.

Morgan has Labor on 57.5 and is in agreement, pretty much, with Ipsos. It is a result that would lose Abbott 50 or 55 seats, including his own.

Will he be overthrown this week? Well, it’s possible. Robb or Smith may replace him, or maybe Turnbull’s hour has come.

The Heydon Upshot

The unfairness of Dyson Heydon is best shown by the transcript of the Shorten interrogation by himself and his dutiful researcher. Bill answered 902 questions in about five thousand words, and was cool and crisp in his responses and sometimes very funny. Heydon’s own long winded intervention, unprecedented in our legal history, in which he, the investigator, asserted that the witness appeared to him to no longer have any credibility, was an improper impertinence he should go to gaol for.

I am putting up the transcript of about five hundred of these questions and answers on Ellis Gold this afternoon. They are well worth the dollar they will cost you to read them..

My Fellow Patient Alan Bugden, R.I.P

After my seventeen hours covered in my own blood from a nosebleed and the staff refusing to wash me, I can imagine Alan Bugden, a few doors down, dying unregarded in a Royal North Shore toilet for twenty hours.

It is an awful place and it killed, this week, more Australians here than have died from ‘terrorism’ in the last hundred years.

Kyrgios’s Complaint

A twenty-year old man called Kyrgios has been fined fifteen thousand dollars for saying something rude to a teammate.

Similar things happened in the 1960s and 70s. The entire cast of the travelling productions of Rooted and Don’s Party were arrested for swearing on stage. Portnoy’s Complaint was banned here because it dealt with masturbation; Ulysses (eventually read aloud on Bloomsday by me and Bob Carr and Whitlam) because it was full of impure thoughts and bad language; the film Night Of The Hunter because it showed a Christian preacher as a murderer, thief and kidnapper.

In that era too Gore Vidal’s The City And The Pillar was banned because it portrayed homosexual activity; and, in most nations, Nabokov’s Lolita because it was told from the point of view of a pederast; and Peter Ryan’s Spycatcher banned because it revealed an MI5 plot to overthrow Harold Wilson and replace him with Lord Mountbatten. Malcolm Turnbull, happily, was there to fight for its publication, and, after two cases, allow it to go through the presses as a bestseller.

Are we back in that repressed, repressive era? It seems we are. Zaky Mallah can’t ask a simple, reasonable question.The ABC is threatened with extinction if they broadcast it, or broadcast it more than once. A sporting commentator can’t compare a sporting star’s looks to those of King Kong. Abusive dialogue common in The Thick Of It and Veep and The Trip — and the monologues of Robin Williams an Steve Coogan and Billy Connolly.

Where does this wave of wowserism come from? Why is Donald Trump being asked to resign his career and a race in which he is way ahead for calling an awful mendacious Fox woman an awful mendacious Fox woman? How much malice is involved in it, and how much right-wing religiosity?

Just asking.

New Dutton War Crimes On Nauru

After the murder of Reza Berati, and the twelve men who got away with it, and after the blowjobs-for showers trade on Nauru, and the little girl who mimicked being buggered at age five, and after the pregnant women who were encouraged by Morrison to have abortions because they would never, never, nearer live in Australai’, it should have been easy enough to accept the criminality of the Immigration Department and Dutton and Morrison and Wilson Security.

But the waterboarding, reported last night, was a bit of a shock.

It means Dutton can be arrested by the Commonwealth Police and tried at The Hague for crimes against humanity. It means our Cabinet Ministers are now on a level with Rumsfeld and. Cheney and their deeds comparable with those committed in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo..

But what has happened to the story? It was there overnight, denied as ‘implausible’ by Sutton, insisted it was true by a Wilson guard, and we do not hear it any more.

No doubt it will be back, along with photos of Sarah Hanson Young, in the toilet, in the shower, and meeting proscribed refugees , and agents of Gillian Trig gs, and another cover-up, and another revelation.

And we will see what we shall see.

On Ellis Gold

My famous long chapter on John Clayton dying will be up on Ellis Gold this afternoon. Worth subscribing for. More on Monday.m

Next Cab Off The Rank

The time has come to speak of who will be Prime Minister by September 1st.

Abbott will defend Dyson Heydon as he did Bronwyn Bishop for the next week, and lose office.

Turnbull does not have the numbers — and, to judge by what he said on Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon will never have them — and Julie Bishop, aka princess Mesothelioma’, is widely thought mad for her unceasing war upon Putin, who seems to have had nothing to do with the shooting down of MH 15, and her bizarre determination to spend 150 million looking for MH 370, although it has already been found.

This leaves us with the only senior candidate still credible, Andrew Robb and some younger men: Frydenberg, Ciobo, Tudge, and…Tony Smith.

Tony Smith, I think.

He was extremely popular in the lead-up to the Speaker vote, and has shown himself very able since.

A new face, untainted.

Smith for me.

Recommended Viewing

Tony Burke’s speech yesterday is one of the great opportunistic tactical orations of our day.

The Loneliness Of The Long-Distance Prime Minister

Matthew Guy saying this is not the Liberal Party I joined, and Turnbull’s warning that gay marriage will dominate the next year if it is not dealt with soon, plus Abbott’s wild successive ‘captain’s picks’ throughout the day — he went from the Parliament should decide to the party room should decide to the joint party room should decide’ went from Parliament ‘ to the party room should decide ‘ to the joint party room should decide -spelt another leadership crisis, another ‘near-death experience, in the coming days.

Morgan showed him losing fifty or fifty-five seats before this, his Longest Day, and his two Question Times thus far were debacles. It seems now improbable the Entsch-Butler motion will.not be considered by the House. It seems likely, indeed, the new Speaker will insist it be tabled.

What we are seeing is an equivalent of what happened to Campbell Newman: a crazy man out of touch with voters doing more and more crack-pated things on a twice-weekly basis to the amazement nd disgust of the media and commentariat. He

He’s abolished one ‘Ghan out of two a week. He has abolished a hundred and fifty remote ‘lifestyle’ Aboriginal settlements. He has canceled the comfort-calls to suicidal teenage Aborigines in gaol. He’s not given given money to the bashed and beaten wives that might have saved Luke Batty. And he’s spent 120 million looking for MH370 and wants to spend fifty million n more. He has to find out what happened, it seems. Why does that outweigh the good society he is cancelling to pay for it.? A pilot may have gone mad, some do. Why is this so important?

We are looking at a fully-fledged nutter here, and his wild changes of tactic and policy yesterday showed it. He,s spending a billion dollars rooting out terrorists in Australia, though no terrorists have killed an Australian here in a hundred years, and he’s abolished wind farms and called renewable energy the last thing we want if it clobbers the economy. He seems to think his abolition of the carbon tax saved each family five hundred dollars a year, though his his cancellation of the Schoolkids’ Money and other things has cost them five thousand dollars.

This is crazy stuff, hourly panicked and wild-hearted and almost everyone sees this in him now.

H may have days in the job, or a month or two. But he will not be there this time nest year.

Abbott’s Gethsemane

Waiting for the end of the joint party meeting for six hours last night, and then watching Abbott’s late-night press conference, with unbelief and amazement, the country got some sense of how bad a tactical player, a tactical politician, the present Prime. Minister is.

The fifteen days he defended Bronwyn Bishop was, oh, thirteen too many, and his party lost all credibility on all issues while those days went by. And every hour after the first hour last night was even worse. It was an unplanned, unexpected meeting., and it seemed after the first hour that Abbott was being overthrown.

It was I suppose like the election of the Pope — black smoke, black smoke, white smoke — and the infinite patience of the cardinals.

There are a good few things to say here, about captains , picks, and Pyne’s fury, and Abbott’s receding sanity. We must also look at the Morgan figures, always accurate, that show Labor on 57 and the Coalition on 43 two party preferred, a larger majority for a winning party than any since Federation.

These figures were published before the six-hour meeting. And Abbott seems not realise how serious this is.. He could lose his seat, and Hockey his, and Barnaby Joyce It is gets worse and worse, and he does not see it.