Cheeseburger Gothic

The Boxer

Posted February 7, 2015 into Politics by John Birmingham

At the Herald this morning:

Finally the PM will stand up and defend the magnificent record of this government by doing what he does best, lashing out with ill-timed, poorly aimed haymakers that are as likely to knock the false teeth out of a passing grandmother as they are to land on anyone else.

"I am very confident, I am very confident," he repeated for reporters at the leadership weigh-in, before adding that he was very confident. "I know my colleagues, I trust my colleagues, I know and trust my colleagues. I know my colleagues got elected to end the chaos and that's exactly what we'll do," he said, swinging a chaotic, looping roundhouse punch at a picture of Malcolm Turnbull taped to a heavy bag. The blow landed, with a sickening wet crunch, on the jaw of a would-be medical student whose guard was down while she contemplated the crippling university fees with which the PM had cunningly distracted her.

Image ©Glen Le Lievre

67 Responses to ‘The Boxer’

JG puts forth...

Posted February 7, 2015
A fabulous story. Thanks for the link, Damian.

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MickH is gonna tell you...

Posted February 7, 2015
Why is it that a majority of the LNP MP's and the media haven't cottoned on to the fact that you really can't draw comparisons between what happened to Rudd and what is happening to Tone?
Rudd was an extremely popular leader with the voters and the reasons for his shock dismissal were kept from them. The resulting anger was understandable. But that's not the case with Tone. Tone, through his own actions, is an extremely unpopular PM and a large majority of them want the embarrassing fuck tard removed from office forthwith. (I have even heard of a few parties being organised to celebrate this if it comes to pass).

What the LNP needs to realise is that if, according to the polls, Turnball is made the PM, he becomes the preferred PM over Shorten by a country mile!
As a Labor voter, I'm now thinking I'd rather Tone stay with the job! :)

JG swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 7, 2015
It's a worry. I don't think Abbott will last until the next election. Either way--whether Toned Abs survives this round or not--ie spill #1-- the Libs' disgraceful policies remain.
I'm worried that the Libs will be re-elected at the next federal election if Malcolm Turnbull gets to be the Liberal Party's leader. Trouble is that Turnbull might be more popular than Shorten, purely based on charisma, rather than policies. I hope the Australian public wake up to themselves next election.
Witty article, JB (and clever illustration). Had me smiling with your imagery. I can just see Abbott jigging around in the boxing ring, spurring for a fistie fight. Australia: land of boxing roos and red speedoed politicians. Take your places. Ring the bell.
Joanna

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MickH mutters...

Posted February 7, 2015
'Abbott isn't president. He might want to run the prime ministership like a little Oval Office but this is a parliamentary democracy, not a republic with a directly elected executive. His desperate insistence, again and again this week, that the Australian people elect the Prime Minister, is exactly the opposite of being true. What a delicious irony that such a reactionary monarchist should appeal to pure republicanism in his final moments.'
This is fantastic! Not many people, I suspect, have realised this. Oh! To bathe in the hot bubbly irony pool!

Kate H mutters...

Posted February 7, 2015
Yes that is absolute GOLD...But TA is a simpleton and prepared to do and say anything to hold onto power.

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MickH reckons...

Posted February 7, 2015
Campbell Newman approached to stand in Victorian seat of Indi'
WTF?!!!

Abe Frellman reckons...

Posted February 8, 2015
Hmm let's see. Independent Cathy McGowan was elected on a wave of frustration with the incumbent, Sophie Mirabella, who was seen as a blow-in from the big smoke (she set up a legal practice in Benalla not long before being pre-selected for the hitherto safe Liberal seat). Much of the frustration her constituents had with her was based on her lack of consultation and her focus on party issues and inside-Canberra-beltway matters instead of her constituency.
So I would have thought parachuting Newman in from Qld with a view to him going on to lead the party would be a great way for the Libs to show the people of NE Victoria that it has heard the message they are sending them.

Anthony ducks in to say...

Posted February 8, 2015

The best bit is the comment that 10% of the army are stationed in that seat and the presumption that they would be automatic votes for Newman. Somewhat problematical hen the government shafted the military over pay and conditions and the incumbent is a well liked moderate independent conservative.

In fact the ex-military people I know (almost universally conservative voters) despise Campbell Newman.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted February 7, 2015
What are the true odds that Abbott will get das boot?

damian is gonna tell you...

Posted February 7, 2015
Uncertain. During the week I'd have said it is unlikely, but we've just seen a bunch of revelations that he's basically been so difficult with his supporters (notably including Julie Bishop) that you would have to imagine they are on the edge between exasperation and changing side.
It is more that the likely candidates aren't ready. Bishop herself will have seen how the press dealt with Australia's first female PM, who came to power in eerily similar circumstances, and I think rightly would not consider stepping into the line of fire like that. Morrison, unbelievable though he might be as possible PMial material, will be groomed by the right as a successor (Abbott isn't really from the right, but he plays to it and in return it has given him his power base) but certainly can't do that for himself and will need a few years.
Pyne should be disregarded... he's like a goblin riding the shoulder of one of the stronger candidates and flinging poo at rivals and enemies alike. If he's lucky he'll pick the winner and be permitted on that shoulder (no guarnatee).
Hockey is out of the running and it's possible his career will go down with Abbott's.
Turnbull is most likely, but he is the sort of bloke to pick his fight rather than to let the fight pick him. There's every indication that he won't regard this as auspicious timing, and will decline from entering the fray.
There may be no spill on Tuesday. There may be a spill, but the current partnership of Abbott and Bishop may be re-elected unopposed. This may be a reprieve and a last chance for Abbott (and Hockey). But most would see it as the right buying time to groom Morrison. If that's the way it plays, Turnbull will eat Morrison alive. No matter what happens, I think they are on their way to 2 or 3 terms of electoral oblivion, unless whoever takes over when they go down at the next election (presumably Turnbull) pulls a miracle out of his back pocket.

MickH asserts...

Posted February 7, 2015
As I said above Damian, Gillard did NOT come to power in the same circumstances, she organised the spill. Tone did it to himself here

damian puts forth...

Posted February 7, 2015
I say next election, but it's still very possible the ALP will win it for the Lib/Nat coalition next election, just like they did last time. Please note that it's the ALP who brought Tony Abbott to power, something I personally will find difficult to forgive in future years, if I ever find I can at all.

MickH has opinions thus...

Posted February 7, 2015
Paul, I have seen a number of these scenerios play out and they always end with a new PM. The very fact that his back bench feels the need to question his leadership, along with his poor poll results, have sunk him. Thank god.
I'll gladly give Damian odds that he goes.

BigWillieStyle reckons...

Posted February 7, 2015
I'm willing to bet Toned Abs is going nowhere. It's waaaaaaay more important to the Libs that they be seen as NotLabor, than actually doing what the entire country wants them to do, which is to consign this dumb little man to the curb/kerb. I reckon he'll lead the Libs to the next election.

damian has opinions thus...

Posted February 7, 2015
Like I said, during the week it was unlikely, now it's uncertain. I won't give more than 50/50 either way, for the reasons above.
There's a separate discussion going on about education reforms where my main bugbear is reading comprehension and I pick it being worst between our parents' and our generation... and I s'pose this discussion is an example contributing to my case there.

Abe Frellman ducks in to say...

Posted February 7, 2015
Paul, the market odds for him getting the boot between now and the next election (c.15 months away) are 3:1 on, ie there is a 75% probability he is toast. However, because at Tuesday's meeting he is able to determine how the vote will be run, he can call for a show of hands on whether to run a vote in the first place. This will split those against him between the vocal backbenchers who will happily put their hands up to call for a vote and those who are being quiet about it, for eg cabinet ministers, junior ministers, etc, who would probably vote against him in a secret ballot. So the likely result on Tuesday is that the motion to have a vote is defeated, possibly quite convincingly. His future from then on looks grim though, as those disgruntled by the fact they had to break cover via the show of hands use that as justification to whiteant him. Result: slow, messy demise. Or as a mate of mine who is a lot less balanced in his politics than yours truly said to me this week: "Don't shoot, LET 'EM BURN!"

MickH mumbles...

Posted February 7, 2015
abe, the brisbane times said yesterday that the spill vote will be by secret ballot

Abe Frellman reckons...

Posted February 7, 2015
I think his short term future swings on this.

insomniac is gonna tell you...

Posted February 7, 2015
I'm going with the NotLabor angle suggested by Big Willie, at least until the next fuck up, which won't be long. Tones will survive this one, think his leadership and policies have been endorsed, and carry on to fuck up in a short time frame, and if not then the next budget will do it.

Abe Frellman is gonna tell you...

Posted February 7, 2015
The thing is, Insomniac, there are going to be a lot of backbenchers in marginal seats who value their jobs more than the need to appear as Not Labor. But you've certainly hit the nail on the head as to the argument that the old guard from the safe seats will trot out.

Abe Frellman swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 8, 2015
MickH, I caught some of Turnbull's 'doorstop' this morning (really a journo was camped outside his home and he and his wife just happened to be going out for an early morning walk). While he pledged his support for The PM, he made a point of quoting John Howard to directly contradict him - leadership being a gift of the party room etc. The other thing he did was to gushingly complement The PM on using a secret ballot (so that nobody feels under pressure) and leaving the meeting for Tuesday, to give members a good chance to chat on Monday in Canberra.
I think both sides are being deliberately ambiguous about whether the secret ballot is for just the leadership vote (in the event the spill motion is carried) or also for the spill motion itself that precedes it (the vote to have a vote, as it were).
Turnbull is signalling that he thinks the spill motion should be by determined by secret ballot, but I'm not convinced that TA has actually committed to it. Could you point me to this BT article please?

Abe Frellman asserts...

Posted February 8, 2015
And after hearing this, TA has within half an hour announced that the meeting will be brought forward to Monday morning. It's all happening.

damian mumbles...

Posted February 8, 2015
I guess our Malcolm's been keeping his powder dry for a while. If TA offers him Treasurer, do you reckon he'd take that and use it to build his profile? He may be in a position to take credit for "fixing" the stuff that Hockey, rightly or wrongly, has been in the frame for since June. Is TA one who would even consider longer term stuff like arranging a structured transition?

Abe Frellman has opinions thus...

Posted February 8, 2015
He might, but TA has brought forward the meeting to this time tomorrow, so unlikely to happen I think.

Abe Frellman has opinions thus...

Posted February 8, 2015
Actually, if the spill motion is narrowly defeated (regardless of how it's conducted, but particularly if he goes down the show of hands path), TA might then try to shore things up by washing his hands of both Credlin and Hockey. Then maybe he moves Morrison to Defence to keep him quiet. As the Mythbusters would say, Plausible.

damian puts forth...

Posted February 8, 2015
Morrison is an interesting figure at this stage. By those guys' standards he's performed well - he's proved himself capable of eating a shit sandwich for the team and loving it. But for those very reasons people in general don't like his breath very much at the moment, so he needs a bit of time eating nothing but peaches, custard and elderflowers before he's a plausible leader.
Dunno about Hockey. He's in one of the safest Lib seats in the country, unless he loses endorsement he'll probably outlast them all and eventually die in office. But who knows... maybe in 15 years he'll do a John Howard

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Quokka puts forth...

Posted February 7, 2015
PNB, if the spill motion gets through they have the option of secret ballot or show of hands.He'll have more credibility if he allows it to go to a secret ballot & he survives the blood-letting.I watched 7.30 report on ABC last night, it's on iview if you can access it, and it has a good take on the odds of that.If he does survive this spill then the verdict is that he's been mortally wounded & it's only a matter of time before the entire pack sets upon him & rips him into pieces.As others have said, the only person who could replace him with any hope of winning the next election is Malcolm Turnbull & he's too moderate for most of the LNP to tolerate that.

damian mumbles...

Posted February 7, 2015
Turnbull is only moderate on social/progressive issues. On economics he's as hard as they come, probably more so than most because he lacks the believing-your-own-sides-propaganda veil that tosspots like Corman and Abetz seem to wear.

pi would have you know...

Posted February 7, 2015
I reckon if it's a secret ballot in the support of the spill motion, he's goneski. If it's a show of hands, he'll win but be mortally wounded, there'll be six more months of turmoil, the NSW government has a good chance of being toppled, and he'll be gone anyway.

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Lobes reckons...

Posted February 7, 2015
Impossible
for Abbott to stay in power now. As we saw with Rudd/Gillard the media
and the leakers will never stop until he is rolled. Only two possible
candidates to replace him; JBish and Turnbull. The Liberals will never
select a leader from outside their Sydney power base so Game-Set-Match
to Malcolm.

damian reckons...

Posted February 8, 2015
Apropos of nothing in particular, Joe Hockey is in North Sydney, the very safe seat bordering Maxine McKew's old seat of Bennelong. Don't think he's got it in him, but you never know. If there was a time when he might put his hat on a corner pole and have a go, this could be it. Very unlikely of course.

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Sudragon reckons...

Posted February 7, 2015
40 quatloos on the big ear'd contender in the red trunks...

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SZF mutters...

Posted February 7, 2015
He's been a dead man walking for at least a week - ever since the betting agencies had better odds on Tone not leading the Libs at the next election.

damian reckons...

Posted February 7, 2015
He's had the pallour of death for a while. It's come to seem normal.

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BigWillieStyle mutters...

Posted February 7, 2015
If Malcolm Turnbull does get the chocolates on Tuesday, have you given any thought to a witty moniker for him? We've had the Ruddbot, Orange Roughie and Toned Abs in recent times.

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Rhino reckons...

Posted February 7, 2015
Listen. I know the leadership of your country is at stake and all. But, all y'all have NOT noticed, or at the very least, commented on, the humorous anecdote that I posted on the He's Baaaaack thread. Comment #34.
I gave you bastards a taste of my stream of consciousness and you will abide. No edits. One mad typing session. A gut laugh.

damian reckons...

Posted February 7, 2015
Oh we all saw that. We were just too polite to point out that... oh yeah

Rhino mumbles...

Posted February 7, 2015
Bastard. I stayed up all night for some slight validation. It is 0432 here. Freezing cold on the patio and my industrial grade heater is out of propane and I dare not drive to the local 24x7 store to acquire another tank lest I be pulled over and be sent to the hoosegow for having inbibed too many adult beverages this evening.
Dropping the names of Boylan, Murphy and/or Birmo would not work as well as I'd like in Cherokee County, Georgia. (Yes, the county is named after the native people that were evicted and forced to walk to Oklahoma - for you Ozites, that's like Brissy to Sydney - I think.
Actually, my fear is that they would know of Boylan, fear him, and instead of arresting me, they would shoot first and dispose of my body to avoid facing him in court.
If I mentioned Birmingham, they'd think I was an Alabama fan. An equally fatal outcome in that situation.
And, if I said Murphy. Well, Georgia was an Irish penal colony. They would assume he was my partner in drunkeness and there would be hell to pay. They would probably beat me about the head and shoulders and leave me to suffer.
So, your pitiful dismissal of my little joke does not bother me in the least.
Who am I kidding? This is killing me.

damian is gonna tell you...

Posted February 7, 2015
In Queensland, white Australia faced a similar problem to the one your Georgians faced. Our solution was to darft a certain number into "Native Police" force, which in practice consisted of 2-3 dozens of mounted troops, each consisting maybe 30 men. The process was referred to as "dispersing native camps", whenever these became locally problematic for some reason.
The first half hour would involve shooting the inhabitants (all of them). The next few days would be about burning the bodies. The following days would involve burying the ashes. They'd generally be wrapped up in a week and a half.
In contrast to the practice in Poland and Ukraine in the 1940s, we didn't then also shoot the Native Police. Which suggests there are some salvageable elements of humanity to be found in the whole, decades-long episode. Probably much as there would be in your north-American history. But all this stuff is a bit of a challenge as you might imagine.

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Rhino mutters...

Posted February 7, 2015
Oh, and if any guy with the middle name of Bligh becomes PM ... The same middle name as his father and obviously passed down through the generations as you English-Lite people tend to do ... Well, you simple bastards will have gotten what you deserved.
Sincerely,Fletcher Christian.

damian reckons...

Posted February 7, 2015
Quite like Bligh, as a historical figure. Damn impressive trick navigating the cutter from the Bounty over the distance he did, with so few supplies and so many men. You know the story that Christian was gentry and Bligh middle class, and the dynamic of the mutiny was all about that? Bligh was generally not among the harshest of disciplinarians in the navy, and in fact most blamed the mutiny on his relative indulgence of his crew.

Anthony would have you know...

Posted February 8, 2015
I assume that the Rhino is aware that the previous premier but one in Queensland was a direct descendent of one William Bligh of Bounty and Rum Rebellion fame.

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Nocturnalist would have you know...

Posted February 8, 2015
Latest word is that there's a peace deal being thrashed out where Turnbull agrees not to step up in the spill motion in exchange for being made Treasurer.

So if that's true, I predict the next arc of the whole affair will be Hockey white-anting like crazy as revenge for getting tossed under the bus, and another spill motion by the end of the year at the absolute latest.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted February 8, 2015
I have never enjoyed a discussion here more than I have enjoyed this one. The chess match that is modern democracy is infinitely fascinating. The way y'all move the pieces on the board is fundamentally no different than the way it is done everywhere else.

Abe Frellman ducks in to say...

Posted February 8, 2015
Hmmmm, I think it is missing something and could be enhanced with an extra dimension like wagering. I think in the next revamp of the website it would be good if a 'clearinghouse' of various wagers could be incorporated. For example, "Damian has wagered $10 with MickH that outcome X will occur by a certain season (where that certain season is defined as 1 second past midnight on the first of Dec/Mar/Jun/Sep)." Of course any bets lost by our host would be declared null and void as a matter of course.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted February 8, 2015
Yes. This is a very, very good idea.

damian mumbles...

Posted February 8, 2015
The only safe bet I would make is that someone pretty darn despicable will lead the Liberal Party of Australia this time tomorrow, whether or not that will involve Sir Peter Cosgrove swearing him or her in as Prime Minister of Australia (unnecessary if it's the Abster after all)....

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MickH swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 8, 2015
Is anyone else getting sick of Tone's 'Captain's calls'?

Therbs is gonna tell you...

Posted February 8, 2015
I reckon a few in his party are pissed off about the meeting being brought forward without consultation or prior warning. The stupid fucko doesn't learn.

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NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted February 8, 2015
My $.02 As always we are only getting the tip of the ice berg, through the filter of desperate journos. I suspect that TA will be PM @ the next election, as he has a reputation as a successful campaigner. What we are seeing is the application of force to a lever, with the fulcrum is the noise over the knighthood. The hands on the lever are the Drys extracting PPL.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted February 9, 2015
Looks to me like Tony easily won the "informal" vote.

insomniac swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 9, 2015
Well yes, but when 40% of people essentially vote for "nothing" in a one-way contest there will be leadership rumblings for some time to come.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted February 9, 2015
Cold comfort. Anything short of deposing the King is a failure.

Nocturnalist mutters...

Posted February 9, 2015

+++Well yes, but when 40% of people essentially vote for "nothing" in a one-way contest there will be leadership rumblings for some time to come.+++

Someone's dug up a lovely quote from Abbott's time as Opposition leader, when he demanded of the former PM how she could possibly claim a mandate for office when a third of her colleagues had failed to express support for her.

Wonder if anyone'll ask him about that?

+++Cold comfort. Anything short of deposing the King is a failure.+++

I dunno. I think what we saw was the opening move in a longer process. It's like saying that the first axe-stroke against the trunk of a full-grown tree is a failure because it takes more axe-strokes to bring the thing down.

w from brisbane has opinions thus...

Posted February 9, 2015
Yes, I would say, like in a papal vote, this is just stage 1. I reckon the likely longer term outcome is Abbott resigning. Depends on the party room confidence in the alternatives. Also, you sense the media have decided that it is time for a new jester. If the media maintain high interest in the leadership story, that is usually terminally corrosive.

insomniac puts forth...

Posted February 9, 2015
w, do you think he might not resign but instead go to an election as an alternative, just to say if I can't have the top job, no one can?

w from brisbane ducks in to say...

Posted February 9, 2015
I wouldn't think so. He survives only at the behest of the elected federal coalition members. I reckon there had better be a poll bounce. Everyone will be looking at the next couple of newspolls with great interest. Maybe he will get a lift in thenpolls. He has looked so sad. Like a grieving child at a parent's funeral, wanting to cry but bravely holding up his little chin, but oh dear, you can see the confusion and hurt in his little eyes. Maybe he will get some sympathy votes.

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Lulu puts forth...

Posted February 9, 2015
If they go to the next election with him as PM, they are more likely to lose. In my view that's a win.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted February 9, 2015
I am no expert, and I tend to be wrong when issuing an opinion after unsuccessfully attempting to plumb the depths of Australian thought and culture (I pretend to be a fair minded dinkum bloke whereas I'm really spiritually closer to your average munted bogan), but I think you're wrong. This is actually good news for Abbott. He may be a fool, but he is no idiot. Watch how he responds to this unsuccessful coup.

MickH is gonna tell you...

Posted February 9, 2015
Yes Paul, he has 6 months, apparently, to change his spots.He will be watched very carefully for this. I wouldn't doubt a book being run on it

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insomniac reckons...

Posted February 9, 2015
that just proves your munted bogan spiritualnessness...ness

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MickH swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 9, 2015
Many canny Labor supporters I know are glad that Tone still has control because if he leads that rabble into the next election he will lose. A Turnbull lead Lib party however would be a different story.

So

Go Tony go, what will you next gaff be? Knighting Rolf Harris?

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BigWillieStyle asserts...

Posted February 9, 2015
In an effort to reunite the nation, and give his approval ratings a boost, I suspect Toned Abs will give himself a knighthood, after consulting and being collegial with precisely nobody else in the party.

"I've brought down two - count 'em, two! - Prime Ministers, I've scrapped two - count 'em, two! - sources of revenue for the Government, and I think you'll all agree, I've got a pretty sizzling set of biceps going on here. I can think of nobody else who deserves to be knighted than me."

If that doesn't work, nothing will.

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Quokka mumbles...

Posted February 11, 2015
The thing about the knighthoods is that nobody would have a problem with them getting rolled out to deeply unpopular Captain's Picks if the deal involved mandatory jousting matches.i.e. Arise, Sir Tim Carmody! Your contest in the ring today is Sir Rupert.Have at thee!

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Respond to 'The Boxer'

Goodbye to Campbell Newman and Not Campbell Newman

Posted February 2, 2015 into Politics by John Birmingham

The one downside of Saturday.

24 Responses to ‘Goodbye to Campbell Newman and Not Campbell Newman’

Halwes swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 2, 2015

Can you explain what just happened? I was in Qld and detected no appetite for change at all. It was a very low budget, low key Labor campaign and a high profile / cost, generally mistake free, on message liberal campaign. Unfortunately this isn't a great democratic socialist position to be in is it? Katter may be the controlling power as I see it and it may be better to let the conservatives manage a hung parliament. It will be a very difficult ask whoever gets in. At least the reef might get some attention.

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Halwes swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 2, 2015
And if they could stop monstering motorcyclists, workers, environmentalists and old people, that would be good too.

Anthony would have you know...

Posted February 2, 2015

As a motorcyclist etc. I wholeheartedly agree. The best thing is the removal of the simpering idiot of a police minister.

I and the rider representatives were invited to a meeting with him when the anti-association laws first came in. I've dealt with lot of Ministers from all sides of politics both as part of my work and through organisations I've belonged to.


Whether you agree with their policies or not (or even like them - and some of those I vehemently disagreed with were still likeable as people) they all had one thing in common, a modicum of intelligence. All bar one; the outgoing Police Minister. I don't think I've ever had a meeting whee even the cops were trying to keep a straight face at the amazing silliness of his answers to questions. There's an interesting report on it at

http://motorbikewriter.com/logical-flaw-in-motorcycle-ride-register/


Needless to say I wasn't invited to subsequent meetings :-)

Halwes is gonna tell you...

Posted February 2, 2015
What do you ride? I've got a 71 BSA 650 Lightning. Hardly outlaw material.

Anthony is gonna tell you...

Posted February 2, 2015

I've got a 2010 BMW F800ST, '83 BMW R65LS and a 1983 Suzuki Katana 550 to match. The Kat and the R65 are a nice matched pair since they both came from a Hans Muth design.

They're also nothing a self-respecting OMC member would be seen dead on although your BSA would be acceptable to most since it's English. In the days of my youth before H-Ds were sold here in quantity, most of the outlaws rode British Bikes (Brando made it acceptable in "The Wild One")

Halwes ducks in to say...

Posted February 2, 2015
Hey cool. Mum always said I'd wind up an outlaw. That's quite a stable you've got. I looked at the ST as I trawled almost every bike shop in Sydney recently. I loved the look of them and the Triumph Tiger 1200 but have no idea how either of them would perform. I rode Bultaco matadors when I was a kid. $850 out of a box from Spain. I flogged all of them into the ground like an idiot, in my defence they did have a weak bigend, and tried to find one on the net the other day thinking that I'd pick one up cheap and do it up. No chance. I did consider hiring a Harley when I was in Brisbane for a ride up to the sunnie coast but decided I didn't want the cops rummaging through my stuff. This police state is pissing me off.

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w from brisbane mumbles...

Posted February 2, 2015
There was widespread distaste for much of the LNP agenda. And the previous election, taking a broken promise angle, the LNP successfully ran a campaign mainly focussed on opposing asset sales. This election, the LNP ran a campaign mainly focussed on supporting asset sales. Odd! Sure, there was a large swing this election, but it was a correction to normal voting percentages.
I reckon the last good Qld state govt we had was the 1998 Beattie Govt. Labor won 44 seats, with independent Peter Wellington giving them the necessary 45 seats. Wellington seems a decent and honourable fellow and forced that Govt to be the best version of itself. I'd be happy for him to hold the balance of power again.

w from brisbane mumbles...

Posted February 2, 2015
Correction: the sentence was meant to be "Sure, there was a large swing this election, but it was a correction back to normal voting percentages."

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Rob mumbles...

Posted February 2, 2015

I though it was a return to the form I remember Queensland having when I first moved there. A labor government, then they vote in a Lib/Nat government for one term. Everyone comes to their senses, and votes in a Labour government after the Lib/Nats start looking like creepy white shoe , white hat property developing weirdos and try to get big Joh on everything. It would really help if Queensland has a bicameral parliament again, a house of review might actually reduce the power of the executive and stop the sillyness of unchecked power in an unregulated society.

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BigWillieStyle swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 2, 2015
Did anybody else notice the bedroom eyes Mrs N was throwing Campbell's way during his concession speech? She was standing about 10 centimetres away the whole time, and was totally hot for him. Not all bad for the (former) member for Ashgrove on Saturday night, I guess.

damian has opinions thus...

Posted February 2, 2015
You're weird. She was standing like her right hand was up him... sometimes you caught her lips moving while he was talking, saying the same thing he was saying. Had no-one else noticed how much he looks like a ventriloquist dummy?

Quokka would have you know...

Posted February 3, 2015
Damian, we both said the same thing when we were watching that. The man has never looked more like a muppet.And while she had that big smile on her face & she was nodding enthusiastically & trying hard to gracious in defeat, her jaw was set & angry & you could sense the rage bubbling within.

insomniac asserts...

Posted February 3, 2015
The primary observation in our house was that her head was much bigger than his head.
Ms insomniac disapproves of women who are too tall for the men they are with.

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Therbs mutters...

Posted February 2, 2015
Gonna miss @Can_do_Campbell on the twitterz. A well run account.

NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted February 2, 2015
Indeed.Well played that man. Some of the troll bouts were, to my taste, some of the finest bat work I've seen in years.
In some stanzas reminiscent of Birmo-after-4-reds vintage 'summer 0f 09-10-11. Remember the Chinese? Unknown serried ranks of them hating as one man.
A connoisseur of the form might argue that @C_D_C faced a different kind of opposition. Like comparing a ton with the willow against the Pakistanis, VS say Rhodesia or America.But damned fine form, damned fine.
I've a mind to put it him up for Recognition by The Bounders. Where is that Awards Officer?

Abe Frellman ducks in to say...

Posted February 2, 2015
Anyone getting along to the Madge Court on Weds to cheer him on?

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 3, 2015
I'm in Sydney otherwise I'd be there.

Therbs ducks in to say...

Posted February 3, 2015

Guest artistic director for The Visions of Vienna gig at the Opry House? 'Splodey strudels ftw!

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted February 3, 2015
I would give anything to be there. I am fascinated with Australian due process.

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Abe Frellman mutters...

Posted February 2, 2015
The vote count seems to have slowed right down, which is a pity, as I am waiting on a payout from Betfair.
You haven't started working for Betfair lately, have you, JB?

Therbs mutters...

Posted February 3, 2015
So you backed Hanson, yeah? You always loved the gingers.

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Murphy has opinions thus...

Posted February 3, 2015
So, shopping for a new Prime Minister anytime soon?

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted February 3, 2015
Shoppers are rushing towards the checkout

Shifty Tourist ducks in to say...

Posted February 3, 2015

I'm not so sure. I don't think the LNP would dare, considering the crap they levelled at Gillard. I could be wrong of course, there was a good article in Fairfax talking about how it could be possible, essentially arguing the big difference was Rudd was still reasonably popular, ratings were falling, but still not dire. Where as, Abbott does not even have Rudd's popularity at its worst.

The problem is this argument was nuanced and intelligent.... not something backbenchers or ministers (or elected reps) are known for generally. Can they see the difference? or will they stick to the simple, easily understood rule "don't kill the leader (anymore)".

Also there is the question, who leads if Abbott goes? Turnbull? A parliamentarian who is widely respected and liked... by people who don't vote liberal.

Bishop.... strong performer, but Foreign Affairs is highly uncontroversial (so long as Australians aren't currently being tortured in Gitmo).

Morrisson.... I'm not even going to discuss that, the idea is just too horrible to consider.

Ultimately I believe it can only be a Turnbull/Bishop ticket, but I think both of them are too smart to commit career suicide. Neither wants to be PM, only to be a caretaker to the role for a year before giving it up to Labour at the next election.

I think (and politics moves so quickly that I could already be proved wrong) that both of them would be smart enough to think, let Tony lose, count on Shorten being disappointing (good odds), take government off him.

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Respond to 'Goodbye to Campbell Newman and Not Campbell Newman'

Maybe Tone should have knighted Taylor Swift instead

Posted January 26, 2015 into Politics by John Birmingham

Then again I wouldn't have scored a lazy quid for knocking out this column about Sir Phil the Greek.

To those who would decry this honour I say God's smothering bollocks upon you! Certainly, the PM could have embiggened any old convict. As Lord Nelson (H.G, not the other one) remarked on Australia Day morning, Sir Molly Meldrum, Sir Geoffrey Edelsten and Dame Dannii Minogue select themselves. But these would have been the obvious choices. The safe and predictable and boring options.

At smh.com

60 Responses to ‘Maybe Tone should have knighted Taylor Swift instead’

MickH has opinions thus...

Posted January 26, 2015
I am so embarrassed to be an Australian today.
As many of you know, I have had 'issues' with Tone all the way back to the days when he headed up the liberals dirty tricks department and got Pauline put in jail. I'm not a big fan of Pauline either but the act was reprehensible and Tone has gone on in the same manner.
To return us to the whole knighthood thing and then turn around and knight the Queens 93 old hubby is such an act of suckerry, it defies belief.

How can the leader of an independent 1st world nation do such a thing? Its wrong on so many levels that the words treachery and treason came to mine. Seriously.

The sooner we get this TOTAL idiot out of power the better.

Again to the overseas burgers I apologize for this on behalf of all the normal patriotic Aussies out there and hope to return our country to normality as soon as possible .

Guru Bob would have you know...

Posted January 27, 2015
I read an article today which said 'his head must be in a strange place indeed' which sums it up well, because obviously his head is up his arse...

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MickH would have you know...

Posted January 26, 2015
God I'm angry!!!

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w from brisbane has opinions thus...

Posted January 26, 2015
Mick, I am more gobsmacked than angry. Tony now has absolutely zero defence to anybody accusing him of being an antediluvian nutbag. But I did like Shorten's comment. I think it is a wonderfully understated observation when having to comment on someone who is obviously totally deranged . I must remember it. Shorten: '"I just think people think it's an unusual priority."

MickH has opinions thus...

Posted January 26, 2015
LOL yeah, understated is the word. Bat shit crazy is what I'm thinking

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insomniac asserts...

Posted January 26, 2015
Some of us are lucky not be Australian today, and can poke fun at others with their Dear Leader's latest brain fart.

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balri has opinions thus...

Posted January 26, 2015
I am completely dumbfounded

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pedrogb reckons...

Posted January 26, 2015
Very odd decision indeed.Nice use of "embiggened" though.Still waiting for use of "cromulate"Pedro

damian reckons...

Posted January 26, 2015
That's a perfectly cromulant word.

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NBlob mutters...

Posted January 26, 2015
Classic red herring. Once again we are discussing triviality, when there are so many far far far more important issues at play.

damian is gonna tell you...

Posted January 26, 2015
Yeah this. Maybe some other things too.

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w from brisbane is gonna tell you...

Posted January 26, 2015
Oh, sweet giddy Jesus. I am still chuckling about Tony wielding the might sword to honour the fabulous Phil. This is, I think, the funniest moment in the history of the Australian body politic. Apparently, Tony didn't consult. Ha ha ha ha. I can just imagine the often blamed Peta Credlin today saying to her detractors, 'You see! Can you see you stupid c*nts! This is the absolute fkn dickwit that I have to herd every day.'

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pi would have you know...

Posted January 26, 2015
How bizarre.

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SZF has opinions thus...

Posted January 26, 2015
In amongst all the obsequious lunacy of this, isn't Crazy Phil already a Knight of the Garter - the highest order of knighthood in the British Empire?
It's a bit like offering Stephen Hawking an honorary diploma in physics from Advanced Hair Studios...

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Therbs reckons...

Posted January 27, 2015
Abbott reminds me of Wile E. Coyote. He got himself a box of "ACME Exploding Knighthoods" and in a piece of comic genius blew himself to smithereeenies.

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Lulu would have you know...

Posted January 27, 2015
I think it's very unfair all those howwible people are accusing the PM of dragging us back to the 1950s. By my estimate it's more like the 1590s.

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Penley would have you know...

Posted January 27, 2015
I think it's wonderful. Watching Tones veer from catastrophe to catastrophe has just been a delight, a truly enjoyable spectator sport. I feel actual glee every times he does/says something stupid, and this latest effort has been just too good to be true. Shorten must be wondering what sort of topsy turvy world this is - he doesn't have to do ANYTHING with Tony, he does it all to himself.

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Wolfcat would have you know...

Posted January 27, 2015
The skill to cock up Australia day awards should not be underestimated.
Abbott is truly a giant amongst us mortals. Can you think of any other PM that could screw up Australia Day awards. Can you think of any one else that could hand out the top Australia Day awards to only women, to follow up the next day with not being able to find a single woman to give a Dame title to.
I personally am looking forward to his April Fools joke, because he has started the year so strong.

insomniac reckons...

Posted January 27, 2015
April Fool's day is now redundant. No one could top that, except Tony of course. Every time you think he's reached the pinnacle of idiocy, he manages to find one more peak to climb.

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Rob asserts...

Posted January 27, 2015

Just goes to show how little real ideas or vision or beliefs for that matter,our elected 'leaders' actually have. Its shocking that Toned Abs did this, but really,its no worse than all the crazy thought balloons of KRudd or Gillard. With the death of Tom Uren on the weekend it just shows how far any of these professional politicians have come, from men of ideas and conviction to the sad spectacle of PR driven second guessing sad gits who couldn't get a job anywhere else if they tried.

NBlob puts forth...

Posted January 27, 2015
I missed Tom Uren's passing. Damn. Quite a guy, the obits don't do him justice. Digger, POW & peacenik. A profane rogue with a profound ethic. A troublemaker in a position authority. An incredibly broad & interested intellect who was played as a fool.
Vale Tom Uren

Halwes is gonna tell you...

Posted January 28, 2015

I was lucky enough to meet Tom a couple of times. What an intelligent bloke he was. A really down to earth, lovely person. Blokes like him really make some of our current politicians look so much less than ordinary. I can't imagine that there will ever be a person that could fill his shoes and it makes me very sad. Loved your work mate.

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JG asserts...

Posted January 27, 2015
Of course, little that Australians think or say means anything to Abbott. He called social media 'electronic graffiti' yesterday because, you know, ideas don't count. Way to top off a great day, Tony. Can just imagine the Chaser team, Mad As Hell's Shaun Micallef, and other comedians sending this up. I bet the entire LNP team woke up today with that 'oh no! Did he really do that?' feeling today. The morning after regrets and shame. Hahaha. Death by cringe.

JG has opinions thus...

Posted January 27, 2015
The Liberal Party, rather (not the LNP). Backbenchers of Liberal Party now want a meeting with Abbott. Rumblings in the ranks. Nothing will help them now, not even if there's a change of leadership between now and the federal election. I hope.

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Shifty Tourist ducks in to say...

Posted January 27, 2015

How stupid.... The whole knights and dames thing was ridiculous enough, but to go an give a made up title to a family that has a virtual monopoly over made up titles reduces this to farce.

I honestly can't understand why the Queen didn't laugh condescendingly at the suggestion. Its a bit like giving Daniel Day-Lewis a Gold Logie

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Darth Greybeard mumbles...

Posted January 27, 2015
I wish you people would leave him alone. The last thing I want is to see Tones replaced with something that can be sold to the public as competent. Do we really want Prime Minister and Minister for Internal Security, Border Security and Concentration Camps Scott Morrison? Rather surprised we didn't get Dame Gina Rinehart or Sir Rupert Murdoch though.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted January 27, 2015
I think all of this is fucking hilarious. In the middle of my day I start chuckling over how incredibly silly it is.

Thank y'all for this wonderful gift that keeps giving.

I owe Australia big time.

she_jedi would have you know...

Posted January 29, 2015
All through the George W Bush years we smirked and mocked your countrymen for that government. It's only fair you laugh your head off during the Abbott years. Karma's a bitch.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 29, 2015
You know I hate to disagree with you (in particular) but this really isn't the same. The Bush years were so horrific tragic it wasn't possible to enjoy a good laugh. To many people died. To much money was utterly wasted. Mr. Abbott is a buffoon, harmless in comparison to the global train wreck virtually illiterate agent of the apocalypse that that was George W. Bush. Bush was tragedy; Abbott is farce. Sure, Abbott is evil, but his evil manifests in hilarious clumsy attempts to ape British class structures. Bush was and is as funny as James Eagan Holmes.

NBlob reckons...

Posted January 29, 2015
That'd be why "Bush 3 The Jebonator" is in pre-production as we speak.

she_jedi is gonna tell you...

Posted January 30, 2015
Monsieur Boylan feel free to disagree, because you're right about the difference between Abbott and Bush. The way the backbench is muttering about his latest mishap there's a very good chance Abbott will be consigned to the Prime Ministerial graveyard before he has a chance to really get going in the unnecessary wasting of money and lives stakes, whereas Bush's legacy is still causing headaches for Obama 8 years on.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted January 30, 2015
Not just Obama. Me. You. Our kids. Their kids. Bush's needless invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, his mismanagement of the American economy and his appointment of Roberts and Alito to the SCOTUS lead to the rise of Iran and China, the resurgence of Russia, the continuing disintegration of the EU, the repeal of the US Voting Rights Act and the Citizens United decision. His legacy is future war, hopeless poverty, the end of the American Dream and the killing of the Pax Americana by reaching into its cradle and strangling it while he laughed as his cronies laughed along with him.

Sorry for the off topic rant. I am a very disappointed conservative member of the republican party - and I still am, despite the inescapable reality that my party has gone insane.

NBlob would have you know...

Posted January 30, 2015
Don't forget Bush jnr; made the Davis Blue Devils lose the pennant, caused H5 N7 to evolve a shifting antigen structure, provoked a smut outbreak in the West Australian wheat crop of 2008, which in turn made the wheat futures market double overnight, then half a month later, fostered antivaccination with his opinion = SIENTS example, spawned Faith Based Initiatives that led to nothing except a waste of money and increased desperation and initiated a chain of events that led to the loss of the ESA lander Beagle. *insert sarcasm gif*
Raise of Iran? China?Resurgence of CIS?I'd accept that he/they may have missed opportunities, but causation is a long arsed bow to draw.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted January 30, 2015
Nope. It's true: his administration's nonfeasance, misfeasance and malfeasance caused it all by trashing three centuries of consistent American policy and long range planning - which included neutralizing Russia (accomplished), China (planned and pending prior to 9-11) and preventing Iran from gaining any regional hegemony by balancing Iran with Iraq.

Granted, Bush's bumbling caused the sub prime mortgage bubble to burst early rather than later (it was going to burst eventually) leading to the sovereign debt crisis that will result in the break up of the EU. So it wasn't all bad.

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w from brisbane ducks in to say...

Posted January 27, 2015
Yes PNB, the laughter isn't stopping anytime soon.
The Prince's title in full now is:
His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, Baron Greenwich, Royal Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Extra Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, Grand Master and First and Principal Knight Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Member of the Order of Merit, Knight of the Order of Australia, Additional Member of the Order of New Zealand, Extra Companion of the Queen's Service Order, Royal Chief of the Order of Logohu*, Extraordinary Companion of the Order of Canada, Extraordinary Commander of the Order of Military Merit, Canadian Forces Decoration, Lord of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, Privy Councillor of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, Personal Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty, Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom.

* PNB, When I read about Prince Philip in your fine book, Sex Slaves of the Congo, I thought you were taking creative licence when you referred to him as 'The Royal Chief of the Order of Logohu', but you were just being historically accurate. Well done!

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted January 27, 2015
Thank you. When I wrote Sex Slaves of the Congo I was attempting to emulate Leviathan.

I am currently working on the sequel: More Sex Slaves of the Congo.

insomniac asserts...

Posted January 27, 2015
Not "Sexier Slaves of the Congo" then?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted January 28, 2015
A fine suggestion, but not a title choice for my new work. It hints at sentimentality and would denigrate the gritty journalistic realism I aspire for my prose to achieve.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted January 28, 2015
Sort of like if Edward R. Murrow wrote porn.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted January 28, 2015
Which he did, under the pseudonym "Percy Johnson."

Rhino asserts...

Posted January 30, 2015
Variety had an article today that PNB was in deep talks with Netflix to bring Sex Slaves of the Congo to them as a mini-series.
Dame Judi Dench is said to be interested in one of the leading roles as long as, and I quote, "I finally get to show off these magnificent tatas to the world" end quote.

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JBtoo mutters...

Posted January 27, 2015
He is so inept and out of touch I almost feel sorry for him... almost.Got phone polled this evening on Medicare, GST, Sir Prince Phil and competence of PM & OL. Think they're in panic mode.My responses won't reassure.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted January 30, 2015
I don't know. I suspect he is ept.

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pi reckons...

Posted January 27, 2015
Satire is now officially over :

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/27/its-over-its-now-impossible-to-satirise-tony-abbott

Mark Simkin going well in day 1 in his new role as kamikaze pilot

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GhostSwirv mutters...

Posted January 27, 2015

Bravo, bravo - PM Tony Abbott.

Our fearless leader is currently Australia's greatest living satirist, a genuine self-effacing, pun on the edge, Kafkaesque desperado who has out-gunned most, if not all of Oz's leading comic geniuses with his off the cuff, off the wall, off the planet sense of humour.

No comic writer working at the moment could have conceived, let alone the deliver the sheer lunacy of our current Chief Knarliamentarian - if only we knew before the election how ridiculously hilariarse TA was, is and forever, more of us would've voted for him as best comedian at the 2014 Melbourne Comedy Festival - I hope he's eligible for this year's competition.

Can't what to see and hear what he does next - but whatever it is you can be sure that no other comedy writer or team of writers has thought of it before and for that Comics of Ozstraya - you should hang your heads in shame.

When the PM of Terra Nullis is clearly funnier than those being paid to lampoon him something is horribly wrong with those brave souls charged with making us laugh, guffaw, smirk and even let out a discreet sensible chuckle.

GhostSwirv over and out ...

NBlob asserts...

Posted January 28, 2015
I think you'll find our host JB predicted this golden age a month before the election.

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted January 28, 2015
Not only predicted, but promised. And I always keep my promises.

GhostSwirv asserts...

Posted January 28, 2015
I predict that about from being riotously funny and entertaining our fearless is otherwise ...

http://memory-beta.wikia.com/wiki/Gorn

GhostSwirv over and out of cheap Star Trek links ... for the moment.

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Quokka swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 28, 2015
The Qld LNP must be shitting themselves wondering what else PM Clownshoes can pull out of his arse before we go to the polls on Saturday.Although, nobody punishes a state gubbermint if a federal gubbermint is being dumb, Shirley?

insomniac has opinions thus...

Posted January 28, 2015
In the current situation you would like to think that voters would hold on to some of that electoral pain for the federal gubbermunt

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MarkatVAVS mutters...

Posted January 28, 2015
PM Tone(I failed at being a monk) abbutt is so far out of touch with reality, that he thinks the demotion of a Prince down to a Knight, and an Australian one at that is okay.

Just when you think he could make any more mistakes, he just turns around and pulls another on of of the hat. I surprised he did not give one to his mate Stephen Harper, the PM of Canaidia..
This guy is an idiot, and even that is an insult to idiots.

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Halwes ducks in to say...

Posted January 28, 2015

Just went through Qld for a few days and one thing that I got out of it was LNP is strong. Campbell Newman is strong. Queensland is strong with LNP and Campbell Newman. Queenslanders want to be strong. LNP in a landslide despite the strong smell of bullshit.

Darth Greybeard reckons...

Posted January 28, 2015
The Farce is Strong with that lot. (Says the recently ex-Qlder)

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w from brisbane has opinions thus...

Posted January 29, 2015
I'm feeling uncomfortable with this new and unexpected emotion. I'm feeling sorry for Tony Abbott.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted January 29, 2015
There is a tremendous amount of dramatic irony associated with his condition.

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Anthony ducks in to say...

Posted January 29, 2015
Generally if Rupert Murdoch and Andrew Bolt say something is "pathetically stupid" I immediately think it must be pretty good. However a horrible consequence of this whole sorry business is that I've found myself agreeing with them. For hat alone I can never forgive Abbott...

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JG reckons...

Posted February 6, 2015
It's on. Leadership spill motion called for next Tuesday. Another Prime Minister of Australia on the way, most likely. Bye, Tony.

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Respond to 'Maybe Tone should have knighted Taylor Swift instead'

Look out, Mr President! Drop bears!

Posted November 15, 2014 into Politics by John Birmingham

From my SMH bit this morning:

It hardly matters that the Russians did not specifically despatch a "fleet" to the antipodes, as the more breathless and giddy reports had it. The flagship Moskva, its keel laid down in the wintry depths of the Brezhnev era, was already hanging around, conducting cheeky live fire drills in the South China Sea – the geopolitical equivalent of lighting up your farts in a poorly maintained gas refinery. The frigate Yaroslav Mudry and a replenishment ship were even closer, flying the flag in Jakarta, to support a dozen or more Russian arms exporters at the Indonesian Defence expo.

Meanwhile, the presence of an ocean-going tug, to drag away any of Tsar Vladimir's ageing gunboats should they break down, tells you everything you need to know about the readiness and reach of Moscow's naval forces in the Pacific.

The sick joke of the government's scurity threatre, as the column goes on, is the way they've been treating the 'workers' of the ADF when they're done using them as extras in photo ops.

6 Responses to ‘Look out, Mr President! Drop bears!’

damian mumbles...

Posted November 15, 2014
I'd like to think a couple of ANZAC class frigates would be more than a match for a 70s missile cruiser that looks like a "Stalin's pipes" rocket launcher from WWII, dragging its arse on the ground all the way to the Coral Sea, and the almost as old destroyer that's primary mission seems to have been the one it executed successfully in San Fran a couple of years ago, which is not to break down in an embarrassing way.

The sobering thing is that the Varyag probably carries nukes, and that while I've no doubt its missiles are not a match for stuff we can field to stop them reaching their targets, that doesn't mean we avoid getting loads of toxic debris in a world heritage environmental asset.

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Bunyip would have you know...

Posted November 15, 2014
The effective pay cut for the ADF et al is gobsmacking. Ta for mentioning it.

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insomniac reckons...

Posted November 15, 2014
Aren't they getting a double whammy? First with a below CPI rise, and second with the loss of entitlements. Either one of those without the other is a cut.
Tony and his cronies are definitely a bunch of cuts.

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Murphy has opinions thus...

Posted November 16, 2014
You know, you have those AP-3 Orions. Might buzz them a few times, prominently showing off Harpoons mounted on the wings.

Sometimes the best message is the gun sitting on the desk in hand's reach.

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

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Shifty Tourist is gonna tell you...

Posted November 17, 2014

Not to get too flower cuddling hippy (think thats what hippies do) about this, should invite them aboard (so to speak) and introduce them to some some Australian hospitality... which generally means (depending one subset of the community), getting pissed, arguing about how Abbott/Rudd/Gillard/Rudd/Howard/Keating/Hawke/Fraser/Gough etc. ruined the country... before moving on to more important issues, like arguing about sport..... I think we'd have more in common with you average Russian sailor than we think.

And lets face it, a bunch of miserable sailors, on ancient rust buckets, who probably haven't been paid since the Yeltsin administration, are not the enemy.... Vlad, certainly, the poor shmucks hired to fight Vlads wars, not so much.

So I say, untill our mutual dickhead rulers tell us we need to shoot at eachother (which is highly unlikely of course), I say they are just friends we have not bought a round for yet. Now back to tie-dying my shirt.


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Chaz would have you know...

Posted November 17, 2014
I just wonder if those ships will actually make it home....

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Respond to 'Look out, Mr President! Drop bears!'

The Navigator

Posted October 25, 2014 into Politics by John Birmingham

So much written this week about the mythologizing of hte Gough Whitlam. Most of it on the Right, moaning about the Left. Greg Sheridan's column on Thursday was an example of the form. But in fact a lot of the Whitlam myth was manufactured on the Right. In hindsight his economic policies, especially in the era of OPEC driven catastrophe can be seen as unremarkable and the call his government made on the public purse was significantly less than that of economically dry John Howard.

Another element of myth making which plays such a large part in US politcs, but almost none here, is war service. Whitlam flew with the RAAF in WW2, but rarely made anything of it. I wrote todays column to remind everyone, Greg Sheridan included, of that service.

Illo by Glen Le Lievre from the SMH.

For three years Gough Whitlam risked his life climbing into the sky where other men wanted to kill him. He fought against the Japanese as a navigator and bomb aimer with the RAAF's Number 13 Squadron, which flew slow, under-armed Bristol Beauforts and later the American-made Lockheed Venturas as long-range maritime strike aircraft.

Perhaps, like Keith Miller, the test cricketer and fellow air force veteran who famously scoffed at the idea of there being any real pressure in sport – "pressure is a Messerschmitt up your arse" – Whitlam took some perspective from those years.

A vast right-wing conspiracy might have wanted to destroy him and his government, but at least they weren't actively trying to kill him.

Read more.


10 Responses to ‘The Navigator’

Darth Greybeard asserts...

Posted October 25, 2014
Nice article, fkn awful comments. Bebe and Flanders must set their alarms on a Saturday to get in first. Never a countering fact or logical argument, no history, just trolling. Always swilling and serving the Murdoch Kool-Aid. Never mind the High Commissioner's post - I wonder how our history might be different if Rupe had snuffed it pre-Thatcher. Now there's an alt-history that might be less dystopic.

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MickH asserts...

Posted October 25, 2014
Ironically, my memories of Whitlam as a kid were polerized by my father, a serving RAAF member at the time, who despised him.

'With defence cuts under the Whitlam Government, No 76 Squadron was disbanded amongst much ill feeling in August 1973.'

The RAAF at the time hated his guts!

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Halwes would have you know...

Posted October 25, 2014

We held a wake for Gough last night at the pub. It brought back some great memories of Australia before and after him. I lived in a working class area of the western suburbs of Sydney for a time and there wouldn't have been many women in our street that didn't get bashed by their husbands at least once. Domestic violence and male dominance was something we took for granted. Women were imprisoned because of no single parent support, no refuges, no family court and no no fault divorces. Whitlam championed all these causes and caused me, for the first time, to question the status quo. I am incredibly proud of the achievements of the left. None of the rank and file made much money but we did make a difference to the lives of our fellow human beings and were roundly criticised for it. I learnt that, if the liberals hate you, then you can't be all bad. If you can't hold your head up you can never be free and so many of the 60's era women were so downtrodden for so long that it seemed impossible that many of them would be able to hold their heads up ever again. RIP Gough. Loved your work mate.

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Barnesm mumbles...

Posted October 25, 2014
<font color="#333333">I saw the Greg Sheridan's article, useful to remember how long the right have hated what was accomplished in the Whitlam governments three years. It took them and labor thirty to wind many of them back. </font>

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zoot has opinions thus...

Posted October 25, 2014
John, you've outdone yourself. This is the best tribute to Gough I have read.

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insomniac is gonna tell you...

Posted October 25, 2014
Ms insomniac lived in Gough's electorate. Her father loved him; her mother hated him. She has fallen on the side of good.
Gough was certainly ahead of his time. Tiny Abbott is sending us back.
On the Guardian someone mentioned a tweet to the effect of: Both Gough and Tony have dragged Australia into the 20th century.

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BigWillieStyle reckons...

Posted October 25, 2014
I grew up hating Gough, for no other reason than I knew fuck-all about politics, and both my parents were as loudly and aggressively staunch Tories as it's possible to be. When I acquired a brain of my own, and read about the reforms that Gough brought about, I was instantly smitten. I still am. His brief but exciting PMship begs the question: just what the fuck was Menzies actually doing for his 17 years? And more to the point, why did people keep voting for him? Straya must have been quite the backwater back then. As opposed to now. * coughs *

EGW's death also provides a stark and gloomy reminder of what a bunch of ideological piss-ants we've got now. Not one of our current Federal MPs would be capable of wiping Gough's arse. Feeble-minded, insular hacks, every motherfucking last one of them.

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damian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 25, 2014
You had me at "punishers and straighteners and champions of the overdog". Very Manning Clark, but anyway nicely done.

I've no particular view on the Greens using images of Gough and talking to their part in furthering the progressive tradition. Personally I came from the Whitlam tradition, grew up in it and identify with it strongly, though I abandoned the ALP for the Greens decades ago. So I have no patience at all for ALP folks complaint about the Greens identifying with that legacy. It's almost the last straw for the ALP for me - exactly what's wrong with them, tribal nonsense ("get lost, he's OURS you protest party types") and everything. Fuck that bullshit.

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ShaneAlpha swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 26, 2014
I found it funny that in one of Sith Lord Rupert's rags there was a story about the friendship that developed between Fraser and Whitlam later in life. In the article a comment was made that they had both become disillusioned about their respective parties as Labour moved to the right and the Liberals moved to the far right.

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@DrWom puts forth...

Posted October 26, 2014
Thanks JB

Gough was the greatest PM ever.

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Hysterical Victorian girl fits about ISIS

Posted October 22, 2014 into Politics by John Birmingham

Hat tip to Guru Bob for sending me this link about the invincible jihadi juggernaut that ISn't. I've long thought ISIS to be a bunch of murderous clowns who would fall apart in the face of a discilplined military outfit. Luckily for them, all they're facing in Iraq is the Iraqi army, and in Syria, more murderous clowns. Unluckily for them, they ran into the magnificent Kurds.

KUWAIT CITY — A strange thing happened in Kobane, the Kurdish border town besieged by Islamic State: It didn’t fall.

In fact, today the BBC reported that Islamic State, the supposedly invincible jihadis who have been besieging Kobane, is retreating from the city.

Nobody expected that. Well, nobody except me. I’ve been saying for a long time that IS(IS) was the most overhyped military force on the planet, and that IS has been attacking Kobane for fifteen months—fifteen damn months—without success, which might just sort of suggest it’s not the juggernaut it’s been made out to be, and that IS’s other supposedly scary advance toward Baghdad is no more than a sad attempt to recover some of the Sunni suburbs of the capital the Sunni controlled completely less than a decade ago.

But I learned a long time ago you don’t get rich being right in this business, so I wasn’t surprised to be all alone yelling “Paper Tiger!” at IS while all the Lexus-driving pundits went into hysterical Victorian-girl fits on TV.

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21 Responses to ‘Hysterical Victorian girl fits about ISIS’

insomniac swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 22, 2014
With that kid in the video yesterday, was he radicalised first and then travelled to Syria/Iraq, or is he just a misled misinformed dickhead who travelled to Syria/Iraq who then became radicalised? If it's the latter, how could you possibly spot them and prevent anything?

Halwes mutters...

Posted October 23, 2014

i'm tired of arabs and their sectarian shit but I've travelled extensively through these countries and get it a little bit. I don't agree with it but I get it. Imagine you are an aussie kid living in Europe. You look back to aus and aus is being torn apart by a civil war with, what appears to you, a definite good guy and a really bad guy in the leadership roles. You're young and full of bravado and fervent faith in an imaginary friend. What would you do? I'm pretty sure I know what I'd want to do. Unfortunately, some young arabs brought up in the west, haven't had mature enough thought processes to understand that these places are shit for a reason and are ripe for radicalisation. These countries are shit because of greed, patriarchy, western exploitation, laziness, corruption, sectarianism, ancient hatreds, you name it, they've got it. Until some of that is addressed, these countries will always be shit.

yankeedog mumbles...

Posted October 23, 2014
I don't know you from Adam, Halwes, but you win the internet today.

That is the most correct assessment of the Middle East and a lot of the people living there that I've had the pleasure to read. Your statement should be on a paper and put in front of any national leader, statesman, and military officer as required reading.

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Cranky Peanut would have you know...

Posted October 22, 2014
Thanks for this JB.

Daeshi deadshits appear to be dumber than I thought. Good.

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Spanner ducks in to say...

Posted October 22, 2014
I assumed that the guys walking along behind the T55 were Daesh. Nope they are Kurds. Not sure how they can walk as they must have testicles the size of bowling balls.

Sharky mutters...

Posted October 26, 2014
Yeah I had to watch it twice to be sure!

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TheWah is gonna tell you...

Posted October 22, 2014
Anyone else remember the indestructible juggernauts known as the Iraqi Republican Guard? I remember the media wetting its pants about these elite troops just before Desert Storm. They turned out to be mainly uni students in shiny uniforms, and they died or deserted.
I'm not all that up on my military, especially compared with many of the Burgers on here, but I am sure that a massively well equipped and funded professional military, such as owned by the US, isn't all that fearful of Daesh, and neither should we.

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Anthony swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 23, 2014

Years ago when the IRA were misbehaving I was at Heathrow with my then 16 year old daughter. Walking across the concourse we were (very politely) stopped by an armed SAS trooper to have our bags opened and searched.

I can assure you that yes, they will positively shit themselves. I almost did and I had nothing to worry about.

The moral of the story is don't travel with an attractive 16 year old. You keep getting stopped by young cops, security people et al.

ShaneAlpha mutters...

Posted October 23, 2014
I have a relative by marriage who was born in Falls Road, Belfast. Needless to say he even now has a difficult time getting a visa, despite his family emigrating to NZ over 40 years ago when he was a teenager.

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TeamAmerica mutters...

Posted October 22, 2014
I dunno, JB. After following your link, after previously reading this: http://ricochet.com/caveat-lector-news-kobani/
I am still not sure what's up in Kobane.

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Maddoug reckons...

Posted October 22, 2014
Quite a surprise to see one of the Kurds carrying a Steyr AUG! Wonder if it was one of ours?

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TeamAmerica swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 23, 2014
Canadian jihadists appear to be responding to ISIS' cals to target the West:
http://ricochet.com/canada-under-attack/

TeamAmerica asserts...

Posted October 23, 2014
'cals' should've been calls. Also, a would be jihadi ran over two Canadian soldiers yesterday, injuring one and killing the other.

Barnesm reckons...

Posted October 23, 2014
No I like to think the Daesh have everything organised based on name. All the Cals in Daesh have orders to run people over, the Donalds will be blowing themselves up and any Phils will be on beheading duty.

Cranky Peanut mutters...

Posted October 23, 2014
Simplifies things. I hope they've let Bruce be in charge of the sheep dip.

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Wolf has opinions thus...

Posted October 23, 2014
and if ... "it explodes as that RPG round sends superheated molten metal spraying through it as droplets of the MBT armor now zip into the crew compartment at the speed of detonating TNT, as the blast knocks the turret half-off and turns anyone inside to instant bulgoki."... isn't a Birmo worthy sentence, then nothing is.

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Rob has opinions thus...

Posted October 23, 2014
Obviously
those IS clowns haven't played enough Battlefield 3 or Call of Duty. I
mean , just look at them strolling around like its a poorly attended all
ages gig at youth club. And no helmets or flak jackets. Seriously no
wonder they can't do any damage to a well defended position. You know
one where the Kurds might actually aim at heads and disco clowns.

SZF puts forth...

Posted October 23, 2014
The kids walking and laughing behind the tank WERE the Kurds. It was almost like they were playing chicken to see who could wear a bit of friendly fire shrapnel from the RPG.

Which is even better evidence that Daesh are apparently less "Axis of Evil" than "Data point of Muppetry".

Rob mumbles...

Posted October 24, 2014
ah now I get it. Still a few hours playing Battlefield would probably help.
Is there any way I can send some money to the Kurds to buy some body armour?

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Gutsy Lemur ducks in to say...

Posted October 23, 2014
JB and Burgers,

You might find this blog post by Adam Curtis, a BBC documentary filmmaker, interesting. It starts with:

"In the battle for Kobane on the Syrian border everyone talks about the enemy - IS - and the frightening ideas that drive them. No-one talks about the Kurdish defenders and what inspires them.

"But the moment you look into what the Kurds are fighting for - what you discover is absolutely fascinating. They have a vision of creating a completely new kind of society that is based on the ideas of a forgotten American revolutionary thinker."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/posts/HAPPIDROME-Part-One

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