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The Prime Minister's War Boner

Posted September 6, 2014 into Politics by John Birmingham

I've been a little surprised at the abject fawning over Abbott's posturing re. the Islamic State and, to a lesser extent, Russia. It's like the entire press gallery has decided to drop pants and bend over. There might well be sound strategic reasons for participating in a limited military strike against IS. There might even be reasons for going further than that. But neither Abbott, nor Shorten for matter, have put them. Instead we get pompous fucking bloviating and the blackguarding of anyone who demurs.

Hence todays column. A little darker than usual.

©Glen Le Lievre

The world is horror and madness. So why is the horror and madness of the Islamic State our concern? Consider their fanboy coreligionists in Nigeria, Boko Haram, infamous kidnappers/slave traders of 300 school girls. These murderous clowns look good for the sort of stern correction that can only be delivered by a squadron of heavily armed F/A-18F Super Hornets. Not content with knocking Justin Bieber out of Twitter's trending topics for a day with that kidnapping caper, Boko Haram declared their own Caliphate in northern Nigeria in late August, pronounced themselves best friends forever with the Islamic State, and celebrated with the usual round of mass executions, including the reported beheading of a six-year-old boy.

Not a grown man who took a professional risk and paid a grim toll for it. A little boy.

Horror enough, you would think, to justify a tiny bit of bombing. Just a little touch of special forces magic in the night, perhaps? After all, the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is that good men and women be distracted long enough by celebrity nude photo leaks that evil has plenty of time to get its mojo on.

I've only seen two other 'major' ctritiques of the so-called Abbott Doctrine. One, a cartoon by First Dog yesterday.

And the other, a deft bit of media analysis by Peter Brent, but not at the Oz, where he writes the Mumble column. Instead he had to go to Inside Story.

Something unedifying possesses the Australian media when its gaze moves to this country’s place in the world. The national trait of wanting to see Australia “punching above its weight” overrides sober analysis. The elaborate protocols of international interaction are interpreted at face value and invested with earnest meaning. Journalists accompanying our leader overseas gush as the PM interacts, on equal terms, with this or that famous identity...

The prime minister’s comparison of the Islamic State to communism and Nazism this week – and hence the reason to “respond with extreme force” – was touching on bizarre. And those insisting Abbott is earning plaudits around the world don’t seem to have checked whether the rest of the world is actually aware of this.

Away from the mainstream commentariat, in the strategic policy community, the tone seems to be bafflement. Power realists (who are a lot more realistic about the limitis of military power) are shaking their heads.

But you'd think the entire country is happy to skip off to Iraq again with Abbott if all you read was the oped pages.

So, I did my bit.

40 Responses to ‘The Prime Minister's War Boner’

damian puts forth...

Posted September 6, 2014
Good one. It is (or should be) the obvious thing to say but so few are bothering, and it needed saying. Yeah maybe there are good reasons, maybe there are only slghtly less bad reasons to get into this, maybe there are only bad reasons.... but you kinda get the impression our political class are desperate to go kill some someone somewhere simply coz it'll make 'em look manly and stuff.

Grey-grey was posting video of the sort of fish that lives in the arse of a sea cucumber the other week. Starting to see this as the model for the bulk of meedja in the out there. Or out here. Or over there. Meh.


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w from brisbane swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 6, 2014
Tony lies in bed, dreaming of the Falklands.

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Darth Greybeard swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 6, 2014
"you kinda get the impression our political class are desperate to go
kill some someone somewhere simply coz it'll make 'em look manly and
stuff." That, a million times. Although they won't of course be at the pointy end themselves*.

The late Sir Robert Gordon Menzies, Ming, Pig-Iron Bob (for selling iron to the Japanese who then sailed it to Hawaii, because business is business after all) Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, Monarchist Extraordinaire and Great Hero of the Liberal Party probably started our 20th century military adventurism. I strongly recommend http://www.vvaa.org.au/bross-2.pdf.
"Australia however seized upon the chance to offer troops...While William Bundy, the Assistant Secretary of State for SE Asia, noted the offer of troops, he was more hopeful of receiving advisers instead. As America at this time was not willing to commit her own troops to Vietnam."
And of course: "So it was that at Australian insistence, Australian troops were committed to take part in the Vietnam War not, as was always stated, on the basis of an American request."
There are still die-hard Menzies fans who, even faced with the correspondence released under the 30 year rule, maintain that the Americans "invited" us to Vietnam.

Menzies is often quoted by Abbott critics as an example of a kinder, gentler form of Conservative. We shouldn't forget that he was a master of the "khaki election" and Reds under the Bed scares. The current shower has learned those lessons well - substituting the evil brown hordes of asylum seekers for the Russians and home-grown Muslims for the Reds. Somehow or other these things never end well, except for the politicians.

*Can't remember by who, but it was said of Menzies that a promising military career has been ruined by the outbreak of war.

Bunyip mutters...

Posted September 6, 2014
Noice quote there. +1

damian is gonna tell you...

Posted September 6, 2014
There are also tsill people who think that we and the yanks did a great job there. Who think 40 years of evidence of the brutality of the injury done the Vietnamese people is just so much lefty propaganda. Who loudly insist that anyone critical of the war even now really wanted the Soviets to enslave us all. My country right or wrong and all that, except you're not allowed to admit when it's wrong.

Guru Bob mutters...

Posted September 7, 2014
I think you will find our need to get involved in other people's wars actually goes back to the Sudan, the Boxer Rebellion and the Boer War. Hard to see any Australian interests at risk in any of those conflicts but we rushed to send contingents off to help...

NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted September 7, 2014
G'Bob your point is valid, but the wrinkly one by policy does not cite cases outside the span of mortal men. It draws attention to one if one refers to conversations had with Benedict Arnold or a night on the turps with Ribbentrop.

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Blarkon puts forth...

Posted September 6, 2014
Of course you only have to look at some of the comments in the Putin thread to see that it just isn't the PM who gets war boners ;-)

damian is gonna tell you...

Posted September 6, 2014
More groaners, indeed

damian mumbles...

Posted September 8, 2014
Sore loners
Core-toners
Jaw proners
...
[do I have to do everything myself?]

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Kris from Hawthorne puts forth...

Posted September 6, 2014
Of course it would hurt the argument, maybe even require a union hack WA senator level of courage to note the fact that Obama is currently bombing Iraq while Abbott is not.

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Spanner would have you know...

Posted September 6, 2014
There was a moderate to high level of derp in the comments and yes I got sucked in. *hangs head in shame

But I was surprised at some to the usual LNP cheer squad Toned down (see what I did there) their boosterism and provided some genuine analysis. There was also some top shelf lefty bashing. Because lefties are bad and Tonee good.

damian puts forth...

Posted September 6, 2014
I just assumed these are more or less the same communters who were around to harry Mike Carlton. Dunno about you blokes but I think my life is better when I don't look at that stuff. That and I don't really like it when I want to shoot people in the face.

dweeze is gonna tell you...

Posted September 6, 2014
Dweeze' rule number 1: DO NOT read the comments (apart from the Burger of course). Otherwise, shooty-face-thoughts make me blood boil too hot.

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted September 7, 2014
Yeah, I just admit one of the things I like about this Saturday gig, which remains just a stand in role, is not having to wrangle the communtz.

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Spanner asserts...

Posted September 6, 2014
Oh I forgot, how good it First Dog? I love his work. Nails bucket head to the mast. I love First Dog so much I'd have First Dog's puppies. Well ok I'd let my cat have First Dog's puppies cause I'm people a can't have puppies.

dweeze is gonna tell you...

Posted September 6, 2014
I've had a First Dog Boner since, well, forever. Rarely fails to nail an issue and make me laugh at the same time. Better than crying at the futility of it all.
JB above got it pretty good too.

Bunyip asserts...

Posted September 6, 2014
Spanner, your cat can get in the queue.

I suspect my love for First Dog is considered illegal in a number of states.

NBlob mutters...

Posted September 6, 2014
Huzzah.
I've been calling for 1st Dog's beatification for months now, but like my nomination of Lorna Jane for OAM (services to packaging) without success.

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted September 7, 2014
Thx, Dweeze.

damian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 7, 2014
Dame Lorna and Sir First Dog now, Shirley. I guess that's Dame Shirley too.

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John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted September 7, 2014
Thank you, Dino.

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tygertim is gonna tell you...

Posted September 7, 2014
JB sadly lost your email somewhere, so I'm giving you a heads up here, for which appoligies in advance. If you get Netflix there's a program in the documentary category, Frisky Business, about an online adult toy company in Bath England. They've opened a subsidiary in Australia. Any ways I think you'd find their map of Australia's cities by most orderd toys a veritable gold mine for interesting "stuff" for future collums.
Nuff said.
Tygertim

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted September 7, 2014
Oh. My. God.

Yes!!!

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 7, 2014
I don't want to watch the documentary. What toy is most ordered?

tygertim reckons...

Posted September 8, 2014
PNB:
It's done by city, and of course is varied. Suffice to say that Brisbane leads the way in leather guy/guy toys...

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted September 8, 2014
Hey Tiger, got a link? I can't find this thing anywhere.

Lulu would have you know...

Posted September 8, 2014
Frisky Business has also been showing on TV - either SBS or ABC2, I forget which.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted September 8, 2014
I am betting that Perth leads the way on blow up dolls.

Lulu is gonna tell you...

Posted September 8, 2014
Not Perth, Canberra - more hot air.

tygertim swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 9, 2014
JB it's WWW.netflix.com/iMovie/800093199?trkid=136417
I hope that's right, it's pretty long and I had to enter it manually. Couldn't figure out how to copy and paste on my kindle. Good luck!

tygertim mutters...

Posted September 9, 2014
Whips! That's actually :
WWW.netflix.com/800093199?trkid=136417

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted September 9, 2014
Thx Tiger

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BigWillieStyle is gonna tell you...

Posted September 7, 2014
Oh, man. Toned Abs totally wants to be given a Rambo-style mission in Iraq. Preferably one that involves grease paint, cammies, carrying a knife between his teeth, and parachuting under cover of darkness. That's why he's got his war boner on.

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Halwes swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 8, 2014

That was gold John. What bothers me the most is whenever we are trying to extricate ourselves from our latest war expedition the other side accuse the government of "cutting and running". Cutting and running from what? An unwinnable skirmish in Shitistan that the locals don't even want us at because they know that, as soon as the political climate changes in Australia, we will leave them to cop the revenge of the extremists anyway.

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Surtac reckons...

Posted September 8, 2014


I said it on twitter but I'm happy to repeat it here for a wider audience. I think this is one of John's best columns/rants ever. Sometimes I really do despair at the willing stupidity of the Australian sheeple in the way that they are willing to be distracted by our political 'leadership' into not bothering to think for themselves on any subject.

Hmmn. I must have put my cranky old man pants on this morning.

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Chaz swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 8, 2014

There is really no need for the RAAF to be further involved in Iraq beyond aid / sup[ply drops.

Considering we're in a budget emergency (tm) how the Mad Monk can find the $ for our Super Hornets to play a bit of CAS?

BTW First Dogs cartoon was excellent.

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tygertim puts forth...

Posted September 9, 2014
Whups! That's actually :
WWW.netflix.com/wmovie/800093199?trkid=136417

ARRRGHHH!

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pbarril66 is gonna tell you...

Posted September 27, 2014
New to this site but it strikes me that we are now 13 years into the 30 year, and ongoing, war against Islamist fundamentalists that set the stage for 'Weapons of Choice'. This will not be the 'months' mentioned by Abbott but the 'decades' predicated in Weapons of Choice'. So, how far into the battle will 'field sanctions' become the norm?

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Respond to 'The Prime Minister's War Boner'

Putin's nuclear option

Posted September 5, 2014 into Politics by John Birmingham

Here's a scary little link as Abbott negotiates closer ties to NATO; a process one analyst seemed to think could lead to Australian membership of the European alliance. Sounds super crazy, doesn't it? I can see Abbott committing the ADF to a European conflict, but I don't see a single European power, not even the UK, offering to vouch for Australian security. In the end, that's what alliances mean, a vow to fight and die for each other.

On which topic, Foreign Policy has a post about the likelihood of Putin not just challenging NATO's will, but destroying it utterly. How? With a limited, a very limited, nuclear strike on a small, strategically unimportant capital of one of the newer NATO members in Eastern Europe. Somewhere like Vilnius, that nobody will want to die for.

It seems as crazy a proposition as Australia joining NATO, but that doesn't mean rational actors could not lead themselves through the steps to make it happen.

From FP: But Putin would never actually use nuclear weapons, would he? The scientist and longtime Putin critic Andrei Piontkovsky, a former executive director of the Strategic Studies Center in Moscow a political commentator for the BBC World Service, believes he might. In August, Piontkovsky published a troubling account of what he believes Putin might do to win the current standoff with the West -- and, in one blow, destroy NATO as an organization and finish off what's left of America's credibility as the world's guardian of peace.

...

But what would trigger a Russian attack? According to Piontkovsky's scenario, it could be something as simple as a plebiscite: the Estonian city of Narva, overwhelmingly ethnically Russian and adjacent to Russia, deciding to hold a referendum on joining the Motherland. To help them "freely express their will" at the polls, Russia could send in a brigade of "little green men armed to the teeth," much like it did in Crimea in March. Estonia would thereupon invoke Article 5 of the NATO charter -- "an armed attack against one or more [NATO members] … shall be considered an attack against them all" -- and demand that the alliance defend it. Speaking in the Estonian capital of Tallinn on the eve of NATO's summit in Wales, this is just what Obama promised. "The defense of Tallinn and Riga and Vilnius is just as important as the defense of Berlin and Paris and London," he said.

Suddenly, the most terrifying nightmare becomes reality: NATO faces war with Russia.

How would Putin then react? Piontkovsky believes that NATO would balk at attacking Moscow over a small country remote from NATO's heartland and the hearts of its citizens. Piontkovsky imagines the course of action open to Nobel Peace Prize laureate Obama as he contemplates unleashing a planetary holocaust over a "damned little city no one has even heard of" while the American public cries out, "We don't want to die for fucking Narva, Mr. President!" Piontkovsky also cites a German public opinion poll asking what Berlin should do if Estonia enters an armed conflict with Russia: 70 percent would want their country to remain neutral.

The rest of the post is here.

54 Responses to ‘Putin's nuclear option’

Surtac mumbles...

Posted September 5, 2014

What scares me about Putin is that he seems to be less and less rational as time goes on.


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Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted September 5, 2014
Ironic that the Russian Media constantly portray the Ukraine and other entities as behaving like Nazis yet it is Putin who has adopted Hitler's Old School Playbook from the 1930s.

I'm sure he could be talked into droppin' a nuke if he could claim that ethnic Russians had been massacred in some place like Estonia.

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

Lulu mumbles...

Posted September 5, 2014
The whole Crimea business was a replay of 1938 Czech Sudetenland.

Dave W ducks in to say...

Posted September 5, 2014

Rather than ironic, I'd say that it's straight out of that same old playbook, Murph. Portray (using a convenient mouthpiece) one's enemies as unreasonable and barbaric, just so that one can carry out some ludicrously unreasonable and barbaric actions. After all, one has been provoked beyond endurance.


Shit that's depressing.

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Blarkon swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 5, 2014
Putin is smart, complicated, and, from most appearances, fairly good at playing very long games. He also appears adept at handling black swan events.

The west's political cycle favors elevating leaders more suited to thinking in terms of short term strategies who are incapable of dealing with unexpected events and usually overreact to them.

Our media cycle also favors shallow thinking over deeper analysis. Long term strategy can appear irrational if you aren't looking at a longer term view. This is part of the reason why the west has made so many spectacular diplomatic mis-steps - a decreased ability to play the "long game".


SZF ducks in to say...

Posted September 5, 2014
While I would agree our media and political cycles today are distressingly fixated on the short term, let's not discount the fact that the West effectively "won" the Cold War via a superior long game strategy.

Putin's current success could be the start of a "Cold War II" though...

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted September 6, 2014
"Putin's current success could be the start of a 'Cold War II'

One can only hope.

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pitpat ducks in to say...

Posted September 5, 2014
I went to secondary school in Spring Hill and remember sitting in geography class talking about the impact of a small kiloton ICBM on the Brisbane CBD with the impact crater reaching our school. The teacher argued that politically Brisbane would be a good target as it wasn't too big and wasn't too small. Similar to the argument made for Vilinius. I remember getting home and sitting on the back fence in Toowong which sort of looked out over the city thinking 'We are all fucked but at least we would be all incinerated in the first second or so ". I guess the calculus hasn't changed that much.

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Sturt would have you know...

Posted September 5, 2014

After 65 years, number of NATO members non-contiguous with either the Atlantic Ocean or European landmass: 0.

Not going to happen. They won't offer, we wouldn't accept. Enhanced partnerships, intensified consultations, inclusion in wordsalad communiques, sure. Alliance obligations to Europe: no.

Probability of NATO conflict with Russia: definitely >0.

Piotrovsky is regarded as a useful disseminator of Putin thought bubbles, and the nuclear threat is definitely attracting attention among more sober minded US defence analysts. Tom Nichols had a very good piece on this today http://tomnichols.net/blog/2014/09/01/if-putin-goes-nuclear/

and another on Putin's ideology: http://thefederalist.com/2014/09/02/russias-leader-is-neither-a-realist-nor-a-nationalist/ .


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Freemanski asserts...

Posted September 5, 2014
The other left field scenario comes from the same minds that are saying that the shoot down of MH17 is a conspiracy orchestrated to get the west involved in the Eastern Ukraine standoff...
A nuclear explosion in a "small but significant Baltic city" would trigger nuclear attacks left, right and centre from Tel Aviv to Tehran to Tallahassee.
Let's hope the long game by NATO and Russia plays out like the old cold war. Despite decades of dragging on, the Cold War was at least bereft of major carnage and human casualties.

NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted September 5, 2014

Would it " would trigger nuclear attacks left, right and centre "


I'm dubious. I could see a contrived "terrorist" strike acting as a springboard to more adventurism. Sort of Gulf of Tonkin meets 911.


I'm with others saying Vlad is not mad, nor stupid.


Mad actions may be indistinguishable from actions driven by opaque information & motives.


Like most politicians Vlad is setting out to make Mother Russia and satelite states "better." it's just that His definition of Better is a worrysome.

Freemanski has opinions thus...

Posted September 6, 2014
Yes! If Putin were to "respond" nuclear-like it would definitely result in a free for all of retaliation and general Armageddon.

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Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted September 5, 2014

I don't beleive you can predict the actions of a person who is behaving in a way that is irrational, however as others have pointed out above Putin's behaviours in the past which at first glance seem irrational have had an underlying logic to them.

I do not consider detonating a nuclear weapon in densely occupied Europe an action that would be seriously considered due to the impacts to all parties. Given Russia is the only country on the continent to have experience what problems a nuclear accident can cause. I am as amused by the idea of radioactive pigs wondering through Germany as the next person but I really don't think Putin would choose to use a nuclear weapon in Europe no matter how much Russia in the past relied on destroying everything if we can't have it strategy.

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Eccles9 mutters...

Posted September 5, 2014
Almost makes me nostalgic for those good old mutually assured destruction days from the height of the cold war.
Sure if the first lunatic hit the button we'd have only had eight minutes notice for the end of the species and civilisation as we knew it, but at least we all had a reasonable soundtrack we could dance to while waiting for the warheads to fall.

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Blarkon mumbles...

Posted September 5, 2014
Russia is like a matrioshka doll, with a riddle, containing an enigma, containing a conundrum, ad nauseum, ad absurdum, ad infinitium.

Putin is likely to be president of Russia until at least 7 May 2020 (though he probably has the power to remove this limit should he so choose (he chose not to though back when it was an option during his second term between 2004-2008 so who knows)).

Putin will be president for most of the next US president's first term. He'll certainly be president after the current outfit running Australia have long retired from parliament.

Assuming that Hillary is the next president, can one imagine a republican congress giving her the necessary latitude to do anything geopolitically meaningful?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted September 6, 2014
No, I can't imagine that happening.

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Murphy mutters...

Posted September 5, 2014
I wonder.

Just how reliable is the remainder of the once great and fearsome Soviet Nuclear Arsenal? Will it actually fire on command and if so, would such a weapon get anywhere near the target?

These are folks who are having a hell of a time keeping anything operational. They had to go to France for helicopter carriers that they can't build and oh, by the way, will no longer get.

They might very well chuck a nuke at a Baltic State only to get one big, fat raspberry in return.

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

Barnesm puts forth...

Posted September 5, 2014
Thats a pretty sailent point, given some of the stories coming out of Russia. It might be use'm before they blow up in their silos.

Blarkon puts forth...

Posted September 5, 2014
"These are folks who are having a hell of a time keeping anything operational. "

Right. Like a certain country that has to go to the Russians to beg a ride into space.

Murphy puts forth...

Posted September 5, 2014
Budget cuts by a short sighted Prez, not lack of ability.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted September 6, 2014
Decaying nuclear weapon infrastructure makes Putin more dangerous, not less, because it affects the accuracy of his aim. Difficult to do a surgical strike on Riga when the margin of error is 600 miles.

damian puts forth...

Posted September 6, 2014
Decaying nuclear weapon infrastructure means that nuclear Armageddon is closer than it's ever been.

I say: bring on the world-government international conspiracy thank you very much.

Blarkon asserts...

Posted September 6, 2014
As a Russian engineer once explained to me about the longevity of Russian technology: "Russian technology is designed to be Russian proof."

An example might be the AK-47, which isn't the most sophisticated firearm in the world, but one that tends to keep working after a lot of abuse.

Doesn't mean that stuff doesn't fail - but just that it's often quite resilient in a way that more complicated an intricate competing technologies aren't.

damian puts forth...

Posted September 6, 2014
The things that would cause nuclear Armageddon by failing are not generally the robust, technical items of that nature. They are the information resources, including radar and other early warning networks which admittedly are technical but which also are more susceptible to failures due to neglect. The human networks and resources may have been designed to withstand quite mind-bending levels of corruption, but I'd suggest they have already been exposed to these at a breaking level for decades now. And Yeltsin only knows what there is to stand in the way of a Russian version of Jack D. Ripper.

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insomniac would have you know...

Posted September 5, 2014
While its a little OT, I say give ISIS their caliphate, throw them a big party, and nuke the shit out of them. Get Putin to do it, or perhaps it will give Tony a boner as well so he might like to pull the trigger.

Freemanski asserts...

Posted September 6, 2014
What's the worst that could happen?

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Therbs asserts...

Posted September 5, 2014

Putin's been playing the West for rubes for a while and will continue to do so. I doubt he'd go the nuke option its just too risky. He'll achieve a lot of his plans without resorting to radioactive clouds.

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Darth Greybeard has opinions thus...

Posted September 5, 2014
Behaving as if you're crazy in order to bluff/frighten your enemies has worked fine for the Kim dynasty in North Korea and Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon. (Compare and contrast Kim Jong Un and Mel in 1000 words. Harvard referencing only please and have it to me by Tuesday 5PM. No hangover extensions Mr Therbs.). Vlad can get what he wants without nukes - why risk becoming a puff of ash? He'd have to be MAD (see what I did there?)

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mutters...

Posted September 6, 2014
We don't live in a MAD world any more. As has been noted, if Putin nuked Estonia's capitol, do you really think the West would retaliate with nuclear weapons? Of course not. All Putin wants is what every Russian leader since Ivan the Terrible has wanted - i.e., control of the Russian periphery. And that, in particular, means controlling the foreign policy of any nation in the European Plain - the pathway by which European powers have always invaded Russia. And that means controlling the Ukraine.

The point is that, for Putin, Ukrainian membership in NATO is an existential crisis. It isn't an existential crisis to the US or Europe. Ultimately, they don't care, which is why Ukraine is now "negotiating" with its Russian backed rebels: Kiev didn't get any substantial backing from the West, and won't, because the West doesn't really care; whereas the rebels got anti-aircraft missile systems and at least one mechanized battalion.

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Chaz would have you know...

Posted September 5, 2014

Thing is that Europe doesn't want another major European conflict, hence the disbelief in Putin's actions. Putin knows this and is playing on the fears of conflict.

Putin's actions are not rational to the rest of Europe, in fact they are completely sociopathic especially when his nuclear sabre rattling starts.

As the green scaly one points out Russia is complex but also it refuses to acknowledge the sins of its recent past. This helps deepen the meme of victimhood, constant battle against 'fascism' (ironic as the current Russian state is a pretty good poster for said ideology) , the fear (to paranoid levels) of European liberal social democracy and the resurgence of Russian Orthodoxy as the state religion.

Putin is in it for the long haul because he truly believes he can. One can only hope that someone grows a spine and tells him to FOAD preferably using a nine gram messenger. the only problem then is who comes next........

NBlob asserts...

Posted September 5, 2014
I really really hope there is an State Dept under-undersecretary, or a lackey in FCO who's sole job is: every time the topic of spilling Putin comes up, to say "who comes next?"

There seems many brave & committed democrats in Russia, but the sense I have is they 2/5ths of SFA of forming a government and acting as an effective power counterbalance to the oligarchs.

damian reckons...

Posted September 5, 2014
How many of these boxes does present day Russia tick?

I am still inclined to think of the early 90s as a bit like the Versailles treaty for the Russians. There was a lot of stupid going around, triumphalist idiots and the proto-oligarchs with gleams in their eyes.

Chaz swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 8, 2014

Far too many IMHO!

Damian, although the Russian Federation never had to almost bankrupt themselves to pay reparations. Hard not to be triumphalist when a Ponzi scheme like the CCCP goes down.

its clear though that because they were never made to take the blame for their actions too many people like Putin got a chance for fame and riches (and of course power).


damian has opinions thus...

Posted September 8, 2014
I don't think the USSR's economic model was any less structurally flawed than that of the 80s West, in thrall to the likes of Hayek as it was. Certainly that is an order of magnitude more like a Ponzi scheme than the brutal, corporate collectivism that the Soviet Union represented. Always thought the end of the cold war was a unilateral thing, Gorbie realised the USSR *could* keep up with Reagan's spending plans, but the world would be worse off for it. That goes to a far deeper and more general level with glasnost and perestroika.

No, triumphalism was the certainty of getting very rich indeed in the context of mandated privatisation of everything and the Yeltsin era's tolerance for anything that turned a profit.

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Vovchara swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 5, 2014
Well, NATO is a huge bluff, actually every defensive pakt is. It's very fine of us to assure every Alliance member, we will protect them when needed, but what will happen when someone calls our bluff?

Me personally, i simply don't see our government (German in my case) sending german soldiers to defend Vilnius, at least in no way near any useful strenght. Not against Russia anyway.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted September 6, 2014
Ja, das ist die genaue punkt, den ich versucht, zu artikulieren.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted September 6, 2014
(Entschuldigung, aber mein Deutsch ist sehr schlecht [und das ist sehr stimmt].)

NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted September 6, 2014

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Dino not to be confused with mumbles...

Posted September 5, 2014
JB,
Australia Bcoming Part Of nato?
Supercrazy?
FUCK YEAH!
We are girt by sea but the fkn Atlantic is beyond my best Alvey reel with a thirteen foot rod and an offshore wind.
I can hit New Zealand from here but not the Southern, let alone the FKN North Atlantic.
Best news this week?
Rainbows everyday in Sydney. Shitty afternoon(wet again) have caught Manflu this week( I fkn do blame you JB) and am now suitably inebriated and as usual feel entitled and qualified to comment on this post.
Serious comment to follow.

w from brisbane ducks in to say...

Posted September 5, 2014
Good comment, Dino. Keep it up.
I enjoy your work when it is comprehensible.
All the best.

w from brisbane puts forth...

Posted September 5, 2014
No Dino, I didn't know about Baalbeck, the Syrian refugees, or the Stone of the Pregnant Woman. Thanks. That is quite fascinating, particularly the historical/modern interface and, of course, distressing.
But, gentle goes it my friend, try to elucidate and not antagonise. This is a friendly place, if you want it to be.

Dino not to be confused with puts forth...

Posted September 5, 2014
W,
Do you mean CBG?
I have been an arsehole.
I admit it.
But I try to keep CBG a friendly place.
Seriously.
It is my hangout.
I love the Burgers.
I want everyone to feel safe here.
Or do you mean Earth/Astral Co ordinates/.
Safe?
W, I am doing my best...

w from brisbane is gonna tell you...

Posted September 5, 2014
Yes Dino. I was just talking about CBG. And as it is made of us Burgers, with the generous facilitations of JB, it is our shared responsibility.
You have obviously been experiencing some very, very difficult times.
I, like you, am very fond of this Burger hangout. It is up to us all to treat it right. I love your work, at its best. We all want to enjoy each other's contributions. It's nice that people bother and I appreciate fellow Burgers carefully composing something that can be enjoyed by fellow Burgers.
You say it very well, 'I want everyone to feel safe here'. And we want you to be within that safety, and to be a keeper of that safety.
We are not the real world here, he hope it is a nicer place than that sometimes is, we hope you will help us.

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Sudragon is gonna tell you...

Posted September 5, 2014
A few points...
1) The weapon would probably not be missile delivered. I've probably read too much Ringo, but it would probably arrive in a shipping container, with as much shielding as weight allows. Parked in a freight terminal somewhere.

2) Would Putin go for another WMD option? Gas? Germs? Eldritch Horrors from Beyond the walls of reality?

3) Putin goes... would Russia balkanize?

Vovchara asserts...

Posted September 5, 2014
1. most likely, and then start "War on Terror" (tm) to protect Russia from "neo fascists"

Barnesm has opinions thus...

Posted September 6, 2014
"Eldritch Horrors from Beyond the walls of reality"

Truly CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN. The Laundry would take care of it.

Sudragon has opinions thus...

Posted September 7, 2014
I never thought I'd be thankful for all the 'CCTV' cameras appearing everywhere....

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damian mutters...

Posted September 6, 2014
Salami tactics indeed.

Same episode has the "what I I get drunk?" bit about the nuclear trigger. The response is basically "it would be better if you didn't", of course. Though that then always makes me thing of Dr Strangelove and "Dmitri, stop crying... of course I like you".

Sudragon is gonna tell you...

Posted September 6, 2014
He doesn't seem scared of making courageous decisions
...

yankeedog ducks in to say...

Posted September 6, 2014
Yes, he has! Brilliant find.

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Respond to 'Putin's nuclear option'

Fun with helicopters

Posted August 30, 2014 into Politics by John Birmingham

Today's column was supposed to be thematically arranged around development politics. But instead it seems to be all about helicopters.

© Glen Le Lievre

"IT'S A FABULOUS go-go world for the modern Liberal Party, where an eight-seater luxury helicopter touching down between the garden gnomes on your carefully maintained patch of Sir Walter is somehow "more private" than passing your dodgy donation across front seat of your Bentley."

8 Responses to ‘Fun with helicopters’

Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted August 30, 2014
Reminds me of Tranzor Z.

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

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NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted August 30, 2014
Nice one JB.
Reminds me of a horror novel I once read, about the undercurrents of power, bastadry and influence that surged and eddied barely below the surface of a mythical glittering city on a mighty harbour.
As I remember, it was written by a hirsute young whipper-snapper, with balls like coconuts and no fear of being sued for libel. Aided & abetted by a mighty amazon who strode like a behemoth through the Oz publishing scene with a lit cigarette, a glass of red and a razor sharp tongue.
I wonder what happened to them?

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted August 30, 2014
I think they work in advertising now

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JG ducks in to say...

Posted August 30, 2014
Good one, JB. Visiting my parents this weekend and my mother pointed out your column. They've switched from The Australian to the Sydney Morning Herald for their weekend newspaper read. So, surprise, surprise, now you're writing over at SMH. Geez, you're everywhere, man. I like your photo with the hat - a subdued, gentlemanly shot of you. My folks like your weekly column, BTW. I think my mum's also pointed out columns by you in The Monthly (?) in the past.
I don't know how you stay sane, being so busy with all your writing. Meticulous research and always a pleasure to read. Witty, smart, topical. Good stuff.
JG

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Therbs swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 31, 2014
The saddest thing about the Bronte RSL being sacrificed to polish white shoes was the loss of cheap beer and the Parma special. A block up there used to be a pub. Guess what happened in the mid 90's? Brown paper bags turned it into a fancy block of flats. Even Plugger Lockett bought in. Funny place for a footballer/greyhound trainer to operate but there you have it.
What I'm wondering is if the old Bronte RSL development includes a bit of one upmanship over Plugger by the latest Sydney Swans goal kicking sensation? Or did my lno-longer-drinking State Planning Dept, Swans supporter guru mate want to deprive me of another venue? It's all starting to make a truck load of sense. If said State Planning Guru exec happens across this then all I can suggest is he goes back to planning roundabouts where they're not really needed. Carn the Swans!

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Quokka puts forth...

Posted August 31, 2014
This is one of those six degrees of separation things, isn't it?
Helicopters. Gunships. Bulimba Festival.
See?
I know what your thoughts run to at this time of year.

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damian asserts...

Posted August 31, 2014
I meant to mention earlier, but the right caption for the cartoon looks like it should be "Are we having fun yet?".

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Barnesm would have you know...

Posted September 1, 2014

It sounds like the epsiode of ABCs Utopia on this wednesday.

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This John Hewson column is great.

Posted August 15, 2014 into Politics by John Birmingham

I know, right??!!

I couldn't believe the words even as I typed them. But he nails Joe Hockey to the wall, and even explains the genesis of one of the dumbest things Hewson himself ever said in public; his comment about 'renters', which, as the king of share housing, I was called upon to respond to time and again.

Ah, good times.

Anyway, here's a sample.

One of my classics was to suggest that "you can always tell the rented house on the street", made towards the end of a very long speech to the Housing Industry Association in 1992. The line, originally written by my then press secretary, Tony Abbott, was moved in and out of the speech by various advisers before being finally reinstated and was only noticed by one journalist at the time. But that was enough. The media bushfire was ignited. I was very soon flat out back-pedalling.

In my experience, the best response to such acts of stupidity is to immediately and openly admit the mistake and set about rectifying it. To try to defend the indefensible breaches the first "law of digging holes" – namely, once you reach the bottom, you should stop digging.

And here's your lot.

17 Responses to ‘This John Hewson column is great. ’

Surtac mutters...

Posted August 15, 2014


Yes, Hewson indeed nails Hockey to the mast. And the revelation that it was Abbott who wrote that renters line? That's just comedy gold.

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Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 15, 2014

Its a great piece, espcially liked his recall to the 'rented house' comment but I am not suprised. Anyone who has seen John Hewson's recent work on the panel of ABC's The Gruen Transfer know he is capable of this kind of reflection.

What is it about ex-Liberal PMs a decade or so after they leave office, same thing happened with Malcom Fraser, they seem to become more, how shall I put this...liberal.

JBtoo would have you know...

Posted August 15, 2014
I don't think they have actually changed that much; maybe they have mellowed out a bit with the benefit of hindsight (and maybe we have too).
No, the big change is in the trend for current leaders towards right-wing douchery, which makes the old guys look so much more moderate and reasonable in comparison.

Blake puts forth...

Posted August 15, 2014
I wonder if it comes from not needing to please everyone anymore.

I saw Tim Fischer speak a few years back and was similarly struck by his intelligence and pragmatism.

I dont see Tony or Joe becoming that guy from this era. I think Mr Turnbull is already carving himself out that particular role.

Lulu swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 15, 2014
It's also possible that the Libs have taken a giant lurch to the right since Fraser & Hewson were leaders, which is why it seems the ex-leaders have moved.

Bangar mumbles...

Posted August 15, 2014
Malcolm Fraser interview with Biggsy on RRR
http://cdn.rrr.org.au/assets/m3u/malcolmfraser-final-ogg.m3u

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JG would have you know...

Posted August 15, 2014
John Hewson is a man whose opinion I respect, former LNP member or not. He is moderate in his views and should have stayed on as LNP leader. At the moment we have a bunch of clowns and... well, I won't say what I really think of these incompetents and... no, don't get me started. John Hewson was one man I respected from the festering cesspool of politics.
That is all.
JG

Peter Bradley would have you know...

Posted August 15, 2014

Red don't you think you are being disrespectful of clowns?


Hooper would have you know...

Posted August 15, 2014
I am so disgusted with the current state of politics (all the parties), that I'm of the opinion we should shoot the lot and start again. But...chances are we'd end up with a parliament full of monkeys like Ricky Muir (Victorian Senate candidate from Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party).

After seeing John Hewson on Gruen Nation, I would happily vote for this guy. Most things I've read about/by him since have only reinforced that.

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Therbs mutters...

Posted August 15, 2014

I still love his election campaign death moment trying to explain the effects of the GST on a cake.


Reith also had a dig at Hockey. Seems like old Libs are starting to white ant their successors. Dunno why they'd do that.

Dave W reckons...

Posted August 15, 2014
Cf Latham, Hawke and Keating re ALP.

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Spanner reckons...

Posted August 15, 2014
Well this'll angry up Tim Blair's blood.

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Blarkon would have you know...

Posted August 15, 2014
We've realigned where we think the center is. It isn't that these jokers have become more moderate.

damian ducks in to say...

Posted August 16, 2014
There's an extent to which this is a bit of an "eat your own dog food" situation. If you're still active in the game, you must at least appear to take your slogans seriously as a direct expression of the sincere beliefs on which your policy platform is based, allowing for party discipline.

Fraser was an arrogant twerp in the early 70s, who made it clear he was felt the Whitlam government was illegitimate simply because it was the other side. He faced some harsh lessons in the years after 1975. Remember that his treasurer was John Howard. The fact that he looks moderate in hindsight is more about the legacy of the later years of his government, when he went along with the broad social consensus that Australia needed to embrace a more cosmopolitan world view and policies to match. At that stage the post-war consensus about an egalitarian society with a large middle class was still unchallenged: Friedman might have been respected but the likes of Hayek were definitely fringe.

As for Hewson, an accident of history had him campaign on a single policy issue. But no matter how deep you scratched you'd find that at the time he'd have gone along with the general consensus of his colleagues on most issues, albeit perhaps in a way that looks more reflective now due to the thing about the shifting centre.

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yankeedog is gonna tell you...

Posted August 15, 2014
I like the man. In fact, I was thinking of starting a fan club for the guy. I was going to call it the 'National Hockey League'. Then I realized the Canadians already had that and I don't need the Canadians pissed off at us.

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Dino not to be confused with mumbles...

Posted August 16, 2014
10 billion?
Fuck yeah.
I schop a bratwurst for 10 billion

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ShaneAlpha would have you know...

Posted August 17, 2014
I vote for more elected comedy.

Forget the clowning, I was question time to be conducted in mime.

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This is what the end of things looks like (Updated)

Posted May 28, 2014 into Politics by John Birmingham

Tony Abbott will probably still be hunkered down in some damp, basment corner of the Lodge when we head into the next election. Probably. He and the Jolly Gollum Hockey undoubtedly expected resistance to their lies and thievery, just as they expected that resistance to come from the usual suspects. From totems and avatars easily demonised in the pages of the Murdoch press. Unionists. Students. Ferals. Whingers.

And God bless the slavering minions of Rupert, they've done their best by the Maximum Sith Lord; my personal favourite being last week's tabloid assault on a 15-year-old school girl by Wes Hosking and Brendan Casey at The Herald Sun. Nice work, lads. Woodward and Bernstein would be proud of you.

Pixels by JB

(Pixels by JB. The Hun didn't bother.)

For all of the resources available to governments to shape the story (to lie), and control the news cycle (to shift blame, to scapegoat, to distract… Danger! Danger! Refugees!) and in spite of the awesome power of Lord Rupert's fully operational DeathStar firing in their support, not even the most beef-witted Abbott fan, brains rotten with mad cow disease, could characterise the budget as a win.

The response has been savage, the reception so hostile that some of the money saved by making free universal health care not so free and far from universal may now be spent on a shiny new government advertising campaign to 'explain' why the budget was so awesome.

Apparently, very few people thought so. The ingrate bastards.

Granted your inbred plutocrats and market carinvores were kept well fed, happy to pick the dead meat from their canines with the shin bones of the old Australian Settlement, but that's the fuckin' problem innit guvnor? Hockey and Abbott spun up a horror story to sell their horror budget, but their efforts to convince us that the pain would be shared were so ham-fisted and inept and so disconnected from the reality of their attack on everyone who didn't own a mining company or a merchant bank, that the first hints of panic can already be heard outside the closed chamber of the Liberal Party.

The knives aren't out yet. They're not even being sharpened. Abbott will almost certainly survive this first shock, but he now leads a government looking even more like a gimp circus, with the Mad Monk centre stage, a shit-eating fabulist with a really creepy grin.

There is an aspect of the blowback to the budget that I've been meaning to write about for a week or so, however, that I haven't seen spoken of anywhere in the mainstream media. Perhaps that's not surprising because it's a story about the declining power of that media.

Once upon a time the only way we really knew what people thought about a budget was to wait until the Houses of Fairfax or Murdoch told us what to think. Even talkback radio which was the closest thing the media had to a sampling of mass opinion was nothing of the sort. The jabbering dupes who made it on air to parrot the opinions of their talkback superheroes were specifically chosen for that role by the show's producers. They represent nothing more than John Singleton's best guess at how to fill a couple of hours of dead air time with as many ads for incontinence pads and funeral plans as he needs to keep him in expensive ex-wives.

Things are different now. Have been for a while. The pushback against the Jolly Gollum got rolling as soon as he opened his wet lips and began trending on Twitter. People had their say without having to see it filtered through the old, established media. And what they were saying was, "Fuck you, Gollum".

It's only grown worse from there, partly because Hockey and Abbott have proven themselves to be utterly hapless at the arcane political art of convincing poor people to vote for the interests of the rich, but also because although the mainstream media is still the most powerful channel for framing political narratives and delivering or destroying political support, it no longer has a monopoly.

Bloggers are not about to put Rupert Murdoch out of business. But Rupert Murdoch's business is not what it used to be. Before the first oped column could be published, thousands of punters had already unloaded both barrels on Twitter and Facebook, many of them with much greater eloquence and relevance to the concerns of their readers than one of Rupe's slave soldiers. Imagine a single mum*, working graveyard shifts as a casualty nurse to pay school fees for her two teenaged kids who might not be going to university now – she is going to speak more directly to the fears of more people than all the sneering and bile of a Miranda Devine.

The number of people who read her Facebook status update, the one worrying about what's going to happen to her kids now – "OMG, they can't even get the dole if they can't find work!" – the one followed up with another post when she realises she's going to be working her shitty job until she's seventy, sure, it's going to be read by fewer people than Andrew Bolt's latest courageous counterattack on the dark and powerful forces arrayed against him by dark and powerful Aborigines who aren't even that dark so shouldn't be allowed to call themsevles aborigines anyway.

But that pissed off nurse and anxious mum is not alone. She is one of thousands. Millions. And their tiny voices add up to a roaring maelstrom.

I really believe she is behind that shock Abbott and Hockey have experienced. Her voice, raised as soon as Hockey started yammering on about sacrifice. All of the other voices raised with hers. This atomisation of the discourse, the rise of alternative voices and channels, and a loss of the iron control once exercised by newspaper barons in particular over the political narrative, doesn't have to work against the entrenched power of corporate media and the state. Normally it disperses mass discourse. In this case, however, with so many individuals all saying the same thing – "THIS IS FUKT!" – there is no way it can be managed by any government or even by the corporate interests it promotes and defends.

No, it doesn't mean Tony Abbott will be driven from office by Twitter. But it makes it more difficult for someone like Abbott to stay in office and work so nakedly in favour of the super elites while services like Twitter and Facebook and Tumblr exist to amplifiy the howls of rage and pain amongst the voiceless of once-upon-a-time.

Darrly Mason's Orstaylyan blog touched on this a few days ago, and Darryl left a comment below I wanted to pull into the main copy because I think it really sums up my whole point. So I'm gonna turn it over to him:

John's assumption is Murdoch ranters are more read than a single mum on Facebook. Not so sure that is the case any longer. I've seen posts by normally non-political Australians on Facebook, outraged at the Budget, that have been shared 100s of times, reaching 10,000s of people. Murdoch's ranters are words on a newspaper page more often than not flicked by on the way to celebrity gossip or sport. That single mum's heartbreaking words are appearing in Facebook timelines on the recommendation of trusted people, friends sharing with relatives, teens sharing with mums and grandparents and other teens. The 'single mum on Facebook' example is being repeated by others thousands of times a day across Facebook. The bounceback between Twitter and Facebook is enormous. Those on Twitter come across new stories about Budget shockers that they then cut and paste to Facebook and share widely, reaching people who have never heard of Bolt or Albretchensensen and could care less what they have to say. Facebook Aussies trust their friends and family members, and this is where the true Abbott fightback is taking place. And it's unstoppable, and no ad or political spinner or Murdoch ranter is going to make a lick of difference. There's no going back, the beast has been unleashed.

105 Responses to ‘This is what the end of things looks like (Updated)’

BigWillieStyle mumbles...

Posted May 28, 2014
Of course he'll stay in office. Much as I concur wholeheartedly with the cut of your jib, I've got no doubt Toned Abs will still be Dear Leader come next election. I don't think he's remotely bothered by the election blowback, because compassion and empathy are simply not in his makeup. Once the current outrage from the public dies down, the Piers Boltbrechtsens will flex their chubby fingers and carry on as usual. The Government will spend untold millions of taxpayers' dosh on Royal Commissions into Unions with the sole intention of smearing Gillard and Shorten. They will not let up until Shorten resigns, and then the "Do you really want this rabble back in charge??" will start, and won't stop until the next election comes. The voting fuckwitocracy will wring their hands and say "Oh dear, maybe we should stick with the Coalition after all". Count on it.

JG asserts...

Posted May 28, 2014
I fear you may be right, BWS, including your comment about the 'voting fuckwitocracy'.

Funkygibbon swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 28, 2014
This is exactly my fear - the electoral memory is fickle, the opposition rhetoric machine is feeble and the kleptocrats are infinitely better at puerile three word slogans.


Michael would have you know...

Posted May 28, 2014
I fear "Big Willie Style" is going to be right.

Additionally problem with most Social Media is it's long term memory ask Kony2012, the Arab Spring that continues to be a nightmare, the parents of Sandy Hook and now UCSB and on and on and on...

When the next big thing comes along Social Media drop the old regardless of it's importance.

I think the "powers that be" are happy to leave us to dick about on the FaceTwitterTumblers thinking something will actual happen because we can press "Shift+3". Meanwhile they will do as they please, and no amount of #QANDA will make a damn difference.

In two years, we won't be talking about this budget and they know it. We'll be taking about the next two when the usual bribes flow into Western Sydney and Queensland.

Michael would have you know...

Posted May 28, 2014
Please excuse the grammar nightmare I unleashed above. Note to self...slow down.

DiddyWrote would have you know...

Posted May 29, 2014
I think I would have agreed with you BWS not so long ago. The Australian electorate are an apathetic bunch (which is actually is in their favour as it means that their life is generally OK).

However I think something got broke at the last budget and it ain't going to get mended.

Abbott, Hockey and the LNP crossed a line, where not only did they make promises and break them, they went on to swear they never made the promises in the first place.

This is equivalent to pissing in peoples faces and telling them it's a summer shower. You need to be pretty shit hot to get away with that sort of action and I don't think anybody would describe the present incumbents as that.


Timmo mumbles...

Posted May 29, 2014
I'm not sure I agree, BWS. Oh, I undoubtedly agree that Tone will tough it out until we forget how sore our arses are, and ramp up the "you can't trust them with your money" crap prior to election time.

Strangely though, I think he is a man with a degree of compassion and empathy in some areas, such as aboriginal issues, but it doesn't come through one iota in this stinking-turd-of-a-budget. Maybe he has just deluded himself into thinking that he is doing what's best for the nation and the people, with some sort of "tough love" that will get people being tough and resourceful or something.
The compassion clearly does not extend to the poor, or the elderly (except Rupe and co), or the young, or the unemployed, or anyone of those that seem to have been hit with the "bludger" label and defined as "takers". I'm not even sure that his pet topic of aboriginal issues gets any more than lip service, as the budget seems to hit just as hard there.

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JBtoo is gonna tell you...

Posted May 28, 2014
I guess the only hope is that he is so deluded as to call a double dissolution when he can't get it all through the Senate.

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BigWillieStyle asserts...

Posted May 28, 2014

Cheer up, John! In just a few hours' time, a group of lumpy fellows wearing crimson undershirts will no doubt slam down an air-filled spheroid over a painted white line on more occasions than another group of lumpy fellows wearing - wait for it - blue undershirts.

The lumpy fellows will then talk at length about passion and meaning and Townsville and heroic heroism, and you will go to bed with a smile on that craggy face.

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 28, 2014
Yeah, you're right. There is that.

JG is gonna tell you...

Posted May 28, 2014
Bugger. They lost. Good game though. Unbelievable that the QLD Maroons (pronounced mar-oan as in moan, not maroon, as in moon, moron non-linguistic journalists) have won eight State of Origin series in a row. Can QLD win nine consecutive SOO series? If not, I'm still impressed. Besides which, I had to endure wearing a maroon coloured uniform/jumper in a Catholic all girls high school in a Canberra. It turned co-ed in Years 8-10, but only attracted 3 or 4 boys, that first year.
I no longer wear maroon.
Nevertheless, go Queenslander! SOO is my yearly concession to football.
JG

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NBlob mumbles...

Posted May 28, 2014


Dear Sir I am intrigued by your point of view and would happily pay terabucks to subscribe to your pamphlet.


While I take a tiny shred of satisfaction, knowing I predicted this, I am subscribing to the fatalists' mantra "this too shall pass."


I am greivously concerned that the trend towards proto fascists that was simmering in the Eastern & Southern European nations has metastisised into the West, with the Nederlands, Le Pen in France & National Front in the UK. Thanks to JB, we know the Ocker Brown Shirts are largely a bunch of witless arseclowns, but they can still do profound damage to our nation in the time betwixt surge to power and the inevitable tail down slink away into obscurity, or a Low Security Orange jump suit club. Somewhat like a 10 year old behind the wheel of a V8.


Encourage you to check out <A href="http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/latenightlive/laura-tingle/5481812">Mz Tingle's commentary on ABC RN LNL</A> allegedly Malcolm is stalking the back passages ingratiating himself with the back benchers.

JG asserts...

Posted May 28, 2014
Yes, I feel we should be at least paying you a token subscription fee for Cheeseburger Gothic, JB. I'm too poor to pay 'tetra bucks' but ten bucks would be fine. I'd like to think all readers could show gratitude with a token amount. I must thank you for all the fine, hard work you put in here.... time, effort, your exemplary writing. It's a terrific blog. Thank you!

Lulu mumbles...

Posted May 28, 2014
What Red said.

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted May 28, 2014
Don't worry. I haz plans.

NBlob puts forth...

Posted May 28, 2014

I'd like to disavow any responsibility for this.


Tetrabucks are those in a clever foil lined package, unlike the old QLD brown paper bag

Darth Greybeard swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 28, 2014
Will you be accepting DogeCoin?

Blarkon swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 28, 2014
He accepts iTunes vouchers

pi mumbles...

Posted May 28, 2014
Dogecoin? Que? Why settle for second-best.

Bitcoin.

If you had a bitcoin donate button on this site JB, i'd give swing you a few bucks just to show you how easy it is.

Blarkon mutters...

Posted May 28, 2014
Or as Bill Gibson calls them "Dunning Kreugerands"

NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted May 28, 2014

Lord Blarkon, the Dunning Kruger Effect is my favouritist thing at the moment. I acknowledge I'm fickle and I expect I'll return to baiting Ol' Wrinkly soon enough.

JG swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 28, 2014
NBlob - have since Googled 'tera' and 'tetra'. There you go: tetra are a species of small shiny fish. Who would have guessed? So, although I invented tetra bucks (as opposed to tera bucks) here by default, I can't imagine JB being paid in dried tetra. Too smelly. If fresh, he'll need an aquarium. Fish fingers, anyone?

Dino not to be confused with puts forth...

Posted May 28, 2014
Should have read the comments before posting.
You'll get nothing from me JB.
Nothing!
I hate the burgers with a passion and only come here to troll and upset you all.
Nothing JB.
Nothing.

Therbs mumbles...

Posted May 28, 2014

Yeah, token subscription. Sort of like a 'copayment' scheme.


Oh, hang on ....


Oh, and Dino; I know for a fact that you don't hate me.

Dino not to be confused with swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 28, 2014
Globular Clusters Therbs,
Globular Clusters.

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Rob puts forth...

Posted May 28, 2014


Great article JB. But my real problem is the alternative. The Libs may have been voted in not for their competance but the fact that Labor are so godamn awful. On a whole they are a bunch of preening patronising assholes, with their psuedo left wing made up as you go along pretend socialism. They shafted solo moms so royally when they were in power and everyone thinks that the libs are the bad guys? Labor has ruined Tasmania's public service, and the nepotism scandal that broke yesterday is just the tip of iceberg down here. When the corruption report was released to the Tasmanian Parliament yesterday it was met by silence by the now Labor opposition.Because they were in it up to their collective fat red necks. And I won't get started on the Greens, their secret plan is obviously re-education centres for those who don't agree with their silly made up as you go along ideology. I have to agree with Kurt Vonnegut when he said that an anarchist views his government as his enemy. Returning to the politics of my 14 year old self is looking very appealing right now.

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted May 28, 2014
"They shafted solo moms so royally when they were in power "

Yes. Yes they did. On J-Gill's watch too.

MARK MALLOY would have you know...

Posted May 28, 2014
where do you find a political party that governs for the good of the population ? the alp were so bad in their last tenure I would have rallied in Nuremberg ; bad taste jokes aside becoming a dictator and shooting all underworking overly fed politicians -church administrators ( Buddhists you're safe ) and other parasitic types becomes more appealing day by day

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Lulu would have you know...

Posted May 28, 2014
I thought that was just the final step of something which had been designed by Howard, back in the day, not a new policy? Obviously still shitty, but full credit where it's due.

jane mutters...

Posted May 28, 2014
You're right. It was the last tranche in a Rodent Policy, but the government could have chosen not to implement it, I'd say.

Respond to this thread

Chaz mutters...

Posted May 28, 2014

At some stage Rupert is going to fall of his perch and to be honest I can see any of his less than stellar offspring really giving a rats arse about Australian print media so it will be interesting to see if the editorial stance of the News group here will change significantly.

However I can see the Mad Monks time as PM limited if the absolutely non-important (unless they show your oppos to be bad) polls for the LNP stay poor.


Darth Greybeard swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 28, 2014
Agreed. Like the Packer dynasty, the blood is a little thin in the next generation. I've even heard rumours that one of the Murdoch offspring showed signs of empathy and social conscience. But we'll still have Col Allen and the local drones to deal with and in the US, Fox News. Might take a while for the whole beast to rot.

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Rob ducks in to say...

Posted May 28, 2014
At this stage I think I'd rather be living in Thailand.

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pi is gonna tell you...

Posted May 28, 2014
I remember this sort of righteous indignation circa 2001 when it was found that the children overboard crap was found out to be the work of a bunch of lying scum-bags fanning the flames of bigotry in order to get elected.

Then what happened? three years later, they went to the election on a platform of 'trust', and as I'm sure we all recall, were re-elected.

BigWillieStyle has opinions thus...

Posted May 28, 2014
Yeah, but if the ALP had had anybody but Mark Latham as the alternative, they'd have pissed it in.

Lulu mutters...

Posted May 28, 2014
There are so many things in this budget which will hurt people personally - people with votes. Children overboard was the work of lying rodents, but it was a matter of principle to most people as it didn't affect them directly.

Also, this budget hoo-ha will provide an absolute fortune of images and soundbites for anti advertising come the next election, starting with the cigar puffers.

jane puts forth...

Posted May 28, 2014
I agree. Children overboard outraged people for a while, but Rupert soon had them back on the medication and they voted Rodent 1 again.

However, in 2007 they'd stopped swallowing Rupert's line as scandal after scandal hit the headlines. WMDs, AWB, Cornelia Rau, Vivian Solon, David Hicks, Mamdouh Habib, Dr Haneef all kept the refugee issue in the forefront of public consciousness.

Not to mention Liesalot's Get Hanson slush fund, the Rodent bailing out his brother Stan, the secret "levies" to prop up big business, Phonecard Reith's continued dipping into the public purse etc.

So it will be in 2016. An army of people will have lived with the draconian measures applied to those least able to afford them.

And Rupert's propaganda is becoming more extreme and being exposed as such.

The latest attack on the disabled has attracted only opprobrium, parents of teenagers won't be feeling very well disposed as their children are victimised, while the wealthy are barely touched, as well as the prospect of having to remain in a shrinking workforce until they're 70, thus denying their grandchildren the opportunity to work.

That and all the other unfair measures in a budget designed to keep the low paid, the disabled, the poor and others in penury will maintain the rage especially as they know that the wealthy will still have their snouts in the public trough, but will bear none of the "heavy lifting" to reduce the government's debt.

Despite Rupert's best efforts, I doubt they will vote to further entrench the power of the robber barons and their own enslavement.

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Dirk Flinthart puts forth...

Posted May 28, 2014
John: this post is timely. I've been doing some work in this direction. I'd like to talk. Do you still use the old gmail address?

In essence: you're right. The MSM doesn't own opinions wholesale any more. But they're still the loudest voice.

Now the hard right wing thinktanks have been putting words into the mouths of fools like Tony for years. I've been waiting for someone on the other side to wise up, and counter that.

They haven't done it.

I'm a writer. You're a writer. We know how to use words. Let's talk.

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted May 28, 2014
Cool. Yeah. Hit up my gmail. I also haz thoughts

damian mumbles...

Posted June 1, 2014
I've wondered about this too. The Buffets and Gates's of the world would never fund the likes of the IPA here and the Cato Institute over there, but conversely their philanthropy generally has more concrete targets than some sort of political counter foundation. I think such things can be crowd sourced, in a sense all political organisations always worked like that. In the old days you had to hit the footpath and doorknock and letterbox, you had to be where the people are - the beer halls, the pubs, the trades halls or chambers of commerce or whatever. These days the people are online so I guess that makes it easier. Hard to say yet, since we're the fish talking about the water when we approach the hard questions about who controls the infrastructure. But social advances, the message seems to be here, are always contingent and can be reversed. Give the tories enough time and they'll take the vote back off women. Eternal vigilance isn't just a price of freedom, it's a life sentence.

Mind you the mere fact we live in a world where the likes of Dunlop can be a human rights commissioner makes me so sad that the anger around Abbott and friends making it happen seems small and irrelevant.

damian mumbles...

Posted June 2, 2014
Did I say Dunlop? The fuckwit's name is Wilson. I was pretty tired last night.

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beeso is gonna tell you...

Posted May 28, 2014
Someone has already said it, but the way the ALP has to be silent on a lot of things because it either agrees or can't protest too loudly because of pots and kettles. This is where a two party system really, really sucks.

Timmo would have you know...

Posted May 29, 2014
Yep, that is definitely a distinct problem - or a problem of distinction even... On so many topics there is little to distinguish the two, and while the Libs have lied comprehensively to get into office, there appears to be a fair bit of self-delusion amongst Labor about their own alignment with left-wing values, while much of the traditional working class have shifted right, despite the apparent contradiction with ttheir own interests.

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David mutters...

Posted May 28, 2014

I can only take it that you are jealous of "all the sneering and bile of a Miranda Devine" because there is little else in this gonzo pastiche. OK, there are few swear words as well, you outdo Miranda there.

\What is the name of your nominated graveyard shift nurse, or does she only exist in a fevered imagination? I see she works so hard to pay school fees, which would imply a private education. Private schools are good aren't they? If the nurse can pay for them she can pay for uni too. Why should someone else?

Blarkon has opinions thus...

Posted May 28, 2014
If you want to live in America, immigrate.

Blarkon is gonna tell you...

Posted May 28, 2014
If you want to live in America, immigrate (or emigrate depending on where you are reading this)

pi would have you know...

Posted May 28, 2014
Education is an investment, not a privilege.

Lulu reckons...

Posted May 28, 2014
"If the nurse can pay for them she can pay for uni too."

Are you unfamiliar with the concept of having to choose between alternatives, i.e being able to pay for item A *or* item B, but not both?

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted May 28, 2014
Er, no, David. You can't have her name. But I've changed the wording of the sentence slightly so you don't need to.

David swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 28, 2014

Lulu: If she is paying fees for her kids to attend school, why should she not keeping paying them to attend uni? A becomes B. Besides under HECs mostly the kids pay when they earn, a very fair system.

Blakton: We have had uni fees and private schools for some time in Australia, so I don't know why you would think that uniquely American or are you not familiar with Australia? Fees came back in under the Hawke Labor Government.

Pi duks: If education is an investment than those getting it should surely be happy to pay?

David mutters...

Posted May 28, 2014


Alright Mr Birmingham fair enough re the nurse. I wondered if you had invented someone.

I was a bit harsh in my first posting because I also think the HS went too far in their singling out the school girl. Mind you I think she was doing something silly with her day (which you could argue is the perogative of youth) but that shouldn't have been plastered over the front page.

David mutters...

Posted May 28, 2014
I don't like the insinuation, however, that I muttered in the first post. My comments were made in a strikingly rich and proud baritone - similar to that possessed by the knight who rumbles "Kahlesi" in Game of Thrones.

NBlob asserts...

Posted May 28, 2014


David, also Fees are not only for private schools. If you'd put a kid through state school you'd know barely a week goes past without the grommet bringing home a note pleading for some trifling luxury or other, from an excursion to a P&C levy*. And that is apart from shoes & books & stuff. I have a friend with 3 @ state primary school. He calls Febuary the lean month as between 3 X uniforms & stuff they are approaching baked-beansvile.


To imply "Choice" implies that it is a viable option. For a great majority of families, particularly those with more than 1 kid, it is no more a choice than they choose Not to fly to San Tropez for summer holidays.


* An unfortunate consequence of those grasping bastard teachers *GreyBeard* demanding such luxuries as electric light, toilet paper and chalk. Chronic underfunding by State Governments led to Gillard's "Building the education revolution" hobby horse. One of the coalition's most odious & loathesome spin lines that instantly elevates my blood pressure was dismissing a valliant & much needed attempt to close some of the obscene gap between private & state schools as the "School Halls Fiasco."


Even worse than the "Pink Batts" line, which I have discussed at some length here in the past.

David ducks in to say...

Posted May 28, 2014


Are those state school fees compulsory? I admit I don't have kids of age but I wouldn't think they could be. Mostly they would be for extras I would supposed, however strenuously asked for.

BTW the school hall funding I think was mainly about economic stimulus rather than closing any funding gap. (Also was really under Rudd at least initially)

I don't back down though that there is nothing wrong with asking people to pay for uni education. Making it free was really an example of middle class welfare as that is where the bulk of students continued to come from. The call to be spared from it is from the relatively priveleged.

insomniac would have you know...

Posted May 28, 2014
They are compulsory if you don't want your child to be singled out or become a social pariah at school

Darth Greybeard puts forth...

Posted May 28, 2014
No, the fees aren't compulsory and yes, it's great to have your kid be the one left at school when the others pop off to the museum or whatever. Uniforms aren't strictly compulsory either. That's why all our kids gear went back into a storeroom maintained vewwy vewwy quietly by the guidance officer. He would distribute that to the kids of parents who were on the bones of their arses. One woman provided regular lunches and I occasionally had pizza Fridays for one particular class. Most of us would chip in to make up the shortfall for excursions and don't make me laugh about chalk etc. Like most others, I bought my own whiteboard markers and other supplies. It's a standing joke that teaching is the only profession where you steal supplies from home to take to work. All this by the way was under both LNP and Labor governments.

I'm not saying teachers are all saints. I'm not (glass of water for Mr NBlob!) and I knew some right utter bastards too. But on the whole they're a pretty caring and depressed bunch. I left for IT and saw a shrink and my depression has improved hugely. I may be wrong David but I suspect you haven't met too many people who are, through no fault of their own, long-term unemployed. I have and it's a grim life. Not all beer and pizza on the dole cheque. Education can break that cycle and every bloody child in this country deserves that chance.

Dino not to be confused with reckons...

Posted May 28, 2014
David,
Calling this a Pastiche is indicative.
Your days are numbered.
Enjoy the Gravy train while you can.

NBlob reckons...

Posted May 28, 2014


Well, no. Like the Home Insulation scheme it was a well considered plan (you've got to do something while in opposition) to address the apalling state of many schools. It was then highjacked and turned into a stimulous scheme despite the howls of protest from the authors of the plan. If both had been rolled out As Originally designed it would have been gold with gold edging. Instead it was pimped on the Darlinghurst wall.


Despite the mocking for wonk language "Programatic Specificity" means something; A project is designed to achieve goals A through C. When it is suddenly required to achieve D through F, it turns into a train wreck. My analogy is; design a car that can do the 1/4 mile in under 8 seconds. Now make it carry 12 people. And a 44 gallon drum in the boot. It was a lesson in poor management.


Mz Gilliard was a driving force behind the scheme, pre GFC.


It may be crass envy, but when state school students have to share past their use by date books and those students whose parents can afford an elite private school get issued iPads, something sucks and needs to be redressed.

jane reckons...

Posted May 28, 2014
Are those school fees compulsory? Yes they are if you want your kid to have access to school computers, library books, sports equipment and other boring school stuff.

Then there's school books, pens, pencils, pencil cases, rubbers, compasses, calculators, science calculators school camps, uniforms, summer and winter, shoes, socks, stockings, 1 lunch a week from the canteen etc, etc etc.

This mother most likely sends her kids to public school, but it could cost $500+/child/year. And she'd probably be scratching to fork that out without consequences to HER budget for rent, power, food etc.

And this generous mob have deprived parents like her of the school kids bonus, designed to help with these costs.

So her chances of stumping up tens of thousands to send her kids to uni are zero, particularly if the Liars are able to deregulate course fees.

And let's face it her kids won't be able to go to uni, because they'll be signing up for crippling debt before they are even able to enter the job market.

I very much doubt that this representative mum or her children will ever forgive or forget the transfer of Eleventy Joe's $80bn+ borrowings onto her shoulders.

Dino not to be confused with ducks in to say...

Posted May 28, 2014
I must respond Jane.
Look to Italy about Education and employment.
Every second fuckwit has a masters with a PHD and dream of gaining employment.
Waiting tables is too much.
Cleaning toilets is possible but unlikely.
As much as I don't agree with limiting Education the fact of the matter is we don't need 3000 Socioligists.
We need schoolgirls like the one in the story.
They are rare.

Respond to this thread

Blarkon mumbles...

Posted May 28, 2014
Politics hasn't *yet* evolved to the new pace of the news and opinion cycle.

Spin doctors haven't developed the skills necessary to recover once the speed wobbles set in. Things are moving much faster now, and traditional "spin" isn't fast enough to substantially alter trajectory. Recovering from a wobble on a bicycle is a lot easier than on a motorbike going at 300 KMPH.

This applies to both sides. Rudd would never have lost the leadership the first time if he was in the media environment of the 1980's (and Howard probably would have lost the election, but not his seat). Malcolm probably wouldn't have lost his job as leader of the opposition.

In the old days, you could ride out a storm. These days it's all storm, yet pretty much everyone in the business has their rigging set for weather that hasn't existed for more than a decade.

Abbott may not see out his term - not because of wishful thinking - but because I think we're going to get to the stage where any PM seeing out a full term in office is going to be a rarer thing.

The great ballasts of consistent opinion are gone. Those who survive are the ones that assume that the weather will always be bad and who are effective (or appear effective) when beset by constant crisis.


Chaz mumbles...

Posted May 28, 2014

Not here maybe,

But the issue is if you have a crap Govt team or at least dysfunction therein, things are going to go wrong and stay that way.

But yes what the scaly one said

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Noely would have you know...

Posted May 28, 2014
You have seriously outdone yourself here Mr Birmingham. I have always admired your turn of phrase & normally pick the stand out to tweet your pieces, today, too many, just too many to choose from.

People are angry. Even a few friends of mine that are die-hard generational Nationals supporters are so very angry at this Government. When you start to piss them off, you know you are in trouble.

Considering how we never like to have any one side of politics in power for too long, how Abbott & his mates have stuffed it up so badly & so quickly is beyond me. Let's hope he doesn't find some perfect sweetner just prior to next election and get a second chance.

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 28, 2014
Thx, Noely. I've decided to do one of these a week, to make for the Blunty I'm not writing on Thursdays any more.

JBtoo has opinions thus...

Posted May 28, 2014
Fairfax's loss is Burgers' gain. Thanks.

sean ducks in to say...

Posted June 5, 2014
Yep, totally agree. A brilliant piece that perfectly captures how a lot of us are feeling. I've already forwarded it to a few of my friends.

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DiddyWrote mutters...

Posted May 28, 2014
The Murdochian Press have invested so much in Abbott and his team of arsehats they are now in the hilarious position of having to berate their own readership as ungrateful bludging scumbags.

Denigrating your customers is certainly a change to the usual business model. I wonder how it will work out?

jane asserts...

Posted May 28, 2014
"Denigrating your customers is certainly a change to the usual business model. I wonder how it will work out?

I guess there will be an upsurge of Masochists R Us patronage, but wouldn't feel too confident that anyone who regards being denigrated as a "slacker": from one of the greatest parasites on earth would be too inclined to add to his coffers.

Brilliant post as usual John. Thoroughly enjoyed every potent word.

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Victoria has opinions thus...

Posted May 28, 2014
My fear is that this is something that will pass. Not the outrage at Abbott, but the freedom of the internet. How long before social media is regulated to the extend that traditional media is? If people like Murdoch can't control the old press any more, they'll just find a way to control the new press.

Until then, let the voices shout until someone finally listens.

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Duncan Watson mutters...

Posted May 28, 2014
What is the difference between Murdoch hacks and paedophiles? Simple. Some paedophiles can be rehabilitated.

Respond to this comment

HAVOCK21 is gonna tell you...

Posted May 28, 2014
cAnnot believe that you lot have not yet come up with a god dam fkn solution to the issue, I mean its so fknsimple its fkn not funny.

BRING BACK COSTELLO as PM and fkn TRES AS WELL and All our issues will be fixed!...and make me Minisiter for fkn defence and black hat shit!

Chaz asserts...

Posted May 28, 2014
Why not, as what could possibly go wrong?!!!!!!

BigWillieStyle reckons...

Posted May 28, 2014

Tim Costello? Not sure about his Treasuring credentials, but he's an intelligent man, he has a calm and rational approach, he's got a conscience, he's got a heart, he's universally respected, he's eloquent.....no fucking way can someone like him be PM.

If you're talking about his arsehat little brother, don't. No balls whatsoever. Awwww, come on John, you SAID I could be Prime Minister. Pleeeeeaase!! I'll be your best friend and everything! Lucked into rivers of mining boom gold and pissed it all up against the wall via extravagant baby bonuses, unnecessary blatant-vote-grabbing middle-class welfare (Family Tax Benefits if you earn $150k, 30% private health rebates, that one-off chuck a million bucks tax-free into super rort). "A shiver looking for a spine to run up" Paul Keating once called him. Bang on.

* pats Havock, sorry, HAVOCK, on the head * Must try harder.

Dino not to be confused with puts forth...

Posted May 28, 2014
OH Havock,
I am disfigured and Australia is 40 or 80 Billion dollars richer.
Future Fund. On top of that the GFC had a much smaller effect on this Country. I will be leaving this Country ASAP.
FUck YOU Alll!

jane ducks in to say...

Posted May 28, 2014
I think all our gold reserves are gone thanks to Mr Costello, Telstra and other publicly owned infrastructure gone.

What would he be able to flog off to make himself look competent?

Because there's no mining boom pouring cash into the economy and little Johnny spent the last one, except for about $20bn he didn't have time to give to his mates.

HAVOCK21 has opinions thus...

Posted May 28, 2014
HEY DINO DENO DUMBO!..I'll fkn dumb it doiwnb for ya, seeing as I have had a couple watchin ORIGIN!

Costello handid ya fkn muppet LABOUR tools ya seem to bloody worship a FKN TREUCKLOAD of CASH, Ya pimpleheaded swap leaders fkn muppet lets electricute people and do dumbf fkn shit team ya worship...

wait for it, this might be a surprise PISSED IT ALL AWAY..thats up against the wala, thats fkn hand out,, thats fkn TV;s and the likes. And guess what. AT SOME POINT,m when thats gone and the borrowing have to be.....WAIT FOR IT....PAID BACK * ps..also because the other tea like TAXES, that COST MONEY TO PUT IN PLACE..BUT WAIT FOR IT....DONT FKN COLLECT ANYTHING. WASTED ALL THE SAH. AND...then, some body has the really fkn unhappy task of having to make some rather tough fkn choices. yeah...might be really fkn alien to ya I guess. HARD ChOISCES..BUT...again, someboidy has to...WHY

WELL THATS BECAUSE THE ......WAIT FOR IT!....LABOUR PARTY. PISSED AWAY THE MONEY IN HAND OUT TO ..well, the unwashed and every other fkn tom dick and harry they wanted to BUT VOTES FROM.

So. GIVEN..YES, we might of had a couple ( fkn cheating umps no less from NSW ). BUT!..its still cast in stone. COS, LABOUR got voted in...by muppets, then DER MUPPETS are GUNNA HVE TO TAKE IT UP THE LEEEEEEESTER WITHOUT LUBE. NOW..me being a fkn god and NOT having voted in previouslt those fk tards....I GET an EXEMPTION!

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted May 28, 2014
OMG NOOOOO. Not havsy and Dino in the same thread!


HAVOCK21 mumbles...

Posted May 28, 2014
ANMD WE FKN LOST!...>FK ME!~..FK ROACHES!..............................

Dino not to be confused with has opinions thus...

Posted May 29, 2014
Havock I am relatively sober at the moment so please tkae this with a grain of salt-
Why the Fk did the Liberal Party fkover Peter?

damian mutters...

Posted May 31, 2014
The weird thing is that they are basically on the same side. Against everyone else, insisting the world is contained by the same narrow goat fucker's world view.they both think they are the fucker and the other is the goat.

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Darryl Mason mutters...

Posted May 28, 2014
John's assumption is Murdoch ranters are more read than a single mum on Facebook. Not so sure that is the case any longer. I've seen posts by normally non-political Australians on Facebook, outraged at the Budget, that have been shared 100s of times, reaching 10,000s of people. Murdoch's ranters are words on a newspaper page more often than not flicked by on the way to celebrity gossip or sport. That single mum's heartbreaking words are appearing in Facebook timelines on the recommendation of trusted people, friends sharing with relatives, teens sharing with mums and grandparents and other teens. The 'single mum on Facebook' example is being repeated by others thousands of times a day across Facebook. The bounceback between Twitter and Facebook is enormous. Those on Twitter come across new stories about Budget shockers that they then cut and paste to Facebook and share widely, reaching people who have never heard of Bolt or Albretchensensen and could care less what they have to say. Facebook Aussies trust their friends and family members, and this is where the true Abbott fightback is taking place. And it's unstoppable, and no ad or political spinner or Murdoch ranter is going to make a lick of difference. There's no going back, the beast has been unleashed.

jane mumbles...

Posted May 28, 2014
Exactly. Even if the single mum on Facebook only shared her angst with10 people, and each one of those people shared with just 10 each within a day or two millions will know.

The Liars and Rupert don't seem to understand that sort of reach.

cf Julia Gillard's misogyny speech.


Respond to this thread

tqft reckons...

Posted May 28, 2014
1) Just gave Bill O'Chee a serve at http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/blogs/the-hermit/student-protests-a-g20-warning-20140527-3921i.html relevant bit - Democracy, can we have some please.

2) I am not convinced Big Media is dying as bad as some make out, yes the revenues look bad right now (and falling) - but for how long. Is this why Rupe is playing so hard, to survive until after the shakeout?

3) Voting - that is what will change things, if it is allowed to happen in a free and fair way. cf Qld and changes to political donation laws.

Respond to this comment

em is gonna tell you...

Posted May 28, 2014
Love your work, Birmo. I won't hold my breath waiting for the knives to come out for the Mad Monk but it is certainly a nice dream. The great thing about the Twitterfacebookverse is that people have a way to vent their rage and find others that are likewise trembling with rage. I do think that our lovable PM is now finding that out. They underestimated the reaction by us mere mortals. I really do think they thought we would all just shrug and blame it all on Labor and swallow our medicine like good little mindless drones. Tony knows what's best, after all. So it must have come as a very big shock to them that we aren't all that silly and we aren't going to take it after all.

pi reckons...

Posted May 29, 2014
> So it must have come as a very big shock to them that we aren't all that silly and we aren't going to take it after all.

I dispute your assertion that we aren't all that silly. We voted em in, didn't we?

Respond to this thread

Bedes would have you know...

Posted May 28, 2014

Yep.

These cunts don't have a mandate to make you or me work until we're 70. By stretching out the horizon for all of us who are my age, the government are effectively giving themselves an interest free loan.

No fucking way pal, no fucking way.

What, my wife and I are going to be employed till 70 so politician cunts can fly business class? Seriously, it might cost me an OAM until JB's president but they can all go fuck their grandmothers in the mouth.

Respond to this comment

Dino not to be confused with would have you know...

Posted May 28, 2014
I would like to meet that girl.
Ask her why.
Then beat the fuck out of the useless pissant excuses of shit that 'carried' her to a 'safe' place.

Dino not to be confused with reckons...

Posted May 28, 2014
Unless of course it was the Brave Police Force.
So Fucking Brave.
Grab a schoolgirl. Three of them. Rape them like they did at Dee Why back in the ninty's.
Those were the days.
Grab a school girl.
Tough nuts.

Respond to this thread

Therbs ducks in to say...

Posted May 28, 2014

I still doubt the ability of twitter/arsebook to maintain a rage long enough to effect votes, especially when the LNP will be handing out dosh to middle Australia a few months before the next election. They'll confect some sort of nonsense like a 'vote buy back bonus' and put the folding in people's pockets. News Corp will spruik the generosity through banner healdines, posters, the works. That's what doubters will think of at the ballot box, not twitter threads from back in May 2014.

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Respond to this comment

Dino not to be confused with is gonna tell you...

Posted May 28, 2014
Remember this?-
http://en.musicplayon.com/play?v=435568

Listen to the Whole Album.
Yom Kippur War... 1973

Dino not to be confused with reckons...

Posted May 28, 2014
USS Liberty 1967.
Malcolm Fraser brought it up last week.
Look it up.

Respond to this thread

Dino not to be confused with swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 28, 2014
So Tony goes to England.
Gets the shit kicked out of him.
Decides to play the game.
'If you can't beat 'em ..."

Respond to this comment

Dino not to be confused with mumbles...

Posted May 28, 2014
So you don't want me mentioning 'Gene' Simmon's' video about Obama and the Golan Heights?
Why JB?
Free Speech and all.
I am willing to pay to disseminate facts.

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 28, 2014
Because it's blowing my crazy quota for this thread.

Dino not to be confused with reckons...

Posted May 28, 2014
I can do 'crazy'.
Just say the word.
FK me can I do Crazy!

Respond to this thread

Legless reckons...

Posted May 28, 2014
For those of you that fear that rage against Abbott will die down - don't worry. It won't. You ain't seen nothing yet.

If he can get his "No dole for under 30" past the senate, then wait until that kicks in, and you'll no longer recognise Australia. The crime rate will sky-rocket as desperate kids do whatever they can to stay afloat. The lucky ones will move back in with mum and dad. Squashing themselves into the down-sized house that the parents bought when the kids moved out. The unlucky ones who can't or won't move back home will be on the streets. No money, no home, no hope.

Street muggings will explode. You'll be scared to leave your home for a night out due to the packs of ferals on the street. And, even if you did go out, you could easily come back to your house trashed and everything not nailed down taken.

Burglaries will become norm instead of the exception. To survive, you'll have to turn your house into Fort Knox. And God help you if everyone works and leaves the house for the day 'cos you'll be lucky if you have anything to come back to.

You simply can't totally cut-off hundreds of thousands of people from any sort of support and not expect a back-lash.

If Abbott's plans go ahead then we'll have blood on the streets and can expect riots that will make Cronulla look like a Teddybear's picnic. Hundreds of thousands of pissed-off, disenfranchised kids full of hate and rage. All it will take is one call to arms on Facebook and you can watch the CBD burn.

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Raz from the hills mutters...

Posted May 28, 2014
Your blog posed a logical question: "Is social media a legitimate 4th estate in its own right?" So i did what i always do when challenged by cerebral hyperventilation. I poured another cheap (but excellent value for money) catalan champagne and googled it. The huffington post seems to sum it up best:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-hoffman/citizens-the-new-fourth-e_b_3894819.html

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drej swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 28, 2014
heh. That Gene Simmons Obama thing was gold.

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HAVOCK21 has opinions thus...

Posted May 28, 2014
HEY FKN!..DID I mention I am off ta fkn EDITH FKN CREK FKN TASSIE Tommorows. MIght slap furry flint onm me fkn way past!....then again.....maybe fkn not too!

Bedes has opinions thus...

Posted May 29, 2014
Ah Havock, I've missed your sanity. Have one motherfuckingly lovely trip.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted May 29, 2014
I just found and read this blog entry. I hate being so busy that I am always late to the party.

Nevertheless, John, I want so much for this to be true.

damian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 31, 2014
You say you're late to the party?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted June 1, 2014
I guess you have a point.

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pi has opinions thus...

Posted May 29, 2014
For those of you that haven't seen, Hockey at a protest rally protesting the introduction of uni fees. circa 1987

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/joe-hockey-video-from-1987-shows-treasurer-protesting-against-university-fees-20140528-394jn.html

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Respond to 'This is what the end of things looks like (Updated)'

This is what privilege looks like

Posted May 22, 2014 into Politics by John Birmingham

A Prime Minister who uses your money, taken from your pocket, by the Tax Office he controls, to party hard at weddings, surf carnivals, anything.

A Prime Minster who warns about the dire need to tighten your belts, who forces working people to work longer, to pay more tax so that he can keep putting in expense claims that would see you prosecuted by the Tax Office.

A Prime Minister who shifted the burden of maintaining the national finances away from the richest and most powerful individuals and companies, and onto the poorest and weakest citizens.

A Prime Minister who, having ripped tens of billons of dollars away from the poorest state schools and who, having put a decent education beyond the means of ordinary people, sees nothing wrong with his own daughter being gifted a scholarship by an institution which does not offer scholarships.

A Prime Minister who is paid as much as the American President, nearly a quarter of a million dollars more than his Canadian counterpart, and probably about eight or nine times as much as you, who refuses to pay his own way, to carry his own burden, to take his thin, bloodless lips from the sore and swollen public tit at which they suck and bite each day.

A Prime Minister who will leave public office with decades of lavishly funded retirement ahead of him – a grotesquely generous pension, a free office, publicly funded staff, and a golden ticket to travel first class, for free, anywhere in the world on a whim. A Prime Minister whose policies force other, less privileged retirees into sex work and the occasional consumption of pet food.

Generic pet food.

Not that fancy store bought luxury stuff.

This is what privilege looks like; a sickening spectacle of a man attempting to emulate the lifestyles of the super elites into which he was not born, but to whom he has pledged his fealty and in whose interests he rules.

Why now, JB? You might ask. Why this sudden eruption of angry bile?

It's the scholarship. Stomping on the dreams of other people's children. Securing the future of his own. The chummy backhanded gift, from one privileged arsehat to another. All handled so quietly. Never any implication of favors done, of indulgences to be repaid. No, this is just how a chap gets on. How he looks after his own.

He is, to paraphrase his Education Minister, such a cunt.

(Thanks to Glen Le Lievre for the image)

149 Responses to ‘This is what privilege looks like’

Len ducks in to say...

Posted May 22, 2014
Wow. And I thought Harper was bad. Good rant, JB. I wish some of the journos on this side of the Pacific had the balls to criticize in the same way.

James would have you know...

Posted May 25, 2014
There is only one way to get rid of this bunch of crooks and that is to write to all politicians,both independent and labor and demand that they block ALL of this budget. A new election is what is needed, all we will all be flushed down the toilet.

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Bob would have you know...

Posted May 22, 2014
Needed to be said. Shame those that pass for journalists in this country won't.

Nor apparently is Bill Shorten capable of saying it so succinctly and clearly either. Waste of space as opposition leader

Thanks JB.

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w from brisbane swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 22, 2014
A friend of mine on a salary $250,000 a year was shaking her head over the contempt of the 2% debt levy for people receiving over $180,000. That levy to show that the pain is shared.
She said, though she is on a salary of $250,000 per year, with all the salary packaging lurks available to her, she will not be paying the debt levy and is continually stunned how little tax she actually has to pay.

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BigWillieStyle ducks in to say...

Posted May 22, 2014
I don't think I've read a better post by you on this website.

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Marfi puts forth...

Posted May 22, 2014
You forgot Paid Parental Scheme.

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pi mutters...

Posted May 22, 2014
mnergh. At the last election I decided to have an embargo on all news. No TV news, no print news, no internet news. Nada. Zip. Zilch. I made the call that nothing was going to change my mind about what a royal berk this guy is, and that all I would read in the intervening years would be confirmation of it. The only exposure I have to it, is this blog, and the occasional rants of my good partner.

I don't know how you people manage to read about all of this stuff without going troppo.

jane reckons...

Posted May 22, 2014
I read this stuff to maintain the rage. The rorting, lies and secrecy have become far worse since the Rodentochracy, all under Rupert's watch.

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John Samuel asserts...

Posted May 22, 2014
Well said. Applauds from the sidelines.

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Robyn reckons...

Posted May 22, 2014
This behaviour isn't what privilege looks like. This is what opportunistic dishonesty looks like. This is what white-collar crime looks like. This is obtaining benefit by deception.

Being elected Prime Minister is a rare privilege bestowed on few.

This is what abuse of privilege looks like.

Ruth reckons...

Posted May 22, 2014
Robyn, you've nailed it. Abuse of privilege it is.

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DeC has opinions thus...

Posted May 22, 2014
It's been a nasty few weeks, hasn't it? I can see that I should have bought shares in PR and media advisory companies, because they're going to be heavily used over the next year or so....

Yes, the scholarship is really just a just a kick in the teeth - even for those of us who have a degree or three that we paid HECS and not unregulated fees for.

So much for the age of entitlement being over...

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Surtac would have you know...

Posted May 22, 2014


Hear hear.


Very well said, sir.


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caldron_baidu has opinions thus...

Posted May 22, 2014
hear, hear! well said JB very well said

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Lulu mutters...

Posted May 22, 2014
*standing ovation*

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BigWillieStyle mumbles...

Posted May 22, 2014

In case anyone missed it - Toned Abs went on Today this morning for a tummy-rub from Karl, and blamed Jon Faine for his wink yesterday. Hey, I'm sorry for treating a pensioner in such a condescending manner, but Jon drove me to it. Ummm, aaahhh, errrm.

Fkn coward. Won't go anywhere Q&A or 7.30, won't show at Deakin Uni, blames someone else for his cuntish behaviour. Who votes for this man?

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aaron4065 mutters...

Posted May 22, 2014
I'm sitting on my back deck, enjoying the warm autumn, looking after my sick 6 year old who won't get to go to uni now unless I rent said back deck to someone with a disability and their family, catching up on social media news (as opposed to the govspeak plopping like sewage out of the normal media outlets). Any other country I'd be joining my fellow shitted off and hurling Molotov cocktails at the nearest federal members office. Thanks for sayin' it how It is JB.

Mike mutters...

Posted May 23, 2014
Yeah i agree why do we just put up with this shit we need a revolution in this country a referendum on Politicians pay and perks if it is illegal to mislead the parliament it should be an offense under the law to mislead the public it is fraud.I reckon anyone looses their dole or pension do not attack the innocent to survive target the liberal scum instead.This is the future for our old and disabled in Australia-Speaking in March, six months before his pledge not to change pensions, Mr Abbott told Queensland Chamber of Commerce and Industry he wanted a two-tier system, modelled on the British one, which paid people with disabilities different rates depending on whether their condition was permanent.

This is the result of those failed policies in the UK or only failed unless that was their intention in the first place cause thousands to die from suicide and stress-
http://blogs.mirror.co.uk/investigations/2012/04/32-die-a-week-after-failing-in.html

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B. ducks in to say...

Posted May 22, 2014
The scholarship appears to be "a chummy backhanded gift", as you say. But how might Abbott return the favour to the Chairman/Managing Director of the private college? Free advertising and endorsement - clearly splashed on the college's website - is an obvious boon. But Abbott's budget now, for the first time, gives said private-college (and others) access to government funding through HELP scheme. Chum chum chum.

M mutters...

Posted May 23, 2014
This is the bit that really makes me sick. Abbott and his mates doing favours for each other, no surprise but how fucking cynical of them to deprive other people's children of educational opportunities while spending PUBLIC MONEY on private colleges.

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Halwes mumbles...

Posted May 22, 2014

I've got a community meeting this morning with some really poisonous, conservative govt dept spin doctors. Your post has snapped me to attention. I'll certainly be having some fun at least now instead of another boring bullshit meeting where we just cop their lies again. Thanks

Peter Johnson ducks in to say...

Posted May 24, 2014
It is jobs for the whole Abbott family the other daughter has also come up trumps maybe Abbott's wife will be his driver talk about jobs for the boys.

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Jess reckons...

Posted May 22, 2014
Thank you.

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Barnesm mutters...

Posted May 22, 2014
It does bring to mind a comic strip I read many years ago by<font color="#454545" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="1"> </font>Berkeley Breathed. It was between the privileged (in the form of Donald Trump) and the marginalized.

Though I fear the Prime Minister and his masters must have forgotten the lessons held within Shelley's poem The Mask of Anarchy -

<dd style="line-height: 22.399999618530273px; margin-left: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 0.1em; margin-right: 0px; color: rgb(37, 37, 37); font-family: sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">Rise like Lions after slumber</dd><dd style="line-height: 22.399999618530273px; margin-left: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 0.1em; margin-right: 0px; color: rgb(37, 37, 37); font-family: sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">In unvanquishable number,</dd><dd style="line-height: 22.399999618530273px; margin-left: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 0.1em; margin-right: 0px; color: rgb(37, 37, 37); font-family: sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">Shake your chains to earth like dew</dd><dd style="line-height: 22.399999618530273px; margin-left: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 0.1em; margin-right: 0px; color: rgb(37, 37, 37); font-family: sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">Which in sleep had fallen on you-</dd><dd style="line-height: 22.399999618530273px; margin-left: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 0.1em; margin-right: 0px; color: rgb(37, 37, 37); font-family: sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">Ye are many — they are few</dd>

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LD joins the fray... mutters...

Posted May 22, 2014
Fuck yeah......well said

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Mick Free would have you know...

Posted May 22, 2014
Out of interest John, have you (or any other Journo) done any research on the scholarship offered by Leanne Whitehouse and any details about the Whitehouse Institute. We all understand that we live in a "its not what you know but who you know world" so its easy to look on the surface and make a conclusion but I find the lack of fact finding pretty standard with Aussie commentators and journos.

Example Whitehouse is a private university, now Vetab approved for undergraduate degrees, which I understand was a first in Australia.

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted May 22, 2014
Like most, I'm just responding to the initial reports yesterday. I expect there'll be more info released.

Lisa mutters...

Posted May 22, 2014
Mick Free ...
https://newmatilda.com/2014/05/21/leaked-documents-cast-doubt-abbotts-60k-scholarship-claims

Mick Free ducks in to say...

Posted May 22, 2014
Thanks Lisa for the link. Well given a bit more information either it was a Chairman's Scholarship or a Managing Director scholarship. Either way being a private institution its totally up to either the Chariman or the MD to make a decision on the grant to Frances. Whether they were swayed politically is largely irrelevant don't you think. The fact that Tony has come to power will only benefit the private institution Whitehouse Design. In business this is a part of strategic planning, much like having a box for the cricket, footy. I don't get all the drama. However there would be a massive problem if it turns out Frances was a dud designer. But this doesn't seem to be the case as the report advised she graduated.

ps I didn't vote liberals

simeon has opinions thus...

Posted May 22, 2014
It is a 'private' college. Who is to say how well you have to perform to gain a degree. It's not like it is benchmarked against others.

If you can give someone a free degree why watch them do badly when a 'helping hand' could see them make Daddy proud.

verity violet asserts...

Posted May 23, 2014
Scholarships for your mates kids is how it works in old tie elite circles. The real and tangible benefit said college will receive is, as others point out, money from govt coffers to fund said college, which makes a decent living for all concerned without it at the moment. This is the real crime, the drain of monies from our COMMONWEALTH into the pockets of cretins who secrete it in real estate and Credit Suisse accounts thus taking it out of circulation and into their own silk oined pockets. Its a fucking moral outrage, and its happeneing all over the world. Its what Piketty is on about!

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JBtoo mumbles...

Posted May 22, 2014
indeed

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B. ducks in to say...

Posted May 22, 2014
Looks like Whitehouse gets lots of special attention from the government: http://www.acpet.edu.au/article/7828/assistant-education-minister-continues-pursuit-of-vet-in-schools-reforms/.

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Harry asserts...

Posted May 22, 2014
Loved this John.

I was also really moved by Shorten's speech in the budget-in-reply, as good as anything he's done, I thought.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrxAlX6aOy8

Julie reckons...

Posted May 22, 2014
I was too! And them i made the mistake of watching his interview on the following 7.30 REPORT special!
Straight back into the platitudes and slogans and opposing everything!
Where are the LEADERS with a vision on community, climate change, population growth, infrastructure, public good etc?
Anyone????

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Gravitron has opinions thus...

Posted May 22, 2014
I taught there years ago. One of the funniest comments I heard from a fellow staffer was "You know, my students carry handbags into class that cost more than my actual car." A few talented students, but mostly just very wealthy girls filling in time.

fashion design is gonna tell you...

Posted May 22, 2014
Fashion design! Why am I not surprised?? Because I'm not. Not something socially useful..uh uh nope..not from Abbott's daughter. The little north shore tyke wanted this and the little north shore tyke got it! Sickening but to be expected. Did you watch one of his daughters swilling red vino in the background of the Abbott's kitchen when he was on the ABC's Kitchen Cabinet. Charming (pretending to have a brain)

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Darth Greybeard has opinions thus...

Posted May 22, 2014
First, well said. Wish we could put that on the front page of the Australian. Re that scholarship, apparently the college wasn't answering questions with any enthusiasm. First they couldn't say if one had ever been granted before, then said Tone's daughter received the second one. Ever. But let's not forget that this is a family tradition. Tones himself, although apparently an indifferent student, received a Rhodes scholarship. This is apparently conferred by a very cozy little committee of chaps not on educational merit as I naively thought, but to the right sort of person (wink wink).

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Lisa reckons...

Posted May 22, 2014
I'd love it if you'd record this in a very loud voice so we can play it on loudspeakers hooked up to cars cruising every suburb.

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DNABeast is gonna tell you...

Posted May 22, 2014
So everyone is angry about this. But what the heck can we do? Yelling about it on Facebook or marching doesn't seem to do squat. How do we do that thing where we revolt and ransack the castle putting in a brand new government?

Marfi has opinions thus...

Posted May 22, 2014
Hey DNA beast. I agree. Most people are so disengaged from politics that the messages are not getting through by the usual media channels.
So, I had an idea to crowdfund a sign campaign and hit all the federal marginal seats in the country. Just some short-sharp sharp facts about these lying parasites. Place signs anywhere we possibly can, on busy overpasses, buildings, billboards etc.
I'm keen, waddyareckon?

JG would have you know...

Posted May 22, 2014
A double dissolution. It's the only way for an early federal election to be called. If only.

damian mumbles...

Posted May 22, 2014
There's nothing wrong with yelling, it's cathartic and let's people know they're not alone

NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted May 23, 2014


Yeah &/or No.


We voted this pack of Arsehats in. We swallowed the bullshit mendacity of the Pink Batts & Budget Crisis memes. We obligingly numbered the boxes that removed Kev teh Incompetant & Juliar the Shrill. For Fuck sake a reasonable % of the good people of One Electorate north of mine elected Clive-o-saurus.


But violence is not the answer. As sorely tempting as it may be. Once That genie is out of the bottle you'll never get it back in.


Just remember this next time around. When you are tempted to swallow the bullshit. Don't subscribe to slogans. Look past the spin. Consider "Who is most likely to do the best by those least fortunate"? Not "What's in it for me & mine"?

Timmo puts forth...

Posted May 24, 2014
Hear, hear Lord Bob.
That said, there's been a lot of sweariness at the TV and radio this week, followed by turning off of same.

The key issue for me is the inequity and harshness of this budget - forget the lies, the winking, the scholarships and favours, the passing the problem to the states, etc. Purely and simply, this budget screws over our youth, our elderly, the unemployed and the environment to the benefit of the rich, big business, mining companies and polluters, with little effective justification for doing so.

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Therbs would have you know...

Posted May 22, 2014

Kaboom!

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Callie Ge swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 22, 2014
I want to start a petition to the Governor General to sack the Abbott govt. I Do Not believe they are acting in the best interests of the people they are supposed to represent and I am sure that some of his decisions are unconstitutional. He is using the old, poor and disabled to obtain financial advantage for the rich, isn't that a crime? yes I am one of those disadvantaged, I am on a DSP , I have 4 children 2 adult and 2 in high school, I have also been a single parent for 14 years. I pay my way and I DO pay tax, I pay 10% GST on my utilities and things I buy the same as everyone else does. Joe Hockey inference that welfare recipients of all types should ask family and friends for hand outs makes me so angry ,
Dear Joe, Both my parents are long dead and even when they were alive I received Jack Shit in assistance from them; as they were both only children I have no aunts, uncles or cousins, I have no siblings to speak of they cut off contact with me over 20 years ago I dont even know where any of them live, I have been a shut in for almost 10 years so I have no friends, My 12 yr old clothes dryer died 10 months ago, are you going to give me the $400- I need to buy a new one? Yeah, didn't think so.
Kindest Regards
Fuck You too.
I do not know where to start to begin the petition.Any Ideas?

CH ducks in to say...

Posted May 23, 2014
There is already two petitions on this already :) if you would like to sign it, the link for one of them is:


CH asserts...

Posted May 23, 2014
http://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/to-the-australian-government-and-the-governor-general-we-reject-tony-abbott-and-the-lnp?utm_source=supporter_message&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=supporter_message

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pi would have you know...

Posted May 22, 2014
There's a word for this thing.

Corruption.

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wazza asserts...

Posted May 22, 2014
Welcome to New America...

WMDsearcher is gonna tell you...

Posted May 22, 2014
Nail on head Wazza. These Abbott lead centre right LNPers are "trickle down" economic fans, and basically use the US as their model. Them in power will worsen our society and as a result our standard of living - without a doubt - despite the privileged claiming the opposite.

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Blarkon mumbles...

Posted May 22, 2014
Pretty sure that Havs will be along in a second to say this is all cool and weren't those labor muppets shite.

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Veloaficionado swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 22, 2014
Once upon a time, the right had some class. When they were not grinding the faces of the poor, they wore nice clothes, sponsored talented artists, set up charitable institutions and built impressive and often beautiful buildings. We could look up to them.
Now, we have a bunch of nouveau riche oiks, arrivistes, to coin a phrase, who, as JB says, are looking for their grubbily acquired ticket to the jet set. Property and stock market speculation is too hard for them, drug dealing is too dangerous, so they refine their lying apparatus, and slither on up the greasy political pole. Their morals are of the braying, undergraduate fascistic cartoonish version of some poisonous Victorian fantasy of world domination, veering ever closer to UKIP and the US Tea Party. But all the time, they have to smash the Trots, the poor, the hippies - just in a case the Bastille is stormed, and they're sent to a small island in the Pacific, like antipodean Napoleons. So, it's fear: fear, loathing and contempt. That's all they are, that's all they consist of. Poke a hole through their brittle smiley, shiny carapaces, and they deflate and collapse like a faulty balloon, farting round the room to lie flaccid and pathetic, in the corner.

yes reckons...

Posted May 22, 2014
You've just described the North Shore (of Sydney) Liberal Party to a T!!!

Bethgael has opinions thus...

Posted May 22, 2014
As someone who used to vote conservative, but could not stomach it in the last election, this hits the nail on the head with absolute literary poignancy.

Conservatism used to mean exactly that: conserve--not just the arts, and history, and beauty, but also the people. Republicans and Tories in the UK both spearheaded the fight against slavery--Lincoln in the USA, the Tories in the UK. Now, they fight for religious fanaticism. They fight for lack of compassion. Menzies would not recognise his party. And I voted Green for the first time in my life.

The new neo-liberal is not a conservative. He legislates for a plutocracy. And it's going to hurt.

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Peter has opinions thus...

Posted May 22, 2014
Reimbursed by taxpayers to travel around Australia to promote his book.

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Bondiboy66 reckons...

Posted May 22, 2014
Yep, that about sums it up. Fabulous rant to which I heartily agree.

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Michael Grelis puts forth...

Posted May 22, 2014
My late mother was not given to prescient comments much. Was largely apolitical, with a healthy disregard for the mealymouthed and patronising. And at 88 years of age had a well honed bullshit detector. She didn't leave much, a coupla dressing gowns, spectacles, false teeth, a picture of Mary McKillop and a pair of cheap rosary beads.
In 1998 she took me aside and said. "Michael" she said, as was her wont, for that was my name. "Michael, mark my words.If Australia let's this Howard cunt into office,he and his vermin will be there for years"
Well it did, and they were. There was a brief moment of Labor sunshine, but the vermin didn't go away. Just hid in the back alleys, the rubbish dumps, the sewers. Hiding in the dark sleazy places, the filth, the slime and the shit. Waiting Waiting.
And now they're back. They didn't really go away.Some of the older rats deserted the sinking ship, but most held on to the flotsam and jetsam. Waiting, Waiting. And now they're back. Cunts. Every last one of them. G'nite Mum, and God bless.

Ree mutters...

Posted May 22, 2014
Your mother, couldn't have been more spot on. I remember a sinking feeling at age 16 when Howard was voted in - I felt like the course of my future had been altered in some way.

My English Literature teacher handed me a enrol to vote form, and said - "Your voice is just as important as Howard and the rest of them, never forget that"

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Darth Greybeard has opinions thus...

Posted May 22, 2014
Good report on the New Matilda website.
https://newmatilda.com/2014/05/21/leaked-documents-cast-doubt-abbotts-60k-scholarship-claims
I keep hoping that NSW ICAC will get all the way to this bastard but I know it's a forlorn hope. With Murdoch on his side to dismiss all criticism and critics and to fog the issues, he could eat live kittens for breakfast and be reelected.

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priveliged classes suck mumbles...

Posted May 22, 2014
Yes - finally succinctly put! I'm telling anybody that wants to listen - THIS is the North Shore Liberal Party's view of the rest of the world!!!! Seriously -- more journos need to infiltrate their ranks, to see WHAT ELSE they have in store for us!

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Lobes has opinions thus...

Posted May 22, 2014
I travel to Australia regularly and know the country and its people better than most. Sorry to say it, but you have the government you deserve.

Lulu mutters...

Posted May 22, 2014
I didn't vote for them (or at all - longterm resident but not a citizen).

Ree is gonna tell you...

Posted May 22, 2014
A glorified tourist (Lobes) knows what Australians deserve now? How enlightening.




Lisa would have you know...

Posted May 22, 2014
Lobes, as a person who was born and grew up here, I can't actually disagree with you - my most abiding frustration with my country is the general apathy amongst the majority comfortable about the functions of democracy - as a living thing that needs to be actively lived, or lost. Even in relatively politically aware countries in Europe the conservatives have taken hold. Here, we fought for years against Howard, felt we'd won when Rudd got in, and promptly dropped the activist ball long enough for this - the unthinkable - to happen. As a longterm activist, I take as much responsibility for this situation as anyone. We allowed this to happen. People now say it might be 'a good thing' because having this lunatic fringe in power might activate people - but we said that when Howard won his second term.
I'm assuming this is what you meant when you said we 'deserve' this govt Lobes (if it's not, I'd be interested to know what you did mean)
In any case it's no good being angry in hindsight. We've got to learn the lesson that power is only ever given away. I don't actually believe the majority of Australians "don't care" - they just don't know. So those who do, need to get up, stay up, and get the message out - and not sit back in the beanbag every time we get a small victory.
</end rant>

spagman puts forth...

Posted May 22, 2014
everyone gets the politicians they deserve, not just australia.

so what does that say about Russia, The USA & Italy?

The political landscape world wide (perhaps except Iceland) is fucked up. Here especially we've gone from Howard, Rudd & Gillard and now Abbott. Cunts every single one. Just what does it take to spur Australians into action? We have the power to sack the Government but the average person is too dumb, too busy working 2 jobs to survive, or too rich to give a flying fuck about how to change things.

spagman asserts...

Posted May 22, 2014
everyone gets the politicians they deserve, not just australia.

so what does that say about Russia, The USA & Italy?

The political landscape world wide (perhaps except Iceland) is fucked up. Here especially we've gone from Howard, Rudd & Gillard and now Abbott. Cunts every single one. Just what does it take to spur Australians into action? We have the power to sack the Government but the average person is too dumb, too busy working 2 jobs to survive, or too rich to give a flying fuck about how to change things.

Muther ducks in to say...

Posted May 22, 2014
Ouch Lobes your words hurt like thousands of tiny paper cuts.No one deserves Abbott not even his family I even feel sorry for Tony imagine what kind of internal conversation goes on inside that oversize melon of his

M puts forth...

Posted May 23, 2014
I thought you were one of us, Lobes?

Sorry, I wouldn't wish this pack of arseholes on anyone. Even you.

Blarkon would have you know...

Posted May 23, 2014
Lobes is from PNG

Lobes mutters...

Posted May 24, 2014
We also have the government we deserve.

I havnt been to Russia but Italy for sure fits that bill too. The USA is a bit different as its such a large and diverse federation thats its dangerous to generalise with them.

Respond to this thread

Jacinta swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 22, 2014
So eloquently executed. Thank you for dropping the C-bomb pretty much sums up everything and anything about this less than humane individual. Let's get him gone.

Respond to this comment

Lew swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 22, 2014
And don't forget Margie Abbotts recent lucky enrolment in a care course at UNE
Missed the reimposition of fees on these courses by thaaattt much!
Lucky isn't she?

Timmo asserts...

Posted May 24, 2014
Does that count as insider trading?

Respond to this thread

Douglas puts forth...

Posted May 22, 2014
Don't allow the rage about this despicable government to fade away. Maintain the rage. Kick the bums out!!

Respond to this comment

JG has opinions thus...

Posted May 22, 2014
You've done it again, JB. Good one. Toned Ab's wink and smirk made me sick. He is such a misogynistic prick who is totally out of touch with the real cost of living.

Food banks and charities are going to be put under enormous strain, as if they aren't already. Crime rates, social isolation, mental illness, and homelessness will soar, as I've said before.

Glad I live in a warm climate. I pity poor pensioners living in cooler climes (eg Canberra, Tasmania) who won't be able to afford heating. I know what it's like to leave lean. Just glad I have a supportive family. Not everyone has that.

Gas, electricity, phone, rent, medical costs, transport. Little money left over for food at times, let alone money for clothes, pets, or entertainment.

God help those at the bottom of the society. Tony and co have rubbed their dirty boots all over you.

JG

Respond to this comment

HAVOCK21 asserts...

Posted May 22, 2014
BLARKON I SEEN IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'd scream just as fkn loud if it was the other fkn retards, we have two boys, most know that, ones Electrical qualificatyion is tied up with VIC UNI and the fee's...WENT FKN UP under pillard and bumbot. Make no mistake, those fkrs have shit to answer for. But at the same time. HE"S FKN EARED ENOUGH to pay his own way the fkn arse hat on this, I would have said, that BY FKN D E F A U L T..he being the PM, this is a FKN GIFT and as such IMHO, should be given back to a randon poor fkn bumb outta his pant worker with a kid going or at least trying to.

So no, whilst I might extole other virtrues...and the likes, that don't mean I will condone whats fkn a fkd up event / action or whatever the hell ya wanna call it.

Respond to this comment

Bulimba watcher reckons...

Posted May 22, 2014
This gutless wonder is lucky he lives in a age that reflects his nature.

Years ago a man who steals a dog from a yard so he can post a sign "Lost Dog Found' would have been shot with out a thought.

Today such soft tactics get retweets on twitter.
'Are you in Bulimba dog found please retweet Rolf'

Respond to this comment

Sincerely yours swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 22, 2014
Hey JB, something wrong with cunts? You say it like it's a bad thing. I don't reckon Tones thinks they're bad, just something to wink and smirk at, and dismiss.

Respond to this comment

Ross H has opinions thus...

Posted May 22, 2014
Completely agree with JB. I'm making much the same rants. Add to the mix having a House of Reps overseen by a Speaker is unashamed in her disgusting Liberal bias and we have a football much being umpired by a ref wearing one of the team's jumpers. Even the usual pretense of debate in the House is now gone. And ICAC showing the web of deceit and corruption is not just crossing party lines but also tainting the Federal level.

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Quokka swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 22, 2014
What was really disturbing about that video wasn't the wink, but how his smirk widened as she outlined how unwell she is and how she can't afford her medication.

The wink may have been the Mad Monk's way of saying 'Get her number, I'll call her later and see that she earns her next tin of cat food,' but the broadening smirk as she laid out the misery of her existence showed just how little empathy he had for her problems.

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Mick Handcock is gonna tell you...

Posted May 22, 2014
Perfect JB. Well said.

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Broadie the Wardie asserts...

Posted May 22, 2014
I've become so disillusioned of late with the antics of both the Federal and State governments.
Equally, I've become absolutely enraged with the Murdog press with its sycophantic adulation of the Tories and everything they stand for. Unfortunately the Murdog press is all we get in Queensland.
I also note, with rising panic, the unrelenting attack on the ABC in both the Courier-Mail and the Australian. Murdog wants to silence that news source. I've taken to reading the SMH to satisfy my print addiction.
I suggest that if the Fairfax press put a couple of pages of Queensland news into the SMH, then they'd clean up big time 'cause we banana-benders are fed up with being fed shit!


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Collette asserts...

Posted May 22, 2014
Last financial year, as a single hardworking tertiary educated woman, I earned over $100k. I happily paid my tax as I figured I was going to help people who weren't able to work, were ill, new comers, refugees, as well as supporting health education etc.
Plans to buy another investment property, new car.

I got seriously ill in July. I spent 3 moths in hospital. I learned how to walk again. I have brain and leg nerve damage.
My private income protection insurance which I have had for 26 years was ceased due to misdiagnosis. I cannot pay the $300/mth premium to continue it until the new tests are done.
Suddenly, I'm on newstart, unable to pay my mortgage. I'm hoping not to be homeless by Christmas.

I was fit (Masters Rower), strong, worked 60hrs a week. I taught medicine at Uni.
I loved my jobs.
Now, I'm trying to get better.
I work really hard at rehabilitation.
No-one knows what is going to happen to me.

It's unlikely I will be employed at what I was doing 10 months ago.

All I did was breathe in on July 4th 2013 and got meningitis.
I'm not sure I, or anyone else deserves to be made homeless, develop malnutrition, or reduce social contact because of breathing. Let alone, being born with a disability.


John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted May 22, 2014
Jesus, Collette. That's way harsh. Sorry to hear all that.

Maxine reckons...

Posted May 22, 2014
You have my sympathy Colette (I also had bad accident years ago, was fortunate, recovered)
We are all (or most) only one accident, illness or divorce away from real financial disaster.
We are a first world country, who can afford to support those who need assistance.
Fingers crossed you make a complete recovery.

M reckons...

Posted May 23, 2014
Exactly, Maxine. And I'm sorry Colette for what you are going through.

Respond to this thread

Derm mutters...

Posted May 22, 2014
Well said refreshing to see Tony outed for what he plainly and unequivocally is A CUNT. Tony and CUNT are like Cricket and Bat and when chanted repeatedly on mass is good for the soul ''TONY IS A CUNT'' repeat .

Hyacinth puts forth...

Posted May 23, 2014
Don't you realise how extremely misogynistic the term "c**t" is and how deeply offensive to the female half of the population? Presumably it's being used by men with little imagination but can't you think of a better insult - please?

Respond to this thread

GhostSwirv mutters...

Posted May 22, 2014
I love your alternative universe fiction JB - but lately it seems that the whole country has become trapped in an Australian Horror Story where Without Warning and following After America Tea Party politics TwoToneTones has selected his Murdochian Weapons of Choice to slam the Designated Targets of the poor, the needy, and the disenfranchised, intending to inflict the Final Impact of a dystopian Oz where the country is overrun by North Shore graduates in freebie BMWs tooling across Westlink, Eastlink and Bass StraitLink.
We need the Angels of Vengeance - Penny, Tania & Caitlin to tear the beegeeus out of the Prime Bodgie Smuggler - to raise up the Leviathan of the true blue Aussie spirit so we can Hammer the crap out the LNP.
Just keeping writing the truth JB and maybe more punters will wake up - for those of us who were screaming about TwoToneTones prior to the election nothing could prepare us for this dark reality - as a piece of fiction this LNP is pure Kafka.

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NTFC mumbles...

Posted May 22, 2014
As an Australian living overseas at the moment, I really worry about the sort of country I will return to.

My kids are still living there, and despite being adults each of them will be hit by some of these measures. Although I have a dream life here (job, travel, apartment), I can see that I will need to return home so that my wife can work again because we'll need two incomes for a while longer to help the kids out.

But more than the money, I'm worried about the sort of country we are becoming where the people at the bottom are treated with such contempt - forget about the changes to programmes, but just the language being used about them.

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Patricia ducks in to say...

Posted May 22, 2014
so... what are we going to do about this?
I've added my name to every GetUp petition and put my two bob's worth into every crowdfunding campaign by GetUp and the EDO.
We need a double dissolution. But how?
We need to send a message to the Senate - to Labor and the Greens and the independents that we won't take this lying down.

Collette. I feel your pain.

I have been where you are now and I was supremely lucky to have had savings behind me at the time, and youth on my side.

If this happened now, my life would be over. I cannot afford to get injured, resign from a job where I am harassed and mistreated, study a new discipline to change careers and jobs under Abbott's new plan for Australia. And I have it easy compared to people like you.

We have to stop this. Demonstrations are good. Petitions are good. But we need more. We need to take away Abbott's power. We need to show a vote of no confidence.

Any suggestions?

Respond to this comment

Mandy Mullen puts forth...

Posted May 22, 2014
Great article John. Sorry you used 'cunt' to describe Abbott.

Jules would have you know...

Posted May 26, 2014
Agree. Loved the article. But a cunt is the wrong description. He is far from an organ to provide pleasure and facilitate birth. He should be referred to as Cancer - with which you get fear, pain, death and destruction.

Respond to this thread

cara puts forth...

Posted May 22, 2014
I salute you JB. Thank you for saying it so well. Great post. Made me smile and warmed my heart.

Respond to this comment

Teebles reckons...

Posted May 22, 2014
I'm literally crying reading this. Have always loved your work, but wow, you hit the nail on the head for me today. As one of those single mothers who's about to be so hard hit, I'm afraid of this government, I'm afraid for what they stand for. I'm not just afraid for me, I'm afraid for this country.

And I'd be a working single mother if I could only get a job. Anyone need a shoe polisher? I'm very good at it.

Respond to this comment

yankeedog swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 22, 2014
Well said, JB. I live in a broke state in a broke country. Too busy keeping my head below water up here to study your internal politics, but I dare say most of your national and state politicians would fit in just fine, in, say, Chicago, or one of our southern states.

There was a Supreme Court justice here who said 'Sunshine is the best disinfectant'. Looks like some sun is finally hitting there.

Respond to this comment

Roxane mumbles...

Posted May 22, 2014
We have the technology now to diagnose psychopaths and sociopaths. I propose mandatory MRI scans of the Amygdala's of candidates who wish to represent us to see if they are capable of empathy.

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Cate ducks in to say...

Posted May 22, 2014
Bravo JB. BRAVO!!

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Roxane puts forth...

Posted May 22, 2014
It's really this bastardised version of capitalism we're all living with that's causing the problems, although I agree the corrupt politicians aid the plutocrats to achieve their aims.
Other than the fossil fuel plutocrats whose product we all still depend on too much (though it's changing) the rest of them need us more than we need them. We just need to change our attitudes.
Focus on needs rather than wants. Share your surpluses with others. Barter your goods and services. Change your banking to credit unions. Tell them unless they change their ways and start acting ethically we won't buy their shit anymore; literally and figuratively.
We can turn the world we live in back into a society rather than an economy. We just have to make the choice.

Respond to this comment

AJ Canberra asserts...

Posted May 22, 2014
I must take issue with you calling Tony Abbott a cunt. He lacks both the warmth and the depth to be anything like a vagina. However, he IS very slippery.

P.S. I wish I could claim credit for that joke, but I didn't create it. Can't recall where I saw it, though.

Respond to this comment

Legless asserts...

Posted May 22, 2014
JB? - I love your books and enjoy Blunty but I have to say that this rant is the finest thing you've ever written. I just wish you could have published this on Blunty as it deserves much more exposure than it will get on here.

It's the most scathing put-down of a politician that I've heard in years.

I tip's me lid.

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted May 23, 2014
It did pretty well here, mate. 11 235 readers over the day. And I couldn't have done it exactly the same at Blunty.

Respond to this thread

Sunflowers asserts...

Posted May 22, 2014
Is anyone aware that the interest we pay on our current debt could build a brand new hospital per week. That labour projects such as the Victorian desalination plant could possibly cost taxpayers over twenty billion over the next three decades, and it's not been turned on yet. Red herrings aside, what is good for our country? Amassing debt or accumulating wealth? Having lived in the UK for five years where l paid 20% tax, as well as my monthly NHS fee (that's a lot of $7 visits to the hospital each month that you may never use) l really don't think we should be complaining. I am tertiary educated, paid my debts, and have worked up to 20 hours per day to buy a house and travel the world. My education was not free (only those who dodge HECS get free degrees), my working life has been hard, and my current position harder. I am categorically what the masses call middle class. Labour or liberal l really don't care (and for the record l am a greenie) just give me the baby boomer lifestyle and not that of the Great Depression. God knows we will then have something to seriously worry about. On the other hand if l have to shake my booty at the local strip joint at seventy it may be my nephew that carries the burden instead. Suck it up Australia.

Legless puts forth...

Posted May 23, 2014
The desalination plant was probably the greatest use of public funds, in Australia, in the last 30 years. Building infrastructure is rarely wrong.

So what that it hasn't been turned on yet? But it'll be there when it's needed. Like when the next big drought hits. We've already broken yet another weather record here in Melbourne. The longest May warm streak on record. And, as the month closes, it looks like being the warmest May since records began.This year is set to be an El Ninio year so we can look forward to a scorching summer with little rainfall.

The desalination plant is insurance. A pain in the arse to pay for when you get no benefit but a life-saver when the shit hits the fan.


But all that aside - your post still doesn't explain why Toned_Abs is such a corrupt cunt. And your support of him as a self confessed Greenie makes you look like........

HAVOCK21 is gonna tell you...

Posted May 23, 2014
YA FKN SHITTING ME ARN'T YA. THE DESAL...


WHAT

A
MASSIVE FKN WASTE OF TXPAYER MONEY! FFSAKES! AND...WHEN THEY DO, if they do turn the fkn thing on, its gunna consume vast amounts of ----WAIT FOR IT...FKN ELECTRICITY!

Lobes reckons...

Posted May 23, 2014
Wow, were you asleep through the drought in the noughties or something? The whole state was brown, nobody could wash their car or water their garden for years. How the fuck is a desal plant a waste of money in that situation??

You probably think that just because you dont dont have a fucking flat tyre RIGHT NOW theres no need to carry a spare in your boot.

pi mumbles...

Posted May 23, 2014
The desal plant is the best desal plant that money could buy. And when the next inevitable drought hits, all I'll be hearing is crickets (or locusts) in the dead and parched grass as I'm drinking my cool glass of water. And all of these people who thought it was a waste of money will be nowhere to be seen...

HAVOCK21 is gonna tell you...

Posted May 23, 2014
WELL.I wasnt off paddling aorund Island..I rreckon I would have had a better view and a DAM would have been better value for money, less fkn money and we could at least have maybe fished on it!..HELL....GENERATE POWER FROM THE FKN THING!


BUT the desal is a BIG waste of taxpayers money!. HOW LONG HAS IT NOW BEEN SITTING THERE ..........................DOING FUCKING NOTHING!...YEAH...when the next fkn 1 in a 2100 year drought arrives....YA CARE TO DO THE FKN MATH ON THAT!

Lulu swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 23, 2014
1 in 2100 year droughts? Must be like those 1 in 2100 fires we keep having in Victoria

Respond to this thread

Peter in the bleaches asserts...

Posted May 23, 2014


Havock you are FKN WRONG. As legless mumbled 'the desalination plant is insurance' and was built when 4 million people had less than 2 years of water supply. The FKN had to do something. Now the way they did it was well FCKED, but that is a different issue.

As for toned abs, a $7 surcharge for kids to be vaccinated, that is a FKN crime. For someone who trained to be a priest, I don't see any loving in the room.

HAVOCK21 ducks in to say...

Posted May 23, 2014
HAD TO DO SOMETHING IS ABOUT RIGHT, thats because like the EAST WEST / NTH FKN STH pipe line which is not used either they had sat on their collective arses. BTW..5 BILLION, thats what it cost, over 5 Billion dollars and we have what? INSURANCE, if thats your argument for ripping up 5 Billion bucks of txpayers fkn money and condeming you children to paying for this and their kids klids as well, then I hope you have Fuck all to do with ANY gummit spending.

5 Billion is what you get when they opt for the WRONG option because they were frightened of the tree huggers and 5 Billion is what you get when they sit ...for far far too long doing nothing. And what unions made a fkn killing out og it HEY!....yeah, BUMBY , BACK and co, bringing your victorias BARREN BURNT FKN BACKYARD!


Come to think of it really, labour agve us

DESAL without WATER
NO TRANSPORT and thats whats in doesnt go any fkn faster
A BURNT STATE
P{issups whilst it burns of course

DID I MENTION 5 BILLION dollars to build a desal plant.

Bangar is gonna tell you...

Posted May 23, 2014
Don't worry about the pipeline H it's one way only and I believe that some of the pump motors are burnt out anyway.

Respond to this thread

Flinthart mumbles...

Posted May 23, 2014
"Cunt" is too good for him. The man is an absolute pyne.

JBtoo would have you know...

Posted May 23, 2014
That is delicious and I'm pinching it

Timmo asserts...

Posted May 24, 2014
Love it!
Why IS Pyne so easy to hate?
He has a face that you just want to punch and the urge triples the moment he speaks.

Respond to this thread

w from brisbane mumbles...

Posted May 23, 2014
At times like these, I recall the response by Warren Buffett (world's 3rd richest person) to being questioned about the U.S.'s tax and expenditure model.

“There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”
Later on, he revised the 'we're winning" assessment by saying:
"It's been a rout."

Respond to this comment

Davo would have you know...

Posted May 23, 2014
What a load of left wing twaddle. Little wonder you don't get any more gigs writing for the Australian Birmo.

As for cunts? Well, I've met your wife sport! Now, there's a cunt - and a really poor lawyer to boot....

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted May 23, 2014
Davo, any time you'd like to meet and discuss this in person, just say so.

Halwes ducks in to say...

Posted May 23, 2014

I'll bet Davo the pissweak cunt wont be in it

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted May 23, 2014
I fear not.

MickH reckons...

Posted May 23, 2014
Thats a bit harsh Davo
Puts you right in the boofhead mouth breather class of troll,
Everything JB said above is true, you deny this or didn't you bother reading it?
I see reactions like yours all the time on atheist pages on face book. When the theists run out of constructive arguments against a mountain of logic they always resort to abuse, just like you did.

Abbott is a cunt and after a statement like that, you're a cunt too and a cowardly one at that!

damian puts forth...

Posted May 23, 2014
Respectfully suggest shipping Davo McCreepy's comment and accompanying server logs to the AFP for followup. Unless your own action is in train of course.

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted May 24, 2014
Ha, nice one. I'll put Dan on it. I had a few theories about who it might be. Jane hasn't worked in that many places and there's only two or three douchebags who'd be a good fit for 'Davo'. The comment was logged at 4.26 so hopefully it came in from a work computer.

HAVOCK21 would have you know...

Posted May 24, 2014
yeah. NUKE THE FKR! thats waaaaaaaaaaaay of fkn base!

Lobes is gonna tell you...

Posted May 24, 2014
Davo what a dead set loser piece of trash you are. Your argument is nonexistent and you're so scared to take JB on that you have to attack his uninvolved partner.

Keep reading the Australian fuckstick., Murdoch loves brain dead chumps like you, they keep him in private jets.

Dino not to be confused with mumbles...

Posted May 24, 2014
Captain,
I am very busy.
It is better to have someone make a slight on your wife than for her to make a slight on you.
I will look into it.
I will make an adjustment.

Dino not to be confused with has opinions thus...

Posted May 24, 2014
1985 Bkes on dykes.
Land of the lOng white Cloud.
Bad architecture.
''Please Zues Please, build my building, please....""
Bang Bros Brookvale 1997-[[[[--
Poor Taste.

Dino not to be confused with has opinions thus...

Posted May 24, 2014
As an aside Captain may I remind you I scored 64 out of 120 in my first Mathematics exam. Just Sayin', then the Blood.
I have gone deeper...

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted May 24, 2014
Dino, please. You're confusing Davo. He gets confused easy. And angry. Very very angry about life and its disappointments.

Dino not to be confused with asserts...

Posted May 24, 2014
Anger I can deal with JB.
Low IQ and ugliness I cannot.
May I remind you...

Dino not to be confused with reckons...

Posted May 24, 2014
The LNP is correct in reducing funding to Education and the 'cold climate cheese monkeys', the linguists.
May they live forever, 2nd class, not first class, seconded.

Respond to this thread

archie swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 23, 2014
It is time tony abbott (Capital letters are for proper nouns and there is nothing proper about this - ummm - man) It is time, tony abbott to stop being a pustulent sore on the labia of mother earth.

Respond to this comment

Wink wink mutters...

Posted May 23, 2014

Has Tony Abbott become the Silvo Berlusconi of Australian politics?

Respond to this comment

Derm asserts...

Posted May 23, 2014
My well thought out reply/apology to Hyacinth was at first rejected repeatedly due to non responsive submit button then it was somehow lost to the bloggersphere am I doing something wrong?
<h3>
</h3><h3>
</h3>

Respond to this comment

Lawrence Winder mumbles...

Posted May 23, 2014
This IPA inspired and corrupt rabble and their mindless trolls are making Australia a most uncivil place. There is a nasty stormy future building...

Respond to this comment

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted May 25, 2014
What is happening to you happened to us, here in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. But it happened here slowly over decades, in no small measure due to the gradual but effective failure of our public school system to teach critical thinking skills. And now American socio-economic and political systems are dominated by an enormous mass of incredibly stupid people easily persuaded to vote against their own interests. Global climate change challenges the profitability of fossil fuel producers, so they successfully persuade a majority of Americans it isn't true. If your electorate can't read very well, can barely add and subtract - if that - and cannot distinguish a lie from the truth, then persuading them that Noah was a real man who successfully put two of every animal on earth in a big boat and that climate change is a myth it isn't that difficult a thing to do.

You have no such excuse. Your education system is actually quite excellent. Your lowest, most ignorant bogan has critical thinking skills far beyond the best of my nation's white trash fundamentalist Christian. I know this from experience talking to both.

Surely you must have expected this.
Surely you saw this coming.

And yet intelligent, educated Australians voted Abbott and his cronies into office and gave them the power to shape the structure of your future at your expense and to the benefit of those already living well. Our redistribution of wealth from the bottom up took decades to perfect. It evolved into the awful reality we now have and the total failure of the American Dream. Your redistribution is happening, in comparison, in a heart beat. The triumph of our 1% was an evolution - slow and subtle. Yours is a revolution - fast and brutal.

How on earth did this happen? What are the real reasons? In modern democracies, no one comes into office and does what Abbott is doing and has done without the consent of the people. Do the majority of Australians really want the future Abbott is crafting for them? If not, why isn't there rioting in the streets?

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted May 25, 2014
It's not all darkness and profits for Murdoch, Paul. The push back has been fierce. Even News Corp is running the occasionally critical argument of the budget - although mostly framed in terms of the 'poor politics' of letting the lower orders see what you're really about.
Abbott is in trouble. Real and possibly mortal trouble. I want to write something more about it, but it would be a longer piece that'd require some real thought, touching as it does not just on politics but on the reshaping of modern media and a sift in power away from oligarchs like Murdoch.

Dino not to be confused with ducks in to say...

Posted May 25, 2014
Paul the 'excuse' is trying to survive. The economic use of a contraction of the supply of money coupled with a designed increase in unemployment(457 visa anyone? cause no one here can speak english etc) means that people who could invest time and energy, political, protest or just mouth off to anyone at the pub are declining.
It is a strategy of Levi Strauss and that 'CIA' man(can't recall his name)from the sixties who basically employed the 'divide and conquer' tactic.
Terrorise the populace into individuals then submission will ensue.

Dino not to be confused with is gonna tell you...

Posted May 25, 2014
Which brings me back to an earlier comment about why the LNP is correct in reducing funding to Education.
Cause it is not working. Why throw money to a bunch of cowardly fuckwits. Yes Australian Academia and 'The Conversation' I am looking at you.
I hope you all lose your jobs or grow a testicle.

Dino not to be confused with asserts...

Posted May 25, 2014
Duh,
Leo Strauss not the jeans man...

Respond to this thread

damian has opinions thus...

Posted May 25, 2014
Sorry Havsy ,but you're definitely one of the "full of passionate intensity" guys, there's no way in hell you're one of the "lack all conviction" guys.

Respond to this comment

NBlob asserts...

Posted May 25, 2014
@ prof Paul. I don't believe in conspiracy as a generalisation. But this was a desperately sad confluence of circumstances. A terrible manager with little structural support in an untenable situation (PM Rudd & the GFC) who picked a fight with the wrong cartel & who lacked the ability to sell what was so obviously the right thing to do.
A deputy with an inability to get past Her pet issue.
Meanwhile on the other side Nick Minchum's last leadership vote happened to be the choice between a progressive-ish candidate with a taste for action on climate change & a reactionary tory.
The worst federal campaign in decades, coinciding with the decimation of newsrooms.
Oh my aching nuts.
I'm just focussing on the long game.
Eventually
This too shall pass

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted May 27, 2014
I fervently believe that people who don't believe in conspiracy as a generalization are plotting with aliens and the NSA against me.

If the chain of events that lead to your nation's current political circumstance was a desperately sad confluence of circumstances, then what prevents it from happening again?

The bottom line is that enough of you were mislead and manipulated to let it happen - and that is a reality all of you need to think about and, after thinking about it, act.

Why is it that the best behave like bumbling idiots while the worst are so effective and efficient at achieving their evil goals?

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Some Dude asserts...

Posted May 27, 2014
Righteous rant, Mr B.

Although I do wonder, despite the muttered curses and shaking of fists, whether anything will change. There seems to be a rather large cohort of my fellow Strayans that think "Well, Mr Rabbit buggered up my kids' future, but he did Stop The Boats, which seems like a fair trade."

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted May 27, 2014
Dunno about that, Dude. In the end the actual contact between bogans and refugees is minimal. The contact between voters and their kids is not.

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Patricia has opinions thus...

Posted May 27, 2014


Why oh why do we have to be distracted by Tony with the wanton abuse of assylum seekers?

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