Train Wreck

So this is the week where the rubber hits the road, where the going gets tough (and the tough get going), where talking-the-talk becomes walking-the-walk, where the shit hits the fan and the kitchen gets hot, where we run it up the flagpole and see who salutes.

Reality Meets Slogans

This is the week where we find out just how big a train wreck the new Abbott government has become.

It’s the week where Reality meets Slogans.

For a supposedly natural diplomat, one who uses charm and blokey bonhomie, a hearty hand shake and a pat on the back to change the fates of nations, who (according to himself) has a netball team’s worth of Best Friends stretching in a magnificent geopolitical crescent from Jakarta to Japan, Tony Abbott sure looks lonely today.

Even his fawning hagiographer, Mark Kenny, the man who told us that in one hot Jakarta afternoon Abbott had single-handedly turned the tide of Indonesian skepticism into a tsunami of co-operation and love, allowed himself some doubt in this morning’s Sydney Morning Herald.

Gone was the first flush of passion for a new government doing new things in brilliant and exciting ways. Instead it was revealed that:

Abbott’s super-simple boats fix convinced some, but it was always too easy.

Who knew… until Mark told us?

Thank God for our perceptive Press Gallery. It’s stuff like Mark’s stunning observation that should silence any doubters, those who reckon the Gallery is a bunch of scribbling, nodding hacks, obsessed with color and movement and who wouldn’t know a policy if one crawled into their underpants and bit them on the kahoonies.

Mind you, it took him a while to work it out… three years to be precise; three years of ceaseless, relentless heckling from Mark and his mates, directed at the Gillard government for being unable to Stop The Boats when it really wasn’t so difficult at all. All they had to do was turn a couple around (when safe to do so, of course), sweet talk the darkies into recognizing that our problem was their problem as well, rant a little about the bamboo cane torture and corrupt police forces and Voila!

Although we were told everything was sweetness and light between Jakarta and Canberra (and sorry for that klutzy Gillard stuffing things up), it seems the REAL story was this:

Lone Ranger Tonto

It’s not Indonesia that has the problem.

It’s Australia that has the problem.

Oh dear, all those huddled millions in Western Sydney who thought all we needed to do was wave the Big Stick, threaten to reduce aid (and megaphone it loudly all over Shock-Jock Radio), utter a few Hail-Fellow-Well-Mets and then have the Daily Telegraph (and Mark Kenny, let’s not forget him) write it up as a “Diplomatic Triumph”, “The-Adults-Are-In-Charge” etc. and there we have it: “Peace In Our Time”.

(Plus an instant solution to traffic jams on the M4… and all credit to the sexy piece who pointed that out).

But there is one small other problem… the more the Abbott-Loving Murdoch media and the Ray Hadley crowd keep insulting the Indonesians, the more the Indonesians will be convinced that not only does Abbott talk out of both sides of his mouth, but that he hasn’t learned his lesson yet.

The brazen denial of a connection between the Indonesian hating media and Tony Abbott, the plonking dismissals of even the possibility of it, may go down a treat locally, here in Australia, but the Indonesians are entitled to have their own opinion of the truth of that (laughingly called) “argument”. And their opinion, in the matter of Stopping The Boats, is the only one that matters.

UPDATE: Editorials, like today’s in The Abbott-Lovin’ Australian won’t help:

For domestic political reasons, the Indonesian government played upon the knowledge that we value human life more than they do, and was praised by local commentators in the Indonesian media for taking a “stern stand”.

– See more at:

“See more”? I think the Indonesians will have seen enough.

What a disgusting piece of Australian exceptionalism. This is what is at the heart of our attitude towards Indonesia, and theirs towards us: we think we are better than they are.

And then there’s Jolly Joe Hockey…

Jolly Joe Hockey

…the man who reacted to the Budget Emergency by doing nothing about it; the man who’s in charge of talking up our economy, but can’t stop whingeing and moaning and forecasting doom.

Yes, I know, you have to fight fire with fire (ask Tony about back-burning), so why not borrow even MORE money ($24 billion at last count, since the election), and raise the credit card limit (Joe’s words, not mine) by 67%?

Joe’s got some splainin’ to do about just why he’s reneged on and reversed just about everything he spoke about and promised before the election… except for his glib line of patter about how dreadful everything is. At least that hasn’t changed.

I thought there weren’t going to be any excuses?

Greg Hunt

So I guess Baby-Face Greg Hunt has no excuse for not turning up to the UN Climate Summit in Warsaw?

I mean, it’s not as if Australia can achieve much… we’re only the world’s richest per capita country, and its biggest per capita polluters – by a factor of three times our population – who supply the other Big Two – China and India – with polluting fossil fuels… but thank the Lord for The Polls. They tell us that because we think we’re poor, and don’t care much about the Dreaded Carbon Tax, then Global Warming will probably just go away. There won’t be any of those bolshie CSIRO scientists, talking through their hats, left to tell us otherwise (Tony has taken care of that, too).

Hell’s bells… why don’t we have a poll on cancer? Maybe that will “just go away” too?

After all, we’ve not only had bushfires and cyclones before, but life itself has gone extinct on this planet lots of times. It’s no biggy, really. Ask Jesus. Christ! Was it HOT in his day!

What’s important is the touch-feely stuff, the kind of thing Conviction Politicians do so well…

“Climate Change: we feel in our guts that it’s just not that important.”

(cf. J. Howard)

As to other matters, there is a veritable grab bag of potential for the new parliament. So many promises made and then broken. Mark Kenny knew all about a couple of them. It’s just that he didn’t bother telling us. Neither did Haystacks Laurie Oakes. Or Man-Love Peter Hartcher, or Saint Paul Kelly, or the well-connected Phil Coorey.

Where to start on “other matters”? There are so many of them, one suspects the new government is deliberately telling lies of such gargantuan proportions and such panoramically wide scope that they’re hoping we won’t know where to start.

OK, so let’s try a few: the NBN, the NDIS, superannuation… oh stuff it, there are too many.

A few months ago I did the Twitter graphic below, predicting some of the issues that would be front and centre at the “September 15th” [sic] election. I present it here unchanged.

dogs rotated3 small

Seems I got just about everything right except the date.

I’m sure youse all can fill in a few other blanks as the Hard Reality Special hurtles towards the All Stations to Sloganville.


UPDATE: Day #2 of Parliament, debate begins.

The Australian voting public (including the rural voting public) have been comprehensively swindled by the Coalition: committments on debt ceilings, debt itself, boats, international relations, policies ready to go, parliamentary procedure, coal seam gas, the NBN, global warming, education, the NDIS, tax policy, open government, “No surprises, no excuses”, rorting entitlements… the list is long and shameful… all changed, forgotten, ignored, reversed, manipulated and battered to within an inch of their political lives.

We could see it all coming, yet somehow one “lie”, half a statement in an obscure interview, taken out of context, gave birth to a festival of sexism, nastiness, vindictiveness and base hypocrisy. It was a kind of mass hysteria.

The voting public (or enough of them) trotted off to the polling booths and voted with the emotional maturity of a lynch mob. Even when it was against their own interests, they willingly complied with their shock jock and tabloid media urgers.

Our relations with Indonesia are in tatters. Our reputation as a responsible international citizen is a joke. The huddled masses of tradies, forkies, pensioners, lefties who felt they had been left out, battlers and assorted aspirationals have dug the hole for themselves, and then jumped in gleefully, crowing at their own self-imposed misfortune.

Each and every one of them thought they had outwitted Tony Abbott and his gang of wreckers, and that only other mugs would be disadvantaged. It was what every con man dreams of, but rarely sees: a nation in denial.

What a farce.

1,034 thoughts on “Train Wreck

  1. TA is obviously a friend of the Sri Lankan govt. Wants to pretend all is well so that he can send A/S back.

    Just curious to know if Prince Charles will say a few words about Human Rights.

  2. Turnbull accuses Lundy of ‘rolling’ Clare on NBN committee

    Labor’s new shadow communications minister Jason Clare and assistant shadow communications minister Michelle Rowland will miss out on participating in a new joint parliamentary committee for the National Broadband Network (NBN) after Labor Senator Kate Lundy put forward a motion with Greens Senator Scott Ludlam motion to establish a committee operating from the Senate alone.

    The joint committee for the NBN was established in the last parliament to investigate the rollout and report back to parliament every six months. It was chaired by the now-retired Independent MP Rob Oakeshott and had a number of Coalition and Labor MPs from both houses as its members, including then-shadow communications minister Malcolm Turnbull.

    In Question Time today, Turnbull said he had an agreement in place to re-establish the committee with Clare, and accused a “disappointed” Lundy, who was overlooked for the shadow communications minister role, of “rolling” Clare and creating the Senate committee in its place.

    In a statement provided to ZDNet, Clare said that the decision to switch to a Senate committee will take control of the committee away from the Coalition.

    “Unlike the strategic review and the joint committee Malcolm Turnbull proposed, we have established a committee that he can’t control,” Clare said.

    Ludlam, who signed the motion establishing the Senate committee along with Lundy, told the Senate this morning that he contacted Turnbull last month seeking to re-establish the joint committee but he received no response.

    “[Turnbull] has not re-established the Joint NBN Committee and I do not believe he that he seeks to. That is why this select committee is necessary — to police, to the degree that we can, the shambles that is now being presided over, as anybody with any knowledge of construction of that network is being washed out of the organisation,” he said.

    Tired already of this govt of bozos using secrecy and lies to hide their mistakes and incompetence!

  3. The Idiot should fit in really well in Sri Lanka, he seems to be of the same mindset.

    Sri Lankan security forces have moved to stifle all dissent during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), detaining protesters, restricting journalists from travelling outside Colombo, and shutting down huge swathes of the capital city.

  4. Saw the simian on ABC 24, press conference at CHOGM.

    Tie wasn’t straight, as usual, so his shirt was rumpled giving the overall effect of a monkey dressed by a child.

    Is this fair comment? I think so—he is, however much we hate it, the PM and as such represents our country to other nations. Not asking too much to expect him to be dressed appropriately, to be dressed as an adult would dress, is it?

    Even his collar was rumpled, guess the simian doesn’t know how to pack or to avail himself of the valet services at whatever expensive hotel he is staying at?

  5. I wonder if there is anywhere we can see a recording of that whole presser? Abbott’s first encounter with a not friendly press pack and we get cut off!

  6. Their ABC know exactly when to pull the plug when their man falters. They did the same thing to Julia Gillard, not when she faltered – she rarely did – but when she made a lot of sense.

  7. Now they ABC playing a clip from the presser that apppears to show Abbott speaking strongly. His revolting comment was in reply to a question about the newborn baby and mother separated. He blamed the AS for getting on the boats, “if people want that level of comfort etc they should not get on a boat to Australia.”


  8. Not going too well, Scoot?

    The Federal Government is changing the way it involves the military head of its border protection operation in its weekly media conferences, saying it wants to protect the integrity of the Australian Defence Force.

    Immigration Minister Scott Morrison says Operation Sovereign Borders Commander General Angus Campbell will no longer be present for the entire weekly briefing.

    From now, Mr Morrison says, General Campbell will give his weekly report on the number of boat arrivals and take a few questions before leaving.

  9. Fiona, that is a hilarious pair of pics. Unfortunately it is quite hard to imagine the PM with a shocked and embarrassed expression.

    Puffytmd I will donate to WSPA. Hate to think of all the suffering animals up in the Philippines.

  10. About Joe Hockey –

    i said this yesterday, sort of, but no-one noticed , so I’ll say it again. Hockey is skating on thin ice.

    If, as Michael Pascoe suggests, he has ‘abrogated his oath’ then that could be a sacking offence. The GG has the power to dismiss a minister. Ministers, as members of the Executive Council, hold office ‘during the pleasure of the Governor General’ (Austalian Constitution, Section 64). If a minister acts in any way that is not in the best interests of the country and its people then the GG’s ‘pleasure’ can cease and the minister can be dismissed. That does not bring on a double dissolution, it brings on a new minister. Surely Hockey knows this, but maybe not. The media haven’t worked it out yet, although, as usual, Tweeters were onto it as soon as Hockey stated having his tantrum.

  11. From Australian Unions Facebook page

    Flashback Friday is our National Day of Action of November 15, 2005.

    On this day 8yrs ago, unions launched the Your Rights at Work community campaign against the Howard Government’s proposed new workplace laws, and didn’t we do it with a splash!

    Up to 500,000 people took part across the nation — in stopwork meetings and rallies linked by video hook-up — making it the largest rally in Australian history.

    “We must be disciplined and responsible,” the then ACTU Secretary, Greg Combet said that day. “It is true that it will take time for some people to be affected by the laws. But the rights of every person will be diminished. And for many the change will come quickly – particularly the most vulnerable.”

    These words ring true today but our resolve is strong and we can and will fight again.

    Will you be with us in fighting for a better life for all Australians?

  12. Speaking of anniversaries, it is less than a month until the PBXmastragics site, later to morph into The Pub, was created by The Boss Joe6Pack has its 1st birthday/anniversary.

  13. fiona
    I was referring to Mr Eleventy’s threat to shut down the government and stop paying pensions, Medicare benefits and other stuff if he doesn’t get his $500 billion increase to the debt ceiling.

  14. Leone,
    Ah yes, I remember it well. Thenk you.

    I couldn’t agree more. The first post – Hello World! – was published on 11 December 2012. A most auspicious day, being me mum’s birthday, and even more auspicious this year, I hope, as the Canberra house goes to auction that evening.


    Missing votes: AEC asks High Court to void WA Senate election
    November 15, 2013 – 4:26PM
    Judith Ireland
    Breaking News Reporter

    Western Australia is a step closer to another election after the Australian Electoral Commission announced it had lodged a petition with the High Court asking it to declare the outcome of the state’s federal Senate vote void.

    This comes after 1370 votes went missing during a recount of the Senate vote last month.

    There have been two counts of the WA Senate vote at the 2013 federal election – after the Greens and Australian Sports Party appealed the close first result.

  16. Geez people are dumb.

    Before the election those of us with brains knew that an Abbott government would take away the Income Support Bonus Payment, a tiny $210 a year for singles on Newstart and $350 a year for couples. It was one of the things that would get the axe with the repeal of the MRRT. It wasn’t kept secret, it was mentioned many times, it was on those lists of stuff Abbott would do that would hurt us.

    Now – only now – do some people wake up. National Senors is a somewhat right-wing organsation, it calls itself a ‘consumer lobby for older Australians’. They aren’t happy with this news, although it’s not going to affect many of their members. National; Seniors members are more interested in whether they will include a cruise to Alaska in next year’s trip to Canada or opt for a longer stay-over in Hawaii on the way home than in how people on Newstart will manage with a few dollars a week less to live on. I don’t think there are too many members on Newstart, they couldn’t afford the membership fees, for a start. But if this mob are starting to carp about the decisions of a Coaliton government things must be getting bad for Abbott.

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