The Scion, the Wheat, and the Cabinet – Chapter the Last

TOM LEWIS writes:

Damned inconvenient. Cricket on. You’d think they could spice it up a bit by losing the third test just to get the odds up a bit and increase the take at the gate. Yes, a double, m’dear.

Now, where was I? Don’t really know since I died, but what was it I wanted to say to you lot? Oh yes, ran into Jack t’other day and he’s got a few tidbits of a yarn. Apparently that wheat thing’s over. No James, the massage is at 3, isn’t it?

Um, where was I? Ah yes. Well, old Jack tells me he’s got another yarn and I’m s’posed to see him next week to get the guts of it. Dunno, really. There’s a Chrissie party on and were having a memorial for Harold Holt over at the Chinese down the road at the Cheviot Beach Club so we mightn’t get a chance to get it all down before this bloody mob close down for Christmas. Journalists. I ask you. Always the same: never let a good news story get in the way of a holiday.

Anyway, here’s the last bit Jack gave me about the wheat thing. Happy Hogmanay and we’ll be back in the new year or so. Have to rush – the massage was at 2 after all.

Love to all and remember: vote Liberal. They may be a pack of incompetent bastards, but they’re our incompetent bastards. Mud in your eye.



The Chronicles of Nadir

As told from the grave by Tom Lewis


Tale the First

The Scion, the Wheat, and the Cabinet

Chapter The Last

The Final Report

As clouds of smoke billowed around the Teak Table and the bush firefighters were gaining Labor [sic] pre-selection in droves, other momentous portents were occurring in the land of Nadir. While the snow melted and the water rose, rats were leaving sinking ships like a drawn treader and faster than the increasing drought could reduce stock numbers (or even numbats). Little Lucy’s husband was making a concerted push on the water front and had made so many feel-good announcements that she was, victory over the Lady Jadis apart, clearly flushed with success.

Meanwhile, on this side of the Cabinet, Little Johnnie, in a public relations coup the like of which had not been seen since Mrs Petrov was dragged screaming from a Lermontov airliner in Darwin, the coalface had been closed down as a gesture towards appeasing the lunatic fringe on global warming.

AW Board had escaped by the skin of his teeth and had them firmly sunk into the double board shuffle somewhere in the Channel Islands while his erstwhile colleagues slowly committed suicide pending their respective committals.

With the Christmas hols rapidly approaching, the children had spent useful time relieving the tension of their adventures by installing themselves on their respective thrones in the park outside the Goulburn RSL. Although it had caused a bit of a stink at the time, as is the way of these things, like the coalface, time heals all wounds and things are easily forgotten if not always forgiven or vice versa.

Alexander had become both Queen of the Faeries and Foreign Minister as a fully-fledged member of the Inner Cabinet (price $482 plus GST – the modern equivalent of 20 pieces of silver, or, a pound of flesh as it was known in Treasury, the portfolio the now enthroned King Peter had been given and the only kingdom he was ever likely to rule). As a further diversionary tactic a former Jewish journalist, and Middle East expert, Rosie Rosie (always a red’s red) had been appointed as ambassador to the newly created territory of Palestine, a traditional historical homeland the size of Monaco which now sat on a floating island half a kilometer above the ancient land of Brobdignag.

Queen Amanda, for her part, had become, well, slightly larger than she formerly had been in life, and was given extra responsibility as a new Australian Territory in the Great Southern Ocean about 50º 25’ E, 28º 45’S where she was now inhabited by a colony of lesbian sea lions, all of whom had passed the recently introduced dictation test, knew all about mateship, Australian values, bbqing in cold climates, and turkey basting as well as having promised to vote Liberal for the rest of their natural lives. The turkey basting had initially seemed odd and could have been scuttled until it was explained to Jeanette, a well known animal liberationist (after all she had taken Little Johnnie away from his mum) that there were no actual turkeys involved just a long plastic tube and a thing that looked like the business end of a Klaxon horn on a model T Ford. Jeanette had always had a soft spot for the model T and from time to time had fantasies about Corder and a dickie seat. She often had fantasies about dickie seats but that still hadn’t stopped THAT WOMAN getting pre-selection for Southern Highlands.

For Little Lucy, being a Queen was little different to being a Little Lucy really. After all, once one was born to rule, one was born to rule (although there had been a tad of trouble about that combined with being a Roman Catholic in 1688). Still, time heals all wounds, even being thrown over at your fist popular election as Lord Mayor for a bedraggled chook the age of Methuselah with the brains of a herring (and personal hygiene to go with it).

Mr Patel, on the other hand had struck up a clandestine correspondence with Mr Lodhi. Both were planning a break-out known to the law as an appeal. The thin-lipped veinless Ruddock had his eye on them like a, well, not like a hawke, (he, after all, was from the other side) but more like a Caldwell (come to think of it, he was from the other side as well but, it was an old saying: two Wongs don’t make a white and there was no point in playing with a Lodhi weapon.) Of course, every cloud has a silver lining and at least Mr Patel knew he didn’t have osteoporosis – he could now see the bones in his wrists for himself.

So, as the fire gutters and sleep draws on, gathering the loose ends as any good children’s story does, we find the four at the end of their particular adventure, returned from the Land of Nadir, blessed by the Scion and happily ruling over a grateful populace seemingly forever. Yet, while this is a children’s’ story, we live in an adult world with the dangers of war not yet receded. Home by Christmas becomes yet another casualty of realpolitic if not of a terrible war. In fact, in the time it has taken in the telling of this tale, the dangers only increased. ‘Tis but the way of the world (and of tedious, crude, laboured, Christian allegories) that the struggle never ends.

Unbeknownst to them, the children, Little Johnnie, Jeanette, Corder and all their fellow travellers were about to face their greatest challenge since the days of the Communist Party Case.

From the North, suddenly, unannounced, except by himself, had come the threat of Prince Crispian now allied with the Wicked Witch of the South, an evil, fire-breathing, unmarried, childless, whining, grating, gyrating, combinationalist, red both in hair and craw, Jules of the Galliard, who was to Dowland and courtly Elizabethan dancing what the rulers of the Peoples’ Republic of China had been to Tiananmen square. Suddenly, crocodiles were developing Hawke eyes.

Like the endless ebb and flow of the big bang cycle, force against force was aligned and the ever to be repeated battle loomed. Once more unto the breach, the mettle of their pasture was again to be tested: this time it would not just be about wheat.

770 thoughts on “The Scion, the Wheat, and the Cabinet – Chapter the Last

  1. Sad news

    News that satirist Jon Stewart was quitting as host of The Daily Show attracted so much attention when it broke on Tuesday night in the United States, not because Stewart’s program is so very funny – and it is – but because he has earned such credibility and regard during a period in which America’s key political and media institutions have failed so terribly.

    By last year Pew Research found Stewart was a more trusted news source than some of the biggest conservative names in media, including Rush Limbaugh and Fox News’s Sean Hannity.

  2. Has Australia had a criminally insane prime minister before the current one?

    “A mental defect or disease that makes it impossible for a person to understand the wrongfulness of his acts or, even if he understands them, to distinguish right from wrong. “

  3. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Mark Kenny examines the parlous state of Abbott’s relationship with the back bench.
    Which NSW Liberal MP (marginal) has been a naughty boy?
    The abolition of the carbon and mining taxes have really helped employment. Oh, wait a minute!
    The tabling of crucial reports has been delayed by political chaos within the government.
    Peter Martin asks if Hockey will do a Swan and accept economic realities.
    Stephen Koukoulas is of a similar mind.
    Peter Martin outlines the problems at the ABS and its products.
    Morality – the missing part of our economic (and political) debate.–the-missing-piece-of-our-economic-debate-20150212-13crb0.html
    “View from the Street” asks how week 1 of the “good government” went.
    Mark Kenny tells us of the Coalition resorting to the use of grubby accusations over terror suspects.

  4. Section 2 . . .

    “Who needs justice and fairness when we’ve got Abbott and Co?” asks Richard Ackland. This is well worth reading.
    Abbott uses “holocaust” to describe jobs under Labor. What a dill.
    Abbott’s attack on Gillian Triggs and the HRC is unprecedented.
    The Age editorial says Abbott should be ashamed of himself as he fails yet another test of leadership.
    Children in detention – a government that lacks compassion.,7366
    The 48 worst things he Liberals did yesterday. A bumper edition.
    The BOM is struggling as result of the severe cuts.
    Why tougher anti-terror laws won’t stop lone idiots.
    Greg Jericho with his usual impeccably supporting information shows how welfare dependency has actually been reduced.
    Ben Eltham – Abbott and his crew are at sea over the submarine fiasco.

  5. Section 3 . . .

    James Ashby and the $3m costs conundrum.,7364
    Abbott’s detailed release of information from the AFP on the recent “death cult” raids. comes under fire.
    This will go against the government’s ideological grain – industry calls for fiscal stimulus.
    From yesterday’s Royal Commission hearings,
    Andrew Dyson finds a new no-go zone in Parliament House.

    Alan Moir can’t resist using the captain’s call. It won’t be the last time.

    Bill Leak goes to the captain’s pick and submarines as well.

    Ron Tandberg – there have been some subtle changes at PMO.

    Mark Knight at QT for the unemployment figures release.

    David Rowe takes us behind the wire with another great contribution.

    A similar theme from David Pope.

  6. More trouble for Tony. this time it’s the ultra-right-wing nutters.

    This should be just a side issue, a bill proposed by Bob Day that will fail, not worth commenting on except for one thing. Abbott is now so lacking in authority and so despised by his own team that Liberal senators (the extreme right-wing-nut-jobs) are seriously thinking about crossing the floor.

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott is facing a rebellion in the Senate, with up to half a dozen of his own senators indicating they could cross the floor in favour of changing race hate laws.

    In a sign of Mr Abbott’s diminishing authority, West Australian senator Chris Back and Queensland Liberal National Party senator Ian Macdonald have told Fairfax Media they will vote in favour of a bill designed to water down the Racial Discrimination Act. South Australian senator Sean Edwards has given a strong indication he could join them, arguing the act in its current form suppresses free speech.

    Mr Abbott pledged to repeal section 18C of the act prior to the 2013 election after it was used to prosecute conservative commentator Andrew Bolt. But he abandoned the pledge last year after a fierce backlash from religious leaders and many Liberal MPs

  7. News that satirist Jon Stewart was quitting as host of The Daily Show attracted so much attention when it broke on Tuesday night in the United States, not because Stewart’s program is so very funny – and it is – but because he has earned such credibility and regard during a period in which America’s key political and media institutions have failed so terribly.

    John Oliver is the rightful heir. His show is amazing. He had an incredible piece on the pharmaceutical industry the other day. I don’ know what his plans are, but he’d slot into that Daily Show gig seamlessly. He did run the place for a while last year while Stewart was away, but I didn’t see any of it beyond a few jokey things about him usurping Stewart’s position and being a tyrant. His own show is very hard-hitting, he’s not afraid to stick his neck out, and he’s very funny at the same time. Keen eye for absurdity in both politics and business.

    I’d think he’d be less inclined to go the ‘soft’ interviews which currently take up the last third of Stewart’s show and lend it more variety. That’d be the main difference.

  8. Leone – what do they mean they’re going to cross the floor? You mean, by themselves? I can’t see the current Senate going anywhere near watering down the race-hate laws. Certainly the ALP and Greens are against it, and if most of the Coalition are too… what are they trying to achieve here?

  9. Aguirre
    I have no idea what they think they are doing. The bill will fail. It looks like they are just trying a bit of an anti-Abbott revolt.

    What a shame they never try this sort of stunt on a knife-edge vote, like the asylum seeker thing that depended on just one vote.


  11. The OH. went to the provo’ town to the Telstra shop to update her mobile phone to one of those “smart-arse phones”…they sold her a model named ; “Dave”….with the shit reception we get out here in the bush..I can quote that Cheech and Chong skit…”…Dave’s not here , man…”

  12. They’re out there spreading their idiocy on the airwaves today by the sound of it. Hockey was asked why he was so unpopular. He seems to thing that’s a good thing as it’s not “vote in a celebrity”. It hasn’t occurred to him yet that its still “vote for who you want in Parliament”, which is a popularity contest.

    Lord knows how he can’t make that connection. It’s not unusual for people to dislike certain policies, but they have to at least respect them. And didn’t the Liberals prove in the last term that politics is very much a popularity contest? Bring the leader down and the party inevitably follows. They based their entire strategy around it.

    Abbott’s out insinuating that all refugees are potential terrorists. I noted yesterday that Dutton, when talking about the latest suspects, went on and on about ‘boat people’ being dangerous and this being proof of it, and them immediately having to backtrack because they came by plane.

  13. I most unimpressed with how my iPhone connects to iPhoto on my iMac. Being all Apple I expected Bluetooth connectivity, but oh-no the preferred method is via iCloud [with a cap of 1000 photos.]
    I can connect phone to computer by cable but its very hard to import the photos, so much easier from any camera.

    My friend bought her smartphone from Aldi for about $250 – she is really happy with it. I was really happy with my Aldi laptop and am most impressed with my Aldi tablet, it is easy to use, connects to Gmail ( a bit too efficiently perhaps) and cost $99. Screen resoluton could be better.

    You need to ask Telstra to check the technical specs of the phone they recommend against the network available at your home at a website like

    If the popsie can’t understand the review or doesn’t know your network ask for the manager or the manager’s manager

  14. Hmmm. If Norman Abjorensen is writing like this, abbott’s days are numbered:

    What Tony Abbott needs to do if he is to survive is to persuade his colleagues and the public alike that there is another dimension to him, that he is not simply a one-trick Tony. It remains to be seen whether he can manage this, having always been a polarising figure.

    I recall a meeting I had in the early 1990s with a Liberal MP when Abbott was on the staff of then leader John Hewson. Our meeting was interrupted by a brief phone call from Abbott, who liked to offer gratuitous advice to MPs. The MP, who went on to become a senior minister under Howard, put down the phone and said, “That was Abbott. Thank God that man is not in parliament nor ever will be. He is dangerous.”

    A quarter of a century on, some of his own still think that.

  15. billie 11,

    6 months ago I switched from Windows to Apple iMac. Worst decision I ever made. Trying to run Apps designed for OSX but not purchased from Apple is a nightmare. I have never experienced so much frustration with a computer. Everything seems to be designed around using iCloud. I do not wish to use iCloud. I am currently building a new abode and as soon as I am settled, this heap of garbage will be jettisoned.


    When my previous provider went into liquidation, I switched to Telstra who simply replaced the SIM card in my existing phones. Worked perfectly in store but no reception at home, approx 3km away. Found to be my existing phones were 2G and the Telstra network required 3G. priced new phones at Telstra, $175 each. Purchased exactly the same phones at Hardly Normals for $79 each. Pays to shop around.

  16. I’m more convinced than ever that Abbott only ever fights the next battle. He gave his contrite speech to the backbenchers on Monday following the spill, and then promptly forgot all about them. He went off to Parliament to smash Shorten. ‘Smashing Shorten’ pretty much meant abandoning his own front bench (the back bench were a distant memory by this point) and going back on anything he might have said earlier, allowing a whole bunch of jabs through his guard, just so he could get himself into any position where he might be able to throw a haymaker. He was punching holes in the ground, hitting himself in the head, taking in a bit of collateral damage on his own side, throwing a few airies. But if anything landed on the other side he was happy with that.

    Then he trotted about the media in the afternoon and evening with a little pot of virtual spakfilla and a handful of slogans to see if he could repair any of the damage he caused.

    The whole week went more or less that way. Gaffes glossed over with lies, policy holes deflected by rants about the ALP five years ago, lies glossed over with more lies, whatever it took. The odd admission where no other course was possible. By yesterday was was verballing the Human Rights Commission and telling us how proud he was of incarcerating children, and compromising court cases while gabbing about ‘terror suspects’. All in a day’s work for him. If he’s still upright at the end of the day, all good, he carries on.

  17. Fiona when are you going to stop experimenting and return to your smug black cat. Your current avatar is most disturbing. Or did the pteridactyl eat your cat and you are out for revenge?

  18. BarryJ
    when my 3 year old Aldi laptop broke its fan at the start of last summer, I bought an HP laptop, absolutely ugly beast
    – RSI inducing keyboard because key resistance was wrong
    – elaborate password protection which is odious in the extreme
    – Windows 8
    – crappy screen resolution

    – saved my bikkies and bought a Mac laptop at 3 times the price. Apple’s bundled product restricts my choice of investment advisor but Apple’s dependence on the iCloud under current Australian operating conditions is cruel. Evidently Australian internet speeds are so low that iCloud has to be capped for Australian products.

    Perhaps I ought to have bought another Aldi but it still had the same iCore3 processor, well what do you expect from a $450 computer – the price had halved

  19. Last election there were two reasons why I refused to vote for Labor and instead voted for an independent who had no chance of winning. Those reasons were Kevin Rudd and Labor’s horrible asylum seeker policies. Next election there will probably just one issue that again turns me away from Labor – asylum seeker policy. I can have the luxury of making a protest vote without risking any damage because since Rob Oakeshott retired this electorate is once again safe National. If I lived in a marginal electorate I would most likely just hold my nose to ward off the stench of appalling policy and inhumane treatment of desperate people and give Labor my first preference.

    Labor and Bill Shorten in particular should have seized Abbott’s nasty remarks about the children in detention report, Gillian Triggs and the AHRC yesterday. Shorten should have done a presser and blasted Abbott and Brandis. He should have said something about Labor accepting their share of the blame for past actions of Labor governments, apologised for the misery Labor policies had caused and then announced a complete change of direction. The closure of Nauru and Manus Island would be a good place to start.

    I understand the need for initial detention of arrivals but that should be brief, just long enough for medical checks, quarantine perhaps, immunisations and whatever else is needed to ensure only healthy people are released into the community. This initial phase could take place on Christmas Island -we spent a fortune on the facilities there, they should be used. But after the briefest possible time asylum seekers should be brought to the mainland and placed in the community, while they await processing.

    Labor has to rethink the party’s attitude to asylum seekers and boat arrivals. Disgust with Howard’s policies was responsible in part for his election loss in 2007. Labor under Rudd Mark I took steps to improve the situation but Julia Gillard lost her nerve and changed direction. Hearing her tell would-be asylum seekers that they would never make it to Australia was the lowest point in her time as PM. Rudd Mark II was even worse.

    Labor needs to understand that not all Australians are bogans who hate brown people. Labor needs to offer an alternative, not just more of the same old ‘lock them up and forget about them’ policies of the past.

    A decent asylum seeker policy would swing many voters to Labor, voters who are wavering at the moment because they see no difference between the two major parties on this issue.

    Why can’t we have a party that promises to stop wasting billions on having most of the navy chasing little wooden boats back to Indonesia, on running concentration camps and on enriching the dodgy organisations that run them? Instead why not use that money to maybe open processing centres in Indonesia, proper processing centres, not the fake ones Howard used to ‘stop the boats’ for a year or two.

    This problem will not go away. The boats have not stopped, no matter what Abbott says, they will keep coming and will come in increasing numbers.

    Apart from a brief snarl from the ineffective Richard Marles Labor seems to have said nothing about the report or Abbott’s handling of it. What a wasted opportunity. Shame Labor, shame.

  20. Billie – in cases where for the sake of conversation you want to link to something really toxic, Do Not Link comes in handy. worth bookmarking

    This is why. More clicks, better search results. Bookmark this article too.

    Below is the Piers article, via that site. Pub readers, don’t click the original.

  21. Won’t link to it but if you need an emetic this headline is perfect. NE rolls out the gels.

    ‘You’re doing a great job.’ ‘Thanks angel’: The touching text messages between Frances Abbott and her PM father as he fought off leadership challenge – as she reveals she’s added to her tattoo collection

  22. Leone,

    The asylum seeker issue is a poisoned chalice for Labor now. I don’t know how we, as a nation, can get past the stinking politics which have been raging since the Rudd govt closed Nauru and Manus and tried to make things better – all Labor got was a kick in the teeth from every whichway when the new system was overwhelmed. Everyone and his dog, including those who are pro on-shore processing, were unwilling to see past the politics and allow Labor to pursue regional solutions.

    I believe Labor put in a lot of effort in trying to get regional co-operation. I also believe Labor, particularly under Gillard, had made big strides into securing the trust of Malaysia and Indonesia and the first tentative steps came with the Malaysia solution which was effectively scuttled by the Greens and the lying abbott opposition. IMO, that is when it all turned to shite when the Labor Govt was denied the power, both by the abbott’s determination to stop Labor succeeding and the Green’s with their airy-fairy solutions, to even give their solutions a trial.

    It was sheer desperation that Gillard finally turned to the ‘expert panel’ which recommended a return to Nauru and Manus…..(a little thing that turned me off Angus Houston as being an unbiased gentleman with an ‘expert’ brain).

    When the next election campaign begins, I would like to see Shorten propose an Asylum Seeker Summit, followed by a referendum for the people to choose the route they wish to go to deal with people seeking a safe haven in our country. Dunno how this can be done but it is way past time to put a stop to politicians/political parties using desperate people to win power.

  23. The National Embarrassment meeting hit KPIs

    Even the Poms are laughing at us. Stray item, filler, p.37 in the UK Independent:

    “Flaming koalas! Australia has been invited to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest!”

    Here we go. After a bit of the usual, it ends on this:

    ” … who should the Aussies put out to bat? …most previous Eurovision entries [are] self-centred, talentless narcissists who get a kick out of embarrassing themselves before an audience of millions. Tony Abbott it is, then.”

    This is now officially out.of.control. — Guy Rundle


    ………Abbott the most “incompetent leader in any industrialised democracy,” as the Australian Prime Minister provoked criticism over his latest remarks.

    Speaking during the Australian parliament’s question time, Mr Abbott accused the opposition Labour party of causing a “holocaust of job” losses.

  24. foeverjanice
    That poisoned chalice is why Labor should have seized the opportunity offered by the release of The Forgotten Children. Labor could have taken over, set an agenda for change, but it didn’t happen.

    There is a regional summit on people smuggling, human trafficking, asylum seekers and associated issues – the Bali Process. In 2011 it set up a Regional Cooperation Framework to deal with these issues. Australia is a member but our governments haven’t taken much interest.

    The Malaysian Solution was actually defeated by the High Court, rather than the Greens and the then opposition, who certainly played their part in its death.

    In 2012 Rob Oakeshott introduced a private members bill, the Migration Legislation Amendment (The Bali Process) Bill 2012 in an attempt to deal with the impasse the government was facing after the defeat of the Malaysian solution in the High Court. The Gillard government, to its credit, backed this bill but it was defeated in the senate by the Coalition and, of course, the oh-so-pure Greens.

    This, I think, was the beginning of the Gillard government’s change of direction. I just can’t forgive that government and the brief spell of Rudd government for pandering to the worst elements in our society in a desperate attempt to win votes, using the dreadful ‘but we are saving people from drowning’ excuse to justify appalling policy. I may be hopelessly idealistic, but I believe governments should inspire us and try to bring out the best in us, not drag us down as the current government (if you can call this chaotic rabble a ‘government’) is doing.

  25. leone

    I also agree with you. I heard someone across the road say that Shorten should stick to Morrison’s policies … In other words the easy way out, most inhumane, just to get some miserable votes. I definitely think Manus and Nauru should be closed forever. Not only are they far too expensive but they are also toxic. There should also be full transparency and proper health and care provided to the AS. You never know, if they are all sick mentally, how will they ever respect this country if they become Aussies? Nobody should remain in those camps for long. Fraser might come with some ideas as well as some Human Rights lawyers.

    We need a compassionate leader and a compassionate Immigration Minister. I’m thinking of T Burke. Something with our neighbouring countries needs to be organised now.

    Also, burn those orange boats.

  26. The most depressing thing about Labor and Libs going back down the camps road is that they all knew exactly what it would do to people and they still went ahead. Everything in the report was exactly what happened in Howard’s camps. It was no secret.

Comments are closed.