The Government You Have When You Don’t Have A Government

The following piece by Jennifer Wilson first appeared on No Place For Sheep. Many thanks, Jennifer!

(Image Credit: David Rowe; Australian Financial Review)

I woke up this morning thinking that I don’t feel as if we actually have a real government, or a real Prime Minster.

Tony Abbott seems to be increasingly decompensating under the stress of discovering he’s so unpopular with his party he had to face the prospect of a spill motion without even a challenger for his leadership, and that must be a rare political event just about anywhere.

(Decompensation, psychology: the inability to maintain defense mechanisms in response to stress, resulting in personality disturbance or psychological imbalance.)

After the acute trauma of the spill motion passed, everyone involved needed a little time to collect themselves, pass around the talking stick, and begin the process of healing. Instead, Abbott went right out and sacked Philip Ruddock as his Chief Government Whip, on the grounds that Ruddock had not adequately warned him of growing backbench discontent.

This is amazing. The rest of us knew all about it, but the PM’s office didn’t?

I’ve had doubts about the efficiency of this office for quite some time, after all, they’re supposed to be there for Tony yet every day since he took office things for him have traveled increasingly south. At first blush, it appears the PM’s staff are incompetent on a Monty Python scale.

Perhaps their secret agenda is to ruin him, or I have been watching too much In the thick of it. Either way he should sack somebody in that office and hire Malcolm Tucker, but instead he went after Ruddock.

I don’t care much what happens to Ruddock: I will never forget his days as Immigration Minister in the Howard government during which he instigated a powerfully successful campaign to demonise and criminalise asylum seekers arriving by boat, largely through the use of language he adopted from Nazi anti semitic propaganda of the 1930’s. Without Ruddock we would have no Morrison. He might look like a hurt old man, but I’m not fooled.

Then there were Abbott’s belligerent attacks on President of the Human Rights Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs, after the Commission’s report on children in detention was tabled in Parliament on Wednesday. In a typical conservative shoot the messenger and make so much noise that everybody will forget the message tactic, Abbott railed long and hard about Professor Triggs, while entirely disregarding the appalling findings of her report.

With the stubborn determination of the utterly cloth-eared stupid, Abbott keeps the three-word slogans hiccoughing off his far too evident, lizard-like tongue: boats, mining tax, carbon tax, boats, carbon tax, mining tax; we are open for business but not for boats, carbon tax, mining tax. I wonder to myself, does he or anyone in his office really think there are still people out here even listening to this drivel?

It is a measure of the collective desperation of Abbott and his staff that they continue to cling to this cringe-worthy robotic recitation: they have totally failed to come up with anything new, for all the millions of tax payer dollars we’ve spent on them.

The zeitgeist as far as I can tell is one of trembling, panicked uncertainty: what will their leader say next, how much longer can this go on, how can they make it better without looking like the ALP. This latter possibility seems to be the very worst thing they fear could happen to them.

It isn’t, though. Worse things are happening every time their leader opens his mouth and puts both feet in it. But hey, it’s good for the ALP.

There’s been a cute white rabbit appearing in our garden for the last few days, and like Alice in Wonderland, I’m thinking of drinking the potion to make me oh so tiny, then I can follow White Rabbit down his hole.

But wait! I’m already there!

The final straw is the sudden wheeling out of Margie. You know he’s a dead man walking when he rolls out the wife.

(Image Credit: Mitch Cameron; News Limited)

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454 thoughts on “The Government You Have When You Don’t Have A Government

  1. It breaks my heart to see these beautiful dogs in the hands of such wangkers, arskeholes and mongrel bahstards.

    Yep.

  2. puffy,

    Somewhere in my failing memory I recall seeing some photos of retired greyhounds in the ” Little Blog Of Gloats.” I think they were posted by “ridgiesrule.” If so and if he/she is around, I would like to hear of their experience with the temperament and personality of greyhounds.
    My limited encounters with left me with the impression they were very friendly and affectionate animals.

  3. BarryJ
    That they are. They are sight hounds who will chase moving objects. If they catch it they will kill it. Were used to catch prey for people to eat, like hares and rabbits. They can be timid even around humans. GAP greyhounds live with cats, chooks, kids (dunno about rabbits!).

  4. Of course there will be some who cannot be rehomed because the scumbags who ‘train’ them send them nuts. But they keep their dogs hidden away from the public. The appropriate punishment for them should be gaol. Or a good beating with a four x two.

    Got to go shopping now, see ya later.

  5. BB:

    He told me a number of times that greyhound races were usually fixed, and the entire industry was crooked as a… well you know.

    Liberal politician?

  6. That’s interesting, the Liberals are running a candidate in the Gippsland South by-election. That’ll annoy the Nationals in Victoria.

  7. That is a nasty cyclone and it could get very bad if it curves SE along the coast. Hopefully it doesn’t and I hope everyone is safe.

  8. Msadventure,

    Where abouts are you?

    We are not getting much rain or wind at the moment, but we certainly will in due course

    Currently, it seems that most of the rain from the cyclone is between Bundaberg to just north of Brisbane. That will change as it gets closer to the coast though!

    http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDR231.loop.shtml#skip

    If it stays on course, then the eye will pass just to the north of us here.

    http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDQ65002.shtml

  9. scorpio,

    Steady rain here in Hervey Bay. Only moderate wind with occasional gust. Stay safe up there where it is forecast to cross and then track southwards.

  10. This regime is a rabble of vandals:

    The census is the only way to get precise information about how many people there are in each part of Australia, what they do, and how they live.

    That information is fundamental to our democracy. The census is used by the Australian Electoral Commission to come up with fair electoral boundaries. Without an accurate picture of the population distribution how could we be sure each citizen’s vote was of equal value?

    That’s not a compromise a wealthy nation like Australia should make.

    The census is crucial for the planning, administration and policy formation of federal, state and local governments. It’s especially important for the fair distribution of federal funds across the nation. Population estimates, based on census data, are used to determine the allocation of around $45 billion worth of GST funding to the states and territories. The census helps governments evaluate the effectiveness of their activities.

    (My emphasis).

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/census-is-good-value-and-fundamental-to-our-democracy-20150218-13il4g.html

  11. They’re trying to get rid of the census? Ye gods, this government is just insane.

    Looks like everything under the control of the federal government that isn’t chained down by the constitution is in threat by this mob, no matter how useful they are.

  12. As a statistician by training with a keen interest in labour markets over the years I have watched the ABS statistical surveys of household income. I know how they manipulate them to get the headline unemployment rate and like all economists I multiply the headline unemployment rate by 3 to get the unemployment rate.

    Twitter has said that the surveys would be outsourced to consultants who would return the result the politicians were looking for at 3 times the price of the ABS. Access to ABS data would know longer be free. Those data cubes are a boon for people planning a new business or organisations determining need. ABS Census data is used to determine electoral boundaries, something that frightens the ALP when considering gerrymanders of the past

  13. Scorpio

    I am a bit south of Joe. We had a short heavy fall and then now it’s just drizzling, though the BOM tells me we are going to more very soon.

    Stay safe everyone.

  14. CTar12…: ” … such wangkers, arskeholes and mongrel bahstards.”……….man!…just how long WERE you living in that strange country??…your spelling has gone to shit!!

  15. http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/assistant-treasurer-josh-frydenberg-shifts-his-work-super-into-unionbacked-industry-fund-20150219-13j49f.html

    http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/feb/19/telcos-question-data-retention-plans-that-exempt-facebook-gmail-and-skype

    http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2015/02/among-the-hillary-haters/384976/ interesting longer read

  16. Had a glance at the Herald Sun and saw that Andrew Bolt’s returned to form, making a big “Leave Tony Alone!” sulk crying about the ABC being so biased against poor Tony, and that doing so is a crime against democracy or something.

  17. Hi BarryJ, Puffy and everyone else.

    Greyhounds are sweet, gentle and loving dogs. They are not aggressive, dangerous animals as has been portrayed on 4 Corners.

    What was shown on 4 Corners disgusted me and probably 99% of greyhound owners and trainers. Unfortunately as we are all aware, there are always a few lowlifes in any group and these people damage the reputation of the rest (a prime example is the federal LNP).

    Live baiting IS NOT common practice. It has been illegal for more years than I care to remember. But when money is involved you will always get some who will try anything to gain what they think, is an advantage.

    Greyhounds need something to chase on the lure during training, but live bait does NOT make a dog run faster. The vast majority of trainers use skins or squeaky toys for their dogs to chase.

    You actually have to ask how these lowlifes managed to get away with it for so long and it is my belief that there has been insufficient supervision by the racing boards who are supposed to look after the sport.

    Unfortunately because of these few lowlifes, there are going to be huge numbers of greyhounds requiring rehoming as they have been seized from these so-called “trainers”, some of whom were in the top echelon of the greyhound world and had quite a lot of dogs. It is difficult enough to rehome greyhounds under normal circumstances – after the 4 Corners program this will make it impossible.

    From personal experience, my three girls are the sweetest, most gentle and loving dogs you could ever wish to meet. These girls were excellent race dogs and won many, many races between them. They NEVER required live bait to make them run.

    Their days are spent sleeping on the grass in the sun, on the couch, on the bed or sprawled out on the tiled floor. At night they sleep on the bed cuddled up with me (I am allowed a very small spot in the bed) and the two ridgies.

    They get on just fine with my two ridgebacks and while occasionally there is a grumble (sort of along the lines of “Muuuum, she’s touching me”) generally everyone gets on happily. I think it would be fair to say that greyhounds get on well with most medium to large breeds of dogs and many of them get on well with smaller dogs and cats.

    If anyone is looking for a highly intelligent, gentle, loving pet dog you would go a long way to find one better than a greyhound. If anyone has room in their heart or their house to foster a greyhound or offer a houndie a permanent home please contact any of the Greyhound Adoption programs run by the Greyhound Racing Boards in each State.

    Even if you are unable to help out, if you know someone who could please talk to them about a greyhound. They are going to need all the help they can get.

  18. Back from our candidate [Fiona Phillips] campaign launch. Tanya, Stephen Jones, Glen Kolomeitz[ Kiama candidate] were all there. Fiona is the best candidate to have been seen here for a long time . Tanya made an aside to a friend that she thought Tony would be outed in the next few weeks, and spoke very well off the cuff. These labor women are just so natural, like Julia, it is just so satisfying to have them on our side.

  19. Ridgiesrule, the lady two doors down has two of them. They are lovely dogs, spoilt rotten [she leaves the TV on for them] and seriously funny if they get out. As a 15 year old I witnessed this killing thing , briefly and to my horror, at a private track at Chipping Norton.

  20. At a funeral this morning (for a good ALP comrade).

    I was speaking afterwards to left-wing stirrer Senator Doug Cameron. He agreed that it was a good thing that Tony Abbott was continuing to swing in the breeze. I quite like Dougie but haven’t forgiven him for his attitude to Julia.

    Local State candidate Trish Doyle is pleased as how her campaign is progressing.

  21. @KK

    Yeah, it was at about that level of patheticness, Bolt lashing out at those that don’t hold his side of politics in the highest regard, lamenting that most people don’t take the charges against Sarah Ferguson and Emma Alberici of crimes against the sanctity of the LNP’s competency seriously.

  22. An Indonesian Perspective: Australia Must Respect Our Penalty For Drug Trafficking

    Australia’s stance on the Bali Nine death row appears to be very problematic given that previously the government insisted Indonesia implement the death penalty over convicted Bali bombing terrorists
    ………………………..
    Australia should respect the Indonesian government’s decision to implement the death penalty over drug cases. Canberra must not ignore the philosophical and sociological differences between the two countries. Overreaction by the Australian Government would only lead to further estrangement in Canberra-Jakarta relations.

    https://newmatilda.com//2015/02/18/indonesian-perspective-australia-must-respect-our-penalty-drug-trafficking

  23. ridgiesrule

    A neighbour has a Greyhound she rescued after it became “surplus to requirements” for a racing guy. Mad crazy dog but mad in a wonderful 😆 way . Friendly as and possessed of boundless enthusiasm.

    He’s getting a bit old now but still occasionally jumps over the fence for a mad sprint around my lawn , a pat on the head and then off again.

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