She forgives him… again

Battered wife

This morning’s 50-50 Ipsos poll is being trumpeted about the land as a soft landing for Tony Abbott. After the trials and travails of earlier in the year, he is now within striking distance of an election comeback. At least that’s how the story goes.

Australia, the battered wife, after enduring the ups and downs of its females of child-bearing age being classed as people you’d have to climb over Abbott’s dead body to help, to being “women of calibre” fully entitled to everything the state could throw at them, to being rorters, double-dippers,  “union mates”  – and worse… public servants – has forgiven Tony who, it seems, they believe knows best.

Huddled pensioners, stung by the steady erosion of their purchasing power, ADF soldiers, sailors and airmen losing their payrises, the unemployed who were waiting six months for their pittance of dole, the sick in defunded hospitals, the kids needing to be educated in antiquated schools, important industries pulverized to dust with an ideological hammer, those waiting haplessly for the NBN, families suddenly stripped of thousands of dollars in child support rebates and so many more that have been variously bashed and flattered and then bashed again by the Abbott government have once more taken him at his word.

Filling the coffers of Big Mining, Big Construction, wealthy superannuants, negative gearers and foreign multinational tax avoiders proceeds apace. With obsessive, near corrupt attention paid to their every whim, perk and wish list agenda item, they continue to be alright, Jack. They are Tony’s fancy ladies, the bit on the side of the Abbott government. They receive the free lunches and the glittering prizes, while at domus nostra

Back home, the wife, her name’s “Australia”, goes to work, has the dinner on the table by 6 o’clock, looks after the kids and day-to-day drudgery, then allows herself to be fucked-over whenever hubby comes home and decides he needs to let off some steam.

She’s never good enough for him. She thinks she’s entitled. She thinks she has rights. She wants a fair go. She craves respect and a little affection. She wants recognition of her efforts. She wants to be treated decently.

But if she speaks up she gets a talking to. Or she has her housekeeping cut in half, maybe taken away altogether.

If she continues to be defiant, or just to insist on getting what’s hers and the kids’ by rights and custom, she is vilified and bashed, told she’s a bludger and lazy. It’s for her own good, of course. Someone has to be in charge, to have convictions and to carry them out.

She loved him once, willingly said “I do”. He keeps reminding her of those golden days, when they were young and setting out on an adventure together. He tells her it can be like that again, if only she behaves herself. He hates hitting her, he really does. He agonizes over “the hard decisions” he has to make. So what if sometimes he has to dish out a little discipline? It’s no more than she deserves.

He can be so charming. He has a way with words. He can distill the most complicated ideas into slogans of three words and clever catchphrases. He can remind her of all the good things he does, like letting her off getting punished for one night, and forgiving her. He’s so clever. He has an answer for every accusation she throws at him. He makes it all seem so reasonable, she has to forgive him. This time it’ll be alright. This time he’s telling the truth. He’s a new man, from today. He sounded so sincere.

He pulls her emotions one way and then the other. He contradicts himself, but somehow it all makes sense. Other people tell her that she’s imagining things. He’s a good bloke. His mates all like him. They like him at work, too. She shouldn’t worry about the bashings. It’s all part of domestic life. anyway. He said he was sorry, didn’t he? Brought her roses, right? Gave her some spare change out of his own pocket, remember?

He found out she’d been talking to his mates once. They asked her what she thought of him, and she told them.

That night, when he came home, he reserved a special punishment for her. He told her she was a double-dipper, a fraud and a rorter, and if she didn’t like the bonus housekeeping money he’d promised her – but never delivered, of course, he never delivers – then she could make more babies without anything extra from him. That’d teach her to reveal her opinion of him to others. A little bit of vindictiveness goes a long way when she runs off the rails.

The grand irony of Australian Of The Year, Rosie Batty’s domestic violence agenda receiving one-tenth of the funding that the War On Death Cults has received, when actual deaths due to domestic violence far outstrip all deaths from terrorism by an order of magnitude – even in the first few months of one year – is cripplingly sad. It’s as if the Devil himself is writing the script in this Reality TV la-la land we live in.

It might sound petty of me, but as soon as I heard Deborah Lee Furness – a mate of Tony’s –  didn’t get the AOTY gong and that Rosie did, I thought “Hullo… Rosie’s going to cop it now.” It was Australia Day, the same day that Phil the Greek received a knighthood. Everyone was laughing at Abbott. He doesn’t like to be laughed at. He never forgets it, ever.

He sent out all the usual suspects to tell us that Prince Phillip helped the Scouts once, and that he was patron of those thingmy-bob awards. He deserved every honour heaped upon him for these magnificent efforts alone, it was said. But it didn’t wash.

The nation, the battered wife called “Australia”, could finally have a belly laugh, and this time there was strength in numbers. Stifling his anger he promised to give Batty a few baubles, and made some clucking sounds about looking after the kids, but it wasn’t enough. Australia kept laughing. Even his mates at work couldn’t stop chortling, and then their amusement changed to anger. It looked serious there for a while.

So he told them all he’d reform. The media picked up the story and it was all framed around the “reform” angle. Pretty soon it became a self-fulfilling prophecy. The political commentators can never be seen as wrong.

The Budget was pre-announced as “boring”. And so it was declared to be by the media, even before it came out. Boring. Boring. Boring. What a surprise when it turned out to be so benign! They’d been telling us it would be, and it was. Tony’s Tradies received a tax concession on capital purchases, and this became the story. No matter whether they actually had a lazy $20,000 to spend, or not. It was the thought that counted. There’s no-one left at the ATO to audit the purpose of the purchases, so they could buy anything they liked and get an immediate write-off. Mag wheels, leather seats… one enterprising art gallery even suggested paintings, to decorate the office walls (in place of the ZOO Weekly posters, I presume).

And like the good little spouses they are, it appears that the Australian people have swallowed it, at least in the short term. Despite all the lies and the bashings, the wedges between one demographic and the other, the about-faces and the broken promises of the past, they’ve put their faith, or some of it, back in Tony once again.

Then the whole cycle can be repeated: Captain’s Calls, spin, culture wars, wowserism, Death Cults, flag-waving, Reality TV as a substitute for reality. And baubles for the mates. There’s always the mates, the donors and the moguls that have to be kept happy.

One of the TV channels is running a promo for an episode of some nameless soap opera they’re telecasting at the moment. The voice-over guy, who sounds like he has actually swallowed the microphone, whispers loudly into our ears… no-one talks like that. He should see an ear, nose and throat specialist. It sounds like something’s wrong with his larynx. “This is the One Must-See Episode of the year,” he gasps. Someone’s having a baby and her husband is in jail… I think. Will she, or won’t she? Can he, or can’t he? Will they, or won’t they?

I never watch these things, but I do ponder to myself whether the punters really fall for this crap. There have already been at least a dozen “Must-See Episodes Of The Year” already, and it’s only May. Do they forgive the networks for lying to them so blatantly? Do they actually understand that it’s not a real baby, and that Dad’s not really in any jail, anywhere? That it’s just a confection, cobbled together to a formula and spruiked like a packet of soap powder, by a bloke who has perfected a way of making you wish you could hack up whatever’s in his throat for him?

Do they understand too that Tony’s Transformation is a chimera, a mirage? That he’s the same vindictive bully he’s always been, the same anarchistic weather vane out for personal retribution and glory? That’ll he’ll lie, cheat and steal? He’ll go through their purses and take whatever he wants? That he’ll give with one hand and take with the other, and then demand we love him for it? That he utters so many untruths it’s almost impossible to know where to start debunking them? That to forgive him is only to encourage him: the man who said its “better to seek forgiveness than ask permission”?

The latest Ipsos poll, and the way it is being written up – as a battered nation letting bygones be bygones and knuckling under to Tony’s flood of contrition, pathetically grateful for the meaningless trinkets he has thrown their way – answers “Yes” to that question.

Sure there was a Newspoll. And sure it was worse than last time. And sure Newspoll is supposed to be “The One”. But even The Australian wrote up Ipsos instead. It was an absolute first: Newspoll’s proprietors promoting their rivals. They consoled their readers by telling them there was a better poll over at the hated, socialist Fairfax.

It’s crazy. It’s unprecedented. We’re in La-La Land. We’re about to sit down to the Must-See Episode we’ve already seen a thousand times. The nation is vegging-out in front of the telly once again, grateful simply that the pain has stopped for a brief moment.

I do wonder sometimes whether it’s worth anyone’s while worrying about them. They keep putting up with the abuse, convincing themselves that this time it’ll be alright.

They are the battered wives who keep coming back for more. And we all know where that leads.

Just ask Rosie Batty.

545 thoughts on “She forgives him… again

  1. Tension over the budget reply comes at a time when the ABC is under ratings pressure and claims of pro-Labor bias from Coalition supporters and politicians.

    Ratings pressure? Is SBS catching up?

  2. This little black duck

    Classic line in C&D “You don’t have to understand an idea to oppose it.”

  3. Time for George Pell to think of the flock rather than the frock and come home to the confessional— Tony Windsor (@TonyHWindsor) May 21, 2015

  4. Oh to know the inner workings of Pell and his clique who had the nickname of “The Spice Girls”. That and who in else was part of the group. Tones an “associate” member ?

  5. Tones , Sporty Spice ? Scary Spice ? Nah more Hollow Man Oaf Spice.

  6. I’ve just been nearly bounced on and licked to death by the two pups across the road.

  7. Kaffeeklatscher,

    I did.

    As it happens, Jet – now aged 7 months – is black. A poodle pup, however. I’d been invited to see his first “grown up” haircut. The other pup is Bonnie. She is white, much more intelligent than Jet, and I think she is a bichon / maltese cross. Very beautiful, very wicked, but she loves me. Well, they both do.

    However, all this frivolity means I can’t wear today’s top tomorrow: it has a definite smell of dog about it.

  8. Neva eva heard of asafoetida before but its other names suggest I have not missed much , Devil’s dung and stinking gum.

  9. Maybe Joe learned all his maths in Papua New Guinea.

    Beginners Maths
    In Papua New Guinea’s Language of Kobon, the words for numbers are the names of body parts. So 1 to 10 are “little finger, ring finger, middle finger, forefinger, thumb, wrist, forearm, inside elbow, bicep, shoulder.” To count higher, you count the collarbone and the hollow at the base of the throat- and then right down the other side, all the way to 23. You can count to 46 by counting back the other way and even higher by starting over and doing it all again. So 61 in Kobin is “hand turn around second time go back biceps other side.”

  10. Cliff,

    Body part counting is / was a feature of many Melanesian cultures. The Oksapmin (also PNG) also used (upper) body parts to get to 47:

    Geoffrey Saxe, with whom I’ve been lucky enough to talk, has done a lot of work in this area.

    And one of the papers my colleague and I have on the backburner is on the subject of ethnomathematics. A truly fascinating field.

  11. Kaffeeklatscher,

    The work we have done with remote Aboriginal children suggests that their innate sense of magnitude/quantity is the same as that of Western children. In fact, there are aspects of their mathematical sense (especially spatial) that way outstrip that of Westerners.

    The “number” research with the Piraha is problematic on several levels.

  12. They do enjoy cutting funds for the needy

    The corporation said the loss of its funding for the service came through a failed application to the Indigenous Advancement Strategy funding.

    But a spokesperson for the Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion said it terminated the corporation’s Link Up contract after it “identified compliance issues including the possible misuse of Commonwealth funds” relating to receipts.

    CASG&FAC strongly disputes that allegation.

  13. Fiona

    The links were purely for superficial larfs. So much of crapola that comes out of Seppo ethnologists, anthropologists and the like long ago registered as being more about their obsessions than reality.

  14. Kaffeeklatscher,

    Unfortunately, not just the Seppos. I’ve sent you a few pieces of “recommended reading” in case you would like to explore our work!

  15. Fiona

    Ta muchly. I pick on the Septics but the French have been way up there with “noble savage” type crap for ages. The just as stupid other side of the coin from racism. People are people , end of.

    Speaking of Latin. I’m watching the poms fight back at Lords in cricket v NZ from 30-4 . The chaps in the members stand signal a 4 by holding up a banner/sign with IV on it.

  16. Fiona:

    I’ve just been nearly bounced on and licked to death by the two pups across the road.

    Good lord – for some reason I thought you were talking about PB when you posted that. I only ever use the term ‘across the road’ in that context on this site. You nearly sent me over there to see what was going on!

  17. Aguirre,

    My apologies.

    As would have become obvious, these are two real (and drop dead gorgeous) little pups who live in one of the units directly opposite our “driveway”.

    I also use the term “over the road” when referring to me mum, who lives in a flat over the road, but diagonally, from our “driveway”.

    The puppies are delightful, but I think it’s high time their mum took them to puppy kindergarten. They have always been handfuls, and once they are adult they could well pull her over when she’s walking them. She is, after all, some years older than moi.

  18. CTar1

    Crikey. Such a long time and sad that his parents died so close to his being found.

  19. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. The cortisone tablets my GP prescribed to tidy up remnant inflammatory issues from a two week bout of bronchitis are providing the insomniac side effect she warned me of. So here I am. Interestingly the chronic back pain I have had for many years and tried to get fixed has all but disappeared. Serendipitous treatment perhaps.

    Michael Gordon gets really stuck into Abbott over his “Nope. Nope. Nope.” comment.
    Mark Kenny is still concerned over Abbott’s continues populist flip flopping.
    Twiggy’s not impressed with this Abbott back flip.
    How Aldi customers are quite different to shoppers in other supermarkets.
    Indonesia gives Abbott a good serve over his stance on asylum seekers in the Bay of Bengal.
    A cynical shifting of the goal posts by Dutton. It’s what one would expect from this mob.
    The Senate tax avoidance inquiry justifiably sets its sights on Big Pharma.
    This says so much about the whole sorry thing.
    Silenced survivors have been courageous speaking out. Let’s not let them down now.
    “Pell is a bully’, says David Ridsdale, a victim of his notorious uncle and other priests.

  20. Section 2 . . .

    And “Pell is where the buck stops”, says another victim.
    Paul Keating says superannuation below 12% is vandalism.
    Renewable energy jobs have boomed overseas. And then there’s Australia.
    Do online newspaper paywalls have a future?
    Why the next general election will be the most important in decades.,7739
    Stephen Koukoulas – The Coalition may as well face it. They are addicted t tax!
    The 32 worst things the Liberals fid yesterday.
    A pathetic “management” of a pathetic situation put in place by a pathetic government. How will this fix an obviously systematic problem?
    Why the small business “tax cut” won’t deliver what the government has been spruiking.
    “View from the Street” gets into Abbott’s frequently uttered “unfortunate” language.

  21. Section 3 . . .

    More on the hurtful language used by the likes of Abbott and Hockey.
    How stupid id this? Surely it has to be prevented from happening.
    Ben Eltham on PPL. Why break a promise once when you can double dip?
    Surprise findings on who’s backing who in the Senate.
    Andrew Dyson introduces Big Iron.

    Reminds me of Marty Robins.

    Alan Moir lifts the lid on the 2015 budget.

    Ron Tandberg and Abbott’s ethics.

    David Pope on Mr Nope.

    Mark Knight on the “cooperation” between Andrews and Abbott.

    David Rowe – Holy dollar! It’s George Pell.

  22. BK

    Cortisone does have the benefit of helping with pain, but the more you have the less it works, so enjoy your respite while you can. Sounds like you’ll need a Poppy Nap this afternoon. 🙂

  23. gravel
    Yes, I know it will be temporary. But gee it’s a luxury!.
    I don’t fancy my chances for a nap this afternoon though.

  24. Abbott said nope but Gambia said yep.

    Gambia says it will take all Rohingya refugees as part of its “sacred duty” to alleviate the suffering of fellow Muslims flooding south-east Asia to escape oppression.

    The government of the impoverished west African nation asked countries of the region to send them and it will set them up in refugee camps.

  25. The refugees might well be jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire….Gambia’s proposed refugee camps may bring the country funding but how much will be spent on the people in the camps?

    How much would Gambia want in $s to take in ‘nope’ abbott and his government?

  26. Temperature is mild here this morning. We have had rain during the last three nights but it buggers off during the day which is nice. Last night was stormy with periods of heavy rain so sooky Paddy was allowed to come inside.

  27. From Bob Ellis’ site…:

    jaycee423 May 22, 2015 at 8:42 am

    ” And so concluded another day …”
    There is no conclusion to the days in Abbottland..time, with it’s “fidget wheels” has no fixed point of measurement, nor passage of hours nor an unstoppable terminal illness, untreated by an indolent MSM. and unresponsive to palliative pain-control, it grinds on and on and on .. a burr beneath singlet.
    There is no; 24/7, no; electoral cycle, no next budget is degredation and moral collapse and shame, shame ,shame all the way down…and when you turn or shut your eyes from the unrelenting horror, even the image and memory of the disgrace shines gruesomely indelible on the inside of your lids…it truly is :

    “The horror, the horror !”

    We are sunk as a nation, we are completely undone.

  28. Mark Kenny is concerned about abbott’s populist flip-flopping. This miserable so-called journalist has been polishing the abbott turd for years but his efforts lately contain the odd ‘concern’ about his hero followed by his usual hero worship stuff. I notice the comments below his pieces are not drawing the usual LNP love from his readers so it seems to me Kenny might be more concerned that his turd polishing is failing.

    When abbott slides back into the cesspit from which he came, we can hope he takes the likes of these idiot non-journalists with him.

  29. ‘I will shirt-front Tony Abbott over coal seam gas spread’: Senator Glenn Lazarus

    Queensland senator Glenn Lazarus has told hundreds of protesters in Brisbane he will shirtfront Prime Minister Tony Abbott to get his attention at the spread of coal seam gas mining in Australia.

    In front of Queensland Parliament House on Thursday morning, Senator Lazarus – a former Kangaroo rugby league front rower – said ordinary Australians were frustrated that governments were not listening to them

  30. Aldi – I don’t car what shoppers think about their own-brand stuff. I refuse to shop there. I don’t like their shonky limited partnership set-up, I don’t like their secrecy on the tax they pay or don’t pay and where the profits end up, I don’t like the idea of Australians ultimately supporting German billionaires.

    Dick Smith, in 2011, on Aldi –

    Sometimes cheap isn’t best. I’d rather support Australian companies than a privately owned European one which exists only to enrich its owners.

  31. Leone,

    I also refuse to shop at Aldi and agree with the points you raise. However, the straw that broke the camel’s back for me about Aldi is their policy to put a surcharge on credit cards.
    Their ‘cheap’ prices are not what they’re made out to be anyway, and I refuse to pay them a bonus because I use my credit card for just about everything.

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