Let them eat cake: humiliation is no way to run a country.

The SMH reports this morning:

Foxtel in spotlight over customer 'spin-down'
Foxtel is set to come under intense scrutiny when it reports fourth-quarter results next month amid evidence that a considerable number of its customers has abandoned its drama and movie packs – some of them in favour of new, cheaper streaming services led by Netflix.

The cable and satellite TV monopoly, which is owned by News Corp and Telstra, has experienced significant “spin-down” – customers cherry-picking channels and cutting their bills – since it changed its pricing model in November. Sources are divided on whether the negative reaction has been comfortably within the anticipated range.

I can now no longer remember when we exorcised Foxtel from our household. Probably 2 or 3 – maybe 4 – years ago. We haven’t missed it at all.

We had a very basic package, but were still paying $90 a month. Ridiculous, especially when you consider the barrage of ads they ran.

We retained the physical cable, however (which they installed at their expense, twice, for different residences) and enjoy 120 mBit internet as a result, through Telstra.

What waste though! Murdoch and Abbott between them – and let’s not forget the craven Malcolm Turnbull – gutted Labor’s FTTP NBN in favour of the crock of shit that now has stolen the name “NBN”, but isn’t fit to lick its bootlaces. They demolished Labor’s scheme based on lies about roll-out, asbestos scares (remember Turnbull getting up in parliament and screaming that the entire NBN would have to be cancelled because of a Daily Telegraph report that someone had asbestos in their pit at Richmond, NSW?) and pig-headed ignorance.

It wasn’t just quicker download speeds they got rid of. It was vastly quicker upload speeds, so potentially fast (even for basic packages) that they could have changed the face of Australian telecommunications in a single stroke. We were going to be a model for the world, but the power elites decided we weren’t good enough for that.

We could have had a resurgence of regional areas as hubs of commerce. More fathers and mothers could have worked more often from home, as efficiently as if they were in their CBD offices, taking strain off main roads, child care, and inflated CBD commercial property prices, right down to $150,000 car parking spaces. It wouldn’t have happened overnight, but it would have happened, and Australia would have better for it: emotionally, commercially and inspirationally. Family life would have benefited as well as government coffers in not having to provide these services for busy, absent parents. Add in health networks, remote diagnosis, even upscaled search and rescue, biological research and literally thousands of benefits greater than their apparent scale that speed can deliver.


But no. Murdoch had his investment to get back. To serve his ROI we killed-off one of the key possibilities for an emergent Australia in the 21st century. In its place we left a legacy technology, with its antiquated, dedicated hardware – set-top boxes and smart cards, recording devices that only work sometimes and are full of bugs, all providing a sub-standard image quality. Murdoch was not only malignant in his evisceration of the Labor NBN, he was lazy. And Abbott went along for the ride.

Netflix (and its ilk) came along and even WITH one hand tied behind its back, they seem to have wiped out, not Foxtel altogether, but its profits, which in business is just as damaging an assault. You do 90% of your work just to pay the bills. If the last 10% of your trading effort constituting the profit is erased, you may as well not get out of bed in the morning.

We have seen this clinging on to legacy technologies and stranded assets in other areas too: coal, iron ore, fossil fuel electricity generation. The old firms, too fat and lazy to innovate, bought a government instead, cheap. A few lazy million in donations and special favours – freebie “Industry Awareness” ad campaigns, astroturf “Institutes” of this or that, friendly TV interviews with even friendlier, foot-rubbing interviewers – got them a Coalition ready to traduce their own beliefs in the free market in favour of maintaining those decrepit, but once profitable giants on life support for an extra few years… maybe. Blood meet stone.


Gerard Henderson on Insiders on Sunday was a perfect illustration, one among a pathetic many, when he said that he loved coal, loved it… why? Because Victoria built its 20th century economy upon it cheap, dirty emissions. We should be thankful for the inefficiency, disease and the pollution brown coal produced, and we should preserve it forever in thanks, he seemed to be saying. Even the numpty Insiders were able to show a spark of understanding, cutting him down by pointing out we are now fifteen years into the 21st century.

The Coalition’s snouts-in-the-trough attitude to public money also seems to have survived, with Bronwyn Bishop’s helicopter joyrides, and much more to inevitably come out soon. Let the people catch the train, or drive in cars. Madame Chopper will soar above them, and then make them pay for it, to rub in the humiliation.

That’s what this government is all about. There’s the aggressiveness, sure, but bullies quickly move on to humiliation. They not only want to see their enemies hurt, but they want them denigrated and humiliated as well.

Abbott Boxed In 3

From the hapless priests in the infirmary at Manly seminary, to the concrete truck drivers whom Abbott tried to force to waste precious time washing their trucks daily, the the women of Sydney University SRC who were subjected to schoolyard catcalls at meetings and physical intimidation in offices, to Julia Gillard, to Kevin Rudd, to Bill Shorten – all of them hauled before Royal Commissions – Abbott’s modus operandi has been about humiliation. And the prosecutions: Slipper, Thomson, even Hanson. For God’s sake they were no angels, but they didn’t deserve what Abbott dished out to them. Give him power and he will use it to try to destroy reputations, social standing and ultimately the self-worth of his opponents.

Dead, buried, cremated… and humiliated. It makes Abbott, and his cronies feel better about their sorry selves.

At random, throw in Hockey’s comments about housing affordability, his observations that poor people don’t drive cars, Abbott’s own line that renters don’t mow the lawns (written by him, but spoken by Hewson), Bishop’s outrageous expenses and her arrogant excuses for them, her lectures to others on propriety, her pursuit of Peter Slipper, their mouthpiece’s Daily Telegraph assaults upon dole bludgers, pensioners and other allegedly lazy, eliminatable scourges of our nation, the war on the ABC where they dictate to it its internal administrative arrangements – or else – and you’ll see a common thread of humiliation behind the nastiness and the violence.


Australia is being run by thugs and bullies. They are the crawlers to power who will sell out anything for patronage. The patrons themselves throw a few crumbs their way and pump them up so that they come to believe they are better than ordinary folk.

That is the story of everything in Australia at the moment, from the cruddy, lazy, outdated Foxtel service to Chopper’s helicopter ride.

“Let them eat cake!”

It’s as near to what makes them tick as anything else I can think of.

475 thoughts on “Let them eat cake: humiliation is no way to run a country.

  1. This is very disheartening. Even the retreat Abbott had with the Premiers had no definite results. Just something about looking into some things, with the exception of something to do with new terror warnings.

  2. jaycee423

    That interview was like a mum washing the face of a child with a warm, soft flannel.

    What a truly wonderful description. Give that lad a chocolate fish and a koala stamp.

  3. In my neighbourhood the LNP voters are now screaming that the politicians should just get together and sort things out. Not once did they say that when Abbott was Opposition Leader for 4 years.

  4. Hooray!…Leigh is taking a coule of weeks off..let’s hope that other woman takes over….(I forget her name..oh yeah Sarah Ferguson!)

  5. jaycee,

    I don’t impose my travel stuff on anyone.

    There is the odd photo (Fiona willing) or story that I can put here that is relevant.

    Happy to provide more info here or off-line to anyone who wants.

  6. ABC TV news short (8:30 Canberra) tells us how wonderful the NE is in willing to listen to someone or other.

  7. “jaycee,

    I don’t impose my travel stuff on anyone.”…conundrum ; If there is no-one to see where you traveled to, did you really go there?

  8. This little black duck


    I don’t impose my travel stuff on anyone.

    I for one would not view it as ‘imposing upon’ if you wish to give us a bit of stuff about your travels. It would be great to see places that I most likely have never , or will , see from the point of view of a Pub patron.

  9. ” It would be great to see places that I most likely have never , or will , see from the point of view of a Pub patron.”…you mean like ; Deer Park or Mentone?

  10. puffy,

    I do not impose upon the 99% who would have no interest whatsoever.

  11. jaycee423

    Done bin to Mentone. Not a good time. Flown over from Sandgropia and went straight from airport in taxi to check out some equipment my boss was to buy. Between the driver and I’s ignorance of the area it made for a very frustrating time to find the place.

    That said I have always loved my visits to Melbourne. The zoo and places like Lygon St. were great. The “hook turn” though is an abomination.

  12. Karma is such a bitch. Larry Pickering has been up to his eyeballs in these scams. A few years ago he was convicted of running a scam of a computer program that could predict the outcome of dog and horse races.

    The ABC reported last month the inquiry had asked private investigator and cybercrime expert Ken Gamble to make a detailed submission on his knowledge of the boiler rooms and his dealings with Queensland Police.

    Mr Gamble told 7.30 in May the QPS fraud squad had repeatedly failed to act on evidence he had provided of major investment fraud, including an alleged multi-million dollar scam involving cartoonist Larry Pickering.

    Steve Ciobo electorate, The Gold Coast full of spivs, dodgey property developers, and upstanding LNP voters.The ABC has reported on this for years and at last Anna is getting stuck into them.


  13. Abbott does pre-recorded interviews just in case another journalist walks in on him at the studio and they have a confrontation.

    “What’s this, Tony?! You told me you were going to discuss your ambitions to increase the GST to 20% with me! And let me give you a massage! How dare you!”

    They all so want him anyway. At least those that still have jobs at the ABC.

  14. I’m in love again.

    Just watched the IT Crowd on ABC2. Jen

    Katherine Parkinson

    She is the total straight in any comedy.

  15. Clarke and Dawes the question was which person on a popular tv program threatened to kill a prime minister. Clark said I know this one it is Zeke ,Zac and Dawes said no it was Graham Morris.

  16. The NT might become a state, apparently.


    While the flag stuff is just rubbish, it would make things interesting politcally. Mainly the NT getting 12 senators instead of just 2. And it’d have to have a minimum of 5 lower house electorates, is that right?

    After the Giles disaster it’d make things a bit down for the Libs.

    I’m not counting on it happening though, looks like a typical badly thought out Abbott thought bubble that’d go nowhere to me, especially since apparently Giles thought of it.

  17. Kirsdarke.

    Here’s section 121 of the constitution regarding new states

    The Parliament may admit to the Commonwealth or establish new States, and may upon such admission or establishment make or impose such terms and conditions, including the extent of representation in either House of the Parliament, as it thinks fit.

    My reading of this is that if the NT becomes a state it is not automatically entitled to 12 senators and 5 members of the house of reps

    Also section 7 only mentions original states when it sets the minimum number of senators (same with section 24 dealing with the house).

  18. @GL

    Ah, thanks for that. In that case, it probably won’t make that much difference in representation, I doubt the other states would be happy with 12 senators from the NT. Probably 4 or 6 at most.

  19. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    And now the stench of the Obeids wafts over the NRL.
    Bill Shorten will challenge Abbott to a climate change election.
    Australia needs to make the transition to clean energy.
    Katherine Murphy identifies five things to watch at the Labor conference.
    And Michelle Grattan tells us how Shorten’s striving for electability has been at a cost to his reputation within the party.
    Six simple taxation reforms plagued by politics.
    Lots of managers in the new Immigration department vote with their feet. Largely they are not happy with the militarisation of the role.
    Stephen Koukoulas – the Aussie dollar is smashed, he says.
    Noreen Hay, a NSW Labor cyst that needs lancing.
    Australians stand out in terms of fear of ISIS. I wonder why?

  20. Section 2 . . .

    Labor is taking Brandis’s newly regulated divorce fees to court.
    Waleed Aly tells us that politics is an ugly game where melee rules. There is a good little Bronny video at the head of the article.
    Haven’t seen Mark Kenny for a while. He says that Shorten has sharpened his lines.
    The government is putting ASIC under the microscope. I wonder what its motives are.
    The lawyer’s article on Hockey’s defamation case is well worth reading.
    Among other topical things “View from the Street” examines Abbott’s obsession with all those flags.
    Hockey’s plan to make us work longer won’t work. I doesn’t take into account massive human costs.
    Albo is critical of Shorten’s musings on boats policy.
    The Commonwealth Ombudsman says the new citizenship stripping laws are a crock.

  21. Section 3 . . . Cartoon Corner

    Ron Tandberg previews the motion of no confidence in the Speaker.

    A nice little portrait of Bronny by John Spooner.

    David Pope lambasts boats policies.

    Mark Knight has some fun with NT at COAG.

  22. This sums up the latest COAG.

    Arsehole of the Day

    It’s Thursday the 23rd of July, 2015 and today saw 40th COAG State of Origin Meeting get underway on a soggy pitch in Sydney. Despite the meeting supposedly being arranged to talk about counter terrorism, reducing violence against women and their children and the national ice action strategy, it got a bit side tracked when Captain Arsehole told us how many flags there were in the room, how many points he thought were on the Commonwealth star (erroneously – but without peeking) and that the flag was about to become obsolete because NT wants to change its name to NS and will want its own distinct point on the pointy star…or some shit like that. He went on to say that “although we have just spent $500 million on new flags, we’ll need a budget to replace them all in 2017, so either the Medicare Levy will need to go up or the GST will need to blah-de-blah-de-blah-de-blah…anyway…what was I saying?”. This proposed second stage of Captain Arsehole’s Flag-led Recovery is being likened to Rudd’s Home Insulation and School Halls Schemes, but without any tangible results. For his performance at the 40th COAG State of Origin, Tony Abbott has, once again, claimed the Arsehole of the Day bung


  23. LOL (my bold):

    “Let me say this to our opponents, in words of one syllable: An ETS is not a tax.

    “And if Mr Abbott wants to make the next election a contest about who has the best policy solution for climate change, I’ve got a three-word slogan for him: Bring. It. On,” Mr Shorten will tell the conference.

  24. Why is it that the likes of Albo and Anna Burke just about break their legs in their efforts to open their big mouths to the bloody media. Surely they could argue their case ‘in house’ and at the Conference rather than run to the media who are just loving being able to report on the big news of ‘Labor divisions’. When will they ever learn?

  25. Not just “Labor divisions” but leadership challenge, stressed by Cassidy. That’s if Shorten’s turn back lacks support.

    Anna Burke should perhaps have been a Greenie, and Albo was full of self-importance. Bowen was good. Let’s now wait for the outcome of the conference.

  26. how many points he thought were on the Commonwealth star (erroneously – but without peeking)

    He was correct about the number of points – for 1901 to 1908:

    The Commonwealth Star, also known as the Federation Star, originally had six points, representing the six federating colonies. In 1908, a seventh point was added to symbolise the Papua and any future territories.

    He was wrong about changing it – the seventh point is a catch-all for territories (originally Papua) and any future states.

    Six points of the Star represent the six original states of the Commonwealth of Australia, while the seventh point represents the territories and any other future states of Australia.

  27. A big whinge by Albanese this morning.

    It seems that Albanese is unhappy at not being part of the ‘leadership group’.

    During KRudd’s first challenge “I’m voting for Kevin because he was the last leader voted for by Caucus…” (Then later we find out he’s KRudds number counter).

    During the last leadership vote “I’m only standing for leader so there is an alternative in the vote.

    I think I understand why he’s not part of the leadership group.

    It’s obvious that he’s part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

  28. Kirsdarke

    Worth reading on NT statehood. They won’t get 12 Senators, or 5 MPs. Also note they’ve been down this path before. Whilst they may get ALP support this time, actually getting there by 2018 looks too hard.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-23/leaders-back-prospect-of-creating-australia-seventh-state/6641870 note the end part about the hurdles this time

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Territory_referendum,_1998 In 1998 it failed, the CLP govt were too pig headed about how to do it

    http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/stories/s13445.htm 1998 lateline transcript

    http://www.ntstate7.com.au/ a pro statehood site

Comments are closed.