Singly or in pairs, they may have been problematic, but the stream of debacles has come in such a torrent they are actually assisting the Abbott Government, says Bob Ellis.
EITHER BY ACCIDENT or intelligent design, the present swag of debacles is assisting the government, a bit, I think, by their very abundance.
The unlowered flag, the Speaker’s bias, the childcare snatchback, the Gonski betrayal, the gay marriage shaming, the crumbling of Qantas, the Holden wasteland, the boat people cooking crayfish undetected on an Australian beach, the criminality of Downer, the fury of China, the thieving of taxpayer millions to fly to faraway weddings, the turned-around boat whose bow broke, the broadband blow-out, the fresh new splintering of Tasmanian forests, the eighteen policy backflips of Pussy Pyne, the Abbott curse on his sister’s maladministered genitalia, would each have been a sundering, spreading, government-shaking scandal (like, say, Rudd upbraiding an air hostess, or Belinda Neal a waiter) had it been the only one, and enough to cause a ministerial resignation or a move in caucus on the Prime Minister of the day. But the multiplicity, the crowdedness, the upstaging silliness of each new cockup in its turn ‒ sometimes two a day — have crossed the nation’s eyes with their very abundance; and, when Murdochpoll next week shows the parties 50-50 (pink batts inquiry brings back bad memories of Labor) those numbers ‒ out by a million votes — may be believed.
What is worrying is what these venomous klutzes will do to protect themselves ‒ and retrieve themselves ‒ in the hard-fought year ahead.
The pink batts Royal Commission will not be enough. Targeting Gillard’s one-eyed thuggish lover Bruce will not be enough. It is more likely they will refuse to let Parliament sit for long periods once Howard is Governor-General and then, with a friendlier Senate, break up the ABC and sell off some of its component parts — Current Affairs to Skynews, drama to Jamie Packer, sport to Singo and so on.
And it will be hard to discover what is happening, or how badly they are doing, since only Newspoll will published, and show, each week, ‘Surprising support for Abbott death penalty plan’, or whatever.
It was an accident... The radio dial in the car (a "mini" Holden) was searching for a particular station and landed on Radio 2GB... Within two seconds I knew I was in enemy territory though I did not know the ID of the station as yet......
It was surreal: Abbott was a saint who was bending over backwards to accommodate the differences between the price of fish and that of lobster. He was a father figure at COAG...
Welcome to "there is no lefties at our two geebees" network... NOT A SINGLE ONE... Everyone who is doing something on air at 2GB huddles as close as possible to Hitler, Stalin and Alan Jones.... This is ultra-rite wing territory. This is where the stench of Tony's crap is sprayed with already advertised benzene-based perfumed automated bottles.
No, Bob, it's not by accident nor by design that the list of Tony's crap is so long... It does not really matter anyway, because the nappy-whitener is used in overdose at all the ritewing media outlets (they unfortunately outnumber reality at a hundred to one) — those who benefit from mindless advertising to the morons out there who believe Tony Abbott and god are mates because they both know George Pell... Of course this is only the beginning of shit.
It struck me, as the comments grew increasingly angry and askance of the facts, that the responses had little to do with the column that ensconced them. Rather, presented for once with a worldview in The Australian that did not match theirs, the readership set about dismantling it. The comments section spoke of a wider truth of modern news media: content is not king, conversation is.
The comments section of any publication is where the readership comes to have their perspectives reaffirmed, to produce opinion the way a theist might consume a communion wafer. Look at Andrew Bolt, whose own comments section is guarded like an Aladdin’s cave of unique page views. His readership is famous for their eloquence of opinion, and even celebrated in certain circles for it.
Last week, when Nelson Mandela passed away, Bolt waited a few respectful days before publishing the inevitable “Mandela was a terrorist” piece. Of course, his readers could not wait that long, so on 6 December he published one line: “Former South African president Nelson Mandela has died, aged 95.” The comments section was left open, and four pages of commentary comprising 192 individual comments from Herald Sun readers discussing the various merits of Mandela, Communism, Hitler and slavery quickly followed. A representative comment as the argument unfurled: “When he was arrested he was a terrorist. The ABC are now referring to him as an ‘activist’. Soon they will be calling Hitler a humanitarian.”
Another comment suggested, “I would take Thatcher [over Mandela] any day and it has nothing to do with her skin colour.”
Meanwhile the evil of the rite mushrooms like a massive pimple attack on an adolescent's face...:
The Federal Government has dumped the Salvation Army as a long-term partner in providing services in offshore processing centres.
The Salvos say their contract to provide "emotional support, humanitarian assistance and general education and recreation programs" to asylum seekers in detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island will not be renewed beyond February.
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison says the Government has been forced to make contract changes, because of the way the system was being administered by the former Labor government.
But he refused to confirm the details.
The opinions expressed in this site are those of the various authors and contributors and do not reflect those of the site, the site owners or hosting agencies.
Contributors please note that this site is archived in the National Library of Australia in perpetuity.