Tagged: Prime Minister

“I PUT IT TO YOU THAT THERE IS AN ELEPHANT IN THIS ROOM … “

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Riding his bike through the corridors of parliament house, wearing his fire brigade overalls with his red speedos on the outside, donning a hard hat and safety goggles, Tony Abbott stopped a cleaner to ask for directions, “Excuse me, I can’t remember where my office is. I’ve been so busy obeying Peta – running, cycling, life-saving, fire-fighting, kissing babies, visiting factories and gallivanting around the country – that I seem to have forgotten. She sends me here, there and everywhere to keep the media distracted from the real business of prime ministership. I happily use her fail-safe scripted verbatim rhetoric ad infinitum, ad nauseam. She’s a genius. I tried to ad lib a few times with my own ideas but those gaffes made me a laughing stock. Prince Philip was the barbecue stopper of the century. So I just do what she says and follow the script. She runs the government. I call her boss. That’s how I manage to keep my job as PM. Without her I’d be stuffed. I have the political discretion of a flying pink elephant on steroids, with a pretty face, if I might say so.

The ‘cleaner’ was an unrecognised journalist by the name of Paul Kelly, who promptly gave his name. “My word you are multi-talented – a journo, singer-songwriter and a cleaner.”

A hasty shower and a “help-me-get-dressed-and-choose-a-tie-please-boss” later, Abbott addressed the National Press Club with an unread speech prepared by hers truly.

When the people of Australia elected their prime minister they got one of the fiercest political warriors ever known in the history of federal parliament. I am in command and control of this government, and I am getting on with the job of governing our country.

There is absolutely no possibility of me losing my job, despite the wishes of the majority of cabinet and backbenchers who loathe and despise me. I cannot be sacked because I am the boss. Bosses don’t sack themselves.

So Julie, hate me as much as you like. I ain’t goin’ nowhere.

And if you or Malcolm or Scott think you can get rid of me, I’ve got so much dirt on you I could leak like a sieve all day everyday for years. I’ve had my spies planted in your offices and I know you are ratting on me. I eat rats for breakfast, so watch it!

Abbott: Whoops, I seem to have the wrong document. Are there any questions? Yes, you the cleaner I was talking to earlier.

Kelly: Mr Abbott, I put it to you that you have the right document, heinously contrived as a ploy by your chief of staff to look like a mistake but, in fact to shore up her position as pseudo prime minister. What you have just blurted out makes her untouchable. I put it to you that there is an elephant in this room and its name is Peta Credlin. It was you who was elected prime minister, not her.

Abbott: When the people of Australia elected their prime minister they got one of the fiercest political warriors ever known in the history of federal parliament. I am in command and control of this government, and I am getting on with the job of governing our country.

Kelly: Mr Abbott, those are Credlin’s words not yours.

Abbott: Whatever Peta says is true and I stand by her every word. You have my word on that. I put it to you that our discussion – when I said that she runs the government – was a figment of your imagination. I deny having the political discretion of a flying pink elephant on steroids, with a pretty face, if I might say so. With my looks and her brains we are a duumvirate with the intestinal fortitude you, as a cleaner, may never see the likes of again. Better fly now. Come on boss, let’s wing it back to our office. Thank God you know the way.

“WE KNOW HE IS A FIZZ OF A WIZ, IF EVER A FIZZ THERE WAS, BECAUSE BECAUSE … “

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We’re off we’re off the Wizard, The wonderless Wizard of Oz
He’s turned us off, We’ve done a U turn, And this is what we say

We know he is a Fizz of a Wiz, If ever a Fizz there was
If ever oh ever a Fizz there was, The Wizard of Oz is one because
Because because because, Because he’s not who he said he was
He promised no broken promises, But look at what we got
He promised no nasty surprises, But look at what we got

He’s dead in the water and so he oughta, As far as we’re concerned
Because because because, Because all decency he has spurned
When he was in opposition, He stated his noble position
When he became prime minister, He then became quite sinister

He’s dead in the water and so he oughta, As far as we’re concerned
Because because because, Because his bridges have been burned
His backbenchers have joined the dots, A leopard never changes spots
They fear they’ll be unseated, If phoney Tony is not defeated

He’s dead in the water and so he oughta, As far as we’re concerned
Because, because, because, Because the nation he’s unnerved
(As Prince Phillip might have observed)
A ridiculous embarrassment, Has no place in government
Australians ask without reserve, Is this the best that we deserve

He’s dead in the water and so he oughta, As far as we’re concerned
Because, because, because, Because justice must be served
A man by his own beckoning, Deserves his day of reckoning
So now the question must be asked, How much longer will he last

We’re off we’re off the Wizard, The wonderless Wizard of Oz
He’s turned us off, We’ve done a U turn, And this is what we say

We know he is a Fizz of a Wiz, If ever a Fizz there was
If ever oh ever a Fizz there was, The Wizard of Oz is one because
Because because because, Because he’s not who he said he was
He got in on false premises, He slipped in through the crevices
With the truth he menaces, Soon he’ll meet his nemesis

We could not refrain from this refrain without some Oz vernacular
He’s knackered, he’s rooted, he’s stuffed, he’s buggered
He’s up shit shit creek without a paddle
And if you think that we might jest, Watch this space with interest

On the screen, It will be seen …

The Fizz of Oz Spectacular

COMING SOON TO A CINEMA NEAR YOU

Palmer’s recipe for power – ‘Plucked Duck a la Abbott’

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Link to related column from the Financial Review by Phillip Coorey, 18 July 2014:

The budget is dead in the water, says Palmer

Clive Palmer said the federal government has little choice but to have a mini-budget or go back to the polls because the bulk of its budget measures will never pass the Senate.

Wink! Regretful sleazy slimy Abbott, regrettable Minister for Women, regrets being a sprung sleazy slime

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Link to related article from The Guardian of 22 May 2014:

Sex hotline pensioner labels Abbott’s wink at her call ‘sleazy’ and ‘slimy’

PM says he regrets his reaction to the call from 67-year-old grandmother Gloria as he defends his role as minister for women

Abbott and Hockey bend the truth through the S-bend of democracy

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Lenore Taylor writing in The Guardian Australia on 14 May 2014:

Can you believe it? The truth according to Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey

‘Dog ate my homework’ excuses abound as the electorate is treated to invisible definitions, provisos and fine print.

For duplicitous ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ Tony, lying is just unjust force of Abbott

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Alan Austin writing for Independent Australia has produced a three part series:

Is Australia run by compulsive liars?

Part One: When is a porky a sackable offence?12 April 2014

Link

Part Two: Abbott’s astonishing 30 lies. 19 April 2014

Link

Part Three: Will Bill lie like Tony to be PM? 26 April 2014

Link

Julia Gillard – trial by gender. Verdict – exile!

It is as if the metaphorical media lens is a microscope, 1000 times more scrutinising of women.

It is as if the metaphorical media lens is a microscope, 1,000 times more scrutinising of women — indeed, less critical of men. If Julia Gillard had bat ears, it is unlikely she would have made it to the prime ministership in the first place.

A word of caution: If you happen to be a highly intelligent woman with deep philosophical convictions and passion for the future of Australia, and have aspirations to become prime minister, go for it. But only if you do not have any physical imperfections that make you lesser in appearance to Elle McPherson. But then again, if you are blond, the media will destroy you anyway.

As if looking back on the demise of Julia Gillard, Marilyn Lake wrote a piece for The Age, just one day before Australia’s first female prime minister was ousted by the Labor caucus, in favour of a … you guessed it … a male … who will, odds on, not be sexualised by Australia’s media and wider culture. By Bruce Keogh

An excerpt from Marilyn Lake’s article 25 June 2013:

How could we have foreseen what would befall her? The relentless persecution by senior male journalists, the vilification, the sexist mockery, the personal abuse and the contempt with which she would be treated. Between 2010 and 2013, the full force of Australia’s masculinist political culture would be brought to bear on this path-breaking woman.

It is now a truism that history will prove more sympathetic to Gillard’s prime ministership – and the policies she introduced – than contemporary commentators have been.

What will mostly attract historians’ attention, however, will be how she was treated, the rabid misogyny, the hysteria of men who could not abide the spectacle of a woman in power, who labelled her a bitch, a witch, a liar, a usurper, an illegitimate claimant who refused to bow down before her male rivals.

She has been sexualised in a way no previous prime minister has been sexualised.

In the past three years, obscenity has become a favourite mode of prime ministerial denigration.

Full column by Marilyn Lake who is Professor in History at the University of Melbourne researching the international history of Australian democracy.

Of hot air and Clive Palmer – the sounds of expiration – like a farting balloon

Clive Palmer for PM. Big on promises, small on delivery, and full of hyperbole. Perfect fit!
Clive Palmer for PM. Big on promises, small on delivery, and full of hyperbole. Perfect fit!

 

15 June 2013

As Clive Palmer mounts his air-charged bid for the prime ministership, and his Palmer United Party mounts its PUP election campaign, his detractors claim that he is all hot air – big on promises, small on delivery, and full of hyperbole.

Whilst Palmer, who is known for his inflated ego, might take umbrage at these assertions, the average cynical punter would declare, “Perfect fit for PM, I’ll vote for the PUP. What a wag he is.”

Sub-editor: The circus is coming to Canberra.

Editor: No, better make it ‘Should Clive Palmer run our nation?’

And running with that headline, The Australian’s Inquirer ran a piece on 15 June 2013. Here are some excerpts:

Clive Palmer is courting the media and the popular vote in an ambitious bid to become prime minister. As his political bandwagon crosses the country and former footballers join Palmer relatives, friends and senior employees signing up for a wild ride on this Queensland-inspired electoral juggernaut, the promises fly thick and fast.

Palmer and his barrackers pledge to grow the economy, cut red tape and create thousands of jobs. They promise much more in a titanic quest for power but Palmer is a veteran of attention-seeking: the former Gold Coast property developer cut his teeth in politics with another unlikely leader, Joh Bjelke-Petersen. And Palmer has also mastered the art of hyperbole.

As Palmer asks Australians to size him up, look in his eyes, be impressed by his commercial success and then vote for him, he revels in his parallel universe. It is a universe embellished in cheerful profiles with the appearance of wealth and opulence on a gargantuan scale.

In this universe, those who work for him are often seen as highly fortunate and content.

The operation of the assets he owns or controls – from a Townsville nickel refinery, Yabulu, to a Sunshine Coast resort, the former Hyatt Coolum, to a vast iron ore resource in the Pilbara – is portrayed as vibrant and successful.

The communities in which Palmer’s businesses operate and the stakeholders with whom he does business are invariably depicted as grateful beneficiaries of his generosity and business acumen. And in this universe, Palmer is usually described as a billionaire miner, one of Australia’s richest, a somewhat eccentric, publicity-loving, far-seeing visionary and “professor” of international renown with a penchant for private jets, vintage cars and grandstanding entrances.

Part of the public and media perception is true. But it has also been fuelled by exaggeration, fiction and the omission of facts that do not fit a popular narrative.

Inquirer can reveal a different portrait emerges from the claims of still-serving staff as well as insiders who worked for Clive Frederick Palmer.

……

This different portrait is of a belligerent, finger-wagging and sometimes verbally abusive employer, increasingly in the spotlight in his quest to be prime minister, who makes promises big and small but does not always deliver.

Now, as he talks of the Palmer United Party’s plans for improving the lives of Australians, people from his core businesses describe bizarre decisions and numerous broken pledges. There have been serious hardships and job losses for staff and community who believed they had security.

……

In beachside Coolum on the Sunshine Coast, a little more than an hour’s drive north of Brisbane, numerous people interviewed by Inquirer have little positive to say about Palmer because of the impact his arrival and management style has had on local families, businesses and the community.

Early in the piece in 2011 when Palmer, using funds from the then-profitable Queensland Nickel, bought the five-star Hyatt-badged resort and its adjoining golf course from Lend Lease, the community had high hopes.

Palmer promised a major refurbishment, redevelopment and better conditions and more opportunities for staff and Coolum. He was heralded as a lightning rod for positive change and a draw-card for visitors. The struggling local economy relied heavily on spending by international and Australian visitors to the Hyatt and some 150ha beneath Mount Coolum. Its annual showpiece, the signature Australian PGA Championship, was a lucrative earner that taxpayers had helped foster.

But the bubble has burst in the Coolum community, part of the federal seat of Fairfax in which Palmer is running as a 2013 election candidate.

The Hyatt brand and much of the goodwill is long gone – its ties with Palmer were severed in 2012 after he accused it of running something approaching a criminal racket (one of a number of serious claims that he backed away from when their dispute went to the Supreme Court).

Now, the resort is shunned by visitors and has become a focus of ridicule and regret. They cite the abysmal occupancy rates (sometimes in the low single-digits) of the re-named Palmer Coolum Resort, the sacking of hundreds of workers, the loss of the Australian PGA, the bizarre dinosaur replicas in the grounds, a wall of framed portraits of Palmer in the lobby, the screening in the rooms of a fawning profile by the ABC’s Australian Story, and curiously higher prices, all of which have deterred visitors. The resort’s more scathing reviews by guests on Trip Advisor are excruciating reading.

While many people fear being sued if they speak out, Gaye Williams, a respected longtime Coolum stalwart and business owner, tells Inquirer that Australians need to know this side of the Palmer story. Palmer is, after all, seeking to be the next prime minister. She says hard-working families in Coolum and its local economy bear scars from Palmer’s arrival and antics at the resort over the past two years.

“It has been a huge kick in the guts. This is a small town. It is affecting everyone the tradies, the restaurants, retail, lifeguards. We are very disappointed,” says Williams. “It’s his resort. He owns it. He is entitled to make these decisions. But he spruiks in the media, on TV shows and on 60 Minutes about how he’s doing wonders for the Australian economy and growing businesses. The reality here is different.

“He can sack who he likes but don’t tell them one day their jobs are safe, then get rid of them. Don’t say you’re doing the right thing. He has been such a successful businessman that I actually defended him at first. Now he is treated as a joke. The resort is a shrine to Clive. People here look and laugh about it. Everyone laughs at him.”

……

Sixteen months later, an estimated 400 staff and casuals are gone from a quality resort that is likened by locals to a Jurassic-style circus. Several of those who remain tell Inquirer of Palmer’s strong influence on key decisions in the running of the resort in spite of its continuing loss of market share.

“A lot of people are unsure about the future of the area because of him coming in here,” says a Coolum retailer, Howard Gelfand. “I’m not a great fan of Clive. I don’t see any good points from him coming here. If he did just 5 per cent of what he said he was going to do, Coolum might get a lift. What has he done for the area? He wants to be pandered to. He doesn’t want to be asked any tough questions.”

……

The Australian’s Inquirer article

Rudd’s ruses for return as Prime Minister

Drop me off at The Lodge for my new incarnation ... please!
Drop me off at The Lodge for my new incarnation … please!

1 November 2012

Stork: So you want to go to The Lodge. Didn’t I drop you off there in 2007?

Baby: That was my last incarnation. I want to go there again. I am a new person as you might have noticed on my recent TV appearances. I’ve been making quite a splash.

Stork: But the nice couple who live there don’t want kids. Besides, the lady of the house helped you get there in the first place and she doesn’t want you back. She is staying put and not moving out for a baby-faced upstart like you.

Baby: I had so much faith in her, but she dumped me and then she moved in.

Stork: But you were very badly behaved weren’t you? All those tantrums!

Baby: Just a minute. Now I know who you are – you are her in disguise.

Stork: Gotcha! You thought you were pulling a swiftie on me. A sneaky way to get to The Lodge. Get ready for your second dumping – from a great height. It won’t be on TV but you will make quite a splash.

Baby: But you are supposed to be a giver of life, not a taker.

Stork: Look! I am just a mythical being disguising the truth about how prime ministers are really born. I also disguise the truth about how they are killed off. As you well know, I am an expert at both.

Baby: I am the rightful Prime Minister and I intend to be re-incarnated no matter what it takes. Could you drop me off in a cabbage patch?

Stork: You are delusional.

 The Drum – Robert Macklin: Can you forgive and forget, Kevin Rudd?