“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

The spectre of a cunning, disappearing Prime Minister

“Avoid loud and aggressive persons” – it’s the new Tony
Going placidly amidst the noise and haste – it’s the new Tony up there in the ether

 

4 November 2013

The intriguing case of the vanishing Prime Minister

Noise and haste was Tony Abbott’s trademark in opposition. Now as a faceless PM, he goes placidly as if a mere ghost of his former self. Why? To deaden the contrived fear, panic and crisis-driven rhetorical frenzy that cleverly got him into the top job. Now he has to deal with the reality of government and the truth could be politically dangerous. Breathtakingly cynical towards the Australian public, but he knows his God will bless them with a good dose of amnesia

This a man who hypocritically espouses Christian values. In contrast, the true universal values beautifully penned in Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata, beg a take on what Abbott’s version might be in his new persona:

Desiderafter 7 September 2013

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what deception there may be in silence,
[after the clamour I created before the election]
As far as possible, without surrender,
Be as invisible as possible to all persons in the media.

Speak your message quietly and clearly, and pretend listen to others,
Especially the dull and the ignorant electorate; they believe my story.

Avoid loud and aggressive door-stops; they are vexatious
the spiritless. If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter, for always
there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
[But in my case, there will rarely be greater persons than myself]

Enjoy your achievements as well as your scams.
Keep obsessed with your own power, whatever it takes;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of politics.

Exercise contempt in your political affairs, for the world is full of apathy.
But let this not blind you to what virtue is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of moral crusaders.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection to women.
Neither be cynical about ego, power and manipulation, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment;
it is as perennial as the grassy political landscape.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
surrendering the things of youth.
[Which I strongly deny]

Nurture withdrawal from public life to shield you in sudden misfortune of media scrutiny.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of being exposed as a backtracker.

Beyond a wholesome journalistic discipline, be gentle with yourself when you can’t find me or get answers.
You journos are children of the universe no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here, as long as you don’t challenge me.

And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe – my government – is unfolding as it should.
Therefore, be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
[But I can assure you he is a Catholic Liberal Prime Minister in budgie smugglers]

And whatever your Labor aspirations
in the noisy confusion of defeat, keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it – the ALP – is still a beautiful mess. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy in opposition.

FOR THE RECORD, HERE IS THE ORIGINAL POEM:

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious
to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter, for
always ?there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment;
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore, be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.

And whatever your labours and aspirations
in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

 

Kevin Rudd on the road to the September 7 election

Kevin Rudd 5 August 2013 Kevin Michael Rudd (born 21 September 1957) is an Australian politician who has been the Prime Minister of Australia and the Leader of the Labor Party since 27 June 2013. He was previously Prime Minister from 2007 to 2010, and Labor Leader from 2006 to 2010. He is the first former Prime Minister to return to the office since Robert Menzies in 1949, and only the second Labor Prime Minister to do so. Having previously served as a diplomat, and then as an official for the Queensland Government, Rudd was initially elected to the House of Representatives for Griffith at the 1998 election. He was promoted to the Shadow Cabinet in 2001 as Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs. In December 2006, he successfully challenged Kim Beazley to become the Leader of the Labor Party, subsequently becoming the Leader of the Opposition. Under Rudd, Labor overtook the incumbent Liberal/National Coalition led by John Howard in the polls, making a number of policy announcements on areas such as industrial relations, health, climate change, an “education revolution”, and a National Broadband Network. Labor won the 2007 election with a 23-seat swing in its favour, and Rudd was sworn in as the 26th Prime Minister of Australia on 3 December. The Rudd Government’s first acts included signing the Kyoto Protocol and delivering an apology to Indigenous Australians for the Stolen Generations. The previous government’s industrial relations legislation, WorkChoices, was largely dismantled, Australia’s remaining Iraq War combat personnel were withdrawn, and the “Australia 2020 Summit” was held. In response to the global financial crisis, the government provided economic stimulus packages, and Australia was one of the few developed countries to avoid the late-2000s recession …… Full Wikipedia profile

Dear Kevin Rudd, Revenge for redemption’s sake is doomed. PS Enjoy your hollow victory!

“Whoever emerges ... as the leader of the Labor Party and the Prime Minister will not lead a united party. That's no longer possible.”
“Whoever emerges … as the leader of the Labor Party and the Prime Minister will not lead a united party. That’s no longer possible.”

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27 June 2013

Now that Kevin Rudd has got his old job back, let’s hark back to Monday’s Q&A program (24 June 2013) where Graeme Richardson had plenty to say about the dysfunction of the ALP.

Referring to Gillard and Rudd, he said, “The hatred for both of them in the caucus is now so great that you can’t imagine either of them in any way, shape or form being able to unify the party, which is an awfully sad thing for me to say but I have never seen division like this.”

Makes Kevin Rudd’s victory seem rather hollow, doesn’t it?

Here is the pertinent transcript:

GRAHAM CRAIG: My question is to the panel as a whole. Would it not be the height of ruthless self survival and arrogant disdain of the public’s choice if the Labor Party now went to Kevin Rudd, who they declared as a failed PM incapable of getting things done and then going back to their replacement, who we did not vote for, for no other reason than self-survival and therefore hence, yet again, denying the Australian people the opportunity and their democratic right to appraise a PM’s full term at the ballot box?

TONY JONES: Graham Richardson?

GRAHAM RICHARDSON: Well, thank you very much. Look, this arrogant disdain for the will of the Australian people, it seems to me that the Australian people’s will is clear: they want to get rid of Julia Gillard and they are desperate to. And they got pretty angry with Labor for getting rid of Rudd when they wanted to get rid of Rudd themselves. So I’d look upon it as giving them an opportunity to get rid of Rudd again, the one they missed out on three years ago. I think that, at the moment, I have never seen, never witnessed a hatred for a Prime Minister like I am seeing, even among Labor voters. It’s appalling and I think something has got to be done about it. I may be in a minority on that but that’s my view and I’m not even sure if the Labor Party will do it this week. I just hope so. I have never seen a situation like it. If they don’t get rid of Julia Gillard this week then I fear that the future of the Labor Party itself may well be danger.

TONY JONES: Let me quickly go back to our questioner. Are you saying this because you want the chance to vote Julia Gillard out of office?

GRAHAM CRAIG: I haven’t really decided yet on that.

TONY JONES: Okay.

GRAHAM CRAIG: If you’d like me to answer questions, I will swap with someone on the panel if you like.

TONY JONES: No. No.

GRAHAM CRAIG: But I just feel…

TONY JONES: I was just interested where your question was coming from, that’s all.

GRAHAM CRAIG: But this will be the second time that the Labor Party has not given the Australian people the opportunity to give their opinion at the ballot box on a PM’s full term.

TONY JONES: Yeah, Richo, just address this issue: the big problem with going back to Kevin Rudd is the intense hatred of him in some quarters of the ALP and I’m wondering is that unique to the Labor Party?

GRAHAM RICHARDSON: Look, all I know is whoever emerges on Thursday night as the leader of the Labor Party and the Prime Minister will not lead a united party. That’s no longer possible.

TONY JONES: Why not Thursday night? Why not Friday morning?

GRAHAM RICHARDSON: Well, it could be Friday morning. But I suspect it will be Thursday night. That’s a suspicion only because no-one knows what’s going to happen. So I think it’s impossible now to see unity under any circumstance. The hatred for both of them in the caucus is now so great that you can’t imagine either of them in any way, shape or form being able to unify the party, which is an awfully sad thing for me to say but I have never seen division like this. You know, when Hawke and Keating were having their times and troubles, everyone was still talking to each other. It was still a relatively pleasant place to be. There is nothing pleasant about it now.

Click here for this Q&A program with full transcripts, tweets and video.