Police Academy 9


Here we are 8 days since the election that swept Tony Abbott and his Neanderthals to power (although not quite in the Qld-style landslide they and Rupert Murdoch were hoping for) and they have, astonishingly, not yet rolled into Government House to be sworn in.

For the media, including the ABC, the election seems not to have happened. They (rather like a Japanese soldier still hiding out in the Philipines and following the Emperor’s orders 50 years after the end of the war) are still bashing Labor, stirring up leadership tensions and ignoring policy issues, while Rudd supporters still trot into tv studios to talk about the future of the Party they damaged so badly, Graham Richardson is still billed as a “Labor powerbroker” (the word “power” being wrong), and scum from the RW think tank the IPA, busily planning the Hayekian paradise, are merely identified as “conservative commentators” by the ABC, rather in the way they might identify Genghis Khan as a “Chinese Horseman”.

So they continue to avoid any analysis of what an Abbott election will mean for Australia and Australians (while also loudly protesting their innocence in his election success “Wasn’t me Gov”) and we must search carefully for clues, rather in the way that a soothsayer would check the liver of a sacrificed goat or chicken for cancerous spots.

There were cancerous spots even before the election of course, if you were paying attention. The release, finally, of dodgy costings by a panel of old Liberal mates, of a few of their policies, carefully timed for after the media blackout on election advertising. Then, even more cynically (didn’t seem possible) the announcement, at 10pm the night before the election, carefully timed so that the next morning’s newspapers were already printed, of previously unmentioned policies of slashing funding to childcare and aged care and the removal of standards for teachers and nurses in those institutions. Hard to imagine too many families without an interest in either or both areas, and hard to imagine their voting intentions would have been unaffected by the announcement had they been aware of it.

Very quiet immediately after the election except for two things, the removal of Steve Bracks, recently taken up a diplomatic posting in New York, an act of vicious nastiness, ignoring the efforts of the previous Labor government to appoint a number of Liberal politicians (Nelson, Vanstone, Downer) to diplomatic jobs in a bipartisan spirit. It is a sign that anyone these people see as being “them” and not “us”, not for us then against us, will be shafted in the coming years.

Then came the instant stopping of funding for clean energy by the Corporation established for that purpose. If the Bracks thing was a signal that people would be shafted, the unseemly rush to block the CEFC was a sign the environment will be shafted. Campbell Newman in Queensland confirmed this with his welcoming of Abbott’s election as the removal of “shackles” holding back his hell-bent course of habitat destruction in that state.

Finally in the last twenty four hours came two announcements that are also omens for what is coming. First was Julie Bishop, incoming Foreign Minister whose first action had been the Bracks’ assassination. Her second action was to announce no more first class travel and accommodation for public servants travelling overseas on business. Now this seems to have been complete nonsense – I understand it is decades since first class flights were allowed. Her first trip, to America, naturally, she proudly said would be business class, but as others pointed out, the airline would automatically upgrade her anyway. Nor was there any mention of the travel and accommodation perks of former Liberal PM John Howard, who has racked up huge sums in first class flights and luxury suites.

Still, the media loved it, which was of course the point. As was the announcement today that while renovations to the official PM residence “The Lodge” proceeded, Tony Abbott would “live” in the hostel-style accommodation used by Federal Police recruits while they do their training course. As with the Bishop announcement, you needed to understand that he still had available to him the luxurious Kirribilli House in Sydney, where presumably, just like his hero John Howard (who, uniquely among all Australian Prime Ministers, refused to live in The Lodge, such was his hatred of “Canberra”, ie “government”) he will live when parliament not sitting.

But the point was that he wouldn’t be using hotel accommodation in Canberra, instead he would be occupying, as his friend RW Shock Jock Andrew Bolt instantly said “in a spartan room, like a monk in a cell”.

There we have it you see. The Libs’ backroom team, Credlin, Loughnane etc, have not missed a trick in the last three years of myth-making, image-building, smoothing and massaging and polishing that terribly unattractive creature that was Tony Abbott. The budgie smugglers, and hard hats, and fluoro vests, and “surf life saving” and “bushfire fighting” and drinks with the boys, and all of that manufactured deceptive appearance (the fakery of the fire-fighting and the expenses claims for all his “charitable” work, never mentioned) is set to continue.

They play the long game, these people, unlike the short-term approach of Labor and Green. Getting Abbott elected is one thing, but it is not the end, not the beginning of the end, merely the end of the beginning. They are already thinking of getting him re-elected in 2016 and 2019, and I bet Ms Credlin already has a folder labelled “Strategy for Election 2022″.

The image, of both Abbott himself and the Party need to be constantly polished. The people whose job it is to get conservative political parties elected to serve the interests of big business know they have a tough ask. The public instinctively, and correctly, usually dislikes conservatives as people, and, if they were allowed to understand them, conservative policies.

The aim of Julie Bishop moving (though only metaphorically, not in reality) from the front of the plane, in luxury seats and four poster beds drinking champagne with the rich people, to the back of the plane, knees tucked under chin, sharing cheeses sandwiches with the hoi polloi, is to make her one of the girls, unlike Julia Gillard. Putting Tony Abbott (again, mostly metaphorically) in a “spartan” cell with ordinary young coppers, is to continue turning him into one of the boys, unlike Kevin Rudd. This is Good Tony (like “Honest John” before him) as Honest Abe or Saintly Ben (Chifley of course famously using a cheap hotel).

But wait, there is more. There is no doubt that when these new ministers emerge blinking from the smoke-filled rooms where they have been receiving their riding instructions from RW think tanks they will embark on a program of slashing and burning public services, and the economy, the like of which this country has never seen. And will do so not for any valid economic reason (just the reverse) but because they are driven by ideology to privatise and deregulate until the government disappears down the plug hole of the neocon bathtub.

This is going to cause enormous financial pain (and, down the track, the pain caused by environmental destruction) to the kind of people convinced to vote conservative by fear campaigns (Yellow Peril! Communists! Terrorists! Refugee Boats!) and misrepresentations of the economy (Debt crisis! Carbon Tax!). The other important message crafted for the Libs then is that they share the pain, it is hurting them (Hostel! Economy Class!) more than it hurts you. They hate to do it, hate to hurt their faithful battlers, but it is for their own good.

Now this is a hard trick to pull off, given that Abbott and co swan around with the likes of filthy rich Murdoch and Rinehart, but with the aid of compliant journalists, Tony’s sainthood can easily be sold. Don’t even need a miracle.

So get ready for a lot more of this. Remember, these people are playing for very big stakes indeed, and they have learnt to leave nothing to chance. They are determined that there will never be another Labor government in. Australia, now that Tony is safely home, and they know how to ensure that.

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18 comments on “Police Academy 9

  1. monicaswickedstepmother says:

    Living in a “spartan cell” is a way of spinning the information that Tony Abbott’s family won’t be joining him in Canberra. Now the election is over, they can stop playing “Happy Families.”


  2. joy cooper says:

    This LNP mob is a heap of mendacious garbage & those who voted against their own best interests, as well as those of the whole country, will definitely rue the day they did so ,as will we all. Their only actions so far have been mean, spiteful & vindictive. Nasty the lot of them.

    The Nat, who was in our face non-stop until he managed, with the assistance of money sent from New England’s Nats’ bursting coffers (thanks Auntie Gina), to wrest our electorate from our decent, hard-working lovely MP Janelle Saffin, has now become invisible. Not a peep from him since the election. Are they all busy learning by rote & memorising parrot fashion, all they are required to do by the IPA, Murdoch & Pell, to stuff this country completely?

    Interestingly there was a huge bushfire in Fireman Tony Abbott’s neck of the woods on election day. It, apparently, came to within a kilometre or so of his own home but as he had other plans, electioneering in Western Sydney no less, many, many kilometres away, he did not do the right thing & do some volunteer firefighting. Let others do that. Strangely there was no media mention nor coverage of any of the bushfires in Sydney until Tuesday & the one in Tony’s backyard does not seem to have been mentioned at all.


  3. Jackie Kane says:

    Absolutely spot on! Excellent blog.
    I left Australia for 2.mths in India election morning – knowing as we all did the certain debilitating outcome of the election before the polls closed
    Weeks before election I was told in Woolworths supermarkets they didn’t sell SMH (Fairfax papers). So Murdoch bought the Aussie mums n dads by paying woolies to only stock the biased news corp anti-Labor headlines.
    I’m based in Delhi & elections are under way. They speak of corruption here and don’t understand how it can happen in Australia.
    I drove past foreign embassies in Delhi on Sunday & contemplated applying for a three year visa @ the Canadian one – until Australia comes to its senses – or the coalition brings it to its knees. Whichever comes first.
    Thank you Mr Murdoch for your gross interference in the.future of my country, my children’s & grandsons futures, the future of our environment, society, health, education & justice.
    Saturday 7 September is a day all Australians will live to regret.


  4. Jan Dobson says:

    It’s not all cuts, the LNP version of a Parental Leave Scheme is ridiculous and expensive. As is the Direction Action ‘Policy’ and increasing the Tax Free Threshold. There were some amazingly high spending estimates during the campaign. Of course, as you say we’ve had to guess, as even now there have been few details released.
    One of my biggest concerns, one of many, is government interference in the history and science curriculum. Scary stuff!


  5. cartoonmick says:

    Move along please people, nothing to see here, yes, move along, thank you, we’re just adjusting the strings on our puppet, so move along please, the show won’t be starting just yet, nothing to see right now, so move along, please wait til our puppeteers have sorted their priorities, nothing to see yet, the show will be starting soon, please keep moving, we’re just putting a fresh face on our puppet, the paint is almost dry, so please move along, thank you, the puppeteers have almost finished fighting over the policies, keep moving, wont be long now, thank you, almost show time, move along, any minute now, . . . . . . .





  6. Buff McMenis says:

    I. F.E.E.L. S.I.C.K. !.!.! As an Age Pensioner I can envisage waits of up to 8 hours sitting in my wheelchair at Centrelink to ask for a change to my Pension outlays, as you can’t get them on the phone any more and getting them to act on their computer contact is impossible if it is not one of the standard questions set out by someone who doesn’t receive a Pension (of any kind). They won’t even let me have some Nembutal if it gets too bad and he gets elected again due to Loughnane and Credlin and Grandpa Rupert’s interference! Murdoch isn’t even an Aussie any more .. he’s a Yankee .. but he has more power in my country than I do! That is wrong. :-(


  7. Another interesting development was the post election release of the Queensland Department of Energy and Water Supply ’30 year energy strategy paper’,


    Which sets out the priorities and plans for the supply of electricity in Queensland for the next 30 years.
    Up here in Queensland we know that now that Tony and the Libs are in charge there will be no climate change or carbon taxes to worry about any more, so Campbell and Mark McArdle (Energy Minister) wasted no time in winding back the clock into lalaland. After waxing lyrical in the introduction about wireless electricity transmission, solar voltaic paint on the roof, batteries in the basement and electric cars in the garage, the paper puts ‘renewables’ on hold for the foreseeable future because they are not sufficiently well developed and are not cost competitive. Apart from vague references to ‘carbon capture’ technology, there is no mention of carbon dioxide emissions or any of the concerns about climate change that exercise the minds of people throughout the rest of the world.
    While the paper doesn’t actually advocate the construction of nuclear power stations in Queensland, there is a very positive attitude towards re-opening uranium mines as part of the government’s commitment to digging stuff up and flogging it overseas.
    They don’t even waste time disparaging concerns about CO2, they just wrote a policy document (well actually they caused well educated public servants to write it) that pretends that it’s ‘business as usual’ and all we have to worry about is the problem of connecting as many people to as much electricity as they aspire to at the cheapest possible price.
    It is not until the last paragraph of the 30 year electricity strategy table that we see a reference to ‘environmental sustainability’:
    “mitigating the environmental impact of electricity use” but only to ensure that “future generations have access to energy resources and infrastructure to meet their needs.”
    Just recently my 2 year old grandson has caught me looking at him strangely…


    • David Horton says:

      It is the most depressing time in politics the world has known. After years of arguing about climate change, rejecting reports, resisting technology, these conservative arseholes are now simply pretending nothing is happening. Business as usual.


  8. Judythe Riley says:

    Though you are a sooth sayer, and indeed the whole bloody lot of it needed to be said; the reading of it has left me in a deep fog of depression. For most Australians have no idea of what has been perpetrated against them in the name of political change in this country. How sad that they must suffer in ignorant bewilderment.


  9. Alan Phillips says:

    It has often been said that we get the government we deserve. Let’s see how it pans out. I’m at an age that it won’t make much difference to me, but it will be interesting to see if Australia has made the biggest blunder of its short life.


  10. gorgeousdunny1 says:

    Got a link here from Resist the MSM at Facebook. My only regret is that I’d not discovered you before, despite your being on Andrew Elder’s list.

    Beautifully put. I do sincerely hope the prognosis is wrong, however. My only fragile hope is that running the country is going to be a lot more troublesome than manipulating the public mood. The IPA/HR Nicholls twerps for all their propaganda have a very feeble grasp of how it all works. In my day, David Kemp made an absolute botch of outsourcing the CES. The flogging off of Telstra was managed even worse.

    The greatest danger is that individual narcissism may lead to people not understanding how horribly we have been screwed, and how far we have departed from our egalitarian principles and heritage. When the Country Party (now the Nationals) got seduced by the mining industry, we lost that link. Traditionally they had a role of state support for schools, hospitals and country infrastructure which counterbalanced remoteness and lack of economies of scale. So the state had a role in improving access for the urban poor on the one hand and the regionally isolated on the other.

    Institutions like the ABC (pre-Howard nobbling) and the CES were also part of that. Whether it is lost forever remains to be seen. The combined integrity of Gillard, Windsor, Oakeshott, Combet and Brown went some way towards returning us to these values. It was a tragedy for the nation that it was undermined by such an alliance of MSM, Abbott-Credlin,and Rudd to create an illusion of chaos.

    I have some hopes that enough fragments will remain to rebuild, just as all was not totally lost after The Dismissal.


  11. hoodathort says:

    Beautifully put David and very depressing reading.


  12. Fed up says:

    Another site that gets it right.

    Thankfully, the next three years will go fast. At least we will have plenty to amuse us.

    I have never seen a PM elect, so widely ridiculed in the overseas press.


  13. Tugsleyalso says:

    Not so much a comment on your outpourings David , but an appeal for many more (of your outpourings David) . Such accessable writing – a balance of heart and mind – thank ‘christ’ for a voice heard beyond this Age of Reason – I am watching over you .


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