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Saturday, 16 February 2013

"Sam Dastyari will be played by a 44 gallon drum of used cooking oil”

Ah yes, quelle horreur at the predictable pantomime of the current ICAC inquiry.

Why are we so surprised? Because they got caught? Andrew Elder had a go at it over at Politically Homeless and Anne Davies rose to the bait .*

O'bied, Macdonald, Carr, Iemma, Scully, Costa! These people are just names, but what policies they inspire! When governments and corporations insist you receive bills electronically, direct you to use automated checkouts at supermarkets, place you on speech recognition gateways and so forth, when they insist that the bottom line is more important than the service delivery, they are, in effect, saying 'do as you are told!'. It is slavery.

So why are we surprised when some dullards screw up even that simple proposition? These buffoons are from the ALP. The ALP is an electoral machine. Nothing more, nothing less. It exists to support endorsed candidates be elected to local, state and federal rubber stamp agencies. It would make for a terrific farce, with SamDastyari played by a 44 gallon drum of used cooking oil.

At a state and federal level the big buck decisions are made at a ministerial level and around the cabinet table. At local government level the same decisions are made at a coffee table. The position of households in those decisions is very weak, as evidenced by Doug Cameron's occasional plaint in the background as we march vigorously towards our bright neoliberal future. Households are disorganised and bonded by debt to live lives that are not quite what they believed they would be. This is the vague sense of dissatisfaction that permeates public life, the end of civility. It is why we have turned into a nation of flag waving whingers.

Which brings us to the problem of Peter Hendy.

Hendy is not from the ALP. Peter Hendy is from the Liberal Party . He is the endorsed candidate for the federal seat of Eden-Monaro, to run against the incumbent, and greatest example of why the ALP is just an electoral machine, Dr Mike Kelly, OAM.

Now Mike Kelly is about as Labor as Bob Menzies, but so was Ron Mulock, who nonetheless oversaw important reforms and represented the good citizens of the Penrith Valley as well as could be expected. Kelly has done the same for that cold and dry south-eastern corner of New South Wales. He holds the seat on the barest of margins, which actually grew at the 2010 federal election. It is the famous seat that allows people to use the word bellwether without being laughed out of town.

Mr Hendy had a dodger in my post office box this week, offering the Abbott Plan and asking for supporters and donors to come forward.. There was a reply paid form with a return address of P.O. Box 2, Kings Cross, 1340. The Abbott "plan" read like a Ray Hadley wish list. There is a nice picture of Hendy being kind to some elderly citizens on the front cover. It's weird.

Hendy bills himself in the flyer as being a local from Queanbeyan, but who is Peter Hendy? Is this the Peter Hendy who believed that Workchoices didn't go far enough? Who laid blatant lies before the senate enquiry into the Workchoices legislation? Who firmly believes that placing the canary yellow shirted workforce of Queanbeyan on individual agreements will lead to a boom in, what's the big employer in Canberra outside the public service again? That's right, retail. Is this the man who made Workers Online's  Tool Of The Week three times in less than twelve months?  Still, he's not Julia Gillard, But then again, he is Tony Abbott – and if Queanbeyan doesn't see Tony Abbott again it'll be too soon. 

So, like Mumford and sons, they've really fucked it up this time. It may be wishful thinking, but I think Mike Kelly will be fine in Eden-Monaro, especially as the Liberal party candidate is up at The Cross, soliciting for support.

Next to this, Sam Dastyari and the other Sussex Street bums look like amateurs by comparison. Focus groups be damned, none of these organisations have any legs left to campaign with! The grass roots advocates have largely given up.

It will be interesting to see if Australia can be astroturfed by Tony Abbott, through Peta Credlin, Crosby-Textor style. Somehow I doubt it, not because of EMC or Hawker-Briton** being any better, but because they're all equally fucked, and people are aware of things such as frying pans and fires.

* Mr Elder has not been updating his comments (unsurprising given Davies veiled legal threats), but I will put my comment up as a separate post if it doesn't go on Politically Homeless.

** This outfit, which is halfway between Crosby-Textor and the numbers operator, Tattersalls, backed Rudd in early 2012. Great job that. They must be gun players.


  1. Your posts are always a good read Baggy, but I must apologise before you find it, for mistakenly declaring you a Melbourne blogger in my commendation over at No Place For Sheep. I was addled at the time by the names 'Abbott Pell Abbott Pell Abbott' on continuous loop through my mind, while also composing a list* of people who would be better as a PM than TA.

    * yes it's long of course and has many idiots on it.
    x x

  2. Hendy is indeed a very nasty piece of work, and no doubt would give Abbott hell if he's elected. Abbott looks positively left wing compared to Hendy.

    In his 1942 speach "The forgotten people" Menzies, after demonstrating how much he despises working class peoples said this:

    "If the new world is to be a world of men, we must be not pallid and bloodless ghosts, but a community of people whose motto shall be, "To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield." Individual enterprise must drive us forward. That does not mean we are to return to the old and selfish notions of laissez-faire. The functions of the State will be much more than merely keeping the ring within which the competitors will fight. Our social and industrial laws will be increased. There will be more law, not less; more control, not less."

    In his speech Menzies demonstrates that he understands, like Deakin and Higgins in the last decade of the nineteenth century, that the state needs to ensure that, and here I'll quote from Higgins and put words in Menzies mouth, a man, his wife and chidlren should be paid enough to enjoy a life of frugal comfort. Higgins allowed that this frugal comfort would include money for smokes, drinking and gambling.

    Whatever the particulars of course, the key thing was that after twon wold wars a great depression Menzies, like conservative liberals across the western world new that a society riven with class hatred and gross poverty was unstable and that it would suffer deep social instabilty and possibily revolution. While the latter is highly unlikely(and not desirable, the kind of instability that comes from too extreme a gap between rich and poor puts in danger the lives of the upper and middle classes Menzies (and Deakin) so loved.

    The current day Liberals scarcely understand this, and as such imperil the opportunity for people to aspire (as Latham put it). They do this at their peril, somewhat muted as it is by the failure of the ALP to understand the dangers of neo-liberal economics.