(Above: Melbourne, such a welcoming town).
Astute observers of the political scene, with an ear to the ground to pick up the sound of passing elephants, will know that there is an election on in New South Wales this weekend.
Accordingly loon pond is decamping to Melbourne, and so posting will be sporadic.
Oh likely as not it'll be non-existent, as we succumb to the sweet charms of the southern elysian fields - or is it arcadia, an unspoiled, harmonious wilderness?
Yes, we'll be mingling with people wearing black, and swanning about, and frolicking through the galleries of the city most akin to Athens in its sensual Zorba-like lust for life and dance ...
It is of course the most liveable city in Australia (please no correspondence from Adelaide will be considered). Who could compare the wretched Sydney harbour and its cheap, gimmicky dime store buildings up against the brown charm of the muddy Yarra.
And if we're not strolling through the city, hey we might be chasing Rod Mullinar through a Yarra vineyard, or perhaps contemplating a hot lesbian tryst, or at at least a mud bath and sauna in Hepburn Springs or Daylesford, if only so we can get up the nose of Morag Zwartz (Government's moral compass gone awry in tawdry, offensive ad campaign).
Please be assured the one event we won't be attending is the Grand Prix, though I dare say the visit will be added into the usual nonsensical multipliers and addled broken statistics used to justify Bernie Ecclestone rorting the Victorian taxpayer. Even in The Age, allegedly a paper of record,you can find the usual parochial justifications explaining why panem et circenses are a jolly good thing and cheap at half the price (F1 opponents fail to see the positives).
Maybe I can take a leaf out of Bernie's book. Hey Melbourne, what you need is a monorail. After all, Springfield and Sydney have got one ...
Strangely, I never attended a grand prix in Adelaide, despite many chances and freebie offers, and somehow the deal was sealed when I discovered Tim Blair was a motor head and a petrol freak. If he belongs to that club, then forget my application for membership ...
Apart from charms of Melbourne, there are other upsides. For a start, I can avoid the final death throes of assorted Labor heavies. Like Mark Lennon writhing in The Punch with Earn your mandate Barry, or there'll be no man date.
It's hard to know what's more excruciating. The pun about man date and mandates, or the notion that a party that looks likely to galumph to a rout won't have a mandate ...
All this talk of O'Farrell needing to come clean, when a thousand years of Sard OxyPlus couldn't remove the dirty grimy stains from the current Labor mob ...
Oh and it'll also mean avoiding the deeper thoughts of Tony Abbott, also on view in The Punch in The NT intervention worked. Now let's go further.
The intervention worked? Let's go further?
What planet does the man live on? Is it called 'planet wishful thinking'?
I don't know about Darwin, or some other NT localities, but the intervention in Alice Springs has been a spectacular failure, and the town is now worse than it was before the intervention.
Lordy even Mal Brough, the man who invented the thing, labelled it a comprehensive failure, but naturally attaches all blame to the federal Labor government, and to bureaucrats - instead of blaming the half-baked, paternalistic, bureaucratic, cumbersome beast that he quickly devised as an election gimmick (NT intervention stagnant, just another failed plan: Mal Brough).
Abbott's capacity for goobledegook and double speak on the intervention seems inexhaustible:
One of the problems with the intervention was its “top down” nature. It was announced without prior consultation with Aboriginal people many of whom applauded its goals and supported its measures but regretted its imposition without reference to them.
Uh huh. So maybe the intervention didn't work.
A good way to avoid this would be for the Prime Minister and myself, to invite the leading indigenous people of Alice Springs, Katharine and Tennant Creek to a summit at which changes such as those I have put forward could be discussed and decided.
Translation: let's get the blacks together so that they can discuss my ideas and then agree with me.
It's called the bottoms up solution.
Coda to the translation: we fucked up the last time, and we're hot to trot on another fuck up this time. And we can blame it on the federal Labor government.
Naturally Abbott is keen on more cops, so that the town can really get a cops v blacks war going in earnest, along with sundry other patriarchal, pious proposals which involve management and control of the black population by government.
It always strikes me as strange how conservatives blather on about the bad old days of the welfare state and its impact on the indigenous population, and the need for aboriginal people to stand on their own feet, and the need for them to cultivate independence and the importance of individual dignity, and the ability of indigenous people to control their destiny ... and so on and so forth, in the standard rhetorical way ...
... and blow me down, there's Abbott parroting on about another an intervention that'll make the bad old days of sugar and tea and flour and tobacco rations from the station owner and the missions seem like a perfect role model ...
Here's a couple of his dot point paternalist proposals:
And so on and so forth. Punishment, insistence, control, reconsidering, regulation, rule, the law, oppression.
- An insistence on compulsory work programmes for people on unemployment benefits, with enforcement of no work, no pay rules.
- A new alcohol management plan because controlling demand will eventually be as important as controlling supply as well as frequent police patrols of town camps.
- Reconsideration of welfare quarantine rules to ensure that families on benefits are spending enough on the necessities of life.
My immediate response? I feel like a drink or two ...
The gauleiter at work, and all this of course involving cops and even more bureaucrats monitoring, ordering, controlling and organising the pesky blacks ...
And in this country you still can read embittered whities arguing that the blacks make out like bandits, and how whites would be better off being black.
Can second prize for the best spouter of this tripe be a trip to an Alice Springs town camp for a week?
Here's an idea.
Instead of just announcing a set of pre-emptive policies of his own devising, why didn't Abbott just head off to the NT and listen to what black people had to say, and in consultation with them, agree on a set of initiatives and policies?
Instead of handing his ideas down from on high, in the usual top down way, by announcing them in The Punch ... so that the blacks in the NT boondocks can brush up on The Punch thanks to the high speed broadband connections they have courtesy of the NBN ...
Oh wait, there's something wrong with that picture.
Time to stop before the foam and the dribble dry on the lips and alarm Melburnians ...
Enjoy your weekend - First Dog on using words and making signs is a way to lift the spirits, here, but oh anon, shouldn't First Dog have explained that "My Mom is Cold" is a satirical reference to silly Americans, and mum's the word in the antipodes ... And now, as Henry Gibson might say, a poem or two:
Here fifty winters since, by Yarra's stream,
A scattered hamlet found its modest place:
What mind would venture then in wildest dream
Its wondrous growth and eminence to trace?
What seer predict a stripling in the race
Would swift, as Atlanta, win the prize
Of progress, 'neath the World's astonished eyes?
. . . the streets with straight seams
like stockings, the skirts of your suburbs
predictable and entrancing,
and cool, cool, your business premises those magnificent pillars
I would have embraced you in broad daylight if it weren't for the typists and stockbrokers ... (more on the poets here)