Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Rinehart Ultimatum, the Rinehart Supremacy and the Rinehart Legacy ...


(Above: more Nicholson here).

The pond loves a good gossip, a natter over the fence about neighbours.

Or perhaps a tall tale told well about the private lives of the filthy rich.

Where's the harm? Isn't it the ultimate aim of the media to explore the rich and the famous in a non-Marxist way for the delectation of the lumpenproletariat and voyeurs intent on devouring many small dishes, artistically arranged, and served in a way that the meal seems to go on forever, kaiseki style?

Come on down Steve Pennells in The West Australian. By golly, Rinehart's bombshell to kids over Hancock legacy is a great starter course.

No need to repeat all the sordid details when the piece is there for the reading, and only a click away, suffice to say it confirms what was already suspected, that Rinehart had most excellent reasons for attempting to hide her behaviour from prying eyes.

The pond is looking forward to the matter being resolved by 2068, enough to ensure a lifetime of reading ...

Meanwhile, the ruckus is everywhere. If you want to read about it for free, rather than stump up to the lizard Oz or the AFR, there's Bitter family row explodes into the open after court ruling, with attached statement by John Langley Hancock.

And that's just the entree, as we chew on Hancock's confusion, wondering at the invitation never to have to work for a day if lines are toed, as opposed to being called in a metaphorical way a bludger who needs to go out and do a good day's work.

And then there's that email to Bianca, grist to the Daily Terror's tabloid mill, presented under the header Read the explosive email from Gina Rinehart to her daughter Bianca.

Now the pond has always thought of email as the perfect weapon of the passive aggressive, especially when an email is publicly or privately copied to a large group of people as part of office politics, but bunging it up on the intertubes means it's getting c.c.'d to billions, and most ironic of all, it warns about the deadly dangers of the intertubes:

Have you ever considered photos you've distributed of you and your children and family members or photos others have taken that are in their possession or on Facebook that l've told you many times to discontinue (including certain photos, I was very cross with you about) will become tradeable items for the media, and potentially undesirables.

High prices will be obtainable from the media and undesirables for family photos. If you engage in bidding wars for such photos, you'll just end up paying and they can use the photos anyway wherever they wish. You could be blackmailed forever.


Undesirables! What a quaint and wondrous term. Of course back in the days of Toad at Toad Hall, it was simpler to call them weasels ...

And what a quaint understanding of what happens to photos once they hit the Google image file.

After an orgy of this Saturday morning indulgence - richer than eighty five per cent chocolate or three hot chocolates in a row - it was time for a little poetry:

The globe is sadly groaning with debt, poverty and strife
And Gina's children now are pleading to enjoy a better life
Their hope lies with resources buried deep within the earth
And the enterprise and capital which give each project worth
Is their future threatened by Facebook photos seized by undesirables
Or is the family full of emails and irreconcilables ...?


And so on and so forth, in another Rinehart moment fondly remembered in Gina, your poetic licence is revoked when that famous poem hit the tubes.

I know, I know, the pond is meant to be a high-minded place, and should refuse to be titillated by Warring Rinehart clan's ugly secrets laid bare.

But it's hard to maintain the rage with a full belly. That's the point about kaiseki, you end up as full as an indulgent goog.

Sure, there's Ross Cameron confirming what everybody has known for a long time, that the ABC has swung so far to the right that it's now favourite listening for philanderers, as he endorses Jim Spigelman for the chair in The perfect choice for a fair and balanced ABC.

Here's his idea of what the ABC was like before Mark Scott gave it a face lift:

The idea of ''balance'' on ABC current affairs was a left-wing host interviewing a left-wing activist on a left-wing subject. The menu of ABC story options rotated like a scratched record through the greed of big corporations, the odium of social inequality, the awfulness of racism, the aggression of the United States, the plight of the indigenous and asylum seekers, the threat of global warming etc, etc, etc. It was like Deborah Cameron on repeat - throwing a wet blanket of depression and grievance across the nation.

Uh huh. Well what would you get in a Cameron view of the universe if he happened to gain control of the news service at the ABC?

There'd be no stories about 2008 and the doings of the big corporations in the United States (that sounds too much like being about the greed of big corporations). No stories about the Northern Territory invasion or the plight of the Aborigines (enough of the social inequality yadda yadda already).

Perhaps for balance the ABC these days could do a story about the joys of racism, but whatever they do, please don't mention the utterly useless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or even murmur a word about what bomb bomb bombing Iran might do to the balance in the middle east balance.

And didn't we say already we'd had enough of the plight of the indigenous and asylum seekers (when after all we know they're just a bunch of illegals), and all this talk of global warming, and oh stop being such a wet blanket of depressiveness ...

Oh go Gina Rinehart, your news is just what the nation and Ross Cameron needed. A good uplifting gossip about billionaires and their lifestyle.

Somehow it called to mind the legendary story about J. Paul Getty, which you can find at his wiki here:

Getty famously had a pay phone installed at Sutton Place, helping to seal his reputation as a miser. In his autobiography, he described his reasons:

Now, for months after Sutton Place was purchased, great numbers of people came in and out of the house. Some were visiting businessmen. Others were artisans or workmen engaged in renovation and refurbishing. Still others were tradesmen making deliveries of merchandise. Suddenly, the Sutton Place telephone bills began to soar. The reason was obvious. Each of the regular telephones in the house has direct access to outside lines and thus to long-distance and even overseas operators. All sorts of people were making the best of a rare opportunity. They were picking up Sutton Place phones and placing calls to girlfriends in Geneva or Georgia and to aunts, uncles and third cousins twice-removed in Caracas and Cape Town. The costs of their friendly chats were, of course, charged to the Sutton Place bill.

Getty placed dial-locks on all the regular telephones, limiting their use to authorised staff, and the coin-box telephone was installed for others. When speaking in a televised interview with Alan Whicker, Getty said that he thought guests would want to use a payphone.


Payphones! That's the billionaire's best solution to the doings of undesirables.

But back to Ross Cameron ...

Does anyone at the ABC ever wonder about the way its news service has now become such a light piece of ambulance-chasing fluffery of the ning nong kind that it now appeals to the likes of Ross Cameron?

Serving up tosh and nonsense and Chris Uhlmann, with all the bite of a marshmallow, or perhaps a toffee apple which ends up ruining tooth and brain?

Never mind. When reminded of Ross Cameron, the pond enjoys what might now be called the Rinehart Thrust, or perhaps the Rinehart Identity, or the Rinehart Ultimatum, or more commonly the Rinehart Gossip:

... the other big story of the week involved not ugly lies but an ugly truth. Ross Cameron was the religious right's point man in Parliament. He hosted weekly prayer meetings in his office, he lectured all and sundry on family values, he was a second-generation, evangelical Christian.

He was also such a monumental pants man and hypocrite that even he couldn't stand himself any more, so he 'fessed up. Well, that's his story. More likely he realised he had been so indiscreet - his lover shared a house with a News Limited journalist - that it would come out anyway. In any case, he clearly misjudged the way his confession would be received. Far from lauding him for his belated honesty, the tabloid media went in for the kill, contrasting the then pregnant wife at home with the "exotic" younger "party girl", etc, etc. After a few days of this, one Liberal strategist opined the person who could win Parramatta for the party now was Cameron's wife. (Mike Seccombe here).


Sadly she didn't run.

And now Cameron enjoys listening to and watching the ABC, because it's vapid, ignores major news stories, and sends its clients off to sleep.

Well damn right, it's his ABC, and certainly not the pond's, but who cares, not when we have Gina Rinehart and family up on stage doing their high kicking rapping routines ... with bonus emails ...

And now, it being Saturday, time for a little Jon Stewart sending up Sean Hannity (and Obama) and Godwin's Law. Don't expect to see this kind of show on the ABC any time soon.

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