Oz election deadlock while Brexit deadlocks UK … After Chilcot, Blairites renew fury to dump Jeremy Corbyn … Après Moi, Le Deluge: Bye, Bye Boris and Nigel … Homicidal presidential message from the Manila Maniac … Great Bores cont.
A new OZ election inevitable
The Australian federal election produced a deadlock. A new election some time in the next 12 months seems inevitable. Tony Clifton, my former London Sunday Times colleague now living in Melbourne, compared that prospect to “at least as much fun as a colonoscopy”.
The deadlock doesn’t extend to the ABC where new managing director Michelle Guthrie, a long-serving Rupert Murdoch in-house tax lawyer, has moved swiftly to axe The Drum, the corporation’s opinion programme and pluralistic website. Happy now, Mr Murdoch?
It’s high time that women in the media who hailed Guthrie’s appointment had second thoughts.
Meanwhile, two of the most backward women in Australian public life, Pauline Hanson and Jacqui Lambie, have been elected to Australia’s upper House, the Senate.
The Commonwealth Franchise Act was passed in 1902 giving adult franchise to men and women, and the best we can do after 114 years is to elect Hanson and Lambie, self-proclaimed xenophobes, philistines, anti-intellectuals and last century primates.
The Oz deadlock is mirrored in post-Brexit Britain where the Tory Party has assembled five “second division” MPs to succeed Prime Minister David Cameron who has formally resigned but bunkered himself in No 10.
The non-entity candidates, now reduced to two, are Thatcherite-lites (lightweights?). They’ve been beating the anti-refugee drum demonstrating what was obvious to all but the lame-minded, namely that the “Get out” campaign was utterly xenophobic.
It tried to cover its ugly racism with rhetoric about putting the “Great” back into Britain and “Getting our country back”. Where had it gone?
Police have reported a significant increase in incidental hate crimes against immigrants since the Brexit vote: violent abuse and assaults are becoming common. Omens are bad, Carruthers.
But the main post-Brexit project is to oust Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader. Why?
After a seven-year delay, Sir John Chilcot’s report into Tony Blair’s disastrous decision to join George W Bush’s invasion and occupation of Iraq was published this week. And Corbyn is one of the only senior Labour figures prepared to call for criminal sanctions against Blair.
This prompted Blairites to unleash their PR consultancies to whip up hysteria against Corbyn and for TV to endlessly interview Blairites such as Alistair Campbell and Ian McTiernan (he also worked for Julia Gillard) to bucket Corbyn without revealing their true purpose which was to stop a Labour and trade union campaign calling for Blair’s indictment in The Hague.
For more on this intriguing story, read a copy of The Ghost by Robert Harris, a former Times journalist, or watch the film, The Ghost Writer, directed by Roman Polanski and starring Pierce Brosnan as Tony Blair … oops I mean fictional Prime Minister Adam Lang.
Chilcot’s damning verdict on Blair equally applies to John Howard so it follows that any legal sanctions against Blair should be pursued against “Little Johnny” too. (Former SMH columnist Alan Ramsey called Howard “The Toad” because Fairfax refused to allow him to use “The Turd”).
So don’t despair, Australia, dysfunctionality and deadlock is everywhere. The thing is to break out.
Two politicians led the successful campaign to take Britain out of the 28-nation European Union – Tory MP Boris Johnson, former lord mayor of London, and Nigel Farage, head of the UK Independence Party.
Johnson’s referendum victory made him the front-runner to become the next Tory prime minister following the resignation of David Cameron. Then he resigned from the Tory leadership race – before it actually began.
Days later, after delivering a tasteless victory speech in the European Parliament, Farage resigned as UKIP’s leader.
So let’s get this straight: having helped to create the biggest political and economic crisis in modern UK history, Johnson and Farage simply walked away from the wreckage. And gave two fingers to the 17 million UK voters who supported Brexit.
Johnson will now devote himself to finishing a new biography of Shakespeare and Farage will go off to the pub.
Lord Heseltine, one of the Conservative Party’s elders from the Thatcher era, was gobsmacked: “I have never seen anything like it.”
Nor have the rest of us. No wonder loathing of the political class is mounting with such intensity.
PS: Another UK post-Brexit casualty: Chris Evans left as host of Top Gear. Does anybody care?
Boris the buffoon
As a buffoon and media glutton, Boris Johnson is a serial offender. When the arch-Tory London Telegraph sent him to Brussels as a correspondent in 1989, Johnson began his career as a propagandist and embroiderer.
Not a week went by without another largely invented “scoop” from Johnson: the size of condoms to be strictly regulated, fishermen forced to wear hairnets and Euro-cheese policy to wipe out English Stilton. His most outrageous invention involved a [non-existent] EU law banning children under 8 from blowing up balloons. None of it was true but Telegraph readers lapped it up and Euro-sceptics began to flourish inside the political and media classes.
“I was chucking these rocks over the garden wall and listening to this amazing crash from the greenhouses next door over in England,” he once boasted.
“Everything I wrote from Brussels was having this amazing explosive effect on the Tory Party and it really gave me this, I suppose, rather weird sense of power.”
Rupert Murdoch’s News Ltd and Sky News, Fairfax’s Australian Financial Review, The Spectator and Quadrant, previously financed by the CIA and now by the Canberra government (i.e. taxpayers) is filled with “baby Borises” seeking a career in right-wing politics supporting Islamophobia and the extreme free market.
These clowns – amazingly, they regularly appear on ABC TV and Radio National where they build a public profile – have a repugnant and uncivilised economic and social theory to sell.
Manila maniac latest
After being sworn-in as new Philippines President, Rodrigo Duterte renewed his call for armed citizens to summarily execute drug dealers and drug addicts.
Using his notoriously chilling language, Duterte told reporters: “These sons of whores are destroying our children. If you know any addicts, go ahead and kill them yourself, as getting their parents to do it would be too painful.”
This week police boasted they had killed 30 drug dealers since Duterte’s inauguration.
So far, neither Canberra, Washington nor the Vatican have condemned the gangster politics of the country’s 16th president.
Duterte has ventured a reason for his psychopathy. As a student he was sexually abused by an American Jesuit priest, Father Mark Falvey. Years later the church paid millions of dollars to cover up his sex crimes in Los Angeles to where he had been transferred.
Selling Duterte to Aussies is going to be a tough job but I am confident The Australian’s Greg Sheridan and the Daily Telegraph’s Miranda Devine, both devout Catholics, are up to the job.
Terror World Cup: Latest scores
Baghdad, Iraq more than 215 killed and 175 injured; Orlando, Florida 49 killed 53 injured; Karachi, Pakistan 47 killed; Dhaka, Bangladesh 22 killed.
Since the US-led, Australian-supported invasion and occupation of Iraq in March 2003 (called “Operation Iraqi Freedom”), more than one million Iraqis have been killed and two million have been made refugees.
The gold medal goes to: America, Home of the Brave and Land of the Free.
Great Bores 4: New series
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times – the Americans are crazy. Just look at the presidential race. That Donald Trump is a dead set clown. In my opinion, he’s barking mad. His policy to stop refugees from Mexico is to build a wall. A fat lot of good that will do: they’ll just tunnel under it or fly over it. And the cost of policing it with state troopers, US marshals and the army … phew, what a nightmare. That said, some of his policies are pretty sound. Like stopping all Moslems from entering America – that makes sense to me – and arming teachers and hospital workers with guns is another good idea. If I had a vote, I’d support The Donald. I only wish we had a politician like him in Australia.