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Thursday, 7 August 2014

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (23) | Table Talk: Bob Ellis on Film and Theatre

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (23) | Table Talk: Bob Ellis on Film and Theatre

The Three Worst Things The Liberals Did Yesterday (23)

The search for MH 17 was called off, and minutes later in a
cathedral Tony Abbott said it would continue, adding ‘there’s a time to
die’, and ‘there’s no way we can bring them all back’ of two hundred and
fifty souls already, he thought, burning in hell, thereby climaxing a
memorial service as dire as any in memory. Buddhists, Muslims, Jews,
Ba’hai and ascetic Presbyterians were confronted with a graven image of a
crucified, bleeding Christ, an affront to all their religions, the
hollowest funeral speech by a Governor-General in two millennia, and
five abashed choirboys feebly singing ‘Advance Australia Fair’. It was
asked why a secular place — the Town Hall, perhaps, it had a pipe organ —
was not chosen, but by then Abbott was calling ‘unspeakably evil’ the
Russian perpetrators of this accident, and Putin had cancelled all meat
imports from Australia.

The worst job figures since 2002 then came out. They were bad not
because there were that many fewer jobs, but because Andrews’ threats
had scared the bejesus out of three hundred thousand young people, who
rejoined the ‘work force’ and began applying for forty jobs a month, as

Brandis, meanwhile, had stuffed up again, not knowing what ‘metadata’
was, and refusing to ask Malcolm Turnbull, who did know, to the meeting
where it was proposed the nation’s queasiest intimacies be recorded,
and not looked at, or looked at for only two years; or something.

It began to seem this worst government in a thousand years of
democracy was also dogged by bad luck, with Abbott making ‘leadership
calls’ to distance himself from it, one of which was to search for ‘at
least a year’ for MH 370, whose bits now speckled four oceans, in order
to ‘solve the mystery’ of what happened to it. That it had been shot
down, like MH 17, by trigger-happy dunderheads, American this time, on
Diego Garcia did not occur to him. He was determined to spend a billion
on it, and not on, say, universities, and he was on his way.

Christopher Pyne announced he would be nice to the cross-benchers,
and denied that women being forced hereafter to pay much more than men
for their university degrees was any sort of problem. It was a feature,
he said, of the ‘new equality of educational opportunity’ and if women
wanted to get above themselves, well, good for them, but there was a
price to pay for this impertinence.

Mark Kenny, a Liberal voter, remarked on Agenda that the sell-job of
the Budget was ‘worse than any sentient human could possibly imagine’,
and they perhaps should give it away and write another. Joe Hockey
snarled at the business community, who snarled back at him; his ‘sense
of entitlement’ was getting on their wick. And his biography meanwhile
appalled its twenty readers with his unremitting shallowness.

Eric Abetz declared four million Australian women accurst. By having
abortions, he said, they had given themselves breast cancer in this life
and hellfire in the next. On being told women also had the vote, his
earnest goanna visage twitched with surprise.

Julie Bishop said she found ‘disappointing’ Putin’s tetchiness at her
calling him ‘the fount of all evil’ and threatening that he would be
denied the pleasures of Brisbane if he did not own up to mass murder. He
should not have stopped buying our meat, she declared, and should
instead have condemned his soldiers to death by not giving them bullets
any more. She was hailed by Mark Kenny, a Liberal voter, as ‘a Joan of
Arc, come to judgment.’

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