Diary

Gadfly
Let there be lights

Pentecostalists are highly regarded for their ability to speak in tongues, otherwise known as making unintelligible utterances. This may explain why Prime Minister and Shire clapper SloMo Morrison insists that electricity prices will come down because he has abolished what was supposed to be Malcolm Trumble’s national energy guarantee.

The NEG promised a price reduction on average yearly electricity bills of $150, so without it non-clappers would imagine there will be no reduction in prices under the non-NEG regime.

It may be worse than that because the Energy Security Board told the government that without a policy such as the NEG another $300 over 10 years would be added to power bills.

And nor can we expect the renewable energy target to bring prices down by $400, as anticipated by the Grattan Institute. This is because the current non-policy has meant there is no investor certainty and there is no faith that the God-anointed regime can come up with a post-2020 renewable target.   

Prices already are going up, and look like increasing further under the divine inspiration of SloMo and Turbines Taylor.

At least nativity plays and wishing people Merry Christmas will be back in vogue.

Binders full of merit

In Tasmania, God also moves in mysterious ways. Senator Richard Colbeck has been nominated to top the Nasty Party ticket, with Claire Chandler and Tanya Denison at second and third, respectively.

Women, for goodness sake. There hasn’t been a Liberal woman senator from Tasmania since Jocelyn Newman, mother of Can-Do Campbell and wife of Ollie the Grub, had her backside on the red leather.

These developments are evidence that Gauleiter Otto Abetz’s influence is waning. It was under Otto’s suzerainty that Colbeck was relegated to an unwinnable slot on the ticket for Trumble’s 2016 double dissolution election, and he only returned to the Senate on the coat-tails of the section 44 departure of mortician Stephen Parry.

Colbeck was a former federal minister for forests who tried to get the loggers and woodchippers into the World Heritage Area – which is what passes in the Nasty Party for a moderate. He also had the support in this latest round of ticket jostling from the minister for au pairs, Benito Dutton.   

A depressed Otto Abetz said of the new line-up for the Senate: “It’s absolutely exciting.”

The one-tooth and beanie brigade from the hills of Van Diemen’s Land also look like returning Jacqui Lambie to the Red Chamber.

Eddie the legal

In other messages from the gods, we find that the chief of staff to the Reverend, the Honourable Fred Nile, MLC, is busy at the free-speech coalface.

Edwin Dyga has written to the Institute of Paid Advocacy at its Melbourne bunker seeking assistance in the drafting of legislation to protect people who have been “deplatformed” from social media sites. This amounts to “censorship and ostracism ... of individuals who express unfashionable views ... and is a threat to democracy”.

Presumably, he is worried that saintly types, such as the unhinged conspiracy theorist Alex Jones of Infowars, have been banished from Twitter.

“I ask the Institute of Public Affairs whether it can assist by providing any advice or information that can guide the drafting of an appropriate policy or bill.”

So far “stakeholders” have suggested to Edwin that he consider a legal framework for individuals who have been unjustly “disappeared” from the social media scene to “make a complaint and seek some form of restitution”. Alternatively, these communication services could be regarded as near monopolies “and therefore public utilities”.

Edwin has also been the convener of the Sydney Traditionalist Forum, which is “the first explicitly paleoconservative-leaning association in Australia”. He is also concerned with the influences of “effeminate abstracta” and its influence on “reflexive patheticism” in responses to avoidable catastrophes.

Godspeed, Edwin.

G-G bingo

What with the Tiger of Timor, General Peter Cosgrove, announcing he’s leaving Yarralumla by March next year, the field of contenders for governor-general looks impressive.

Automatically tipsters are plonking for Dame Julie Bishop, who naturally would be great at opening fetes and attending the chukkas with her good-looking man-bag. Yet it would not be beyond possibility that SloMo is sizing up someone like Adam F. Thompson from the Voice of Fire Ministries.

After all, Thommo can interpret dreams and he’d received a message from God that if we fail to re-elect Morrison “there’s going to be darkness coming”.

Then there’s Philip Ruddock, 103, who has been on the gravy train with every job imaginable since he was jemmied out of his parliamentary seat. If he got the job, it would ensure that darkness had already arrived.

Little Winston Howard should not be discounted as a prospect. It would be a crowning glory for him to be the Queen’s representative Down Under and there’s plenty of good vintage stuff still in the cellars to make it worthwhile for Lady Janette.

Yet the irresistible choice, surely, would be Lord Fishnets Downer, fresh with his honorary doctorate from the University of Soft Knocks and his round of mud wrestling with George Papadopoulos.

Just a few prospects Gadfly understands are in the mix. No doubt others will be fluttering their eyelashes and suddenly appending flags to their lapels.

Tender trap

Mishaps in Wagga Wagga are not putting Aunty Gladys Berejiklian off her stride. The normal work of her administration surges ahead. For instance, applicants have been called to tender for a service funded by her government, the WDVCAS, or Women’s Domestic Violence Court Assistance Service.

Despite the unwieldy acronym, it does good work; however, the tender documents show that mysteriously the word “Women’s” has been dropped from the name of the service and it is now called the Domestic Violence Court Assistance Service.

A tender assessment committee convened on Thursday, September 13 to assess all the applications. Five of the six members of the assessment committee are from government departments or agencies, such as legal aid, police, treasury et cetera. The only NGO included on the panel is the Survivors and Mates Support Network – a service for men who are the victims of domestic violence.

It was explained to puzzled ALP parliamentarians at an estimates committee that it would be a “conflict of interest” to have a women’s NGO on the panel if the tender is for a service to provide help to women, even though the new name suggests it is not entirely devoted to female victims of domestic violence.

Tale wagging

As Benito Dutton looks as if he is going to explode with fury into tiny pieces all over the ceiling of the Brisbane Police Boys Club, rumours are swirling of his time as a Queensland copper.

Most are unprintable, but I thought this offering rather charming:

When he retired from the force there was a jolly farewell gathering with the wallopers making fine speeches and presenting their departing colleague with tins of dog food.

It’s a puzzle. Did Benito have dogs that needed feeding, or was this a tribute to his character or to a particular style of policing, or was he regarded as a mongrel?

The mystery may never be solved.

Behind the mask

Alluring invitations have been pouring into Gadfly’s bunker and one of the most irresistible is for the November Masquerade Ball being held by the Mona Vale branch of the Nasty Party at Point House, Newport.

This is Jason Falinski territory, formerly held with a tenacious grip by Chopper Bishop.

The dress code is evening dress, “masks compulsory”. Indeed, masks should be compulsory at all Liberal Party events, even for Liberal MPs when sitting in parliament. It would make stabbing each other in the back and sides so much easier if the assassins had their faces disguised with frightening headgear – although noticeably some are frightening enough without masks.

It’s only $150 a head and Young Liberals can squeeze in for $130. No GST is payable.

Jason is in for a busy social whirl. Last month we reported that in October he’s hosting a Spring Dinner in Whale Beach where attendees are required to fork out $150 to listen to Benito Dutton.

Trumpette #86

In Trump’s America the 17th anniversary of September 11 was under way, and a giant hurricane bearing down on the Carolina coast.

The Pussy-Grabber-in-Chief started the day with a couple of tweets that some thought not entirely in keeping with what was happening: “We have found nothing to show collusion between President Trump & Russia, absolutely zero, but every day we get more documentation showing collusion between the FBI & DOJ, the Hillary campaign, foreign spies & Russians, incredible.”

That one was straight out of Fox News rants and raves the night before.

Then there was: “Rudy Giuliani did a GREAT job as Mayor of NYC during the period of September 11th. His leadership, bravery and skill must never be forgotten. Rudy is a TRUE WARRIOR!”

Yes, Rudy is up there with the heroes who stopped United Airlines Flight 93 ploughing into the Congress or the White House and instead brought it down in a field in Pennsylvania.

When Trump and his “First” Lady arrived at the Pennsylvania memorial there was a mighty display of presidential pumped fists and thumbs-up for the astonished assembly.

There’s nothing quite like solemn anniversaries that can be turned into political bombast.

Tips and tattle: [email protected]

This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on Sep 15, 2018 as "Gadfly: Let there be lights". Subscribe here.

Richard Ackland
is the publisher of Justinian. He is The Saturday Paper’s diarist-at-large and legal affairs editor.

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