Sunday, January 29, 2012


IF the booted Tony Hodges did only what the Prime Minister claims – contacted the oppressed in the expectation “a couple” of black faces would front the cameras to denounce his boss’ foe – what exactly did he do wrong and why was he fired? Skewering opponents is what politics is all about, and Hodges is – was – paid to sharpen knives and pass them out to this government’s eager accomplices and apologists in the gallery.

Lies being her stock in trade, Gillard’s non-explanation explanation at her Saturday afternoon press conference was suspect from the very instant that spigot of falsehood beneath the Pinocchio nose began to drip. Several hours later, Kim Sattler, directly contradicted the woman on behalf of whose office she sped to Humpytown with word of Tony Abbott’s incendiary racism.

That mad dash is what reporters should be seeking to have explained today. It is the only question, the hinge on which the door to the race riot’s disgrace swung open and the genesis of Team Gillard’s confident whispers in the immediate aftermath of her evactuation that ultimate blame could be pinned on none but Abbott.

That wasn’t true and Gillard’s paid liars knew it. Had it not been for Ray Hadley baring the truth on talkback radio -- is it any wonder luvvies hate the medium so? -- the strategy would by now be proceeding apace. Today’s papers would be larded with reflections on the Opposition leader’s divisive personality, his contempt for reconciliation, the intemperance of his rhetoric and, inevitably, how the riot was the predictable second chapter in the chronicle of incitement first opened at the carbon tax protests.

By Tuesday, tertiary slurs would have been slathered over news pages and opinion columns. Not just Aborigines, but women, refugees, trees and enlightened rationality itself would be presented as the targets in Abbott’s alleged crosshairs. Now the toadies are scrambling, frantic to find a narrative which re-channels the flow of commentary and reporting onto safer ground.

Sattler’s newly revealed Aboriginality, would that do the trick? The spinners must by now have considered it as an avenue of escape, perceiving the potential of a racial excuse and explanation for her cries of “Fire! Fire!” in Humptytown’s theatre of the absurd. The approach might have worked, but not now that Sattler has effectively said the Gillard version is a lie.

Could Gillard’s ink-stained urgers simple move on – that ever-popular phrase – forget the race riot and bang again the tired tropes of a nation divided and reconciliation bogged in the quagmire of conservative intolerance? Who knows, even now Larissa Behrendt may be tapping out just such a sermon.

Let them have their heads for now, indulge them to read only the signals in each other’s anxious eyes as they gather in the closed circle about the latest batch of crackers. This time it is a lie too far, although the gallery in its arrogance and isolation will not yet have noticed as much. They will lecture and scold and advance the pro forma rationales, but the Australia whose day was desecrated by the Prime Minister’s tawdry little tricks is unlikely to be moved.

Not this time, not after so many lies and liars.

UPDATE: Kim Sattler now claims to have been quoted inaccurately and has brought her version of events into line with Prime Minister Yabby. What a surprise!

Fascinating as this matter remains, it is a hot, glorious day in Melbourne and the beach beckons. Any comments received for the next hour or so will be put up. After that things will go quiet until later tonight.


  1. Brilliant, Professor. Nothing to add.

  2. Why doesn't this man have a newspaper or on-line column? He'd be enough to balance out Their ABC single-handed.
    David Black

    1. Seconded. Motion passed.

      Bunyip, it's about time you were nationalized for the benefit of the the country's ignorant.

  3. David, I'm flattered, but this blog has always been pulpit enough for a modest Bunyip. It is the truth that matters, not the size or nature of the vehicle in which it is published.

  4. Apparently Sattler has changed her story and it now neatly fits in with Gillard's statement yesterday. Amazing!

    1. Of course, she doesn't want to lose her job or her support base.

  5. I've listened on the web to Tony Abbott's racist taunt about the aboriginal embassy at Old Parliament House. He should have honoured the concept of the embassy and congratulated them on their anniversary. Instead this racial taunt. Appalling. No wonder the descendents of the invadees were upset. It was unfortunate that our PM was caught up in this situation. Abbott must apologise to her, and to those he insulted by offering his gratuitous racist advice.

    1. hamjar,don't believe everything your orwellian handbook says.

      Repeating a lie doesnt turn it into the truth after the third go.

      Who is paying you to haunt the blogs spinning the 'its abbott's fault' line?

      How come you're terrified of Abbott...are you afraid he's going to cut you off from the taxpayer funded teat?

    2. I thought you dills trawled the blogs only on weekdays between 09:30 and 16:00, while you are sitting around waiting to line up at the public service pay office each Friday.

    3. Do public servants work on Fridays?

      I thought they were all poets on Friday.

    4. Does your anger extend to the aboriginal Warren Mundine of the left, and the ex NSWLabor Premier, Bob Carr,too?

      They actually said the tent should be taken down, while Abbott DID NOT

      None so blind as those who will not see!

    5. Just being pedantic, but commonwealth public servants get paid on Thursday, and by direct deposit into their accounts.

    6. ... every week, whether they have done anything worthwhile during that period or nothing at all.

      The bludgers are 30% odd of the workforce, therefore every man whose income depends on the profitability of his endeavour, guile and determination carries half an otherwise unemployable useless public servant on his back. And gets to pay its wage.

  6. Hammygar: I'm amazed your could make out Abbott's words with head jammed so far and firmly up your arse. It is one extraordinary, unlikely skill that defines the idiot savant. Remarkable hearing must be yours. Sadly, the ability to repeat with accuracy what was heard remains undeveloped.

  7. Bravo. Well said. Great to finally read the truth so clearly put after plowing through the spin and obfuscation of the propaganda arms.

    Really liked the bit about the Canberra press gallery.They live in a hall of mirrors unconnected to reality.

    The reality is that the Labor party ruthlessly set up and used a group of indigenous people on Australia day to try to smear an opposition politician.

    Noticed after an initial bleat by Christine Milne leaping on the 'get Abbott' bandwagon, the Greens have gone silent.

    Even they dont want to be tarred with this.

  8. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.January 29, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    Truth will out, Bunyip. History will write a shaming piece for Gillard and the journo sycophants out of this little pile of deception and deceit. Anxiously pale-faced warriors and warriorettes of remote aboriginal descent are undoubtedly now writing their pieces of castigation against 'whitey': those European, Chinese, Indian, Middle-Eastern, Mediterranean, South American, Indonesian and other assorted hard-working and taxpaying Australians, berating them for their injudicious celebrations of our National Day. In the meantime, Tony Abbott, a humble man of deeply-felt Christian sentiment, quietly and personally works hard to ensure a decent life for genuinely disadvantaged Aborignal people up north on his holidays, while billions of dollars intended to help these needy people have been grossly appropriated elsewhere by louder and far less deserving voices.

    A lot has changed in the past 40 years as these billions of dollars have slipped away. A newer and less easily 'guilted' Nationalism has taken hold among polyglot voters. The Canberra and luvvie press would be wisest to recognise this and jump the rails of tired old tropes.

    Many people of aboriginal descent have already done so, to their credit, with great dignity.

  9. As Tyga points out, Sattler now claims that the News Ltd reports (which had her contradicting Gillard) were "inaccurate".

    "As I said in my statement yesterday, Tony Hodges from the prime minister's office told me what Tony Abbott had said - that people should `move on' from the Tent Embassy," she said in a statement on Sunday. "Yesterday the prime minister gave an accurate account of my role".

    It is now up to News Ltd to produce the relevant reporter's notes, and/or a sound reording of what Sattler said. This is at least owed to Sattler, in respect of whom some(including me I should admit) have attempted to make fun.

    What do you reckon are the chances of this happening Prof?

    1. `"move on' from the Tent Embassy"....If this is all that was said, with out the rest of Abbotts quote it seems to me that it is inflammatory.

    2. He did not say that either.

      That's a wide, go back and bowl another ball.

  10. And they said that the Watergate burglars were incompetant. They were rocket scientists compared to this mob.

    1. Indeed. It's like Nixon giving instructions to the burglars in public before they even went to work.

  11. There is more than one question to be answered Prof:

    Who said exactly what in the Chinese whispers - Hodge to Sattler to Shaw to Humpytown i.e. at what point did Abbott's comments change?

    Hodge was reportedly with another member of the PMO talking to the rioters prior to the evacuation. Who was that person and what did they say?

    Who referred Hodge to Sattler and why?

    What instructions was Hodge given at the start of the day?

    Are members of the PMO authorised to use their initiative to smear Abbott or do they need approval?

    How representative is the 'Embassy' of Aboriginal Australians? This needs to be asked because if it does represent Aborigines then they will have lost a lot of good will from their fellow citizens. If it doesn't, then it needs to be demolished.

    Unfortunately we can't expect the love media to ask these questions, they're too busy looking for the Abbott angle when the only choice of villains is Labor (Hodge and the PMO), the Greens(Shaw), Aborigines (the rioters), unions (Sattler) or most likely all of the above.

    A perfect storm.


  12. Smells like Blair Labor to me.

    Pump prime the news cycle by getting a fellow traveller to ask a loaded question (the setup).
    I am looking at you ABC...

    Fellow media travellers selectively misquote or perform the "ellipsis trick" (the beatup).
    I'm looking at you ABC and AAP.

    Then to gee up the pawns (on a day guaranteed to be of high emotion for them) and guide them to the intended target (the stitch up)

    Then if all goes to plan, fearless leader magnanimously rescues evil Abbott from the shitstorm of his own creation he undoubtedly incited by his inherent racism (the payoff)

    This shit worked in the UK due to the larger networks of people involved (easier to compartmentalise) as opposed to the small incestuous group up in Canberra...

    Also it takes competence to pull off delivery, something this mob just do not have

    Sounds too Machiavellian?
    Look at the PMO head and his previous form...

    1. Yes it was an ABC reporter who asked Tony Abbott:

      "Mr Abbott, today is also the 40th anniversary of the tent embassy in Canberra.

      Do you think it's still relevant, or should it move?"


      Yes it was the ABC and AAP copy fuelling misleading coverage in the early hours of the controversy.

      And well the rest is history.

      Who was the ABC reporter? Who is the AAP reporter? Reporters saw Hodges speaking to activists in the presence of another JG staffer before the medal ceremony and fracas. Who was the staffer? Which activisits....Every link in this chain needs to be identified, named and have their story checked out by an independent body with the authority to impose penalties for giving false information. Which is why the Opposition's call for AFP investigation is both justified and essential.

      To have the PM's office (possibly in cohoots with unionists and anti-*parliament* protestors) play race politics for political advantage is beyond 'a grave misunderstanding'. It is even beyond a low act of political bastardry. It is immoral and dangerous and should not be tolerated.


  13. Wonder if Kim Sattler found a shovel at her door this morning?

  14. Gillard is the Peter Principle in action in that her base, ‘politics at all costs’ approach got her through all the union and ALP climbing – with its associated, mandatory bloodletting, allies-to-enemies –in-a-blink-of-an- eye-and-right-back-again, got her right to the top where those excellent skills were simply not enough to cut it. But she tried. How she tried.

    Abbott to Afghanistan? Can’t let him do that and get the praise, I will do it and then publicly ask him to go with me while he can’t comment on his plans to go. While I am there I will introduce base politics by commenting to a soldier (on air) about how “silly” was the Libs idea to use tanks. And more of the same.

    They blame her office and its continual incompetence, even though the staff gets turned over all the time. Incompetent selection or what? Now a very junior nobody takes it upon himself to get political mileage out of this, to then have immediate contact about spinning Abbotts words to encourage – no, to demand a public confrontation – and then when it falls to pieces get desperate enough to spin it by getting onto the press gallery to make sure they know the talking points. That it was all down to Abbott.

    Peter Principle? Gillard is the definition.

    M Ryutin

  15. This was all the handiwork of Gillard, and probably her new Blair-Labour head of PMO.

    Gillard was setting Abbott up to run a gauntlet of abuse and projectiles while he was escorted out of the restaurant to a car. Watch the video of Gillard inside the restaurant. She was meant to be seen to be above all that 'divisiveness'. It all went gloriously wrong for Gillard when her Kevin Costner-wannabe bodyguard and the Keystone Cops of the AFP turned the departure into an humiliating farce.

    This disgraceful episode is typical of Gillard. It is very similar to the ‘political bastardry’ of her ambush of Abbott over his planned visit to the troops in Afghanistan; when she claimed he had turned down an invitation to join her on a trip, knowing that he could not disclose details of his own planned trip. On that occasion, Gillard compromised the security of Abbott and the troops to gain a political advantage. This time she incited a race riot.

  16. As with many of these things it will be the Cover Up that becomes the story. And not forgetting the story of the cover-up of the cover up.

    Still confused about how anybody in their right mind can possibly blame Tony Abbott. There are only a couple of possible explanations. Firstly, they are actually not in their right mind. Secondly their reading only consists of the "Phage" and The, sorry, "our" ABC where the journalists learn their "trade" before going on to "greener" pastures with the Green/Labor Party. 3. They have a genetic disease which is called rustonlaboritis, which apparently around 29% of the country has developed according to Newspoll. This genetic and possibly uncureable problem has stumped many, but while there has been a cure for many of these wretches, unfortunately many of them still live in denial.

    1. It isn't so much a disease as a condition.

      Their parents were taught by Whitlam to vote for a living. Their offspring are the current rock solid ALP support base.

      Only cancellation of their gummint cheques will reduce their numbers.

  17. First choose the appropriate venue .....

  18. Jupes, As I understand it, the Embassy mob are regarded by the various other factions in the Indigenous 'community' in much the same way in which an orthodox Marxist-Leninist would regard a Troskyite - at best a misinformed incompetent and at worst an agent provocateur. There's normally only a handgul of people hanging around the embassy, and the movement appears to centre on the Coe family, whose extravagant claims and threats have at times made them seem like the Arlene Compostas of Indigenous politics.

  19. Oh well, that settles it then. Obviously a slip of the tongue by Ms Sattler earlier today.

    Thank God for that. For a minute there I thought our PM might actually be playing loose and fast with the truth.

  20. Only one question,Prof....why do you dignify humpytown with a capital?

  21. So Sattler has now decided to take one for the team and change her story. Doesn't she realise that she has branded herself a liar and as go-between, she is now responsible for the misquoting and smear of Abbott (since she now agrees with Gillard that Hodges accurately quoted Abbott) ?
    A lot of pinocchio disease going around these days.
    For someone who doesn't know Sattler "personally", Gillard sure must have something good on Sattler to keep her in line. What a totally inept, corrupt, incestuous bunch labor is these days.
    I wonder when puppet master McTernan will show his hand again ?

    It seems Hodge's only sin was to tell someone Abbott's location - information that any number of journalists covering the emergency services presentation would have known for days anyway.

  22. Wasn't it lucky that the cameras were just there to record Gillard's magnaminous interest in Tony Abott's safety and that, extraordinarily, the actions/words of the Prime Minister's security mob were allowed to be broadcast widely too.

    With this event, she and her propaganda ministry including the ABC etc. killed two flies with one stroke: she looked like a leader rescuing the hapless opposition leader who caused it all, and, stumbling in the arms of the security man, she looked vulnerable and feminine enough to pull at the heart strings of traditonal aussie chivalry.

    Pity about the gadflies like Andrew Bolt, Bunyip, Ray Hadley etc. spoiling a broth so brilliantly concocted.

    Incidentally, I believe that the policeman, rescuing Ms Gillard and Co. was genuinely concerned.

    And isn't it about time that the Aborigines recognised who are the true racists, exploiting them for their political purposes?

    1. Spot on Rita - "she looked like a leader rescuing the hapless opposition leader"

      The body language said it all-
      1) A set-up (with the PM's knowledge) that went wrong.
      2) She quickly contrived to retrieve the high ground - by "rescuing Abbott" and finally sacking the fall guy.

      Even if Ms Gillard didn't specifically sull on Hodges, she sets the "Culture" for the PM's office and rewards the ones that get away with it.

      It's much like NAB's culture under CEO Frank Circutto. NAB encouraged a "Master of the Universe" arrogance among leading staff. They knowingly rewarded shonky "smart operators" and were shocked to the core when surprise, surprise millions of dollars got scammed.

      One naughty "smart operator" got sacked and the ship sailed blithely on.

  23. If, as Gillard now claims, Hodges reported Abbott's words accurately, why did he ring the ACT Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and, having failed to reach him, allowed himself to be transferred to Sattler?

    On what basis was Sattler an acceptable substitute for the ACT minister?

    What of relevance or value did Hodges have to say to either of them if he was merely accurately reporting Abbott? Why does the female PMO staffer remain unnamed? What did Sattler say to Shaw and what did Shaw say to whomever at the tent embassy?

    From that point, according to Michael Anderson, "Someone set us up. They set the prime minister up. They set Abbott up." Quite.

    But credit to the PM, who helped extract Abbott. No, not credit for extracting him, but credit for foreseeing the adverse consequences for her if she'd left him behind and he'd come to harm.

  24. Can't we be sure that the PM's office would organise the media strategy for the day each morning?
    Would the PM allow any loose cannons in her organization?
    Wouldn't Hodges have known how things worked?
    I wonder how much of a pay out Hodges has recieved?
    I also wonder if Hodges will turn up as Public servant or a unionist somewhere else?
    The questions I ask are only a few I can think of at this moment, but their are hundreds more to be asked.
    An inquiry is the least we should get from our government.

    1. "Wouldn't Hodges have known how things worked?"

      He came from the staff of Comrade Dear Leader (in exile) where Harris Farm Markets boy was up at 4am each day going through the press, to brief the Great Media Spin Cycle Oarsman when he clocked on ("Activist cum flack becomes story" by Sally Jackson, Austn Feb 14 '08).

      Whaddya reckon the odds at him being regarded as one of their hardened veterans? Spare me!

      All these "media" kiddies do all day is find ways to fudge an advantage for Comrade Brown's 3rd assistant deputy PM, to lay mines for Comrade Dear Leader (in exile) and any other contenders and to do as Bruce Pollster tells them.

      Further, the old heads will tell you of a Labor bloke named Wran who famously said, to the effect "You do not call an enquiry unless you are certain of its result." That's the last thing you'd want here - it shoves the whole thing into a manila folder, brings forth "Can't comment, it's subject to an enquiry" and allows plenty of time for the lies to be crafted if, if, it ever gets semi serious in its pursuit of the truth (a fantasy, I know ... I know).

      And it is not "our government". It belongs to the ALP aristocracy.

  25. Sun?

    I say, did you say Sun?

    Send it up to Sydney and Queensland, we need it!

    I wonder if the Canberra Kapers will open any ALP voters' eyes?

  26. What is particularly galling about all this was the widely reported gallantry of Gillard, who, apparently, rose above politics at the height of the violence to enquire as to the Opposition Leader's situation. Ha!
    What we now know is that it wasn't any act of generosity on the part of a gracious Prime Minister to be so mindful of Tony Abbott's safety in that circumstance, as it was about acknowledging the culpability of having put him there in the first place. It's become perfectly obvious by now that she knew what was being unleashed and why, and by protecting Abbott from Labor's whipped-up mob, she was actually protecting herself.

    Imagine if Abbott had been physically assaulted because of this despicable set-up? Gillard would have been swiftly hounded from office, and I believe if the whole truth is revealed, could very well still be.

  27. In Quadrant (October 2011) Sir Guy Green reviews "Letters To My Daughter" by Sir Robert Menzies and Heather Henderson. Nothing has changed, particularly in the Fairfax press, in 45 years:

    "In another example [of inaccurate and malicious reporting] [Sir Robert] refers to reports in the press that claimed that while speaking with Harold Holt from Philadelphia he made some offensive remarks about the West Australian results in the 1967 election. But, as Sir Robert points out, he knew nothing about the West Australian results for more than two days after his conversation with Holt and he had never been to Philadelphia in his life. Under the circumstances some would regard his concluding comment as admirably restrained: "...however I suppose that this kind of exuberant misrepresentation is still going strong"".

    Indeed it it.

  28. Two people that still need to be tracked down.

    1) Unnamed Female at the ABC who asked the loaded question to Abbott in the first place.

    2) Still Unnamed Female PMO Staffer seen with hodge conversing with the mob 20 minutes before... why still unnamed?

    Wouldn't it be an absolute hoot if they were one and the same...

    Nothing would surprise me anymore...

  29. Ahh, so that's why she wanted Tony to leave with her (to the surprise of her security detail). She still thought she could get the required TV images.

    As for Blair-Labour, too right. Except there's some really big differences here compared to the Ukay. We don't have a one media state, so I think the t/dill running the PMO is in for a few harsh Aussie lessons.

  30. Another thing that doesn't add up is that aboriginal diplomats at the embassy claimed that it was a whitefella woman who passed on the information to them but Kim Sattlers CV states that she is murri murri tribe.

    Also surely Tony Abbott knows the identity of the woman journalist who asked him the original question in Sydney. Someone should ask him.

    Finally, Duckbum said that Hodges had acted alone but there are reports of another one of Pinocchio's staff that was present speaking to the Consul general or ambassador at the embassy. This should be checked out as I suspect she is being loose with the truth again.

  31. Krafty Kev organised this - stands to reason - out with the nose and in with the mouth.

  32. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.January 30, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    Out with the nose, in with the mouth, and we still can't breathe Anon.

    ABC 7.20 report just now had that stupid twit of a Heather woman telling us that really, they could tell us (without any evidence) that people were over it, that poor Julia was being harassed by continuing with this issue, and that there was absolutely nothing to see here anymore.

    Well, naturellement. Pffff! Away with it.