Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Education Of Young Mr Hodges

AMONGST THE many questions it would be good to hear put to fugitive spinner Tony Hodges, there is a minor one – a curiosity, really – which some policeman or inquiring QC might want to toss into the mix toward an interrogation’s end. By then the really important stuff will have been covered and the sum of human knowledge expanded in regard to the PM’s efforts to stir up the Blacks for political gain. It is an unfortunate way to put it “stir up the blacks”, so ugly with echoes of the racist past that Gillard and the loudest of her Sorry Day breast-beaters would shudder at the sound of it, especially if news cameras happened to be handy. But with apologies, it is the only description for that madcap caper at the Lobby restaurant.

“Hey, let’s get those simple, excitable Humpytowners all riled and waving spears at Tony Abbott. Lights! Camera! Evening news! See, Australia, he’s a nasty, racist, extremist bastard and the blackfellas hate him too.” Can’t you just imagine the sounds of high-fives slapping as the PM’s twentysomethings whooped it up at the sheer genius of their slick, political smarts. Golly gosh, such operators! Start a race riot and lift the PM’s polls? Worth a shot. Yeah, why not? Sounds like a plan. Let’s do it!

And that is why, if we do get to see Hodges under oath, someone has to ask the most fascinating question of them all. It is simple and it is this: What TV shows and films did you grow up with?

Don’t laugh, this is serious. Hodges is a young fellow. If he is a day over 30 it would be a surprise, so let’s say he graced the planet for the first time in 1981. Ten years later, Bill Clinton was almost in the White House and Hollywood churning out the first of what would be a decade's crop of  just, fair, inspirational and entirely fictional presidents. Indeed, the more tawdry Clinton’s record grew, and the grubbier third-parties’ dresses became, the more ennobled his fictional counterparts. America had itself a low dog in the White House and knew it, so it invented Jed Bartlett and beamed the preferred fantasies of a righteous leader to the world. Sure, President Martin Sheen’s staffers cut deals and corners, but right was on their side and that made the smarty-pants strategems OK.

Let’s also figure that Hodges is the product of an educated, middle-class home, the sort of place where politics gets tossed around the kitchen table, maybe even with a passion. By sixteen, the West Wing is making its weekly mark on young Tony’s evolving mind. So, too, most likely, docos like The War Room, with the snappy James Carville making no bones about putting politics above principle and winning above everything. It had to make an impression on a kid who was nearing his franchise and would have been off to uni at about the same time a rapist president pardoned his brother’s drug dealer and finally went away.

By the late Nineties, young Tony would have been ripping into student politics and that political brain was being moulded into some increasingly narrow channels. John Howard? Boo! Hiss! to that baby-drowning scumbag. Any line, no matter how slanderous or vile, was fit to be deployed against the little jerk. The papers lapped it up, much to young Tony’s secret astonishment. He is a sharp kid and cannot seriously believe, not in his heart, that Little Johnnie has frogmen sinking SIEVs or aims to see chattel slavery in Australia’s satanic mills. But some of that is what a former ambassador is saying, which lends credence to the absurd, so why not urge the poor loon on? Sling him a book prize or two, put him on the ABC, extol his madness as proof of a crusader's heart. Surround Howard with enough jabbering self-publicists and some of their spittle will stick.

And over there in gallery, what fun!  It is the likes of David Marr, who has hijacked the pulpit of the once-serious press as thoroughly as did a posse of illegal aliens the Tampa’s bridge. Marr and his mates are hissing warnings about fascism on the way, and if you are sharp as young Tony it is funny as all hell in a deliriously cynical sort of way. Pantomime dames as a Greek chorus, who could take seriously Marr and Manne and the caterwauling choir? Certainly not Young Tony, professional political operative-to-be, who has by now figured it all out. Politics, it’s about advantage and distortion and carrying the mob, so a lie is the truth is a lie if any of those options is what you must make the voters believe. On weekends, when he catches a movie, it will be Wag The Dog or something from Michael Moore. The utility of lies is further re-inforced.

It is all a game, a glorious, silly, all-engrossing game – that is what young Tony has come to conclude as he moves with some nice new suits from campus intrigues to Canberra, where he can celebrate the special dispensation his spinner’s job confers -- the right to deal deception in the name of Higher Truth. He’s of the left and the left is by definition more virtuous, so anything that advances its cause must by definition be even moreso.

If you have wondered, as decent people outside the Canberra press gallery surely must, how a young man could have set in motion the lie that sparked Australia’s birthday riot, embrace the left’s conception of charity and grant young Tony at least a little slack for the nurturing amorality of his political upbringing. The kid was brainwashed from the start, taught to know the price of power but never to recognise the value of the decencies he and his kind have been so prepared to shred in its pursuit.

A faltering economy, racial  suspicions fanned and glowing, class resentments, ethnic ghettoes and green, cash-hungry monsters, they are the more obvious elements of the Gillard government’s legacy. But it is the amoral rot at the core of her leadership, that adoration of deceit and obfuscation, which may be the most damaging thing she leaves behind.

Inhale deeply, catch a whiff of this dying government’s grasping venality.  It has poisoned the likes of young Tony and the stench is spreading. Indeed, to a soundtrack of Gillard's ongoing lies and dodges, it grows more pungent by the day.   


  1. That there is a stench about the Gillard government I agree wholeheartedly.

    From the Thomson fiasco dethroning the "Fair umpire", through the Australia Day deliberate attempted mugging of the opponent they fear more than death itself, to the lies, backflips and class warfare and assault on our economy they now wage in league with the old ogre Brown, they are despicable.

    It rubs salt into our wounds to ponder that most likely they will install/reinstall a warlock after dispatching the Red witch/Gingerella, but all the cauldron stirrers will still be there, including the useful blethering idiots responsible for keeping Tony Abbott out of the Lodge --for that was the basis of their "choice' in the hung parliament .

  2. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.February 15, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    Mr. Hodges is self-evidently a late twenties Gen Y young man of a particular type, well defined Prof in your penetrating analysis. I hope he has good friends and a loving family, all perhaps revising their earlier political inclinations in the light of events. It is not nice being so seriously shafted when so young.

  3. Prof, I know kids like him, and I pity him, he's the fall guy - its uni politics in all its petty nastiness writ large and very ugly. I love your thundering prose, Prof, and your view of the world.

  4. I bet the only TV Toy watched was BigBrother. It matches the poor ex-Julia staffer IQ.

  5. Phil E Steyn of PerthFebruary 15, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    For what Hodges did, I really hope he is hung out to dry. I hope everyone shuns him, even his "client councillor" at Centrelink.

  6. I'm reminded of the scene where Basil Fawlty says to the health inspector who has just read out a long list of terrible shortcomings in the kitchen and hotel generally:
    "But apart form that, OK?"

  7. This of course is a brilliant piece of prose, Profssor. Congratulations. But what an appalling bully you are. Young Mr Hodges may have been slightly misleading about his interpretation of what Tony Abbott said outside the Opera House, but Abbot's intent was quite clear - to put paid to the tent embassy, virtually a sacred site nowadays to the capital's aboriginals. They had every right to feel angry and put upon. It's a pity the Federal Police totally over-reacivated, but my guess is that whoever motivated them was trying to make thing look as bad as possible for our PM - a Liberal stooge. Shame on you, Professor.

    1. Hamjar,

      The trolls are out in force tonight!

      Trust you to try to whitewash the vile and inexcusable.

      Hodges was out to do as much damage as he could, knowing what he said was a lie.


      Shame on you for shoddy morality,hamjar.

  8. Well one skill he has managed to acquire is hiding. He has disappeared quicker than Harold Holt after the Chinese sub picked him up off Cheviot Beach.

    Now Unions ACT Secretary Kim Sattler's credibility has disappeared courtesy of 7.30's "Australia's Politically Damaging Home Videos" show, there are an increasing number of people taking an interest in Mr Hodge's newfound hiding skills.

  9. Weirdness squared - "young Tony", as you call him, could hardly have been influenced by Gillard during his formative years, given that she has been PM since June 2010.
    You need a Bex and a good lie down, Bunyip - you're mixing your metaphors and losing touch with reality.
    You are also having problems with attributing sensory input - "Indeed, to a soundtrack of Gillard's ongoing lies and dodges, it grows more pungent by the day" - only in Bunyip's fifth dimension are sounds and odours one and the same. What are you smoking/drinking/injecting/inhaling?
    Go to bed before you make more of a goose of yourself..........

    1. As a synesthete I can well imagine the tonal quality of Gingerella's voice, combined with the lies it is conveying, to register as pungent and whiffy with the olfactory sense.

    2. "Indeed, to a soundtrack of Gillard's ongoing lies and dodges, it grows more pungent by the day"

      That makes perfect sense to anybody with the slightest ability to comprehend english.

      It's nice to see you making a bit of a splash though Bunyip, once you've got some resident lefty trolls you're there.

    3. Perhaps, talking of geese, you should take another gander.
      A whiff of venality or a poisoning stench can surely grow more pungent, whether accompanied by a cacophony or not.

    4. You're a bitter,strange old thing,numbers.

      The truth is, the stench from the Labor party members,young and old alike, grows ever more pungent day by day.

      The party's dying from its own corruption and your futile lashing out won't stop its revealing.

    5. Hey I know you have access to the internet so you're already half way to a dictionary.

      2. acutely distressing to the feelings or mind; poignant.
      3. caustic, biting, or sharply expressive: pungent remarks.

      You were wrong about the spelling of "licorice" too as there are two perfectly acceptable spellings. And ice-cream was clutching at straws.

      Who exactly are you trying to make look stupid here Numbers?

    6. Hi Numbers,

      What's with you lefties and always wanting to boss people around? "Go to bed before you "

      Hey if you had risen above a conscript cook you would know that you only give orfers that stand a chance of being obeyed.

    7. 1735099: Please come back to Plum Village; you can forget and forgive here...

    8. Setting the record straight for the ignorant no-name above.
      I did peel spuds once or twice on mess duty in Singleton in 1969 at Rookies, but after that my posting as an Infantry rifleman (7RAR SVN 1970) meant my only encounters with potatoes were in highly processed form in ration packs. These particular spuds were probably peeled stateside.
      Your demeaning of my service (and by inference the more than 19000 conscripts who served in Vietnam) is shameful. Crawl back into your hole and stay there.

    9. So like a leftie... Able to dish the abuse out, but not able to take it when it returns at full speed...

      ...much like a conscript cook. Not many of them were able to take returns of what they dished out either.....

    10. Coward - no name - no brains - no decency, and you wouldn't recognise a "leftie" if he/she/it bit you on the backside.
      Your obsession with army cooks needs treatment. Find a good trick cyclist.........

    11. As previously mentioned, the good Prof's use of the English language in the example you've chosen to pick on, is unequivocally correct. You clearly have a tin ear. You are out of your intellectual depth on this blog. Stick to Playschool.

      And I suggest an appointment with the trick cyclist is urgently required by your nit-picking self for clear anger management issues. If you are prepared to dish it out, disguised as Life By The Numbers, then you should have the balls to suck it up when it's returned in spades. See: Playschool (above)

      You've only confirmed my belief, nurtured from long experience, that any ex-service personnel who trot that service out to somehow justify or give added import to their expressed views are the ones who have the least to brag about.

      And 1735099? That's your real name, is it?

    12. Unpleasant as it may be for you to consider the fairly recent past, which those of your persuasion would love to forget, I’ll remind you that I was given that tag by the military.
      I didn't ask for it and figure that seeing it was a gift, I guess I can use it as I please.
      The fact that you find my use of it troubling is unsurprising.
      Most Conservatives find it difficult to manage more than one concept at a time. For these individuals, to be confronted with the notion that one can honour a soldier for his service whilst at the same time condemning the lies and platitudes that characterised justification for the war he was involved in is deeply unsettling.
      That is precisely why I use it – to enjoy the dissonance it causes – and it works every time. If my views agreed with yours (and Bunyips) you’d applaud my tag. Its use exposes cant and bigotry very effectively.
      If you were too young to share in the politics of the era I’m discussing, I suggest you read Paul Ham’s “Vietnam, the Australian War”. It's a good primer.
      If, on the other hand, you were old enough to vote in say, 1969, and you voted for the Coalition, you owe me (and some 19000 other conscripts) a profound apology.

    13. If you were a soldier under my command, it's quite likely that you may have found yourself picking up quite a few lead scout jobs. They'd get you eventually.

    14. Ah...the routine response of the ratbag right - if he disagrees with you, shoot him.
      Didn't work in Vietnam, of course. The ORs always outnumbered the Officers.

    15. Which displays your rather specialised memories of that War. Apparently, you were spanked often, weren't you?


    16. "spanked often"
      Minicapt fantasising about his hitherto secret vice........

  10. Hodges will be older and wiser when this all passes -- the path to wisdom punishment enough in itself. What he should do is come forward.

  11. It is only the left that sees passion as a virtue.
    Remember when economic rationalist was a term of derision?

    Labor may try to misuse the language but their passion will always let them down.

  12. The Old and Unimproved DaveFebruary 15, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    Hodges' plan....not as elegant as Shakespeare, but just as violent.

  13. But where is Hodges? do we have to report him to the police as a missing person?

    1. Where's Hodges ?
      I think it's high time that speculation began about this - for his disappearance has been the most effective part of the whole operation. Perhaps it was part of the plan from the outset, but then I would have to admit some degree of competence on the part of the planners.

      My speculation : McTernan has lined up a nice position for young Hodges in some PR firm in the UK, far away from Oz, where he will shortly believe he did nothing wrong, as nothing more terrible than a minor career setback has occurred.

  14. Whoa! Powerful stuff, Professor - powerful stuff indeed!

    The ever-growing evidence is that of a deliberate attempt by the immoral, leading the inexperienced, on a quest for the unobtainable, hopelessly stymied by the incompetency of the internal.

    The real wonder is how they could have believed that it was actually obtainable - if not for the helpful assistance of an unbelievably compliant friendly press in full cahoots with the ABC (ALP Broadcasting Commission).

    Less, of course, Chris Uhlmann of 7.30 whose truly impartial performance has so far been absolutely magnificent.

    However did the hopeless ABC lefty types stuff up so badly that Chris was allowed to take over from "Red" Kerry O'Brien? Thank you, God, for small mercies and wonderful miracles!