Saturday, February 25, 2012

In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning

IMAGINE, if you will, that you are a member of the ALP caucus, it is already Sunday night and your mood is not as it should be on that typically most relaxed of any week’s evenings.  Your phone has been ringing for days, some calls bringing mates’ gossip and the latest word on who is said to be lining up with whom. These you don’t mind, whispers being the mother’s milk of politics. Other calls are less welcome. Those are the ones from the enforcers, the numbers men keen to be sure your vote in the morrow’s spill will be cast as promised. Of course it will be, comrade, you reply every time, perhaps adding by way of reassurance some loyalist’s gush about party discipline being the foremost virtue. The calls peter out as the clock advances, so that midnight brings the perverse luxury of undistracted reflection.

Of course you will vote as your faction dictates in the morning’s secret ballot, which isn’t secret at all, and isn’t that a grand joke! Labor rules say you must show your vote to a witness before dropping it in the hat, just so there can be no treachery. It’s the Labor way -- yes, treachery, too -- and if a head-kicker were to ring up right this second, you could supply a ready earful of boilerplate about the sanctity of party traditions. But the call doesn’t come, so your focus stays on all the polls’ message, which is unvarying and of doom, and also on the latest headlines, shockers every one.

There is that NSW police raid on the home of Craig Thomson’s printer mate, for example, the one who was so free with handing out credit cards to people who gave him extraordinarily lucrative contracts. Being a former union lawyer, like almost all your caucus colleagues, you don’t need to be told what the wallopers might find on the hard drives they hauled away. And if Thommo is for the high jump, then it’s election time and you are …. gulp…. looking for a new job. That political apprenticeship at uni, the stint as an electoral officer in some outer suburban wasteland, the Trades Hall jump and from there to a minister’s staff – you ticked every bloody box. Then it was preselection, the big day handing out how-to-votes, and your arse planted comfortably on the green upholstery ever since. If someone other than a dominatrix puts the cuffs on Craig, pffft, all those years of grease and effort wasted.

If only you weren’t tied to Gillard, how could you go past Rudd? The polls say he would give you a chance, and Gillard offers nothing of the kind. In the wee small hours of the morning you lie awake  and think of salvation in cracks and fissures. How many others in besieged electorates across the nation must be longing at that very moment for the freedom to swallow personal disdain and back that smug little twerp from Queensland?

It just isn’t fair! This isn’t the way it is supposed to work, you tell yourself as the sense of injustice builds. There was always self-interest in loyalty – rewards, promotions, your latest patron’s help to an ever-higher rung on the party’s ladder. But this time it is all wrong. Backing Gillard as promised means oblivion, and you have so much yet to give Australia and the party. This time loyalty brings a terrible cost.

If you can sleep at all, it is with dreams of Rudd regaining the leadership and how that might, just might, work out. A stunt or two – delaying the carbon tax would be a neat idea – and he really could pull it off, get you re-elected before voters begin to remember why they came to hate him the first time around. A bit of help from the press gallery would be a big assist, but that is a given.  It would be a long-shot with Rudd, but Gillard is a no-shot.

As the cock crows you wonder about betrayal, which you prefer to cast as common sense.

Who knows? The comrade who must inspect your ballot, perhaps he is having the very same thoughts, especially about cracks and fissures……

UPDATE: Apparently Albanese did his thinking last night. He's backing Rudd.


  1. Brilliant Prof. Brings to mind Yeats' poem Circus Animals Desertion (an apt title for another ALP farce). These last lines might mean something to the individual ALP caucus members:
    "Now that my ladder's gone,
    I must lie down where all the ladders start
    In the foul rag and bone shop of the heart"

  2. Let there lots of blood and guts Monday AM

  3. Brilliant "If someone other than a dominatrix puts the cuffs on Craig"

  4. The Old and Unimproved DaveFebruary 25, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    Ah, Union traditions.....

    A died-in-the-wool Union Rep, visiting branches up the country, decided to check out the local brothels.

    When he got to the first one, he asked the Madam, "Is this a Union shop ?"

    "No," she replied.

    "Well, if I pay you $100.00, what cut do the girls get?"

    "The house gets $80.00 and the girls get $20.00."

    Outraged at such unfair dealings, the man stomped off down the street in search of a more equitable, hopefully unionised, shop.

    His search continued until finally he reached a brothel where the Madam responded, "Why, yes sir, this IS a Union house."

    The man asked, "And if I pay you $100.00, what cut do the girls get?"

    "The girls get $80.00 and the house gets $20."

    "That's more like it!" the Union Rep said.

    He handed the Madam $100.00, looked around the room and pointed to a stunningly attractive blonde.

    "I'd like her for the night," he said.

    "I'm sure you would, sir," said the Madam, then gesturing to an 85 year old woman in the corner, "but Madge here has seniority."

    1. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.February 26, 2012 at 6:37 PM

      And that Union guy hadn't even got to the demarcation disputes that might arise in such a tightly controlled environment, Dave. :)

  5. I fear you're right Professor - which means the irksome Rudd will be back, smugger and more determined than ever to cast us all in his own warped and destructive vision.
    If ONLY we could have an election- NOW!!!

  6. My Tv is already so annoying Im on to the DVDs for company.

    Icannot bear to think of the little prick's smug "thank you s" should he win on Monday.

    I do hope the lying slapper--aka Gingerella-- prevails,as Tony regularly eats her for canapes.

    Besides, the rest of the snivelling dirt shovelling incompetents in her Circus troupe want her and we don't , so I say let them keep her!

    1. Agreed, but if only she'd shut up - but then it's best for the next election result that she doesn't.

  7. Journos keep saying that Rudd is popular in Queensland. Maybe with staged managed school children and predictably fawning uni students - but to the polulus majorus he's about as popular as a pork chop in a synagogue. Fair dunkum, even rusted on Laborites want to see the back of him.

  8. You'd have to suspect there's a gallery embed or two who's staring at the ceiling as well. Wondering if those whispers that their boss' boss is starting to question how shareholder value is being enhanced by toeing the line all the time, are true.
    That the bureau budget is being looked at by someone who doesn't appreciate the value of contacts and that to be an insider, the insider's game has to be played.
    The latest contract is solid, but if the bean counters want to drop a body, someone from upstairs is going to recommend the career opportunities of some general reporting vacancy in Brisbane (Brisbane!).
    So it might be time to rise above the crowd and get a little bloody.

  9. But you forget Professor how much they collectively hate Rudd.

    The ALP are all on the same bus together, are all drinking the same Kool-Aid together and quite happy to drive over that cliff together and crash and burn in one orgasmic supreme fireball!

    One flash of brilliance. One Last Hurrah before the curtain comes down! That's the light on the hill they keep talking about!

    There can be no other way.

    No escape. The die is cast and Rudd must be made an example of. We had to destroy the Party so we could save our beloved ALP. That kind of logic makes sense for a heroic true believer type comrade! hehe...

  10. Forlorn times ahead for the ALP.

  11. When the whites deserted South Africa as the election of the first black majority government loomed in the early 1990s, it was called the chicken run. The ALP's chicken run probably won't begin until late Sunday night,as the perfessor suggests, when the scared little invertebrates of the ALP backbench realise the electoral armageddon that would follow Gillard's re-election. Albanese is the latest senior minister to declare for Rudd at lunchtime today; I expect Albo will start a stampede.

  12. And the Minister remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, "before the cock crows today; you will deny Gillard three times." And he went out and wept bitterly.

  13. The public evisceration this week of Team Labor has been worth the wait. Whoever accepts the chalice on Monday should make little difference to their eventual fate at the next election (hopefully, nearly upon us!)

    One problem I see is the role of MSM journalists, most of whom are bound to file this fiasco away, never to let it see the light of day again and the voting Home & Awayers will instantly forget how mobsters tend to behave. Australian voters must never be allowed to forget the events of this particular week. This should be a real eye-opener into the machinations of Team Labor behaviour and its lack of ethics.

    And history is bound to repeat.

    Of course, Mr. Thomson will keep polishing his seat. The Law works in mysterious ways when a government's fate rests on a particular outcome.


    1. "Australian voters must never be allowed to forget the events of this particular week"
      Perhaps there's someting else Australian voters should never be allowed to forget. Remember 1969? Labor outpolled the Coalition on the two-party-preferred vote. The Tories' majority was reduced from 45 seats to 7. Without the DLP's practice of preferencing against Labor, Whitlam would have become Prime Minister.
      I have reason to remember that election well, because my unit was at Canungra preparing for Vietnam, and as a conscript I was denied a vote - the Coalition's idea of democracy at the time....
      Not long after, Gorton (sitting PM) was booted and McMahon elected leader in March 1971 after Fraser denounced Gorton on the floor of the house.
      Fraser said Gorton was "not fit to hold the great office of Prime Minister".
      You're right - being denied a vote whilst at the same time being expected to fight for a government in a war for democracy should not be forgotten. Only Tories couldn’t see the irony.
      The sacking of a sitting PM should also not be forgotten....

    2. Oh dry your eyes you big sook.

      The voting age was 21 at the time whether you were a conscript or not.

      So you went to Vietnam and helped win the cold war. Well done. Now stop whinging and get over it.


    3. Who are these Tories of whom you speak?

    4. Really .. the only thing you've done with your life, the defining moment that set up the rest of your life .. and you didn't even volunteer.

      Sadly it appears to have not quite made a man of you, you still sound like a big girl.

      On the last week, yes what a miserable and obsessed with themselves, bunch of over privileged union thugs the ALP has become, the career highpoint for the elite of shop stewards.

      The ABC is all puffed up because Julia is finally (after a year and a half in power) sounding all foisty and is finally sounding Prime Ministerial, and why .. well it's what she spent 11 years in opposition doing, honing the one on one combative dust up.

      Seriously, the only time she sounds confidant and competent, is when she is unloading on someone .. what a complete and utter bitch. (imagine if you'd married her, what the divorce would be like!)

    5. Numbers, you weren't denied a vote because you were a conscript, but because you were under 21yo. Labor governments prior to that time had seen no need to change that policy.

    6. So, Numbers, you're both old AND stupid. And possibly senile. There was no Tory conspiracy to deny 20-year-old nashos the vote (I was balloted out two years after your marble fell the wrong way). In the 1960s, the entire world (except Czechoslovakia and South Africa) maintained a minimum voting age of 21. The US didn't drop the age to 18 until 1971; the UK in 1970 and Australia 1973. Don't worry, I was also one of the Gough Youth in 1972. It's only after I grew up that I realised Whitlam's was the third-worst government in Australian history after Rudd (2007-10) and Gillard (2010-12). Once again, the evil Tories now have to be the adults cleaning up the national arson of the delinquent teenagers - this time the Labor-Loony Green coalition.

    7. Oh dear Numbers, didn't they let you know? The record shows you turned 21 in mid '68.

      Did you forget to register?

      Just keep trundling around behind that wobbly shopping trolley full of distorted recollections, champ, mumbling incoherently at passing cars.

    8. Mick, Tom et al clearly demonstrate the mindset of the arch-Conservative by jumping to conclusions based on ignorance.
      I didn't vote (despite being 22 at the time) because I wasn't allowed to. The army made no arrangements for transport to the polling booth. When I told the duty corporal that I would walk I was threatened with an A4 (a charge - in this case AWOL).
      For Deadman - who obviously doesn't get out much - In Australia, "Tory" is used as a pejorative term by members of the Australian Labor Party to refer to members of the conservative coalition Liberal and National parties. (A. W. Sparkes, Talking politics: a wordbook (1994)
      I'm not a member of the ALP, by the way.
      Again, the only response to this inconvenient reminder of the history of Tory totalitarianism is an ad hominem attack. Grow up...

    9. "...and as a conscript I was denied a vote - the Coalition's idea of democracy at the time...."

      "The army made no arrangements for transport to the polling booth."

      So whose fault was it, the Coalition or the army?

      And fancy you being more scared of a puny charge than standing up for your democratic rights.


    10. "So whose fault was it, the Coalition or the army?"
      In the final analysis, every Tory who voted Liberal, DLP or National Party in 1969. Many of you are still out there - it's time for an apology.
      "And fancy you being more scared of a puny charge than standing up for your democratic rights."
      I was young and my sense of justice not fully developed. Experiences in SVN and since have changed that. Given the inanities posted here, there are many who haven’t changed their mindset since the days of B. A. Santamaria.

    11. "In the final analysis, every Tory who voted Liberal, DLP or National Party in 1969."

      Comedy gold! First it was the Coalition, then the army, and now the voters. Keep crying mate, sooner or later someone may feel sorry for you.

      "I was young and my sense of justice not fully developed."

      Now you're old and your sense of justice is still not fully developed, as opposed to your misplaced sense of victim hood.


    12. "misplaced sense of victim hood"
      Sorry, I don't conform to the tired cliché.
      In fact I've done OK out of my service - post-grad qualifications on a rehab fellowship - war service home loan - fulfilling and successful career and the enduring friendship of section mates that will endure for the rest of our lives.
      I've done a damn sight better than many, but a glance at the statistics reveals there are many veterans who continue to suffer as a result of a phenomenon best described by Ted Serong: 'We did not go to Vietnam; we were sent, by the people of Australia. The fact that those same people, having sent us, chose to spit upon us when we returned remains our deepest national shame ...’
      Based on what has been recently posted here, it continues.
      And if you want to talk about victims, consider this (from Paul Ham's excellent "Vietnam - The Australian War") p 577 -
      “The human cost of the war, in terms of personal grief and moral
      degradation, is immeasurable. In our helplessness, we surrender to statistics:
      520 Australian soldiers dead and about 3,000 wounded; 58,193 Americans
      killed and about 300,000 wounded; 220,357 South Vietnamese troops dead
      or missing in action and 1.17 million wounded; 666,000 Viet Cong and
      North Vietnamese troops dead, with the possibility that a third were civilians
      mistaken for enemy troops or deemed legitimate targets. Of South
      Vietnamese civilian casualties, about 325,000 were confirmed killed (rising to
      million, depending on your source and definition of a 'civilian'), 30 per cent
      - whom were children younger than 13. In total, an estimated 65,000 North
      Vietnamese civilians died as a result of US bombing. The Viet Cong
      assassinated 36,725 civilians between 1957 and 1972; 47the North Vietnamese
      and/or Viet Cong assassinated 166,000 South Vietnamese civilians. About
      three million Vietnamese people are believed to have suffered herbicide
      poisoning. In total, 3.5 million people died in Vietnam over fifteen years.”
      All that brought to you by a deluded conservatism which for years used the myth of the Domino theory to terrify the Australian electorate into submission until the point was reached in 1969-70 when it collapsed like a pricked balloon.
      So now the unfortunate asylum-seekers are demonised and the politics of fear and loathing has emerged from the cesspool in which it lay until resurrected by John Howard in August 2001.

    13. "Sorry, I don't conform to the tired (victimhood) cliché."

      Sorry, but you do. You were whinging that you are a victim of the Coalition… or was it the army…oh that’s right, it was the voters.

      "The fact that those same people, having sent us, chose to spit upon us when we returned remains our deepest national shame..."

      Are you sure those who sent you were the same ones spitting? After all, you blame the "Tory" voters for sending you. The spitters looked more like hippies to me.

      "And if you want to talk about victims..."

      No I don’t. That would be you. And thanks for the stats. Who’d have guessed that people die in war?

      "All that brought to you by a deluded conservatism..."

      Oh dear. History isn’t your strong point is it. Unless you consider that Kennedy, Johnson, Ho Chi Minh and all his Communist buddies were conservatives. In which case maybe comprehension isn’t your strongpoint either.

      "So now the unfortunate asylum-seekers are demonised..."

      Yes, I’d change the subject too if I was you.


    14. I thank you, 1735099, for conceding that you gratuitously use an archaic and irrelevant term of abuse as a pejorative “to refer to members of the conservative coalition” (but which you also use for calumniating even those who voted for the DLP).
      So much for civility, eh.
      Oh, I don’t get out much because I’m disabled; thanks for mentioning that.

    15. Sounds like someone needs a hug ..

    16. Sounds like it's well past time for someone to move forward.

  14. Who cares. Same nonsense, different drunk sailor at the helm, steering course for the nearest iceberg.

  15. In the wee small hours of the morning .... will the time-server just begin to ask "Why oh why did I vote for that f**ing carbon tax? Could it be that the basket weavers were spouting BS?"

    Then reality dawns with the dawn.

    "The bruvvers will be checking my ballot. I owe THEM".

    Ah just a brief moment of reflection in the wee small hours. Sorry it's a fantasy.


  16. Even Labor's much vaunted faceless men don't seem to be able to get this vote organised. I think they may have given up after their last effort.

  17. Andrew Bold describes Albanese as a “gentleman” although Andrew has the good grace to amend that descriptor later.
    Anthony Norman Albanese is an attack dog, his rank viciousness knows no bounds. His contempt for Australians is palpable. Remember the ‘convoy of no consequence’ and the belittling of the elderly because they are perceived as non Labor? He and Gillard are equally repulsive, and go together so well. That is why I’m bemused that Albanese, and the other nasty piece of work in the Senate, Cameron, have both elected to back Rudd. Whilst Rudd is an obnoxious little turd, he is hardly socialist-bordering-on communist.
    Another oddity is that both Albanese and Cameron have no real biographies. Anthony Norman is listed as being born somewhere in North Victoria of Italian-Irish extraction, and Cameron as being born in Scotland and emigrating to Australia. That’s it. Now most politicians have such enormous egos that they love to see voluminous biographies of themselves. Gillard is case in point, and Rudd….well he seems to make his own up as he goes along.
    To see two such grossly nasty people as Albanese and Cameron just “arrive” in politics is just… troubling.
    Do they have something to hide? Should not an investigative journalist start ferreting about for skeletons?

    1. Bolt's amendment was to alter his accolade from "gentleman" to "man of honor" Yea Gods I'm not sure which is more inaccurate.He must surely just be trying to drum up some higher profile starters for his TV program which is suffering from a surfeit of second raters.

    2. You put "investigative" next to "journalist" as though the words could ever produce something other than an oxymoron in 2012...

  18. Forgive me if I've got the maths wrong, but doesn't the ALP have a two-slimebag buffer since Slippery Pete Slipper slipped in? So neither Rudd quitting nor Thommo getting the cuffs from a non-dominatrix individually would hurt them?

  19. For those of us not privy to the machinations of the professional politician, that post was exceptional; history, knowledge and insight wrapped up in searing, thoughtful and evocative prose that puts the nation's acknowledged writers to shame. Five or so minutes reading that was as beneficial as the weeks worth of newspaper coverage.

    1. Thank you, Anonymous - someone who appreciates my journalistic capacities.
      "searing" - I like that...

  20. That was brilliant Bunyip. Thanks mate.