Lords and Ladies, a morality tale …


The spruiker

Lords and Ladies, I invite you on a journey into a world that is imaginable to only a few. A frightening world where nothing is what it seems. Your guide will be our jester Tiny-er-er O’penmouth. He will make you laugh. He will make you cry. You will find ecstasy in his grovelling grace. You will find despair in his jocular deeds. He will make servile all creatures and bring them before your court. Through his own halls of merriment he will lead you. From within his paper fortress he will guide you. In a maze he will leave you. Be thankful this is not your kingdom — or is it?

The jester’s tale

Outside the towers of the Lords and Ladies, the land is being enveloped by darkness. A pestilence has descended.

See the morbid peasant creatures dwelling there wailing for sustenance, crying for relief from their suffering, as Tiny-er-er O’penmouth merrily jangles past, his bells ringing from his knees and cuffs. The peasants are led off to work in the dank fields and at the smoking forges before returning to their hovels outside the castle walls. And yet there are some that run to him when they hear Tiny-er-er O’penmouth jingling past. Sometimes they believe his paper fortress will also shield them and they turn their anger away from the castle gates. Some follow his every sound, smile at his every whim — or at least feign they do. But darker figures steal away to gather in quiet corners, fingers playing tentatively over matches in their ragged coat pockets.

A fabled paper castle surrounds Tiny-er-er wherever he goes. The Lords and Ladies convinced Tiny-er-er O’penmouth it is for his protection, that the peasants can never harm him while he lives within its invisible paper walls. It is not real. The Lords and Ladies know it but don’t dare tell Tiny-er-er, nor ever let the peasants in on their secret. He flirts with the gold of the rich, plays with the fears of the peasants and belittles their world outside his hall, safe in the knowledge that his paper walls safeguard him.

Safe within his paper walls, Tiny-er-er O’penmouth revels in masquerading as a peasant, wandering the boggy roads, drifting aimlessly into their fields and … doing nothing! Just standing there as if his very presence enriches their day, hoping a passing Lord or Lady may notice him keeping their villeins contented.

A drunken vagabond staggers along the road and tumbles into the mud as Tiny-er-er catches him up. ‘Why, er, aren’t you, er, at your work?’ he demands of the fallen serf, now flailing in the mud, trying to swim away from the bizarre apparition beside him. This reduced being once made fine carriages for the Lords and Ladies before they decided better and cheaper carriages were to be had from the farthest parts of their kingdom. He slurs and gurgles his story through the wet earth filling his mouth. ‘Er, shit happens!’ Tiny-er-er answers the muddied revelations. ‘If you, er, do not work, you can, er, be a ,er, er, a knight. Yes, I, Tiny-er-er O’penmouth, can, er, make you a knight.’ Tiny-er-er O’penmouth draws his dagger and annoints the head of the prostrate vagabond before deftly slashing the dagger across his breeches, laying bare his buttocks. ‘Look! Now you really have, er, the arse out of your, er, breeches! And your, er, carriages were crap,’ he sniggers while still bending over the fallen figure.

He straightens from the forlorn fallen vagabond, laughs raucously and, with gestures, entreats passers-by to join him. They look behind. They look ahead. They draw their stale breaths, then turn away as a faint titter quickly fades, before they drift on in silence. ‘Come one, come, er, all,’ he calls to them. ‘I can make you all Lords, er, Ladies. Or Lords, er, yes, Lords.’ He chortles at his own jest but the shuffling peasants do not.

One scrawny bone-drawn figure (Tiny-er-er cannot even tell if it is male or female) from the rear of that now more distant throng calls, ‘Give us food.’

Tiny-er-er’s bells ring as he bobbles with mirth. ‘You can, er, have food when you, er, work, er, yes, work.’

‘We already work,’ comes the fading shout.

‘Then, er, er, you must, er, work harder. How can our Lords and, er, Lords, er, look after you if you, er, do not work harder.’ The throng, shuffling on, shuffling away, no longer hears him.

The Lords and Ladies, with Tiny-er-er’s vainglorious consent, are selling the peasants’ farms or digging their ground in search of mythical riches, destroying their homes, making their land barren and desolate, and beseeching them to work ever harder, ever longer. In a frivolous gesture, Tiny-er-er has been known to take the bread from the hands of lonely mothers feeding their babes: ‘The Lords and Ladies need, er, this, er, this more than you’. He says it is just a joke, and it is, for lonely mothers have no bread.

The next step in Tiny-er-er O’penmouth’s journey takes us to his own great hall, a vast, forbidding room in shades of green where jesters, clowns and goblins gather behind him. Sometimes they rush to make their jokes but Tiny-er-er much prefers his own. Sometimes he will run from that place for no reason — it is just his humour. Sometimes he will er, er, orate in his own, er, manner. He will make pronouncements there that please his Lords and Ladies even if they take little notice. He invites passing peasants into his hall to mill in bewilderment opposite him. The Lords and Ladies think this is good. They think it is entertaining. Tiny-er-er O’penmouth also thinks it entertaining. He rails against the peasants and goads them to rail back. Sometimes they do. Sometimes their barbs sting but no-one outside that hall shall ever know. It is Tiny-er-er’s secret place, shielded within his paper castle. The Lords and Ladies are pleased when he is there where his jesting can do no damage to them. Let him rail against the peasants for his own enjoyment, and that of those he chooses to seat behind him, for there he is in a world of his own, a basically harmless world to the Lords and Ladies, and if it keeps him amused, well, just leave him there.

Occasionally a goblin escapes from Tiny-er-er O’penmouth’s hall and in its shrill, prattling manner makes declarations that even the Lords and Ladies dare not mention beyond the veil of their castle gates. That does not please the Lords and Ladies for the goblins scare the peasants and they grow restless, the matches rustling in their ragged coat pockets.

Tiny-er-er O’penmouth sometimes likes to believe himself a Lord, and disappears to far parts of the kingdom, riding past peasants in a borrowed carriage, waving fleetingly as he passes. ‘Work harder!’ he exhorts them from his carriage window. The peasants do not have time to look up from their work.

He meets other Lords in these furthermost regions and tells them he is saving their world from them, er, that should be ‘for’ them — Tiny-er-er O’penmouth makes that same mistake himself. The Lords are left bemused at this jester entreating them, nay, commanding them, to do as he says. He presents a cornucopia of plans and thoughts, often no more than thoughts, to make a brighter world for Lords and Ladies, as long as that morbid mass of peasants keeps its place. His thoughts wander and change rapidly. What he says today he does not mean tomorrow but that only enhances his jests.

‘I will send you bright, er, orange boats,’ he tells a Lord who rules a land of land without water. When the Lord laughs, thinking it no more than a jester’s jest, Tiny-er-er repeats his offer. ‘I can, er, fill them, er, with peasants,’ he adds. ‘I can take your peasants and send, er, then send them back again.’ The Lord shakes his head and turns away unable to take any more of this strange stranger’s world. ‘I can, er, have the wheelrights give them, er, wheels …’ he suggests plaintively to the departing Lord before departing in his own borrowed carriage to seek out another Lord who may like his orange boats.

His visits are inevitably brief for which these distant Lords are thankful beyond measure. Tiny-er-er O’penmouth has so many jests to pass on to so many. He must return to his great hall and belittle the peasants again — he does enjoy that and it pleases the Lords and Ladies, for although the peasants in the fields and at the forges do not hear of his escapades there, he ensures the Lords and Ladies do. He will whisper his feats in quiet corners of their courtyards, leave short notes praising his own deeds in their dingy dining halls. Oh yes, he humours them. How else can a jester survive in this world of the Lords and Ladies without keeping their amusement.

But outside, fingers pluck at matches in ragged coat pockets.

Now in the peasants’ world the trees are dying, left as lifeless looming shadows over the creatures below. The peasants think they know why but Tiny-er-er O’penmouth says God has given the trees rest and they will return when they wake.

‘But what about the fires?’ a small hairy figure sitting at the base of one of those trees asks the dismissive Tiny-er-er, who replies: ‘They are lit by the bad, er, peasants, er, with matches, er, encouraged by that nasty caste of, er, tree monks.’

Like the Lords from the far regions, the figure shakes its head as it clambers nimbly high on the dead trunk and Tiny-er-er belatedly discerns the hirsute shape as a tree monk. ‘It is hard to tell, er, a tree monk these, er, days’, Tiny-er-er thinks (as even his thoughts are punctuated by ‘ers’) and ponders whether he should ask the Lords and Ladies to banish all of them. But how to recognise them? — no, it won’t matter if a few innocent peasants are banished as well. He can even use the orange boats — if he can get them back from the lands where he has sent them.

Fires ravage the dying tree trunks and return again and again — a never-ending sea of flame. It was here yesterday, is here today, and will be again tomorrow.

The rivers are also rising but do not refresh the land as once they did, instead turning the land to mud, the settling ash to a black sludge. Little will grow in that mire. The hovels are filling with water and silt.

When the Lords and Ladies demand the fruits of the fields, the milk of the herds, and the fatted calf, there is none left to bring, no peasant to bring them. The pestilence on the land and the people has all but destroyed the peasants’ world. Some have built their houses higher and wait there fearful of what may next befall them. Many have taken to the slippery sludge of the roads, seeking shelter elsewhere, anywhere but the land of Tiny-er-er O’penmouth, any land that knows the fires will keep returning, that water is flooding the fields and in some unnatural way no longer receding.

Tiny-er-er’s Lords and Ladies shelter in their castles, hidden from the peasants. They feel safer there. They have faith their stone walls will not burn, that their heavy gates will keep back the water.

Tiny-er-er O’penmouth still roams the desolation safe in his paper castle. There are no fires or floods there.

And outside, fingers play purposefully with the matches in ragged coat pockets.

It is extremely hot. It is extremely cold. It is a land of extremes — more extreme than it has ever been in the life of Tiny-er-er O’penmouth. But the Lords and Ladies are safe inside their castle walls.

For many days not one soul has stirred from the stone fortress where the rich people live
No one came and no one went
Fear can do many strange things
And even though water ran low
Their mouths burnt and bellys caked dry
Not one person set a foot outside
No one had that much courage
For they feared the peasants and their world outside
So they played it safe and didn’t move
But one by one they perished and died*

* from ‘The Black Plague’ on Winds of Change, Eric Burdon and the (new) Animals, 1967


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TPS Team

27/04/2014'And now for something completely different' from our well-known, very imaginative Sword-smith, Ken Wolff!

Ad astra

27/04/2014Ken What a delightful piece of satire you have penned. As with all clever satire, the murky truth hides behind the façade. Tiny-er-er O’penmouth’s paper castle is all that shields him from the peasants angrily fondling their matches. How they would enjoy burning down his castle. But the Lords and Ladies of the paper castle stand guard. Never would they defend the peasants; never would they cry out in protest at unfairness, injustice, or even persecution. They believe that servile peasants struggling to survive, weakened by starvation and neglect will not, cannot revolt. They think such subjects, preoccupied with their continued subsistence day after day, would never storm the barricades. To reconcile his behaviour with his Jesuit upbringing, Tiny-er-er O’penmouth has to believe in the ‘Strict Father’ model of parenting, where self reliance, self discipline, obedience to the father, punishment for misdemeanors, adherence to law and order and fiscal rectitude, is the only morality that counts. All else is weakness. Nurturance of children, no matter how vulnerable, is the retreat of feeble parents, unwilling to discipline, unprepared to teach children to be tough, to be self-reliant, to be able to live within their means. Tiny-er-er O’penmouth knows that prosperous, well-fed, lavishly clothed, stylishly housed Lords and Ladies will protect his power, so long as the serfs are subjugated, so long as they are kept frail, weak, and powerless. So he seeks to disable them still more. He believes that anxiety, uncertainty, paltry education, unemployment, poor jobs, hunger, meagre nutrition, scant access to health care, polluted air, and a deteriorating environment will keep them in check. Their support is of no consequence to Tiny-er-er O’penmouth; why should he care about their plight? What Tiny-er-er O’penmouth deludedly believes as he sits in his fantasy land is that the peasants will never gain the strength to revolt and storm his paper castle to burn it down. Tiny-er-er O’penmouth is a fool.

Casablanca

28/04/2014OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Easter to ANZAC 2014: [b]Compromise, hypocrisy, inconsistency & deception + Anzackery [/b] Posted at: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/CC-2014-04-19.aspx [i]I decided not to post Casablanca's Cache in the comments section to save space. What do you think? [/i] OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Janet (j4gypsy)

28/04/2014Ken, your satirical depiction of Tiny-er-er is such clever wordplay. Importantly, you have captured the very essence of the tiny tiny one - a man who has moved into a position way beyond the capacity of his character. Directcurrent: welcome (or welcome back). It is alarming that we are hearing nothing about the changing regulations around adoption. Casablanca: it's so good to find you and the Cache here again this morning. I think not putting the full list directly into the comments, but just the link to the Cache, is an excellent idea and will allow readers to navigate the comments more easily.

Pappinbarra Fox

28/04/2014j4g It is calle dthe Peter Principle - a person is promoted to the level of their incompetence. Unfortunately he people who promoted this one (i.e. the parliamentary liberal party - by just 1 remember)were themsleves already promoted to their level of imncompetence and therefore lacking the capacity to make a perspicious judgment. Just goes to show how competent Tony Windsor and Rob Oakshot actually were.

Ken

28/04/2014Directcurrent Welcome and thank you for your comment. Yes, I'm afraid that all satire is based on truth and is perhaps just another way of revealing it. But as in the ending of the piece, I am hopeful that the Lords and Ladies will come undone by their own fears of the peasants and, with them, will come the fall of Tiny-er-er O'penmouth. Your comment on more of Tiny-er-er's actions, suggests that there is scope for more pieces on 'the misadventures of Tiny-er-er O'penmouth'.

Ken

28/04/2014Ad and Jan thank you. Ad, everything you say is true - for Tiny-er-er, that is :-) But don't forget, this is a morality tale and the moral, and sting, is in the tail. The Lords and Ladies can create their own undoing by being so far removed from the peasants, from their fear of the peasants, and from the desolation they are creating which, to use a collquial cliche, will come back to bite them on the bum! Jan Yes, for a jester he has delusions of grandeur, fostered by the Lords and Ladies and his belief in the protection of his paper castle. One day the peasants will see beyond his jests and the matches will come out of the pockets.

Ken

28/04/2014Pappinbarra Fox Agree with your comment about Windsor and Oakeshott. Perhaps Windsor should have formed a government in the last parliament with the support of the ALP. The PM only has to have 'the confidence of the House' and while the party with the greater number is usually invited first to form a government, there is no rule that says this has to be the case. It is all a question of 'confidence'. People feared that if a government could not be formed, there would be another election, but the third option, to which there appears to be no legal impediment, was Tony Windsor forming a government as long as he could maintain the confidence of the house. It would have made for a more interesting time and probably a better parliament.:-)

2353

28/04/2014The problem with Windsor forming the Government would have been the claims of illegitimate etc. Its my contention that the LNP was always going to sail close to the wind as 'they wuz robbed' in their opinion. Windsor might have handled it better - but he would have also had to negotiate with the ALP and Greens - both of which want diametrically opposed things at times. I would imagine there would have been some disquiet within the ALP as well - some of them can not see the wood for the trees as has been discussed here and elsewhere on a number of occasions.

2353

28/04/2014Forgot to say that satire is a very powerful sword in you hands Ken - congratulations.

Ken

28/04/20142353 I was also being somewhat tongue-in-cheek about Windsor but, like satire, with an underlying truth. Whatever the other impediments, there was no legal reason why that could not happen. And thank you for your comment on Tiny-er-er and his Lords and Ladies.

jaycee

28/04/2014So here it is..here it all starts coming out under the ICAC. spotlight. A-bleedin'-mazing!...there you go...it seems the Liberal machine was spreading palm-oil as thick if not thicker than the Labor machine....just that it was camouflaged by a more resilient shroud....But for three years all we heard was the shrill clamour of "Labor Corruption !"...."Kick This Mob Out !".....and you know the rest, it is still ringing in our ears. Yet, strangely..mysteriously...there was a blanket of silence thrown over these now so obvious machinations within the Liberal Apparatchiks..a shroud of collusion to conceal the now obvious......by whom, for what reason? Could this be the "smoking gun" of MSM. betrayal?...I mean..all those "Insiders" of the press gallery..all those "most informed journalists"...all those "Senior Political Writer" "professor journalists" and whatever....ALL THAT INSIDER KNOWLEDGE AND POLITICAL WISDOM !! ...who had to explain to us "dumb-ohs",just what that tricky "piece of work"; Gillard..who, we must quote, didn't understand the "context" of what she was saying!...all these "players" from the same "nudge-nudge-club"..drinking at the same "This-one's-on-me-bar"...that same group that would not let the Independent Australia journalist to join the press gallery....Why?....we-all-know-why..NOW!... Through all that undermining and accusations against the Labor govt'..against the Speaker of The House, against the Prime Minister herself!... when they were in office, NOT ONE stood up and said ; "Now wait a minute...just wait a minute"....none...and this is where we see the smoking gun of betrayal, of us, our Parliament, our Nation.......this silence, while the Govt, the Speaker, The House was disgraced and our democracy shamed, is that mute, quietening guilt of collusion by the MSM. journalists who both knew the players and the depth of corruption yet allowed those who were in the employ of a foreign national and his corporation...allowed the vested interests of ONE particular party to go uncriticised while they tore apart the elected govt' of the people. There is no more reason to mince words..no more excuses to be nice, no more reason to absolve nor abstain...for more than three years, we of the progressive side of politics have stood and watched while all those decent policies, those decent social welfare structures and many, many decent people were "put to the sword" of MSM. witch-hunts...it is time now to do some hunting ourselves...hunt those responsible DOWN LIKE DOGS!...hunt them to their dens of lies and deceit...expose them to the spotlight of social media investigation of their backgrounds, their sordid or otherwise affairs, their financial dealings, their friends and confederates...publish their addresses and their families, like was done to others...hunt them down till it hurts and then hunt them down some more....and show them the mercy they showed those they persecuted to career end and to family turmoil and to the very courts themselves.....NO FORGIVENESS!, NO ESCAPE, NO MERCY! In the name of democracy...let the citizens justice prevail !

Casablanca

29/04/2014 CASABLANCA'S CACHE. Tuesday, 29 April, 2014. Posted at: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/CC-2014-04-19.aspx

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29/04/2014Casablanca There is merit in your new method of announcing your Cache. It does reduce the time it takes to scroll to the most recent comment. Are you intending to add days together as before, so that there are two or more days aggregated under the one heading in the Page List? That would obviate the need to archive each day individually in Casablanca's Cache Archive, which incidentally is now an impressive collection of important items.

Ad astra

29/04/2014Folks We are off now back to the South Coast.

2353

29/04/2014To match the somewhat lighter mood of this week - have a look at the following link. http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/news/2014/04/worlds-longest-lab-experiment-produces-result/?emv_mid=994502&emv_rid=3665126334

jaycee

29/04/2014Go figure....this LNP. front bench...let's look at them..; You got Brandis..; about as sensitive as a cast-iron bollard set in 22mpa. concrete who's the arts minister!....you got Pyne...about as self-centered as Atilla the Hun's astrologer in charge of education...then there's that "sick-puppy" ; Dutton in charge of health..Turnbull, who couldn't deliver a straight line connection between two points a hundred yards apart on the Nullabor Plain without dodging and weaving!..and Mesma...what can one say about Mesma's capabilities that couldn't and hasn't been written in triplicate on the pointy tip of a Gucci hat-pin!..... And to top it all off we see 'The Idiot", who can only keep his hands to himself when he's playing solo-doubles in pocket billiards, the minister for women!....the minister for women....now, I ask you....; the minister for women... Fuck me drunk...

TalkTurkey

30/04/2014Greetings Comrades Thanks Ken for a very different sort of a lead article! Sounds a bit like Strawberry Fields Meets the Land of Point! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nehRB1FTeTo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjfKteUBa_s Jaw-dropping effort on Daily Terror by Miranda Devine! :) http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/mirandadevine/index.php Delightful response to dopey blonde bint on @QandA last night!:) http://www.ellistabletalk.com/2014/04/28/an-open-letter-to-mark-scott/ Australians are gradually getting it Comrades. Tiny-er-er O’penmouth's paper realm has no depth and will provide no succour when he has conned them out of their rightful future. They are not going to like him at all after the Budget, whatever it might be. Palmhair alone has made him look ridiculous re "Direct Action" (?!) and in several other ways. (What an indictment of our whole system that a buffoon like Clive can talk more sense than the Government and that he can get air time in shiploads where Labor cannot get traction at all.) I just don't understand why Bill Shorten can't get TRUCULENT. Aggressive, argumentative, assertive, accusative, abrasive. He just seems to have flat batteries or something. I don't mean to talk him down, au contraire, I want to talk him UP! I think of the verbal deliveries of Labor greats: Dunstan, Whitlam, yes Hawke and certainly Keating and most definitely *J*U*L*I*A* - inspirational, oratorical, colourful, commanding, poignant - Oh well. Gee I'm not asking Bill to fly, just to flap a bit. But Abborrrtt is not looking good, and not looking well, and flipping out trying to find new sharks to jump, lost planes and war planes and knights and dames and royals don't really have much lasting resonance with the People, as do child care and decent jobs and good education and health care for all. And now, with Abborrrrtt's withering idiocy re Great Big New Taxes, and handouts, and huge borrowings, and LIES LIES LIES that are now being exposed to the public via an MSM which seems to have lost its Bravo for him ... the two-legged sharks in his own crowd are circling restlessly, their movements quickening, their eyes flicking warily from one to another ... And on Twitter, #Libspill is trending! :) Wishful thinking maybe but it's all to the good. The only reason nobody in the Liberals does challenge him of course is they're all too gutless and too gormless. MAYDAY tomorrow folks. Is there any activity on Saturday re it? anybody know?

2353`

30/04/2014TT - I am coming to the opinion that Shorten is playing the long game here. He comes across in the media as being thoughtful, concise and calm - a huge difference from the previous Opposition Leader. It's like those annoying 'but wait theres more' ads on TV. Sooner or later people get sick of them and switch off. Look how well the crafted 'budget emergency' message is going down. The ALP, Greens and Palmer/Katter are openly discussing voting it down in the Senate and the media coverage is discussing what Abbott will do when it happens rather than buying the line that the 'Deficit Tax' and other runoured measures are necessary or desirable. Regarding Mayday, there are various events in Queensland this weekend -> http://campaigns.together.org.au/

jaycee

30/04/2014As regards that "blonde bint" on Q&A...sadly, with both genders in this world, some folk are better qualified for visual rather than intellectual appraisal! I don't think I have ever seen such a liberal scattering of non-sequiturs within so short a period of time...and she wasn't even aware of doing it!

Ken

30/04/2014TT Miranda Devine's piece is fascinating for what it reveals. The Right, Murdoch and the economic rationalists are now seeing Abbott as too far to the Left!:-) He is not doing what they expect. They want less government interference in the markets, lower taxes (particularly for the wealthy - because we all know it is the wealthy that make the economy go round). The one thing they forgot when they supported Abbott in the first place is that he has a Jesuit background and, for all their other faults, Jesuits do have some sort of sense of social justice (just look at the current Pope). It may not be quite the same sense of social justice as the average punter but it is there. It means Abbott has some conflicting issues bewteen his Jesuit and neo-con views. He was ironically supported into government by people and groups who don't believe in government - they think the markets are perfectly capable of running the country with no need for politicians. The conflicts inherent in all this are now emerging as they fight over the spoils.

TalkTurkey

30/04/2014Balance in reporting, NOT! http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/4/30/politics/four-things-know-about-canberra-press-gallery

Casablanca

30/04/2014CASABLANCA'S CACHE. 30 April, 2014[b] 'Government of the people, by the LNP powerbrokers, for the LNP mates'[/b]. Posted at: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/CC-2014-04-19.aspx

Casablanca

30/04/2014 [b]Communities in Control 2014: The Lucky Country Conference [/b] Australia's most inspiring social movement - the biggest and best annual not-for-profit sector gathering. The Hon Julia Gillard present the Joan Kirner Social Justice Oration at the Communities in Control Conference. http://www.ourcommunity.com.au/control/control_article.jsp?articleid=5869

Catching up

30/04/2014http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-30/budget-crisis-talk-a-myth-economist-warns/5420170 Tomorrow is the big day. Lockup for Shephards so called audit. Wonder if they will use the same accountancy system as Costello. Abbott is quickly learning that politics is the art of the possible. People do not HAVE TO LIE DOWN, AND LET HIM WALK ALL OVER THEM.

TalkTurkey

30/04/2014Cannabis proving by far most efficacious agent in treatment of Fibromyalgia. Convincing reports from sufferers in study. This is typical of reports from patients regarding efficacy of Cannabis in treatment of MANY complaints. http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2014/04/yet-another-disease-that-responds-better-to-marijuana-than-prescription-drugs-2947352.html

TalkTurkey

30/04/2014NBA: No Bigots Allowed. Got that Brandis?

TalkTurkey

30/04/2014Abborrrtt reduces ceiling for PPL payments from rate of $150K p.a. to $100K. [i]Oh well that's all right then is it? [/i] FED Me DUCK [b]NO![/b] It leaves INTACT the despicable iniquitous distinction between women of different calibre having babies - it builds in social division and perpetuates privilege AND IT'S [b][i]WRONG![/i][/b] I've been gobbling and flapping about it all day on Twitter, but NOBODY else seems to get it. It's like EVERYBODY has swallowed Soma. HAVING BABIES IS WORTH THE SAME FOR EVERY WOMAN. IF ANYONE GETS $50K, EVERYONE SHOULD. (Nobody should. It's much too much.) The diff should go into Childcare. But true to his Catholic roots Abborrrtt just wants people to breed, doesn't give a stuff about how the low-calibre riff-raff's kids are brought up, ignoranter the better as long as they're Catholic! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUspLVStPbk [RECAPTCHA: hand agducts ?? What have you been agducting Jason?]

TalkTurkey

30/04/20142353 I keep hoping that Shorten has a handful of trumps and isn't just relying on Abborrrttt hoisting himself with his own petard. But I can't see what he's got to lose by being on Abborrrrttt's case every moment.

Bacchus

30/04/2014TT, I reckon PPL is a workplace issue, not a matter for welfare, EXCEPT as a 'safety net' for those at the bottom end of the pay scales who get no workplace PPL entitlements... IF you're high enough up the salary scales, you've probably already got generous workplace PPL entitlements written into your contract. IF you have a good strong union structure in your industry, you may have reasonable PPL. For all others, we need the Labor introduced scheme. Disclaimer: when we had children 1/4 century ago, my wife got six weeks maternity leave at full pay, paid by her employer. Today if my daughter, who works in childcare, has a child, she will only get Labor's PPL. We really have progressed as a nation???

Bacchus

30/04/2014Agree though that much, much more should go towards childcare costs though TT. That's the REAL enabler for women to continue their chosen careers in the workplace.

TalkTurkey

1/05/2014Abborrtt's record of wreckage since coming to office. http://sallymcmanus.net/abbotts-wreckage/

2353`

1/05/2014http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-01/fact-file-what-tony-abbott-promised-on-tax/5420226 Promises vs reality

TalkTurkey

1/05/2014Bushfire Bill at The Pub ... probably wouldn't choose Abborrrrttt as his drinking mate. Check it out. http://pbxmastragics.com/2014/05/01/abbott-world-youre-standing-in-it/

Ken

1/05/2014TT @ 08:54 AM A very good list of Tiny-er-er O'penmouth's jests!

Ken

1/05/2014Some interesting assumptions (amd ignorance) in the Commission of Audit. One that struck me, as an ex public servant, was that 15,000 jobs should go because the Commonwealth Public Service is 'top heavy'. I know from experience that it is top heavy and that is primarily a result of previous and continuing cuts. Because the higher level work still needs to be done (when cuts are made no one ever says we can eliminate some functions), it is predominantly the lower level staff that go. More cuts as recommended is more likely to make the service even more top heavy. And the idea of handing education and health fully back to the states will undo decades of work which has been attempting to create a national approach in these areas. Does it mean we go back to each state having a different curriculum? - that would be an end result.

Casablanca

2/05/2014CASABLANCA'S CACHE. 2 May, 2014 [b]Egalitarianism becomes collateral damage under Abbott's Audit.[/b] Posted at: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/CC-2014-05-02.aspx OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

TalkTurkey

2/05/2014This is astounding. Not the figures, but the fact that Koch quoted it. Retweeted by Kate Ellis david koch ‏@kochie_online · 19m Fact; Australia's Government debt level is 11% of its GDP (size of economy). Germany's is 83% of its GDP, US 107%, Japan 237%, UK 89%

2353

2/05/2014A critical look at the Commission report -> http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/business/comment-and-analysis/why-the-audit-commission-is-wrong-on-its-biggest-call-20140502-37laq.html As I'm typing this, Sunrise is also bagging the recommendations.

Casablanca

2/05/2014Tony Abbott swaps gender politics for rich friends tax Waleed Aly [b]Tony Abbott is about to vanish in a puff of existential meaninglessness.[/b] Sorry if that sounds heavy, but it seems an inevitable consequence on budget night if he goes ahead with this debt levy proposal. “No new taxes” he boomed in the throes of his anti-Carbon Tax blitz before adding ecstatically: “this is my whole reason for being in politics”. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/tony-abbott-swaps-gender-politics-for-rich-friends-tax-20140501-zr2hw.html#ixzz30VdC6sSo

TalkTurkey

2/05/2014Wolf in Shepherd's clothing! http://www.crikey.com.au/2014/03/28/tony-moral-and-correct-shepherds-parting-shot-from-bca/ Rally on 17 May Comrades! ... And this time, come prepared to Give a Goldie to Further the Fight!

TalkTurkey

2/05/20142353 Looks like Murdoch has issued new instructions to his lickophants in the Media! Abborrrrtt is a straw in a bushfire if he loses MSM support. Please please please! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ From the USA, this is fun! Sort of. http://t.co/w6XmrRnAHW

Casablanca

2/05/2014How fat cats are advising us on the rich-poor gap Mark Triffitt The median remuneration of our top CEOs, according to latest figures compiled by the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors now totals close to $5 million a year – nearly 70 times the average salary. These super salaries have been largely unaffected by the GFC or its aftermath. In fact, median fixed pay for CEOs in 2012 was the highest ever, with their overall pay, which included bonuses, growing 70 per cent faster than average wages over the last decade. At this point the distorted optics of tasking big business to drive the Commission of Audit’s work should be clearer. [b]Ludicrously well-paid CEOs should not be telling us how to slash public spending.[/b] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/how-fat-cats-are-advising-us-on-the-richpoor-gap-20140430-zr1qz.html#ixzz30ViV0joi

Catching up

2/05/2014Shepherd not doing too well. Nothing is stacking up. Senate hearings. The attempt to prevent this hearing going ahead, by government senators not turning up, dud ot work.

Curi-Oz

2/05/2014It's all very well wishing Mr Abbott out of his current position, but who would then step up to the Prime Ministership? Much as I dislike Mr Abbott's attitudes, I would wish him to remain in his current leadership position so that they wider Australian electorate actually get to see the paucity of talent in this particular iteration of the so-called Liberal Party has to offer. Together with the idea that the Labor Party might (just) get itself sorted out, Australia could only benefit by the ordinary 'bread and circus' consuming voter becoming more aware of the paucity of imagination of the country's current 'leadership'.

Catching up

2/05/2014If one turns up to emergency with chest pains, should not be charged. One that turns up with a small lump on the leg, should be charged. The chest pains was indigestion. The lump, bone cancer, where patient was dead shortly after. Had a cousin last year, that the doc said better get the mold on the nose addressed. Entered hospital and within weeks was dead with brain cancer. Cancer that had gone through the body., Was working six days a week, driving trucks at 68. Shepherd is saying risk of over servicing exists. No evidence of over servicing. In other words, just prejudices.

Casablanca

2/05/2014 [b]Income disparities:[/b] The median remuneration of our top CEOs, now totals close to $5 million a year (about $96,000 a week) – nearly 70 times the average salary. The minimum wage is now $622.20 a week,(about $32,354.00 a year) which is 56 per cent of average weekly earnings. But the Commission of Audit wants to cut the minimum wage to about $488.90 a week, which is 44 per cent of average weekly earnings.

Ken

2/05/2014Casablanca Interesting figures on the cut to the minimum wage. On my calculations that is a 21% cut. Even in the Great Depression of the 1930s wages were only cut 10%. Does that mean the Commission of Audut thinks the position we are in now is twice as bad as the Great Depression?

Ken

2/05/2014Curi-Oz Tend to agree. Abbott is one of the best things Labor has going for it. One thing that would really help Labor is letting Cory Bernadi off his leash. Then the public would really know what this mob stands for.

Catching up

2/05/2014That cut would be $140 per week. One cannot afford to pay rent on the present rate. also THE DOLE HAS TO COME DOWN TO MATCH IT.

Bacchus

2/05/2014Sarah Ferguson demolishes Mathias Cormann last night on 730! www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2014/s3996158.htm

Ken

2/05/2014Bacchus Interesting that Corman (and the Libs generally) are still pushing the line that the 'growth trajectory' of the Budget is all Labor's fault, when they are the ones who have forgone billiosn in revenue by wanting to abolish the carbon tax and the mining tax. As flawed as the mining tax is, the Treasury was projecting a few billion dollars in revenue over the forward estimates as the mining sector moves from investment to production - so just at the time when the tax may make some money they wnt to abolish it. The last copuple of Labor budgets were also framed in the light of the 'growth trajectory' and there were measures to reduce longer term costs and to raise revenue. Most of the problem arose during the Howard years when the benefits of the mining boom were disipated in tax cuts, lessning future government revenue. I also think Labor has to be careful how it handles this. Playing the man (Abbott and Hockey) is part of the equation but I think they should be paying a lot more attention to the changes the Abbott/Hockey approach will create in our society - what we will have will not be Australia as we know it, nor as most Australians want it. And, of course, they can remind people that it was previous Liberal governments who created the problem inthe first place. Labor's big splurge of spending was mainly a Keynesian approacj to counter the impact of the GFC. There is plenty for Labor to sell a more positive message or a broader based message. At the moment, Shorten just appears to be following the Abbott approach when he was opposition leader.

Casablanca

2/05/2014 Bacchus, I agree with you that Sarah Ferguson demolished Mathias Cormann last night on 730! What a pity that hubby, Tony Jones, is not as skilled an interviewer. On Lateline last night he just engaged in a bullying and hectoring session with Chris Bowen. The interview was ostensibly about the Commission of Audit but Tony used it as another opportunity to excoriate the Labor Party for fiscal mis-management - an approach that seems to come straight from the LNP speech notes. http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2014/s3996206.htm

Casablanca

2/05/2014 [b]Breaking News[/b] NSW Police Minister Michael Gallacher steps aside after evidence against him at ICAC

Casablanca

2/05/2014 [b]Who belongs to Generation BB?[/b] The Australian Bureau of Statistics defines this group as those born between 1 January, 1946 and 31 December 1965. Many seem unaware of this official Australian Government definition. Treasurer Joe Hockey made a remark last week in the context of the raising of the pension age that suggested that he did not see himself as a baby-boomer. According to the Government website Hockey was born on 2.8.1965. OK, he is very much a tail-ender but he is indeed a baby-boomer. On Lateline last night, Tony Jones made the following statement to Opposition Treasury Spokesman, Chris Bowen.'Do you back those kind of changes or are you worried that the younger generations are going to have to bear the burden for the Baby Boomers who seem to be getting away scot-free in most of this?' It is hard not to construe this statement to mean that Jones does not see himself as a Baby Boomer. I cannot find Jones' dob but I understand that he was at Newington College between 1970 and 1974. He admitted on Q&A to PM Gillard that she was the younger of the two - she was born in September, 1961. I don't know why he is so coy about his age but from the above hints, he is undoubtedly a Baby Boomer. Baby Boomers will be celebrating their 65th birthdays between 2011 and 2030. So, some of the Baby Boomer generation, those born after about 1956, will not retire until age 67 but the proposed LNP pensionable age of 70 will not include Baby Boomers. FYI

Ken

2/05/2014Casablanca Well spotted. Agree entirely that a lot of people talk about the baby boomers as 'somebody else' even, as you point out, they are actually part of it. Abbott himself was born late in 1957 - does that mean he can't retire until he is 67. No, the rules don't apply to politicians or those whose income comes from 'capital', only those who have to work.

TalkTurkey

2/05/2014AshGhebranious courteously provided me with these contacts covering the ICAC inquisition and tweeting about it - Delightful reading! ‏@AshGhebranious ... May 1 @TalkyTurkey I'm following @sarahgerathy @KatieKimberley @mcoultan @Kate_McClymont @MWhitbourn and @brigidglanville

jaycee

2/05/2014Fellow bloggers..we are watching a drama unfold, in the likes of a Shakespearean tragedy...the likes of when Othello discovers he has been duped by the treacherous Iago and his entire world is collapsing around him. We are watching all the grubby little secrets of the LNP. in more than three states and the federal govt', after having been hid under covers for years while Murdoch's crowd of bums and those other low-life in the MSM. covered their case. Now the shroud has been flung aside and the "Real Dorian Grey" is there in all it's ghastly corruption. And I have to confess I "feel somewhat" for those more "liberal" Liberals in the party, the wets, who must by now be shaking their heads and wondering just where the hell this is all heading...all this economic rationalism rubbish....it's polarising the nation, setting brother against brother, father against daughter, neighbour against neighbour....for what?...just to try and prove an ideology that is about as hair-brained as alien-probing. The trouble is that where the conservatives once, in all their "honest" opinion, embraced their philosophy as a kind of "rational ideology"......that was ok..that's their delusion..but now, the Party has been hijacked and the 'Liberal" ideology has been perverted into a " pathology ideology".....The Liberal Party is one sick chancre. They need cleaning out, badly...

TalkTurkey

3/05/2014This is touching. Grok on the photo! http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/02/separated-twins-sisters-reunited-adopted-record-78-years-apart-uk-us?CMP=twt_gu

TalkTurkey

3/05/2014Casablanca you said [i]Bacchus, I agree with you that Sarah Ferguson demolished Mathias Cormann last night on 730! What a pity that hubby, Tony Jones, is not as skilled an interviewer.[/i] When you say hubby do you mean that Tony Jones is Sarah Ferguson's hubby?

TalkTurkey

3/05/2014Btw Casablanca, You're right about Jones' bumbling efforts at every turn to derail Bowen with Jones' own agenda. Disgracefully, transparently biased "interview", in which Jones as you say hectored Bowen, who kept his cool but I'd rather sometimes that Labor Party spokespeople showed some heat! As it is I can't remember as much about what was said as about the manner of the event's conduct.

TalkTurkey

3/05/2014jaycee Gee I like your writing. From your head and heart straight to mine. Oh and Folks I got a phone call from our Grasshopper KHTAGH in Tassie a couple of days ago, (I had Direct Messaged him on Twitter) - he's fine but a bit despondent re the political realities, finding it harder to write these days, well we all are, but we must be be staunch, the Fighting 5th is our only regiment and the political sword our only weapon. So come on Comrades of [i]The Political Sword[/i], give Knee High a hello and do it for each other too, we actually have a lot to be hopeful about and to work for, given that Abborrrtt is personally so unpopular and the Liberals are not looking flash at all. Australians must hold a respectful mass Corroboree. You heard that first here.

Casablanca

3/05/2014 TT Yes, Jones is married to Sarah Ferguson. They have been together for about 20 years.

Casablanca

3/05/2014[b]We're a nation, not a balance sheet[/b] Nick Earls [i]Australia is a nation full of humans, not a balance sheet. The Commission of Audit may have looked at the numbers but the Government needs to look after the people. According to Commission of Audit chairman Tony Shepherd, "We've answered a simple arithmetic equation". Maybe that's where the problem starts. Ever heard of that old line about surgeons: "The operation was a success, but the patient died"?[/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-02/earls-were-a-nation-not-a-balance-sheet/5426014

Casablanca

3/05/2014 [b]Secret Health Department plan to slash bulk billing[/b] Joanna Heath The chair of the Australian Medical Association’s council of general practice, Brian Morton, said there could be a repeat of a mass walkout of NSW hospital doctors in 1984 if the government changed the bulk billing processes. “There is history where these issues will cause a generally conservative profession to man the barricades,” he said. http://www.afr.com/p/business/healthcare2-0/secret_health_department_plan_to_Hu5QLFh1GXIbprsmvq6xLI?utm_source=outbrain&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=outbrain_amplify

jaycee

3/05/2014 I posted this on The Pub on May 1st..I think it something to give some consideration to in light of the so called Audit report and it's direction. Doing this review of growers on the Murray River in our council area has been an eyeopener…..most of these farms are family holdings…some small some larger, but most are limited by the natural accumulation of generational capabilities. Now, because of market control shifting from local to interstate / international , from state identities to multinational corp’s and the “free market philosophy”, their markets have shifted so that their source of revenue has become completely unstable…and with many older farmers being out of touch with internet sourcing of markets, and the property being run by either a manager / son the job of keeping the operation going is becoming impossible. So that some of these properties, even with a good product, good management, hard work, cannot compete against the huge “fund managed” or “Managed Investment Scheme” mega-farms that dump massive volume onto the market…..you end up with the one person manager / worker / expertise / marketer / family-man working part time off-farm trying to bring in a bit of extra income to keep the farm going…..it doesn’t bode well. That is what happens when the big shopping malls come to town…the local produce gets swapped for interstate mega-suppliers, and the local stores cannot buy into the cheap contract produce till the entire supply chain from the farm-gate to the kitchen table comes under the control of “Fund Managed” shareholders and the bottom line. The following section of dialogue is from a “ABC. Landline” program : 2/6/2009. “…BILL MCCLUMPHA: MIS schemes are inherently unstable and economically corrupt. Undesirable economic outcomes are inevitable whatever the scheme. PRUE ADAMS: Bill McClumpha is an anti-MIS flamethrower from way back. When Landline reported on managed investment schemes three years ago, Mr McClumpha and some of his colleagues vented their frustration by setting alight an effigy of an MIS manager. BILL MCCLUMPHA: We could see commodity markets being flooded, we could see our future gradually diminishing, and that’s pretty much exactly what happened. You just drive around this district, Prue, you can see all the dried-off properties, you can talk to the agencies that help people in trouble; the financial agencies, the social agencies; and it’s a bloodbath. PRUE ADAMS: In fairness, the Sunraysia’s woes can’t all be blamed on managed investment schemes. One thing is certain, though; MIS companies have bought lots of water, applying price pressure during the drought. BILL MCCLUMPHA: A lot of growers such as myself ended up paying $1100 per mega litre for their water which is absolutely unsustainable. PRUE ADAMS: Timbercorp alone has huge dams. It’s bought and leased a total of 153 gig litres. To put that in perspective, it’s well over half Adelaide’s annual needs. The water is one of the failed company’s chief assets. Some are calling for it to be sold off as environmental flows, but the local MP has issued his own plea to Korda Mentha. JOHN FORREST: Don’t fall for selling the water to the Government. If some of that water is available that could be spared to generate revenue, put it back into the marketplace and give some of my struggling growers an opportunity to have access to it. PRUE ADAMS: When you fly between Mildura and Swan Hill one thing is glaringly obvious; Timbercorp didn’t just dabble in horticulture, they planted it out big time. The main crops of choice here are olives and almonds…” (PS. The water permits they bought was in many cases from the dairy farmers that were forced out of the industry…..JC.)

Casablanca

3/05/2014 [b]Auditing the Audit: Or, I’m not an economist but…[/b] Billablog It’s the wilful ignorance expressed in explaining some of the recommendations that really staggers me though. In suggesting a $15 co-payment for a GP consultation (150% more than the already mooted $6), commission chairman Tony Shepherd said, “Something that’s free is not valued.” While he may be correct in the abstract, the simple fact is that it’s not free. We pay for it. Not only do we pay for it, we pay for it in advance through the Medicare levy, whether we use it or not. So the problem is not in users not valuing something that’s “free,” it’s in auditors not valuing something that taxpayers have already paid for. In other words, the commission pulled the figure out of its arse. [b]Its recommendations are thought bubbles from people living in a bubble.[/b] http://ausopinion.com/2014/05/02/auditing-the-audit/

Curi-Oz

3/05/2014I’ve just read another report that Mr Hockey has borrowed yet more money this week. But I cannot find the reason he is borrowing it. I could be looking in the wrong place, I suppose, or just not understanding enough about how to read/understand some of the more esoteric accounting stuff on the Treasury website. But does anyone know why so much money has had to be borrowed since September?

Casablanca

3/05/2014[b]What we talk about when we talk about tax[/b] Rob Burgess At the heart of the Commission of Audit debate are competing ideological assumptions that should be teased out before voters are asked to decide “how far the Abbott cuts should go”. Why? Because as well has having a lot to gain from the suggested reforms, Australia has more to lose than just about any country in the world...Without getting too philosophical, the main ideological tension in the Shepherd report is between a theoretically elegant kind of neo-liberalism and a pragmatic old-fashioned style of conservatism (one suspects the two are constantly at war within the cranium of Tony Abbott). http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/5/2/politics/what-we-talk-about-when-we-talk-about-tax?utm_source=exact&utm_medium=email&utm_content=742326&utm_campaign=kgb&modapt=

Ken

3/05/2014Curi-Oz Where on the Treasury website did you find the info? I am also interested in this. Can you lead me in the right direction?

Curi-Oz

4/05/2014The latest Treasury news is located here: http://aofm.gov.au/publications/operational-and-public-notices/ Email alerts from the Australian Office of Financial Management (AOFM) are available here: http://aofm.gov.au/commonwealth-government-securities/email-service/ I also find the Treasury website useful: http://www.treasury.gov.au/ Steve Koukoulas is worth following on Twitter. He tends to explain economics (and other stuff occasionally) in ways that I can usually understand. He also points to other places/people who are worth reading, like Greg Jericho (Grogs Grommet) and John Quiggan (and his eponymous blog). Hope that helps, I will admit that I'm still hunting for some kind of explanation of 'why so much'...
How many oranges do I have if I have 3 oranges and take ONE away?