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Rossleigh is a writer, director and teacher. As a writer, his plays include “The Charles Manson Variety Hour”, “Pastiche”, “Snap!”, “That’s Me In The Distance”, “48 Hours (without Eddie Murphy)”, and “A King of Infinite Space”. His acting credits include “Pinor Noir Noir” for “Short and Sweet” and carrying the coffin in “The Slap”. His ten minutes play, “Y” won the 2013 Crash Test Drama Final.

Debt And Deficit For Dummies…

Lately I’ve been thinking about all sorts of things and I find that just thinking about things is sometimes enough to make you feel like you should be in charge and you’d give those politicians a jolly good talking to. Of course, that doesn’t mean they’d listen. They tend to listen more to people who don’t think about things, like Alan Jones.

Anyway, while I was thinking about how Covid had reduced the number of people travelling to the CBD, leading to a bit of a crisis, I suddenly had an epiphany which is not as rude as it sounds. For years, we’ve had the problem of too much traffic during peak hour and overcrowded public transport going to the city and nobody’s been able to solve it. Maybe if, instead of seeing this working from home leas and to less people going into the city as the problem, we looked at the problem of businesses in the city facing economic ruin because of the lack of people as a new problem, we’d be able to solve the new problem without seeing the solution as just going back to the old problem which nobody ever managed to solve, no matter how many new freeways they built nor how many times they tried to fix public transport.

We may not have an answer to the new problem, but it’s worth trying to solve that one before asserting blindly that the solution is to replace it with the old one.

And so, having decided to write to the various state governments to suggest that my epiphany makes me worth hiring as a consultant, I turned my attention to the whole debt and deficit thing. You must remember the debt crisis we had when the country’s debt was about a third what it now and about a quarter what it’s projected to be. The Liberals were elected to solve this, not make excuses. I distinctly remember Tony Abbott saying that they’d be a “no excuses” government, and one of his promises in his Contract With Australia was “3. END THE WASTE AND DEBT”!

Yes, I know it’s unfair to hold the Liberals accountable for the promises they made so many Prime Ministers ago, but I do think that people are sort of expecting something more than a shrug of the shoulders to the prediction of ten more years of deficits, “Ah, Covid, what can you do? Vaccines are so hard to come by and we can’t afford a quarantine station because we have an election to buy.”

Ok, I’m not an expert because I don’t have an economics degree but that merely means that I’m the best person to write the “… for Dummies” economic handbook.

Sometimes it’s only by being completely ignorant of any knowledge that enables one to see the situation clearly… just look at One Nation!

Anyway, I thought I’d do some thinking about this whole debt and deficit thing and try to solve it in the same way that I’ve solved just about every problem known to man… Like the Federal Government, I’m not so sure about solving the problems known to women but I figure the fact that I mention them here should go a long way and I intend to Budget some women’s things like a present for my son because his mother is a woman. He’s too old for childcare so I don’t know how else to support women.

It was only when I realised the whole thing about debt compared to budgets that I realised that – even with my limited One Nation understanding of economics – the current narrative is so absurd that we need to go back to the household analogy and credit cards to make any sense of it. Of course, people who’ve read my past stuff would know that I totally reject the “We can’t keep putting things on the credit card!” analogy when it refers to governments because there’s an enormous difference between borrowing money at a couple of percent and your average credit card interest bill. But even though it’s a little hypocritical I’m going to use that as a metaphor, even though I’m running a real risk that I”ll be approached to become a speechwriter for a Liberal politician.

Household analogy: Storm hits! Tree falls down and knocks hole in roof which leads to lots of rain getting in causing damage. While this is covered by insurance. We didn’t QUARANTINE the damage into one room and the resulting flood isn’t. While the house is being repaired, family book into the Hilton and spend a large amount of money. These things can’t be helped and their balanced budget it wrecked for that year.

Now, stick with this. Does it make sense for the family to argue that they can’t deliver a balanced budget for ten years because well, this was such a bad year.

I mean, next year, all going well, there’ll be no trees, no replacement of damage in the other rooms, no stay at the Hilton. To argue that just because the budget didn’t balance this year means that they can’t be expected to do it any time soon.

This is not paying off the debt. This is making sure that you don’t spend more than you earn in any given year. Living within your means, which used to be the mantra of the Liberals.

Until #Scottyfrommarketing took over and reminded them that there was almost no limit to the money they could move from the government to almost anyone once they took off the brakes. Good for the economy if you define the economy as anyone who donates Liberal.

I believe that someone was sacked for that when they worked for a government department.

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Why The Media Is So Unfair On Scott Morrison…

Rossleigh: Good morning, Mr Morrison was once again unavailable for interview so I’ve tracked down a spokesman. While I was going to write “spokesperson” the person I”m interviewing objected to all that political correct nonsense and told me that God made him a man and he wasn’t ashamed of it, so spokesman it is. Good morning, Mr Spokesman.

Spokesman: This is just typical of the left-wing media. For a start, I have a name and secondly, you were mocking my religion.

Rossleigh: Hang on! Didn’t you only agree to do this interview on the condition of anonymity, and secondly, how am I mocking your religion.

Spokesman: By having a distinct tone when you referred to God and by suggesting that it was me who used the phrase, ‘political correct nonsense’.

Rossleigh: But it was you who used that phrase.

Spokesman: Yes, but that’s not the point. The point is that all those politically correct people will object to me saying that what they believe is nonsense because they’re very quick to jump on anybody who attacks their beliefs.

Rossleigh: Well, isn’t that what you just did to me?

Spokesman: When I agreed to do this interview I expected you to be fair but clearly you’re no Ray Hadley…

Rossleigh: You find Ray Hadley fair?

Spokesman: He’s always been very fair to Mr Morrison and allowed him to put his point of view across without all these interruptions to contradict him.

Rossleigh: But I haven’t interrupted you.

Spokesman: There you go again.

Rossleigh: Anyway, I wanted to ask you about the India travel ban.

Spokesman: A complete media beat-up.

Rossleigh: Are you denying that there’s a travel ban?

Spokesman: No, I’m suggesting that it was only the media reporting it that made people aware of it. If it wasn’t for all that reporting nobody would have ever known about it.

Rossleigh: Well, I’d suggest that the people wanting to return from India might have noticed.

Spokesman: Yes but they don’t count.

Rossleigh: With respect, I’d suggest that they certainly count to their families, and anyone with an ounce of empathy.

Spokesman: When I said that they don’t count, I didn’t mean that they don’t count. I simply meant that the important thing is keeping Australians safe is the most important thing here.

Rossleigh: Yes but the people we are talking about are Australians wishing to return home.

Spokesman: Technically yes, but we need to consider those Australians who might be impacted if we didn’t secure our borders.

Rossleigh: Wasn’t your government highly critical of states for shutting their borders? Doesn’t it strike you as hypocritical…

Spokesmen: If I could just stop you there.

Rossleigh: Yes?

Spokesman: Thanks I just wanted to stop you before you pointed out the hypocrisy. After all, who among us is without sin and let he who is without hypocrisy cast the first stone. I’ll bet you were standing with Dan and you didn’t worry about shutting borders then.

Rossleigh: If we could stick to the point here. You’re saying that threatening people with jail for returning home…

Spokesman: Nobody was threatened with jail. The PM made that very clear.

Rossleigh: But it was in the media release. You don’t put something in a media release accidentally, do you?

Spokesman: Look, that media statement was released at midnight. Clearly we didn’t want anybody looking at it!

Rossleigh: So you’re saying that you issue media releases of things that you don’t want the media to report on? Why on earth would you do that?

Spokesman: Transparency.

Rossleigh: Yes, I can see that. You’re the most transparent government I can remember.

Spokesman: Really?

Rossleigh: Yes, everyone can see through you.

Spokesman: Let me make it perfectly clear. The PM has no intention of sending anyone to jail or fining them if they return home from India. It was in the press release but that was just a statement of the possible penalties if people did return home but they won’t be applied.

Rossleigh: But the PM doesn’t administer the law! It’s not up to him to decide who gets prosecuted. Separation of powers means…

Spokesman: If you’re talking about the separation of church and state then let me remind you that Scott Morrison’s religion is a very private thing and to suggest that he can’t be PM just because he believes…

Rossleigh: No, I’m talking about the whole idea that those who make the law, don’t administer the law. It’s the whole idea that the law needs to be applied without discrimination…

Spokesman: Well, I’m sorry but I think this whole anti-discrimination thing is just political correctness gone mad.

Rossleigh: Finally, on another matter. How long will the government be keeping the Biloela family in detention?

Spokesman: The matter is before the courts so I can’t comment.

Rossleigh: It’s only before the court because the government won’t admit that it would be a simple matter to let them return home and…

Spokesman: It may seem that way, but we can’t have children being born illegally in this country. The two girls were not legal births because their parents were on temporary protection visas. If we backed down on this, there’d be a flood of illegal immigrants flooding into the country and they’d all drown on the way, so it’s really a compassionate policy.

Rossleigh: Hang on how can they flood into the country if they’re drowning on the way? Forget that, you call them illegal immigrants but they have a right to seek asylum

Spokesman: Yes, but that doesn’t alter the fact that they entered this country illegally.

Rossleigh: Ok, so when were the people on Manus and Nauru be prosecuted?

Spokesman: Sorry?

Rossleigh: For breaking the law. When were they prosecuted?

Spokesman: They weren’t.

Rossleigh: So when will they be? I mean, I would imagine that given the penalty for those returning from India was only five years and the PM says that nobody will even be sentenced, that if the people we’ve held in detention for eight years were sentenced and convicted, the time already served would mean that they could walk free straight away…

Spokesman: Umm… It’s not the sort of law that we prosecute because… um…

Rossleigh: You wouldn’t be able to hold them in detention indefinitely if they were actually charged with anything.

Spokesman: Exactly.

Rossleigh: But surely that…

Spokesman: War with China.

Rossleigh: Sorry.

Spokesman: War with China is practically inevitable. I mean, just look at all the people saying it. If we don’t declare war on them soon, they’ll think we all talk and no action and refuse to take us seriously.

Rossleigh: Well, if we’re going to war with them, why are we still selling them iron ore?

Spokesman: I’m sorry, but I must take this phone call.

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Fairy Bread Embraced By LGTBI Community After Name Changed To Rainbow Bread!

Yeah, ok, I don’t know what the LGTBI community is saying because well, I don’t know all of the LGTBI people in the world. And I certainly don’t know anyone to whom all of the letters refer to. The whole headline is satire, but hey, Chaser got a lot of attention with their attack on fairy bread because the real outrage industry – shock jocks, Sky After Dark and Murdoch’s opinion writers (as opposed to people writing opinion pieces in Murdoch’s media) – started bleating about it…

Personally, I thought that surely the LGTBI community would embrace the idea of rainbow coloured hundreds and thousand on a piece of bread because well, doesn’t it suggest inclusion and…

Can I just stop myself here and ask what is this community stuff? I mean, why lump them all together as though they’re some sort of other community? As they’re all one and speaking with the same voice?

I guess this is what our PM is saying when he says that we’re all individuals and this identity politics is really, really bad… Of course, we all have to identify as Australians with Australian values and we can’t disrespect Anzac Day or prefer to say “Happy holidays” when it’s compulsory to say, “Merry Christmas”, but apart from that and few dozen other things you should be an individual and not identify as part of some group and complain that you’re marginalised because, well, women have been giving Scotty a bit of a hard time lately, so isn’t it time that they thought of themselves as individuals and stopped marching in large groups or, in Brittany Higgins’ case, taking one or two mates to their meeting.

Yes, the whole meltdown over the satiric post on fairy bread exposes the shifting nature of people’s values. In real, everyday terms most people think that – within certain limits – people should have the right to free speech. Obviously most people don’t support a right to me taking a megaphone and standing outside their bedroom window screaming obscenities but scaling back from there we enter the 18C area where some people argue that the speaker does have a right to offend. “We shouldn’t ban any speech,” the argument goes, “but instead we should expose it to the sunlight and disinfect it with reasoned debate.”

And I can certainly see some value in that argument. The only problem is that certain people hold megaphones while others have their lips sewn shut. As soon as some Alan or Andrew expresses an offensive view, any criticism is not treated by them as legitimate sunlight on their dank, unmoving waters, but is dismissed as an “attack on free speech” or “cancel culture”. It’s something along the lines of the religious freedom argument which, when explored, becomes: “People should be free to follow my religion!”

Perhaps I should start an actual petition to get the name changed to Rainbow bread and made compulsory in all kindergartens. It would be interesting to see if the actual outrage industry took umbrage at the brainwashing of the children or the heresy of changing something so iconic.

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Scott Morrison Knows Someone Who Can Change The World!

Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’

‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat.

‘I don’t much care where -‘ said Alice.

‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the Cat.

‘- so long as I get SOMEWHERE,’ Alice added as an explanation.

‘Oh, you’re sure to do that,’ said the Cat, ‘if you only walk long enough.”
– Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland / Through the Looking-Glass

Ok, consider this: your friend, Jane tells you about her new relationship. “It’s the real thing but we’re not ready to move in together or anything. We both want to lead independent lives.” Fair enough you think, but when you meet her again a few months later and ask how it’s going, she tells you that they’ve been talking about living together but there’s no rush. After a few years of this, she eventually tells you that moving in together isn’t all that important, but Scott is inching his way towards a commitment because he told her that a formal arrangement wasn’t necessary; the important thing is the relationship itself which is better than most people’s, and she’s sure that he’ll be happy to make some sort of promise in the future but at the moment it would cause problems with his wife.

Hands up, if you think Jane is fooling herself… Yep, thought so. The only people who didn’t put their hands up are the Canberra press gallery. Substitute “wife” for “backbench” and even they might get the allegory.

The idea that Morrison is “inching” towards a zero-emissions target does seem at odds with his most recent statements about it being performance rather than promises that count and how Australia delivers – or meets and beats – when it sets a target. If they think that’s moving toward a target they haven’t been paying attention to Scotty “I’m ambitious for this guy” Morrison!

With our PM, there’s frequently a qualifier in the promise and even more frequently, his inability to achieve something is usually glossed over in one of two ways:

  1. He uses some strange interpretation of what he previously said by concentrating on a couple of words or phrases in the original statement to explain that he’s actually done what he said he would. For example, promising that all Australians would be home by Christmas can be explained away by the fact that some Australians have now made their home overseas, so they can be considered home in London or New York or whatever city they currently reside in.
  2. He tells a Trump-like lie. For example, announcing that the vaccine roll-out was ahead of schedule.

Just recently, Morrison made some rather strange claims at a religious conference. Now before I start unpacking these, let me just say that I’m not trying to bully those who are religious. I’m all for religious tolerance. If someone wants to believe that they’re literally eating the flesh and drinking the blood of some guy who died two thousand years ago, I’m not going to get into a fight and suggest that this act of communion is more symbolic than literal just because I happen to have a different set of values. However, when someone argues that I need to allow them to practice their religion because it’s theirs and it involves loud chanting on my front lawn from sunset to sunrise, I think I have the right to tell them to bugger off, or else they may be a lot closer to finding enlightenment than they realise.

And so with our Part-time Mansplainer, I have a real concern that his decision to fly his/the taxpayers’ plane all the way to the conference in order to speak wasn’t all to do with his earthly duties. Of course, this is clearly something where the PM and I would disagree. He would argue that he was put there by God, so every action relates to his divine purpose and everything he does is part of that plan. I would argue that Morrison is full of shit because I’ve been put here by God to say exactly that.

Morrison told people that when he was contemplating his future electoral prospects he asked for a sign and God gave him one: he saw a soaring eagle. So this morning I asked for one too and the first thing that I saw was a dog defecating, so I presumed that God must want me to tell Scomoses that he’s full of shit. Still, the meaning of signs is in the eye of the beholder. How did he know that the eagle wasn’t a sign that he should follow the USA? How did I know that my sign wasn’t that I should watch my step?

Whatever, I find it worrying that our PM would announce to a crowd: “I said, I can’t fix the world. I can’t save the world, we both believe in someone who can”, and no, he wasn’t talking about Alan Jones. This certainly explains his reluctance to hold a hose, run quarantine, set climate targets, work weekends, organise vaccinations or meet with a delegation of women. (For a more comprehensive list of what Scotty doesn’t do, Nadine Von Cohen’s article examines them in detail.)

But perhaps even more worrying was this announcement:

I’ve been in evacuation centres, where people thought I was just giving someone a hug and I was praying. And putting my hands on people in various places, laying hands on them and praying in various situations.”

I don’t know about your professional life so maybe this doesn’t seem strange to you. However, unless you’re a doctor, a masseuse, a sex worker, or one of a very narrow range of professions, the idea of you “putting hands-on people in various places” while going about your job, does seem like it would lead to a conversation about appropriate behaviour, if not a whole milkshake being tossed in your face.

So maybe that’s his whole plan. He’s a “hands-on” PM who is hoping that by simply spending time in prayer (though definitely not the Prayer Room) and touching people occasionally that God will cast out the wicked Twitter from our land and climate change will be no more. Verily, we shall once again walk in the shadow of coal and fear it not, for Scott’s Twiggy and his staff shall comfort us and there will be a go for those who have a go…

Amen.

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When You Reduce Emissions By Preferring Your Own Milkshake!

Apparently, Scott Morrison couldn’t be heard when he was addressing the other leaders at the climate summit last night. While some suggested it was a clever ploy by Morrison to hide the fact that he had nothing to say, others blamed it on a technical glitch. Matt Canavan suggested that it was because they weren’t using coal… (No, seriously! I mean, it may have been a joke but he actually tweeted it, this is not me writing some stupid sendup).

Anyway, I think I need to clarify the Federal Government’s position. Scott Morrison has all but set a target and we can assume that he’s inching his way towards making some sort of declaration after his announcement that he intended to get to zero emissions without the need to set a date for it to happen because, the issue is how not when and it’s technology not taxes and so we can give him lots of praise about how he almost announced something when he announced that he didn’t see the need to set a target owing to the fact that we meet and beat the targets we set.

Of course, some may wish to suggest that it’s pretty easy to beat a target that you haven’t set, while others would argue that it’s impossible to meet a target that doesn’t exist. These are, of course, the inner city latte sippers who hold dinner parties instead of getting things done. This is a government that acts first and asks questions later. Or rather, doesn’t have time to ask questions, let alone answer them, because they’re too busy getting things done.

Take that consent video: no sooner had it gone up but down it came. No dithering there. Immediate action when they realised that people were actually watching it and pointing out that it contained so many American concepts like “end zone” and “butt” that it may as well have been taken straight from the US saving us whatever it cost. Now that it’s not being endlessly shared on social media, think of all the electricity we’ve saved and what this had done to reduce emissions.

Sources tell me that the government intends to kill two birds with one stone by replacing that American-influenced milkshake video with a local one, made by Liberal staffers with the following script:

“Consent is simple. You shouldn’t be sharing your milkshake with anyone, and if you spill yours on someone else’s desk, you shouldn’t do it without their consent. Reduce your emissions. Ever since our colleague was sacked, we’ve all restricted ours!”

Ah, the power of prayer!

Whether this is true or not, I think we can all agree that it’s an amazing achievement by an Australian PM to have almost achieved the remarkable accomplishment of announcing a target for 2050. With the current rate of progress we may actually have one before the year itself!

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Twerking Class Nero!

There’s room at the top they are telling you still
But first you must learn how to smile as you kill
If you want to be like the folks on the hill
A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be.”

John Lennon

 

According to a well-known expression, Rome’s emperor at the time, the decadent and unpopular Nero, “fiddled while Rome burned.” The expression has a double meaning: Not only did Nero play music while his people suffered, but he was an ineffectual leader in a time of crisis.”

History.com

Some of you will have seen Mr Morrison’s exercise routine with Twiggy and those workers in WA. If not, there’s a link here. However, unless you like watching Morrison smiling and jerking and joking to the sounds of Jimmy Barnes’ “Working Class Man”, I suggest you give it a miss.

So what was he doing there when he’s got vaccines to find, you ask?

Well, Mr Morrison doesn’t actually find the vaccines. It’s his job to tell others what to do and if they don’t succeed, it’s his job to get very, very cross with them. Apart from that, his only job is travel round the countryside being the lovable daggy dad that we never had because nobody’s father was this embarrassing.

There’s a well established path for Liberal leaders which goes like this:

  1. When in Opposition, tell everyone how much better than Labor you are. You’re allowed to boast and tell the world that you’re just awesome and if you were in power there’d be no problems because you’d fix them.
  2. When first in power, you argue that you haven’t had time to fix things yet because – even though you told everyone this was the biggest disaster in the history of the world – it’s worse than you anticipated and it will take most of your first term to fix it.
  3. When facing the election you tell everyone it’s fixed but any evidence of this isn’t available at the moment due to all sorts of reasons but remember the mess we inherited.
  4. When the fan is hit, you pretend it’s something totally unforeseen even though some of those silly people who don’t accept that you know everything told you exactly that.
  5. Plead for more time because it’s only reasonable given the circumstances.
  6. Let your friendly media sources explain how it’s all a reset and you’ve grown as a leader and all should be fine from hereon in.
  7. Try to convince people that the economy is booming even though they personally haven’t found work or been given a pay rise.
  8. As people slowly turn on you, blame them.
  9. Start doing lots of interviews where you say that you don’t comment on the polls.
  10. Leave politics and either give a tell-all interview or write a memoir explaining how you were let down by your colleagues.

Numbers 3 to 7 were repeated on a loop from election to election under Howard and even Fraser. However, in this fast paced world we now live in, the Liberals have accelerated this and eliminated the need for being voted out of office by replacing their PM in between elections so that we feel like we have a new government and they deserve to be re-elected at least once. People seem to have forgotten that the Morrison government is actually the same Coalition one which stretches back to Tony Abbott.

Unfortunately for the Liberals, they seem to have forgotten how well this strategy works for them and they have a PM in permanent campaign mode. This would be all right were it not for the fact that the normal process is to promise that things will happen if you’re re-elected and then make up some excuse after the election and hope that people will have forgotten by next election. Morrison announces that things will happen and then forgets all about them. Without an election giving them a chance dump the promise and have voters forget all about it in the ensuing three years, people actually expect some sort of follow-up. For example, people mistook the word “secured” when talking about vaccines to mean that we had some sort of contract which would involve the vaccines actually arriving at some future date… And certainly before we open up the international border. However, I understand that Hillsong have a conference planned for late June and Scotty has already had his dose of Pfizer, so why not get out from under the doona and let the cases fall where they may.

At the previous election voters were promised an integrity commission, a Budget surplus, religious freedom legislation, protection from Bill Shorten destroying the weekend with his proposal that in 2030 half of new car sales would be electric (was that a target or an aspiration because, as we’ve recently learned with the vaccine rollout, targets are just a loose idea). All of these things needed to be abandoned so that the government could concentrate on the pandemic. The integrity commission was paused while Christian Porter looked up the meaning of “integrity”, and the whole religious freedom thing was just too hard.

But all these things are now forgotten because Morrison’s strategy seems to be to make us forget the most recent scandal or non-delivery of promised action by creating an even bigger talking point.

My guess is that he’s attempting to get us all comparing his exercise routine to the recent outrage over the dancers at the naval event, but I won’t be falling for that one.

No, I’m going to keep my eyes firmly on the fact that Morrison can gyrate all he likes. His days are numbered because he thinks that rules do not apply to him because God will protect him and he can always count on a miracle.

Unfortunately, God doesn’t run the media in Australia and there seems to a subtle change in his support from the Murdoch media.

We shall see.

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The Pub Test And Summative Assessment…

If you know anything about education you’ll have heard the terms summative assessment and formative assessment. To explain as simply as I can, summative assessment is simple and clear and includes things such as a mark or letter grade. Formative assessment includes suggestions on how to improve during the learning process and explanations of what you’ve done well.

To use tennis as analogy, summative assessment would mean that I simply told you that you served the ball in or out and that you won the point or didn’t. Formative assessment on the other had might mean that I told you to throw the ball higher or stop closing your eyes and hoping for the best.

Anyway, I couldn’t help but wonder when yet another politician told us that something “failed the pub test” whether this apocryphal pub test was always summative when most of the pubs I’ve been in would be adopting something more akin to formative assessment.

“Scotty’s a good bloke.”

“Why do you say that?”

“I dunno. I mean, he was having a beer at the footy the other night, so you don’t get much better than that.”

“I think he’s a lazy prick, and anyway he can’t build a chook shed!!”

“Why do you say that?”

“Someone pointed out that he was holding a drill and he had nails in his mouth…”

“Was he biting them?”

“Nah, roof nails.”

”So how did he build it?”

”He didn’t! Why do you think we never see pictures of the chooks!”

“Shit, what a wanker. I aways knew he was a phony.”

“Yeah.”

“Yeah!”

“Your shout!”

OR

Bloody cold, isn’t it?”

”Yeah, so much for that global warming, eh?”

”Actually my daughter is at uni and she says that it’s not just about days being warmer. It’s about climate change.”

“Shit, that’s amazing.”

”Yeah, I always presumed that it was just going to mean that we got weather like Queensland and that I’d get a beach front house without moving, but no…”

”Nah, nah… I mean it’s amazing that you got a daughter at University. Is she one of those know it all academics who think they know more about a subject just because they’ve studied it for a few years?”

”Yeah sort of. I mean, she did say Alan Jones was wrong the other night.”

”Typical. Thinks she knows more than a bloke who once coached Australia’s rugby team.”

”Although she wasn’t talking about rugby.”

”Nah, but the bloke know a lot about other things too. He’s a very educated man.”

”Really, what’s his qualifications?”

”He’s got a show on Sky. You don’t get much more qualified than that.”

”Still I wouldn’t let him perform brain surgery on me.”

”Look mate, I don’t reckon you’ve got anything to worry about.”

See, it’s not an instant thing. It lobs around for a while before a consensus is reached or the subject is changed to something like: “I think that we should go back to my place because I just bought a new Weber and instead of this pub test stuff we should be talking about the latest barbecue stopper.”

Of course, you’ll notice that in both cases, I’ve used males of a particular demographic when talking about the pub test because, well, the very phrase “pub test” doesn’t suggest a group of women drinking chardonnay in a boutique hotel. Neither does it suggest the pubs where the politicians and journalists share their off the record briefings. It suggests people who have little more than a cursory understanding of the issue and who are like to fail the more usual pub test which involves blowing into a bag… (Not that politicians and those in Canberra would necessarily either pass a breath test or have more than a cursory understanding of the issue. Remember when Peta Credlin wasn’t guilty of drink driving because she had a note from the Attorney General saying that she was too important to be considered over the limit.) No, the phrase itself doesn’t have the same gravitas as “round table discussion” or “think tank” or “summit”.

All of which brings me to Christine Holgate and Greg “He really is a” Hunt. Mr Hunt said, “Look I apologise, I haven’t heard directly Christine Holgate’s comments so it’s probably not appropriate of me to speak that (sic). I will just say that if there are any emotional or other issues that any person suffers, we feel for them, no matter what the circumstances. So my response would be one for anybody who has emotional or other forms of challenge. That’s all that I know, that there were issues raised. So it’s just support and care, without being in a position to comment not having heard the specific words.”

Ok, I didn’t hear Mr Hunt’s comments directly so it’s probably not appropriate for me to comment on them, but like the man himself I will anyway. I’d just like to say that so many of his fellow government members seem to be suffering from emotional issues and we certainly feel for them, particularly his leader who was so upset about the fact that he had a two daughters, a wife and a mother, a widowed mother (which has since been clarified is not two mothers but the repetition of the first mother with an adjective) that he was in tears. They all need support and care. But hey, I’m not in a position to comment, but I’ll just say that we know that it’s all about emotion and not to do with the fact that the person running Australia Post successfully on a salary that was a couple of million dollars less than the previous head spent, about $20k on watches instead of giving them a six figure bonus, was summarily dismissed by a PM on the floor of the house in an emotional rant.

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An Ode To Scotty From Announcements!

(Actually it’s fourteen lines so maybe I should have called a sonnet even though the rhyme scheme is neither Petrarchan nor Shakespearean!)

Scotty promised vaccination

So we could open up the nation

And allow some interstate vacations

At least that was his inclination.

I clearly remember many headlines

About all those October deadlines.

But we shouldn’t think it strange

When the ideas of governments change

And we’re told that targets won’t be aimed for

So there’s nothing they’ll be blamed for

So Scotty can quickly pass the buck

Telling us that we’re out of luck!

His subtext being: “It’s all fine

Already I’ve been given mine!?”

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PRESS CONFERENCE: Women’s Task Force, Vaccines And Christina Holgate…

“Good morning, I’d like to announce that we had a very productive meeting of the women’s task force where we agreed that the time for action has indeed arrived and there was general consensus that we would all read the report which recommends actions which can help to address the issues which we all agreed need addressing. The report is being photocopied as we speak and we expect that by the end of April all members of the task force should have a copy. We intend to meet again after the Budget and I’ll be updated on exactly which page each of the members of the task force is up to. This is an historic day for women and I think that we should all acknowledge that.

“On the matter of vaccines, there’s been a lot of misreporting and I’d just like to put some facts on the table. For a start, when I said that we hoped to have more people vaccinated than is currently the case, I was expressing a hope and not a definite target and what’s the country coming to when people can’t even express a hope any more. I stand for hope… and miracles, and if you want to criticise me for that, well go ahead, but you’d better be careful because I know what some of you have been up to. It’s also been suggested that I was blaming the EU for the slow rollout. That just isn’t so, because we are ahead a schedule and therefore there’s nothing slow about the rollout. How could I be blaming the EU for something that doesn’t exist which is the vaccines we were promised but haven’t arrived due to a holdup. Now some may wish to play politics with this but let me be quite clear. Semantics is not the way to get things done and neither is turning this into a race. By taking our time we can learn from what others are doing and as everyone is taking their time with the Astra Zeneca doses, it’s only reasonable that we will too.

”Finally, on the matter of Christine Holgate, I’d just like to make it clear that this is not a matter for me and I have no intention of commenting, however, I would like to say that she resigned and that was because she chose to and any suggestion that I put pressure on her by demanding that she go, doesn’t take into account that it was nothing to do with me and I had no power to force her to resign so anything I previously said on the matter was just an opinion and nothing to do with her decision to step away from her role.

”Now, I have time for a few questions but make them brief because Chris Uhlmann has one that will take me quite some time to answer.”

Mr Morrison, do you agree that, in hindsight, it would have been better for the Commonwealth to have organised mass vaccinations and been in control of the whole process?

”No, I don’t because you’re assuming that we would have been able to have done mass vaccinations when there was a shortage of vaccines. When we predicted… or rather, hoped, that millions of people would have been vaccinated by the end of March we weren’t expecting them not to be. And they weren’t for a variety of reasons: floods, lack of supply, women marching… and let me point out, any doctor will tell you it’s damn hard to vaccinate someone when they’re marching. So, it really gets down to this. To vaccinate somebody you need a syringe, someone to vaccinate and a vaccine and if you don’t have any single one of those things you can’t vaccinate anyone and anyway, Health is a state responsibility.”

On the subject of the women’s march, do you agree that it would have been better to have gone out to meet them, rather than demand that they come to you?

“Well, I think it’s wrong to suggest that I demanded that they come to me. I simply invited them and to categorise that as a demand is to misrepresent the whole thing. I made myself available which is more than they did, so I think I was prepared to meet them halfway. But the issue is not who met who and when. The issue is that I have two daughters, one wife and one mother and they are everything so how can these women be anything more than a distraction from the very real task of making women safe in all workplaces which, let me tell you, are just as bad or worse than than some of the others and in particular, Parliament is not one that I’d characterise as lacking in this any more than anything else.”

Didn’t you demand that Christine Holgate stand down, so how can you say it was her decision?

“I reject the premise of that question, and not only that, I reject the premise that such a question exists.”

Mr Morrison, can you just…

”I’m sorry but I have an important meeting to attend and Chris hasn’t had a chance to ask his question yet. Chris?”

Thanks, Mr Morrison, would you like to outline your response to Labor’s criticism of the NDIS changes?

”That’s tomorrow’s question, Chris. I haven’t prepared for that one. Well, that’s it then.”

EXIT.

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Some Ideas For The Angry Activist Women!

Ok, I need to say from the outset that I’m a man so when it comes to explaining things that gives me unique insights into the recent controversy about women’s issues.

Like a lot of people, I had made the mistake of thinking that women were the people to listen to on this issue, but apparently they don’t have the answers. As Peter van Onselen told us: “In the sexual assault debate, the focus has been on outrage rather than solutions.” Of course, when PvOS says that women have had “surprisingly few ideas”, it’s not actually clear what he means. Is he saying that the ideas put forward are not acceptable ideas to him, or is he surprised that women have ideas at all? With Peter, it’s hard to tell because he has a tendency to say one something silly one day, but he balances this by completely disagreeing with himself the next.

Now, I guess some of you are wondering why Pete refers to it as a “sexual assault debate” because that suggests that there are two sides to the argument and things like rape and sexual assault are illegal and therefore you’re thinking that there’s no debate to be had. However, that’s probably because you’re missing the subtlety of what’s happening. The debate is not about the rightness or wrongness of these crimes, it’s who’s in the best position to stop it. And the answer to that, of course, is that men are, so women expressing anger aren’t helping and they should leave it to the guys.

Let’s put van Onselen to one side and get back to the point of this whole thing. I’m here to help women by telling them what to do because it seems that they’re in need of a little guidance. Now, before you get on your high horse, let me say that this isn’t my idea. I’ve been reading a lot about this issue and there’s one clear thing that comes across from reading “The Australian” and that’s that women are angry and emotional and that’s uncool unless you’re the male PM, in which case it just demonstrates your depth of feeling on the issue.

Apparently, some women haven’t done enough and made their issues clear so it’s their fault that males like Scott Morrison were so unaware of the barriers facing women. However, now that some of these women are marching and making their concerns public, it seems that they’re a noisy group of left wingers trying to bring down the government simply because it took money out of programs to help prevent domestic violence and presided over a workplace where sexist behaviour is rampant.

These agitators marched on Parliament and wanted Morrison to go out and listen to them, but if they’d really wanted to get his attention why didn’t they march to the Rugby and into the winning change rooms. where he’s clearly happy to meet anyone who’s wearing the right top.

No, these women just don’t understand the way it works. Take that Grace Tame as an example. She seems to think that being given Australian of the Year gives her a licence to criticise the Prime Minister. The Courier Mail had an opinion piece saying exactly that which some people misunderstood and kept asking where one could apply for such a licence if one is needed. You don’t need a licence to criticise the PM, but when you’re a woman who‘s given an award or a job, you’re meant to be grateful and just accept things and not complain about anything. So Tame shouldn’t have expressed her view that Stoker was an inappropriate choice as Assistant Minister For Women just because she stated that Bettina Arndt thoroughly deserved her award and it’s far too easy for women to make complaints when they’re sexually harassed.

Or take Samantha Maiden. Apparently when Scotty switched from showing how much he was moved by the plight of women to suggest that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones and issued his “Be careful!” threat, he was specifically referring to a complaint that had been made against Maiden in the workplace. Just in case, she missed it, Aaron Patrick did a follow up piece in the AFR where he explained this, and pointed out that not only had some people found her difficult, but Patrick also disclosed that she’d suffered from anxiety and depression because we all needed to understand that this might be the reason that she was on the left wing side of the debate and therefore not thinking clearly.

On a side note, is there an irony to the fact that two of those driving the “debate” are named Tame and Maiden?

So, what are the solutions? Well, it seems to me after everything I’ve read from men on this issue, that women need to keep their heads down, do what they’re told and be grateful that there’s an extra woman in the Cabinet.

If women have better ideas than this, I suspect we’ll hear them. Unlike Peter van Onselen, I won’t be surprised.

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Rossleigh’s Easter Message!

Ok, I was going to get my wife to help but she said that she had better things to do and the dog wouldn’t sit still and I wasn’t sure how much Valium to give it so that it would be placid like Scotty’s dog, so I’ve just decided to say have a good Easter…

Meanwhile, in case you missed the message from our fearless leader, I’ve enclosed a transcript. This is entirely from memory, so I may have the odd misplaced word or sentence:

Scotty and Jen:

Happy Easter, Australia.

Scotty:

Easter is a very special time where people all over Australia are coming together in ways that they haven’t been able to do over the past year and I’m not referring to desks here. No, I’m referring to the idea that families and friends can come out from under the doona and start spending money again.

It’s a particularly special time for Christians of all faiths and we all need to stop and consider the significance of this time when Jesus forgave his tormentors and encouraged forgiveness and I think it would help if we all did likewise and stopped picking on Liberal MPs just because they made a few mistakes like overspending taxpayers’ money and hiding in bushes and other things that may result in defamation action were I to list them.

At times like this, I remember how Jesus threw the money lenders out of the temple because he only wanted prosperous people going to services and the money lenders enabled the poor to borrow enough to afford to pay the admission price of a ticket to Heaven.

Of course, not everyone celebrating Easter with their loved ones will be familiar with the true meaning of the occasion which is a shame because they’ll all burn in Hell, but let’s not bring politics into what should be a day for joy after those silly lockdowns that stopped us all going to the football. Thankfully now the footy’s back and we can concentrate on what’s really important.

And speaking of sinners burning in Hell, we shouldn’t forget all those affected by the terrible floods. Jen and I were fortunate enough to meet several of them and use them for great photo opportunities. I remember Jen whispering to me that I should forget about chicken coops and cubbies and start on the Ark. We had a great laugh about that.

To the women of Australia, I have this message: I have listened and I have responded. I’ve given the Minister for Women a big promotion and I’ve given her an assistant. You could say that Marise needed Amanda Stoker but don’t say that out loud or you’ll sound like Moe answering the phone in a Simpson’s episode. Anyway, I’ve established a task force of ladies to have a bit of a natter and read some report about helping combat harassment which apparently we’ve had for quite a while. It’s their job to stop all those women problems that I’ve become aware such as women feeling like their voices aren’t heard just because we didn’t actually read the report.

To show just how enlightened I’ve become.I’ve even decided to let Jen say a few words.

Jen:

I’m particularly looking forward to spending time with my family because that’s what real women do. And our daughters are getting older which is really something quite amazing because I didn’t realise that would happen, but even though they’re older and refusing to appear in this video, they’re still looking forward to searching for chocolates which they do every year, but this year we thought we’d give them a special treat by actually providing them with some.

Scotty:

They’ll appreciate that. And whoever you are or wherever you are, stay safe and take care and remember that loving others as you love yourself is one of the great Australian values of mateship, so look after each other just as we look after our mates like Gerry Harvey and Solomon Lew.

Happy Easter, everyone.

Jen:

Can we get this stinking animal of my lap and send it back to its owner now?

Scotty:

Just cut that last bit out.

Jen:

They’ve stopped filming, it’s all right.

Scotty:

Are you sure? I don’t want another open mike incident like those idiots Abbott and Dutton had in New Guinea.

Like I said, it’s all from memory but I think I got the gist of it.

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So When Do We Get A Prime Minister For Men, Eh?

Gracey Trimshore: Good evening, tonight we have an interview with the Prime Marketer, Mr Scott Morrison. Good evening, Mr Morrison.

Prime Minister: Good evening, nice to be here.

GT: Now, you’ve recently anointed Marise Payne as Minister for Women, wasn’t that in her previous duties?

PM: Yes, but we’re making it a much bigger role. As I said the other day, she’s now pretty much the Prime Minister for Women.

GT: So who’s the Prime Minister for Men then?

PM: Well, I am… I’m the Prime Minister for everyone, men and women, but she’s the… um… minister who has prime responsibility for areas of concern for women.

GT: Which are?

PM: Um… you know… Well, you know far better than me… because, well, you are a woman and I’m not so it’s not really for me to tell you what your areas of concern are.

GT: You mean like feeling safe and being listened to when…

PM: Exactly. Things like that… and affordable childcare… and… anyway, that’s why I’ve asked Marise to stop worrying about those other duties where she had too many serious things to distract her and concentrate solely on women’s issues. I mean these past few weeks have been quite an eye-opener for a lot of people, me included. Did you realise that women are happy to be paid a lot less than men? I think one of Marise’s main roles will be to make women aware of just how bad things are and to make them more active in seeking out…

GT: If I could just stop you there, are you saying that women haven’t been active enough in seeking equality?

PM: That’s exactly what I’m saying. I was talking to Jen just the other night when she interrupted to tell me that women would like to have a voice and I said that was news to me.

GT: Where have you been?

PM: Look I haven’t had a holiday since there was all that fuss about the Hawaii trip… oh, wait, I have but it was just down the road to Shoalhaven so that doesn’t really count, does it?

GT: I meant on women’s issues. Has the whole women’s movement passed you by? Didn’t you hear about the sixties and Women’s Liberation?

PM: Yes, but I thought that was just a few lefties who were trying to destroy the fabric of our society because they couldn’t find a bloke, but apparently lots of women want to have a say in their future.

GT: So on the issue of Parliament House and its toxic culture.

PM: Look, I know that there are problems but it’s on both sides of the House and all workplaces are the same…

GT: Can you name another workplace where rape is covered up, prostitutes are called and there are sexual orgies taking place in the so-called prayer room?

PM: No, but if you can, there’s a few blokes in my Cabinet that’d love to go there. Ha ha.

GT: This is not a joke

PM: No, no. Look, you’re right. when I was at Tourism Australia it wasn’t like that at all and not just because my boss was a wowser. I’ll have you know that I’m a very good Christian who doesn’t approve of such things.

GT: Then why have you allowed it?

PM: I haven’t allowed it. I just haven’t been aware of it.

GT: There’s a lot you aren’t aware of.

PM: Thank you.

GT: It’s not a compliment. Brittany Higgins, excessive drinking, wild parties at Parliament House, the contents of the letter with allegations about the Attorney-General, the rollout timetable for the vaccines, Andrew Laming. The list goes on. How can you not be aware of any of this?

PM: Look, I had Phil Gaetjens do an extensive inquiry into exactly what I’m aware of and he should be finished that by now.

GT: Is he?

PM: I don’t know. He hasn’t told me.

GT: He told the Senate he’d stopped his inquiry.

PM: No, he’s only stopped the bit that might incriminate people. He’s now working on all the things that I might have been told but clearly haven’t been because nobody thought they were important enough to bring to my attention because I’m always too busy writing my next speech including the questions from selected journalists.

GT: You’ve added a lot of window dressing with your recent reshuffle and inserted the word “Women” into a lot of titles but will any of these lead to substantial changes?

PM: I reject the premise of your question.

GT: You don’t think it’s window dressing?

PM: No, I reject the idea that it’s meant to lead to substantial changes. We don’t want women achieving if it means that men have to go with less. That’s not progress. We want women to feel empowered to have a go and when they have a go they’ll feel like they’re getting a go and with so many women in the ministry working on women’s issues then that’s real progress because they feel good and no man was harmed in making them feel like they’re achieving something.

GT: That makes no sense at all. You’re just shuffling things around to create the appearance of doing something.

PM: Shuffling things around is doing something. That’s the way the whole economy works. Australia has things in the ground, we dig them up, shuffle them around and money appears in people’s bank accounts. Surely you’re not against mining?

GT: How can women have any faith in your government when you refuse to deal with Andrew Laming?

PM: He’s a member of the Queensland LNP which I have no control over and anyway he’s said that he’s not contesting the next election because of his poor behaviour so until then he’s a fit and proper person to be part of the Liberal Party and vote with the government.

GT: But you just said that he’s a member of the LNP so you have not control and then you said he’s part of the Liberal Party.

PM: He’s not contesting the next election so I think that should be the end of it.

GT: But surely you can’t say that his behaviour is acceptable…

PM: Excuse me, but Jen is expecting me to call in the next five minutes to say goodnight to the girls…

GT: You’re cutting short an interview to say goodnight to your girls?

PM: My girls are my everything and I think it’s really grubby to bring them up in this interview. Please respect their privacy.

GT: But you were the one…

PM: Sorry, but I’m out of time.

GT: Yes, you certainly are.

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Desk Jobs And Numbers Aren’t Always Boring!

Dave Allen used to tell a joke…

Well, he used to tell a lot of jokes he was a comedian, after all, and he was often politically incorrect. As Darryl Somers said about “Hey, Hey, It’s Saturday, if the show were on today it’d be cancelled. In Dave Allen’s case, it would probably be more because he’s dead, but then I guess you could say the same about a lot of Daryl Somer’s humour.

Anyway, the joke went like this: “One in three road accidents is caused by someone with alcohol in their system… This means that two-thirds of the accidents are caused by SOBER PEOPLE! Why don’t they get off the road and give the poor drunks a go?”

While it’s not very funny, it’s been great for teaching kids about using statistics in argument. You put forward the proposition that the guy saying this has a really good point and they respond that it’s just stupid. When you tell them that statistics don’t lie, they know there’s something wrong, but they have trouble articulating exactly what. Eventually, someone gets it and says that the number of alcohol-related accidents is disproportionate to the number of drunk drivers, but it often takes a while.

I bring this up because of Scott Morrison’s assertion: “Christian Porter is innocent.”

Like the kids in class trying to work out what was wrong with the proposition that drink driving is safer, I couldn’t work out exactly what I was objecting to. After all, I do support the idea of the presumption of innocence. And I did understand that conviction in a court of law would be difficult owing to the death of the victim and the historical nature of the case. Even an investigation could prove inconclusive.

Allowing for all that, I was still disturbed by Morrison declaring Porter innocent. Why was this more galling than the average, “I wasn’t convicted so the court has completed exonerated me!” Courts rarely “exonerate”; the best is that they don’t find people guilty. Lack of evidence is NOT proof of innocence. It simply means that the person should be given the benefit of the doubt.

On a side note, I am wondering when appeals courts throw out convictions because of irregularities to do with the Gobbo fiasco, will the same people who now assert that the High Court found George Pell innocent as opposed to not guilty, suddenly start suggesting that particular underworld figures are similarly “innocent”.

So what was wrong with Morrison’s assertion of Porter’s innocence. Do I not accept that I must presume him innocent?

And then I remember the Dave Allen joke.

We’ve been hearing statistics about how only three percent of rapes result in convictions. And we can speculate about all the possible reasons for it.

But I just want to spin the Morrison thing around and make it not about Porter but pursue it to its logical conclusion. It means that the subtext is all the rapes that didn’t result in a conviction were made against innocent men. 97% of the claims are therefore false and made against innocent men.

Everyone – except Pauline Hanson – knows that’s nonsense.

When the Prime Minister suggests that you can’t judge someone guilty on the basis of an accusation, he’s theoretically right. However, that doesn’t mean that you can simply dismiss the accusation and say we can’t condemn people on the basis of an allegation. That’s when you end up with the absurdity of the past week and Eric Abetz. (I’m referring to the specific statement by the Tasmanian speaker not the general absurdity of Eric.)

Scotty’s response to that could be summarised as: “Blokes sometimes get it wrong but I haven’t with Eric because he assured me that he didn’t say those things and that she was just making it up and while I believe in the general principle that we should believe a woman, you just can’t when the bloke vigorously, strenuously or categorically denies the allegation because a man’s a man for all that. Investigate further? But I already have his denial. What would further investigation achieve?”

Of course, one very interesting thing about the conversation Eric didn’t have with Sue Hickey on March 1st was the fact that he identified Porter before Christian had outed himself. If the conversation had taken place as Ms Hickey says, then this would have been three days after the letter that Morrison never saw was delivered to his office and five days after Morrison confronted Porter with the allegations which he didn’t have. So, if Hickey is telling the truth – and it appears that she spoke to the Tasmanian Premier at the time – the question must be: Who told Abetz? Remembering that part of Porter’s defamation claim is that he was identifiable from Louis Milligan’s article do we conclude that the phrase “senior Cabinet minister” was something that Eric read and immediately thought: “That can only be Christian!” Or was it an open secret like the prayer room which apparently everyone but Scotty knew about?

As for Brittany Higgins allegation that his office was backgrounding journalists about her partner, it would be unfair to simply believe her. After all, as he pointed out many times, he’d seen no evidence. Had he asked his staff it were true? No need, because he’d seen no evidence it was happening and if you haven’t seen any evidence, they all must be innocent and there’s no formal complaint and… Oh, Brittany’s made one. Well, he can’t believe her just because she said it’s true. Neither can he simply ask his staff. No, we need another inquiry which will go to enormous lengths and leave no stone unturned in its attempts to get to the truth of this matter. It may take years, but it needs to be thorough.

Anyway, just because our PM believes Porter, Abetz et al, this doesn’t mean that he always disbelieves the woman. I’m sure that if any woman has any charges against a member of the Opposition, Morrison will happily endorse it even before an investigation.

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Prayer Groups And Prayer Rooms And Liberals On Their Knees!

For someone who spends a large part of their time finding ways to make politicians look ridiculous, I must confess to mixed emotions when Tony Abbott was deposed as Prime Minister. Sure, it was good for the country but as any Liberal frontbencher will tell you, “Just because it’s good for the country doesn’t mean it’s good for me!” Little did I realise that, not only would Turnbull give me no reason to pause, but his replacement would leave me feeling like I didn’t have enough time to consider all the ways that I could hold his government up to ridicule.

When Phil “Sergeant Schultz” Gaetjens was put in charge of the inquiry, many of us thought that this would be a repeat of the sports rorts one where he only asked a couple of people if they’d done anything corrupt and was satisfied when they said that they hadn’t. We were wrong. He just decided the best thing was not to ask any questions at all because the AFP told him it would be “unwise”. I’m not sure whether it was because it might jeopardise the investigation that they are allegedly doing or whether it was because he might actually find that contrary to all evidence, Scott Morrison actually knows something. (I mean about this particular event/incident/security breach but the sentence works as a stand alone comment too!)

Anyway, the Opposition seemed to think that they could infer from Morrison’s answer in Question Time that when they questioned Phil the Uncurious next week at Estimates, that he would actually answer the questions. Au contraire, the PM merely said that they could ask him. He never said that there’d be answers. Tell you that last week? Ha ha, why would I do that? No, that’s not misleading. I reject the implication.

But little did I know that I wouldn’t be writing about the Gaetjens non-inquiry because by the end of the day, I’d be asking questions about the so-called Prayer Group. I mean, I’ve heard various journalists refer to the group and it always suggested to me that it was a group of religious MPs who spent some part of each day on their knees seeking a path to glory.

Given what we know now about the prayer room, one hopes that they didn’t meet in the prayer room… Or if they did, one hopes that they weren’t on their knees… Um, that sounds sort of wrong. What I meant was that I hope they did it standing up… Um, what I’m trying to say is that I’m sure that the Prayer Group is a religious group who would have used it for the purpose it was intended.

Perhaps, I should move on to the desk. Or rather, the staffer who was sacked for having an inappropriate relationship with someone else’s. Jen didn’t even have to ask what if it were your daughters’ desk. Swift decisive action. No need to ask how much alcohol was in the desk or why the desk didn’t report it at the time. See, we’re not a mob of misogynists like those silly women are saying… Apparently, Michelle Landry was sorry for the young man because he “loved the place”… How she knows it was genuine love and not just lust, I don’t know.

The Prime Minister fronted the media this morning to assure them he was deeply concerned by all this because his daughters are everything… and Jen she’s also everything…plus he has a mum – a widowed mum – who are everything and they inspire him, so I that’s why his job is nothing. But they’ve motivated him all life and he’s got several announcements up his sleeve about changing culture which is both appalling and not really worse than other places. He managed to justify his answer about getting an update about the end of the Gaetjens investigation by telling everyone that he didn’t mislead Parliament when he said he hadn’t had an update about anything because there’s nothing to update and he doesn’t know when he’ll get the final report because he won’t, so when he said that he didn’t know, well, what could be clearer than that. Apart from possibly saying last week that the whole thing had been put on hold.

Yes, while Parliament is a toxic culture where entitled males run rampant, is it any different from where you work? After all, as Scottyfromrejectedpremises said, nobody can be expected to know everything that’s going on, or if you’re PM, anything. Why, Andrew, there’s an investigation into an incident at NewsCorp which I know all about even if you don’t, so don’t go throwing stones. “Be careful!” Which isn’t a threat it’s just a simple statement and certainly not implying that there are countries not all that far from here where journalists are met with bullets for questioning authority.

However, it does make one wonder how lax things must be at NewsCorp when a complaint like that is mentioned in the PM’s press conference. I mean, who told him? If the Liberals can keep a sexual assault so confidential that Scott Morrison never hears about it, how did he find out about this one? Surely not gossip because he never comments on that, so it must have been official.

Still, criticising the culture at a Murdoch operation is a brave move. A very brave move.

He’ll be gone within the week!

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Jordan Peterson Had 12, But Stick With Rossleigh For Less

Some of you are probably familiar with Jordan Peterson’s “12 Rules For Life”. Even if you haven’t actually read them, you’ve probably noticed them prominently displayed in bookstores. Peterson has actually released a sequel called by the rather creative, “12 More Rules For Life”.

Now, isn’t that just what we need? More rules. Honestly, he’s meant to be a conservative. You’d think he’d have heard that the conservatives want less regulation and red tape, but I’m breaking my first rule here by talking about Peterson.

No, stick with me. I don’t have twelve rules. I always think if you have too much to think about your just end up forgetting your rules until it’s the sort of SNAFU that comes with something like the Liberals’ vaccine rollout. At which point you go, that’s right: Rule 34. I should have thought of Rule 34 before I got myself into this mess. So here’s one rule to keep in mind:

Rossleigh’s 1st Rule: Don’t be distracted

Ok, I’m not saying you can’t let yourself have distractions. Distractions are a lovely thing sometimes. There’s nothing better when out on a walk looking over and being distracted by the sight of a beautiful sunset or a pretty flower or someone defacing an advertising sign with some anti-government graffiti.

No, the rule is Don’t BE distracted.

The political classes try it all the time. As do businesses. Whataboutism is frequent way of distracting you. The best recent example of that was Nicolle Flint…

I could allow myself to be distracted here and ask what is it with these Liberal women who have an unusual extra letter in their name like Nicolle and Sussan Ley. In Sussan’s case, my knowledge of the way the English language works means that it should be pronounced Suss an… Which may be appropriate but I would never say such a thing in case the Porter case upholds the idea that you can’t report someone else’s allegations because this may suggest guilt in the eyes of the public… While this would be a blow for journalism, it would also totally destroy Rupert’s business model.

Where was I? Ah yes, don’t be distracted.

Flint, it seems, has managed to distract some people from talking about the PM’s “How great to be in Australia where we don’t shoot demonstrators!” by recounting her terrible story of harassment by a stalker and somehow laying it at the feet of Anthony Albanese. While I’m not suggesting that Ms Flint’s stalking wasn’t a terrible experience, it’s rather odd to suggest that because the stalker had liked posts on GetUp!’s Facebook page he was connected to them and they criticise the Liberal Party so they must be a Labor front and as such Albanese should have done something about them even though he wasn’t Labor leader at the time. After all, Scott Morrison said that he was aware of the terrible harassment of Flint and he thought they were about the worst things he had ever heard since Gomorrah lost to Sodom in the Old Testament rugby final but, in spite of this, Scottyfromdistractions did nothing about them until…

Well, he’s actually still done nothing about them apart from suggesting that they’re all the fault of the Labor leader.

However, the most recent example of distraction as a political art comes from neither politics nor business, but the NSW Police Commissioner and taker out of bins, Mick Fuller.

I refer, of course, to his thought bubble of the Consent App.

Now I could spend considerable time taking it seriously and writing about things like would we eventually have defence lawyers trying to suggest that their client wasn’t guilty of rape because the very fact the woman had the consent app on her phone meant that she was promiscuous and therefore not the sort of woman who could be trusted. If you think that’s far-fetched, you haven’t taken notice of the history of how women are treated when they report a crime. I could also mock the idea of a date which ends with, “I’d really like to have sex with you but my phone just died so…”

But Rossleigh’s Rule Number 1.

Even Mick Fuller said that he didn’t think the idea was likely to be implemented, so why was he even suggesting it?

If a Liberal politician suggested it, I’d think they were just trying to distract from Scotty’s bad week… actually, make that few weeks… all right, time in office.

However, this is an independent crime-fighter. If I didn’t know better, I’d think that he was trying to position himself for preselection in a safe Liberal seat…

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