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What a Circus!

Why is there a sense of foreboding whenever Tony Abbott travels overseas? Probably because one’s immediate reaction is, “Oh God, in what way will he embarrass us this time.” I can’t help thinking that as they watched John Oliver’s parody of Abbott on his weekly satirical, “Last Week Tonight” show, members of the American press were of a similar mind about his planned visit there next week. Tony Abbott’s poor media presence, his stilted speech, his fake laugh are grist for the mill to a press corp. aware of his tendency to say something incredibly stupid. My fervent wish would be that they ignore him and give us all a break from the cringing and squirming we will have to endure as we sit on our sofas, in front of our TV sets and follow his movements across the Northern Hemisphere. The planned meeting with US President Barack Obama will, no doubt, be particularly painful to watch. One can only hope that Obama will take pity and shield him from the US press or at least spring to his aid when Abbott inevitably sticks his foot in his mouth.

In the meantime the Coalition government and particularly the Liberal side of it appear to be imploding. Bolt on Turnbull, Bernadi on Turnbull, all stirred up over a meal Turnbull had with Clive Palmer. And the winner was . . . Clive Palmer. Even West Australian Liberal MP Dennis Jensen, a former research scientist and defence analyst, was moved to criticise the government for cutting funding to the CSIRO? It’s not hard to see that the Liberals are running scared right now. Bad polling numbers, internal criticisms of Hockey’s budget and the press popularity of Clive Palmer who is clearly enjoying the road show and keeping everyone guessing as to what he’ll do next, is taking its toll. Queensland Coalition MP’s in particular are already starting to panic. Palmer’s popularity in Queensland and the rising dissatisfaction with the Newman state government is a genuine concern for them. As most MP’s know only too well, when Queensland voters are upset they can be particularly savage come election time.

One wonders why Andrew Bolt raised the question of Turnbull’s activities on his programme. Was he prompted to do so by the Abbott camp or was he trying to gain some publicity for his show? Does he genuinely fear Turnbull? Has he forgotten the devastating impact leadership speculation had on the previous government? For all the commentary that has appeared on this issue, it was Bolt who started it. He is the one making the case for Turnbull’s so-called disloyalty. Interestingly, several Coalition MP’s came out this week criticising Turnbull and favouring Bolt, when the PM made it clear in parliament that he favoured Turnbull over Bolt. That is hardly what you would call a co-ordinated united front.

In the meantime, Hockey has gone strangely quiet and Scott Morrison is in damage control. Two self immolations and one murder so far on Scott Morrison’s watch. And that’s what we actually know. There are claims of asylum seekers being lost at sea while being forcibly repatriated to remote Indonesian Islands by the Royal Australian Navy. But the Minister is warning his critics against making “assumptions” about what led Sri Lankan man Leorsin Seemanpillai to take his life. Does he not realise by saying that, he is drawing attention to the obvious?

Now, a new problem has surfaced and it has gone viral. John Oliver’s ‘Last Week Tonight’ skit made Abbott look like the village idiot. Anyone familiar with the Comedy Channel who knows the threesome that is Jon Stewart, Steven Colbert and John Oliver, would also know their popularity worldwide via YouTube. And the Liberal party brains trust would have noticed too that Oliver was careful not to alienate his friends in Australia. He emphasised that only 30% supported Abbott. Australian politics is hardly ever presented in satirical form overseas. We are mostly ignored, criticised or praised depending on the circumstances, but rarely satirised. And for an Australian Prime Minister to be the subject of that satire, to be so jeered and made to look so inept and just plain stupid must be a first, particularly on the eve of an official visit. Will we be hearing accusations that this also was planned by Turnbull?

Everything about this farcical situation has been of the conservative’s side of politics own making. It might have been planned but the more likely explanation is that they are all just so rattled and dysfunctional these days, that it all came naturally. Did you see Barnaby Joyce’s sexist gaffe on The Project during the week? On Peta Credlin, he commented, “I’m on good information from her husband that she’s a woman.” He explained the gaffe as a poor attempt at humour. Yes it was, but it also validates the dysfunctional element infecting the government. What a circus!


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  1. DanDark

    Every time I see that pic of Tone’s in big jet
    It reminds me of “Thunderbirds are go”
    And he plays the puppet very well

  2. Nuff Said

    The question regarding Bolt’s motivation for going Turnbull is an interesting one, but could the answer be as simple as him being so politically dense and so attached to self-promotion that he couldn’t see any bad repercussions? Could be as simple as Bolt’s a dolt?

  3. Kaye Lee

    On the Joyce comment,

    People wonder why so many millions around the world hailed Julia’s misogyny speech as a magnificent example of what they have wanted to scream for years. In true Abbott attack fashion, this was called “playing the gender card”. Don’t even start me on the “gender card”.

    Look at Abbott’s gaffes during the election campaign, passed off as “daggy dad” moments. Look at his comments as a younger man, passed off with “I have changed…I am even related to some women…see…here they are.” Look at comments by people like Bernardi and Andrews – blessed be the homemaker. “Women of calibre” judged by income. Female colleagues “knocking on the door” of success sometime maybe after they have attended a Catholic boys school and played rugby.

    I saw this privileged little bovver boy and his gang of sycophants bluster their way around Sydney uni in the 70s trying to intimidate all and sundry. I see no change in the MO other than wearing suits. Women are for rooting, to do the cooking and ironing, and to drag around for photo opportunities at functions.

    Wait….where are the ladies…we brought some didn’t we? They’re probably fixing their hair and makeup – they understand the importance of the film crew.

  4. Kaye Lee

  5. Stephen Tardrew


    That video of Abbott looking around for his lost business women was a classic. No names just where are the token women? It was just so blatantly sexist as to be embarrassing yet he is totally oblivious to the hypocrisy. Funnily enough Credlin can’t keep a handle on this idiot all the time.

    John Oliver has really set the agenda for Abbott’s visit to the US. Comedy Central may not have a big audience however that internet viral thingy can be a bitch. Abbott and handlers must be pissing themselves at the brilliant pre-qual to his visit. Not only that Comedy Central has intentional exposure. That video may be one of the seminal moments in the political life of Brear Rabbit. It is just completely damning and no amount of deflection is going to stop this one. Poetic justice – that’s if there is a poetic or artistic bone in Abbott’s body which I doubt.

  6. Stephen Tardrew

    Great article by the way John.
    What an edifying week for our Dear Leader.

  7. DanDark

    Circus 2014

    Roll up roll up
    the circus is here
    Introducing your ring master
    Head of the LNP
    Tony the Terrible
    he will tie you
    to your seat
    He will lie and deceive
    He is mean you will see

    Smokin’ Joe and his wife
    Will show you a dance step or two
    before he wipes the floor with you
    A bit of music please Mr music
    Oh wrong gig that was Romper Room
    Sorry audience we sometimes
    Get the truth confused

    We have Corman the clown
    He is so funny
    if you can understand
    what he says
    he has an Arnie Swarneger accent
    And at intermission
    he acts like the fool
    Clowns are funny and have no clue
    He will ride his unicycle
    and have a few surprises just for you

    I wrote this a little while ago 🙂

  8. Fed up

    What a different atmosphere in QT today, with the cat away, They seem to be trying to outdo one another, as to who could give the most dramatic performance.

    Yes, and the stony depressed looks on the faces of yesterday not apparent.

    They gave the appearance of being energised.

  9. Florence nee Fed up

    New name for new site.

  10. john921fraser



    Phoney Tony in the phoney jet.

    Murdoch media failed to inform Australia that it was only a mock up for display purposes.

  11. john921fraser


    Oh ! neat.

    I criticise "Nathan" for a Link that is more in keeping on Pickerings site and by association Carol Taylor and now I pay the price by being moderated.

    Democracy ?

  12. Trissy

    “Will we be hearing accusations that this also was planned by Turnbull?”

    Umm, no. Clearly it was Labor’s fault. They did it just before they put a gremlin in the plane….

  13. Auricle

    Can’t wait to see the footage from Indonesia. He’ll bowl in there, grab the President’s forearm and shake the poor man’s shoulder to pieces, while blissfully unaware of how insulting it is. Just like last time!

    Incidentally, Morrison is not in “damage control”. The phrase is “damage control mode” and says nothing about the success or failure of those attempting it. (If you don’t understand the idiom, don’t try to use it.)

  14. Stephen Tardrew


    Uncalled for. Each to his own. Opinion piece not an academic paper. We all know what John means. Please no thought control. I find your attitude rather insulting.

  15. corvus boreus

    Swagger up, power-paw grip with attitudinal overbear, half step back with quick eyeflick to check the package.
    All class. Represent!

  16. corvus boreus

    P.s John, unless I’ve fupduck and not reelized, i think screenings the new policy.
    General trend 😉

  17. Lost2

    Well the latest gaffe from the Liberal party came from the defence minister, blaming Labor for the technical issues that kept tony grounded this morning, yes Labors fault, and because of that the VIP fleet needs to be replaced because they are old and outdated, a fleet that was purchased in 2002, a fleet that has operational life of 30 years according to the makers.

  18. DanDark

    Well down here in Vic
    We have a Jeff Shaw government
    He is running the circus down here
    Naptime is stuffed, but it’s been rather
    entertaining to watch the libs and ex lib implode 🙂

  19. Florence nee Fed up

    It appears that Gillard looked ast replacing them. Seems they are not big enough., Gillard put the idea aside. More important choices to be made.

    If Abbott had a bigger plane, he could take more with him.

    The defence minister will probably be the first to go. Already problems with departmental heads.

  20. Stephen Tardrew

    Clive Palmer on 7.30 report. Basically unspoken: I don’t give a shit: Spoken; I don’t need you my parliamentary salary goes to charity: Unspoken; I am rich enough not to give a shit: Unspoken: I got the numbers stupid: Spoken if you can’t give me staff to read thousands of pages of legislation it won’t get passed: Spoken; Credlin tacit recognition I wrote her: Unspoken; who cares: Spoken; did not know her history: Unspoken; so what: Spoken; housewives and rural families get nothing: He just cuts through with the fearless attitude of someone who does not need any of them. Now I am not a fan but:
    LNP don’t know how to deal with him. Hates Murdoch and despises Abbott. Good luck with that Tony.
    Labor is a bit worried as well because he could well be their nemesis after the next election.
    Just love the fun and games though.
    Abbott will be ropeable because he knows he can’t win. What sweet revenge.
    I am aware that, even so, the double edged sword of Damocles still hangs over our heads.

  21. John921Fraser


    I wrote this 10 hours ago on Noely's website (,126#disqus_thread )

    And I stand by every word :

    "I personally don't give a rats arse about what Clive Palmer said.

    Peta Credlin has juxtaposed herself into the very highest echelons of politics and deserves every piece of opprobrium imposed on her.

    Only a complete moron would not know that Peta Credlin was the one directing Abbotts attacks on former Prime Minister Julia Gillard and only a complete cretin would not know that Peta Credlin and her husband Brian Loughnane are the ones credited by the Liberal party as having been the "war" Cabinet that worked with Murdoch to lie to the Australian public and get Abbott elected.

    The day can't come soon enough when all Australians dump this gang in the rubbish bin."

  22. Florence nee Fed up

    When one breaks convention, setting a precedence, one cannot complain when it is used against you.

    The best quote today came from John Howard. He was talking about the number of MP;s that have no or little experience outside politics.

    I could be wrong, but did not Kohn enter politics after a short stint as a suburban lawyer.

    It was also my belief, that Howard had no time for university campus, and all his years in Canberra, f\refused to enter the National university.

    Maybe he counts the weekend work in the family garage as life’s experience.

    Time does colour ones memories.

  23. John Kelly

    Corvus Boreus: it must be my age but I’m struggling to understand what you are saying.

  24. Stephen

    I’ve looked all over this site for the outrage regarding Palmers Credlin comments but all I can find is the usual hypocrisy. Nice

  25. corvus boreus

    Sorry John K, probably not your vintage,more me overindulging in slanguage.
    First post was about PMs body language and conduct in diplomacy; all swagger and puff, awkward and false. Playing the constant blame game on the overseas stage doesn’t play well either; other countries don’t really care much about our domestic squabbles.
    Second post was a personal aside wif bad speling.
    I shall try for more clarity within my tangential brain.

  26. Stephen Tardrew


    Outrage WTF. I am not responsible for Palmer’s mouth and I don’t see what the hell it has to do with me. I may not agree but it is so minor considering the state of lying deceit and corruption coming out of the LNP. When you start batting for the unemployed aged and marginalized I might listen but until then get off your high horse.

  27. corvus boreus

    Stephen, it was an ad-hominem attack with gender bias pertaining to personal matters. I am outraged. But then, I’ve never really liked or trusted Clive much anyway.

  28. DanDark

    Who cares what Clive shoots off at the mouth with
    That’s just Clive, Ruperts wife is a Chinese spy too
    Oh ex wife now, Newman is corrupt,
    Mmm there is more but, I am not outraged at anything Clive says
    I did not say it, I said worse about the wicked witch from the east 🙂
    She is nasty and mean and scares all who dare to speak
    Barnaby is in deep shit,, is she a woman or not Barnaby?

  29. Florence nee Fed up

    Steven why does one think I should support either Peta or Clive,. Yes, he did hit below the belt,. Neither belong to my mob. Peta has learnt, that if one throws stones, sometimes one gets them back.

    In the scheme of things, and with all that is going on, not a number one concern.

    Page seven or eight story at the best.

  30. Florence nee Fed up

    I am more outraged, at what its missing from this budget. Information that has been provided since Federation.,

    I am more outraged, at a minister that sits, continually talking over the top of officials,

    A minister that discredits what his official is saying,

    Getting information out of this mob is impossible. So much is hidden, it is not funny.,

    Yes, I am outraged at being conned.

  31. Stephen Tardrew


    Quite frankly I do not understand what hate is, anger yes, resentment yes, but hate is one of those things far from my experience. It seems to me that you know more about hate than me because you know it when you see it. By the way jealous of whom?
    As for your advice. Stick it.

  32. corvus boreus

    Stephen T, I would agree with kobymac’s advice, and add my own general unsolicited additional advice, if not my best.
    Don’t assume that anger comes from hatred, or that hatred comes from jealousy.
    Goodnight humans. 😉

  33. DanDark

    Yep so now they are being shown up for all the secrets
    Not just the secrecy around the boats
    PEFO was even discredited by Hockey in QT today
    He is a big Baffoon on the back foot now
    Like corman in senate hearings
    the web they weave is slowly unravelling
    And where’s Tone’s out of the country 🙂

  34. Stephen Tardrew

    Corvus I did not infer that anger comes from hatred or hatred from jealousy what is your point. I am sure that Stephen can clarify what he meant and if I am mistaken I would apologize. As for your advice you can stick it too.

  35. corvus boreus

    Know i said goodnight but…
    Stephen T, peace, breathe. You misunderstand my intent.
    (whispered aside) just pointing out internal inconsistencies in kobymac’s aside.
    his first sentence about not judging by infering into silence is actually universally valid,
    but when this was followed by inference that your response to Stephen(non tardew)
    was hatred(not expressed as I saw) grounded in hatred(hell of an assumption),
    well, I couldn’t leave that there.
    I should have directed my quotes to kobymac directly, but I was trying to be facetious.
    Sorry, fellow man, I do forgot that my muddy mind can be hard to read.
    Peace out,goodnight for real.
    Re sticking my advice, I did say it wasn’t my best.
    Hope I clarified, calmed and restored some good faith.
    PS I left some thoughts on the biofuel thread.

  36. Bob Rafto

    In my email today was a jpeg with superimposed text on a photo of Abbott standing at the top of the stairs of a jet waving bye bye,’

    The heading on this photo is Idiot Abroad, a few faux pas in France and to continue in the US.

  37. Stephen Tardrew

    Cool Corvus:

    I can see where the confusion comes form. I can imagine it is heart rending for Credlin and for that I am sorry and I in no way support Palmer but am simply making observations. That she can apparently willingly harm a huge number of people without guilt or remorse may well be tied into her circumstances however that does not justify the heartless harming of many innocent people. Peoples personal lives and tragedies are not of their making however harming others without concern or consideration is morally wrong.

    I don’t see the LNP leaping to the defense of low income and marginalize Australians while we are made to feel guilty for not rushing to discus Palmer and Credlin. I trust neither.

  38. corvus boreus

    Cool brother. Work calls. Bless your day!(!!!) 🙂

  39. Helen Brennan

    each day of the Abbott regime had revealed yet another debacle, horror or lie. And now he is off to Abbottifise world leaders..shudder. The rats will play while he is away.

  40. John921Fraser


    Forget the hilarious movies "The Trip" or its follow up "The Trip to Italy".

    Abbotts "Trip to D Day" will have (embarrassing) laughs.

  41. Phil

    what do you mean ‘make him look like the village idiot’? ….HE’S THE VILLAGE IMBECILE

  42. Nuff Said

    Actually, imbeciles have a higher IQ than idiots, so idiot is probably more appropriate.

  43. geoffreyengland

    “The adults are in charge.”
    May that particular slogan of Abbott’s come back and haunt him to oblivion.

  44. corvus boreus

    Personally, I feel no embarrassment in Antony Abbott swaggering, smarming, smearing and stumbling around on the world stage. The collective contempt he generates does not reflect upon me.
    I hope Pres. Obama has sniffed the wind and takes the opportunity to spotlight our PM’s archaic and narrow vision in a glaring and obvious way. Just a couple of succinct climate change questions would do it.
    Maybe it’ll go the other way. The President could be bowled over by the firm handshake, and, through the perspicacity of vision and depth of scientific knowledge our Prime Minister shows on the subject of anthropogenically influenced climate change, and the charm and elloquence with which he expresses it(science really is such a crap concept when you think about it), that Mr Obama may immediately repeal his own domestic emission reduction measures.

  45. Kaye Lee

    You may reject any association with Abbott’s “daggy dad” moments but the rest of the world knows they are dealing with fools who are very easily manipulated. When Julie Bishop went to the US early in her tenure they knew exactly how to play her.

    “The Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, was introduced as “tougher than a woodpecker’s lips” as she made her only public speech during her four-day visit to Washington, DC.

    Welcoming her to the leading think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the group’s president, John Hamre, described Margaret Thatcher as “Britain’s Julie Bishop”, a remark Ms Bishop later described as a great compliment.”

    Read more:

    We then hear

    “AUSTRALIA and the United States have signed an agreement to cement co-operation on deployment of US Marines for training in Australia’s top end.

    US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel says plans for expanded training of US forces in Australia, announced when United States President Barack Obama visited two years ago, remain on track, with 1100 Marines visiting next year.”

    and then

    “Prime Minister Tony Abbott will today formally announce that Australia will buy 58 more F-35 Joint Strike fighters — bringing the planned F-35 fleet to 72 aircraft in total. The first Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is slated for delivery in 2018 ahead of RAAF operation in 2020. Australia’s new $12 billion order will reportedly become the country’s most expensive defence asset; one designed to eventually replace RAAF’S F-18 Super Hornets.”

    The thing that REALLY scares me is a Free Trade agreement with China. They have watched the US secure military deals, they have watched the haste with which we signed FTA with Korea and Japan, and they have heard Abbott promise to conclude the deal before the end of the year. What will he say yes to to be able to say “look we did it”?

  46. corvus boreus

    Yes Kaye, it will hurt us diplomatically with all the bonuses that come from being thought of as a intellectually and morally deficient nation happy to flog off our primary assets cheaply.
    But I’m still not embarrassed, I didn’t want him there and stated so in every way I could.

  47. sam

    Tony gets let out to play with the other kids. Wonderful, hope he gets blockaded by hippes somewhere. (libs hate pacifists) 😉

    Meanwhile for the ordinary people (non-billionaires).
    The two speed economy is showing more signs of tanking in such a way that its going to be a fantastic stuff-up and one hell of a recession:

    Australian national accounts – a fragile state

    Good old liberal ‘know how’ 😉
    Sell more stuff ‘outa the ground’ on a market where its worth less and your primary trading partner china is buying less. Who cares about the environment/diversifying the economy *cough: normal management of an economy* thats not proper rigged market capitalism.
    Even with the external sector trade private sector is still in defecit to external sector and government taking money with its Austerity ideology rubbish out of said private sector.

    Legislate to keep the profits for the rich keep whipping the rest of the private sector *households/elderly/kids/name-your-minority*. Oh and call out the dole bludgers for not finding the jobs that by aggregate dont exist in the labor market.

    Vote Liebriberal!

  48. corvus boreus

    sam, not much into the sledge tags, but “liebriberal” raised a chuckle. 🙂

  49. mars08


    “The adults are in charge.”
    May that particular slogan of Abbott’s come back and haunt him to oblivion.

    We can only hope. Live by the sword, die by the sword etc.

  50. corvus boreus

    Mars 08
    Trouble with Mr Abbott(who tries to talk like a counterfeit soldier, without credibility of experience), he has no reasonable posture of defense.
    He has no shield to raise, so defends himself by attacking with a succession of wild, reckless sword swings. I think he is about to lodge his blade in his own foot. Too bad about the collateral wounds to the collective in the meantime.

  51. mars08

    corvus boreus:

    …he is about to lodge his blade in his own foot. Too bad about the collateral wounds to the collective…

    I am a mean, heartless bastard… but I really don’t care about those members of “the collective” who enthusiastically for these gormless crooks. If they had put any thought into where they were placing their vote, they would have seen Abbott for the neanderthal that he is. It was obvious that he didn’t have a clue… The more suffering that is heaped on his adoring fans, the better.

  52. DanDark

    I live in Darren Chesters electorate
    I hadn’t voted since Kennet got in here and was able to wreck the joint all them years ago
    I lost faith, didn’t matter who you voted for, I had always voted till then
    How he got on was unbelievable, same as Tone’s now, unbelievable
    So after all them years, I had to help stop the libs getting in

    But when I was standing in cue for half an hour
    I noticed they all were voting for the coalition, everyone of them
    I was only one their voting for Labor, I was astounded at the sheep
    But now geee they are paying, especially shop keepers and they are whinging
    But they all voted for them, I call it Hypocrite Town now

  53. corvus boreus

    I’m suppressing my schadenfreud with regard to the hotplate-touchers who installed our punch-drunk PM we’ve been lumped with, and the harm they reap.
    Trouble is, I’m part of the collective, and huddled on this rock in the ocean, which I’m rather attached to, his haycutting swings are getting harder to dodge.

  54. mars08

    corvus boreus…. don’t get me wrong. Even though this govt (so far) has done little to disadvantage me personally, I AM outraged at how it is treating the country as a whole. I also think that any alternate government is going to be very busy if they try to reverse the damage done so far.

    BUT… I cannot deny my “schadenfreud with regard to the hotplate-touchers” (beautiful phrase that, BTW) and want them to suffer as long as possible. Surely this time they MUST learn an unambiguous lesson that they can pass to their children! Surely this time they WILL learn to look past the slogans and mindless chest-thumping. Surely…

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