First Among Equals: The Voice


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Oldman Take A Look At My Life OR Why Tony Abbott May Be Right…

I guess that I’m wrong more often than I’m right about things.

Now there’s a strange start to an opinion piece!

But stick with me. I’ve just read “Win Bigly” by Scott Adams and I’ve decided that – apparently – bullshit is good way to win bigly. As he explained, using bad grammar in his title was a great selling point… Although I suspect, “Fuck Democracy Because Hitler Was A Master Persuader” would have also enabled him to sell copies of his book. He spent the whole book telling us that he didn’t agree with Trump’s policies but, hey, wasn’t it good that he was right when he predicted that Trump would win because the only thing that matters is your ability to convince people…

Anyway, I find myself in unchartered waters after reading it, because – as a white, middle-aged male – I’m not used to considering the possibility that I may be wrong because I thought that actually having an idea of what would make a better world was the way to go. And, of course, once I consider the possibilty that I’m ever wrong, I have to ask myself how often it occurs. And, after considering everything from the fact that I’m on my second marriage to how often I’ve tipped the Melbourne Cup winner, I have to conclude that I’ve been wrong a lot. Probably most of the time, if you ignore the things that we all agree on like the sky being blue, etc.

(Ok, before anybody starts a totally irrelevant argument: I know that the sky is not actually blue; it just appears blue. If that happens, then we’ll have a lot of comments that aren’t actually an argument. Some people will be accurately describing science; others will be revisiting Philosophy 101 and talking about the nature of blue and reality. Pauline Hanson supporters will attempt to join the discussion by telling us that the sky is any colour that she says it is and our flag is blue and if you don’t like blue then you probably hate Christmas …)

So when it was suggested that Gary Oldman shouldn’t be getting the best acting award because he’s been accused of abuse by his ex-wife, I have to admit, I may have reacted with a lack of political correctness. See, I believe that the best acting award should go to the best actor.

Of course, I also believe that abusers should be punished and feel the full force of the law. However, if they happen to have got away with it, then we make the decision about whether they deserve praise for that particular endeavour. We don’t, for example, wait at the end of the Olympic marathon to see if the winner has anything immoral in their past…

Oh wait, we do test them for drugs. Mm, I’m wrong again. Bugger.

Anyway, I’m trying to suggest that when someone is good at something they should be acknowledged as good at that. It’s not an endorsement of their whole life.

Otherwise it just gets a little silly:

“Saintly Goodperson shouldn’t get the Nobel Peace Prize!”

“Why not? She’s just use her credibility from her success in curing cancer to bring the Israelis and Palestinians together…”

“Yes, but she’s not a vegan. I don’t think anyone who uses animal products deserves any awards.”

All right, I suspect that some of you are already hostile because of my reference to tipping Melbourne Cup winners, but the point remains: I’m often wrong, so before I get hate mail from animal activists, I’d like to point out that I have nothing against either animals or vegans. Although, as I keep pointing out, I’m often wrong.

I had to consider that I might be wrong earlier today, when Tony Abbott suggested that the landing of a whole heap of illegal immigrants on January 26th, 1788 was good for all Australians – even those who only became Australians in 1967 when they were granted a promotion from part of the flora and fauna to actual people.

You see, Tony suggested that the indigenous population was lucky to have been colonised by the British because, after all, he’s British and it was better for them to have been killed by good British germs and raped by good British people and bayonetted by good British steel. And I had to admit, I thought to myself, imagine if the French had got here first and forced them to eat croissants.

As for the whole invasion nonsense, as someone pointed out, there was no war so there was no invasion. Although that does make all this talk of “home invasions” a bit of an over-reaction.

Whatever, I did have pause to think and just wonder. Could Tony be right about this? Were the massacres somehow more humane because they were carried out by sensitive soldiers and ex-convicts?

So come January 26th, I’m going to be wearing a pair of thongs with the Australian flag on them because what says I love my country more than standing on its flag? That’s one thing I’m sure we can all agree on…





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  1. wam

    The poor old rabbott is opus dei and has had an indoctrination induced lobotomy. It is best if we just smile, nod and let him be the simpleton.
    Loved the standing on the flag but it could be worse. Remember the Malaysian grand prix 2016 they showed the best place for the union jack???

  2. MikeW

    Haven’t read it yet, just a quick glance, then get asked if I am sick to death of reality shows, with two options yes or no.
    How about ‘I don’t know’ because I never watch them….

  3. Roswell

    Superb, Rossleigh.

  4. Rossleigh

    Um, I’m with you on that, MikeW, but I don’t set the questions for things like that. My question would be: How did television people manage to convince us that it was somehow worth paying money for a thing that enables us to watch reality when we’re surroubded by it? Although that’s hard to reduce to multiple choice…

  5. Cool Pete

    What’s the difference between tony abbott and a bucket of shit? The bucket.

  6. Steve Laing

    You can tell that silly season has almost begun again. Up pops Abbott with the Gospel of Australia according to Johnny Howard, and then Pauline wants to put her ex-golden boy in front of the Courts because he’s up and left her. What I’m surprised about is that nobody in the media is asking her the question – so if you knew all this, why did you still have him up as a candidate? Sounds to me that she should be up before the beak too then, for being happily prepared to mislead Parliament prior to him jumping ship, but again, since nobody will ask the question, nothing will occur.

  7. Rossleigh

    Cool Pete: What’s the difference between Turnbull and a spineless jellyfish?

    Long pause: Yes, it is a difficult question, isn’t it?

  8. Zathras

    I would be interested to know if the Australian taxpayer has been subsidising the cost of Abbott’s occasional speeches in London and the New York about Climate Change, marriage and families.

    He’s not a Minister and such matters are not unique to the interests of his electorate and even fall outside the official policies of his Party.

    If he wants to speak out as an individual on such matters then he should bear all the associated costs.

    He was forced to repay the cost of his book promotion tour (eventually – apparently he overlooked the authorising the reimbursement when it was due).

    I’ll be having an on-line look at his next allowance claim submission with interest (when I find the link).

  9. Cool Pete

    Hmm, well, all jellyfish are spineless, so there’s no difference between one and Turnbull. If you want to talk about Bishop and a spineless jelly fish, she thinks she’s an irukandji but she’s really just a blue bottle and not a good one at that.

  10. Aortic

    Good one Rossleigh. We shouldn’t forget either that Tony was the one who said their remote indigenous lifestyle should not be funded by the taxpayer. I put Tones alongside that other conservative genius Keith Windschuttle who denied that the ” stolen generation” tragedy ever occurred. As Ghandi said when asked what he thought of Western civilisation, ” I think it is a good idea.”

  11. jimhaz

    [even those who only became Australians in 1967 when they were granted a promotion from part of the flora and fauna to actual people]

    A myth…but still a myth founded on a lack of full rights.

    As for Film awards – I intend to pay as little attention as possible until everyone stops fawning over women and Metoo. Too much bulldust from everyone jumping on the empowerment bandwagon.

    As for Abbott – he is an expert political gaslighter with the depth of an atom, who like Trump only really tells whatever his support base want him to say.

  12. Glenn Barry

    @Cool Pete & Rossleigh – difference between Turnbull and a spineless jellyfish – If I encounter spineless jellyfish in the surf I brush them away gently, if I encountered Turnbull in the surf I would be irresistibly compelled to annihilate it with extreme prejudice – that may be subjectively perceptual, but it’s a difference.

    @jimkhaz – I think Abbott’s support base is down to an imaginary friend or friends and some coal lobbyists by this stage – I am looking forward to his comeback on the 30th negative newspoll though

  13. Kyran

    Perhaps you should think local, rather than global. If you wanted to rewrite the book, the title wouldn’t be “F#ck Democracy Because Hitler Was A Master Persuader” (global), it would be “F#ck Democracy Because Abbott Was A Master Baiter” (local).

    I’m here to help. Mind you, Neil Young’s ‘Old Man’ lyrics are beyond redemption and as nonsensical as the premise “that when someone is good at something they should be acknowledged as good at that. It’s not an endorsement of their whole life.” Ever heard of Duncan Storrer? His whole life was used as a reason to destroy the legitimacy of his comments in advocating for change.

    “I had to consider that I might be wrong earlier today, when Tony Abbott suggested that the landing of a whole heap of illegal immigrants on January 26th, 1788 was good for all Australians – even those who only became Australians in 1967 when they were granted a promotion from part of the flora and fauna to actual people.”

    Ah well, at least our First People were recognized as Australian before Abbott was. Ok, he arrived by boat (SS Oronsay?) in 1961, or thereabouts, but he wasn’t ‘naturalised’ till much later.

    “He therefore had only one official nationality status – as a British subject and citizen.
    In fact it was not until over twenty years after the family had arrived in Australia as subsidised assisted migrants that Tony Abbott’s parents applied to register his birth with the Dept. of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs and apply for his citizenship, in a document/s dated 19 June 1981.”

    Why did Tony Abbott wait until he was almost 24 years old to become an Australian citizen?

    Ah, Tiny Abbott. The boat person who grew up to hate boat people. It’s funny he doesn’t identify better with our First People. They have been lamenting boat people for centuries.
    As for the comment by Zathras;

    “If he wants to speak out as an individual on such matters then he should bear all the associated costs.”

    He is still a ‘speaker’ on the Washington Speakers Bureau list. This is their promo for him;

    “Meet Tony Abbott
    An engaging, decisive leader during one of the most turbulent times in Australian politics, Tony Abbott provides timely and candid analysis of the most complex and critical issues facing our world today.
    Tony Abbott served as Prime Minister of Australia from 2013 to 2015. He is credited with policy implementations as early as the first day of the new Parliament, including the introduction of legislation to repeal carbon tax and to stop illegal maritime arrivals, each of which received wide public support and later passed both houses of Parliament. During his tenure as Prime Minister, Abbott’s government created over 300,000 jobs and oversaw free trade agreements signed with both Japan and South Korea. In addition, the world most notably saw—for the first time—a G20 country enter such an agreement with China. Geography alone renders Australia vulnerable to terror, and thus Abbott is able to speak thoughtfully on terrorism and security in the 21st Century, including the threat of ISIS and pervasive religious fundamentalism. With profound depth of experience, he is keenly positioned to offer unparalleled insight on leadership, the global economy, global trade, discuss a Western perspective on the future of Asia, explore the short- and long-term future of China, and provide a unique and timely political outlook for your audience.”

    It includes this ‘blurb’;

    “Remarks by Tony Abbott
    Tailoring his remarks to the needs of your audience, Tony Abbott is able to explore a wide variety of subject matter such as: the global economy; global trade; leadership; terrorism and security in the 21st Century; foreign policy; Europe; China; the Middle East; the future of Asia from a Western perspective; indigenous Australia; welfare state; political outlook; and behind-the-scenes insight to timely geopolitical events.”

    “An engaging, decisive leader during one of the most turbulent times in Australian politics,”
    Hilarious, right?
    It’s easy to be considered decisive in turbulent times when you are the one creating the turbulence.
    A ‘decisive leader’ ‘tailoring his remarks to the needs of your audience’.
    Seriously, that’s how they are selling him. A decisive person who will say what you want to hear.
    Thank you Mr Brisbane and commenters. I’m not sure if I want to laugh or cry. Take care

  14. Aortic

    He could take his conservative mates with him, to enrich the knowledge of the I’m sure captive audience. ( And by that I mean they would have been rounded up and locked in.) They could have Abetz on the evils of homosexuality, Bernardi on how SSM led to almost universal bestiality in Australia and Andrews on how it is best to die in gods good time even though you are in excruciating pain. Progressive enlightenment exactly what the world needs in the 18th century.

  15. Glenn Barry

    That assessment of Abbott is magnificent – pure fabulism. Meet Tony Abbott an enraging, divisive liar…

    I believe S Ford’s quote from this page is applicable –

    “A big lie (German: große Lüge) is a propaganda technique. The expression was coined by Adolf Hitler, when he dictated his 1925 book Mein Kampf, about the use of a lie so “colossal” that no one would believe that someone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.””

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