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Toad of Toad Hall

By Ad astra

This short piece is not intended to be a serious treatise; instead it’s a light-hearted appraisal of federal politics. We have had our fill of commentaries on the ins and outs of the Canberra scene written by self-confident ‘experts’ who believe they understand the machinations of the political class. It can’t be all that complicated though; self-interest seems to explain most of the day-by-day behaviour of our politicians.

Instead, this is a search for our very own ‘Toad’, in our very own ‘Toad Hall’, federal parliament. Persist with me if you’re up for a disrespectful tilt at our politicians.

Why Toad, an inelegant creature with none of the refinements of a classy frog? What is it about this ugly fellow that attracted me?

I suspect it was the enigmatic personality of Toad in A A Milne’s dramatisation of Kenneth Grahame’s 1908 novel Wind in the Willows (my favourite tale as a youngster), namely Toad of Toad Hall, that caught my attention at I grew up in what was then the rather sooty coal-mining precinct of Silkstone-Booval in Ipswich in SE Queensland.

He appealed to me because he was so full of ideas. Some were bright, some ridiculous, but they were always presented with such assurance, such confidence, such flair. His advocacy of his ideas was consistently enthusiastic, passionate, always patently honest. Yet the impetuosity with which he presented them resulted in blunder after blunder, which he conceded in his characteristic self-deprecating manner: “stupid Toad”, “silly Toad”, “ignorant Toad”...

The question I put to you is: Who, is our very own Toad in our very own Toad Hall, our federal parliament?

Who there has a personality that matches Toad? Can you identify a politician who consistently comes along with ‘bright’ ideas, who presents them with unbridled enthusiasm, who falls flat on his or her face over and again, but, and this is a big ‘but’, is ready to admit mistakes?

Or does your mind revert to the plethora of politicians who never do so, always seek to blame others, always find others whom they deem responsible?

Our PM is a past master at sheeting home mistakes to others. When have you heard him genuinely, I mean genuinely, accept responsibility, concede an error of judgement, appear eager to put the record straight? No, it’s always someone else’s fault. His verbal diarrhoea is legendary. As is his inability to utter a genuine full-throated ‘Sorry’. There’s always a ‘Morrison’ way of avoiding it.

Unfair appraisal? Reflect on his demeanour during press conferences, where his characteristic smirk bespeaks confidence, over-confidence some would say. Others may use a less polite descriptor.

Our PM is no ‘Toad’.


This article was originally published on The Political Sword

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  1. RosemaryJ36

    Totally agree!

  2. New England Cocky

    As a life long chronic confirmed acute bibliomaniac I am disappointed that you would consider that fine fellow Toad as being anything like the unChristain member of the Hell$inger$ Cult for Greed & Paedophilia Protection masquerading as the Australian Prim Monster.

    Perhaps Turd of Kirribilli House would be a more satisfactory comparison.

  3. Ad Astra

    New England Cocky

    The alternative title you propose for our PM resonates.

  4. ajogrady

    The connections and ifluence between the Liberal Party, the Pratt family and the Doherty institute are interesting to say the least.
    The Morrison government has never seen a institute, committee or evironmental scientific or economic body that it could not manipulate, coerce or corrupt to create the outcomes or results that benefit the Morrison government.

  5. Lawrence Roberts

    If only Albo’s Labor Party had an idea or two. I would be as happy as a happy-clappy.
    We should be considering this period of history as an opportunity but it’s all grey and wishy washy from the opposition benches.
    Visualising Labor in power is grimly depressing. More blame gaming and nest feathering ~ see, the Labor split has begun already?

  6. BB

    @Lawrence Roberts.

    Are suggesting Australia sticks with Morrison and the L/NP then, if Labor is so bad?

    Because Morrison and his gang of crooks have ZERO ideas or plans!

    Such would be far more grimly depressing than Labor in government!

    There is no alternative to Labor. That’s the reality at this time.

    Are folks when denigrating Labor being sincere or just disingenuous?

    Yeah I wonder at such negative comments about Labor!!!! 👎

  7. wam

    Well, Ad astra, I loved the book as a kid, and he is certainly no toad of the toad hall variety. Indeed if he was even 10% of james thaddeus toad he would be bearable. But he has none of the endearing characteristics of the toad, ratty, badger nor moley. However, he is in tune with the weasels and stoats?

    PS: There is one toad that I associate with scummo and his government.

    PPS: BB ‘frustration’ that albo doesn’t seem to find a way to get on tv ie no playing the man even on Facebook he wears gloves.

    PPPS: Darwin with rain pissing down in august. I am out with the shampoo

  8. Ad Astra


    Re your toad, who is he/she?

  9. totaram

    “Because Morrison and his gang of crooks have ZERO ideas or plans! ”
    As usual, I need to make a small correction. They have plans but they are not designed to benefit the vast majority of Australians.

  10. BB

    As usual, I need to make a small observation. Someone always has to be a pedantic smarty-pants. 🙃
    The vast majority of Australians know exactly what was meant.

  11. Carl Marks


    Well said NEC!

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