The government you have when you don’t have a government

16 Feb

I woke up this morning thinking that I don’t feel as if we actually have a real government, or a real Prime Minster.

Tony Abbott seems to be increasingly decompensating under the stress of discovering he’s so unpopular with his party he had to face the prospect of a spill motion without even a challenger for his leadership, and that must be a rare political event just about anywhere.

(Decompensation, psychology: the inability to maintain defense mechanisms in response to stress, resulting in personality disturbance or psychological imbalance.)

After the acute trauma of the spill motion passed, everyone involved needed a little time to collect themselves, pass around the talking stick, and begin the process of healing. Instead, Abbott went right out and sacked Philip Ruddock as his Chief Government Whip, on the grounds that Ruddock had not adequately warned him of growing backbench discontent.

This is amazing. The rest of us knew all about it, but the PM’s office didn’t?

I’ve had doubts about the efficiency of this office for quite some time, after all, they’re supposed to be there for Tony yet every day since he took office things for him have traveled increasingly south. At first blush, it appears the PM’s staff are incompetent on a Monty Python scale.

Perhaps their secret agenda is to ruin him, or I have been watching too much In the thick of it. Either way he should sack somebody in that office and hire Malcolm Tucker, but instead he went after Ruddock.

I don’t care much what happens to Ruddock: I will never forget his days as Immigration Minister in the Howard government during which he instigated a powerfully successful campaign to demonise and criminalise asylum seekers arriving by boat, largely through the use of language he adopted from Nazi anti semitic propaganda of the 1930’s. Without Ruddock we would have no Morrison. He might look like a hurt old man, but I’m not fooled.

Then there were Abbott’s belligerent attacks on President of the Human Rights Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs, after the Commission’s report on children in detention was tabled in Parliament on Wednesday. In a typical conservative shoot the messenger and make so much noise that everybody will forget the message tactic, Abbott railed long and hard about Professor Triggs, while entirely disregarding the appalling findings of her report.

With the stubborn determination of the utterly cloth-eared stupid, Abbott keeps the three-word slogans hiccoughing off his far too evident, lizard-like tongue: boats, mining tax, carbon tax, boats, carbon tax, mining tax; we are open for business but not for boats, carbon tax, mining tax. I wonder to myself, does he or anyone in his office really think there are still people out here even listening to this drivel?

It is a measure of the collective desperation of Abbott and his staff that they continue to cling to this cringe-worthy robotic recitation: they have totally failed to come up with anything new, for all the millions of tax payer dollars we’ve spent on them.

The zeitgeist as far as I can tell is one of trembling, panicked uncertainty: what will their leader say next, how much longer can this go on, how can they make it better without looking like the ALP. This latter possibility seems to be the very worst thing they fear could happen to them.

It isn’t, though. Worse things are happening every time their leader opens his mouth and puts both feet in it. But hey, it’s good for the ALP.

There’s been a cute white rabbit appearing in our garden for the last few days, and like Alice in the wonderland, I’m thinking of drinking the potion to make me oh so tiny, then I can follow White Rabbit down his hole.

But wait! I’m already there!

The final straw is the sudden wheeling out of Margie. You know he’s a dead man walking when he rolls out the wife.

Tony & Margie Abbott





26 Responses to “The government you have when you don’t have a government”

  1. Mayan February 16, 2015 at 8:47 am #

    Belgium went without a federal government for a couple of years and did just fine. It would be nice if Australians reached a similar level of maturity.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. AnnieM February 16, 2015 at 11:21 am #

    Claytons, was wondering how this Govt worked! Very good piece. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  3. eroticmoustache February 16, 2015 at 11:24 am #

    Nice piece but extra kudos for using “decompensation”. Haven’t seen that word used in yonks. Awesome and apt.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson February 16, 2015 at 12:26 pm #

      I haven’t used it in yonks but it came back to me re Abbott. LOL


      • eroticmoustache February 16, 2015 at 12:32 pm #

        Having read your profile, which I lazily had not done till now, I can see why the word would be known to you. Cool.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. thevenerable1 February 16, 2015 at 1:10 pm #

    I ENTIRELY concur.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Michaela Tschudi February 16, 2015 at 2:27 pm #

    Love that you measure the PMO’s incompetence on a Monty Python scale. That conjures up fish slapping dances, dead parrots and silly walks. Sadly it’s all too real.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fiona February 16, 2015 at 3:23 pm #


    Thank you for a most insightful piece, and for tolerating my “borrowing” of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • paul walter February 16, 2015 at 3:27 pm #

      Achh… ’tis a black cat, just run across my path..yee–EEEEowls


    • Jennifer Wilson February 16, 2015 at 5:11 pm #

      I never mind borrowing as long as there’s acknowledgement. Gkad you liked it Fiona. Cheers.


  7. paul walter February 16, 2015 at 3:34 pm #

    This a very “Jefferson Airplane” post.

    The hidden innocent one, Peta, does not come off scot free . It seems she frantically urged a crackdown on welfare, because her dad was once unemployed and had to put up with it.

    As for the Monk, his bellicosity toward the Indonesians must finally seal the fate of the two Bali 9 lads


    • Jennifer Wilson February 16, 2015 at 5:07 pm #

      Jefferson Airplane, I scorched my head at the reference then thought ah! White Rabbit!

      I must have missed that info about Credlin’s dad. Honestly. The things policy is based on.


      • Jennifer Wilson February 16, 2015 at 5:12 pm #

        That would be scratched my head, not scorched it, though the latter could be applied as well


        • paul walter February 17, 2015 at 4:01 am #

          I remember my nana used to do a magestic crumbed lamb brain with white sauce, carrots, cauli, mash etc.

          I am sorry I drove you to self-harm. Did you use a portable blow torch or just light the stove?

          Liked by 1 person

          • Jennifer Wilson February 17, 2015 at 5:56 am #

            Is your tooth better PW?
            You remind me of the children’s story about the lion with the sore tooth.

            I can’t eat brains. I just can’t.


            • paul walter February 17, 2015 at 8:52 am #

              No…My tooth comes and goes.. just took some painkiller and now back to bed. Yes, I know, yankage, but for now maybe back to bed.

              I used to hate tripe. The wrinklies loved it, but I used to heave on it. And junket.

              But my Nanna’s crumbed lamb brains..couldn’t beleive anything so mundane could be so delicious- the olds used to know how to cook offal and cheap cuts, but it is another cottage skill lost to the ages.


              • paul walter February 17, 2015 at 8:59 am #

                Reminds me.
                Went to the chemist yesterday to get some gargle and pills.

                The people know me and me them and we get along, but grumbled about the tooth to make sure they sold me the right painkillers.

                She looked at me for a moment and then said,
                “that’s the worst pain, I’ll hit the wall with my head. I’d rather have a baby”.


  8. cartoonmick February 16, 2015 at 3:50 pm #

    It’s just like we’re in the election campaigning days again with lots of PR pics and goody goody promos.

    Many promises made, many promises broken; with the most recent (I think) promise “We will change”, being made a week ago.

    Nothing has changed. Will anything change (for the good)?

    I think this cartoon depicts where we are, 1 week into the new “good” Gov’t . . . .


    Liked by 1 person

  9. doug quixote February 18, 2015 at 1:02 am #

    Abbott has been unravelling for years now. Falling apart as we watch, and now getting off the leash more often as Peta’s control fails as well.

    I doubt that ‘decompensation’ will fire the imagination of the blogosphere, however!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson February 18, 2015 at 7:01 am #

      Well, it should, it is an excellent concept. If they can throw terms like psychopath, and narcissist about like lollies, why not decompensation?

      I have been doing a bit of it myself, of late. Decompensating, that is. lol.


      • eroticmoustache February 18, 2015 at 9:10 am #

        Let’s not forget the blogosphere’s word of the moment: schadenfreude. At least it can be used by people without them looking like they’re pretending to have clinical credentials in psychology. God I hate that stuff. But then I probably suffer some kind of schizoid personality disorder with off the charts morbidity.

        Liked by 1 person


  1. The Government You Have When You Don’t Have A Government | THE PUB - February 16, 2015

    […] following piece by Jennifer Wilson first appeared on No Place For Sheep. Many thanks, […]

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: