Government by distraction

29 Aug

Sans Papiers


It behooves us to speculate what might have happened if there hadn’t been a public furore yesterday in protest at the aggressive assertion by Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s paramilitary Blackshirts, the Australian Border Force, that it was their intention to confront anyone who “crosses our path” on the matter of whether or not he or she was abroad in the streets, sans papiers. 

Someone of my Aryan appearance, fair-haired, blue-eyed, white-skinned (tbh my hair is very short and dyed candy pink at the moment and that’s another story however,  a pink-haired female may well have necessitated further investigation…) is unlikely to be stopped by the Border Force and asked to produce evidence of my right to be walking around Melbourne. The only possible criterium the Border Force could employ when deciding whom to accost and whom to leave alone is appearance, and that is racial profiling.

Had it not been for the extraordinarily prompt mobilisation of protesters via social media, yesterday might well have been the first day in this country that people have been stopped in city streets by a paramilitary force purely on the grounds of their appearance, and told they had to prove their right to be here. What a milestone, on what a road.

(In case you missed it, here is the ABF’s explanation of yesterday’s fiasco, given by Commissioner Quaedvlieg. Ummm…)

Look, this just keeps on getting more nutty. The operation in which the ABF were involved yesterday was codenamed Operation Fortitude. Do look up the history of this title, initially used in World War Two to describe a military deception…(Thanks Forrest)

However, this farce is but the latest in the ongoing spectacle performed for us matinees and evenings by the Abbott government. They can’t govern worth a toss, so they are left with little choice but to seek to distract us with increasingly ludicrous cock ups. Abbott endorses an ex-SAS candidate for Canning, who has an unfortunate history to do with the mutilation of Taliban corpses. Be that as it may, it seems the candidate’s other chief claim to suitability is that he hasn’t wasted his life “behind a desk.”

I have. I have totally wasted my life behind a desk when I should have been out and about fighting foreign wars because in Abbott’s Australia, that’s what our values are, none of this subversive thinking and writing, and btw, we only want art that furthers the government’s agenda. Yes.

There’s the murky account of how the US President rang Abbott from Border Force One, oooops, sorry, Air Force One, and begged him, begged him to send six of our fighter jets to end the turmoil in Syria. Not so, say senior government sources. Abbott begged the US President to let us play.

There’s the tortuous unravelling of Abbott’s beloved Trade Union Royal Commission, as the unfortunately named Dyson Heydon retires to consider in solitude whether or not he is guilty of apprehended bias. The vacuum cleaner jokes have been marvellous. The emails just won’t stop coming. At $12,500 per day, Heydon is free to pace his rooms in hand-wringing angst, as he struggles to arrive at a decision about his own behaviour. I could tell him in five minutes at a fraction of the cost, but we live in times when common sense and the bleeding obvious count for nothing.  Nothing, I tell you!

There’s the ex Speaker of the House of Representatives and the PM’s political mother Bronwyn Bishop’s penchant for crowd-stopping arrivals at party fundraisers in luxury helicopters underwritten by hapless taxpayers.

There’s Treasurer Joe Hockey’s tax plan speech the other day that has been lambasted by financial notables including the usually reticent Certified Practicing Accountants, leaving me wondering just who ought to be certified.

There’s Abbott’s much-vaunted journey along the narrow road to the deep north. In the community of Bamaga, the PM displayed his ignorance and ill-preparedness on the matter of Indigenous education, and was firmly corrected by people who actually know. He didn’t do his homework, they claim, but I fear there is something more serious at work here. Abbott has his own ideas about the world around him and increasingly, they do not coincide with reality. There is what Abbott insists is going on in the world, and there is what is actually going on in the world. The man has little interest in the latter, and is enchanted by the former. This isn’t an uncommon state and mostly those who suffer from it get by and are little more than irritants to others around them. But when it’s the Prime Minister, we all need to be worried.

The Abbott government seems bereft of policy, vision and nous about governance. Instead, we are treated to spectacle after spectacle and while it might once have been legitimate to suggest these spectacles were deliberate distractions from matters upon which the government did not wish its citizens to dwell, it’s now no longer possible to tell which are the fake cock-ups and which are the real.

I am becoming nostalgic for the days when all we had to worry about was slipping in the spilled blood of knifed ALP leaders.


14 Responses to “Government by distraction”

  1. Marilyn August 29, 2015 at 5:32 pm #

    Abbott is the Clayton’s PM thrust upon us by the lazy media and scabby Murdoch ranters.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jim Fitz August 29, 2015 at 5:49 pm #

      And by so many of us lazy Australian voters, too…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jim Fitz August 29, 2015 at 5:48 pm #

    So many incredulous things to comment on. Where to start? TI & Cape York. Does this idiot Abbott travel to remote Indigenous Australian Communities to learn and experience or does he go there to sermonise and publicise? Surely, if you were making public comments about a local education initiative, you would interview local people, and let them do the talking? Maybe stand behind them and nod? Not this insecure bully who obviously has to be in front of the cameras. This Abbott fool has never, ever taken one single step in the right direction. Not ever! Not once! Every single thing that he has ever said or done has had negative effects on so many Australians. And then he states that the TURC is for the purpose of cleaning up the ALP! Is that written in the executive introduction, or is that between the lines somewhere? If corruption is present, instead of spending millions on an RC how about he send the money to the states so that their legislated police forces can properly investigate? Dear, Dear, when will this fool and his foolish and fascist LNP return to opposition so that they can do what they do best: Raise the alarm for the “Budget Emergency?”
    Keep up the effort, Jennifer.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. doug quixote August 29, 2015 at 6:31 pm #

    Oh come on! No-one could fuck up as well as this lot deliberately!

    Of course it is genuine.

    Peter Sellers at his best couldn’t fuck up as spectacularly as the Looters & Nutters Party.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) August 30, 2015 at 3:56 pm #

    Its not that I’m not interested in posting comment to this blog, but just that I don’t know where to begin. Oh, the hilarity of it! Oh, the satire! Oh the utter farcicality of it! #borderfarce. While I am attempting to regain my composure I will colour the thread with this opaque little nod to the ‘Ummmm’ in Jennifer’s nod to my Google search result in the article, in the form of an embedded twitter exchange.

    For some reason I have Norway on the mind. Is it Gary Larson, the Far Side cartoonist’s likely ethnic origins? Shoot, is it Neville Shute (Norway)? Is it Vidkun Quisling, brought to mind by that downfall video on Operation Fortitude that is now doing the rounds on Twitter?


  5. Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) September 1, 2015 at 8:10 am #

    Now that the distraction as to whether Dyson Heydon would/should recuse himself has been resolved in the negative, perhaps some consideration could be given to the possibility that it was all (Bronniecopters, change of Speakers, the compromising invitation issue, the lot) part of some devious plan.

    It is to be noted that the originator of the (unread?) email to Dyson Heydon confirming the Garfield Barwick address invitation (a barrister) is/was a contender for pre-selection in Bronwyn’s seat of MacKellar. It is not credible that he would not have recognised the compromising effect that this invitation could be seen to have upon the credibility of the Commissioner and/or his findings with the Royal Commission still in progress.

    Was it a government(?) plan to seemingly have a RC, one perceived as having found out little not already known as to union improprieties, scuppered by a terribly misfortunate compromising of its Commissioner, one of course having nothing to do with any government decision as such?

    Was it simply an event arising out of the machinations of an aspirant to party endorsement in a safe seat as a path to a political career? It seems an appropriate place to juxtapose the gratuitous observation made by the PM, toward the end of the Bronnie saga, as to her political career being “effectively over”. Did such seeming machinations have the PM’s secret support?

    Perhaps it was all due to the Fairfax media trying to bring down the government? I note that it has been only weeks since some Fairfax journalists had been writing about perceived connections between known Mafia identities and Russell Broadbent MP, to be shortly followed by other Fairfax journalists reporting that Broadbent was the PM’s preferred choice for Speaker. Was the first reporting a smear before we even knew about Bronniecopters? Was the second reporting, in the event of there being substance to the insinuations of the first, revelatory of linkages and influence?

    Questions. Questions. Questions.

    Brought to you by the good graces of NoPlaceforSheep, and the letter Q.


  6. hudsongodfrey September 1, 2015 at 9:23 pm #

    Its bait and switch tactics, Divide and conquer! Fear-mongering and the great big lie theory gone to hell in a handbasket……. Problem is the only other cliche that fits is pot meet kettle!

    Where was the opposition on this? The Fuck you say?


  7. Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) September 5, 2015 at 7:09 am #

    A picture at an exhibition:


    • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) September 5, 2015 at 8:28 am #

      As, for example, the Emperor concerto, opus 73, by Beethoven. I suspect this may be controversial, but I think there has been just a bit too much Wagner playing in heads lately. So something more Napoleonic. And quintessentially French, given that we are hanging around the centre of the alphabet ATM.

      Fur coleur, as well as tone.



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