The fairytale – Part 3 The good politician

The good politician shook his head as he left the party meeting. He didn’t know how much longer he could put up with it all. His constituents were starting to think he was like the rest of them. The meeting had started as it usually did. The few women of the inner circle were serving coffee and cutting the cake topped with “Team Australia’ in red, white and blue.  When they started chanting “Team Australia! Team Australia!” he slipped out to the loo. There’s only so much a man can take.

Sunlight shone through the ears of Team Australia’s captain, lighting them up like a Christmas tree. So desperate was the good politician for a distraction, he spent much of the meeting staring at the pink tips half expecting them to produce strobe lighting on the table. The meeting droned on as usual – rah, rah – stick together – rah, rah – always find someone else to blame – rah, rah – just keep repeating yourself because they will believe you eventually – rah, rah – have your tag team partner ready to go – rah, rah. You know when you say something stupid and your tag team partner comes to the rescue taking on all media appearances while you discretely disappear, to come back only when the fracas blows over.

The good politician had to admit, the party had reached new heights of innovation.  When the team captain asked “Do we have our community advisory panel here?” and his advisor pointed to the old man in the wheelchair with the white cane, dark glasses and the urine bag strapped to his leg, all heads turned. “Can you hear us Fred?…Fred!”  No response. She pinched him. “Fred”. The old man yelped. “Ok we’re ready to go now Captain.” Needless to say the old man had no objections to cuts to aged care, raising the pension age, making older people use the equity in their homes, cuts to disability services and income support, cuts to homeless services, employment, childcare, health, education – well cuts to any welfare really – at least the ‘visible’ welfare for those who need it. “Let them eat cake” became “Let them have charity”. The good politician thought the old man might have died somewhere between “blame the bludgers” and the reading of requests from the privileged and other lobbyists, but he stirred when it came to foreign affairs and gaining mileage from islamophobia.  It turned out to be some minor, digestive discomfort. The room was cleared while the air dispersed and it was safe to return. As usual, the meeting ended with the pledge.

I pledge my loyalty to Team Australia and to making profit for myself and my friends at all costs.

Welfare does not exist.  Let the foreign, the stateless, poor and disadvantaged feel the consequences of their laziness.

I will never admit fault, especially a lie. I will always blame someone else.

Women know thy place.

Climate change will not bother me. I will always pay tribute to the investors who are, as we speak, building our gated communities on higher ground.

I will always be photographed with ultra conservative politicians overseas or children or babies.

I pledge to follow our leader, no matter how ridiculous.

Hail Team Australia. Hail Team Australia.Hail Team Australia!

The good politician sighed. “Driver take me home.”


Ever wondered about on-line polls?

Have you ever wondered how useful or representative on-line opinion polls actually are? We have all seen them in on-line newspaper articles – like this one. A question found somewhere in the article calls for a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer and invites the reader to participate. Many of us have clicked ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on issues we feel passionate about and then promptly forgot about it. Polls are designed to attract readership through interaction. They help the reader feel part of it all – but how well do they represent real opinions?  It’s a bit like reading your horoscope – it can be fun but can never be taken seriously.

For starters, such polls are restricted to the readership of the particular newspaper. Ok that’s one bias but there are more. One vote one person – no way! People “in the know” engage in multiple clicking – once from your computer, once from your laptop, once from your mobile phone, your iPad and so on. And well it’s just Christmas if you have more than one of these items at your disposal or multiple email accounts! In moments of system weakness you can sometimes vote multiple times from the one device. But there are even more sinister and unethical practices. Astroturfing is one of them. Voting is manipulated by paid agents employed to make sure certain view points are seen to represent the majority – something we should all be aware of in this digital age.

Should you believe anybody who uses these polls to support their case? I’ll leave you to decide but I know what I think.

The fairytale continues… Part 2 Under the Christmas Tree

It was three days before Christmas and the mice were busy. Having slipped through the encounter with the Ghost of Things Past, Ebenezer Morrison was feeling rather smug. Presents were tossed aside as Ebenezer crawled about under the party xmasxmas tree tree. He picked up one after the other, shook it, read the card and threw it over his shoulder. He searched and searched – nothing from Tony.  Peta, Jo, Julie – the pile of presents behind him grew and grew. Finally he found it and It was huge!  Wrapping paper shredded as pulled the package apart. He oohed and aahed – the SS, oops I mean social services!  Now he could dream some more – slashing, burning, inflicting misery – the possibilities were endless. “Thanks Tone my mate – wonderful pressie! I won’t let you down”

*Any resemblance to people living or dead is purely coincidental. No mice were harmed in the writing of this fairy tale.

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An Australian Christmas Carol – A badly written, reconstituted moral tale – Part 1

Mr Ebenezer Morrison lay his head on the pillow.

“I did good today real good. I won’t be given moral lectures by anyone…but I got ‘em… oh yes … Now I can send those illegals back whenever I like. They will never be Australian”. He smiled and with a belly full of Christmas cheer drifted off to sleep.

“Mr Morrison, Mr Morrison”

“Go away” mumbled Mr M.

“Mr Morrison, Mr Morrison”

Mr M bolted upright so hard he nearly fell out of bed. “Who’s there?”

“Ghost of Things Past”

“How did you get in? Security!”

“They can’t hear you I’m afraid. You’re going on a little trip because one day soon you’ll be rewarded for your actions”

Mr M was pretty scared by now. Mr Abbott wasn’t answering his phone. “Damn” He threw the phone on the floor.

“Now look I’m all for free speech but mark my words – after this I’ll be checking your IP activity – in the interests of national security of course”

The Ghost of Things Past swept Mr M out of bed and into the night.

“Where the hell are we? Get me out of this dump”.

“We’re at Christmas Island for Christmas”.

The Ghost of Things Past led Mr M to every face, told every story, but still Mr M could not feel.

” They’re illegal” he grunted.

“No Mr M they are not.”

Next stop was Naru, then an orange floatie-thing on the sea, then Sri Lanka and Cambodia.

“But…but… I’ve stopped the boats!…and I’ve stopped people drowning!”

“But Mr M it is not ‘either or’ – it is not drown or be locked up like animals”

“But I let the children go…” Mr M began to cry. “Pleease I just want to go home to my nice warm bed.” The tears came harder now.

“That’s what they all say Mr M. You still have time to redeem yourself. Let the people go”

Back home and safe, Mr M. promised he would change.  No longer could he say he didn’t understand the pain, desperation and other consequences of his actions, and his actions alone.

“ Er.. one last thing.” The Ghost of Things Past pulled out a list.  “Can you tell me where I can find this Abbott fellow?”

 Post Script:

Love First Dog on the Moon’s A very first Dog Christmas