’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’
Image: Charles Dodgson, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
In a local take on a post-truth Trumpian world of altenative facts Smirko Morrison's BS centrifuge has been revved up to desperation level on the spin cycle. Election timing options have become constrained by circumstances beyond the limited capacities of our prevaricator-in-chief and Tory polling numbers have taken a promising downward trajectory.
Smirko's omnifiascos have accumulated into an Abbottesque fustering of clucks and the panic is starting to show but you've gotta admire his chutzpah:
Framing an anti-corruption body as the bad guys is Orange Donnie-level gaslighting. The capo dei capi of the most corrupt federal government in our history is cashing in on the martydom of St Gladys d'Berejiklian, seeing a chance to sell his omertà as a virtue. Gladdy, his "very good friend"*, had been persecuted by ICAC, she was a victim - he would not be distracted from his good works by such unjust scrutiny.
*not his very good friend
Ever the opportunist who trades on punching down Smirko shortly thereafter took a populist dig at social media with some performative outrage at anonymous trolls, some of whom besmirch the reputations of the alleged rapists, the sex pests and stalkers, the sousers and spivs whose presence he relies upon to stay in power.
Smirko's been selling farts as rainbows since his brief gig as a child actor. In spruiking NSW's rampant Delta outbreak as the gold standard that is leading the way out of the pandemic he's betting the house that the born-every-minute schmucks are as thick as the curtains in a ground floor bordello and that they outnumber those voters with either a conscience or a functioning cerebrum. The problem is that he may be right - the gushing over St Gladys has no doubt chuffed the PMO's Goebbels-Riefenstahlists and their RWNJ pamphleteer chums from the Murdoch sewers.
Gladdy was down not just on Daryl Maguire but also with the BAU Tory grift; rortin' and rootin' - you're darn tootin' (if the Libs wanna use that as a slogan there's gonna be a small fee). Dirty Dazza was upbeat, feeling Glad all over 😎 with the scheming for detouring some lazy millions down Wagga Wagga way but so many sympathetic Aussie mums undermined the March4Justice sisterhood by allowing that Gladys, a senior politician blooded in the fight club of Tory politics, had no agency over her own decisions because of a dud boyfriend. FFS! Nice way to feed the 'women are too emotional' self-fellating misogynist set.
Let us not forget St Gladys's direction of bushfire relief funds to Tory electorates and donors while ignoring badly affected Labor-held LGAs. Let us not forget either the shredding of the paperwork after ICAC revelations of the rorted Stronger Communities slush fund and Gladys's "too bad, so sad" response. Her new squeeze is a senior counsel familiar with the workings of ICAC yet Gladys threw in the towel at the prospect of further please explains. Do ya think she may know what's coming? Joan of Arc my pink, wrinkled arse! The Canberra Tories' delight that the Gladys experience was validating their normalisation of corruption may have a short shelf life if Gladdy is proven to be a baddy.
That gaunt apparition now haunting the federal backbenches, looking less a Tory blue-blood Prime Minister-in-waiting than a corpse disinterred from a shallow bush grave is Christian Blue Balls Porter. It was Blue Balls who was initially tasked with drafting an Avoiding Answerability bill in the time he could spare between persecuting whistleblowers in secret trials and trawling for knee-tremblers in the bars of Manuka and Kingston. Nothing says integrity like a bloke who blames his 2 year old for wiping his iPhone, who refuses any testing of his vociferously professed innocence of rape allegations and who sits on a $1M legal fund the donors of which he will not reveal.
That Shroedinger integrity bill is now in the hands of a woman who was passed over for the job of North Korean news reader lady because she was too shrill. Michaelia has form - refusing an interview with the AFP over a choreographed police raid on a union. Her credentials as Smirko's AG are impeccable.
Smirko also wants us to overlook that his 2IC is a babbler of incoherent hayseed homilies that pass for insights in whatever addled processes pass for his remaining brain function. Barmy Barnaby did what Barmy does - saying the quiet bit out loud by complaining that he couldn't do his thing if he was to be held to account.
It would be useful if a Barnaby colour chart could be produced to warn observers of his current state: embarrassed pink, fully munted magenta, blotto burgundy, hungover vermillion, priapic purple or befuddled violet. There's one thing to be said in Barnaby's defence though - his pub tests always have the biggest sample size.
“I am not crazy; my reality is just different from yours.” The Cheshire Cat, Alice in Wonderland
Barmy is as miffed at social media as Smirko:
“From my own personal experience of recent times, you have got to get to a point where you say enough is enough” said Barmy with a straight albeit florid face.
“Sure, social media has its virtues and its values and enables us to connect with people in ways we’ve never had before, but those weapons can also be used by the evil one and we need to call that out.” Scott Morrison, Australian Christian Churches conference March 2021
Smirko claims to see the work of Beelzebub - perhaps it's in the user comments posted to his own social media calling him a duplicitous turd. He hates that he has little control over it but he fears an integrity commission. His ranting about social media is one of his go-to 'look, squirrel' distractions but nothing shouts guilty more loudly than a politician dodging anti-corruption scrutiny. He wants us to forget his pattern of failure but he is desperate to escape accountability for rampant corruption. A perp walk is not a good look for post-politics sinecures even in the boardrooms and ambassadorships of the Tory ecosystem.
The connection between integrity commissions and social media is the Lying Nasty Parties' dislike of both because they hold the sleazy bastards to account and call out the fuck ups being sold as triumphs when the mainstream media is largely complicit. The Tories will frame any legislation as being targeted at the nasty trolls but the net will be wide. Scrutiny, truth and dissent are their true targets and bullying and harrassment are practices they would prefer to monopolise.
The Morrison government is facing a battle over an integrity commission it doesn't really want. ABC
Liberal MP Andrew Laming created dozens of Facebook pages to promote LNP and attack opponents. The Guardian
Bushfire Rorts: Coalition targets bushfire recovery funds for Coalition seats. Michael West Media
Win for Collaery derails Porter’s attempt to cover up Timor-Leste bugging. Crikey
Since 2012 Australia has slid 8 points in Transparency International’s global corruption ranking.