Abbott Peta’s out

It seems Tony has run out of excuses for being a mean, tricky, out-of-touch liar. What to do? Blame sexism.

It’s a deft trick especially from a man who would have invented sexism if he could. And I quote:

‘I think it would be folly to expect that women will ever dominate or even approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, abilities and interests are different for physiological reasons’

‘I think there does need to be give and take on both sides, and this idea that sex is kind of a woman’s right to absolutely withhold, just as the idea that sex is a man’s right to demand I think they are both they both need to be moderated, so to speak’

‘What the housewives of Australia need to understand as they do the ironing is that if they get it done commercially it’s going to go up in price and their own power bills when they switch the iron on are going to go up, every year…’

It’s simply not true that Peta is busted over micro-management because she is a woman. What about Mr KRudd? The whole government changed and he lost his crown because of micro-management and control freakery, apparently now known as sexism.

Sure Peta Credlin is being targetted because ministers and backbenchers are frustrated with Tony Abbott and are taking it out on his Chief of Staff. But that’s different to sexism, that’s just frustration because they can’t get a slot in his diary to confront him because of the afore-mentioned micro-management.

Tony seems delighted that Peta is hanging out with him, calling the shots, making decisions that are not hers, but the Prime Minister’s to make. So he should take the ultimate responsibility for his government peta-ing out in the polls. If he has made a blood oath carved in stone and broken it, then it’s his fault, not his right-hand amazon, aka Peta.

Peta is not easy to like. With her penchant for animal print accessories and big bad blow dry, she’s bossing the big boys around and just about telling them when they can and cannot have a toilet break. It’s easy to characterise her as a she-devil Amazon with shoulder-pads and a powerhungry smirk. But it is disingenuous of the Prime Minister to say that if you don’t like her then you are sexist. Especially from a PM who only has one woman in his cabinet, and a track record of putting women down. Sexism about Peta Credlin is not the reason the Abbott government is flailing and pussyfutting around, it’s sheer incompetence and Toni knows it.

 

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Julie’s bishop to king square

Julie Bishop is the Abbott government’s not-so-starry eyed performer. She’s also a media darling, but compared with the frumpy Lib Nat front bench, that’s not too hard to pull off, especially when Malcolm in the Middle is looking so glum these days. He’d be so much more handsome if he smiled!

Back to Julie B. With her perfectly coiffed blonde do, fabulous power suits, too-trim-to-be-true physique and surreal stare, she has a certain assured style. But how deserved are the accolades? Harper’s Bazaar Woman of the Year? I mean seriously. What exactly has she done that is not in the portfolio of any foreign minister and that includes K. Rudd, who as it turns out was running a whole other portfolio at the time. (That would be the portfolio of Revenge).

Back to Woman of the Year. Swanning around the world looking glam and making the odd speech condemning terrorism ain’t so hard. In terms of putting Vlad on the spot, did she? As far as I’m aware we are no closer to access, admission or apology than had she not affixed her ballsy blue eyes on him.  And now it seems she is anyone’s girl, anything that needs fixing – let’s see now, Victorian election, nuclear energy and any other old barnacle that Tony Abbott wants to throw her way, she’s out there spruiking. Hardly a girl who knows her own mind, I say!

I reckon that if she is ever given a less popular portfolio (NBN springs to mind) she suddenly wouldn’t be all kudos and goodwill and press fascination. Of course, this probably won’t be tested as Tony doesn’t do reshuffles. In the meantime Jules is being a good girl and kowtowing the party line. Of course every girl needs a male chaperon to take her to the big climate talks in Lima. She couldn’t possibly be trusted to do that on her own.

Abbott knows that she’s more popular than him, and probably the only cabinet minister that is both competent and palatable to the public but he’s staying put. If Jules wants to be top dog in the top job, then she’ll have to knock off the biggest barnacle of them all (her boss). Bishop to Queen 6. Checkmate.

Coalition’s sad scrooged parliamentary pause

 

The Coalition has had a the parliamentary equivalent of a truck wreck in the M5 tunnel this week. Even Tony has lost a little of his lopsided smirk, although he still has a mad glint in the eyes. Joe the Whinger looks even more sulky than normal, Georgie B has stopped talking and Malcolm in the Middle is looking like he just ate something indigestible, causing him to regurgitate the words “efficiency dividend”.

Even the Coalition’s best friends, Bolt, Jones and Janet are turning on them, which has got to have even the most deluded ministers choking on their genetically modified Wheaties in the morning.

Thank goodness they appointed one woman to the inner cabinet. Seemingly the only half-competent minister (mind you swanning around the world in designer outfits ain’t so hard), Julie B. is out campaigning in a state election that will give many Victorians a mini opportunity to give the Federal government a piece of their mind. And possibly a piece of their finger too.

It’s hard to imagine a government could be so incompetent, especially a no-surprises, no-excuses, grown up government like we were promised. It’s also hard to imagine they are going to be able to vacuum up any policy “barnacles” off HMAS Abbott before the Christmas break.

Higher education is looking like it’s school’s out. Imagine negotiating with a newly-liberated Lambie on that, while the Defence Forces pay issue still languishes. As for GP co-payments, the on again off again lovechild of Joe and Mathias is still bobbing around and Tony just doesn’t seem to have the ticker to kill it off good and proper. As for Tony’s own lovechild, the paid parental scheme for rich people, he just can’t admit defeat, let alone poor policy. Let alone poor policy on the run without cabinet consultation. Let alone poor policy on the run without cabinet consultation because the country can’t afford it due to the budget crisis.

So, the Coalition Christmas break is likely to be very bleak indeed. Especially at Casa’s Turnball, Hockey and anyone with the titles Backbencher after their name. Scrooge has come early to the Coalition this year and, just like mum and dad always said, Santa doesn’t give presents to bad children and some of those Coalition kids have been very very bad this year.

It’s not easy being seen when you’re green

Bob Brown turned a near catatonic voice quality into a cult status, but Christine Milne is having a hard time getting the electorate to get a handle on who she is. Whereas Bob Brown had strangely cool, old-school aura, Christine Milne seems a bit frazzled, a bit harried and constantly on the verge of a cranky rant.

In other words, like the rest of us.

I get there’s a lot to be frazzled, harried, cranky and downright murderous about if you are a greenie leftie pollie from Tassie.

But, turning up for work looking like a dead ringer for a put-upon secondary school principal, who keeps her papers in a supermarket shopping bag that’s flapping in the wind is not going to win votes, hearts or donors. Or media time.

So, what can Christine of the Greens do?

– A complete makeover, starting with a funky haircut, highlights and new set. Of glasses.

– Befriend Clive. Why not? Clive and Al Gore are besties, after all.

– Befriend Jackie. They must have something in common. Fleuro scarves perhaps?

– Maybe some policies that have a chance.

Sure, it’s not easy being green, it shouldn’t be this hard either. Methinks the Greens should go positive and lighten up a bit, more like a minty green, not deep khaki. It is a nice spring-like colour, and their anger, however justified, is not working in voterland and lord knows, we are all in need of a dose of positive politik.

 

 

 

Taking the plate is a jarring note

Due to great plate shortage and the knife and fork famine circa 2012 and ongoing to this day, cafes are serving things up in jars and the plate has gone the same way as the tonka bean.

Why?

It’s like a pair of smelly old sandshoes is in charge of table service and thought it would be classy. Either that or Manu, in a French-flavoured fit of pique, cried, “They don’t like ze escargots infused with duck fat?! Let them eat splinters from chopping board wrapped in a salmonella jus. I’ll even throw in this old set of steak knives.”

You know, those in the know will say it’s an attempt to juxtapose the complexity of modern life with a pared down existence, walls, lighting, table settings, all pared back to the underpants.

Those not in the know, will just think that’s a lot of jam to get through to empty out all those jars.

As for death of a plate, food is now presented on chopping blocks, bricks, anything but a plate which has done the job for approximately 30 centuries but that hasn’t stopped inner city hipsters from having a go at it.

Knives and forks are still floating around, but brought to the table in another jam jar. They are trying to make everything look homestyle by having it mismatched. But weirdly, nowadays, thanks to pressure from Better Homes and Gardens everything at home now matches.

It’s not all restaurants or cafes that have no cutlery. Just the expensive funky ones, usually with one word names like Roast, Grill, Sal and Whip (sorry, ignore that last word, I got carried away).

There is no point complaining. This is an actual conversation in Sydney today.

Restaurant goer: Waiter, I’m eating soup off a bathroom tile with an eggbeater and a fish knife.

Waiter: well, sir/madam/gender of choice this is a hatted restaurant. What did you expect? A plate? (insert Sydney waiter sneer).

It’s hard to know where this will end. Will it end? Will your next meal be served on a an old vinyl record, car wheel, playing cards, the kitchen floor.

On that note, excuse me,  have to go and open a jar of jam. I have run out of cups.

Sydney drivers are bamboozled by rain

What is it about a splash of rain that makes Sydney drivers wet their pants?

A spot of rain and Sydney drivers act like a new life form has arrived on our shores, specifically our roads. Rain takes on biblical proportions, it’s like a plague of soggy locusts teeming down on all the land, which must be defeated by Team Australia, car by car, windscreen wiper by windscreen wiper.

When it rains, Sydney motorists, with their sad wet weather faces (a cross between dentist appointment face and airport queue face) take driving to new passive aggressive heights. They slow down, then weirdly speed up. Like they think the weather will be better on the M2 if only they could get there by driving fast through puddles.

Windsreen wipers sound like some kind of manic water feature. At traffic lights you can see a little windscreen wiper malfunction action going on, as drivers try to find which wiper does the back windscreen.

As for buses, a little rain and they get even more bumfuzzled than usual. They drive aggressively past entire bus stops filled with umbrellas but then they approach roundabouts slower than a wet week.

Of course, you can try to pretend that everything is fine, and turn on the radio. Only it doesn’t help. In a stroke of breathtaking originality, Sydney radio stations play any song mentioning rain on high rotation, just in case you hadn’t noticed IT’S RAINING!

There’s only so many times I can listen to Belinda Carlisle’s Summer Rain. There’s only so much a girl can take of It’s Raining Men. Especially when I have on my wet weather face combined with my rain hair, which I have to go and fix up now. But that’s a whole other blog.

 

Ground down and queued up at Alexandria

I read recently that the insanely popular The Grounds at Alexandria is expanding and will soon have a cider bar, burger bar, child minding, a children’s cinema and woodchopping. This is on top of the potting shed, chickens, artisan bakery, coffee “research” facility, barnyard kitchen, waffle stand and free yoga.

They could have just stuck to being a pie factory.

This restaurant, which is a smidge bigger than Rooty Hill RSL, bills itself as serving consciously evolved fruit and veg (sorry, holistic produce), and hand-raised Mayan chia sourdough. The Grounds wants us to be so flaming rural that, by heck, we’ll find a haystack in our underpants. It wants us to hold a flaky apple crumble in our hand and see a house on the prairie wrapped in a rainbow. It wants us to do a happy dance after spending $72.38 on a slice of Himalayan yak jerky.

There is no seating, which will lead to enlightened conversation with fellow customers, huddling with plates on knees by the piggery.

“I’m having the dandelion milk fed organic, hand-raised cow called Hendrick. He liked listening to Gregorian chants.”

“Oh, really, I’m eating Hendrick too.”

In real country life we’d be getting up at 4am to shoot some sheep and skin them with our bare hands then clean out the blood from all the pigs we castrated in the pig pen. We’ve all seen the movie Babe.

But still that hasn’t stopped Sydneysiders. They are prepared to queue all morning and twice on weekends just to takeaway a slice of country life. And a waffle. And a hotdog and some “researched” coffee.

Confession: I’ve never been to The Grounds. On the grounds that I don’t want to spend three hours queueing for a bit of bread, however hand-embroidered it is. I’m not in any particular hurry to go, it seems like a kind of theme park for people who haven’t set foot outside the inner west.

Besides, I have my own garden, sorry, house-grown organic holistic produce. Excuse me, I just have to go and accidentally eat a caterpillar.