What a rich cop of crazy and wrong The Australian has given us in the last three days. The main course, the delicious turducken of travesty, is of course Maurice Newman’s column today. But patience, children. Let’s take this one course at a time.

The pre-appetiser, the amuse bouche comes from Nick Cater. Nick despairs of these Senate crossbenchers who are shallying with blocking the ABCC revival. If only we had a crossbench senator of the plain-dealing nature of Brian Harradine.

Brian Harradine! Ha! Harradine was notorious for one thing: introducing the US-style spurious amendment to unrelated bills. Harradine, a right-wing Catholic National Civic Council desperado, attached amendments on abortion, contraception, sex education funding and global funding for women’s health to any bill he could get his hands on.

The pernicious little gnome did more than anyone to turn the Senate into a crooked poetical casino. The Senate’s modern role as a house of de facto equal legitimacy to the House was largely pioneered by Harradine.

Harradine! Jaysus. Check your own paper sometime to see how Harradine was viewed at the time, Nick.

But let’s move on to the appetiser, which comes of course from Jennifer Oriel. Oriel is not happy with this Safe Schools program (neither am I, but that’s another story). In her attack on this, she dives into a paper co-written by Angus Deaton, a veteran socialist economist, which says that white men are doing it harder than anyone and that is responsible for a heightened mortality rate. Jennifer uses this for a bit of identipolitics: it’s white men who are the victims.

Jennifer, Jennifer, you know very well that paper is about US working-class white men in the last decade. It’s not a race issue, it’s a class and regime issue. Northern European working-class white men are doing fine — because they live in social democratic societies. US working-class white men live in a Raymond Carver short story that the US and Dubya made. That’s why they’re dying. C’mon, Jennifer.

But the main course is Maurice Newman. Morrie doesn’t get much of a run in the Oz these days since his fascination with the New World Order. So when he does get a run he tries to get it all in. He does not disappoint today. Here’s the opening:

“If you read the letters to the editor, online commentary and listen to talkback radio, it is becoming clearer by the day that the 54 parliamentary members of the Liberal Party who voted to replace Tony Abbott with Malcolm Turnbull were seriously misguided …”

Yeah, if you do spend your time in those self-selecting spite slums, that’s exactly what you’ll get. If you go by the polls, it’s another story. But what would a banker know about quantitative reasoning? From there it’s just deliciously fucking mad, the tirade of a man dropped from influence: progressives hypnotised liberals and elected Turnbull, Australia, a socialist unionised low-migration state with no bill of rights, has a heritage just like the US, now betrayed by “progressives”.

It’s a pathetic reverse fantasy — Australians throw right-wing governments out because they are bamboozled by elites, not because, as is the case, the populace remains left of centre. It concludes with a touch of the Ben Carson: a fake quote attributed to Karl Marx by right-wing internet dweebs.

Oh Maurice! You have out-Mauriced yourself today! Still, you’re right on one thing: the problems of protected markets. I mean, where else but in the post-war Australian banking system could someone like you rise to the top of the profession?

No space to deal with Planet Janet, who welcomes Freedom Boy, Tim Wilson, the grin in a suit, to Canberra — even though he has simply won Goldstein preselection. Thus do elites work. She also welcomes Senator James Paterson, who is a sort of dehydrated, meal-ready-to-eat version of Freedom Boy — dead at 28, buried at 85.

Hilariously, this decadent dying right-wing elite bill and coo over Donald Trump, and don’t have a clue what’s coming.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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