David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

01 December 2009

The Message

Over the last month or so the Australian Federal Opposition,
aka The Coalition (of the Liberal Party and the National Party minority), under the influence of their substantial component of Climate Change Deniers & Sceptics, have been tearing themselves apart. This is how senior political commentator Michelle Grattan described the situation in yesterday's THE AGE (Melbourne):

Liberals floundering in chaos

The Liberal Party is a madhouse. Malcolm Turnbull amazed even the Turnbull sceptics by his wild performance yesterday.

Turnbull unleashed appeared to many Liberals Turnbull unhinged, as he vented his considerable capacity for wrath against Senate leader Nick Minchin, now cast as the devil by his leader but quite popular in party ranks.

Turnbull would have better stayed in bed, rather than appear with Laurie Oakes. His support went further backwards.

The party is now set on installing Joe Hockey whether he likes it or not.

The formula is that once there is a spill motion, a ''challenge'' - which Hockey says he won't make - is not really a ''challenge''. Hockey seems ready to don this fig leaf, to everyone's relief.

The chaos appears headed to a fix that involves Hockey for leader, Peter Dutton for deputy, Tony Abbott for shadow treasurer...

( full article here )
All commentators warned that today's leadership spill result was unpredictable. Which is indeed how it turned out, with all best bets arse about and Tony Abbott elected leader. Here's how another senior political AGE journalist, Tony Wright, described Abbott several days ago :

Ascetic warrior ready for battle

Tony Abbott, long known as the Mad Monk, transmogrified into a vision of the Grim Reaper as he swung through Malcolm Turnbull's office yesterday afternoon.

Those who have met him on a rugby field or a boxing ring know there is much of the ascetic warrior in the Abbott.

Malcolm Turnbull is a physically solid fellow, too, and no wilting flower. He would prove it within hours with a fighting performance of a news conference, declaring himself still the leader of the Liberal Party and vowing that his party would deliver on its emissions trading deal with the Rudd Government, whomever may try to deny him.

But he was outnumbered when the Grim Reaper strode into his bunker mid-afternoon. Abbott was accompanied by another of the austere in the utterly fractured Liberal congregation: Senator Nick Minchin, Liberal leader in the Senate and veteran of a hundred factional stoushes and Liberal crises.

They were on a mission. They were about to try to nail their leader to a cross they were convinced he had built for himself.

Abbott learned a bit about missions during his time in the seminary as a young man, and he was a champion debater, but he can use his fists when his blood is up.

( full article here )

"The argument on climate change is absolute crap. However the politics of this are tough for us. Eighty per cent of people believe climate change is a real and present danger."

Tony Abbott, Sept 2009

quoted in Pyrenees Advocate, October 2009

Unrelated, also this morning the bL History of the Message archive received three hundred-year-old readymademessage telegraph postcards. Here's one of them.

( click on images to enlarge )

A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
someone looks at something . . .