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.

25 November 2014


After the announcement by Minister Turncoat of the 'efficiency dividends' for the ABC, Theatre of the Actors of Regard yesterday convened a special sitting to observe the ABC broadcast of Question Time in the House of Representatives. 
     The falcon cannot hear the falconer
As expected there were a series of questions directed to Prime Minister Abbott about this broken promise. As he struggled to answer the questions allowed less and less wriggle room until finally there was none : 

Opposition members interjecting—
The SPEAKER: There will be silence on my left.
Mr ABBOTT (Warringah—Prime Minister) (14:41): The point I have made earlier in question time today is that we never promised special treatment for the ABC of the SBS.
Opposition members interjecting—
The SPEAKER: The member for Newcastle can join the member for Wakefield under 94(a).
The member for Newcastle then left the chamber.
Mr ABBOTT: What is happening to the ABC and the SBS is, effectively, the application of an efficiency dividend...
The Broken Word and any meta- form of such are by definition grist for bLOGOS/HA HA.      
So, to today's editorial from The Monthly :
"Lying about lying"

Tony Abbott gave perhaps the most extraordinary parliamentary performance of his prime ministership yesterday. Bill Shorten quoted Abbott's election-eve promise back to him – "No cuts to education, no cuts to health, no change to pensions, no change to the GST and no cuts to the ABC or SBS" – before asking whether the reason Abbott is now "box office poison in Victoria" is because he's "breaking every single one of these promises". In response, Abbott said: "This is a government which has fundamentally kept faith with the Australian people."
By pretending that the more than $300 million in cuts to the broadcasters is not a broken promise, Abbott is lying. And as Paul Bongiorno pointed out this morning, he's also "lying about lying": the election-eve promise itself had to be a lie. For weeks, Abbott had also been promising that he would return the budget to surplus without imposing new taxes. Nothing added up. So when he began backtracking – changing pension indexation, talking about raising the GST and then flagging "efficiencies" at the public broadcasters – nobody was particularly surprised.

What is surprising is that Abbott can be so brazenly dishonest after nearly three years of describing the Gillard government with such terms as "truth deficit disorder". Not only that, as Mungo MacCallum points out he repeatedly established himself as honest, promised that there would never be any excuses – including the budget position – to justify him breaking any of his pre-election promises, and over and over again asked that Australians take him at his word. A week before the election he gave a lengthy interview to ABC Melbourne's Jon Faine that covered most of the conceivable excuses. No, no, no, Abbott said – "I don't want to be like that." Now he is, and it's difficult to see how he can ever recover.

Russell Marks
 click to enlarge   
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someone looks at something ...