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Byron Shire
November 29, 2022

Thus Spake Mungo: The revolt

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Shock, horror. Someone has tested positive to COVID-19 after the Black Lives Matter protest in Melbourne and Peter Dutton is terrified – his worst fears have been realised, he hyperventilated. 

Well, no, actually – Peter Dutton’s worst fear is that the public will finally see how silly he is and start ignoring him. 

But in the meantime, he will have enough support to generate a few more headlines, like the one last Wednesday in The Australian – “Protests cost economy $1bn. ” 

It turns out that this wasn’t true either; what the fantasy revealed was that if the federal government kept social restrictions going for another week (which it had always intended to do anyway) one somewhat outdated Treasury projection was that it could cost somewhere in that vicinity. 

Then again, it probably wouldn’t, because the states would go ahead at their own pace; and right on cue, Gladys Berejiklian opened the door on the undeniable grounds that community transmission of the virus in New South Wales had virtually ceased. 

But even if the figure was correct, so what? In the same paper, we read that Westpac’s chief economist, Bill Evans, had found that the early containment of the pandemic in Australia had already saved treasury some $20 billion – and of course there is that extra $60 billion sitting in the coffers after the JobKeeper discrepancy. 

The mouldering mogul’s mercenary minions mobilised to invent a revolt, an outpouring of popular outrage about what the increasingly Duttonesque Matthias Corman characterised as the selfish and self-indulgent protests

In the circumstances, the purely hypothetical billion is hardly life-threatening. But for the Murdoch press, that was entirely irrelevant. Next day the mouldering mogul’s mercenary minions mobilised to invent a revolt, an outpouring of popular outrage about what the increasingly Duttonesque Matthias Corman characterised as the selfish and self-indulgent protests. 

To back up this claim of rioting in the streets, The Australian’s breathless propagandists located an undertaker and a clergyman who wanted an open go for their clientele, and of course, a couple of right wing Liberal MPs. And in case there was any doubt, one of the paper’s most zealous partisans, Dennis Shanahan, opined that the restrictions were stifling his spiritual life, and thus, presumably, the BLM movement was endangering his immortal soul. 

Could it get any worse? You betcha. The OECD warned that if there was to be a second wave of COVID-19 in Australia, it could cost $25 billion. This was a purely academic exercise as the organisation was not predicting a second wave, and was in fact rather complimentary about the way the government had managed the crisis. 

But by conflating the reports, it added to the pile-on; the protests were not about saving black lives, but about a deliberate and sinister attack on Australia as we know it. And what’s more, they had evil fifth columnists at their backs. 

Paul Kelly, who has apparently abandoned any pretence of rational debate, wrote one of his more pompous diatribes explaining that there were two equally credible views that needed to be weighed

Paul Kelly, who has apparently abandoned any pretence of rational debate, wrote one of his more pompous diatribes explaining that there were two equally credible views that needed to be weighed – those of loved and trusted aunty ABC, which thought that black lives do matter, and those of Murdoch’s gangrenous organ Sky News that thought that they didn’t – or at least, not nearly as much the right to congregate at weddings and funerals. 

These were not incompatible, except in Kelly’s limited view of the world. But you can’t run a culture war without setting out a conflict, however phony. 

However this one is all a bit difficult for the Oz, because it has spent the last few weeks screaming and steaming about the absolute necessity of everyone getting back to normal, to removing all those arbitrary and unnecessary barriers imposed by the government – and that includes the sacred cause of free speech. 

And to a large extent, the protests were following their script; with the permission of the authorities – the state governments and their police forces – to go right ahead. But the paramount aim was to shoot the messengers, and as so often with the Murdoch press self-interest won out over principle.

So the black narrative became that, sure, black lives matter – but not just now. And Marcia Langton’s simple solution – stop killing Aboriginals – was not the answer

So the back narrative became that, sure, black lives matter – but not just now. And Marcia Langton’s simple solution – stop killing Aboriginals – was not the answer. The figures showed that black deaths in custody were not, on a per capita basis, any more alarming than white deaths in custody, and once the offenders were in custody, they were seldom actually killed by police – well, at least not directly. Most committed suicide, or died of neglect from those who owed them a duty of care… so that was all right then. 

And certainly blacks were many times more likely to be in custody than whites, but that must be because they were, by definition, more likely to offend. Yes, if you count drunkenness, offensive language, non-payment of parking fines and other such dastardly crimes that seldom, if ever, land white Australians in the slammer. But nothing to see here, move right along. Back to the proven failure of what the establishment mainstream likes to characterise as “practical reconciliation” – another round of telling First Nations Australians what is good for them. 

Another week, and another tirade from our national daily. So our fearless leader had received his riding instructions; the previous protest was terrible, but another one would be unacceptable. And duly, Morrison urged that police should charge offenders, take no prisoners, ride over the bastards, dominate. He sounded positively Trumpish. 

This was not his call; he himself has frequently excused inaction by pointing out that such issues are matters for the states. But not to worry: we’re all in this together, remember? Time for the wallopers to do their part.

It must have been a disappointment that Friday’s protest was small, orderly and peaceful, with the cops outnumbering demonstrators by two to one, and just one miserable arrest

So it must have been a disappointment that Friday’s protest was small, orderly and peaceful, with the cops outnumbering demonstrators by two to one, and just one miserable arrest. But a statue of Captain Cook was protected through social distancing, which had to be counted as a win by The Australian.

Saturday saw a few largely desultory protests – one organiser was lumbered in a Sydney gathering, but it looked more like a gesture from the obedient coppers than a serious effort to protect the public from mayhem. Hardly Armageddon despite the urgings of the Murdoch-Morrison axis, the climactic conflict between good and evil did not eventuate. Never mind, better luck next time if possible.

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  1. The ‘end of the world that wasn’t’ Mungo… I almost
    feel somewhat sorry for the Murdoch Empire. Ah!
    the Culture War – Dutton’s great fear – the ‘charge
    of the Light Brigade’, a nonentity. Hysteria is on the
    rise. The next installment will be…

  2. Lovely stuff Mungo, you’ve nailed it again.
    And, that five word alliteration must be something of a record…

  3. Well !
    “mouldering mogul’s mercenary minions” I gotta hand it to ya Mungo ,that was worth reading the article for.
    There’s nothing much else that’s news or surprising though. I suppose it must be stated somewhere.
    I don’t think any rational Australian has any doubts that this ‘government’ is terrified that the public might like some of the possibilities displayed for changing the status quo, the effectivness of which was highlighted by the strength of social action, saving us all from the incompetence displayed by the Liberals prioritizing tourism and university income over public health.
    Now ,of course, it is time to get them all back into the harness and get the rat-race re-established as the only possibilty. They don’t care too much about “black lives”, one way or the other, but they don’t have ANY time for those who question the loving nature of their attack dogs , The Police !
    Cheers, G”)

  4. Yes, the surge to the right by Shanahan, Henderson, Cater, The Sloan Ranger and the rest of the herd in the Oz is expected. Abbott’s mate Sheridan even goes so far as to say Trump deserves to be re elected! What always has confused me is Kelly. Yup Kelly deserves to be carefully studied.More complex than Kafkas Metamorphis! Once in the Laurie Oakes mould a middle of the road unbiased journalist who has in his later years has turned into a right wing conspiracy theory hack. Why? I keep asking myself would once a respected journalist a doyen of his craft write stuff that he knows deep down is biased, often untrue and devoid of what journalism is all about.How do lecturers at uni teach journalim these days? With the mouldering mercenary etc etc trolls brilliantly described by our host dishing up the drivel that the Oz calls news! The only thing I can think of is Kelly will write anything to preserve his Super.The sack would not help his Super but that is the only thing I can think of.It must be all about money.I read once The Sloan Ranger (whilst most of the Turdochracy is being sacked) is on a screw of $330,000 a year.No wonder Shanahan, Woof and the rest do what they are told!

  5. Someone? Someone Mungo?
    That person is a person whom is one of the sum of all the individual numbers collected and added together makes a population of the many, the sum of the people of Australia minus one. Some one and they did not win. They lost the right to win against the government. He or she has caught a disease from some other someone who had the virus and is now feeling at dis-ease with a disease, and it was not one us in the bus on the way to the protest in the right to march against the terrible number of deaths in custody in Australia, 432 to be precise since 1991.
    What has been spread in this nation is COVID-19 horribilus and it is spread, this disease in a sneeze and puts you on your knees, I pray. It was in Melbourne the scene of the crime, the dastardly city of Dame Nellie Melba fame and the Melbourne Storm and it made a day all forelorn in a cold cloudy way that you wish you were nor born in such a city as Melbourne. The deed indeed was not in the supreme city of Sydney. If it was in Sydney it would really press a button for Mr Dutton where the police do have to form a ring to protect the statue of Mr Cook. Captain Cook stat you, as people made of stone and make a stoney stare are disease free. It was in Melbourne and thanks. In Sydney Captain Cook’s staue has plenty of air around it and has no chance of catching the coronavirus as it is well ventilated against Peter Dutton’s worst fears.

  6. “…the mouldering mogul’s mercenary minions mobilised …..I loved the alliteration Mungo. Couldn’t you have slipped a “mendacious” or “moronic” or “muck-raking” in there?

    Honestly, when is this pox on civilisation that is the Murdoch dynasty going to shuffle off into the night? Rupert must be Australia’s most despicable and despised export and his off-spring are not much better. Without Rupert and the support of Fox (or do I mean Pox) News, Drumpf would have been toast long ago. Republicans can only keep shoring him up because Fox is forever giving him cover, excuses, and an air of legitimacy.

    Incidentally, I just nutted out what “covfeve” means. You all know, that cryptic/bizarre Tweet of Drumpf’s about 2 years ago that had many people scratching their heads. It stands fo “Cov(id) F#*7s Everything, F#*7s Everyone. Jeez! He was so prescient. It’s certainly going to f#*k him.

  7. The politicians have their backs turned to the elephant in the room. The elephant sits sadly in the corner pondering the politicians backs, black deaths that matter and child trafficking while the politicians are conspiring, scolding and denigrating demonstrators who are calling for change. When will we get our most important jobs done? It’s just another sad day here in Australia.

    It wasn’t an original thought but I felt a version was apropos here. Dave

  8. Peter Dudton and Mathias Conman, always good for their contributions to comedy whenever they open their gobs. It shows the real dearth of any real talent in the current Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison administration, ‘Poor Fellow My Country’.

  9. I cant wait to see if the tsunami of new infections is from the rightly fabulous corpulent boxes at the footy or those less deserving of stimulus or perhaps the dreaded microwave from a 5G tower

  10. Regardless of whether I agree or not, Mungo – and I usually do – your main contention is generally clear and succinct. Maybe it’s just me but I find a bit of an opaque ramble. I hope it’s not to provide a smoke screen for some fence sitting. Exactly what is the point: that the Murdoch press is heavily slanted? Hardly original!

  11. Correction Mungo !! Are you implying that white Australians are not likely to be locked up for not paying fines ? Absolute Nonsense..
    Poor Fellow my Country Joachim ?
    For you and all those that despise Australia
    Why stay ? There are more successful multicultural
    Countries or societies in the World !! Just cant think
    Of Many .

  12. I wish that I’d saved the pic in the Grauniad showing a dozen Plods (plus mounted numpties) on Saturday night surrounding the flood lit statue of Cook in Hyde Park – our taxes at work – because it disappeared the next day.
    So much for public information – down the memory hole, thanks a bunch Winston.

  13. I can’t see another Labor govt in my time. Albo looks old, grey, overweight and ineffective. A good bloke for sure but he shot his lunch for leader when Shorten won the weekend of by elections. The Maths is not good either. Labor has won only one of the past nine federal elections outright. Labor has won one election in the last 12 years and just nine from 29 federal elections since the end of World War II, five of those coming in the Hawke-Keating years. The tally since 1993 for Labor is a devastating seven losses out of nine Federal elections. By the time of the next election in 2022, Labor will have been in Opposition for 23 of the last 29 years and the way Morrison is going I cannot see him losing the next election unless there is an ongoing recession or families failing to meet their mortgage commitments-and we don’t want that. Another view? If Labor had just got 30,000 more votes in 9 of the marginals they would have been elected but that is sour milk. Out of 30 seats in Qld, Labor has only 6. In regional Victoria only 2 out of 20! No party can go into any future election giving the other side such a huge start before counting even starts! Labor must install Jim Chalmers and quick. He is young, cogent, articulate, knows his economics, better on his feet than Albo AND…he is from Qld!

  14. Barrow old son, you still not getting it. Successful multicultural country, maybe for some but not successful for Indigenous multiculture, Barrow old son. Australia needs change after nearly 7 years of your Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison crew dragging us down. But please feel free to continue supporting a Government that adds further to its list of shame with notables of late such as State sponsored fraud ( RoboRobberDebt ) and allowing a 46,0000 years old Indigenous heritage site to be blown that further rubs injustice into the faces of Indigenous people. Yep, real successful Aussie multiculture for the whole world to see and feel. No need for me or anyone to leave the country. What we need is the likes of your ScoNO and crew to ‘leave’ so that we can begin the healing and make Australia a better place.

  15. Ray Armstrong, nice that you mention the ’23 years’ of Opposition. Could it be. ’23’, Labor’s lucky number again? In 1972 it was after Labor 23 years in Opposition that ‘The Great Man’ won the election. But this time round, Labor doesn’t have anyone that comes within a bulls roar of ‘The Great Man’. Even with the rubbish administration of Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison, Labor looking at more time in Opposition. Jim Chalmers may be young, energetic and a policy and issues minded dude but Aussie punters don’t seem too interested in policy and issues such as climate and water security, at least not when it comes to voting day they don’t. Aussie punters more concerned with ‘election bribes’ that they can collect immediately as they decide who gets the tick on the vote slip.

  16. Joachim said “but Aussie punters don’t seem too interested in policy and issues”…as Bob McMullen once mused in an interview with Bruce Baird on SBS, “Labor will have to get down in the gutter with the Liberals, master the art of negative politics and lies to win elections”. Lies about the economy, lies about the Death Tax, lies about Climate Change and Renewable Energy(where there has been something of a U Turn) and being outspent 5:1 cost Labor a win. Even if Labor had money the Liberals and Palmer had bought up all of the ad spots.They have probably already bought up all the spots for 1922-but I feel Scumo will go early.

  17. No-one is despising this country, Barrow……. As my
    grandmother always said, “find me a good politician
    & I’ll show you a happy country.” What we have here
    now are fibbers & fiddlers that, had they ‘tried on the
    kind of lies & crap the pollies get away with now’
    there’d be punch-ups in the streets usually lead by
    women. We are not ‘all in this together’ because
    there’s no ‘togetherness’. There’s pretence. Bloody
    damn lies. No genuine care for or with the land:
    the Australia that should have been & once was.
    We need to rebuild this ‘south land’ before the
    sun permanently sets on the gullible, the aged &
    harmed. We must get rid of bludging parliaments
    run by money crunchers, controllers, & crims. We
    owe it to ourselves to turn the tide. No more frauds
    in government. Over & out.

  18. Frauds in Governments and this i assume Stefanie
    Would be inclusive of the Labor – Greens super party ? While we are on the Subject of Fraud
    Mungo could you please refrain just for ONE ARTICLE , and with your wealth of knowledge and expertise all things Government , or should that be Conservatives. This latest Branch Stacking
    By the Labor Party ??? Now this must be of a concern, because even the impartial ABC
    Are covering this … MUNGO could we have a explanation please .. we seek your council on this
    One !!

  19. I reckon you’ll hear from Mungo next week regarding
    all the trash the 2 parties feed the public, Barrow.
    I’m tired of all 3 of them. They’re useless……..


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