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178 responses to “Not so harmless after all”

  1. Lefty E

    Yes, as ive been saying, its all highly unAustralian, and our so-called Head of State should resign!

  2. Russell

    “About the only virtue the British royals can claim is that they’re harmless – they don’t actually do anything”

    So why do so many people turn up to cheer them at their countless public engagements?

  3. Incurious and Unread

    A wind-up, I think.

  4. John D

    A republic has shot up the priority list.

    Gillard should forget that she and Abbott are poms and publicly boycott the wedding.

  5. Russell

    Perhaps a boycott would be better than turning up looking like this

  6. Wombo

    *greasing the guillotine as we speak…* 😉

  7. Paul Burns

    Yep. William banning the Chaser has surely lost him the affection of the Australian people. A republic with an absolutely trustworthy president who would ever ban anything would be much better.
    Sorry, but this argument re the Royal family and the Chaser, given the way we routinely accept human rights abrogations is Australia is just vile hypocrisy!

  8. Pavlov's Cat

    She looks fine, Russell, and even if she didn’t, she’s the Prime Minister and you’re not. Take your sniggering sexist bullshit and shove it.

  9. Patrickb

    I don’t get it. Do you expect the Chinese Premier to where a traditional Chinese costume. With all due respect that’s a bit of a silly suggestion. Anyway, it’s OK to ban the Chaser if we can have Roy & HG instead.

  10. tssk

    This might give you guys a laugh. http://www.boingboing.net/2011/04/26/tom-the-dancing-bug-46.html

    English Descendant of Medieval Psychopaths To Wed!

  11. Fascinated

    The PM is rather petite, even a little (with apologiss ma’am PM), matronlyish.
    This combination is not always conducive to ‘model’ types or best images. You sound sad about life rather than any one person.
    With concern

  12. Chris

    I support a republic, but its not like the situation over the Chaser coverage would be any different if we were a republic. The ABC simply doesn’t own the rights to the television feed. The media *can* cover the event in a satirical manner if they want to, they just can’t use the video feed that is being provided.

    I’d guess it would be legal for the Chaser independently to do say live streaming audio or tweetfest that people could listen to/read at the same time as the live video feed.

  13. Terangeree

    I’d guess it would be legal for the Chaser independently to do say live streaming audio or tweetfest that people could listen to/read at the same time as the live video feed.

    Sounds reminiscent of the old Roy & H.G. JJJ radio commentaries of Rugby League Commercial TV Telecasts.

  14. Francis Xavier Holden

    I think the banning is simply outrageous and on false premise.

    The policy states:

    footage cannot be used “in any drama, comedy, satirical or similar entertainment program or content”.

    The only bits of Chaser I’ve seen are neither comedy, satirical or entertaining.

  15. sg

    This is the perfect opportunity for Roy & HG. They’re perfectly serious, they aren’t satirical per se, but…

    PC, maybe the issue Russell has is with Gillard’s decision to wear red in China

  16. harleymc

    I’m rather glad the chaser won’t be covering it.
    2 of the 3 ABC channels covering this non-event was too many and was seriously impacting on viewer choice for a royal free evening for friday night.

  17. Iain Hall

    Personally i think that Clarence house have done the right thing, what ever your politics its simply bad manners to openly mock and deride anyone at their wedding no matter how public the event is.

  18. tigtog

    Except that I’m fairly sure the point was to mock the media circus surrounding the wedding, not the young couple themselves. I don’t have any problem with people mocking the circus.

  19. Iain Hall

    Tig-tog I think that you are trying to split hairs with your distinction because an audience would not see it that way at all, especially after the first disparaging comment about the dress or the appearance of any of the guests, like for instance our PM.

  20. tigtog

    This audience would see it that way. I also would expect them to mine richer veins of material than mere individual fashion choices etc.

    Distinctions are good. More people should make more of them more often.

  21. Robert Merkel

    In any case, what the ABC should do is get the Chaser team to live stream audio commentary on the net – or, for that matter, do it on Triple J.

    If somebody happens to watch their audio commentary simultaneously to the video feed, well, that’s beyond the ABC’s control…

  22. Paul Burns

    It may have escaped you that by wearing red, the PM was paying the CXhinese a diplomatic cmpliment as red is the national cxlour. Also, what’s the point of criticising Gillard about her clothes and personal attributes. I know her policies are dreadful but wearing a red top has nothing to do with them unless one wants to complement her for being a bit of a diplomat.

  23. Paul Burns

    Re the Chaser. As the Guardian points out the BBC are pretty stupid banning the Chaser. In a few years time we will be able to get them back when the ABC has the world righs to the Bindi Irwin wedding.

  24. Mobius Ecko

    ABC local radio this morning pointed out a pertinent fact. Clarence House has only banned satirical coverage of the wedding by the Chasers. Both Channel 9 through Dame Edna and Channel 10 via the 7PM Project comedians will be doing satirical wedding coverage.

    On criticisms of the PM’s dress started by Gai Waterhouse, who should look at her own dress sense before having a go at others, and then slavishly taken up by the wingnuts, and as usual not an original thought to be found. Gillard is doing well on the world diplomatic stage so the wingnuts are left to pettiness and attacking the banal.

  25. GregM

    [email protected] It looks more like she’s wearing a rusty orange jacket to me. And all perfectly fine. Criticising the PM on her dress choice deserves PC’s response to Russell @8

  26. Terangeree

    @ 19:

    …especially after the first disparaging comment about the dress or the appearance of any of the guests,

    Unlike the famous snippet from the BBC commentary of Elizabeth II’s coronation procession, where the commentator said that the small man travelling with the Queen of Tonga “may be her lunch.”

    @ 24:

    Maybe the commercial TV stations are taking different feeds from the one that the ABC is taking, and thus are not under the same restrictions?

  27. billie

    The Royal Family are not harmless?
    Who do you think owns SERCO the operators of our gaols and immigration detention centres? They also own lots of RIO shares

  28. tssk

    Andrew Bolt supports the Chast not being allowed to broadcast during this event. To be fair he does have a point.


    Why did the ABC need to be forced to treat the Royal Wedding with the modicum of respect that the vast majority of taxpayers – and even, I suspect, ABC viewers – would expect and even demand

    Thinking back to the days of Di and Charles it is almost unthinkable that someone would lampoon the wedding live. Even moreso the ABC. Still if the ABC wants to be free to do this then privatisation is the answer.

  29. Chris Grealy

    I’ve never watched the silly Chasers and never will. That will be one less piece of idiocy hogging the electromagnetic spectrum for a little while. Perhaps we could shut down ALL television programmes for a night? Now that’s something I could support.

  30. tigtog

    @tssk, please do remember that the Chaser special was going out on ABC2. For those who prefer more traditionally insipid forelock-tugging coverage, ABC1 would have been doing that by the book, as it still will be, absolutely no doubt about it.

    Isn’t the ABC’s charter to provide varied programming for all sectors of society? Why can’t the satirically inclined be catered for as well?

  31. Geoff Honnor

    “Unlike the famous snippet from the BBC commentary of Elizabeth II’s coronation procession, where the commentator said that the small man travelling with the Queen of Tonga “may be her lunch”

    The small man was the Sultan of Brunei and the quip wasn’t part of the commentary. It was an aside from Noel Coward to a friend while watching the commentary.

    I think the difference between the commercial coverage and the ABC2 coverage is that the latter was solely about doing a satirical pisstake. The commercials taking the direct feed are obviously planning a more mixed/traditional coverage. Nine have Dame Edna as one of the commentators but no-one could accuse Edna – or Barry Humphries – of being anything other than an ardent monarchist.

    There’s nothing to stop the Chaser doing whatever they like before, after or during the wedding. They just don’t have access to the direct TV feed on Friday. If I was Julian Morrow I’d stop whining about ‘censorship,’ get off my arse and do something.

  32. Mobius Ecko

    Geoff @31. If you believe the ardent monarchist Barry Humphries won’t be satirical about the wedding then I suggest you don’t know Humphries’s brand of humour all that well.

  33. CMMC

    Middle-class brat naughtiness is not comedy.

    These guys should get real jobs.

  34. Charlie

    Perhaps the ABC should come out in support of their own programming decisions and refuse to take any coverage, unless they able to present the coverage they had planned.

    On the other hand, if they are not prepared to do that, then perhaps those who made the decision to program in such as way as to cause possible offense should be sent to .. ‘the tower’

  35. tssk

    Don’t get me wrong. I love The Chaser. But this on the ABC was never going to fly. I suspect that it might have been broadcast if it had been shown on Ch 10.

  36. Cuppa

    “About the only virtue the British royals can claim is that they’re harmless – they don’t actually do anything.”

    That’s not true, of course.

  37. Sam

    If I was Julian Morrow I’d stop whining about ‘censorship,’ get off my arse and do something.

    Morrow was on ABC RN this morning and certainly wasn’t whining about censorship.

    With a bit of luck Chas Licciardello is in London and will manage to crash the wedding.

  38. PatrickB

    Yes it is.
    In other news, apparently the royals asked, or possibly told, the BBC to prevent the ABC from carrying satirical commentary. The Nine and Ten coverage is, apparently, coming from a different source. In general I’d say those who support this decision are being bit sensitive. It’s not as though the Chaser coverage will be the official record of the event, it’s ephemeral, meant to provide some light entertainment for those of us who want to sink a few beers and have a laugh.

    I mean at least we’d watch it. I can’t seen myself getting excited about the ponderous, deferential, credulous, gormless commentary that will, apparently, be all that is on offer elsewhere. Is it to late to start a write-in campaign for R & HG? Just the radio, as someone said we can turn down the sound on the TV … please for Dogs sake.

  39. Patricia WA

    Did my ears deceive me? Did I hear Tony Abbott commenting just now about ‘scatalogical’ humor not being appropriate around the Royal wedding? Is that the sort of humor the Chaser team go in for?

  40. Link

    It wasn’t so much what Julia wore, it was her unsuccessful attempt at poise and her terrible posture. If you were put in such a ridiculous and intimidating situation as having to parade past a bunch of robotic looking guys with guns, the very best you could do would be to put on a genuinely funny walk, wear a big hat with feathers, a flamboyant coat, a wild amount of gaudy jewellry and flash a cheeky grin.

    And on another OT topic, some bloke is putting forward a members bill about the line of royal succession going to the first born female even when a second born male is er . . born. This is a very good idea, as in all our obeisance to hierarchies, it’s the royals who are still atop the social pile and if they are forced into the 21st Century with regard to justice for women, then eventually the rest of us commoners have no excuse but to follow suit. Its a small symbolic and apparently meaningless measure but one I think carries great weight. Behold the masses going ape over a bloody wedding of a couple of kids (ffs). I know it is anachronistic, but while we still have royalty they will always represent the pinnacle of ‘society’.

  41. PatrickB

    Perhaps he meant “eschatological”, after all for a committed monarchist such as he, making light of the royals could be enough to trigger the “end of days”.

  42. Fran Barlow

    From the POV of those of us being served up the coverage, it seems like an invitation to coprophilia.

  43. Russell

    Link – her poise and posture look perfect, as they always do, just a pity about the orange thing.

    It’s not OT because Julia goes to the wedding representing us. How whe behaves, what she says, how she dresses … will all be ‘read’ and create an impression – and all be fair game for comment.

    Pity Lady Sonia is still not here to give her a few tips.

  44. Sam

    Pity Lady Sonia is still not here to give her a few tips.

    Susan Rossiter/Peacock/Sangster/Renouf is still with us.

  45. Casey

    I never did see such obsession over poise, posture and the colour orange when it came to any other pm. Why is that FFS? And any way giorgio, that’s a fire engine red, not orange. You would think that if you were really serious about taking over from Galliano, you’d at least know your colour wheel

  46. grace pettigrew

    I must comment on this really important issue: Gillard’s top was bright red, not orange.

    Red is a parade colour entirely suitable in China where it carries meaning appropriate to the military event. Gillard made a slight wobble on her first few steps as I recall the video record. She was probably nervous, as anyone would be, doing a slow parade inspection march (not as easy as it looks) in front of the entire chinese army (mean looking buggers all of them). Give her a bloody break. She was looking pretty good this time!

    I agree that Gillard needs help with her wardrobe generally (the wide flappy pants are so seventies), but not from the colour-blind blokes on this thread, and not from silly old crones like Nikki Savva and Gai Waterhouse, with a political agenda to maliciously prosecute in Savva’s case, and very silly hats in Waterhouse’s case.

    Lady Sonia McMahon was best known for wearing a full length evening dress split up to the armpits, revealing a lot of unwelcome flesh, at a state dinner in Washington. Yeah right Russell, great dress sense for the occasion her.

    On the topic at hand: How outragement! Republic now!

  47. Nabakov

    “Pity Lady Sonia is still not here to give her a few tips.”

    Like how to go commando in the White House?

    Incidentally I’ve noticed that most blokes who snigger at how women dress rarely get compliments about how they look themselves.

  48. Russell

    Red? She looks like a jaffa.

    “the colour orange when it came to any other pm.”

    Which other PM wore that much orange? (There may have been a spot of orange in Al Grassby’s ties)

    Anyway after Sam’s impressive recall of Susan Renouf’s marital history I think I should hand the fashion critic role over to him.

  49. adrian

    How about following PC’s [email protected], Russell. What unmitigated bullshit.

  50. Scott

    I normally have a lot of time for Fran Barlow’s comments, but I misguidedly looked up ‘coprophilia’, and now I don’t feel very well. 🙁

    Please don’t do that again, Fran.

  51. Russell

    “How about following PC’s [email protected], Russell.”

    Because that way nobody learns anything. I always think talking is better than shouting.

    I don’t know if your objection is that it’s all subjective and not worth talking about. Or that we shouldn’t talk about clothes. Or that we shouldn’t care what kind of impression she may make, or something else, or all of that ….

  52. Patricia WA

    Thank you, Patrick B. It is a nice distinction, isn’t it? I hate to admit that I don’t recall seeing eschatological in general use, though scatalogical I have often seen and heard.

    And they do sound the same, don’t they? Perhaps I misheard. Even the spelling is almost the same too. So it would be a forgivable mistake if Mr. Abbott, now far removed from his seminarian training, misused the word.

    Consider the definitions as well! Mr. Abbott is often accused of using language which is scatalogical, ie pre-occupied with excretion or excrement. Put that alongside his beliefs about virginity and the sanctity of a young person’s first human sexual experience. It would be understandable if vernacular associations with the word ‘coming’ clouded his thinking about things eschatological ie theories on the Second Coming.

    Poor Mr. Abbott. I should not have been so quick to mock him.

  53. Casey

    Far be it from me to be blunt. But it may well be Russell, that you are not only afflicted with sexist gittery when it comes to the woman who leads, but you are also colour blind at that, you poor afflicted porkchop. Now go comb your Prince Phillip hair. It’s almost time for the wedding.

  54. Brett

    Which other PM wore that much orange?

    Which other PM has been a woman and so would have been criticised for wearing drab business suits every day of the working week? Wake up to yourself.

  55. Sam

    Lady Sonia McMahon

    The wives of knights are referred to as Lady [Surname] so it’s Lady McMahon. Calling her Lady Sonia McMahon is simply gauche.

    The only exceptions are the daughters of Earls and Dukes who are referred to as Lady [First name, Surname]; hence, Lady Diana Spencer.

  56. Francis Xavier Holden

    Julia does need advice on how to enhance her style but this red and black was appropriate and looked pretty good on her. She needs to ditch the super high heels – as do most women – look bad and are bad for the feet.

    But even worserer is her main squeeze – Timbo – he usually manages to look like a drip in his dark shirts “trendy” narrow lapels or black suits and ugly shoes – I see this time the few shots I saw of him he looked reasonable.

    I’m happy to advise them both of dressing. Tim is the most urgent in need of a makeover by me. Julia just needs a good tailor and some sensible shoes for the immediate future.

  57. Russell

    “you are also colour blind”

    Maybe it was red – I’ve only seen that pic on the ABC website, which could have been maliciously altered from red to op-shop orange. Yes, this is really a topic for Spotlight the Spin.

  58. grace pettigrew

    Thanks for the correction, Sir Sam Sillybugger. I am merely an Australian Republican, not all that well versed on such ancient chicanery, sorry, arcanery.

  59. grace pettigrew

    [email protected]: I reckon Julia ought to ask Bryce for an in-depth women-to-woman discussion in the wardrobe room.

    Quentin always looks totally delightful on formal occasions, and could “advise” her Prime Minister on personal form, shape and style for those difficult state occasions.

    And it would be a nice turnup for the history books: PM asks GG for advice, and consents, looking lovely.

    Bagehot eat your heart out.

  60. Sam

    Grace, may I suggest that in future you consult


  61. Patricia WA

    PatrickB @41 – PS to mine @52. Thinking about it again I extend my ‘mea culpa’ even further. In the context of the Royal Wedding Mr. Abbott could literally have been thinking about the Second Coming and the Kingdom of God. The implications of this marriage for our civilisation with its embracing of ancient rituals and the re-commitment of a nation to the sanctity of family life and Christian values could well signal a return to Pre-Reformation Days and the Re-Unification of the Church! Christ’s Kingdom on Earth could become one again. Mr. Abbott probably was talking about not mocking things eschatalogical and why he thought the Chaser should be kept well away.

    This really is about the greatest moral challenge of our time!
    What is it with you people? Is Julia Gillard’s fashion sense all you can find to talk about?

    I wonder what she’ll wear at the wedding?

  62. grace pettigrew

    No thanks Sir Sam, I like it better when you correct me.

  63. Francis Xavier Holden

    grace – I think the GGs style works well for her – although I have a few bits of advice for her too – but the same thing wouldn’t work as well for Jules.

    Still a bit of a chat, a few G&Ts or Lapsang Souchong, and an afternoon in front a mirror dressing up, testing colours, combinations, fabric, cut, etc wouldn’t do either of them any harm.

  64. Paul Norton

    In point of fact, when Sonia McMahon was our sartorially edgy First Lady in 1971-1972 the Prime Minister was simply Mr. Billy Bigears (or, at most, the Right Honourable Mr. Billy Bigears). He did not become Sir William Bigears until 1977.

  65. Russell

    “What is it with you people? Is Julia Gillard’s fashion sense all you can find to talk about?”

    On the contrary – amongst a gazillion comments on LP about every kind of thing, even 1 comment on what the PM was wearing at a ceremonial occasion in another country is one comment too many for some people.

    Did you get down to South Beach for a swim this morning Patricia? Choppy, waves, currents, sea weed but a fantastic start to the day.

  66. akn

    In the absence of The Chaser’s account of the wedding I’ve made plans to honour the Royal wedding by turning off the sound and watching the coverage in the company of a hirsuit Scottish friend whose providing a litre of genuine Cuban rum, a container of lubricant and a library recording of Max von Sydow reading the Divine Marquis (1795) La Philosophie dans le boudoir.

  67. Fran Barlow

    Though I was never going to support McMahon, I did like Sonia putting it out there. She upset the conservatives dressing like that so it was all good from my 14-year-old POV.

  68. Chav

    “they’re just a censoring hereditary dictatorship with no sense of humour…”…

    Quick, R2P the British people!

    Humanitarian intervention!




  69. Fine

    Oh FFS. Perhaps a mod could put up a thread called ‘Julia’s Dress Sense or Lack Thereof’ and people can just get it out of their system.

    There is so much to ctiticise Gillard about. Can people just notice the fucking obvious? No male polly gets criticised about this stuff. so stop with he stupid, sexist crap about Gillard’s clothes, weight, posture, hair style, voice etc. This thread isn’t even about Gillard. Talk about off-topic.

  70. rossco

    Cuppa @36
    Which bit is not true – that they are harmless, or that they don’t actually do anything, or did you mean that neither is true?

  71. akn

    God, now there’s an idea, I wonder if it might be possible to get a copy of Gillard reading something erotic? That would really cap off the night. That wonderful voice just going on and on and on.

  72. Russell

    Fine when a thread has exhausted the topic of the post and the comments start to drift (Chaser – wedding – Gillard going to wedding – impression made by Gillard) who’s to care? If you don’t want to join in, don’t. Seems like censorship to demand people stop talking about it (there, we’re back on topic).

    “No male polly gets criticised about this stuff”. All male MPs dress identically so they’re hardly likely to be noticed for their clothes. If they seem to be missing some part of the outfit (like Fraser and the trousers) that would be commented on.

  73. dj

    If we started compiling a list of male politicians who wear suits that don’t fit them and are the ‘wrong’ colour for their skin tone, we could be here for a long time…

  74. Francis Xavier Holden

    Fine – I’ve written and ranted more about J Howard, PJK and Rudd’s style of dressing than I ever have about Julia’s.

  75. Hal9000

    Fran and Scott – I suspect that unwilling watchers will be required to participate in coprophagia rather than the more participatory and erotic coprophilia.

  76. David Irving (no relation)

    No male polly gets criticised about this stuff.

    Not so. I’m not the only one who’s made unkind remarks about Abbott’s sluggos, just for a start.

  77. via collins

    Jeebus Rusell,

    “Fine when a thread has exhausted the topic of the post and the comments start to drift (Chaser – wedding – Gillard going to wedding – impression made by Gillard)”

    Your piece of nonsense turned up at # 5, classic thread derail. Just suck it up and move on.

    Not that PC needs any defending, but her point remains. Sexist bullshit, don’t gig any further, waste of everyone’s time.

  78. Pollytickedoff

    “I’m not the only one who’s made unkind remarks about Abbott’s sluggos”

    And we can imagine what would be written about Julia if she were photographed in a swimsuit (particularly if she had paraded herself in the same manner as Abbott appear to like to) – I’d bet it would make any rude comments that have been made about Abbott look positively complimentary.

  79. Russell

    “Sexist bullshit, don’t gig any further, waste of everyone’s time.”

    What’s the point of contributing that?

    If you don’t want to have a discussion about something, don’t. If you can’t explain your position, why bother? Those kind of remarks are the ultimate derail – a derail into pointless name calling.

  80. tigtog

    #76 David Irving (no relation),

    No male polly gets criticised about this stuff.

    Not so. I’m not the only one who’s made unkind remarks about Abbott’s sluggos, just for a start.

    I don’t remember the last time a male politician was criticised for the formal suit they were wearing at an official function.

    The men’s business suit is simple to wear with confidence that it is acceptable to all, and its tailoring can easily camouflage a multitude of bodily imperfections. Various attempts to have a similar code of business dress for women have all been howled down as “frumpy” or “unfeminine” or otherwise unacceptable.

    So women politicians navigate these rocky shoals of acceptable dress as best they can, because fashion forbid that they should just wear sober and serviceable outfits that are insufficiently femme-decorative. It’s a shitty double standard.

  81. Fran Barlow


    Fran and Scott – I suspect that unwilling watchers will be required to participate in coprophagia rather than the more participatory and erotic coprophilia.

    I suppose it depends on what metaphor you are using.

  82. Fine

    [email protected] 72. You poor little petal. I’m not censoring you. You may notice I have no power over what you choose to say. No, I’m just asking you not to be sexist arsehole. See the difference?

    “All male MPs dress identically so they’re hardly likely to be noticed for their clothes.”

    Now, just have a quiet mull over that statement and try to think what it might actually mean.

    Pollyticked off is right. Abbott being slagged off for appearing half naked in about half of his public appearances is just a little different than Gillard being slagged off for the colour of her jacket. Imagine if Gillard turned up on the campaign trail wearing a bikini, or a burqini. You can also bet that if she changed her clothing style she’d be slagged off for being self-absorbed, frivolous, sucking up to focus groups, going through menopause. Anything idiocy that pops into someone’s mind. No matter how women in the public eye dress, they’re slagged off.

  83. Joseph.Carey

    I don’t think the jacket is red. Nor is it likely PM Gillard would wear red in communist China. What sort of message would that send back home, eh? No, the colour is blood orange, almost the exact shade of the Porter’s Paint tint of the same name. I know this because I’ve just painted the kitchen walls this glorious shade (with olive green trim). And it is orange rather than red which is the most eye-catching colour. Orange is a warning colour and is often deliberately used for that purpose. PM Gillard was issuing a warning to the Chinese. As well she might.

  84. David Irving (no relation)

    Agree about the shitty double standard, btw, tigtog.

    My sons and I enjoy playing a game where we bag male politicians (and others in the public eye) for how poorly they tie a tie. Red Kezza always does it properly, whereas Abbott usually looks like a schoolboy who’s just roughed up some smaller child for his lunch money.

    Everyone else is somewhere in between.

  85. billie

    Fellas if you think Gillard’s jacket was orange or red are you sure the colour contrast is properly set on your TV, Computer etc

  86. via collins

    “If you don’t want to have a discussion about something, don’t. If you can’t explain your position, why bother? Those kind of remarks are the ultimate derail – a derail into pointless name calling.”

    Apologies for the misspelling.

    I meant to write “don’t dig any further”.

    But you still are, so I guess it’s a moot point. Good luck.

  87. Joseph.Carey

    [email protected] – here’s my bid:

    Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white;
    Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk;
    Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font:
    The firefly wakens: waken thou with me.

    Now droops the milkwhite peacock like a ghost,
    And like a ghost she glimmers on to me.

    Now lies the Earth all Danae to the stars,
    And all thy heart lies open unto me.

    Now slides the silent meteor on, and leaves
    A shining furrow, as thy thoughts in me.

    Now folds the lily all her sweetness up,
    And slips into the bosom of the lake:
    So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip
    Into my bosom and be lost in me.

    Alfred, Lord Tennyson

  88. Pavlov's Cat

    If you can’t explain your position, why bother?

    I would have thought the explanation was clear. However, since it doesn’t seem to be (to you at least), tell me: which part of ‘sexist bullshit’ don’t you understand?

  89. Fran Barlow

    And speaking as someone who is no admirer of Ms Gillard’s politics, I do find the media focus on her body type, her hair and her clothing choices offensive.

    It’s not recent and has been sustained as a major theme in the attack on her. At the time of the leak of her querying of the pension rises, The Telegraph ran a computer-aged image of Gillard dressed rather like a derelict. There were complaints when she was airbrushed to make her look more acceptable in a magazine. There’s scarcely a place in the blogosphere where people hate the ALP where reference is not made to her presentation. Gai Waterhouse’s remarks yesterday comparing her negatively with the tsunami devastation were simply the latest repulsive iteration of this commentary.

    It’s very hard not to conclude that this has traction purely because she is a woman and she doesn’t fit an acceptable definition of “a woman in public life”. This surely is then cultural misogyny. I recall Amanda Vanstone copping plenty of this as well. It’s not hard to imagine what would have occurred had she become PM.

    It’s really an offence to anyone who defends the right of women to self-define. It would be great to think the shame of our public spruikers could cause them to call a halt to it, at least in public space. Yet really this is a commentary again on the terrible state of public discourse in this country. If the focus were on policy rather than the politics of banality, what Gillard was wearing might go unnoticed.

  90. Russell

    ““All male MPs dress identically so they’re hardly likely to be noticed for their clothes.”

    Now, just have a quiet mull over that statement and try to think what it might actually mean”

    There you go again …. you don’t actually respond with a point.

    “No matter how women in the public eye dress, they’re slagged off.”

    I’m trying to think of the second most powerful woman in the government – is it Penny Wong? I can’t remember her being criticised about clothes. Perhaps she has been. Christine Milne? Heather Ridout? Gail Kelly? etc etc
    Besides the PM is in a special position when she represents the country overseas.

  91. Francis Xavier Holden

    I regularly bag male politicians for their lack of style and dress sense – it is – after all – male attire I’m most interested in and knowledgeable about. On the whole its is abysmal and there is no excuse as its not about money.

    Mostly the women – as a whole – out perform the men in dress.

    Anyone interested to start dissecting the woeful male pollies dress might begin with a bit of reading here:

    by George Frazier


  92. Incurious and Unread

    It’s a strange thing, that jacket. Is it double weave or something? It keeps changing colour between red and orange.

    Try typing “Gillard China” into google images and look at all the different shades.

    Not so red as the carpet and not so orange as the hair, but taking up most colours in between.

  93. Fine

    No, Russell. I’m asking you to think. The women you list have a much lower profile than Gillard, and I’ve heard them being slagged off about their dress sense as well.

    Now, can you list me some men who have been criticised for wearing perfectly ordinary suits?

  94. Andrew Reynolds

    If I have any argument about the attire of our male politicians it is that it is so bloody boring – white (or pale blue) shirts, uniform dark suits and the only real chance for something interesting (the tie) stuffed up because they are trying to use it to make any real points.
    While no fan of Ms. Gillard, at least she has the, ummm, bravery to wear something interesting.
    Makes a nice change from her policies.

  95. hannah's dad

    Jeez I can’t believe the purportedly preeminent lefty blog in Oz has people commenting on it that bring up our PM’s dress as a matter of interest.
    Rampant sexism.

    On the issue of that wedding I have real concerns that whilst there are doubtless tens of thousands, millions?, of weddings occurring this week the media, including the BBC and ABC, sees fit to concentrate on one.
    As if it is important.
    Well of course it is, if enough media and commentators constantly insist it is.

    But while it is flooding the public with that bumff it is relegating other topics to comparative oblivion.
    For example,did you know Fuk u shima is still radiating the world, that major legislation is about to be debated in Oz about one of the major social problems here, ie violence against women and children, and doubtless people here, when not concerned about the colour of dresses either that of Julia or whatshername the one marrying the Windsor fella, could come up with stacks of current and vital issues which are being neglected, accidentally of course, to make way for just one wedding this week?
    Delete the monarchy as an item for the media to blather about and mucho space will be created to focus and something more relevant to peoples’ lives.
    Unless of course Julia’s dress colour fills the gap.

  96. Russell

    “The women you list have a much lower profile than Gillard”

    Every woman in Australia has a lower profile than Gillard.

    “Now, can you list me some men who have been criticised for wearing perfectly ordinary suits?”

    Unless it was inappropriate for the occasion, why would anyone be criticised for wearing an ‘ordinary’ suit. Gillard is the PM and was representing the country overseas – puts things on a different level.

    Yes in all those Google images there are a couple of red-ish looking ones, and the outfit does look better seen full-length.

  97. Francis Xavier Holden

    The fact that the mainstream media is ill informed, sexist, simplistic and seeks to fire up confected controversy and encourage divisions and ill thought through policies and actions, does not write with any reference to context, history or prior scholarship isn’t news* to me.

    I don’t do that.

    If some one can supply me with half decent pics of male pollies and their dress I’m happy to write a piece.

    *small word play on news /media

  98. Russell

    Hannah’s Dad – if you start the day with a swim you’ll feel fantastic, for a while. You don’t have to spend all your time thinking exclusively of problems. Unless you want to get depressed.

  99. Mercurius

    Back on topic @28 I’m not in the least surprised that Andrew Bolt can po-facedly defend The Crown directly, and very personally, suppressing Free Speech (viva!) when it’s The Chasers getting the sharp end of the pineapple; but he is simultaneously incensed when The Crown is indirectly suppressing his Free Speech (viva!) via the Racial Discrimination Act.

    The former involves the entire awesome apparatus of the State/Crown summarily interceding against a two-bit comedy team; and the other is just some private citizens he personally managed to piss off and vilify, suing him in a Civil Court accorded all due process.

    The guy’s slipperier than greased pigshit.

  100. Joseph.Carey

    The idea that people need to be present in a specific location in order to experience a sense of place is baloney. Do blind people have no sense of place?

    Are people who read novels from previous centuries set in countries never visited or those who study history, geography, archaeology, anthropology, linguistics, etc devoid of a sense of the places rendered?

    The annual ANZAC ritual is ok as a get together for people and their descendants who like the ceremony, speeches, and attention. But the nationalist, self congratulatory stuff that overlays it is tripe. Ajd the idea that you gotta be in a certain place to feel the vibe, sorry, that’s crapola.

  101. Joseph.Carey

    Apologies. My last comment was meant for the ANZAC Day roundtable thread.

  102. tigtog

    #99 Russell,

    Hannah’s Dad – if you start the day with a swim you’ll feel fantastic, for a while.

    You really do a fine line in unsolicited judgemental advice there, Russell. How’s that working out for you?

  103. hannah's dad

    Actually I took an early morning walk around the property with hannah whilst the sunrise was still glowing and noted that some of our trees are growing profusely and flowering more so than usual for this time of year.
    Really uplifting.
    Then, among other things, I had a decent converstion online with some folk about the legislation focusing on violence in Oz.
    Then, may the gods forgive me, I flipped to LP where some, not looking at anybody in particular of course, reckon freddy and janet whoever getting married and Julia wearing a dress is worthy of media saturation.

    Geez, get a grasp on reality Russell.

  104. Chris

    Mercurius @ 99 – I love watching the Chaser team, even if it is often rather juvenile comedy. But this is not a case of censorship. They’re pretty much free to say/tweet/blog whatever they want before/at the same time/after the wedding. They’re just not allowed to use footage which they do not own the copyright or broadcast rights to for their comedy.

    This is no more censorship than moderation of comments on this blog is censorship. There are plenty of alternative places for the Chaser to do their stuff. Their free speech rights are not being surpressed – just read their tweets 😉

  105. Fine

    “Unless it was inappropriate for the occasion, why would anyone be criticised for wearing an ‘ordinary’ suit. Gillard is the PM and was representing the country overseas – puts things on a different level.”

    And she was wearing a perfectly ordinary suit which was completely appropriate for the occasion. So, you can stop the trolling, Russell.

    FXH, I feel sorry for anyone, male or female, who has to wear the boring suits considered appropriate for political and corporate life. Thank goddess I never have to do it. What narks me is the level of criticism that politicians of different genders get for the wearing of said suits. For me, no-one can go past Cary Grant for sartorial taste. In the contemporary world, George Clooney comes close.

  106. BilB

    How welcome would the Chaser Team be taking live feed of Rugby League finals days spoofing the whole event, particularly if the feed was being supplied free by Packer, or whoever it is owns League these days.

    I think that they would get the same message, just in a different accent, and perhaps with some invective.

  107. dexitroboper

    How welcome would the Chaser Team be taking live feed of Rugby League finals days spoofing the whole event

    Er, Roy & H.G. did this for years, for both NRL and AFL finals.

  108. Fran Barlow

    Chris said

    This is no more censorship than moderation of comments on this blog is censorship

    That is censorship — it’s just that it is justified on the basis that this is private space, by contrast with attempts to infringe individuals right to declare as they will in public space.

    Sometimes, the blogosphere can appear as if it is not private but public, which is why one hears such complaints from time to time.

    If the state, or some private individual or corporation sought to prevent LP from publishing some particular material, that would be attempted censorship of LP given that this is LP‘s space.

  109. Francis Xavier Holden

    fine – funny you should mention Cary Grant – have you seen the book on his clothes? Cary Grant: A Celebration of Style

    Well worth having on the shelf.

    I agree he’s about the best there is.

    “Everybody wants to be Cary Grant. Even I want to be Cary Grant,” said Archie Leach, better known as Hollywood star Cary Grant.

    I just watched “To Catch a Thief ” the other day – mainly for his clothes – although Grace Kelly isn’t all that bad either.

    I also agree Clooney isn’t too bad for what passes as well dressed these days

  110. via collins

    speaking of Cary Grant and To Catch a Thief, Bendigo Art Gallery, if my information is sound, has an exhibition upcoming on Grace Kelly’s wardrobe.

    If it makes you feel any better Russell, I’ve just flagrantly thread-drifted, and arguably been sexist in one fell swoop.

    Will they put some of Cary Grant’s suits next to Grace’s dresses? We can but hope.

  111. FDB

    “For me, no-one can go past Cary Grant for sartorial taste. In the contemporary world, George Clooney comes close.”

    WTF? What does a Michael Caine have to do?

  112. via collins

    “WTF? What does a Michael Caine have to do?’

    paging Jean Paul Belmondo in any film by Melville….

  113. BilB

    I don’t think that a fringe radio station counts, Dexitroboper.

  114. fxh

    Michael Caine is ok – Bill?????????????????????????

  115. GregM

    Perhaps the ABC should come out in support of their own programming decisions and refuse to take any coverage, unless they able to present the coverage they had planned.

    Charlie while I agree with your well-intentioned sentiment you do not go far enough.

    This is an insult to our cherished understanding of freedom of speech in Australia. Our right to ridicule anyone in any circumstances.

    The Prime Minister must boycott tomorrow’s event and come home at once to express our national indignation. If she does not then we should not allow her plane to land when she tries to return. Let her take a trip in a fishing boat from some port in Indonesia to Christmas Island and take her chances from there.

    This is bigger than the Bodyline series. We must consider severing diplomatic relations with Great Britain.

    We must pass laws to express our outrage. The Wedding Ceremonies (Right to Ridicule) Act 2011 comes to mind. That should strike fear into the hearts of every pair of young punters who are silly enough to start out starry-eyed enough to think that what they hope will be the “Happiest Day of Their Lives” will go unnoticed and unridiculed.

    Most weddings take place on Saturdays, giving just enough time, with a bit of nifty editing, for their humiliation to be broadcast free to air on the following Sunday night.

    This is the least we can do to express our commitment to freedom of speech as we understand it.

  116. Chris

    Fran – yes you’re right, its a form a censorship in a way, but not one which infringes “free speech” rights which is the way I meant it.

    The Chaser are still free to mock the Royals, they can make bad taste car crash jokes during the wedding, and speculate on the levels of inbreeding of those attending. They can even question whether the english royal family is English or really German even though they identify as English, and unlike for Bolt no one will try to prosecute them under the racial discrimination act. They’re not being oppressed.

  117. fxh

    via collins – mens style and clothing isn’t taken very seriously by curators. By any knowledgeable criteria Grant’s impact on clothing was more important and lasting than Kelly’s.Whats more he wore and commissioned his own clothes in most films.

    If you are interested there is a current exhibition of Mens Clothes at NGV. It suffers from two major defects – its spread across NGV St Kilda Rd and also Potter at Fed Square. stupid. Next it focuses on fashion rather than style/history/context development of the suit (the most significant development in mens clothing).

    That said if you are read up on mens clothing there are some good examples of French dress prior to the look anglais and military tailored uniforms prior to the suit. You can cobble together yr own tour/history.

  118. BilB


    I and probably 12 million other Australians would be highly offended if the ABC, our national television station, saw the best coverage of a royal wedding as being the garbage that “the chaser team” serves up.

    Its not about freedom of speech, it is about good sense.

  119. Chris

    BilB @ 118 – I believe the intent was to do the standard BBC commentated feed on ABC1 and the Chaser doing an alternative commentary on ABC2. So even avid ABC watchers would not have been forced to do watch the Chaser guys.

  120. Charlie

    [email protected]: “The Wedding Ceremonies (Right to Ridicule) Act 2011″…. indeed, where would our local television programs such as Australia’s Funniest Home Videos be without WEDDINGS.

  121. Tyro Rex

    Why do people think that Weddings can’t be mocked?! Jesus most weddings I’ve been to were terrible affairs the fashion on display simply hideous. The best ones the unpretentious ones in registry offices. What is it with Bridal Parties, school formals and Debutante Balls &c. that these things descend into a farcical triumph of pure fashion horror?

    Lest anyone starts on me personally, the wedding of Mrs Rex and I was a mock-70s affair and the entire procedure was a deliberate sham of the entire institution and included for entertainment performance art that involved male nudity (not mine) and excessive drug and alcohol abuse in a Surry Hills warehouse. Everyone was offended by something including my elderly parents.

    Therefore I have no hesitation or squeamishness at any or all lampooning of the royal wedding. Sod the undemocratic buggers.

    Dennis’ Mother: Well how’d you become king, then?
    Arthur: The Lady of the Lake,… [Angel chorus begins singing in background] her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water signifying by Divine Providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. [Angel chorus ends] That is why I am your king!
    Dennis: Listen. Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.
    Arthur: Be quiet!
    Dennis: You can’t expect to wield supreme power just ’cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!
    Arthur: Shut up!
    Dennis: I mean, if I went ’round saying I was an emperor just because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, they’d put me away!
    Arthur: Shut up; will you SHUT UP?! [Grabs Dennis and shakes him]
    Dennis: Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system!
    Arthur: SHUT UP!

  122. Charlie

    Mind you, my point was kinda serious – the ABC management programs this stuff and then backs away when the heat is on. Under the current regime of TV or ABC management have they come out and said “this is what we are going to do – like it or lump it” or “we support our programming decisions”. Oh no.

    Could I toss in my thoughts on the lead-in to the Q&A tonight on ABC-Tv as being utter post-modern (if I have used that adjective correctly) opinionated garbage. Mind you, it is suitable for Q&A, as basically it just seems to be a version of garbage, not so much – which wheely bin do I put out tonight, but which really dim do I put on tonight. I am sorely disappointed that Bill Shorten isn’t on tonight – as his perspective of the role of Monarchy in Australia would (or may) have been interesting.

    On retropect, Keating was great in the QnA intro – he deserves a knighthood – Sir Paul of Redfern or maybe Sir Paul of the Republic.

  123. sg

    It seems I can never say anything original here because Fine got their first, but I’ll try anyway: FFS (see Fine at about 36).

    I can understand the odd bit of misplaced, misunderstood sexism, with subsequent unneccessarily aggressive defence due to not wanting to look stupid on the internets. We all do it, let’s face it (about something, even if it’s not sexism).

    But this is just fucking ridiculous. JG wears a perfectly sensible suit with a red theme, and the whole thread descends into a discussion of her jacket? FUCK!!!

    Let’s just say that again for clarity. FUCK!!!!

    JG is visiting China. It’s far more important that she sort some shit out than that she wear a dark jacket. FYI: It’s fucking China, not Dubbo.

  124. GregM

    What have you got against Dubbo, sg?

  125. Incurious and Unread

    Hopefully, with the Chasers cancelled, ABC2 will revert to its usual screening of The Tudors tonight.

    Royal weddings really meant something back in those days.

  126. tssk

    It doesn’t matter that it’s on ABC2. It’s still on the ABC.

    If this was on any other channel this wouldn’t be an issue.

    (Although from what I’ve heard the request was made by the BBC who are as cowed as the ABC is here excpet over there the Tories actually officially hold the reins.)

    For the TL:DR crowd.

    The ABC is a government broadcaster. The head of state is the Queen. We voted on this ages ago. Q.E.D.

  127. akn

    I’ve left McGinty at home, suitably positioned, for the night’s royal events and the cattle dog to keep an eye on him. Can’t wait.

  128. Paul Burns

    I’m noy always on side with the Wommen ofn this blog as I occasionally say something derogatory about feminism. But they’re right, You are spouting sexist bullshit. That’s from a bloke’s point of view.
    Noww, in a vague effort to get back on topic.
    a)Can Charles be king? He is, afyer all married to a divorcee. (Edward VIII, anyone>)
    b) Has it occured to anyone that with Willy0boy as King, Stuart blood will once again be on the English throne. And history tells us that the Stuarts stuff up when it comes to the British monarchy. Should be fun to watch.

  129. Tyro Rex


    William isn’t the head of state (yet). And where does the constitution or any other law say that the head of state cannot be mocked, anyway?

    If that’s the case then the Prime Minister – as Head of Government – is also surely off-limits.

  130. tssk

    But the Queen is. Anyway the people to get angry with is the BBC who are the people most probably responsible for this decision.

    On a related note http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/bigoted-bedrock-of-our-law-20110428-1dyp9.html

    Geoffrey Robertsontalks about some of the other things we are still legally obliged to.

    For example, ownership of every wild swan is vested in the monarch, and in the case of ”the royal fish”, the head of every whale, sturgeon or grampus landed in the United Kingdom (it is not clear whether this law extends to Australia) belongs to the king and their tails belong to the queen. The monarch is entirely immune from legal action – which would be tough luck for any tourist who happened to be run over today by a royal motorcade hastening to get to the church on time.

  131. David Irving (no relation)

    PB @ 128, I think persuading Edward to abdicate was at least partly because he was a closet Nazi. I can’t see the fact that wassername’s a divorcee would be nearly so important more than 70 years on unless they’re looking for an excuse to get rid of Charles as well.

    Here’s a factoid (well, family myth if I’m completely honest) some may find amusing: apparently one of my distant ancestors was a regicide. He had something to do with Charles I’s execution and had to split for the New World after the Restoration.

  132. John D

    The Bishop of Wiseden had this to say on the wedding:

    “I managed to avoid the last disaster in slow motion between Big Ears and the Porcelain Doll, and I hope to avoid this one too.”

    He clarified: “I don’t care about the Royals. I’m a Republican. History: more broken marriages and philanderers among these people than not. Count them up, back through the ages. They cost us an arm and a leg.

    “Talent isn’t passed on through people’s bloodstock. The hereditary principle is corrupt and sexist. As with most shallow celebrities they will be set up to fail by the gutter press … I give the marriage seven years.”

    To make matters worse Geoffrey Robertson is suggesting that Obama would be a good choice as the next King of the Commonwealth with his Kenya connection – In addition to providing an educated discussion of the strangeness of the current process for selecting our head of state. For example,

    MORE than two centuries ago, Tom Paine famously pointed out that a hereditary monarchy was as absurd as a hereditary poet or hereditary mathematician (today he might have added hereditary airline captain). But his republicanism failed to take into account the enormous entertainment value of the royal family, currently on display. The palace’s decision to censor the Chaser strikes at the very heart of this continuing value of the monarchy for Australians. Why else should we be reigned over by a white Anglo-German Protestant monarch?

    The bedrock of the Australian constitution – the law which defines our head of state – is the 1701 Act of Settlement. It is a blood-curdling anti-Catholic rant that enshrines Protestant religious beliefs in the succession to the throne. This means that any monarch who holds communion with the Church of Rome or who marries a Papist – heaven forbid a Muslim or Methodist or Scientologist – is immediately dethroned. The act imposes anti-meritocratic race discrimination: no one unrelated to this German family (the Windsors changed their name from Saxe-Coburg Gotha during the First World War to disguise their familial relationship with the Kaiser) can aspire to the crown.

    There are more gems.

  133. Fran Barlow


    The London correspondent of German newspaper Der Spiegel, Marco Evers, wrote of his frustration at all hype.

    “But is it really worth all the fuss? More than 10,000 journalists are descending on London. … Everyone is pretending that this spectacle is the most important and beautiful event on earth – but it is not,” he wrote.

    “It is wrong to address the Windsors and, from next Friday the delightful Kate Middleton as well, as Your Royal Highness or even Your Majesty. It is wrong to see them as anything other than people made of flesh and blood, like you and I{sic} {me} ”

    Gosh … a correspondent for Der Spiegel who doesn’t understand case and pronouns. I suppose he is writing for Mirror readers. (Sorry couldn’t resist the pun)

  134. Patricia WA

    sg @ 123 I couldn’t agree more.

    Watching our PM Julia Gillard being interviewed from China by Jim Middleton on http://australianetwork.com/newsline/ I marvelled at how good she looked; simply but well dressed for the medium with hair well groomed offering maximum exposure of her full face, neck and shoulders. Even conceding her blessedly good skin and no doubt help with expert make-up I wondered how many of us could present that well at fifty dressed to go out on a special family outing, let alone being interviewed on national television!

    Think of it. She’s in the middle of a gruelling travel itinerary across the globe, meeting heads of state and facing crowds of thousands as well as hundreds of news reporters and cameramen. Appearance and self presentation aside, she was calm, clear thinking and across all of the issues Middleton questioned her on, but also warm and friendly. I felt very confident that this woman can be trusted to lead our country at home and as well represent us overseas. Judging by the response she’s getting from world leaders and the lack of negativity from our own journalists and heads of business who arewith her on the trip they are confident in her too.

    I loved her self-deprecating humor about what she’d be wearing to the wedding! That’ll be fun to see.

  135. John D

    Kevin Rudd has been in the UK very publicly expressing his displeasure at the censuring of the chaser program.
    He also expressed his surprise that Thatcher and Major were invited while Brown and Blair were not. Looks like the monarchy feels no need to continuing covering up its political bias in addition to demanding more respect from us colonials.

  136. Tyro Rex

    Hitchens is sort of interesting on the topic


  137. zoot

    tssk @126:

    The ABC is a government broadcaster.

    No, their ABC is a public broadcaster, and as such should be independent of the government (without fear or favour and all that tosh).

  138. Geoff Honnor

    “Kevin Rudd has been in the UK”

    Now there’s a surprise…

  139. Lefty E

    When someone asked whether I’d be watching a useless and anachronistic institution reproduce itself tonight, I wasn’t sure whether they meant royalty, or marriage. :o)

  140. Tyro Rex

    Lefty E – two for the price of one!

  141. tssk

    zoot @137. I wanted the ABC to be like that but it’s pretty clear they are the government broadcaster as seen by their unblinking support for the government (in exile.)

  142. sg
  143. Jess

    @SG: watch out for those cucumber sandwiches…

  144. Giles Anthrax

    The Monarchy is a celebrity cult but it is more than a celebrity cult.

    It fulfills a need in people’s life to be lifted out of their mundane existence and to be connected to something greater than they are; something awesome, wonderful and mysterious; and more than that, something which they feel loves them and which they feel they can love freely without fear of rejection or harm.

    In short, the Monarchy is a God-substitute.
    But only for the over-55 demographic (speaking broadly).

    Angela Bishop on last night’s Q&A enunciated something like that early in the piece, giving it as her reason why the Monarchy should be maintained and citing the tremendous inspiration and love the Monarchy evinced in residents of a certain nursing home.

    The over-55’s fear the loss of the above intangible should Australia became a Republic. It would leave them somewhat adrift. Something like if Lib/Nats supporters were forced to admit that the USA (their God-substitute) is sometimes evil.

    Minchin prattled on about stable and effective government and the danger of tyranny ignoring Tony Jones question as to how the US has avoided these horrors.

    Becoming a Republic won’t put more hours of daylight into winter, will not fix inflation or cure alcoholism. But it’s simply appropriate and normal that a nation should wish to have its constitutonal affairs husbanded to itself.

  145. Lefty E

    In any case, I weally doesn’t appwove of a COMMONER marrying a Woyal!! Even if the gene pool needs a deep end installed.

  146. Fran Barlow

    The Royal nuptials seems a good time to review the qualification to attend of one of the guests — the King of Swaziland


    What a charming fellow … not. He should fit right in.

  147. Giles Anthrax


    Superb linking. Skewers the hypocrisy of the whole malignant greed-loving system.

    Charles once snubbed Amin. Maybe Clarence House could arrange a late deletion to the guest list.

  148. via collins

    “If you are interested there is a current exhibition of Mens Clothes at NGV. It suffers from two major defects – its spread across NGV St Kilda Rd and also Potter at Fed Square. stupid. Next it focuses on fashion rather than style/history/context development of the suit (the most significant development in mens clothing).”

    Thanks FXH, i was not aware of that one, and will be there as soon as is humanly possible. Sounds rawther smart!

  149. Patricia WA

    What a mean spirited and myopic lot you’ve become here at LP. I would have hoped for at least one ‘Hear! Hear!’ to my comment @ 134. Not a peep. Even sg is more interested in the entrails of her freezer.

    Well, you’ll get the government you deserve: Tony Abbott, budgie smugglers, Cardinal Pell, global warming hell an’ all!

  150. Sam

    what she’d be wearing to the wedding

    I think the PM should wear


  151. Sam

    Buggar, stuffed the link.

  152. Casey

    Patricia, there’s no need to get all eschatological on us.

    Hear Hear.

    and Here Here Here, for good measure.

  153. Casey

    No, Sam, you didn’t stuff it. There’s things in this universe Sam, that would blow your mind….

  154. Phillip

    ” … Imagine if Gillard turned up on the campaign trail wearing a bikini, … … ”

    Am I allowed to do that?

  155. Ambigulous

    Patricia WA,

    your observations were timely.
    Many folk prefer “sinking the slipper”, to dishing out praise.

  156. Sam
  157. Casey

    Observe. A spell will only hold for so long.

    How old are you Sam?

  158. Paul Burns

    So what’s everybody doing on this most boring of TV nights.
    I’m not doing much – reading and writing and perhaps occasionally popping in on LP.

  159. Patricia WA

    Hello, Ambigulous! I’ve missed you! Where have you been? I trust you’ve been travelling and not ill. Malcolm gave me so many opportunities for an update I became a bore at LP and had to go elsewhere to write about him and our travails with Tony.

    Still, I always wonder at the end of each ‘polliepome’ I finish how you would respond. I so enjoyed those early exchanges we had at LP.

    And with Casey too! Thank you, Casey, for ‘hearing’ me. One glass of red too many this early in the day means I am not all ‘here’ and I need a walk with Tacker.

  160. Chris

    Sam @ 156 – now that’s Chaser level humour 🙂

  161. Casey

    ROFL ROFL, Channel Nine just announced Dodi El Fayed was walking down the aisle of the Abbey. Took them a while. It was actually Dame Edna who noted it was actually Mohammed Al Fayed. Which was accepted without a murmur. Indeed he looked rather jolly. Until someone in the earpiece had a word and they’ve now corrected to “no thats just some guy that looks like Mohammed El Fayed”. Not sure who it is. Pure Gold.

  162. Fran Barlow

    Not the least telling thing about the whole appalling carry on relating to this wedding-like event — what makes it clearly a naked display of boss class power is the capacity the class hasshown to enforce ideological conformity. Not only has the coverage tolerated no dissent from the message that all people everywhere are awash with joy. It has not even felt the need to acknowledge that any critique of the monarchy might be held even by eccentrics. Apparently this is one of those occasions when democracy and dictatorship mean the same thing.

  163. Adrien

    Apparently this is one of those occasions when democracy and dictatorship mean the same thing.

    It’s called traditional governance. The very best of both worlds. 🙂

  164. Giles Anthrax

    No doubt the Monarchy provides sn institution and some personalities around which the English people can unify.

    Whereas politicians are partisan and divise, since the royals have no day to day political role then the populace is not divided by them.

    The royals, upheld by a multi-million dollar 24×7 warm and cuddly propgaganda campaign arm are designed to be and act as objects of national affection and unification.

    The English are having a massive national party right now. The royal traditions and pageantry are certainly part of British culture so no doubt many feel highly connected to those traditions and very proud of them.

    Its a huge feel good party.

    Does the unifying aspect of the Monarchy make the Monarchy worth keeping ?

    Well not for Australia. Those things are English traditions, not Australian ones.

    Up until 1950 many or even most Australians may have considered themselves British but no longer. But if the English like the royals and their associated traditions and want to keep funding them then they are entitled to have it. The royals probably bring in heaps more tourist revenue than they cost to upkeep anyway.

    Whom or what does the “unifying” force of the Monarchy serve? Brute patriotism? Are people still getting motivated to die on foreign soil for the Queen? Not really.

    In my opinion the Monarchy does serves the boss class but only in the same way that mass spectator sports do; by keeping the population distracted from important topics. The Monarchy is an opiate; soma.

    But I think the English realise this.

    Some people have a flutter on the TAB, some buy a Kate and Wills souvenir mug. Whatever gets you through the night.

  165. Paul Burns

    are they married yet? Is it safe to turn on the TV?

  166. Fiona

    Paul Burns, according to the radio, yes, all done and dusted, but the teev will probably be into phase-lock loop.

  167. Lefty E

    Plus there’s an ADFA live feed on the Royal shag you might want to avoid.

  168. grace pettigrew

    Did anyone see those two girls sitting directly behind the queen, with the extremely silly hats? Who were they? What was Clarence House thinking? Did no-one give them a once-over?

    I did not miss the Chaser while I watched the wedding last night on telly. I thought my own wedding commentary was hilarious, and I bet others around the country were cracking themselves up, laughing at their own jokes. And all out of range of the palace thought police.

  169. Scranbag

    Casey (161)
    That was His Majesty George (Siaosi) Tupou V, the King of Tonga.

    The close and friendly association of Tonga with the Britain extends as far back as the Hanovers, the Tongan royal family Kings all being named George, and their Queen Charlotte.

    Siaosi and Salote, in the Tongan way of forming English words.

  170. Scranbag

    Princess Eugenie of York and Princess Beatrice of York. Prince Andrew’s daughters.

  171. Nana Levu

    Here is a youtube of a street theatre group being arrested. Illegal Pre Royal Wedding Arrests (senior Professor of Anthropology and friends) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eITZ-Rsc14

  172. Nana Levu

    ‘Effigies’ trio held by police
    (UKPA) – 1 day ago

    Protesters thought to have been planning to behead effigies at the royal wedding have been arrested in south-east London, sources said.

    Police seized a guillotine as they arrested two men – aged 68 and 45 – and a 68-year-old woman thought to have been plotting disruption on the big day.

    It is understood one of the men arrested is Chris Knight, 68, head of the anti-royal anarchist group The Government of the Dead.

    The arrests in Brockley, south-east London, come after officers warned there would be a number of pre-emptive arrests on the eve of the big day.

    The trio were being held in a south London police station overnight.

    Scotland Yard, which has vowed to deal “robustly” with suspected troublemakers, is believed to be concerned about activities by anarchist groups.

  173. J

    “Foreign” imbreds?

    So xenophobia is okay when it’s against English people, but not against nontraditional immigrants in Australia?

  174. AT

    You were all watching – you just don’t want to admit it!

  175. paul of albury

    You mean they’re Aussies, J! Why didn’t anyone say? Will Australian citizenship affect the right to succession?

  176. Scranbag

    A major historic event, with our own Prime Minister in attendance, as well as both our current Heads of State, and two of our probable future Heads of State.

    Certainly I watched it. On the ABC. No whoppers there to speak of.

    And as a convinced Republican, with a profound interest in our mutual history, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing what looked like a genuinely happy, confident young couple having the time of their lives on Their Day.

    An interesting side light: according to the Beeb, the tax revenues from the Royal estates flowing to The Revenue Office, outweigh the Civil List by about 8 to 1! I forget whether HRH EIIs income tax was included in the mix.

    Still the Poms bitch and moan about their one and only Royal Family. But then, they are Poms. Possibly the very best whingers in the world.

  177. Fran Barlow

    Interesting that the anti-monarchists got a worse run in the media coverage of the wedding than did OBL in the coverage of the raid in Abbotabad.

    At least the media conceded that OBL had his admirers. Yet nobody was critical of the wedding. Who could be so eccentric?

    Can we conclude from this that opposition to the monarchy is more dangerous than OBL? Perhaps the media sees anti-monarchists as more like “unpersons” than violent criminals.

    Very interesting.

  178. Scranbag

    Wild exaggeration does nothing for your position, and your comparison is not only void but odious.

    Even to a Republican.