Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My Favourite Extraterrestrials

My God the Sunday papers are a mine of information. For example, until this Sunday past I had no idea just how many extraterrestrials were to be found among us in politics and the media. This revelation was triggered by the following item in Murdoch's Sunday Telegraph:

"The Greens are facing a return to political obscurity following election backlashes across the country, but rather than devise a strategy to win back disillusioned voters, NSW Greens MPs have decided to turn their attention to alien life forms. Despite losing 3 of their 4 seats in last weekend's ACT elections and suffering a swing of almost 5% against them - the Greens spent last Monday discussing how they could describe their party to extraterrestrials. A copy of the NSW planning day agenda obtained by The Sunday Telegraph reveals Greens MPs were instructed to imagine they were talking to aliens to outline their policies... The revelations of the bizarre planning day come as political analysts predict the party will return to the electoral wilderness..." (Earth to Greens, Barclay Crawford, 28/10/12) 

'Hm... political analysts? Such as?' I wondered, before ploughing on and running smack into this sentence:

"While University of Western Sydney political scientist David Burchell said the party would not vanish like the Democrats, he said support would continue to fade... " (ibid)

David Burchell said the party would vanish like the Democrats?

What is it with David Burchell and vanishing? Before he vanished from the opinion pages of The Australian last year, David couldn't pen a column without deploying his signature simile, 'vanishing like a wraith'. (See my 25/4/11 post Spooky.)

And now here he is again, back in Murdoch fishwrap, with that verb, but alas, not its wonderful companion, 'like a wraith'! So what's going on? Why has 'like a wraith' simply vanished... like a wraith?

Anyhow, by now I had extraterrestrials firmly on the brain, and David, I decided, just had to be one of my favourites.

And after that, they just kept coming:

"Liberal upper house MP Peter Phelps said: 'This is a party that wants to have imaginary discussions with aliens. They are not fit for government." (ibid)

If you've forgotten PP, he's the one who, whilst on a rambamming to Israel, memorably tweeted that, as he was taking a Gandalf at Gaza, he felt like Frodo gazing upon Mordor. (Not quite in the loop? See my 20/8/12 post Frodos Gaze Upon Mordor.)

Peter, who was recently caned by NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell for his somewhat uninhibited tweets (See my 3/9/12 post Biting the Hand), apart from odd lapses such as imagining himself as a character in a Tolkien novel, actually prefers real discussions about serious matters. Like dogs ... For example, here's a motion - if you'll excuse the word - PP moved in the Legislative Council last month:

"1. That this house notes with condolence the passing of Monty, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's beloved corgi, at the Scottish Royal residence of Balmoral, at the age of 91 dog years. 2. That this House recognises the rich life of Monty, who featured in the Olympic opening ceremony and was a direct descendant of Susan, Her Majesty's first corgi. 3. That this House extends its deepest sympathy to Her Majesty on the passing of Monty, and wishes the best for her remaining corgis, Candy and Vulcan." (Doggone crazy! Peter FitzSimons, The Sun-Herald, 23/9/12)

Yes, Peter's definitely one of my favourite extraterrestrials.

And here's another. No, not Maxine, the other:

"McKew has one defining memory of the entrenched sexism of politics, when she was offered a safe Labor seat in NSW some years before she took the leap. She was discussing it with Eric Roozendaal, then state secretary of the ALP. 'I remember vividly, I was in his office and he said, 'You have to understand, Maxine, if we do this, who would own you? Us or your hubby?' And I couldn't wait to get to the lift quick enough...'" (From a 'small, sad girl' to chaos in the corridors of power, Neil McMahon, The Sun-Herald, 28/10/12)

Ah, Eric! Who could ever forget lines such as: "I do not see the BDS campaigning outside a Syrian kebab shop"? Now just how out of this world is that? (See my 14/11/11 post Witches Brew 7.)

Finally, here's the last (for now) of my favourite extraterrestrials:

"Kevin Rudd has penned his own account about the 'betrayal' of being dumped as prime minister and his secret offer to deliver Julia Gillard the leadership... In his written account of the coup, Mr Rudd writes that the ambush was made worse by the fact that he backed Ms Gillard's ambitions. 'I was married to a strong woman, I was the son of one and I was the father of one,' Mr Rudd writes. 'And I too wanted to see a female prime minister. So given all that, I was stunned when the coup occurred. 'Did I feel let down and indeed betrayed? Well of course. I am as human as the next person.' " (Rudd has new view of knifing, Sam Maiden, Sunday Telegraph, 28/10/12)

Er, Kevin, I wouldn't be too sure about that, mate.

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