Bleats

Tony Abbott Jokes About Virgins And Quotes The Bible In One Wild Brexit Speech

He's back in classic bad joke form.

Former PM and defeated Member for Warringah Tony Abbott has been out of the local spotlight for a bit, but that’s because he’s been on his UK tour rallying the Conservative cause to push the UK to a no-deal Brexit for… reasons?

To be fair, he’s long been a fan of Brexit and is feted in Britain as one of our most significant right-wing leaders, and his speech at the Policy Exchange thinktank was vintage Tones.

His speech, as per the Sydney Morning Herald, advised the gathered conservatives not to “worry too much about the finer points of ideology and economics” and to “make a bonfire of regulations” in post-Brexit Britain, because plans and laws are the last things anyone’s going to need in forging a new national identity and economy, presumably.

It also had the slightly ominous “Still the next few weeks will be full of political fury as Remainers plot to sabotage Brexit or to turn it into a self-vindicating disaster,” which neatly indicates the likely strategy when Brexit causes all the huge problems they already know are coming – that it’s actually the fault of Remainers not sufficiently believing in the Magic of Brexit.

However, it was when he was fielding questions from his adoring fans that he truely shone, including answering one question about whether Abbott had read Johnson’s book 72 Virgins (about the supposed reward awaiting faithful Muslims in the afterlife).

“No but I’d be happy to meet them though,” Abbott replied.

And when the questioner reportedly answered “If you know where you do meet 72 virgins, I don’t think you’d be so keen on that,”, he retorted “You obviously have more intelligence over these things than I do.”

So yeah, still got it.

And of course it’s very on-brand to make a joke in bad taste that involves women. Who could forget his classic wink about the woman talking about how she’d taken a job at a sex line to make ends meet?

And earlier this year Julie Bishop – the only woman in Abbott’s first cabinet – ridiculed him for appointing himself Minister for Women, not least because of that time he talked up a female Liberal candidate because she had “sex appeal”, and how people should vote for him as “the guy with the not bad-looking daughterss” and so on.

Anyway: the UK are turning to the wisdom of Tony Abbott to gird themselves for Brexit. It’s just good to see him out and about and meeting new people in retirement.

It's Legal To Write Whatever You Damn Well Like In The Sky

It's a lawless realm up there.

Have you ever looked up into the sky at some piece of skywriting and thought “hey, is that even remotely legal to write up there?”

Well, you might be surprised to learn that you can write whatever you goddamn want on the sky and no-one can stop you. Provided, that is, that you can find someone to do it.

Or you have your own smoke-equipped broom.

This is a helpful thing to know, courtesy of the Conversation which was specifically looking at whether it fell under the constraints of political advertising – and the answer in a nutshell is “nup”.

The law, as it stands, compares politically motivated skywriting to graffiti, which is not especially helpful since graffiti is illegal.

One reason for the lack of laws is that up until now there have been precious few skywriters operating, which has incidentally also meant that would-be sky authors have been occasionally thwarted by the personal politics of the pilots.

“That’s… that’s not what I asked for.”

For example: during the horrific same sex marriage “respectful debate” several vote no messages were sprayed over Sydney, but the Yes campaign were rebuffed when the only pilot in the state refused the job.

However, that’s all likely to change because of technology.

What’s very exciting is that soon skywriting could be done by drones – swarms of them at once, doing one or two letters apiece, so that the end of the message might still be up there before the beginning had blown into illegibility.

So this means a couple of things. One, that the skies will soon be a disgusting mish-mash of competing slogans, and two, that you can expect laws on drone swarms and message content rushed into existence shortly thereafter.

In the meantime, it’s broadly legal to write whatever you want up there in the community sky. As long as you can convince that pilot, we assume.

So Those Banned Plastic Straws Are Actually Better For The Environment Than The Paper Replacements

At least, if you've failed to ask the question "hey, can this actually be recycled?"

Hot tip for companies wanting to do their bit for the environment: before you get your plastic straws banned and replaced with paper ones, maybe check that they’re recyclable and aren’t going straight into landfill.

At least, that’s the case in the UK where McDonalds moved from plastic straws to paper ones in a move to address plastic pollution and in so doing just created a fresh environmental problem.

An internal memo went around, first reported by the Sun, which advised branches that the straws “are not yet recyclable and should be disposed of in general waste until further notice.”

And to be fair, before you start screaming about McDonalds greenwashing and Virtue Signalling Gone Mad, it’s not actually their fault.

The UK government announced that the nation would be going plastic-straw free by 2020, which is a laudable sort of an aim, and asked fast food companies to lead the charge.

The only problem is that “While the materials are recyclable, their current thickness makes it difficult for them to be processed by our waste solution providers, who also help us recycle our paper cups,” according to a McDonald’s spokesperson.

So it’s more a matter of the United Kingdom’s recycling infrastructure not being caught up with new necessities – but even so, not a great look when your banned plastic straws are more friendly to the environment than are the replacements.

Anyway, we’ve taken our responsibilities seriously and now carry a hollow reed around with us at all times in case we need to imbibe liquids.

It’s the only sensible thing to do.

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