Saturday, June 15, 2013

So, who gets the Steggles Egg On Face Award this week? Foolya? Wingnut? Maybe that intellectual hunchback Howard Sattler? Nope, a total dark-horse gets the gong.

The Magpie confidently presents his Steggles award to a lesser-known Labor MP who flew under the radar to put forward what has been called ‘the most boneheaded proposal’ to date – he's seeking a ban on journalist’s making predictions.


And in so seeking, our winner managed to hang not only himself in the noose of his own idiocy, but also opened the trapdoor under his own Treasurer Goose.



And on the local front, Mayor Mullet appears to come up with a cunning plan, and The ‘Pie must say, it is a sneaky but clever have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too effort.


A top American spook has ‘em rolling in the aisles with his waterboarding of the English language, and resident doodler Bentley has come up with a great idea for How To Vote cards at the up-coming September massacre. All here and a lot of other pointless and speculative drivel in this week’s nest at www.townsvillemagpie.com.au


It’s been a week of idiots, even for Mr Rabbit’s namesakes.



Quote of the Month goes to US TV satirist John Stewart commenting on aging Lothario Michael Douglas’s claim that he contracted throat cancer through cunnilingus – and then said that the same activity was the way to cure the virus. 

When Douglas was forced to retract his novel medical prognostication, Stewart suggested that Douglas had suffered a huge ‘slip of the tongue’.  That quip has now been taken up around the globe although African readers don’t know what all the fuss is about.
Huh? What? My head hurts.

Our man Bentley is somewhat in the same vein this week, in offering his novel idea for How To Vote cards for September (as if we need any).



That Matter of the Misguided Menu is now history , but a couple of sad observations in a week of sad observations.

Even when presented with what looks –looks – like great ammunition for Labor to mount another smack-down on wannabee coalition opponent Mal Brough, desperation again won out over caution for the ALP’s headless chooks. Labor’s Wong, Plibersek and Treasurer Goose got rough with Brough too hard too soon, but some of the mud was bound to stick. The fake menu containing lame and aging internet ‘jokes’ about Joolya – which were about as funny as a fire in an orphanage – was - on virtually no evidence - said to have been on the tables at a Brough Brisbane fundraiser a couple of months ago.

Brough had the smarts (this time) to take responsibility for the matter although he insisted he hadn’t seen it on the night. Joe Hockey said the same. Wong led the charge in demanding Brough be disendorsed, (m’dear, you can’t run your own party and you want to give sage advice across the dispatch boxes – get real, as the kiddies say).

But suddenly, she and her chums were put in the bad-look position of all but calling the restaurateur a liar when he admitted the menu was a kitchen in-joke, not seen by any guests, only by staff. He said it was posted on the web by a disgruntled and dismissed employee weeks after the event.

Poor old Labor, so desperate they can’t even get the gifts right.

The ‘Pie would like to point out that the Labor trio’s thinly disguised charges of ‘set-up’ and ‘coercion’ of the restaurateur are nothing more than that rarely seen menu item, tripe.

C’mon, if that menu had actually appeared on the night that more than 100 attended the dinner, do you really think that not one person would’ve immediately given it to the world? If not one of the guests, who could reasonably be thought to be on-side with the coalition, then what about the staff, some who would surely be sympathetic to Labor and/or generally-held sensibilities?

Then the west went weird, with radio coprolite (look it up, look it up) Howard Sattler being a complete tool in asking Joolya if her partner Tim – on the strength of his being a hairdresser, for gawd;s sake – was gay. Under the spurious guise of ‘wanting to put some rumours and myths to rest’, Sadler then asked the Prime Minister of Australia obliquely if she was a lesbian – what he actually asked, which was possibly even more offensive and intrusively unforgiveable, was if she was in a heterosexual relationship with her partner.

The slogan says it all.

Sattler makes Alana Jones look like a shy, retiring tongue-tied novice. Sattler could be at least said to be consistent if he had ever asked  ‘Prime Minister Howard, just wondering, is your missus Janette a lesbian?’ He never did ask that question, and he obviously never asked the old bedroom bandicoot Bob Hawke the same question – one imagines we’d be discussing the late Mr Sattler if he had done. 

Arrgh, Bob, where are ya when we need ya?

While all the frothing and frenzy was swirling across the countryside (more on that in a sec) most would have missed the jug-headed idea to come from a Labor frontbencher yet.

Dr Andrew Leigh, Dip. of Stick
Andrew Leigh, who labours under the twin burdens of being a former Professor of Economics and an idiot (but The 'Pie repeats himself) as well as being touted as a future Labor leader, told The Drum website that he'd like to pull the media into line in no uncertain terms.

‘We’d either like to see a ban of forecasting, or if you are going to engage in punditry then engage in punditry where we can gauge your track record.’ !!!! (The ‘Pie exclaimers).

Talk about a gotcha own goal.

Dr Leigh was apparently disapproving of his own Treasurer. Courtesy of the man called the Rinestone Cowboy, Andrew Bolt, , we learn the following about the Treasurer’s form on the punditry which so concerns Dr Leigh.

The Great Predictor


Wayne Swan, May 2010:

We now expect a surplus in three years, three years ahead of schedule.

Wayne Swan, August 2010:

Well, we’re getting back into surplus in three years. Come hell or high water.

Wayne Swan, April 2011:

We see the surplus in 12-13 as being absolutely fundamental.

Wayne Swan, May 2011:

We’ll be back in the black by 2012/13, as promised.


I believe we will attain those forecasts, coming back to surplus in 2012/13.


I am determined to produce a surplus in 2012-2013. We have got our colours nailed to the mast.

Wayne Swan, March 2012:

Despite the tough global conditions, we remain determined to return the budget to surplus in 2012/13, and we will get there.

Wayne Swan yesterday:

Wayne Swan has vowed to return the federal budget to surplus within four years, with his government poised to announce further deep cuts to spending.



But then, as recently as January this year, another senior Labor man was gazing into the crystal ball and predicting that a surplus this year ‘was certainly possible’  And our Nostradamus was none other than –ta da – Dr Andrew Leigh.  You can see here why Leigh not only was but still is a boofademic or an acadil , take your choice.

Over in the U S of A, the land of the mis-speak and other niceties for lying, a witness at a congressional hearing into the massive government electronic snooping scandal has attained a place in the history books. Caught out in a blatant lie, this bloke wanted credit for giving ‘the least untruthful answer’ to a question.

It would be a laughing matter but for the fact of who this galah is – no less than the almost correctly named James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence.  While trying to back-track on his original lying testimony, Clapper said the following:
Top spook James Clapper
- an 'r' instead of an 'l' and you've got it.

First-- as I said, I have great respect for Senator Wyden. I thought, though in retrospect, I was asked-- "When are you going to start-- stop beating your wife" kind of question, which is meaning not-- answerable necessarily by a simple yes or no. So I responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful manner by saying no.

It’s worth looking at more of this  - see it here – because the brazen lying makes one wonder just what blokes like this believe they can get away with. Alarmingly of late, the answer seems to be anything they like. On top of all that, Clapper is a retired Army general. Yikes!

Now here’s something out of the ordinary; The ‘Pie is going to give Mayor Mullet the benefit of the doubt and admit that, if his maunderings are correct, The ‘Pie will credit her with a truly clever cunning plan.

A casual moment -
Mayor Mullet gives the Astonisher a preview of her special Townsville Cup race day hat.

Friday’s Daily Astonisher carried this story, with ace revealer Anthony Simpleton basing his yarn on a ‘leaked’ copy of the Crocs basketball mob’s business plan.  The plan, a pretty sensitive document at this stage, was given to the council in confidence, so councillors could consider whether it was worth chucking some ratepayers hard-earned at attempts to resurrect the flailing club’s fortunes. The business plan, as required by law, contains some gloomy risk assessment material, which when quoted starkly in the Astonisher, makes it a bad look for ratepayers money to go in that direction.

Now, given Mayor Mullet’s predilection for running council debates in the paper before they sometimes reach the council chamber, it is not unfair to suggest it may have been her who slipped the business plan to her political go-between Simpleton. Mayor Mullet runs this type of ploy to counter the fact that she doesn’t have the numbers in council votes, and can only hope that the Townsville First lot will succumb to public if not political pressure on any given issue.  The Iditor usually honks and squeaks on in her favour. Now politically, that’s not altogether wrong – kinda smart, actually - and knowing what a good run she gets from the paper, the mayor flogs the ploy for all it’s worth.

The only time this gets a bit CMCish is when confidential council documents bob up in Simpo’s breathless ‘revelations’. Townsville First folk were asking some pointed questions about Mayor Mullet’s pre-budget ‘comments’ to the paper. So it is not unreasonable to ask if the business plan came from Her Worship.

Now the question is being asked about the ethics of the leaking of a business plan, since it was given to the council in strict confidence until the directors chuck their begging bowl onto the table and plead for ratepayer support in a week or so. This episode may make other people doing confidential business with the council somewhat nervous.

Those two risk assessment paragraphs are the telling ones. Mayor Mullet must surely know that even some of the public wavering towards generosity will have been given pause reading the following :

'But it also noted several risks to the club's future financial position including the potential breakdown in relationships with sponsors, the cost of hiring a playing venue, the league being financially viable, failing to increase memberships and a lack of community support.
"The Crocodiles however are in the entertainment industry rather than the professional sports industry," the report said. "Any dollar that is spent on entertainment in the region is a dollar not being spent with the club. Therefore, competitors can be seen as the circus, a touring band or concert, restaurant, cinemas and other forms of family entertainment."

So, what a clever Mullet. Here’s how it works. Public sentiment will probably oppose what many would see as throwing good money after bad and will probably let their councillors know. Mayor Mullet can make suitable empty noises about supporting the Crocs, hoping to retain the affection of the faithful, all the while knowing that if the request for help is voted down, Vern Veitch and Townsville First will be subjected to a Text the Iditor barrage as she sits simpering on the sidelines.

Clever stuff – except leaking a potentially damaging document such as this one , given to the council in good faith, could merit closer examination and possible action on behalf of the LGAQ … and maybe even the CMC.

Down on the Coast, as noted in the comments during the week, Typo Gleeson has been tapped to take over the Sunday Mail editorship, with former Townsville hoofer Cath Webber getting her crack at the editor’s chair on the Gold Coast.

One does wonder what is going on with the News Ltd masterplan, given the horrendous 11% fall in the Gold Coast Bulletin’s circulation – the second biggest drop of all Australian regionals – over the past year under Typo.

Maybe there was a bit more of this than just one recent instance –

An aerobics pic for you - bend neck one- two.
Dumped Gold Coast Bulletins.

…. a forlorn pile of unsold and unpacked Gold Coast Bulletins, all copies to be counted as circulation to present to advertisers. Yechnology and time beat The 'Pie on this one.)

Just so we can keep track, note the Sunday Mail’s current circ figures, which stand at 423,488 – a drop of 28,000 or 8% in the previous 12 months - and we’ll watch hopefully for Typo to weave his special brand of illusive magic in his new job.

Enough now, it is away to Poseurs’ Bar, where the old bird will again be-bubble a suitable lass, awaiting the right moment to inquire if a good old tongue lashing is on the menu. Of course, suggested to the wrong Brunhilde, and The Pie could be put completely out of circulation for quite a while.


18 comments:

  1. Mayors Mullets budget 5.4% increase vs Brisbanes 3.8%! i hope the Councillors make more cutbacks and save some buffer because with the R word around town and the amount of fifo miners losing their jobs and cash give aways at Stockland and $10 vouchers at Willows things will/are tough and we havnt started paying the 22.4% electricity increase. If the Feds and States cant get a surplus getting mayoral robes doesnt turn you in to a rocket scientist.

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  2. The lack of scruples and local loyalty on our current council is breathtaking.
    They will hand over $500,000 of our rates to a privately run event (V8 Supercars) which rips millions out of the local economy every year, but duck and weave when it comes to helping prop up a local national sporting team that is doing it tough after 20 years in the National Basketball League.
    Wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that Mayor Mullet is a V8 freak, and Planning Committee chairman Tony Parsons uses the V8 as a rung on his social climbing ladder?
    Speaking of Mr Parsons and his sporting interests, I understand he was instrumental in getting a $1 million council guarantee for the doomed NQ Fury a couple of years ago, when he was both a councillor and a NQ Fury board member.
    Surely you remember that $1 million of our rates that went down the gurgler under the watchful eye of Parsons, who surely must have known how bad the Fury were travelling, but failed to bring it to the attention of the council and the public.
    So here's a tip for the Crocs crew trying to extract cash from the council: make Tony Parsons a director, then give Mayor Mullet a free corporate box dressed up like a V8 supercar, including her own steering wheel.

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    Replies

    1. Whoa up there Watcher, let's have a closer gander at some of your claims.

      1. First and foremost, you give yourself a bit of an uppercut when you decry the fact that the council won't 'prop up a local national sporting team that is doing it tough ...'
      No council, and this one especially, should be in the business of 'propping up' any sporting ... or any other private enterprise ... venture for that matter. Injection of funds into something which can be proven - in advance - to further the community economy on an appreciable scale is a different proposition to 'propping up' - this is a free market economy - council is not because it has the powers to tax us. And propping up is not a function The Magpie voted for. (That is not to say that he agrees with the V8 arrangement, which was driven by political oppotunism from the outset.)

      2. No decision has yet been made regarding the Crocs. There will be a meeting between the club's management and councillors this week, where a case will be presented, then a decision will be announced in about a month. So you're a tad ahead of yourself there.

      3. Mayor Mullet's sporting predilections may or may not be as you say (well,yes, you're right) but not a single cent of council cash goes to the V8 swindlers ... it is all 'in kind' to cover special water arrangements, rubbish removal et al ... and a sum paid to a private (local) outfit to store the crash barriers and other race track junk until the hootenanny comes around again next year. Calculating the use of council assets at commercial rates results in a bragging figure in negotiations, but despite some overtime being involved, it is a lot less than the $500,000 quoted. Buggers up the books a bit, but then ....

      4. There is a touch of the Gillard gender wars about Mayor Mullet, who wildly supports the deserving Fire WBL gals team, so it will be interesting to see how she negotiates her way through the minefield she has created for herself by leaking the Crocs damaging business plan. The Pie notes that reporter Simpo Templeton obliquely made it seem possible that the leaked document, entrusted to the council in confidence, came from a council officer. If that's true, it's CMC time yet again. But Luscious Lips Tom Waterhouse would have Mayor Mullet a short-priced favourite in the Leaking Stakes.

      (The Crocs people are livid about the leak, but that's the risk when you take your begging bowl to Walker Street - you just drop 'em, touch your toes and hope for some joy.)

      5. The Pie is emphatically told that the council DID NOT lose a million ratepayer dollars in the Fury soccer debacle. The information is that the million was an insurance guarantee, and the council was up only for service fees of abround $40,000. Still, that is money that shouldn't have been vulnerable, and questions of due diligence could be raised. But it ain't a million.

      Further clarification of this last matter would be appreciated, and will be printed but without any foam-flecked free character readings of various involved folk.

      Delete
  3. On page 6 of Saturday's Arstonisher there is an article regarding graffiti at the Townsville mosque. The article written by 2 reporters claimed the wording was a "racist slogan". Since when has Islam been a race?

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  4. Hi Pie, Islam is not a race, it's a religion. We won't go into that because what we have fought for is no longer.

    Always good and always entertaining.

    Miss lou.

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  5. Ms Webber is indoctrinated.

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  6. Sanity has again prevailed. This just now from the Townsville City Council.

    Council approves amendments to budget
     
    A free pre-cyclone dumping weekend and nett savings of around $340,000 are key amendments to the city budget approved by the Townsville City Council today.
     
    The changes to the budget tabled by Mayor Cr Jenny Hill last month will reduce the general rates rise from 3.9% to 3.7%.
     
    A majority of councillors voted for the amendments which include:
     
    • Removing $576,000 in funding for citywide hard waste collection and cutting $8 a year from the waste services charge;
    • Introducing three-day pre-cyclone clean-up with free access to landfills at a cost of $165,000 to be funded from council’s general budget;
    • Increasing the number of dump vouchers from six to seven with cost to be funded in next year’s budget;
    • removing $500,000 in increased funding for mowing and weeding in parks;
    • cutting $25,000 in funding for Townsville Enterprise Ltd lobbying campaign for a new sports stadium, entertainment and convention centre;
    • $200,000 target for increased revenue from dog registrations and fines
    • Increased surplus from $721,000 to $1.05 million
    Utilities charges for water and sewerage in the Mayor’s proposed budget will remain unchanged.
     
    Overall rates and charges with all utilities – water, sewerage and waste and recycling – for a property with a typical valuation of $161,000 and a fixed water allocation will increase 4.9% or $2.93 a week in comparison to $3.15 in the budget proposed by the Mayor.
     
    All other aspects of the budget will remain unchanged with no new borrowings, and a $19 million reduction of the debt to free up interest payments to fund front line services.
     
    The budget’s $180 million capital works program was at the same level as last year and focused on key infrastructure to support growth and the city’s lifestyle.
     
    Big financial hits on the budget this year included a $5 million increase in depreciation, $1.8 million increase in electricity and insurance costs, $1 million in lost State funding, lower council revenue growth, and a $5 million payment over two years to the Port of Townsville as a contribution to the Cruise Ship Terminal.
     
    The formal budget documents will be presented at a Special Council meeting on June 28 for adoption.

     

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  7. Your a funny bloke Pie. What do you know about sanity? Pot calling kettle black. The changes save ratepayers 24 cents per week. The changes also slash park services which effects city image. No hard rubbish collection per cyclone season. Really dumb move. You call it sanity. Funny guy!

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    Replies
    1. And I wonder what group of opportunistic wannabe's this troll belongs to?

      Have you ever actually seen a "hard rubbish" collection? The vast majority of the stuff left by the curbside is unwanted household junk that would never cause a hazard in a cyclone.

      i would much prefer the existing arrangement where the inevitable debris is collected after event.

      Typical of the whining class of ignorant knockers - you would much prefer a manicured park to economic rationality.

      Delete
  8. Re your tongue-in-cheek comment regarding Michael Douglass' cunnilingus causing cancer, let's not get into a flap about it eh?

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  9. Bagman (not Bazza)June 18, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    Not sure if it’s of interest or not, but I’ve noticed that there seem to be a lot of house ads in the Bulletin lately. Today I went to the trouble of counting, and my tally works out at only nine paid ads in the entire paper (not counting classifieds and movie listings). Does that seem unusual to you?

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  10. Catherine Webber was blinded by the Asbestos while working in the Townsville Office, she could be blinded by other news stories too.

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  11. p.s. The Bull has no substance, no good images and is very boring.

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  12. The Daily Astonisher normally puts its puzzle page down the back of the book, and often adds to the conundrums by giving clues to the wrong crossword grid.

    But today, there it is, a corker of a poser right up front in the news pages in Simpo Templeton's regurgitation of material no doubt slipped to him by his favourite Walker Street political streetwalker. In yet another gossamer thin attempt to bash Burton and the council staff, Simpo made no attempt to adopt the real journalist's role and explain in understandable English what the shiny bums were on about.

    Instead, it was just a cut and paste job, and in the transfer, Mr Templeton joined the far from exclusive club (The Magpie is a member) best known as the "Not Not Club'.
    Work this out, and note the vital missing word, our old friend 'Mr Not'.

    'The Audit Office's report into the discrepancies found the council needed to introduce three reforms to ensure there were similar problems in the future including aligning line item classifications between the two sets of documents, implementing an audit log system and creating a computer diagnostic test to ensure everything added up correctly.'

    Unless of course the Audit Office wants to keep itself busy and really does want to 'ensure there are similiar problems in the future'.

    Indeed, it was an all-round top effort at subbing, too. Further down, we have
    'Mayor Jenny Hill said she hoped the the council's responseh would make the organisation more transparent.

    Responseh?

    Sounds like the subs in New Zealand were on the turps. Or the Mullet was stunned at the time.

    But for all you puzzle freaks, read the whole portenous beat-up twaddle here

    http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/article/2013/06/19/383923_news.html

    (All the above errors were on the Bulletin website at noon. Have not seen the hard copy yet).


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  13. CLIVE Palmer's Queensland Nickel has axed a $100,000-plus annual sponsorship of Townsville Enterprise Ltd as nickel prices fall in a slowing economy.

    What do they do Townsville Enterprise?

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    Replies
    1. Dunno, nobody knows - or is allowed to know, David Kippion is very shy about letting anyone in on why he pays himself $240,000 pa.

      But whatever it is they do down at Dudley DoNothing House, they'll be doing $100,000 less of it. The staff buttock-clenching continues apace.

      Delete
    2. According to the current DUO Magazine (p.78), TEL is a "unique organisation" that "can achieve the improbable in a few days" and includes a "fun machine" with "people who work hard and play just as hard"

      Delete
  14. My wife and I often question the role of our Tvl Enterprise. We read the Sunday Mail where communities much smaller than ours advertise their " Ukelele Festivals" , but we fail to advertisse our local, much more impactful events in any publication.

    An example of this is the RACQ publication " On The Road ". In it's recent editions to promote tourism within Queensland their is little or no mention of our "Townsville in July"

    The Riverway Complex is ignored in most TEL publications and yet is a revelation to visitors to this marvellous natural area.

    Townsville Enterprise in no way live up to the concept of City promotion. The monies previously granted to this organisation would be best spent om a genuine group of people from all areas of community promotion, with some Council oversight.

    TEL is a cocept of the past. Minimal expenditure, maximum result is what we want in Townsville.



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