Friday, November 26, 2010

Farmer Tyrell Under Fire - From Within

First, a touch of media watch yuk-yukery from the past week.

Lisa Miller ABC correspondent, commenting on the murder charges Alabama has laid against `honeymoon dive wife killer' Gabe Watson, informed surprised listeners that `These are fairly serious charges'. One supposes that the aquatically maladroit Mr Watson can count his lucky stars that he isn't facing some extremely - rather than fairly - serious charges, like riding a bicycle without a helmet or peeing in public.

The sports quote of the week (as previously passed on via twitter and Facebook) came from Mark Tubby Taylor, commenting on the first day crowd at the Australia-England test match in Brisbane...
"There are 40,000 odd people here" he gurgled. As Mongrel the Barrister - himself an import from southern climes - observed "Aww, c'mon, Tub, they can't all have been Queenslanders".

Amusing cricketing quotes, especially the deliberate ones, have long been a Magpie favourite, from the famous "The bowler's Holding the batsman's Willie" to Brian 'Johnners' Johnston's impromptu "This situation reminds of my favourite little terrier - three short legs and balls that swing both ways."

Then there was another sly `deliberate mistake' which had the commentary box incoherent for some minutes. An unfortunate batsman - was it Derek Underwood, can't remember? - collapsed in agony clutching his groin area after he had copped a fast delivery right in Jimmy and the Twins. When, a few minutes later he'd recovered, Underwood took guard again, the commentator intoned `…Underwood's back at the crease, one ball remaining'.

There also seems to be a bit of swinging both ways on the local political scene, and the low blows are being aimed at none other than Farmer Tyrell, our embattled mayor. After facing an unrelenting, strident, Labor-ordered campaign of spinned vitriol in the Townsville Daily Astonisher , The Farmer is seen in an extremely negative light. The water imbroglio was a godsend to The Astonisher's editor and unabashed Labor groupie, Peter `Typo' Gleeson, who told The Magpie long before water was an issue that he didn't care who knew, "… tell all your mates, tell everybody, I'm going to make sure Tyrell doesn't get back in". Real quote.

Now, Typo may achieve his goal sooner rather than later.

The Magpie is hearing stronger and stronger moaning within conservative ranks themselves about Farmer Tyrell's helming of the good ship Townsville.  There are persistent stories that politically savvy colleagues have been trying to get him to spruce up his public and his political act. It's even been a tad personal. 
"We've had to tell him to start wearing more serious business shirts instead of those bold patterned Target numbers usually favoured by Asian taxi drivers,'' said one exasperated insider, ensuring that the taxi driver and Asian vote are down the gurgler.

Others are more concerned that Farmer Les insists on remaining politically aloof, as though it is all a bit beneath him, steadfastly refusing to make legitimate political counters to outrageously self-serving claims from the serial political pest, Jenny The Talking Mullet Hill. Or to the blatantly twisted claims directed into the news columns of The Astonisher by Typo Gleeson in the copy of junior journalists who don't know any better.

One theory about the mayor's `bunny caught in the headlights' attitude is that Les's rule of Thuringowa went largely unexamined as His Radiance attracted all the attention across in Townsville. So he was `the man unexamined' and didn't face any searching scrutiny, when, by all reports, he should have. The Farmer has obviously not adapted to the glare of (chortle, wheeze, gasp) big-time limelight - well, what passes for big-time (snortle) in this neck of the woods.

The Magpie sees Les's attitude as a conflicted one between `tough-love' arrogance (`you've got to take your medicine to get better from the naughty treatment of that Dr Mooney') and a naive trust that the authority of his office is above the cut and thrust of council politics.

Another somewhat less reliable report (that's never stopped The Magpie) is that a leading Townsville bling businessman who wields a lot of influence around the place, has, as it were, tapped Les on the shoulder, told him that the business community has had a gutful, and suggested he feign some sort of illness which will see him step down somewhere about mid-2011

The reasoning behind this is that Kid Crisafulli will slide into office just as The Mall is finished and the water charge issue reverts to the old system, all well out from the council elections. The Kid, a determined and canny politician, will have time to consolidate his position, counter some of The Astonisher's more fanciful claims of council incompetence, and efficiently and regularly shred the simpering, self-serving whinges of The Talking Mullet. Of course, The Kid had a fit of the vapours and a volley of `dearie me, no way, what horse feathers' etc, when the scenario was put to him, but as said, the Child Councillor from the West is a determined and canny politician, so it was a bit dopey asking him anyway.

Given all the above, allow The Magpie his usual arrogance in reminding you that if what you have read here comes to pass, you read it here first, and if it doesn't come to pass, that's also probably because you read it here first.

One scenario which is now unlikely is that The Kid will be challenged for the mayoralty by former copper/councillor Dale Last. He is yearning for higher office, seeking pre-selection for a local state seat. Clr Last has pulled out of the LNP pre-selection field for the state seat of Townsville. In any event, scheduled nominee interviews for that seat, set down for today, Saturday, have now been put off until early next year, for internal party admin reasons. But our confident councillor still has his hand up for Thuringowa and Mundingburra, which would put any mayoral ambitions on the backburner. There is a touch of naked ambition peeping through here on which The Magpie will keep a beady eye. 

Some reckon Clr Vern Veitch is also seeking the mayoral plush, a suggestion which (as illustrated) The Magpie treated with the gravity and serious consideration it merited.

Enough now, The Magpie is away to Poseurs' Bar, where he trusts some suitable bebubbled winsome lass will treat with gravity and serious consideration his suggestion of assisting the old bird with his (overnight) naked ambition.


  1. My coffee tastes better this motning and my day will now be better.

  2. 'Poseurs' Bar', where is it please?
    Your word verification option for this comment (vivily)clearly describes most young hoons that burn rubber & endanger others on our roads.
    So if the Editor of the Bully is way on the 'left side', how do us mere mortals in the middle and on the right get to make the front page?.
    Be assured you have many, many readers who are not 'brave' enough to become followers.
    Keep up the great work.
    CB....that's me

  3. First of all, thank God you're still around, Magpie. You were truly the only reason to - well, not buy, because they usually posted your - but read that rag for which you used to be employed. That you're shut of them says much for your integrity; it must have rankled to be associated with those hacks.
    And speaking of hacks, I'm glad that your comments about the editor-in-chief having an agenda of his own (wonder what his paymaster thinks of that) echo an allegation I've heard, along the lines of their cub reporter working on a water rates story, getting a reasonable explanation about something and claiming to AGREE with it...but then telling the interviewee that she'd been told she had to write the piece a certain, other, more populist way. I know it's hard to leave human feelings and prejudices out of everyday life, but surely the purpose of a journalist is to get at the truth (oh, stop laughing), however uncomfortable or anathema to his personal beliefs that might be. To be so openly in favour of one mob over another in such a position of influence is surpassingly outrageous, and does he honestly, in his wildest dreams, believe the party currently in opposition to be superior?? I mean, I know the current administration has had its share of missteps and own-goals, but come on!
    Anyway, I'm very much looking forward to more of your despatches, where we get to find out what's really going on, instead of being told (in a way that's not even aftful) how and what to think by that sorry, sorry excuse for print media.

  4. "Hayseed" Tyrell makes a rhino look thin skinned.

  5. well after reading the magpie this week, I have to say that there are alot of people out there who do not really know Les Tyrell,First off with the editor of the bully saying he is going to make sure tyrell does not get back in,We always said he was on the labor team,but what he(bully editor) does not know is the strength of this man and that is what he has on his side.As far as the conservative ranks,he is not tired to them,there were only a small group that worked to get them elected, and that is whom he is answerable to.
    As far as his shirts, thats pretty petty, and not worth a responce.
    To lay the less reliable report to rest is that Les will leave half way through the year, u can take this to the bank, he will go when he is good and ready and not before.As far as the kid (AND THATS THE OPERATIVE WORD)Crisafuulli is concerned he has along way to go yet before he steps in the mayor shoes.

  6. I think the editor of the bully should be sacked for his bias, not sure if there is a media place to report such bias.
    One would have to think that most of the reporting done at the bully is abit off, as I hear the c.e.o. of the council taped a conversation with a reporter, who wrote a story out of context,when he complained to editor, the editor said that could not be,so when it was played for the editor, he had to put in a apology to the c.e.o. the next day. gotyah mr editor.

  7. Magpie did you write that previous comment starting with First of all......? So why didnyou work at the Astonisher for so long if you are so much better than it?

  8. I recently came back to my home town after being away for a few years, and lots of have things change, and lots of things stay the same.
    The local paper used to be alright to read but not now. I see the difference because I've been away for a few years. Then someone told me to read your blogs so now I know why.
    It's a different paper because its different people. Doesn't matter, I just don't buy it anymore, but its a bummer.
    But now we can read you, just on the internet instead.

  9. In answer to the question as to whether The Magpie posts anonymous comments, no, why would he? He has his own blog to have his say - well, duh - and only posts comments in reply to comments like this one. As to why the bird worked for the Astonisher for eight years before flying the coop, the editorial wheels only started to come off about a year ago, with the introduction of a policy of trashy tabloid reporting - a disastrous business decision which further estranged the paper from the community and contributed to the 4.2% drop in circulation over the last certified audit just ended. More on that in future posts, but the The Magpie's Nest will not become some sort of obsessed Bully bashing blog. However, the paper is a powerful public forum, and so is worthy of comment when merited like any other person or institution which can influence our lives and can filter the information we have a right to know.