Friday, February 18, 2011

Of Bats, Rats, Resignations and Typo's Reality Check

Uh oh, whose not telling Mummy everything?

On Wednesday last, the AG Cameron Dick announced that the government would be sticking to optional preferential voting at state elections, as versus Labor-favoring, Green-defeating compulsory preferential voting.

On Thursday, after Dizzy Desley Boyle and bucolic rough-head humorist Robert Schwarten chucked in the towel and announced they were quitting the cabinet and wouldn't be standing for re-election to boot, the words `rats', `sinking ship' and the unseemly hasty departure therefrom sprang to mind. 

But on the teev that night, Mother Blight put on a brave face and said she didn't `know of anyone else who was resigning from cabinet or not running again in the next election'.

Then all of a sudden, we woke as the cock crew'd the next morn to learn someone else had come out of the cabinet; Tourism Minister Peter Lawlor pulled the pin on his poisoned chalice portfolio, although vowing to stay on as an MP.

Anyone else, Anna? Well … errr, um, should The Magpie be the one to break the news to her?  
Or will Mundingburra's Lindy Nelson-Carr eventually sidle up to her boss and tell her out of the corner of her mouth what she's started to openly tell people up thisaway - she won't be standing again. Although The `Pie has reported this for more than six months now, Lindy, according to the overheated MagpieFone, is now openly bruiting it about that she's drawing stumps.

There has been some talk that she might stick her hand up in order to financially boost her retirement package, win or lose, but the old bird has neither the wit, intelligence or time to interpret the bureaucratic rules why this may or may not be so. But the prospect of facing off against The Kid Crisafulli, along with the noisy shellacking she attracted by her support for state asset sales and her FIFO (Fly In Fly Out) spell in Brisbane, has made a sort of dignified retirement the way to go. 

Like the Yanks say, when you're being chased out of town, get out front and make it look like you're leading a parade.   

The Magpie idly wonders if Premier Blight is familiar with American writer and aphorist Ambrose Bierce, and if so, has she read his Devil's Dictionary. Bierce, a weird coot who became completely cracked through his experiences in the American Civil War, nevertheless became a dark literary genius. He tended to take a dim view of the world with his bitter satirical definitions of the human condition.

And one of his dictionary's definitions that would have particular resonance for the premier around now is Bierce's take the word `back', of which he wrote `Back : noun - that part of your friend's anatomy it is your privilege to contemplate in your adversity.' 
Such is life … and politics.

Speaking of the next election, the Queensland shadow cabinet is in Townsville this weekend, along with other LNP worthies. Apart from the usual sniping and jawboning, senior party wafflers will tomorrow (Sunday) hold pre-selection interviews to see who will take on Cuddlepie Wallace in Thuringowa. 

The candidates are popular boozorium operator - and likely winner - Wayne `Macca' McDonald, Corrective Services officer Martin `Blue The Screw' Blue, former Palm Island mayor Delena Foster, and one Sam Cox, of whom The Magpie knows nought but is unreliably told is from a serious-money Burdekin family.

One person who won't be up for election … anywhere or any time … will be Tony `His Radiance' Mooney, erstwhile mayor of the `ville. `We all know that, you've told us often enough,'' both you readers cry. Ah, but this is different, because Labor's official propaganda publication aka The Townsville Bulletin, has now followed the old bird's lead and made it official. One avid fan of this electronic column, Astonisher editor Typo Gleeson, has finally accepted The Magpie's info on this matter, and has publicly given up the ghost on pushing a Radiance resurgence agenda. 

On New Year's Day, no doubt at the behest of the Chief-of-Stuff's quest for a rip-snorting, sphincter-puckering headline to kick off the year, His Radiance obliging mumbled some unconvincing sentiments along the lines `well, you never know, I  haven't ruled out another tilt at the electoral windmill.' Yeah, and The Talking Mullet is thinking of taking holy orders.

Fat chance, on both counts. 

So on January 27,  Typo wiped away a tear of frustration as he officially acknowledged the political demise of his mate. After lavishing well-deserved praise for 25 years of public service and equally well-deserved congratulations on the Australia Day gong awarded to His Radiance, Typo choked back a sob, gritted his teeth and wrote: `Don't expect any Lazarus-style political comeback from Mr Mooney. Unfortunately, Townsville will be the poorer for his absence from political life'.

Well, `Townsville' might be stretching it a bit, but certainly poorer will be His Radiance's old developer and legal mates who belonged to the informal `boys club' who were chocka with fast-tracked contracts and schemes during his reign.

In other matters, the good burghers of Charlies Trousers (Charters Towers for you international readers) will find a yarn from Sydney instructive. 

A federal Court judge has knocked back an appeal by those batty buffoons who tried to reverse the Federal Government's decision to allow the Sydney Botanical Gardens to remove a 22,000-strong bat colony. Fans of the flying rats argued, among other things, that the critters were `endangered'. Eh? 22,000, in one colony, an endangered species?!? Right, and China's short of people.

But the judge ruled that the Gardens management had a valid point in that the bats were killing valuable trees in one of the premier botanical gardens in the world.

Wouldn't it be nice if the concern for trees in Sydney was transferred to humans in Charters Towers? 

But The Magpie thinks he has a clue about the affinity of some people to the bats, when he learned that - apparently - bats don't have bums, they eat what they can absorb then regurgitate the waste. A handy attribute for those who mostly live upside down. Now, if this is so,(no guarantees in this column) at least lovers of the flying rats have one thing in common with their little darlings - both have lots of crap coming out their mouths.

Finally, a note on last week's schemozzle between the Astonisher and local jalopy floggers Carmichael Ford. The paper is putting it around that the original story about forcing staff to take cyclone time off as annual leave, was correct (see previous blog) - a claim the car company vigorously denied in a statement circulated in the business community and on this blog last week. 

Despite being pretty quick to remove the statement from their own website, Carmichael Ford are sticking to their guns and say they have all the timed documentation and emails to prove that their version of events is right. In that phrase so dreaded by court reporters and careless editors, a spokesman said `we are still considering our (legal) position'. 

It's odds on a back-room settlement will be the outcome, the details of same to which we will not be privy. 

But enough now, it is away to Poseurs' Bar, where the old bird will be-bubble some spritely companion and discuss possible positions, legal or otherwise, in seeking a bedroom settlement, the outcome of which you, dear readers, will not be privy.

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