Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Moaning Mullet and the dreaded 'C' word

In these troubled times, it is always good to have some lighter moments to alleviate the gloom, so it was a good article on Monday by Townsville Bulletin Associate Editor Jenny The Moaning Mullet Hill, who is always good for a hearty larf.

For a brief mid-week thigh slap and chortle, soldier on here in The Nest at

The Moaning Mullet lived up to her name when The Astonisher decided to run with a council bashing non-story that (gasp) bureaucrats run the council, while the elected councillors are running out of committee work, where they are required to make strategic decisions!!!  

Nahhh, really, you don't say?.

So what's new ... as reported by The 'Pie years ago, a previous council CEO with a puckish sense of humour had a personalised number plate of SHOGUN, the Japanese official who was the power behind throne. And that was under the secretive Mooney regime.

And it was on that last point and on the matter of the current political buzz word - transparency - that The Mullet got tangled up like a sheep in a barbed wire fence. The Mullet, whose dogged and continually defeated political aspirations have apparently loosened her grip on reality, had us rolling around on the floor in agonised laughter when she had this to say.

'It (is }a case of bureaucrats standing in the way of the public's right to knowledge.
"Compared to the previous council, a lot more is being done behind closed doors, a lot more information is part of commercial in confidence and a lot more is being delegated to the staff.'
'Compared to ...har har gulp wheeze ... the previous council? The public's right to ... gasp, gimme air ... knowledge? 
Ah, Mullet, you'll be the death of The Magpie yet (which is no doubt one of your daydreaming ambitions). While you've got that dictionary out looking up 'transparency' - it will widen your vocabulary but probably not your political vision of power - pop back to the Cs and look up that dreaded C word -  'caucus'. 
You will see, m'dear, that that word applied to those cosy little pre-council CLOSED DOOR meetings of Labor members(sandwiches and booze supplied before and after by the ratepayers, a generous arrangement which the current mob of bastards have discontinued, the bums) -  where unanimous voting on issues was predetermined. After these cozy little get-togethers where the political bulldozer was topped up with the oil of sectional self-interest,  the CLOSED DOORS were thrown open, and His Radiance The Mayor's fortnightly arm aerobics class was in session ('All in favour and Up one two and down'). This was usually uninterrupted by Labor members with questions or any talking at all outside "I move the motion' and 'I second the motion'. 
It was a system that gave many a voter the motions so as to speak, enough, Mullet me old luvvie,  to turf out your secretive mob at the last election. But then again, the current council has a sort of caucus system, too; it's called open council meetings. 
Through the old caucus system, voters were denied the ability to know what was being said on their behalf and by whom. And this is the system you would undoubtedly return to if The Astonisher's campaign to get you back in power is successful. Bet His Radiance's memorial drinks cabinet would be back in full swing, too. 
You know, The Mullet fits in well at the Astonisher, being an obviously quick study in the Murdoch Method of journalism.
Step 1:  Set up a spurious story - in this case, it's an even money bet that The Mullet and Typo set up the story in the first place. 

The Magpie's fevered imagination can just see it.
SCENE: Typo's Office. 
Typo: Hey Jen, wadda reckon we can have a go at the council about this week, they seem to have been behaving themselves lately, the bastards? 
Mullet: I know, why don't you interview me about councillors not doing much, they're running out of committee work and hat bureaucrats are runing the show.
Typo: But hang on, isn't that meant to be the way it should be, wouldn't that mean that the council is getting it's shit together after all the confusion and consolidation of amalgamation?
Mullet: Aww, c'mon Typo, get with program, hasn't Big Bazza given you riding orders this week? We can give 'em a kick in the cods up the top of the story - we can even get our Labor mate on that council watch bullshit to put in his two bob's worth - and then just put a bit at the bottom of the story from the council CEO. He'll knock the story down, but by that time we will have planted the idea that councillors are becoming expensive bludgers. 
Typo: Good idea, it fits in with the campaign my legal/developer mates have told me to run on making the council smaller, dropping it from 12 to 10. Fewer councillors are  easier to ... err ... persuade, although they had it all tied up when Mooney was around. 
Mullet: (Sigh) Ah, those were the good old Radiant days. Can I have an Iced VoVo with me cuppa, mate?
Typo: Have two.
Step 2: Rev up and publish the usual illiterate litany from the Greek chorus of the foam-flecked letter writing team.
And thus it appears to have been, and will be for another eight months, if News Ltd pooh bahs decide Typo has to stay put until he gets it right.
But enough for the moment, see you on Saturday as usual, but now it's away to Poseurs' Bar to be-bubble a suitable companion and canvass the idea of a one-on-one caucus. Behind closed doors, of course.  


  1. stopped reading half way through...better luck next time with a witty article