Saturday, October 15, 2011


Despite having been dead for a couple of centuries, pommy painter and poet Willy Blake was right on the money as far as Queensland politics was concerned this week. Willy's pithy observation has an immediate resonance regarding the so-called 'Dirt File'- until it turns out that it would be better known as the 'Stating The Bleedin' Obvious' file - the contents are hardly Scoop City, although The Astonisher did its lame best to whip itself into a self-righteous lather about the story.

Also, the latest round-up of the Cut Snake Party's local candidates (err, to Mystified of Mysteron, that's Katter's Australia Hootenanny and Hoedown Party) - and the latest on the possibility of a Bad Mooney Rising. All here in this week's drivel-laden Nest at 

For ever and a day, all political parties have kept bio notes filled with details of perceived 'chinks in the armour' of opponents. And why wouldn't you in a profession that is largely about baiting as much as debating? It's what you do with the info that counts. So what, pray tell, is so dastardly to provoke Cuddlepie to honk on about  'low and disgusting acts', when referring to  some extremely mild, openly known and widely accepted truisms that have been collected but not used? 

So, Mandy 'The Party Parrot' Johnstone is a 'parliamentary plodder' - no, really, hooda believed it? -  Cuddlepie Wallace is 'lazy' - the file kindly failed to mention that he can't sing and appears to be sinking into dementia each succeeding Question Time - , the retiring Lindy 'Fly In Fly Out' Nelson Carr is on 'cruise control' until her time runs out and her lucrative retirement package kicks in. She will then presumably be on P & O 'cruise patrol' with hubby Russ. And out at the Isa, who would have guessed that Betty Kiernan has a 'volcanic temper'? Well, in fairness, those who wouldn't know would be those more than 5kms away when someone copped a colorfully worded BettyBlast.  

But this whole load of old cobblers is on the whiffer big time, and you could point an accusatory finger in any direction and probably be right.

First of all, there is the Courier Mail coyly swinging a toe in the dust, staring at the ground and muttering 'we really didn't want to publish this stuff, y'know, but, y'know, public interest, y'know, we didn't hack any phones, we just want to sell papers, so we'll let you be the judge' and all that other tripe they regularly trot out when morally challenged about printing hopefully salacious stuff. 

The Magpie will bet that when the Curious Snail was gifted this file, the editor suddenly experienced what is called in those prim TV ads for plastic undies 'PBL' - premature bladder leakage'. He would be a believable addition to the 'It happens to me when ....' line-up of folks on that ad singing the praises of adult nappies.

The timing of all this seems a tad too convenient, but the funny thing is, it  seems convenient for both sides.

So The Magpie will draw on his deep experience of making things up, and tell you what he reckons happened. 

It could well be a Labor own-goal, because the timing - just a week after the Brisbane Bantam unleashed his 'drunks, punks and desperados' barrage - smacks of counter-attack. Except, if it was Labor behind this elaborate scenario,  the outcome of unintended consequences kicked in, and Campbell Newman decided a spurious apology and directive to shred the file would be too late to stop publication. He surely knew that when that happened, readers would be more interested in the dirt than the digger. 

But that said, it is just as believable that the LNP - read Campbell Newman angry at the personal attacks on his family - orchestrated the whole thing, realising that it was worth taking a fake hit and doing a mea culpa to get the petty gossip out there. 

Not sure who if anyone has been running the beleaguered bloody state while all this is happening. Such is the state of Queensland politics.

And it also needs to be asked if The Astonisher here in Townsville will soon be publishing a local  version, with shock-horror entries like 'Jenny Hill regularly goes to Labor party branch meetings', 'Les Tyrell drives a big car', 'Councillor Boof Hewitt has been known to leave some food on the buffet table for others at offcial functions', and 'Councillor Dale Last is a humble person without an ambitious bone in his buff, personally-trained body'. 

While we're on local matters, there is, as is usual with the dark inner working of Labor, intrigue upon intrigue regarding the upcoming mayoral race, with an unknown seeking to head an ALP ticket

And more Mooney murmurings.

The Magpie is told that of 17 'expressions of interest' for a tilt at the possum fur-trimmed mayoral robes, only ONE of 17 passed muster with the Brisbane backroom boys. BUT - The 'Pie is told - it isn't  Jenny The Moaning Mullet Hill !! AND no one is saying if it is Tony His Radiance Mooney.

The inside word is that we will know in the next couple of weeks if His Radiance is going to have a go again at the office he held for 18 or so years. Our resident doodler Bentley sees it as a phoenix up from the ashes. 

The 'Pie is told Barry Big Bazza Taylor, a Labor urger but not a party member, has become Big Bazza The Bagman, going around with the begging bowl to see who in his old Boys Club will cough up for His Radiance to have another run. One would suspect that Bazza would be happy to act as bagman (in the Canadian sense of 'political fundraiser' not the naughty sense) for this cause, since he was on very good terms with the council when His Radiance was in office - although a reasonable person would not believe that he owes any favours around the place.

However, these are different economic times nowadays and Bazza and others may be fruitlessly pining for the unlikely return of the good old days.

At least one mover and shaker realises this. One of the biggest Mooney supporters last time will not be coming to the party. This household name, one of the biggest developers in North Queensland, let alone Townsville, personally tipped a reputed $70,000 into the Mooney war chest last time around. But in 2012, it is reported he will not be ponying up a single brass razoo this time. 

Apparently, this former supporter believes His Radiance did the dirty on his backers by appointing four ersatz 'independents' to his electoral team, at the expense of four Labor foot soldiers who had been standing dutifully in line, believing it was their turn. And so the party turned on him, and has been failing to maintain the rage ever since - Labor party membership since the last council election has almost halved, dropping off by more than 200, despite the influx of new potential members flocking to town in the intervening time. That hasn't done any favours for the former numbers supremo The Moaning Mullet. Watch this space. 

However, a dark horse has galloped onto the scene .The 'Pie is told that a certain Gregory Harris, 'BBus LLB DPLT LLM (UTS) DLabReins (wot?) & LLM (USyd)' - kerr-ikey! - who proudly declares himself as a 'barrister, solicitor, proctor and attorney' has raised a shy, tremelous hand for a go at the top job. He has told the ALP state secretary that he makes his expression of interest only if Jenny Hill doesn't put in a bid - a bid Mr Harris says she deserves and he would wholeheartedly support.

That said, our Greg comes with impeccable Labor credentials; although he has only been in Townsville five years from Sydney, he has been a party member and factotum since 1978, holding some long-winded committee titles down there. But wait, as the steak knives man says, there is more ... plenty more. Indeed, if The Magpie had any faith in any politician - HA! - he would definitely vote for this bloke. That is, if The 'Pie believed that dreams can come true, Dorothy.

Sadly, Greg's lack of local government history knowledge demonstrates a blissful ignorance of Townsville local government - and Labor -  mechanisms. Because he says he has contacts who will assist him in stopping the abuse of overtime by council 'middle management' and likewise 'circumscribing similiar arrangements in the granting of tenders to friends of the current regime'. Does he mean the current mob or the previous mob? This confusion no doubt prompts much merriment and thigh slapping when the Good 'Ol Boys have their regular lunch meeting at Michels.

Here, The 'Pie quotes from an unsigned email but is what he understands is a copy of Greg's letter. ' I believe if we run an ALP team on the slogan of 'back to basics' and get rid of the council practice of contracts for mates (maybe he does have some knowledge of Townsville history after all) but instead base it  on proper transparency of the awarding of contracts.'  

Our man would also take a cudgel to 'the largesse of huge salaried positions (of) a top-heavy senior management and redistribute a large proportion of those overblown employment contracts - most of which are on a fixed term basis and do not have to be renewed - to (cover) pay rises for the award/certified agreement Townsville City Council staff'. 

Greg says he would also chuck out all the councillors' (and mayor's) 'large petrol guzzilng' vehicles. Christ, The 'Pie would definitely vote for this bloke - if he had a snowballs chance ofd getting nominated, let alone elected. Taking on party factions is one thing, but trying to get in on a ticket of wage justice for council staff and taking on the public service union is the longest of shots. Good luck to you, Mr Harris - and The Magpie means it.   

But come state election time, there's going to be a Katter among the Labor and LNP pigeons around this neck of the woods. 

The Mad Hatter's Cut Snake Party has nominated at least five candidates for crucial seats in this area

Going up against Kid Crisafulli and Labor sparky Mark Harrison in Mundingburra will be Jason Grigg, who just so happens to be the fruit of the loins of prison walloper Ray Grigg. Grigg Snr is the bloke who jumped onto the North Queensland wobbly-wheel bandwagon before succumbing to the sweet nothings of Bob Katter and switching to the Cut Snake mob. Grigg Snr  will be Bob's man in Townsville, against Labor party parrot Mandy Johnstone and the LNP's former military man John Hathaway. 

The 'Pie hears that former Fishing Party member, one-time indepedent and then North Queensland Party vice-president Steve Todeschini may also have fallen off the NQ Party's questionable conveyance. He is tipped to have a quixotic go at Thuringowa, squaring off against state MP and Minister for Means Roads and Poisoned Water Cuddlepie Wallace, and political newby Sam Cox for the LNP.  

Jeff Knuth (brother of Dalrymple's sitting LNP MP Shane - slogan: Knuth? - 'knoath!) will continue his on-again-off again love affair with voters, this time up in Hinchinbrook. In the Burdekin, yet another prison head-counter and tucker-in Ron Wadforth will try and put the cuffs on Rosie The Iron Maiden Menkens down in the land of liquid gold.

Enough of this twaddle, it is now away to Poseurs' Bar, to be-bubble the night away in the hope that a suitable companion's response to an inquiry about post-Poseurs' activity will be in the affirmative. As in 'knoath'.

1 comment:

  1. Well 'pie what sort of a goose is this Greg? He must be in a time warp as "circumscribing similiar arrangements in the granting of tenders to friends of the current regime'" definitely belonged to the previous regime and that's why the old mates have been unhappy! And I don't know what law school old mate Greg went to but his idea of "redistribution of the wealth a la Gillard Carbon Tax method" ie. dealing with
    'the largesse of huge salaried positions (of) a top-heavy senior management and redistribute a large proportion of those overblown employment contracts - most of which are on a fixed term basis and do not have to be renewed - to (cover) pay rises for the award/certified agreement Townsville City Council staff'. displays his ignorance of the fact that these matters are governed by the Local Government Act administered by his labour mates in the Qld Government. What a disaster this looney would be in City Hall!