Saturday, November 5, 2011

Come dance with me - if you dare. Snooze cuts more than a rug at Dance North.

Also, the latest in mayoral madness, including suspects for The Moaning Mullet's team when you're not having a team, but a task force.

Plus the bonus of two of the best cartoon comments on current times.

Be massively misinformed as always here at The Magpie's Nest, at

ARRRGH!!! Orright, orright, who's done it ? A-bloody-gain, for heaven's sake!!

Someone has woken up Capt Snooze from his blissful backyard slumbers on his LazEboy lounger, just after we'd got him to go down again after the ' involuntary bladder leakage' excitment of receiving Labor Party Life Membership from Wayne Goss a couple of weeks ago. Mike Reynolds was and is a known quantity when he's asleep - which was and is, mercifully, most of the time.

But when he's up and about, genteel mayhem can and does occur. 

That seems to be the case at Dance North, where Snooze is - ahem - chairman of the board, y'know, very important position, y'know, top dog and all that, y'know - did I ever tell you I was the Speaker in state parliament - also very important and - ahem - people had to do what I said - quite right, too - fancy an Iced VoVo?

The Magpie is hearing alarming reports of directors resigning - three, maybe four - with one said to have walked out of a board meeting. Gasp!

From what The 'Pie can gather, it might not all be Mike's well known proclivity for intrusive and arrogant micro-management, which has had some interesting and some say unfortunate outcomes throughout his career - like as mayor - when he gifted NQ tourism to Cairns all those years ago - as an acadill (or is that boofademic?) in charge of considerable university budgets, both here and in Canberra, followed by several years asleep at the wheel as the member of Townsville ('Hey, just you hang on there a sec, mister smartybird, I was - ahem - a minister in the state government for some years, where I ended up as - ahem - the Speaker of the parliament - very important post that, y'know. But hang on, did you say I was the member for Townsville/? Really? When was that? Want a VoVo? Townsville? You sure?).

So while his stewardship of Dance North may have had its moments, Snooze was presumably in blissland when a right royal old barney broke out. It was between the dance company's general manager Peter Helft and imported Kiwi artistic director (three words you don't often hear together) Raewyn Hill. They had some sort of power struggle, and Helft resigned when he didn't get the backing of the board

Now, it has to be reported down the MagpieFone that Ms Hill  - running true to the name in these parts - is said to display the same generous spirit, willingness to negotiate, diplomatic skills, kind consideration and gentle persuasion as the All Blacks front row forwards display towards Wallaby opponents. 

The 'Pie doesn't know this particular Ms Hill, but the old bird does know that dancers are prone to injuring groin muscles - sometime not their own - so perhaps it might be prudent for The 'Pie to keep a low profile on the cocktail and cocktail frankfurt circuit, in protection of his own cocktail frankfurt. 

But apparently, Snooze stuck an uncomprising beak into the matter. Pleasantries were exchanged over the boardroom table, and two, possibly three, directors flounced out in a hissy fit (or nobly made a dignified exit, depending on your point of view)  and later resigned. Another director resigned, but that was because of being relocated out of town.

But here is some completely unverified goss. 

It is suggested that Snooze has told the board that he wants the use of the great old hall in the Dance North HQ for a function at a date to be determined. It is suggested he wanted it for free. He didn't expand on just what the function was, but when pressed, admitted it was for Jenny The Moaning Mullet Hill's launch of her mayoral campaign and introduction of her team. Politics does but strange bedfellows make, and this, not unreasonable,  to have caused another almighty ruction. 

The Magpie doesn't know where this matter is at the moment, but if the proposal comes to pass, it will be an interesting precedent - free rent of council property for political groups.

However, our resident doodler Bentley thinks such a launch could do wonders for the sometimes bogan image of local Labor. Could introduce a note of kulture, kinda, eh?

On the matter, it is reported that The Moaning Mullet's doesn't care for The Magpie pointing out that she decried the 'team mentality' in the Astonisher when divisions were announced, so some official bumf being shoved into selected letter boxes talks of 'Jenny Hill's Task Force'. Now, now, no jokes about 'task farce'.
Vicki rehearsing an acceptance speech?

A definite starter for this little picnic down the looking glass is one Vicki Salisbury, who runs the Umbrella Gallery. Ms Salisbury is what The 'Pie terms a 'wham bam thank you maam' candidate - a quick in and out of Labor party membership, so she is now claim the title  'independent candidate'. Any of this sound familiar? She will be running in North Ward, and just might be up against former councillor Jim Jumbo Gleeson, who yet to decide if he will have a gallop as an independent. Or so they say on the Old Codgers' Bench outside BiLo.

Other names said to be being tasked up by the Mullet are former Snooze staffer Alec McConnell (an avid Magpie reader, hi Alec) and the perennial gravy train aspirant Les 'Messagebank' Walker, who apparently answered at least one phone call in an effort to scramble back aboard. However, he seems to be a local Baldrick 'with a cunning plan', having left his job tucking in youngsters at the Cleveland kids'  slammer to become an Australian Workers Union organiser. Also mentioned is Labor newby member Dan McMillan from South Townsville, and 'someone called Colleen', according to the usual unreliable MagpieFone. 

A female Townsville City Council staffer is also in the mix somewhere, but while The Magpie could make a wild guess, he will remain 'stum' for the time being.

The old bird can report reliably that there are two people The Mullet has fluttered the eyelashes at and to whom she has  whispered sweet nothings only to be told to nick orf. Townsville Enterprise poohbah David Kippen, who displayed some fancy footwork to talk of the mayoralty before - golly, really, how'd that happen - being parachuted into the TEL job ahead of equally, if not better qualified, candidates for the $240K annual stipend. Always helps to have a car salesman on your side.

The other one is a prominent community charity worker who has said a definite 'no', which is about to become a 'piss off' if The Mullet persists in ringing her every couple of days.

All this is predicated on the fact that Labor will be neither endorsing nor funding its own sanctioned team, but the election is a long way off in terms of taking bat and ball home in a sulk, so who knows what the Brisbane backroom boys might be up to. Egg facials could be the order of the day yet. But the word is Mooney won't be running.

And just as interesting will be Dale Last's choice of fillers for his team, after he has cherry-picked the best and brightest ... err, just make that 'available' - councillors for his team. 

As always, The Magpie is on the case.

Finally, we stay with the world of dance for a final visual (hope you've finished breakfast).

The Magpie's regular missive continues to be blessed with two of the best cartoonists around. You've already seen Bentley's offering, so here is an opinion from the irrepressable Larry Pickering, who casts a baleful but accurate eye at the time wasting and expensive tripe at CHOGM in Perth recently. (Who cares if a shiela is, or can be, a Queen? Indeed, there is a different name for this down at The Sovereign Hotel., where tiaras are also involved on special occasions. But hopefully not in Pickering's world). And no, this is not a meeting of the Townsville City Council.

Enough now, it is away to Poseurs' Bar, where, should he be introduced to some comely lass named Raewyn, he will immemdiately withdraw, not just gracefully, but also - hopefully - intact.



  1. The Barmaid From The BushNovember 5, 2011 at 11:16 AM

    Your cartoonist is sooooo good. The CHOGM cartoon is superb and the one of "her and him" is just so like them. Brilliant and really enjoy your articles.

  2. Vicky is so ALP it's not funny. The slight thought that she is an independent it quite scary.

  3. Vicky is also highly intelligent, thoughtful, able to both read and understand balance sheets, willing to take on and champion a cause or three, researches issues and not shy of speaking her mind. Regardless of "teams" sounds like good candidate material to mme.

  4. A confession: The Magpie created the name for the stutterer - the old bird asks that anyone posting comment try not to be boring with good old anonymous, give yourself a clever (ha!) funny or established name, otherwise - heh, heh, heh - The Magpie will. Or as some occasionally do, you can use your own name, which The Magpie declines to insert, although he often knows the perp of certain comments (like the stutterer). The comments aren't touched unless for possible legal and/or taste reasons. You all know big this column is on taste.