Sunday, December 30, 2012

There's no rest for the wicked, but nevertheless The Magpie is feeling somewhat relaxed just now (as you will see).

But it's Magpie season all year round, so the old bird can't  ignore the wonderful consistency of The Daily Astonisher - a consistency that is less than smooth, and certainly is not free of clots. Right to the dying days of the year, the Bulletin manages to make up stories. 

And can't even agree on facts between themselves.

So to demonstrate HIS consistency, a final swoop from The Magpie in this the final column forn the 2012 at

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Mayor Mullet's has her pants pulled down by the Crime and Misconduct Commission and The Townsville Bulletin drops its tweeds in sympathy - The Magpie introduces a new award, the Mayan Tell Us Another One Memorial Sun Dial, with two of the best thigh-slapping whoppers vying for top prize.

The thought of your mayor minus her dainties is an image not to dwell on, but at least it will make it hard for her pants to catch fire, as they no doubt will.

Allied to the CMC findings that Townsville Council CEO Ray Burton did no wrong is The Bulletin's excellent and unchallengeable claim to yet another Janus Two-Faced BUMM Award -BUMM (Barefaced Un-Mitigated Mendacity).

Down in Canberra,  political opposites - Treasurer Goose and Wingnut -  were vying for the honor of big fat fibber of the month. 

Rupert Murdoch cops the best 'gotcha' of the year for his hypocrisy over American gun laws - Malcolm Turnbull gets him fair in the goolies for his mealy-mouthed posturing.

Also, it's all the fun of the fair for Rupert's minions down in Ogden Street - The Astonisher loses (or as the paper would say 'looses') one of its best, Simpleton said to have chucked a spectacular newsroom tanty over his position with the paper, new senior manager Sue Willis plays sneaky Christmas Scrooge and the prospect of some entertaining cat fights with a new journo lumbering onto the scene.

Look, there's gotta be something in this Christmas stocking for everyone - there's also a couple of very handy hints on gifts and seasonal fitness, all here in the nest at

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The silly season it is, with a first-round winner in the Grapple of the Grubs between Ashby and Slipper - two cabbies, one real the other possibly not - strike it lucky - and The Magpie in love.

Yes, the old bird has fallen under the spell of a raven-haired beauty ... the old bird doesn't often talk about himself, he likes to keep the blog interesting, but since both you readers are like family by now, he will share a pic of her with you in this week's post.

Bentley has his pithy say about the somewhat overlooked aspect of Peter Slipper's alleged shady lifestyle, Typo Gleeson gives us another clear measure of the man with an astounding internal episode down on the Coast -  and will we make it to next Saturday, or will the world come to its predicted end on Friday? You'll be surprised at just who is saying it's all a load of mischievous bollocks, and how they've put their money where their Mayans are.

But if the world is to end next Friday, there is a brief 'must watch' David Attenborough clip, with astounding images that will make it damn bloody shame if we all go down the galactic gurgler - it's a real eyepopper.  All this and other imaginings from the fevered Magpie brow here in this week's nest at     

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A new newspaper for Townsville? - it's only gossip at the moment, but there's a touch of smoke to this rumoured fire - Mayor Mullet a cougar? - she is said to have a new toy boy. Naughty but nice? No, not really, it's platonic and political.

As The Bulletin continues to scythe through what staff are left in the bedraggled Ogden Street bunker, there are interesting rumours of a new paper for Townsville. And there have been several Ogre sightings around the 'Ville ... yes, he's back, for the moment, but it hardly matters, there's not much damage left for him to do.

And this has been a week all about free speech, the threat to it, the possible expansion of it, and the lack of it. Plus Quote of the Week, one of the funniest ever vids of a marriage proposal, and Bentley weighs in with his take on the alarming , true tale of The Magpie losing his warble - the old bird's voice is kaput, possibly for good.

All here in this week's nest at

Saturday, December 1, 2012

It's been a week of bums - literal, metaphorical, people, hash-tagging and ...well ... just an all round bummery, as chronicled in this week's load of ... well ... bumf.

Let's see now - there is an hilarioous but disturbing tale of two extremes: the Ho-Ho-Hos came a month early at the aptly titled Townsville Bully, making merry with a half-arsed, rib-tickling attempt to destabilise the community, but It was also more a case of Oh-Oh-Oh, Ando, in an unfortunate sub-editing boo-boo that made paper's best journeyman journo look like an internal rebel. It is one of the best own goals in a crowded field of same. 

Paul Keating's infamous gibe at John Hewson -  that a souffle doesn't rise twice - has been bettered here in the 'Ville - we can now enjoy the spectacle of a political souffle that hasn't risen once. Yep, serial political pest David I've Been Everywhere Moyle is at it - yawn - again.  

A Mount Rushmore-like monument for Herr Campbell Newman and his political storm troopers is proposed for Queensland.

And yet again, good news is anything but for the mathematically challenged Mayor Mullet.

Plus Quote of the Week, Name of the Week and the most unfortunate Twitter hash tag of all time - your not gunna believe it - all here on the gunao-splattered floor of this week's nest at

Saturday, November 24, 2012

An all round entertaining week - does Ewen Jumbo Jones believe that half his constituents would like the 'death penalty' for those who support gay marriage? - Mayor Mullet gets her own dedicated biblical quote - and on the national stage, looks like Baldrick from Blackadder is on contract to the Australian Government with a cunning plan to import people ... to be unemployed.

Jumbo stumbles into the thickets of English yet again, and we're not sure what we heard.

Townsville Enterprise Limited's  (TEL) AGM and self-stroking luncheon was held on Thursday and was more notable for who wasn't there than who was. It was a very selective guest list. The Magpie discoveres the who and why of it all through a revealing email from Enterrpise House.

And it wouldn't be a week without The Daily Astonisher astonishing us;  there was a big whoopsey of a headline about the paper's favorite son, and there were more than a few cranky cruciverbalists out there who had some cross words about the paper's crossword cock-up. 

All here amongst the detrius on the floor of the nest at

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The smell around Pell - the art of upside down reading - and Mayor Mullet wants the company that cocked up the state health payroll disaster to set up shop in Townsville.

IBM doesn't nickname itself 'The Big Blue' for nought ... big blues don't come much bigger than the health payroll circus which has cost the Queensland taxpayers billions. So does The Magpie detect a lingering odour of Labor past in Mayor Mullet's fluttering of eyelashes at Big Blue's boys in the United States? 

Something is definitely on the nose when Australia's leading Catholic goes into callous boy's-clubbery denial, blaming a media beat-up for the rampant and deliberately hidden child abuse within the church and then implying it's not so bad, others are paedophiles, too. 

To lighten things up a bit, there is a round-up of this week's Media Follies, some great headlines (even two (deliberately) good 'uns from The Astonisher in recent weeks) and doodler Bentley has a timely take on that eclipse. 

We have also turned up an hilarious new take of 50 Shades of Grey - it's all about what goes on in the backyard shed, all here in the nest at

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Jumbo’s jumbled agenda – yes, the Jones boy is at it again – Typo gets a touch-up from Media Watch – the gush-o-meter goes off the dial for the royal circus – and the final frontier: voting in America is only for the brave – and persistent.

Jumbo Jones has again lumbered inappropriately into a policy thicket where he has no place being … but wait, there’s more, as the steak knives man used to say – the Member for Herbert has penned a letter to a constituent in which allows his tortured mind processes to somehow link live sheep exports with Muslims extremists beheading hostages.

And the numbers game: for one Townsville family, their numbers came up, for the Townsville Bulletin – alas – their numbers went down. Again.

All here in this week’s bag of illicit booty in the nest at

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Mayor Mullet becomes a flying fish - the untold story of her parachute jump this week – and a cautionary tale about the pitfalls for twits who use Twitter.

Our cartoonist Bentley takes a big stick to Treasurer Goose, and The ‘Pie poses the question: is Barnaby Joyce a racist? (Is the Pope a … oh, never mind.)

And no matter what the outcome of this week’s US presidential election, Americans have a word for it. 
Also, just in case you missed it, have a look at the last blog posted midweek ... it's a bit of fun.

All this twaddle here in the nest at

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Step up, step up, ladeez and genulmun, and see the Townsville Bulletin’s Max the Amazing Diminishing Dog. No, folks, it is not a gimmick, you will see it with your own eyes – The Daily Astonisher living up to its name.

You’ll have to be quick, though, before it becomes the Vanishing Dog, a paranormal pooch!

And just for a bit of mid-week mischief, the story also contains proof that like most reporters, the author of this amazing story thinks that syntax is what the government charges for a brothel licence.

Overseas, the scandal of entertainer Jimmy Saville's decades-long abuse ... and probably rape ... of under age fans has revolted the entire nation. Naturally, it has prompted many a sick, grubby joke in an area where it is hard to find humour. But there is one exception that The Magpie is willing to share with you.

That, plus a couple of larfs and a couple of random observations in a bonus mid-week nest at

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Astonisher astonishes with a policy against old people having fun - Mayor Mullet leads with her chin to play media favourites, Campbell Newman's 'unplanned' glowing report, and 50 Shades of Grey - The Old Geezer's Edition.

Who woulda believed it – Campbell Newman giving all of Queensland a warm cosy glow this week. But will the Brisbane Bantam push for the next logical step, arguing for the beneficial pulsating glow of cheap nuclear energy here in Australia?

On the local scene, it looks like it's official: The Townsville Bulletin is opposed to the Townsville City Council’s annual Pioneers Lunch for the oldies, ditto the Seniors’ Lunch in the Park, the paper is also aghast that any money is spent on military celebrations attracting hundreds of visitors to Townsville, and suggests in so many words, that money to stage citizenship ceremonies is ‘lavish’ and wasteful.

And Mayor Mullet, long an honorary associate iditor (no error) of The Daily Astonisher,  starts picking media favourites, right royally pissing off the local television reporters.  It’s a fight she could well do without - and so could Townsville.

And just to show that all those ‘old pioneers’ so despised by The Bulletin still have life in them yet, a special ’50 Shades of Grey’ poem for us old geezers. Based on the racy ‘Mummy porn’ dreams of the everyday housewife, this is an anonymous version of ‘50 Shades’, which has raised the moistness meter off the scale in ordinary households around the globe, but be careful, this ode for the oldies could be harmful … you run the risk of dying of laughter.

And just to be different, a caption contest for you, all in here the nest at

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Astonisher scores another hilarious hit in its running gunfight with the English language, and at the same time, tries to dive for cover from a massive volley of criticism prompted by yet another deceitfully untrue and sensationalized BS story.

Speaking of such matters, it hasn’t been a good week for News Ltd in Queensland all round – the Curious Snail looks good for a right old kicking from authorities over it’s blatant and deliberate flouting of laws regarding the identification of minors – the Townsville Bulletin still awaits the outcome of a similar charge against it in a separate court matter – and Typo Gleeson forced to back down big time on the Gold Coast.

Also ... Dumbo Jumbo is at it again – but The Magpie reckons he has a solution for Ewen Jones’s loose lips.

You can also take a peek American election advert you won’t see imitated on Australian telly any time soon – if your of a delicate constitution, cover your ears when Samuel L Jackson harangues the country to … ummm…  come to its senses (not exactly his words).

Also, perhaps the world’s most unfortunate name, a name to conjure with - and belonging to a woman who studies what!!?! And it is all unblushingly true.

All part of this week’s load of great steaming guano catering to your ever exotic tastes at

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Looks like TEL’s Daddy Warbucks Kippin will now have to sing for his supper at the council, but it seems it will be a private recital, not open to the great unwashed (that’s us, folks). Is Messagebank Walker showing early signs of preening for higher office? - and when journo’s fight, the outcome is vicious … side-splittingly hilarious but vicious.

Yep, The Magpie has unearthed a classic rip’n’tear effort sparked by the sexist hoopla in Canberra.

On that matter, Joolya goes from politics before principle to principle before politics to in a matter of minutes … and why an amused Prince Willy grinned and tittered.

All this and, unfortunately, more, all in this week’s nest at

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A tale of two editors, with not-so-hidden agendas here in Townsville, and our old mate Typo Gleeson on the Gold Coast chucks an unprecedented mega-tanty. Capt Snooze arises from his retirement slumbers to plug a Labor candidate for Herbert – but he’s keeping it in the family.

No, no, it’s not Snooze’s delightful legal eagle missus, Janis Mayes … it’s her sister.

In general matters, language lovers can mourn the loss of a couple of words but welcome a very timely new one -  the Ashby-Slipper cat fight prompts the media double entendre of the year –  and is the Minister for Mayors, our own Kid Crisafulli moonlighting in a second long-distance job?

Also, a local News Ltd reporter earns a well justified nickname. It’s all here in this week’s guano-covered nest at

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Townsville City Council decides that everyone must share some pain – except Townsville Enterprise, Kid Crisafulli becomes a fashionista commentator, and our old Townsville judicial jockey Clive Wall socks it to the crims big time down on The Coast - but the Court of Appeal isn’t amused.

Yup, not surprisingly, the man they call Judge Dredd gets a kick in the teeth from the Court of Appeal, but The Magpie muses if it is a kick that may help boot him upstairs.

James Ashby, who is giving new meaning to the term ‘sinking the slipper’ appears to have just done to the Australian taxpayer what he is accused of doing to some young boys in Townsville.   

Kid Crisafulli continues an emerging LNP tradition of modern lifestyle criticism – he’s had an unusual stab at fashion commentary.

And kiss and TEL – Townsville Enterprise bigwigs cosy up to the Townsville Council and manage to get another whacking dollop of ratepayers dosh to keep them in the style to which they’ve become accustomed – that style is rumored to be a penchant for running close to the financial wind.

And those extremist Mulslim meatheads suddenly learn about the law of unintended consequences.

All here in this week’s nest at

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Why all those predictions of a challenge to the Brisbane Bantam’s leadership are just so much flapdoodle - Clive Palmer has a rare lucid moment – and the arrogance of extreme Islam eloquently put in its place by someone who should know.

You will remember last week, we spoke of Republican Party theologians and deep thinkers who insist only a ‘delighted womb’ is able to become the oven in which a bun can be baked for nine months? Well, this week, we learn that if your womb got out of the wrong side of bed this morning and is a bit grouchy and out of sorts, you can trade it in for a spruced-up and perky slightly used one. And this is now a medical reality, and not some political foam-flecked drivel.  

And, speaking of those Republicans and their crackpot theories, you’ll discover why The Magpie, normally a placid old soul wallowing in the comforts of codgerdom, is in a towering rage with the ABC.

And the lie given to the Daily Astonisher's latest feeble attempt to boost its tanking circulation.

All here in this week’s nest at

Saturday, September 15, 2012

It’s getting down and dirty at the Townsville City Council, with Mayor Mullet bunging on a Queen Bee act – and the strange case of when good news is bad news for the mayor.

Just when things looked outwardly mature and all grown up, behind the scenes Jenny Hill has taken her spiteful, self-stroking  and time-wasting feud with her CEO to new lengths.

In state matters, Kid Crisafulli proves to be as good as his word on local government reforms, giving more power to councils, but has he missed an opportunity to save both money and muddles regarding local government elections?    

In world politics, the main game for the moment is over in the Yew Ess of Eh. If you think Canberra – or perhaps Brisbane of late - is the center of the political Whackosphere – especially the singing variety - you may feel the cold comfort that we are but a backwater of fruitcakery when you look at the array of beliefs that the Republicans are harboring – and hope to enact if they can knock off Bazza Obama.

Fair dinkum, if he were up against this lot in a Crackpot Olympics , even Bob Katter with his ‘crocodiles in the ceiling’ climate change explanation, wouldn’t finish in the medals.

And an American school board sweeps up the Nanny State Award of the Decade by telling a three-year-old deaf toddler he has to change his name because of skool rools about weapons.

Seems there’s something for everybody in this week’s nest at

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

On the anniversary of infamy, a bitter moment of reflection for Australia.

There is a sad symmetry to the fact that on this day – September 11 – two of the three soldiers murdered by a turncoat Afghan infiltrator in Australian ranks, are buried.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A question: What’s the difference between a well-done pork chop and our mayoral Mullet Jenny Hill? Nothing much, both have been heavily grilled to the point of turning grey, one on a BBQ, the other by the CMC.

Yup, the heat is on: those cheery chaps and grimly smiling  chapettes from the Crime and Misconduct Commission arrived in town during the week, unpacking their portable car batteries and interrogatory jumper leads to look into charges of bureaucratic impropriety at the Townsville City Council.

All this in a week when Townsville City Council CEO Ray Burton garners a top gong for a job well done.

The ghost of Mooney’s Past momentarily haunts local newsrooms, while another Townsville mover and shaker Rabieh Krayem gets into the national press – for all the wrong reasons; 14 million reasons, actually.

Campbell Newman’s government – seeking to do an Alice Through The Looking Glass with the language – is deserving of an elegant motto for Queensland. The Magpie has the answer.

And in a not entirely unrelated matter, have you seen that deeply weird TV commercial for poo paper?

It’s the usual mix of the sublime and the ridiculous here in this week’s nest at

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Daily Astonisher gets gun-shy on one of its favorite scare-the-pants-off-‘em shock-horror subjects – err, maybe it’s a bit close to home, perhaps? And that old kidder, Mayor Mullet, goes for the laughs.

It’s been a week of questionable quotes and random observations. In the quotes department, there is many a chuckleful memory in the passing of the one of the world’s funniest women – The ‘Pie speaks here not of Mayor Mullet, who at last report is still with us - but of Phyllis Diller. 

Also, the inanity of the week and the insult of the week both go to WA – the first to a Krazy Kapers kopper who made the dopiest collar of all time, and the second to the increasingly unlovable Gina Rinehart, who predictably missed something out on her naughty-list message to Aussies about too much drinkin’ and rootin’ and stuff. 

That will also be an exhibit in our quotes, all of which will be revealed if you take squizz into this week’s nest at

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Hypocrisy Hall of Fame’s special accolade, The Janus Two-Faced BUMM Award was up for grabs again this week, and two of the usual suspects stood out from our local mob of twicers. And one entry could be – literally – deadly.

Have you read about the latest asbestos scare in Townsville? Well, not in the Townsville Bulletin you haven’t, because what is left of the paper’s staff (another 17 sacked this week) has yet again been exposed to deadly asbestos dust. And News Ltd’s cavalier attitude to the potentially fatal situation may attract some official attention. If not, why not?

You may also recall The Magpie’s occasionally bestowed Janus Award, named for the two-faced Roman god. And the BUMM part of it stands for Barefaced Unmitigated Monstrous Mendacity – mendacity being the $50 word for untruthfulness. In other words, lying.

Mayor Mullet made a spectacular grab for the silverware this week with one of her most selective pieces of hypocritical grandstanding. But the current title holder, Lachlan ‘Harry Potter’ Heywood, editor of the Astonisher, wasn’t about relinquish the trophy he currently holds, and made two entries in the BUMM Award in an effort to keep it on his mantelpiece.

And the Dutch seemed to have overlooked the old saying that not every problem requires a regulation or law; you’ll never believe who they’re going to fine now.

If you’re the slightest bit interested in any of this little nest of trinkets, you can peruse the following at

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Like Robinson Crusoe coming across Friday’s footprint, The Magpie is delighted to learn he is not alone – there is another public voice raised against the unethical and downright dishonest behavior of the Daily Astonisher.

The Townsville Bulletin is lurching from ignominy to irrelevance at an ever-increasing pace – and has the plummeting readership and circulation numbers to prove it – but they steadfastly adhere to their unwritten slogan paraphrasing Dame Nellie Melba ‘ write ‘em muck, that’s all they understand’.  Proof follows.

In other matters, have we inadvertently discovered the real cause of violence on Via Vomitorium aka Flinders Street East? No, not booze, or drugs or the low IQ booze hounds (and houndettes) of our fair city, the answer is – well, you’ll never guess – so against your better instincts, you may have to read on.

And it’s time to stop Jumbo bashing – yep, Ewen Jones MP shows his humanitarian side.

And cartoonist Bentley believes there are some refugees just too-too, or at least tu-tu, eager to get to Townsville around about now, and take up Jumbo Jones' multi-cultural week exhortation to come and stay with us.

It’s all here at

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Mayor Mullet does a Mal Brough with some third party urging in her continuing attack on TCC CEO Ray Burton. But has she been too clever by half?

One thing is for sure – Jenny Hill’s vaulting ego is bringing Townsville into disrepute big time.

Take time to consider the following statement. It’s an excerpt from an email sent by Ray Burton to councilors on Tuesday morning, an email replying to disparaging remarks from Moreton Bay mayor Allan Sutherland quoted in The Bulletin that morning.

Quote: ‘One thing is certain – my reputation has now been damaged to the point where I would have difficulty getting a job in any other local government, even if I wanted to.’ Unquote

What, The ‘Pie hears you ask, is that swishing sound? Folks, that’s the sound of Townsville City Council CEO Ray Burton starting to unlace the gloves he appears about to pull off.

This grubby tale of mayoral hubris and self-interest - more befitting of a suburban Labor branch back-biting power struggle than the community’s top civic body - deserves a mid-week Magpie, and it’s here at   

Monday, August 13, 2012

Vale Ron Hinds 1958-2012

It is with great sadness – and shock – that I learnt this morning of the sudden death of my mate Ron Hinds.

I am told that Ron, the principal of Hinds Lawyers in Walker Street, collapsed in his office this morning and despite desperate efforts to assist him, he died soon afterwards.

Ron, who was 54, underwent open-heart surgery last year, but he never let that slow him down or dim his generous nature and willingness to take the fight forward for his wide cross section of clients.

Indeed, Ron wore his heart on his sleeve when it came to his clients, many of whom he represented for no fee, explaining ‘Well, someone’s got to look after them’. Although universally respected and liked by those who knew him, it is fair to say that if any group was irritated and sometimes openly annoyed with Ron, it was the magistrates before whom he appeared – Ron was famous for not taking a backward step on behalf of those he represented, sometimes sailing close to the judicial wind when it came to his uncompromising advocacy. And that’s all to his credit, as far as I’m concerned. I reckon many a magistrate will be just as sad at as anyone with this news … Ron certainly livened up their sometimes humdrum days for them.

The tradition of Friday night social drinks at Ron’s offices opposite the courthouse attracted one of the most diverse crowds to gather in Townsville, truly a cross section of the good, the bad, the ugly, former clients, the rich and the poor alike, with many of his fellow professionals dropping by as well just plain old friends. These nights always featured lively conversation, lots of legal tall tales and constant laughter. To my knowledge, there was nary a cross word on any occasion, and these regular get-togethers never degenerated into mindless drink-a-thons, everyone was too busy with happy socializing.
Ron with his friend Carole Hart, with whom he swapped art. 

Ron, who was proudly indigenous, was a gentle, shambling ‘bear of a man’ and he came late to the law. He drove cabs in Townsville to put himself through law school – and even doing that, he frequently displayed that generosity of spirit, picking up friends in his mini-van taxi and refusing payment because they were his friends, and just as often, letting off the needy who couldn’t pay, which he usually did without anger and with his trademark understanding.

It is sadly ironic that Ron paid his way into the law by driving, but his surgery last year put an end to his driving, including long, regular hauls out west Mt Isa and Doomagee. That task over the past year had fallen to his close mate and professional colleague, barrister Mark ‘Sludge’ Donnelly, to whom I offer my sincere condolences.

So many people from so many walks of life will miss Ron – I certainly will - but we will be all happy to know that we shared in a life so well spent.

Vale, Ron.  

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Mayor Mullet goes the big whinge and as a result, could now be in legal strife. And The Astonisher could be in the poo with her.

And that ‘secret’ report Mayor Mullet accused her CEO of withholding from her? A report that allegedly may have found the necessary savings to allow the populist promises of a fiscal incompetent to be passed by council?  The Magpie will tell you a few things that The Astonisher and cub reporter Anthony Simpleton won’t.

But ever worth a larf, the paper’s addled on-line presence raised a few chortles this week.

There were also a couple of great headlines over the last few days, and Bentley weighs in with one of his best biting cartoons ever, so it’s a mixed bag in this week’s nest at www.townsvillemagpie     

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Mullet does Malta – athletes in London apparently do each other (but safely) – and the latest lamentable chapter in the Townsville Bulletin’s history of hypocrisy.

The Mullet grabs a quick holiday in her ancestral homeland, and she can thank Anna Bligh for the extra costs incurred to have a well deserved break.

And, are you starting to think that some of the world’s star athletes in the London Olympics are looking a bit shagged? That may well be because that’s exactly what they may have been before they reach the public field of battle – shagged in its lusty sense. The ‘Pie reports on a clever and humorous marketing coup – and astounding product generosity - by Games sponsor Durex, the condom people. The company’s marketers realized early on that not all the tumbling and floor routines happen in the gymnastics hall. They figured that the greatest playing field of all was the Olympic village itself.

We also look at a couple of great headlines on another matter related to the big event.

Back home, it is Townsville Council budget day next Friday and  Mayor Mullet will be back in town, refreshed and ready to face reality, after a hurried break in Malta. The Magpie will scotch one rumor being put about that Jenny’s jaunt has further delayed the budget. Exactly the opposite is true.

And a rat’s tale – the tiresome art of the practical joke is unfortunately still alive here in the ‘Ville. Or is it? It’s all here in this week’s nest at

Saturday, July 28, 2012

It’s been a week of piss-poor politics all round, but it isn’t hard to choose the Goof of the Week Award – yet again, it is a lay-down misère for our own Jumbo Dumbo, Ewen Jones He’s the federal member for Herbert – for the moment.

Yup, the Jones boy collects the gong for his latest jaw-dropper – an extraordinarily arrogant attack on child care workers, a blast that goes well away from party policy and has infuriated several party poohbahs who are certain to yet again have to carpet their loose cannon.

It is just the latest in a running string of cringe-worthy antics from a bloke who just doesn’t get it. The gory details of this latest in elitist twerpery follows.

And hey gals, how’s your whohoo? Your  froofroo? Perhaps the inquiry should be about your hooha, or perhaps your nooni?  Even, gawd help us, your Aunt Kitty? To use a low-rent Americanism , this is a fascinating tale about two tails … the first about the disputed use of the word ‘vagina’ in an Australian TV ad , and the second, in Britain,  about the swift kick in the euphemism provoked by a similar ad over there  because it used anything but the word vagina.  The ‘Pie has the whole story in this week’s nest.

All here in the nest at

Saturday, July 21, 2012

It’s show and tell time for TEL – Townsville Enterprise boss David Kippin is about to take his begging bowl to Townsville Council for his annual dollop of ratepayers’ gruel. But will his struggling organization become a victim of the local and state Razor Gangs?

Yep, the Daddy Warbucks of Townsville Enterprise is probably a worried man right now – the old saw that comes to mind is ‘as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs’. Perhaps with good reason.

In other matters, the Nanny State Award of the Week goes to those horse racing authorities who rule on suitable names for the neddies – another case of not quite having a handle on the English language, or common sense.

It was a case of pride going before a fall for one Astonisher journo recently ... and, of all things, we look at the capsules that time forgot … the week’s most curious story concerns Rule Number One for time capsules – it is more or less important – nay crucial – that you remember where you buried the bloody things. You’ll be surprised how many people don’t. And both you readers are invited to nominate what should be included in a Townsville time capsule if it was buried now.

All that plus Bentley uncovers a cunning pensioner plan to improve their lot, all here in this week’s nest at

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Breakthrough! Mayor Mullet and Vern Shogun Veitch show a united front to smack down – would you believe – the Townsville Bulletin. And they did a good job of it, too.

Yes, the Daily Astonisher’s blatant beat-up and childishly posturing editorial about the council budget went one fantasy too far, and forced a comical climb down the next day.

And The ‘Pie takes a squizz at some of the more amusing moments in sporting commentary of the past week, including what must be the most hilarious mixed metaphor of the year. It’s all here in a mid-week nest at

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Is it now Mullet the Mystic? Was our mayor channeling Sir john Kerr and his memorable Melbourne Cup presentation of 1977, with her performance at the V8s last weekend? Some people seem to think so. The Magpie doesn’t.

No, no, NO, you’ve got it all wrong!

It has been unkindly and, for this bird’s money, inaccurately rumored  that Mayor Mullet was – to use the pommy vernacular – tired and emotional as a newt at the end of Saturday and Sunday’s vehicular diversions. The ‘Pie will reveal his cunning theory about this whole brouhaha, something the blokes have missed through their own uncaring male chauvinism.

Speaking of mayors and chauvinism, we’ll briefly visit a very brave council boss in Germany, who has created ‘men only’ parking spaces in the council garage … and why the frauleins love him for it.

We also take a gander at where some of our defeated pollies are occupying themselves these days.

It’s all here in this week’s nest at  

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Fatman versus The Hatman – the battle for Kennedy that will almost certainly never happen. And the V8 SuperPests will entertain some of us this weekend, but it’s the financial finagling at the back of the garage that will get hearts racing.

Yup, it’s the Townsville Fibbing 400 that’s starting to create more friction than the tyres on the starting grid. Some are starting to ask what is the real extent to which we are being ripped off as a city.  Or, put somewhat poetically, while the boys behind the wheel make a dashing team,  it’s the men behind the deal who have our dosh and should come clean. (With apologies to all you poetry lovers out there in Vincent.)

Plus a look at that astounding moment when our Trade Minister stripped a gear and startled everybody into thinking he was having a grand mal seizure on camera when he was actually trying to err, well … sing. But The ‘Pie reckons Craig Emerson has a reason for making us cringe … it’s a reason that has greatly exercised Bentley’s pen this week. It’s all here in the nest at

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Why Mayor Jenny The Moaning Mullet Hill is not only proud to be an adopted Queenslander, but also very, very lucky to be one. And in the week that News Ltd sacked its Townsville sub-editors, hilarious poetic justice strikes the paper.

Oh, indeedy, The Astonisher’s editor accidently pricks his own pomposity with one of the best own goals of the year..

But it’s not just The Astonisher having adventures in language  - sources as diverse as Clive James and an unnamed ABC reporter have been having their merry way with words , too.

Larry Pickering explains Gina Rinehart’s desire for seats on the board of Fairfax,
a mind-blowing property deal in the UK, and Bentley continues his sporting theme when summing up the week in Townsville City Council’s inner sanctum, all here in the nest at

Monday, June 25, 2012

Can it be true - The Ogre is no more in Townsville? And if so, will it make any difference?

Word is that Michael Wilkins - the Ogre of Ogden Street - has completed his slash and burn Fly In Fly Out tasks here in Townsville and has been relocated back to Sydney.

A couple of other News Ltd appointments in Queensland are vying for the Irony of the Week award.

Details here is a brief Magpie Extra at

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Smack down in Walker Street - will a fed up Ray Burton ask council for a vote confidence on Tuesday.

And News Ltd’s Kim William’s callous water torture – a restructure drip by drip that will make it bye-bye Bully – as we know it. We’ll look at wither the Astonisher – a hot topic stirring up apathy in a disaffected community.

A new name for the Sydney Morning Herald? And for a Victorian town.

And some interesting pics from the animal world showing how Paul Keating got it wrong (what, again?) and an amazing shot of a cuckoo finding an unlikely nest at Dairy Farmers Stadium.

Clever boy Bentley yet again sums up the main yarn with a picture telling a thousand words, all here in the nest at

Statement of Council CEO Ray Burton

NOTE: If you are reading this post before the other one published  simultaneously today, it is an expansion on a matter discussed in the blog 'Smack down in Walker Street'

Townsville Council CEO Ray Burton's statement in reply to Mayor Jenny Hill's public attack on him.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

We discover that The Mullet remains a party girl … always has been, actually – and why many people think the Minister for the Environment can’t even spell his own name.

Also, a wonderful and timely new word for our modern language - an astonishing bit of public bullying by The Townsville Bulletin – and our deputy mayor unleashed!

If any of that floats your boat, hop into the nest at

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Mayor Mullet gets her moneyman – but not the one she wanted and one that no one expected – and a startling bit of attempted illegal bureaucratic bullying can be revealed in of all places, Charters Towers.

Also, the Nanny Staters have been at their absolute best (means worst) in the past week, both here in good old Oz and in Pommyland, where public servants have been hauled over the coals for celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee. Here ast home. it’s the heavy handed Swimming Australia officials joining the boo-hoo brigade - resident cartoonist Bentley chimes in on that one, all here in the nest at

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Forget Craig Thomson (if only we could), the burning political question is: should we fear for Mayor Mullet’s mental health? And the Miracle of Ogden Street – The Daily Astonisher pulls off a unique world first.

As a general rule, you can spot a political loser when they say things like ‘these people must stop playing politics’. Then you know the game is up, because Politics IS a game. But then so is Russian Roulette, and both can have catastrophic results.

While Mayor Jenny The Moaning Mullet Hill continues her wrestle with reality, The Astonisher continues to wrestle with the meaning of certain words. Maybe the subs are distracted by an ominous-sounding diktat due to be delivered from Sydney HQ later this week. Are more heads about to roll at paper? The ‘Pie will crystal-ball it.

Also, what Bentley thinks of the demeaning hoopla in Canberra during the week, all here in the nest at

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Mullet gets her man – albeit a recycled Mooney man. And have we seen the start of a ‘jobs for the boys’ political payback from the LNP, too? There are some juicy appointments floating about the place, but will the right people get them?

We also look at the inventive language of The Daily Astonisher aka the Townsville Bulletin – not content with making up stories, now the Ogden Street munchkins are making up language.

And that wicked doodler Bentley has a new – and most appropriate – nick-name for Premier Newman (hmmm, Premier Newman…  somehow, still doesn’t sound right, does it?), and a couple of eye-boggling headlines from the around the place, all in here in the nest at

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Townsville gets a Shogun, a powerful figure behind the ceremonial mayoral throne - and on the national scene, Bill ’The Short ‘Un’ Shorten’s strange attempts to short-circuit rumors of an affair only cranks up the voltage,

Yes, as predicted, it appears the Ego has crash-landed in Walker Street with Jenny The Moaning Mullet Hill losing her very first power play as mayor, just an hour after being sworn in. The Magpie ponders on a situation which, looking at the next four years, reminds him of Bette Davis’s famous line ‘Fasten your seatbelts, it going to be a bumpy night’.

What Bill Shorten didn't say .... 

And those racy teases - the accidental on-air naughtiness of  ABC radio.

All here with other stuff in this week’s nest at

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Mullet’s mangled maths – the M word mystifying the Daily Astonisher is ‘mandate’. And Treasurer Goose accidentally tells a truth.

And there has been some intriguing scrabbling behind the political skirting boards as crucial horse-trading for the powerful deputy doo-dah’s position on the TCC shows all the potential to turn nasty.

And how Townsville dodged a business bullet – big time – the latest chapter in Craig Gore’s rorting career was played out in court yesterday.

Also Bentley is at his brilliant best when he sums up the week’s main story, that of the Battler’s Budget.

All here with other bits of inconsequential blather in this week’s nest at

Saturday, May 5, 2012

This week, The Magpie talks of fellow creatures great and small, of lame ducks and mullets, of dark horses and of a certain dumbo jumbo.

So, it seems the ego has landed in Walker Street and The Mullet’s Mayoralty has (unofficially) started, but will she be a lame duck mayor? The behind-the-scenes power tussle that really counts has only just begun, as the conservative councillors start jockeying for the now all-powerful position of deputy doo-dah.  


In other matters, Federal boof-in-residence Herbert MP Ewen Jones still fails to grasp the First Rule Of Holes: when you’re in one, stop digging. But The ‘Pie lets him have his say.

And in the Told Ya So Department, The ‘Pie modestly refers readers to his idle speculation made a couple of weeks ago about the Slipper/Ashby affair: was it a set-up from the start? Looking more like it.

All this, and a beaut Bentley cartoon to boot, in this week’s nest

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Who is going to be the REAL mayor of Townsville? Won’t be he Mullet, that’s for sure. And The Magpie’s occasional Rat With A Gold Tooth award for barefaced and stupid political treachery goes to our federal MP Ewen Jones.

The Townsville version of the tribe that lost its head raises a lot of questions  – that is, Dale Last’s tribe will have a handsome conservative majority on council, but by the looks of things right now, Dale himself won’t be there. The ‘Pie looks at the intriguing implications.

And The Astonisher’s losing battle with getting names correct has continued, but this time, what hope when even the editor can’t get a well-known name right?

All here in this special edition of mid-week drivel at

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Has the CEO of the Townsville City Council labelled Jenny Hill a liar? Seems so.

The harsh term ‘liar’ isn’t used directly in the dignified officialese, but in an 11th hour intervention, council boss Ray Burton sent an urgent email to councillors around 7am yesterday (Friday) morning, flatly contradicting a claim about rate rises made by Jenny Hill in the Townsville Bulletin that morning.

The ‘Pie also looks at the mayoral race itself, and how things might pan out, in a poll that  Mongrel the Barrister  calls ’the battle for the best of a bad lot’.

And yet another Magpie exclusive: while The Bulletin desperately looks for some – any!! - Townsville connection to the Peter Slipper affair, the paper seems to have missed the fact that Slippery Pete went to school here.

Of course, Bentley is at his best, looking at the local government scene and summing up a poll-weary public’s feelings about it all. This week’s guano-dripping nest at

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sinking the slipper in: there’s something decidedly queer about ex-Townsvillean James Ashby’s claims of sexual harassment against Slippery Pete Slipper – and The 'Pie's risks all his credibility (small risk) gives tips on the council poll.

Did you know that Slipper accuser James Ashby is a former Townsville gadabout? You do now. There certainly are a few unasked questions about the former Townsville business manager and radio staffer’s private court bid for compo dollars. And The Magpie asks those questions.

Pickering has his needle-sharp say in that area.

On the local government front, The ‘Pie rolls out his electoral crystal ball, and makes a few rash predictions about winners and losers.

And a broader but brief look at April 25, Anzac Day.

All here in this special mid-week nest at

Saturday, April 21, 2012

All of a sudden, a consensus candidate for mayor steps up and impresses – want a date with The Mullet? - and Campbell Newman: Tinkerbell or Mary Poppins?

Also, The Astonisher demonstrates the danger of the unwise adjective, and the paper’s beat-up story about Mad Max Tomlinson’s gender ravings at least scores one of the best headlines for yonks.

And making compo money out of getting bonked on the head while bonking - a Nanny State special. Bentley and pickering also have their say.

All here in the nest at

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Bobby Brown Buggers Off, but look who we’ve got now. And just when you thought Les Messagebank Walker had mended his ways … our phonephobic mate does it again – officially.

And The Magpie has some very interesting questions for mayoral wanabee Jeff Jimmieson, who is openly advocating we become Shabbyville.

The Magpie invites Mr Jimmieson to respond to some pertinent concerns raised by some about his suitability to represent and help run this city as it’s mayor.

And if you think local government is crazy around here, have a look what the mayor of a small Spanish town has come up with – in a world class Nanny State edict, this El Joker has devised a politeness and behavior charter which, if introduced here, would have every single Townsvillean fined, locked up or put in the stocks (slurping soup loudly and picking one’s beak … err, nose … are just two of the new fine-attracting rules).

And the good old Astonisher gets itself in a tangle over sloppy handling of letters, both those to the editor and those of the good old garden variety in news stories.

All here in this week’s overflowing nest (you know what it’s overflowing with) at

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Mooney and The Mullet: a heartwarming tale of friendship restored? Plus why the new boss at Townsville Enterprise is off the Christmas list of some big business boys.

We also look at the latest from the Nanny State, which now wants to ban a whole lexicon of 'upsetting' words that teachers can use in front of kiddiewinks … one is the word ‘birthday’.

The Magpie has a different angle on the fuss over the scrapping of the Premier’s Literary Awards, and resident doodler Bentley laments a depleted field in Townsville’ mayoral race, all here in the nest at 

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Kid Crisafulli hits the big time, and The Green's Bob Brown does it just for larfs.

Yup, Bob The Undertaker’ Brown has a stab at stand-up comedy (pretty successfully – hilarious stuff), and The Brisbane Bantam quickly demonstrates what you can do with a massive majority.

On the local scene, the mayoral race turns into a pinball game, with candidates zinging and pinging off the issue of a new convention center.

It’s all here in an overloaded nest at

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Mid-week Magpie looks back on Labor’s train wreck – and muses over some local government implications, one of which has already happened.

Also, Aussie politics has offered a rich vein of chortles when it comes to the names of those boarding, or trying to board, the gravy train (remember Abbot and Costello suing Bob Ellis about alleged sexual hanky panky as students).  So The ‘Pie has decided to have some old fashioned fun with some of the names of candidates across Queensland – an item which carries a very heavy warning ‘PUN AND WEAK JOKE ZONE’.

And we have a farewell song for Anna – all here in this bonus offering of guano from the nest at

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Time for a singalong. Let's go this day with that old favorite "Now is the hour, when we must say goodbye ....'

The Magpie is sure the Kiwis won't mind us using their dreary little ditty as a celebratory melody, as it is predicted the Queensland voters will provide a soaring chorus of the same sentiment as they trundle off to the polls this fateful day.

But we all surely must have a question mark in our minds about a certain outcome, and resident cartoonist Bentley is worth a thousand words.

But 'Now is the hour ... et-bloody- cetera' - could also be dreared out for The Magpie himself, as he makes his shameful confession of the secret funding he has been receiving for this blog - a reveleation that may well be the end of the road for this whole load of weekly drivel.

Also, a truish  (well, read shaggy dog) story about the Cut Snake Party's non-candidate The Mad Katter and his campaign visit to an old folks home - and The Magpie's exclusive revelation of a rare medical condition afflicting one of our most maligned minorities about which the Federal Government has shamefully neglected to inform us - the swine.

If you can be bothered, it's all here in the nest at

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Suddenly the Flood Inquiry finding makes this a good election to lose for Labor … and a poisoned chalice for the Brisbane Bantam (or whoever is second best in the LNP).

Yacht builders and helipad installers are rubbing their hands in glee.

Because class action flood claims will have legal bods ordering up new spinnakers, even new yachts or maybe even a modest chopper or two with the juicy prospect of the government (read taxpayers)  forking out squillions for the Blight Government's incompetence.

In other matters of the week, choosing the right word isn’t always easy – The Moaning Mullet chose a four letter one, Seven 'Local' News was a block away from the right one, but The Bulletin and Jeff Jimmieson beat them all, getting their word 100% wrong on the front page yesterday.

And a confused Cuddlepie makes a mysterious pronouncement on the subject of entertainment centers. It’s all here, in the latest nest at

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Council hopeful Colin Edwards pulls himself out of the race for TCC, and forget about Bob The Builder, up this way, we can boast our own Bob The Bludger.

Prospective independent Colin ‘Sweethearts’ Edwards will not be nominating for Townsville City Council.

Colin tells the Magpie he is disillusioned with what he sees as the prevailing cult of personality at all levels of community service, and the complete lack of reasonable community debate about issues of inclusivity. He made his decision in the wake of this week’s events involving ‘the emphasis on personalities and not issues’.

Now, a general statement of the Magpie’s sticky-beaking.   

Because of the pace that things are happening in these extraordinary political times, The Magpie apologises but feels it necessary to inflict himself upon you a little more frequently than just on Saturdays. So, for the moment,  the old bird will ramble on when the idiocy at large prompts him to do so. Like now.

Right now, the letter du jour is B – it stands for, inter alia,  bludger, bat, and befuddled, – and we’re only halfway through the political week.

The Mad Katter admits he’s on the bludge by shirking his place in Canberra – where he’s paid to be -  but said on radio twice this week that he’s useless down there. So he’s  devoting his federal time to a state campaign in which he is not a candidate. More on that shortly, as well as a candidate for the ‘Bob The Bludger‘s Party’ making a startling admission (almost).

Also, Cuddlepie Wallace, earns not a B but a C word for a bumbling attempt to play the man and not the ball in Thuringowa.

Unless you suffer from another C word – Coulrophobi, the fear of clowns - read on about it in this midweek nest at

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Now there doesn’t seem to be any doubt - Craig Cuddlepie Wallace wants to lose this election. And for good reason.

You’d be excused for believing that Cuddlepie is vying for a spot on the Olympic gymnastics team.  Although we have been spared the spectacle of the Minister for Mean Roads donning some frilly-hemmed powder-blue  lycra outfits from an Olga Corbett garage sale, the breath-taking back-flipping, running and tumbling this week would make him a shoo-in for London.

The ‘Pie will explain why there are compelling financial arguments and compelling evidence that he wants out.

On the local front, there is a completely overlooked factor in all the financial flapdoodle about Townsville’s proposed combined entertainment/basketball/rugby league/CWA Bake-off Kitchen/Thread and Thimble Club crocheting rooms and Convention Centre. There’s one player who hasn’t been mentioned, but who could hold the key to the whole project’s viability.

And in the latest Nanny State files, the rule that says – this is true, you can read about it - British emergency workers can’t work in water more than ankle deep resulted in more than a dozen 'emergency workers' standing by watching a man drown in a metre-deep pond of still water. (No kidding).

And the Aussie wuss who has beaten whingeing Poms at their own game – all the way to the European Courts. It’s all here in this week’s nest at