Saturday, January 14, 2012

Has Typo Gleeson returned to The Astonisher and is working in the paper’s bean counter’s back office? Seems so. And the dos and don’ts, the cans and can’ts of bumper sticker campaigning.

The Spanish have a saying ‘Don’t speak unless you can improve on the silence’.

Well, folks, it’s time to move to Spain, the cacophony of a Queensland election is about to descend upon us; the Cackling Crap-O-Meter will be off the scale for the next few weeks.  

The Magpie reckons there will be little in deliberate humour to be had as the mud merrily sails hither and yon, but he has found one little gem for you as the campaign kicks off.

Humour also hides itself in the most unexpected of places before leaping out at you and yanking open its gabardine overcoat to give you a full frontal chortle. So this week, The ‘Pie was really caught off-guard when he was rollicked by none other than the Daily Astonisher aka the Townsville Bulletin. And not just in their news pages.

All that and other drivel, right here in the nest at

The drums are beating, the spin doctors have switched up to hydro-electric mode and candidates are quaffing a spine-stiffening Courvoisier with their cornflakes. No need to drink tea and read the leaves, for there are two unassailable indictors that we are in for an early election – significantly, an election that will fall before the local government bunfight.

Indicator one: Anna Blight has called a full caucus meeting for tomorrow (Sunday 15), and folks, they won’t be chatting about gay marriage or lying about the Bruce Highway. (Err, hang on, might be wrong about the latter.)

But even more damning evidence of an approaching poll – David The Kid Crisafulli is reliably reported to have started to clean out his deputy doo-dahs desk at Walker Street and has been caught studying the street map of Mundingburra.

A digression: in the bizarre humour stakes, how is this for a scenario – The Kid wins, the LNP decide to shut us up by making him Minister for Local Government and then Jenny The Moaning Mullet Hill sweeps into the Townsville mayoralty (oh, do these merry japes never end?). That would leave us with the situation that a mayoral Mullet would have to deal with her former arch-rival on council for any scraps from the George Street table. Or, such is her hubris, she would no doubt believe HE would have to deal with HER. More on Madame Mullet shortly, Madame being a form of address used for ‘women of exotic occupation, such as fortunetellers’.

LNP's Deb Frecklington. Joh's successor in Nanango?
For what it’s worth, the latest LNP polling – about four days old - has some interesting forecasts: Campbell Newman will skate home in Ashgrove, and Robbie Katter, who, as mentioned here before, seems to have missed the lunacy gene and is apparently keeper of the family marbles, will have a strong win for his Dad’s Cut Snake Party in Mt Isa. But that’s where the good news ends for the Katteronics, with star recruit and former so-so cricketer Carl Rackemann being no-balled in Nanango, going down to the interestingly named lawyer Deb Frecklington. That should make former Nanango holder Joh a happy corpse. 

And the LNP polling takes on a jaunty note of grim satisfaction in predicting the LNP defector Aidan McLindon, now a Cut Snake, is expected to go down in Beaudesert quicker that a Pakistani cricketer on the take. 

A traditional election sideshow, The Battle of The Bumper Stickers has already started in Brisbane and first points clearly go to Labor with the little eyepopper Can Do Is A Cant. Hopefully a deep vein of yukyukkery can be mined in this department and if either of you readers wish to conjure up some amusing bauble, drop it into The ‘Pie at

Speaking of pore speling, surely it can’t be that Typo has been recognised as a dud editor and has been demoted to the billing department? That was the first thought to this bird’s brain when he received a merry little missive in the mail during the week. It was an invoice from North Queensland Newspapers, which, while almost starkly devoid of particulars, demanded an astonishing $1500 for three pix used by The Magpie in a previous driveling diatribe. The words ‘blood’ and ‘stone’ immediately sprang to mind of this pensioner.

Not coincidentally, that particular blog revealed Michael The Ogre of Ogden Street Wilkins unethically brown-nosing Jupiters boss Sean Knights by ordering editorial staff to pull a front page splash about a drug raid on the hotel. The story was buried deep inside the generally unread newspaper.

But what has all this to do with Typo? Well, as you can see, he fits the bill because the writer seems somewhat wobbly in the spelling department.

Even when the Bully tries to bully, it just can’t seem to get even that write … err, right. As to the rights (or writes) and the wrongs of the issue – which are hard to judge for lack of meaningful detail – just why The Astonisher or indeed, any News Ltd publication, would want to open this particular can of worms right now throws one into deep contemplation. If they want the subject of copyright and suitable payments argued in court, there will be a few very interested local professionals in the public gallery. Perhaps even a few farther afield.

There will be more on this issue as it proceeds … if it does. The ‘Pie is of the opinion that the bare-bones nature of the invoice (The ‘Pie will be seeking enlightenment during the week) makes one think that The Ogre will be furious, one way or the other.

How come? Well, it’s a fair bet that Mickey Wilkins spends a fair amount of time crooning over hot coals as he roasts a leaden Magpie doll in the flames before, with a fiendish laugh, he inserts red hot knitting needles into the melting figurine. 

But he may have a new target after all this.

You see, The ‘Pie idly wonders if some half-baked smart arse decided it would be a jolly wheeze to put the wind up the old bird, and has pulled down a pro forma from the News Ltd intranet, tapped in some fanciful amount in and whizzed it off to the nest. Using official letterhead for this purpose would no doubt have The Ogre in stitches – of apoplexy - as this blog has so many times over the past year. 

But who would do such a thing, if this surmise is correct? The Magpie has no idea, but he reckons the junior mouseketeer masquerading as the paper’s Chief of Stuff, one Lendl Ryan, should make an urgent investigation. Here is he is posing with a clown ( Lendl's the one on the right).

Which neatly brings us back to Madame Mullet, and the very selective manner in which The Townsville Bulletin chooses to report news (ever Fair, Accurate and Balanced – FAB in other words).

Recently, an Astonisher reporter was present at a TCC council meeting when The Mullet was asked that if, as she has claimed, she knows where she can save the council $9 million (this claim made as an mayoral election promise) why she didn’t immediately let the council know so they could immediately go about their job of acting in the interests of the ratepayers and immediately start implementing the cost savings. In fact, she was asked twice, and each time, there was a mumbling, fumbling answer about ‘my strategy’ and ‘you wouldn’t believe me anyway’ 'fullness of time' and other bits of evasive waffle.

In other words, she had no answer.

This little tableau raises two a very serious questions. The first is how come, Mullet m’dear, you know how to save all this money, but won’t tell the council, all the while sitting on your ever-expanding bronzer earning a lazy $100k plus  per year of ratepayers’ dosh as a representative of said ratepayer, for whom your heart so gushingly bleeds?

The second, and in a way, far more serious question, is why did the Townsville Bulletin … in the form of Lendl Ryan … decline to print this council story? The Chief of Any Old Stuff was contacted about the issue by other prominent council members, but, nahhh, not interested, ‘not really a story, mate’. Yet again, all the news that‘s fit to print but isn’t.

But there are some remnants of good journalism left among the cadets and self-promoting urgers,  most of whom wouldn’t know a column if it jumped up and bit them on the coit.

Old stager and Magpie mate (well, once was, don’t know anymore) John Andersen has always been a topnotch scribe. Often with a sly sense of humour.

This week, Ando, a former Katter spin doctor,  wrote a bright little piece about The Moaning Mullet’s alleged agenda, if elected mayor, to scythe her way through council staff, especially those she believes had been unhelpful in the past few years.  The prose is purple, with Mayor Jenny (yeah, like that’s gonna happen) sacking council staff willy nilly, ‘firing squads’ etc. All in all, a jolly little piece of twaddle … which Ando, no dunce he, knows is twaddle.

It must be strongly pointed out that these were just ‘fears’ of unnamed others, and Jenny was not quoted, directly or otherwise.

No, this was just Ando’s way of having an anti-Mullet shot in a paper still hugely biased towards The Mullet and her Labor predecessors. You see, Ando well knows that the only public servant that the council can hire or fire is the CEO, who currently is Ray Burton.  He is the one who decides who deserves the heave-ho, not the mayor or council.

So how do we know Ando’s having a little dog-whistling jest with his readers?

Because Ray Burton has two years to run on his contract, but in six months, will take be confirmed as the President of the AUSTRALIAN Local Government Association, a huge feather in the cap for Townsville. Ray will follow in the footsteps of people like his equivalent in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. Like to see The Mullet, or anyone else, try to fire him.

Ando, mate, if you weren’t being so mischievous – as The ‘Pie knows you were – this story would deserve being deposited in one of your much-beloved ‘long drop’ dunnies at an outback race course of your choosing.

A couple of finishing notes. McGeorge Colbran will NOT be running for the mayoralty, or as a councillor.  He confirmed this yesterday to the old bird, but added with a chortling afterthought, ‘well not at this stage, anyway’. Ever the pollie, but a wise decision to stay out of this mudfest.

And Dale Last's confusingly-named Townsville First team will be announced next Friday morning. Unfortunately, the clever team name gives rise to confusion about the Bible's Mathew 20:16, which decrees ' the last will first and the first will be last'.  

Good luck to the electoral scrutineers. 

Enough now, it is away to Poseurs’ Bar, where the old bird will take a sounding of the bebubbled young lasses (a sort of ‘moll poll’) and canvas the likelihood of his getting up. He hopes to hear at least one suggest to this old journo ‘ You’ll do, you’re an all-write guy’.  



  1. Jeff Jimmieson in this mornings Bulletin, "This council was elected on the platform of reducing rates....... " ...Jeff Jimmieson is a liar!! That is simply not true! I await Les Tyrell's response.
    Jenny Hill has already shown a complete ignorance of fiscal responsibility by saying "we have found $9 million budget savings".
    Warning to Dale Last.... don't fall into the trap of matching lies or idiotic promises with the other two candidates at your launch!!

  2. The Townsville Bulletin have always taken images from me without payment. Even on occasions when Payment was indicated to be a "sure thing". How funny that the Bully are so scared of you. I mean, the Pie is about the only thing in Tsv reporting REAL NEWS. lol Keep up the awesome reporting and news gathering Bird !

  3. 'Pie, You have successfully whetted my appetite for the Queensland election, which The Australian has been covering, but not with your wit and "sailing close to the Defamation Sea" info. Look forward to reading more. Also, thanks for the email and will answer it today. Been a bit busy. Cheers, Gonzo.

  4. MAGPIE You did not make any mention of political pest and media hound Paul Jacob leaving the FOREST GUMP GROUP TO FURTHER HIS OWN ENDS . I UNDERSTAND THE MULLET DIDN'T WANT HIM IN TEAM HILL would you ///

  5. Actually it is true - I kept a list of all the promises Les Tyrell made at the last election and he definately promised to reduce rates

  6. Everyone copies and pastes pix. Times must be tough if the Bulletin want to screw a poison pen pensioner.! As for the the mickey mouse puppet.... I've seen Mickey and his friend dancing in the strip club on Flinders.

  7. Who's "the Mickey Mouse Puppet"?

    1. The one seen watching the lap dancers on Flinders St. I'm not sure about big ears.

  8. Bumper stickers:

    Wallace the minister for Road Kill
    Wallace and Dick Turpin: Same crime
    Wallace's face modelled the Bruce Hgy
    A Bridge Too Far: starring Craig Wallace.
    The long and winding track: thanks Craig.
    Mayoral clown aspirants:
    The Last Crusade starring Dale Grimm.
    A jenny is a female mudcrab, must throw back.
    Jenny Hill's hoist by her own petard.