Saturday, February 18, 2012

Katter a dancing dingbat - if you haven't seen it, you won't believe it - a masterful rant by radio bad boy Alan Jones on a campaign issue starting to loom large, and other stuff.

As that pontificating pom Lord Courtney so famously observed, there are three kinds of lies – lies, damned lies and statistics.  But it looks like the Queensland LNP will add a fourth word to this lying lexicon: the word ’strategic’.

The Magpie looks at this little scam (borrowed from Labor) and suggests there is a ‘sleeper’ of a campaign issue that neither of the big two parties acknowledge as being of much importance in the campaign. The ‘Pie reckon they’re both as wrong - big time.

Also, Jeff Seeney dons the belled cap and motley to be the party fool on television …

And didn’t The ‘Pie predict it - the Mad Katter appears to have suddenly forgotten to take his the medication, with a truly bizarre public performance as the front man for his political pop group Bob and The Kattertonics.

As usual, the drivel starts here at

First a few random observation arising during the week.

The Magpie had a brief ‘ain’t that the bleedin’ truth’ moment while watching a golf tournament on telly. The game was being played on the Philippines’ top layout, the (no kidding) Wack Wack Golf Club. Perhaps a Truth In Advertising award should be forthcoming.

Occasionally, memorable lines come from the most expected places. The best this week was from the (apparently) controversial Iron Woman champ Candice Falzon after an somewhat unexpected win on the Gold Coast. The target of some bitchy commentary about poor performances in previous weeks, Candince shrugged it off with a neat gotcha: ‘That’s fine, my haters motivate me’. The Magpie's with you, m'dear.

Unfortunate statement of the week goes to The Australian newspaper journalist Geoff Elliott when speaking on Sky TV about the latest list of Australia’s most influential business people. Much was made of the fact that godzillinaire Gina Reinhart wasn’t in the top 10 selected by economic journos. Suggesting Lang’s favourite little blimp could ‘shoot’ to the top of the list next time around, Mr Elliott opined‘ Who knows, Gina Reinhart could be number one with a bullet next year’.  It’s certain Ms Reinhart sincerely hopes not … indeed, given the less than harmonious relations she has with those little snots of kids of hers, ‘bullet, and ‘shooting’ are words she doesn’t want to hear in any context.

And the problems of failing faculties in the steadily aging came home to the nest this week, when ABC Radio’s inestimable Paula The Mauler Tapiolas provocatively suggested that next year was to the National Year of Breeding.  The ‘Pie was frantically wondering if this was going demand everyone’s mandatory involvement or maybe just horses when a few minutes later, his excitement instantly drooped when Ms Tapiloas, speaking a little more slowly this time, brightly rambled on about the National Year of Reading. Oh, well, probably best , a good book is about all the fun The Magpie gets in the cot these days.

A quick question from Canberra. Has KRudd already given it to Julia right between the shoulder blades? Looks like it from this pic.

On the state front, while Campbell ‘Gunner’ Newman is wrestling with the reality of sleazy big time politics,  LNP parliamentary party leader Jeff Seeney is seeking to reaffirm his boofhead status with a woeful performance on the ABC’s 7.30 Report last night.

Boofhead? You betcha.

He mulishly – and insultingly for the viewers – refused to acknowledge a possible reality which is of some importance to the electorate. He just bluntly refused to accept that it is possible that Campbell Newman might not win Ashgrove, but the LNP still gain government. Both these premises are very possible – the latter almost a certainty - but when asked who would be the premier in those circumstances, he came across like a grinning energizer bunny in the headlights. He smirkingly insisted there can be only two possible outcomes of the election – either Campbell Newman or Anna Bligh will be the next premier. Tricky business, politics - so often you are painted into corners that give the choice of to look weak on logic – or just an arrogant boofhead. Maybe both. 

Seeney could prove to be the best joker in the pack for Labor, and here’s a message old son: we, that is those who don’t live in Ashgrove, would like to know – are entitled to know – just who we might be voting for as premier, in the event that The Brisbane Bantam doesn’t end up ruling the roost. Surely the honest and absolutely correct answer should be ‘… should that unlikely scenario happen, it will be a matter for party discussion but we have plenty of talent to choose from’. Not sure you'd be counted in this talent pool, though, Jeff

But there is another issue that the LNP are fudging on, and The ‘Pie will bet could see a stumble or two from either big party.

It is that of policy on coal seam gas (CSG) mining. Now at least three LNP backroomin Brisbane boys have airily dismissed the issue that will throw farming generations off the land and poison our water in the great artesian basin. All to get the somewhat handsome mining shilling in tax – Blight because she sees it as a way out for the economy she has run into the ground and made into Australia’s economic basket case, and the LNP because they will claim they need the money for the same reason – to get Queensland out of the financial nightmare foisted on it by this wholly incompetent government. The LNP will also be expected to take the side of Big Business.

But, no, the LNP backroom boys have dismissively waved away, with a born-to-rule velveteen glove and swish of a silk-lined gem-encrusted cape, the possibility of this becoming an issue across the whole state in this campaign. They say it’s not on the polling radar, so forget it they say over their departing shoulder as they waddle away in their gold lame pantaloons.

Here’s how The ‘Pie sees it.

All Australians, urban, suburban, regional or rural, have an ingrained idea – often verging myth – about country and agriculture, about doughty farmers and graziers working the sunburnt country, honest, straight-talking horny-handed sons and daughters of the soil, the last bastion of independence and the ‘old’ Australia. Modern dreams of Clancy of the Overflow.

This attitude across the whole society is why Seachange was one of our most popular TV shows, and why ‘seachange’ and ‘treechange’ have become not just words but also reality for thousands of people.  No, this CSG debacle – too much too soon, but still not able to financially save this busted-arse government – will resonant across the state, even amongst those who aren’t immediately and directly affected.

So this issue will be loudly and justifiably painted by farmers, the Greens – how’s that for a Tasmanian-style coupling – and without a doubt, Katter and his Cut Snake Party, as the rape of the countryside, the poisoning of our water reserves, treating Queensland farmers worse than we treat refugees and holding future generations in monumental disregard.

If you really want to hear it in eloquent detail, check out the impassioned, well-argued rant on YouTube from radio bad boy Alan Jones, who spelt out the iniquity to the National Press Club in Canberra. Here's a brief sample from news coverage of the speech - sorry about the annoying ad at the start of the link. 

Jones is so passionate on the subject that he delivered in a special video version before Katter’s descent into dancing dementia  outside Queensland Parliament (see below). The ‘Pie has rarely ever agreed with Jones – his race-baiting and wholly inappropriate disrespect for the office of the prime minister are disgraceful – but he is a compelling speaker, one of the best in this country, and he makes plain the absolute folly of miners being allowed to march on to prime agricultural land, disrupt an industry that has been here for generations and threaten the wellbeing of future generations before the science is in. (As The ‘Pie pointed out last week, politics makes strange bedfellows, and perhaps none stranger that Australia’s most suspected public closet queen teaming up with Queensland's best-known homophobe – but that’s Queensland.)

So where does the LNP stand on this? Well, the ‘N’ stands for Nationals, so the party has to be seen to show some modicum of sympathy to this latest disaster to hit the man on the land. So Campbell Newman comes out with a little pearler of  spin, announcing that a small ‘strategic’ package of Queensland’s vast agricultural land – the scenic rim country in the south-east – will never be mined for CSG, and neither will any other ‘strategic’ agricultural land.  


A true gem of political nothingspeak.  Pray tell, who decides what land is strategic, and what land isn’t and so can be sold to socially indifferent mining moneygrubbers? Why, Gunner Campbell, of course. So unless this is clarified somewhat, can we expect just ‘strategic’ stretches of the Bruce Highway- probably south of Gympie – to be upgraded, or certain ‘strategic’ health services expanded,  or maybe just ‘strategic’ convention/entertainment centers to be funded?

Last Wednesday morning in Townsville, Gunner Campbell waxed lyrical about his vision for Queensland, yackety yak blah blah blah. The LNP folk were strutting about importantly whenmore than 250 people attended the Chamber of Commerce-sponsored breakfast - a sponsorship rumoured to be much resented by Michael The Ogre Wilkins at the Daily Astonisher, because only 171 attended Blight’s similar paper-sponsored hootenanny a week or so earlier.

In Poseurs’ Bar that night, Mongrel the Barrister probably hit the nail on the head when, in his usual manner the subtlety of which is akin to a grenade in a bowl of porridge, proclaimed ‘ Of course more would go to hear Newman; we’ve had the same tired old lies from Labor for 20 years, we’ve all been hanging out for some fresh lies from the LNP’.

Finally, back to Bob Katter – sorry, we have to, The ‘Pie promised. Some dingbat – maybe the man himself – decided that it would be jolly wheeze to have him lead a mass ‘flash mob’ dance in George Street outside parliament. The man who would be king came across - as he often does - like that mildly demented distant cousin who turns up at weddings and birthdays and sends everybody into cringing giggles as he takes to the dance floor on his own (before grabbing the mike to do his version of I Did It My Way). Watch it here, and then go away and quietly think about how you’re going to vote.

Enough, it is time for the usual visit to Poseurs” Bar, where the old bird will work on a few strategic words of his own, possibly involving th suggestion of a bit of spontaneous dancing – perhaps a horizontal folk dance.


  1. Funny how you never have a go a chrisafulli, we all know your affections.

  2. Pie, I with you, the major parties and their local candidates are suspiciously quiet on the topic of Coal Seam Gas, why won't the Major Parties not engage in public debate on the problems associated with CSG and our water tables.

    I hope your readers know there are serious plans for Coal Seam Gas production outside Proerpine, that's not out west where we cant relate to it !!!

    What is Jason Costigan (LNP), Jan Jarret (ALP) or Amanda Camm (KAP) got to say, where is the debate, we are in an election after all..