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

Word of the week is ‘coprolite’, which although not actually used, was the subject of a science interview on the ABC. This bright little chat centered on the fact that scientists have discovered many hitherto unknown facts about Australian dinosaurs and such by studying their poo, which over the millennium has turned into solid rock. These rocks are called coprolites and are, in other words, fossilized turds.

By sheer coincidence, the word ‘coprolite’ popped in the feathered mind a few days ago as The ‘Pie as the camera slowly panned over the congregation at the memorial service for the admirable Margaret Whitlam.  It was alarming to see the fossilization setting in, almost to the point where it took some moments to recognize many a formerly familiar face.

Other matters.

Last week’s load of old cobblers began with the suggestion that we should all sing a chorus of ‘Now is the hour when we must say goodbye ….’.

Subsequent events suggest there should be a special chorus for the departure of the Blight (No Longer) On The Landscape.

‘Now is the hour,
When we must say goodbye,
And true to form,
Anna departed with yet another lie.’

Right to the end, she managed to keep dudding the taxpayer by nobly promising to stay on after the certain defeat of Labor at the polls, in order to help groom a new leader. Then, 15 hours after winning her seat, she went back on her word, and opted for plush immediate retirement, handing the taxpayers the bill for a by-election.

Lie or not, it is a relief to have her off the scene.

The Magpie is told that there has been the start of some ‘collateral damage’ from the poll at the local government level.

Looks like mayoral wanabee Jeff Jimmieson, who is already hard-up for campaign money, has to find new offices and start paying rent. Previously, he had free use of Craig Wallace’s office, but that’s all gone bye-bye after the weekend.

Of course, our Jeff  isn’t a Labor candidate, no siree Bob, he’s as independent as they come (having previously been in the National Party before joining up with the ALP) He was just using Cuddlepie’s office for  convenience. You see,  Labor folk are just so supportive of independents who spring from their ranks.

And the weekend annihilation leaves Jenny The Moaning Mullet Hill in a bit of a pickle, too. After more than 30 years of belting out The Internationale and Red Flag Forever at Labor rallies (often for her numerous fruitless attempts for high office), The Mullet now avows she is an independent, free of all such affiliations.

Just like that.

But – and why not – she is remains a member in good standing of … the Labor Party. Don’t quite follow why she hasn’t resigned.

It is purely coincidence that she embarked on this independent political course shortly after it became clear that Labor was in a death dive. But our gal is going to have to work hard on the entrenched perception that she is Labor by any other name, and remains a paid up party member. As Mongrel the Barrister spluttered into his brandy and dry ‘She ‘s so deep in Labor, she oughta  have a midwife with her on her political rounds, just in case something unexpected pops out, hur, hur, snurfle, cough, wheeze’.

On the other sides of the tracks, The ‘Pie  had  a bit of a chortle himself when Campbell Newman bravely if naively announced that his government would be conducted ‘with dignity, humbleness and humility’.

Really? That’ll be a first in Australian political history.

Well, Premier, that may well apply to you, and there is no reason to doubt it, watching the early indicators as you switch from campaign mode to your firm leadership role. But pulling your kids – or more appropriately, troops – into line and keeping them there is going to fun to watch.

With so many first time politicians in your ranks, you may be assured that an epidemic of foot in mouth disease is ready to sweep a parliament full of so many political new chums. Most of the inevitable gaffs will be worth no more than a laugh or two when the newbees are ambushed by a salivating media. Indeed, The Magpie is expecting many an LNP nominees for the Golden Gob Awards this year. Watch this space.

Perhaps all the newcomers should be aware of Harold McMillan’s summary of public life as one of  ‘forever being poised between a cliché and an indiscretion’.

But the thing which most held The ‘Pie’s attention after Saturday was the possibility that there are some sort of omens out there when folks defy the comic possibilities of their names and run for office.

The Magpie was much chuffed to see that someone named Trout had won Barron River – it is not known if Michael Trout (LNP) is a wild sort of fella or if Barron River is a ‘wild river’, but it’s all his now.

And for those who need to be of certain age to get the reference, no one laid a glove on Jack Dempsey (Bundaberg LNP).

There was a certain piquant air about Anthony Pink running for the Greens in Nudgee  - his candidature seemed to prove the theory that The Greens are the Watermelon Party – green on the outside but red inside. (This theory is not helped in that the national leader is brown, which offers another more pungent assessment of the real nature of the party). Far more appropriate for this party was David Forrest in Apsley, even if one ‘r’ needs lopping. Another suitable Greens hopeful was Emma Kate Rose in Greenslopes – the voters pruned her well and truly.

Bevan Collingwood failed to kick a goal in Redcliffe.

Former Rugby League referee Tim Mander, a man of deep personal convictions, has no doubt been down on one knee, giving thanks that his parents didn’t name him Jerry. Anyway, Queenslanders are a forgiving lot, and despite his time with the whistle, the voters of Everton gave him a handy win at full time for the LNP.

There were several familiar political names floating around – there were two Swans (Christ!) a Shorten (presumably no relation, since Anthony romped home for the LNP in Algester), Gladstone had a lke-sounding Beezley for KAP – yes, yes, different spelling and in Gympie, Kathy Hawke, for Family First, came last.

And let’s not forget Indooroopilly, where another unsuccessful Family First hopeful was Andrew Mooney.

But The ‘Pie’s two favorites in this political name game – independent Mike Crook stood in Sandgate, and although it is not suggested Mike’s shady – that only happens after you’re elected - his surname probably reflected his feeling when he managed to get just 401 votes out 26,329.

And despite the built-in exhortation, KAP’s Jim Vote didn’t get anywhere near enough of them in Lytton.

Finally, our old mate the party animal David ‘I’ve Been Everywhere’ Moyle, seems to have found his spiritual home with the KAP. He came in third – as predicted, David The Kid Crisafulli wiped the floor with both him and second placegetter Mark Harrison for ALP.

But it is worth noting that the like-sounding word ‘moil’ means to move around in confusion and agitation, which our boy will no doubt continue to do until he has the chance to entertain us again at the polls.

Or maybe find a TV career on The Biggest Loser.

No mid-week drinking, so no Poseurs’. See you on Saturday.


  1. Great Read! Thanks Magpie

  2. Hi Pie, with all the Newman humbleness, and there was a lot of it being spread around, I am reminded of that ever so umble soul Mr. Uriah Heep. I hope that is where the likeness ends, but you never know. I know he means to be umble sir.