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

There is an old saying that the only time you can be sure a politician is telling the truth is when he is calling another politician a liar. 

But then there is the occasional accidental blurting out of a wholly factual statement.
Thus Treasurer Goose’s myopic gurgling assessment that his budget was ‘a battler’s budget’ couldn’t have been more accurate. Because if you weren’t a battler before the budget, you bloody-well are now, after he brought down his farrago of double-cross and electorate bribery on Tuesday night. The details to support this view have been blanket bombed by the mainstream media and do not bear repeating here.

But a couple of points.

His was, and is, a ruinous insistence on an unnecessary surplus deadline, where he just wanted to be a big swinging dicky bird in the Treasurers’ Hall of Infamy – there is no reason why a surplus should be an imperative under the Goose’s self-imposed timeframe, it is simply an exercise in ego. The most succinct summary of this came in the Budget Reply speech. Wingnut Abbott – a man not usually given to snappy one liners – said Swan, noting all the surplus budgets brought down by former treasurer Peter Costello, was suffering a severe case of ‘surplus envy’.

And the topsy-turvey logic behind the financial compensatory handout for a carbon tax that the Prime Minister herself has insisted actually won’t affect prices ‘much at all’ is a hard one to fathom.

All in all, resident doodler Bentley sums up Wayne’s World in his usual right-on-the-money style.

But Joolya soon looks to get the close attention of Labor’s cutlery department, with a confident challenge from one Bill ‘The Short ‘Un’ Shorten. BUT there’s never a dull moment nowadays around Canberra.

Or at least it appears not for Labor’s favourite pint-sized pollie. Billy Boy is said to have been getting his jollies by jumping his personal PA, who apparently took the 'personal' part of her title literally. The ‘Pie first heard of this some time ago, and dismissed it as irrelevant – at least to this blog. But then, Gadzooks, damn her eyes, the blasted woman goes and  gets herself preggers,, what, eh? (‘Always the damn woman’s fault, y’know, Carruthers - can't trust 'em, y'know'’) 

Now, insomuch as you can believe anything that comes out of our national capital, the unexpected and unwelcome circumstance of an extended family has prompted Bill’s missus Chloe and the fruit of their loins, as Thurber would have it, to move back in with mummy, GG Quenny Bryce at Government House.

Chloe used to work as PR for a cement company (true) so maybe she has some chums who might do up a cement overcoat for her hubby.

Bit of pattern repeating here in Bill’s penchant for be slipping the odd shiela a – ummm – a short ‘un. He's a former beau of Nicola Roxon, presumably on the premise that if your not in parliament doing it to the country, stay home and do it to your colleagues. He got his current missus up the duff before the GG produced the under-and-over breech-loading, double-barreled marriage persuader, prompting Bill to ungraciously scuttle out of his previous marriage. 

He is well in the running for the Bob Hawke Memorial Root Rat of the Year Award.

At least this sort of thing wouldn’t happen with Slippery Pete Slipper, given his alleged predilection for male staffers. And The ‘Pie can just see Bill’s spin doctors putting the best angle on it with ‘Well, at least he didn’t use a union credit card like Thompson’.

You gotta luv ‘em, haven’t you?   

On the state scene, praise from a prestigious organization for the Brisbane Bantam’s plans to overhaul some of this state’s more Gestapo-like environmental laws, particularly native vegetation legislation that encourages bureaucratic stand-over tactics against landholders. This has always been an over-zealous,  unmerited and unjust Green-inspired intrusion into farmers going about their business. The Melbourne-based Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) has praised this commonsense reform. The IPA had good reason to look north and give Premier Newman a pat on the back.

What prompted the praise was the plight of a Victorian famer who inadvertently fell foul of that state’s draconian land clearing laws. Just for knocking down four dead trees on her property – yes, dead trees – she was fined $600 and ordered to plant 800 – yes, 800 – new trees. That little exercise in bureaucratic bastardry will cost her $11,000. The council is standing firm in the face of a massive outcry. Read the story here for yourself, and here for the IPA’s comments.

On the local scene, it’s always a tingling pleasure to be subjected to an instructive scolding in how we should conduct our affairs in Townsville, penned by the latest Fly In Fly Out editor of the Townsville Bulletin, 

It is a pleasure that could only be enhanced if, for once, they got it right.

Before perusing the following, keep in mind that two thirds of Townsville DIDN’T vote for Jenny Hill.

Following The Mullet’s ascension to the possum-fur trimmed velveteen robes of the mayoralty, the Daily Astonisher has, in so many words, been banging on about her ‘mandate’. Unlike his predecessor Typo Gleeson, who thought a mandate was what he sat on, the latest FIFO editor who has been foisted on us, the apparently mild-mannered Lachlan ‘Harry Potter’ Heywood, yesterday suggested the majority block of Townsville First councillors vote with The Mullet to get her ludicrous populist campaign policies through. Those would be the exact policies that helped a clear majority of councilors who opposed such measures get elected.

He wrote:

(Ms Hill) made a bold pledge to freeze rates and to give residents a $103 rebate on their water bill. The elected councillors now must put aside their differences and avoid turning the council into a political circus.
If they have ever been guilty of not listening to residents over the past four years, as some will argue they were, then now is the time to open their ears and the message from ratepayers is loud and clear - they want cheaper rates and lower water charges.
They must allow the new mayor to make-good on her promises or in four years time divisions might not save them.

The paper’s clear inference is that she had a mandate that entitles her to fulfill her campaign promises.

Harry, old son, Dumbledore would be tut-tutting like crazy at that. Jenny Hill does NOT have a mandate – the seven Townsville First (TF) councillors – out of ten - who opposed her financial fuckwittery DO have a mandate, and that is to oppose the fiscally ruinous idea of a rates freeze and a water pay back.

The Mullet has never explained where the $14 million to fund these hoodwinking vote grabbing promises will come from (and nor have you asked, Harry) She also completely ignores things like a natural three and a half per cent rise in the council’s wage bill, which will soon be, overall, approaching the $200 million mark. Or does she plan to sack some of the 1700 or so staff, conveniently forgetting her frequent grumbles about the town looking a bit tatty since His Radiance faded.

And what about the uncompensated 12% to 15% cost of Federal Labor’s cash grab carbon emissions tax? The council doesn’t get any compo for that, not a red cent. Forget our landfill dumps which apparently are threatening the world as we know it, there is the small matter of the council’s bill for street lighting and general electricity useage - that’s another $10 million right now and about to skyrocket courtesy of the carbon tax. And so on.

But shame on The Magpie, God knows he should have a little mercy for our First lady on the rates issue, because The Mullet and her Ergon linesman hubby have been hit personally, what with maintaining their seven or so investment properties around town, as well as their Riverside Gardens residence. Such brave little battlers trying to make it on Struggle Street - maybe hubby could organize some creative wiring for the council to make the missus look fiscally competent.

But that will actually be the job of the Deputy Mayor, who will undoubtedly come from the ranks of the Townsville First crowd.

And therein lies another tale. Vern Veitch is said to have changed his mind and will now have a shot at the deputy doo-dah’s job.

The ‘Pie was a bit off the mark last week (gasp, no!?!) with his four-four groupings behind two candidates. That apparently wasn’t the case, with council observers (not councillors, who have been strangely shy about talking to The Magpie of late) suggesting that one of the TF candidates is not liked or trusted by colleagues – one such observer cruelly suggested that ‘he is still waiting for a spine donor’ and wouldn’t last two minutes with The Mullet, a renowned political crutch kicker. He is also known to have been quite matey with her over the past four years –  but DO NOT read anything grubby into that, The ‘Pie makes no such inference, it is simply an observation of their obvious friendliness in public. Some believe this bloke would be political putty in The Mullet’s hands.

So it is a back alley ding dong right now between three candidates, and the voters will get what they voted for if the TF crowd stay tight and deliver on what they were elected for. That is, of course, the mandate they were given by an overwhelming vote.

But while some people are very unhappy with the situation (Ewen Jones should be, his successful backing of an independent against a highly competent political ally qualifies him for Political Rat of the Year) the most happy fella is – ta da – The Magpie. With a Moaning Mullet mayoralty for the next four years, the old bird won’t have to cogitate too hard on something to write about each week.

C’mon Townsville, you might as well laugh. Otherwise, you’ll cry.

But hey, some good news, at least in retrospect.

A few years ago, the white shoe brigade’s premier rorter, one Craig Kieran Gore, marched into Townsville, and blustered and bull-horned his way around town with untenable plans to develop the ‘duck pond’, the partially enclosed area of water in front of Jupiters Hotel and Casino. Gore, by all accounts a personally unpleasant blowhard of a man, was in cahoots with the now defunct funds manager City Pacific. City Pacific, itself now being sued by another funds outfit for $60 million, went under because of massive and 'inappropriate' loans made to - you guessed it - Craig Gore.

Gore’s Townsville plan was to build a canal estate on the filled-in duck pond, ignoring the fact that the adjacent Port of Townsville, with its 24-hour noise, smells and dust was just a few meters away across Ross Creek. This scheme was all tied up with some tangled deal between Gore and Premier Anna Bligh regarding the then mooted Ocean Cruise Ship terminal. The Townsville Council was going to be up for a motza for headworks, if Bligh had her way with her mate and party donor Gore. The ratepayers were also expected to stump up a few lazy tens of millions for an ocean terminal that would benefit them virtually bugger all, but Gore and his partners everything. It has now  been proved that the terminal, now being built within the port environs with government, not ratepayers, money, is in reality more a military facility for visiting navy vessels.

Gore's self-serving ideawas knocked on the head comprehensively by the TCC – with the lead naysayer a certain D Crisafulli who was deputy mayor at the time. After a day of unmitigated bullshit – swallowed holus bolus by the local media – Gore had the decency to bugger off back south, and soon afterwards, watch his bogus world - including a highly illegal Ponzi swindle - crumble around him, leaving unfinished matters all over the place. But fortunately, not Townsville.

Those subsequent events were the start of a long path that ended in court this week, with the now bankrupt Gore failing to wriggle out of a multi-million dollar dilemma, the details too complicated to cover here. But you can go to this link for the latest story.

And here's a photo taken by a Gore victim who spotted this sign at a Gold Coast tip. He salvaged the sign of the now defunct restaurant as a reminder of Gore's comeuppance.

But it is worth remembering, if it were not for the Tyrell council’s clear and strident opposition to Gore and City Pacific in the first place, it is possible we could have some very unfinished and unsightly pre-development works associated with the daft and swindling scheme still standing prominently and uselessly in areas leading to the proposed site.

The Magpie often idly wonders what would have been the situation if His Radiance and his nearest and dearest (legal) chum, who represented City Pacific here in Townsville, were in charge when Gore dropped in for a cosy chat.

Well, at least the swindling Gore is off the scene now, hopefully permanently. 

Now, that last statement is likely to draw The Magpie a second threat of legal action from this twicer – when at The Bulletin, the old bird was threatened with dire legal consequences simply because he used the term ‘white shoe brigade’, which Gore reckoned was a slur on him. It sure is now, Craig, and it was then, so over to you, chum. Like the first bluster, a second such threat is unlikely to either eventuate or succeed.  

Speaking of a cosy chat, enough now, it is away to Poseurs’ Bar, where the old bird intends to be-bubble a comely companion, and seek a mandate to get his overnight agenda approved, as unlikely as that is to eventuate or succeed. Anyway, his boastful promises might be too hard to keep.        




  1. the last council could have learned something from the Magpie on surpluses....not always appropriate or sensible as an immediate goal.

  2. Always entertaining. Typos mandate? Greyhounds and long lunch breaks. Harry Potters mandate? As they say in the Uk......LOL

  3. Conan the GrammarianMay 12, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    Gore blimey!

  4. Do the people of Townsville, including the Magpie, really think anyone in this poor excuse for a council is going to decide anything. That right will fall to the faceless businessmen who backed the Townsville First campaign with big money. They may not have got their Mayor, but they've got a majority of Townsville First (Last) puppets on the council, so it will be back to the bad old days when the Mooney council was run by the "Rat Pack", led by the most cunning of all rodents, a local legal eagle who has made a fortune out of controlling the local council over the years. So the Deputy Mayor will not be chosen by Townsville First councillors. That decision will be made by the Rat Pack, who will go for someone they can control rather than the best person for the job. If we had a decent newspaper in this town (let's face it, the tv news is just a joke), these control freaks would be outed by now. But just like the council, the Chief Rodent has infiltrated the Townsville Bulletin ranks.

  5. Why doesn't anyone leave their real names here? Cowards!

    1. Mr/ms Anonymous,

      I don't have a type Pad, live journal or anything else it says on the reply button etc.

      Pie, always entertaining.

  6. Why didn't you leave your real name here? Or are you Mr Anonymous?


    How much aside? Thought it was funny.