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

Ewen Jones - born to rul or just leading with his chins?
Bruce Flegg

To many who know him, Ewen Jones is an affable, knock about bloke – a likeable sort of boof -  ever ready with a (usually off-colour) joke and – with a couple of glaring exceptions - a nice line of patter at various functions around the place. Touchingly, the inner real estate auctioneer’s heart still pounds away beneath that well upholstered breast of the member for Herbert.

But his latest effort at politics ‘on the run’ is anything but funny. It is, in fact, one of the most deeply insulting and ill-conceived attacks on a vulnerable and invaluable group of workers in our community – in any Australian community for that matter.

In last Wednesday’s Sun throw-over newspaper (claimed circulation of 52,000), Ewen hit the front page in a story by the solid and careful journalist Lydia Kellner (one of the few of that brand left down there at fantasy palace).

The story amounted to an incredible ‘let them eat cake’ dismissal of child care workers and their claim for a better deal than the woeful $18 an hour they get now – which is about or below what an adult counter jumper at Macca’s gets.

And when The ‘Pie says incredible, he means in-bloody-credible, especially from a father of three.

In his lofty and regal verbal wave of a shooing hand, Jones had this to say: ‘We would all like to make a million dollars but there are just some jobs that you’re in for the love of it, and if these people are only chasing the dollar, then they are in the wrong career. Yes, I think child care workers are poorly paid, but they should be there because they love their job, not because they are chasing big bucks.’

Big bloody bucks - you jest.

The ‘Pie is waiting for this doctrine to flow on to other sectors of the workforce, like say, nurses. After all, they’re nurses only because they love the job, helping the ill and injured, so, Ewen, why not recommend a pay cut for them? Coppers and ambos, too, they just love whizzing around the place with flashing lights and wailing sirens, never mind the blood and danger. Just for the record, The 'Pie checked with the LNP and suggesting that anyone 'work just for the love of it'  is definitely not party policy.

But wait, back to the story, there’s more (and here, the party hierarchy is definitely thinking steak knives).

Our boyo followed up that astoundingly insulting and patronizing little WTF by leading with his chins with this: ‘If they want to have more money, we should first question whether they have the right education and have the right degree in their hands to ask for more’.

You must be kidding, you’re not seeking a place in the pommy House of Lords, Your Mateship, are you – although it sure sounds like it. ‘The right education and the right degree to ask for more’?!?

You mean like going straight from high school to work as a bank johnny for 12 years, before moving on to eventually become a second rate real estate auctioneer in a regional community? Are those the educational qualities of which you so loftily speak? That is, of course, before, when the LNP couldn’t find another single person to stand against Tony Mooney in the Federal elections, you threw up your hand like a classroom pupil caught short, were chosen as the very last resort and got the gig, where, against all LNP expectations, you won.  So these are the right qualifications for you to be able to plonk your ever-expanding arse on the Canberra plush and pick up $190,000 per year? And entitle you to deliver correctional homilies to the serfdom below?

Heaven forfend that anyone would believe you yourself were just ‘chasing the big bucks’.

But then, at least you don’t play favorites when offering your running commentary on the frailty of others. Even your own party has had the chance to appreciate your comic insights.

Unfortunately, Dumbo Jumbo continues to have trouble with some politically vital words, particularly ‘appropriateness’ and ‘sensitivity’, and seems unable to perceive the difference between being the comic turn at a buck’s night and addressing the faithful at glittering $200-a-plate dinners. Let alone a serious newspaper interview.

At the recent LNP knees-up in Brisbane – the party’s first big get-together since its massive Queensland election win – Ewen went along with several other Federal luminaries to partake of the back-slapping and smug self-satisfaction all round. And as often is the case, it fell to Ewen to run a fund-raiser auction, featuring a cricket bat signed by all members of Premier Campbell Newman’s inaugural cabinet.

Now, remember, he’s among the faithful, so surely he could get in a few good licks at the expense of Labor and the Greens, enjoy the guffaws and pompous ‘hear hears’ and quickly make a beeline back to his beloved bar.?

Not our boy.

During his auctioneering patter, he pretended to study the signatures on the bat, and then declared ‘I see Bruce Flegg is still here, but his name is only in pencil’ and suggested the LNP would see how he goes. This was just after one of the few stumbles the Newman government has faced when Dr Flegg made the boo-boo of appointing one of the party faithful for a crucial look at some sensitive company books. Dr Flegg had to eat humble pie after a clip around the ear from Can Do. He admitted his error promptly, and with forthright dignity, and the party then worked to move on and forget the matter. 

So thanks for the reminder, Ewen, you could surely feel the gratitude oozing up from the silent, indeed simmering, audience.

So that would have brought our boy back to earth, would it?

It would not.

Blundering on, Dumbo pretended to look at the bat , and then suggested he could just make out the name of David Gibson ‘but he’s been rubbed out’.  This was again a reference to one of the few blips on the political radar for the Newman government, when the then Police Minister Gibson was sacked for allegedly driving unlicensed.

That deafening whirring noise that followed this little sally was the proverbial pin dropping through the air as it fell to the axeminster.

All this a bit harsh, Ewen, old mate?

Well, The ‘Pie will give you a break and not mention the wholly insensitive ‘quip’ you made at a cancer charity dinner, after a heartfelt survivor story had brought some in the audience close to tears. That effort earned the Lead Balloon Award for the year.

Honestly, you just don’t get it, do you? Given the strangled noises of rage down the MagpieFone, don’t be surprised if after a couple more episodes like these – and part of your past could be about to catch up with you, sport – if the LNP throws open the pre-selection for Herbert to find someone with a bit of political nous.

Listen, Dumbo, here’s an unsolicited tip from The ‘Pie – when the time inevitably arrives, and pretty soon by the looks of things, for that stomach stapling operation, see if the doctors have a few staples left over.  For your gob.

Disgraceful, mate, all round.

Now, on to another type of - non-pejorative  - vagina.

The folks who make the female hygiene product Carefree are anything but carefree right now, after some language luddite complained to authorities about the latest television ad for the product in which the word ‘vagina’ is used. Seems that the very mention of a body part which half the population possess, and comes with it’s own set of maintenance requirements had a few people succumbing to a fit of the vapors.

But how about some consistent standards here. In a world where television is awash with violence, crime, drugs, sex and Kyle Sandilands, is it somehow not allowed that a tasteful and presumably informative ad should be shown? Yes, for what it’s worth, the ad is tasteful, and from The ‘Pie’s male point of view, inoffensive. Have a look for yourself here.

For some blokes, it may verge a tad on too much information, but so do Bunnings ads for the non-handyman, and they’re not about to be pulled. Besides, fellas, it was probably your turn to get up and make a cuppa anyway.

There will always be the Rex Mossop school of prim propriety – the late Moose once told startled ABC viewers that his protest about a nude beach near his Sydney home was misunderstood, explaining ‘I haven’t got anything against genitals, I just don’t want them rammed down by throat’.

Quite so.    

A regulatory decision is yet to be made on the Carefree matter, but if it is pulled, it will reflect the immaturity of our community sensibilities, and will be an insult to all females.

And for proof of that, have a look at what happened over in the UK, when an ad for a similar product called Femfresh used every euphemism for, as they cloyingly put it ‘down there’ but could not bring themselves to use the word vagina. In a welter of infantilism and irony, the voice over said ‘ your woohoo, froo froo, hoo ha, nooni, twinkle, la la,  or Aunt Kitty, whatever you call it, be proud of your body’.  Aunt bloody Kitty? The storm in both thr mainstream and social media was immediate and very effective, with the ad yanked of screens such was the impact of the protest. Here’s a print version that’s still around.

Selling any products for ‘down there’ presents all sorts of challenges for advertising folk.  Using acronyms is one ploy to sell, say, adult nappy undies to control SBL, or Slight Bladder Leakage. Then there was the clever Sydney ad man who wrote a column in the late eighties making fun of the television commercial for sanitary pads with the slogan ‘designed to fit your lifestyle’.  He suggested that the product was designed to fit something else altogether, that this must have been a euphemism, and if anyone denied it ‘tell him he’s a lying lifestyle’.
Wrap round absorbentcy in the ferrari SBL.

But hang on a sec, as ever The Magpie reckons he could turn adversity to advantage here, there could be some real business opportunities on offer.

For instance, carmakers could cash in big time. Just imagine: ‘ The new Ferrari SBL – it’s seats are specially upholstered in absorbent material for the greatest wet’n’wild ride of your life’.  

Or maybe ‘The Maserati FRoo FRoo – take your Aunt Kitty for a spin in this and it’ll be the second biggest thrill she’ll ever have’.  Or ‘the Lamborghini Lifestyle, ideal for the thoughtless road hog’.

All these vehicles would of course be powered by V8s.

Enough now, it is away to Poseurs’ Bar, where the old bird will bebubble a suitable companion in the hope she will eventually invite him to have some input into her lifestyle.




    1. John...stop typing in capitals! It makes your post irritatingly hard to read. It is the button on the far left of the middle row.

    2. Err, John, Mr Nankervis has sent in a polite message that the reason he types in caps is because he is recovering from rotor cuff damage in a shoulder, and one arm is in a sling. The 'Pie thanks Mr N for this information because it is accepted web lore that typing in caps means the tone is angry. And The 'Pie does not see any profit in speculating in just what activity Mr N was indulging to suffer rotor cuff damage at the top of his arm - but having experienced his political insights, one could hazard a guess.

  2. Ha ha always entertaining Pie. How about sending Mickey Mouse, Shrek, Atil and a few politicians free samples of Depends?

  3. The best thing that could happen is for the LNP to take away Dumbos feather in exchange for a boot. He is an embarrassment. Surely to God someone else is out there to run.

  4. The sad thing is Dumbo's fund raising campaign in the Townsville business community for the next election is under way. One wonders if he really needs it given Gillard's/Labor is on the nose and will be Bligh-styled wiped out next year. And who in their right mind is going to stand for Labor?? Sadly Dumbo term 2 looks assured.....

  5. I'm with you Magpie. Ewen's comments about childcare workers were deeply offensive, making him look like an out-of-touch buffoon.

    I don't work in the industry, but I have had my own children looked after at child care centres, and I deeply appreciated the care they offered.

    The staff at these centres aren't chasing the big bucks - they just want a wage they can actually live on. Why else do you think there is such a significant staff turnover in the industry (something that affects the children in these centres because of the lack of continuity of care)? Has Ewen thought about that before opening his gob?

  6. That's what you get when you scrape the barrel - scapings. I hear that he was about as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit down in Brisbane.

    I'll wager that there are a few of the invitees who declined to run in 2010 are now regretting their decision. I hear that there are some who intend to do a Slipper -v- Brough style campaign for the next pre-selection. Stupid is and stupid does, but those who declined the chance merely because they were 'fraidy cats should not get a second chance. Ewan, dumb lifestyle he may be, won't leave on his own violition. He knows that he stumbled into something he would never ever hope to achieve in the real world. Although, if he keeps eating, his arteries may make the choice for him.

  7. Oh...and another thing. Did you read young Anthony's pathetic nonsense last week? 'Pie, you may be treating it with the contempt it deserves, but I do not have your sense of decorum or dignity. The childish attempt to one-up you confirmed four things:

    1. He has no talent what-so-bloody-ever. Absolutely none.

    2. His attempts at humour are pathetic. School boys would cringe.

    3. He is a prat and a total tosser.

    4. He reads your blog.

    1. D Batman has school boy humour. .

  8. Magpie I would normally agree with your squarking in fact I do enjoy your weekly take on the Townsville political scene but on this occasion I think you are way off the mark! So if you decide to take a career in cleaning toilets you can expect to get a lot of money out of it, if you decide to make a career out of filling supermarket shelves then you should be on big money, if you make the decision to have a career in dish washing at the local restaurant then once again can you expect the big money to flow into your pockets. I think not!! We all make decisions on what we want in life and some of us have big ambitions while others do not. So why would you gain employment in child minding and then complain that your wages are not enough! To me it’s a no brainer if you want to earn sufficient money for your needs then get a job that pays appropriately but don’t complain when you make the decision to be employed in a low paying job!! It would appear that since the Council elections when Mr Jones threw his support behind a mate of his you have decided that whatever he does or says needs to be dumped on.
    Otherwise Magpie I enjoy your warbling

  9. Great Stuff Pie. Keep up the good news.

  10. Ron, a comment as literate and non-abusive as yours (especially since you had the good taste to say nice things about the old bird) should not be dismissed without reply. But it is a funny old society you champion where the work of people who clean toilets, wash dishes and stack shelves is equated with the task of people who are entrusted with the safety, heallth, hygene and well-being of our children. Your comparision is pretty odious on several counts. Child carers have to be licensed (blue card) after satisfying authorities that they are 'fit and proper' people to be in charge of youngsters (no criminal record, particularly in the area of sex offences - no history of mental problems). Those other jobs do not carry that automatic requirement, so child carers must be able to claim a proven probity. Child carers also have to be of a certain temperament, intelligence and insight not required in other work - like that of politicians, for instance. Being penalised by inappropriate pay for loving your job sounds almost sinister. Carers also assist in the vital area of our chaged modern social infrastructure, by providing a service which requires both parents to work. This is often a necessity rather than a choice, if their children are to have happy and secure futures. Without child carers, there would be a good deal more angst, despondency and domestic violence born out of frustration. Then there is the constant requirement for due care and attention every moment of the day which, if neglected, can carry serious outcomes for the kids and the carer. There is a world of difference between dropping a watermelon at BiLo or missing a brown spot on the bowl, and dropping a kid or suddenly finding one missing at kindy nap roll call. Perhaps, Ron, you should have a little quite think about just what child carers do, not just for the kid, or the parents, but the vital role they play in modern society as versus the roles of those other 'menial' tasks. Menial? The 'Pie may now confidently expect angry letters of denunciation to the Disherwashers Daily, the Shelf Stackers Quarterly and The View Over The Rim, the bible of the toilet brush brigade. As to the matter of 'dumping' on Ewan Jones at any opportunity, The Magpie simply reports on, and makes occasional comment, on the bahaviour of all elected officials who are there to serve us equally, all of us, child carers, dishwashers, toilet cleaners, shelf stackers, Airport Line Markers, and of course bloggers.

  11. I voted for ewen jones last election, but after what he done to Natale Marr never again