Saturday, September 22, 2012

Why all those predictions of a challenge to the Brisbane Bantam’s leadership are just so much flapdoodle - Clive Palmer has a rare lucid moment – and the arrogance of extreme Islam eloquently put in its place by someone who should know.

You will remember last week, we spoke of Republican Party theologians and deep thinkers who insist only a ‘delighted womb’ is able to become the oven in which a bun can be baked for nine months? Well, this week, we learn that if your womb got out of the wrong side of bed this morning and is a bit grouchy and out of sorts, you can trade it in for a spruced-up and perky slightly used one. And this is now a medical reality, and not some political foam-flecked drivel.  

And, speaking of those Republicans and their crackpot theories, you’ll discover why The Magpie, normally a placid old soul wallowing in the comforts of codgerdom, is in a towering rage with the ABC.

And the lie given to the Daily Astonisher's latest feeble attempt to boost its tanking circulation.

All here in this week’s nest at

The Magpie’s political MAD (Most Addled Diatribe) Award was a close fought thing this week, with three contenders The Brisbane Bantam Campbell Newman, Canberra’s Treasurer Goose and representing the Planet Zog, our favourite alien chubster Clive Palmer.

Clive Palmer remains a party animal, but promises not to sit on Campbell Newman's head again.
Clive missed out on the award because not only did he go back on predictions that The Brisbane Bantam would be overthrown in a palace coup because of his hard-arse approach to fixing Queensland’s finances, but he also made an accurate, ain’t-that-the-truth statement ‘ I will never be thrown out of the party’.

This is an obvious truth; the idea of Clive being thrown out of anywhere would  the involve a front-end loader, a heavy duty forklift, a construction crane and/or a troupe of sumo wrestlers.  One presumes that since the LNP is on a cost cutting exercise, it was deemed too pricey and a suitably contrite Clive will be allowed to continue giving the party a few lazy million each year. So good of them, what a flexible and forgiving party is the LNP.

Treasurer Goose, known jocularly to some as Wayne Swan, decided to have his two bob’s worth about the loony tunes in the Republican Party in the United States.  Goosey told a business meeting ‘ Let’s be blunt and acknowledge the biggest threat to the world’s biggest economy are the cranks and crazies that have taken over part of the Republican Party’.

On a slow news day, this suddenly became the whinge du jour that swept the country with a wave of apathy. But it made The ‘Pie as mad as hell with that rotten ABC – because they didn’t use his full quote, which continued’ as so perceptively pointed out last week by the eminent commentator The Townsville Magpie, in his excellent and influential weekly load of sparkling drivel’. Credit where credit is due, you bums, it’s the least The ‘Pie can ask for his eight cents a day.

But it was The Brisbane Bantam who lifted the silverware, as sports commentators so tiresomely intone ad infinitum. 

One would be forgiven for believing that Campbell Newman had been getting into the drinks cupboard just before heading to parliament to announce that no one had been sacked in his cost-cutting exercise.

Sorry? Not really.
‘Despite all the hype and the hysteria, not one permanent employee has been sacked as a result of the budget process. It is simply not true to say this government has sacked or cut 14,000 people,’ he told a bemused parliament.  This piece of prize sophistry was either a callous and brutal finger to those already in deep bewilderment at their employment predicament, or it means that this premier arrived here on the same spacecraft as Clive Palmer. In terms of tripe, they make a nice matching couple, a bit like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny De Vito in the movie Twins. Talk about Zoggian politics.

But forget those suggestions that The Bantam is getting so unpopular that there is likely to be a leadership challenge. For a start, who would want it? And don’t worry, there are a few pretenders sitting back, waiting for the backlash at the next election, where the LNP will get back with in with a reduced majority courtesy only of its vast current numbers, and then we likely to see some action. In truth, The Bantam ain’t much of a politician, and those questionable skills are at a premium right now.

Among those watching and waiting is one Kid Crisafulli, who hasn’t seemed to put a foot wrong as Local Government Minister, clearly explaining his portfolio’s fairly uncontroversial agenda, stolidly keeping to his campaign promises and for the most part steering clear as best he can of much of the LNP’s political excesses.  However, it would be good if our boy stopped using the words ’proudly passionate’ so often, it makes him sound like he’s suffering from priapic preoccupation.

For the member for Mundingburra, perhaps it won’t be next time around, but you may rest assured, it will be Premier Kid one day. 

Other matters.

The Mixed Metaphor of the Week goes to an ABC radio reporter in a story about ASIC when she suggested that ‘the watchdog is behind the eight-ball’. The image of Scooby-Doo’s manic grin popping up over a giant black pool ball was irresistible.
Scoobie Doo?  Or our premier after a drinks cabinet session?

And from Sweden, the news that doctors there have achieved the ultimate makeover for the gals; or maybe it’s the ultimate hand-me-down.

They have managed to transplant a uterus from a mother to her daughter. In fact, they performed two such operations, both with the mothers as donors to their daughters. ’Try this old thing for size, darling, it’s no use to me anymore.’ ‘Oh, mummy thank you, it’s lovely and in my favorite shade of pink’.

Try getting your head around the circumstance that when the recipient becomes pregnant through planned IVF, she will be carrying her child in a womb in which she herself was former tenant for nine months. Maybe the new occupant could be encouraged to leave a bit of graffiti behind for future tenants, as those cooped up in enforced confinement usually do. ‘Mum was here’ would be accurate if the uterus continues to be handed down, or some lines marking off the days until making a break for it. ‘Hmmm, I’ll just push my head through the folding doors see what happens.’   If this sort of thing is your go, read about it here.

But even better, for a laugh, have a look at this foot-tapping C&W ditty ‘I Am My Own Grandpa’ – the fun is trying to keep up with the logic to see if in fact what the fella says is technically possible.

Every now and then, newspapers of decide they need a 'campaign' to boost failing readership, make them look authoritive and involved,  and let them pretend to care - really care -  for the community. But to work, the goal of the campaign must be valid and reachable. 

So what the hell is The Astonisher on about with this risible campaign 'Make Townsville Work'? This is a campaign idea foisted on the Bulletin from Sydney HQ, where it was decided News Ltd mastheads around the country would start browbeating locals about perceived shortcomings in their area. To give the idea some rspectability, News Ltd has co-opted (no doubt with free editorial space) the Property Council of Australia. Yippee skip!

The last The 'Pie heard, Townsville is working just fine, thank you - and that last time was this morning, when the paper reported that the 'Ville was doing better in the housing market than the rest of Queensland. During the week, we heard from the same source of progress with those empty CBD building along the made-over Flinders Mall area. Restaurants are full, despite most being vastly overpriced, car sales are romping along, the property market is trending up and we've had a pretty good tourist season. Not much unemployment either, although The Bulletin has done its best to boost that figure.

And as Bentley notes, it's never too late for some people to discover that we exist.

The Astonisher 'seeks readers' help', inviting the great unwashed to go on line with suggestions to Make Townsville Work. The idea is that folks will then buy the paper to see their name in print, and the boost in circulation will be a fine excuse for a rise in already monumental rip-off advertising rates. 

All the campaign has really done is energise the usual wailing Greek chorus of letters writers who confirm Townsville as the whinge capital of North Queensland - if not Australia. The campaign's unintended consequence has been a wave of negative, mostly illiterate comments, another step in making us feel bad about ourselves. This seems to be a perpetual goal of our southern blow-in carpetbagging masters. And The 'Pie is reliably told that not many sensible ideas have reached the website. (They say a lot have, but as we all know, they lie.)

But hey, here is The 'Pie himself being negative,naughty old bird,  so here's a positive suggestion. The Bulletin could help Make Townsville Work if they re-hired the 60 staff they have unecessarily fired, so the jobs could be relocated south. There ya go, put that on yer list, me old cretins. Dare ya.  

On a more serious note, there’s something distinctly suss about that bloody video clip that is being used as an excuse by some chuckleheaded extremists to go on the rampage in Sydney.

The ‘Pie is still wondering if it wasn’t all a set-up by radical elements in the otherwise largely peaceful Muslim world community for the purposes of getting their rocks off with a touch of copper bashing (imagine what things would be like if this teetotal crowd also got on the piss occasionally, as we say in Australia – actually, might calm ‘em down a bit).

The Magpie has watched with pride and pleasure over the years as wave after wave of migrants have arrived here, and have adapted, broadened and contributed to our pluralistic society.

The old bird does not regard himself as racist (yes, yes, a lot of racists say that but they soon give themselves away, not knowing the difference between reasoned argument and rant) but he confesses he has always had some niggling reservations about Muslims.

It just doesn’t fit with the Australia he knows – and wants - that people should cover their faces in public (it’s somehow insulting), no matter what the reason (often not for religious reasons but to bolster the insecure male chauvinism of certain backward societies), to remain doggedly apart, and for some to consistently demonstrate the arrogance of certainty that encourages their community to look down on the rest of us.

All that is as it may be, but these medieval religious bovver boys took to the streets of Sydney on the spurious that they have been offended by some twerp making fun of their revered prophet.

In a society that values free speech, the answer is - so what? Demonstrate if you must, but how does that turn into a license to be violent arseholes - and that description also goes for any whiffleheads who want to retaliate on behalf of the majority of Australians – an overwhelming majority of Australians don’t want this sort of representation, thank you – such ‘moral’ and ‘patriotic’ vigilantes of the other stripe that should be repudiated just as strongly.

But it was writer Salman Rushdie, long a critic of certain religiously perverted aspects of Islam (and who had to live under protective custody when the religious hierarchy ruled that he should be murdered) who most eloquently went to the heart of the matter.

This is what he told a BBC interviewer, and it rings true throughout the world.

‘The right to offend is the cornerstone of the modern free society. No one has the right to NOT be offended, that right does not exist in any declaration I have read.

‘If you are offended, that is your problem.’

‘Frankly, lots of things offend lots of people. If I walk into a book store , I am sure I can point out to you a lot of books that I find very unattractive in what they say.

It DOES NOT occur to me to burn the bookshop down.’


And the aspect of the pot calling the kettle black is clearly tackled by Thomas L Friedman in the New York Times.

In an aptly titled essay ‘Look In Your Mirror’, Mr. Friedman lists ,with proper reference links, many of the intolerant and offensive – indeed hate – statements coming from influential Islamic religious leaders about those of other faiths. The interesting thing is that the list shows not only extreme Islam’s disdain not just for other religions, but also its bile aimed at rival groupings within their own faith.

Just three examples will suffice here.

Hasan Rahimpur Azghadi of the Iranian Supreme Council for Cultural Revolution said: ’Christianity is a reeking corpse, on which you have to constantly pour eau de cologne and perfume , and wash it in order to keep it clean’.  Change ‘christuanity’ to ‘islam’ and it’s off with your head.

Sheik Al-Khatib al-Bagdadi: ‘It is permissible to spill the blood of Iraqi Christians, and a duty to wage jihad against them.’

Abd al-Aziz Fawzan al-Fawzan, a Saudi professor of Islamic law, has called for  positive hatred of Christians’.

Proposed prohibitions on speaking against religions is an open attack on the free speech we enjoy in Australia, and as a former journo, The ‘Pie is in principle opposed to much regulation, but he makes one suggestion – that protestors not be allowed to carry placards or yell chants that advocate breaking any Australian law. So those truly offensive signs, many thrust into the hands of young children, which called for the beheading of anyone who insulted the prophet, would be outlawed.

Frankly, apart from their generally repugnant nature but also because they advocated a barbarism outlawed in Australia, I was offended by those signs – but I haven’t got and don’t want the recourse of murdering those carrying them.

Enough now, it is away to oh-so-pluralist Poseurs’ Bar, where The ‘Pie will engage in friendly banter with a courteous, deferential, fair-minded and philosophically intelligent Muslim extremist. His name is Asif.        


  1. Tell me Malcolm, if I haven't been sacked, can I still keep going to work and if I do, will I be paid.
    I was told by HR in a video link up with the other people who haven't been sacked, that we were there as a result of having been asked if we wanted to take a payout and go and we were the ones that said yes. Bloody strange that none of us could remember the question let alone remembering our answer.
    I am a victim of QLD's 9/11 and I and ALL my Friends and Family VOTE!

    1. You have to be joking. Comparing your position to the tragedy that took over 4,000 lives is, to frank, highly offensive and outrageously inappropriate. But oh-so-typical of the hyperbole being slung around by the petulant remnants of the ALP. Any person who has anything to do with the Queensland public service over the last decade or so will affirm that it is highly inefficient and bloated with otiose middle to senior fat cats. Maybe you were one of them? If your post is anything to go by, maybe there is a reason you were on a list. On matters Islam - it is perhaps a sign of our tolerance (apathy?) that a counter-demonstration attracted less than a dozen idiots in Perth.

  2. I think the behead all those who insult.. means us. FYI, American warned their citizens not to attend city areas of Sydney.

    Are we now considered a radical nation as 'Australian Muslims' marched to the USA embassy.

    Sad day if Americans warn citizens to stay away in Australia

  3. Always entertaining Pie.

    Because the US State Department is not known to be over-staffed with people who think 'things' through. But they're not alone. They managed to publish a country-wide warning for travellers to Australia due to a small riot in Sydney, but forgot to adequately warn their man in Libya.

    As for the Astonisher's Make T'ville work.. Are they referring to their own newspaper?

  4. Beheading, lies, coverups, lap dancing Mickey, Trolling it's all 'No News Ltd' to a T!

  5. G'day 'Pie

    Forget a leadership challenge to the Premier - his constituents might save any unlikely challengers from getting their hands dirty.

    Just feel sorry for the people who live in Ashgrove who've already been campaigned and polled to within an inch of their lives!


    If any of the bullied workers in the Astonisher feel the need to express themselves.

  7. Lordy lordy... You can chat with Wayne Swan today in the Astonisher. Didn't Typo's wife work for the labor party too? I wonder what slant the Goldie has now that Typo works there?