Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Astonisher astonishes with a policy against old people having fun - Mayor Mullet leads with her chin to play media favourites, Campbell Newman's 'unplanned' glowing report, and 50 Shades of Grey - The Old Geezer's Edition.

Who woulda believed it – Campbell Newman giving all of Queensland a warm cosy glow this week. But will the Brisbane Bantam push for the next logical step, arguing for the beneficial pulsating glow of cheap nuclear energy here in Australia?

On the local scene, it looks like it's official: The Townsville Bulletin is opposed to the Townsville City Council’s annual Pioneers Lunch for the oldies, ditto the Seniors’ Lunch in the Park, the paper is also aghast that any money is spent on military celebrations attracting hundreds of visitors to Townsville, and suggests in so many words, that money to stage citizenship ceremonies is ‘lavish’ and wasteful.

And Mayor Mullet, long an honorary associate iditor (no error) of The Daily Astonisher,  starts picking media favourites, right royally pissing off the local television reporters.  It’s a fight she could well do without - and so could Townsville.

And just to show that all those ‘old pioneers’ so despised by The Bulletin still have life in them yet, a special ’50 Shades of Grey’ poem for us old geezers. Based on the racy ‘Mummy porn’ dreams of the everyday housewife, this is an anonymous version of ‘50 Shades’, which has raised the moistness meter off the scale in ordinary households around the globe, but be careful, this ode for the oldies could be harmful … you run the risk of dying of laughter.

And just to be different, a caption contest for you, all in here the nest at

Here’s a random Magpie observation in an area which is off his beaten flight path – that of sport. The ABC this morning (Saturday) has been droning on about Lance Armstrong and drugs in sport - yackety yackety drone snurffle. Listeners still awake (really, nuff's enuff, get over with it and get on with it) were invited to call in to name the greatest dope cheat in sporting history. 
The bloke in the board shorts v the little cross-dresser.
The fix was on.

All history? Well, The ‘Pie would bet that Goliath would have got the victory by default if David had had to pee into a cup after boncing the big fella on the scone. Obviously high as a kite on frankincense and myrrh, both dried tree resin. Wouldn’t have done Gath’s favorite son much good, though, since David, the Tel Aviv Terror,  went into some sort of performance-enhancing rage and chopped of his fallen opponent's head.

But for both the calls that clogged the switchboard, no one mentioned Mario Fenech, the former South Sydney forward and Footy Show’s pratfall specialist. Now, The Magpie would never suggest or have any evidence that Mr Fenech took drugs (certainly no evidence of performance enhancing ones) but it cannot be denied that he the biggest dope in recent sporting history.

Let us return to the local arena for a look at some local dopes.

Well, The Magpie is forced to admit that if nothing else, right or wrong, the Daily Astonisher aka The Townsville Bulletin, is forthright about some of its policies as the self-appointed leader of community opinion.

Much in the same manner as Mad Magazine.

But boy, what a showstopper this week! Scoop City, no less! And reporter Anthony ‘Jimmy Olsen’ Galloway has shot up the betting for the Selective Reporting of the Year Award – although his colleague Anthony Simpleton is still a clear favourite.

Believe it or not (well, we are talking about The Astonisher) the paper had come out to state, in so many words, that annual functions for oldies in the community, as well as those for former and serving defence folk, sports awards, art awards, and even citizenship ceremonies are a shameful waste of ratepayers money.

Refreshing honesty? Fat chance. Just the stock-standard stupidity we’ve come to expect from The Bulletin, yet again suffering the Law of Unintended Consequences by twirling their baton into their own balls. yet again. It is weird stance, when you consider that a fair chunk of the paper’s evaporating readership are rusted-on old galoots ('Pie included, but for different reasons) not yet ready to break the newspaper habit of a lifetime.  Former military folk are in the same category.

But at first glance, it was an amazing – make that ‘astonishing’ – admission. Even more so when the circumstances are made clear here.

The story to which The 'Pie refers is just another mangled attempt at a cheap headline and highly selective reporting. Given the facts – including the background facts to which you have not yet been privy, but will be in a moment - the cynical among you may decide that this yarn is either incompetent or just plain dishonest. Or both.

Here’s the way thing unfolded.

On Thursday Oct 18, Anthony Galloway fired off a series of questions to the Townsville City Council arising out of freely-available council documents – although the Astonisher is fond of squeaking importantly by implying that they winkled them out of a reluctant council under RTI laws (Right To Information – the revised version of FOI).

With admirable promptness, the council’s media top cocky, the redoubtable Tony Chopper Wode, replied the same day.

These are the questions and the council’s response, presumably written by Mr Wode on behalf of the acting CEO Gavin Lyons.

Why does council deem it important to spend nearly $212,000 on hospitality and entertainment expenses during a period of 13 months?

The council’s hospitality budget is not restricted to internal council events, but includes literally hundreds of events that benefit members of the community each year.

It is entirely appropriate for the council to provide hospitality on behalf of the community as a fundamental part of the city’s civic image. Sometimes that will mean a modest cup of tea and sandwiches, and other times it may mean a formal civic reception.

The council’s hospitality extends to events such as Seniors Picnic In The Park, Pioneers Party, civic receptions to welcome to the city important dignitaries, political leaders and government representatives, citizenship ceremonies, important community events and celebrations like sports awards, arts awards, heritage day, national tree day, international women’s day, Ronald McDonald bike ride, commemorations, and in the last year the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Coral Sea, the welcome home parade for troops serving abroad, and the Nashos national reunion.

At some events the council offsets expenditure through a small admission fee.

The total cost of the 2011 Christmas function was $12,112.09. Can you describe the nature of the Christmas function (e.g. was it mainly just for council workers? Who attended? where was it? About how many people attended?)

The council holds a Christmas function each year as a formal appreciation for the efforts of its 1700 employees.  No one can suggest that those employees are not deserving of at least that recognition.

The cost of the event works out to be around $7.00 a head.

Council spent $403.45 on an “NBN funding proposal” at the Dynasty Seafood restaurant. Can you describe what this funding proposal was and when this meeting took place?

A council representative hosted a dinner for several consultants who had been engaged to contribute to Council's submission for funding under the Digital Local Government Program initiative of the Commonwealth Government Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. The application secured $375,000 funding for Townsville.

Why does the council have to pay for mayors and councillors to attend functions/meetings such as awards nights and Townsville Enterprise 20th year dinner?

The council is asked to provide representatives to a great many events each year.  The council pays for those representatives to attend events at which a fee is charged to the public.

How much in funding did the council provide TEL in the 2011/12 financial year?


Comment from mayor

It’s an area of expenditure that we have to watch closely, but when welcoming influential dignitaries we need to offer them a bit more than a cup of tea and an iced vovo if we want to create the right impression.  The US ship visits bring to the city more money than the council has ever spent on receptions.'

 So …. all very timely, professional, straightforward – and reasonable. Also nice to see Mayor Mullet has picked up The Magpie’s oft-used reference to Iced Vo-Vos – strange for someone who regularly tells inquiring colleagues that she never reads ‘that s..t’.

That was on Thursday, Oct 18, remember.

What a scoop – discovering that Townsville Council does what every other single council in Australia does - something any person would expect of their council, unless you are one of the paper’s Greek wailing chorus of letter writers and whining enviests. And this council does it with a damn sight more restraint than ever occurred in His Radiance’s time (and The ‘Pie notes there is still no council drinkies cabinet under this or the previous council).

Now, although Mr Galloway and his … ahem … betters were armed with all that information from Mr Wode, the alarm bells and flashing lights went off inside their heads Dalek-like ‘must attack council, must attack council’. 

Mr Galloway’s story didn’t appear immediately, and indeed, was held over until last Monday Oct 22. One would think that was ample time for the facts to sink in.  And this is the breathless report that you got - replete with an insinuating nonsense headline ‘Drinks Are On The Ratepayers’, and emotive, suggestive opening phrases like ‘lavish parties’ and ‘dining  corporate executives’. What scoundrels!!
Townsville Bulletin council reporters in attack mode.

So it has to be reasonable and logical to definitely conclude that The Townsville Bulletin disapproves of the lavish largesse of annual picnics for older citizens (who are still paying rates one way or the other), returned and serving diggers’ commemorative occasions, awards for local sportsmen and women, arts groups, and many others. 

Apparently the one thing Mr Galloway latched onto when pickin’ were a bit slim was a Dynasty restaurant bill (and worth every cent, The ‘Pie can assure you) of a few hundred bucks for acceptable corporate hospitality.

Oh, and Tonykins, m’boy … did you notice in your implied blanket condemnation of various council-sponsored events that one was International Women’s Day? Knock that at your peril, sport – last night, the gals had their sadly pointless Reclaim The Night (from whom?) stroll around the place, but if they catch you interfering with their Big Day on the international stage, they’ll have another march – Reclaim What’s Left of Anthony Galloway’s Gonads’ March. 

But maybe slim pickin’s in that department, too.

And just before the likes of Mr Wode start getting their boxers in a bunch, The ‘Pie did not get that email from the council’s media department, although he did request it from them. However, it is realized that the email was a private(ish) communication between Mr Wode and Galloway, so was not for the likes of the Magpie. But its contents are in the community's interest to better understand what passes for fair and balanced reporting at The Astonisher, and therefore now been published. The old bird does not reveal his sources, but suffice to say, to save Walker Street a technical fit of the connipitions, The ‘Pie will admit he still has some close friends and strong supporters on the Ogden Street payroll, smart enough not to use internal communications when ewarbling to the old bird.

Eh? What was that bang in the background? Not to worry, just the starter’s gun for another witch hunt in the Ogden Street bunker. 

Astonisher honorary iditor Mayor Mullet
While we’re with the media in this neck of the woods, some TV types are spittin’ chips over the clod-hopping media favouritism by Mayor Mullet. Obviously, she has long had The Astonisher and its boy-editor in her pocket, but trying to manipulate the modern 24/7 news cycle needs a keener awareness of unintended consequences.

It has long been a practice for The Bulletin to try to cut television out of the news loop when something falls into their lap, suggesting that a story will get more prominent treatment if the paper has the jump on it, and is not scooped by TV the night before. (They really do understand the completely changed 24/7 news cycle, don’t they?)

But now Mayor Mullet, undeniably an honorary Astonisher associate iditor (correct spelling), is actively promoting the idea of ‘Bully first’. 

During the week, her Baldrick-like cunning plan was a hoot. Teasing us about what turned out to be some sort of footy match coming our way, this was her gurgling post on Facebook.

‘Guess what! Tomorrow I will be announcing a major sporting event for Townsville so get the Townsville Bulletin to find out. You ex-Victorians will love it.’ 

Perhaps The ‘Pie is, as rumoured, a bit dense, but if you go on Facebook saying you know something but you’ll have to buy the paper to find out, isn’t that an ad? A touch of coy lowered-eyes, husky-voiced teasing? And, given The Mullet's message was posted early evening - too late for television - doesn’t that mean you’re using your elected office for some sort of commercial discrimination? Maybe a long bow, but one more than a few in the local TV newsrooms have been willing to draw. (The Facebook heads-up came from a less than chuffed TV reporter.) 
Free advice, me old Mullet: from now on, when doing a television interview, check behind you first, or this may happen to you.

In your case, if there is a Walker Street sign behind you, make sure you're not blocking out the 'L'.

And before we leave this matter, Mayor Mullet, with all the subtlety of a grenade in a bowl of porridge, repeatedly talked up her supposed role in getting the AFL pre-seaon match here. She made it sound single handed. And that raises the question then: WHERE THE HELL WAS TEL? Isn't that stuff Townsville Enterprise's job? But sorry, forgot, Jenny is the deputy chair of TEL, so maybe she was wearing that hat.    

Now to matters of state.

Lifting the ban on uranium mining in Queensland is a logical economic and politically predictable step, even if the miners will have to wear ear muffs to stifle the screeches of Jenny Stirling locally and the likes of Christine Milne and the Green’s own rolling cloud of irritating fallout, Sarah Hanson-Young. Talk about expanding gas. (In the case of the latter, Mongrel the Barrister was at his most crass when he suggested Sarah H-Y was the Greens’ own ‘big bang theory’.  Mongrel remains a worry.)

And of course, this decision to resume uranium mining was always going to happen. One leading uranium industry figure told ABC Radio that he was taken by surprise by the announcement, because he had believed it would be a rolling argument and prolonged negotiations for about a year of window dressing (not his words) before mining of yellow cake could resume in Queensland.

This malarkey about ‘no government plan’ is just so much horsefeathers. Even punters in North Queensland, the majority renowned for having the attention span of a dragonfly, will well remember the very real environmental threat from the Ben Lomond mine, which was closed down more than 30 years ago. With the technology then available, Ben Lomond posed a very real threat to the whole Burdekin water system, and any communities dependent on the Budeken tributaries and dam for their everyday water. You can bet there’ll be a ‘government plan’ about that particular site, with the betting London to a brick that it will never be reopened. Even new technology wouldn’t make it safe.

Our sleep-deprived cartoonist Bentley had a nightmare on this very subject.

Ben Lomond is a very justifiable NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) situation, but it doesn’t apply everywhere. The ‘Pie has a wider social observation. 

The sale of Australian uranium overseas exposes the half-life of hypocrisy that seems to be embedded in the national Aussie character.

You see, we are willing to sell it to others well away from our everyday life here in Oz, so they can meet their energy needs, but we won’t embrace that use ourselves as the most sensible, economic and safe – yes, safe when no shortcuts of convenience are taken – sources of industrial energy. The Chicken Little’s of this world who have watched The China Syndrome once too often, and discount the fatal planning idiocy of the Japanese, predictably will be flapping in alarm and disgust at The Magpie for that statement, but it’s the average Norm and Beryl Stringbag (to use Peter Lindsay’s phrase) who betray one of our less-than-wholesome national characteristics.

It’s a mind-set best summed up as ‘out of sight, out of mind’. It’s the governing principle behind the ‘benign neglect’ that informs most Australians compartmentalization of  aborigines, where justified assistance costs money.

But when that principle is extended to the sale of uranium overseas, there is an added dimension of greed and opportunism in the mix – because those sales make money. ‘Send the stuff overseas, use it as you will (hopefully for the peaceful purpose of bettering the lot of a class-ridden and corrupt society) but we won’t even contemplate its sensible and advantageous use here.’

That’s because we think it’s risky.

So, for a few pieces of silver, we reckon it’s OK for you, Mahtma, to dabble around with it, come what may- a sort of what happens in India, stays in India credo. And stiff cheddar if you cock it up.

But not us.

Too dangerous.

We don’t mind if we inflict a bit of radiation poisoning on you (which we apparently believe, by our own alarmist and out-of-date policies, is quite possible). Serves you bloody-well right, too. After all, you inflicted vindaloo and Bangalore Phal curry on the world, sensations probably not dissimilar to the agonies of radiation poisoning. 

Australia would appear to be the ideal country for the safe generation of nuclear power, with the space for installation well away from both the ocean and populated areas, in regions generally not subject to serious earthquakes. Tsunamis are also as rare as rocking horse s—t  in Oz, especially a few hundred kilometres inland. So if we’re not to be seen as a nation of venal hypocrites, shouldn’t we now embrace the industrial energy of the future, which cannot be matched in quantity or price by any other means?

Speaking of price, here’s an interesting little graph, received courtesy of James Paterson at the Institute of Public Affairs. It confirms that we are chumps when it comes to tolerating the national electricity rip-off.

Oh, and by the way … haven’t heard the detail yet, but do we have to have the glowing spent fuel rods repatriated for our safekeeping after India has finished with them? If so, then the hypocrisy of those opposed to nuclear energy in Australia gets an extra dimension of double-dealing to what will certainly be an acrimonious, heavily spun debate. But bring it on.

Now to that caption contest. 

The ‘Pie receives a lot of funny stuff, especially heavily biased political humour, often funny, sometimes not,  but not all of it is for this blog. But this time, The ‘Pie publishs the below to see if you can’t come up with a similarly chuckle-worthy line from any side of politics, or any subject at all for that matter.

Several alternatives spring to mind:

‘Hey, dude, I'm joking, your ears aren’t like Tony Abbott’s’, or,
‘Hey dude, I'm joking, Jenny Hill isn’t going to babysit us’, or
‘Hey, dude, I'm joking, The Daily Astonisher isn’t going to write an exclusive expose on your dummy-running racket.’ 

C’mon, you get the drift … and see the note how to give yourself a name.

Finally, as promised, Fifty Shades of Grey – The Retirement Home Edition. (With thanks to G C).

For those of you who’ve been on the Planet Zog for the duration, 50 Shades is a soft porn novel about S & M (no, Mystified of Mysterton, that doesn’t stand for sex and marriage, but metaphorically means the same thing) and it has had the gals' moistness meter off the scale around the globe, and as Mongrel the Barrister so indelicately puts it ‘… has the blokes coughing in their rompers’. He’d know.

So here it is, as The ‘Pie read to the bemused folks in Poseurs’ Bar.
Fifty Shades of Grey - A husbands view

The missus bought a paperback
...down town on Saturday,

I had a look inside her bag;
....t'was "Fifty Shades of Grey".

Well I just left her to it,
And at ten I went to bed.

An hour later she appeared - he sight filled me with dread?..

In her left she held a rope;
And in her right a whip!

She threw them down upon the floor,
And then began to strip.

Well fifty years or so ago;
I might have had a peek;

But Mabel hasn't weathered well, she's eighty four next week!!

Watching Mabel bump and grind could not have been much grimmer

And things then went from bad to worse - she toppled off her Zimmer!

She struggled back upon her feet;
A couple minutes later;

She put her teeth back in and said
.....I'm the dominater !!

Now if you knew our Mabel,
you'd see just why I spluttered,

I'd spent two months in traction
for the last complaint I'd uttered.

She stood there nude and naked, bent forward just a bit
I went to hold her, sensual like,
and stood on her left tit!

Mabel screamed, her teeth shot out;
My god what had I done!?

She moaned and groaned then shouted out:
"Step on the other one"!!

Well readers, I can tell no more of what occurred that day.
Suffice to say my jet black hair,
Turned Fifty Shades of Grey.




1. Click into the comment box at the bottom of the blog (and below existing comments if any) and write your comment.

2. Click on the menu button next to The Daily Astonisher field below the comment box.

3. Scroll down that menu until you reach 'name' and 'URL'.

4. In the 'name' section type your name or whatever monicker you want to go by (IGNORE the URL box).

5. Click continue.

6. Click publish.

The 'Pie will then do the rest - checking for legals, taste, language, idiocy - and then publish your gem.



  1. Dude I was just joking, the Astonisher will keep printing Hagar and The Phantom; worthwhile news will remain as an optional extra.

    All I said Dude, was that my deficit was bigger than yours, now form a committee to prove me wrong.

    I’m the Happy Buddha dude, just enjoying a simple life,
    You’re a bloody Greenie mate always bleating and making your own strife.

    Hey Dude you “demanded” Julia change our Nappies,
    Mine was full; so now you can sit in my crappies.

    That’s discrimination Dude, my shit does stink too.

    Dude! Uranium oxide is Yellow Cake, that stuff in your nappy is far more volatile.

    Tony! Dude, I was joking Malcolm doesn’t want your job. Trust me LoL Joe.

    Dude; of course I wasn’t serious about expecting you as treasurer to balance the budget.

  2. Regarding your comments 13 Oct re Townsville Enterprise I notice a bubbly young lady from TEL at the North ward Shopping Centre driving a new black Honda Accord Euro (top of the range) supplied by Pick (n 'pay) Maybe mode of transport is supplied in lieu of membership fees, leased or could she have salary sacfifed to obtain this vechile

  3. Gee what's the price of a tax deductible black honda accord. Ah the envy of the anonymous!

    1. SPQR ; Yes my 2008 C180 Kompressor (bought second hand) looked very lonely next to it. (the car not the pretty young thing)

    2. Ummm, polite inquiry, SPQR.

      Are you the (presumably) bloke who gained a mention a few years ago for the clever number plate SPQR which was attached to a very handsome Holden Senator? (For Mystified of Mysterton, SPQR was the Roman symbol for The Senate and/or senator).

    3. Yes,& by your good old self no less, when you still graced the pages of the Astonisher.
      No, SPQR means Senatus Populusque Romanus (the Senate & People of Rome).
      You cannot forget the people mate, even if Anonymous.

  4. Always entertaining Pie. The serving defence folk are the reason there's freedom (eerrrr???) in this country.

  5. There has always been something a bit dodgy about the nuclear power debate.

    I remember, in the mid to late 70's, I had a little Moreton Bay Launch moored in Doughboy Creek (incidentally, near the old Bulimba power station). I clearly recall seeing a mini mountain of bright yellow stuff - had to be yellowcake - on the northern side of the Brisbane River, about 1 km in from the then mouth. It was not even half covered by tarps, most of it being open to the elements. It was only a couple of hundred metres from the river bank. No way they were not getting run-off.

    Gough et al had just put an end to the export trade, so it sat there for months. I left Brisbane for good shortly thereafter, but often wondered what happened to it. 'Pie since you are the polygot amongst the flock, do you know? I suspect that it may have quietly slipped overseas...

    My motel here in Cairns usually slips a complimentary copy of the Cairns Post under my door every morning. Today, there was a note saying that the Post was now being printed in Townsville and sent by up by road. Apparently, there was some "incident" on the highway and the truck was delayed, so no paper with the All Bran this morning.

  6. My motel here in Cairns usually slips a complimentary copy of the Cairns Post under my door every morning. Today, there was a note saying that the Post was now being printed in Townsville and sent by up by road. Apparently, there was some "incident" on the highway and the truck was delayed, so no paper with the All Bran this morning.

  7. And another thing.

    There has always been something a bit dodgy about the nuclear power debate.

    I remember, in the mid to late 70's, I had a little Moreton Bay Launch moored in Doughboy Creek (incidentally, near the old Bulimba power station). I clearly recall seeing a mini mountain of bright yellow stuff - had to be yellowcake - on the northern side of the Brisbane River, about 1 km in from the then mouth. It was not even half covered by tarps, most of it being open to the elements. It was only a couple of hundred metres from the river bank. No way they were not getting run-off.

    Gough et al had just put an end to the export trade, so it sat there for months. I left Brisbane for good shortly thereafter, but often wondered what happened to it. 'Pie since you are the polygot amongst the flock, do you know? I suspect that it may have quietly slipped overseas.

  8. 'Pie - are you attempting to organise my thought processes?

    No point - even the experts gave up long ago...

  9. Good afternoon Pie. I should I say that in Asian?
    I'm astounded that if we are a multicultural country why is it we are forced to teach our children Asian language.

    Will Australia be renamed to IndonAustralia or Chinaustralia?

  10. I loved reading Ewen's gushy love struck post on Facebook. Jen's the it gal.

    1. Speaking of Ewan, is there any decent contenders willing to knock Ewan off his seat? Katter's are sorted, ALP? Anyone?

  11. Pauline Hanson? Ha

    1. Rumour has it that some of those originally approached in 2010 are now regretting their decision and may have a tilt at pre-selection. Ewan may be a meathead, but at least he showed he had some balls. He deserves another go - over time he may learn the value of loyalty in return and the wisdom of not giving voice to the every dumb thing that pops into his head.

    2. i agree with Grumpy if he can run his media comments via Sen Mcdonalds office before he open his mouth he should have another go. However as a leading ? (he claims and the T/B seeks for advice ) maybe they should wire him a comment is waiting in the wings for a second attempt.

  12. I hear tell the Media Hound and Political Pest (Magpie's words of wisdom) Paul Jacob wants to put his hat in the ring but he's been told to go away by the Labor faithful..

  13. Bought my first packet of smokes in the new packaging today. Shock. Horror. Smoking is bad for you?

    Who would have thought?

    Thank you, Nanny

  14. Which council xmas party are they referring to? There is one for each building / depot so at least 5. Some get a snag on bread and 1 standard drink others knock off early with an open bar and seafood

  15. Good work Pie. Re the uranium debate, i worked at the Yeelirrie uranium processing pilot plant outside Kalgoorlie in the early eighties. it was all shut down at the change of election. As much as we had all the safety procedures, one bloke decided it was a good idea to smuggle a Nescafe coffee jar full of processed yellow cake home because he liked the colour of the stuff! One can only guess as to what other plans he had for it.

    1. At least you'd be able to see him coming at night.