Saturday, November 24, 2012

An all round entertaining week - does Ewen Jumbo Jones believe that half his constituents would like the 'death penalty' for those who support gay marriage? - Mayor Mullet gets her own dedicated biblical quote - and on the national stage, looks like Baldrick from Blackadder is on contract to the Australian Government with a cunning plan to import people ... to be unemployed.

Jumbo stumbles into the thickets of English yet again, and we're not sure what we heard.

Townsville Enterprise Limited's  (TEL) AGM and self-stroking luncheon was held on Thursday and was more notable for who wasn't there than who was. It was a very selective guest list. The Magpie discoveres the who and why of it all through a revealing email from Enterrpise House.

And it wouldn't be a week without The Daily Astonisher astonishing us;  there was a big whoopsey of a headline about the paper's favorite son, and there were more than a few cranky cruciverbalists out there who had some cross words about the paper's crossword cock-up. 

All here amongst the detrius on the floor of the nest at

Jumbo Jones, our entertaining Member for Herbert, donned his straw boater, candy-striped jacket, white ducks and cane to do a wonderfully clever soft shoe shuffle routine for a captive audience from the gay community, telling them half his consitituents wanted 'the death penalty' for supporters of gay marriage. 

Here's how it went down.
Last Monday night, Jumbo trundled along as a guest at a meeting called to support gay marriage - now termed marriage equality - at the Sovereign Hotel. He'd been invited, so he went, and pretty soon wished he hadn't. His powers of communication were on full display, as he stoutly opposed the crowds support for the gay marriage. He also managed to somehow weave into his jumbled narrative that it took more than 50 years for the aborigines to recognised as people and get the vote, and even dragged in - somehow - the historic matter of Indian independence. And even the red indians in America.

The central thrust of Jones' gabbling was that his party went to the election on a policy of opposing gay marriage and that he didn't have an opinon on the subject, just a policy. And that policy was the one he ran before the election and it would be wrong to change his mind now. Fair enough, one supposes, and if only he'd left it at that. But somewhere in the burbling torrent of auctioneer's patter, Jones is reported to have told the audience that those wanting marriage equality  were only part of his constituency and that 'the other half wanted the death penalty', a statement that says a lot of things to a lot of people. Like, they want it for supporters of gay marriage?

The next morning, ABC Radio's Paula The Mauler Tapiolas decided to find out what went on. 

First she recorded an interview  with Krys Fischer, the woman who convened the previous night's meeting, With the Jones boy in the studio listening to her remarks, Ms Fischer quoted Jones as saying half the people he represented wanted the death penalty. Ms Fischer expanded on this point quite forcefully, and described it as 'a slap in the face'.  Was this a misinterpretation? Maybe, maybe not.

Politically astute gay activist Colin Edwards was at the forum said, and contacted The Magpie to say many in the audience instantly  made, rightly or wrongly, the connection between the death penalty comment and their support for gay marriage - and Ewen was buttonholed about it several times after the meeting. 

Now the interesting thing here is that when Ewen got his turn on Paula's show, in all the things he dissembled and denied about Ms Fischer's account, he didn't deny making the 'death penalty' statement. As far as The 'Pie heard, it was not referred to at all by him or by The Mauler in their interview. So The 'Pie assumes this was a statement made by a federal MP to a gathering of concerned constituents - he would, or perhaps will, deny it at his own peril, given there were 120 at the forum, and Ms Fisher gave a relatively unemotional and unsensational account of proceedings. And given the politically explosive nature of the remark, he would surely deny it if he hadn't said it. Or wasn't he listening.

Townsville thanks you for the great publicity, Jumbo.

The 'Pie is sure there are many intelligent and thoughtful people in the seat of Herbert who do oppose gay marriage who may not like being characterised as folk who are so homophobic as to want the 'death penalty' for their opponents. Or even just being proponents of the death penalty for anyone.

If you want to hear Jumbo Jones get spectacularly tangled up in his verbal shoelaces ,you can hear both interviews here.


Just in from the States, astounding news of a breakthrough new 'psychic' camera which can actually visually capture the major thought processes of its subject.  The first most successful demonstration of the Nikon Neurological Hot Shot was when billionaire buffoon Donald Trump called for a march on the White House to overturn Bazza Obama's election victory.

While we're in that neck of the woods, Bentley is still bemused with Joolya's embarrassing goo-goo eyes for Bazza up at that Asian summit.

As Mongrel the Barrister so inelegantly put it down at Poseurs" Bar at the time 'Bit bloody obvious she had a wide-on for him'.  Whatever that means.

But ti was a weird return to the real world when Joolya sighed her way back to Canberra. Now we're apparently importing people to be unemployed - how else could the government's latest panicked bit pf patchwork policy be anything else/?

The Christmas Island Special heads south from Darwin? No - not yet.
In case you missed it, because of overcrowding, several hundred illegal immigrant detainees will be set free into the community to await their judgement  to stay or go. We taxpayers will pay a small (ha!) amount to them help with accomodation, BUT they will not be allowed to WORK. How's that for a WTF policy? So a group of disaffected, possibly psychotic folks who feel personally entitled because they made an illegal boat trip to Australia will now be wandering around without a job, with very little to support themselves and an understandable general feeling of disaffection.  Model citizens in the making for sure.

Immigration Minister Baldrick announced the policy this week,

What next? 

'Umm, PM, I see that rapes and murders are down over the past few years.' 

'Christ, that's no good, Nicola, let's import a few suitable characters off the boats to lift those figures to world standard.'

'Good idea, Jools. While we're about it, the number of dodgy lawyers being prosecuted is way down, how about using the same boat people lurk for the legal profession stats?'

'Ummm, Nicky, luvvie, let's leave that one on the backburner for the moment - the way things are going, we won't need any imports on that front.' 

Our own great and glorious political leader, the flying fish Mayor Mullet returns from her ratepayer junket to the USA (The 'Pie read the Astonisher story incorrectly - how could that be? - which seemed to suggest that the trip was being paid for by IBM; not so, it turns out, the ones picking up the tab of somewhere near $10,000 is - ta da - YOU, the ratepayer).
What's the difference between this ..... 

.... and this?

But Mayor Mullet's return mid-week put The Magpie in mind of an  updated  variation of the old pommy newchum joke: what's the difference between Mayor Mullet and the jet she arrived home on? The jet stopped whining after it landed.

Not our Jenny. 

Heading down to her desk at The Daily Astonisher - she surely has a desk there as honorary associate editor - she immediately lived up to her name of the Moaning Mullet, galumphing away that despite evidence to the contrary, there was disunity (that would be a disunity of one) within the council, which continued to block some of her more ruinous election promises. She says the others , including the CEO, are "making it difficult for me to run the agenda I was elected on". 

Amen to that, but (sigh), does it have to be explained to you again, dearie? And The 'Pie promises this will be the last time if you're a good girl from now on.

You were elected mayor NOT because people believed your skilful lying during the camapign. Especially the Bulletin-abetted effort of brilliant timing the day before the election about Townsville First whacking up rates 6%a year for the next four years if elected - even CEO Ray Burton called you for fibbing on that one, no wonder you're out after his balls.

No, you were elected because:
1. Dale Last was not a good campaigner, and was not experienced enough or have the support to be quick enough to counter your negative and largely untrue attacks, and
2. more importantly, show pony Jeff Jimmieson and eccentric but plausible surprise candidate Brendan Porter dragged enough votes away from Last for you to squeak home. The proof of this particular political pudding is that seven Townsville First councillors, and a non-Labor indepedent won eight of the ten seats on the council. Some bloody mandate!

Don't you read your own publicity, lady? in the council's latest City Update mini-mag (appropriate front page pic of you under water, Mullet)  on page 4, there is a very informative chart that shows in overall annual rates, including water, sewerage and refusecharges, levies and discounts of Queensland's 16 local councils. Townsville comes in fifth, at $2,785, and that's just exactly $300 more than number one, the Whitsunday Regional Council and $124 more than number 2, Cairns. Since you've been away, perhaos you missed it, so go here to your own website, scroll down and see for yourself.

Mullet, your moaning sent The 'Pie for solace to the Bible - where else?  He came across a quotation he believes sums up the feelings of majority of the community about your constant carping See Hebrews 13:8 (King James version).  'Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever' 

Or in a more profane suggestion, For Christ's sake, give it a bloody rest, will you? Please.

Townsville Enterprise held it's invite-only  AGM and annual bunfight at Jupiters on Thursday, to hear all the usual disguised flapdoodle (more on that in an upcoming post) but The 'Pie was more interested in who was missed out on this coveted annual A lister.

A bit of background. On October 22 last, David 'The Kipper' Kippin sent out a plaintive email to all five LNP Queensland MPs in TEL's area, full of rending of  garments and gnashing of teeth (these days, nature has denied The Kipper  the more traditional pulling of hair). In short, he told both Davids (who are both ministers), John, Sam, and Rosie what bastards they and their government were to chop the $230,000 annual subsidy to TEL, because he had been forced to sack one of their best operatives, conventions gal Raewyn Dooley.

Of course, Mr Kippin didn't quite use the above words but his email instead said:
'This morning, the company terminated the position of manager, Convention Bureau Townsville, which has been made redundant. As such, one of our valued employee, Raewyn Dooley, has unfortunately been retrenched and her employment terminated immediately. We also announced that two more staff members, who will shortly depart on extended maternity leave, will not be replaced and that the fate of their positions will be made in due course during the terms of their respective absences.
This regrettable action is in direct reponse to the uncertainty surrounding your government's 2012 Queensland Regionalk Development Initiative (QRDI) funding program .... we have accepted the probability that the funding will not be continued in whole or part, as compared with previous years.'

(An idle thought: $230k is just $10k short of your annual ratepayer-enabled salary, Kipper, (that's $5000 a week) so surely instead of sacrificing one of your best employees, you could have decided to try and squeeze by on $4000 a week, thus freeing up a weekly grand to retain the services of someone so useful to the local economy.)

In amongest the rest of the email's self-serving waffle was The Kipper saying TEL would appeal the funding decision (The 'Pie hears they get some dough back through Tourism Queensland) and then added this little pearl of wisdom which goes a long way to summing up one of TEL's main problems.
'I have decided against issuing a media statement around (sic) this decision but rather to contact our valued sponsors, members and politicians by way of direct contact with a general bulletin to be posted soon on our website.'  

And guess what? Not one of the politicians who received this email, those who would be the people expected to go to bat for TEL in its funding appeal, were invited to the AGM to hear of all the sterling achievements of the year past - whatever they may have been. Not only were two of them cabinet ministers, but one, Sam Cox, is also a paid up member of TEL, since he and his wife have a small holiday rental business on Maggie. Very selective. Very dopey. Very juvenile.

Oh, and yes, does the the opening salutation on the email deserve a spot in the 'dripping sarcasm' file: 
'To our valued State MPs representing the North Queensland Region.'

Get yourself a good media officer before it's too late, Kipper - if it isn't already.

By the by, another notable absentee was former TEL CEO and Chairman John Bearne. He was succcessfully nominated and returned to the board - but perhaps that was too smaller beer for him. Instead, he was lunching with a former TEL colleague at Michel's for, we hear, her birthday. The devotion to friendship, if not civic duty, is touching.

You've really got to feel a bit sorry for the Bulletin. Of all the multiple traps a paper is prey to, even when run by experienced and enthusiastic people, the Astonisher fell into two of them this week.

The first was the front page below, where the smart-kid-in-the-classroom straining for a clever headline found the paper implying a very base insult, the sort which if uttered on Flinders Street East would invite a smack around the ear. 
The headline on the left was pretty good -
the one on the right pretty dumb and insulting.

For those of you not acquainted with bogan, redneck crim-speak 'Dog Act' is a suggestion that the person has committed the lowest possible act of treachery or despicable behaviour imaginable. For the paper to dump this - inadvertently or otherwise - on the one man who sells more papers for them than anyone else, it is a most regrettable play on words. (The 'Pie notes it was changed quickly on the website, perhaps indicating that not a few punters were unhappy with it).

The other matter this week, actually has nothing to with journalism, and probably more to do with the tea lady or cleaner, or whomsoever is assigned to placing the crosswords in the paper. Crossword lovers, both easy and cryptic (the puzzles, that is, not necessarily the puzzlers) are obviously people who enjoy language and clever word games, so it is a fair guess that those who do the Bulletin crossword buy the paper for that exercise alone. (The cryptics are easy but they're fun and often very clever).

So the MagpeFone had more than one Colonel Blimp and retired schoolmarm going puce over last Monday's effort where the bottom page cryptic had the wrong set of clues for the accompanying grid. And The 'Pie was crisply informed that this is about the third time this year it has happened - three said they were going to cancel their subscriptions. The 'Pie actually doubts that, because cruciverbalists not only look forward to discovering the answer to that unsolved clue, but also daily seek the tussle with the clever clogs composer - it really is addictive. 

But should we be surprised at this. After all, this is the paper that has actually got the date wrong on three occasions in the past few years. As the saying is of this most basic press crime, if you can't get the date right, why should you believe anything else in it? So for all The 'Pie's old pals down in Ogden Street, including those in IT, here's a neat little strip with Attila the Hun about to go into a management meeting. The names and genders have been changed to protect the guilty.

And finally, a must see. Getting self-interest messages like safety across to kids is one of the hardest gigs in advertising, but a Melbourne mob have come up with a world-beating answer. It is simple, effective, it has gone viral ... and a warning, it is what they call an 'ear worm' you will have trouble getting the tune out of your head. Show it to the kids here , it is terrific and it gets the message across with humour and without preaching. An award winner for sure..

Enough now, it is away to Poseurs' Bar , where the old bird will bebubble a suitable lass and engage in a cryptic conversation with her. 'Hi, I'm cryptic.' 'Hi, I'm easy.' 'OK, let's try it my way first, it's harder.'

(Note: Anyone wanting to enter the mysterious world of cryptic crosswords, The 'Pie highly recommends 'Puzzled - Secrets and Clues from a life Lost in Words' by David Astle, (Allen & Unwin rrp about $30) Astle is one of the most talented (read frustrating bastards) grid setters and was one of the few such to grace the Fairfax papers, SMH and Age. A good read even for those who like just the quirks of language). 



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. It's a sin Ewan, It's sin

  2. If JT has a 'stick with us' created by the Bully, Who can the Pie make a page for?

  3. I took the time to listen to the Tapiolas interviews by way of your link & did not hear it alleged by Fischer that Jumbo said at the Soveriegn that half of his electorate thought that supporters of gay marriage should be lynched. What was alleged was that he said that half his electorate supported the death penalty. This could well be correct. As I wax on in age I am finding that my prior views on the ultimate sanction are changing. If I am allowed to get extremely old & grumpy I might well begin to believe that journos who twist facts to suit their personal agenda should also be strung up. It's a dog act.

    1. OK, SPQR, on re-listening, your interpretation of what was said is possible on Ms Fischer's statement of recollection, which is transcripted below. But the linkage is at best dopey political argument, and when listening to radio, people hear things once only. The 'Pie is still grappling with the gobbledegook of an MP in a gay marriage forum making other easily misintepreted comments and possibly false linkages to aboriginal citizenship and - for Chrissake - Indian independence.

      And in any case, if Ms Fischer's Ewen quote about the death penalty is accurate, in terms of normal usage of English, it is wide open to The 'Pie's interpretation or mis-interpretation - it is ambivalent at best.

      But if Mr Jones would like to put his side of this matter, The Magpie will publish his unedited comment when it is received.

      Ms Fischer said:
      'We are only part of the community that wants change, and to quote Ewen '... the other half want the death penalty, which I think is a bit of a slap in the face to say ... ah, well, you want marriage equality but other people want the death penalty, so let's compare it. It is nowhere near a comparision.'

    2. Dumb old Kippin has provided in writing just the evidence the 2 women on maternity leave need for a pregnancy/parental status and sex discrimination case should he make them "redundant" while on maternity leave or soon after. Funny how 3 women are targetted - not the good ole boys, including the incompetents! Raewyn should lodge a sex discrimination complaint. Phone ADCQ on 1300130670 girls.

  4. BUT they will not be allowed to WORK. How's that for a WTF policy?

    Not much happening over there..

    Also, they are illegal refugees, not second class Australians. Helps the underclass born here first.

  5. Kippen ' I think you should brush up on your knowledge of Industrial Relations pertaining to Maternity leave for staff ,and their return to work after the Completion of same . Also redundancy payments made to staff must adhere to the applicable Union You're not giving out Bank Loans now...award

  6. Johnathon Thurston the man who sells more newsopapers than anyone else for The Bulletin?

    Don't think so - that honour must go to you, Magpie - I reckon your running commentary on The Astonisher must be worth plenty of sales to them, even if for the wrong reasons.

    1. What a depressing thought, but The 'Pie figures that's a reasonable quid pro quo ... after all, probably 25% of page views clicked up on this blog are from News Ltd lawyers, management and journos.

    2. The Astonisher's website, dull and full of hot air. No pictures with 'stories' or they're from down south to cover their arse.

      I really enjoyed Darren, Troy's and the other female shooters pictures which have left.

  7. How can we be surprised with "Dog Act" from this paper when its "columnists" use such crass terms as "What The...". As a kid the next word was heck or hell and now its the F bomb. And the journos and paper seem to think this acceptable!

  8. I'm not sure it was 'secret talks', conveniently the News Ltd photographer was hiding in their carpark. Secret? I don't think so!

    The real truth is reading the Astonisher's reporters Facebook posts. Hypocrits.

    Always good and entertaining Pie.

  9. The Bully-Tin getting it so far wrong so far as who paid for Gee-Jenny's trip leads one to think that the "mistake" had to have been quite deliberate - ie, an outright and wilful lie. If Gee-Jenny was not complicit in such capriciousness, why did she not immediately insist upon a correction? Oh, wait: that would be the honourable and honest thing to do. And honour and honesty are not principles embraced all that closely by the current crop of Labor valkeries. If IBM paid for the trip, it hopelessly compromised Gee-Jenny as she would have had to excuse herself from any future council discussions regarding IBM - whether it be a development application or a council tender. To borrow your phrase 'Pie - we know (or thought we did) the quid - now tell us about the quo. If we paid for the junket, what was its real purpose? Why in heaven's name was it necessary for her personally to go overseas? So far as I am aware, Townsville is only one of the possible sites being looked at by IBM. I'll bet London to a brick that we are nowhere near top of that list. (Think location, think logistics, think workforce.) Is Gee-Jenny going to provide us with a detailed report as to what, exactly, she got up whilst on our shout? To whom did she speak? What did she discuss with them? How long did those dicussions actually take? Any side-trips? What likely return shall we get on our $10,00 (yeah - rrright) investment? If Gee-Jenny accepted so much as a free cocktail franfurt from IBM, she again compromises herself.

    The whole thing smells like a bucket of fly-blown pilchards.

  10. Is Donnald Trump Vern Veitch's alt ego?

    Always good and entertaining Pie

  11. When will people learn that Jenny Hill is only looking after herself. She couldnt get along with Mooney,Tyrell,Councilors,CEOs and anyone else for that matter.
    I reckon she is just a spoilt little child that whinges when she cant get her own way.Time she grew up and left the tantrums for the little uns.

  12. re J Hill's Trip to the U.S.A. I was at a past full Council Meeting when this was raised and was approved/agreed by the entire 10 Councillors . Meeting was of course since the Election I also recall it was approved that someone from the Council Heirachy also attend with her.. I don't recall how costs were allocated. At the Council meetings any expenses involving training LGA meetings etc are generally ? raised and approved by the Councillors in attendance In the case of this Trip there was no disent amongst the 10 Councillors If anyone is interested you can obtain the Council meeting Minutes from the Council

    1. "Training and LGA meetings" do not include junkets to visit companies that may well be competing with other companies for council business or making development applications?

      And just because the rest of the crew gave it the nod does not escape the very strong stench of conflict of interest and preferential treatment.

      Are these people total idiots?

  13. Here's one for the pedants, although I'm sure others have a much bigger dictionary than me.

    My understanding is that it is not illegal to claim assylum, and that people who claim assylum only become illegal immigrants if their claim is rejected.

    Just saying.

    1. But is it illegal to enter the country illegally then claim asylum?

    2. Well, the entry is illegal. But the act of claiming asylum is not, per se.

      However, the issue is that the vast majority of those languishing in UN refugee camps claim asylum. These unfortunates are forced to wait in putrid conditions for 5 years until they are eventually processed and are taken in by host countries "legally". Why should those with $US10,000 in their kick be rewarded for hopping on a boat, travelling 15 nautical miles off and then ringing the Navy Taxi be given preferential treatment?.

    3. The grant of legal assistance to them in order to sue the Australian government is absurdly generous.

      Those who organise transportation are highly renumerated.

      Lastly, the origonals will become the new underclass paying for all of this.

  14. As a pedant, I do have a bigger dictionary than you obviously do, because it is my understanding that the word is 'asylum'. Or are you commenting on Australia's policy on foreign donkeys in danger? (The domestic policy on this issue involves elections and marginal seats).

    Just saying.

  15. Regarding Mayor Mullet's biblical quote, here's one for Ewen Jones to help him understand the gay marriage issue.

    Some US states recently legalised gay marriage and marijuana on the same day.
    Leviticus 20:13 - 'If a man lays with another man, as with a woman, he should be stoned.'

    Makes sense, we've just been interpreting it wrong.

  16. THe Mayor advised the Ordinary Council meeting (Tda 27 Nov) that she will give a report/feedback on her trip to the U>S>A> at the next Council meeting Tue 18 Dec. 2 other Councillors Blom/Doyle will give feedback on their recent domestic Travel

  17. No doubt you are aware but in the aftermath of the disgraceful front page article yesterday I note the bully has printed a retraction on page 2.

    Interesting to note the website still has the offending, and totally untrue statement.

    "A spokesman for the Department of Justice and Attorney-General said there had been a significant increase in assaults and harassment between staff and prisoners, despite launching a Respect 4 Women program to address sexual and physical harassment at the centre."

    1. The story sort of hinged on the Department's statement, since the quotes of complaint ranged from 'precious' through 'contrived' to 'self-serving', so those enraged thousands out there who besieged newsagents seeking their Monday dose of astonishment can rest easy. It was a front page story in screaming size font ... the correction (which may soon have to go on the page where the error occurred) was in whispering size font at the bottom of page two.
      For the record, it said
      "The Bulletin yesterday incorrectly reported a spokesman for the Department of Justice and attorney general saying there had been a significant increase in assaults at the Cleveland Youth Detention Centre.
      The Department does not believe there has been a significant increase in anti-social behaviour.
      The Bulletin apologises for the error.'

    2. Doesn't Atil of the Hun volunteer inside there? Shudders if she did

  18. Very few media outlets published the sale to Chinese who recently purchased 100 000 hect. of land in WA. Why are we giving away OUR sovereignty to foreign country who is growing the food only for it's own population? What next an economic invasion?

    What's going on? why would we allow this when they violate human abuses, violate working conditions etc..

    Why should we become Asian?