Saturday, November 3, 2012

Mayor Mullet becomes a flying fish - the untold story of her parachute jump this week – and a cautionary tale about the pitfalls for twits who use Twitter.

Our cartoonist Bentley takes a big stick to Treasurer Goose, and The ‘Pie poses the question: is Barnaby Joyce a racist? (Is the Pope a … oh, never mind.)

And no matter what the outcome of this week’s US presidential election, Americans have a word for it. 
Also, just in case you missed it, have a look at the last blog posted midweek ... it's a bit of fun.

All this twaddle here in the nest at

 First, a timely reminder about that hallowed Aussie tradition, mateship.

Many of our current generation are more interested in getting a leg over than giving those less able a leg up.

So it was both heartwarming and heartbreaking to receive this photograph in the inbox yesterday.

Heartwarming to see a tradition lives on, heartbreaking because this was taken in Pommyland and appeared there in the clever Hugo’s Weekly.

Now to local matters.

In the last couple of weeks, Daily Astonisher reporter Kate Higgins has been the subject of (The ‘Pie hopes) light-hearted banter - ha ha - in this blog. Certain comments from readers were published (and several weren’t) one from regular poster Grumpy, who harrumphed  during the week ‘ Let me guess … 20-something, JCU-schooled and still living at home?’  Putting aside that you come on like a stalker, Grumpy, wrong on all but presumably the 20-something.

 Unless there is another journalist in Queensland named Kate Higgins, our gal went to UQ, and is from Brisbane. She says she is ‘a reluctant feminist’, whatever that oxymoronic description means, she lives with an unnamed housemate, believes gardening is for senior citizens, loathes going to Bunnings …’kill me now’ ... where she brought a sprinkler timer, an excursion which led her to ponder “I can’t believe I’m still single’.

Ms Higgins is currently buying a new car, because after browsing through the private sale classifieds, she decided all those selling privately were ‘f...king delusional’. (Someone from classifieds will be taking you aside shortly for a little chat about how your salary is paid, kiddo). But this ‘reluctant feminist’s’ quest for new wheels is daunting, what with slick salesmen an’ all, so she laments there no ‘imposing-looking men in my life’ to help her out. (What, is she going out with Lendl Ryan?)

Kate doesn’t seem too keen on North Queensland generally and Townsville in particular, having discovered that local nasties include poisonous snakes, dengue and stingers – she diplomatically omitted from this list of things that are bad for your health The Townsville Bulletin. She believes Townsville cannot ‘grow’ until  dress shops and ice cream parlours stay open later – well, she actually said ‘shops’ but we know what you really mean, Kate. But her-devil-may-care attitude to sterotyping is on display when she says she likes Myers, and doesn't care who knows it. Courage indeed, so watch it, Benny V.

She loves having a general bitch about having to pay taxes, - ‘f..k you, government’ - about having to work at all,  and finds the Astonisher newsroom too noisy to be able to concentrate – ‘…so much noise in the office, I cant think’. Now there’s a candid confession for you that may explain a few of your previous observations, Grumpy, although The ‘Pie is surprised there is enough staff left at the paper to make any appreciable ruckus.

There is more of this – lots and lots more, for a total of 2721 tweets. One could go on – and on and on – as she does, but that’s enough. To borrow a Jane Austen line ‘ you have delighted us long enough, Kate’.

But a final observation, m’dear; at the top of your Twitter page, you tell us, somewhat redundantly, that your views are your own.

You have your own views AND  you work for the Townsville Bulletin? Now that is an oxymoron.

Moving on.

In an interesting linguistic note from America, it seems the Yanks express an unfortunate Australian tradition but in a somewhat franker manner.

In Australia, we call it the tall poppy syndrome, our love of bringing down high flyers who have risen above the pack by snipping off their metaphorical heads. But during the week, it became apparent the same idea seems to exist in the United States, with one commentator telling ABC Radio there was every chance that the electorate will bring down Bazza Obama ‘because Americans love the sound of splat’.

The ‘Pie will stick with tall poppies.

However, in the case of Wayne The Goose Swan, The ‘Pie will be quite happy with splat. 

This bloke is a double-dealing twicer of the first order, who has added insult to idiocy with his latest gabble about that entirely pointless – and damaging – quest for a budget surplus. In a risible and fruitless effort to show that he is a bigger swinging dick than Peter Costello, he has tried to pull an obvious swifty on the numbers, twiddling which has fooled absolutely no one. Analysts of every political stripe have decried the almost childish pea and thimble trick. In short, Wayne Swan has proved one simple thing that we all knew anyway – he is a liar. And willing to fool with the electorate’s wellbeing to satisfy his own myopic ego. And watch out – when he gets into your super funds, that will be good night nurse economically – for you anyway. And The 'Pie will bet that grab is not too far away, either.

Bentley is even less impressed.

Nuff said.

While we’re on matters Canberrian, you really have to wonder about Barnaby ‘The Boof From The Bush’ Joyce.

While some misguided rednecks (there’s an entry for Tautology of the Week) have idol thoughts about him, The ‘Pie had a particular idle thought about this verbal Catherine Wheel. This is the man who called the then PM KRudd ‘a psycho chook’ who had had ‘a spac attack’ when ripping into an RAAF hostie over his food. 

Barnaby is a media darling because he comes across as a sort of literate – almost articulate – version of The Mad Katter.
Barnaby Joyce - manic monkey specialist

Putting aside his deeply mysterious suggestion, when spurning overtures from Katter’s Cut Snake Party, that if he joined that outfit, he’d need a horse called Chocolate Thunder, our Barnaby’s most quoted verbal confection was his fevered summation about The Greens.

‘If you were going to go to the Greens to devise an emissions trading scheme, you are going to have a piece of policy that comes direct from the manic monkey café of inner suburban Nirvanaville straight to you.’
And when the ETS – Emissions Trading Scheme to us, but to Barnaby it was the Employment Termination Scheme – was being debated, our boy dismissed it out of hand as ‘…. a political (race hat) fascinator- a bit of fishnet with a few feathers you can stick on your head – but it’s never going to keep the sunlight out’.
He also shares Bob Katter’s concern about roof cavities and insulation – Bob once famously gurgled and tee hee’d on about alligators in the ceiling while expounding his theories on climate change. Senator Joyce was a bit more succinct when pink batts were in the news in 2010, telling the National Press Club ‘…. that’s the fluffy stuff that sits in the ceiling for rats and mice to urinate on.’
But The ‘Pie’s idle thought is this: would Senator Joyce be jumping up and down about the sale of Cubbie Station, and would it have the populist pull if it were not a Chinese/Asian consortium buying it? If it were the Americans, the Poms or for that matter, any European nation doing the deal? (That last is obviously a hypothetical, over in that neck of the woods, they haven’t got a brass razoo to spend).

The Magpie was born on a sheep and cattle station near Tamworth (for his sins, the old bird shares the honour of calling Tamworth his home town with – sigh – Barnaby Joyce, would you believe) The station was owned by a British company – British Tobacco, if memory serves. It was the head station for 27 other stations they owned all over Australia. And The ‘Pie, then or later, ever heard a single disparaging word about that ownership. Lots of people – 50 or 60 -  were employed permanently and paid on time, year in year out, and plenty of money was reinvested. That any profit went overseas seemed irrelevant to everybody – it didn’t matter if the owner lived on the Gold Coast or on Park Lane. Sad to say, that station has been in a downward spiral for a couple of decades now, which started when it was sold into local hands.

When American television star Art Linkletter (Kids Say The Darnest Things) bought a big spread in Esperance in the sixties, Australians almost did themselves a mischief, so flattered were we that America knew where Australia was – and was worth buying into. Sure, a lot of cultural cringe in there, but what’s the big deal about Cubbie? Countries as diverse as Switzerland and Australia to Brazil and Dubai (as well as the Yanks and Poms) own huge swaths of Australia. Singapore and, yes, the Chinese already have big stakes in agriculture as well as mining.

If Cubbie was going to the Yanks or even the Poms, Barnaby’s bandwagon would only have three wheels and wouldn’t be going anywhere. The ‘Pie believes this political opportunist is dog whistling to racists everywhere.

How about the dream the old bird had on this issue. He dreamed that Barnaby was mollified and backed of his criticism when he learnt that a British consortium had outbid the Chinese and would take over Cubbie. He helped vote it through - then almost had his own 'spac attack like a psycho chook' when he discovered the British mob was Bradford and Sheffield Muslim Brotherhood.  

But this real world, when the facts and restrictions are known and understood, all the alarmist claptrap  is really just another load of Barnaby’s special brand of chocolate thunder.

Speaking of which, it is now away to Poseurs’ Bar to meet up with Mongrel the Barrister, who intends to relate to the gathered throng a tale he told The Magpie during the week. The ‘Pie wasn’t there, but Mongrel says he was among the sizeable crowd that had eagerly gathered at The Strand to watch Mayor Mullet’s parachute jump from 10,000 feet. 

As Mongrel tells it, ’There was an air of expectancy and excitement as the Mayor Mullet plummeted towards earth at terminalk velocity. But suddenly, as our daredevil darling sped closer, a wail of horror and despair arose from the throng, there were muffled screams of disbelief among the onlookers, mothers covered their children’s eyes and a deep pall of despondency and shock came over the crowd. The Mullet’s parachute had opened safely.’




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. Bahaha love it Pie! Sad I know, but drivel does make me laugh so!

  2. Do you understand the difference between private ownership & ownership by an SOE?
    Read the Australian this week-end (New fear for Beijing's next leaders) & you might appreciate the concerns some of us red-necks have about the communist party of China owning assets here.

    1. The main thrust of the blog comments was the populist ploy by Joyce in appealing to a not-so-nascent racist sentiments, and the complete lack of rational debate in his rants. That is left to Senator Bill Heffernan.

      The problem with the Cubbie sale - which ironically, could be seen as a blessing disguise - is the lacksidasical kaleidoscope of weak-kneed laws governing foreign investment and particularly that of SEOs. The Cubbie sale has been dramatic enough - size, water, the Chinese - for those weaknesses to be exposed on the national stage, particularly by Heffernan, laying the foundation for a sensible debate to close loopholes that could threaten markets and evade valid Australian taxes. Proper safeguards in this area will soon become a major election issue.

      Joyce's claim that Cubbie should be, by fiat (another good senatorial word, SPQR) carved up and sold to Australian farmers is not part of that debate, and behaving like a colorful fruitloop benefits no one except the media - and of course The Magpie.

      That several Australian companies have stepped forward with alternative bids since the Chinese sale is a classic day-late-and-a-dollar-short - the bloody place has been in receivership for three years, with not a dickybird from potential local investors.

      For the most even-handed (and alarming) statement of where the debate stands at the moment, The 'Pie recommends


      and a somewhat less balanced pro-Chinese, 'she'll be right, mate' view here at

  3. Excellent piece again old bird. Makes my weekend...And many others too by the looks of your blog. With around 4,000 readers a week and quickly growing it won't be long before you're circulating more than the Astonisher. And all without leaving Poseurs’ Bar.

    1. Too kind, Hubs. Yes, there has been a spurt of interest in the past few months.

      However, in the interests of honesty and integrity (Memo Ogden Streeters - page 846 and 914 respectively of the Macquarie Dictionary second edition) the old bird reluctantly points out that what you see are page views (where the reader may open and close a visit to the blog several times - as an example, the large number of News Ltd lawyers who are addicted to the old bird's burblings) as distinct from Unique Users who are the actual number of people, identified by the IP address usually, who take a squizz. The 'Pie is in what Charles Dickens called 'reduced circumstances' and cannot afford the Unique User recording service of his blogmaster. It the web equivalent of TURF (Total Unduplicated Reach and Frequency) which is often used in television, radio and newspaper analyses, to lift lying and selective reporting of stats to an art form.

      However, by reasonable deduction, it seems The Magpie has between 2000 and 2500 regulars, plus a host of pests from other sites pretending to comment and then leaving their own link - these go immediately to delete heaven. There will shortly be a blog on these hopefuls, some of the messages are hilarious.

      So, adapting the Media Watch program's slogan, The Townsville Magpie is the site you love, until your in it.

      Damn, a sudden thought: now they've discovered honesty and integrity, the News Ltd heavies will be onto the Mac Dic's editor Sue Butler to change the definition of both to 'whatever is printed in News Ltd papers'. Well, they changed misogynist for Joolya, didn't they?

  4. I stand corrected. Perhaps I should have said in relation to Kate, "20-something (or thereabouts), vapid and oh-so-full of herself". If the eyes are the window to the soul, then Twitter must be the open roller-door to the intellect. You can easily count how many empty bays are in the shed.

    'Pie, the revelation of your roots reminded me that, in the 60's, I was regularly sent away during holidays to an egg farm in Kootingal "to teach me the value of work". I have many fond memories of tramping the blackberry bushed hills and plinking rabbits (for the table). A couple of years ago, I drove past and was saddened to see that the farm where I worked (and many of its neighbours) were abandoned. The massive chook pens that were quite common in the area were all in ruins and nothing much seemed to be there to replace them.

    Which brings me nicely to Cubby Station. It is a massive - I mean really massive - enterprise. I have less concerns about the Chinese buying the place than I do about Swan plundering my superannuation. Former National Party ministers were not shy about selling their sheep stations in SW QLD to the Chinese in the 90's. The Chinese think big and think long-term. Precisely what Cubby requires.

    'Pie - "a regular poster"??? I have the All Bran to thank for that. Who is stalking whom here?

  5. Have you heard of the advisory leaflet for the Longreach yokels in their Fossey's floral print frocks and moleskins, about 'head bowing' and non-mandatory - 'but they would be appreciate it' - curtsies by the sheilas, crowned by the advice that when you address Twisted Sandshoe Face, the word is 'maam', which the leaflet advises 'rhymes with jam'.  

    Oh, yeah? What's wrong with the good old friendly egalitarian Aussie way, and call her Camilla - which rhymes with 'gorilla'.

    Does anyone in the media, particularly radio, have the slightest inkling how bizarre and 'other planet-ish' all this gushing twerpery about the Longreach royal visit sounds?

    When known and trusted ABC voices send the gush-o-meter off the dial - 'And would you believe, Paula, it's not yet known but the prince may remove his coat at the BBQ  - AND IT'S BEEN SUGGESTED BUT NOT CONFIRMED THAT HE MAY ROLL UP HIS SLEEVES!!' - the question of parallel universes looms large.  

    'No shit, Sherlock' is the appropriate unbroadcastable response to this sort of guff.

    Please let The Magpie know of any other gems that drop during this cringe-worthy bit of royal hoopla.

  6. "You have your own views AND you work for the Townsville Bulletin? Now that is an oxymoron."

    Agreed Pie. As a former worker for the Astonisher, there was no freedom within the office nor the reporting of events.

    Right Kate?

  7. Always good and entertaining Pie.

  8. Pie in the sky in the Astoninsher's paper!

  9. Word on the street is that labour has finally confirmed their runner for next years election. Pie is always on the money. On ya Pie. You should go back to the Astonisher Pie. They might need someone there who knows what they are talking about.