Saturday, January 12, 2013

Good gracious me! - that’s old speak for WTF – but WTF indeed this week – Community Leader Mullet is In jail!! Also, Messagebank Walker actually agrees with The Magpie, finally – and The Magpie has reason to agree with him (gasps all round).

Yes, it’s true, a jailed Mullet – but just before you Townsville Firsters start reaching for the champagne, there’s a twist in this tale.

In local matters, The Astonisher goes down and dirty in the grubbiest manner (it involves the ‘C’ word – yes, that ‘C’ word) – and then deigns to lecture us on community responsibilities.
Also, are Messagebank and Mayor Mullet each eying a move to loftier office? Some detect early maneuverings which most likely should be filed under ‘Dept of Dreams, see in your…’ - the old bird will do his scurrilous best to apprise you of a possible Nightmare on Walker Street. 
Gals, wanting a hot time but sick of blokes who are couch potatoes? Time for a change of vegetables then, and does The ‘Pie have just the goods for a red hot time for you.
Plus on the international scene, ever been disconcerted when pooches sniff you around the nether regions? Well now, the right dog could save your life - a remarkable pooch program that can detect fatal bacteria-carrying diarrhea – before it – err -  happens!! 
And how the world turns, especially when it comes to compulsory voting, just part of the whole load of dog-detectable guano in this week's nest at

So Queensland’s LNP Government wants to be the first to ditch compulsory voting in state elections. 

Well, there’s a bit of neat symmetry to that, since Queensland was the first to adopt compulsory voting in 1915 – the Commonwealth went that way later in 1924. The arguments about this perennial newspaper space filler will briefly flare from time to time, with lots of empty gum-bashing, but the fact will remain that polling over the years has consistently shown that 74% of voters are in favour of forcing slobs away from their beer-sodden barbies for a few minutes to do their civic duty every so often. Anti arguments are pretty weak, especially when the claim is made that it’s an infringement on individual rights – if that’s the case, so is making schooling our kids compulsory, and even certain aspects of taxation.
Other matters.
Believe this or don’t, there is community leader whose name really is Mullet – one Bishop Sam Mullet - who's not only in hot water just now, he's also in jail in America. His crime – not so much a hate crime as a hair crime -  awards him the Ironical Name of the Week award.
Would ya'all believe 'Bishop' Sam Mullet?
It seems Sam, by all accounts an imperious and randy old turkey, encouraged some breakaway Amish nutjobs (tautology?) to arm themselves with scissors and razors and make midnight raids on perceived wrong-doers within their cult, cutting off their hair and beards. Possibly into mullets, but that hasn’t been mentioned. 
This is a weird story with lots of strands, worth a read if you’re into religious fanaticism and hypocrisy. But Sam ain’t laughing … he’s yet to learn just how much of the maximum 30 years he’ll have to serve in some very un-Christian slammer for his role in the raids. Read it here.
Our own homegrown Mullet – Mayor Mullet – has been mentioned in dispatches down the MagpieFone this week, but the old bird will allow that the evidence for the rumour is a bit thin on the ground just yet.
Would you believe  Mayor Mullet?
However, the Mullet’s overweening ego and track record may give some substance to reports that there was a meeting last weekend in which she started to make noises about pre-selection for the seat of Townsville in the state election in two years time. It would make political sense, since in her infrequent lucid moments, even she must realize she is far from a shoo-in for a second term as mayor.  However, her track record of being trounced at half a dozen attempts beyond council level would seem to still make her an unelectable prospect for Labor’s backroom boys. We’ll see.
Magpie supporter les Messagebank Walker
Far more laughably transparent is Les Messagebank Walker’s quest to lift his profile enough to have a tilt at the mayoralty should the foregoing come about. He’s getting his share of attention in the media, having a cuppa with startled citizens at some function, or posing aggressively with his foot on a the bucket of a front-end loader. As with most of these pics and mini-yarns, Messagebank’s links to the subject matter are tenuous indeed. Just self-promotion,.
But The Magpie was flattered to see that Les has come to agree with him about one thing – a water park with a wave machine for Townsville. (But tell us, who doesn’t want this?)
In the Saturday Bulletin of November 1, 2008, The Magpie wrote: If we are serious around here about tourism infrastructure, (the reclaimed duck pond) area would be absolutely ideal for a world class theme park, perhaps a combination of Wet’n’Wild activities mixed with other traditional types of theme park attractions … it makes sense on all fronts, answering all the thorny probems of the location – the dust, noise and all-hours operation of the adjacent port, lower infrastructure costs, because access by people of all ages and incomes would mainly be by bus or foot, Jupiters would love it, nearby apartment investors would get a boost from extra holiday rentals, there would be permanent jobs galore, and a wider share of the pie throughout the community from increased general tourism’. 

A later column suggested the jewel in this crown could be surfable, machine-generated waves.
So Les, the old bird is much flattered that you’ve come out in support of this idea, after thinking about it so carefully for four years. And the one thing for which you should genuinely be commended is bringing home the reality that this is a profitable project that should be achieved by private investment. It is heartening (The ‘Pie actually means all this) to see a member of the ALP repudiate the idea of the public sticking their hand out for every bloody thing that will help advance the prosperity of this community – it’s a tedious, overdone sense of entitlement, not at all, countered by the pom-pomed, high-kicking sideline cheer squad down at Cushyland aka Townsville Enterprise.
The above sentiments also go for the proposed Super Stadium.
Of course, Messagebank’s fatuous blather about ‘having been in talks’ with several groups - which he would not name – about waterpark plans is just part of the populist and la-la land guff aimed at lifting his profile to help him get a shot at the top job. Good luck with that, mate.
The Daily Astonisher aka the Bulletin is generally a bucket of chuckles, usually for unintended reasons, but there was one yuk-yukery this week that, depending on your level of ‘bogan tolerance’ was distinctly unfunny and deemed by some to be yet another severe misjudgment about the paper’s community responsibility for standards? (Please, stop laughing, this is serious!).
Here’s what happened.
On Thursday, The Astonisher ran an inconclusive space filler telling us the negotiations were in full swing to find a new naming sponsor for the Cowboys’ footy stadium. In other words, Simpo once again told us precisely nothing new. 

(A digression: The ‘Pie has always wondered by the Bulletin hasn’t put its hand up and jumped at this chance to give something back to the community off which it reefs up to $25million annually – it’s only a piddling $300K or so, but their reluctance will have to remain a mystery.)
The story was OK, a dull and uninformative piece, with stock-standard stuff like this …

But then the first reader comment was this …
Just in case you can't make it out, ot reads: 'Michael Hunt Stadium sounds good, if that's too hard to remember we could always abbreviate Michael to Mike'. It's signed Squid Vicious.
Now that may be yuk-worthy in a pub, which is where The ‘Pie first heard it - in Melbourne in 1969 – along with Mike’s brother York and younger sibling  Pork. Typical pub humor – but that was in a pub. Although The Astonisher drives many to drink, it isn’t a pub, and it isn’t a blog. The MagpieFone has been in meltdown, gurgling with rage about what most termed (minus prolific adjectives) a new low in The Bulletin’s already sagging editorial standards.
This seems all the more two-faced in light of the editor’s recent delusional Christmas message, part of which said
We're closer this Christmas
On behalf of the Bulletin team I'd like to wish all our readers, our extended family, a relaxed and joyful festive season.
In recent years we've become even closer to our readers - something which as a community paper we feel is extremely important.
More and more of you are emailing our journalists, texting the editor and leaving us comments on social media and the website.
That last bit is a safe bet, but an even safer one is that we don’t see the bulk of the free and tart advice offered to the paper by its dwindling readership. Note the sad whiff of pleading desperation and wishful thinking. 

And that delightfully entertaining tripe about ‘come closer to the readers in recent years’? Not only does it appear the editor have a problem with words, he doesn’t seem to understand simple maths, losing more than 7000 readers under his brief stewardship. Indeed, more by now.
But there’s been one person this week who had enough of The Astonisher’s self-important puffery. 

For months now, the paper has been running shock/horror stories based on conjecture alone about an impending environmental disaster because of the capacity of Queensland Nickel’s tailings ponds. Clearly, QN and authorities had the matter in hand, but like many other businesses around here, refused to talk to The Bulletin, knowing they’d just have their words and position twisted as the paper made another wrong-headed attempt to find readers through sensationalism.
The latest in this series of ‘what if?’ stories, last Wednesday, which again berated the company for being so presumpitious to not take reporters’ calls (‘Hi, it’s Simpo here with a few simplistic questions’ ….click) was the last straw. The company decided to make its position clear, both about its tailings and The Bulletin’s railings.
Queensland Nickel MD Phil Collins.

QN’s Managing Director, the musically named Phil Collins was straight to the point in his open letter to the editor, beginning ‘It was disappointing to read your inaccurate and irresponsible report of January 9, 2013 regarding Queensland Nickel’s management of its Tailings Storage Facility at Yabulu.’
Mr Collins then went on to refute with solid facts several previous Bulletin claims about irresponsible behavior. And it was quite correctly on his terms, with little chance of being spun to the paper's whim.
All this was all duly reported in a story the next day, with a repeat of some of the disputed claims. And fair enough, the paper did print Mr Collin’s criticism, albeit down at the end of the story, which is unfamiliar territory for most of those who still bother to skim the publication.
All well and good, but the iditor (whoever he or she was at the time, Harry Potter may have still been on hols) just couldn’t help him or herself. In a self-stroking bit of unfathomable self-congratulation, the editorial pompously patted QN’s corporate head for finally talking to them, and then ended with this hypocritical little homily
It should be imperative for QN, as a good corporate citizen, to make sure Townsville residents are kept informed on issues which can potentially have an impact on their lives.’
Umm, let’s see, that would be impactful issues like if - say - QN sacked, a third of their workforce, so more than 60 or more jobs could be done at some other refinery further south? Or if asbestos somehow started raining down on Yabulu staff, they should be open about it and fully inform the public as well as their staff?
Here’s an idea – how about holding yourself to your own high flown rules of community engagement. Otherwise, it can safely be assumed what has long been suspected - that a certain Michael Hunt is the real editorial boss at Ogden Street.
Other matters.
Here’s something for the gals that will make your eyes water, perhaps in more ways than one. These are an actual strain of chillis now on the market overseas.  

They’re called Willy Chillis,  and it’s easy to see why. 

Give you a warm, cosy feeling?
Finally, over in Holland, where you’d expect to find some clever clogs, a dog has been trained to sniff out – fortunately from a distance of a few feet – hospital patients possibly carrying a dangerous bacteria in their faeces which could become airborne and infect others. This is not a joke, and for those interested in the latest way canine’s powers of smell can benefit humans, have a look here.
Enough now, it is off to Poseurs’ Bar, where the old bird hopes to get lucky. He should do, given that the gals always say he gives them the willies. Does he have a surprise for them. 




  1. Always good and entertaining Pie.

  2. Magpie; In the T/Bully today Sat 12 jan page 9 is a full page letter (labelled advertising) From Qld Nickel Signed by Prof Clive Palmer . First Paragraph Reads "I have been concerned by the recent inaccurate and misleading reports that have appeared in the Townsville Bulletin " etc etc It makes good reading Egg on face for T/Bully

  3. Ahh, The Hot Chille Peppers!

  4. Conan the GrammarianJanuary 12, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    Willy Chillies? Peter Heaters? Hot Cocks? Oh dear...

  5. I'm not suprised if Dairy Farmers is renamed as The Astonisher Stadium.

    All that profit and all the retrenchments within should pay for the new name.

  6. A small pedantic point if I may Magpie .. ( why is my wife chuckling ??) .. but I think it should be, as Sophia Loren said, "goodness gracious me".
    It's akin to correcting the multitude of characters on TV and radio who repeatedly use the phrase " the proof is in the pudding". The only thing "in the pudding" is, or in the good old days used to be, threepences, or in comparatively well off families, sixpenny pieces.

  7. Looking forward to your backgrounders on the candidates for the seat of Herbert.

  8. Basically the TB is trying to minimise circulation by not delivering papers. Mon, Fri and Sat. Did finally deliver late on Mon and Fri but not at all on Sat. Also when you phone to address the matter you are put on hold for a bloody long time. Seems the cut back in staff has had a positive effect on front counter and delivery service??

    1. Re paper deliveries: The Bulletin has changed its delivery system, apparently changing from a fleet of independent contractors to one monolithic company (sound familiar?) The 'Pie is looking into this and suggestions that this move has put quite a few small delivery contractors out of work - and that newsagents have been forbidden to do home deliveries of The Bulletin. Is this correct? Is there anyone who can enlighten us all on what is going on - is this more jiggery pokery from a discredited and rapidly shrinking corprorate player in our community?

    2. The stories are shrinking. They've resorted to baby pictures from PT Townsville Hospital again..

    3. and 'one of the most liveable' stories. Emily Everywhere's special rants are boring.

  9. Further to my previous blogs re T/Bully delivery recieved the following this week in the mail.. "dear home delivery customer Our records indicate you are currently a Townsville Bulletin home delivery customer on either a standard subscription or a senior subscription and you are making paynebt directly to your delivery agent. Did you know that paying for your subscription is now even easier if you switch to recurring debit/credit card payments?. by selecting this option your subscription will automatically be debited effortlessly every four weeks and you won't have to worry about ongoing invoices, cash ahndling or making large payments. Call us today on 1800 258 243 from 8.00 am -5.00 pm weekdays, 8.00am - 12.00 noon weekends, to make this arrangement and to find the best deal that suits your needs. Deals start from as little as $1.00 per day ! If you are no longer subscribing to the Townsville Bulletin please call 1800 258 243 so we can update our records and remove you from our mailing list. Tank you again for chosing the Townsville Bulletin " UNDATED AND UNSIGNED>

  10. Always a good read!

  11. Hi Pie, Great stuff... Can't wait for next week's episode.

  12. Magpie ; just for info.. Very few Newsagents actually deliver the T/Bully in Townsville ... current proceedure of deliveries ends 26th Jan... under the new proceedure a contractor(s) must deliver 10000 copies so a major contractor will have to contract out in order to achieve a delivery within a time frame Paper is generally available at about 0100 for delivery to Mt isa Cairns etc (I don't know how delivery will work in Isa, Ayr etc. The Australian & Courier mail are printed before the Bully..As far as Sunday Mail delivies are concerned some News agents do deliver but are on a time limit before ther open their shops Generally the same contractors do not deliver Bully , Aust, C/mail one will do the Bully ,one will do the others Judging by the feedback from my N/agent this appears to be developing into a complete shambles

  13. How long do they grow?

  14. Thus far only one or two on time paper deliveries in the last week to my Kelso home. The words “piss-up” and “brewery” come to mind.

  15. Well done Pie. Next Week? Avocados?