Saturday, January 26, 2013

Is there a case for the Townsville City Council to make a special medical grant so Mayor Jenny Hill can get the proper treatment she obviously needs for her galloping paranoia? This week has seen two classic instances of our poor old Mayor Mullet’s losing battle with reality.

The other burning question this week: why is the Townsville Bulletin actively encouraging kids to kill themselves?  Do they need stories that badly?

And from Canberra, in what must be the biggest load of political hot cock since MP Craig Thompson had a night on the town, Joolya deals out political poisoned flour to anyone dumb enough to swallow her reasons for her latest recruitment announcement.

There also seems to be a succession of startling, sometimes stomach-churning, medical breakthroughs lately, but now its seems, if you eat some of your own s …. hmmm, no, we’ll leave that for later, but it’s startling, revolting … and could save your life.

And why the Townsville City Council gets the week’s Wussy Wetting Pants Award.

That and more, all here in this week’s soggy old nest at

First, that Wussy award.

Last Tuesday, the council media folk provided a community service announcement, advising that ‘Boat ramp consultations cancelled due to wet weather’. Huh? Boat ramps, tinnies, water, maybe a bit of rain – surely that would be the ideal time to have a chat about the pros and cons of the mooted aquatic project. What next – solar panel demonstration called off because it was too sunny and someone might get sunburn? Night roadwork operations banned cos, gee whiz, it gets kinda dark out there? Man up, you lot, what a pack of wusses!

Speaking of which ….

Jenny 'Mayor Mullet' Hill was, you will remember, at pains during the election campaign to stress that party politics had no role in local government. Oh, dearie me, no, heaven’s to Betsy, she was an independent, wishing only to serve the community good. And ensure her constituents were safe and secure in their beds. Although remaining a member of the Labor Party, that, she assured us, would have nothing to do with her conduct as mayor, perish the thought.

Which makes her almost delusional behavior this week all the more bizarre and raises questions about whether she needs a spell in the FrootLoop Home for the Mentally Muddled.

And, if we take the mayor’s public statements at face value, ‘bizarre’ is not too strong a word.

Here’s exhibit one.

Recently, Emergency Management Queensland advertised for an Area Director to fill a crucial spot on their North Queensland team. After interviewing a large number of candidates, EMQ found just the man they needed – a seasoned bloke with 29 years experience in the field of emergency and disaster management, 25 of those with the Queensland wallopers, and four on vital local community organisations like the Townsville Council’s Local Disaster Group Committee and the Community Health and Safety Committee.

Indeed, an ideal choice and an asset to the EMQ and the community by any measure.

So one would think that such a fine addition to those who attend to our safety and security in trying times would be widely applauded and welcomed . And so it was - with one major exception.

Now, you’d be entitled to believe that our mayor would be greatly chuffed to have such expertise on tap – but you’d be wrong, dead wrong, in that assumption.

She instead went thermo-nuclear into a towering rage.

You see, the successful candidate was one Dale Last, former deputy mayor under Les Tyrell, and a former Senior Sergeant with the Queensland Police Service.

Remember him? Mayor Mullet certainly does, because he was the Townsville First mayoral candidate who unsuccessfully stood against her at the last council poll, but a controlling majority of Townsville First candidates did get up without him. And, as is the way of democracy, that grouping now controls the council, despite Mayor Mullet’s hysterical fulminations about the situation. 

Again, one could assume that Mayor Mullet, who so publicly pledged herself wholly to community matters without any political bias, would be a gracious winner over her rival and be happy that Mr Last’s undoubted expertise would not be lost to Townsville. After all, she did roll him. Alas, you would again be dead wrong.

Instead of any generous and positive sentiments, have a guess what our independent, unaligned mayor did?

Unable to contain her spite and anger, she rang one Gerard Byrne, the local pooh-bah of EMQ who led the panel which hired Mr Last, and proceeded with a totally impertinent inquisition. She was primarily demanding to know if Premier Campbell Newman had directed Mr Byrne to appoint Mr Last. as some sort of political jobs-for-the-boys patronage. No doubt affronted by this unwarranted intrusion in EMQ affairs, Mr Byrne told her – in managerial terms, no doubt – to pull her head in, 'they’re looking for wood'.

So then, a mightily miffed Mayor Mullet - our unaligned mayor, remember - put the word around her Labor colleagues that Newman was happy to sack thousands of public servants but somehow found a job for an apparently undeserving Dale Last. A pall of spite and rancor started to seep through certain elements around the town, and Labor’s letter-writing sock puppets were champing at the nib to do as they were bidden. But The Daily Astonisher didn’t know about this little bit nighty rending and foot stamping, so the wailing Greek chorus had no peg on which to hang their mostly illiterate and ill-informed party-line missives.

So here’s a question or two, just for you, Jenny.

Are you saying that the Area Manager’s position isn’t necessary and was created specifically for Dale Last, offering no value to the EMQ?  Given the regular weather extremes in this neck of the woods, that would surely be a hard one to argue if merit came into it, but, golly, if that was the case, how unprecedented and shocking!! There are those that might say that that is more than a bit rich coming from you who is still a member of the party which used political patronage in Queensland as an employment agency regularly elevating incompetent time servers to undeserved positions on the public tit. M’dear, you’ve got more colossal cheek than Gina Rinehart’s bulging buns.

The second question is a bit obvious. What the bloody hell has this got to do with you as mayor? Especially a self-professed political independent? Or even just an egotistical, bloody-minded individual? If it was any of your business, you would’ve been on the EMQ selection panel. You weren’t, so dry up.

Anyway, Mr Last is one of three area managers, and he has been assigned Charters Towers and Palm Island, so you won’t have to have too much to do with him, no doubt a mutually agreeable arrangement.

But this is not the only evidence of you flinching at shadows lately, you poor mutt.

You - aided and abetted by your Ogden Street toy boy Anthony Simpleton, - now cast insulting doubt on the integrity and honesty of council staff because of some relatively minor and ultimately inconsequential data entry errors in budget papers.  And it was a nice note of comic relief with The Bulletin huffing and puffing indignantly about a small number of errors-  'BUDGET BLUNDER it blustered - that is worthy of some sort of comedy award, coming from such an error riddled and biased publication. But good as always for a laugh though. Almost as funny as Les Messagebank Walker’s comment that he ‘didn’t understand the figures’, which is not surprising coming from a inter alia failed pizza shop operator who probably needs help getting dressed each morning

Despite the fact that those openly acknowledged errors make absolutely no difference to the bottom line, you, Mayor Mullet, are now demanding that the ratepayers cough up for an expensive external re-audit on figures already given the OK by Brisbane’s central office of audit. Auditors come at around an hourly rate of $400/$500 per hour.

This surely cannot be your latest time-and-money wasting - and personally vindictive - campaign against CEO Ray Burton. Can it?

And like the other moves, this one will backfire on you, too, and leave observers inside and outside Townsville wondering what the hell is going on and when the hell you’re going to stop making a complete ass of yourself – and the city.

Mullet, me old mate, here’s a new personal slogan especially for you. A Magpie mate reckons you’ve discovered the lie in the old cliche ‘There is no ‘I’ in team’.

On the national scene, there can be only one recipient of the New Uses for Old Knives Award this week - that has to go to Joolya, who put on her best funeral director’s delivery to announce that she had personally knifed a long-serving Labor senator to allow Olympic hockey player Nova Peris to get the nod on the NT Senate ticket.

Ignoring that self-praise is no recommendation, Ms Gillard trumpeted herself as a visionary breakthrough leader making a ‘captain’s choice’ to bulldoze the first aboriginal woman into federal Parliament. It’s a wonder our leader didn’t go the vote-laden multicultural path, since Ms Peris is reported to have both Filipino and Danish blood in her background, at least according to this publication, unearthed by Andrew Bolt.

But the patronization and perpetuation of the political hypocrisy regarding aboriginal political representation was on parade in spades, so as to speak.

First of all, two equally qualified (more so in political terms) aboriginal woman – neither of which has won Olympic gold – who were also seeking pre-selection in the NT had to be jackbooted down; Joolya denied the obvious – that she was hoping for some of Nova’s gold dust to rub off on her, while not risking her numbers in the Senate. And it shouldn’t be overlooked that Nova would be a novice, and a grateful one at that, so she would be easy to keep in line and onside. (Don’t bet on that.) It’d look good in the history books, too.

This move, which makes a mockery of Labor’s pretense at grassroots democracy, was a unilateral decree by prime ministerial fiat for political self-flattery, which completely ambushed the sitting senator Trish Crossin, who’s been there for 15 years, as well as the fiercely independent NT pre-selection committee.  This didn’t enamour the PM to many who have been in politics, and in the party, a lot longer than she has.

An undeserving Mr Rabbit probably can’t believe his luck, and he’d prove himself the fool some people believe him to be if he opens his yap about this at all. Nope, just sit back and watch the seasonal spectacle of Labor devouring its own entrails.

That’s the hard thing to fathom. It was obvious any opposition to elevating Nova (after she was hastily shoehorned into the party that normally requires three years continuous membership before you can stand for pre-selection at any level) was going to come from within the ALP’s own ranks. There was bugger all the opposition could, or hopefully would, say about it.

This is going to be a long election year.

Bentley, often a visionary, sees a life after politics for Joolya in all this .

Other matters.

The long-running soap opera that is the Townsville Bulletin’s never ending and unintentionally amusing quest for punning headlines over stories of no consequence – or often no truth – is usually good fodder for a belly laugh. Nothing like a bit of light relief as you idly glance over the pages before the last bit of fish and the final chip is consumed, before the paper then meets its deserved fate, although usually a day too late.

But sometimes, the mindless vacuity actually amounts to dangerously irresponsible stupidity deserving of severe community censure.

Here’s a case in point, during our spell of wet weather.

Note the boogie board, which is designed for use in waves and currents, and is not really for paddling.
Emergency Management Qld's Bruce  Grady.

This front page, where some snapper decided to get ‘artistic’, was published on the very same day that the Assistant Director General of Emergency Management Queensland, Bruce Grady, was doing a round of radio interviews imploring parents to keep their kids away from floodwaters. The dangers obvious to more mature people are generally lost on kids – and that’s how kids are lost to swirling waters all too often. That’s is not to mention the other part of Mr Grady’s oft-repeated message about the risk of serious illness from the polluted waters.

But even the next day, there was this unimaginative cutsey-pie pic (one of several) of a couple of pre-pubescent kids laughing it up while playing in storm water.

Kids will always be kids, but encouraging that sort of thing for the sake of a front page 'happy snap' puts in focus a mother's traditional warning that it's always fun until someone gets hurt, isn't it?

Of course, when injury or a fatality inevitably occurs through youthful misadventure, the paper will get out its scolding stick, and berate slack parents/officialdom/God the Creator (and will certanly have a crack at blaming the Townsville City Council, that's for sure) for their perfidy in yet another hilarious schoolboy editorial (which may have been written in Brisbane or Sydney, as is often the case in the News Ltd empire). A win-win for the paper, and never mind it's a lose-lose for the kids and the community

As the old saying has it, an editor is a person who sorts the wheat from the chaff and then publishes the chaff.

Moving on to a not entirely unrelated topic, here’s a yarn from the medical world which should not be read while eating.

The Magpie has long pondered the apparent Dutch fascination with defecation and that act’s … ummm … product. What is it with the Dutch and poop? This the country that gave us the word ‘cack’ , from their word for freeing the chocolate hostage cacken, and thus the schoolboy-ism ‘he cacked his pants’. 
You’ll recall a recent post which told of the Dutch doctors who had trained a dog to sniff out a deadly bacteria carried in hospital patients’ diarrhea  - while it was still inside them, waiting - so as to speak - for the bomb doors to open.

Now, no less than the New York Times has a carefully – veerrry carefully – worded report on a great but stomach-turning medical breakthrough, and again it involves Dutch doctors and poop.

C Dificile is a debilitating bug
 but is the cure worse than the condition?
We are told that there is a nasty little critter in the world of bacteria called C dificile (that's it on the left) that can’t be handled by antibiotics, and it can make people very ill indeed by killing the good protective bacteria in the stomach. Now The Pie doesn’t want to speculate just who had the idea first or why – but the answer is to take some poo, which is apparently just chockablock with the good bacteria, and inject it into the ill person’s stomach. With bacterium goodies restored, the baddies are seen off in jig time.

It isn’t clear whether you take your own or someone else’s …umm … medicine, which hardly matters, it’s not going to make the matter any more palatable.

The Dutch shitologists report that the results have been spectacular, very close to a 100% cure rate – and fast, too. For most, it just takes one injection, and ain’t that a blessing in itself. Because the ‘injection’ is made in the form of an enema up what funnyman Dave Barry calls ‘the old wazoo’.

This, apart from anything else, is sure to confuse Bert and Ben Bacteria.
‘Hey, Bert, does this place look familiar to you?’
‘Yeah, Ben, but weren’t we goin’ the other way a few minutes ago?’
‘Ya reckon – no shit, eh?’
‘Err, not exactly.’

All very ‘ho-ho-erk-pew-eee’ worthy, but the C dificile buggers really are a worldwide problem, and thousands of people die each year if they don’t respond to traditional treatment. But now, even here in Australia, patients will be approached by doctors who will say ‘Look, you’re not going to believe this, but ...’. Read about it here, if you really want to.

But all this makes two matters spring to The Magpie mind. When old journo mate Tom Krause - he of the insightful Gonzo Meets The Press blog site - and The 'Pie regularly went to cheer on the Sydney Swans, Tom’s American baritone would greet all doubtful decisions – ie all those against the Swans – with a bellowing ‘Eat a bag of shit, umpire’. Little did Tom realize he was wishing the object of his scorn better health.

And the other point? 

If being full of it is a hallmark of well-being, then Jenny Hill must be the healthiest person in Townsville.


  1. Well Pie,
    I sent a comment on this story asking the exact same thing.
    Was this another shot at the CEO of Townsville, as she has already been caught with her pants around her ankles.
    The more this woman gets in the paper to whinge the more she proves to Townsville voters she is just a spiteful spoiled child. The one that cant get the lolly they want at the corner store, so they have tantrum.

  2. PS. The Astonisher failed to post my question on the website, funny that.

  3. On a lighter note : Sunday Jan 27th Werribee (Vic) Race 3 #12 THE MULLET Roughly at this stage 50/1 I thought it may be by something fishy but it's not.

  4. The good news Canberra's Australia Day fireworks have sizzled as there's been lots of lightening and it's a cracker of a storm.

    We have no children swimming in the creeks. We have no 'numb nut' photographers photographing children near running creeks with umbrellas or boogie boarding teens surfing rivers.

    I did notice that another numb nut photographer must have been lazy to only photograph a couple of birds sitting on a fence.

    I say where are the talented photographers who 'disappeared' into oblivion? Troy, Darren, Megan, Suzanne and Micheal and Stewart?

    I'm sitting filing my political story from The wonderful East Hotel. I'm hoping to find a scoop and will let you know if I do Pie.

    Keep up the good work!

    1. Green pastures? Not working with the 'dead wood that floats in there?'

  5. Not to mention, always good and always entertaining.
    Miss Lou.

  6. I think Cicero would have said "stercus accidet" and he would have been spot on

  7. Err, Martin, mate, that's funny but ironical - it's actually 'stercus accidit' - which shows you've ' quod erat demonstratum' - ('that) which had to be demonstrated' - so you're right - shit does happen.

    Or maybe your miles ahead of The'Pie, who may have shown he is a 'goosum et twit'.

  8. For the Mullett to carry on about Dale Last as she does, she obviously still sees him as a big threat, and no suprise because if he runs next election he will wipe his "stercus accidit" with her.

  9. The same thing happend this week on Sunrise program. Grant Den'ya' reports a scorcher of a day on bikinni Bondi Beach and then during the news a report on staying inside during the heat wave.

  10. Thanks for the correction mate, just a slip of the finger, anyway QED also "translates" as quite easily done in my book.


  11. There's an old saying which encompasses all four elements of this week's Magpie musings-- Joolya,Townsville local politics, the Dutch doctors' "cure" and the Bully's ill-considered pics.That saying? SHIT RISES TO THE TOP!
    It's probably a futile exercise, old pal, but keep going through the motions.

  12. Pie, Thanks for the plug for my blog. I'm not sure I can thank you for the reference to my defecating insults uttered in my early days as a Sydney Swans supporter. I first heard the insult in the old country, and hadn't realised it wasn't the Aussie way of "rooting" for the home team until you suggested it. I couldn't understand why I was getting so many dirty looks. Since then I have mellowed, and only get close to such insults when we play Collingwood! A very entertaining blog as usual, Pie, though I doubt Mayor Mullet will enjoy it. Cheers, Gonzo

    1. Speaking of 'defecating' Which poo poo News ltd manager likes to defecate on staffer's floor at home?

    2. Even if the Astonisher makes errors etc it still prints. The public forget....

    3. Therefore, no accountability?

  13. What terrifies me is the very real possibility that Joolya's cynical, dishonest and disembling style of politics will become an acceptable standard of parliamentary behaviour. It seems that she could spin the eyes off a peacock. She must be of the view that, if you tell a lie often enough, it will become the truth. Mindless repetition helps - remember the nauseating "moving forward"? She has fouled our parliament with her moral anorexia. What would Jim Killen have said about the corrosive vomitus spewed out by her in Federal Parliament?

    For Gonzo: Chap goes to a doctor. Says, "Doc, I have a problem. Every time I bend over, my bum plays the Collingwood song" "Bend over", says doctor. After a cursory examination, Doc says, "Nothing to worry about...a lot of arseholes sing that song"

  14. The female in the culture of the Astonisher has to become male like in order to survive.

    hey mate? etc...

    1. And yet this the following is from an Astonisher journo...

      "________ corporation and I are done!!! I won't return - EVER!!! Had to endure the most sexist and racist instructure during my refresher course, today. What a waste of a day and my time! Not happy!!! A formal complaint will be coming your way!!!!!

      That will be interesting considering the Astonisher's environment was completely sexist.. Hey Mickey????

    2. Is that St John's by chance? I wonder if she'll publish that experience?

  15. One realises that the culture is no different to News of The World at the Astonisher for women.
    You're subjected to being called 'babe' on your facebook by your news ltd manager. Inturn, you have to reply 'mate' to everyone.

  16. With the floods in full force and fatalities climbing to 4... One included a little baby boy..

    Why use pictures and film footage with children playing in the water?

    This applies to the Astonisher, TV channels etc.

  17. Always good and interesting read.


    Laughed at the comments.

    Good job for a non daily journalist who likes to wing it.

  19. Did you hear Mayor Jenny Hill on ABC RN news yesterday morning saying she was going to contact Premier Newman because the people of Townsville had no telecommunications? Hope he told her to contact her labor mate Julia Gillard since telecommunications is a commonwealth issue.

  20. Well the council organised Citizen's Day at Riverway on Saturday was a complete debacle. It was so badly organised. Who was responsible for this? Colleen Doyle had her speech written for her but hadn't bothered lookin at it beforehand, as she blubbered her way through it "they said there was nothing in my speech to make me cry..." No one knew where they should stand, and there was a bottle neck of people leaving the stage and going onto the stage.

  21. Awww, Typo Gleeson appeared on Today show. He's obviously trying to be the Goldie's Rep. Oh, the power. Is he still gambling on greyhound racing?

    Typo has finally stopped shhhmoking.

  22. OH Craig Thomson! What's the pie going to write about?

  23. "Gina Rinehart’s bulging buns" ! Have you not seen Joolya's ?

  24. Pie,

    Julian Assange will run for a Senate seat in the 2013 federal election and his mum reckons he’ll be awesome.

    Christine Assange confirmed her son’s candidacy on Wednesday after WikiLeaks tweeted the news.

    So which party will he be fronting for? The Swedish Feminist Iniative?

    Sagely Yours,
    Miss Lou