Saturday, February 9, 2013

WHAT A CON JOB! And they’ve all fallen for it!! The best larf of the week goes to – ta da – the federal government for the biggest political leak of the year, and this one goes right to the top.

Just days after the Joolya Gillard had a moan about norty little backbenchers leaking to those devils incarnate otherwise known as the ‘medja’, we get one of the biggest political ‘leaks’ and smear jobs in memory.  And this one you can bet was set up by the Prime Minister herself. 

Also, the unusual spectacle of a person helping out in a disaster aftermath situation copping Nanny State criticism in The Daily Astonisher from the most unlikely person.

On the local government scene, a new start for Mayor Mullet?  – a controversial plan for her personal development is floated in an effort to bring harmony to Walker Street.

All that and lots of other stuff you can skip over here in this week’s nest at

Poor old Bentley. 

Our ‘toon-meister has been down with a cold, but he’s also been frothing at the mouth over the Nanny State edict of the week – kids in kindy should not blow out candles on their birthday cakes, because the other little snots might catch their germs sprayed over the communal cake. The suggestion is that on their birthdays, the little darlings bring a cupcake with a single candle for themselves, and enough other cup cakes for their chums. The ickle girls won’t mind, the female of the species has never been averse to retarding their age, so staying 'one' until the age of five or six will be an early-learning experience in that art.

It’s already been put down as theoretically correct but ultimately a dopey edict that will stop kids building up a natural fighting immunity too most but not all common germs, the exceptions being the likes of Craig Thompson, Alan Jones and James Ashby.

Bentley has looked into the playroom of the future.

Now to the national scene, and that political leak that was more a bursting dam of non-specific  accusations about all sorts of dire deeds in the Australian sporting world.

As we all now know, a news conference was called in Canberra last Wednesday at a time guaranteed for maximummedia exposure. That generally means giving the ABC 7.30 Report time to formulate suitable ‘tough’ questions, after TV news bulletins have done the surface shock-horror job.

This little hootenanny was arranged by the government – you know, that government that won’t be campaigning until August, the government that will stick to governing until then and shun any base political electioneering. Yes, that government.

Led by not one but two federal ministers, backed up by some pissed off-looking  federal wallopers and sports administrators, we were regaled with tales of dangerous derring do undercover work and teasing half-revelations of dastardly deals involving drugs, match-fixing and international crime cartels. Phew, pass the smelling salts.
Sarah Palin? Tina Fey? Nope, it's our own
Sports Minister Kate Lundy

Sports Minister Kate Lundy, a vaguely Sarah Palin look-a-like, then hung faux tough with a well-rehearsed message for wrongdoers wanting to peddle dope or fix matches. ‘You will be caught,’ she squeaked, in one of the most dubious statements since ‘no carbon tax under my government’.
Justice Minister Jason Clare

Then Labor comer Justice Minister Jason Clare hopped in for his chop, producing his rod and reel for one of the funniest fishing expeditions since Moby was no bigger than a dick. Flexing his ministerial mandate and insider status, he said ‘don’t underestimate how much we know, and if you are involved in this, come forward now before you get a knock on the door’. That would be a bit hard, since we have been told anything to under or over estimate. However, Jason assured us we will all be ‘disgusted’ by what we will be told.

Will’!?! Bloody ‘will’?

It is there that lies the dead giveaway of political grandstanding with bugger all immediate substance, a premature headline grabber for a political campaign that is well and truly underway.

In the entire bit of well rehearsed theatre, not one person, athlete, doctor or baddie was named, not one single code or team was named for specific wrongdoing and censure, not even a mention of which overseas countries harbored the crims who are supposed to be fixing matches of unnamed sports here. Not a single charge has been laid, but, oh, there will don’t you worry your pretty little heads about that - we are assured we’ll be 'disgusted' when it all happens.

No evidence presented, no charges, no nothing, just a lot of grandiose words – words aimed at making two government ministers appear to be on top of this big issue.

What a con job!

You’ve got to hand it to Labor, they realize that desperate times call for desperate measures, and didn’t we get that in spades with this ‘Australia’s blackest day in sports’ malarkey.

The ‘Pie isn’t saying that nothing is going on, you don’t have be Sherlock Einstein to know things are very wrong in some areas of the sports ‘industry’  – but what has flabbered the old bird’s gast  is the blatant political put-up job this is.

Otherwise, why come out with this stuff when essentially you’ve got nothing of substance to say, and just crank up the rumour and innuendo mill? Why use a broad-brush slur across all Australian sport to create turmoil, disharmony, doubt and despondency without one single solitary bit of hard fact, name, club, code or specified crime?

In all probability, there are some hard facts ahead, (there’d better be, if the government is to avoid more face egg) but why not wait until things have been quietly achieved in the background before all the ballyhoo? And doesn’t this political exercise in big-noting give some of the wrongdoers the chance to scarper, or hide evidence or otherwise go to ground?

Wouldn’t have anything to do with the 'non-campaigning' stance of the government, would it?

Cynical perhaps, but The ‘Pie will wager there are some senior coppers down Canberra way fuming at the moment, because they were leant upon to make early and incomplete statements about an on-going investigation. All in the name of political posturing.

If ever a team sorely needed performance-enhancing drugs, it is this stumble-bum Labor government. But on available evidence so far, they won’t have to be paid to lose their next big match, but if they win, the coalition will have to be swabbed big time.

A digression:  the  Townsville dribblers, otherwise known as the Crocs basketball team would seem to be in the clear of any pill popping … if they were on performance-enhancing drugs this season, they got a dud batch.

But all this talk of corruption – in sport and in the NSW Labor Party otherwise known as Obeid’s Opera – has got occasional Nest doodler Johnny Flockwallpaper thinking dark thoughts. He seems to think there might be just a touch of envy in many of the self-righteous commentators who are ‘outraged’ by the carry-on.

Other matters.

Did you see the exasperated KRudd being asked if he had the numbers for a leadership challenge now the election date has been set?

‘Give me a break', he sighed, 'you should all go and take a long, cold shower’.  This reply of course then became the question for everyone else interviewed by the media pack, all being asked what they thought of the suggestion of the long cold shower.

It is unreliably reported that when a comely female reporter from the ABC asked Craig Thompson, he whipped out his credit card and replied ‘Your place or mine?’

But for The ‘Pie’s money, you’d have to think Joolya would be safe in her position until the election. Like, who wants to take over as captain of the Titantic after it has hit the iceberg? And seems to keep backing up and ramming new icebergs by the hour?

No, one would expect that she’ll stay in the job and then immediately quit politics after a telling defeat. Then and only then will we find out if she is ‘a fit and proper person’ to practice law again.

This telling makeover of a newspaper front page has been around since the last election, but fair to say it reflects the view of a majority of voters.

Perhaps the best cartoon on the issue came from Alston in The West Australian.

Why would the most likely contender – no, not KRudd but that little cockalorum of a bedroom bandicoot Bill Shorten – take the helm of a sinking ship? The Short ‘Un will do his best to fly below the radar until the election – not a difficult job for our vertically challenged Employment Minister.

But somehow, it is Kevin Rudd who has been in the media sights in the past week or so, but not all journos were focused on his leadership possibilities.

Whether he’s sincere or not – and in a community setting, there’s no reason to believe he’s other than fair dinkum - Kevin Rudd has been out helping others in recent disasters to affect his home area. Personally, privately and hands on. But the cameras have sought him out, wading through floodwaters, hefting ruined furniture, and in the latest round, using a chainsaw to cut up fallen branches.

Most media saw this as community spirited and fairly genuine, apart from linking KRudd’s efforts with punning speculation about leadership challenges.

But that wasn’t the view of all journos, including the Daily Astonisher’s John
‘Ando’ Andersen. In an uncharacteristically snide little  ‘two-bob each way’ yarn,  Ando, a man of conservative politics and not known for his Nanny State sympathies, unexpectedly latched onto this photograph …..

….. and then picked up his poison pen to write the following:

THEY'RE calling it the Hawthorne Chainsaw Massacre. There he is in the Brissie floods last week, the man who would be PM (again), dressed in blue business shirt, dark blue dress duds and black RMs, wielding a chainsaw like a veteran lumberjack.
No safety leggings, no noise protectors, no protective eye glasses, no hard hat, no steel-capped boots, no gloves, no reflective vest. Of course we can assume the Member for Griffith has completed all his proficiencies in chainsaw handling and has the certificates framed and hanging on his wall. Yeah right, like I got a degree in rocket science and a double major in brain surgery.

The ‘Pie doubts any in the rocket science community feels threatened, although  ‘brain surgery’  ie the need thereof -  could be an apt reference.

It’s not often you see someone helping out in a disaster situation being dissed in the media for a cheap sarcastic larf, and certainly not from someone like Ando.  But it was always going to be a space filler one way or the other: if KRudd had declined to do any of his neighborly assistance because he lacked the proper safety equipment, the headline would be something along the lines ‘Kevin says his hands are tied by red tape’, and then Ando would be able to slam him for sitting around amid the chaos and not acting like the Ando ideal of the rugged rule-bending larrikin Aussie male.

Since someone last week in the comments bemoaned the lack of Astonisher material in that blog, here’s a couple of more matters to stave off any deprivation in that department.(And The Magpie simply could not be bothered to comment on the warmed-over, ancient history drivel about tunnels under Townsville – suffice to say, in an embarrassing climb-down, the paper ‘revealed’ it was a well-known storm water drain and more or less admitted that the only tunnel it was disappearing up was its own.)

But going back a bit on another matter before it gets too long in the tooth, The ‘Pie wonders if anybody else was a bit mystified at this Australia Day story about a Belgian Gardens couple who were hosting their last Australia Day party in Townsville.

It was a party that the Daily Astonisher ballyhooed as ‘the party to end all parties’, and ‘the stuff of Australia Day legends’, which turned out to be the usual hyperbole of the first order. – 70 people hosted by a couple who are hardly household names of interest, an unknown entertainer, and a bush poetry competition, (which may explain why only 70 people would turn up). The headline was, one supposes, a joke because after eight years, the couple in question Rod and Julie Heffeman, were leaving town for a new life on the Sunshine Coast.

Even by the standards of The Astonisher, this was a real stretch, so The ‘Pie wondered what prompted this largesse of space for such thin gruel.

A bit of digging on the web is always good for the soul, so it turns out that Rod Heffeman is or was the local boss of Paradise Billboards, and by all reports, a fine chap, too. No doubt he was chummy with the Bully , and one might surmise that because he’d tipped off the paper to a story or two over the years, they decided to give him their idea of a civic farewell. 

Perhaps one such yarn may well have been this one: back in May 2011, then Mayor Les Tyrell, a couple of Cowboys players and an Ergon Energy pooh-bah were enlisted to pretend they were signwriting an Ergon billboard with the colorful words Energy Sense. The Paradise website boasts about it thus .....

But inattention to your website can be embarrassing with the passage of time, 'cos we all know the devil is in the detail. See last words of second paragraph.

Just as well the guest sign-writers could spell (well, at least two of them), which is more than can said for whomever wrote the self-congratulatory puff piece on the Paradise website. In case that’s a bit small to read, here’s the salient bit.

Fortunately, they didn't.

Now, if one had the time to troll the web, one could fill The Daily Astonisher with these sorts of slip-ups (oh, wait …). But it would seem that a company that makes its dough from plastering the place with words consisting of letters two metres high might lose a bit of credibility if they can’t get the fine print right. Let’s see how long it takes to be corrected.

Which leads The ‘Pie to wonder what happened to the person responsible for this (since removed) sign, spotted by the Cairns ... or is that the Carins ... Post.

Probably written in Birsbane. 

But back to The Astonisher.

The ‘Pie is happy to report that close on the heels of appearing to encourage kids to play dangerously in polluted floodwaters, the Daily Astonisher soon afterwards decided on another tilt at water safety with this pic.

It was very artful that the Smirnoff vodka brand was prominent on all three cans. Wonder if the photographer is waiting for his free case of Smirnoff mixers … it’s not often you can get a free (unpaid) advert across the front of a paper.

But more to the point, one wonders if the Royal Life Saving Society was impressed …  you can read here what they think about getting on the turps when out frolicking in the water – the salient facts are that 20%of all adult drownings involve alcohol, a figure that rises to 41% in the 15-29 age group, and the Society believes the real figures are likely to be much higher because ‘alcohol is not tested in all drowning deaths’. 

One trusts that someone down in Ogden Street is astonished.

Finally, another story in The Astonisher caught the attention for a couple of reasons.

First, it set a new level for non-information. 

The reporter, Brisbane-based Sunday Mail/Courier Mail Renee Viellaris (expect a lot more of this imported stuff from The Astonisher) breathlessly told of a Queensland jail manager who sent on sick leave when he suggested using the controversial (read deeply idiotic) American idea of ‘re-birthing inmates’.  As Ms Viellaris reports:

Rebirthing is a controversial alternative technique in which the subject is wrapped in blankets and surrounded with pillows, which are then pushed to mimic birth and help form new bonds. Children in the US have suffocated from the practice.

The idea was not supported (by other jail staff).
A statement by Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) said "the option of introducing rebirthing techniques was raised informally at officer level (by the senior manager) however was not supported and did not proceed for formal consideration".’
This is a story? An unnamed senior officer having what amounts to a chat (‘raised informally’) in an unnamed Queensland prison suggests a dopey idea, which was dismissed out of hand. Perhaps it might have been almost a story if Viellaris had included a few facts, like which prison, when this happened, even the name of the manager on 'gardening leave', you know, stuff that would convince us mug punters this wasn’t a wafer thin space filler.

But even a little gold can be found in a molehill of dross, and the gold here is the re-birthing idea is not without merit, especially if applied to the local government political arena.

For instance, we all know our own Mayor Mullet has got off on the wrong foot with some of her fellow councillors and TCC staff, and is sorely in need of a new start – a sort of  re-birthing. The aforementioned technique of slinging her into a hammock, bandaging and blanketing her and surrounding her with pillows so she could be shoved around enough to think she’s being reborn. This could all be performed in the council forecourt, with the added Aussie ingenuity of someone – Vern Veitch? Ray Burton? - ending the re-birthing rite by holding the mayor up by the ankles, and inviting the public to give her the ‘smack of life’ on the bum – canoe paddles optional.

But if this does come about and you would like to administer a mayoral smack yourself, you will need to go to Ingham – that’s where the end of the queue will be.


  1. Pie,

    I'm concerned I'll get found out as a drug cheat in sports. I play netball. I take 8 fish oil tablets a day. Will you be dobbing me in?

    2. Regarding the children drinking vodka image. Are the current photographers alcoholics by chance?
    If not, they must think it's ok to promote this dangerous situation.

    Photographers are visual communicators. This shot looks set up or if they were good shooters, they'd ask them kindly to remove them.

    Considering the Daily Terror Graph is promoting a story on .....'CHILDREN as young as 12 will be breath-tested before being allowed into Sydney's first Good Life underage music festival. '

    Why is it ok to promote alcohol visually on Australia Day?

    Sagely Yours,
    Miss Lou


    One only has to look at this picture especially the bottom image to see the culture's direction in the photo dept.

  3. 150 refugees and we receive how many kiwis?

    1. 39,800 in the July 2012 year, according to NZ goverment figures.

      Mind you, I am thinking of moving there. No snakes, no NQ summers, no Joolya - sounds like heaven on a stick. Plus the place will be near empty by the end of the decade.

    2. Bad luck Grumpy.......definitely no Joolya, no NQ summers however two extremely venomous sea snakes! If you're going there only go above Auckland.....temperate - everywhere else is cold.

    3. No problems with the sea snakes. I will do the same deal with them that I have with the sharks here - I stay out of the ocean and they don't drink at my local. Worked so far...

    4. and besides...if there are only two of them, chances are I won't meet either of them

  4. Pie, I'm addicted to lawn bowls and Cracker Jack is my favourite movie . Will I get arrested?

    1. Only if you're on fish oil tablets and play sport.

  5. I sometimes watch the tennis in my underpants enjoying a couple of smokes. Is this a federal offence? Should I close my curtains?

    1. If you're smoking fish oil smokes, I'd be very careful. I hope your undies are clean.

  6. Pie mate..
    Are the wheels still on the wagon? coz you made no mention of going to Posseurs to empty sacks, or get rocks off et al ......

    1. Unlikely but possibly Poseurs ran out of vino......What a shocker!

  7. Renee is aiming for Sunrise,I can tell.

  8. A quick reminder what the Astonisher hid from their staff.

  9. I would like to propose a nickname change for mayor mullet to Sargent Schultz "i know nothing"!Poor Jenny didnt know about the consultants report on staffing levels/didnt know the monthly profit reports were wrong and when asked about the 20% increase to parking fines to 1 Mil Jennys response"i wasnt aware of that".Exactly what is Jenny aware of?.I suppose when you threaten CMC and bring in the auditor general on some simply explained financials none of the TCC managers and staff will be telling Jenny anything!Culture is driven from the top which explains the TCC sick days being worse than most public service departments.

    1. Ha ha that's funny. The culture has been designed to fail.

  10. And I forgot to mention that sometimes I have a multiple-vitamin with my All-Bran ... I hope they don't knock at an inconvenient time ... Bahahaha...

    1. "I don't take drugs" Lance Armstrong

  11. I still want the stoush between Jenny Hill and Ray Burton made public, what have they got to hide.
    But Jenny Hill will move heaven and hell to keep it away for the ratepayers in Townsville.
    If it goes public Townsville will soon realise that she is not so nice a person.

  12. Another good read from the pie, just a shame we have to wait a week for the next instalment.
    What is the chance of a autographed photo of the pie to put in my bar room, could you make this happen for me pie.

  13. 'Pie !! Will you stop ruining my fantasies! You know, the one I told you about before, involving Sarah Palin, Julie Bishop, Christine Kenneally, a desert island and myself (minus 25 years and 25 kilos - me, not the lassies, who are perfectly fine the way they are).

    Kate's breathless urgency and near hysteria in her press conference reminded me of a scatty schoolgirl dobbing on the boys smoking in the toilets.

    The saddest day in Australian sport was the day that every player in every sport was exposed to public scorn and ridicule by a pair of gormless idiots on instruction from the Worst Prime Minister Ever.

    Lord, I hope you are wrong about Shorten. He is a scoundrel. He is devoid of principles and will sacrifice anything and anyone in his quest for power (just ask his ex). Mind you, could be that slimy, smirking toad, Tony Burke - as my Dad says, "his eyes are too close to his nose and too far from his brain".

    Ando...take a long, cold shower...have a close look at the photo...every time I use my chainsaw (and it is a real chainsaw, not that nancy-pancy 10" Bunnings toy in the picture), I almost instantly have my boots, legs and forearms covered in woodchips and sawdust. Kevin is pristine. It is a set up - just like that one of Anna Be-lie after the Brisbane floods. Standing calf-deep in her wellies amidst a pool of black muck, holding a teaspoon sized shovel with a dollop of mud, "doing her thing to help clean out flooded homes". Her white gloves and white jeans did not have a mark on them.

    And we have eight months of this nonsense to come...

  14. I take my fish oil tablets which enable me to swallow the crap produced in between the pages of the astonisher.

  15. Old Bitter and Twisted! Does this poor group of clowns sit with you at a bar and send stories to each other. Just one bully after another. Throwing stones and kicking shins. A sad site with small minded people with big egoes. Then again that sounds like poor old Malcolm playing his flute with his followers in tow. That is the real entertainment reading the comments of the strokers.

    1. There, there, dear, don't fret, have a little lie down in a darkened room with a damp cloth on your fevered brow.

      Come off it, Ando, you should know better than to lead with your chin.

      'Throwing stones and kicking shins' should be engraved over the staff entrance of The Daily Astonisher, but when you get a bit of your own back, your hanky twisting, foot-stamping reponse is to ignore the message and aim at the messenger.

      Interesting, too, is ' a sad site with small minded people with big egoes'; ho,ho, you old thigh slapper, you. You could be describing the average non-reader(a rapidly growing band) of The Bulletin's attitude towards the sad and sorrow publication for which you pick up your weekly 30 pieces of silver. But you might also like to note that that just about all the comments sent in to this blog come from regular commenters on your paper's letters page. They thank you for the free character reading.

      Note: the plural of 'ego' is 'egos'.

    2. Ando, looking for a job at Molendinar, are we? Or are you just a sensitive little sausage who can't take a little gentle ribbing? Or just a plain old-fashioned, self-opinionated jerk?

      Most of the comments here are humerous, self-effacing and harmless remarks by (mostly) intelligent sounding people. Undeserving of your caustic bullshit vitriol.

      Malcom has on at least several occasions spoken kindly of you. I have (until now) quietly disagreed with him. I have always considered you to be a wannabe sycophant. Now, I just think you are a girl's blouse.

      Oh - on one passing occasion only have I met Malcom - he would not even remember it, it was that fleeting. I have never had a drink with him, although I would be proud to do so. So long as you were not in the bar.

      Malcom...who does NOT read your blog at the Bully-Tin?

    3. I think Ando has earned his stripes with decades of reporting on the region, particularly the bush. Give him a break, he has to earn a living. Simpo on the other hand is a dangerous idiot who will only leave Townsville in flames. Why was Simpo sitting with The Kipper at the Crocs game at Taxpayer expense? He should be forced to pay back the community and for his destructive reporting the council round. Simpo should be charged by the Press Council or AJA.

    4. I used to read Ando. I'd like to think he's having a bad day. I guess not. You're right Grumpy.

      Ando, if you think we're a bunch of 'alcoholics', I'm not.

      Please come again and bring along Mrs Skene. You're more than welcome. This is a democratic blog. Is your paper?

      Miss Lou.

    5. Ando, I don't think Zako will take drinking cloud pixs on your away trip.

  16. Surely, a sports reporter (senior sporty guy Spewy) from the Astonisher knew about the drug usage within the NQ Cowboy?

    It appears the local sports journos are only in Public relations 'story mode' since this doping revelation.

    1. Well, hang on a sec.

      What drug use, has The 'Pie missed some such announcement? What doping revelation? The 'Pie remains adamant that this a politically-inspired distractional exercise in broad brush slurs and innuendos - so far. And way too premature.

      If you have solid information, shouldn't you step up and let the club know?

      Although it goes against the dominant modus operandi of the Bulletin, It's a bit rough to suggest journalistic negligence when there is nothing to report.

      Of course, there is the practicality that News Ltd's historical involvement with the Cowboys may have kept a lid on any knowledge of managerial drug naughtiness, if there was any. (And although that involvement has all but ended, remember that Cowboys stories still sell more papers than any other single subject.)

      The only involvement with drugs that The Magpie has consistently heard of is a small coterie of Cowboys players who - some years ago - used to attend a particular (former) Palmer St restaurant, the owner of which was widely understood to be the go-to supplier of recreational whoppee pills and powder. There has never been any suggestion that this supplier (who has since moved on) dealt in more sophistcated performance-enhancing sports-style drugs, or that her activities affected the team performance (at least in any organised group sense).

    2. Ok, thanks for that. That's why I read your blog.


  17. Fast food chains reveal kilojoules content in their food. I would like to see the media (Astonisher) do the same thing.

    I would like them to reveal their images the following.

    1. Where did the image come from (Public Relations press release, tip off, their own image idea, journalist arranged the image)
    2. How they shot the image? Was it the photographer who captioned the image in the paper?
    Why they photographed the image. Does the photographer believe in the image content? We only 'vaguely' see them. It needs to be transparent.

  18. Stange, no Astonisher sports journo had covered the breaking doping scandal until today in the ville. Too much advertising at stake?

  19. What will the ABC media call the 1300 smile stadium in Kirwan?
    Will the Astonisher report it that way?