Saturday, June 29, 2013

It’s been The Festival of the Fibbers this week, and not just in Canberra – our own Mayor Mullet and the story of her bright red mayoral MulletMobile has her tangled up in her great big porky. And someone who ‘burgered off’ from politics some years ago says he now wants back in -The ‘Pie thinks he might be fibbing, too, but McGeorge says he’s fair dinkum.

The Saga of the Mayoral MulletMobile vrooms along  – Jenny ‘Mayor Mullet’ Hill has lied about it but refuses to explain to ratepayers why she bought her $55,000 car in Brisbane when she could have got it for the same price, and delivered sooner, from here in Townsville. The Magpie knows why and tells all ….
 Macca on Katter …

… and The Astonisher does a Seinfeld, with a story about nothing (much) and another of mysterious origins.

Typo Gleeson and hilarious headlines are synonymous with each other, but this time, he's the subject of an absolute ripper.

And The ‘Pie selects the best quotes of the week, some that may have been lost in sound and fury of Canberra … they’re all here with a lot of other stuff, in the nest at

First our Quotes of the Week, wherein The ‘Pie seeks the lesser noticed angles of sayings.

Silliest Quote:
"The Tour de France? No. Impossible to win without doping because the Tour is an endurance event where oxygen is decisive'.

Disgraced peddler Lance Armstrong thinks winning the big race can’t be done without drugs. Err, Lance, mate, what if no one in the field took drugs … someone would have to win. If nuts were brains, you’d only have one, mate …oh, hang on a sec….

Best question of the week:
‘ …. And the winds are to the west at zero kilometres an hour. !?! How can you have a wind that isn’t moving ... but that’s what they say we’ve got this morning’.

The redoubtable John Nutting on ABC Local this morning, pondering a very ponderable weather bulletin.

Best Smart But Wishful Thinking quote :
‘Here's a suggestion. If the party in opposition isn't happy with their leader, act on it. In-fight, backstab, plot, conspire, overthrow, whatever; get your party in order, and if at all possible, nut out some smart policies in case you win the next election.’
If, however, the party that holds office decides that their leader has to go, tough. They should be made to stick with whomever the Australian public voted in until the next election; or make a vote of no confidence, and let the people go back to the polls.’

Astonisher columnist Shari Tagliabue with an idea so sensible and fair it will never see the light of day.

Best Square-up:
‘Your father would be proud of you'.

Retiring independent federal MP Rob Oakeshott to the deposed PM Julia Gillard in his valedictory to parliament – the spontaneous applause was a suitable rebuke to the catty shock-jock Alana Jones.

Best self deprecatory humour and ersatz apology:
'I hear the stopwatches start, and bets getting laid on how long I speak for'.
Ron Oakeshott again, opening his valedictory speech by referring to his achingly awful 17 minute speech almost three years ago, when he kept the country waiting on his decision to support former Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

But for all that – the two best things this self-promoter said were in his final speech - we’re well shot of Oakeshott,  and also of Windsor, who retreats to his private coward’s castle … both fibbers to the end.

Both declared they were leaving for personal and health reasons, and not because they feared being turfed out at the polls. Yeah, pull the other one, it yodels. In a way, ‘health reasons’ is the correct term, the electorates were sick of you both.

Tony Windsor

When elected, these two ‘independents’ saw their electorates give Labor two of the lowest percentage votes in the country … in Oakeshott’s case, the lowest at 8%. But in order to get as much pork from the barrel for their electorates, and bugger the country, they opted to put Gillard into power. And bugger the country they did, alright, well done fellas. Windsor tells sorrowful tales of not being able to walk down the streets of Tamworth or Armidale without being openly abused. Why was he surprised? 

And why are we not at all surprised when Senator Ian Macca Macdonald suggested this week that the Cut Snake Party founder Bob Katter follow their example.  The thundering senatorial clarion call was a fine example of hope triumphing over experience.

Quoth the good senator:
“For too many years the people of Kennedy have put up with Bob Katter’s big talk and little action, his failure to represent them in the Parliament and his headline-grabbing antics with no substance.
“In this campaign he is devoting most of his time to his efforts to create an self-named political party, purely, it seems, for his own aggrandisement. There is no benefit in it for the voters of Kennedy.
“Maybe it’s time Mr Katter put his electorate first and stepped down to give them the chance of proper representation.

Well, all too true, but as they say, Macca, if wishes were horses, then beggars would ride. In the electorate of Kennedy, there are many phobias upon which to play a pied piper political tune, chief amongst the croc, bat, snake and homo phobias, is the granddaddy of them all, xenophobia. Alas, Macca, until the voters of Kennedy acquire another phobia – that being ‘coulrophobia’ – the fear of clowns – Bob will be a shoo-in.
(A digression: The ‘Pie suggests a palindrome which the Cut Snake Party could adopt, summing them up which ever way you read it: ‘Dammit I’m Mad.’)
But even while he welcomes them, the departures from Canberra have stuck in Bentley’s craw, and with good reason. Even getting rid of undeserving people costs us dearly and to levels that are staggeringly brazen.

And while Bentley takes the …errr … broad view of the departing PM, she ain’t the only one. The ‘Pie doesn’t often publish a lot of the stuff that comes through the electronic mail box, but this one, the figures which appear to be accurate, shows that a pollie’s piggy body may depart the Canberra barnyard, but by some self-manufactured miracle, their snouts remain firmly entrenched in the trough.

The figures in red are the amounts the average worker retiring at 60 would have to have saved to get the same pension. 

So it's back to partying again for Joolya, and judging by her performance at Joan Kirner's 60th birthday bash in 1998, she already knew about unsuccessful twisting. Real pic.

Other matters.

The Magpie had to check the date during the week to see if we’d all done a Dr Who and jumped back to April 1, when he read this story in The Daily Astonisher about a bloke swimming off The Strand getting a fish-hook in his thumb. A bemused bird read the story several times to see what he had missed, but no, this was it … a swimmer off The Strand had accidentally got a floating fish hook in his thumb.
Mothers, shield your childrens' eyes (gasp).

Crumbs!! as Billy Bunter used to say.  Page one picture pointer to a page three story! And double '!!' 

This could lead to a whole new world of local reporting. So soon expect 'Language Outrage: Man Stubs Toe: Yells Rude Words Within 100m Of Children in Day Car Centre’. Perhaps Amanda Gray could weigh-in (so as to speak) with ‘Shop Assistant Polite To Woman With Fuller Figure’  Hmmm, think she might’ve already done that, akchooly

Or maybe ‘Paper Cuts Epidemic; the Hidden Menace Facing Officeworkers’.

Of course, all the sacked staff from The Astonisher know all about the danger and damage of ‘paper cuts’.

But at least Kate ‘I can’t believe I’m not married’ Higgins told us where the action was - unlike another mysterious little yarn during the week.  Written by the exotically monikered Melanie Petrinec, it did have some substance, and told in detail the lurid and disturbing tale of a grub who used Facebook to terrorise a woman he had been unsuccessfully (nudge nudge) dating. As court stories go, a mildly  interesting if ploddingly told … but there was nary a single word telling us where all this disturbing action took place. So we were left to assume that it all happened, well,  somewhere, take youtr choice, Perth, Hobart, Dingo Beach.

Turns out that Ms Petrinec is a journo with the Cairns Post - here's her original story as it appeared up there. So the action, such as it was, took place in Cairns, although even that isn't spelt out. You know Cairns, don't you? That place of little or no interest in times past to Townsville, unless they bugger something up that shows our innate superiority in this neck of the woods. But hey, News Ltd has a paper up there, and its content is free, so expect a lot more of this type of irrelevant out-of-town snooze material.

And here's a little something for you folks getting nostalgic for Peter Typo Gleeson. The Grafton Examiner, the paper where he started his battle with ethics and words (ie his cadetship), decided to do a little brown-nosing now they see him as the Big Cheese in Brisbane, as the new editor of the Sunday Snail. In a classic 'how's that again?' headline, it seems Typo was getting a bit nostalgic with this 'too much information' headline. 

Child support after all these years? And the photo caption was spot on, whichever way you want to look at it, although the story itself was closer to hagiography than a mild puff piece. Reporter Jenna Cairney's application for a gig on the Sunday Mail no doubt landing on Typo's desk anytime now. 

Moving on.

Now here's something just in case you don’t keep up with the comments this blog attracts, and The 'Pie's use of the comments column to talk about things during the week (subscribe – it’s free and you automatically get comments so you can join in the conversation) Last Monday, The ‘Pie related the contents of a call he received from someone well placed in the local car dealership industry. The person is a source The ‘Pie trusts to be accurate. In case you missed it, here is Monday’s information.

The yawning gap between Mayor Jenny Hill and the truth is ever widening.

The Magpie has this morning learned that she has been telling a deliberate, and almost actionable, lie about why she bought her mayoral (ratepayer funded) car in Brisbane, and why she by-passed local dealers.

 Last Thursday, running the line that she was obligated to get the best deal for ratepayers, she told the ABC's Pat Hessian that Zupps in Brisbane was offering the same vehicle - a Commodore V8 SS - for $10,000 less than Townsville's Tony Ireland Holden.

On Saturday, (in his blog) The 'Pie cocked an eyebrow at that claim, which seemed like, and turned out to be, simply bollocks - deals like this leave maybe a thousand dollars tops in wiggle room for dealers and fleet businesses.

Now an industry insider close to the action, a person The Magpie trusts implicitly, has contacted The Pie to tell him what he knows happened.

Townsville City Council vehicles purchases are handled by Custom Fleet. They approached by the mayor with details of the car she wanted as her Mulletmobile, they sourced a quote from Tony Ireland Townsville and from Zupps in Brisbane. Zupps came in lower, but only by a few hundreds dollars - not the claimed $10,000. So Custom Fleet, which has always encouraged buy-local opportunities, then contacted Tony Ireland Holden and asked if they could match the Brisbane offer. This TIH did immediately 'and without hesitation' The Pie was told. Then the question of availability was asked, and the Townsville dealership assured Custom Fleet they could supply the car as quickly if not more quickly than a Brisbane dealer could.

That's the last they heard of it, until The Magpie revealed last week that the mayor had her car shipped up from Zupp's in Brisbane. And the only way that could have happened would have been the mayor being given the choice of dealerships with equal quotes, and directing the sale go to Brisbane.

There are plenty of rumours swirling around about why this would happen, but it is clear that Mayor Mullet has been too clever by half, so we now have a blatant liar (like we didn't already know) as Townsville's top elected official.
 It doesn't just smack of political, and maybe personal, payback, but it was done with ratepayers' money. One councillor The Magpie contacted said he believed there was a bit of personal history in there going back more than a decade, but The Pie has not been able to confirm that.

Since then, a couple of folks, independent of any involvement – then or now – tell The ‘Pie that some years ago in her hooning  days, The Mullet managed to smash into a gutter in her Holden hotcar. Although she had not bought the car from Tony Ireland Holden, she demanded that they, as the local dealers, fix the damage under warranty. The dealership correctly said no, it was an accident, and had to be handled through insurance. It is then reported that the Mullet went into a towering rage, and perhaps even made threats of get square (not physical of course, although The 'Pie admits the image of Mayor Mullet with a closed fists makes the feathered head rest uneasy). There is also a hazy but plausible story that when but a mere councillor in the few couple of years, she demanded an unwarranted vehicle upgrade, a demand which was denied. Fits in with her style, but maybe it's not true, who knows, no one is saying anything much more now.

So did she see this as her opportunity to settle an old – personal – score? With ratepayers money?

Looks like it … and that’s disgraceful. What will be just as disgraceful will be if no other councilor has the gumption to ask her publicly why she, the putative leader of this community, turned her back on traditional ethics and gave local business – by this action, collectively – the finger.

And a late bit of info has just landed in the old bird’s nest … the issue of car leasing was ‘workshopped’ soon after this council was elected, and it was agreed – Mullet included – that all vehicles should be leased locally. So our mayor has also gone against a whole-of-council agreement, and regally dismissed any such notion that that meant her, too. Any of you Townsville Firsters now feel like doing what you should do, and seek an explanation? Or how about you, David Moyle, you of the grandly named Townsville Ratepayers Association? (The 'Pie is told your meeting this afternoon attracted a bumper crowd of eight). But perhaps you don't see this this as a matter of interest to ratepayers? The massive turn-out this afternoon should've got themselves into a lather over this one, shouldn't they?   Look mate, just remove your nose long enough to sniff the ethical air. 

Or if you won't look into it, then how about the Townsville Bulle .... oh, forget it.

While we’re with the First Shady of Townsville, you may recall the general scattering for the hills when Mayor Mullet went looking for a professional mate, a sort of chief-of-staff ( they used to be called secretarial assistants until the salary got so high the job demanded a more self-important title). No one wanted a bar of it, especially after Paul Askern’s stratopheric demands got such bad publicity when they were knocked back by CEO Ray Burton.

Well, the looming ructions in Canberra over the last few months has solved the problem.

Victorian Labor senator David Feeney, Parliamentary Secretary for Defence was a staunch Gillard supporter (until he ratted on her at the 11th hour), so his staff were justly nervous. Including one Patricia Schluter, a media maiden in his office. The ‘Pie is told she jumped ship before the iceberg hit, heading north to hold the mayoral hand in Townsville a couple of months ago. Being the good Labor gal she must be (you don’t work in Federal offices on either side - especially not in media liaison - if you’re not of the faithful) Ms Schluter has no doubt nobly taken a hefty pay cut to become Mayor Mullet’s minder. Bravo, gal, but you'll get by on the reported $100,000 ++ pay packet.

 Those political shenanigans in Canberra have stirred the political loins of a familiar name up this way …. none other than George Colbran has told The Magpie he is thinking of running against Kid Crisafulli in the next state election.
He has a bit more forehead now,
but still has the fire in his belly.

‘I’ve moved out to Aikenvale for family reasons, and that means I’m now in David’s electorate. Considering I went so close in Herbert (George lost by about 300 late votes that came in from East Timor Defence personell) I think I could help to redress the balance here in Queensland,’ he said. He believes with the looming federal election, and Labor's Queensland train crash, it's time to stand up and fight the good fight.

The former McDonald’s man The Magpie so unkindly dubbed George McAllbran because he made us all real regular folks during his brief foray into politics – reckoned he was serious. The comments may be, but sorry, George, The ‘Pie doubts you'll be darting into the fray like a warhorse, (but neither will you be like a carthorse, farting into the dray). As good as the sport would be to see to socking it to The Kid, anyway. 

And no, it is not suggested you are fibbing. Just fantasising.

And speaking of such, enough now, it is away to Poseurs' Bar, where the old bird will bebubble a comely favourite, eventually turning the talk to retirement, but it will have bugger all to do with leaving the job - more getting on with the job. 


  1. George, sit back and relax.
    I know it must be pretty boring traveling around the world.

    1. Typo's promotion? News ltd must be nutso. He's a lazy idiot. They must be touched by his television 'macho' personality. Very convincing. (coughs)Infact, where are they now? I google former workers and which tabloid their working on and see how the 'toxic' types infiltrate.

  2. Conan the GrammarianJune 29, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    It's deja-vu, all over again!
    George McAllBran, off his death-bed and into the fray again. Eh?... He couldn't get elected in the Ruddslide of 2007, when he had just about everything going for him that could have been. What chance now? Keep dreamin', Georgie.

  3. You so full of bull pie and I am not reading your lies anymore.....

    1. Far from it, You're indoctrinated. As a former worker, I can confirm it was an indoctrination within the office. The Astonisher has 'protected' workers while others can 'take the blame'

  4. As much as I like and admire George for his business and personal achievements - a politician he ain't. Media chums told me of his media performances on radio for the 2007 election - ABC Tsv in fact - where they could hear George's media minder giving him answers to questions - not a good look George.

  5. Pie, your so funny! Telling someone else to sniff the ethical air. Now you are so funny I laughed and laughed I even read it to a few mates and they said, is this clown for real? Magpie keep up the hypocrisy

  6. This floated into the nest, and while worthy in the original, The Magpie decided a little editing of the language was required, but you'll get the original drift anyway. Bloody funny. It's by Bob Ellis, the Labor sideline stirrer and professional wordsmith.

    Beweep the fate of Kevin Rudd
His end is tears, his name is mud,
Defamed by all as a useless shunt,
Knifed by comrades, back and front.
    Hubris, Primates, brought him low,

    More than any sneaking foe,
He thought the sun rose from his arse

    And no-one else was in his class.
    Heed well the end of Kevin Rudd.
The whole world picked him as a dud
But he breezed onward, preened and sneered,

    Striking all as wucking feird.
    He flogged his minions, praised his God
Called enquiries, pulled his wad,

    Thought himself Christ’s gift to men,

    Beamed, and pulled his wad again.

  7. Geelong (Vic) Tue 2 July race 7 #10 Stroke Of Genius.(by Foreplay from Schoolies)

    1. With New offices, new look Bulletin. Well, Golly, stories should be award winning now.

  8. Oh, no, what have all we insensitive bastards done?

    There's no Amanda this week !!!

    Is this just a temporary absence, or has she closed the venetians, eased the undie elastic and is giving the Cadbury's Soft Centre Selection a work-out while watching House Husbands; and all because of the comments in this blog?

    If so, The Magpie is mortified, responsible for robbing us all of the one truly hilarious column in the paper. Come back, Mandy Gray, we didn't mean anything by it.

    1. The Pie getting to you a bit, Dave? Or was that you, Daniel? Paul maybe?

      It would be worth a small wager that you and your seven Saturday afternoon cohorts furrowed your brows for an hour or two to come up with that bit of finely crafted and closely argued analysis - of nothing.

      Dave, it's well accepted that your ...umm, how shall we put this ... developmentally delayed is the new term apparently - but you could surely have enough gumption to sign your work, on behalf of your chortling 'mates'. Doing so with a comment on this blog would go a long way to alleviating your continuing anguish from Relevance Deprivation Syndrome - although most other sufferers were actually relevant at some previous time.

      Anyway, new rule for you if you wish to lift your profile to new depths by commenting on this blog. Address the issue - by all means, give examples of why you think The 'Pie has been unethical and/or hypocritical, argue the point, suggest a better way of the old bird doing things.

      The Magpie is hardly a shy sensitive flower, but he will not be publishing any more vague unsigned ad hominem sprays - for no other reason but that they are just BORING to more constructive readers.

    2. Well I'm pleased "Mandy" Gray's" column has not appeared this week - a drivel free week for me. But then today's Astonisher story on a school fire in Mt Isa and the mayor is "gutted" - caught my eye. Since when is gutted permissible as News Ltd style? It just got me thinking - it's a public holiday do nothing day so plenty of grey matter time - hell she's back!

    3. Yeah, Bully Boy, first glance at the school fire headline made one wonder if medieval punishment was visited on the mayor for the blaze taking place on his watch.

      But, dunno, if that headline was meant to be a clever play on words, quoting a genuinely distraught Mayor McGrady, speaking from the heart about such a 'disheartening' event - when in traditional English it was the library that was 'gutted' not the mayor - then he for one wouldn't find it one bit funny. Not sure they're that clever, but it's easy to go for the insensitive cheap laugh when you're at least 1500kms away - or in New Zealand. (Yeah, just leave the insensitive, cheap laughs to The Magpie, please!)

      That said, Mr McGrady did have a little inadvertent wrassle with his words when he said 'The school library has been decimated to cinders'.

      'Decimate' has moved on from the traditional 'kill one in ten of any group as a punishment for the overall group' but accepted usage nowadays still has the meaning as 'kill or destroy a latge percentage of,' and definitely should not be used to mean 'defeat or destroy utterly'.

      But Mayor McGrady was speaking from the heart, not the head, in those circumstances.

      Just sayin', ya know.

  9. Yup, imagine a big time photographer like this.. photographing a convincing story such as the Hook, line and sinker? It really doesn't convince me of any authenticity at all.


    Nice that the staff have moved. Trying to hide the asbestos in the old building?

  11. Ewen Jones attended the Winter ball in Canberra. Life must be good for the elected pollie.

    Apart from court reporting, most of the Astonisher's news is 'simulated' fake or just plain lazy. the fish hook is a good example that they assume readers want to read. Not to ruffle the injured person but THIS is not news. Can you report on what time you go to the toilet? This is the same as the Astonisher's new office. Pretty Rohan, the surgeon's wife as the Realestate queen and others such as Tully princess Emily reporting 'breaking press release' news.

  12. Same old V8 hype with Astonisher. Same old Same Old!

  13. Tony Windsor is one of the vilest quislings ever to disgrace our Federal Parliament. This pompous clown is one of the last acolytes of the self appointed born-to-rule class of inherited rich squattocracy that brought the wool industry to its knees in the late 1980’s. For years, the wool mountain stood as a monument to their collective greed and rank stupidity. On their hands is the blood of many graziers who went that one last time down to the back shed.

    Paul Keating had a special kind of love for their ilk

    For all his arrogant bluster, Windsor is a despicable coward. During the last three years, he has not once had the courage to face his electorate – who he betrayed in the most cynical and self-interested way possible. I roared with laughter when he challenged Tony Abbot to meet him in the car park. As if he would have the guts…or the ability

    Good riddance to the fool. Although his electorate shall be disappointed that they cannot give him the hiding at the ballot box that he richly deserves. Maybe now he will have to learn how to open his own bloody gate…

    For what it’s worth, I recall the incident with Jenny the Joke’s “warranty” claim. And her fury when it was rejected. “Pie, did you not do a piece on it at the time?

  14. Sure that's not Anne, 'Atil of the Hun' with Jewliar in that picture?

  15. I notice Pie you don't attack issues like the Crocs asking for ratepayers money or the rip off on our power cost by the Newman Government. I also notice you don't bag Crisafulli. You try to hard to be relevant.

    1. My, my, David, Daniel, Paul, we really do have our Ku Fu Panda undies in a bunch, don't we? And still can't put your name to your sad little noises. Man up, fellas.

      But (sigh) for your edificatshun:
      1. Nothing wrong with 'asking' - it's any 'giving' that will be a problem worthy of comment.

      2. That would be stating the bleedin' obvious, despite your archetypally simplistic analysis - but sincere thanks for your selfless advice on how to run a blog that could not have got by without you. (Hey, how's the Ratepayer Ass. going with body corporate fees? Yuk, yuk, snort, snurfle.)

      3. Re The Kid ... why, what's he done that The 'Pie should bring down his majesterial wrath up on his blameless locks? But yes, Mr Crisafulli is one of the dozens of public figures The 'Pie sees not worthy of general bagging - only you fit that bill, Davy boy, and since it is clear that you are mightily nettled by the old bird's attention, expect more of it. The 'Pie also might have to look in the colorful background of Mr Whipps ... could there be a tale or two of naughtiness there? Just be careful if he turns up at any of your meetings with a samurai sword.

      Now fellas, back to reading the Townsville Ratepayers Association manifesto ie Enid Blyton's Secret Seven or is that the Famous Five? Must be the Famous Five, since it has a chapter headed 'David Pulls It Off'.

  16. Oh gosh it's now, Day of thunder as trucks roll in... blah blah blah...

  17. With the V8s in town will our mayor stay off the juice, word is she likes a tipple or ten at the Patriots club house.

  18. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  19. That would Pat Hessian's Drive programme, ABC 630 local radio, usually around 5.20 on a Thursday. Bless your ...ahhh ... 'sole' Dave, Paul, Daniel, for the opportunity to mention this.

  20. Ready to push pedal to the metal.. nah, she'll wear her racing red jacket.. va voom

  21. Ron Bairstow PerthJuly 5, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    A suggested title for Amanda's column if it returns: FIFTY SHADES OF BANAL

    1. Emily's column 'Fifty Shades of Me, Me, Me!'

  22. It's obvious it's manslaughter in the fut6ure and the asbestos riddled office.