Saturday, June 1, 2013

Mayor Mullet and her motors – did our gal spurn local Townsville dealers and spend the ratepayers’ money on her new council wheels out of town? The Astonisher has an amazing and inexplicable council budget about-turn, and The Magpie awards his inaugural Gina Rinehart Sharing and Caring Golden Gob(let) …

Language bashing was everywhere this week, from the funny to the farcical.

The week was also chockers with ‘wait, hang on a sec …?’ moment; The ‘Pie looks at the best of them ….

The proposed council budget has the good news and the bad news down at Dudley Do-Nothing House aka Townsville Enterprise, and it has ratepayers scratching their heads ….

Bentley sticks up for a completely forgotten figure in the Adam Goodes soap opera …. The ‘Pie has his two bobs worth on that sorry saga …

And if you’ve ever been pissed off with the zealotry of the local parking wallopers, just be thankful you don’t live in Sweden.

All that and much more of little consequence in this week’s nest at

The week’s ‘Eh, What Wait A Sec’ moment was delivered on ABC radio last night by federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek, speaking about the ALP’s pre-selection gender quota. Quoth she ”We’ve always said we want 40% male, 40% female - and 20% (pause) it doesn’t matter’.  

This somewhat casual use of English appropriately came on the same day that the NSW Court of Appeal overturned a ruling that had decreed everyone must be listed as a man or a woman with the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. So, what else could you claim? Well, if you don’t know if you’re Arthur or Martha, there’ll soon be a new pigeonhole for you.

A bloke named Norrie was born a bloke in Scotland 52 years ago, but after coming out here – apparently in more ways than one – our man decided he'd been carrying around some excess baggage surplus to requirements and went for what Mongrel the Barrister calls ‘the tin snips option’ -  we used to call that a fairly understandable ‘sex change operation’ but the language/thought police have tut-tutted us into the weird ‘gender reassignment’ description.

Anyway, after the op, Norrie later decided he was sick of the ... err… whole thing so as to speak, and decided to become ‘neuter’. The eyes water and the Magpie mind inquires no further at what that may have involved, but Norrie was happy about it, so Norrie filled in a form asking that his records show Norrie to be ‘neuter’.  (These are the 'sex?' boxes on bureaucratic forms in which The Magpie writes ‘not often nowadays’).

Norrie’s self-descriptor was initially accepted by the registry but some months later it was rescinded, saying the change Norrie had sought was invalid and had been issued in error. Norrie, an energetic person not burdened by the weight of a second name, challenged this in the NSW Court of Appeals and yesterday, won. A nice one in the eye of the shiny bums who try to be a law unto themselves in our private lives.

So by happy serendipity, Norrie, old so …err, person, Canberra awaits you!! 

The ALP says it wants 20% of their folks to come from the ‘doesn’t matter’ gene pool. And fear not, Norrie, you won’t be a lonely gender figure on the Canberra landscape; there are plenty around there who have lost their vital identifiers, mostly ministers both shadow and actual, and by September 15th, will definitely be in the ‘doesn’t matter’ faction. 

Mixed Metaphor of the Week goes to AFL caller Bruce McAvaney. He and Dennis Commetti were rambling on about a player’s most basic of mistakes, which, they suggested, even youngsters have drummed into them at some time or other. Obviously there was a collision of clichés between ‘carved in stone ‘ and ’tattooed on the forehead’ when Bruce sagely suggested ‘Yes, that should be written on our heads in stone.’

Language has come in for a more serious stomping during the week.

One of the most tiresome phrases trotted out these days by those who go in for fridge-magnet philosophy goes along the lines ’people who start out a sentence by saying I’m not a racist but …. have already admitted they’re racist.’  As an overall rule, this shallowness is of course utter tripe,  because the phrase is often employed by people who have been bullied and battered by the thought police into believing they have to qualify any opinion they wish to express that involves a person of a different race to themselves. For instance, if an aboriginal person makes a reckless maneuver while driving, it is perfectly OK to say ‘That bloke is an idiot’, but fears of the perception of racism demand that the anti-colour bias be denied before saying anything.

But there has been an interesting twist to this aspect of Aussie life. It came near the end of the Collinwood-Sydney Swans match last week which is now infamous for another reason – depending on your point of view, that reason is either that Adam Goodes disgracefully pulled out the race card and grossly over-reacted to a truly minor matter, or -  the apparently illegal bullying of a 13-year-old female footy fan by a roomful of cops, or  - Adam Goodes uncompromising stand against racism, or - the transformation of the hapless Eddie McGuire from ‘Eddie Everywhere’ to ‘Eddie Idiot’.

The media hasn’t exactly covered itself in glory in this matter either, but then, that’s hardly surprising.

The 'ordering off' incident.

Here’s what The ‘Pie saw - he saw a double Brownlow medal-winning, millionaire superstar footballer over-reacting to a lame schoolyard jibe – said to be the single word ‘ape’ - that it can be argued wasn’t even a racist comment.  Just about every large footballer of any code - Aussie Rules full forwards, Rugby League’s front-rowers, Rugby’s props and soccer’s water girls (not mention female Chinese swimmers) has been called ‘an ape’ at some time or other, which is to do with their size, strength and usually a perceived lack of intelligence. Although the language/thought police would have us think otherwise, ‘ape’ is not intrinsically racist.

But The Pie does not wish to make that a mealy-mouthed, ingenuous point, so as in all workplaces, it is how the receiver of a comment interprets it, the intention of the perpetrator doesn’t matter.

So Goodes was in his workplace and was right not to let it pass. He returned to eyeball the girl, and he was certainly close enough to see that she was a kid, barely a teenager. A finger wagging and direct admonishment of her was what was required and deserved.

But, then, in yet another famous step too far, Goodes instructed a near-by security bod to have the girl removed. So we had the … well, the un-Australian sight of an unaccompanied female child being bustled away by burly security people to God knows where. The adult in the group, apparently the girl’s grandmother, couldn’t go with her because she felt she had to stay with the other juveniles, as the group was down for the match from country Victoria.

The girl was placed in a room, and the following two-hour 'grilling' by the cops also raises several legal questions about deprivation of liberty and the laws regarding interrogating a minor. Certainly an adult supporter of the girl would’ve been the least requirement. The child was reported to be a tearful mess by the time she was reunited with her family. So much for the punishment – an unforgettable trauma - fitting the ‘crime’ – a careless barracking comment she has since admitted she didn’t know was wrong – or racist.

But if that departure from public gaze was distressing enough to everyone except the language police nanny-staters, we then saw one of our true athletic champions flounce off the field before the game had ended like a head-tossing schoolgirl, dragging his overblown sense of entitlement down the race to the sulking rooms below. In effect, he turned his back on those sections of the crowd who applauded his action when they got the gist of what was going on (a guesstimate would be about 95% of them), and to me, it seemed Goodes gesture was saying 'You are all racists'. no one in the crowd got the chance to stand with him.

One doesn’t expect too much generally from footballers in the top paddock department, but the irony that a single-word jibe that he says so upset him (‘devastated’ ? ‘shattered’? -c’mon, mate, really.) has now, through his over-reaction, been repeated across cyber space and in the media thousands of times.

A barrister mate, a footy fanatic who has had his fair share to say from the stands over the years, pointed out the other irony that had the girl had chosen to call him that most offensive of four-letter words in the English language, Goodes probably could not have reacted – unless, of course, he’s also is an ardent feminist. Nothing would’ve happened, certainly not any questionable raced-based claim.

As for Eddie McGuire’s on-air idiocy suggesting Goodes could be used to promote the current musical King Kong, and all the over-kill media coverage of that, the front page headline of the West Australian best summed that up  – King Nong’.

Eddie King Nong McGuire.

Besides Eddie knows he is so deeply embedded with the AFL hierarchy, a few comments of shining insincerity would see him officially off the hook. And so it was.

Although Herald Sun columnist Miranda Devine wasn’t so easy to shake off, and was among the most succinct of commentators in this whole mess. She aimed it squarely at Eddie and his position within the AFL camp.

The AFL's anti-racism carry-on has been exposed as a tokenistic, politically correct fraud, insulting to indigenous players and a totalitarian exercise for unsuspecting fans.
So Eddie, you're not getting the benefit of the doubt from me because you and your mates never gave it to a child.
She didn't racially vilify anyone either, but you offered her up as a sacrificial lamb to be mauled all week so you could pretend you've stamped out racism.
She lives with sisters, aged 15 and 16, and her single mother, on a disability pension with agoraphobia, anxiety and depression.’

Racism is lamentably an ever-present undercurrent in Australian life, and The Magpie is aware he will come in for some uncomplimentary commentary for the above (what's new?) but the elements of free speech, balance and individual responsibility concern him here as much both sides of the racial argument - particularly between indigenous people and the rest of the population.

The sad truth is that this whole three-ring-circus will certainly spur on that minority of mad, swivel-eyed racist loons who, like exhibitionist children, bask in the glow of being outrageous and deeply offensive – and divisive.

Bentley knows that, as the saying has it, 'comparisons are odious', but being indifferent to sport but an animal lover, he has been far more concerned with one overlooked party in all this.

To local matters.

Mayor Mullet the motorist has been the subject of several heavy breathers down the MagpieFone this week.

Mid-week, the mayor took delivery of her ratepayer funded wheels, to which her position rightly entitles her. It is said to be a dashing bright ALP red Commodore V8. Those on the council entitled to vehicles procure them under recently amended rules that they are leased, but the individual handles all the arrangements, including choice, colour and dealer. Although it is more an understanding than a stipulation, it is expected that all vehicles will be leased through fleet arrangements with local dealers.

It has been suggested that Mayor Mullet thumbed her nose at that sort of local loyalty and has got her $52,000 Holden hoonster from some other centre outside Townsville. Maybe even Brisbane. Funny look for a city’s mayor, who might also have a polite query from TEL confrere and Holden supremo Tony Ireland when have their next tea and scones board meeting. The 'Pie is informed she certainly didn't get it from him.

But this all raises another question. Our mayor’s love of hot cars is well documented and the love of her (motoring) life has been her Holden HSV corner-screecher.

But hang on a mo. Remember this, from the Daily Astonisher soon after the council election.

When The Mullet was running for mayor and crying poor in the campaign coffers, she tearfully (well, almost) said she would have to fund her tilt at Walker Street by selling her 'beloved' HSV. Here's how the Astonisher reported it at the time (for what that's worth).

Winning the poll has come at a substantial personal cost for Cr Hill, as she now has to sell her beloved blue HSV Holden to pay the bank loans back.
``I was the single biggest donor to my campaign and contributed between one-third and half of the total funds raised,'' she said.
``Unfortunately, part of the deal with my husband is I have to sell my HSV Clubsport to pay back the loans.''

But , me old chook, you didn't sell it, you've been tooling around town in the private HSV until as late as this week.

So if you didn’t sell it, where did you get the considerably large amounts to fund a vigorous campaign? It is well known that Bazza 'The Bagman' Taylor made a late arm-twisting sortie through the local business establishment, but his undoubted persuasive charms couldn’t raise enough of the necessary before the election.

So, just curious to know, where did you get the lolly for your campaign, it couldn't have been Labor money, you bein' an independent an' all? Or have you found that rarest of creatures, a forgiving bank manager? Or rarer still, a forgiving husband?

Still with council matters, the mayor has handed down a nice little smokes and mirrors number for the councillors to mull over before voting on it in a couple of weeks.

Two of the strangest items involve those two most upstanding pillars of our community, the Townsville Bulletin aka The Daily Astonisher and Townsville Enterprise.

You will remember last year, cadet editor Lachlan Heywood fumed and fulminated something chronic about those nasty Townsville First trolls blocking Mayor Mullet’s wonderfully brilliant ideas about a rates freeze and a water rebate. And Christ, that 1.95% hike in rates !!! A pox on the House of Townsville First, and Armageddon now – the community might not survive.

That was then. 

Fast forward to this morning.

Somehow a diabolical 1.95% rates hike last year has morphed into a somehow respectable (because the mayor says so) 5.9% this year!  An aside - imagine what it would be like now if Mayor Mullet and the Bulletin had managed to get her ruinous election promises of a rates freeze and a water rebate through then. 

But today, no outcry, even from the mayor’s unpaid spin doctor Anthony Simpleton, who seemed for the occasion to have lost his Big Book of Nasty Adjectives. And while last year, the Iditor was the main attack dog, this year, not a single yelp or whine was heard from the chief chichihua,  just an iditorial about a self-promoting think piece (ha!) series about what Townsville will be like in 2020 ... and potholes on Magnetic Island. Finger on the pulse stuff, that, mate. Next to that, what's a little thing like the council budget to this leader of community opinion.

Nothing like consistency.

And down at TEL, there must be a few sphincter-bunching moments ahead for staff, now that the TEL deputy chair (who also happens to be the mayor) has suggested lopping around $70,000 of the $775K we have been gifting David Kippin’s mob.

No personal pain at Chez Kippin.
But here’s another ‘hang on a sec’ moment. 

The Mullet must have been on the red cordial when she added to this item a rider that $25,000 be awarded to TEL 'for lobbying' for the proposed Entertainment Super Centre. What game is going on here? 

First of all, isn’t lobbying what Kippin’s mob is supposed to do for the money ratepayers already give him?. Isn’t that their dubious raison d’etre ? This deserves the Ludicus Lollypop Award for the worst attempt to disguise a $45,000 funding cut as a $70,000 cut.

And the sharing/caring statement of the year goes to The Kipper himself.

When ace revealer Simpo asked for his reaction to the impending rate rise, Mr Kippin revealed his deep understanding and empathy with Joe and Joyce Ratepayer when he told the paper that he thought the proposed increase in charges would be affordable for most households.  ‘I don’t think it’s a significant impost,’  was the answer from a bloke who is not only on a quarter of a mill a year, but gets that quarter of a million from those very ratepayers who he says won’t see the rises as a ‘significant impost.’ Things must be pretty plush down at Chez Kippin.

Good on yer, Dave, for that pompous answer, you get The ‘Pie’s inaugural Gina Rinehart Golden Gob(let) award for sharing and caring with your community.

Other matters.

Next time you start grousing about the local parking  rozzas, take comfort that you don’t live in Stockholm. Boy, do they play hard ball over there. 

This pic tells the graphic bottom line – yes, that’s a parking cop booking those riot-torched vehicles - and here’s the story that also reveals some breath-taking breakthrough police tactics in Sweden. The police attitude makes them ideal candidates to work at Townsville Enterprise if they ever emigrate.

Finally, a quiz question. If you ran off the road in the ACT, and when asked why, you said 'because I saw a giant turtle with eight tits, sir' what would the cop say? Answer: Blow into this please driver.

However, you'd have a case if it went to court.

Remember this rather off-putting recent addition to a Canberra skyline already over-crowded with puffed-up bags of hot air.

Well, unreliable rumor has it that it has just been discovered that brothel-hopping MP Craig Thompson used his union credit card to have his very own balloon designed and built. 

Eat yer heart out, Simpo - The 'Pie reveals this exclusive pic of its secret maiden flight.


  1. ahhh Magpie, you old ape you!

  2. You didnt comment on the V8 cancelation spectulation which must be driving the V8 mayor to distraction considerating all the other stuff you covered. Dig deeper Maggie.

  3. Conan the GrammarianJune 1, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    Ermagherd! That last photo... the natural precursor to the biggest blue-flamer in history....pray that there have been no pre-flight baked beans.

    1. not juliar, wrong colour guinea grass under the fence.

  4. Paul Anderson of PimlicoJune 1, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    Those with an interest in racism-preciousness (or inclined to engage in it) might take note of the incident recounted at . Nothing new under the sun...

  5. Interested ObserverJune 2, 2013 at 5:10 AM

    Very interesting comments regarding the Mayor's election fundraising. Yes, Bazza Taylor was twisting arms all over town to raise cash for his mate Jenny.
    So what return are the generous benefactors who backed Jenny's campaign now receiving for their hard-earned?
    And how many donors are missing from Jenny's list of campaign backers?
    Before you point out the obvious that the Mayor does not have control of the council and that Townsville First councillor Tony Parsons is in the key role of planning committee chairman, consider this.
    As is his style, Bazza has become good mates with Parsons.
    Another worrying sign for the hard-working people of Townsville is that Bazza is now also best buddies with one David Crisafulli.
    Yes, folks, there's a new Rat Pack in town.
    Some time ago, after Bazza was booted off the NQ Cowboys board, he got the sulks and threatened to move to Brisbane, but found out very quickly that he was a very small fish in a much bigger pond down there. Almost powerless, in fact.
    So, unfortunately, the game goes on here in Townsville.

    1. Clr Tony Parsons has emphatically denied any 'chuminess' between himself and Bazza Taylor.

      'Since being elected, I have spoken with Mr Taylor twice only, briefly at that,' Clr Parsons told The 'Pie. He said both occasions were at functions or formal meetings. He said he informed the old bird of this simply to set the record straight. He says that the above comment is incorrect, which suggested that Mr Taylor was 'cultivating' a friendship with him.

      For his part, The Magpie allowed the comment to be published because it was not a criticism of either person, why shouldn't they talk if they so choose? It just turns out that it didn't happen in any questionable context.

      But Bazza, for all his bluster about being a private person, is an influential figure who has been politically active (although certainly only a member of Party Barry) and often represents and argues on behalf of those who can have an influence on our community; he is therefore worthy of comment.

  6. Between the national Flood levy of nearly $1,000 and 33% increase on medicare rebate and between the rates 5.9% and 23% in electricity i hope Mayor Mullet builds more buffer into the budget as every year the TCC gets hit with so-called surprises or revenue drops and consumers and business wont have any folding to support TCC programs.Does the Mullet think having Mayoral Robes makes her suddenly and economic genius?If the Mullet did infact buy her new V8 outside of Townsville it reflects how smart she isnt!

  7. Rightly or wrongly it must be pointed out that 3 of leading car dealers in Townsville each donated $5000. to the Townsville first campaign. Payback,Poetic Justice or was a better deal available out of town. (refer ECQ Donors list)

  8. Word has it that the design of the balloon in the last pic, was stolen from the photos of our Leader Ju-liar, when she showed the world how to do the perfect swan dive, a while back.
    I agree, dig deeper Pie, dig deeper.

    1. If only it was Mr Swan's balloon.

    2. Nah,

      only if she is not a true "ranger".

      The guinea grass under the fence is the wrong colour.

      snurfle, chortle

  9. Funny thing about Bazza Taylor twisting arms to raise campaign funds for Jenny Hill is that he was doing the same for Dale Last and the Townsville First team.
    It's called having an each-way bet.

  10. Always good and always entertaining.

    Miss Lou.

  11. In the all round rush to righteousness, some indignant commentators on the Goodes/ racism issue have tripped over their own verbiage. Townsville Bulletin (The Daily Astonisher) columnist Shari Tagliabue weighed into the Goodes/McGuire hoopla with her thoughts on racism in her Saturday column. While she generally made it clear what she thought of racism - she's against it - she left not a few folks scratching their heads with her choice of words in the following.

    'But while verbal attacks on white people, redheads, fat people, or wogs are thoughtless and hurtful, they aren't backed up by generation upon generation of marginalisation and oppression.'

    She's right though, calling people wogs certainly is 'thoughtless and hurtful'. Going by what she has written, Shari no doubt feels this would be particularly 'thoughtless and hurtful' to wogs.

  12. From today's iditorial in the Daily Astonisher:
    'It is a worthy fight, but without competition nothing will change in the state's north.
    It is all well and good to tell consumers to "shop around" but when there is just one shop in town - or rather the northern half of the state - where do we go for a better price?'

    What?!? Could this be an open jibe at the gouged and ripped-off Bulletin advertisers. The Magpie broke out in a cold sweat (not easy for an avian), mistakenly thinking that The Astonisher had discovered that The Pie had just inherited $100 million and was going up against the might of Murdoch in Townsville.

    But no, just some Year 8 scolding by Harry Potter about electricity prices.

    So they're still in the dark.

    Phew, close one, that. Heh Heh Heh.

  13. Paul Anderson of PimlicoJune 5, 2013 at 7:31 AM

    I'm going to assume that much of this week's crop of 'opinion pieces' (more an 'assault on the senses', from where I'm sitting) in the Astonisher is a 'shout-out' to the Magpie, a collective petulant snook cocked that seems to scream, 'oh YEAH? You thought my LAST column about girly town-painting, a tired laundry list of local events or ham-fisted racism-bashing was facile and effluvial, then get a load of THIS...!'
    It makes me curious about how this whole column thing works over there, though. Of course I get the cost-saving angle with some of the 'journos' also having to cough up a weekly 400 words on whatever happens to cross their minds at the time... I'm sure these kids aren't bothered, though. To paraphrase Oscar Wilde (or was it Winston Churchill?), 'the only thing worse than being able to talk about yourself...', and all that. However, not all of their columnists (Ms Gray, for one), seem similarly burdened with having to churn out articles as well. Are they doing other back-office work instead or something? ...and then there's 'Simpo's Strop' - the one I'd most enjoy getting a chance to read for sheer entertainment value...but us online readers are mysteriously denied those particular crumbs of wisdom that fall from the Ogden Street table...and I REFUSE to actually BUY a print copy anymore (haven't done so in literally years), as I no longer have a birdcage that requires lining. One man's opinion, anyway... Great stuff as always, 'Pie. Keep 'em flying.

    1. Paul - in the words of a political tyro - 'please explain' I have read your ravings and do not understand a word of your political direction, thoughts or understangings. Change your diet of whatever turns you on so we can uderstand you.

    2. Paul Anderson of PimlicoJune 7, 2013 at 7:20 AM

      Well, I sure seem to have gotten under SOMEbody’s skin, despite the professed lack of understanding. Jeez, I didn’t think I was being THAT oblique, but hey, tyro, let me put this as succinctly as I can: “I agree with the Magpie”. That better…?

  14. Pie, sorry Im late a really good piece this week. I'm not happy about the elected politician discussing the hardship for 'families' with electricity prices going up. We singles, can't afford light anymore either.

  15. Canterbury (NSW) Today 5 June race 2 #1 Got The Goss by Eavesdropper...

  16. One of ther few remaining pleasures for the few remaining readers of the Townsville Bulletin is the unintentional humour of the blunders in spelling, grammar, photographs (see tomorrow's blog) and often, reasoning.

    Take today's Year 8 essay for teecher, aka the Iditorial, which begins thus:
    "THE excuse given by Blues captain Paul Gallen for thumping Nate Myles in the State of Origin opener on Wednesday night sounded like it came straight out of a school playground.
    Gallen was apparently making a stand because he and his teammates were sick and tired of taking rubbish from the big Queenslander and the Maroons generally. Well, boo hoo."

    Oh, Lachy darlin', you of the sly infectious bellylaugh. Do you mean 'boo hoo' as in the childish taunt that comes straight out of the school playground? Or has spell check yet again let you down and you were asking the rhetorical question about 'who to boo' - one never can tell with your efforts.

    But mate, you're a dead-set genius, hitting us with a double double dose of drollery, since it is you who, to use you're infantile term, is having one long and very undignified 'boo hoo' of the most childish kind.

    Keep this up and you'll start making your ad salewoman columnist Amanda Gray sound interesting - well, almost.

  17. Recently we’ve endured both the State Government and our Mayor Mullet duck shoving accountability. Of course no-one actually did real work on how to cut costs.

    As an example 2-3 weeks ago a crew of redshirts from Ergon descended on my street and proceeded to decapitate and generally mutilate all of the trees. Leaving them looking like Yasi leftovers.

    Today a crew of greenshirts from Townsville city council removed the lower limbs from all the trees leaving toffee-apple caricatures. Surely if this exercise were combined the savings would be significant on man-power (no not sackings, but management of manpower and resources) and plant, fuel etc. This would be doubly so if the exercise were to be conducted State-wide.

    Also in my area (Cranbrook) the NBN is being rolled out, so I went on line to find out when the connections would be available. There appear to be 2 NBN sites, and the other is Both go to the same URL and neither works!!!!!!!!!!!!! Doesn’t bode too well for confidence or efficiency of the +30 Billion dollar investment eh?

  18. Another great round up for this week Pie.