Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Bulletin does the dirty on local business - big time - like a couple of million .... and an incredible tale of inflation and ... err ... urination.

The Astonisher does a Dr Who and also manages to ‘lose’ not only the Cruise Ship Terminal but also a major development at the Townsville marina …

… amended Queensland traffic laws might well have the interesting effect of driving us to drink …

… and an uncharacteristic dummy spit from Townsville Deputy Doo Dah, Vern ‘Uncle Fester Veich’ all here in the nest at

Now an incredible story of inflation, when a simple old style penny has ballooned into $15,000 !!

Some background.

It’s been a week … well, from last Wednesday anyway … when Queenslander NRL tragics (ie the whole state) have been mightily pissed off. 

But hey it could’ve been worse … you might’ve been a player, where you ran the risk of being pissed on. 
That is if you’re playing against the Warrior’s Russel Packer. Mr Packer's pecker obeyed an natural imperative during the match against the Broncos, and what at first looked like his lumbering version of the fading gangman dance craze turned out to be  ... err … having a slash. A look, ma, no-hands shaking the dew off the lily. It was caught in all it’s glittering glory by the TV cameras, and has now gone viral globally.

But ‘spending' that particular 'penny’ has cost him or his club a cool $15,000 – the fine the NRL slapped on the club, which they’ll no doubt pass on. And it turns out Russell has form in this area – he was fined $100 in 2011 for urinating on a seat in Suncorp stadium. He may yet cop a fine under Queensland law as well (and if he doesn’t, why not?)

Bentley was among those thousands who were – what else, pissed off.

If this sort of thing is your go, have a look here at the incident, and perhaps of extra interest, the line-up of international celebrity and sporting folk who have been caught short being caught short.

What with Man of the Match, Goal of the Month, Play of the Day and so forth, The Magpie has long awaited TV’s adoption of a Nose Clearance of the Month award, a regular treat we are privileged to see  across all codes. But Mr Packer may have in fact marked out new territory.

Not surprisingly, Mongrel the Barrister went into comedic overdrive on hearing of the incident, suggesting it was just as well Packer hadn’t eaten a bowl of prunes just before the match. ‘Anyway, why are we so surprised,’ he chortled,’We’re used to people named Packer pissing on people – just ask Alan Bond, - snurffle, chortle wheeze…’

But The ‘Pie was put in mind of the Scottish judge whon years ago observed that ‘ …it is passing strange that we cannot make water in public or liquor in private’.

Perhaps we’ve shaken  every last drop out of this, so let’s move on.

You’ll remember last week, we looked at the mysterious origins of Mayor Mullet’s new council wheels,  that ‘ALP red’ V8 Commodore, and asked if our mayor had given the finger to the local dealers and got the car from outside Townsville. No answers have been forthcoming, but The ‘Pie is now told that all identifying dealer stickers and plates have been removed from madam’s chariot, unlike the vehicles of other councillors which all proudly carry local dealers decals, plates and so on. Isn’t anybody going to ask her the obvious … were did it come from? And why?

But that alleged disloyalty to locals palls into the background next to the Townsville Bulletin’s multi-million dollar snub to local builders.

At the end of this month, what’s left of the Bulletin’s staff will move into their swisho new offices opposite their print hall on Flinders Street West. 

And swisho it would want to be, because News Ltd has just spent a reputed $2million on a fit out. But strange to relate, this paper, which laughably and tediously tells us ‘We’refor North Queensland’, brought in a Brisbane builder to do the job. The locals weren’t even given a chance to be knocked back; the Brisbane outfit called Build, is believed not to even had to tender, it has an contract with News Ltd to do this sort of work across the country. That fact alone may be of passing curious interest to News Ltd shareholders.

And that bit of hypocrisy is particularly galling for some of the local outfits which are more than ready and able to do the fit-out to the highest standard.

The Magpie informant said in part:

The locals are up in arms as they claim the work/contract was not offered to local companies as many are more than capable of doing the work. The thing that really gets up their hooter is the constant harping in the Bulletin as to how the paper are all for North Qld etc. Obviously the profit from this project will not remain here and they query how many local tradesmen etc were used.

The Magpie reveals this at the end of a week in which the paper who loves us so much took what it laughingly believes was a big stick to Ergon over electricity prices. Quoth the Iditor in his Year 8 essay for teecher:

'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?'

Brisbane, apparently. 

And the one shop in town? You mean like the gouging over-a-barrel advertising rates the Astonisher charges the local yokels, who also have nowhere else to get better prices in print advertising.

It’s been said before, and not for the last time, but the hypocrisy is breathtaking.

And for all their talk of being there for us, giving us their best, ‘rosy future’, ‘dynamic economy’ and ‘the very best journalism’ ( oh, stoppit, gasp) and so on, here’s how our dynamic newspaper illustrated Tony Raggatt’s feel-good yarn about land next to the casino coming back on the market.

But hang on. Look closely. 
And for my next trick ....

Where is the fabled new Cruise Ship Terminal, the Townsville Marina development on the point in the lower left part of the photograph, and The ‘Pie will swear there was a house opposite The Pier restaurant on the those million dollar land parcels with their own boat berths. at least there was yesterday.

That photograph is demonstrably out of date and probably circa 2009, maybe. That’s the sort of thing that makes the Bulletin look tired, dowdy and lazy. And stingy. Can’t your multi-million dollar southbound profits leave enough to whack up a chopper every year to keep you abreast of what the town you're so ‘for’ really looks like?

If you do, it might stop this sort of laughable ‘oh-so-yesterday’ image used to illustrate, of all things, your self-promoting 'love-in' bit of flummery.

Calling Dr Who ....

As the bird’s old Nana used to say, self-praise is no recommendation’ … and the question still remains why you have to so desperately tell us you're 'for' us.

Here’s an idea. How about tweaking that campaign and change the slogan to ‘We’re For Us – and F-ck You’.

Nahh, never gonna happen. Too honest.

Other matters.

Two entries in the Nanny State stakes this week, one from Queensland and an overseas entry.

Have you had a squizz at the up-dated Queensland traffic laws lately.

Here’s a list, but ya just gotta love the last one, a nanny state contender if ever there was one.

$256 + 0 points Driving with person or animal on lap
$44 + 0 points Reversing for longer than necessary

 (and just how far would that be?)
$256 + 1 point Following another vehicle too closely

 (and just how close would that be?)
$256 + 0 points Driving without a clear view in all directions

$66 + 2 points Driving in right-hand lane of a multi-lane road with an 80km/h or higher limit

$44 + 0 points Entering an intersection when the road beyond is blocked

$44 + 0 points Parking/stopping within 10m of an intersection without a traffic light

$88 + 0 points Making a U-turn at an intersection controlled by lights

$198 + 3 points Making a U-turn across a single or double continuous line

$352 + 2 points Playing loud music (should be $1000 if it's that moronic doof-doof

$66 + 0 points Tooting the horn

$330 + 3 points Using mobile phone including use by cyclists

 (Yaaay! and Yaaay)
… and all the following $44 + 0 points.
 Leaving vehicle without handbrake left on.

Having Sat Nav in an impeding position - supposed to be in bottom right hand in front of driver

Failing to have a hand on the wheel while stopped at lights

That last one is a doozy. In essence, it means that blowing your nose while stopped at traffic lights won’t be impossible – just illegal. Steve Price is in big trouble.

And there is a small question of priorities here. Those slack-jaws who obviously don't know whether they're coming or going judging by the way they wear their baseball caps, are a pain in the arse, certainly, but are unlikely to kill anyone -except themselves with a bit of luck. Yet they cop a fine of a precisely calculated $352. However, those brainless bastards who talk - or worse, text for Christ's sake - on their mobiles while driving will risk the lesser fine of $330. Something skew-whiff there, but hey, the laws were written by politicians.

The other nanny state entry, and adjudged the winner, comes from Goofyland, aka EU HQ in Brussels … and boy, are the Poms in an understandable lather about it

What’s wrong with the picture? To anyone except an EU official, nothing really. But to the Orwellian loons in Brussels, quell horreur. Olive oil on the table?!? Where customers can help themselves? Mon Dieu, this merde has to stop. So from next year, no oil bottles on cafe tables, under pain of a hefty fine - and the cost of a small battalion of Inspector Closeaus to police it.

Now, The ‘Pie hasn’t read or seen any yarns about platoons of restaurant patrons dropping down poisoned after partaking of a little salad dressing, but one can never be too careful. Read about it here.

Back home in good old Oz, it is more a case of Sacre Bluey, what next? Foolya Duckbutt is going round in those ever decreasing circles before she disappears up her own Grand Canyon, while the hardest task for Wingnut Abbott is trying not to look too smug, as the clever Zanetti points out.

With all the treachery, back-stabbing and question-dodging ramped up to hysterical levels, The ‘Pie turns his eyes to Africa for a helpful suggestion. He believes a sign widely used around tracks in Mozambique should be borrowed and posted at all entry points to the ACT.

In a not-unrelated matter, The Magpie was transported back to childhood (some light years away) and a favourite read when Jolly Joe Hockey blasted Wayne Swan’s budget as ‘Magic Pudding economics’.

The ‘Pie set out to refresh his memory of this clever childhood favourite. He found the best summary was by Piers Kelly, quoted on

Joe Hockey has described Wayne Swan's budget as a "magic pudding". It's a reference, of course, to the eponymous 1918 Australian children's book by Norman Lindsay, featuring Bunyip Bluegum, Bill Barnacle and Sam Sawnoff who are the owners of an anthropomorphic pudding that magically replenishes itself after being eaten. At one point in the story, the pudding saves the life of the Earl of Buncle and his niece, whom Sam Sawnoff had fallen in love with, but the Earl haughtily refuses to grant Sam his niece’s hand in marriage.
Embodying the fantasy of having your cake and eating it too, the magic pudding provides an apt and peculiarly Australian symbol for any overreaching political promises. In Lindsay's immortal passage:
"A peculiar thing about the Puddin' was that, though they had all had a great many slices off him, there was no sign of the place whence the slices had been cut.
"'That’s where the Magic comes in,' explained Bill. 'The more you eats the more you gets. Cut-an'-come-again is his name, an’ cut, an’ come again, is his nature. Me an' Sam has been eatin' away at this Puddin' for years, and there’s not a mark on him.'"
This is by no means the first time the metaphor has been served up in recent years.

And you bet it won't be the last.

We have to return to the local scene for the the most unexpected bit of political dumb-assery this week.

All the talk around Walker Street has been about 'hard rubbish', a expensive and stupid idea proven not to work elsewhere. But suddenly, we had a whole load of soft rubbish, being spoken by the most unexpected - and uncharacteristic - source.

Seems our Deputy Doo Dah Vern 'Uncle Fester' Veitch has been festering over the the local government budget process - he wanted in on the formation of the budget from the word go, which is not the way Brisbane has framed the process. This became apparent this week.

The way it worked under the regulations was as follows.

Mayor Mullet, after chewing on the end of a pencil, feet on the desk and gazing at the ceiling fan for a while, made a few notes and number, and then gave this budget to the councillors to have a think about over the next couple of weeks. The matter is then to be debated, amended if necessary and the voted on.

Mayor Mullet offered her musing to the council Friday week ago.

On monday morning, ABC Radio's Paula The Mauler Tapiolas sweetly asked what Vern thought about The Mullet's budget, she no doubt being ready to slip in the shiv at the first opportunity (her political interviews are great spider and fly stuff).

'So, Clr Veitch, what do you think of this budget.'

Uncle Fester was in no mood to dither. 'I don't know', was his terse and totally unforeseen answer. 

You could tell this was not what The Mauler had expected, but she asked the question again - several times in different forms - but Vern was off on his crusade and wouldn't be turned, repeatedly saying he didn't know what the budget was like, because he hadn't time to look at it, he was so busy out in the electorate. He then, no doubt much to the bewilderment of listeners who don't follow the politics of it much, said instead of two weeks, he'd only have 'two and half, three days, maybe' to consider the bulky document. And with a parting shot at Brisbane and Local Government Minister David The Kid Crisafulli over the current council budget rules, that was that.

A pretty dopey performance, really - you could tell The Mauler was gobsmacked, and although she no doubt realised what Vern was angling to do - make the interview a soapbox for his grievance with Brisbane -  it's doubtful most of her considerable number of listeners  had a clue what he was on about.

Vern, old son, you may or may not have a point, but the art of public life is to choose the right moment for the right debate. This definitely wasn't it.

It just sounded petulant.

Mate, the budget didn't suddenly jump out from behind a tree.  The timelines and the process have been as solid as a tide chart. The budget being the single most important matter on any councillors calendar, surely you would have ensured that during the budget fortnight which you knew in advance would demand your time, you would've cleared your diary well in advance to accommodate it. To compound your error of judgement, you just can't get out of this one unscathed - either you showed you have unbecoming poor time management skills - or you just decided to try on what came across as a half-arsed go at petulant politics. The 'Pie knows the former isn't true.

Finally, the clear view of the dastardly machinations he so clearly sees from on high has started The Magpie thinking that if there is next time around, he’d like to come back in another more serene form of animal.

Perhaps a Zen doggie.
Oh, dem bones ....

Or even better, much, much better, as a pussy. Well, this one, anyway.

Ah, nirvana ....


  1. A cracker as usual pie. And the Bulletin's new building across the road from its printing facility is hypocrisy - not just that local builders were ignored but that the paper waged a campaign against Ergon to house office staff in the CBD and not at its Garbutt facility which council conveniently refused permission to expand and extend. The paper's new building is hardly the real CBD - more like the fringe. So why couldn't Ergon do the same? In the background was Kid Crisafulli strong-arming Ergon. And the Kid has the nerve to decry rising power prices - exorbitant CBD rents sure do help courtesy of the Kids's mate Lawrence Lancini!

  2. 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.

    A couple of days ago, 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?

    1. TinTin; Here on Maggie Island, we are struggling along on ADSL when my chums in Tassie have ADSL2 with much faster download times than us poor buggers here. I too looked at the NBN website to be told that the Magnetic Island NBN rollout 'is not currently available'. (There was a green button with 'within 3 Years', but even that one is not applicable)... I agree, it does not bode well, esp. for us poor saps in FNQ. I shudder to think what Malcolm Turnbull is going to do to the whole system; fibre to the Node - No thanks!

    2. Yes Lady Byron is right and she'll only eventually get satellite NBN - too expensive to lay a submarine cable to the island to connect 2000 premises. And I'm in the same boat. I live in a new Townsville subdivision which is not listed on the NBN website to receive the NBN in the next 3 years. I suspect with no power poles to string the cables it's too costly to underbore to each separate home. And Turnbull's Plan B will be even worse!

  3. While Political donations have been the flavour recently it is interesting to note that the Principle of the Nth Ward Branch of the Bank of Queensland (Branch was named in the Storm Debarcle) donated $1000. to the campaign fund of Crisafulli. I've been made aware that the majority of the campaign funds funds donated to the 3 local LNP members remains unspent. With regard to the $1000. refer ECQ donars list..

    1. Why is that interesting? Seems more 'so what' to The 'Pie, unless you'd like to expand on the 'interestingness' of your sparse comment.

  4. Stern Vern is just a wannabe. We all know that he is out of his depth as Deputy Mayor, and his sulking about not being the boss is becoming unbearable.
    If he thinks that he will be the new Townsville Mayor after the next election, he is kidding himself. If Dale Last doesn't decide to run again, you can bet another wannabe, Tony Parsons, will be having a go - and with the support of that much respected powerbroker-about-town, Bazza Taylor.
    Fair dinkum, haven't we got any intelligent, fair minded people in this town who are prepared to run for the top job (sorry, second top job behind the overpaid and under talented TEL CEO).
    So Vern, start getting those fishing lines out and dusting them off, because you're going to need something to do to fill in time if you stand for Mayor.

    1. Watcher, I find in my dealings with Vern Veitch he's pretty straight down the line and what you see is what you get which I respect. You could always stand for council yourself.

  5. I understand Former (Failed) LNP Candidate Now A Economist often quoted By the T/Bully and a current member of the Liberal Party Colin Dwyer is being touted as a Candiate in the 2016 Mayoral Election.

  6. You'll be pleased to know that the proposal to ban olive oil on restaurant tables in the EU was so universally howled down and ridiculed that it has been withdrawn. Liz.

  7. Grumpier Than UsualJune 11, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    Oh dear...the dark wave of madness is cresting and shall soon crash upon the beach of sweet reason and sanity.

    There is no earthly power that can save the ALP from disappearing up its own Khyber Pass. Not even Kevin the Messiah could resuscitate the stinking corpse.

    But you got to give them full marks for persistence, even if nothing for perception.

    The ad where that snarling, rat-faced faux nurse tries to put the frighteners on us over the privatisation of Queensland hospitals is typical of the mindset that prevails in modern looney Labor. The way she spits out the word “profit” as if it were a dog turd that found its way into her mouth is astonishing. Profit, my nasty little socialist friend, is the foundation of our society. The tax upon it is what the comrades are currently spending like drunken tars (but without first waiting for it to be earned). And…for your information private and public medical providers have worked well together for decades – as I recently had cause to experience first hand.

    Same thing for those resurrected Work Choices style ads. Well, it worked once didn’t it? But what, precisely, is it targeting – apart from playing upon the fears of common folk?

    But the best one of all was the union thug commenting last night on the alleged rise in the use of synthetic drugs in NQ. All down to the bosses, according to Boof The Shop Steward. “Employers” (pronounced with the same dog turd-in-the-mouth delivery as “profit”) are causing poor downtrodden mine workers to work longer hours, thus forcing them to turn to these drugs for comfort. No explanation as to why that should be so, no substantiation, no facts – nothing at all to justify such bizarre statement. How such an inane comment from a knuckle-dragging moron ever got into my lounge room is quite beyond me

    And it looks like the media is calling upon Bill Shorten to “Do The Right Thing”. Ask his ex-missus and kids just how true his moral compass points. Malevolent, macrocephalic gnome.

    Better go check the sugar levels…

    1. Don't blame you GTU - but no point in responding to these idiots, the campaign hasn't started yet!!
      The fact that their should have been a declaration that the ALP Govt is in caretaker mode some time ago and the ongoing spending of the Gillard Govt is a typical "leaving a turd in the goldfish bowl' when evicted is what we expect from this PM.
      As a last resort, she has formed a group of 'Women for Gillard' to demonstrate her love of equality. perhaps a rename -" Lessos for the Liar"
      The spending goes on, the prople suffer.

  8. Spending money like a drunken sailor is an expression that really used to annoy the hell out of my Dad (he was a tar) when used as an analogy for government uninhibited largesse.

    He used to remind me (sage-like) that when he ran out of money on a bender he stopped spending, unlike the mob of cretins elected to serve the nations best interest.

  9. Typo Gleeson has today been appointed as editor of Sunday Mail, with ex-Astonisher gal Cath Webber packing the sun block to take over the editorship down on the Coast, at the GCB, the paper where she started work in 1995 or thereabouts. Hear there's a female reporter on the Gold Coast Bulletin sharpening hernails, as she coveted the top job (no, its not Kath Skene).

    David Fagan, who bitterly opposed Typo's appointment as editor of The Astonisher in 2008, has 'left' the company.

    Fascinating. The Magpie feels about Typo and his latest move much the same way Mark Twain felt about the rogue Cecil Rhodes - 'a great fellow and when the time comes, I want a piece of the rope as a souvenir'.

    1. Interesting...wonder if he will be allowed to get away with his blatent bias to the left in a paper that is (mostly) conservative leaning?

      Any goss on how the reporters on the SM took the news? Some of them are very, very experienced hacks who I imagine would not take kindly to uppity little twerps.

      Who, exactly, does he have photographs of? And with whom?

    2. Oops - should of said "Of whom does he have photographs?"

      The Oz today has a little piece on the changes. Even though there is a mug shot of Typo, there is very little said about him in the actual article - virtually ignored, given the effusive comments about the others, both inwards and outwards bound. Deliberate snub?

      And...I did not know until today that David F is married to Madonna King (one of the very few - fair and balanced presenters on ABC radio)

  10. He he he Pie - yes heard that today and how he risen through the ranks. I just wish Rupert would invest some of his "rivers of gold" from classifieds into a decent call centre. Rang the Bully today to cancel this Saturday's paper and spoke with someone in Adelaide! Then I needed a classified for Friday and he put me through to the Cairns Sun who couldn't help who then put me through to the Bully to be told I could email the copy etc through. Fine - end of the day classy was produced and paid for via email and over the phone (on hold for 10 minutes) to Brisbane staff. Doesn't anyone work at the Bully in Townsville anymore? "We're here for you" (read Adelaide, Cairns, Brisbane but not Townsville!

  11. Conan the GrammarianJune 12, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    Final photo....
    Titty Kat?

    1. Whoosie pussy? The Cat That Norks Alone (with apologies to Rudyard Kipling?

  12. Always good and always entertaining.

    Sagely Yours,

    Miss lou