Saturday, July 20, 2013

Townsville to become a target for people smugglers? Seems a cert, when The Law of Unintended Consequences bite PM KRudd on his dopey new boat plan bum …. And The Magpie is proud to give his inaugural award of the Robbie Waterhouse Two Bob Each Way Golden Waffle Iron to a deserving Daily Astonisher journo.

Also, notes from The Coast – it seems bullying is a prerequisite for News Ltd editors … and Typo’s replacement at the Gold Coast Bulletin can’t even get that right - if you loved the legals from the Coast last week, and many did, here's another but different one for you …

…. Bentley has the inside goss on lighting up the ‘Ville’s Tony Ireland Stadium … we have quotes of the week … and one of the mesmerizingly weird pieces of TV news flummery you’ll ever see, with the funniest last line of the decade, all here in the nest at

First to Quotes of the Week.

"It is a market in the non-delivery of an invisible substance to no one"
Tony Abbott saying what The Magpie has believed for years about Emissions Trading Schemes. 
Hey, this is getting to be a habit, Shazza!
"…then asbestos fell out of the ceiling, the ground-zero turf was turfed, but I remained a devotee."
 Astonisher columnist Shari Tagliabue, in today’s paper, adding to the file which barristers 20 years on will be seeking in their class action against News Ltd over alleged negligent asbestos protection for staff.

"Melbourne aren't in this game, but they're not out of it, either."
Bruce McAveny making an unsuccessful bid for the Two-Bob_Each_Way Trophy. (At the time, Melbourne were behind in the last quarter to the Swans by 60 or so points.) 

Now to political shenanigans.

The recrudescent PM KRudd (real word – see last week’s blog) graced Townsville with his shining insincerity during the week. Reaching under his grubby political overcoat for his bag of enticing pork-flavoured lollies, he pulled out the pretty little $5 million bon-bon of lights for Tony Ireland Stadium.

Almost everyone cheered, but not Bentley. He thinks it was more a rush of hubris behind the bringing of the light. 
But a far more serious aspect of KRudd making policy on the run was the announcement that all boat people heading for Australia will be transported (a favourite word in Australian history) to PNG for processing.

But the real alarm in the dollar-fuelled deal with Port Morseby is that when processed and granted refugee status, those freed from detention will remain in PNG, and will be allowed to – nay, required – to become citizens there. Ausralia will be footing the bill for the cost of settlement, new law and order ‘initiatives’ and a swisho new hospital.

So where’s the problem? Make that plural - problems.

The main one is that nobody asked the PNG people themselves, who maybe tribal but certainly have a sense of national identity. Every TV and radio interview with ordinary people in marketplaces and streets in PNG has made it clear that no one.. that is NO ONE … wants the boat people around, especially not to settle. Maybe they remember what happened when Indians went to Fiji to work the cane farms.

Uninvited permanent intrusion into a society that has plenty of other things to fix up before offering to host the displaced is a disgraceful policy for Australia to engineer a blatant bribe of political expedience. For the people of PNG, Manus Island is OK as a transit station, but after that, bugger off to wherever. 

And it’s a fact that PNG is not a place where sweet reason and democratic debate prevail, a place where Port Morseby restaurants aren’t rated by stars but by the number of armed security guards they employ - it is a proven morally primitive country where inter-tribal and just plain random criminal bloodshed is a regular occurrence and could move to a massive scale under this Rudd-sponsored deal. Especially given the sense of entitlement that has been engendered in boat people. And when that happens, the world will – quite correctly – blame Australia’s ‘out of sight, out of mind’ cop-out solution.

Best buddies ... and no wonder.
Then there is the fact that one Peter Charles Paire O’Neill, CMG and PNG PM, has no doubt already sent all his natty suits along to his tailor to deepen and widen the pockets. This is a corrupt country, where backhanders are a well entrenched part of its culture. And now the Australian taxpayer, who has seem millions in aid regularly leeched off into politicians hands, will now be donating more than just a few tribal pigs on spits to this nation of official grafters.

But the most threatening part of all this is that it is but a short easy journey from PNG across the Torres Strait to … ta da … Orstralia! Since you can bet the highly racist Torres Strait Islanders also won’t observe any niceties for unwelcome newcomers, many will no doubt track down the inner reef and make landfall wherever they can … even Townsville!!

Yeah, sounds a bit far-fetched, but is it? After all, the Festival of Australian Chamber Music is a powerful magnet for these folk.

Anyway, our built-in defence will be solid and inexpensive … all boats approaching Townsville will be greeted by Mayor Mullet in a bikini ...

Borat models Vern Veich's people repeller.

.... and Vern Veitch in a lime-green Borat-inspired mankini, standing with welcoming open arms on the bow a boat loudly sponsored by the Hog’s Breath Café advertising “Wet Burkha Competitions (‘C’mon, take it orf, show us yer face”).

That should do it, they’ll back pedal out to sea and hope the drift takes them to NZ.

In the US, the country is still in turmoil over the revelations that the government is bugging the phones and snooping electronically on the computers of tens of millions of ordinary citizens. As always, social media is at the forefront of biting satire railing against this fascist intrusion into everyday life.

Two of the best this week were this …

And this.

Really not a laughing matter, but this is. Here is an American reporter to rival the performance of Craig Emerson’s No Whyalla Wipeout brain fade. The last line of her advice   has got to be a classic for the ages.

Local media matters this week are equally worthy of a chuckle.

Rule to remember: if you’re going to take it upon yourself to lecture people, it’s good to have a memory longer than that of a dragonfly. The trap for journos at The Daily Astonisher is the conflict that arises between being an ‘independent-minded’ columnist, and then doing the unthinking beat-up bidding of your bosses as a news reporter.

Emily Macdonald kitted out against The 'Pie's
slings and arrows.

So don’t be too hard on Emily Macdonald when you peruse the following, where she appears to agree with The Magpie’s opinion that rather than Townsville Shines, it should be Townsville Whines.

On July 16, Emac stamped her pretty little foot to begin a column;

AS a proud Townsville resident it pains me to say it, but this city is home to a mob of bloody whingers.
Exercise Talisman Saber has barely started and yet we're already getting texts to the editor and letters complaining about additional air and road traffic.
I'm guessing these are coming from the same people who also object to Groovin' The Moo, the V8s and basically anything which is remotely interesting and provides an economic and social boost to the city.’

As social commentary, this is pretty shallow, but it is double-up-laughing stuff coming from the pages of a paper that invented and regularly hosts the painfully ungrammatical, gum chewing and hair-twirling Text The Editor flapdoodle. Illiterate losers and sad little people are invited to send in texts … and then are criticized for doing so.  Whingers one and all. Half of these unwittingly self-defeating messages are folks just like Emac - whingeing about whingers, - and are so often so distant from any vestige of truth or fact, they sit nicely with the news reporting mix at the paper.

This seems to be a bit of a recurring bee in Emac’s bonnet - she began another recent column with this:

THERE'S a real buzz in the air with events galore planned for Townsville for the next month solid and while I can't wait for the whirlwind of excitement to ramp up, I'm dreading the return of the Serial Whingers.
The Serial Whinger is a curious person who spends most of their year hibernating until they catch a whiff of fun in the air.
Once a Serial Whinger has been roused there is no stopping them and the Council, police and poor, innocent media are sure to cop the full force of their complaints.’

‘Poor innocent media?’ Purleese. Exactly two adjectives that are never accurate in any phrase which includes the word ‘media’

But darlin’, you are what you criticize in a somewhat hypocritical way – although The ‘Pie will allow it’s possibly not your fault.

He speaks of your little beat-up last Thursday about astroturf being laid in a couple median strips for reasons of council staff safety. As usual and as you can read here, a single, solitary ‘whinger’ wrote to or called the paper, urging people to join him in his ‘anonymous’ outrage at this council move. 

In a standard ploy, a minor letter became a story to fill some space, and it fell to Emac to beat the bejesus out of a ‘poor innocent’ little whinge (which was suitably dismissed by the council). In the process, m’dear, you elevated a bloke having a miniscule bitch to the status of a serious story source. That is if you didn’t just make it all up – why would someone making a minor moan about astroturf feel it necessary to remain anonymous – and why would the paper let him?

Feel free to share your Two-Bob-Each-Way Golden Waffle Iron Award with whoever deserves to – Attila the Hen as occasional letters editor would have a hand in there somewhere, her favourite ploy always was anonymity for letter writers, the infamous 'name and address supplied' - usually for no reasonable reason. Or the Chief of Staff, maybe.

Down on the Gold Coast, where a number of ex-Townsvilleans nostalgically read this weekly load of old cobblers, there’s another gal having trouble with her role in newspaper life.

Ex-Astonisher journo Cath ‘Big Brunhilde’ Webber is now warming the chair recently vacated by Typo Gleeson at the Gold Coast Bulletin. Some Magpiephiles have contacted The ‘Pie bemused at the similarities between The Astonisher and News Ltd’s GC Bulletin. Especially when it comes to attempted bullying.

The ‘Pie was pointed to a blog down there - Gold Coast Watcher - which offers forthright opinion on all matters mayoral, council …. and the GC Bulletin. 

Legally challenged - GCB editor Cath Webber

New editor Ms Webber apparently lost her sense of proportion when she decided to play mother-hen, supposedly protecting two of her reporters; she threatened all sorts of mayhem – lawyers, police, computer seizure - for a recent blog featuring a link to an old and unrelated site which some years ago was critical of the paper and two of its reporters. It’s a fascinating insight into how to comprehensively plug yourself in the tootsie when overcome by the hubris of a flash new position.

The Magpie contacted GC Watcher, who had taken down the link under the onslaught of threats. What was revealed is a fascinating yarn no matter where it happened. And further down, you can click on the forbidden link if you're curious.

After getting the inside word, The Magpie posted this comment to GC Watcher.

'Kerriky!!!  The Magpie's BBQ Sausage Award (thin skin and full of questionable crap) goes to the new editor of the Gold Coast Bulletin, Cath Webber, whose over-zealous attempt to smack-down a blogger has
ironically exposed herself to possible legal action (if anyone could be bothered).

The Magpie is greatly disappointed that you have taken down the controversial
link, GCWatcher, because Ms Webber has gone in for some legally ignorant cyber bullying . And again we revisit our old friend the Streisand Effect, which seems to hover around all matters Gold Coast.

Ms Webber, a far better and more experienced journalist than her
workplace-bullying predecessor, unfortunately shares his disdain and
ignorance of the law, and in this case, depends on News Ltd's arrogance of perceived power and wealth to cow and silence anyone they think will wilt to an unreasonable demand.

Make no mistake, better or no, Ms Webber is a tabloid journalist from the tip of her nose to the somewhat lengthy circuitous journey to the tip of her toes, a mindset that carries over into her knowledge and approach to legal matters ie, shallow, hectoring and shrill. Ignorant, too.

For those not in the know, GC Watcher provided a link to an old blog site called The Thin Man Returns, which six years ago published some harsh words about two junior reporters who were gossip columnists to the gargling and gamboling ‘kiddy drunks’ set on The Coast. Called The Go Girls, they made it clear that they were happy enough to get regularly shit-faced in the line of duty. Apparently there were no WPH&S alarm bells ringing at the paper.

The Thin Man piece reporting all this was a generally well-written and spikey examination about journalistic ethics and management of younger staff on the GC Bulletin.

The Go Girls - at work?

These columnists, Shannon Willoughby and Melanie Pilling, have morphed into what apparently passes for actual journalists and are still with the paper.

Not understanding that the piece was a broad argument about ethics and management responsibility, Ms Webber went the mother-hen route, going Twitter-ballistic on the behalf of the two reporters, threatening legal action (ha!) and even police computer seizures and examinations (ha ha), demanding that the 'offensive' link be pulled down.

The Magpie has seen the Tweets from Ms Webber, which oscillated between girly bleating, wheedling and over-the-top bullying.

So here are a few salient facts.
Cath Webber weighing up her options
against bloggers.

1. The 'offending' blog was written in July 2007 by another party. The
limitations on civil actions such as libel is one year - was previously six
but even then, this matter is out of time.

2. While that is the end of that, Webber might want to - or be advised to  -argue that re-publishing that article again is a fresh libel, but again, there are
a couple of problems there. There is some doubt that by merely publishing a
link makes the GCWatcher a secondary publisher and therefore open to any defamation action. In any case, Webber herself can do no such thing - only the allegedly defamed can bring any part of the action, unless she wants to defend their boozey subsidisation by the paper.

3. The old (non-sexual) law called 'maintaining' - that is an employer paying for a civil action by an employee in a matter not related to work - was once illegal but has been watered down. So if the paper decided to join in the action, that leaves them open to questions about the circumstances referred to in the Thin Man blog. This could raise uncomfortable Workplace Health and Safety issues, with the paper - one way or the other - footing the bill for Willoughby and Pilling to, by their own exhuberant admissions in their column apparently, go and get drunk on a regular basis. (I'll do that column, please ... please).

4. And that flapdoodle about police and IP searches - this really shows a shameful lack of basic legal knowledge for someone in Ms Webber's position. This can only be - if anything at all - a CIVIL action, but for the police to be involved, it needs to be a CRIMINAL matter. Yes, court orders of that nature of search and seizure can be sought in civil cases but the serving of such papers and the seizing involves only door-knocking lawyers, not the wallopers. Pulling out the big stick about police involvement is not only ill-informed bluster, unbecoming a person in a powerful position, BUT COULD BE INTERPRETED AS MAKING THREATS WITH MENACES (as in 'take down the link or we'll send the cops around'). And being untrue, that is a crime.

5. Finally, one vital part of defamation cases would require the reporters to demonstrate 'loss' - standing, earnings, contempt by peers and public and so on. Be interesting to see how much a regurgitated seven-year-old blog republished on a site of relatively modest numbers can damage a couple of Rupert's finest who work for a paper that is already held in contempt by its dwindling public.

So that is why, GCWatcher, The 'Pie am most disappointed that you succumbed to some crude, ill-informed bullying and took the link down. So for those who haven't seen the link, and are curious to know more, you will find it here.

The ‘Pie doesn’t know either reporter (although Ms Willoughby has been mentioned before in this blog) but when journos who deal in gossip about others are out there for public comment, historically or currently, you just have to cop it sweet.

And as a bonus, folks, there you have yet again a great example of the Streisand Effect, where the unreasonable censoring of something gives it much wider and well deserved publicity.

Now Watcher, you must be waiting for a furious email threat demanding this
comment be deleted, otherwise Ms Webber will be around with nipple clips and a car battery. Careful when you answer the door - heh, heh, heh, the ‘Pie will be, too.

Finally, here’s clever proof of the old saying that sex and cars are inevitable marketing partners, it has ever been thus. Especially when the wheels are the James Bond favourite Aston Martin. 

But how to flog off a second hand Aston (they meant to say 'pre-owned' , not the the 'pre owed' they've written - which could explain why the cars are for re-sale - but given the pic, 'pre-loved' would be more apt). 

Despite the Astonisher-standard subbing of the words, this is one of the best magazine ads we've seen for a while summing up a product's appeal – clever and yes, good to look at.

And that is the philosophy The Magpie will take with him to Poseurs’ Bar now, but he will have to fall back on the more modest credo of his 17-year-old Toyota ‘well-maintained, reasonable bodywork and goes like a rocket for short periods’. Oh what a feeling.


  1. And poor old Tony can't even claim that quote as his own. It was originally made in 2010 by Jeremy Warner in The Telegraph.

  2. Well spotted. This the latest in a line of writers and journos' phrases being purloined by pollies with accreditation. And context is ignored.

    The best example if the phrase 'Life wasn't meant to be easy', credited to the pompous Malcolm Fraser. Some years later, Alana Jones shock jock and known plaigarist claimed he had come up with the phrase while working as a staffer for Fraser.

    Not for the first time, he was caught out in a lie, because it is an out of context pinch from George Bernard Shaw Back to Methuselah, which in it's entirety, says: 'Life wasn't meant to be easy, my child, but takecourage: it can be delightful'.

    Pretty easy to see why such a cheering message was ignored by the floundering Fraser - and Jones for that matter.

  3. Mal, I think You are saying at the end you have a problem with eploitation of these young ladies. You are on the money with that . You are also on the money re Saibai Island. The west papuans are getting shitted on just like the timorese did , remember their boat people?? Pat Coleman Hermit Park , P.S. Henry Lawson and i dont know how to post using the select profile.

    1. Dear Pat (and Henry)

      The following may help, which The 'Pie posts from time to time.



      1. Click into the comment box at the bottom of the blog (and below existing comments if any) and write your comment.

      2. Click on the menu button next to The Daily Astonisher field below the comment box.

      3. Scroll down that menu until you reach 'name' and 'URL'.

      4. In the 'name' section type your name or whatever monicker you want to go by (IGNORE the URL box).

      5. Click continue.

      6. Click publish.

      The 'Pie will then do the rest - checking for legals, taste, language, idiocy - and then publish your gem.


  4. Have to just scratch my head and continue to wonder at the Bulletin - Saturday's story re a supposed "black market" for dump vouchers. Seriously this is a nothing story. As for black market? The vouchers say nothing about sale or transfer to another person and that's because Council can't monitor that. So a black market? I don't think so! Still the story go the reaction the paper wanted - but oh so YAWN!

  5. That we would export the boat people issue to a third world country on our door step and pay billions of taxpayers' money to solve Labor's problem that both Rudd (1)and Gillard could not stop beggars belief. But that is Show Pony Rudd- quick fixes for media attention and short on detail. It's a sad state of affairs isn't it - between Kevy Kardashian, Wing Nut, Kattertonic and Clive "I'm a billionaire and can say and do anything" wonder we're stuffed!

  6. Those who paint a bad picture of PNG have obviously never been there.
    Yes, Port Moresby is a dangerous place, with political corruption rampant and thousands of poor people sitting around all day with nothing to do but think about ways of getting their hands on money.
    but go out to the PNG islands and its a different world. New Britian, for example, is a paradise.
    I haven't visited Manus Island but I can't see it being much different.
    Actually, it could be argued that the boat people would have the chance of a better life in the PNG islands than settling on the crime-controlled Gold Coast.

    1. Err, Realist, old chum, that would be Surrealist, wouldn't it? Any settled refugees will inevitably gravitate to Port M, the backlash will be immediate, and the rowing south will start straight away. And it's a damned shorter and safer trip than now.

      File this comment away for your future enlightenment.

      This is not a comment on illegal refugees (it in fact favours their safety, or part of which they must take their own responsibility) but a reasonable analysis of what is almost certainly going to happen - with the attendant world shame of we Australians out-sourcing our responsibilities to a corrupt and greedy neighbour.

      For The 'Pie's personal position on refugees, he, like just about everybody can't offer a solution when its leaders and potential leaders are all in search of a spine, but the old bird's policy was clearly ennunciated by John Howard when he said in 2001...
      'It is also about having an uncompromising view about the fundamental right of this country to protect its borders. It’s about this nation saying to the world we are a generous open hearted people taking more refugees on a per capita basis than any nation except Canada, we have a proud record of welcoming people from 140 different nations.
      But we will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come.'
      Unfashionable nowadays, but verities don't die, they just get reviled by moral revisionists like Christine Milne. Somehow, there are those who despite protestations to the contrary, would have that crucial national decision outsourced to Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Vietnam and ... people smugglers.

  7. I quit the Astonisher because of a toxic bullying culture. I felt in fear. Cath Webbles is a 'mateeeee' kind of iditor. A user.

  8. I went to school with Emily Sugar Queen Tully she was a wingey winey female. One should feel sorry that she's selected a Nudgee boy as a partner.

    1. Oucheeee. Case of sour grapes maybe???

  9. Remember, it's still a toxic culture within the Astonisher. There are unwritten rules while working inside there.

    This is no different to News of the World. Ms Webber is a bi product of typo and Atil of the Hun. Nasty peop[le

  10. I'll show my love letters from a former cyber boyfriend, Joe Hildebrand over several years and I will show the Tim Blair letter he threatend me. Ms Webber is a shark without finding both facts.

  11. Realist – did you actually get out of the tour bus or leave the dive resort? I lived there for many years and do have a little experience to draw upon.

    Those “poor people” you speak of would cheerfully hack you to pieces and brutally gang rape your wife for something to do on a slow afternoon.

    PNG is a Failed State. It has a rating of 150 in the corruption index – there are only 17 countries behind it. Port Moresby ranks as one of the most dangerous cities in the world – number 12 on the list, and considering Mexico has 5 out of the top 10, that is saying something. Unrestrained, mindless and primitive violence is endemic throughout the whole nation. Multiple murders barely rate a mention in the press, they being so commonplace.

    The Highlands,Wau, Rabaul, Lae, Goroka – just as bad.

    There is no real economy. National infrastructure has collapsed, with no major capital expenditure since we left in 1975. The justice system is hopelessly corrupt. As ‘Pie noted, misappropriation of foreign aid and bribery is de jour for politicians. Public health services are virtually non-existent. The AIDS epidemic rivals Africa’s. It is a society dominated by pay-back and won-tok, running completely out of control, for all the smarmy veneer of the self-serving rascals that run the place.

    In other words, a country exactly the same as the one from which these boat people are fleeing.
    There is no way that the average Papuan would welcome or assimilate Middle Eastern immigrants. They would be seen as easy targets to be hunted down and persecuted. Any form of Islam is virtually unknown in PNG and shall be met with hostility, suspicion and intolerance. There are no prospects, no hope, no future for these people. Why, indeed, would they stick around with The Land of Milk and Honey just a short trip in a tinnie away?

    A mate of mine (who would know) commented yesterday that it would be the perfect place to set up a terrorist training camp. Remote, corrupt, awash with guns and no effective police or security forces. He may be slightly paranoid, but he also could be right.

    Good one, Kevin.

  12. That clever and sexy ad does not say "pre-owned" it actually says "Pre-OWED"


    We see what we want to see....

  13. So 'Pie we have established that you haven't visited PNG, nor the crime capital of Australia (the Gold Coast), yet you are an expert on this!
    And "Grumpy", how did you ever survive such a dangerous place? Surely you would have been cooked and eaten by the cannibals.
    I actually spent weeks in New Britain and enjoyed the company of many locals, and Aussies who had quit the rat race to live in paradise. And (surprise, surprise) they are still alive and enjoying life up in the Land Of the Unexpected.
    So "Grumpy" did YOU get off the tour bus, and did you actually ever get to see a dive resort?
    I think you are full of it, or have spent most of your time looking through the bottom of a stubbie at the Port Moresby Yacht Club.
    Or is "Grumpy" just the Magpie in disguise?

    1. Silly me...

      I defer to the wisdom and insight gained by "weeks" on holiday. You pious moron.

      The gin-soaked, bitter and racist barflies I saw on my three visits to the POM yacht club were mainly disillusioned losers that originally went to PNG to “quit the rat race”.

      'Pie - your idiot filter is on the blink again

  14. Realist, I would have to back grumpy, having friends who have worked over there all have claimed it to be violent, and worked under armed protection. And just to clue you in, we don't need to post several comments under different names here. Although try the Astonisher they lap up that type of rubbish and you get to mix with the likes of D.Bilton and honkey they love people like you.

  15. The trick to uncovering the toxic environment is to follow the journalist 'underground' then review the stories. Who they follow who they connect and interact with. For example at one stage a COS dated a policeman,hence the breaking stories, she also dated a soldier more breaking stories, another married one, tip off city etc... it's toxic and it's unconsciously seen.

  16. Here's an example. From This

    to this fake news

    Is it this? video?

    The Pr company makes it sooo easy to find a story. Atil is in cahooties with Heidelberg.

  17. Hey Grumpy and Woodduck ( by the way, appropriate names), if things are so bad over in the PNG islands, how did you two survive?
    I have visited PNG on 10 occasions and apart from Port Moresby have never witnessed any of the violence you describe.
    Must have just been there at the right time, eh, when the criminals were on strike.
    Personally I would much sooner visit the PNG islands than the Gold Coast, where street shootings and stabbings are commonplace now that the bikie gangs have taken control.
    Anyway, everyone is entitled to their opinion, so you stick with yours and I'll stick with mine.
    Incidently, your personal insults say even more about what kind of person you are than your nicknames.


    or just check out the front page pic on today's Post Courier

    guess you don't get out much...

  19. or this

    I must confess to some personal bias in all this. Ken, Allan's brother, was my best man and friend for over 40 years..

    So, Realist, my inappropriate personal insults were an instinctive reaction.

    1. Dear Pie,

      I must confess, last night I had a dream JT (Cowboys) was kissing me. Yes. I couldn't believe the news this morning. Seeing JT raided. At least his photographs were real news and I'm so glad he didn't send the to the Astonisher.

    2. JT kissing you? So you, son, you must have had a Mars Bar, which comes with great responsibility. You are a bloke, aren't you? Wouldn't be telling JT about, though.

      Interesting thing about the JT pix ... the incident happened in Townsville, JT Instagramed the photos and they were picked by among others, the Daily Telegraph in Sydney and SMH .... some little time later, The Astonisher put them on their website with a byline from a Telegraph reporter. Well, at least they didn't pretend they were up to speed on a story that happened not just in their own city, but (unless he's moved) less than 300 metres from their new office.

      Reminds me of the NQ Mango Marathon ... a mango picked in say Bluewater, (or Bowen for that matter) has to shipped to Brisbane to be declared a 'real and legal' mango, before being trucked back here for sale. Looks like News Ltd is doing the same thing with news items like this one ... they wouldn't have known about this unless they'd been told by Sydney.

  20. Working for the Astonisher is like working as a robot. I lost my human rights, this included being able to have choice.

    Keep up the good work Pie.

  21. woodduck(and proud)July 24, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    Realist,it was all good till you made assumptions of people using multiple names on this site. As I said the astonisher and its texters will love it so send it to them. Now I have never been to PNG but knew people that worked there, and they had spoken of the violence and shown pictures of it. And as far as my name I'm a woodduck and proud to be one. Maybe I am the true realist between the 2 of us if you believe that the illegal immigrants will stay at PNG. But hey how boring would it be if everyone agreed with each other.

  22. So Woodduck you have never been to PNG, yet you know what goes on over there.
    You really are a wood duck.

  23. Doesn't take long, does it? Just landed in the inbox, this - Royal arrival already acknowledged by his parents to be gay? George Alexander Louie gives us the initials GAL. If he takes after some of his rellies, particularly his uncle, he'll no doubt be a good time GAL.

  24. To be fair to Woodduck, Realist, I have visited China a few times myself and found the people to be warm and welcoming. I never saw any sign of human rights abuses. But I don't kid myself that they don't happen. Did you read the links I posted?

    Surely you can't be saying that PNG does not have a problem of monumental proportions. The islands are light years away from the culture of the "main island" (except, perhaps, for Bouganville - which should be part of the Solomons in any event).

    There is no intention to permanently settle the refugees in New Britain or even Manus Island - no housing, no work, no facilities. They will all end up in the regional centres of the mainland. And that's exactly where the problem is.

    All academic anyhows - Rudd's thought bubble will evaporate when he gets his next brain fart (or, God forbid, he gets re-elected as PM). It'll never happen.

  25. News and communication between people Realist, You don't believe every thing you hear, but when backed by news footage or photos, it gives you a good idea of what's happening. And for someone whinging about insults you seem to be throwing them around willy nilly. A name change to thinned skinned might be a better name for you.
    Anyway have a good day and that's my last reply to your ranting as Im getting bored with you. Cheers

  26. Hey Grumpy, Woodduck and Realist...why not give us a break. A week of your sniping and bitching is boring fellas. Just exchange emails addresses and bitch amongst yourselves!

  27. Then don't read our posts bully boy.

  28. Ok, ready for this week's now.
    Miss lou.

  29. It's a bit hard Woodduck as there's been few posts from others and your apparent collective disagreement and dislike of each other seems to have dominated Pie's blog week.