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The Magpie

Sunday, July 8th, 2018   |   108 comments

If The Mooney Era Was Townsville’s Golden Years, Then The Hill Era Is Townsville’s Golden Shower Years

Increasingly we are enjoying the warmth of Mayor Mullet’s disdain trickling down on us, much to the glee of outside eyes in Cairns and Mackay. The latest stealthy move isn’t too bad in itself – it looks like Mayor Mullet is secretly pulling the rug from under Townsville Enterprise. But The Magpie is mightily troubled by what is set to replace it.

Or are the Dudley Do Nothings tugging at that rug themselves, making highly questionable political donations … and to the LNP, what’s more (gasp)

And a question of priorities … The Daily Astonisher’s policy of beads and blankets for the masses stuck out like dog’s goolies this week, openly demonstrating why – despite recent improvements – this remains an immoral busted-arse newspaper.

A new nickname for Clive Palmer …

And with all the ‘shaming’ skittering about the media of recent times, a fed-up ‘Pie offers a new hash tag, to which you are invited to contribute.

But first …

Who Says Townsville’s Population Isn’t Expanding?

Apart from statisticians, that is.

And no better word than expanding to apply to Clive ‘Novichok’ Palmer, who looks like spending some of his valuable time in his newly purchased North Ward digs.

Screen shot 2018-07-07 at 3.35.47 PM

(The ‘Pie bestows that nickname Novichok on Clive after the deadly nerve agent causing a fuss in Britain a the moment … because Clive is a major irritant who gets on people’s nerves something chronic.)

The penthouse purchase this week comes after Novichok started a charm campaign, including offering to throw money at some local junior soccer clubs in an effort to boost his stocks among a doubting and loathing community – it appears Clive has modified Theodore Roosevelt’s famous dictum to ‘If you’ve got them by the soccer balls, their hearts and minds will follow.’

But Bentley sees Clive’s rehabilitation in Townsville akin to the miracle of the fabled phoenix.

Phoenix

Clive back in our good books? Or in the elctorates around Australia? The movie title about that subject is already taken – ‘La La Land.’

A Question Of Priorities

But the timing of Clive’s return managed to highlight another long-running canker in the community – the Astonisher’s perverse dumbing down of it coverage of the city, and how it prioritises news.

Blogger Pat Coleman discoverd this week that Townsville Enterprise – no matter how they try to spin it – had made a $6000 political donation to the LNP. This caused outrage in the local business community, most of whom are TEL fee-paying members. And ratepayers also had a right to greatly affronted no matter what their political preference. Here’s how The ‘Pie covered the issue comments, along with the Bulletin’s insulting response in comments when the story broke.

The Magpie

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138.130.233.218

Submitted on 2018/07/06 at 8:12 am

When the Dudley Do Nothings down at Wishing Well House actually DO something, it is this!

Screen shot 2018-07-06 at 7.56.44 AM

They have got to be kidding!! For whatever reason, when is paying a political party to attend their conference somehow NOT a political donation??? NEWSFLASH for you rorters … IT IS a political donation, which is a massive betrayal of trust and ethics which is certainly immoral if not illegal. TEL members, among whom we count all unwilling Townsville ratepayers, deserve a fuller explanation of their political activities of the micro-Hermit Kingdom.
Now TEL must reveal what if any similar largesse has been afforded to Labor, or the Greens for that matter, and perhaps The Mad Katters got thrown some scraps.

The Nest’s regular commenter Memory Man summed it up succinctly, when he wrote:

‘If it wasn’t so serious, it would be very funny indeed. So, these clowns at Enterprise House take ratepayers’ money, churn it to politicians, get an audience and get no results. One hopes Patty got a few selfies for her CV. We’ve got a Mayor, 5 State MPs*, 2 Federal MP*, and Senator – not to mention the Premier’s special advisor on local crime – and TEL think it necessary to pay for access. Worse, the Mayor – who’s TEL’s deputy chair – apparently condones this.

*includes Hinchinbrook and Burdekin; includes Herbert and Dawson.’

And one has to wonder if the Townsville Bulletin would ever known or cared about this if two bloggers – Pat Coleman who found the incriminating evidence in one of his excellent web searches for links to naughtiness. and The Magpie, who gave his findings wider publicity – had not brought it to the paper’s attention. If it was a real newspaper which, as they claim, ‘We’re for you’, they would in this day and age have a resident expert doing what Mr Coleman, scatterbrained as he occasionally is, does so well to keep the community informed of things that REALLY matter.

This story will have resounding implications for a long time to come and is of paramount importance to ratepayers, TEL members and the business community, but even when this lazy excuse for a once great newspaper gets it handed to them on a plate, do they make it their indignant front page? No there are more important money-making matters to put under this shameful masthead.

Non TEL fronter

Dreamtime just about sums it up. They just cannot hide the disdain with which they treat their dwindling number of readers. Speaking of Mr Coleman, he shares his own personal views – many of which are not shared by The Magpie – on his own blog at https://cynicismcentraltownsvilleaustralia.blogspot.com/

Pat has some, shall we say, courageous things to say about Mayor Mullet’s alleged activities. The ‘Pie’s concern is that with the creation of that council development corporation, we could be in for a far more secret entity that TEL. And Jenny would be in complete control … independent directors? Yeah, sure … including CEO Adele The Impaler Young. This really could be the end of the appallingly wasteful rort that is Townsville Enterprise, but what will we get instead.  Time for a stiff drink.

But Why Are We Not Surprised?

It is always easy to have a shot at the paper over some of its flummery in the news pages, and especially the lame attempts at click bait on its public website … like…

wedding plans  Two flowers !!! Gone!!! Will the evil in this town never end. And then there was this little snoozer …

Love message

Yeah, right.

… and even today, this … which is simply ludicrous, what are they thinking …

Screen shot 2018-07-07 at 8.04.23 AM

But it is what they DON’T print that exposes the paper’s management to speculation about their agenda of priorities. For instance, they are happy – eager one might say – to run this yarn …

Weatherup and Krayem

…which is fair enough, good comedic value added by The Rabster saying it’s not about the money (which is just as well, since there won’t be any), it’s his good name and reputation (now, now, you lot). And OK, a fair enough story, but somehow, a pissant small-time blogger of barely any community consequences gets the star treatment but not a single syllable has been mentioned in the paper since the ABC scooped the Astonisher with this story.

Screen shot 2018-06-23 at 9.03.46 PM

Legal sources confirm that this is a new matter, and has nothing to do with that previous $50,000 offer by the mayor to settle the matter, and Mr Palmer claiming in a Facebook post that she had apologised (she hadn’t apparently – these two are made for each other). But again, the paper blithely ignores it all, avoiding any proper journalistic examination of the issue.

The ‘Pie does not pretend compare with Mayor Mullet in influence in this town (and very happy he is about that, too, given the state of the place), so how the paper can rationalise that this defamation case is of no import or interest to this community is something The ‘Pie would like to hear.

It is simply a venal decision about not wanting to upset advertisers or the power players around the place.

And Did You See This Interesting Council Tidbit In The Astonisher?

Screen shot 2018-07-07 at 11.33.34 PM

No you did not. Prolific commenter on this blog Memory Man sent it in to the Nest with this trenchant observation.

‘No one wants a dampener, but here’s the May building approvals data out of the council … wonder whether the new City Economist (the recycled David Lynch) has got anything to say about this? If he’s short for words, perhaps he could start with explaining how a city economy that’s supposedly on the rebound has no demand to speak of for new permanent residential construction.’

But … but … but … the Astonisher’s pet economic poodle Colin Dwyer tells us the place is about to boom, so pull your head, you doubting Thomas.

Dwyer economyAnd the bullish Astonisher is happy to spend your money for you …

Screen shot 2018-06-30 at 12.30.55 PM

But credit where it is due, the Townsville Bulletin showed its generosity during the week, when it raised the weekday price from $1.60 to $1.70. That is so thoughtful; now when you DON’T buy the paper, you will be saving $1.70 instead of $1.60. They really are ‘all for us’.

Cathy ‘The Tool’ O’Toole Finally Makes Herself Useful

Well, the paper did give us this startling story about our federal MP apparently moonlighting for a couple of extra bucks.

Tool detrrent

And no wonder it works. I mean, if you saw The Tool tottering towards on Via Vomitorium, batting her eyelashes at you,  there would no question of a choice between fight or flight. You’d be off like a burning boot, just at the sight. Well done, Cathy.

And someone else values you highly, too, old Tool. Perc Tucker is hosting inter alia this vision of lov … well, this vision.

OToole DaliriThe artist is old mate and local multi-cultural bozo Farvardin Daliri, who makes a nice little earner from various subsidised celebrations of different cultures around town. But one must ask if he has parted company with reality when we see this under his portrait.

Daliri O'tooleJPGThat’s a bit of an ask for something most folks would hang on the back door of the littlest room in the house, where it would help matters along no end.

A Damned Shame

The unsavoury term ‘slut shaming’ got a good airing during the week, courtesy of the Canberra version of The Vagina Monologues as re-written by Sarah Hanson-Young and David Leyonhjelm. But the shaming industry goes much wider than just that subject. Seems all the vogue to go in for ‘shaming’ anything you are feeling a bit prissy about. In fact, it means nothing more than ‘criticising.’

We now have all sorts of hash tag shaming opportunities, fat shaming, slut shaming, body shaming, age shaming (response – get knotted), even dive shaming (as in soccer). But not all the necessary fields are covered, so The ‘Pie has decided to start his own – #CrapShaming. Anything either crappy (like vile catholic bishops refusing to resign) …

Bishop hand

… to crap senators lifting the tone of civilised debate – not – and then all the way through to crap buzz word obscurity and double talk.

So let’s start with that last one and #CrapShaming an unnamed Tiger Air spokesman for saying this on why the airline will stop flying into Townsville. ‘The airline has made the decision to withdraw as part of its on-going focus on delivering a national flight network and schedule   that is closely aligned with operational requirements, demand and market dynamics’. He should be ashamed of this absolutely meaningless crap, so he may considered himself the subject of #CrapShaming.

BTW, the real reason Townsville was dropped by the airline is detailed in this thoughtful article in Saturday’s SMH.

This Week In Trumpatania

The annual Fourth of July celebrations in America saw the usual display of fireworks and empty rhetoric. But things might not be as rosy as one would hope … especially not for the carrot-topped maniac’s juvenile ideas about trade.

us ECONOMY

But when he’s not making massive miscalculations on protectionism, Trump is getting the Hollywood treatment from some admirers.

The Lyin' King

They tried to create a shaming hash tag for Trump, only to discover that the words ‘shame’ and ‘Trump’ have never been known in the same sentence

But A New Master Of Shaming Has Emerged – And Boy, Has He Nailed His Targets.

We ‘Pie’s stick together, so it is fair enough that this ‘Pie has an affection and admiration for another of the clan, as in pommy comic and pretend TV reporter Jonathan Pie.

Jonathan Pie

Jonathan Pie

Even if you don’t like ‘bad’ language, you are challenged not to laugh yer tits orf at this hilarious tilt at the PC crowd. On ya, Jonathan.

……………..

That’s it for this week, and is brought to you after a five hour battle with cyber space and those endearing 401 messages … to which The ‘Pie would like to take a .303.

But before we go, I would personally like to pay tribute to my great friend Ron Bairstow, who passed away during the week, collapsing at the wheel of his racing car while doing a scoping lap of his local Perth track. No injury, just rolled to a stop, and never woke up. Fitting that he started his final journey In one of his beloved cars with his final sniff of life perfumed with high octane fuel … exactly the way my old mate would’ve wanted to go. He was 78 and still held a CAMS licence! His funeral was in Perth on Friday.

Ron was the popular Sandgroper, or just Gropes in the comments column, always funny and insightful. Many other commenters have been dismayed at his passing, and I will miss him as the kind, wise and considerate friend he was for more than three decades. Vale, mate.

The Magpie's Nest is now more than five years old, and remains an independent alternative voice for Townsville. The weekly warble is a labour of love and takes a lot of time to put together. So if you like your weekly load of old cobblers, you can help keep it aloft with a donation, or even a regular voluntary subscription. Paypal is at the ready, it's as easy as ... well, easy as pie. Limited advertising space is also available.

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