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The Magpie

Saturday, December 30th, 2017   |   80 comments

Let Others Review The Old Year – Better Fun If We Preview The Coming Year

The ‘Pie reckons we need a New Year’s revolution rather than a resolution. So he is inviting you to submit the headline you’d best like to see in 2018. The Magpie explains the rules and the prize for the best entry.

One thing we can do without is the insulting ‘consulting’ ploy, much beloved of our mayor.   It is most timely that at the close of 2017, a report has been released decrying the role of ‘consultants’ and their cost to the taxpayers. And the insidious problems reaches all the way into our own little corner of sleazy politics.

A local radio station gives the Astonisher a run for its money to own the slogan ‘yesterday’s news tomorrow’, which until now has been the paper’s sole preserve.

And the Adani saga so far … in pictures.

But first …

All the newspaper subs in England are in panting anticipation of the upcoming royal nuptials, so they can gurgle at their own cleverness with headlines like ‘That Markle Sparkle’   and ‘The Potty Mouthed Princess’, referring to Ms Markle’s self-confessed habitual swearing (she’ll actually be a duchess, so its more likely ‘The Dirty Duchess). Oh, well, at least she’ll be at home around the Berk of Edinburgh.

Meghan Markle

In the world of television, particularly the hit series ‘Suits’,  Duchess Meghan has had more bonks than a bowling ball rolling down a wooden staircase. So it would appear that Prince Harry will need more than a stiff upper lip to hold his own … umm, no, hang on, … oh, forget it.

But all that aside, it is the royal guest list that is about to become heavily politicized. Bentley sees the dilemma in black and white.

invitation 2

If The Donald gets an invite, which is no sure thing, he will undoubtedly have to undergo special training for the occasion. ‘Mr President, as british ambassador, I must inform you that you may get to kiss the bride – on a cheek – an upper cheek – but any attempt at –shall we say – feline anatomical exploration will be considered extremely inappropriate.’ However, his attendance is under a cloud, especially since the American bride, who volunteered for a soup kitchen at 13, is hardly likely to welcome the robber baron of the White House.


What is the difference between this man …

Adani Aust CEO Jeyakumar Janakaraj

Adani Aust CEO Jeyakumar Janakaraj

… and this man.


Answer: nothing at all, at least according to the latest strange version of the English language employed by the Adani people.

Mr Jeyakumat Janakaraj – Mr JJ from now on – admitted he was caught off guard by Premier Alphabet’s veto on government money for the mine’s railroad. ‘It shook us,’ he said. But he insisted Adani is no quitter, with the somewhat confused non sequitur and cliché ‘(The veto) has set the project back and moved the goal posts, but would not delay the development … I do not accept that the veto had affected the project’s credibility. … because that is delivered on its worth, on its economics, its fundamentals and coal demand.’   Funny that, those are all the EXACT reasons that the project lacks credibility. And to underline that point of view, JJ was coy about money and would not talk about alternative financing. ‘Money is continuously flowing into the project, it is not a problem for us, but when there is a backstop (like NAIF) it is easier to make certain assumptions and go forward, and when the backstop is not there, obviously it changes the transaction.’

Whatever the F that means. Sheer meaningless gobbledygook, except that the assumptions that are out the window being that Australians are financial fuckwits.

With JJ fighting to the bitter end, The Adani Saga can best be summed up as the Black Knight of foreign investment.

flat,800x800,075,f.u6Another Reason To Hate The Nanny State

Bill Shorten must hate the Nanny State just now. It may have been a narrow window of opportunity, but the officious do-gooders of the NSW Maritime Services Board slammed it shut this week. PM Malcolm Talkbull was fined for not wearing a lifejacket while moving a dinghy a matter of a few metres outside his Sydney Harbour mansion. And Bill well knows the PM is so accident prone in steering a steady ship, he may well have ended up in the drink, with Wingnut Abbott the only person around to save him.

But the PM says he’s learnt his lesson, and now takes precautions wherever there is water.

Nanny State small

Insulting Consulting – Townsville Still A Target For The Flimflammers Of This World

The report released a couple days agoi decrying the growing use – and uselessness – of consultants, was ostensibly about Federal – and to a certain extent state – governments. Talk about jobs for the boys – but the underlying dilemma of non-accountable, easily directed (regarding desired outcomes) consultants exists even at the level of local government. And boy, don’t we know it here in the ‘Ville.

It’s like this: we have the Townsville City Council with various folk employed to assist and direct new ventures around town, and be helpful to those developers who can help drag the city out of the abysmal state in which it finds itself – like they did with their speedy efficient cock-u … err … expediting of the excellent Hive project. Then we have Townsville Enterprise, which is in essence a consultancy that the ratepayers fund. The upside to the Dudley Do Nothings is that it keeps a couple of dozen people employed, albeit what for remains a mystery. They’re supposed to promote, attract and land industry and tourism projects. How are you going with that, by the way?

And now, courtesy of Mayor Mullet’s empire building, we have this crowd of snake-oil salesmen Pure Projects setting up office here. Led by that master of the glib patronizing platitude, advertising has-been Don Morris, Pure Projects has no skin in the game, but is paid handsomely to tell us, ‘hey, here’s a good idea, how about you get someone to do it’. Then they bill either the council or some flim flam mate or other for the trouble.

Lot of old Labor mates in there at this particular trough.

Couple of problems there, though. Most of the tired old ideas, like those of Mayor Mullet herself, are informed by a vision that looks no further than their own self-interest. Which means Pure Projects doubles up on the TEL money sink-hole faced by the ratepayers. We’re paying handsomely for the privilege of being talked down to by yesterday’s men who know an easy quid when they see it.

meaningful and attractive breaks for big investors should be the way to go, and stop depending on gobvernment hand-outs. We may as well rename ourselves Mendicant City.

We need a community minded businessman in charge of this city, not a third rate, bitterly disappointed politician desperate to cling on to office by trying to rule in secret and threaten court action against those who ask what is going on.

But if That Isn’t Enough …

… during the week, a somewhat schizoid Astonisher , running front pages about Crimsville, and ‘Worst Crime Rate In Queensland,’ seem to agree that TEL, Pure Projects and the mayor are bereft of ideas to promote the city, and have turned to … who else but Mr Front Bar Ranter and BBQ guru Mr Joe Average. The paper is now inviting readers to put forward their solutions to Townsville’s jobs and tourism crisis – a clear admissin that the Dudley Do Nothings are useless.


Now don’t get the ‘Pie wrong … builder Steve Moir has his heart in the right place, no doubt – what builder hasn’t – but sorry, his ideas given circulation in the Astonisher are just empty, ill-informed, shallow dinner table boring. Like suggesting we should advertise in Europe and the US (gosh, really?) and, with deep analytical insight, backs his call with this statement: ‘It really comes down to what we’ve got … we’ve got better beaches, our steaks, our seafood , our fruit and veg that is all to offer.’ Then the crowning idiocy ‘For Americans, take them to a game of rugby league to get the atmosphere’. Better beaches? Better food? Footy? Have you been further south than Giru lately, Steve? Better bloody beaches!?!

Now look, mate, the paper asked you and you answered, so it’s a bit hard on you, but they have made you look like a goose. Which The Magpie is sure you are not, although you do seriously spin-out weirdly when you suggest a come-on for freezing Europeans is to invite them to ‘our summer paradise’. Don’t worry about Giru, have you stepped outside recently?

This article ends with a statement from the paper: ‘ Do you have a great tourism idea? Email (us) etc’ . Now a cynic – which The Magpie is not of course – might suggest this is just a no-cost way of filling space with ill-informed guff that fits in with the rest of the paper. The purpose could be two-fold – make a claim to be the people’s paper, and maybe save enough money to sack another journo or two as News Corpse continues its fruitless flundering against the financial riptide.

a little New Year’s gift of yet another reason not to read the Astonisher.

In passing …

Oh and that 4 to 5 star Hilton-affiliated hotel to be built near the stadium, a deal earning the mayor’s Labor mates handsome finders’ fees, no doubt. The ‘Pie was intrigued at all the guff about 5-star, especially when he read this on the hotel’s website.

Screen shot 2017-12-16 at 8.45.47 PM

‘Warm chocolate-chip cookie welcome … that sets the tone for the guests entire stay’? Now that is real 5-star service, bound to knock the sox off the royalty, sports stars and music celebrities guests who are so sick of all that bowing, scraping, and complimentary bottle of 100 year old Scotch that southern 5-starrers offer.

Doubletree should do some local research and chuck in a carton of goon, which would certainly set the tone for the stay of the average guest … especially when the Cowboys are playing the Broncos.

The News Is So Good We’re Going To Tell You Again

The ‘Pie is reliably informed that a radio station of which he has never heard – Star FM – had a slight problem with yesterday’s (Sat) 6am news … they played last week’s news, which they presumably get in pr-recorded from down south somewhere. Or the listener was mistaken and thy were just reading Friday’s Astonisher.

Now here’s the thing … a contest.

Send in to comments the headline you’d most like to see in the Astonisher in 2018. Keep it witty BUT classy and if you don’t, no whinging about non-publication. Judging the best will take into consideration the use of the woeful Astonisher style puns and speling erors.

The ‘Pie repeats his example of a few weks again; Got’em Adani A Serial Sex Offender: Charged With Touching Up Thousands Of Townsville Ratepayers.’

Or: ‘Adani Venture Folds – Mayor Mullet Says ‘Sari About That’.

The prize is a beauty … 10 – yes, 10! – $10 scratchies (but don’t get too excited, The ‘Pie has checked them and you don’t win anything.)

A New York Cock-Up

While the ‘Ville has a few great murals about the place, it would seem that New York is the cock-o-the-walk in this area … literally. But the perils of public painting is that the public is your critic, and enough people have objected to one in particular to have it painted over.

penis graffiti

Dunno, reckon it could make an eye-catching fountain. But where’s the equality? The same artist, Swede Carolina Falkholt has also done a huge mural of a vagina, and no one is game to say boo to that, apparently. Well, most probably don’t know what it is.

Vagina graffiti

The Magpie must admit he’s never been that drunk.

If that’s Ms Falkholt’s own private area and self-portrait, she must’ve used a fun house mirror.


That’s it for the week, and the year. Happy New Year and thanks to all of you who helped make the Magpie’s Nest so much fun. Business as usual in 2018. And hopefully, donations when able will be a great help … donation button below.

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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