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The Magpie

Saturday, September 10th, 2016   |   66 comments

Bill Byrne Got It Right (For Once), The Bulletin Got It Wrong (What, Again?)


Telling it how is – rare as that is – doesn’t suit our opinion leading paper, and makes us look like a city of whingers – but if the cap fits …

But in our fight against juvenile crime … just whose side is The Bulletin on?

Why members of the elite North Queensland Club are saddling up for a mini-revolt …

… and the anagram of the week.

But first …

Cowboys Lunkhead Jason Taumalolo Now Be Poached?

If so, it will be by a magistrate, not another club.

Dumb is as dumb does, and you have to have an IQ smaller than your shoe size to get your jollies by throwing eggs at cars and people. (Proof? Bob Katter thinks it a good idea.) Especially when your on a pay packet in six figures for working just half the year. Knuckle draggers are handy on the football field, but shouldn’t otherwise be allowed out after sundown. But there was Taumalolo, and four of his similarly afflicted footy mates depleting the local stocks of Steggles on various cars one night during the week. All adding to lustre of Townsville as a cosmopolitan centre to rival … umm, Amsterdam, maybe? If the Cowboys are the poster boys to attract attention to Townsville, Bentley thinks these twerps are killing the goose that lays that particular golden egg.

free range fin small 

BTW wonder if someone will seek to prove to the Kattertonic one that ‘egging’ is, as he claims, an Australian institution … so he could hardly complain if someone targets him, then … perhaps someone will have the foresight to hard boil the googys before use.

Anagram Of The Week

Sam Dastyari

Pickering dastyari

Larry Pickering sums it up

The ‘Pie loves a good anagram, and this week’s is prompted by that Bill Shorten with Brylcreem, Sam Dastyari.

Rearrange the letters of his name and you get …

Uncanny, what?

 North Queensland Club Scratches Traditional Melbourne Cup Lunch

North Queensland Club

That’s the word relayed to The ‘Pie during the week., and it seems this strange decision has caused much head scratching and harrumphing around the place. Indeed, some long standing members are hopping mad, which is unfortunate as they’re likely to have gout.

The club committee decided for some reason not immediately apparent, they’d do better with a Derby Day on the Saturday.

Some members are less than impressed, and are organising their own Melbourne Cup function at the club. Seems the junking of a club tradition has old duffers are at a loss to explain the situation. One can imagine the reaction.

‘Egad, what’s this I hear, Colonel? The club committee has voted not to have a Melbourne Cup function this year.’

‘Good God, Carruthers, you can’t be serious, old boy. Melbourne Cup Day usually packs the place and spins a bob or two, I can tell you. And quite a few of our members own race horses. Why ever not?

‘Deuced if I know, but a damned rum affair, if you ask me. First, a woman president, and now this! But who knows what next,  with this new committee talking development, amalgamations and all that tommy rot. Even want to install a bloody gym, go all high rise and lease out at least part of the new building for shops. This committee says we have to progress or perish, so they want to encourage young whippersnappers to become members

‘What balderdash. How many of today’s generation are going to cough up 400 pounds – or dollars or whatever it is nowadays, – in annual membership fees just to be able to get what they can get for free on that Via Vomitorium place down the road. Noisy buggers, too, can’t read the Financial Review in peace when younger guests are nattering and laughing around place. Those damn young solicitors are trial enough around here. Let them all in and in no time we’ll have tofu and mung beans on the menu and that bloody Yellow Tail rubbish on the wine list! And not a moment’s peace.

‘Not to worry though Colonel, a number of the members have got together and are planning their own Melbourne Cup luncheon, just booking the place up as though its just another day, and I hear they’ve organized TV screens and probably even some bookie arrangement as usual. Couple of barrister chappys are pretty hot under the collar about it, and decided to take it on themselves to organize something.

‘Funny way to try to make the club more popular. Even the younger generation – especially some of those frisky little fillies, eh what? – seem to like the Melbourne Cup, even if just as an excuse to get five sheets to the wind, what ho.

‘Quite right, Carruthers, reckon the committee might have to re-visit this decision. Another port, old boy?

How To Be Wrong Even When You’re Right

The Bulletin … and much of Townsville … loves a bet.  Especially two bob each-way.

The ‘Pie finds it passing strange that Astonisher loves trumpeting and amplifying not unreasonable calls for parents of juvenile delinquents (aka little thieving shits) to take responsibility for their little rays of sunshine at night. Just about everyone agrees (including The ‘Pie) that parents have ducked their responsibilities in this issue, and need to be called out on it. (Judge Clive Wall once famously fined the negligent parents of two Charters Towers kids who set an itinerant on fire in a park – although the parents had nothing to do with the actual incident.)

But when it comes to a far less drastic call on the population at large (read non-indigenous population) to take a responsibility in much lesser and easily achieved way on this issue, the same standards apparently don’t apply.

Police Minister Bill Byrne

Police Minister Bill Byrne

When Bill Byrne said this week told the blunt – and one would think, self-evident – truth that the stealing of cars ‘would be greatly reduced, in Townsville particularly, if people start to take responsibility for their own security of their own residences and cars’, the paper embraced victimhood on behalf of the whole community with this willfully misinterpreted headline:

Screen shot 2016-09-10 at 5.47.19 PM

Just for a start, Boof Byrne never said any such thing. Yes, he was blunt, and perhaps coated the unpalatable truth in vinegar, but what he did say in addition to that quoted above, was ‘ … frankly, it’s an important aspect of an individual’s responsibility within their community.’

As said, blunt but true, it’s now a fact of life that there is a whole new class of crim out there, for whatever reason it’s a changed world. While there is more – a lot more – the government could do to fight this issue, Byrne’s nanny State-ish words shouldn’t have to be said. Or twisted and derided in such an irresponsible way.

Townsville residents are hurting, and they certainly want more from George Street and our stumblebum local MPs. But as a top cop told the paper, most property offences in Townsville were opportunistic and happened where residents had failed to lock homes and vehicles. Or even – 0h for God’s sake – hide their keys.

So resenting that Boof Byrne failed to deliver a magic bullet is self-defeating – as Nelson Mandela once said’ having resentment is like drinking poison in the hope that your enemy will get sick.’

And While We’re In This Neighborhood – Sanity Prevails



Remember the hoo-ha about this Bill Leak cartoon, which basically pitted the aboriginal industry against advocates of free speech. Well, the latter have won a victory, with the Press Council ruling that Leak was well within his rights to have his say. Read the decision here.

It’s Toot-Toot-Tootsie Goodbye Time Again, Folks

blunderbuss foot kapow

Way back in the 70s, when The Bulletin magazine held sway, respected film reviewer Sandra Hall interviewed the chief censor after he had totally banned Pier Paolo Pasolini’s film Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom, described by some as high art and others as the most disgusting film ever made (The ‘Pie is in the latter camp). This rather than just cut it to ribbons, as was the usual practice. Ms Hall asked the censor why he had made such a drastic decision. Our moral guardian replied he believed that any person seeing the film just once could not help but be wholly corrupted by it. Ms Hall asked how much consideration had been given to the decision, to which the censor replied ‘a great deal … I have watched it carefully at least six times’.

The ‘Pie was reminded of story of a spectacularly self-inflicted foot wound when he saw Thursday’s front page of the Bulletin.

Screen shot 2016-09-10 at 5.59.00 PM

Did they really think this through? We are accustomed to the Bulletin’s penchant for both lazy Facebook journalism and canonizing some of our juvenile grubs. Remember this?

santoTurned out that the happy go lucky heart of gold who was thick enough to kill himself on cut glass while trying to rob a pub had a record as a vicious thug from a family of vicious thugs, a fact we knew because of previous reporting in the paper itself, (by The ‘Pie, actually) but forgotten or ignored because the paper had sacked its memory bank of sub-editors.

Well, they’ve managed to surpass that supreme bit of idiocy with their Snapo Brats fronter on Thursday. The paper regularly hyperventilates about the current juvenile crime wave, as it should. But under the strap headline ‘Brazen Child Car Thieves Use Social Media To Gloat’, stenographer and part-time reporter Kieran Rooney starts he Facebook-sourced story thus:

Child cars thieves are using social media to boast about their exploits as Townsville’s property crime epidemic continues. A teenage girl took this ‘selfie’ with her handcuffed friend in the back of a police car on Tuesday after bragging to friends on Facebook about stealing cars before their joy ride was cut short by police.’

You can bet the young braggart will waste no time in telling her Facebook chums that she’s made it on to the front page of the paper, what more could a little anti-social snot ask? She probably now signs herself ‘Snap Brat’.

Oh, c’mon, Bogan, Damien Tomlinson, whoever, did you think about this for even a nanosecond? You decry the boasting and pics you saw when you trawled through social media … and then give them wider (although not much nowadays) currency by reprinting them on the front page!!! Genius!!!

Pixilated or not, the pics are proof that the paper has been suckered yet again by its love of Facebook material (it’s free, you see) and its panic at rapidly diminishing readership.

Really, especially given our delinquency crime wave, Townsville deserves better.

Finally, The Week’s Moment Of Superstitious Barbarism

The woman Christopher Hitchins called a ’lying, thieving Albanian dwarf’ was canonized during the week. The Pope has finally decided Mother Teresa performed the two required miracles by curing ‘incurable’ conditions … just how they proved these unproveable ‘miracles’ remains a thing of archaic language ands demeaning assertions that would insult even someone with Jason Taumalolo’s level of intelligence. Amazing medieval twaddle that does nothing for human dignity.

Pickering reckons ‘canonisation’ was exactly what was needed.

Pickering on Teresa

On her death two decades ago, the joke doing the round was that Elton John honoured her by yet again recycling Candle In The Wind to Sandals In The Bin.’ The bin is where this superstitious barbarism belongs.


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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