Why this blog exists...

The Magpie

Saturday, March 5th, 2016   |   169 comments

Just A Fortnight To Go Before We Vote For Another Four Years Of Same Old – Same Old.

But three cheers for DUO magazine, who shows how professional political interviews should be done – despite the depressing outcome.

And self-delusion continues to flourish with the Dudley Do Nothings down at Wishing Well House – they seem to think they’re running the joint. They aren’t … or are they?

Also Bentley toots his flute about Trump trumpeting his …err … trumpet.

But First …

Seems the village wits were out and about this morning down at Bulletin Square on Flinders Street.

bulletin square

There was a rare moment of light entertainment when the big screen was rolling through the headlines from the Daily Astonisher. One popped up about the recent rain, and told us ‘the dam has barley received a drop.’ Wit number one suggested to a mate that it was probably manna from heaven, to which the other replied ‘We want water, not grain’.

There were probably others following this but that’s enough.

Donald Trumpets About His Trumpet

 Trump thumb

More than any other group, satirists have better reason to hate Donald Trump … he’s putting them out of work.

This Martian refugee (what else could explain it?) manages again and again to bring American national politics back into the raucous front bar of the Republican pub, with ever more bodily references of the sort you only hear after the fifth schooner. Indeed, he seems like a psychologist’s dream-retirement patient, suggesting inter alia a female reporter was asking him hard questions because she had per period – that his opponent Mark Rubio sweated too much – and that the previous Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney ‘would’ve gone down on his knees if I’d told him to’. Which, given Trump’s already established obsession with such matters, he was suggesting that this Mormon elder and famously family man would’ve indulged in a little creative liposuction to get Trump’s endorsement four years ago.

Then this week came the bizarre and decidedly uninviting innuendo about his … err … private endo. For years, Trump has bristled unrelentingly about a magazine editor who, more than two decades ago, described him as a ‘short fingered vulgarian’, whatever that actually means. Now on the world stage, he decided to let the the whole planet know how untrue was the ‘short fingered’ barb, in what must rank as the biggest ‘nudge nudge, wink, wink, know what I mean’ of all time. Seems Bentley got the hint and took the bait, so as to speak.

trumped copy 2 small

It apparently didn’t occur to Trump that while he thought he had dispelled the short-fingered description, he spectacularly confirmed that he remains a vulgarian: ‘an unrefined person, especially one with newly acquired power or wealth’.

But then again, he’s proved unequivocally he is the world’s biggest dick – a big call for a world in which we also have George Pell.

But Speaking Of Vulgarians

Mongrel the Barrister wasn’t impressed with Trump’s trumpeting.

‘The last time he gave a sheila 9 inches and made her moan was when he did her three time and then refused to pay her’.

Gerry and The Pacemaker


Yes, yes, we know we’ve used Marina Hyde’s magnificently clever phrase before, but it’s worth a re-run on the day that the Walnut With Glasses wed the former Mrs Jagger in London. Seems she’s resigned herself old age creeping up on her.

Mongrel the barrister suggested batteries will play a big role in the happy union, and ‘not just for the pacemaker hur hur hur.’

The Big Con To Continue

Looks like the city bought it from a George Pell garage sale.

Looks like the city bought it from a George Pell garage sale.

No matter who gets the robes trimmed with possum fur (surely a disincentive for the relatively stylish Ms Arlett), the big con that is Townsville Enterprise is set to continue.

Both candidates have expressed support for the Dudley Do Nothings down at Wishing Well House, with no mention of a much-needed restructure and refocus. And Mayor Mullet has again continued the outright fiction that the ratepayers are prohibited from seeing the Service Level Agreement between TEL and the council (the document that justifies the $750,000 of ratepayers money they receive) because, says the mayor who is also the deputy chair of the board of TEL, ‘it is Commercial In Confidence’.

This in itself is a con … as this clear definition of CIC shows:

Commercial in confidence

A classification that identifies information that, if disclosed, may result in damage to a party’s commercial interests, intellectual property or trade secrets. You must not disclose any information marked ‘Commercial in Confidence’ without permission from the party who supplied it. This type of information is protected through Confidentiality Agreements.

Trade secrets and commercial interests? OK, kif it comes to that unlikely end, redact (the fancy word for ‘black out’) any such stuff, but let us see the overall thrust of where our dough is going. An even better laugh, ‘intellectual property’ (as if)? And what secret squirrel deals aren’t we allowed to know about with, say the Lancinis, Gills and even Hardings on the board? They want our money on trust? C’mon.

This is part of the depressing but informative mayoral race interviews in the current issue of DUO magazine.

DUO Magazine Takes On Another Dimension

DUO Magazine

Hitherto, this glossy monthly has always been easy on the eye, but the substance of the subjects covered has always been a sometimes thing, rarely tackling contemporaneous matters of community interest or at least substance. Much of it is advertorial for a variety of services.That’s starting to change, and these mayoral candidate interviews are the latest in a welcome and growing trend towards real news in DUO. Get a (free) copy if you can, or have a squizz here at http://duomagazine.com.au/ – mayoral interviews start on p16): it is easily the best broad spectrum canvassing of both candidates, when they talked at length to publisher Scott Morrison and the experienced reporter Kylie Davis. Happily Scott wisely gave Hankin and Patel a miss, they would’ve only been an irrelevancy, as they are in the race.

Amazing what happens to both interviewer and interviewee when given space, and time – each was interviewed for two hours – to answer intelligent and well researched questions that don’t dumb down issues or insult the intelligence. Or push agendas. Read closely and you’ll see plenty that you won’t get in the Townsville Bulletin (‘no stadium without convention/entertainment center,’ just for starters).

But Chairman Gill Embarrasses Himself Yet Again

Seems TEL Chair Kevin Gill has been hearing what The ‘Pie has been hearing – that there are some councillors under the pump from voters about TEL’s performance and their annual ratepayer stipend.,

Kevin Gill

So our man embarked on a wild-eyed search for relevance during the week.

First there was desperately pompous, self-regarding and dreadfully out-of-touch bit of blather which went to members (gosh, The ‘Pie hopes he won’t be clapped in irons if it’s Commercial In Confidence).

TEL Nickel letter

It’s hard to fathom what the purpose of this is outside allowing Mr Gill to self-importantly say nothing of substance but sound like he knows what he’s talking about. And why, pray tell, would any TEL member – or anybody else for that matter – get in touch with Mr Gill of all people if they had any ‘concerns or queries’ about QNI?

What a load of old cobblers,

As They Say, Who’s Flying This Plane

Then there was more pomposity earlier in the week when the Dudley Do Nothings put on some lippy and mummy’s high heels, to release a ‘look, I’m a grown-up’ bit of blarney which makes it sound like they’re running the city and directing the council on it chosen agenda. It went under the confusing name of Advocacy Alert … you mean you have to ‘alert’ people when you’re going to ‘advocate’ something?

Screen shot 2016-03-05 at 5.16.26 PM

The document went on for much longer but really added nothing, just repeating how thety wanted Townsville to grow and be an attractive destination. Perhaps they could front their Chairman Gill – whose day job is to manage Townsville Airport for its southern owners – and suggest he forget his proposed conflict-of-interest $5 surcharge on all passengers using the airport, so his company can recoup the money of a planned $40m+ renovation, including a massive expansion of very profitable rentable retail space.

And while we’re in this territory, the Astonisher continues to refer to TEL’s bargain basement boss Patricia O’Callaghan as a ‘community leader’. Purleeese.

Other Stuff

Emoticons and other electronic short cuts are leading us into an age of a modern version of ancient hieroglyphics. This can be dreary and lazy in extremis , but sometimes wildly funny, like this poster for the cult movie Deadpool proves.


The L could have been replaced with a pic of Ms McPherson of that name, but she’d probably sue.

And it’s often said that the best on TV nowadays are the ads … and certainly, some can be riveting, others quirky enough to hold the attention.


Like this surprising campaign in China, as reported in the Guardian, predicting how humans will have to adapt to pollution with ‘nosetache filters’ if smog isn’t tackled now.

But there’s nothing like an action flick to make you reach for the replay button. Just how many tens of millions Peugot spent on this spectacular James Bondish extravaganza isn’t known, but if it doesn’t get your pulse racing, book yourself into Morleys right now … you’re already dead.

Joke of the Week

The ‘Pie won’t promise, but he’ll try to make this a regular feature … but only if the material is good enough. Think this one qualifies.

A father put his 3 year old daughter to bed, told her a story and listened to her prayers which ended by saying, “God bless Mommy, God bless Daddy, God bless Grandma, and good-bye Grandpa.” 

The father asked, “Why did you say good-bye Grandpa?”

The little girl said, “I don’t know daddy, it just seemed like the thing to do.”

 The next day grandpa died.  The father thought it was a strange coincidence.

A few months later the father put the girl to bed and listened to her prayers which went like this, “God bless Mommy, God Bless Daddy and good-bye Grandma.”

The next day the grandmother died.

“Holy crap” thought the father, “this kid is in contact with the other side.”

Several weeks later when the girl was going to bed, the dad heard her say, “God bless Mommy and good-bye Daddy.”

He practically went into shock.  He couldn’t sleep all night and got up at the crack of dawn to go to his office.

He was nervous as a cat all day, had lunch and watched the clock. He figured if he could get by until midnight he would be okay.  He felt safe in the office, so instead of going home at the end of the day he stayed there, drinking coffee, looking at his watch and jumping at every sound.  Finally midnight arrived; he breathed a sigh of relief and went home.

When he got home his wife said, “I’ve never seen you work so late.  What’s the matter?”

He said, “I don’t want to talk about it, I’ve just spent the worst day of my life.”

She said, “You think you had a bad day, you’ll never believe what happened to me.  This morning my golf pro dropped dead in the middle of my lesson!”

And Finally, An Oldie But A Goldie


Perhaps Donald Trump needs to see this for a reality check. Yes, yes, it’s been around, but in case you haven’t seen it.


Folks, a frank appeal for a hand. The internet bills and other costs associated with putting together this weekly bit of (hopefully) entertainment are piling up. If you can help with a donation, it will, as always, be greatly appreciated. See the How To box below. Thanks in advance.

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.

Post a Comment

The Magpie encourages all to take part in the discussion and let their voice be heard.
In order to post a comment, you must provide a name. While you don't have to use your real name, it should be something unique so users can identify you in the discussion. Generic names like “Anonymous” will likely result in your comment being ignored.
Let the discussion begin!

Current ye@r *

Countdown until the next council election:

-1428Days -6 -27 -4