Why this blog exists...

The Magpie

Saturday, December 29th, 2018   |   87 comments

To End The Year, A Mini-Magpie With A Mini Mystery.

Has mega-fraudster Craig Gore skipped Australia? And if so, why hasn’t this been reported in the media – especially since he is supposed to have made a midnight flit the very day after a judge refused to allow him to leave?

In other matters, one has to admit that the Townsville Bulletin is consistent … it has ended the year as it started, continuing its weekly Olympic-standard shambles.

And Mongrel the Barrister has left us … lawyer Mark Donnelly, the man who inspired a much loved Magpie character has passed away.

…and our final visit to Trumpistan for 2018.

But first …

It’s hard to keep a good man down, and our fav ‘toonist Bentley is nothing if not a good man. Even in the holiday season, he casts his jaundiced eye over the news, and brings us a different and rib-tickling perspective. This week, he was much taken … as most of us were … with the drone drama at Gatwick Airport in the UK. A ‘professional’ drone was reported in the airport’s approach and departure air space, and thousands of travellers were stuck when the whole shebang was shut down for a couple of days while the wallopers tried to go hi-tech and trace the source of the bastardry. It’s not fully sorted yet, but Bentley thinks the drone may have already met its fate.

drones small

Why Aren’t All The Gore-y Details Available?


Will ye no come back agin, laddie?

 Now to our mini-mystery.

On December 19, this report appeared in the Courier Mail.

Judge denies disgraced former rich-lister Craig Gore request to travel overseas

Vanessa Marsh, The Courier-Mail

December 20, 2018 2:21pm

  • A DISGRACED former rich-lister accused of ripping off almost $800,000 from investors has broken down in court after a judge refused his request to leave the country to visit family.

Lawyers for alleged fraudster Craig Gore today launched an application in the Queensland District Court, seeking for the former businessman’s bail conditions to be altered to allow him to travel to Sweden to visit his wife and children.

But Judge Paul Smith denied the request, saying Gore faced a “long time in prison” if convicted and there was a “real risk” he would not return to Australia to face trial.

Gore is facing 12 charges of fraud over allegations he swindled about $800,000 from self-managed super fund investors in 2013-14.

He also faces three charges of managing companies while disqualified.

Now that seems pretty definitive and eminently sensible.

But The Magpie was informed two days later, by a regular contact and mate who has always been on the money in the past, that Gore went back to court the next day on another application, and had his passport returned so he could be with his family in Sweden at Christmas. He was to return in three months to face trial and possibility of a lengthy striped suntan. The ‘Pie’s contact says Gore was on a flight out of Brisbane that night at 11pm, accompanied by a lawyer (that was apparently part of the arrangement) who will return with certain paperwork. Gore will be expected to make his own way back to face his fate in March. Yeah, right.

Now all that is as it may be, BUT THIS SPECTACULAR REVERSAL OF A JUDGE’S IMPLACABLE DECISION HAS BEEN NEITHER EXPLAINED OR APPEARED IN THE MEDIA. Well, not that The Magpie can find, after days of searching to verify.

If it is true, there will be a hell of a lot of very pissed off people – Gore’s victims and the tireless investigators who nailed him – who know just how long are the odds that we will ever see this shyster again. Shades of Skase!!

Perhaps we will never know how this came about – if it did come about – because there will be a lofty judicial silence of unaccountability if he is a no show – but surely the second hearing was an open court? Hard to fathom why it wasn’t reported.

Mongrel The Barrister Is No More

The Magpie’s good mate Mark ‘Sludge’ Donnelly – the man who partially inspired the popular Magpie character Mongrel the Barrister, died in his family home in Cairns last weekend.

It is fair to say that Mark was my best mate in the halcyon days of Portraits Bar in the Exchange Hotel all through the Noughties, the years when I was reporting court matters for the Bulletin. We were part of a memorable and disparate group, the bar crowded with our marvellously mixed group every Thursday, Friday and sometimes Saturday nights. (The fondly remembered Portraits became Poseurs Bar in the newspaper column and then in this blog.)

Mark was universally known as Sludge, which he happily answered to, but never fully explained, even to me, its origins – apparently it had something to do with a memorable comment from a lecturer or senior teacher suggesting Mark’s behaviour at that time some comparable to something from the bottom of a pond.

Sludge was one of the wittiest people I’ve known, and his memory was nothing short of astounding, not just for quoting legal precedents but in all things, particularly pop music. He always commandeered the music machine at parties, and was a pretty good DJ. He also had an eye for a well turned ankle, and his way of getting ladies to talk about themselves endeared him to more than one.

Like many a member of the Portrait’s push, Mark liked a drink, and some believed he was a bit too enthusiastic in this direction. But I would say that rather than having a battle with the bottle, he just had frequent skirmishes with it, as we all did  – and any excess rarely affected his work at the other more sedate bar, where he often shone.

Mark left Townsville when his father died, to live with his mother in the family home in Cairns. He didn’t practice in Cairns, and went into virtual retirement, which was plagued by ill health for some time. He returned to Townsville annually for his birthday, but I lost touch in the past few years, for which I feel a bit miserable now. Sludge is now undoubtedly arguing the finer points about the Laws of Entry with St Peter … for that is certainly where this witty, soft-hearted old friend of mine now is –  because we all know God loves a larrikin.

Mark was 62.

They Really Don’t Understand Language at The Astonisher, Do They?

And they even get the wrong WORD for a headlines. Even when they’re trying to make a pun,  which kinda depends on the right word, yes?

But we got a headline quoting some bizoid saying ‘Townsville is bracing for a great 2018′.…

“Bracing for’? Ahem. You’ve managed to say EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE of what you meant. Here’s the dictionary definition of ‘bracing’.

verb [with object]  • prepare (someone or oneself) for something difficult or unpleasant: both stations are bracing themselves for joblosses | police are braced for a traffic nightmare.
So although this paper goes through life like a bouncing Hari Krishna who’s visited the medicine cabinet once too often, giving us totally unquestioning, unexamined glop about our economy (usually from someone with a vested interest), it seem to have inadvertently hit on the truth here.

However, the most tedious aspect of the paper of late is the dreary attempts at humour in headlines, particularly about crime, a subject no one in Townsville with the exception of you folks in Flinders Street, finds the least bit funny. AND EVEN THEN, LANGUAGE FAILS YOU – let alone a sharp sense of humour. Take this major front page fail on Thursday.


My dear headline writer, stay with me on this and read slowly, feel free to move your lips as you must. Now let’s see, a swindler is someone who fiddles some unsuspecting victim out of something. That person would be called a fiddler, and if hidden in a ceiling, could be described as  – ta da – a Fiddler In The Roof. You see, this would then coincide with the hit musical of the same name – oh, how we would have all fallen about, clutching our sides in mirth, and holding your superior wit in such esteem!!!

But swindler? Now we’ve just got a headache from smacking our foreheads yet again.

And this one in simply NOT TRUE. This online …

Screen Shot 2018-12-28 at 10.56.25 amThe actual number of people who said (or may have said, who knows, it’s probably a fiddled fantasy anyway) was 55% of the 700 or so people who responded to a totally uncontrolled survey. If there area 220,000 potential readers (ha! you wish) in the circulation area, the percentage is not even .5 of one percent. But we all know that the on-line edition is sloppy, so the paper itself will temper the outlandish claims, won’t it?  Errr … no.

Bulletin fronter

This is simply lying, and treating people like morons. And still they wonder …

But barely have we swallowed our anger before we start scratching our heads over weird … genuinely weird … stories like this, which would suggest that English isn’t TEL boss Patricia O’Callaghan’s first language, or she was suffering mild sunstroke when she was penned the media release from which the story was transcribed.

Screen Shot 2018-12-29 at 8.06.14 pm

This story is selective twaddle certainly straight off an unedited media release from the Dudley Do Nothings, meaningless twaddle in which Ms O’Callaghan specialises. It has often been said of her that she has the gift of the gab, and ain’t that the truth, just about all of what she has to say, in The ‘Pie’s experience, is just that … meaningless gabble that sounds good until it is more thoughtfully examined. Like this:

The Museum of Underwater Art, located within the heart of The Great Barrier Reef, is a proposal based on the works of international sculpture and underwater artist Jason deCaires Taylor.

What’s that bit – ‘…located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef’?’  Has there been a Krakatoa-like geographic shift we haven’t noticed? The Underwater Museum, one of several planned along the coast, will be, at last report, just of Maggy Island, the GBR is a at least an hour or more away by fast cat . But in it goes to the story, with a newbie cub reporter just churning out this PR bumf. But wait, there’s more. We then get this prize piece of meaningless gabble from the top executive charged with attracting and promoting tourism to Townsville:

“It’s a project that is going to enhance the Great Barrier Reef experience and also educate visitors on how we manage and live with the reef everyday” Ms O’Callaghan said.” 

That is absolute poppycock that is totally meaningless. And ‘We?’ Bloody ‘WE?’  FFS, girl, get a bloody grip.

Insulting, uppity tripe from Ms O’Callaghan and lazy, presumably unsupervised ‘reporting’ (read: select all, copy and paste) by a very uncurious junior ‘reporter’ (read: stenographer). Really, a monkey using scrabble board would’ve made more sense.

The clusterfuck continues – no wonder we’re so deep in the shit.

Other matters

As if golf didn’t already have enough hazards.

 Screen Shot 2018-12-28 at 10.41.55 am

Words of Wisdom From Two Funny Men

frankie boyle

Frankie Boyle

The cleverest quote of the week comes from the Scottish comedian Frankie Boyle in the Guardian. But first, his preamble touched a chord for The Magpie, who can vouch for it when Mr Boyle writes:

The plight of the satirist, such as it is, is a compulsion to look at the grimmest, most important thing they can think of, and then for reasons that probably wouldn’t survive a really good therapist, try to make it funny. To try to address the iniquities of their society, the satirist must manufacture some hope that what they’re doing might make a difference, then type it all up and send it off somewhere before they remember that it never does. Looking back over the events of this year is a bit like holding a doll for a therapist and pointing to where the bad man hurt you.

Mr Boyle’s point is a universal one, which can be shared by Townsvilleans looking back over the past shambolic year. But his prize quote is so subtle, that you may have to think about for a while … The ‘Pie roared after a few seconds.

The murder of Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi Arabia is another very difficult subject to find the lighter side of, unless someone in the Ecuadorean embassy has clipped the story out and stuck it to the fridge.

(Sigh) Dear Mystified of Mysterton, it means that the Ecuadoreans might be giving their Wikileaks guest Julian Assange a hint.

Dave Barry

Dave Barry

The other funnyman worth a quote is the inimitable Dave Barry , the American columnist who talks about Florida the way The Magpie talks about Townsville – only he is far funnier, proof being that The Magpie pinches more of his lines (many)  than he does of The Magpie’s (none). This was his challenge to a graduating class, but it can just as well apply to the year 2019.

How are you, Class, going to respond when the Clock-Radio of Challenge emits the Irritating Buzz of Opportunity? Are you going to roll over and hit the Snooze Button of Complacency? Or are you going to wake up and, after performing the Bodily Functions of Preparedness, boldly grasp the Toothbrush of Tomorrow?

And no matter what you do in the coming year, make sure you’re always politically correct, so no snowflakes will melt before your harsh words.


And So To This Week In Trumpistan

First, compare Trump as Commander In Chief of real US soldiers, on his surprise visit to Iraq …

Trump in Iraq

Guess who’s wondering if she packed the shampoo?

…with this.

Screen Shot 2018-12-27 at 9.28.26 am

And now to our final gallery of the year about the man Frankie Boyle described as this troll-doll King Lear, who looks like something you’d pick off a baking tray after cooking pizza above it.’

122418wallsecurityr lk122818dapr38_219685245_219703 20181224edsuc-a cjones12302018 122418 General Mattis resigns lk122718dapr britt_4 20181225edsuc-a 38_219684 deering_1_0 42_219716

And Finally … How The Hell …?

The ‘Pie has been occasionally upbraided for the use of naughty words in this blog … well, one word in particular. He is aware that it can be confronting, but it is the other ‘F’ word – Frustration – that compels him to sometimes resort to other for emphasis. Anyway, so what, if it’s good enough for Sesame Street, it’s good enough for The ‘Pie.


So that was the year that was, and what a rip-snorter we have coming up. Turns out this edition wasn’t so mini after all. Comments run throughout the holiday break 24/7, so you don’t have to wait to have your say. And the New Year will look even rosier for the old bird if you think the Nest is worth a small donation to keep it neat and tidy. The how to donate button is below. HAPPY NEW YEAR, Y’ALL.

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.


  1. Mike Douglas says:

    Finally Cathy Ofoole excels at something and that is spending tax payer funded printing and communications budget . For 3 months July -September Cathy,s office spent $61,443 on all those Duo, Astonisher ads that told all the achievements Cathy got for Townsville . Clearly Cathy is in re-election mode with her Showground billboard spruiking her commitment to Jobs( paid by Labor) . Try getting Cathy to say the word “ Adani” and I wonder how many times she has lobbied Palaszczuk and Trad to sign off on the last environmental approval to secure more jobs ?. Happy New Year Pie and contributors and looking forward to another great year in 2019 .

  2. sir ossis o'fliver says:

    Vale Mongrel.

  3. Polythene Pam says:

    Sludge was a decent bloke and a very good criminal barrister – RIP.

  4. Cantankerous but happy says:

    And happy new year to you Pie, let’s hope 2019 is better than the snooze fest that was 2018, except when Malcolm Turnbull got shown the door and told to piss off, loved that bit.
    Let’s hope 2019 brings forward a mayoral candidate we can support and work towards getting rid of that toxic disgusting woman Jenny Hill and the other gutless 10 Councillors that support her. We need to give this town a chance to get back on its feet, the next 18 months will be vital in this towns future, because another 4 years of this woman and this place will be well and truly fucked, and simply not recover, it’s time for all of us to step up, bring on 2019.

  5. The Magpie says:

    Thanks for the heads up, Scotty McBee … amended.

    • Scotty McBee says:

      You’re welcome, I’m in Iowa USA now but originally from Argyll Scotland. Love your website and read it every time you publish. Keep up the good work and Happy New Year to you and yours/

  6. Gonzo says:

    Pie, A great way to say goodbye to 2018. Sorry to hear about your mate, Mark Donnelly. It has been a terrible year for old journos and old mates. Love Bentley’s cartoon on the Drones. It’s what they deserve. Why doesn’t the Astonisher sub its paper, especially the front-page? At least it gives you a chance to have a go at them. (Have they ever produced an error-free edition?)
    Love the last Trumpistan of 2018. I will be repeating “Humpty Trumpty sat on the wall” rhyme for the next two years. And I particularly liked the seven-year-old who believes in Santa and the seventy-year-old who believes in Trump. I can understand the seven-year-old, but living for seven decades and still believing in Trump is beyond me. Hope you have a terrific 2019! Cheers.

    • The Magpie says:

      All the best for 2019 to you and Mrs Gonzo, mate. (And to the Swanees!) It’s going to be a ripper year for The Nest, and look forward to hearing from you from time to time.

  7. upagumtreeperson says:

    Looking forward to the Magpie’s nest in 2019. Shame about the standard of reporting and sub-editing in the Astonisher. I think journalism standards in the media have declined in recent times. What are universities teaching students? Things like ‘ back-to-back’ instead of ‘consequently’ make me cringe. Shame particularly for on-line stories where typos occur without editing. I am sad for the demise of the journalism standards in our society. I think it is time for my medication. Best wishes to you magpie and featheerd friends. Have a bonzer new year. Townsville would be a much duller place without the ‘ Magpie.’

    • The Magpie says:

      And may it be a great New Year for you, Tree Rooter, hope you find some handy knot holes in 2019.
      Think we’ll start a list of words that should be expunged from the Astonisher – starting with ‘expunged’ but fat chance that would ever get used anyway. Top of the magpie’s list is ‘iconic’, ‘Alleged’ when so improperly used, it actually is accusatory, suggesting someone, usually the cops, are lying ( yes, we have actually had a commercial TV report that ‘police have discovered a bullet riddled body at the alleged crime scene’), and ‘legends’ for someone who hit a six off the water tank in a ‘legendary’ back yard cricket match or some such non-legendary feats – this was prompted by Fox describing former player Simon Katich as ‘legendary’. Along with legend goes the pompous and ridiculous ‘immortal’ … at least that way we will avoid ABC Radio telling us that ‘the immortal Reg Gasnier is dead’.

  8. J jones says:

    Big effort Pie. What are you doing on NYE? Want to join me at the Leaguesy?

  9. Pete says:

    From the Washington Examiner.

    The New York Times’ supposed scoop this week suggesting a podiatrist helped President Trump dodge the Vietnam draft is based entirely on the say-so of sources who identify as anti-Trump Democrats. Worse still, the Times failed to verify the story. Worst of all is the fact that the paper buries all of this information deep, deep down in a report that was somehow deemed ready for publication.

    But other than that it is a solid piece of journalism wouldn’t you say Mr Pie?

    • The Magpie says:

      It’s all floatin’ around out there. And speaking of solid journalism, did you bother checking out the history of, and who owns, the Washington Examiner? Or did you think you were quoting the far more believable Washington Post? Glass houses, buddy.

      • Pete says:

        Why yes of course I checked out who owns the WE old mate.
        It is owned by Clarity Media Group which is in turn owned by Philip Anschutz.
        WE is a conservative online publication in opposition to the WP which is a left wing, fake news Trump hating third rate rag owned by the richest man in the world and avowed Trump hater Jeff Bezos.

        • The Magpie says:

          Nothing like balanced, even handed commentary. Ever thought of seeking employment with the Astonisher, Pete?
          And the Washington Post a third rate rag? Well, Nixon sure thought so.

  10. The Third Reader says:

    Happy new year ‘Pie and thanks again for your efforts in 2018. We can only hope that 2019 will bring better fortunes for us in the ‘ville’. I was sorry to read of the passing of your long time friend Mongrel the Barrister. I have only made it to the jurors box once and sludge, as i came to know of him, was defending an accused murderer. Stuart Durwood was the prosecutor. Mesmerising theatre to me of the way they spoke. On a lighter note, did Mark ever tell you the story of how he “lost” a juror during the proceedings that almost resulted in a mistrial. Cheers to 2019 all

  11. Mark Doran says:

    I will miss Sludge’s stories about legal battles in North Queensland. He could tell a good yarn, and most of it was true!

    • The Magpie says:

      With you there, Doc.

      • GARY EDDIEHAUSEN says:

        Had many a cold ale and heaps of fun with Sludge in Mt.Isa in the mid to late ‘70’s when he’d come there as a Crown Prosecutor. He even stood shoulder to shoulder beside me when some bikies were threatening to make my face worse than it was. RIP Mark.

        • GARY EDDIEHAUSEN says:

          Actually Adrian Gunderlach was Crown Pros & Sludge was his off-sider. My bad.

          • The Magpie says:

            Ah, Adrian, another bloke of rare wit and mischief. Sludge used to dine out on the story about the time when the travelling circus was in the Towers, and Clive Wall was the judge. Adrian and Sludge agreed to meet the judge for dinner, but Clive was there first, and fell into conversation with an American couple. Adrian arrived with Sludge and saw Clive talking to the couple, marched over to their table, and said to Clive some thing like” Well, hello, Clive, and what are you tonight? An airline pilot, a deep sea diver, own a cattle station, or perhaps a District Court judge. (To the couple). I keep an eye on Clive when he’s allowed for the night.’

            The straight talking judge’s comment to Gunderlach was two words that involved sex and travel.
            Sludge’s favourite story … and mine.

          • Grumpy says:

            Sludge was an entertaining and clever drinking companion. He had a fantastic memory and an incredible eye for detail. He left his mark on the local bar.

            However, ‘Pie, I do not share your views on Gundelach. Intelligent, no doubt. However he was a nasty, up-himself, vicious prick when drunk. Even when sober, he delighted in humiliating people. He was the polar opposite of Mark.

          • The Magpie says:

            Many a funny person fits that description … why, there are even those misguided nitwits who would say it was a description of The ‘Pie.

            And no matter what the fact, the anecdote WAS funny.

  12. Spooka says:

    Mark was a character, a good bloke and top storyteller, had many laughs and drinks with him 80’s and 90’s RIP mate.

  13. The Magpie says:

    From the ‘alleged’ files:


    So they ‘allegedly’ found a shotgun, unequivocally meaning there is some doubt … in terms of Bulletin English, they could be lying and they didn’t find a shotgun at all… or leaving open the possibility that they planted it there and didn’t ‘find’ it.

    FFS they either did or did not find a shotgun, and if it comes down to who to believe – the Bulletin or the police – it’s no contest. The coppers should complain. And simply saying they found the weapon is not legally dangerous, since no names or details of the arrested man are published.

    allegedly | əˈlejədlē |
    adverb [sentence adverb]
    used to convey that something is claimed to be the case or have taken place, although there is no proof:

  14. The Magpie says:

    From the Astonisher – a love story brimming with painful possibilities. Talk about getting the rough end …

    • Bentley says:

      I had the good fortune to cross tacks with Barry and Margot 30 odd years ago and found them to be generous, personable, supremely entertaining story-tellers. The ‘real deal’. One of my NY resolutions is to get a copy of the book.

  15. Cantankerous but happy says:

    How is that photo in the Astonisher today, Townsville’s finest securing our economic future, we have the usual three, Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest, a bootlegger, a cane farmer, a woman who talks like Poida and the Mayor of Charters Towers trying to hide in the background, I would imagine she would have just spent the whole time shaking her head in disbelief.

    • The Magpie says:

      And every single ‘achievement’ they boast of is GOVERNMENT money … there is not a single private investment story, just the begging bowl mentality.

      • Willy wonka says:

        Just so you know magpie there’s a post on Facebook page from someone and you were mentioned to do with that picture. Well your website was . It must have been taken down but the commenter then sent a pic through that’s still up with original post attached to it. He/she didnt miss with there veiw. Do you have a sub editor working for you??? Cant wait to see what happens this year. Happy new year

        • The Magpie says:

          Nothing like a little mystery to start the year. What are we talking about?

          • Willy wonka says:

            Sorry I’ll start again. In the picture you posted it has comments on its Facebook page from townsville bulletin. Your website was named in one comment but then disappeared, the person reposted and had a picture attached of the original post. Hope that clears it up.

          • The Magpie says:

            So The ‘Pie will start again … and rather than go over the history, simply, what did the comment about the Nest say … just the gist of it will be fine. The ‘Pie likes to think this is an information site, not a puzzle page.

          • Mangrove Jack says:

            In News, as in Politics, Perception is everything.

            I very rarely buy a Bulletin, but today I saw the headline and it piqued my curiosity so I splurged my hard-earned and how grateful am I that I did.

            Apparently our very own TEL sock puppet, CEO Little Patti O’Furniture, is directly responsible for 31 Major Projects that are starting or in planning to start, from 2019-21. At least that is the impression I got, with her photo taking up about 60% of page 4, right beside the headline and story on page 5.

            To actually read the story, it would appear more likely that TEL and Little Patti O’Furniture have done Sweet FA, other than going door to door, asking “Please Sir, can I have more”.

            It would be fantastic to know that TEL are actually contributing to the benefit of Townsville and the surrounding area, but appear to be unable to produce anything tangible, other than fluff.

            One wonders or hopes, should there be a new Mayor come the 2020 election, TEL and Little Patti O’Furniture will be gone before the first Council meeting.

          • The Magpie says:

            TEL sorely needs a restructure, but organisations such as the Dudleys can be useful if their remit is not only clear but is adhered to. And accountability, linked to KPIs, is paramount for a mob grabbing close on a million dollars annually from councils in the region, $750,000 of which we in Townsville fork over. But it needs a professional to run it, a professional (businessman) to chair the board, and a professional moral mayor to oversee it all.

          • Cantankerous but happy says:

            Indeed, like TEL employing some worthless dickhead as a “director of policy and investment” who went broke running a coffee shop in Rockhampton, owing money to the tax office, how fucking incompetent do you have to be to go broke running a coffee shop, how the hell does Townsville attract these people.

          • The Magpie says:

            Labor featherbedding. Poor fella my city.

      • fununtilsomeonelosesaneye says:

        Does anyone suspect Little Patti might be fancying her chances in a political role – perhaps a mayoral run in 2020? Given Jenny is now the limping gazelle. Not too silly to believe – master of spin, claimer of success that belongs to others that will be used as proof of delivering for Townsville, up to her armpits at TCC. Just saying…..

        • The Magpie says:

          Fanciful but even O’Callaghan is surely not fool enough to believe her own coattail-hanging publicity … to a person, the business community sees her as an rabbiting airhead who talks colourful nothings. But of course, while they whinge noisily among themselves , not a dicky bird in the public arena. Frankly, and this is the truth, for thr moment, O’Callaghan is, in the vulgar American jail lingo, the mayor’s bitch – and all business people are shit scared of the vindictiveness of the mayor. In some ways, Townsville business deserves what’s happening because they’ve forgotten that bad things happen when good people do nothing. And yes, it is that bad.

          • Cantankerous but happy says:

            I fully agree with that Pie, most of the business people in this town are sheep, small minds and weak spines. They are so caught up in their pissy little groups and backslapping get togethers they are just ignorant of reality of the real world. I struggle to think of another town with such a poor level of business acumen across the corporate sector, it’s just astounding, and sadly I think it’s getting worse. These people honestly believe Govt spending can turn this economy around, I hear them say it all the time, even though house prices are still falling, people are still packing up and leaving town yet they still fall for all the worthless shit TEL, TCC etc all spin out, that pot of gold is just around the corner, just extremely gullible people.
            Like you I have very little sympathy for any of them, they seriously need to grow a pair.

    • Sam1 says:

      We can end the year on a definite high with that comment.

  16. Jatzcrackers says:

    Happy New Year Pie ! RIP Mongrel the barrister, I knew you were both good mates and there’ll be plenty of LOL mermories for you old bird. Trust you’ll enjoy a bottle or two of red tonight before retiring to the fart sack !

  17. Donald T'Rump says:

    Happy New Year to all my followers, especially to Mr Magpie.

  18. Dave of Kelso says:

    More typo errors, this one in Sydney for all the world to see, or is Sydney now officially 12 months behind the rest of the WORLD.


  19. One ended stick says:

    Guess we can look forward to more rate rises this year. If you are on the government wage packet you’ll be fine. By rights the whole purpose of australia is to work for and fund the government and its workers. C’est la vie – eh ? I wonder when all those poor mugs buying into the housing market will work it out?

  20. Achilles says:

    Some time back I asked the question does Oz have an extradition treaty with Malta?

    Apparently not according to this list.


    • Dave of Kelso says:

      I wish the Crime and Corruption Commission “Good hunting.” Should guilt be established, and a midnight runner to Malta undertaken, her travel opportunities would be limited to avoid extradition countries.

      If she was hauled back to Townsville in chains, I doubt the Astonisher would even cover the story. But (I know, I know, never start a sentence with ‘but’, or ‘and’.) as I was saying; But the Townsville Magpie would and the airport arrival lounge photos would be gold.

      I’ll now continue to dream on.

    • Achilles says:

      Supplementary: We do have a treaty with Sweden, so Craig Gore can be returned.

      But the much bigger “fish” can relax on her Mediterranean island.

  21. Dave Nth says:

    Happy New Year Pie & all, I spent mine having a few quiet beers 38,000ft above Sumatra or Java somewhere… However nice welcome home I had tonight. 2 days of solid airports & travel seeing the sun rise twice in 2 different countries & set as well in different locations. Taxis seemed in very short supply, I didn’t have the same problem after I cleared customs in Darwin this morning or in Singapore yesterday… Understand public holiday & all that but wasn’t a good look especially to the tourists in line who looked grumpier than I was…

    Anyway reiterate Happy New Year & in the spirits of where I have just returned from wish everyone a prosperous 2019. Now to sleep if I can…

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Tourists in Townsville Dave? They weren’t grumpy because of no taxis, they were grumpy because they got on the wrong flight.
      I went through town yesterday and those poor people off that cruise ship docking in Townsville New Year’s Day, wondering around lost with bits of paper in their hand, the whole joint was shut and looked like a ghost town, I felt like yelling out the window to head to the casino and get pissed, it will be about the only place open, if only Townsville had a tourist type orginisation that coordinates with business for activities for them to do whilst they are in town.

      • Dave Nth says:

        Yeah believe it or not some were tourists, one Asian & some Europeans. Reckon if they dropped the $3 rort, oops meant charge to just get in a taxi maybe more taxis would sit on the rank thus somewhat alleviating the problem… But don’t get between greedy Australian Airport Corporations & a pot of gold.

  22. Dave of Kelso says:

    Dear ‘Pie,

    Home owners in the Upper Ross have a lot to contend with, especially since the State Government, in the 1980s, painfully inserted into this community many clusters of social (anti-social more like it) housing now neglected, with overgrown lawns festooned with household items making them look more like the Dump Shop than civilized suburbia.

    Now we have another eyesore to suffer!

    A truck, similar to the one used by Aaron Harpic for self-promotion, is parked on Riverway Drive decked out in the livery of Caustic Cathy O’Fool, the Nodding Donkey of Herbert. (Remember the nasty, spiteful farewell card signed my many nasty spiteful people, including Caustic Cathy, that was sent to Ewen Jones upon losing the seat of Herbert.)

    Caustic Cathy had better keep her truck on the move or the “troubled social housing youth” will give her truck the same treatment they give to other vehicles left unattended in this area.

    • Non Aligned Worker says:

      I thought it had been dumped there. Normally takes the council a couple of complaints and a few weeks to remove the eyesores.

      • Concerned says:

        Speaking of our so called council, have been watching a street sign that has been down on Woolcock street now for over 5 weeks and has been shifted every week by council workers to mow around.
        But it is still lying face down with the bloody great chunk of concrete still attached on the grassed medium strip at the show ground southern end.

  23. Kevin Rose says:


    I am now in Ipswich and an very sorry to hear of the passing of Sludge. He certainly was witty and very much one of life’s characters.

    with my kind regards

    Kevin Rose


    Made the mistake of ruining in to the ‘local news’ coverage. A few items of real news given minimal coverage, but treated to various ‘items’ relating to re-gifting Christmas presents, pet resort (ads), children making liquid gunk, etc, etc.
    All lightweight stories (feel good pieces) better suited to an infomercial rather than real news. How about journalists start being journalists and investigate longer, more in-depth pieces on things that are news and ask the hard questions and expect answers.

  25. The Owl says:

    Where have you been living Gary? The only journalist worth their salt is John Andersen and he spends all his time driving around out west writing stories that are interesting but have little relevence to Townsville residents.
    The rest are mostly cub reporters who can’t spell and have never heard of grammar or investivative reporting. They just cut and paste the media releases and publish them under their own name. It’s been going on for years, hence the circulation free fall.
    Townsville needs three things: a new council, a decent tourism and economic development organisation, and a real newspaper. Until those things change we will remain an economic backwater.

    • Bentley says:

      Maybe then we’d get Stage 2 of the Tully-Millstream Hydro and Stage 2 of the Burdekin Dam project. Or should I wash my mouth out?

      • Guy says:

        Adding hydro to burdekin falls dam isnt worh it

        The turbine/ generator will be too small to be worth it , then you will need all of the maintenance on it including all the stuff that transforms the energy and transports it across the landscape to the nearest suitable connection.

        What makes more sense is transporting its water more efficiently and maybe build a concrete canal all the way to townsville but thats a century away ( assuming things don’t go downhill before that point)

  26. Emmanuel Old Boy says:

    Mark was at Emmanuel College at UQ around 74/75. Many famous stories about Mark from those years. At UQ he was known as Piggy and when he went to Crown Law he became Sludge.

    May he rest in peace.

    One of the famous stories is Mark making a call to a talk back radio show host as the President of Gentlemen Against Young Sex (GAYS for short). You had to be there. Will not go into the cut lunches story.

    Magpie are you aware of any funeral details? There are none I can see on the internet.

    • The Magpie says:

      Sounds like vintage Mark … he was always great fun to be around. The funeral details are:
      Wed 9/1 at St Francis church, Mayer St, Cairns, 2pm.

  27. Dave Nth says:

    Just belatedly cleaning out the back pack from all the receipts/boarding passes & noticed NT News also using “We’re for you” emblazoned near the masthead as well. Must be generic News Corpse marketing…

    • The Magpie says:

      It is … regionals like the Astonisher wouldn’t be allowed to think up suitable local slogans, they have adopt meaningless and lying ones from Holt Street in Sydney. This none is particularly offensive, because it is clear they are all for News Corpse, and we (the ‘you’) are just cannon fodder for the advertising department.

  28. Cantankerous but happy says:

    When people would ask me what Townsville is like I replied ,” so bogan we still have a Sizzler”, now the bogans buffet is going to close, let’s hope a few decide they just can’t live without it and move to Rockhampton.

    • The Magpie says:

      Yeah, had a bit of an amused warble and added that to The ‘Pie’s ‘iconic’ list. Iconic is something that is immediately recognisable, usually unique, and one readily associates with a name, place or occupation. The Eiffel Tower is iconic, as is the Statue of Liberty, Big Ben, the Kabbba in Mecca and closer to home, the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Now alas, down south, all the front bar chat and dinner party braying will be along the lines of ‘Townsville? Wasn’t that the Sizzler place until a while back?”

      Oh, the shame.

  29. Dave of Kelso says:

    Sizzler, never a fan of the place!

    For the first 2 years of my working life I had to line up at meal times, 3 times a day, 7 days a week. Also a common occurance during years 3 and 4.

    I’ll be damed if I’ll be happy to line up at a restraunt where I have to pay for the privilege. Only went there a couple of times because I had too, and grumbled throughout to make my displeasure known.

    Give me a place where I can book a table, has steward service and the staff NEVER SAY, “Hi guys.”

    Bring back the Peacock Room at the top of Louths Hotel.

  30. Former Townsville Barrister says:

    So sad to hear about Mark. Do you have any details about where and when his funeral will be?

    • The Magpie says:

      The funeral details are:
      Wed 9/1 at St Francis church, Mayer St, Cairns, 2pm.

      • Former Townsville Barrister says:

        Thanks very much

        • Kevin Rose says:

          Due to work commitments I am sorry that I am unable to attend Mark’s funeral tomorrow. I have spoken to Mark’s brother Matthew and passed on my condolences to the family.

          I have very fond memories of Mark keeping us laughing with his razor sharp wit at bars like the Exchange in Townsville with other persons present such as Malcolm, Ronnie Hinds (Ron passed in 2012).

          As a criminal lawyer he had a tough exterior but his friends also came to know a very caring man.

          Rest in Peace mate

  31. Leslie Jogger says:

    Thoughts on Phillip Thompson’s confession to online tirade against Muslims in 2012?

    • The Magpie says:

      Haven’t seen it. Got a link?

    • Achilles says:

      It used to be called freedom of speech, as Salman Rushdie wisely said `nobody has the right to not be offended`

      Our dopey politicians use the Goebbels thesis that repeat the the lie often enough and the people will believe it.

      They parrot the same jargon that `Oz has been founded on migration, which is true, however every culture and religion that comes here assimilates except the muzzies and their perpetual demands the WE MUST accommodate their 6th century misogynistic excuse for a religion. It is NOT a religion it is a life style.

      • The Magpie says:

        Actually, don’t think anyone is arguing your point, it was the ‘threat’ of lawless violence at issue. And not much of a threat at that, just a macho howl of indignation (justified or not) and frustration 3000kms from the riot by antagonistic Muslims. Anyway, in this neck of the woods, probably won’t lose him any votes, such as they may be, especially given what a big issue around here is slow recognition and government responsibility for PTSD under all federal governments of recent years. But for the record, The ‘Pie does not condone threats of, and encouragement to, violence from anyone towards anyone (always apart from the bloke who sings Achy Breaky Heart) – and that includes genetically retarded people who demand the beheading of people who disagree with them. Why haven’t the rioters been charged with inciting violence?

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:

110Days 07 48 16